Thursday, January 31, 2019

Fleetwood Mac - The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown) - Various Songs (1970)

Now that I've made it past Fleetwood Mac's very busy 1969, which resulted in three full stray tracks albums and part of another, I can tackle the band's 1970 with relative ease.

According to, the band played over 80 different songs in each of those years. But in 1970, the vast majority of those songs were songs they'd done in previous years or were from the band's studio album that year ("Kiln House"). So I only have one stray tracks album to make this time around.

Happily, I can say this is a very strong album. Fleetwood Mac started out a blues band with the occasional 1950s styled rock song thrown in, but by 1970 the band was widening its musical palate. This can be seen in the hit song "The Green Manalishi," which was rooted in the blues and yet was something new.

By the way, before I say anything else, I just have to say, holy crap, listen to "I've Got a Mind to Give Up Living" at the end of this album! Guitarist Peter Green was on fire! How on Earth is it that so many concerts and archival albums from Fleetwood Mac's blues years have been released, and yet this song hasn't been officially released in any form yet?! What the heck is the record company thinking?! This recording is from a pristine soundboard, so sound quality can't be an excuse. If you like Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green era, you need to hear this song!

Anyway, 1970 was a big transitional year for the band. Green began slowly losing interest and quit the band altogether in July. At that point, Christine McVie joined the group. In truth, she'd been playing keyboards on their records since 1968, and married bassist John McVie that year, and frequently went on tour with the band as part of Chicken Shack or later as a solo artist, so her joining was gradual and almost inevitable.

In 1970, Christine McVie was mostly performing blues songs. But even so, because her voice would become so well known as one of the most famous voices of soft rock, it's jarring to go from hearing a song sung by Green to hearing one sung by McVie. As it so happens, I had more two songs than I could reasonably fit on an album, and a shortage of songs for my 1971 stray tracks album, so I've moved two McVie sung songs to the 1971 one. She still can be heard singing some on one song here, "Down at the Crown," but this album is still dominated by Green's singing and playing.

This album is 45 minutes long.

01 The Green Manalishi [With the Two Prong Crown] (Fleetwood Mac)
02 World in Harmony [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)
03 Loving Kind (Fleetwood Mac)
04 Oh Baby (Fleetwood Mac)
05 Stranger Blues (Fleetwood Mac)
06 Tiger (Fleetwood Mac)
07 Only You (Fleetwood Mac)
08 Sandy Mary (Fleetwood Mac)
09 Down at the Crown (Fleetwood Mac)
10 I Can't Stop Loving Her (Fleetwood Mac)
11 All Over Again [I've Got a Mind to Give Up Living] (Fleetwood Mac)

The cover art is the exact cover art of "The Green Manalishi" single.

George Harrison - Doing the Bonzo Dog - Song Edit (1996)

I'm a huge fan of anything Beatles related, so I was surprised today to stumble across a mention of a George Harrison solo song I'd never heard of, called "Doing the Bonzo Dog." It turns out to be a really nice song in my opinion, but the only available (bootlegged) version contains just the first minute and a half of it. So I've edited it to make it sound like a complete song.

Harrison was a very big fan of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, a zany late 1960s musical group best known for their hit song "I'm the Urban Spaceman." It turns out that there was going to be a reunion/tribute album for this band to be released around 1998 called "It Was a Great Party until Somebody Found a Hammer," but for some reason it never came out. In 1996, Harrison recorded an original song for this project called "Doing the Bonzo Dog."

I don't know why the only bootlegged version is only a minute and a half long, but it clearly is incomplete. After two verses, with a chorus after each one, it fades out right as the song is moving into a bridge section. There's no way to do anything with that bridge, since there's only a couple of seconds of it fading out. So instead I edited the song to repeat the first verse and chorus. Then I repeated the chorus twice more to allow the song to fade out.

Certainly this is not how the rest of the song would have gone, but at least it allows one to appreciate this wonderful lost gem until the full version hopefully becomes available someday. The edited version is a full minute longer, at two and a half minutes.

You can download just the song here:

Or, I've made a compilation of all of Harrison's stray tracks from the 1990s, and I've just added this song to that. You can download that here:

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Paul Weller - Devotion - Various Songs (2009-2012)

Here's the next in my long series of Paul Weller stray tracks albums. The man is so damn prolific! As you probably know by now, I have two main kinds of these albums: acoustic and non-acoustic. This is one of the non-acoustic ones.

It's surprising to me how consistent these stray tracks albums are, because I just grabbed songs of a given time period. Typically, these contain at least one Jam song done in concert, and that's the case here ("Strange Town"). Then these usually is a redone Style Council song, which is also true ("Shout to the Top"). He also likes to do covers of classics, and we have two of those this time ("How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" and "What a Difference a Day Made"). We also often see collaborations with other artists, and there are three of those too ("Andromeda," "Let Me in Peace," and "Sun Grazers"). Plus, he loves putting original songs as bonus tracks and/or B-sides, and that's the case with the three remaining songs.

Weller is nothing if not consistently good, so here's another consistently good batch of songs from him.

This album is 47 minutes long.

UPDATE: On October 31, 2022, I updated the mp3 download file. I moved two songs, "Love's Got Me Crazy" and "Shout to the Top," from the previous stray tracks album in this series, "This Old Town." I also added one song I'd previously missed, "Mistress Brown." But to make room for these new songs, I also moved two songs, "Birthday" and "My Ever Changing Moods," to the next album in this series, "The Piper."

01 Love's Got Me Crazy (Dot Allison & Paul Weller)
02 Shout to the Top (Paul Weller)
03 7&3 Is the Striker's Name (Paul Weller)
04 Strange Town (Paul Weller)
05 Andromeda (Paul Weller & Corinne Bailey Rae)
06 How Sweet It Is [To Be Loved by You] (Paul Weller)
07 What a Difference a Day Makes (Paul Weller)
08 Let Me in Peace (Souad Massi & Paul Weller)
09 Mistress Brown (Paul Weller)
10 Starlite (Paul Weller)
11 Devotion (Paul Weller)
12 Sun Grazers (Kate Rusby & Paul Weller)
13 Lay Down Your Weary Burden (Paul Weller)

The cover art uses a photo of Weller from 2010.

Norah Jones with the Charlie Hunter Quartet - Day Is Done - Various Songs (2001)

I'm very proud of this album, because I feel I've put together an album that could have sold very well, and yet nothing like this has been even bootlegged yet.

Yesterday, I stumbled across a bootleg of a Charlie Hunter Quartet concert from 2001, with Norah Jones sitting in to sing a couple of songs. I already had two songs from a 2001 Charlie Hunter Quartet album with Jones singing, and they were different songs. So I wondered if I could scrape up enough songs to put a whole album together.

It turns out Jones never really sang extensively with the Quarter, but in late 2001 she did show up at a number of their concerts to have a guest spot in which she sang a couple of songs each time. Luckily, it turns out that she sang a variety of songs. Even more luckily, I was able to find soundboard bootleg recordings in nearly every case. (One song comes from an obscure officially released live compilation album, and another is from an in-person radio station appearance.)

Thus, it turns out there's enough material for an entire album of Jones singing with the Charlie Hunter Quartet. At the time, Jones was a "nobody," though with great potential. Given that, only a few months later, she would release her first solo album and it would go on to sell 30 million copies (!), I'm sure the Charlie Hunter Quartet were kicking themselves that they didn't record a full album with her. Finally, after all these years, here it is.

I'm sure that if this had been released at the time, it would have sold at least a million copies from the Norah Jones name alone. But the good news we don't just have to lean on her name, because the music is excellent. This is more of a collaborative effort than most of Jones' stuff, with lots of talented jazzy soloing.

And what's really nice is that almost all the songs have never been done by Jones before or since. The songs "Day Is Done" and "More than This" (covers of Nick Drake and Roxy Music respectively) are the two songs that were officially released on a 2001 Charlie Hunter Quartet album.

"Tennessee Waltz" has been played live by Jones sometimes in her solo career, but it's never been officially released (unless one counts its appearance on a "Live in New Orleans" DVD).

So that leaves just "Turn Me On," which was included on "Come Away with Me," that 2002 album of hers that sold 30 million copies. If you don't want the duplication of that song, I've put it at the end so you can remove that and you'll still have a 35-minute long album.

I'm not sure who wrote "Old Country." "Close Your Eyes" appears on the 2001 Charlie Hunter Quartet album that Jones guested on, but it's sung by someone else there. "Love Having You Around" is a cover of a Stevie Wonder song. The Quartet apparently have never put it on an album. "It Makes No Difference Now" is an old country song that was also recorded by Ray Charles, and the Quartet apparently never released their version of that either.

