Sunday, February 17, 2019

Tom Petty & Mudcrutch - I Can't Fight It - Various Songs (1973-1975)

Last week, I was really into Richard Thompson, and found a bunch of his music I'd never known about before. This week I've gone through the same thing, but with Tom Petty. I think I've reached a point where I'm ready to post a lot from both guys, so here's something from Petty.

Before Petty's long career with the Heartbreakers began in 1976, he played with Mudcrutch from about 1971 to 1975. Actually, it's more like Mudcrutch morphed into the Heartbreakers, since some key guys were in both. Strangely, Petty got Mudcrutch together for a new album and tour in 2008, and then another new album and tour in 2016.

But the music of the original 1970s version of Mudcrutch has largely been forgotten. I'm guessing Petty felt these were his formative years, and most of his music from then wasn't up to snuff compared to what he did later. But I beg to differ. I've assembled an album of Mudcrutch's best stuff that I think holds its own with some of the early albums with the Heartbreakers.

Seven of the 12 songs here were released in excellent sound quality on the "Playback" box set. Another one was released on the "An American Treasure" box set. Two more have very good sound quality because they were officially released at the time as B-sides. (Mudcrutch only released two singles during its 1970s existence.) But for one of the B-sides, "Wild Eyes," I replaced a section of the song near the beginning with a repeat of the same section later in the song, due to lots of pops and crackles. There still are some pops, but hopefully it's not nearly as noticeable as it was.

That leaves just two songs that are still officially unreleased on this album. Actually, they have a bunch of other songs that have shown up on bootlegs, but I feel those aren't good enough to make to cut.

I decided to include Mudcrutch's version of "Don't Do Me like That" even though Petty redid the song in 1979 and had a big hit with it then. I think this version is nearly as good, and should have been a hit for Mudcrutch. "I Can't Fight It" is the other clear standout, in my book. Unfortunately, they used the F-word in it, probably preventing them from releasing it at the time.

By the way, the band was just called "Mudcrutch," But I've gone with "Tom Petty & Mudcrutch" in the mp3 files so these can come up if one is searching one's music collection for Tom Petty songs.

01. Up in Mississippi Tonight (Tom Petty & Mudcrutch)
02. Cause Is Understood (Tom Petty & Mudcrutch)
03. Don't It Get Weird (Tom Petty & Mudcrutch)
04. On the Street (Tom Petty & Mudcrutch)
05. I Can't Fight It (Tom Petty & Mudcrutch)
06. Don't Do Me like That (Tom Petty & Mudcrutch)
07. Cry to Me (Tom Petty & Mudcrutch)
08. Lost in Your Eyes (Tom Petty & Mudcrutch)
09. Since You Said You Loved Me (Tom Petty)
10. You Wouldn't Wanna Get Hurt (Tom Petty & Mudcrutch)
11. Depot Street (Tom Petty & Mudcrutch)
12. Wild Eyes (Tom Petty & Mudcrutch)

For the cover art, I used a cover I found on the Internet, but I don't remember where I got it from. The version I found was mostly colorized green, but there were some places where the colorizing didn't look right, so I recolorized it green. I added the album title at the bottom, but "Mudcrutch" was already on the image.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Joe Jackson - Dirty Love - Various Songs (2003-2011)

Here's the second of three albums I've made of Joe Jackson playing cover versions. As with the previous album, nearly all of these are from concerts, with the audience noise removed.

This time around, he plays songs by: XTC, a music hall number, Steely Dan (twice), Frank Zappa, the Beatles (twice), Duke Ellington, Suzanne Vega, ABBA, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, and David Bowie.

Most of the songs have excellent sound quality, with four coming from official releases. But a couple are a notch below, such as "Dirty Love." Still, I deemed those good enough to include.

01. Mayor of Simpleton (Joe Jackson)
02. Hello, Hello, Who's Your Lady Friend (Joe Jackson)
03. Any Major Dude Will Tell You (Joe Jackson)
04. Dirty Love (Joe Jackson)
05. I'm Looking through You (Joe Jackson)
06. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Joe Jackson)
07. Reelin' in the Years (Joe Jackson)
08. Frank and Ava (Joe Jackson)
09. Knowing Me, Knowing You (Joe Jackson)
10. Inbetweenies (Joe Jackson)
11. Scary Monsters [And Super Creeps] (Joe Jackson)
12. Girl (Joe Jackson)

Petra Haden - Acappella 2: Red (2016-2017)

Here's the second of four albums I've made using Petra Haden's acappella versions of famous songs. They all are officially unreleased and have only appeared at her YouTube account.

This album is a bit different than the first one in that only four of the 12 songs have actual sung words to them. But of course all the songs are sung, since Haden's voice makes every single note of every song here. It's really impressive how she can create a soundscape by multitracking her vocals over and over again.

