Saturday, September 23, 2023

Live Aid - JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA, 7-13-1985, Part 1: Joan Baez, The Hooters, The Four Tops, Black Sabbath, Run DMC, Rick Springfield, REO Speedwagon

Sorry I haven't posted in over a week. It's not because I haven't been working on musical stuff. As part of my recent effort to post some big rock festivals, I decided to tackle one of the biggest and most famous of them all: Live Aid, from 1985. 

Live Aid actually was two concerts: one in London, England, and the other in Philadelphia, U.S.A. Generally speaking, one act would play on stage in, say, London and their performance would be broadcast live to the audience in Philadelphia. When that act finished their set, the next act in Philadelphia would play, and their performance would be broadcast live to the audience in London. In this way, both audiences were entertained by music nearly continuously, without the usual long waits between acts. And for the worldwide audience watching through TV, they also got a nearly continuous stream of music.

Even though that was the case, it basically was two different concerts (on different continents, even), and it works out better for me to present the Philadelphia concert all together, and then present the London concert all together. So here's the first of seven albums that makes up the Philadelphia portion of Live Aid.

I don't want to go into a big, long explanation about Live Aid. I hope most of you know the basics. If not, here's the Wikipedia article about it:

Live Aid - Wikipedia

In short, a massive famine in Ethiopia was big news in 1984 and 1985. Bob Geldof, lead singer for the Irish band the Boomtown Rats, helped bring together a bunch of mostly British music stars for a charity single in late 1984 called "Do They Know It's Christmas." It was a huge hit in late 1984, and all the profits went to charity aimed at bringing food to the famine victims. Then mostly US music stars got together for a similar charity single, "We Are the World." Released in early 1985, it became one of the best selling singles of all time. This then led to the suggestion to put on a benefit concert for the same cause. Geldof again was the main one to put it together, along with Midge Ure of the British band Ultravox. The concert was a huge success in terms of the musical acts involved and the audience. Nearly two billion people watched, in 150 countries, representing about 40 percent of the world's population.

The concert's actual impact on the famine is more debated. About $40 to $50 million was immediately raised, and about $150 by the time the final counting was done. That seems like an impressive amount to me. However, there are questions about how the money was spent. At the time, Ethiopia was ruled by a dictator, Mengitsu Haile Mariam, and it is alleged that he used the food and supplies raised by Live Aid to help regions that supported him, while denying the regions that were against him. The evidence suggests this happened. Huey Lewis and the News didn't perform for fear that the money was misspent, and it seems they had a point.

However, in a bigger sense, I think the concert was a success in accomplishing its goal. Although the actual money raised was misused, the concert also raised awareness worldwide. As a result, many governments that had been ignoring the problem were pushed into taking action. The actions and money spent by these government was far larger than what was directly raised by Live Aid. And while some of this support was also misused by the Ethiopian government, there was so much of it that it was enough to stop the famine later that year. Furthermore, I would argue the concert had a cultural impact worldwide that went beyond that single crisis. It raised hope that people could make a difference through activism, even when governments weren't doing much. Also, there had been some benefit concerts prior to Live Aid, but it gave a renewed push to those sorts of efforts, arguably for decades thereafter.

Anyway, that's my relatively short summary. (I'm a verbose guy!) Now, let's get to the music on this album. The Philadelphia concert began at 9 A.M. local time. It would go on until 11 P.M. That's 14 hours. However, there were only about eight hours of actual music, due to time between sets (usually filled by video footage from London) and speeches and such. 

Generally speaking, the less famous acts went early, and the acts got more famous as the day went on. The acts here definitely are a disparate bunch. For instance, I think it's safe to say this was the one and only time folk singer Joan Baez was on the same bill as the heavy metal band Black Sabbath! 

Actually, that brings up the tricky issue of just who got to play Live Aid and who didn't. This is a very interesting article, listing many big acts that didn't play Live Aid, and why:

Live Aid: 30 huge artists who didn't perform and why - Gold (

In short, there was a lot of favoritism and music politics that went into it. Generally, one either had to be super famous, or deemed cool by Bob Geldof, Midge Uge, Bill Graham, and other key decision makers behind the scenes. An interesting case in point is the Hooters. They were a Philadelphia band, but they weren't very well known at the time. Geldof didn't want to include them, asking "Who the f-ck are the Hooters?" But promoter Bill Graham wanted them, and there was additional pressure from a record company and a local promoter, so they were included. They had just released an album that was starting to break them, but the exposure they got at Live Aid was a huge boost. 

Another controversy was the relative lack of Black performers. For instance, Stevie Wonder didn't take part because he felt there weren't enough other Black acts on the bill. Given all that, it seems curious to me that the Four Tops did play, when many other Black acts that were more popular at the time did not. 

The performance of Black Sabbath was particularly notable because it was a reunion of the original band. Most crucially, Ozzy Osborne was the lead singer. This was his first show with the band since he'd left in 1985. After the concert, Osborne left again. He wouldn't fully rejoin the band until 1997.

Personally, as great as Live Aid was, I get pissed when I think about all the great acts that wanted to play but weren't deemed popular or cool enough, yet the likes of Rick Springfield and REO Speedwagon were allowed to play. For instance, Springfield is basically known for one really big hit, "Jessie's Girl," which he didn't even play at Live Aid. The Kinks, Foreigner, and Yes were just some of the acts that were rejected - all of them had hits in the early 1980s.

Anyway, it is what it is. On a different note, it took me a long time to put these albums together because every single song from the Philadelphia show needed work. (Luckily, the London show was better.) In my opinion, the lead vocals were low across the board, so I had to fix every song using the audio editing program UVR5. On top of that, there was a lot of trouble with the starts and ends of songs. Sometimes, DJs were talking over whatever was happening on stage, so introductions were missed, and sometimes even the starts of songs were missed. Similarly, the applause after the songs were often cut short for more DJ talking. The concert deliberately was not professionally recorded other than what was broadcast, because some artists wanted to be sure their music wouldn't make it onto any live album. As a result, the lost bits generally stayed lost. That means I have the introductions for some acts, but not for others. When it comes to the applause though, I usually was able to patch in some generic applause from elsewhere in the concert to make the missing bits less obvious.

This album is an hour and 14 minutes long.

001 talk (Jack Nicholson)
002 talk (Joan Baez)
003 Amazing Grace (Joan Baez)
004 We Are the World (Joan Baez)
005 talk (Chevy Chase & Joe Piscopo)
006 And We Danced (Hooters)
007 All You Zombies (Hooters)
008 talk (Hooters)
009 Shake Me, Wake Me [When It's Over] (Four Tops)
010 Bernadette (Four Tops)
011 It's the Same Old Song (Four Tops)
012 Reach Out, I'll Be There (Four Tops)
013 I Can't Help Myself [Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch] (Four Tops)
014 talk (Chevy Chase)
015 Children of the Grave (Black Sabbath)
016 Iron Man (Black Sabbath)
017 talk (Black Sabbath)
018 Paranoid (Black Sabbath)
019 King of Rock (Run-DMC)
020 talk (Joe Piscopo)
021 Love Somebody (Rick Springfield)
022 State of the Heart (Rick Springfield)
023 Human Touch (Rick Springfield)
024 talk (Chevy Chase)
025 Can't Fight This Feeling (REO Speedwagon)
026 Roll with the Changes (REO Speedwagon)

The cover photo is of the crowd in the Philadelphia concert. For the other Live Aid albums, I'm going with photos of famous acts. But I wanted one of the crowd, and this album doesn't have any super famous acts.

