Sunday, March 31, 2019

Brinsley Schwarz - Got to Be Real - Non-Album Tracks (1970-1972)

Who or what the heck is "Brinsley Schwarz" you may ask. They're not a very well known band. But I'm big fan of Nick Lowe's career, especially his work both solo and as part of Rockpile in the late 1970s. I plan on posting a lot of that. But before I do that, I think it makes sense to move chronologically, starting with his role in Brinsley Schwarz.

"Brinsley Schwarz" is both the name of a band and one of the band members. But, much like "Manfred Mann," it's a bit odd that the band was named after him, because he wasn't the most important person in the band. He was a guitarist and did some songwriting and vocals, but most of the songwriting and lead vocals were done by Lowe. Brinsley Schwarz were one of the top "pub rock" bands in Britain in the 1970s, but that genre remained obscure outside of Britain, and they never had a hit anywhere, so they've remained pretty obscure until today. (They did record the first versions of the Nick Lowe originals "Cruel to Be Kind" and "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" though.)

If you like Lowe's earlier rocking style, this is basically more of the same thing, and it's just as good. On their studio albums, they mostly did originals. These stray tracks, however, are nearly all cover versions. But that's fine, because they had a knack for picking good obscure material and making it their own.

01 She's Got to Be Real (Brinsley Schwarz)
02 Having a Party (Brinsley Schwarz)
03 I'm Gonna Make You Love Me (Brinsley Schwarz)
04 Homework (Brinsley Schwarz)
05 Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad (Brinsley Schwarz)
06 Midnight Train (Brinsley Schwarz)
07 It's Just My Way of Saying Thank You (Brinsley Schwarz)
08 Wonder Woman (Brinsley Schwarz)
09 I'm Ahead If I Can Quit While I'm Behind (Brinsley Schwarz)
10 Run Rudolph Run (Brinsley Schwarz)
11 Hypocrite (Brinsley Schwarz)
12 You Got Me Hummin' (Brinsley Schwarz)
13 Mama Told Me Not to Come (Brinsley Schwarz)

For the album cover, I used the cover of a Brinsley Schwarz bootleg, then changed the text.

The Hollies - Wings - Non-Album Tracks (1968)

In the 1960s, the Hollies typically released at least one album of new studio material every year. They didn't release one in 1968, probably because key band member Graham Nash left the group at the end of that year to find bigger fame and fortune as part of Crosby, Stills and Nash (CSN). But they really should have, since they've released just enough material for such an album. Here's my version of it.

Most of the songs here are A- and B-sides, including two hit songs "Jennifer Eccles" and "Listen to Me." Another handful come from various rarities compilations. All of the songs are from when Nash was still in the band. One of the songs, "Blowin' in the Wind," would later appear in the 1969 album "Hollies Play Dylan," but ins an alternate version recorded with Nash.

I have some especially interesting and unreleased songs to end this album. One is a version of "Louisiana Rain" done with Bobbie Gentry for her BBC TV show. The song is written by Gentry and appears on one of her albums, but for this version, in my opinion, the Hollies actually do more of the singing.

The other unreleased song is the Hollie's version of Marrakesh Express. Nash would have a big hit with it with CSN in 1969, but he actually wrote it while he was still with the Hollies. The Hollies recorded a backing track for it, which has been bootlegged, but apparently never got around to adding vocals to it. Someone named "HolliesRareandUnreleased" has created a mash-up version using this Hollies backing track version with the vocals from an acoustic demo Nash made in 1968 that was released on the "Over the Years" archival collection in 2018.

The vocals and music match very well in my opinion, and it's mixed well. The only problems are that the drummer seems unsure about the best approach to take, so the rhythm isn't that great, and the usual Hollies backing vocals never got added. Still, it's pretty interesting to hear how the Hollies approached this song, which is fairly different from the CSN version.

By the way, squabbling over this song is one of the reasons Nash left the group, since the song has a hppie vibe to it (vacations to Morocco were very popular with hippie types back in those days) and Hollies were still square. Although they did wear hippie-style clothes sometimes, their hearts weren't in it and they still played cabarets in matching suits in 1968.

True, the Hollies were square and behind the times in 1968, but they still made great pop music, as this album shows.

This album is 41 minutes long.

UPDATE: On April 26, 2023, I updated the mp3 download file. I found a demo Graham Nash did in 1965 of a song the Hollies wrote for a different British band called the Mirage. This demo was recorded in 1965 to help the band learn the song. It actually was released on an archival Mirage album called "The World Goes On Around You." It doesn't fit in that well with the rest of this album chronologically, but I didn't have a better album to put it in.

I also added "Survival of the Fittest." This dates from a 1970 Hollies album of the same name, and it was recorded without Nash. But it's known there was a 1968 version done with Nash, but it's never been made publicly available. Surely song likely would have been included if the band released a 1968, so adding it here gives an idea what that might have sounded like.

01 Jennifer Eccles (Hollies)
02 Open Up Your Eyes (Hollies)
03 Listen to Me (Hollies)
04 Do the Best You Can (Hollies)
05 Blowin' in the Wind [Nash Version] (Hollies)
06 Like Every Time Before (Hollies)
07 Wings (Hollies)
08 Relax (Hollies)
09 Tomorrow When It Comes (Hollies)
10 Man with No Expression [Horses in a Rainstorm] (Hollies)
11 A Taste of Honey [Nash Version] (Hollies)
12 Louisiana Man (Bobbie Gentry & the Hollies)
13 Marrakesh Express [Edit] (Hollies)
14 Survival of the Fittest (Hollies)
15 Go Away [Demo] (Graham Nash)

I made the album cover from a publicity photo of the band dating to 1968.

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Zombies - I'll Call You Mine - Non-Album Tracks (1966-1967)

Here's the next in my series of stray tracks albums from the Zombies.

This album is very similar to the last one I posted in that it covers a time period in which the Zombies were failing to have much commercial success. In fact, as time passed and 1966 turned to 1967, their situation got worse and worse. Only one song here was recorded in 1967, a BBC performance of "The Look of Love," because the band pretty much dropped into total obscurity that year.

Luckily, a dramatic turnaround was just about to happen. In 1967, the Zombies changed record companies and scraped together enough money to record one final album, though they had to fund much of it out of their own pockets. That album, "Odessey and Oracle," would come out in early 1968 and would turn out to be an all-time classic. I'm not going to post that here, since any Zombies fan should have it already.

As with the last album in this series, in an alternate universe, the Zombies would have had much more success and at least a couple hit singles during this time. But only six out of the 15 songs here were released in the 1960s, and none of the songs even scraped the bottom of the charts. If you listen to this album and compare it to other albums other groups released at the time, you'll see how unfair their obscurity was. This is another solid album of mostly original material.

Oh, and by the way, although I won't post "Odessey and Oracle" here, I have one more stray tracks album to post that covers what they did after that album and before they broke up near the end of the 1960s.

01 Is This the Dream (Zombies)
02 Going to a Go Go [Live] (Zombies)
03 Gotta Get a Hold of Myself (Zombies)
04 Indication (Zombies)
05 She Does Everything for Me (Zombies)
06 Sitting in the Park (Zombies)
07 I'll Call You Mine (Zombies)
08 One Day I'll Say Goodbye [Home Demo] (Zombies)
09 I Don't Want to Worry [Home Demo] (Zombies)
10 Goin' Out of My Head (Zombies)
11 A Love that Never Was [Demo] (Zombies)
12 This Old Heart of Mine (Zombies)
13 Call of the Night [Girl Help Me] [Demo] (Zombies)
14 Out of the Day [Demo] (Zombies)
15 The Look of Love (Zombies)

For the cover art, I once again used the cover of a Zombies single from the time, "Gotta Get a Hold of Myself." Unfortunately, that cover had a lot of issues. Frankly, it looked cheap and quickly thrown together. So I made a lot of changes while keeping the overall look, such as totally changing the font and text, and swapping a black and white photo of the band with a color one.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

(Belle & Sebastian) God Help the Girl - Stills - Non-Album Tracks (2009-2014)

Before I continue posting more Belle and Sebastian, I have to make this minor detour. I put both Belle and Sebastian and God Help the Girl in the post title, because God Help the Girl is Belle and Sebastian in all but name. Band leader Stuart Murdoch came up with the idea, wrote all the songs, and picked various female singers to sing the songs. The rest of Belle and Sebastian play all the instruments. The only difference from their usual work is that outside female singers do most of the singing.

God Help the Girl released a self-titled album in 2009. But they easily could have put out a second album, since they released a five song EP, "Stills," and some other songs on singles around the same time. Then, in 2014, a movie also called "God Help the Girl" was released, directed by Murdoch, with three more new songs. Compiling all the songs together results in an album that's 37 minutes long. (Note though that one of the songs, "A Down and Dusky Blonde" appears here as well as on the "God Help the Girl" album, but in different versions.)