I highly recommend you check out this album (and the other albums in this series). If you want soothing mood music, this hits the spot.

This time around, she does songs by the Police, Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream, Charlie Haden, Michael Hedges, Blind Faith, and two songs by King Crimson. Additionally, she does several oddities, such as the themes to the original Star Trek and the Incredible Hulk.

01. River's Edge Theme (Petra Haden)
02. Bring on the Night (Petra Haden)
03. Tubular Bells (Petra Haden)
04. Star Trek [Original Series Main Title] (Petra Haden)
05. Love on a Real Train (Petra Haden)
06. Auld Lang Syne (Petra Haden)
07. Silence (Petra Haden)
08. Two Days Old (Petra Haden)
09. Can't Find My Way Home (Petra Haden)
10. Red (Petra Haden)
11. Matte Kudasai (Petra Haden)
12. The Lonely Man Theme [The Incredible Hulk] (Petra Haden)

Richard & Linda Thompson - The Price of Love - Various Songs (1982)

Here's the third of three Richard and Linda Thompson albums I'm posting today. I'm posting a lot because I realized I've got a ton of Richard Thompson's music to post and I haven't even gotten to his post-1982 solo career yet.

1982 was a seminal year for Richard and Linda Thompson, because they released their all time classic album "Shoot Out the Lights" and had a final tour of the US even though their marriage was dramatically falling apart. Richard Thompson started his solo career right away, having solo concerts only a month after the last Richard and Linda Thompson concert. For the purpose of this album, I'm only including material from the time the two of them were still together musically, which lasted through June 1982.

Six of the eleven songs here (plus the bonus track) come from that tour, with the audience noise removed if possible, as I usually do. Unfortunately, the tour was not recorded well. Even officially released songs from soundboard performances sometimes only have good sound quality instead of excellent. We have to make do.

One song ("Great Balls of Fire") was a notch below the rest in terms of the sound, so I've only included it as a bonus track.

A few of the other songs feature Richard Thompson only. But they date from before the final break up of the Richard and Linda duo, so I consider those fair game. Luckily, they come from in-person radio show appearances, so the sound quality on those is excellent.

01. Living in Luxury (Richard & Linda Thompson)
02. Move It On Over (Richard Thompson)
03. New-Fangled Flogging Reel - Kerry Reel [Instrumental] (Richard & Linda Thompson)
04. Danny Boy (Richard & Linda Thompson)
05. High School Confidential (Richard & Linda Thompson)
06. Genesis Hall (Richard & Linda Thompson)
07. Honky Tonk Blues (Richard & Linda Thompson)
08. Learning the Game (Richard Thompson)
09. I'll Keep It with Mine (Richard & Linda Thompson)
10. Sheebeg and Sheemore [Instrumental] (Richard Thompson with Simon Nicol)
11. The Price of Love (Richard & Linda Thompson)

Great Balls of Fire (Richard & Linda Thompson)

Richard & Linda Thompson - Time to Ring Some Changes - Various Songs (1981)

Here's another Richard and Linda Thompson stray tracks album. Although I must say this doesn't have a lot of Linda on it.

In 1982, Richard Thompson got romantically involved with another woman despite being married to Linda at the time. She found out and they divorced as a result, after one final and emotionally contentious tour. But it retrospect, their marriage had been on the rocks for a while, and Richard had been starting in on his solo career before 1982.

In 1981, not only did he release his first solo album (an all instrumental one called "Strict Tempo!"), but he started doing some other solo recordings and even performing some solo shows. On top of all that, he joined a group (that only lasted through 1981) called the GPs that was led by him and Ralph McTell, with the two of them evenly splitting the singing.

Five of the ten songs here are from Richard's various solo ventures that year. Three of those songs are from the GPs (who only released one obscure album about a decade after they broke up). "The Knife-Edge" comes from his solo album "Strict Tempo." Frankly, that all-instrumental album is for limited tastes. But the song I chose is the only Richard Thompson original from it, and I think it's the highlight.

I made a significant edit on the other Richard solo song, "Time Has Told Me." This is a nice cover of a Nick Drake song with some tasty Hawaiian slack key guitar work added by Raymond Kane. But on the released version, Kane sings the last verse, and I didn't like that. It seemed odd to me that his unusual voice would come in so late in the song. It just didn't work musically, in my opinion. Since that last verse was a repeat of the first verse, I swapped out Kane's singing with Richard's.

By the way, for albums like these, I try to stick to songs that aren't on official studio albums. I've made kind of an exception here with the song "Sloth." That song (which Richard co-wrote) is well known from it's original version when Richard was a part of Fairport Convention. It's a classic that's been done lots of times since. But I figure this version is special because it's possibly the only version with high sound quality in which Linda Thompson has a prominent role in the vocals.