Oh, and as for the lettering at the top, I used the same font as on all the Live Aid promotional material. But I rotated the logo of Africa turning into a guitar neck 90 degrees so it would better fit the limited space.

Friday, September 15, 2023

The Beatles - The Beatles Uncovered, Volume 3 (1967-1989) (A MIKE SOLOF GUEST POST)

It's time for another Mike Solof guest post. Before I hand over the reins to him, so to speak, note that if you're enjoying his Beatles mixes, he's been posting more of that at the "Albums I Wish Existed" website, which you can find here:

Also, in addition to Mike's below write-up, read the PDF file included in the download for explanations behind each song.


Hey Kids,

It’s Mike here, back for Round 3 of some of my coolest remixes of Beatle tracks culled from over 300 shows I produced for a now defunct Internet station called Beatles-a-rama.

The thing always found most fun (and still do) in working with Beatles tracks, is using the most modern equipment out there to rip the commercially released tracks apart… and then finding out what is hiding in the cracks and crevices of the music. The stuff buried beneath. The stuff you never usually get a chance to hear. Until now!

That’s what this collection is all about.

I’m hoping that the hour of music in volume three will allow you to appreciate the greatest band in the world in a whole new way. There’s a lot more where this came from…


01 I'm Losing You [Mike's Mix] (John Lennon)
02 Cloud Nine [Mike's Mix] (George Harrison)
03 Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him [Mike's Mix] (John Lennon)
04 Martha My Dear [No Strings or Brass] (Beatles)
05 In My Car [Mike's Mix] (Ringo Starr)
06 Cheer Down [Mike's Mix] (George Harrison)
07 Cleanup Time [Mike's Mix] (John Lennon)
08 Picture Show Life [Mike's Mix] (Ringo Starr)
09 Baby's Request [Mike's Mix] (Paul McCartney)
10 [Just Like] Starting Over [12' Promo] [Mike's Mix] (John Lennon)
11 Got My Mind Set on You [Mike's Mix] (George Harrison)
12 Lovely Rita [Mike's Mix] (Beatles)
13 Oh My Love [Acoustic Instrumental Version] [Mike's Mix] (John Lennon)
14 Photograph [Mike's Mix] (Ringo Starr)
15 Just for Today [Mike's Mix] (George Harrison)
16 Three Legs [Instrumental Version] [Mike's Mix] (Paul McCartney)
17 That's What It Takes [Mike's Mix] (George Harrison)

The cover is another imagining of what the Beatles would look like if all four of them were alive today. Ask Mike where he finds these things, 'cos I don't know.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A Conspiracy of Hope, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, 6-15-1986, Part 5 - Joni Mitchell, U2, & the Police

Finally, this is the last of five parts of the last concert from the 1986 "A Conspiracy of Hope" tour. The biggest name artists were saved for last.

Originally, Pete Townshend of the Who had been announced as one of the final acts for this concert. He hadn't played any of the other dates on the short tour. However, I saw the first one, in San Francisco, and I recall that a video of him performing "Won't Get Fooled Again" in solo acoustic mode was shown to the audience, to great applause. Unfortunately, he had to cancel at the last minute because his father, Cliff Townshend, became gravely ill (and in fact died later that month).

Townshend was replaced by Joni Mitchell. Although she'd had much critical and commercial success in the 1960s and 70s, the 1980s hadn't been good for her. Her talent was still undeniable, but her attempts to modernize her sound with synths and drum machines didn't work at all, and her sales plummeted. For this concert, she only played three songs, and she played them in solo acoustic style. Unfortunately, she avoided playing her classics and instead chose three musically complicated songs that very few people in the audience was familiar with. This did not go over well at all. She was booed and even pelted with objects. Rolling Stone Magazine at the time even called it the worst concert performance of the year.

However, in retrospect, there's nothing at all bad about her performance. In fact, these versions of her recent songs "The Three Great Stimulants" (from her 1985 album "Dog Eat Dog") and "Number One" (then unreleased, from her 1988 album "Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm") are drastically different from the album versions, and sound way better in solo acoustic format, in my opinion. It's just unfortunate that she didn't pander to the crowd's desire for better known songs. Plus, she only played three songs that lasted 15 minutes.

U2 hadn't done much musically since their 1984 album "The Unforgettable Fire." Their blockbuster album "The Joshua Tree" wouldn't be released until a year after this concert. However, their reputation had continued to steadily rise anyway. For instance, their performance in the 1985 Live Aid concert was widely considered one of the highlights. For this concert, they played a surprising number of covers, doing "Maggie's Farm" by Bob Dylan, "Cold Turkey" by John Lennon, "Help!" by the Beatles, and then finishing with "Sun City," helped by Little Steven (who wrote it), Lou Reed, Ruben Blades and Nona Hendrix. Their set was 28 minutes long.

But without a doubt, the most anticipated act of the whole concert was the Police. The Police were one of the biggest musical acts of the early 1980s, but they broke up in 1983, at the peak of their success. They attempted a reunion in 1986, but it didn't go far. Sting played the first three concerts on this tour as a solo act. Then, for the last three, including this one, he reunited with the Police instead. This particular concert would be the last time the Police performed together until 2003, when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (They would have a reunion tour a few years after that.) One month after these concerts, they tried to record another album in the studio, but they couldn't get along. All they managed was a revised version of their hit "Don't Stand So Close to Me." Their set was 31 minutes long.

The Police were joined by Bono, lead singer of U2, for their last song, "Invisible Sun." When the song ended, they handed over their instruments to U2 for the finale, a cover of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released," with everyone singing on stage. Bono put a lot of symbolic importance into the handing over of instruments, since the Police were considered the biggest band in the world at the time, and U2 would be considered the biggest band after their "Joshua Tree" album was released. Bono later said, "It was a very big moment, like passing a torch."

This album is an hour and 22 minutes long.

088 The Three Great Stimulants (Joni Mitchell)
089 Number One (Joni Mitchell)
090 Hejira (Joni Mitchell)
091 MLK - Pride [In the Name of Love] (U2)
092 Bad (U2)
093 Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2)
094 Maggie's Farm - Cold Turkey (U2)
095 Help (U2)
096 Sun City (U2 with Little Steven, Lou Reed, Ruben Blades & Nona Hendrix)
097 Message in a Bottle (Police)
098 King of Pain (Police)
099 Driven to Tears (Police)
100 Every Breath You Take (Police)
101 Roxanne (Police)
102 Invisible Sun (Police with Bono)
103 I Shall Be Released (Everyone)

The cover photo, of Bono and Sting singing "Invisible Sun" together, comes from this exact concert.

A Conspiracy of Hope, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, 6-15-1986, Part 4 - Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, & Bryan Adams

This is the fourth out of five albums of the last 1986 "Conspiracy of Hope" concert, near New York City. For a description of the concert in general, check out the write-up for the first volume.

All the musical artists on the first three volumes for this concert were reasonably famous, but this is when the really big names started to be featured. The whole concert was broadcast on MTV, but only this part until the end was also broadcast on network TV.

