Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips - Keep Your Distance - Home Concert, Montclair, NJ, 3-30-2020

As I write this, the world is in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic. That means that everyone should be practicing social distancing. That, in turns, means musicians are sitting at home instead of going on tour. To cheer up their fans, many musicians have started performing home concerts that are streamed across the Internet.

By luck, I stumbled across a Richard Thompson home concert that was recorded just one day earlier! Normally, I don't post much current music, both because I don't want to deny musicians what meager songwriting royalties are still left by sharing something that has just come out, but also because I tend to focus on music from what I consider the "golden age" of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, much more than current music. But I can make a special exception here because one of the all-time musical greats has posted this concert for free to help us all get through these troubled times.

There's good news and bad news with the sound quality of this recording. The good news is that since it was recorded in Thompson's house in New Jersey, it isn't hampered by any audience cheering. The bad news is that because it was broadcast live, the sound quality was limited so people with poor Internet connections could hear it in real time. As a result, the music is strangely clipped or muffled at times. So this is a really nice concert if you can put up with that. But some people might get annoyed with it. Thompson mentioned he plans on doing more concerts like this soon, since we're likely to keep doing this social distancing thing for another month or two, at least. I hope he improves the sound quality the next time around.

I took the recording from YouTube. It was one big file, but I broke it down into individual tracks, with the talking between songs split onto their own tracks as well. I boosted the volume of the talking a bit. I edited out some guitar tuning between songs. I kept in a certain amount of tuning though, when it was mixed in with the talking. Also, in recent years, Thompson has gotten in the habit of coughing and/or clearing his throat between songs a lot. That bugs me, so I carefully removed all of those throat noises. The YouTube video is 59 minutes long; I edited out a total of about four minutes of that, mostly from removing some guitar tuning.

A majority of the concert just features Richard Thompson. However, he was eventually joined by his partner Zara Phillips, who sang on the last five songs, largely on the choruses. So I've credited this as "Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips," since it's mostly him.

In the likely case that you only listen to this instead of watching it on YouTube, the loud buzzing noise before the song "Keep Your Distance" was Phillips jokingly using a vacuum cleaner around where Thompson was sitting for a few moments. Then she continued to joke around by taking his temperature while briefly wearing a mask and gloves. You can see that in the screenshot I took for the cover art.

Speaking of the song "Keep Your Distance," I felt obliged to use that song title as the title of this album because it's so fitting. I'm very glad he played that song, because it's been in my head a lot in recent days when I find myself forced to practice social distancing.

Anyway, please stay safe, and enjoy. And if you find about other home concerts like this one featuring the kind of musicians I post at this blog, please let me know, so I can possibly share those concerts here too.

01 talk (Richard Thompson)
02 I Misunderstood (Richard Thompson)
03 talk (Richard Thompson)
04 If I Could Live My Life Again (Richard Thompson)
05 talk (Richard Thompson)
06 Now Be Thankful (Richard Thompson)
07 talk (Richard Thompson)
08 Walking the Long Miles Home (Richard Thompson)
09 talk (Richard Thompson)
10 As Soon as You Hear the Bell (Richard Thompson)
11 talk (Richard Thompson)
12 O Cinderella (Richard Thompson)
13 talk (Richard Thompson)
14 Down Where the Drunkards Roll (Richard Thompson)
15 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
16 Keep Your Distance (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
17 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
18 The Rattle Within (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
19 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
20 She Never Could Resist a Winding Road (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
21 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
22 Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
23 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
24 I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
25 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips) 


 As mentioned above, the cover art photo comes from a screenshot from the YouTube video of this concert.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Jimi Hendrix - Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA, 5-30-1970, Early Show

I'm going through a Jimi Hendrix kick right now, so expect more posts of his music soon. I've finished posting all the stray tracks albums I've made for him, and I'm going to start posting more of his live material.

After three decades of fairly incompetent management, the Hendrix music catalog has been treated better for the last twenty years or so, since it's come under new management. That said, there still are some baffling decisions about what has been released and what hasn't so far. The two Berkeley concerts that Hendrix played on May 30, 1970 were professionally recorded and filmed. (The film of it, "Jimi Plays Berkeley," was released in 1971.) In 2003, an official live album was finally released. But it was only of the late show!

The release of only the last show is a real head-scratcher. Both of the Berkeley shows are great, and the set lists of the early and late shows are fairly different. Many serious Hendrix fans consider the Berkeley concerts to be among the very best of his concerts if you consider both performance and sound quality, and some even say it was him at his absolute peak. Furthermore, many also say the early show was even better than the late one. Plus, the early one is about twenty minutes longer, at an hour and a half. So why the heck hasn't the early show been released too?!