Murdoch's hand is all over this. He even sings lead on two of the songs, "Mary's Market" and "He's a Loving Kind of Boy." He picked relatively unknown singers to sing the other songs, including Catherine Irton, who sings most of them, as well as Kim Moore, Alex Klobouk, Celia Garcia, and Dina Bankole.

In my opinion, this is a Belle and Sebastian album, just with a bunch of female vocalists, and it's as good as most of their other albums. Ditto with the released "God Help the Girl" album. If you don't have it, you should get it.

By the way, there was a soundtrack album released in time with the movie's release in 2014. It mostly contains remakes of songs from this album and the official album, except sung by the actors and actresses in the movie. I may post my version of that eventually.

01 Mary's Market (God Help the Girl)
02 Howard Jones Is My Mozart (God Help the Girl)
03 I'm in Love with the City (God Help the Girl)
04 He's a Loving Kind of Boy (God Help the Girl)
05 Stills (God Help the Girl)
06 Baby's Just Waiting (God Help the Girl)
07 The Psychiatrist Is In (God Help the Girl)
08 Baby, You're Blind (God Help the Girl)
09 A Down and Dusky Blonde [Single Version] (God Help the Girl)
10 I Dumped You First (God Help the Girl)
11 I'm Not Rich (God Help the Girl)
12 Pretty When the Wind Blows (God Help the Girl)

I named this album "Stills" in part so I could use the cover of the "Stills" EP. This is that cover, except I removed some text that listed all the song titles.

The Rolling Stones - Plundered My Soul - Non-Album Tracks (1970-1972)

I've been meaning to post more Rolling Stones for a long time. I wanted to make a few final adjustments first, but I finally have, so here we go.

Previously, I was able to post about one album of stray tracks for each official studio album as I moved chronologically through the band's discography. But I couldn't do that for their 1971 album "Sticky Fingers." The reason is that the Stones took nearly all of the good outtakes from that album and used them on their next album, 1972's "Exile on Main St." So this album covers the time period of both of those albums.

In 2010, the Stones released a deluxe version of "Exile on Main St." with an entire bonus album of songs. I've only included six of these 11 bonus songs. Four of them are alternates, and I'm only interested in different songs, or significantly different versions of songs. One of the takes is significantly different: "Good Time Women," an early version of "Tumbling Dice." But in my opinion it's not nearly as good as "Tumbling Dice," so I don't see much point to it.

Oddly, one other song on the bonus disc, "Title 5" is an instrumental that dates to 1967. I have no idea why the Stones thought it was fitting to include this on a deluxe version of "Exile on Main St." since it has no connection to it whatsoever. Months ago, I put that on my alternate version of "Flowers," putting it where it belongs with other songs from 1967.

That leaves the six deluxe version songs I have included. These have faced some controversy, because the Stones overdubbed a lot of changes to them in 2010. The basic tracks were recorded in 1971 or 1972, but Mick Jagger rerecorded his vocals to all but one of the songs, two guitar solos were redone, and some extra harmonica and backing vocals were added to a few of the songs. I would go with the raw, unchanged versions if good versions of them existed, but as far as I know, these songs didn't get bootlegged at all.

In addition, I've found seven other songs to fill out the rest of this album. One is a live version of the Chuck Berry song "Let It Rock" that was recorded and released in 1971 as a B-side. The rest all remain officially unreleased. "Bluesberry Jam" is an instrumental the band played for a TV show.

"Exile on Main St. Blues" is an original acoustic blues song done as a lark to promote the release of the "Exile" album. The lyrics name-check a bunch song titles from the album. When I first posted this album, the version I had was incomplete. I have since replaced that was a complete version. It's still short, only a minute and a half, but it sounds finished.

I made a significant edit to the song "Travelin' Man." In my opinion, it was too long. I have no problem with a long song if there's something interesting going on. But the song went on for over six minutes with a section of about a minute and a half towards the end where there's no soloing, no singing, just playing the chords over and over again. After that long boring stretch, guitarist Mick Taylor finally stepped up and soloed for about a minute before the song comes to an end. So I edited the song to remove the boring stretch but keep all of Taylor's solo.

Add it all up, and this makes a 51 minute long album. Personally, I think it holds up very well with the great "Exile" double album, almost as if it could be the third album of a triple album version.

 01 Pass the Wine [Sophia Loren] (Rolling Stones)
02 Plundered My Soul (Rolling Stones)
03 I'm Not Signifying (Rolling Stones)
04 Following the River (Rolling Stones)
05 Dancing in the Light (Rolling Stones)
06 So Divine [Aladdin Story] (Rolling Stones)
07 Exile on Main St. Blues (Rolling Stones)
08 Leather Jacket [Instrumental] (Rolling Stones)
09 Let It Rock [Live] (Rolling Stones)
10 Travelin' Man [Edit] (Rolling Stones)
11 Tell Her How It Is [Potted Shrimps] (Rolling Stones)
12 Key to the Highway (Rolling Stones)
13 32-20 Blues (Rolling Stones)
14 Bluesberry Jam [Instrumental] (Rolling Stones)

For the album cover, I used a concert poster from the Stones' 1972 tour. Obviously, the picture depicts tumbling dice in reference to that song, and that song isn't on this album. But I just thought it was a really great image, so I had to use it. I made some adjustments to make the rectangular art of the poster fit in the square album cover shape, as well as adding in the album title.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Robyn Hitchcock - Mossy Liquor - Alternate Version (1996)

In the early 1990s, Robyn Hitchcock's father died. That put Robyn in a funk that resulted in him not recording much for all of 1994 and 1995. But he came back in 1996 with the acoustic album "Moss Elixir."

This album is not that one. Note the album title is similar but not the same. Within weeks of "Moss Elixir" getting released, he released "Mossy Liquor." It contains a bunch of songs that didn't make the other album, as well as some demos and alternate versions.

This isn't quite that album either, because I made some significant changes. For starters, I got rid of all of the demos and alternate versions. (There actually is a version of one of the songs sung in Swedish, which seems pointless to me unless you speak Swedish.) I replaced those with some other songs from the same year that happen to be acoustic too, and come from the same year. Plus, all but one of them are studio recordings. It's a lucky break how well these other songs fit in.

The result, in my opinion, is an album that's much stronger than the official version. And while it's not quite as good as "Moss Elixir," I think it's close.

By the way, one song here is kind of odd in that it may not be an actual song at all. One of the songs I removed is a demo version of "Heliotrope." It comes to an end and then after a long gap there's a minute and a half long instrumental. The Wikipedia page on "Mossy Liquor" considers this a separate unnamed song. I've included it and chosen the name "Heliotrope Coda," since it may well be a musical variant from "Heliotrope."

"I Stayed Too Long" was newly uncovered in a bootleg that has just come to light and was posted at this blog for the first time anywhere. It seems like a fully formed song, but perhaps it was only played once in concert, or a few times at most.

01 Shuffling Over the Flagstones [Instrumental] (Robyn Hitchcock)
02 Cool Bug Rumble (Robyn Hitchcock)
03 Wide Open Star (Robyn Hitchcock)
04 Each of Her Silver Wands (Robyn Hitchcock)
05 As Lemons Chop (Robyn Hitchcock)
06 Trilobite (Robyn Hitchcock)
07 Caroline Says II [Demo] (Robyn Hitchcock)
08 Creatures of Light [Demo] (Robyn Hitchcock)
09 Dr. Lucy [Demo] (Robyn Hitchcock)
10 The Feelers Was Everywhere (Robyn Hitchcock)
11 I Stayed Too Long (Robyn Hitchcock)
12 Heliotrope Coda [Instrumental] (Robyn Hitchcock)

The album cover is the exact official cover. There's no text whatsoever on the official version, so I've kept it that way.

The Grateful Dead - The Seven - Non-Album Tracks (1968-1969)

So far, I've posted a few Grateful Dead albums here and there, mostly from their earliest era (1965 to 1966). I've got a lot more from them to post, and I'm going to try to move forward more chronologically from here on out. There isn't much in the way of stray tracks from 1967, so this is what comes next.

This album is a mix of studio and live material, with nearly all of the performances being unreleased, despite the band having a seemingly infinite number of official albums, the vast majority of them live. The first song here, "Clementine," is an obscure Phil Lesh/Robert Hunter original that was released on the "So Many Roads" box set. The second song, "Dark Star," is of course very well known to any Deadhead, but this is the studio B-side version. It's less than three minutes long, which sounds absurd for that song, but this version has its charm.

Another highlight is "The Eleven," a Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter original that only appeared on the live album "Live/Dead." But this is an unreleased studio version. "The Seven" is an even rarer original instrumental. Both it and "The Eleven" are named after the unusual time signatures the songs are played in.