Since these acts are better known, I hopefully don't have to say much about them. Lou Reed was famous for being in the Velvet Underground and his 1972 hit "Walk on the Wild Side," but he also had more commercial success in the 1980s, including having a minor hit in 1984 with "I Love You Suzanne." His set is 28 minutes long.

British singer Peter Gabriel had lots of success in the 1970s and 80s as a member of Genesis then a solo artist, but he arguably reached his peak of popularity in 1986, right around the time of this concert. That year, he put out the album "So," which sold five million copies in the U.S. alone. His song "Sledgehammer" even hit Number One in the U.S. His set is 38 minutes long.

Canadian singer Bryan Adams had gradually built his fame in the 1980s. By 1986, he had become a big star, thanks to the recent hits "Run to You," "Heaven," and "Summer of '69." He would go on to even bigger fame and fortune with his 1991 mega-hit, "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You." His set is 25 minutes long. 

This album is an hour and 31 minutes long.

068 Rock and Roll (Lou Reed)
069 I Love You, Suzanne (Lou Reed)
070 No Money Down (Lou Reed)
071 Turn to Me (Lou Reed)
072 Walk on the Wild Side (Lou Reed)
073 Video Violence (Lou Reed)
074 talk by Bill Graham (Peter Gabriel)
075 Red Rain (Peter Gabriel)
076 Shock the Monkey (Peter Gabriel)
077 Family Snapshot (Peter Gabriel)
078 Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel)
079 San Jacinto (Peter Gabriel)
080 Biko (Peter Gabriel)
081 Run to You (Bryan Adams)
082 talk (Bryan Adams)
083 It's Only Love (Bryan Adams)
084 Straight from the Heart (Bryan Adams)
085 Tonight (Bryan Adams)
086 Summer of '69 (Bryan Adams)
087 Somebody (Bryan Adams)

The cover photo of Peter Gabriel is from this exact concert.

A Conspiracy of Hope, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, 6-15-1986, Part 3 - Ruben Blades, Yoko Ono, Howard Jones, Miles Davis, Neville Brothers & Joan Baez

This is the third of out five albums of the final concert from the 1986 "A Conspiracy of Hope" tour. If you want to know more about the concert in general, check out the write-up for the first part.

This part has an even more eclectic group of artists than the other parts, in my opinion. There also was an emphasis on world music. That's especially true because of two famous musicians who took part, but didn't have sets of their own. Fela Kuti, from Nigeria, played two songs with the Neville Brothers. Carlos Santana, the main force behind the band Santana, played guitar on songs by Ruben Blades, Miles Davis, and the Neville Brothers.

Ruben Blades, from Panama, is one of the most famous musicians from Latin America. He hasn't had a lot of commercial success in the U.S., probably because he's generally stuck to singing in Spanish, as he did for his set here. But he's had dozens of hits in Spanish speaking countries. He's also won eleven Grammy Awards in the U.S., and has acted in many movies. Plus, he's been a politician in Panama.

Yoko Ono is best known for being the wife of John Lennon of the Beatles. She's been criticized for her avant garde singing style. However, she had a conventional hit in the U.S. and Britain in 1981 with the song "Walking on Thin Ice," which she played here.

British singer Howard Jones had a bunch of new wave hits in the 1980s, but he was only allowed to sing one for this concert, "No One Is to Blame."

Miles Davis is one of the most famous jazz musicians of all time. Unfortunately, his peak years were in the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s. He retired from music in the late 1970s, letting sex and drugs take over his life. He resumed his music career in the early 1980s and found his greatest commerical success with a more poppy style, but many jazz fans aren't fond of this phase of his career.

Today, the Neville Brothers are one of the most famous bands out of New Orleans, if not the most famous. But in 1986, they weren't that well known, having only released one album under that name, back in 1978. But some of the brothers in the band had had more success, especially Aaron Neville, who had a big hit way back in 1966 with "Tell It like It Is." Folk singer Joan Baez also had lots of success back in the 1960s. For this concert, she sang the Bob Dylan song "The Times They Are A-Changin'" in acappella style. But for the other songs, she was backed by the Neville Brothers. I think it was a successful, though unexpected, collaboration.

This album is an hour and 44 minutes long.

044 Cuentas del Alma (Ruben Blades)
045 talk (Ruben Blades)
046 Tierra Dura (Ruben Blades)
047 talk (Ruben Blades)
048 Todos Vuelven (Ruben Blades)
049 Muevete (Ruben Blades with Carlos Santana)
050 talk (Ruben Blades)
051 Walking on Thin Ice (Yoko Ono)
052 talk (Yoko Ono)
053 Imagine (Yoko Ono)
054 No One Is to Blame (Howard Jones)
055 One Phone Call - Street Scenes - Speak - That's What Happened [Instrumental] (Miles Davis)
056 Tutu [Instrumental] (Miles Davis)
057 Splatch [Instrumental] (Miles Davis)
058 Burn [Instrumental] (Miles Davis with Carlos Santana)
059 Big Chief (Neville Brothers)
060 Goodbye Forever (Neville Brothers)
061 Everybody Better Wake Up (Neville Brothers with Fela Kuti)
062 Midnight Key (Neville Brothers with Carlos Santana & Fela Kuti)
063 The Times They Are A-Changin' (Joan Baez)
064 Shout (Joan Baez & the Neville Brothers)
065 No Woman, No Cry (Joan Baez & the Neville Brothers)
066 Let It Be (Joan Baez & the Neville Brothers)
067 Amazing Grace (Joan Baez & Aaron Neville)

The cover photo is of Joan Baez and the Neville Brothers, and it comes from this exact concert.

A Conspiracy of Hope, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, 6-15-1986, Part 2 - Little Steven, Bob Geldof, Stanley Jordan, Joan Armatrading & Jackson Browne

This is Part 2 of the final show of the 1986 "A Conspiracy of Hope" tour. If you want more information on the concert in general, read the write-up for Part 1. Here are just some basic facts about the songs and artists in this part.

Little Steven (Steven van Zandt), was a guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band from the early 1970s. However, he left that band to pursue a solo career in 1984, right before Springsteen became a superstar with his "Born in the U.S.A." album. He didn't have much commercial success as a solo artist, and later rejoined the E Street Band. But he did gain a lot of prominence in 1985 with his anti-Apartheid song "Sun City." I believe John Waite and Darlene Love joined him for his set here, but they only sang backing vocals.

Bob Geldof was the lead singer for the Irish band the Boomtown Rats. But he became more famous in the 1980s for his activism. He helped form the group Band Aid, and co-write their song "We Are the World." Then he organized the 1985 Live Aid concert. I believe he was backed up by Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul for his set here.

Stanley Jordan, a jazz guitarist, was an unusual addition to this concert. He released his debut album was released the year before this concert. It was a sensation, setting records on the jazz charts, due to his unique guitar playing style. He performed all the songs here alone on stage.

I've posted albums by Joan Armatrading and Jackson Browne at this blog before. They're famous enough that I hopefully don't need to describe them. Browne was arguably the most famous of the artists in this album, so it makes sense that his set was the longest of the four here, at 30 minutes. Note that the last song he performed, "I Am a Patriot," was actually written by Little Steven.

This album is an hour and 18 minutes long.

