Thursday, May 31, 2018

Paul McCartney - Another Day - Various Songs (1971)

Paul McCartney is a musical genius, but his solo career has been frustratingly uneven. In my opinion, a lot of that has to do with quality control issues. Basically, he needed someone to tell him when some songs were only halfway done and needed to be finished or discarded, and generally help him sort out his wheat from his chaff. When he did have someone help him like this, such as producer George Martin with the "Tug of War" album, the results were much better.

Many songs that got onto McCartney's albums should have been left on the cutting room floor. But also, many songs that didn't get onto his albums should have. He is rumored to have hundreds of songs that haven't even been bootlegged. But a lot of good songs have been bootlegged, and even more were released by him but put out only as B-sides or in other obscure ways.

I've spent a lot of time going through McCartney's rarities, both officially released and unreleased. Many deserve to stay obscure. But I've gathered up all the good stuff and I'll be posting in here in a series of albums.

Here's the first one, covering just the years of 1970 and 1971. I'd considered including songs like "Goodbye" and "Heather" that he did in 1968 or 1969, but I think of those as Beatles outtakes, even when he was the only Beatle on the recording.

A couple of songs here were drastically edited. There is only one known version of "Indeed I Do" on a bootleg, with Paul singing and playing acoustic guitar and his wife Linda adding backup vocals. He does three different versions of the song back to back, playing different sections of the song each time. So what I've done is edit the best of those three versions together to make one cohesive take. I think it worked out quite well.

The other song I edited was "Rode All Night." The problem there is that the song went on for nearly nine minutes, which was about five minutes too long, because it's just repeating the same bits over and over without any soloing or the like. So I cut the length way down. I also used a rare version that has bass on it, which makes a big difference.

This makes for a nice 39 minute long album, very much in the same vein as "McCartney" and "Ram" from those years.

01 Another Day (Paul McCartney)
02 1882 (Paul McCartney)
03 Suicide (Paul McCartney)
04 Indeed I Do [Demo] (Paul McCartney)
05 Oh Woman, Oh Why (Paul McCartney)
06 Little Woman Love (Paul McCartney)
07 Rode All Night [Edit] (Paul McCartney)
08 A Love for You (Paul McCartney)
09 Hey Diddle (Paul McCartney)
10 Tragedy (Paul McCartney)
11 When the Wind Is Blowing [Instrumental] (Paul McCartney)

For the album cover, I used the cover of the "Another Day" single. However, I thought the coloring of Paul and Linda was ugly, so I turned that blue to match the title color. Also, I moved the record company logo to a less noticeable spot, and removed the name of the B-side song.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Dusty Springfield - On TV and Radio, Volume 5: 1969

This is the next in my series of Dusty Springfield's TV and radio appearances. As with the others in the series, I'm only including songs that she never did on any of her studio releases. (There are a couple exceptions when she did a song in a very different way, such as a duet.)

Yes, she does have a mainstream show biz streak, but I think what's most interesting about this album is how it highlights her ability to sing soul music. Probably just by chance, it's mostly made up of soul covers, including a long soul medley. Not a lot of people would dare cover a soul stomper like "25 Miles" by Edwin Starr, but she does. She even did a Sly and the Family Stone song this year - "Sing a Simple Song" - though unfortunately that was one of the few covers she did that I couldn't find.

Only four of the songs were officially released: "It's Your Thing," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Since You've Been Gone [Sweet Sweet Baby] - To Love Somebody - People Got to Be Free," "I Heard It through the Grapevine," and "Angel of the Morning." These all were on the "Goin' Back" box set.

This album is 39 minutes long.

01 A Banda - Going to the Zoo (Dusty Springfield, Tom Springfield & Julie Felix)
02 For Once in My Life (Dusty Springfield)
03 I'm a Believer (Dusty Springfield)
04 It's Your Thing (Dusty Springfield)
05 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough - Since You’ve Been Gone [Sweet Sweet Baby] - To Love Somebody - People Got to Be Free (Dusty Springfield)
06 Reflections (Dusty Springfield)
07 Private Number (Dusty Springfield & Jimmy Ruffin)
08 Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' (Dusty Springfield)
09 I Heard It through the Grapevine (Dusty Springfield)
10 25 Miles (Dusty Springfield)
11 Why Don't You Do Right - Alright, Okay, You Win (Dusty Springfield)
12 Angel of the Morning (Dusty Springfield)
13 Games People Play (Dusty Springfield)

I couldn't find a good color photo from 1969. This one comes from an appearance on Top of the Pops in early 1970. I changed the background from yellow to orange, because the yellow was too similar to the yellow of the text (which I've kept the same for all the albums in this series), as well as the yellow of her sweater.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Who - Introducing the Who - Various Songs (1965)

My posting of albums by The Who has fallen behind all the stuff I've been posting from The Kinks and Rolling Stones and other bands, so it's time I try to catch up.

One of the great things about the Who is that they almost never put out a bad song, and for most of their albums, they had so many stray tracks that one could make another album for each of them. This is the companion album for 1965's "The Who Sing My Generation."

My goal, as is almost the case with such stray tracks albums, is less to be historically accurate about what they might have actually released, and more just gather up all the good songs to make a pleasing listening experience. In 2015, Soniclovenoize at his blog Albums That Never Were made an album of 1965 Who songs called "Introducing The Who." I liked his cover art, so I've chosen to use that, and the same title. But his approach was to create an album that reflected what the Who might have actually released if they'd put out an album before the song "My Generation" was written.

My approach is somewhat different. His album had ten songs on it, including some songs from the "My Generation" album. I've put 14 songs on my version, with no overlap from that album. I've also included three songs from when the Who were briefly known as "the High Numbers." There's no reason not to, as that band name was just a gimmick their manager forced on them for a few months before they reverted back to their original name.

This album mostly contains R&B cover versions. As a result, I don't think it's as good as the "My Generation" album, since that mostly contains original songs. But it's still a strong album, especially since it includes the two hit singles "I Can't Explain" and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere." The songs are mostly in chronological order, except I wanted to start each side (imagining this is a vinyl record) with one of the hit singles.

01 I Can't Explain (Who)
02 Zoot Suit (High Numbers [Who])
03 I'm the Face (High Numbers [Who])
04 Here 'Tis (High Numbers [Who])
05 Leaving Here (Who)
06 Motoring (Who)
07 Baby, Don't You Do It (Who)
08 Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (Who)
09 Bald Headed Woman (Who)
10 Anytime You Want Me (Who)
11 Daddy Rolling Stone (Who)
12 Lubie [Come Back Home] (Who)
13 Shout and Shimmy (Who)
14 Circles [Instant Party] (Who)

As mentioned above, the cover art was created by Soniclovenoize.

The Rolling Stones - Blood Red Wine - Various Songs (1968)

1968 was a pivotal year for the Rolling Stones. After dabbling in psychedelia, they got back to basic blues and roll and roll, and released the first of a series of classic albums.

At first glance, one would think that it wouldn't be possible to make an album of stray tracks just from 1968, because they only released one single that year, the number one hit "Jumpin' Jack Flash." A few more songs came out on the mid-1970s rarities album "Metamorphosis," but that's it. However, luckily, there are a bunch of high quality songs from that year that still have never been officially released in any form, and those rarities album songs are good too. In my opinion, it makes a top notch that most 1960s band would have killed to make.

There are some other stray songs on bootlegs that aren't so great, so I didn't include them. But there's just enough good material for a solid 41 minute album of the Stones in their prime.

01 Jumpin' Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)
02 Downtown Suzie (Rolling Stones)
03 Highway Child (Rolling Stones)
04 Give Me a Hamburger to Go [Stuck Out All Alone] (Rolling Stones)
05 Still a Fool [Catfish Blues] (Rolling Stones)
06 Memo from Turner (Rolling Stones)
07 Child of the Moon (Rolling Stones)
08 Family (Rolling Stones)
09 Blood Red Wine (Rolling Stones)
10 Come On in My Kitchen - Me and the Devil Blues (Mick Jagger)

I based the cover art on the cover of the "Jumpin' Jack Flash" single cover. But I made some changes, especially to the text. I chose the title "Blood Red Wine" in part because I thought calling it "Jumpin' Jack Flash" might cause people to confuse it with the single.

