Sunday, July 29, 2018

Paul Weller - Fly on the Wall - Non-Album Acoustic Tracks, 1990 - 1993

I just posted two Paul Weller albums that gather up his stray tracks from the early 1990s. Here's the third and final one from that time period. This one contains only acoustic versions of songs.

As I mentioned in one of those other Weller posts, I mentioned that I didn't like Weller's Style Council period much, mostly due to the dance style production. Happily, from the very beginning of Weller's solo career in 1990, he resumed frequently playing in an acoustic style, something he'd done in his years in the Jam but almost never did during the Style Council years.

Weller's first solo album, "Paul Weller" from 1992, didn't have any acoustic music on it. However, his next album, 1993's "Wild Wood," which was both critically acclaimed and a big hit in Britain, had acoustic elements running through most of it. What the stray tracks on this album show is that Weller started working up to that sound well before even his first solo album came out.

This album contains some songs from both his first and second solo albums, because those songs were done in full band versions on those albums and these are strictly solo acoustic versions. In addition, there are a couple of covers ("Abraham, Martin and John" and "Red Balloon") and a couple of original songs that never made any album. The first song, "The Whole Point II," is another Style Council song, but done both live and in an acoustic style.

01 The Whole Point II (Paul Weller)
02 Into Tomorrow (Paul Weller)
03 Amongst Butterflies (Paul Weller)
04 Abraham, Martin and John [Acoustic Demo] (Paul Weller)
05 Bitterness Rising (Paul Weller)
06 Above the Clouds (Paul Weller)
07 Red Balloon (Paul Weller)
08 Fly on the Wall [Demo] (Paul Weller)
09 Everything Has a Price to Pay (Paul Weller)
10 Moon on Your Pyjamas (Paul Weller)
11 Foot of the Mountain (Paul Weller)
12 That's Entertainment (Paul Weller)
13 The Cost of Loving (Paul Weller)
14 Wild Wood [Acoustic Demo] (Paul Weller)

The cover photo is of Weller from 1993.

Paul Weller - Arrival Time - Various Studio Songs, 1990 - 1992

I just posted an album of live songs by Paul Weller from 1990 to 1992. As I said in that post, that is one of three albums I've made of his stray tracks in the first years of his solo career. Here's the second one, which is all studio songs that didn't make it on his first solo album (the 1992 album simply titled "Paul Weller").

As I mentioned in that last post, Weller's career was as a very low point in 1990, after his band the Style Council had fizzled out and broken up. He couldn't get a record contract for a long time, so he recorded an album with his own money and then shopped it around. But his music was seen as so uncommercial that even then it took him quite a while to get a record company to sign him!

Like the last post, the songs here are ordered by the year they were recorded. The first two songs are from 1990, and are from rehearsals for his first solo tour. The rest are from 1991 and then 1992 as his first solo album started to come together.

My usual rule is to not include any songs from official albums released around the same time unless they're significantly different. In this case, I did include a couple because they are different. One, "Always There to Fool You," is basically an instrumental version of the song "Uh Huh Oh Yeh" from his first solo album, despite the different title. Also, I found an interesting version of the album song "Round and Round" that was mostly instrumental. I edited out a minute of vocals from the middle of it to make it a fully instrumental version.

The other songs are a mix of originals that didn't make the album and some covers. The first song, "Waiting on a Connection," is a new version of a Style Council song.

By the way, note that one song here, "Work to Do," was also on the live Weller album I just posted. It's a cover of an Isley Brothers song. But that was live and part of a medley and this is a studio version, and the song has never been officially released by him in any form, so I figured both versions were worthy of inclusion.

"Just like Yesterday" is an original song performed in concert in 1990 that went unreleased until its inclusion on the "At the BBC" box set many years later. There's a demo version that can be found on bootlegs at well, but I prefer the live version.

01 Waiting on a Connection (Paul Weller)
02 Work to Do (Paul Weller)
03 Just like Yesterday (Paul Weller)
04 Here's a New Thing (Paul Weller)
05 That Spiritual Feeling [Instrumental] (Paul Weller)
06 The Bitter Truth [Demo] (Paul Weller)
07 Don't Let Me Down (Paul Weller)
08 Always There to Fool You [Instrumental] (Paul Weller)
09 Sitting in Limbo (Paul Weller)
10 Arrival Time [Instrumental] (Paul Weller)
11 What's Going On (Paul Weller)
12 Round and Round [Instrumental Edit of Alternate Version] (Paul Weller)

The album cover is from a photo of Weller in 1992. Since I consider this part of a trilogy of Weller albums from the early 1990s, I'm using the same fonts and even similar colors for the text.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Paul Weller - Tin Soldier - Live Songs, 1990-1992

I've already posted some Paul Weller albums, both with the Jam and solo. I'm pretty much done with stray Jam material, but I have a heck of a lot more solo material from him to turn into albums.

Weller is the kind of guy who regularly writes way more songs than he puts on his albums, and he does lots of cover versions too. (He's a particular fan of putting out lots of songs only on B-sides.) For the first few years of his solo career, I found so many good songs that I had to figure out how to organize them into more than one album. What I ultimately decided to do was split the material into three albums: a live one, an all-acoustic one, and one of studio material that isn't acoustic. I'm going to post all three here so you can see how they fit together.

This is the live album. By the end of the 1980s, Weller's band the Style Council had fizzled out. Weller tried to start a solo career instead, but he was suddenly considered so uncool and so unpopular that no record company would give him a contract, even though he'd had dozens of hit singles both with the Jam and the Style Council. Those record companies would be proven spectacularly wrong, because he would be selling millions of albums only a couple of years later.

But in the meantime, Weller had to start from scratch, playing first in small clubs as he tried to rebuild his career. These live songs are from that time, from when he started playing solo in 1990 until he finally got his first solo album released in 1992. Not surprisingly, he didn't have many new songs yet, and I don't want to include any songs here that were also on his first solo album (simply called "Paul Weller"). Thus, many of the songs here are actually Style Council or Jam songs, as well as some cover songs, but all done in his somewhat different solo style.