021 Los Desaparecidos (Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul)
022 Sanctuary (Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul)
023 Native American (Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul)
024 talk (Bob Geldof)
025 In the Pouring Rain (Bob Geldof)
026 talk (Bob Geldof)
027 Redemption Song (Bob Geldof)
028 talk (Stanley Jordan)
029 All the Children [Instrumental] (Stanley Jordan)
030 The Sound of Silence [Instrumental] (Stanley Jordan)
031 Eleanor Rigby [Instrumental] (Stanley Jordan)
032 Steppin' Out (Joan Armatrading)
033 Turn Out the Light (Joan Armatrading)
034 I Can't Lie to Myself (Joan Armatrading)
035 Love and Affection (Joan Armatrading)
036 For Everyman (Jackson Browne)
037 Soldiers of Plenty (Jackson Browne)
038 talk (Jackson Browne)
039 Lives in the Balance (Jackson Browne)
040 Till I Go Down (Jackson Browne)
041 For America (Jackson Browne)
042 talk (Jackson Browne)
043 I Am a Patriot (Jackson Browne)

The cover photo of Jackson Browne comes from this exact concert.

A Conspiracy of Hope, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, 6-15-1986, Part 1 - John Eddie, Third World, the Hooters, and Peter, Paul & Mary

I've recently had a focus on posting big festival concerts, since those often seem to be overlooked. The next one up is the "A Conspiracy of Hope" concert from 1986. 

There actually was a short tour of six concerts across the United States in June 1986. But this one in East Rutherford, New Jersey (near New York City), the last one of the tour, was special. The six shows featured U2, Sting, Bryan Adams, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Joan Baez, and the Neville Brothers, with occasional additions or reductions in the line-up from show to show. But this final show of the tour was much longer, with many more big names. It was almost like a lesser version of Live Aid, which took place the year earlier. 

The cause this time was the non-profit group Amnesty International, which supports human rights across the world, with an emphasis on using public pressure to get governments to release political prisoners. The concerts had more of a focus on raising awareness than raising money. You can read the Wikipedia page about the Conspiracy of Hope tour here:

A Conspiracy of Hope - Wikipedia

And the Wikipedia page on Amnesty International here:

Amnesty International - Wikipedia 

Luckily for us, the entire concert (from noon to 11 P.M.) was professionally recorded and broadcast on MTV at the time. The last three hours were also broadcast on network TV. Furthermore, the Westwood One radio network broadcast it live. That's why bootlegs of the entire show exist. (I don't know of any good ones from the other five shows on the tour. I actually attended the first one, in San Francisco, as one of my first concerts.)

I'm presenting all of it in chronological order. There's enough for seven hours of music, which I've broken into five albums. I believe it includes all the songs that were played. However, there was a lot of dead air between acts, as well as introductions and speeches that got cut. For instance, I learned from the Wikipedia article above that there were speeches by Senator Bill Bradley, Robert de Niro, Christopher Reeve, Michael J. Fox, Daryl Hannah, and Muhammad Ali that are not included here (they weren't on the bootleg either).

Not surprisingly, the concert started with some lesser known acts and worked up to the better known ones. The ones on this first album make up a very diverse group. John Eddie had just released his debut album, and had one hit on it, "Jungle Boy." That turned out to be his only hit. (I didn't include his first song because the first half of it was missing.) Third World is a Jamaican reggae band that is still in existence as I write this in 2023. They'd had some poppy crossover hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Hooters, an American rock band, just had two hits in the US the year before, "All You Zombies" and "And We Danced." They wouldn't have much more success in the US, but they'd have more hits in Europe. Finally, there's Peter, Paul and Mary, the folk music trio that found their greatest fame in the 1960s.

I did a lot of editing to improve the sound quality. Most importantly, I thought the lead vocals were consistently low in the mix, so I boosted them for ALL the songs in the entire concert using the audio editing program UVR5. On this album, the song "No Easy Walk to Freedom" had a major glitch that I fixed, which is why it's the only one here with "[Edit]" in the title.

This album is an hour and 17 minutes long.

001 Waste Me (John Eddie)
002 Pretty Little Rebel (John Eddie)
003 Jungle Boy (John Eddie)
004 Now That We Found Love (Third World)
005 96 Degrees in the Shade (Third World)
006 You're Playing Us Too Close (Third World)
007 Try Jah Love (Third World)
008 Jah, Jah Children Moving Up (Third World)
009 talk (Third World)
010 Day by Day (Hooters)
011 Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (Hooters)
012 Where Do the Children Go (Hooters)
013 Blood from a Stone (Hooters)
014 talk (Hooters)
015 All You Zombies (Hooters)
016 And We Danced (Hooters)
017 If I Had a Hammer (Peter, Paul & Mary)
018 El Salvador (Peter, Paul & Mary)
019 No Easy Walk to Freedom [Edit] (Peter, Paul & Mary)
020 Blowin' in the Wind (Peter, Paul & Mary)

The cover photo comes from this exact concert. Since the artists on this volume aren't big names, I decided to show a photo of the big crowd of over 50,000 people instead.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Nina Simone - L'Olympia, Paris, France, 3-26-1969

This is the first time I've posted any album by Nina Simone. That's because I don't know of any rare or unreleased studio material worth posting, and there are over twenty official live albums available from her. But this is a very good unreleased concert from 1969, near the end of her prime time period, in my opinion. (She basically retired from music for about six years starting in 1970, and was much less involved with music after that, compared to before). 

This has great sound, because a professionally filmed video of the concert exists. (I found it on Facebook; I didn't find it on YouTube as I write this in 2023.) I simply converted that video into mp3s. The one snag though is that there's no talking between songs, and sometimes even the clapping seems truncated. In a couple of cases, I patched in some cheering from other songs since there was virtually none. My guess is the video footage was edited down to the bare bones of just the songs and nothing else. 

Unfortunately, even the end of the song "I Shall Be Released" got cut off. But luckily, the cut started at the beginning of the last chorus. I was able to fix that by pasting in a chorus for earlier in the song. But I had a problem in that that chorus went into the next verse and didn't have a good conclusion for a song ending. I looked for other live versions of the song from this time period, but I didn't find any. So I had to resort to using her studio version. But that was in a different key. However, I was able to lower that recording a full step to match the live version. That's about as far as one could go when it comes to sound editing these days, but I think it sounds okay. But there was another problem, because even the studio version had a premature fade-out a few seconds too early. Amazingly, I was able to find the end of another song elsewhere in this live recording in the same key, and pasted that in, and it brought the song to an ideal end, plus there was applause afterwards. So that's why that song is the only one with "Edit" in the title.

Note that, although this album has never been officially released, it has appeared as a grey market release under different names, with different dates and locations, such as "Hoboken '68" and "New Jersey '68." (You can easily tell because "I Shall Be Released" is always cut off early in the same way.) However, after doing some research, I'm pretty sure this is the correct date and location. However, I could be wrong. If you believe otherwise, please let me know.

This album is an hour and 12 minutes long.