It's a shame that no album like this was ever released, because the songs here are all good, and most of the songs generally have been "lost" even for Jones and/or Charlie Hunter fans.

This album is 40 minutes long.

01 Day Is Done (Charlie Hunter Quartet with Norah Jones)
02 Old Country (Charlie Hunter Quartet with Norah Jones)
03 Close Your Eyes (Charlie Hunter Quartet with Norah Jones)
04 More than This (Charlie Hunter Quartet with Norah Jones)
05 Tennessee Waltz (Charlie Hunter Quartet with Norah Jones)
06 Love Having You Around (Charlie Hunter Quartet with Norah Jones)
07 It Makes No Difference Now (Charlie Hunter Quartet with Norah Jones)
08 Turn Me On (Charlie Hunter Quartet with Norah Jones)

I made the cover art, but I don't know what year the photo is from. Based on her haircut though, I'm guessing it's from very early in her career.

Joe Jackson - You Can't Be Too Strong - Cover Versions, 1995 - 2003

Last week, Joe Jackson released a new album called "Fool." It's really good, and I'm not just saying that, because I have no incentive to hype him. To celebrate, I'm going to post more stuff from him.

Jackson is a great singer-songwriter. But since the late 1990s especially, he's peppered his concerts with occasional cover versions, and it turns out he's very good at singing other people's songs too. I've made three albums of all the covers he's done that I could find in suitable sound quality. Here's the first one.

When Jackson does covers, he often likes to do them completely solo, just himself and his piano. About half of the songs here are like that and the rest are with his band. The vast majority are done live. As I usually do, I removed the crowd noise whenever I could manage to do it without cutting anything important. Six of the songs here have been officially released.

There are a couple of songs where the sound quality is less than ideal. I'm thinking of "Drive-In Saturday," "Karma Police," and "Heroes." But I think they sound good enough. A notch below is "Junkie Girl," so I only included that as a bonus track for those who don't mind sound quality issues so much. There are even more covers I could have included except the sound quality was worse, and too bad for me to deem even as bonus tracks.

Here are the artists Jackson covers on this album: XTC, Radiohead, the Yardbirds, the Beatles (twice), Steely Dan (also the bonus track), the Lovin' Spoonful, David Bowie (twice), Graham Parker, Crowded House, Todd Rundgren, and Ron Sexsmith.

I made some significant edits to "For Your Love." Jackson has always played it as a medley with his own "Fools in Love." For this album, I had to split it from the medley to stand on its own. But it turns out he only played about half of the song, doing about a minute of soloing and a minute of singing. So I added in another instrumental section from a different part of the medley that fit musically, and then repeated the minute of singing at the end. I think it sounds like an entire song now, instead of half of one.

01 Statue of Liberty (Joe Jackson)
02 Karma Police (Joe Jackson)
03 Senses Working Overtime (Joe Jackson)
04 For Your Love [Edit] (Joe Jackson)
05 Eleanor Rigby (Joe Jackson)
06 King of the World (Joe Jackson)
07 Summer in the City (Joe Jackson)
08 Drive-In Saturday (Joe Jackson)
09 For No One (Joe Jackson)
10 You Can't Be Too Strong (Joe Jackson)
11 'Heroes' (Joe Jackson)
12 I Feel Possessed (Joe Jackson)
13 Couldn't I Just Tell You (Joe Jackson)
14 Don't Ask Why (Joe Jackson)

Junkie Girl (Joe Jackson)

The cover art comes from a still of a YouTube video of Jackson playing a song in the studio in 2001.

Robyn Hitchcock - Respect - Acoustic Versions (1993)

I have a million Robyn Hitchcock albums to post, and here's the next one. If you've been following this blog, you may have noticed that I try to post an all-acoustic version of each of his studio albums. This is the acoustic version of his 1993 album "Respect."

I think it's particularly important to have an acoustic version of this album, because this is one of two albums he made for A&M Records in the early 1990s, and he would later express regret at how overproduced the two albums were. While the production isn't really that bad, it's not up to his usual standards. He later said he got caught up in the record company hype of wanting to sound current in order to have a big hit.

In all-acoustic form, we can see that Hitchcock's songwriting is as good as usual. The last two songs aren't actually from the album, but are songs he did around that same time that I'll include in different versions on another stray tracks album.

01 The Yip Song (Robyn Hitchcock)
02 Arms of Love (Robyn Hitchcock)
03 Railway Shoes (Robyn Hitchcock)
04 When I Was Dead (Robyn Hitchcock)
05 The Wreck of the Arthur Lee (Robyn Hitchcock)
06 Driving Aloud [Radio Storm] (Robyn Hitchcock)
07 Serpent at the Gates of Wisdom (Robyn Hitchcock)
08 Wafflehead (Robyn Hitchcock)
09 Ivy Alone (Robyn Hitchcock)
10 Zipper in My Spine [Solo Electric Version] (Robyn Hitchcock)

For the cover art, I used a painting by Hitchcock. It appeared as part of the cover for the 1993 single of "Driving Aloud," but in small size and with some lettering over it. I got the full version from Hitchcock's website, then added my own lettering. I also had to crop the rectangular painting to fit the square album cover format.

Arlo Guthrie - Pine Street Theatre, Portland, OR, 11-2-1988

Arlo Guthrie has had an impressive musical career, but I fear that a lot of people are forgetting about him because he hasn't been well represented on record. He does have some fine albums, but I think the best way to appreciate him is to see him in concert. He's as much a storyteller with a great sense of humor as he is a singer or songwriter. He could easily have had another career as a stand-up comedian.

I recently came across a bootleg of a solo acoustic Guthrie concert with flawless sound and a good setlist, so I'm sharing it here with you. This sounds as good as any officially released live album of his. In fact, it's almost too good, in the sense that it's a soundboard with very little audience noise, and in this case that means you can't hear much of the audience reaction when he jokes and such.

This concert is almost as much about Guthrie as storyteller as it is about him as a musician. I made separate tracks of his between song dialogue, and about one-third of the two-hour total time is just him talking. Furthermore, he talks a lot during his songs too. But that's a good thing, since all that talking is a big part of his appeal.

As for the music, this contains all his best known songs, such as "Alice's Restaurant Massacre" (which he plays live only rarely), "The Motorcycle Song," "The City of New Orleans," and "Coming into Los Angeles." So if you want just one Arlo Guthrie concert to listen to, I think this is the one.

01 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
02 Key to the Highway (Arlo Guthrie)
03 Freight Train (Arlo Guthrie)
04 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
05 The Motorcycle Song (Arlo Guthrie)
06 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
07 Oh Mom (Arlo Guthrie)
08 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
09 Coming into Los Angeles (Arlo Guthrie)
10 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
11 My Front Pages (Arlo Guthrie)
12 Darkest Hour (Arlo Guthrie)
13 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
14 I'm Changing My Name to Chrysler (Arlo Guthrie)
15 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
16 I'm Changing My Name to Chrysler, Part 2 (Arlo Guthrie)
17 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
18 I'm Changing My Name to Chrysler, Part 3 (Arlo Guthrie)
19 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
20 Alice's Restaurant Massacre (Arlo Guthrie)
21 The City of New Orleans (Arlo Guthrie)
22 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
23 When a Soldier Makes It Home (Arlo Guthrie)
24 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
25 Gabriel's Mother's Hiway Ballad No.16 Blues (Arlo Guthrie)
26 This Land Is Your Land (Arlo Guthrie)
27 Amazing Grace (Arlo Guthrie)
28 talk (Arlo Guthrie)
29 Highway in the Wind (Arlo Guthrie)

The cover art comes from a screenshot of a concert from that era.

Bob Dylan - She's Your Lover Now - Various Songs (1966)

Some weeks ago, I posted a bunch of Bob Dylan's hotel room demos from 1966, because I made significant edits to all of them. This post is very similar to that one, because the purpose here is to gather up all of Dylan's quality stray tracks from 1966, and four of the nine songs (plus the bonus track) here are exactly the same as those hotel room demos. This is more complete, so I recommend you go with this over that previous posting.

Most every song here has something odd about it. The first one, "Freeze Out," is actually an early version of "Visions of Joanna," and basically has the same lyrics and melody, despite the different title. But it's taken at a significantly faster pace, making it over a minute shorter. I like this fast version enough to include it here.

"Lunatic Princess" has lots of potential, but unfortunately Dylan stops after just a minute and a half. We'll probably never get to find out how the rest of the song goes, but part of it is better than nothing.