Dusty Springfield - On TV and Radio, Volume 4: 1968

Here's the next Dusty Springfield. As with the others in this series, she played so many songs on TV and radio that were never recorded by her in the studio that it's enough for roughly one album per year in the late 1960s.

I think this is really good and interesting music. I mean, on this album alone, she does duets with Scott Walker and Jimi Hendrix! The rest is mostly very capable covers of big soul hits of the day.

Although I must say the cover of "Hold On, I'm Coming" is strange. The chorus is the same, but for some reason the verses were changed, including weird new lyrics.

Absolutely none of the songs here were officially released. All but one were from Springfield's 1967 British TV show, "It Must Be Dusty." That other one, "There Will Never Be Another You," is from an appearance she did on another TV show.

The album is 40 minutes long, which is an ideal length for that era. I didn't plan it that way, but it's neat how well the album lengths in this series all could have made these actual albums at the time.

01 You Keep Me Hangin' On (Dusty Springfield)
02 Come Back Baby (Dusty Springfield)
03 Let It Be Me (Dusty Springfield & Scott Walker)
04 Nikki Hoeky (Dusty Springfield)
05 There Will Never Be Another You (Dusty Springfield)
06 Don't Fight It (Dusty Springfield)
07 Sweet Soul Music (Dusty Springfield)
08 Hold On, I'm Coming (Dusty Springfield)
09 This Could Be the Start of Something Big (Dusty Springfield & Georgie Fame)
10 Mockingbird (Dusty Springfield & Jimi Hendrix)
11 As Long as I Live (Dusty Springfield)
12 Island of Dreams (Dusty Springfield)
13 Think (Dusty Springfield)
14 Cielito Lindo (Dusty Springfield & Tom Springfield)
15 [You Make Me Feel Like] A Natural Woman (Dusty Springfield)
16 Manha de Carnaval (Dusty Springfield with John Sangster)
17 Sneakin' Up on You (Dusty Springfield)

I don't know where or when the cover photo comes from exactly, but I'd guess it's around 1968.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Various Artists - Nuggets 3: The Netherlands (1965-1972)

Here's something a little bit different, my first attempt at a various artists compilation.

In 1995, Rhino Records released a great box set called "Nuggets" that covered the American garage rock and psychedelic gems from the mid- to late 1960s. Then in 2001, they came out with another "Nuggets" box set that did the same thing, except for Britain and the rest of the world.

When I listened to those box sets, I liked pretty much every song. But I got to wondering what good songs they might have missed. So I kept an eye out for other "nuggets" and began adding them to my versions of the box sets whenever I found any songs that were worthy. Over time, I came up with so many songs that I decided to divide them up into more manageable portions. One way I did that was geographically. I called the first box set "Nuggets 1" and the British songs on the second one "Nuggets 2." Then I've gone on to make a bunch more.

Here's the first of those, "Nuggets 3," which focuses just on music from the Netherlands. I stretched the time period some too, going from 1965 all the way to 1972, because I kept finding worthy songs that seemed to fit the "nuggets" mode into the early 1970s. To be honest, I kind of lose track of Dutch music after that. I suspect that a lot of the music switched into the Dutch language, which makes it much less accessible to the likes of me.

The Netherlands has so many quality songs of this genre that I split this into two long albums. So note there are two zip files to download. Seven of the songs on the first album are duplicates of the second "Nuggets" box set. There are no duplicates on the second album, because it covers a later time period.


01 For Another Man (Motions)
02 Wasted Words (Motions)
03 Cry in the Night (Q65)
04 Daddy Buy Me a Girl (Golden Earring)
05 Don't You Remember (Sound Magics)
06 Down and Out (4 PK)
07 Everything [That's Mine] (Motions)
08 Kicks and Chicks (Zipps)
09 Russian Spy and I (Hunters)
10 The Life I Live (Q65)
11 Touch (Outsiders)
12 Your Body Not Your Soul (Cuby & the Blizzards)
13 Tomorrow Is Another Day (Buffoons)
14 Blue Revelations (Dukes)
15 Send Me a Postcard (Shocking Blue)
16 Seven Horses in the Sky (Pebbles)
17 Tame Me, Tiger (Bonnie St. Claire)


01 Hot Sand (Shocking Blue)
02 I Surrender (Bonnie St. Claire)
03 Little Green Bag (George Baker Selection)
04 Long and Lonesome Road (Shocking Blue)
05 Ma Belle Amie (Tee Set)
06 Mighty Joe (Shocking Blue)
07 Spooky's Day Off (Swinging Soul Machine)
08 Venus (Shocking Blue)
09 Back Home (Golden Earring)
10 Never Marry a Railroad Man (Shocking Blue)
11 Ruby Is the One (Earth & Fire)
12 Hocus Pocus (Focus)
13 Just Fancy (BZN)
14 Serenade (Shocking Blue)
15 It's Gonna Be Alright (Smyle)
16 Memories (Earth & Fire)
17 Sylvia (Focus)

By the way, if anyone knows of any top notch songs from the Netherlands in this time period that I'm missing, please let me know. Perhaps I'll like the songs enough to include them in a future edition.

The Jam - News of the World - Various Songs (1977-1979)

I find it inexplicable how little the Jam is known and appreciated in the U.S. (where I live). In just six years, they had 18 top 40 singles in Britain (including four number ones), and would have had more except their record company only issued 18 singles. Yet not one of their songs ever made the top 100 in the US.

The Jam are great, just like Paul Weller, the band's main singer and songwriter. Not only did they put out a bunch of classic albums, but pretty much all their stray tracks were at the same high level, including many of those top 40 hits. They have so much non-album material that I was able to make three albums of that stuff. And that doesn't include demos and live performances, which will be deal with separately.

"So Sad about Us" and "My Girl" are cover versions.

Here's the first one. It covers 1977 to 1979, and makes up a nice 43 minute album, which was the exact sort of length as their albums at the time.

UPDATE: On October 29, 2022, I updated the mp3 download file with one song I'd missed, a cover of the Temptations classic "My Girl." It's officially unreleased, but the sound quality is still pretty good.

 01 All Around the World (Jam)
02 Carnaby Street (Jam)
03 My Girl (Jam)
04 News of the World (Jam)
05 Aunties and Uncles [Impulsive Youths] (Jam)
06 Innocent Man (Jam)
07 So Sad about Us (Jam)
08 The Night (Jam)
09 Strange Town (Jam)
10 The Butterfly Collector (Jam)
11 When You're Young (Jam)
12 See-Saw (Jam)
13 Best of Both Worlds (Jam)
14 Simon (Jam)
15 Smithers-Jones [Single Version] (Jam)

The album cover is the cover of the "All Around the World" single, only with the text changed.

The Grateful Dead - Reflections - Various Songs (1976)

Up until 1976, the Grateful Dead had put out at least an album a year, either studio or live featuring new songs. But there was no new Dead album in 1976, except for the live album "Steal Your Face," which contained no new songs and was widely panned for its poor sound and song selection, being nicknamed "Steal Your Money."

It turns out though that the Dead did release half an album that year, if you consider Jerry Garcia's solo album "Reflections." I don't know the story why, but halfway through the recording of that album, Garcia got rid of his band and brought in all the members of the Dead to finish the album off. Four of the songs on that album are actually Dead songs in every way (and are all written by the Garcia-Hunter team).

So that's half of a new album. I needed to find another half. The one remaining original song on Garcia's album, "Mission in the Rain," was performed live by the Dead that same year. (The other songs on the album are cover versions done by Garcia and his band.) So I included a live version of that as well (after editing out the crowd noise, as usual). One year earlier, Garcia's guitar playing was heavily featured on a solo album by Dead members Keith and Donna Godchaux called "Keith and Donna." Unfortunately, I didn't find any of the songs on that album strong enough to be included here, except for one track, "Who Was John." It's an acappella song, with lead vocals by Garcia.

However, my 1976 album still lacked any songs from Bob Weir. Luckily, he was featured on an album by the group Kingfish that year. A medley he wrote for that album, "Lazy Lightning- Supplication" was quickly incorporated into the Dead's live songs that year, so I've included a Dead version. He also wrote another good song on the Kingfish album, "Home to Dixie." Unfortunately, the Dead never played that one, so I've included a live version by Kingfish done that year.