01 In the Morning [Morning of My Life] (Nina Simone)
02 Backlash Blues (Nina Simone)
03 Compensation (Nina Simone)
04 Born under a Bad Sign (Nina Simone)
05 I Can’t See Nobody (Nina Simone)
06 Who Am I (Nina Simone)
07 I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Nina Simone)
08 The Other Woman (Nina Simone)
09 To Love Somebody (Nina Simone)
10 Turn, Turn, Turn [To Everything There Is a Season] (Nina Simone)
11 If He Changed My Name (Nina Simone)
12 Four Women (Nina Simone)
13 Save Me (Nina Simone)
14 I Shall Be Released [Edit] (Nina Simone)
15 Revolution (Nina Simone)
16 Ain’t Got No, I Got Life (Nina Simone)

The cover photo is a screenshot I took from the video of this exact concert.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Colin Blunstone - De Lantaren, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 1-16-1974

Yesterday, I posted a Colin Blunstone set as part of the Popgala '73 festival in the Netherlands. I didn't think there were any concert bootlegs of Blunstone from his early 1970s prime, other than the Popgala one. But while I was putting that festival music together, I happened to stumble across this bootleg. It's from some unnamed radio show broadcast, and it's actually better than the Popgala set because it's longer.

This is similar to the Popgala set, even being recorded in the same country, except it's about a year later, so there were some songs from his then-upcoming album "Journey," released later in 1974, such as "Weak for You" and "Brother Lover." And even though it's not a typical full concert of an hour or more, it's long enough to have some deep cuts, such as the acoustic songs that opened the concert.

The sound quality is as good as you'd hope from a radio broadcast of that era, which means it's very good. There were a couple of cases where the applause got cut off, but I did some editing to smooth those spots over by patching in more applause. There also was a cut in the middle of "Time of the Season." But luckily it was during a verse that was repeated elsewhere in the song, so I was able to patch in a fix for that as well. That's why that one song has "[Edit]" in the title.

This album is 46 minutes long.

01 I've Always Had You - Let Me Come Closer to You (Colin Blunstone)
02 Though You Are Far Away (Colin Blunstone)
03 Caroline Goodbye (Colin Blunstone)
04 talk (Colin Blunstone)
05 How Wrong Can One Man Be (Colin Blunstone)
06 I Don't Believe in Miracles (Colin Blunstone)
07 talk (Colin Blunstone)
08 Brother Lover (Colin Blunstone)
09 talk (Colin Blunstone)
10 Weak for You (Colin Blunstone)
11 She's Not There (Colin Blunstone)
12 Time of the Season [Edit] (Colin Blunstone)

I couldn't find any good photos of Blunstone in concert in 1974. I did find a few good color ones from 1973. However, I liked this one better, despite it being black and white. I tried colorizing it, but I actually preferred when I tinted it blue.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Jimmy Buffett - Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, CA, 6-3-1978

Jimmy Buffett died yesterday as I write this on September 2, 2023. He was 78 years old, and died of complications related to skin cancer.

I hate that so many famous musicians keep dying these days, but when they do I usually feel obliged to mark their musical legacies by posting something from them. So here we go again. I'm not a big fan of his music, so I had to do some research to determine what best to post, and then go find something worthy. 

I decided that I was most interested in hearing a concert from the late 1970s. By that time, he'd written and released most of his famous songs. But in the 1980s, the popular and critical acclaim of his albums went down, even as he increasingly became a cultural institution. Being a savvy businessman, he was able to parlay his image of island escapism into a cottage industry of restaurants, bars, licensed hotels, casinos, cruise experiences, packaged foods, beverages, spirits, outdoor furniture, home goods, appliances, clothes, and more! By the time of his death, he was estimated to be worth as much as a billion dollars! That makes him the second wealthiest musician from his era, behind only Paul McCartney. (Not bad for a guy who only had one Top Ten hit!) Additionally, he was a best selling author in both fiction and non-fiction, and acted in many TV shows and movies.

So good for him. He clearly was a multi-talented individual. But I fear all those other interests increasingly cut into his actual music career. However, back in the 1970s, he was still a singer-songwriter first and foremost. The name "parrothead" to describe his fans hadn't even been invented yet.

Thus, I looked around for full concerts with soundboard quality from that time, and came up with several. But this one had the best sound without any flaws, such as cut or missing songs.

However, there were a couple of problems that almost caused me to pick a different concert. One is that it has many similarities to his official live album from 1978, "You Had to Be There." That was recorded at a bunch of different venues in August 1978, and this is from June 1978, only two months earlier. Both have 19 songs and are about the same length. However, I decided both are different, and I prefer having a complete concert instead of songs picked from many concerts (which in this case also were not put in the usual order they were played). 

One key difference is this has a bunch of songs not only the official album, most especially one of his most famous songs "Cheeseburger in Paradise." According to the Wikipedia entry on the live album, it is speculated that wasn't included because it was a hit in 1978, and the record company didn't want to have two different versions potentially played on the radio. Other songs here not on the official album include: "Banana Republics," "The Coast of Marseilles," "Manana," "The Last Line," and "Livingston Saturday Night."

The bottom line is, if I just want one live album by Buffett, it would be this one and not "You Had to Be There." It also serves as a de facto best of collection, featuring all of his best known songs, with the exception of "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," which came way later, in 2003. 

The other reason I hesitated to pick this album is that while the recording is a soundboard, and the songs sound excellent, the banter between songs was strangely murky. Perhaps he used a lot of reverb and didn't turn it off between songs. Murkiness isn't something I can fix with the UVR5 programs or other AI programs like it, at least as far as I know. 

However, I decided to try something new to fix it. I searched the Internet, and found there's a different kind of AI program that focuses on improving the clarity of vocals. The best one seems to be something called "Enhanced Speech" by Adobe. So I tried that out on some of the banter here, and wow! It made a big difference. I liked it so much that I used it on all the "talk" tracks between songs in this concert. Additionally, I used UVR5 to boost the lead vocals relative to the instruments on all the actual songs.

As an aside, this "Enhanced Speech" could open up more possibilities for sound editing. It seems aimed more to help with speech as opposed to singing, but I'm going to test it out some more to see what it can do. If you can think of any recordings that generally sound great except are marred by muddy vocals, please let me know.

Anyway, although I was familiar with Buffett's best known songs, I'd never heard a full concert from him before. I was generally impressed. Eventually, he turned into more of a caricature and a brand than a musician, but back in 1978 he'd written or covered many good songs, and put on a good show. May he rest in peace.

This album is an hour and 33 minutes long.

01 Son of a Son of a Sailor (Jimmy Buffett)
02 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
03 Pencil Thin Moustache (Jimmy Buffett)
04 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
05 Wonder Why We Ever Go Home (Jimmy Buffett)
06 Landfall (Jimmy Buffett)
07 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
08 Manana (Jimmy Buffett)
09 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
10 Livingston Saturday Night (Jimmy Buffett)
11 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
12 Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffett)
13 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
14 Grapefruit - Juicy Fruit (Jimmy Buffett)
15 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
16 Banana Republics (Jimmy Buffett)
17 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
18 God's Own Drunk (Jimmy Buffett)
19 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
20 Why Don't We Get Drunk (Jimmy Buffett)
21 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
22 The Coast of Marseilles (Jimmy Buffett)
23 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
24 Cheeseburger in Paradise (Jimmy Buffett)
25 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
26 Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes (Jimmy Buffett)
27 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
28 A Pirate Looks at Forty (Jimmy Buffett)
29 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
30 Come Monday (Jimmy Buffett)
31 Tampico Trauma (Jimmy Buffett)
32 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
33 Morris' Nightmare (Jimmy Buffett)
34 Dixie Diner [Instrumental] (Jimmy Buffett)
35 talk (Jimmy Buffett)
36 The Last Line (Jimmy Buffett)

The cover photo is from an appearance on the Saturday Night Live TV show in May 1978. I found the fancy lettering of his name on the Internet and squished it to fit the available space.