The rest of the songs are cover versions. Since the songs are ordered chronologically, one can see a shift over the course of the album from psychedelic music to country and folky music. So this mirrors the dramatic shift in styles from the album "Aoxomoxoa" in 1969 to "Workingman's Dead" in 1970.

By the way, I named this album "The Seven" since that's the title of one of the songs. But I chose that song title because I thought it has a nice double meaning: for most of the 1960s, the Grateful Dead has six band members, but from November 1968 to January 1970, which covers most of the time of this album, they had seven, thanks to the addition of Tom Constanten. 

Note that this version of the blues classic "Big Boss Man" wasn't exactly performed by the Grateful Dead, but it sure sounds like it because the lead vocals and lead guitar were done by Jerry Garcia. It was recorded at the San Francisco home where most of the members of the Jefferson Airplane lived. Garcia was joined by fellow Dead member drummer Mickey Hart, as well as Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady from the Jefferson Airplane. The Dead played this song from time to time, but the lead vocalist always was Ron "Pigpen" McKernan. This is an interesting version because Garcia sang it.

This album is 54 minutes long, not including the bonus track.

Speaking of the bonus track, "What's Become of the Baby" was included on the band's 1969 studio album "Aoxomoxoa." But that version is so distorted with studio effects that it's kind of a mess. The song was only done live once, in 1969. That version is more interesting, in my opinion, so that's the bonus track version here.

01 Clementine (Grateful Dead)
02 Dark Star (Grateful Dead)
03 Death Letter Blues (Grateful Dead)
04 The Eleven (Grateful Dead)
05 Who's Lovin' You Tonight (Grateful Dead)
07 Seasons of My Heart (Grateful Dead)
08 The Seven [Instrumental] (Grateful Dead)
09 Big Boss Man (Jerry Garcia with Mickey Hart, Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady)
10 I'm a Lovin' Man (Grateful Dead)
11 He Was a Friend of Mine (Grateful Dead)

What's Become of the Baby (Grateful Dead)

I made the cover from a 2015 Grateful Dead concert poster. I made some significant changes, especially squishing the entire image vertically to get a rectangular poster into a square frame. I also changed the coloring of certain parts, and of course changed the text.

Imelda May - Why Don't You Do Right - Non-Album Tracks (2009-2010)

First off, I've already posted a couple of Imelda May albums, but I've gotta say that if you don't know her music, you really need to check her out. I gather that she's big in Britain and Ireland, where her albums regularly reach the top five in the charts, but she's very little known everywhere else, where her albums rarely even make the charts.

In addition to having a great voice, May also is a talented songwriter. Her official albums are mostly filled with songs she wrote. But this stray tracks album is mainly composed of cover versions. She does everything from a Beatles song ("Oh Darling") to a song associated with Elvis Presley ("My Baby Left Me") to some classic blues songs. There also are a couple of nice collaborations with Jeff Beck.

May released her first album in 2003. But her career languished in obscurity until late 2008, when she released her album "Love Tattoo," which hit number one in Ireland and went gold in Britain. In the wake of that success she had more opportunities to record music and to perform on TV and such. Five of the songs here are officially unreleased. 

The song quality is excellent most of the way through this album. The first two songs are from an audience bootleg, and the song quality is less than the rest of the album. If you're a stickler for sound quality, you can just delete those. They date from 2008.

01 On Revival Day (Imelda May)
02 Pink Champagne (Imelda May)
03 Why Don't You Do Right (Imelda May)
04 Go Tell the Devil (Imelda May & Sharon Shannon)
05 Oh Darling (Imelda May)
06 Wexford Carol (Imelda May)
07 My Babe (Imelda May)
08 Rollin' and Tumblin' (Imelda May)
09 Rogue Melody (Jerry Fish & the Mudbug Club with Imelda May)
10 Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (Royal Air Force Squadronaires with Imelda May)
11 Going Up the Country (Imelda May)
12 Lilac Wine (Jeff Beck & Imelda May)
13 Poor Boy (Jeff Beck & Imelda May)
14 My Baby Left Me (Imelda May)

I made the cover art using a photo of May from a 2008 concert.

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Zombies - Whenever You're Ready - Non-Album Tracks (1965)

Here's the next in my series of stray tracks albums from the Zombies.

During the 1960s, the Zombies were surprisingly unsuccessful commercially. They had one big hit in Britain - "She's Not There" - and three big hits in the US - "She's Not There" plus "Tell Her No" and "Time of the Season." "She's Not There" and "Tell Her No" came early on for the group, and "Time of the Season" wasn't a hit until 1968, after the group broke up. In between, they had a long series of singles that barely hit the charts or didn't chart at all.

This album covers part of that era of commercial failure. But in retrospect, it's clear that the band should have done much better and there was a failure of promotion as well as poor decision making. After all, Zombies are getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for more than just three songs.

The failure of promotion can be obviously seen by the fact that their record company thought so little of them that they only let them release one album between 1964 and 1967. Mind you, this was at a time when tons of no-hit acts were able to release albums. Here's a clear act of poor decision making as well: the single "Whenever You're Ready" should have been a hit in my opinion. But the B-side, "I Love You," had even more potential. Even though it was only a B-side, it became so popular in the Philippines that the band was able to sell out big arenas there when they couldn't get arrested anywhere else. Then, in early 1968, an obscure group called "People!" did a nearly identical cover version and had a hit with it all over the world, including a number one hit in Japan.

So imagine this album comes from an alternate universe where the Zombies were better managed and promoted, and continued to have hits. Remarkably, only four of the 15 songs on this album were released in the 1960s. Four others were performed by the band at the BBC, and the rest would only come out in the archival box set "Zombie Heaven."

01 Whenever You're Ready (Zombies)
02 Nothing's Changed (Zombies)
03 Come On Time (Zombies)
04 You Must Believe Me (Zombies)
05 Don't Go Away (Zombies)
06 I'll Keep Trying (Zombies)
07 You'll Go from Me [Don't Go Away] [Demo] (Zombies)
08 I Love You (Zombies)
09 How We Were Before (Zombies)
10 I Know She Will (Zombies)
11 Don't Cry for Me (Zombies)
12 If It Don't Work Out (Zombies)
13 When the Lovelight Starts Shining through Her Eyes (Zombies)
14 It's All Right (Zombies)
15 Will You Love Me Tomorrow (Zombies)

For the album cover, I used the cover art for the "Whenever You're Ready" single. However, I had some problems with that cover, so I made some tweaks. One tweak was that I thought the font used was boring. So I erased the text and replaced, enlarged, and repositioned it.

Paul Weller - The Piper - Non-Album Tracks (2012-2013)

I'm doggedly determined to finish off posting all the stray tracks albums from Paul Weller. This is the 18th of the series, not counting four of his work with the Jam, with two more to go. If you've been following these posts, I generally have been posting two kinds of albums from him: the normal non-album tracks and the all-acoustic kind. This is another album of the former.

This follows the pattern of other such albums. It's got some revivals of songs by the Jam ("Running on the Spot" and "My Ever Changing Moods") some cover versions ("Riverman," "Birthday," and "Shame, Shame, Shame"), and collaborations ("Something Soon" and "Shame, Shame, Shame" again). But it has a higher percentage of exclusive original songs, and they're a pretty good bunch. Three of the songs actually are A-sides to singles (as well as a bunch of B-sides). So if you're a fan of Weller's music at all, you should enjoy this.

This album is 40 minutes long.

UPDATE: On October 31, 2022, I updated the mp3 download file. I added two songs I'd previously missed: "Be Happy Children" and "Shame, Shame, Shame." I also moved two songs, "My Ever Changing Moods" and "Birthday," to here from the previous stray tracks album in this series, "Devotion." But to make room for all those songs, I moved five other songs to the next album in this series, "Open Road." Those songs are: "Start," Brand New Toy," "I Take What I Want," "Things Get Better," and "Landslide."

01 Portal to the Past (Paul Weller)
02 Something Soon (Paul Weller & the Moons)
03 Running on the Spot (Paul Weller)
04 The Piper (Paul Weller)
05 We Got a Lot (Paul Weller)
06 Riverman (Paul Weller)
07 Birthday (Paul Weller)
08 My Ever Changing Moods (Paul Weller)
09 Be Happy Children [Demo] (Paul Weller)
10 Flame-Out (Paul Weller)
11 The Olde Original (Paul Weller)
12 Shame, Shame, Shame (Ronnie Wood with Paul Weller & Mick Taylor)

I made the cover art from a photo of Weller on the cover of Q magazine from 2012.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Neil Young - Silver and Gold - Acoustic Version (1999)

I've been in a big Neil Young listening mood lately, so here's another one from him. It's not in chronological order with the other albums I've posted, but I just finished making it, so I feel like sharing it anyway.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you've probably noticed that I have a special love for acoustic music. I think if a musician can strip his or her music down to just a single guitar or piano as backing and the music still holds up, that's really saying something.