The vast majority (eight out of twelve) actually are Style Council songs. I love the Jam and I love Weller's solo career, but I'm not much of a fan of his Style Council period. Many other Weller fans feel the same way. I think a big problem with it was the production, making the songs into slick, generic 1980s dance music that didn't fit Weller's style very well. So one nice thing about this album is that Weller got to redo a bunch of his Style Council songs and record them in a better way, avoiding the earlier production pitfalls.

01 How She Threw It All Away (Paul Weller)
02 A Man of Great Promise (Paul Weller)
03 Homebreakers (Paul Weller)
04 My Ever Changing Moods (Paul Weller)
05 Precious (Paul Weller)
06 Work to Do - Pity Poor Alfie (Paul Weller)
07 The Piccadilly Trail (Paul Weller)
08 Tin Soldier (Paul Weller)
09 Ummh (Paul Weller)
10 Shopping (Paul Weller)
11 The Cost of Loving (Paul Weller)
12 [When You] Call Me (Paul Weller)

The cover is of Paul Weller playing at a Tower Records store in New York City in 1992.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Jefferson Airplane - Frozen Noses - Non-Album Tracks (1970)

Nearly all of that albums I post here are ones I created for myself a long time ago. That's how I'm able to post a lot of them in a short time. But today I made a new one. I was listening to some Jefferson Airplane and it occurred to me that it was odd how the group never released an album in 1970, even though they released at least one album a year for every other year of their existence. So I decided to try to see if I could come up with one.

I'm glad I did. At first, all I had was the one single they released that year ("Mexico" backed with "Have You Seen the Saucers"). But it turns out they had a lot more material, and that's not even including any of the songs on the "Blows Against the Empire" album released by an offshoot of the group that year.

They actually did a lot of work on an album in 1970.  But the band had split into three camps (Grace Slick and Paul Kantner in one, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassady in another, and Marty Balin in the third), and tensions got so bad that the band was barely functional. Balin effectively quit the band by the end of the year, even though it wasn't official until midway through 1971.

As a result, the planned album, "Bark," didn't come out until 1971, and when it did come out it was very different than how it would have been if it had come out in 1970. Most notably, all of Balin's contributions were dropped. He had four good songs, yet he wouldn't release any new music until 1973, and by then only one of those songs would be included.

I made sure to include songs by all three factions of the group at the time. However, there was a fourth songwriting effort I avoided, that of band drummer Joey Covington. He wrote and sang a number of songs that the band played live at the time, such as "Whatever the Old Man Does Is Always Right," "Bludgeon of a Bluecoat" and "I Can Tell," but I found all of them not good enough to include. It seems the rest of the band felt the same way, since they were never released then or on any later archival releases. (Yet the next year he would be a key participant in coming up with and singing the excellent song "Pretty as You Feel," which would be the last hit by the group.)

The biggest surprise for me was the song "Frozen Noses," which I didn't know about until stumbling on it today. It's a nice song written by Grace Slick and recorded by the band, by it has never been officially released in any form. I liked it so much that I decided to name the album after it. It's a fitting title, because most or all of the band members were said to be heavily into cocaine by 1970.

For the last song on this album, I broke my usual rule of not including the exact versions of songs on official albums released around the same time. The song, "New Song (For the Morning)," technically isn't even a Jefferson Airplane song at all, since it was released on the 1970 album "Hot Tuna," the first album by the Kaukonen-Cassady spinoff group of the same name. But I've always felt that song didn't belong on the album it wound up on and should have been on a Jefferson Airplane album instead. The first Hot Tuna album is basically all covers of old blues songs except for that original song by Kaukonen, which is done in a very different songwriting style. It also is one of my favorite songs written by Kaukonen, yet it's overlooked because he's only rarely played it in concert in all the years since. So I indulged myself by sticking it on this album instead, where it would make an ideal last song.

("True Religion" did come out on a 1972 Hot Tuna album, but this is a version done in a Jefferson Airplane concert, with significantly different instrumentation.)

01 Mexico (Jefferson Airplane)
02 You Wear Your Dresses Too Short (Jefferson Airplane)
03 Uncle Sam Blues (Jefferson Airplane)
04 Emergency (Jefferson Airplane)
05 Have You Seen the Saucers (Jefferson Airplane)
06 Up or Down (Jefferson Airplane)
07 True Religion (Jefferson Airplane)
08 Frozen Noses (Jefferson Airplane)
09 Drifting (Jefferson Airplane)
10 New Song [For the Morning] (Jefferson Airplane)

I had a hard time coming up with a good cover for this album. Frankly, I'm not sure where this cover image I chose comes from. I think it's fan art, but I could be wrong. In any case, I think it looks great. I just cropped it some the avoid some text and then added new text at the bottom.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Joni Mitchell & James Taylor - In Concert - Paris Theatre, London, Britain, 10-29-1970

For much of 1970, and into early 1971, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor were romantically involved. I mention this because it resulted in some good music, including both of them writing songs about each other. (Much of Mitchell's "Blue" album is about Taylor, including "All I Want" and "Blue," as well as other songs like "See You Sometime" and "Just like This Train." Taylor's songs about Mitchell include "You Can Close Your Eyes," "Love Has Brought Me Around," and "New Tune.")

However, perhaps the highlight of their musical connection was a concert they did for the BBC in October 1970. It was an hour long radio show called "In Concert" that was hosted by the famous British DJ John Peel. This is that concert.

What exactly happened, and where, with this concert is confusing. The John Peel Wiki website lists two BBC concerts Mitchell and Taylor did together, and suggests one might have taken place at the Royal Albert Hall. But Mitchell's official website only has one they did together, and an official version of all of it was released on "Archives, Volume 2" in 2021. So I've posted that exact version elsewhere on this blog. You can find that here:

That one is basically a Joni Mitchell concert, with Taylor only assisting on five songs, only one of which was written by him. Consider this instead a kind of fantasy version of a more ideal Mitchell and Taylor concert, with both of them sharing the stage more equally.