All in all, I think this stands up as a fine Dead album, with solid songs and playing all the way through. It's a shame they didn't release something like this. One nice thing about it is that it doesn't suffer from the pop and disco production that would mar their next two albums.

01 Might as Well (Grateful Dead)
02 Mission in the Rain (Grateful Dead)
03 Home to Dixie (Bob Weir & Kingfish)
04 They Love Each Other (Grateful Dead)
05 It Must Have Been the Roses (Grateful Dead)
06 Lazy Lightning - Supplication (Grateful Dead)
07 Comes a Time (Grateful Dead)
08 Who Was John (Jerry Garcia & Keith & Donna)

For the cover, I put together various pieces to make what I wanted. The outer part comes from a poster with a peacock on it by Arik Roper. The inner picture comes from some art related to a 2015 concert called "Reflections, A Tribute to Jerry Garcia."

Dusty Springfield - On TV and Radio, Volume 3: 1967

Here's the next in my series of Dusty Springfield albums based on her TV and radio appearances.

I can't emphasize enough that all the songs were never done by her on any studio recordings. It really as if she had an entire secret second career in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The sound quality on these albums is pretty good, considering that I used lots of different sources. Occasionally, I decided not to use a song due to poor sound quality, such as with a cover of "Stop Her on Sight (S.O.S.)."

Only six of the songs on this album were officially released: "The Water Is Wide," "Peel Me a Grape," "[Love Is like A] Heat Wave," "I Wish You Love," "Nowhere to Run," and "My Lagan Love." All of these come from the "Goin' Back" box set.

This album is 46 minutes long, which is an ideal length for the era.

01 The Water Is Wide (Dusty Springfield)
02 Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (Dusty Springfield)
03 Soulville (Dusty Springfield)
04 Get Ready (Dusty Springfield)
05 The Beautiful Land (Dusty Springfield)
06 Can'’t We Be Friends - Pick Yourself Up - Let'’s Get Away from It All (Dusty Springfield & Mel Torme)
07 Maria Christina (Dusty Springfield & Jose Feliciano)
08 You Can Have Him (Dusty Springfield)
09 Peel Me a Grape (Dusty Springfield)
10 By Myself (Dusty Springfield)
11 Two Brothers (Dusty Springfield)
12 Baby, Baby, Baby (Dusty Springfield & Tom Jones)
13 You Better Run (Dusty Springfield)
14 [Love Is like A] Heat Wave (Dusty Springfield)
15 I Wish You Love (Dusty Springfield)
16 Good Times (Dusty Springfield)
17 Nowhere to Run (Dusty Springfield)
18 My Lagan Love (Dusty Springfield)
19 The Mood I'm In (Dusty Springfield)
20 Anything You Can Do (Dusty Springfield & Freddie Paris)

I don't know when the cover is from exactly, but I'm guessing around 1967.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - What Could Possibly Go Wrong - Live (1975)

This can be considered a part of my alternate history of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, though it's optional for those who like live albums.

For the three albums that make up my alternate versions of CSNY's mid-1970's material, I drew a lot on the 2014 triple album "CSNY 1974." I often took soundboard quality performances from that, edited out the crowd noise, and presented the songs as if they were studio tracks.

But what about a live album for that 1974 tour? It's a real shame that, since CSNY in reality couldn't get their act together to come up with a studio album in 1974, they didn't at least put out a live album from their tour. I'm imagining that if they did, it would have come out in 1975.

 I wouldn't want to repeat the exact same performances, or even the same songs that I'd put on those albums. So what I've done is create a version of "CSNY 1974" with those songs removed. However, it's not as simple as that. I also added quite a few songs from bootlegs that I thought were worthy of inclusion. In case you're curious, here are the ones I included:

Carry Me (a different version than on CSNY 1974, since I used that elsewhere)
Another Sleep Song
Roll Another Number [For the Road]
4 + 20
The Losing End
Cowgirl in the Sand
Carry On

It's a mystery to me why some of these songs didn't make it onto "CSNY 1974." For instance, "Another Sleep Song" is actually a nice vocal duet between Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell. The version of "4+20" has the rest of CSNY joining Stills with harmonies, the only time the song was ever done that way. "Homefires," "Roll Another Number," and "The Losing End" are Young songs that were only ever performed by CSNY on this tour. Finally, "Cowgirl in the Sand" and "Carry On" include lengthy guitar soloing that otherwise is missing from "CSNY 1974."

The album is a whopping two hours long. I made sure to include at least four songs each from Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. But this tour is especially interesting for the Young songs, because he was going through a very prolific songwriting phase, and played lots of new songs on the tour. So I included nine songs from him.

I made sure the songs are organized like a real CSNY concert from that tour, which meant they played a few songs together, then each of them had a solo spot, then the group came back for the last part of the show.

In short, if you're following my alternate series of CSN(Y) albums, this is the ideal replacement for "CSNY 1974" so you don't have any overlap with the other albums.

Oh, by the way, the title "What Could Possibly Go Wrong" refers to a running joke comment from Crosby about the tour, because the tour was frequently a fiasco, so much so that it also known by insiders as the "doom tour." In 2014, Crosby wanted to use "What Could Possibly Go Wrong" as the title for the archival album that was being put together, but the others decided against it and went with the bland "CSNY 1974."

01 Immigration Man (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
02 Johnny's Garden (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
03 On the Beach (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
04 Almost Cut My Hair (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
05 Carry Me (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
06 Prison Song (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
07 Another Sleep Song (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young with Joni Mitchell)
08 Long May You Run (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
09 Old Man (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
10 Homefires (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
11 Roll Another Number [For the Road] (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
12 4 + 20 (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
13 Blackbird (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
14 Suite- Judy Blue Eyes (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
15 Don't Be Denied (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
16 Deja Vu (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
17 Revolution Blues (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
18 Military Madness (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
19 The Losing End (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
20 Long Time Gone (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
21 Cowgirl in the Sand (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
22 Carry On (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)

The cover art is a photo of CSNY performing in their 1974 tour.

Larkin Poe - Acoustic - Acoustic (2014-2017)

Personally, I think popular music hit a high point in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. That's not to say there still isn't lots of good music coming out today though. One great recent act is Larkin Poe. They're two sisters who write quality songs, sing well, and play great guitar. I like that they have their own style, but they also very much are standing on the shoulders of giants, drawing a lot from the blues, folk, rock, country, and so on of earlier generations.

Unfortunately, their recorded output so far is a mess. They often have put out EPs instead of proper albums, or they've done things like releasing a new album with half of the songs repeated from the previous album. If you only have their few albums so far, you'd only get a partial picture of how good they really are.

I'm going to try to fix that with a number of alternate albums from them. The first one here is all acoustic material that comes from various appearances at radio stations. They can definitely rock out, but they've got the versatility to be just as impressive in an acoustic mode.

01. Elephant (Larkin Poe)
02. So (Larkin Poe)
03. Stubborn Love (Larkin Poe)
04. Trouble in Mind (Larkin Poe)
05. Don't (Larkin Poe)
06. Blunt (Larkin Poe)
07. Preachin' Blues (Larkin Poe)
08. Look Away (Larkin Poe)
09. Might as Well Be Me (Larkin Poe)
10. Black Betty (Larkin Poe)
11. Cast 'Em Out (Larkin Poe)
12. Come On in My Kitchen (Larkin Poe)
13. Get Home Safe (Larkin Poe)

The cover comes from a Larkin Poe appearance at Acoustic Nation in 2015.

Dusty Springfield - On TV and Radio, Volume 2: 1966

Here's the second of the Dusty Springfield TV and radio series, so you can see where I'm going with this.

Sometimes, it's a real pleasure how neatly things come together. This is one of those times for me. It turns out there's just enough music to make an album between 35 and 50 minutes long for most of the albums in this series. I couldn't have planned it any better if I'd tried.

Note that I did quite a lot of editing on the songs in all the albums of this series. But I didn't edit the songs, just the applause. Most of the songs end with applause, but the recording is often abruptly cut off just as the clapping begins. So I often took applause from some other track and edited it in to allow the song to come to a natural sounding conclusion, instead of having all those abrupt cuts.

The song "We're Doing Fine" is different. That one merits "[Edit]" in the title, because a BBC DJ talked over the intro, but I wiped out his voice while keeping the underlying music.

Only three of the songs here are officially released: "We're Doing Fine," "I'll Never Stop Loving You," and "I Don't Want to Go On without You."