Actually, many of the performances from it have been released, here and there. For instance, "Johnny B. Goode" was released on "In the West" and other albums. "Hear My Train A-Comin'" was released on "Rainbow Bridge." "Ezy Rider" was released on "Band of Gypsys 2" (strangely enough, since Berkeley wasn't a Band of Gypsys concert). "Red House" was on the "West Coast Seattle Boy" box set. A few other songs were on more obscure releases, such as an EP that only came out in Britain for a limited time in the 1990s. But it's a crying shame the early show hasn't been released in full.

Luckily, there's an excellent bootleg version that came out around 2011 that sounds just as good as any live album from that era. (If you have a boot of the concert from before that time, you should replace it, because the sound is even better than earlier versions.) Clearly, it must come from the master tapes of the mobile recording unit. That's the version I've used here.

I only had two major issues with that recording. The first is that because it's such a pristine soundboard, it often didn't record much of the audience noise. So at the end of some songs, I've boosted the volume of the cheering to be as loud as typical cheering after a song ends. The second issue is that Hendrix's talking between songs was often unusually quiet. I've carefully boosted that up to make it more audible while leaving everything else alone. Sometimes it gets a little hissy because I had to increase the volume so much, but that can't be helped. The hissing is minor, in any case.

1970 was the last year of Hendrix's life. His concerts that year were admittedly hit or miss. But, in my opinion, when he hit, that was peak Hendrix. I especially like the fact that his set lists were more varied, with lots of new songs and less of the old warhorses like "Hey Joe" and "Purple Haze." Personally, I think if I were to recommend just one Hendrix concert to someone who doesn't know his music that well, it would be this one. Oh, and the movie "Jimi Plays Berkeley" is pretty good as well, so you should check that out too.

01 talk (Jimi Hendrix)
02 Fire (Jimi Hendrix)
03 talk (Jimi Hendrix)
04 Johnny B. Goode (Jimi Hendrix)
05 talk (Jimi Hendrix)
06 Hear My Train A-Comin' (Jimi Hendrix)
07 talk (Jimi Hendrix)
08 Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix)
09 talk (Jimi Hendrix)
10 Machine Gun (Jimi Hendrix)
11 talk (Jimi Hendrix)
12 Freedom (Jimi Hendrix)
13 talk (Jimi Hendrix)
14 Red House (Jimi Hendrix)
15 talk (Jimi Hendrix)
16 Message to Love (Jimi Hendrix)
17 talk (Jimi Hendrix)
18 Ezy Rider (Jimi Hendrix)
19 talk (Jimi Hendrix)
20 The Star Spangled Banner [Instrumental] (Jimi Hendrix)
21 Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)
22 talk (Jimi Hendrix)
23 Voodoo Child [Slight Return] (Jimi Hendrix)


For the album cover, I found a copy of a promotional poster for the Berkeley concerts. I used that for the framing artwork, plus the text. I had to make some major changes to clear out room for a photo in the middle. I also only kept some of the text, and then I edited the text slightly to make it specific for the early show (the poster was for both the early and late shows). The picture in the middle comes from Hendrix at the Berkeley concerts.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Key - Fit Me In (1978)

Here's something that's a little unusual for me. Normally, I don't post studio albums unless I change them in some significant way. But in this case I'm going to post a studio album totally unchanged because A) it's really good and B) it's totally obscure. Plus, C) it's catchy, Beatlesque pop, and in these troubled coronavirus times, we all could use more music like that.

Instead of trying to explain what this album is like, I'm going to quote extensively from the allmusic.com review of it:

"For decades, the Key's 'Fit Me In' has been a lost treasure for fans of a certain strain of '70s AM pop. Think Paul McCartney and Wings, 10cc, Emitt Rhodes, the Korgis -- basically anything involving falsetto harmonies, chorused guitar effects, and an overall sense of languor and studio gloss. The Key were an Anglo-German duo of singer/songwriter Volker Langefeld (he of the breathy tenor vocals a la the Raspberries' Eric Carmen) and multi-instrumentalist Alan Warren, and their sole album was released in 1978, just a hair too late for the times. By the time this album was released, the new wave had overtaken the top of the pops, and a new band whose music sounded like the best Badfinger album ever made was, sadly, a couple years behind the time. In retrospect, however, the best songs on Fit Me In are astonishingly good examples of the form."