Popgala '73, Sporthal de Vliegermolen, Voorburg, Netherlands, 3-10-1973, Part 5: The Who

This is the last album from the Popgala '73 festival. For most of the others, I have only vague ideas about the order of the performances. But I came across a mention that the Who closed the festival, so this justly is the last album.

The Who were in a strange place at the time of this concert. By the standards of the time, it had been quite a while since the release of the band's last album, "Who's Next," which came out in August 1971. But their next album, "Quadrophenia," wouldn't be released until October 1973, six months after this concert. They were generally busy in the studio for a full year, since "Quadrophenia" was a challenging rock opera and a double album. It turns out this was the only concert the Who did for about a year, from September 1972 to October 1973. They elected not to play any of the new songs they were still working on, so their set looks much like one from 1971.

I had to piece this set together from two sources. But I came across an accurate set list, so I was able to place all the songs in the correct order. From that set list, I know there's only one song missing - an encore of "Naked Eye." I actually heard a couple of seconds of the start of it at the end of "Magic Bus," but I edited those seconds out since it's frustrating not to hear more. 

Anyway, even though the set list was nothing new for the band back then, and the show was relatively short for them, this still was the Who in their prime. Like virtually all the other performances from this festival, I boosted the lead vocals relative to the instruments using the UVR5 program.

This album is 47 minutes long.

092 Pinball Wizard (Who)
093 Baba O'Riley (Who)
094 talk (Who)
095 Summertime Blues (Who)
096 Won't Get Fooled Again (Who)
097 talk (Who)
098 My Generation (Who)
099 See Me, Feel Me (Who)
100 Magic Bus (Who)

The cover photo comes from this exact concert.

Popgala '73, Sporthal de Vliegermolen, Voorburg, Netherlands, 3-10-1973, Part 4: The Faces

The next album from the Popgala '73 festival is the Faces. (And yeah, I know that technically they're just called "Faces" like the Eagles from this festival are technically just "Eagles.")

The Faces still had their original membership, including Ronnie Lane, who would leave later in 1973. Their album "Ooh La La" was released the same month as this concert, but only "Cindy Incidentally" is from that album.

Or at least that's all we know of. I think it's highly likely there was a lot more to the Faces' set that isn't included here. Other acts at the festival like the Eagles and the Who had sets that were close to an hour long, so I would assume the Faces did too, and they were one of the biggest acts of the festival.

As it is, I had to piece this together from different sources, and I had to make some educated guesses about the song order. It seems "Cindy Incidentally" was the last song, but beyond that much of the rest could be wrong. If anyone has more accurate information, please let me know.

Just like many of the other albums from this festival, I thought the lead vocals were low relative to the instruments, so I adjusted them using UVR5.

This concert is 33 minutes long.

082 Stay with Me (Faces)
083 Angel (Faces)
084 talk (Faces)
085 You Wear It Well (Faces)
086 Maggie May (Faces)
087 Twistin' the Night Away (Faces)
088 Memphis, Tennessee (Faces)
089 True Blue (Faces)
090 talk (Faces)
091 Cindy Incidentally (Faces)

The cover photo of Faces lead singer Rod Stewart comes from this exact concert.

Popgala '73, Sporthal de Vliegermolen, Voorburg, Netherlands, 3-10-1973, Part 3: Livin' Blues & Rory Gallagher

The next album from the Popgala '73 festival features both the band Livin' Blues and Rory Gallagher.

If you haven't heard of Livin' Blues, don't feel bad. They were a Dutch blues band, but never had much success outside of the Netherlands. They don't have an English Wikipedia entry (as I write this in August 2023), so I've had to use the Dutch one:

Livin' Blues - Wikipedia

It's commendable that the festival organizers included some local talent. But note that all three such acts included in the festival (for which some music survived at least) sang in English. Livin' Blues did the rocking blues that was so popular in the early 1970s.

 The Irish singer and lead guitarist Rory Gallagher basically played the same style of rocking blues, but was much more successful with it. So it's disappointing that only two songs by Living Blues and three by Rory Gallagher survived. But most of them are stretched out with lots of soloing.

This album is 36 minutes long. The Rory Gallagher set by itself is 25 minutes long.

077 Hoochie Coochie Man (Livin' Blues)
078 Cherry Girl (Livin' Blues)
079 Messing with the Kid (Rory Gallagher)
080 What in the World (Rory Gallagher)
081 Laundromat (Rory Gallagher)

The cover photo of Rory Gallagher comes from this exact concert. I couldn't find any good ones, so I took a screenshot from the YouTube video of the concert.

Popgala '73, Sporthal de Vliegermolen, Voorburg, Netherlands, 3-10-1973, Part 2: Argent & Colin Blunstone

Next up from the Popgala '73 rock festival is an album containing performances by Argent and Colin Blunstone.

As I mentioned in a previous write-up, I generally don't know the correct order of the performers. However, Rod Argent, the leader of the band Argent, and Colin Blunstone used to be band mates in the Zombies in the 1960s, so I figured it was fitting to put their sets together on one album. 

I don't know if Argent and Blunstone performed together on stage at this concert. I have no evidence this happened. But that's surprising to me, because the two of them continued to musically collaborate during this time period. For instance, Blunstone's most recent album at the time of this concert, "Ennismore," was produced by Argent, and the band Argent played on most of the songs. Blunstone's next album, "Journey," released in 1974, would include two songs written by Argent.

I'm pretty confident these sets are incomplete. (If anyone has anything I'm missing, please let me know!) That's especially the case for Argent, with only three songs here. I put this together from different sources. Even the three Argent songs come from two sources. So I don't know the correct song order, and I just made my best guess, based largely on how the song transitions sounded. I had to make some fixes too. For instance, "Andorra" came to a sudden end with only a second or two of applause at the end, so I patched in more applause from the ends of other songs. Despite all that, the songs ultimately come from the TV broadcast, and the sound quality is consistently excellent.

As an aside, I included two songs from this performance on the Colin Blunstone album I posted, "BBC Sessions, Volume 1: 1971-1973." Those songs were "She's Not There" and "Looking for Someone to Love."

This album is 49 minutes long.

066 Keep On Rollin' (Argent)
067 God Gave Rock and Roll to You (Argent)
068 Hold Your Head Up (Argent)
069 I Don't Believe in Miracles (Colin Blunstone)
070 She's Not There (Colin Blunstone)
071 talk (Colin Blunstone)
072 Looking for Someone to Love (Colin Blunstone)
073 Andorra (Colin Blunstone)
074 Time of the Season (Colin Blunstone)
075 talk (Colin Blunstone)
076 I Want Some More (Colin Blunstone)

The cover photo of Colin Blunstone comes from this exact concert. The original was in black and white. I then used the Palette program to colorize it. However, since they're video footage of this performance, I was able to make sure the colors were correct.