So sometimes I like to create alternate versions of albums that are just acoustic versions of all the songs. The problem is, most of the time, the raw material to do that right just doesn't exist. But with this Neil Young album, I got lucky.

His 2000 album "Silver and Gold" doesn't get the praise I think it deserves. At least two of the songs on it are all time Neil classics in my book ("Silver and Gold" and "Razor Love") and the rest are all at least solid. The studio album has a general acoustic vibe, but most of the songs have drums, bass, backing vocals, and the like. What if he went all the way with the acoustic idea, recording the album with nothing but his voice plus either guitar or piano?

Now, you can find out. It turns out that in 1999, prior to the album being released, Young went on a solo acoustic tour and played all the songs from the album. Then, after it was released, he put out a DVD containing solo acoustic performances for seven of the ten songs. I was able to find high quality sounding versions of the other three.

I removed all the audience noise, as I often do, in order to make it sound like a studio performance. But it wasn't just a matter of removing the clapping at the end. I wanted this to sound really great, since I had such pristine sounding source material, mostly thanks to the DVD. So I tried to patch up all the stray audience noises within the songs too. For instance, on the song "Buffalo Springfield Again," when he sang the title phrase for the first time, the audience hadn't heard the song before and there was a lot of hollering and cheering in appreciation for Buffalo Springfield. I took an identical portion of the song from later on and replaced it.

So now you can hear this version of the album. Is it better or worse? I don't know; your opinions may vary. But I do like having the option to hear it this way.

01 Good to See You (Neil Young)
02 Silver and Gold (Neil Young)
03 Daddy Went Walkin' (Neil Young)
04 Buffalo Springfield Again (Neil Young)
05 The Great Divide (Neil Young)
06 Red Sun (Neil Young)
07 Distant Camera (Neil Young)
08 Horseshoe Man (Neil Young)
09 Razor Love (Neil Young)
10 Without Rings (Neil Young)

For the cover art, I didn't think I was going to be able to replicate the weird pixelated style of the official cover. But it turns out the back cover has a different photo that's pixelated and colored in the same way. So I used that, but cropped it to remove some text that was near the edges. Then I added in the text in the same style as in the original, but with different colors and different locations. By the way, I don't know what the photo is about exactly, but I'm guessing it's from when Neil Young was a teenager.

Neil Young - Citizen Kane Junior Blues - The Bottom Line, New York City, 5-16-1974

I have a lot more in the way of Neil Young stray tracks albums to post. But before I get to that, I want to help make sure that every Neil Young fan has a copy of this concert.

This concert is merely an audience bootleg, but it's one of the most treasured Young concert recordings of all time, if not THE most, for several reasons. For one, the sound is very good for an audience bootleg. But more importantly, the setlist is incredible. Consider that at the time, only ONE ("Helpless") of the 11 songs he played at this show had been officially released! (Four of the songs would appear on his "On the Beach" album two months later.) On top of that, he was in a particularly talkative mood, speaking at length between nearly all the songs.

The concert was definitely an oddity. In 1974, Young was peaking as a songwriter, writing more songs than he knew what to do with. But the only concert tour he did that year was the massive summer tour as part of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Aside from that, he only performed two concerts, with this being one. (The other one unfortunately never was bootlegged at all, which is a real shame, since he did two cover songs, "Carol" by Chuck Berry and "Chug All Night" by the Eagles, that he never did before or since.)

From what I understand, Young wasn't billed to perform. Instead, Ry Cooder put on a concert that night, and when his show finished, Young came on stage by himself for a bonus hour-long set. Apparently, he just wanted to try out some of his new songs prior to the big CSNY tour to see how they'd go over with an audience. A couple of the songs, like "Pardon My Heart" and a cover of "Greensleeves," he only ever played in concert once or twice in his entire career. For many of the others, especially the epic "Pushed It Over the End," this was the only time he would ever play them in a solo acoustic format.

So the concert truly is unique. Download it already! ;)

By the way, if you're wondering about the album title "Citizen Kane Junior Blues," that's how this concert is commonly known, since that's what he called "Pushed It Over the End" just before he played it, even though that title had nothing to do with the lyrics. It would take many years before the song's true name became known. (A live CSNY version of it would be released decades later.)

01 Pushed It Over the End (Neil Young)
02 talk (Neil Young)
03 Long May You Run (Neil Young)
04 Greensleeves (Neil Young)
05 talk (Neil Young)
06 Ambulance Blues (Neil Young)
07 talk (Neil Young)
08 Helpless (Neil Young)
09 talk (Neil Young)
10 Revolution Blues (Neil Young)
11 On the Beach (Neil Young)
12 talk (Neil Young)
13 Roll Another Number [For the Road] (Neil Young)
14 talk (Neil Young)
15 Motion Pictures (Neil Young)
16 talk (Neil Young)
17 Pardon My Heart (Neil Young)
18 talk (Neil Young)
19 Dance, Dance, Dance (Neil Young)

The cover art is taken from a bootleg of the show. I didn't change the partial sepia colorization at all because I think it looks good. I'm hoping that the photo is from the actual show, but I'm not sure. I merely changed some of the text under Young's name.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Norah Jones & Marian McPartland - Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Tanglewood, Lenox, MA, 8-30-2003

Here, I continue my campaign to show that Norah Jones's musical career is much more interesting than her hit singles and albums would indicate. This shows her getting much more acoustic and jazzy than usual, as she plays songs from the Great American Songbook with a piano as the only musical backing.

This technically is a concert recording, but you'd never know it. The audience noise has been removed so thoroughly, and the sound quality is so excellent, that it should be considered more like a long in studio radio performance. Also technically, Jones plays all the songs with famed pianist Marian McPartland, but it's hard to tell. McPartland certainly never sings, and since they're both playing pianos, it's hard to tell who is playing what. The bottom line is it sounds like Jones plus a piano to me.

I've added five bonus tracks at the end, but it would be impossible to tell unless you closely examine the mp3 tags (or read this). The bonus tracks come from around the same time, and also were done just with Jones and McPartland on piano, so the sound is exactly the same. The only difference is that on the main recording, Jones does all standards from the pre-rock and roll era, while on the bonus tracks she does a couple of the songs she made famous, including her big hit "Don't Know Why."

It's interesting to hear her do her songs in such a stripped down fashion, but mainly this is about hearing Jones perform the standards in her unique style. It's a mystery to me why she hasn't actually released an album like this yet.

This album is 57 minutes long.

01 Mean to Me (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
02 Lover Man (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
03 Walking My Baby (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
04 Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
05 Melancholia (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
06 Tenderly (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
07 Summertime (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
08 Easy Living (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
09 A Foggy Day in London Town (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
10 In the Dark (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
11 Comes Love (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
12 Don't Know Why (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
13 Peace (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)
14 The Nearness of You (Norah Jones & Marian McPartland)

The cover shows McPartland and Jones over a piano. But I don't know where and when it was taken. But it's most likely from 2002 or 2003, since that's when they collaborated.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Beck - Touch Dolphins - Rare Live Songs (2001-2005)

I mentioned in my last Beck post that I'd follow that up with an album of live Beck songs from the same time period. Here it is.

If you've been following this blog much, you've probably noticed that I like to remove the audience noise a lot. That's true, but sometimes that's not a good idea, such as when audience interaction is a key part of the song. That's the case here on many songs, such as "Days of '92." In other cases here, the recording just had a live concert sound to it and/or the audience noise overlapped the music. So I've retained the audience noise for all the songs here.

The music on this album is all over the place. I've organized the songs chronologically, which leads to some strange juxtapositions, such as a funk megajam followed by a cover of an Elliott Smith song! But I think that's kind of neat, to show the vast stylistic diversity of Beck.

Most of the songs here are cover versions. The ones I believe are Beck originals are: "Acoustic Blues," "Evil Things," "Days of '92," "Cherry Blossom Song," and "Touch Dolphins." During this time period, Beck sometimes would make up songs on the spot, or at least have only a rough idea of what he was doing. The last three songs here are like that.

A great case in point is "Touch Dolphins." He only played this song three times, and each time was significantly different. And by the way, I must say I find the song totally hilarious! (More for the overall concept and vibe than any specific jokes.) It's one of my favorite songs by him, and is a good example of why I enjoy his stuff so much. Who else but Beck would ever play a song mocking the trend of touching dolphins?

By the way, note that the songs here often have more variable sound quality. Some of the songs are at soundboard level of quality, but a lot of them were taken from audience recorded bootlegs. 

The song "Back Streets of Scottsdale (Scottsdale Revolution)" is an unusual one. For this tour, about a dozen times, Beck made up a song on the spot about the town he was playing in. All of them were vastly different, and all of them had titles starting with "Back Streets of..." This is the only one I've been able to find in good quality. 