I especially like the comment about this sounding like the best Badfinger album ever made. The music is so good and catchy that it's a wonder to me that it had such little commercial success. Even now, it seems the band hasn't been rediscovered the way Big Star and the Plimsouls and other similar bands have been. I guess a lot of that has to do with the fact that they only ever released one album. That's a big puzzler for me: if they're as talented as they sound, what the heck did they do musically before or after this?! Apparently nothing, as far as I can tell. If anyone knows of more music either or both of them made, please let me know.

But also, as the allmusic.com review noted, this album came out in the wrong country (Germany) at the wrong time (1978). If they'd been a British band in the late 1960s, or an American band after the Knack and Cheap Trick briefly made power pop cool in 1979, they could have done much better. To make matters worse, I don't think they ever toured or did any promotion.

This album languished in (even more) obscurity until 2007, when it was released on CD with four bonus tracks. I've included the bonus tracks here too. They're some of the best songs, actually.

While looking up information about this album so I could post it, I stumbled across a social media post that has commentary by Volker, one of the two band members, about each song. Apparently, it was going to be part of the CD release, but was finished too late.  So I've added it in the zip download as a text file. Also, for the first releases of that CD, a little bit of one of the songs was accidentally cut off. But my version doesn't have that problem.

By the way, if any of you know of similar "lost albums" like this one, please let me, and the other people reading this blog, know. I find the vast majority of those don't live up to their hype. But every now and then, there's one, such as this one, that does.

01 The Farmer and the Fisherman (Key)
02 And the Rain (Key)
03 Pamela (Key)
04 Lazy Bird (Key)
05 Pretty Little Star (Key)
06 Old Fashioned Boogie (Key)
07 Half as Much (Key)
08 I'd Really Go for a Lady (Key)
09 That Game (Key)
10 Dragonmania (Key)
11 Fit Me In (Key)
12 Sometimes (Key)
13 Western People (Key)
14 Ba Uwa Mare Re (Key)
15 Until the Day (Key)
16 Should You Ever Meet Again (Key)
17 Cause You're a Lady (Key)


For the album cover, I just used the official album cover, unchanged.

Friday, March 27, 2020

U2 & Brian Eno (The Passengers) - Original Soundtracks 1 - Alternate Version (1995)

As I continue to work my way through U2's career, I come to 1995 and the curious album "Original Soundtracks 1." This album has largely been overlooked by U2 fans because it was credited to "The Passengers" instead of U2. But that's just a name for the four members of U2 plus their frequent producer Brian Eno. The "Passengers" name never caught on, since they've only done the one album, so I'm going to call a spade a spade and credit this to U2 and Brian Eno.

The other main reason this album is "Original Soundtracks 1" is often overlooked is because it's different than the typical U2 album. It's more atmospheric and experimental. And, to be frank, I don't think it's up to their usual standards. Clearly, they were making the songs up as they went along, and some of their ideas worked and some of them didn't.

But there was a lot of good stuff on it. The album would have been a lot better if they'd cut the album length down. This is another case of "less is more." The original album is an hour long. I've cut that down nearly in half, to 37 minutes. In so doing, I generally removed the more experimental and atmospheric songs, and favored the ones with more vocals and song structure.

That's not all I did though. I also have added three songs to the end. One of them, "Slow Dancing," was released as a B-side in 1993. I already included an acoustic version of that song on the previous album in my U2 albums series, and I didn't want to put two versions on the same album. Plus, there's another version I want to put on my next U2 stray tracks album that's significantly different, since it's a duet version with Willie Nelson. So its best fit is here.

The two other songs I've added, "In the Name of the Father" and "You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart," are Bono songs from 1994. I've included them because they're good songs that are from the right time period. But also, in my opinion, they perfectly fit the same music mood as the "Original Soundtracks 1" songs. Clearly, Bono was going through a certain musical phase, and they were part of that phase. By the way, "You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart" is officially unreleased, but it sounds as good as any released track.

Note that I have some other songs from 1995, most especially U2's hit single "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me." But those have a different sound to them. I'm saving those for my next U2 stray tracks album, which covers the time between this album and U2's 1997 album "Pop."

After the changes I've made, this still isn't a great U2 album, on the lines of "The Joshua Tree" or "Achtung Baby." But it's a very good one, if you're willing to go along with them in a more atmospheric direction. It certainly deserves more attention than it's received so far.