Popgala '73, Sporthal de Vliegermolen, Voorburg, Netherlands, 3-10-1973, Part 1: Supersister & Slade

First off, note the title, because it might be confusing. The Popgala '73 festival took place over two days, March 9th and 10th, in 1973. I just posted three albums from March 9th. So this is "Part 1" of the albums from March 10th, while it is also the fourth album overall.

By 1973, glam rock was all the rage, especially in Britain and the rest of the Europe. It seems the festival was represented with Slade and Gary Glitter, but none of the audio from the Gary Glitter set appears to have survived, as I mentioned previously. However, it appears the full Slade set did survive, even though a couple of the songs weren't played on TV at the time.

However, first, there's one song by another band: Supersister. I had never heard about them before, but they were a Dutch prog rock band. Furthermore, it seems they were highly acclaimed, with some prog rock fans saying they were the best such band from continental Europe. That was especially true in the early 1970s, when they released their best albums. You can read more about them at Wikipedia:

Supersister (Dutch band) - Wikipedia

Unfortunately, only one song from their performance has survived, and that is an excerpt from an instrumental. But it's a sizeable one at seven minutes long. (The album version, which came out in 1972, is 21 minutes long.)

That means the vast majority of this album consists of Slade's performance. The band already had three Number One hits in Britain by this time, and their fourth Number One, "Cum On Feel the Noize," was released the same month as this concert. This appears to have been the very first time it was played in concert.

This album is 40 minutes long.

054 Exerpt from Pudding en Gisteren Music for Ballet [Instrumental] (Supersister)
055 talk (Slade)
056 Coz I Luv You (Slade)
057 talk (Slade)
058 Take Me Bak 'Ome (Slade)
059 talk (Slade)
060 Goodbye T' Jane (Slade)
061 Move Over (Slade)
062 talk (Slade)
063 Cum On Feel the Noise (Slade)
064 talk (Slade)
065 Get Down with It (Slade)

The cover photo of the lead singer of Slade, Noddy Holder, is from this exact concert.

Popgala '73, Sporthal de Vliegermolen, Voorburg, Netherlands, 3-9-1973, Part 3: The Eagles

The next act from the Popgala '73 rock festival is the Eagles. This is a particularly special one. At the time, the Eagles were an up and coming band, but not the superstars they would later become. Only three of their songs were broadcast on Dutch TV at the time. But probably due to their later fame, their entire set has been bootlegged with excellent quality.

The concert took place at a pivotal time for the Eagles. Their first album, simply called "Eagles," had been released in 1972 to moderate success, thanks to the hit single "Take It Easy." But their second album "Desperado" wasn't released until a month after this concert. But they played five songs from it for the first time anywhere: "Tequila Sunrise," "Saturday Night," "Certain Kind of Fool," "Outlaw Man," and "Out of Control." 

Furthermore, the cover of "How Long" is particularly interesting. The Eagles played this song often in 1972 and 1973, but they never released it at the time. Their friend J. D. Souther wrote it, and he wanted to put it on his 1972 without having to compete with an Eagles version. But many years later, when the Eagles put out a reunion album in 2007, they finally did a version of "How Long," which became a radio hit for them. What's really interesting though is that I read that they decided to do this song after watching the YouTube video of their Popgala '73 performance of the song!

This also was a pivotal appearance for the band because I think it was the first time for them to get widespread TV exposure. Their appearance on a BBC TV show (which I've also posted here) took place later the same month.

This album is 51 minutes long.

033 talk (Eagles)
034 Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies (Eagles)
035 Take It Easy (Eagles)
036 talk (Eagles)
037 Tequila Sunrise (Eagles)
038 talk (Eagles)
039 Saturday Night (Eagles)
040 talk (Eagles)
041 Peaceful Easy Feeling (Eagles)
042 talk (Eagles)
043 How Long (Eagles)
044 talk (Eagles)
045 Certain Kind of Fool (Eagles)
046 talk (Eagles)
047 Outlaw Man (Eagles)
048 Out of Control (Eagles)
049 talk (Eagles)
050 Witchy Woman (Eagles)
051 Tryin' (Eagles)
052 talk (Eagles)
053 Earlybird (Eagles)

The cover photo comes from this exact concert.

Popgala '73, Sporthal de Vliegermolen, Voorburg, Netherlands, 3-9-1973, Part 2: Ry Cooder

Next up from the Popgala '73 rock festival is a set by slide guitarist Ry Cooder. Happily, I was able to find enough material for an album's worth of songs.

As I mentioned in the write-up for the previous album in this series, I often have cobbled these albums together from different sources. That was the case here. The first five songs came from one source and the last four came from a different source, yet one song ("Billy the Kid") was the same between them. So who knows what the correct song order is. However, I watched the video, and Cooder left the stage after "Jesus on the Mainline," and the few songs before that were filmed without pause. 

So I think this is pretty close. However, it's very possible that additional songs were played that I've missed since they weren't included in any of the released film footage. 

Cooder did his entire set in solo acoustic mode. Mostly, he played slide on the acoustic guitar. But I believe he switched to mandolin for some of the songs.

This album is 39 minutes long.

By the way, note that I'm continuing the numbering from the first volume, in case you want to put all the albums from the festival into one folder for a single, continuous listening.

022 Floating Bridge (Ry Cooder)
023 talk (Ry Cooder)
024 F. D. R. in Trinidad (Ry Cooder)
025 Ditty Wa Ditty (Ry Cooder)
026 Dark Is the Night [Instrumental] (Ry Cooder)
027 Now That I'm Going Down (Ry Cooder)
028 Clean Up at Home (Ry Cooder)
029 Tattler (Ry Cooder)
030 talk (Ry Cooder)
031 Billy the Kid (Ry Cooder)
032 Jesus on the Mainline (Ry Cooder)

The cover photo is from this exact concert. However, the original was in black and white. But I was able to watch video of his performance on YouTube, so I was able to get the colors exactly correct. That includes his unusual shirt, which was generally blue near his neck, but morphed to shades of red father down.

Popgala '73, Sporthal de Vliegermolen, Voorburg, Netherlands, 3-9-1973, Part 1: Country Gazette, Chi Coltrane & Kaz Lux

I recently wrote here that I'm putting more effort into posting complete rock festivals, since recordings of those seem to forgotten. Here's the start of another one: Popgala '73. This is a lesser known rock festival, and I'd never heard of it until very recently (as I write this in August 2023). But there are two aspects that make it worthy of posting here: excellent sound quality, and an interesting list of musical acts. This is the first of eight albums, featuring all the music I could find from the festival.

This festival has faded into obscurity so much that I had a hard time finding much written about it. But here's what I've managed to gather. In 1960, an annual music festival called Grand Gala du Disque began in the Netherlands. It was put together by several big Dutch record companies, and included the presentation of the Edison Award, which was a kind of Grammy Award for the Netherlands. By 1973, many considered this yearly festival had gotten too old fashioned. So Popgala '73 was conceived as a kind of rival, with a more rock focus. The audience was small, only about 3,000 people. The main intended audience was TV. About three hours of the festival were shown on Dutch TV a few days after it ended.

Unfortunately, there were a lot of problems with the way the festival was managed. (There would be no Popgala '74.) One problem was the list of performers kept changing. I found an early poster showing the acts originally booked, which you can see here. 