"L'Anamour," a duet with French singer Jane Birkin, is a bonus track. Beck sings in French! It's only a bonus track due to slightly subpar sound quality.

01 Acoustic Blues [Early Version of Farewell Ride] (Beck)
02 Evil Things (Beck & Eddie Vedder)
03 I'm Set Free (Beck & Thom Yorke)
04 Days of '92 (Beck)
05 Grow Fins (Beck)
06 Who Loves the Sun (Beck)
07 Lovesick Blues (Beck)
08 Back Streets of Scottsdale [Scottsdale Revolution] (Beck)
09 You're the One that I Want (Beck & Sia)
10 Cherry Blossom Song (Beck)
11 Funk Megajam [Crazy in Love - Hot in Herre - Under Pressure - Erotic City - Beautiful - Humpty Dance] (Beck)
12 Ballad of Big Nothing (Beck)
13 Clementine (Beck)
14 Nothing in This World Can Stop Me Worrying about that Girl (Beck)
15 Touch Dolphins (Beck)

L'Anamour (Beck & Jane Birkin)
Last Fair Deal Gone Down (Jack White & Beck)

Since I enjoy the song "Touch Dolphins" so much, I had to make it the title song. I decided to go in a very literal direction with the cover art, using a generic photo of someone touching dolphins.

Beck - Feel Good Time - Non-Album Tracks (2002-2004)

Beck did a lot of interesting things in the early 2000s that didn't make it onto any of his official albums. Unfortunately, not all of that sounds like excellently recorded studio material. So I'm dividing his stray tracks from this time into two categories: studio (or studio sounding) songs, and live songs, with audience noise and warts and all.

I've already released one album of studio sounding material covering 2000 and 2001. This continues that, covering 2002 to 2004. Following this album, I'll post another album of live songs covering 2001 to 2005.

This album contains a song that should have been a big hit for Beck: "Feel Good Time." This song was co-written by Beck, but it heavily samples the song "Fresh Garbage" by Spirit. Beck recorded it and was going to release it, but Pink heart of it somehow, and Beck gave the song to her, for some reason. His vocals were wiped and replaced by hers. She went on to have a number three hit with it in Britain. The Beck version still remains unreleased, but was posted on the producer's website at one point.

That song sounds like the sort of thing you'd hear on a pop station in 2003. But the rest of this album is far different. Most of them have an acoustic and/or country sound. The vast majority also are cover versions, from 2002 ("Do You Realize") all the way back to 1931 ("I'm So Glad"). As far as I can tell, there are only two other Beck originals, "Rosalie" and "Killing Kindness."

But still, it's a really good album, with most of the covers being interesting and unusual choices. Also, the sound is excellent. A few of the songs do come from concert bootlegs, but they are taken from pristine soundboards and the audience noise is removed, so they sound just like studio tracks.

01 Do You Realize (Beck)
02 Rosalie (Beck)
03 Beechwood Park (Beck)
04 Feel Good Time [Fresh Garbage] (Beck)
05 Kangaroo (Beck)
06 I'm So Glad (Beck)
07 Killing Kindness (Beck)
08 She Thinks I Still Care (Beck)
09 Magnolia (Beck)
10 Sleepless Nights (Beck)
11 True Love Will Find You in the End (Beck)
12 Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime (Beck)

I took the cover art from a Beck remix version of "Feel Good Time." I don't know where it comes from, but I really like it. All I did was add the words "Feel Good Time."

The Byrds - She Don't Care about Time - Non-Album Tracks (1965-1967)

Since I've started posting some albums by the Byrds, here's another one. To me, the Byrds from 1965 to 1967 were at their peak, and they recorded some of my favorite music ever. This album gathers up all the stray tracks from that time, so of course the music here is great. ;)

There are a couple of incidental tracks here, especially instrumentals, but there are some classic songs too. So overall, this album is just as solid as the other albums the Byrds released in those years. There are a few A- or B-sides, but for the most part, these songs weren't released until archival releases many years later.

Note that I'm keeping to my usual policy of avoiding alternate versions of songs officially released elsewhere. So, for instance, I'm not including either of the alternate versions of "Why," even though those versions are interesting and popular. Probably some point down the line I'll post an album just of interesting alternates like that one.

Back in 2018, I made a couple of mash-ups of Byrd songs. With "Bound to Fall," I paired an instrumental version lacking vocals with the vocals from Byrds bassist Chris Hillman some years later. With "Stranger in a Strange Land," a song by David Crosby, I had an instrumental version by the Byrds, but no known version of the Byrds or Crosby ever singing it. However, I did find a version of the song by folk duo Blackburn and Snow, and I merged that with the Byrds instrumental.

For this album, I'm including the mash-up of "Bound to Fall" at the end, since it's all the Byrds, even though it is a mash-up. But "Stranger in a Strange Land" mixes the Byrds with another artist, so that arguably isn't the Byrds anymore. Thus, I'm including that, but only as an optional bonus track.

01 She Has a Way (Byrds)
02 You and Me [Instrumental] (Byrds)
03 The Day Walk [Never Before] (Byrds)
04 She Don't Care about Time [Single Version] (Byrds)
05 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Byrds)
06 I Know My Rider [I Know You Rider] (Byrds)
07 Psychodrama City (Byrds)
08 If I Hang Around [Acoustic Demo] (Byrds)
09 Roll Over Beethoven (Byrds)
10 Lady Friend (Byrds)
11 Don't Make Waves (Byrds)
12 Flight 713 [Instrumental] (Byrds)
13 It Happens Each Day (Byrds)
14 Triad (Byrds)
15 Moog Raga [Instrumental] (Byrds)
16 Bound to Fall [Mash-Up Mix] (Byrds)

Stranger in a Strange Land [Mash-Up Mix] (Blackburn & Snow with the Byrds)

I made the cover using a photo of the five original Byrds. I'm not sure what year it comes from, but I'd guess around 1966.

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Indigo Girls - Shame on You - Acoustic Versions (1994-1998)

My series of albums with acoustic versions of the Indigo Girls' most beloved songs continues.

The album covers the time period in which the studio albums "Swamp Ophelia" (1994) and "Shaming of the Sun" (1997) were released. Four of the songs were officially released, mostly as B-sides. But it doesn't matter much if it was officially released or not, because the unreleased songs all come from in-person radio appearances, with pristine sound. In fact, two of the unreleased songs come from the same exact radio appearance as one of the officially released ones, and you can't tell the difference in sound quality.

There's not much else to say here except if you like the Indigo Girls when they're stripped down to just their great vocal harmonies and their acoustic guitars, as I do, you should enjoy this.

By the way, I've got one more album in this series to post eventually. It covers 1997 to 2003. (My interest in the duo drops significantly after that.)

01 Reunion [Acoustic Mix] (Indigo Girls)
02 Dead Man's Hill [Acoustic Mix] (Indigo Girls)
03 Mystery [Acoustic Mix] (Indigo Girls)
04 The Wood Song (Indigo Girls)
05 Three Hits (Indigo Girls)
06 Power of Two (Indigo Girls)
07 Least Complicated (Indigo Girls)
08 Get Out the Map (Indigo Girls)
09 Shame on You (Indigo Girls)
10 It's Alright (Indigo Girls)
11 Everything in Its Own Time (Indigo Girls)
12 Shed Your Skin (Indigo Girls)

I chose to call this album "Shame on You" mainly so I could use this album cover and not have to make my own. This is the cover to the "Shame on You" single, with some extra text added by me at the bottom.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Zombies - Tell Her No - Non-Album Tracks (1964-1965)

Here's the second album from an alternate universe where the Zombies weren't treated like crap by their record company. As I mentioned in my previous Zombies post, the band was only allowed to release one album from 1964 to 1967, a time when many other bands of their caliber were releasing two albums a year.

It turns out the Zombies had enough material to keep up with those other bands. But they were relegated to releasing singles only (aside from that one album, "Begin Here"). The time covered with this album was arguably the band's commercial peak, after having hits with "She's Not There" and "Tell Her No," so nearly all of the songs were actually released at the time, on that album or as singles.

The exception are three songs performed only on the BBC. But the recording of these songs sounds just as good as any studio recording of the time, with no crowd noise and no annoying DJ talking over the music. So for this album and the rest of this series, if the Zombies did a song where there's a BBC recording and nothing else, I'm treating that like just any other studio track.