"She's Your Lover Now" is a real highlight. Unfortunately, the band broke down and stopped the song not long before it was to finish. There's an acoustic version that finishes the song. Soniclovenoize of the Albums That Never Were blog put together a nice edit using the last bit of the acoustic version to finish off the band version, and I'm using his version here.

"Tell Me Momma" is a Dylan original, but it was only ever done in concert, for some strange reason. So I used a lesser known officially released version and eliminated the crowd noise.

Aside from "I'll Keep It with Mine," the one song here that doesn't need any special comment, the rest of the songs are from the hotel room tapes, and have all been heavily edited by me. For a detailed explanation on what I edited and why, check out my blog post about it:

The short version is that these 1966 demos were officially released on the 18 CD version of the "The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12 - The Cutting Edge" in 2015 but they were in raw form and in very rough shape. Generally speaking, more than one take of each song was included. In most cases, I had to piece together a full version of each song because the song would stop and start, sometimes more than once, due to Dylan not knowing the songs well.

There's one especially tricky bit on "Positively Van Gogh" where Dylan's voice sounds strange, almost as if he just sucked on helium and his voice is too high. That's because I combined two takes in different keys. For the last verse, I had to change the key in a music editing program, so his voice changes too. Please forgive the strangeness. I figured it was better to have that than to have the song incomplete.

I've moved one of the hotel room demos, "Don't Tell Him, Tell Me," to a mere bonus track here, because upon listening to it again, I decided the sound quality isn't up to snuff with the rest. One can't even make out his words most of the time. But it's here if you can overlook that.

01 Freeze Out [Early Version of Visions of Joanna] (Bob Dylan)
02 Lunatic Princess (Bob Dylan)
03 I'll Keep It with Mine (Bob Dylan)
04 She's Your Lover Now [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
05 Positively Van Gogh [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
06 Tell Me, Momma [Live] (Bob Dylan)
07 What Kind of Friend Is This (Bob Dylan)
08 I Can't Leave Her Behind [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
09 If I Was a King [If I Were King of the Forest] [Edit] (Bob Dylan)

Don't Tell Him, Tell Me [Edit] (Bob Dylan)

The cover art is a photo from 1965. I'm not sure, but I'll bet it was an alternate for the "Bringing It All Back Home" cover. Even though this music is from 1966, that photo just cries out to be used as an album cover, so I'm using it. ;) By the way, the woman looking through the doorway is Sara Lownds, the subject of the song "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" and many other Dylan songs from this era. (Note the similarity between her last name and "Lowlands.")

Fleetwood Mac - One Sided Love - Various Songs (1968-1969)

Boy, did I screw up with Fleetwood Mac! A few days ago, I posted three stray tracks albums which I said covered their 1969 material. But a day or so after that, I stumbled across some unreleased BBC material by the band that I'd overlooked. Then I dug deeper and realized there were even more songs they'd played on the BBC but not on any studio albums and were officially released, and I'd overlooked those too. The good news is, I screwed up so badly that I ended up finding pretty much exactly one album's worth of good music (47 minutes) of still more stray tracks from 1968 and 1969. So here it is.

I must say I'm rather impressed at the sheer number of songs the Peter Green-led Fleetwood Mac played, but I'm equally distressed at how shoddily this era has been treated in terms of official releases. There have been a bunch of archival compilations and box sets and live albums and so on, and yet there are many great songs that haven't been released in any form yet.

The sole official BBC compilation, "Live at the BBC," is a particular disappointment. Consider this album alone, which contains five songs in good quality sound that were performed on the BBC and yet not included on that album: "Sweet Little Angel," "Please Find My Baby," "That Ain't It," "Mean Old World," and "You Need Love." I found a bunch more that I decided not to include here because the sound quality wasn't good enough, but it seems likely that a record company putting together official releases would have access to more and better quality recordings.

By the way, if you notice a strong resemblance between the song "You Need Love" and the big Led Zeppelin hit "Whole Lotta Love," that's no coincidence. The Led Zeppelin song steals entire chunks from "You Need Love," which is a song written by Willie Dixon in 1962. This Fleetwood Mac version predates the Led Zeppelin one by about a year. Fleetwood Mac were very popular at the time, so it's interesting to speculate what would have happened had they included their version on an album before Led Zeppelin did. I would guess Led Zeppelin wouldn't have dared release "Whole Lotta Love" (at least not without massive changes) since so many people would have noticed the similarities. (By the way, Led Zeppelin claimed to have written "Whole Lotta Love," but in the 1980s Dixon sued them and got his name added as songwriter and got a chunk of the royalties.)

Most of the songs here are cover versions. But "That Ain't It" and "One Sided Love," at least, appear to be originals. It's sad that after all this time not even all of the band's originals from the Peter Green era have been officially released. I would guess it's because the band went on to so much greater fame and fortune with the "Rumours" version of the band that their early blues years are kind of an afterthought.

Nine of the 14 songs here are from BBC performances, either officially released or not. But I also added five live songs that I found while I took a deeper dive to make sure I didn't miss anything. As I often do, I removed the audience noise to make them fit with the other songs.

This album is 49 minutes long.

01 Sweet Little Angel (Fleetwood Mac)
02 Don't Be Cruel (Fleetwood Mac)
03 Please Find My Baby (Fleetwood Mac)
04 That Ain't It (Fleetwood Mac)
05 Willie and the Hand Jive (Fleetwood Mac)
06 The Woman I Love [My Baby's Skinny] (Fleetwood Mac)
07 I Loved Another Woman (Fleetwood Mac with Paul Butterfield)
08 Ready Teddy (Fleetwood Mac)
09 Mean Old World (Fleetwood Mac)
10 Mind of My Own (Fleetwood Mac)
11 You Need Love (Fleetwood Mac)
12 Sweet Home Chicago (Fleetwood Mac)
13 One Sided Love (Fleetwood Mac)
14 Greeny Alone [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)

The cover art is based on a concert poster from this time period. However, the poster was rectangular and I had to fit it into a square space, so I cut out a chunk (just below "Fleetwood Mac") and I stretched the rest to make it fit. Normally I wouldn't stretch art like that, but in this case I think it works out okay. I also added the text at the bottom.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Ray Davies - 80 Days Demos (1988)

Before I continue posting more Kinks material, I feel the need to post this. This is a well-known bootleg, and I haven't changed anything to it, but I want to help make it better known.

Sadly, in the late 1980s, the Kinks' new albums were not nearly as good as they used to be. Perhaps one reason for that was that main songwriter Ray Davies was losing interest in typical albums full of unrelated songs in favor of this project, which was music for a play put on in 1988 in La Jolla, California called "80 Days."

Unfortunately, while the play was well received, it didn't catch on enough to make it to Broadway, and no soundtrack of its songs has ever been released. Luckily, we have these recordings, of Davies demoing the songs for the play's performers to learn the songs. Even though these are demos, they're fleshed out and sound as good as fully realized studio productions, in my opinion. There's a curious lack of guitars in favor of piano and synthesizers, but the production is tasteful and not ruined by the excesses of 1980s production techniques.

I recently posted "Return to Waterloo" here, which technically is a 1985 Ray Davies solo album but really is a de facto Kinks album, since the Kinks play all the instruments. By contrast, this is Ray Davies' de facto first solo album, since it appears to be done without any Kinks help. It's a real shame he didn't officially release it in any form, because I think the songs are excellent. 

It's hard to figure out the plot of the play from listening to the songs, since it's a complicated story and one doesn't get to hear the dialogue of the rest of the play. Here's a link that can help you if you want to know more:

01 Let It Be Written (Ray Davies)
02 Our World [Empire Song] (Ray Davies)
03 Well Bred Englishman (Ray Davies)
04 Against the Tide (Ray Davies)
05 Ladies of the Night (Ray Davies)
06 On the Map (Ray Davies)
07 It Could Have Been Him - Mongolia - No Surprises (Ray Davies)
08 Welcome to India (Ray Davies)
09 Just Passing Through (Ray Davies)
10 Who Do You Think You Are (Ray Davies)
11 80 Days (Ray Davies)
12 Members of the Club (Ray Davies)
13 Conspiracy (Ray Davies)
14 Tell Him, Tell Her (Ray Davies)
15 Be Rational (Ray Davies)

For the cover, I used the artwork designed for the play, but I removed the text "A new musical" - which ceased being true after 1988 - and replaced that with Ray Davie's name.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Larkin Poe - Still More Tip O' the Hat (2018)

The Larkin Poe YouTube webpage - - has a section called "Tip O' the Hat" which features the talented duo playing classic songs by others with just the two of them and their guitars. I collected these into albums of about 45 minutes each, which I have called "Tip O' the Hat" and "More Tip O' the Hat." It's taken a few months, but there finally are enough songs for another album. I'm calling it "Still More Tip O' the Hat."