01 Slug (U2 & Brian Eno)
02 Your Blue Room (U2 & Brian Eno)
03 Always Forever Now (U2 & Brian Eno)
04 Beach Sequence (U2 & Brian Eno)
05 Miss Sarajevo (U2 & Brian Eno with Luciano Pavarotti)
06 One Minute Warning (U2 & Brian Eno with Holi)
07 Corpse (U2 & Brian Eno)
08 Elvis Ate America (U2 & Brian Eno with Howie B.)
09 In the Name of the Father (Bono & Gavin Friday)
10 You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart [Demo] (Bono)
11 Slow Dancing (U2)


For the album cover, I could have just used the existing cover to the officially released version of the album. But I figure this version is different enough to merit its own cover. I couldn't find any photo of the four members of U2 plus Brian Eno together in the right time frame. But I did find one of the two most famous members of the band, Bono and the Edge, with Eno, so I've used that. The photo was taken at a benefit concert in Modena, Italy, in 1995. From left to right, the photo shows Eno, Bono, and the Edge (in the glasses).

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Gladys Knight & the Pips & Ray Charles - Together at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, 9-22-1977

I really like soul music from the 1960s and 1970s, and I wish I could post more of that type of music here, but it's not often that I find that kind of album that's worthy of the "albums that should exist" label. However, this one definitely is: it's a one-of-a-kind concert featuring two soul music greats, Gladys Knight (and the Pips) and Ray Charles.

To be honest, this is more of a Gladys Knight and the Pips concert: it's an hour long, and 37 minutes pass before Ray Charles shows up. But it's quite good just as a Knight concert, because there's only one of those from her prime 1960s and 1970s years, and it's not that good and is long out of print. In my opinion, it's a lucky thing that this concert took place in 1977 and not more recently, because 1977 was the tail end of soul music's golden era. Already in that year, disco was taking over, and disco destroyed or compromised the music of nearly every major soul figure. (I'm not against all disco, but there was a time when basically everyone "went disco" when they shouldn't have, including the likes of Ethel Merman!) Luckily, there are no traces of disco here. Had this been recorded a year or two later, I'll bet a lot of the songs would have been "disco-fied."

Anyway, we have an album of a very solid Gladys Knight and the Pips concert, where she played most of her biggest hits. Then Ray Charles joined in and played two songs on his own. For the last three songs, Knight and Charles sang together. As far as I know, this is the only time the two of them collaborated like this on stage, although they did a couple of duets in the studio towards the end of Charles' life.

The reason we have a recording of this concert, and in very good sound quality, is because it was professionally filmed and then shown on HBO a year later. Many years after that, that film was released on video, and then on DVD in 2008. I was able to find a version of that on YouTube and convert it to mp3 format. The sound quality isn't awesome, like you'd expect of a music DVD from decades later, but it's akin to a soundboard bootleg, which is still really good.

Unfortunately, we only get what was included on the DVD. Newspaper reports from the time indicate that more songs were played. For instance, we know Charles also played "Mack the Knife," Knight played "Daddy Could Swear, I Declare" (with Charles on piano), and the concert ended with "What I'd Say" as a finale. So that's a bummer, but we do get the vast majority of the concert, and hopefully someday the rest will be released.

01 How Can You Say That Ain't Love (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
02 talk (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
03 Every Beat of My Heart (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
04 talk (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
05 So Sad the Song (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
06 talk (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
07 On and On (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
08 talk (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
09 Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
10 Midnight Train to Georgia (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
11 Evergreen - The Way We Were (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
12 I've Got to Use My Imagination (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
13 I Heard It through the Grapevine (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
14 talk (Ray Charles & Gladys Knight & the Pips)
15 I Can See Clearly Now (Ray Charles)
16 America the Beautiful (Ray Charles)
17 talk (Ray Charles & Gladys Knight & the Pips)
18 Georgia on My Mind (Ray Charles & Gladys Knight & the Pips)
19 talk (Ray Charles & Gladys Knight & the Pips)
20 Neither One of Us [Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye] (Ray Charles & Gladys Knight & the Pips)
21 talk (Ray Charles & Gladys Knight & the Pips)
22 Hit the Road, Jack (Ray Charles & Gladys Knight & the Pips)


For the cover art photo, I used a screenshot from the exact concert in question, thanks to the DVD of it (which has been posted on YouTube). Unfortunately, the picture quality isn't that great. If anyone has a better one, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight & the Squires - George's Club 20, Hackensack, NJ, 12-26-1965

In September 1966, an obscure lead guitarist known as "Jimmy James" changed his name to Jimi Hendrix ("Hendrix" being the last name he was born with), moved to England, got a new band, and quickly became a superstar. But what about his music prior to that? He did head his own band, known as "Jimmy James and the Blue Flames," for much of 1966. Unfortunately, no recordings of them are known to exist. However, I've managed to create an album of a Hendrix concert all the way back in December 1965, thanks to some selective editing. The sound is a little rough, but I consider it a great listen for any serious Hendrix fan.