This album is 45 minutes long.

01 We're Doing Fine [Edit] (Dusty Springfield)
02 Shake (Dusty Springfield)
03 Something about You (Dusty Springfield)
04 The Olive Tree (Dusty Springfield)
05 Dat Dere (Dusty Springfield with Dudley Moore)
06 Oh, Look at Me Now (Dusty Springfield)
07 Take Me in Your Arms [Rock Me a Little While] (Dusty Springfield)
08 The Real Thing (Dusty Springfield)
09 The Wayfaring Stranger (Dusty Springfield)
10 I'll Never Stop Loving You (Dusty Springfield)
11 Tell All the World about You (Dusty Springfield)
12 Call Me Irresponsible (Dusty Springfield)
13 I Don't Want to Go On without You (Dusty Springfield with Madeline Bell & Lesley Duncan)
14 [You Got] The Power of Love (Dusty Springfield)
15 Gonna Build a Mountain (Dusty Springfield)
16 You Lost the Sweetest Boy (Dusty Springfield)
17 Anna [El Negro Zumbon] (Dusty Springfield & Tom Springfield)
18 To Love and Be Loved (Dusty Springfield)

I don't know exactly where or when the cover photo is from, but I'm guessing it's about 1966.

Dusty Springfield - On TV and Radio, Volume 1: 1964-1966

I've got a lot of Dusty Springfield to post here. I know that at times she could be very cheesy in a mainstream show biz way, but most of the time she was just a really great singer performing quality songs. She's undoubtedly the only person to ever sing duets with Engelbert Humperdink AND Jimi Hendrix! ;)

One thing I've discovered about Springfield is that there essentially is an entire secret second discography of her prime 1960s and early 1970s material, if you dig deep enough. That's because she performed live on TV and radio a lot, and she just as often performed songs that she never put on record as she promoted her own records. It helped that she hosted her own British TV shows for several years in the late 1960s, and she did lots of covers of hits of the day and not just her own stuff.

I've searched all over and found so much material that I've created a series of albums containing nothing but songs that were NOT recorded on any studio track by her. Remarkably, I was able to create eight such albums, pretty much one per year in the late 1960s-early 1970s period.

I have no idea why this material remains so obscure. There is one album that has some popularity called "The Complete BBC Sessions." But that title is a joke, because it represents just a small portion of what she did for the BBC, especially if you include her many BBC TV show appearances. And I don't see a difference between what's on that and the rest, although sometimes the sound quality on the unreleased material isn't quite as good. 

Only three songs here are officially released: "Tossin' and Turnin'," "Uptight (Everything's Alright," and "Good Lovin'." Two of those songs have "[Edit]" in the title, because BBC DJs talked over the intros, but I was able to edit their voices out using X-Minus audio software.

Two songs are merely bonus tracks due to lesser sound quality.

This album is 44 minutes long, not including the two bonus tracks.

01 You're No Good (Dusty Springfield)
02 Deep Purple (Dusty Springfield)
03 The Love of a Boy (Dusty Springfield)
04 The House of the Rising Sun (Dusty Springfield)
05 Tossin' and Turnin' [Edit] (Dusty Springfield)
06 [There's] Always Something There to Remind Me (Dusty Springfield)
07 Baby I Need Your Loving (Dusty Springfield)
08 New Orleans (Dusty Springfield)
09 Nobody but You (Dusty Springfield)
10 Dancing in the Street (Dusty Springfield)
11 Can't You Hear My Heartbeat (Dusty Springfield)
12 Wishin' and Hopin' (Dusty Springfield & Martha Reeves)
13 Round Every Corner (Marvin Gaye, Dusty Springfield & Bruce Scott)
14 Uptight [Everything's Alright] [Edit] (Dusty Springfield)
15 Rescue Me (Dusty Springfield)
16 Wives and Lovers (Dusty Springfield)
17 Good Lovin' (Dusty Springfield)

It's All Right (Dusty Springfield)
Turn On Your Lovelight (Dusty Springfield)

I don't know the exact where or when of the cover photo, but I'm guessing it's from about 1965.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Stephen Stills - Live Acoustic (1976)

So far, I've posted an alternate history of Crosby, Stills, Nash and/or Young albums up to 1976. Before I continue onwards with that, I want to go on a tangent with a Stephen Stills solo album.

Stills' solo concerts from the 1970s are not well covered by bootlegs. For instance, he had a 1971 tour, but only one bootleg of that had emerged, and it is only middling audience quality instead of a soundboard. Clearly, the interest in his solo work is way, way less than that of Neil Young's, for whom bootlegs exist of a majority of his 1970s shows. But for whatever reason, there are more bootlegs than usual for an acoustic tour Stills did in 1976.

I think a big reason there's a lot less interest in Stills' concerts is that he usually doesn't have a very eclectic song selection. Instead, he has tended to play the same well known songs over and over, such as "For What It's Worth," "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," and "Love the One You're With." But I have about five bootlegs of his 1976 tour, and I realized that although there's a lot of repeated songs, not all of them are the same old, same old. I decided to make a compilation of all the songs he did in a solo acoustic format that year, except for his best known songs, since I tend to get tired of those.

The result is what would have been considered a double album back in that era, of 20 songs totaling just under two hours. Be warned the sound quality varies. Some of the concerts I drew from are audience recordings instead of soundboards. Luckily though, when it comes to solo acoustic music, that's less of a problem than when a full band can often sound muddy on audience recordings.

By the way, I added one bonus track. I wanted to include the song "In the Way," which came out on a 1975 album, but I could only find full band versions of the song played in 1976 concerts. However, I found a nice acoustic version of it from an obscure 1980 radio interview he did.

01 Buyin' Time (Stephen Stills)
02 Black Coral (Stephen Stills)
03 Make Love to You (Stephen Stills)
04 I Give You Give Blind (Stephen Stills)
05 Taken at All (Stephen Stills)
06 Crossroads (Stephen Stills)
07 Red House (Stephen Stills)
08 You Can’t Catch Me (Stephen Stills)
09 Fallen Eagle (Stephen Stills)
10 Blackbird (Stephen Stills)
11 Human Highway (Stephen Stills)
12 Everybody's Talkin' (Stephen Stills)
13 Word Game (Stephen Stills)
14 Jack of Diamonds (Stephen Stills)
15 Stateline Blues (Stephen Stills)
16 Do for the Others (Stephen Stills)
17 Treetop Flyer (Stephen Stills)
18 Circlin' (Stephen Stills)
19 Four Days Gone (Stephen Stills)
20 Myth of Sisyphus (Stephen Stills)
21 Daylight Again - Find the Cost of Freedom (Stephen Stills)

In the Way [Acoustic Version] (Stephen Stills)

I'm not sure exactly when or where the cover art photo was taken, but it looks to be from the mid-1970s.

George Harrison - Portrait of a Leg End - Various Songs (1987-2001)

A few days ago, I posted an alternate album that gathered all of George Harrison's stray tracks from 1985 to 1989, to create a coherent album much like his "Cloud Nine" one. This is a little different. It doesn't really hold together as an album. Instead, it just gathers up all the stray tracks from 1987 to 2001.

Unfortunately, Harrison didn't put out much music in the 1990s. In fact, he was almost in retirement, except for a 1992 tour in Japan, which isn't covered here. He worked off and on towards his next album, "Brainwashed," which came out in 2002, one year after his death. So I haven't included any songs from that, except for one acoustic version of "Any Road," since it's quite different.

Speaking of that acoustic version, Harrison played a couple of acoustic songs for a TV show in 1997, including that one. In that same appearance, he also played an Indian song ("Prabhujee") with Ravi Shankar and a few others. Unfortunately, the only known recording of that performance gets cut off after just a minute and a half.

I found the studio version of that song and synced the tempo and pitch to match the live version, then added in about another minute and a half to make it sound more complete. I would have added more, since the studio version is eight minutes long, but one can clearly hear Harrison's contribution on the live version, whereas I can't really hear Harrison's contribution on the studio version, even though he's supposed to be involved in that as well.