I don't have much more to say except that if you like the two previous albums in this series, you'll like this one just as much. As you can see from the song list, most of the songs are well known classic rock songs from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, but there also is the occasional blues song such as "I Just Can't Be Satisfied," "Death Came a-Knockin'" and "Don't You Mind People Grinnin' in Your Face."

This album is 44 minutes long.

01 Hard to Handle (Larkin Poe)
02 Day Tripper (Larkin Poe)
03 Crawlin' King Snake (Larkin Poe)
04 Sometimes (Larkin Poe)
05 Ophelia (Larkin Poe)
06 Hard Time Killing Floor Blues (Larkin Poe)
07 I Can't Be Satisfied (Larkin Poe)
08 Helplessly Hoping (Larkin Poe)
09 Baby Please Don't Leave Me (Larkin Poe)
10 Listen to Her Heart (Larkin Poe)
11 Jesus Is Just Alright (Larkin Poe)
12 Death Came A-Knockin' (Larkin Poe)
13 Everyday Is a Winding Road (Larkin Poe)
14 China White (Larkin Poe)
15 Maggie May (Larkin Poe)
16 Thank God I'm a Country Boy (Larkin Poe)

I made the cover from a 2018 photo of Larkin Poe.

Fleetwood Mac - Oh Well - Various Songs (1969)

Here's the third and final of the three 1969 Fleetwood Mac stray tracks albums.

The key song here, which I've also made the title song, is "Oh Well." This was a big hit and remains one of the band's best known songs. Sometimes the lively, vocal "Part 1" gets played, and sometimes the longer, instrumental "Part 2" gets played with it. On the side, "Part 1" was the A-side and "Part 2" was the B-side. For this album, I've chosen to start it with "Part 1" and end it with "Part 2." But for those who prefer the full version, I've included "Oh Well, Parts 1 & 2" as a bonus track.

Aside from that, I've filled the album with other stray tracks. These are more "stray" than usual, since none of them are A- or B-sides. Instead, four are from the archival compilation "The Vaudeville Years." Two more were exclusively played live at the BBC. Another, "Lemon Squeezer," was only played live in concert, so I've used a recording from an official live album ("Shrine '69") and removed the crowd noise.

The longest song here by far is "The Madge Sessions, Part 1," which is 17 minutes long. I've included the song "The Madge Sessions, Part 2" on the "English Rose" album, but it's a very different song that's only three minutes long, although both are instrumentals.

Note that I haven't included all the non-album tracks from 1969 that I could have - I only included what I considered the good ones. In particular, I don't have much fondness for most of the songs sung by band member Jeremy Spencer. Most of his songs were copies of other artists, especially Elmore James, or songs attempting to be humorous, or both. I find the copies unoriginal and the "humorous" songs unfunny. For instance, there was an entire EP of Spencer's songs called "The Milton Schitz Show" to be released as a bonus to the "They Play On" album, but the record company decided they weren't worthy of release (wisely, in my opinion). His parodies and copies probably were entertaining in concert, and added some variety to the band's sound as a whole, but they haven't stood up well as recordings.

This album is 48 minutes long, not counting the bonus track.

01 Oh Well, Part 1 (Fleetwood Mac)
02 Tallahassee Lassie (Fleetwood Mac)
03 Blues with a Feeling (Fleetwood Mac)
04 Lemon Squeezer [Live] (Fleetwood Mac)
05 The Madge Sessions, No. 1 [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)
06 Tell Me from the Start (Fleetwood Mac)
07 Everyday I Have the Blues (Fleetwood Mac)
08 My Baby's Sweeter (Fleetwood Mac)
09 Oh Well, Part 2 [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)

Oh Well, Parts 1 & 2 (Fleetwood Mac)

For the album cover, I used the exact cover of the "Oh Well" single. However, I removed some small text that said "Parts 1 and 2."

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Fleetwood Mac - English Rose - Alternate Version (1969)

Here is the second of three stray tracks albums for Fleetwood Mac in 1969.

Although the band only released one album of all-new studio material in 1969, but they also put out two compilations of miscellaneous songs, generally made up of A- and B-sides. In Britain, the album was called "The Pious Bird of Good Omen." Even though I prefer to go with British albums as the more definitive ones, this album is a real mess. Despite having lots of other songs to choose from, it contains songs from previously released albums as well as two songs by obscure blues musician Eddie Boyd, which are only backed by Fleetwood Mac. The band backed lots of blues musicians around this time, so it's very strange why they choose these two songs by this particular person.

So I've decided to ignore that album altogether and draw from the US compilation album, called "English Rose." This album also was an inexplicable mess, containing no less than six songs from the previously released studio album "Mr. Wonderful," as well as some A- and B-sides. But it also had three songs that hadn't been released anywhere else yet. So I've ignored all the "Mr. Wonderful" songs, but I've used the other songs as the basis for this album.

That only makes up seven songs. Due to all those needlessly duplicated "Mr. Wonderful" songs, the album is still too short. So I've added in some more stray tracks from the time to fill out the rest. Four more songs come from the later archival release "Jumping at Shadows - The Blues Years," and one more song comes from the later archival release "The Vaudeville Years." One more song comes from a BBC compilation.

There's also one song here that isn't a Fleetwood Mac song at all, but I figure it's close enough for horseshoes. That's "Hard Work" by the band Tramp. Tramp was a short-lived side group that contained guitarist Danny Kirwan and drummer Mick Fleetwood after they already were in Fleetwood Mac. Tramp had a female lead singer, so the songs with vocals don't fit here. But their 1969 album contains one instrumental, "Hard Work," written by Kirwan and prominently featuring his lead guitar work. I think it sounds almost exactly like other Fleetwood Mac instrumentals by Kirwan.

Unlike the other 1969 stray tracks album I just posted, "Watch Out," this one has songs in a variety of styles. It also contains two big hits, "Man of the World" and "Albatross."

This album is 46 minutes long.

01 Man of the World (Fleetwood Mac)
02 Albatross [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)
03 Something Inside of Me (Fleetwood Mac)
04 Someone's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonite (Fleetwood Mac)
05 Jigsaw Puzzle Blues [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)
06 One Sunny Day (Fleetwood Mac)
07 Without You (Fleetwood Mac)
08 Hard Work [Instrumental] (Tramp (with Danny Kirwan & Mick Fleetwood))
09 Showbiz Blues (Fleetwood Mac)
10 I Have to Laugh (Fleetwood Mac)
11 The Madge Sessions, No. 2 [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)
12 Jumping at Shadows (Fleetwood Mac)
13 Like It This Way (Fleetwood Mac)
14 Farewell [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)

For the album cover, I simply used the cover of the official "English Rose."

Fleetwood Mac - Watch Out - Various Songs (1969)

Fleetwood Mac only released one studio album of all new material in 1969, "Then Played On," but it was a very busy year for the band. Guitarist Peter Green would start having serious mental problems in 1970 that would lead to him leaving the band and then quitting music altogether for some years after that, so 1969 ended up being the peak of of the Peter Green-led Fleetwood Mac years.

There are so many stray tracks from 1969 that I've made three albums just for the year. This is the first. Actually, this one isn't exactly a stray tracks compilation, because most of the songs come from one studio album which was released in 1969. It's just that I'm not a big fan of the album, so I'm only taking some songs from it to add with some other songs to make a full album.

I speak of the album sometimes known as "Fleetwood Mac in Chicago," but also sometimes known as "Blues Jam in Chicago." It's a double album of Fleetwood Mac playing with seven blues veterans in Chicago. It's not really a studio album of all new material because it's more of a collaboration with those blues musicians, generally doing blues standards instead of originals. The problem for me is that it just isn't that inspired, in my opinion. gives it two stars out of five, and that's about what I would give it too. It sounds like a great match of musicians, but many of the songs just didn't have the band's usual spark. So I've taken what I consider the best performances by Fleetwood Mac (as opposed to the blues veterans), including all of the handful of original songs.

Even though it's a double album, I still didn't find enough songs I really like to make a full album out of it. So I've added four more songs to the end of Peter Green playing with the Brunning Sunflower Blues Band. True, technically these aren't Fleetwood Mac songs, but Green sings and plays as well as ever on these four songs. At least one official Fleetwood Mac compilation includes them as Fleetwood Mac songs, so I'm doing the same.