Some of the songs come from a popular bootleg that is said to be this BBC one, yet has songs not on the officially released version. Perhaps there was a second concert with Taylor, or maybe more songs were played and some were cut for the final broadcast? In any case, these songs exist somehow, from somewhere, and many of them definitely feature Mitchell and Taylor together.

But also, when I first put this concert together in 2018, I felt there was an imbalance of too many Mitchell songs compared to Taylor's. To make up for this, I included some extra songs of Taylor's from another show done only two weeks earlier, the Amchikta benefit that helped fund the start of Greenpeace. Both Mitchell and Taylor played at that concert, and Taylor joined Mitchell through the middle of a cover of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" when Mitchell couldn't remember all the words.

Naturally, I included that duet. I also included three Taylor songs to make up for the imbalance. I put all the extra mystery Mitchell songs and the Amchitka songs at the start of the concert. I mixed these extra songs together in a way that duplicates them taking turns like the rest of the "In Concert" performance. Luckily, the Amchikta songs were recorded in fantastic sound quality and were done in the same solo acoustic format, so it's very hard to tell they weren't part of the same show.

The end result is an hour and a half of Mitchell and Taylor taking turns playing some of their best songs instead of just the hour of the actual "In Concert" broadcast. The "extra" tracks at the beginning conclude with the "Mr. Tambourine Man" duet.`

This album is an hour and 28 minutes long.

01 Hunter [The Good Samaritan] (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
02 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
03 River (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
04 talk (James Taylor)
05 Fire and Rain (James Taylor)
06 Carolina in My Mind (James Taylor)
07 My Old Man (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
08 talk (James Taylor)
09 Sweet Baby James (James Taylor)
10 A Case of You (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
11 Mr. Tambourine Man (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
12 That Song about the Midway (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
13 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
14 The Gallery (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
15 Rainy Day Man (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
16 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
17 Steamroller (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
18 The Priest (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
19 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
20 Carey (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
21 Carolina in My Mind (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
22 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
23 California (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
24 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
25 [He Played Real Good] For Free (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
26 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
27 The Circle Game (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
28 talk (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)
29 You Can Close Your Eyes (Joni Mitchell & James Taylor)

I wanted to use a color photo of Mitchell and Taylor playing music together for the cover. Unfortunately I couldn't find one, but I found a black and white one that's the cover of a bootleg for this show. I kept most of the design and just changed some of the text. Then, months later, I figured out how to colorize it. The photo was taken at a concert in Queens College in New York in December 1970.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ray Davies - Acoustic, KFWD-FM 102 Studios, Fort Worth, TX, 4-1977

Since I'm a huge Kinks fan, I figured it's appropriate to resume with something Kinks-related. This is a very short album, only 20 minutes long, but I think it's quite good.

The core of this album is a solo acoustic appearance Kinks leader Ray Davies at a radio station in Texas (KFWD-FM 102 in Fort Worth). This is unusual and interesting because Davies' solo career didn't begin as an occasional part time thing around 1985 and then more seriously after the Kinks broke up in 1996. As far as I know, this was the first solo performance by Davies, even if it was only a short one in a radio studio.

Furthermore, it was highly unusual for Davies to perform acoustically during this time period. But for whatever reason, it seems he was the only one in the group ready to make an appearance at the radio station to promote the Kinks' new album (Sleepwalker).
I think the highlight is the acoustic version of the Sleepwalker song "Life on the Road." After that, Davies largely played songs from the 1971 album Muswell Hillbilles, maybe because that album had a country music focus that was fitting for Texas. Unfortunately, most of the songs were done in incomplete versions of about one minute each. But these short versions are still fascinating since they are practically the only acoustic versions done by Davies in the 1970s.

There are a few extra songs at the end that fit, as they were acoustic versions done in 1977 or 1978. One song, "A Rock and Roll Fantasy," was done by the Kinks in a hotel room, though really it's mostly just Ray Davies and his brother Dave Davies singing and playing together.

Then there are two songs ("Lola" and "Waterloo Sunset") done by Ray Davies on acoustic guitar and Gordon John Edwards on piano. I don't know where or when the performance is from exactly, but it must be from some point in 1978, because Edwards was only a member of the Kinks for part of that year.

I've added one bonus track. It's another version of "Lola," done at the same time as the hotel room version of "A Rock and Roll Fantasy." (You can find video footage of both performances on YouTube.) I only added it as a bonus track because I don't like to have two versions of the same song on an album, and I think the other version here (with Ray Davies and Gordon John Edwards) is much better since it's a full run through of the song whereas this version is more of a snippet.

01 Life on the Road (Ray Davies)
02 A Well Respected Man (Ray Davies)
03 Here Come the People in Grey (Ray Davies)
04 20th Century Man (Ray Davies)
05 Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues (Ray Davies)
06 Oklahoma U.S.A. (Ray Davies)
07 A Rock and Roll Fantasy (Kinks)
08 Lola (Ray Davies & Gordon John Edwards)
09 Waterloo Sunset (Ray Davies & Gordon John Edwards)

Lola (Kinks)

For the cover photo, I grabbed a screenshot from a YouTube video of the performance of "Lola" by Davies and Edwards.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Who - Who's for Tennis - Non-Album Tracks (1968)

Other people who like to create alternate albums generally like to make a 1968 Who album called "Who's for Tennis." That's because the group's manager proposed an album with that name to come out in time for the July 1968 Wimbledon tennis championship near London. It would have been composed of some new songs as well as outtakes from the previous year's album "The Who Sell Out." It never came to pas,s though. Instead, the Who put out three new singles (including the hit "Magic Bus").