Out of those, Roxy Music, J. J. Cale, and Stevie Wonder were later dropped from the bill. Apparently, Bryan Ferry, lead singer of Roxy Music, came down with a throat infection. J. J. Cale is still commonly thought to have performed at the festival, but I was eventually able to find out that he canceled an entire European tour this was supposed to be a part of, due to fear of flying internationally, after a bunch of airplane hijackings in 1972. I don't know why Stevie Wonder didn't take part. Additionally, Ringo Starr was supposed to be the emcee, but apparently he wanted more money than what the festival backers were willing to give him.

Later on, some other acts were named and then cancelled. Those include Elton John, Donovan, the Temptations, T. Rex, Dr. Hook, Billy Preston, and Wishbone Ash. But after some last minute scrambling, enough big names were included to roughly match the star power of the original billing.

Here are the acts I have at least some music for, sorted into the albums I've made:
Country Gazette, Chi Coltrane & Kaz Lux
Ry Cooder
Supersister & Slade
Argent & Colin Blunstone
Livin' Blues & Rory Gallagher

Additionally, I've seen photos of Gary Glitter performing at this festival, but I haven't come across any of his music. Perhaps he didn't allow any of his songs to be broadcast on TV. I'm not upset at the loss, given how he was later convicted for serious sex crimes.

One problem I've had in putting this together is that I don't know the order of the performers (with a few exceptions). The festival took place over two days, and at least I'm pretty sure which days which performances took place, though there might have been some changes. So I've tried to group the acts together in ways that create albums of reasonable lengths, with hopefully similar musical styles. 

This first album combines sets from three lesser known acts: Country Gazette, Chi Coultrane, and Kaz Lux. You may not be that interested in them. That's why I'm breaking this festival up into eight albums, so you can grab just the ones you want.

Here are their Wikipedia pages, if you want to know more: 

Country Gazette (band) - Wikipedia

Chi Coltrane - Wikipedia 

Kaz Lux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kaz Lux is a Dutch singer, and unfortunately his Wikipedia entry is in Dutch. However, all the songs he sang here were in English, including a cover of a Tim Hardin song ("Reason to Believe").

Another problem I've had is that I gathered the material here from different sources, so I often had to guess about the song order. As an example, I found most of the Country Gazette set from one source, but the song "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" came from a different source. I also don't know how many songs I've missed because they got cut from the TV broadcast. It's possible the Country Gazette set is complete, but I think it's highly likely to Chi Coltrane and Kaz Lux ones are missing songs. 

By the way, although the sound quality of all the songs from this festival is excellent, I used the UVR5 audio editing program on the vast majority of them to boost the volume of the lead vocals relative to the instruments. 

This album is 43 minutes long.

Note that I have an extra digit in the numbering of the songs because there's a 100 or more songs from this festival.

001 Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Country Gazette)
002 talk (Country Gazette)
003 Don't Let Your Deal Go Down (Country Gazette)
004 talk (Country Gazette)
005 Tried So Hard (Country Gazette)
006 talk (Country Gazette)
007 Fallen Eagle (Country Gazette)
008 talk (Country Gazette)
009 Keep On Pushing (Country Gazette)
010 talk (Country Gazette)
011 Orange Blossom Special [Instrumental] (Country Gazette)
012 I'm Feeling (Chi Coltrane)
013 Thunder and Lightning (Chi Coltrane)
014 talk (Chi Coltrane)
015 I Will Not Dance (Chi Coltrane)
016 talk (Kaz Lux)
017 People (Kaz Lux)
018 talk (Kaz Lux)
019 Reason to Believe (Kaz Lux)
020 talk (Kaz Lux)
021 Alpha and Omega (Kaz Lux)

The cover photo of Chi Coltrane comes from this exact concert. The font for the text is based on the concert poster.

Friday, September 1, 2023

A New Download Problem?

I just got this public comment from someone who downloaded the Aerosmith album I posted yesterday:

"Paul, I just tried to download the Aerosmith file, and apparently got an exe. malware file instead. Fortunately, my anti-virus software eliminated it, but you may want to reconsider doing business with this particular vendor."

A couple of people said something similar about the Cars album I posted recently as well. I have no idea what the hell is going on, but please beware of this problem. If anyone can tell me if you're having problems or not, and what may be causing it, please let me know. I tried downloading the files in question but I didn't see any problems.

If I have to replace the download links yet again, I'll be really upset. I have been using two services lately, imagenetz and But imagenetz has a problem: many of the links mysteriously die, even though they're not supposed to. Just a few days ago, I replaced about 100 dead imagenetz links with ones. I'm only still using imagenetz for zip files over 200 MB, since doesn't allow anything over that size. This new malware problem is with the imagenetz links. Sigh!

By the way, please never, ever run .exe files that you aren't totally sure about. That can give your computer nasty viruses.

Joni Mitchell - The Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 1-26-1995

I've posted a bunch of Joni Mitchell albums at this blog, but nearly all of them have been from the 1960s or 1970s. Although I've been trying to go chronologically through her career, more or less, I gave this a listen the other day and decided to post it. I think she had a pretty rough musical decade in the 1980s, but she bounced back very nicely in the 1990s.

In the 1990s, Mitchell put out three studio albums that were critically acclaimed and harkened back to her popular folky sound from earlier in her career. However, their sales weren't that good. I suspect one key reason for that was because she hardly ever toured and did promotion. This was one of only a handful of concerts she did to promote her excellent 1994 album "Turbulent Indigo." It sounds great because it was professionally recorded, in order to be broadcast on the radio nationwide. I suspect that she agreed to have a concert broadcast like that as kind of a substitute for touring.

The concert was performed in a solo acoustic style in front of an audience of only about 200 people, mostly music industry insiders and contest winners. The location was an unusual one: The Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, in Los Angeles. (It would later be renamed to The Autry Museum of the American West.) It was almost like a concert at home, because she was allowed to decorate the stage area with her artwork, musical instruments, and furniture (as you can see with the album cover). The Gene Autry setting also inspired her to talk at length about being a fan of another cowboy hero, Roy Rogers.

The website has some photos, videos, and articles about this concert, here:

Joni Mitchell - 1995.01.26 | Reprise Music Show Wells Fargo Theatre | Los Angeles

This album is an hour and nine minutes long.

01 Refuge of the Roads (Joni Mitchell)
02 talk (Joni Mitchell)
03 Sex Kills (Joni Mitchell)
04 Moon at the Window (Joni Mitchell)
05 talk (Joni Mitchell)
06 Night Ride Home (Joni Mitchell)
07 talk (Joni Mitchell)
08 The Crazy Cries of Love (Joni Mitchell)
09 talk (Joni Mitchell)
10 Yvette in English (Joni Mitchell)
11 Cherokee Louise (Joni Mitchell)
12 Sunny Sunday (Joni Mitchell)
13 talk (Joni Mitchell)
14 Hejira (Joni Mitchell)
15 talk (Joni Mitchell)
16 Just like This Train (Joni Mitchell)
17 talk (Joni Mitchell)
18 Face Lift (Joni Mitchell)
19 Song for Sharon (Joni Mitchell)

I couldn't find any color photos from this exact concert. I did find one high quality black and white one though, and I used the Palette program to colorize it. I must say I'm really impressed with the result. I did make a few tweaks in Photoshop, but the vast majority of the colorizing happened automatically.