To better explain what I did here and why, I need to explain more of Hendrix's early musical career. Starting in 1963, he spent a few years as a little-known side man and session musician. Generally speaking, he played guitar for well known soul artists like the Isley Brothers and Little Richard when they toured. He found this very frustrating, because his incredible skills were very little used. In 1965, he began playing sometimes with Curtis Knight and his band the Squires. Knight was fairly obscure himself, so he didn't have a big ego, and he recognized Hendrix's talent. As a result, Hendrix was given much more of the spotlight than before, getting to sing quite a few songs while also showing off his lead guitar prowess, including doing showy tricks like playing solos with his teeth.

In December 1965, Knight recorded at least one concert at a small club, George's Club 20, in Hackensack, New Jersey. We know one of the concerts occurred on December 26, 1965, because Knight mentioned the date in his between-song banter. But many of the songs were played twice, suggesting that the band played two concerts that evening, or shows from more than one night were recorded. There's a surprising lack of audience noise on the recordings, and some of it seems to have been added in later, so it's not entirely clear if these were really live recordings, or done in the studio, or maybe played at something similar to a soundcheck, with a nearly empty club.

In any case, these December 1965 recordings appear to be the only early "live" recordings of Hendrix that have survived. A double album bootleg version has floated around for many years. In 2017, Hendrix's record company issued an official version called "Live at George's Club 20" that's half as long as the bootleg. Unfortunately, the sound quality of the official album and the bootleg are about the same, and both leave something to be desired. This music sounds better than a typical audience bootleg from the era, but not as good as a professionally recorded live album from that time, or even a well-recorded bootleg soundboard.

For legal reasons, the official album couldn't mention Hendrix's name on the cover, not even in small print. To make matters worse, a majority of the songs were sung by Knight instead of Hendrix. To be honest, most of the songs are bar band-like versions of soul music hits, sung by someone (Knight) with merely a good voice instead of a great one. Because of these reasons, plus the rough sound quality, the album has remained obscure, even for most Hendrix fans.

But wait! I'm knocking these recordings a lot, but there is a real gem of an album buried within them. I've collected just the songs sung by Hendrix from the official album, plus a few that they'd missed from the bootlegs of the same show(s). By focusing on just that material, one gets a fascinating view of how developed Hendrix's musical talent already was in late 1965. His guitar skills were already extraordinary, and unlike the limited studio recordings he did in those early years where he rarely got to solo, he soloed all over these songs. A few even are instrumentals meant to highlight his guitar prowess. A good portion of the songs he sang were songs he continued to perform after he got famous ("Killing Floor," "I'm a Man," "Driving South," "Bleeding Heart," and "Day Tripper"). One song, "Come On," even made it's way in modified form onto his classic "Electric Ladyland" album.

Nearly all the songs sung by Knight that I didn't include were pop and/or soul hits. Some of them were in the charts at the time the recordings were made. By contrast, the Hendrix-sung songs were significantly more bluesy, including some obscurities, such as Albert King's "Travelin' to California." It's almost like discovering a different concert inside the larger concert. (By the way, "Driving South" is often considered a Hendrix original when it's shown up on some of his albums after he hit the big time. But it's basically the Albert Collins instrumental "Thaw-Out" with some lyrics added.)

Unfortunately, the song order is all jumbled up. The order on the bootleg is different from that of the official album, and both of them are probably different from what was actually played that night, or nights, considering that we don't even know how many concerts the songs are from. So I've made some changes in the order for musical flow reasons. But I've kept the between song banter (which is mostly by Knight) in the right places whenever possible. I put all four songs that come from the bootleg instead of the official album at the end. But, as I said above, the sound quality of those are about the same. However, one of those songs, "Bleeding Heart," got cut off halfway through, and fades out. That's probably why it wasn't included on the official album, even though it's a Hendrix showcase.

I'm happy to say that after the Knight-sung songs are removed, one is left with about 50 minutes of music, which is a nice album length. (Knight does sing back up on some of the songs here, and co-lead on a couple, such as "Day Tripper." He also does most of the vocals for "Driving South," but that's mainly an instrumental.) I think it would be quite similar to what Hendrix probably played a few months later when he fronted his own band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, except that Knight is basically the MC doing most of the talking between the songs.