Additionally, in the US and Canada only, they released the album "Magic Bus: The Who on Tour." It was a bewilderingly lousy album because although the Who had lots of really good unreleased songs at the time, the album included songs previously released on their last two albums "The Who Sell Out" and "A Quick One" and a seemingly random selection of other songs, many of them recent A-sides and B-sides, some going back to 1966. The album was exploitative, in that the title made it sound like a live album, which it was not. There was no Who album in Britain in 1968.

Clearly, an album like "Who's for Tennis" should have been released instead. The blog Albums That Never Were made a good version a few years ago:

But that used some "The Who Sell Out" outtakes. I didn't want to do that since I've used those up already for my double album version of that album. I had to rely just on 1968 Who songs. Unfortunately, a few of them have never been officially released or even bootlegged, such as "Joys" and "Kids, Do You Want Kids."  I have to make do with what's publicly available. Luckily, there's just enough for an album, though it's one that's only 36 minutes long.

Most of the songs came out on later archival compilations, such as the various versions of "Odds and Sods" and the "Maximum R&B" box set. In one case though, I bent the chronology a little. We know a studio version of the cover song "Shakin' All Over" was recorded in 1968 for the intended album. Unfortunately, this version has never been made public. I could have used a live version from the recently released Fillmore 1968 album. But instead I chose a studio version recorded for the BBC in 1970 (which includes a snippet of the blues song "Spoonful"). I figure that's much more like what the studio 1968 version would sound like, since it's short like all the other 1968 songs (three and a half minutes), whereas the live version is significantly longer (seven minutes). 

The cover song "C'Mon Everybody" was done live in concert in April 1968, and released on the official live album "Live at the Fillmore East 1968." The sound quality holds up with the other songs.

In 2021, "super deluxe" edition of "The Who Sell Out" was released. That five album edition has one album called "The Road to Tommy" that more or less includes the 1968 songs here. I've used the super deluxe versions of every song here I could, which I believe is all the songs except for "Dogs, Part Two" and "Shakin' All Over - Spoonful."

Also, one new song emerged, "Facts of Life (Birds and Bees)." Unfortunately, vocals were intended for it but were never recorded, so we only have an instrumental version. I stuck that on the end. 

I'm left wondering what happened to two other Who songs said to exist from this time, "Joys" and "Kids, Do You Want Kids." A Pete Townshend demo version of that second song was included on the super deluxe box set, so I'll put that on one of the Townshend demo albums I've made. There are studio logs showing the Who did record the songs, but maybe the recordings were lost, or they decided the songs weren't good enough for an archival release. They recorded some other things in 1968 that are lost or stuck in the vaults, such as a cover of Mose Allison's song "One Room Country Shack."

I love the Who, especially 1960s Who. I think this album is just as good as most other 1960s Who albums, such as "A Quick One" or "My Generation."

01 Glow Girl (Who)
02 Magic Bus [Long Version] (Who)
03 Faith in Something Bigger (Who)
04 Melancholia (Who)
05 Fortune Teller (Who)
06 Call Me Lightning (Who)
07 Little Billy (Who)
08 C'mon Everybody (Who)
09 Dogs (Who)
10 Dogs, Part Two (Who)
11 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Who)
12 Shakin' All Over - Spoonful (Who)
13 Facts of Life [Birds and Bees] [Instrumental] (Who)

I used the same cover that the Albums That Never Were and other similar blogs have used. It wasn't actually considered by the Who at the time, but made by an artist named Jon Hunt years later. However, the version that has been used by others has a deliberately battered look to make it seem like a frequently played album. I toned down the wear and tear some.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Van Morrison - Wonderful Remark - Non-Album Tracks (1972)

Here's the next in my long series of Van Morrison stray track albums. Maybe more than any other artist, I'm continually amazed at the quality of the songs that Morrison didn't officially release in the late 1960s and 1970s. If you're a fan of his music and you don't have these, you're really missing out!

All of the songs on this album come from 1972. I think it's one of the strongest of his alternate albums. All but one of the songs ("Spare Me a Little") comes from the 1998 archival release "The Philosopher's Stone." Insofar as people know about Morrison's "lost" studio work, they tend to focus on an album called "Mechanical Bliss" from around 1975. But that was just one of many "lost" albums for him. I read some quote from him where he stated that his record company at the time was very minimalist in terms of how much studio material they'd release, allowing just one album a year. But he was coming up with much more good music than that, and there's probably even more still locked in his vaults that has never been bootlegged.

As a result of this song backlog, in later years when he wasn't so inspired he sometimes redid earlier songs. The title song here "Wonderful Remark" is a good example of that. It would eventually become a Van Morrison classic, but only after he released a different version in 1983.

This album is 47 minutes long.

01 Laughing in the Wind (Van Morrison with Jackie DeShannon)
02 Lover's Prayer (Van Morrison)
03 Drumshanbo Hustle (Van Morrison)
04 Don't Worry about Tomorrow (Van Morrison)
05 Madame Joy (Van Morrison)
06 Spare Me a Little (Van Morrison with Jackie DeShannon)
07 There, There Child (Van Morrison)
08 Wonderful Remark (Van Morrison)
09 Try for Sleep (Van Morrison)
10 Contemplation Rose (Van Morrison)

For the cover, I could only find one good color photo of Van Morrison that I knew for sure was taken in 1972. It was an irregular shape and I wanted to show all of it, so I added art nouveau designs on the sides to fill out the rest of the cover.

Bob Dylan - Tomorrow Is a Long Time - Non-Album Tracks (1963)

Here's the next in a long series of albums scooping up Bob Dylan's many, many stray tracks. In this case, it's the last of three albums collecting his songs between the release of his first album "Bob Dylan" in 1962 and his classic "Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" album in 1963. As usual,  I tried to gather up all the good songs I could find that weren't actually on official albums such as those.

I've been sorting these many early songs chronologically, both between albums and with the song order on the albums. Two of the songs here are from late 1962 while the rest are from early 1963. That's the same time that the "Freewheelin'" album was being finalized. But nearly all of these are not proper studio outtakes. Instead, they come from various other sources, especially demos Dylan recorded for the Whitmark company in hopes that other musicians would like some of his unreleased songs and release their own versions. Of course, Dylan's songwriting quality was so high that many did.