01 Tell Her No (Zombies)
02 The Way I Feel Inside (Zombies)
03 I Can't Make Up My Mind (Zombies)
04 You've Really Got a Hold on Me - Bring It On Home to Me (Zombies)
05 Can't Nobody Love You (Zombies)
06 I Got My Mojo Working (Zombies)
07 Work 'N' Play [Instrumental] (Zombies)
08 Soulville (Zombies)
09 For You My Love (Zombies)
10 She's Coming Home (Zombies)
11 I Must Move (Zombies)
12 Remember You (Zombies)
13 I Want You Back Again (Zombies)
14 Rip It Up (Zombies)
15 Just Out of Reach (Zombies)

For the album cover, I found a cover of a "Tell Her No" EP. But the titles of the four songs on it were written in small print at the bottom. I didn't like that, so I erased those and replaced it with just "Tell Her No" in a much larger font size.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Larkin Poe - Run for Your Money - Non-Album Tracks (2017-2018)

I'm bummed that I feel obliged to make this album, because this truly is an album that shouldn't exist. I'm a big fan of Larkin Poe, as can be seen by the way I keep posting their music alongside many of the greatest musicians of all time.

But they're not nearly as popular as they should be. I think a big reason for that is that they keep making terrible decisions over how to release their music to the public. Earlier in their career, they had a strange habit of releasing only EPs, releasing six in a row! EPs don't get noticed and reviewed the way full albums do, so that's strange. More recently, they released "Reskinned" in 2016, half of which was the exact same recordings of the same songs on their previous albums. Then they released "Peach" in 2017, and "Venom and Faith" in 2018. Both are excellent albums, but both are just over 30 minutes long. (Note that I "fixed" "Reskinned" in a previous post by adding a bunch of unreleased original songs that are different than any of these songs.)

Why, for the last three albums, have they released albums that are short? It leaves the impression that they don't have enough material, but that's not true. Witness this album, which is made up entirely of songs they have been playing in concert since at least before the recording of their most recent album, and all but two of the songs are originals ("Rollin' and Tumblin" and "Never Been to Spain"). Why haven't these songs been included on album?! To my ears, this album is just as good as either of their last two albums. The song quality can be seen by the fact that they play many of these songs in concert a lot. In fact, according to, a few are some of their most played songs.

If there ever has been a recent band sabotaging their popularity by poor choices about how to release their music, it's this band! Hopefully, this album will help ameliorate that somewhat. Hopefully also many or most of these songs will end up on their next album. If so, I'll take this post down to help with their record sales.

By the way, I've included one song only as a bonus track, in part because it's a cover and in part because the crowd noise means the sound quality is a notch below the rest of the album (which, by the way, has excellent sound). It's a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." Like most of the songs on this album, they're in full rocking mode.

01 Run for Your Money (Larkin Poe)
02 Might as Well Be Me (Larkin Poe)
03 Dark Matter (Larkin Poe)
04 Poor Folk (Larkin Poe)
05 Rollin' and Tumblin' (Larkin Poe)
06 Summertime Sunset (Larkin Poe)
07 Black Echo (Larkin Poe)
08 Atomic No. 33 (Larkin Poe)
09 Breaking Me Up (Larkin Poe)
10 Never Been to Spain (Larkin Poe & Mark Agnesi)

War Pigs (Larkin Poe)

For the cover, I found a 2018 photo of Larkin Poe (i.e., Rebecca and Megan Lowell - Rebecca is the one looking forward), but I replaced a blah all-white background with something more interesting.

The Byrds - Acoustic Sessions - Non-Album Acoustic Tracks (1964)

The Byrds recorded a lot of songs in 1964, before they hit it big, and before they even were calling themselves "the Byrds." These recordings have been packaged in many ways, usually with "Preflyte" in the title. I decided to split them into two, with the full-band versions on one album and the acoustic versions on the other. As you can tell from the album title, this is the acoustic album.

With this album, I'm not worrying if I repeat some songs from the other 1964 album, or from later Byrds albums, because the fact that they're acoustic versions makes them sufficiently different and interesting. There are a few songs that would appear on the 1965 "Mr. Tambourine Man" album - "Here Without You," "I Knew I'd Want You," "You Won't Have to Cry," and "Mr. Tambourine Man."

But what really fascinates me is that the song "Everybody's Been Burned" is also included here. That song wouldn't be released by the Byrds until the 1967 "Younger than Yesterday" album. Yet this version is basically exactly the same, minus the instrumentation to flesh it out. The song is written by Byrd member David Crosby, so clearly he had songwriting skills years before it has generally been realized.

Also, the first song here is actually still unreleased, and is a Crosby solo performance dating back to 1962 or even 1961! His vocals sound great even back then. I wonder if that's an original song too.

Speaking of Crosby, some of the other songs are actually Crosby solo performances too. Plus, there are a bunch of solo performances by Gene Clark, who was the main singer and songwriter in the Byrds at the time. Rather than having a big bunch of Crosby songs in a row, and then another bunch of Clark's, I've tried to scatter both throughout the album, to give it more variety.

Oh, one of those Clark solo songs is rather odd if you listen to the lyrics: "All for Him." In it, Clark sings about another man he's fallen in love with. No, Clark wasn't secretly bisexual or the like. It turns out this was a demo for a song he wrote that was intended for a female singer.

One more note. There's one more song, another solo Clark song, that I failed to include: "I'd Feel Better." That's because I consider it such a poor song that I can't even bear to add it as a bonus track. The lyrics are simple and trite and the melody nothing special. I'm mentioning it in case you're a die-hard completist, in which case please track it down elsewhere.

01 It's Been Raining (David Crosby)
02 Why Can't I Have Her Back Again (Gene Clark)
03 All for Him (Gene Clark)
04 You Showed Me [Acoustic Demo] (Byrds)
05 I Knew I'd Want You [Acoustic Demo] (Byrds)
06 If There's No Love (Gene Clark)
07 You Won't Have to Cry [Acoustic Demo] (Byrds)
08 Tomorrow Is a Long Ways Away [Acoustic Demo] (Byrds)
09 The Way I Am (Gene Clark)
10 Everybody's Been Burned (David Crosby)
11 That Girl (Gene Clark)
12 Mr. Tambourine Man [Acoustic Demo] (Byrds)
13 I'm Just a Young Man (David Crosby)
14 The Only Girl I Adore [Demo] (Byrds)
15 A Worried Heart (Gene Clark)
16 Brotherhood of the Blues (David Crosby)
17 She's the Kind of Girl (Gene Clark)

Originally, I made the album cover using a 1965 black and white photo of the band that shows them holding acoustic instruments. I figured it fits well with the acoustic theme. But over a year later, I looked at it again and was displeased at the lack of color. So I picked a different photo of them from 1965, but this one in color. Then, in 2023, using superior new computer technology (the program Palette), I colorized that pic too.

Here is the original photo, colorized, in case you prefer it. For both versions, I added the appropriate record company logo and stereo logo.

The Byrds - You Showed Me - Non-Album Tracks (1964)

I think the Byrds are one of the great 1960s musical acts. And yet I've only posted two songs of theirs here, both of which are mash-ups I've made. It's high time I post more from them, so I'm starting here.

This is my version of the "Preflyte" sessions from 1964. In short, the Byrds didn't release an album until 1965, "Mr. Tambourine Man." But it turned out they did a lot of recording in 1964, before they got any widespread attention at all. (They didn't call themselves "The Byrds" yet, going by "The Jet Set" or "The Beefeaters. But for simplicity's sake, I'm calling them the Byrds, since it's the exact same five people.)

In 1969, an album from these sessions called "Preflyte" was released, and it did well both commercially and critically. In fact, it was just about the first archival rock release. But that was just the start, because these sessions got repackaged several times, with different songs each time: "In the Beginning," "The Preflyte Sessions," and "Preflyte Plus."

I decided to make two albums out of all this material. One would be the best album the Byrds could have released, without using any of the songs they put on their later albums. (There are about four of those.) This is that album. The other collects the best of all of the acoustic versions of the songs. I'll post that shortly.

It turns out that, in addition to the Byrds doing some recording in 1964, Byrds member David Crosby did some recording with a full band too. There are four good songs, but they only feature Crosby singing. Rather than putting them all together at the end, I've scattered them throughout the album.

I also found two instrumentals from 1964 by Byrds bassist Chris Hillman, done with a bluegrass group he was briefly in, called the Hillmen. These songs have Hillman showing his instrumental prowess playing mandolin, not bass. I've added them in too.

The result is a mere 33 minute long album, but that's fine because that was a typical album length in those days. I think this album would have caused many to sit up and take notice in 1964, because the classic Byrds sound and songwriting was already in full bloom.

I really don't like the name "Preflyte," because this imagines an album that could have been released in 1964, and obviously the name "Preflyte" only makes sense in retrospect. The obvious hit single is the song "You Showed Me." In 1968, the Turtles covered it and had a big hit with it, even though it had a 1964 sound that was totally out of step with musical trends in 1968. Surely then it would have been a hit in 1964, if it had been properly promoted. The usual thing to do was name the album after the hit, so that's what I'm doing here (even though it's an imagined hit).