The end result is that this album is very heavily blues-based. Generally speaking, Fleetwood Mac in the Peter Green era tended to break up their blues with some other kinds of music, but every single song here is bluesy. I've saved the non-bluesy stray tracks for the other 1969 albums I've put together, so one can go all the way into their blues mode on this one.

This album is 47 minutes long.

01 Homework (Fleetwood Mac)
02 Talk with You (Fleetwood Mac)
03 Red Hot Jam [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)
04 Watch Out (Fleetwood Mac)
05 Ooh Baby (Fleetwood Mac)
06 Sugar Mama (Fleetwood Mac)
07 Rockin' Boogie [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)
08 Can't Believe You Wanna Leave (Fleetwood Mac)
09 If You Let Me Love You (Brunning Sunflower Blues Band with Peter Green)
10 Ride with Your Daddy Tonight (Brunning Sunflower Blues Band with Peter Green)
11 It Takes Time (Brunning Sunflower Blues Band with Peter Green)
12 Uranus [Take II] [Instrumental] (Brunning Sunflower Blues Band with Peter Green)

For the cover, I used the cover of the "Fleetwood Mac in Chicago" album as the basis. But in addition to changing the text, I also changed the photo with a picture of the band in 1969.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Jimi Hendrix - Highway of Desire - Various Songs (1970)

Here's the second of the two Jimi Hendrix studio albums with his band the Band of Gypsys I've organized. I explained most of what I'm doing here in my previous post, so please read that if you haven't already.

That one, which I call "Message to Love," covers the Band of Gypsys studio recordings done in December 1969. This one covers their studio recordings from January 1970. As I explained in that previous post, that's all the band did during their short life, since they broke up by the end of January.

Even though the band didn't record that much in the studio, it luckily turns out that there's enough unique material for two albums of nearly 50 minutes of music each.

Two of the songs here, "Stepping Stone" and "Izabella," were actually released as the A- and B-sides to a single in 1970. But for whatever reason, Hendrix got cold feet and cancelled the single shortly after it was released, leaving it an obscurity. I used the actual versions put out on the single, which can be hard to find. Both songs were partially recorded in late 1969 and January 1970, but I put them in this album since that's when they were finished.

Everything else but those two songs were recorded on either January 21 or January 23, 1970. Four of the songs have been officially released (two on the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" box set, and one each on "South Saturn Delta" and "Blues").

However, the four remaining songs still remain officially unreleased, and those need some special explanation. I'm referring to: "Highway of Broken Hearts," "Highway of Desire," "Seven Dollars in My Pocket," and "Highway of Desire, Part 2." They were all recorded in one continuous jam on January 23, and one might argue that they're essentially all part of one very long song. But I prefer to treat them as separate songs. I did some research into this using some books on Hendrix and they're generally considered separate songs, but they're obviously closely related, especially "Highway of Desire" and "Highway of Desire, Part 2." They're all bluesy, and in similar tempos. I tried listening to them all together, and I felt they blended together in a forgettable way. They sounded more interesting to me by separating them and interspersing them with different songs, so that's what I've done here.

If you're very familiar with Hendrix's music, you'll notice that many of the songs on this album or the other Band of Gypsys I just posted contain songs that appeared on posthumous albums like "The Cry of Love" and "First Rays of the New Rising Sun." As it turns out, Hendrix recorded so many new songs in the last year of his life that I have another stray tracks album to go of songs after January 1970. Plus, I have other Hendrix stuff to post after that, such as lots of his acoustic recordings.

01 Stepping Stone (Jimi Hendrix)
02 Highway of Broken Hearts (Jimi Hendrix)
03 Izabella (Jimi Hendrix)
04 Country Blues [Instrumental] (Jimi Hendrix)
05 Highway of Desire (Jimi Hendrix)
06 Power of Soul (Jimi Hendrix)
07 Seven Dollars in My Pocket (Jimi Hendrix)
08 Astro Man (Jimi Hendrix)
09 Highway of Desire, Part 2 (Jimi Hendrix)
10 Once I Had a Woman (Jimi Hendrix)

For the cover art, I used a 1968 concert poster designed by Rick Griffin. Since I was able to come up with two albums's worth of Band of Gypsys material, I picked the art because they were obviously designed to be similar to each other, yet different.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Jimi Hendrix - Message to Love - Various Songs (1969)

I want to get back to posting more Jimi Hendrix. As I've been working my way chronologically through his career, I've reached late 1969, which means his time as part of the Band of Gypsys.

The Band of Gypsys actually was together only for a short time, a couple of months. They had some studio and rehearsal sessions in December 1969 in preparation for their first concerts, on December 31, 1979 and January 1, 1970. Then they had some more studio sessions in January 1970. They started a third concert on January 28, 1970, but Hendrix apparently was having a bad acid trip at the time and the concert quickly came to an end. The band collapsed immediately thereafter, in controversial circumstances. (Some think Hendrix's manager Michael Jeffery gave Hendrix the bad acid in hopes of ruining the band, to pressure him to reunite with the more lucrative Experience band.)

As a result, there's a limited amount of material for me to choose from to make Band of Gypsys studios albums. (There's no point in touching the material from their two New Year's live shows, since that is so well known.)  Luckily, it turns out I was able to find about one album's worth from the December 1969 material, and another album from the January 1970 material. This is the first one.

There are all sorts of ways to organize Hendrix's material. This album starts to get into the songs that would show up on posthumous releases like "The Cry of Love" and "First Rays of the New Rising Sun." I'm not going to worry about any such overlap, because the idea here is to imagine what a Band of Gypsys studio album (or two studio albums) could have looked like, and obviously if that kind of thing would have come out in Hendrix's lifetime then the posthumous releases would have looked different.

I had a challenge of limiting myself to a maximum of 50 minutes or so of music with each album. To do that, I edited the instrumental version of "Born under a Bad Sign." The song comes to a complete stop after five minutes and then resumes for a couple more minutes, but I edited it to end at the stop.

Also, I really wanted a studio version of "We Gotta Live Together," since that was a key Band of Gypsys song. However, the only studio version I could find, on bootleg, lasts less than a minute! So I used that, but I added four more minutes from a soundboard concert recording from Newport, California, in June 1969. The Band of Gypsys didn't exist yet then, but Buddy Miles was playing with Hendrix on that day, and they were the two key figures in that song (which is mostly a song by Miles). So this is the closest I could come to a studio sounding version without using anything from the two Band of Gypsys New Year's shows.

Aside from the two above mentioned songs, everything else here was recorded on December 18 or 19, 1969, but they've come out on a variety of different archival albums, since the people putting those albums together make little to no effort to organize his music chronologically. The songs come from "Voodoo Soup," "People, Hell and Angels," "The Baggy's Rehearsal Sessions," "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" (box set), and one song, "Who Knows" comes from a bootleg. "Born under a Bad Sign," mentioned above, was recorded slightly earlier, on December 15, and was released on the album "Blues."

01 Message to Love (Jimi Hendrix)
02 Born Under a Bad Sign [Instrumental] [Edit] (Jimi Hendrix)
03 Earth Blues (Jimi Hendrix)
04 [I'm Your] Hoochie Coochie Man (Jimi Hendrix)
05 Who Knows (Jimi Hendrix)
06 Them Changes (Jimi Hendrix)
07 Burning Desire (Jimi Hendrix)
08 Ezy Ryder (Jimi Hendrix)
09 We Gotta Live Together [Edit] (Jimi Hendrix)

By the way, I suppose I should list the artist as "Band of Gypsys" instead of "Jimi Hendrix," but I like having Hendrix's name on all of his songs for all of his albums, so I'm doing it this way for simplicity's sake.

The cover art comes from a 1968 concert poster by the great poster artist Rick Griffin. The headliner was for the band Iron Butterfly, and Hendrix wasn't on the bill. I changed the text. I picked this particular cover art because Griffin did another poster for a Hendrix show that's very similar artistically, and I'm using that for the other Band of Gypsys album.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Donovan - Universal Soldier - Various Songs (1965)

Donovan is a curious case for me. I think a lot of his songs are great, but there are many I consider duds. There are only a few of his albums I like all the way through. But it also turns out that he has lots of good songs that have only come out in obscure ways, such as bonus tracks, or not come out at all.

This album is a case in point. At the start of Donovan's career, in 1964 and 1965, he was in pure folkie mode, doing everything with just his vocals and acoustic guitar. This is the era that's his most consistent, in my opinion. He put out two albums in 1965, "What's Bin Did and What's Bin Hid" and "Fairytale." In addition, there's an archival release called "Sixty Four" that covers most of his songs recorded in 1964. This album covers all his stray tracks from 1965. I was surprised to find there's just as much good music here as on either of his official 1965 albums.