Other songs here come from even more obscure sources. For instance, three of the songs were only played by him in concert. (I removed the audience noise, as I often do.) For others, such as this version of "Who Killed Davey Moore," I didn't have to worry about crowd noise because it was done for a radio show with no audience there.

For one song, "Bound to Lose, Bound to Win," i felt compelled to make some edits. The song was performed for the "Broadside" political magazine, which would print the lyrics in the next issue. As a result, part way through the song, Dylan briefly talked over his guitar playing about how he'd forgotten the lyrics and would write them out later. I cut that talking out. I also edited in a repeat of the chorus at the end, since the song is very short (only about a minute long) and ended abruptly with more of Dylan's talking. Hopefully it now sounds more like a proper song.

Because so many of the songs were recorded for publishing demos and the like, Dylan didn't expect these would ever get released, so there often was a little talking by him at the beginning or the end. I generally cut those bits out to make this sound more like a proper studio album.

Most of these are really good songs; it's just that Dylan had more songs than he knew what to do with at the time. I'm sure this album would have done very well if it had actually been released in 1963, even though it falls short of the classic "Freewheelin' Bob Dylan."

01 Quit Your Low Down Ways (Bob Dylan)
02 Tomorrow Is a Long Time (Bob Dylan)
03 The Ballad of the Gliding Swan (Bob Dylan)
04 Talking Devil (Bob Dylan)
05 Bound to Lose, Bound to Win (Bob Dylan)
06 I'd Hate to Be You on that Dreadful Day (Bob Dylan)
07 Long Time Gone (Bob Dylan)
08 All Over You (Bob Dylan)
09 Walkin' Down the Line (Bob Dylan)
10 Goin' Back to Rome (Bob Dylan)
11 Farewell (Bob Dylan)
12 Train A-Travelling (Bob Dylan)
13 Walls of Red Wing (Bob Dylan)
14 Ramblin' Down through the World (Bob Dylan)
15 Dusty Old Fairgrounds (Bob Dylan)
16 Hiding Too Long (Bob Dylan)
17 Who Killed Davey Moore (Bob Dylan)

I didn't have any great ideas on what to call this album, so I picked the name of probably the most accclaimed song on it. If anyone has a better idea, please let me know. I also didn't find any really great photo to use for the cover, mostly because I much prefer color photos and it seems Dylan's early 1960s life was entirely in black and white! The pic I chose is an outtake from the same photo session that resulted in the cover to the "Freewheelin'" album. Like that one, he's pictured with his girlfriend at the time, Suze Rotolo.

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Kinks - BBC Sessions, Volume 5: 1974-1978

This series of albums started very similar to the officially released box set called "At the BBC." The first volumes in the series were relatively similar to that box set. But starting with this volume, the song list is almost entirely different.

That's because on the box set, as it chronologically progressed into the 1970s, there were less appearances of the Kinks playing in the studio for the BBC, and more partial or entire concerts of the Kinks that happened to be broadcast on the BBC. I didn't include any of the latter here, because I figure those concerts deserve their own separate albums.

Only the first songs on this volume are also on the BBC box set. For the rest, I found various TV appearances the Kinks did and stripped out the audience noise as best I could in order to make it sound like a studio album. Some were on the BBC, and some where not - I figure the main thing is good music, not just if it's from the BBC.

Songs four through seven are from a TV performance of the concept album "A Soap Opera." The performance was from 1974 but the album came out in 1975, apparently because the record company didn't want to release two albums too close to each other. It was kind of a concert in that it was in front of an audience, but there was filming all over the stage and the audience usually wasn't allowed to clap after the songs. If you search YouTube, you can find an excellent color version that's about half an hour long and a poor quality black and white version of the full hour show.

Another big chunk of the songs on the album, from songs eight to 13, come from a Kinks performance on the BBC TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1977. The sound quality and performance was excellent. However, I only included the songs not on another Kinks 1977 concert that I've posted (and that was on the official box set). Here's a link to that full show:

The last song is from a TV show in 1978. Unfortunately, I don't know the details. If anyone does, please let me know.

01 Demolition (Kinks)
02 Mirror of Love (Kinks)
03 Money Talks (Kinks)
04 Rush Hour Blues - Nine to Five - When Work Is Over (Kinks)
05 [A] Face in the Crowd (Kinks)
06 You Can't Stop the Music (Kinks)
07 No More Looking Back (Kinks)
08 Sleepwalker (Kinks)
09 Life Goes On (Kinks)
10 Stormy Sky (Kinks)
11 Full Moon (Kinks)
12 Life on the Road (Kinks)
13 Juke Box Music (Kinks)
14 Misfits (Kinks)

Like the other albums in this series, I used the basic design of the cover of the "At the BBC" box set but changed the picture of the Kinks to match the years of the music. I'm not sure when the photo I used is from, but I'm guessing around 1974 to 1976. I also changed the background colors so each volume in the series can be easily distinguished from each other.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Simon & Garfunkel - More Rarities, 1966-1970 - Non-Album Tracks

I previously posted an  album of early Simon and Garfunkel rarities, stretching from 1957 to 1965. Nearly every single song on that remains officially unreleased, and more than half of them only featured Paul Simon.

This is the sequel to that album, rounding the rest of the duo's rarities, from 1966 to 1970. After 1970 they toured together from time to time but never created much new music as a duo, except for the occasional song here and there. This album is quite different from the other one in that most of the songs are officially released, and all but one of them feature Simon and Garfunkel. This is the stronger album musically, because it covers the peak years the duo were a creative force.

All of the songs were never released on their official studio albums, with one exception: "Mrs. Robinson." This is the version from "The Graduate" soundtrack. The song wasn't finished as quickly as the makers of that movie needed it, so the soundtrack version is mostly wordless. Actually, it consisted of two snippets of about a minute each, but I combined them with a little bit of overlap to make it sound more like a full song.