In my opinion, this album is a classic case of "less is more." The Knight-sung songs are worth listening to, especially since Hendrix played guitar solos on some of them. But when I had the full recording dominated by Knight, it was a historical curio that I hardly ever listened to. Now that I've boiled it down to the Hendrix-led songs, I enjoy it more and listen to it a lot more. I hope you'll feel the same way.

01 talk (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
02 Killing Floor (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
03 talk (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
04 Last Night [Instrumental] (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
05 Land of 1000 Dances (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
06 talk (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
07 Come On, Part 1 [Instrumental] (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
08 Get Out of My Life Woman (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
09 talk (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
10 Travelin' to California (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
11 talk (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
12 What'd I Say (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
13 I'm a Man (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
14 talk (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
15 Driving South [Thaw-Out] (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
16 Day Tripper (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
17 Bleeding Heart (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
18 Bo Diddley - Hush Your Mouth (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)
19 Walkin' the Dog (Jimi Hendrix with Curtis Knight)


Believe it or not, there actually are photos of Hendrix playing at the George's Club 20 from around the date of the concert. But they're black and white and low resolution. Instead, I decided to use a publicity photo of Hendrix as part of Knight's band from around that time period. It was high resolution enough for me to be able to zoom in on just Hendrix's head, so you could get a good idea of what he looked like at the time. Even that one was in black in white, but I managed to colorize it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Aretha Franklin with Jimi Hendrix - Save Me (MASH-UP)

As far as I know, Aretha Franklin and Jimi Hendrix never played music together, either on stage or in the studio. But they kind of did, in a weird way, which is what the mash-up is all about.

In 1966, Hendrix was still known as "Jimmy James," and was a little-known lead guitarist backing up various soul music acts. He got occasional work as a session musician. For one such job, he was the guitarist for a 1966 song by Ray Sharpe with the King Curtis Orchestra, called "Help Me." The song was divided into two parts, and the part 2 B-side contained a Hendrix guitar solo.

The song was basically a soul version of "Gloria" by Them (with lead vocals by Van Morrison). It has the same driving three chord guitar pattern, and part 2 of "Help Me" even uses some of the same lyrics. The basic groove of "Help Me" sounded so good that the backing track was reused several times. For instance, King Curtis used it for an instrumental called "Instant Groove." King Curtis was also the original songwriter.

But the most important recycling of the backing track was by Aretha Franklin. She, along with her sister Carolyn, added her own lyrics and melody and completely transformed the song. It was included on her classic 1967 album "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You," and the song has become a classic in its own right. Unfortunately, while that version used the backing track that Hendrix played on, his solo was wiped from the final version.

What I've done here is take the Franklin song "Save Me" and then splice the Hendrix solo back in where a guitar solo would logically go. I tweaked the pitch and tempo slightly to get them to match. I think the mash-up works well, but I'll let you be the judge.

Hendrix's solo is about 30 seconds long. If you're expecting the amazing guitar pyrotechnics that he's famous for, you'll be disappointed. His solo is in a very different style than what he became famous for later. It's quite minimalist, and heavily influenced by guitar great Steve Cropper, in my opinion. But still, I think it's quite fascinating to hear his solo style from early 1966, before he changed his name to Jimi Hendrix and made radical changes to his life, dress, and personality.

I made this today because I'm working on posting some albums of Hendrix as a session musician. I'll probably include this on one of those albums, when I'm ready to post it. But I thought it was notable enough to merit its own blog post. I'm really surprised this mash-up hasn't been tried before (or at least I couldn't find one) because it's just combining different versions of the same original recording.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Rosanne Cash - The Walking Wounded - Non-Album Tracks (2017-2018)

This is another Rosanne Cash stray tracks album, and the last one! With this album, I pretty much catch up with her career in terms of non-album tracks, because I haven't found much in the way of stray tracks from 2019 or early 2020. I imagine there will be another album of those sorts of songs eventually, but probably not for another year or two.

Eight of the 13 songs here were officially released. Three of them are bonus tracks to the "She Remembers Everything" studio album. Most of the rest are from various artists compilation albums. The first song, "Thank You," appears to be an original that's from an extremely rare charity project for a local school, and was only available as an Internet download.

As for the five officially unreleased songs, all from concert bootlegs, I must admit that their sound quality isn't that great, considering that this album is from a recent year, and bootleg recordings tend to sound better with more advanced recording technology. This is probably due to the fact that these are generally songs she only played in concert once, or a few times at most, so we're lucky to have any recordings at all. But while the sound quality for these aren't as good as the studio tracks, I did deem them good enough to include.

Although I'm all out of stray tracks albums from Cash, I do have some other albums from her I plan to post, mostly some concert bootlegs.