The first half of this album consists of officially released material. He put out the EP "Universal Soldier" with three unique songs on it. Additionally, two more songs came out on a single ("Turquoise"), plus two more have come out on an archival collection.

The second half of the album is all still officially unreleased material. But I think it's just as strong, and the sound quality is surprisingly good for the time period. Half of these songs were played in concert, and the other half were played on the BBC. I suppose the reason many of these didn't get released at the time is that they were cover versions and he probably wanted to emphasize his original material.

Two of the songs are covers of Bob Dylan songs, and I'm guessing he especially wanted to avoid releasing any of those, since he was getting criticized as being a Dylan clone. But I really like both of them. He gives "Who Killed Davey Moore" a somewhat different arrangement that I think improves the song. "Daddy, You've Been on My Mind" is usually known as "Mama, You've Been on My Mind." I'm puzzled why he switched the gender, since Dylan and the other men who have covered it have called it "Mama."

Oh, by the way,  "Legend of a Girl Child Linda" is a Donovan original that later appeared on the "Sunshine Superman" album. But I prefer this version, without what I consider unnecessary orchestration.

01 Universal Soldier (Donovan)
02 Do You Hear Me Now (Donovan)
03 The War Drags On (Donovan)
04 Why Do You Treat Me like You Do (Donovan)
05 Every Man Has His Chain (Donovan)
06 Turquoise (Donovan)
07 Hey Gyp [Dig the Slowness] (Donovan)
08 Needle of Death (Donovan)
09 Legend of a Girl Child Linda (Donovan)
10 Sweet Joy (Donovan)
11 Bert's Blues (Donovan)
12 Who Killed Davey Moore (Donovan)
13 Working on the Railroad (Donovan)
14 Running from Home (Donovan)
15 Daddy. You've Been on My Mind (Donovan)

The cover is the cover of the 1965 "Universal Soldier" EP, without any changes.

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Indigo Girls - Closer to Fine - Acoustic Versions (1990-1993)

Here's the second in a series of albums of all acoustic versions of the Indigo Girls' best songs. Of course, their music is generally acoustic-based to begin with, but they generally have had full-band arrangements on their albums. This strips them all the way down to just their voices and acoustic guitars.

I've posted one album in this series already, which covers the years 1988 to 1989. That was the time when they released their breakthrough album simply called "Indigo Girls." That had the hit song "Closer to Fine" on it, but I didn't put that song on my first acoustic album, because I couldn't find an excellent sounding all-acoustic version. It's here instead, because I found the version I was looking for, from 1990.

Virtually all the other songs here are acoustic versions of songs from their next two albums, "Nomads, Indians, Saints" in 1990 and "Rites of Passage" in 1992. Personally, I think the late 1980s and early 1990s were their creative peak, and there's no doubt that was their peak of commercial success.

Thanks again to the website, for making available all the unreleased material that allowed me to find the best sounding acoustic recordings, usually from in-studio radio appearances.

01 Watershed (Indigo Girls)
02 Closer to Fine (Indigo Girls)
03 Hammer and a Nail (Indigo Girls)
04 World Falls (Indigo Girls)
05 Joking (Indigo Girls)
06 Cedar Tree (Indigo Girls)
07 Love Will Come to You (Indigo Girls)
08 Ghost (Indigo Girls)
09 Jonas and Ezekial (Indigo Girls)
10 Galileo (Indigo Girls)
11 Romeo and Juliet (Indigo Girls)

I named this album "Closer to Fine" mainly so I could use this cover, which is a little known cover, based on the "maxi-single" version of their hit single. I added some text at the bottom. The original photo on it was black and white, so I colorized it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Los Lobos - Little Heaven - Various Songs (1999)

1999 was a busy year for Los Lobos-related album releases. Los Lobos released the album "This Time," and the two main singer-songwriters in the band, David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas, released the second album from their experimental side project band, the Latin Playboys, called "Dose." On top of that, Rosas released his first solo album, "Soul Disguise."

Unfortunately, I feel Hidalgo and Rosas spent too much time on their side projects and not enough on Los Lobos itself, because "This Time" was far below the standards the band set with previous albums, especially the pinnacle of "Kiko" earlier in the decade. I was so disappointed by the album that I only found four songs on it that I liked. So what I've done here is combined the three Los Lobos-related 1999 albums to make one album of their best material that year.

If you own "This Time" and like all or most of the songs on it, this probably isn't the album for you. Although if you remove the songs from "This Time" here, you'd still get a 27 minute-long album, since I think a majority of the good songs they did in 1999 came out on other albums.

Los Lobos was busy in the 1990s putting out songs for soundtracks and various artists compilations, but I only know of one such song from 1999. That's a cover of the classic Jimi Hendrix song "Are You Experienced." So I've included that at the end.

01 Latin Trip (Latin Playboys)
02 Little Heaven (Cesar Rosas)
03 Shack and Shamb (Cesar Rosas)
04 Lemon 'n Ice (Latin Playboys)
05 Soul Disguise (Cesar Rosas)
06 Struck (Cesar Rosas)
07 This Time (Los Lobos)
08 Oh Yeah (Los Lobos)
09 Viking (Los Lobos)
10 Turn Around (Los Lobos)
11 Are You Experienced (Los Lobos)

The cover was made by Peter of the Albums I Wish Existed blog. I'm not sure where he found the art for the picture.

Ray Davies & the Kinks - Return to Waterloo - Alternate Version (1985)

Before I continue with my series of Kinks stray tracks albums, I have to post this, since I consider it a "must have" for any serious Kinks fan.

This is kind of a Kinks album and kind of a Ray Davies solo album, which is why I put both in the title. In short, it was supposed to be a Kinks soundtrack album to go with a short film written and directed by Ray. Unfortunately, his brother and band member Dave Davies refused to take part for some reason, even though Ray definitely wanted him to. It's all the other Kinks except for Dave, and since he's the lead guitarist there's almost no lead guitar since Ray didn't pick someone else to take his place. I consider it a Kinks album in every way but a technicality of not having Dave's permission to call it that.

In any case, Kinks albums from the 1980s get a lot of criticism for being subpar, but I think this album is really good! I consider it the best Kinks album of the decade... except for one thing: it's rather short. It wasn't very long to begin with, and it includes three songs from the Kinks album that came out just one year earlier, "Word of Mouth." I removed those three songs, since I dislike having duplicates like that in my music collection. That makes the album even shorter!

Luckily, it turns out there's one song that was featured in the "Return to Waterloo" film but never made it onto the album for some reason, "Ladder of Success." A good chunk of the vocals are not Ray's, but he gets more involved in the second half of the song. (I don't know who is singing exactly, but in the film version, actors generally sing most of the songs.) Additionally, an alternate version of the title song "Return to Waterloo" has been released on an archival Kinks collection, so I've put that at the end.

Thanks to those two extra songs, the album ends up being just barely over 30 minutes long. That's still pretty short, but in this case I'll take quality over quantity. With the exception of the short introductory instrumental, all the songs are really strong. This album needs to be heard and appreciated by more Kinks fans! Yes, it has typical 1980s production, with a big drum sound and synthesizers, but in this case I think that fits the songs reasonably well. At the very least, if you like early 1980s Kinks albums, you should like this.

By the way, I've added a bonus track, which is an alternate version of the song "Voices in the Dark." Unlike the alternate version of "Return to Waterloo," I don't see much difference here, except for how the song begins. So I wasn't going to include it, but I felt obliged to take it on for those who might be completists.

01 Intro [Instrumental] (Ray Davies)
02 Return to Waterloo (Ray Davies)
03 Lonely Hearts (Ray Davies)
04 Not Far Away (Ray Davies)
05 Expectations (Ray Davies)
06 Voices in the Dark (Ray Davies)
07 Ladder of Success (Ray Davies)
08 Return to Waterloo [Alternate Version] (Ray Davies)

Voices in the Dark [Alternate Version] (Ray Davies)

I used the cover of the official album with no changes.

Norah Jones - Sweet Dreams - Various Songs (2002-2003)

I've said this in my past Norah Jones posts, but I'm going to keep saying it, because I feel so many people misunderstand her: don't judge Jones by her well-known albums. Her stray tracks are usually better, because A) there's more variety, and B) she does a lot of covers of classic songs instead of doing her own usually merely good songs.