For a few of the songs, I could only find live versions. So, as I often do, I edited out the crowd noise to make them match with the other studio tracks on the album.

By the way, the song "Cuba Si, Nixon No" has been often misunderstood, including by Art Garfunkel who reportedly hated it. It's not a pro-Fidel Castro song. Instead, it's a song from the perspective of someone hijacking an airplane and flying it to Cuba (which was a common event in that era) and what he's thinking during the journey.

A few of the songs here are covers. I only know of one Paul Simon original not on these stray track albums or any official album (not counting his awful early 1960s songs), and that's the song "Someday, One Day." It's a nice song, but unfortunately I don't know of any version Simon was ever involved with. However, you can hear the Seekers do a version if you're interested, because it was co-written with a member of that group.

This album is 43 minutes long. The songs are ordered chronologically.

UPDATE: On February 13, 2022, I updated the mp3 download file. I added three songs. I never knew Simon and Garfunkel did a version of Bob Dylan's classic "Mr. Tambourine Man." It turns out they did it for a TV, though in a truncated version that's a little less than two minutes long. "Teenage Moron" appears to be an original. It's a parody of simple 1950s-styled tragedy songs. It's more of a joke than a full song, lasting just over a minute. But they worked up some nice harmonies for it, and played it in concert a few times. 

The third song should be well known for any Simon and Garfunkel fan, the traditional folk song "Scarborough Fair," merged with the song "Canticle." This version is unique though, because it was done on "The Andy Williams Show" in 1968 with Andy Williams joining in. Whenever Simon and Garfunkel played this in concert, they would only do the "Scarborough Fair" part, because that alone took two voices. But by having Williams join in, they were able to recreate the "Canticle" part as well, making it similar to the album version. Normally, I'm not a fan of Williams' style of music, but he did a very good job here. I suspect this is the only time Simon and Garfunkel played this song live with that "Canticle" arrangement included.

01 Mr. Tambourine Man (Simon & Garfunkel)
02 Blues Run the Game (Simon & Garfunkel)
03 Barbriallen [Demo] (Simon & Garfunkel)
04 Rose of Aberdeen [Demo] (Simon & Garfunkel)
05 Roving Gambler [Demo] (Simon & Garfunkel)
06 I Wish You Could Be Here (Paul Simon)
07 Teenage Moron (Simon & Garfunkel)
08 Comfort and Joy (Simon & Garfunkel)
09 Star Carol (Simon & Garfunkel)
10 Red Rubber Ball (Simon & Garfunkel)
11 Groundhog [Demo] (Simon & Garfunkel)
12 Scarborough Fair - Canticle (Simon & Garfunkel & Andy Williams)
13 Mrs. Robinson ['The Graduate' Version] (Simon & Garfunkel)
14 You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies (Simon & Garfunkel)
15 Feuilles-O [Demo] (Simon & Garfunkel)
16 Cuba Si, Nixon No (Simon & Garfunkel)
17 Hey Schoolgirl - Black Slacks (Simon & Garfunkel)
18 That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine (Simon & Garfunkel)
19 Lightnin' Express (Simon & Garfunkel)

The cover is based on a photo of Simon and Garfunkel from "around 1966," but I don't know any other details.

The Jam - Acoustic Demos, 1978-1982

Fans of the Jam have been lucky in that the group has been very well covered with archival releases. Most of the albums have been re-released in deluxe or even super deluxe versions with tons of bonus tracks, and an excellent and comprehensive box set has been released too.

Out of all those bonus tracks, many of them are demo versions of some sort. I went through all the bonus tracks I could find and categorized the demos as band demos or acoustic demos. I sorted them and found there was one album worth of acoustic demos and two albums worth of band demos. This is the acoustic album.

The Jam were a very rocking band that sometimes even got lumped into the punk rock movement. That said, they had an acoustic side almost from the very beginning, and that's what this is all about. Most of these tracks are of Paul Weller alone on the acoustic guitar. But some songs, such as the first one, have a light touch from one or both of the other two band members.

It's highly unlikely the Jam will ever reunite, and if it does, even more unlikely they'd play acoustically. So this is the closest we'll ever get to the Jam "unplugged."

I'll post the two  albums later if there's vocal interest. I'm not sure if I should since the songs aren't done that differently from the final released versions.

By the way, the songs below are sorted chronologically.

01 Worlds Apart [Demo] (Jam)
02 Along the Grove [Demo] (Jam)
03 Burning Sky [Demo] (Jam)
04 The Eton Rifles [Demo] (Jam)
05 Hey Mister [Demo] (Jam)
06 Saturday's Kids [Demo] (Jam)
07 Thick as Thieves [Demo] (Jam)
08 Little Boy Soldiers [Demo] (Jam)
09 Wasteland [Demo] (Jam)
10 That's Entertainment [Acoustic Version] (Jam)
11 Dream Time [Demo] (Jam)
12 Liza Radley [Demo] (Jam)
13 No One in the World [Demo] (Jam)
14 Dead End Street [Demo] (Jam)
15 Pity Poor Alfie [Demo] (Jam)

The cover art shows Paul Weller up close playing acoustic guitar with bassist Bruce Foxton in the background. I added the text. I'm not sure where the picture is from.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Soft Boys - Only the Stones Remain - Non-Album Tracks (1980)

Robyn Hitchcock has made a lot of great albums over the years, but I believe his 1980 album with the Soft Boys "Underwater Moonlight" is his very best. So it shouldn't come as a big surprise that an album of stray tracks from that same year is excellent too. In fact, I would argue that this album of stray tracks from 1980 is better than any other Soft Boys album but "Underwater Moonlight."