01 Here Comes the Sun [Live] (George Harrison with Eric Clapton)
02 While My Guitar Gently Weeps [Live] (George Harrison with Eric Clapton)
03 Absolutely Sweet Marie (George Harrison)
04 If Not for You (George Harrison)
05 This Guitar Can't Keep from Crying [Platinum Weird Version] (George Harrison)
06 Love's Got a Hold on Me (Jim Capaldi & George Harrison)
07 Doing the Bonzo Dog [Edit] (George Harrison)
08 If You Belonged to Me [Acoustic] (George Harrison)
09 All Things Must Pass [Acoustic] (George Harrison)
10 Any Road [Acoustic] (George Harrison)
11 Prabhujee [Acoustic] (George Harrison & Ravi Shankar)
12 Your True Love []Acoustic] (George Harrison)
13 My Sweet Lord [2000 Version] (George Harrison)
14 Horse to the Water (George Harrison)

The picture used for the cover is of Harrison in 1997.

By the way, I chose the album title because it was a semi-joking early title for the Harrison album that eventually became "Brainwashed."

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Various Artists - The Unreleased and Unknown Joni Mitchell Songs

Here's a very curious thing I came up with. In trying to figure out which unreleased Joni Mitchell songs I had on bootleg, I used as a resource. It has a very good webpage listing the known 41 still unreleased songs written by her:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I found 21 of them, mostly from bootlegs of early concerts she did. But what about the other 20?! It turns out that while no publicly available versions are known, either official or unofficial, some people have made cover versions of some of the others, apparently due to a songbook that came out in the late 1960s with the lyrics and music written for them.

I found seven more songs of hers covered by someone, mostly from YouTube videos. One case, the first song here ("Midnight Cowboy"), is something of an anomaly, since it came out on an album in 1972. I'm guessing Mitchell wrote it in 1969 after watching the movie with that title that came out that year. The rest have all been done by people in the last decade or so. I could find only one of them who actually put out a record with one of these songs on it. The rest are just folks who wanted to make YouTube videos of themselves singing.

That said, I was surprised at how good these are. Most are sung by women in a very Joni Mitchell-esque fashion. I consider every song she wrote from the early part of her career to be precious. Chances are, these versions are the only way to hear these songs until some distant day when hopefully the versions by Mitchell are officially released for at least some of them.

Unfortunately, I could only find seven such songs, which totals up to just 24 minutes. That's not enough for a "real" album in my opinion, but I figure seven otherwise totally unknown Joni Mitchell songs is a lot better than zero!

If any of the people who recorded their versions of songs on this album ever see this and don't want to be included, please let me know and I'll change the album accordingly. On the other hand, if you have the talent and want to record more of Mitchell's lost songs, please do!

Based on what I've heard from these seven songs, the 21 unreleased songs done by Mitchell which I put on the two early albums I put together are not necessarily any better than the 20 unreleased songs that haven't shown up anywhere on bootleg. It's likely that most or all of the 41 songs were done by her in concert at some point, but it's a matter of luck that some managed to get recorded by bootleggers and others didn't, since only a few shows got recorded in 1966 and 1967.

Don't be dissuaded by the fact that these are largely done by unknown people on YouTube. All of them are talented singers singing quality lost songs. If the performances weren't good, I wouldn't include them. The only quibble I have is with the guitar sound to one of the songs ("Who Has Seen the Wind"), no doubt due to the primitive recording condition.

I wonder if I had complete access to all the material in the official archives... I could make three solid pre-1968 albums by her, or even four! There probably are even more songs that the people behind don't know about, since they're basing their information on what's in the public record, such as mentions in old newspaper articles, and not from direct access to private archives. Some record company would be smart to make a box set just of her early unreleased stuff.

If anyone knows of cover versions of other lost Joni Mitchell songs that I've missed, please let me know and I'll include them.

Midnight Cowboy (Donal Leace)
Love Is like a Big Brass Band (Pamela Luccarelli)
Here Today and Gone Tomorrow (Pamela Luccarelli)
Moon in the Mirror (Sue Tierney)
Who Has Seen the Wind (Sue Tierney)
I Won't Cry (Christina Friis)
Strawflower Me (Camille Peruto)
Cara's Castle (Sue Tierney)
Daisy Summer Piper (Sue Tierney)

I don't actually know where the cover art comes from, but I like the look.

Joni Mitchell - Come to the Sunshine - Various Songs (1967)

Here's the third of three stray tracks albums from Joni Mitchell's early years. I'm imagining this one would have come out in 1967. All of the versions of the songs are from 1967, though no doubt many of them were written and performed in 1966, or even earlier.

When I first made this album a year or two ago (as I write this), I only had enough material for two stray tracks albums for her early years, 1965 to 1967. But in late 2020, the box set "Archives, Volume 1" was released. That gave me so much more material to work with that I was able to turn those two albums into three. The song list for this one was totally redone as a result.

All of the songs on this album were written by Mitchell, except for one, "The Dowie Dens of Yarrow." It's a traditional Scottish ballad. I think the quality of the songs are very good. It amazes me that not  none of these songs were officially released in the 1960s. All of them did make it on the box set except for the last one, "The Way It Is." That recording is from the first month of 1968. The box set only goes up to 1967, so perhaps it'll make it onto the next box set.

"Little Green" wouldn't get released until "Blue" in 1971, but she was already performing it by 1966. It's about a baby she had to give up for adoption in 1965. I've included it here because I figure if she did release an album in 1967, it's highly likely it would have been included.

01 Come to the Sunshine (Joni Mitchell)
02 The London Bridge Song (Joni Mitchell)
03 Gift of the Magi (Joni Mitchell)
04 Play Little David (Joni Mitchell)
05 The Dowie Dens of Yarrow (Joni Mitchell)
06 Free Darling (Joni Mitchell)
07 Ballerina Valerie (Joni Mitchell)
08 Go Tell the Drummer Man (Joni Mitchell)
09 Carnival in Kenora (Joni Mitchell)
10 Dr. Junk (Joni Mitchell)
11 Little Green (Joni Mitchell)
12 The Way It Is (Joni Mitchell)

For the album cover, I considered using one of Mitchell's paintings or drawings, but I didn't know which ones were created in what year. Besides, I figure she probably wouldn't have had the pull with the record company to do that just yet. The picture comes from a video of her made for her song "Come to the Sunshine." It's mostly just her standing and singing in a wheat field somewhere in Canada. It's kind of a low-res picture, but I figure it's very fitting.

Joni Mitchell - Urge for Going - Various Songs (1965-1966)

Joni Mitchell is another all-time musical great in my book. What's surprising is that I can make not just one but three 1960s albums of quality songs that had never been officially released in any form until decades later!

Mitchell started to "make it" in the music business in 1965, getting featured on national Canadian television. It quickly became clear that she was a phenomenon. In early 1966, George Hamilton IV had a hit with her song "Urge for Going." Then Judy Collins had a bigger hit with "Both Sides Now" in the same year.

Surely by 1967 Mitchell could have come out with her own album, if not back in 1966, but she held out so she could do it her way. Specifically, she wanted a solo acoustic approach, whereas the record companies wanted to give her a folk rock backing, since that was the popular trend at the time. It took David Crosby discovering her in a club and then championing her to people he knew in the industry to get her the sort of album production she wanted, in 1968.

The only problem with that was that by 1968 she was most interested in the songs she had recently written, and she permanently left all sorts of good songs behind. Happily, in 2020, the official box set "Archives, Volume 1" was released. It contained about 30 previously unreleased original songs, all of them from 1967 or earlier. Even after that release, the official website still lists 15 unreleased songs written by her, and about 11 of those date from 1967 or earlier. It seems that Mitchell considers these early songs as not up to her later standards, and has shown little to no interest in ever releasing them.

Thankfully, we now have that box set, plus some bootleg concert recordings in surprisingly high quality sound. As mentioned above, this is just the first of three stray tracks albums gathering songs from her early years that only came out on the box set or still remain unreleased.

The songs are in rough chronological order from their recording dates. Three of the songs are covers: "Ten Thousand Miles," "Seven Daffodils," and "Me and My Uncle." I didn't use the version of "Day after Day" because there's a still unreleased version that I think is better. It's a minute longer, with an extra verse, and it has a different guitar riff that I also think is better.