This album is another case in point. Once again, we see all sorts of interesting covers, of songs by Johnny Cash, Irma Thomas, the Band, the Rolling Stones (a lesser known song, "The Worst"),  Ira Gershwin, and more. And she collaborates with many, from jazz pianist Marian McPartland to hip hop duo OutKast! Admittedly, the OutKast collaboration sounds nothing like hip hop, but it's typical of her attitude of being willing to work with just about anyone.

This album is 43 minutes long.

01 The Worst (Norah Jones)
02 Ruler of My Heart (Dirty Dozen Brass Band with Norah Jones)
03 No Easy Way Down (Norah Jones)
04 Sweet Dreams (Norah Jones with the Jim Campilongo Electric Trio)
05 I Can't Get Started (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
06 Ride On (Norah Jones)
07 September in the Rain (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
08 Tell Me (Norah Jones & Wax Poetic)
09 I Walk the Line (Joel Harrison with Norah Jones)
10 It Makes No Difference (Norah Jones)
11 Take Off Your Cool (OutKast with Norah Jones)

I made the cover from a 2003 publicity photo.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Kirsty MacColl - Sun on the Water - Various Songs (1997-2000)

Here's the last of my Kirsty MacColl stray tracks albums, going to her untimely murder in late 2000. I have mentioned previously that I think her musical career just got better and better as she got older, in contrast to most musicians who tend to peak early. So out of all of the stray tracks albums, I think this one is the strongest.

In the last few years of MacColl's life, she spent a lot of time in Latin America, and that led her to incorporate Latin musical styles, especially Brazilian musical styles, into her own music. This can be clearly seen on her last (and best) album "Tropical Brainstorm," released in 2000. Not surprisingly, many of the songs here have that same influence. She even covers a song by the great Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim ("Insensitive").

But she had many other influences, and those can be seen here as well. She also does covers of songs by the Isley Brothers ("Harvest for the World"), Randy Newman ("Sail Away"), and Ian Dury and the Blockheads ("Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick"). But the rest of the songs were written by MacColl. One song, "Celestine," appears on her "Tropical Brainstorm" album. But this is the demo version, and I think it's different enough to merit inclusion.

Speaking of demos, I also am departing from my usual ways by having the same song appear twice, "Sun on the Water." That was the last song she ever wrote and recorded, right before her death. I think it's an excellent song, and the demo is fairly different from the studio version, so I've included both versions here. The rest of the album is in rough chronological order, but I didn't want to have two versions of the same song close to each other, so I have the versions start and end the album.

Two songs, "The Great Silence" and "I Believe in Love," were recorded in early 2001, right before her death, but weren't released until 2008, on a very obscure various artists compilation.

This album is 51 minutes long.

01 Sun on the Water [Demo] (Kirsty MacColl)
02 Libertango (Sharon Shannon with Kirsty MacColl)
03 Sail Away (Ghostland & Kirsty MacColl)
04 Picking Up the Pieces [Instrumental] (Kirsty MacColl)
05 Celestine [Demo] (Kirsty MacColl)
06 Golden Heart (Kirsty MacColl)
07 Things Happen (Kirsty MacColl)
08 Harvest for the World (Kirsty MacColl)
09 Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick (Kirsty MacColl)
10 Good for Me (Kirsty MacColl)
11 Manhattan Moon (Kirsty MacColl)
12 Insensitive [Insensatez] (Kirsty MacColl)
13 The Great Silence (Philip Chevron, Ronnie Drew & Kirsty MacColl)
14 I Believe in Love (Kirsty MacColl)
15 Sun on the Water (Kirsty MacColl)

For the album cover, I used the cover to the 1995 single "Caroline." I erased the title and changed the text.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

John Entwistle - Smash Your Head Against the Wall - Alternate Version (1971)

I've been asked to post more music from the Who. Indeed, it's been a long while since I've posted anything from them. But before I get to that, I feel I need to post this, because I consider it an important part of my Who collection.

John Entwistle, bassist for the Who, consistently helped out with songwriting for the band, typically adding a song or two for each album they did. He put out a bunch of solo albums as well, but his solo career is much less well known. Unfortunately, there's a reason for that. While his songs for the Who were consistently good and sometimes excellent, he didn't have enough good songs to fill his solo albums.

The one partial exception to that is his first solo album, 1971's, "Smash Your Head Against the Wall." It has a bunch of very good songs on it that I think could have and should have been done by the Who, but there were a couple of weak ones too. So I picked the best ones and added in the best songs from his next two albums to make an album that, in my opinion, can hold its own with most Who albums.

I included seven of the nine songs on "Smash Your Head." One of the two I didn't include, "Heaven and Hell," is a good one, but it's also the only song on the album that was done by the Who, and I think the Who version is better.

Note that I made a very drastic edit to the song "I Believe in Everything." I think it's a nice song, but I had issues with how it ends. Its format is a verse, then a chorus, then another verse. But then, instead of a repeat of another chorus as one would expect, it went into an outro section, which ends with part of the overplayed Christmas standard "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." I think the song was terribly arranged, and thee use of that awful Christmas song really ruined it for me. So I edited the song to repeat the chorus a second time where one would expect it, then I put in the outro, but I faded it out right before the Christmas song began.

In short, if you're just a casual Who fan and aren't interested in taking a deep dive into Entwistle's solo stuff, this is a "greatest hits" of sorts for you.

01 My Size (John Entwistle)
02 Pick Me Up [Big Chicken] (John Entwistle)
03 What Are We Doing Here (John Entwistle)
04 What Kind of People Are They (John Entwistle)
05 Ted End (John Entwistle)
06 No. 29 [Eternal Youth] (John Entwistle)
07 I Believe in Everything [Edit] (John Entwistle)
08 I Found Out (John Entwistle)
09 I Wonder (John Entwistle)
10 Apron Strings (John Entwistle)
11 Peg Leg Peggy (John Entwistle)
12 Made in Japan (John Entwistle)

The cover art is simply the official version.

The White Stripes - Boll Weevil - Various Songs (2001-2002)

A few months ago, due to a request, I posted an album of White Stripes stray tracks from the earliest part of their career. A lot of people know the band put out a lot of singles in their first few years, and that's what that post mostly consisted of. But the band actually had a lot of stray tracks throughout its entire career. I've made a series of albums for them, and here's the next in that series.

Many of the songs here are covers. That includes two Dylan songs ("Love Sick" and "Isis"), a blues song best known from a Rolling Stones cover ("Stop Breaking Down"), a traditional blues song that was made into a 1960s pop hit ("Boll Weevil"), and a campy song from the 1960s spy spoof TV show "Get Smart" ("99").

The album ends with a demo of one of the greatest songs of all time, "Seven Nation Army." I'm not sure where it comes from since it's unreleased and a one-off, but it's definitely a legit demo.

01 Rated X (White Stripes)
02 Baby Blue (White Stripes)
03 Boll Weevil (White Stripes)
04 Love Sick (White Stripes)
05 Goin' Back to Memphis (White Stripes)
06 For the Love of Ivy (White Stripes)
07 Isis (White Stripes)
08 Red Death at 6;14 (White Stripes)
09 Stop Breaking Down (White Stripes)
10 99 (Jack White with Beck)
11 Seven Nation Army [Demo] (White Stripes)

I made the album cover using a 2002 White Stripes concert poster for the artwork.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Paul Weller - 22 Dreams Extras (2008)

In 2008, Paul Weller released the highly acclaimed double album "22 Dreams." It also came out in a deluxe edition with a bonus disc of eight more songs. Since that was Weller's intention, I kept most of the songs from that and added to them when I came across other interesting songs he did related to "22 Dreams." So here it is.

I did some rearranging of the song order. I put the full band outtakes near the start. Then the rest of the album consists of acoustic versions and demos, some of them from the original bonus disc and some not. The result is a nice 44 minute album.

Note that I've already posted a Weller stray tracks album from 2007 to 2009, which can be found here:

That covers all the music from this time period that isn't related to the "22 Dreams" album.

01 Rip the Pages Up (Paul Weller)
02 Rise and Fall (Paul Weller)
03 22 Dreams [Band Demo] (Paul Weller)
04 Big Brass Buttons [Instrumental] (Paul Weller)
05 Love's Got Me Crazy (Paul Weller)
06 Cold Moments [Acoustic Demo] (Paul Weller)
07 Have You Made Up Your Mind [Acoustic Version] (Paul Weller)
08 Light Nights [Acoustic Demo] (Paul Weller)
09 Why Walk When You Can Run [Acoustic Version] (Paul Weller)
10 All I Wanna Do [Is Be with You] [Acoustic Version] (Paul Weller)
11 Where'er Ye Go [Acoustic Version] (Paul Weller)
12 Invisible [Orchestral Version] (Paul Weller)

For the cover art, I used the cover of the "Sea Spray" single (released off the "22 Dreams" album), and changed the text.