This album is 46 minutes long.

01 Thank You (Rosanne Cash)
02 May Ev'ry Day Be Christmas (Rosanne Cash)
03 The Walking Wounded (Rosanne Cash)
04 This Train Don't Stop There Anymore (Rosanne Cash & Emmylou Harris)
05 Farewell Angelina (Rosanne Cash)
06 Down at the Henley Mill (Rosanne Cash)
07 Joshua Gone Barbados (Rosanne Cash)
08 License to Kill (Rosanne Cash)
09 Pilgrim (Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris & Lucinda Williams)
10 Nothing but the Truth (Rosanne Cash)
11 Every Day Feels like a New Goodbye (Rosanne Cash)
12 Winter in My Heart (Rosanne Cash)
13 I'll Be Back (Rosanne Cash)


The photo for the cover art comes from a 2018 concert.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

More on Vitamin D

I hope everyone is staying healthy and practicing social distancing so we can defeat the coronavirus. This virus is very real and very serious, and the sooner you realize that and act on that, the safer you'll be. Back on March 6, I posted that the one simple thing you can do that would best boost your immune system against respiratory illnesses like the virus is take daily vitamin D supplements. I'm repeating that message here in case you missed it, and because I've seen more information supporting it.

For instance, this New York Times article "Can I Boost My Immune System" lists several things you can do, which all sound sensible to me. But note vitamin D's prominent position as the most recommended supplement to take.

lower your stress level
sleep well
take vitamin D
don't drink too much alcohol
eat a balanced diet
(although the article doesn't mention it, another obvious one is: don't smoke)


Also, I've been watching Dr. John Campbell's daily updates about the virus crisis. He's a very knowledgeable and sensible medical expert, so you might also want to check out his updates. He put out a special video about vitamin D a couple of days ago, which you can see here:


In it, he cites studies that suggest if you don't have a vitamin D deficiency, taking the vitamin daily could boost your body's defenses against respiratory illnesses like the coronavirus by 20 percent. But if you do have a deficiency, it could boost your body's defenses by 70 percent! That's huge! So that's why I'm taking a minute to write about something other than music to pass that info on, because I don't think that information has been discussed in the mainstream media enough so far.

The Kinks - Rockpalast, Grugahalle, Germany, 4-4-1982

It's been a while since I've posted any Kinks related material (my second favorite group, after the Beatles). So here's some more.

There are lots of Kinks concert bootlegs out there, but few and far between that have excellent sound quality. Here's one of those rare stellar sounding ones. It sounds so good because it was professionally recorded for the German TV show "Rockpalast."

In 1980, the Kinks released the live album "One for the Road." This comes two years later, and one album later, the 1981 "Give the People What They Want" studio album. So there's some overlap between the songs on "One for the Road" and here, but the Kinks have such a deep catalog of popular songs that there are lots of differences as well. Seven of the songs played come from the "Give the People What They Want" album, and one song, "Bernadette," came from their soon-to-come 1983 album, "State of Confusion."

The bootleg I took this from was so well recorded that I only had to make a couple of tweaks. The song "Celluloid Heroes" essentially had no applause at the end. So I took applause noise from other songs and patched it in there. And "Back to Front" had several seconds of silence in the middle of it. Luckily, it was during a guitar riff instrumental section, so I was able to patch that up with more of that riff from elsewhere in the song. I also put any significant between song banter on their own tracks, but there was very little talking for this concert.

01 Introduction (Kinks)
02 Around the Dial (Kinks)
03 The Hard Way (Kinks)
04 Where Have All the Good Times Gone (Kinks)
05 Catch Me Now, I'm Falling (Kinks)
06 Come On Now (Kinks)
07 talk (Kinks)
08 Destroyer (Kinks)
09 Yo-Yo (Kinks)
10 Lola (Kinks)
11 Dead End Street (Kinks)
12 Add It Up (Kinks)
13 Low Budget (Kinks)
14 talk (Kinks)
15 Art Lover (Kinks)
16 Back to Front - Get Back (Kinks)
17 A Gallon of Gas (Kinks)
18 Celluloid Heroes (Kinks)
19 Till the End of the Day (Kinks)
20 Bernadette (Kinks)
21 All Day and All of the Night (Kinks)
22 Give the People What the Want (Kinks)
23 Pressure (Kinks)
24 You Really Got Me (Kinks)
25 talk (Kinks)
26 Stop Your Sobbing (Kinks)
27 David Watts (Kinks)


The cover art photo comes from the exact concert in question, as you can see from the Rockpalast sign in the background. I found a neon Rockpalast sign for the text at the bottom, and then added more text around it using a similar font.