I've already posted albums of Soft Boys stray tracks from 1977 and 1978. I didn't post one from 1979 because the band released two albums that year, so they apparently didn't have a lot of songs left over. (I put two 1979 songs on the 1978 collection.) However, in 1980, the band had a creative explosion. A deluxe version of "Underwater Moonlight" has been released with a second disc of bonus tracks. Actually, there were a bunch of them I didn't like that much and didn't deem worthy of inclusion, such as "Bloat," "Wang Dang Pig," "Cherries," "Amputated," and more. But that's okay, because there were many others that were excellent.

In addition, there were other worthy outtakes. For instance, the song "He's a Reptile" was originally included as a bonus track to the 1979 Soft Boys album "Invisible Hits," but it was actually from early "Underwater Moonlight" sessions, so more recent releases have seen it moved from a bonus track on one album to the other. I also included all the studio songs on the 1981 album "Two Albums for the Price of One." I'll deal with the live songs from that album later. Those studio songs have also been included as bonus tracks on many versions of "Underwater Moonlight."

All in all, there's 46 minutes of really good music on this album. If you're at all a fan of the Soft Boys and/or Robyn Hitchcock, you need to listen to this.

Additionally, there were two songs that I considered borderline for inclusion: "Like a Real Smoothie" and a cover of the Roxy Music song "Over You." I think they're okay, but not up to the high standards of the other songs here, so I wouldn't want them on my version of the album. But other people might feel differently so I've added them as bonus tracks.

01 Only the Stones Remain (Soft Boys)
02 The Bells of Rhymney (Soft Boys)
03 There's Nobody like You (Soft Boys)
04 Innocent Boy (Soft Boys)
05 He's a Reptile (Soft Boys)
06 Vegetable Man (Soft Boys)
07 Strange (Soft Boys)
08 Song No. 4 (Soft Boys)
09 Dreams (Soft Boys)
10 Black Snake Diamond Rock (Soft Boys)
11 Alien (Soft Boys)
12 Goodbye Maurice or Steve [The 'D' Song] (Soft Boys)
13 Leave Me Alone (Soft Boys)

Like a Real Smoothie (Soft Boys)
Over You (Soft Boys)

I named this album "Only the Stones Remain" because it's one of my favorite Soft Boys songs. When I thought about what the cover art should look like, I imagined a desolate field with large stones in it... and a giant crab rampaging through it! Logically, the crab doesn't fit, but I figured I should follow my creative muse, as Robyn Hitchcock always does. Besides, crabs and other crustaceans are a common theme in his work. So I found a photo of some stones and Photoshopped in a crab.

The Kinks - Fortis Green - Non-Album Tracks (1996-1999)

The Kinks broke up around 1996. They kind of petered out, without any obvious final tour or public announcement at the time. However, in the mid to late 1990s, the two main singer-songwriters of the band, Ray Davies and Dave Davies, released enough songs, in a very Kinks-ish style, to make up an excellent album. Imagine this as a "what-if" album, had the band stayed together.

The Kinks did release one last album in 1996, "To the Bone," an "unplugged" style album that mixed live performances with new studio versions of their classic songs. It had two new songs, "To the Bone" and "Animal," so I've included them here. Unfortunately, those are the only two actual Kinks songs on this album. 

The main source of material here is Ray's 1998 album "Storyteller." I took six of the 12 songs from it. That was a mix of live and studio songs. When it was a live song, I removed the clapping to make it fit in with the other studio tracks. Three Dave songs come from his 1998 album "Unfinished Business," while a fourth, "Fortis Green," comes from his 1999 album "Bug."

Regarding the album title, I didn't want to call it "Fortis Green," because Dave Davies has already put out an archival album with that name. But I found a great photo for that title, and I couldn't resist. I figured the number of people who have ever even heard of that Dave Davies album are unfortunately very few. Plus, the song "Fortis Green" is a great one, in my opinion, so I'm glad to try to make it better known. I think it's one of the best nostalgic songs written by anyone, in my book. Had it come out as a Kinks song in the 1960s or 1970s, I'm sure it would be considered a classic.

In my opinion, ALL the songs on this album are excellent. If the Kinks had actually released an album with these songs on it in 1999 (since all the songs are from that year or earlier), I think it would have been hailed as their best album in a long time, at least since the early 1980s. Also, the trendy production problems that plagued Kinks albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s are nowhere to be seen on this songs, somehow.

I added one song as a bonus track, "Otis Riffs." It's the only still unreleased song here. I didn't include it as part of the album because it dates from a 2000 concert, and I wanted all the songs to be from the 1990s.

01 To the Bone (Kinks)
02 I'll Get Over (Dave Davies)
03 Storyteller (Ray Davies)
04 Animal (Kinks)
05 When the Wind Blows [Emergency] (Dave Davies)
06 X-Ray (Ray Davies)
07 Art School Babe (Ray Davies)
08 Fortis Green (Dave Davies)
09 Back in the Front Room (Ray Davies)
10 The Ballad of Julie Finkle (Ray Davies)
11 London Song (Ray Davies)
12 Unfinished Business (Dave Davies)

Otis Riffs (Ray Davies)

For the album cover, I found a picture of a Fortis Green sign - it's the London neighborhood where the Davies brothers grew up. But it's a different sign than the one used on the Dave Davies album I mentioned above. I think used a little Photoshop work to add in the sign saying "The Kinks."

Van Morrison - Coming Down to Joy - Non-Album Tracks (1971)

I wish I could turn more people onto these albums of stray Van Morrison songs that I'm making. I think they're really great! And that's not because of anything I did, but because of the strength and number of songs he never officially released from the early part of his career.

A lot of people have some of this material, due to the popularity of the three CD bootleg "Van Morrison Gets His Chance to Wail." But that boot doesn't organize the material well, and it misses a lot of stuff. For instance, there was an acetate found recently at a garage sale (!) that contained three previously unknown Van Morrison studio recordings. One of them was a song, "Coming Down to Joy," that had been previously unbooted and even unheard of. It makes one wonder what else is still in the vaults.