01 You Showed Me (Byrds)
02 The Airport Song (Byrds)
03 Come Back, Baby (David Crosby)
04 Tomorrow Is a Long Ways Away (Byrds)
05 Boston (Byrds)
06 The Reason Why (Byrds)
07 Willie Jean (David Crosby)
08 For Me Again (Byrds)
09 Wheel Hoss [Instrumental] (Hillmen)
10 Let's Get Together (David Crosby)
11 You Movin' (Byrds)
12 Don't Be Long [It Won't Be Wrong] (Byrds)
13 Please, Let Me Love You (Byrds)
14 Jack of Diamonds (David Crosby)
15 Blue Grass Chopper [Instrumental] (Hillmen)

For the album cover, I took a photo from the artwork of one of the Preflyte releases. Then I added the text and the same record company and stereo logos found on the next Byrds album.

David Bowie - Who Can I Be Now - Non-Album Tracks (1974-1976)

Sometimes, these stray track compilations of mine can be a hodgepodge mainly for die-hard fans of a particular artist. But I think this album of David Bowie's is quite strong. If you like his music, you should grab these mp3 files.

This album covers his 1975 "Young Americans" soul phase for the most part, so it's stylistically consistent. (The last song dates to the 1976 "Station to Station" era.) About half of the songs are covers, but Bowie puts his unique stamp on them. The cover medley "Foot Stompin' - I Wish I Could Shimmy like My Sister Kate" predates his recording of his big hit "Fame," but note how some parts of that hit song can already be heard in this.

In 1976, Bowie lent a very big hand to Iggy Pop. Not only did he produce Pop's album "The Idiot" (which was released in early 1977), but he co-wrote every single song on it. Then he did the same in 1977 for Pop's next album, "The Passenger," writing or co-writing the vast majority of the songs there too. Unfortunately, "Sister Midnight" appears to be the only one of these songs that Bowie did himself in that era. (He would later make a big hit out of the co-write "China Girl," record a version of the co-write "Neightborhood Threat" to his 1984 album "Tonight," and also perform  the co-write "Lust for Life" in concert in 1996.) Perhaps somewhere in some vault there are more recordings of Bowie doing these songs.

This album is 52 minutes long.

UPDATE: On May 18, 2023, I updated the mp3 download file. I found two very rare unreleased Bowie originals, "I Am a Laser (The Gouster)" and "Shilling the Rubes." Bits of these had been floating around the Internet. I had included a partial, edited version of "Shilling the Rubes," with some parts repeated to make it a fuller song. But now I can toss that version away and replace it with the full, unedited version. 

In 2016, an archival box set called "Who Can I Be Now" included an album called "The Gouster" that is an early version of his 1975 album "Young Americans." Sadly, that didn't include either "I Am a Laser (The Gouster)" and "Shilling the Rubes," even though they gave the album the title "The Gouster," which is the subtitle of one of those songs! So, sadly, it seems these two songs will remain unreleased. But at least now we have the full versions with great sound quality.

01 Knock On Wood (David Bowie)
02 Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (David Bowie)
03 Foot Stompin' - I Wish I Could Shimmy like My Sister Kate (David Bowie)
04 Shilling the Rubes (David Bowie)
05 I Am a Laser [The Gouster] (David Bowie)
06 John, I'm Only Dancing Again (David Bowie)
07 It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City (David Bowie)
08 After Today (David Bowie)
09 Who Can I Be Now (David Bowie)
10 It's Gonna Be Me (David Bowie)
11 Sister Midnight (David Bowie)

For the album cover, I used a 1975 photo of Bowie.

The White Stripes - Who's to Say - Non-Album Tracks (2003)

The White Stripes were a prolific band. Usually, for every album they released, they'd have another album's worth of stray tracks.

This is a case in point. In 2003, they released the album "Elephant." All of the songs here are also from 2003. Four of them come from B-sides. But that also was the year Jack White had some songs on the "Cold Mountain" soundtrack, so I've included those. The rest are unreleased, generally live songs with the audience noise removed. Three of those come from a rare (for the time period) solo concert by guitarist Jack White.

By the way, "Cold Brains" is a song by Beck, and "Hear My Train A-Comin'" is a song by Jimi Hendrix. Anybody who covers both Beck and Hendrix is okay by me. ;)

In short, if you like the White Stripes, you should like this.

01 Black Jack Davey (White Stripes)
02 Good to Me (White Stripes)
03 Who's to Say... (White Stripes)
04 St. Ides of March (White Stripes)
05 Wayfaring Stranger (Jack White)
06 Never Far Away (Jack White)
07 Great High Mountain (Jack White)
08 Everywhere I Go, I'm Always There (White Stripes)
09 Dyin' Crapshooter's Blues (Jack White)
10 Cold Brains (Jack White)
11 Fragile Girl (Jack White)
12 Mr. Cellophane (White Stripes)
13 Hear My Train A-Comin' - Ball and Bisquit (White Stripes)

For the album cover, I took a 2003 concert poster, cropped it, and changed some lettering to add in the album title.

Belle & Sebastian - Heaven in the Afternoon - Non-Album Tracks (2006-2010)

This is the seventh Belle and Sebastian stray tracks album I've posted. I have one more to post after this. Oh, and band leader Stuart Murdoch had a side project called God Help the Girl in 2009 and 2010. I've got an album coming that's just the stray tracks from that.

So clearly, this is a group where almost half of their recorded output hasn't come out on album. And, as usual with this album, I think their non-album stuff is consistently good.

As I've done with past albums by them, I'm including the best songs from solo projects. This time around, that's six of the 14 songs, mostly by either Isobel Campbell or Murdoch. Most of the non-solo stuff are B-sides or bonus tracks connected to the Belle and Sebastian albums released in 2006 and 2010.

UPDATE: On February 4, 2021, I updated the mp3 download file. I found one song I'd missed, a cover of the Badfinger hit "No Matter What," from an unreleased radio station appearance.

01 Heaven in the Afternoon (Belle & Sebastian)
02 Long Black Scarf (Belle & Sebastian)
03 I Took a Long Hard Look (Belle & Sebastian)
04 Are You Going to Leave Me (Isobel Campbell)
05 No Matter What (Belle & Sebastian)
06 Cassaco Marron (Belle & Sebastian)
07 Are You Coming Over for Christmas (Belle & Sebastian)
08 Eyes of Love (Future Pilot AKA with Stuart Murdoch & Sarah Martin)
09 Florence's Sad Song (Stuart Murdoch)
10 Another Saturday [Wild Mountain Thyme] (Stuart Murdoch)
11 Suicide Girl (Belle & Sebastian)
12 Last Trip (Belle & Sebastian)
13 Sunrise (Isobel Campbell)
14 Blue Eyes of a Millionaire (Belle & Sebastian)
15 Fly (Stuart Murdoch)

The cover art comes from a 2015 concert poster. Unfortunately, as usual, such posters are rectangular and album covers are square. So I squished things vertically below the woman's waist to make it fit. I also removed some text at the bottom and added in the album title.

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Beach Boys - Caribou Ranch - Non-Album Tracks (1974-1975)

In 1973, the Beach Boys released "Holland," the latest in a long series of albums that tended to come at least once a year. And then... nothing. The band was riding a big wave of popularity, thanks to the release of the greatest hits album "Endless Summer" in 1974 that did surprisingly well, going all the way to number one in the charts in the US. But they didn't put out another album of new material until 1976, and by that time, their critical momentum was lost. 

From the mid-1970s onward until today, the band essentially turned into an "oldies" band, playing their earlier greatest hits the vast majority of the time, with their new material of much less interest to the average fan. 

It turns out the band was having big personnel problems. They tried recording a new album in 1974 and 1975 at Caribou Ranch in Colorado, but they couldn't get it together. The main problem, it seems, was genius Brian Wilson. His father died in mid-1973, and that sent him into a spiral of heavy drug use and general bad behavior. His voice deteriorated significantly due to heavy cocaine use and smoking, and he pretty much gave up on music. Rumors of him spending an entire year in bed date to around this time. So, with Brian as the creative leader of the group, it's no wonder they couldn't put finish an album.

That said, a lot of recording was done, and what I've heard sounds pretty good. Much music recorded around this time has never been made public, not even on bootleg, but there's enough for me to put this album together. However, I had to dig pretty deep in order to find enough material. I included "Good Timin'" and "It's OK"even though they weren't released until 1979 and 1976 respectively, because they actually were recorded during this time. I'm also including an early version of Dennis Wilson's "River Song" that was recorded in 1974, even though another version would be released on his 1977 solo album "Pacific Ocean Blue." I'm also including a Dennis Wilson song "Holy Man" that was recorded during this time, but he never got around to adding the vocals. So, many years later, a Dennis Wilson sound alike finished it off, and that version got officially released. Furthermore, I've included a solo piano version of "Disney Girls," even though that song was on an earlier Beach Boys album. I just think this very is really cool.