The song "Sad Winds Blowin'" comes from the box set, but I heavily edited it. Even though it was a recording she made for herself, she forgot some of the words. She sang a couple of lines of the second verse, forgot the rest, then tried it again and got it right the second time. I edited out the first failed attempt. For the third verse, she got through most of it but forgot the last line, then abruptly ended the song. I edited in a repeat of the last line from the first verse, then a repetition of the chorus. The switch in the lyrics doesn't make sense, but I figure it's better than having the song come to a sudden and premature end.

01 Urge for Going (Joni Mitchell)
02 Here Today and Gone Tomorrow (Joni Mitchell)
03 Ten Thousand Miles (Joni Mitchell)
04 Seven Daffodils (Joni Mitchell)
05 What Will You Give Me (Joni Mitchell)
06 Let It Be Me (Joni Mitchell)
07 The Student Song (Joni Mitchell)
08 Like the Lonely Swallow (Joni Mitchell)
09 Day after Day (Joni Mitchell)
10 Favorite Colour (Joni Mitchell)
11 Me and My Uncle (Joni Mitchell)
12 Sad Winds Blowin' [Edit] (Joni Mitchell)

For the cover, I used the only color photo I could find of her that could possibly date from 1966 or thereabouts. Around her body, the background faded into white, but I made some changes in Photoshop to extend the details to the edges of the photo. Also, her eyes were looking to the side, but I also edited that so she looks at the camera.

Monday, May 21, 2018

George Harrison - Cheer Down - Various Songs (1989)

George Harrison's 1987 album "Cloud Nine" was both a smash hit and a critical success. Harrison seemed to have rediscovered his love of making music after waiting five years since his last album. So it was puzzling that he didn't follow it up with another album in the next few years. In fact, he wouldn't release another album until 2002, a year after his death.

This attempts to fix that. Three new songs were released on a greatest hits album in 1989, so I started with those. I filled in the rest with other songs he recorded between 1985 and 1988 that didn't appear on "Cloud Nine." Although the songs come from disparate sources, I think they fit together well, united by the "Cloud Nine" sound, which was highly influenced by Jeff Lynne's production style.

Note that "Ride Rajbun" was released in 1992, but I included it here because it was actually recorded in 1988. Also, I used a version that was edited by someone named Seltaeb Days to take out some spoken word segments that he felt lessened the song. I felt the same way. Also, at first glance the Duane Eddy song "The Trembler" doesn't seem to fit, but it has Harrison prominently playing slide guitar on it, was produced by Harrison (though uncredited), and it was a tune that he whistled to Eddy.

In 1988 to 1990, around the time Harrison should have released this album, he also did some great songs with the Traveling Wilburys. I didn't include any of those here, since I figure anyone who would like this should have those albums already. But I am throwing on "Maxine" at the end, a Traveling Wilburys outtake that has Harrison singing lead and sounds exactly like the other songs here.

Had Harrison actually released an album, it certainly would have featured some different songs. He recorded 17 songs for "Cloud Nine" and only put 11 of them on the album, so he could have used more of those. That said, I think this album is just as good as "Cloud Nine" is.

01 Cheer Down (George Harrison)
02 Abandoned Love (George Harrison)
03 Poor Little Girl (George Harrison)
04 Shelter in Your Love (George Harrison)
05 Save the World (George Harrison)
06 Hottest Gong in Town (George Harrison)
07 Shanghai Surprise (George Harrison with Vicki Brown)
08 Zig Zag (George Harrison)
09 Cockamamie Business (George Harrison)
10 I Don't Want to Do It (George Harrison)
11 Lay His Head (George Harrison)
12 Ride Rajbun (George Harrison)
13 The Trembler (Duane Eddy & George Harrison)
Maxine (George Harrison & the Traveling Wilburys)

The cover art comes from a 1987 photo of Harrison.

Pete Townshend - Day of Siilence - Various Songs (1970-1973)

I recently posted the first of a series of alternate albums converting Pete Townshend's many scattered demo recordings into coherent albums group by when they recorded. This is the second such album.

The early 1970s was a very productive time for Townshend, especially due to his "Who's Next" / "Lifehouse" and "Quadrophenia" projects. I don't want to overlap with any of that, so these are other songs he also did at the time.

You may notice that some of these have appeared as bonus tracks to his 1972 solo album "Who Came First." He put so many bonus tracks on that that it pretty much doubled the length of that album. But that material was from some very different sources, including songs from 1976. I think I have a better way of organizing his material. Everything here is from 1970 to 1973. About half of the songs here come from other sources, including some songs that remain unreleased.

I've added one bonus track. In 2018, a deluxe edition of "Who's Came First" was released with even more bonus tracks. One of these is a solo acoustic version of "Let's See Action." I don't want to include that as part of this album because it's related to his "Lifehouse" project. However, the track got cut off right in this middle of the bridge to the song, apparently because he forgot the words and gave up. I couldn't finish off the bridge, but I did some editing to have the song repeat the chorus before fading out, so at least it sounds like it gets a proper ending.

01 Day of Silence (Pete Townshend)
02 There’s a Fortune in Those Hills (Pete Townshend)
03 Pile Driver [Instrumental] (Pete Townshend)
04 I Always Say (Pete Townshend)
05 The Love Man (Pete Townshend)
06 Guitar Piece [Instrumental] (Pete Townshend)
07 Mary Jane (Pete Townshend)
08 Classified (Pete Townshend)
09 Wizardry [Electronic Wizardry] [Instrumental] (Pete Townshend)
10 Can't You See I'm Easy (Pete Townshend)
11 Women's Liberation [Riot in a Female Jail] (Pete Townshend)
12 Begin the Beguine (Pete Townshend)

Let's See Action [Nothing Is Everything] [Incomplete Acoustic Demo] (Pete Townshend)

The cover uses a photo of Townshend from 1972.

Van Morrison - Down by the Riverside - Various Songs (1973)

I have all sorts of interesting alternate Van Morrison albums to post here. I'll start with one of the more interesting ones, because I'll bet you didn't know that he planned to record an album of other people's country songs in the early 1970s.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it, in the entry about the 1971 "Tupelo Honey" album:

"Prior to the "Tupelo Honey" recording sessions, Morrison had recorded demo tracks in Woodstock for an upcoming country and western album. Some of the tracks planned for "Tupelo Honey" did appear on the album, but other more traditional country songs like "The Wild Side of Life," "Crying Time," and "Banks of the Ohio" were abandoned."

Reading this intrigued me.  I did a little more research and found out he toyed with doing an all-covers country album from around 1971 to 1973. Unfortunately, only three studio takes of such songs have made it to the public (one as a bonus track for "Tupelo Honey" and two on bootlegs). However, from 1971 to 1973 he covered a fair number of country songs in concert. So I've taken the best recordings I could find and edited out the crowd noise as best I could. 

Undoubtedly one could do much better with whatever may be hiding in Morrison's private archives. For instance, I couldn't find any versions of two of the songs mentioned above ("Crying Time" and "Banks of the Ohio.") But for the most part, the sound and performances are pretty good. Luckily, the songs I found total 39 minutes in length, which is an ideal album length for that era.

All of the songs here come from 1971 or 1973, and all of them are covers. I figure his country album could have come out in 1973. There are lots of bootlegs of his 1974 concerts, but his covers of country songs essentially stopped down that year.

Note that some of the songs here don't sound that much like country. For instance, "Dead or Alive" sounds a lot more like the upbeat soul music Morrison was known for at the time. But these songs all have country origins. For instance, "Dead or Alive" was written by Woody Guthrie in the 1940s. 

01 Down by the Riverside (Van Morrison)
02 Let It Be Me (Van Morrison)
03 Jambalaya [On the Bayou] (Van Morrison)
04 The Wild Side of Life (Van Morrison)
05 Tennessee Waltz (Van Morrison)
06 More and More (Van Morrison)
07 Hey, Good Lookin' (Van Morrison)
08 Dead or Alive (Van Morrison)
09 [There'll Be Bluebirds Over] The White Cliffs of Dover (Van Morrison)
10 Goodnight Irene (Van Morrison)

For the cover, I used a photo of him with his girlfriend and dog, which was taken from the photo shoot that resulted in the cover for his 1974 album "Veedon Fleece."

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Them - Here Comes the Night - Various Songs (1964-1966)

Van Morrison is another great artist I plan on posting a lot of. But before getting to his long solo career, I'll first deal with his short career with Them.