For this album, I found songs from a variety of sources. Four of the eight songs are still officially released. Another song, "4% Pantomime," is a collaboration between Van Morrison and The Band. It was on a Band album, but I don't see why it couldn't have been on a Morrison album too. Similarly, Morrison collaborated with blues legend John Lee Hooker for a song ("Never Get Out of These Blues Alive") on one of Hooker's albums. The song was exceedingly long and somewhat repetitive at 12 minutes, so I edited it down. I also found a live version of the Bob Dylan classic "Just like a Woman" and edited out the crowd noise.

The result is a 40 minute album that could have come out in 1971. I think it's just as strong as, say, the album "His Band and Street Choir."

01 You've Got the Power (Van Morrison)
02 Coming Down to Joy (Van Morrison)
03 Lorna (Van Morrison)
04 Never Get Out of These Blues Alive (John Lee Hooker & Van Morrison)
05 Just like a Woman (Van Morrison)
06 4% Pantomime (Band & Van Morrison)
07 Ordinary People (Van Morrison)
08 Tell Me about Your Love (Van Morrison)

The cover is a 1970 photo of Morrison. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any color ones that I really liked that weren't of him in concert. (I'll save the concert pics for live material I'll post here later.) Many months after initially posting this album, I colorized the photo.

Paul McCartney - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road, Abbey Road Studios, London, Britain, 7-27-28-2005

I took performances from two McCartney concerts and merged them into one concert, which is something I never do. But it's justified in this case, I believe. In July, 2005, he performed two concerts to promote his soon-to-be-released album "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard." Both of them were done in front of a small audience at Studio 2 in Abbey Road, the exact location where the Beatles recorded all their music (except for the "Let It Be" album). The concerts were only one day apart, July 27 and 28, and featured largely the same songs.

Most importantly, both concerts were done acoustically. The only other time I know of that McCartney did an acoustic concert was in 1991, for MTV Unplugged. But that was done with a small band so it wasn't actually that acoustic, whereas most of the songs for these two concerts were just McCartney with a guitar or a piano. So these shows are very special, in my opinion. It seems that one show was for his own TV special, called "Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road," and the other was for "Sold on Song," a BBC TV show at the time very similar to VH-1's "Storytellers," where musicians share stories about each song they play.

I found bootlegs of both shows, however I believe these are taken from the respective TV broadcasts and aren't the complete performances. One can tell this from some of the edits that were made. In particular, the "Sold on Song" concert has a lot more talking included, which makes sense given the theme of that show. Sometimes on the other concert, one can hear that he must have told pretty much the exact same story, except all but the last sentence or two was cut out. And there were other edits too, including a couple of songs fading out. Each TV show was an hour long, so I'm sure edits had to be made to fit within that time limit.

Thus, what I've done is take parts of both shows to try my best to recreate what an ideal, complete version of his 2005 acoustic concert. I generally used the July 27th concert as the basis, but some songs were only done on the 28th, so I added those in. Also, in a few cases I added in the longer talking before some songs from the 28th, putting them in front of the songs performed in the 27th that they were referring to. I also used a performance from one night if there was a problem with the other night, such as an early fade out.

In sounds complicated, but the bottom line is you'll get an hour and twenty minutes of great music by combining the two concerts, instead of getting 50-something minutes from either one on its own. I think it's a much more satisfying listen. Frankly, this should have been released as an album and sold millions, in the same way that McCartney's 1991 Unplugged concert was. He did some things he's never done before or since, such as making up a song on the spot by playing a bunch of instruments and then combining them right there in front of the audience.

By the way, in addition to him playing Beatles classics and solo hits, you'll get most of an acoustic version of "Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road." I think it's one of his best solo albums. He played nine of the 14 songs from it. The remaining five songs unfortunately have never been played live by him.

This album is an hour and 14 minutes long.

UPDATE: On December 19, 2023, I updated the album title. After finding an earlier BBC concert I'd missed, this went from Volume 2 to Volume 3.

01 talk (Paul McCartney)
02 Anyway (Paul McCartney)
03 Friends to Go (Paul McCartney)
04 talk (Paul McCartney)
05 Mellotron Sample [Baby Won't You Come with Me] (Paul McCartney)
06 Strawberry Fields Forever [Mellotron Intro Only] (Paul McCartney)
07 talk (Paul McCartney)
08 In Spite of All the Danger (Paul McCartney)
09 talk (Paul McCartney)
10 Jenny Wren (Paul McCartney)
11 talk (Paul McCartney)
12 Twenty Flight Rock (Paul McCartney)
13 At the Mercy (Paul McCartney)
14 Things We Said Today (Paul McCartney)
15 Too Much Rain (Paul McCartney)
16 Fine Line (Paul McCartney)
17 Follow Me (Paul McCartney)
18 talk (Paul McCartney)
19 How Kind of You (Paul McCartney)
20 Blackbird (Paul McCartney)
21 Lady Madonna (Paul McCartney)
22 I've Got a Feeling (Paul McCartney)
23 Mellotron Samples for Band on the Run (Paul McCartney)
24 Band on the Run [Mellotron Version] (Paul McCartney)
25 talk (Paul McCartney)
26 English Tea (Paul McCartney)
27 talk (Paul McCartney)
28 Heartbreak Hotel (Paul McCartney)
29 talk (Paul McCartney)
30 Take 1 - Drums (Paul McCartney)
31 Take 2 - Piano (Paul McCartney)
32 Take 3 - Bass (Paul McCartney)
33 Take 4 - Guitar (Paul McCartney)
34 Take 5 - Lead Guitar (Paul McCartney)
35 Take 6 - That's All for Now (Paul McCartney)
36 Yellow Submarine (Paul McCartney)

The cover art is taken from the opening credits of the "Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road" TV special, with some text added at the bottom. You might notice that the lettering of Paul McCartney's name is rather unusual. That's because it was carefully designed to be an ambigram. Wikipedia defines that as: "a word, art form or other symbolic representation whose elements retain meaning when viewed or interpreted from a different direction, perspective, or orientation." In this case, try turning to image upside down and you'll see his name is readable that way too.