On top of all that, I went to some lengths in order to include a version of "You Are So Beautiful." Although Dennis Wilson isn't officially credited as a co-writer to the hit song by Billy Preston, it is widely believed that he did help write it. He played it in concert frequently from 1975 onwards, but unfortunately all the versions I've heard are just a snippet of about one minute long, with lots of audience singing. So I've stitched together different versions to create a full performance that's almost three minutes long.

Add all those songs together, plus the rest, and you get an album that's 37 minutes long. Clearly, this was not a creative high point for the band. But they could and should have put together an album to keep their career going, especially since there are reports that there was a lot more recorded that has yet to be released. Plus, they could have drawn on the volumes of songs that had been recorded in previous years and were still unreleased and totally unheard of at the time. Oh well.

01 Good Timin' (Beach Boys)
02 Holy Man (Dennis Wilson with Taylor Hawkins)
03 California Feelin' [Demo] (Brian Wilson)
04 It's OK (Beach Boys)
05 My Love Lives On (Beach Boys)
06 River Song [Early Version] (Beach Boys)
07 Child of Winter (Beach Boys)
08 Barnyard Blues (Beach Boys)
09 Don't Fight the Sea (Beach Boys)
10 In the Back of My Mind [Demo] (Brian Wilson)
11 Disney Girls [Solo Version] (Bruce Johnston)
12 You Are So Beautiful [Live] [Edit] (Beach Boys)

I kind of cheated with making the cover art. I found a photo of the barn at the Caribou Ranch near Boulder, Colorado, where the Beach Boys and many other big name artists recorded in the 1970s. I also found another photo that wasn't very good, but included the Caribou Ranch sign over the road leading to the place. I liked the sign and the barn, so I combined the two photos. I figured there's no good place left to add "The Beach Boys," so I just left that off.

The Bangles - You Were On My Mind - Various Acoustic Songs (2000-2011)

I've finished posting all the Bangles' stray tracks album I've made. But I consider this as essential to any Bangles fan. It's them performing many of their best songs in the studio in a semi-acoustic style.

The Bangles reformed in 1999 after being broken up for about ten years. Since reuniting, they haven't caught the world on fire like they did the first time around, but they're just as musically talented. Unfortunately, key member Michael Steele left in 2005, turning the foursome into a threesome. But this is from before her departure.

The songs come from 2000 and 2003, but in terms of the music you can't notice the gap of three years. The first four songs are technically recorded in front of an audience, but with the clapping stripped away, you can't tell. The entire thing sounds like an "unplugged" show recorded in a studio, which means their excellent harmonies are on display.

Many of the songs are from their 2003 album "Doll Revolution," but I think those songs sound better here in this stripped-back form. They also do a cover of the 1960s folk rock hit "You Were On My Mind" which doesn't appear on any of their albums.

This album is 57 minutes long.

01 Eternal Flame (Bangles)
02 Ride the Ride (Bangles)
03 You Were on My Mind (Bangles)
04 Manic Monday (Bangles)
05 The Rain Song (Bangles)
06 Something that You Said (Bangles)
07 A Hazy Shade of Winter (Bangles)
08 Here Right Now (Bangles)
09 September Gurls (Bangles)
10 Stealing Rosemary (Bangles)
11 Tear Off Your Own Head [It's a Doll Revolution] (Bangles)
12 Between the Two (Bangles)
13 Through Your Eyes (Bangles)
14 What a Life (Bangles)
15 Anna Lee [Sweetheart of the Sun] (Bangles)
16 Let It Go (Bangles)
17 A Hazy Shade of Winter [Fully Acoustic Version] (Bangles)

I'm not sure where or when the cover art photo comes from, but it seems certain it's from the early 2000s, before Steele left the band.

The Who - Rock Is Dead - Long Live Rock - Non-Album Tracks (1971-1973)

Here's the next stray track album from the Who.

This has been a difficult album for me to make, because I originally did it a different way. The basic idea is that the Who were planning an album in 1972 to be called "Rock Is Dead - Long Live Rock." The song "Love Live Rock" obviously was a centerpiece of that. However, some of the songs planned for this album were apparently never recorded by the Who, or if they have been, they've never reached the public.

Furthermore, a couple of the songs that were recorded by the Who were later included on their 1973 album "Quadrophenia," and I wouldn't want to include songs that are on that very well-known album.

Wikipedia has a good page about the unfinished album:!

Originally, I made a version of this album with Pete Townshend demos substituting for the songs the Who never recorded or released. But I've also posted a series of Townshend albums at this blog that already include those songs, and I don't want to use the exact same recordings on different albums if I can help it.

So I was left with an album that's too short. Luckily, I was able to beef it up by adding some songs intended for "Quadrophenia" that didn't make the final cut of that album. Some of these songs were recorded by the Who around 1979 for the soundtrack of the "Quadrophenia" movie. I had to be careful not to use those versions. Luckily, demos or other versions from the 1972 to 1973 time frame do exist for most of them. I also included a cover version, "Road Runner," from 1971, to help make the album long enough.

So this is a patchwork album. But the Who were in their prime during this time period, so it doesn't matter much because everything they did was very good.

There's one more cover song from 1971 that I considered including to make the album sufficiently long: "Going Down." However, I don't consider it as good of a song as the others on the album, so I've only included it as a bonus track.

Without that song, the album is 33 minutes long, which is shorter than I'd like. Hopefully, someday some other songs the Who did around this time will get released, such as their version of the obscure Townshend song "Ambition." Townshend played an acoustic version of it in 2005, and said it just missed being included on  the super deluxe version of "Quadrophenia." (You can find it at this blog on the "In the Attic" Townshend album.)

01 The Relay (Who)
02 Put the Money Down (Who)
03 When I Was a Boy (Who)
04 [I'm A] Road Runner (Who)
05 Four Faces (Who)
06 Long Live Rock (Who)
07 Joker James (Who)
08 We Close Tonight (Who)
09 Join Together (Who)

Going Down (Who)

The cover art was made by Jon Hunt, and taken from his blog of alternate album covers.

The Zombies - She's Not There - Non-Album Tracks (1964)

A while back, I was asked to fix the discographies of the Zombies and the Yardbirds. The Yardbirds are still coming, but here's the start to the Zombies.

It's understandable to ask for a reorganization of the Zombies' music, because they've been treated very badly over the years. Basically, they never were popular enough for their record company to treat them seriously. They only issues two albums and a bunch of singles while they were together in the 1960s, and one of those albums, the classic "Odessey and Oracle," came out after the band broke up.

What I've discovered is that the Zombies recorded enough music for six albums, not two! That's an amazing difference! And they had a high consistency, so it's pretty much all good stuff. I'm getting nearly all of their music from the 1997 box set "Zombie Heaven." This has to be one of the best and most influential of all box sets, and probably was the key factor for critics to reassess their legacy, ultimately resulting in them getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

But while that box set did a big service in putting all of the Zombies' music in one place, including lots of previously unreleased material, I think it can be organized better. For one thing, it's four CDs of about 70 minutes each. I think the Zombies are better served by albums less than 40 minutes each. That's how their music was meant to be heard back in the day. For instance, their two albums released in the 1960s were 33 and 35 minutes long respectively.

Also, the box set organizes their music thematically, for instance by songs that were officially released at the time and those that weren't, and those that were played at the BBC. I think it makes much more sense to organize the songs chronologically. So, using the box set's extensive liner notes, I figured out which month and year each song was recorded, and used that. (I've included that info in the album field of the mp3 tags to help me keep things straight.)

So here's the first of the six albums I've made. These albums include all the song they recorded minus the "Odessey and Oracle" album. There's no need for me to post that here because it's perfect the way it is. After I post all that, I may also post alternate versions of some of the songs done in the studio or at the BBC.

Naturally, I'm titling this "She's Not There" for one of their biggest hits, and I'm putting that song first. It also happens to be one of the first things they recorded. The Zombies were great from the very start.

01 She's Not There (Zombies)
02 Summertime (Zombies)
03 It's Alright with Me (Zombies)
04 You Make Me Feel Good (Zombies)
05 Leave Me Be (Zombies)
06 Woman (Zombies)
07 Kind of Girl (Zombies)
08 Sometimes (Zombies)
09 Early One Morning (Zombies)
10 Road Runner (Zombies)
11 Sticks and Stones (Zombies)
12 I Don't Want to Know (Zombies)
13 I Remember When I Loved Her (Zombies)
14 What More Can I Do (Zombies)
15 Walking in the Sun (Zombies)
16 I'm Going Home (Zombies)

The cover comes from one of the many cover variants of the "She's Not There" single.