The Beach Boys - Acappella: 1968-1977

As I just explained in my last blog post, I'd had an album of the Beach Boys doing acappella versions of their songs from 1967 to 1977 that I'd posted here in April 2018. But I'd deleted that because I've found a bunch more acappella versions, allowing me to split that album into two. Here's the second album. Read the previous blog post for more details.

All the new songs are from 1968, due to some official archival releases that came out in December 2018 for copyright purposes. (Again, read the previous blog.) There was a similar release that happened in 2017 for 1967 songs. So, if the pattern holds, we should expect an archival release at the end of 2019 covering 1969, one at the end of 2020 covering 1970, and so on. And, if the pattern holds, there should be more acappella versions coming out on each one. So it may take a few years, but I hope eventually that I'll be able to split this album yet again.

By the way, note that nearly all the songs here are from 1968 to 1971, with only the last two from after that. Who knows, maybe by 2017 we'll still be getting yearly archival releases, allowing me to add more acappella songs from 1977 in that year!

01 We're Together Again [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
02 Never Learn Not to Love [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
03 Ol' Man River [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
04 Break Away [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
05 Add Some Music to Your Day [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
06 Cotton Fields [The Cotton Song] [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
07 Walk On By [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
08 Our Sweet Love [Vocals with Strings Version] (Beach Boys)
09 Forever [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
10 Slip On Through [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
11 This Whole World [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
12 'Til I Die [Desper Mix Edit - Vocals and Organ] (Beach Boys)
13 Surf's Up [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
14 Sail On Sailor [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
15 The Night Was So Young [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)

This is the same cover I used for the 1967 to 1977 version that I'd had, prior to splitting that in two. I changed the years on the cover but kept everything else the same. I found the photo on the Twitter feed of the "Beach Boys Legacy," showing the group singing in the studio in 1979.

The Beach Boys - Acappella: 1967-1968

Back in April 2018, I posted two albums here of the Beach Boys doing acappella versions of some of their songs. I broke it into two parts, one covering 1963 to 1966, and one covering 1967 to 1977. There also is an officially released CD of acappella versions of the entire "Pet Sounds" album (as part of the "Pet Sounds Sessions" box set), so I didn't include that.

Now, I'm deleting that second album covering 1967 to 1968 with two albums covering that time period, because I've found a bunch more acappella versions. These come from an obscure place. In December 2018, the Beach Boys officially released two big archival albums of 1968 material called "Wake the World: The Friends Sessions" and "I Can Hear Music -The 20/20 Sessions."

The reason they did this is because of European copyright law that says a record company loses the rights to the music if they don't make it available for sale within 50 years. December 2018 was the last moment to secure the rights to 1968 recordings. Strangely though, last year the Beach Boys did the same thing with 1967 recordings and they made CDs for sale of that material, but these 1968 albums are on-line download only. As a result, they've gone by almost unnoticed.

You have to a die-hard Beach Boys fan to find much of the music on these 1968 archival releases very interesting (although there are a few previously unreleased songs, which I will be doing something with on another album here). The main appeal to me is a handful of newly revealed acappella versions of songs, plus some other acappella songs that had only existed on bootlegs.

So here's the first of the two albums I've made from the mere one I did before. If you haven't heard much of the Beach Boys singing acappella, you're in for a treat!

01 Our Prayer [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
02 Heroes and Villains [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
03 She's Goin' Bald [He Gives Speeches] [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
04 Do You Like Worms [Roll Plymouth Rock] [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
05 Vega-Tables [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
06 Wind Chimes [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
07 Surfer Girl [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
08 Darlin' [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
09 Little Pad [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
10 Here Comes the Night [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
11 Let the Wind Blow [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
12 Friends [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
13 Little Bird [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
14 Anna Lee the Healer [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
15 Transcendental Meditation [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
16 Do It Again [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
17 Time to Get Alone [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)
18 I Went to Sleep [Acappella Version] (Beach Boys)

I made the cover using a photo of the Beach Boys rehearsing in 1967.

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Bangles - Light My Way - Various Songs (1999-2018)

The Bangles essentially have had two careers. The first was their popular heyday, from when they started up in 1981 until when they broke up in 1988. They reformed in 1999 and have been together ever since, but at a less active level. They've only put out two new studio albums since reforming, and clearly the members have other priorities in their lives than being in the Bangles. However, they still have put out consistently excellent work in this second phase.

This album covers nearly all the stray tracks I could find from that second phase. I say "nearly" because I found so many acoustic versions of songs in 2002 and 2003 that I've got an album of that stuff that I'll post later. This is everything else.

Three more songs here are nice covers of Beatles songs ("Good Day Sunshine," "Yes It Is," and "Because.") The remainder consist of three more covers - "Pushin' Too Hard," "Go Where You Wanna Go," and "We Belong" - and four originals.

The last three songs are from 2018. They are from a various artists compilation of bands from the 1980s "Paisley Underground" doing covers of other bands from that same movement. I'm very psyched to see them do a cover of "Jet Fighter" by the Three O'Clock, since that long has been a favorite of mine, a song that should have been a hit in a better world.

01 Get the Girl (Bangles)
02 Pushin' Too Hard (Bangles)
03 Happily Ever Laughter [Demo] (Bangles)
04 My Town (Bangles)
05 Good Day Sunshine (Bangles with Matthew Sweet)
06 Light My Way (Bangles)
07 Go Where You Wanna Go (Bangles)
08 We Belong (Bangles)
09 Yes It Is (Bangles)
10 Because (Bangles)
11 Talking in My Sleep (Bangles)
12 Jet Fighter (Bangles)
13 That's What You Always Say (Bangles)

I made the album cover but I don't know where the photo comes from exactly. But it's probably from after 2009, when the band became a three piece.

Beck - The Vagabond - Various Songs (2000-2001)

I've posted eight Beck albums so far, all from the 1990s. That was his most prolific time of his career, and it took a lot of effort to organize his stray tracks. But the rest of his career since has been impressively prolific too, and I'm finally ready to move into the 2000s with him.

In 1999, Beck released his "Midnite Vultures" album, which was all highly produced, upbeat, dance music. A long tour followed well into 2000. It seems that once that ended, Beck had his fill of that type of music for a while, and switched back to a more acoustic style. So even this is a grab bag of whatever he happened to be doing at the time, I think it holds together pretty well stylistically.

Only four of the 13 songs here have been released officially. Three of those are from various artists compilations, and one ("The Vagabond") is a collaboration Beck did with Air that was put on an Air album. The rest are mostly cover versions, although "Creole Belle" is an obscure original and "Beautiful Way" is an original from the "Midnite Vultures" album that is totally transformed here because it's played solo with just an acoustic guitar.

Luckily, of the nine unreleased songs, only three come from concert bootlegs. The rest are from bootlegs of in-studio radio shows where there was no studio audience and the sound is nearly as good as a studio recording. The first two songs don't sound quite as good as the rest, since those are songs he only did once in concert and they come from an audience recording. By the way, Beck appears to have been really enjoying the music of Daniel Johnston at the time, because both of those are covers of Johnston songs, and he also does one other Johnston cover on this album ("Some Things Last a Long Time").

I'm still surprised I haven't gotten any flak yet from commenters about my song edits. I make these albums mostly for my own enjoyment, and I'm not shy to edit songs if I feel it will improve my listening experience. That's the case again here with the last song, "Funky Lil' Song." The song was over five minutes, and I liked it, but I felt it went on way too long, with the last two minutes just repeating what was done earlier and adding nothing. So I lopped those last two minutes off, right at a point where the recording luckily came to a complete stop for a moment.

01 Devil Town - Spirit World Rising (Beck)
02 Who's That Knockin' at My Window (Beck)
03 [I Heard That] Lonesome Whistle (Beck)
04 Go Easy (Beck)
05 Some Things Last a Long Time (Beck)
06 No Expectations (Beck & Beth Orton)
07 Creole Belle (Beck)
08 Stagolee (Beck)
09 Last Fair Deal Gone Down (Beck)
10 Win (Beck)
11 Beautiful Way [Acoustic Version] (Beck)
12 The Vagabond (Beck & Air)
13 Funky Lil' Song [Edit] (Beck)

I made the cover art from a 2000 Beck concert poster, and just changed the text at the bottom.