Them put out two British albums, "The Angry Young Them," and "Them Again," plus a bunch of stray tracks. There's a compilation called "The Story of Them" that does a really great job of collecting all of Them's studio recordings. However, I have a few quibbles with it. One is that I'm not so interested in hearing alternate takes that are only slightly different, and that has some. Two, it's missing one key song, "Mighty like a Rose." But most importantly, I think Them is best heard in album-sized chunks of about 40 minutes each, instead of two CDs of about 70 minutes each.

So here are all the stray tracks, including the missing one. Plus, I found a couple of really nice live Them performances in soundboard quality, so I've added them on as bonus tracks at the end. The album is 47 minutes long, which would have been very long for that era, but possible. Of course, the bonus tracks make it even longer than that. ;)

01 Baby Please Don't Go (Them)
02 Don't Start Crying Now (Them)
03 One Two Brown Eyes (Them)
04 Here Comes the Night (Them)
05 All for Myself (Them)
06 One More Time (Them)
07 Story of Them [Parts 1 & 2] (Them)
08 Philosophy (Them)
09 Baby What You Want Me to Do (Them)
10 It Won't Hurt Half as Much (Them)
11 Times Gettin' Tougher than Tough (Them)
12 Call It Stormy Monday (Them)
13 Friday's Child (Them)
14 Richard Cory (Them)
15 Mighty like a Rose (Them)
16 Turn On Your Love Light [Live] (Them)
17 Mystic Eyes - Gloria [Live] (Them)

I made the cover using bits and pieces I found on the Internet.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Maria McKee - Show Me Heaven - Various Songs (1988-1990)

If you don't know who Maria McKee is, you're missing out. She's got an incredible voice and all around songwriting and musical talent, but she's never gotten the success she's deserved.

A lot of her best songs have never appeared on any of albums, so as usual, I'm gathering up stray tracks. Most of these are acoustic, based on piano and/or guitar. A few are live tracks that sound like pristine studio quality where I've edited out the clapping. There are a few rocking tracks at the front, plus her fluke hit "Show Me Heaven" at the end.

All of the songs here are officially unreleased, except for the last two. "Everybody Loves a Winner" is a bonus track from a U2 album, since it's a duet with U2, and "Show Me Heaven" is from a movie soundtrack.

This album is 50 minutes long.

01 Wicked Storm [Demo] (Maria McKee)
02 If the Sky Falls Down [Demo] (Maria McKee)
03 Pocket Full of Change [Demo] (Maria McKee)
04 Make Me Want You (Maria McKee)
05 He's Right on Time (Maria McKee)
06 Troubled Waters (Maria McKee)
07 Don't Toss Us Away [Acoustic Version] (Maria McKee)
08 Wheels [Acoustic Version] (Maria McKee)
09 Hickory Wind (Maria McKee)
10 Hold Me (Maria McKee)
11 Promise You Anything (Maria McKee)
12 Everybody Loves a Winner (U2 & Maria McKee)
13 Show Me Heaven (Maria McKee)

I got lucky with the cover. All of the various covers for her "Show Me Heaven" single showed a picture of Tom Cruise from the "Days of Thunder" movie the song was featured in, but this one version took a totally different approach.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cream - Goodbye - Alternate Version (1966-1969)

In 1969, after Cream had broken up, the album "Goodbye" was released. Its chief reason for being seemed to be a release of the three songs Cream did before breaking up, especially the all-time classic "Badge." However, those songs only add up to 10 minutes. But rather than put them out as a single, the record company padded out the album with 20 minutes of live performances. This was widely criticized as a cash grab, because all three had already been released in live versions on other albums and these versions weren't that different from the others.

What if, instead, the record company raided their vaults and released all the remaining studio material from the band? That's what I've done here. 

Adding in the various stray tracks to the three new songs, one still gets an album that's only 35 minutes long. So I've also added in the two most "Creamy" songs from Jack Bruce's album "Songs from a Tailor," which came out later that year. They almost certainly would have been turned into Cream songs had the band stayed together a little longer.

01 Badge (Cream)
02 Doing that Scrapyard Thing (Cream)
03 What a Bringdown (Cream)
04 Anyone for Tennis (Cream)
05 The Coffee Song (Cream)
06 You Make Me Feel (Cream)
07 Lawdy Mama (Cream)
08 Meet Me in the Bottom (Cream)
09 Hey Now Princess (Cream)
10 Weird of Hermiston (Cream)
11 The Clearout (Cream)
12 Rope Ladder to the Moon (Jack Bruce)
13 Theme from an Imaginary Western (Jack Bruce)

The cover is just a repeat of the official "Goodbye" cover.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Waiting for Tonight - Various Songs (1986-1988)

It is widely viewed that Tom Petty's 1987 album "Let Me Up (I've Had Enough)" is one of his least impressive. For instance, at, which averages hundreds of ratings, it is the lowest rated of all his albums.

But consider that the album before it, "Southern Accents," was highly acclaimed, and the albums he would do right after, "Full Moon Fever" and the first Traveling Wilburys album, would be both critically acclaimed and sell millions of copies. So what gives with "Let Me Up?"

It turns out the problem was one of song selection. In fact, there are so many excellent songs from the 1986 to 1988 time period that I was able to make an alternate album that uses none of the songs on "Let Me Up" and yet I'd argue would rate as one of his very best, had it ever been released with these songs on it.

Some of the songs come from his "Playback" box set, but many are so obscure that they didn't even appear on that. Four of them remain completely unreleased. Since very little in the way of studio bootlegs has emerged for Petty, I had to use live versions, which I edited to remove crowd noise. Most of those songs were played very rarely, or sometimes just once. So in a couple of instances I had to resort to using audience recordings that are less that pristine, but I think it's worth it because all of these are said to have been written by the group.

In the case of "King of the Hill," that would later be a hit for Roger McGuinn of the Byrds in 1991. But it was actually written by Petty a few years before. In 2018, a studio version Petty and McGuinn performing a duet version of it in 1987 finally emerged. I doubt a version of Petty doing it solo exists.

If you're a Petty fan, you should download this album! In my opinion, in a better world, at least three of these songs - "Got My Mind Made Up," "Ways to Be Wicked," and "Waiting for Tonight" - should have been released and become big hits. But the album is solid all the way through, even though it's nearly 50 minutes long.

By the way, I added Petty singing solo lead on the Traveling Wilburys song "Last Night." It's one of the very few good Wilburys outtakes that has appeared on a bootleg. I put it as an unnumbered bonus track since it repeats a track from the well-known Wilburys album.

01 Got My Mind Made Up (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
02 Can't Get Her Out (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
03 Ways to Be Wicked (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
04 You Come Through (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
05 Tonight Might Be My Night (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
06 There Ain't Enough Money [In the Whole Wide World] (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
07 Make That Connection (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
08 King of the Hill (Roger McGuinn & Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
09 Don't Treat Me like a Stranger (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
10 Goodbye Little Rich Girl (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
11 Travelin' (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
12 Down the Line (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
13 Waiting for Tonight (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers with the Bangles)

Last Night [Demo] (Tom Petty & the Traveling Wilburys)

NO LINK! Sorry, I had to remove the link because I've gotten a takedown notice regarding a couple of Tom Petty albums, and virtually all the links to his albums died. However, note that music like this can still be found through the free file sharing program SoulseekQt.

The cover is a modified version of the 1987 single for "All Mixed Up," with the text changed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Rolling Stones - Flowers - Alternate Version (1966)

In the summer of 1967, the Rolling Stones released the album "Flowers." It gathered up stray tracks from mid-1965 to early 1967, with only three of them previously unreleased. This is related to that album, but it's drastically different. I've used it to gather up a bunch of stray tracks, mostly from 1966. Then I've made another album called "We Love You" to gather up others, mostly from 1967.

It so happens that there already is a collection of stray tracks from this time period that was released in the US at the time, "Flowers." But, as was often the case with such albums, it included some songs on official British albums (which I'm using as the standards), and failed to include other stray tracks. So, although I'm using the same title and cover art, only five of the songs here were on the original "Flowers."

The original "Flowers" was a mess. Released only in the US, it collected some singles, plus songs that had been omitted from the US versions of "Between the Buttons" and "Aftermath," plus the three previously unreleased songs I mentioned ("My Girl," Ride On, Baby," and "Sittin' on a Fence"). The problem was a lack of musical consistency. The band had come a long, long way from a mid-1965 cover of the Temptations classic "My Girl" to the psychedelic sounds of a late 1966 original like "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?" Because I've moved everything from late 1966 onwards to another album, this version has much greater consistency, still focusing on a more soulful and bluesy style.