Speaking of sound quality, I included one song as a bonus track only because the sound quality wasn't quite up to snuff with the rest of the album.

01. Time to Ring Some Changes (Richard & Linda Thompson)
02. Baby Don't You Do It [Don't Do It] (Richard Thompson & the GPs)
03. Tryin' to Get to You (Richard & Linda Thompson)
04. Planxty Morgan Mawgan - Long Odds [Instrumental] (Richard & Linda Thompson)
05. [Come Round Here] I'm the One You Need (Richard Thompson & the GPs)
06. Sloth (Richard & Linda Thompson with Simon Nicol)
07. Going, Going, Gone (Richard Thompson & the GPs)
08. Blues in a Bottle (Richard & Linda Thompson with Simon Nicol)
09. The Knife-Edge [Instrumental] (Richard Thompson)
10. Time Has Told Me [Edit] (Richard Thompson with Raymond Kane)

Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Richard Thompson & the GPs)

Richard & Linda Thompson - The Wrong Heartbeat - Various Songs (1978-1980)

I've been really getting into Richard Thompson's music lately. I'd already been a big fan, but I recently found a bunch of bootleg material I hadn't known about, and I've been incorporating it into my collection. I've got so much of his stuff to post that I'm going to post three of his albums at once, finishing off the stray tracks for the phase of his career with his then wife Linda Thompson.

This album covers 1978 to 1980, but nearly all of it is from 1980. A majority of the songs are originals, and the rest are pretty obscure covers. Well, a couple of them aren't obscure. Surprisingly, Richard does the surf rock instrumental "Pipeline" and a song best known from its association with the Harlem Globetrotters, "Sweet Georgia Brown." Oh, and "Crying in the Rain" was a hit for the Everly Brothers.

The song quality ranges from excellent to pretty good. There are two songs though that I wanted to include but felt I couldn't, due to sound quality issues. So I've added those as bonus tracks.

01. Woman or a Man (Richard & Linda Thompson)
02. Madame Soustaine (Richard & Linda Thompson)
03. The Gas Almost Works [Instrumental] (Richard & Linda Thompson)
04. I'm a Dreamer (Richard & Linda Thompson)
05. The Wrong Heartbeat (Richard & Linda Thompson)
06. Modern Woman (Richard & Linda Thompson)
07. Pipeline [Instrumental] (Richard & Linda Thompson)
08. Speechless Child (Richard & Linda Thompson)
09. How Many Times Do You Have to Fall (Richard & Linda Thompson)
10. Lucky in Life, Unlucky in Love (Richard & Linda Thompson)
11. Sweet Georgia Brown [Instrumental] (Richard & Linda Thompson with Richard Digence)
12. Crying in the Rain (Richard & Linda Thompson)

No Particular Place to Go (Richard & Linda Thompson)
Sugar Babe (Richard & Linda Thompson)

Friday, February 8, 2019

Robyn Hitchcock - Oscar - The A&M Sessions - Acoustic Demos (1993)

Followers of this blow know I've posted a lot of Robyn Hitchcock albums, and I've even started a series of albums just of Hitchcock's acoustic cover songs.

This is yet another acoustic covers album by him, except it's somewhat different. Those other albums generally collect songs from concert bootlegs. whereas this all comes from one source. I decided to keep this together instead of incorporating it into the long series of covers albums. A key reason is that the sound quality is a cut above, since these tracks were all recorded in a studio, so they sound a bit better than even soundboard versions of concert performances.

I don't know why Hitchcock recorded an album of covers in 1993. It's especially curious given that this came during his time with A&M Records, which produced his albums more heavily than at any other time in his career. I also don't know why the bootleg of this music is called "Oscar."

Getting to the music, Hitchcock has his usual great taste in covers. He does songs by Jimi Hendrix, Morrissey, Roxy Music, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Syd Barrett, the Incredible String Band, and Richard Thompson. (One more song, "Polly on the Shore," is traditional, but Fairport Convention did a well known version.)

It's a short album, only 31 minutes long. It could have been longer, but I removed two songs because they were just repeat versions of songs already on the album, and were almost identical.

01. The Wind Cries Mary (Robyn Hitchcock)
02. Polly on the Shore (Robyn Hitchcock)
03. Every Day Is like Sunday (Robyn Hitchcock)
04. Take a Chance with Me (Robyn Hitchcock)
05. Senor [Tales of Yankee Power] (Robyn Hitchcock)
06. Yer Blues (Robyn Hitchcock)
07. Dominoes (Robyn Hitchcock)
08. Chinese White (Robyn Hitchcock)
09. The Calvary Cross (Robyn Hitchcock)

The cover is the exact cover of a bootleg of this album. However, that cover didn't have the word "Oscar" on the front, so I moved some text and added it in.