This version is so different that the only songs it shares with the original version are the three previously unreleased ones. And speaking of unreleased, it contains one nice original song that's still unreleased to this day, "Looking Tired."

Note that I made a rare exception for my rule not to use any songs featured on official albums with the song "Out of Time." The demo version here is notably different from the other version, with heavy use of strings and female backing vocals.

This album is fairly short at 33 minutes, but it makes up for that with quality, including the two classics "19th Nervous Breakdown" and "Paint It, Black." The only covers are "My Girl" and "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)."

01 19th Nervous Breakdown (Rolling Stones)
02 Sad Day (Rolling Stones)
03 My Girl (Rolling Stones)
04 Paint It, Black (Rolling Stones)
05 Long Long While (Rolling Stones)
06 I've Been Loving You Too Long [To Stop Now] (Rolling Stones)
07 Ride On, Baby (Rolling Stones)
08 Sittin' on a Fence (Rolling Stones)
09 Looking Tired (Rolling Stones)
10 Out of Time [Demo] (Rolling Stones)
11 Hear It [Instrumental] (Rolling Stones)

The cover art is just the official album cover, unchanged.

Joe Jackson - Mike's Murder - Alternate Version (1983)

Here's another Joe Jackson album. This is a (hopefully) improved version of the obscure 1983 soundtrack to the movie "Mike's Murder." All the songs on the album were by Jackson, but it was promoted as a soundtrack album with Jackson's name only in very tiny print on the cover, and it was a movie that hardly anybody saw. On top of that, half the album was instrumental, including a song that went on for 11 minutes. So few treated it as his next album.

I've made some changes. For starters, I thought that 11 minute instrumental, "Zerrio," went on way too long. It expressed all its ideas in seven minutes, and then went on for another four pointless minutes, in my opinion. So I edited out the last four minutes.

The album was 35 minutes to begin with, and that edit shortened it still further. To compensate, I looked around for other stray studio tracks Jackson did around that time. I found two. Unfortunately both were instrumentals for a guy known (at the time) for his pop songs, not his instrumental prowess. I added them in, but I also changed the song order slightly, so one doesn't get a few instrumentals in a row.

01 Cosmopolitan (Joe Jackson)
02 'Round Midnight [Instrumental] (Joe Jackson)
03 1-2-3 Go [This Town's a Fairground] (Joe Jackson)
04 Laundromat Monday (Joe Jackson)
05 Zemio [Edit] [Instrumental] (Joe Jackson)
06 Memphis (Joe Jackson)
07 Moonlight (Joe Jackson)
08 Breakdown [Instrumental] (Joe Jackson)
09 Soul Makossa [Instrumental] [Live] (Joe Jackson)

I used the official album cover, but with one key change. As I mentioned, the cover only mentioned Jackson's name in very small letters. Apparently, the record cover soon realized this was a problem, because some versions came with a sticker slapped on the front with Jackson's name in big letters. I used that text, except I made it a part of the cover instead of a haphazardly placed sticker. Also, I removed the original small text of his name, since that had been made redundant.

Pink Floyd - See Emily Play - Various Songs (1967)

Pink Floyd is another great musical act that has a messed up discography, especially for its early years. Admittedly, the 2016 box set "The Early Years" did a great job of getting nearly all the vital early material officially released. However, it did a fairly poor job in terms of presenting the songs in a logical and most listenable order. It often seemed their main concern was cramming each CD about as full of music as they could.

That's admirable that they wanted to release so much stuff. But over the years I've come to believe that 30 to 50 minutes is a good album length. It lets the artist set a mood and make a statement (sometimes) without overstaying its welcome. When CDs became big in the 1980s, artists were freed from the maximum length vinyl could handle of about 50 minutes, and often filled up nearly all they could of the maximum 74 minute CD length. This led to a lot of bloat, with songs often going on for a minute or two longer than they should have, and other problems. Happily, in recent years, many musical artists have been going back to the earlier album lengths.

Pink Floyd's non-album tracks are better heard with that old album restriction, and with more thoughtful track selection and order. I'm planning on posting a series of albums that will do just that. I assume that anyone interested in downloading this already has "The Early Years." If you don't, go get it first!

First up is arranging Pink Floyd's early singles and related stray tracks. My challenge was to organize the 1967 material into how it might have appeared if it came out on an album in 1967 or 1968. The "problem" was "Nick's Boogie," an 11 minute instrumental. I stuck that on the end of what would be side A of the album, and then followed it up with some short poppy numbers, so one doesn't get too much instrumental weirdness all at once.

In 1965, Pink Floyd recorded a few songs that went unreleased at the time. In my opinion, some of them are underdeveloped and/or generic, and not worth repeated listens, unless you're a die-hard fan. But I liked three songs enough to include them. One song, "Butterfly," sounds exactly like a good 1967 Syd Barrett song. "Walk with Me Sydney" is the first known Roger Waters original with vocals shared between Barrett, Waters, and a girlfriend of one of the band members, while "I'm a King Bee" is a blues cover.

01 Butterfly (Pink Floyd)
02 Walk with Me Sydney (Pink Floyd with Juliette Gale)
03 I'm a King Bee (Pink Floyd)
04 Arnold Layne (Pink Floyd)
05 Candy and a Currant Bun (Pink Floyd)
06 Nick's Boogie [Instrumental] (Pink Floyd)
07 See Emily Play (Pink Floyd)
08 Apples and Oranges (Pink Floyd)
09 Paintbox (Pink Floyd)
10 Vegetable Man (Pink Floyd)
11 Experiment [Sunshine] [Instrumental] (Pink Floyd)
12 In the Beechwoods [Instrumental] (Pink Floyd)
13 Scream Thy Last Scream (Pink Floyd)
14 Reaction in G [Instrumental] [Live] (Pink Floyd)

Interstellar Overdrive [Instrumental] (Pink Floyd)

For the cover art, I wanted to use whatever the cover for the "See Emily Play' single was. But that turned out to be surprisingly boring for a psychedelic band, especially because it was in stark black and white. So I inverted it and added some color.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Eric Clapton - Acoustic Blues - Various Acoustic Songs (2001-2006)

"Unplugged" is Clapton's biggest selling album by far, with sales of 26 million. So you'd think that he would have released something in a similar vein in all the years since then, but he hasn't. And Clapton's great musical love is the blues, so it would make perfect sense for him to put out some kind of acoustic blues album.

Even though he hasn't done that, he usually plays at least a few acoustic songs in his concerts. So I've gathered up a bunch of those from the early 2000s to make the acoustic blues album that he still should put out someday.

I got the idea because his 2004 album "Sessions for Robert J" has four acoustic songs on it. That was nice, but four is way too few. Then I discovered that there were a couple more on a DVD extra with the album. That still wasn't enough, so I went looking for other acoustic versions from around that time period and found some in high quality sound. Virtually all of the others are from concerts, but I edited out the crowd noise, as I usually do with albums like these.

There are a small number of songs where there are other musicians playing, most notably the first one, "Bell Bottom Blues." I love that song so much that I couldn't leave it off the album, since it is done in a semi-acoustic style. But the vast majority of songs are just Clapton with an acoustic guitar.

This album may not have much in the way of blistering solos, but it's great mood music. (Studies actually show that listening to sad music such as the blues helps cheer people up.)

01 Bell Bottom Blues (Eric Clapton)
02 Key to the Highway (Eric Clapton)
03 Me and the Devil Blues (Eric Clapton)
04 From Four until Late (Eric Clapton)
05 Stones in My Passway (Eric Clapton)
06 Love in Vain (Eric Clapton)
07 Ramblin' on My Mind (Eric Clapton)
08 Terraplane Blues (Eric Clapton)
09 Broken Hearted (Eric Clapton & John Mayer)
10 Back Home (Eric Clapton)
11 Outside Woman Blues (Eric Clapton)
12 Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (Eric Clapton)
13 I Am Yours (Eric Clapton)
14 When You Got a Good Friend (Eric Clapton)

The cover is of a photo of Clapton playing a custom Martin acoustic in 2004.