The Pretenders - Get Out of London - Non-Album Tracks (1999-2002)

Here's the next stray tracks album from the Pretenders. Technically, a bunch of songs are credited to Chrissie Hynde, but it doesn't matter because by this point the Pretenders were just Hynde plus a bunch of back-up musicians. So I interchangeably mix her "band" and "solo" tracks.

All but one of the songs on this album are officially unreleased. They come from a variety of sources, mostly soundtracks and tribute albums. The one unreleased song, a cover of "The Loner" by Neil Young, comes from a concert bootleg. Admittedly, its sound quality is a little worse. But it's still good enough to include.

By the way, I especially like the song "Get Out of London." It's super rare. I was lucky to find a version of it on YouTube, because I couldn't find it anywhere else. If you're a Pretenders fan, you should check this out for that song alone.

01 Waiting in Vain (Chrissie Hynde)
02 The Needle and the Damage Done (Pretenders)
03 Loving You Is All I Know (Pretenders)
04 I Wish You Love (Chrissie Hynde)
05 She (Pretenders & Emmylou Harris)
06 The Loner (Pretenders)
07 Nebraska (Chrissie Hynde)
08 Mystery Train (Jeff Beck & Chrissie Hynde)
09 Bless You (Pretenders)
10 Out of This World (Chrissie Hynde & Jools Holland)
11 Get Out of London (Pretenders)


The cover photo is from a Bob Marley tribute concert in 1999.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Paul McCartney - Set This Town on Fire - Non-Album Tracks (1991-1993)

This is the next in a long series of stray tracks albums for Paul McCartney. This one deals with the years 1991 to 1993.

McCartney didn't release any new music in 1991 or 1992. But in 1993, he released the studio album "Off the Ground." The first two songs are unreleased rarities from 1991. The five songs after that are B-sides for singles from the "Off the Ground" album. There are a few more B-sides from this time period, but I only included the ones I liked.

Then the remaining songs are from soundchecks to concerts from his 1993 world tour. There actually are a ton of great soundcheck performances from his 1993 concerts. I have a few albums I'll be posting that are entirely songs from those. Because they're soundchecks, apparently recorded by McCartney and later released on his Oubu Joobu radio show, they sound fantastic and there's no crowd noise at all. The few soundcheck songs I've included here were selected because they're songs that he otherwise never (or only rarely) did.

I think most of the songs here are originals, especially the B-sides. But there are some covers too, such as "The Fool," "We're Gonna Move," "Mean Woman Blues," and "Singing the Blues."

01 Your School (Paul McCartney)
02 The Fool (Paul McCartney)
03 Kicked Around No More (Paul McCartney)
04 Long Leather Coat (Paul McCartney)
05 Big Boys Bickering (Paul McCartney)
06 Sweet Sweet Memories (Paul McCartney)
07 I Can't Imagine (Paul McCartney)
08 We're Gonna Move [There's a Leak in This Old Building] (Paul McCartney)
09 Pull Away (Paul McCartney)
10 Mean Woman Blues (Paul McCartney)
11 Set This Town on Fire (Paul McCartney)
12 Singing the Blues (Paul McCartney)


The cover art photo is of McCartney in 1993. He's standing in front of a modern art painting.

Friday, March 20, 2020

David Bowie - The 1980 Floor Show, The Marquee Club, London, Britain, 10-20-1973

I've posted five albums of David Bowie's BBC's performances, and I have one more to go. But before I post that one, I'm posting this, which is related. This was an hour long TV show that was a special edition of the weekly musical show "The Midnight Special."

In late 1973, Bowie had a peak of popularity at the tail end of his "Ziggy Stardust" phase (he'd have other peaks later). He'd put out the "Aladdin Sane" album early in 1973, and then the "Pin Ups" covers album on October 19, 1973. This show was meant to promote that album. (Although there were live performances that were filmed from October 18th to 20th, it wasn't broadcast until November 16th.)

Variety TV shows were all the rage in the 1970s, and Bowie wasn't popular enough to carry the show all by himself, so he brought along some musical guests that he liked. The chief one was Marianne Faithfull. I've included her performances as well as Bowie's, because I like her stuff. Plus, they did a duet together. The Troggs and a Spanish flamenco group called Carmen also played a couple of songs each, but I didn't include them. I like the Troggs, but their performances didn't impress me (they were way past their 1960s prime). I also wasn't impressed with Carmen, so I left their stuff out as well. If you want the full show, there are other bootlegs that have them.

This recording is rather unusual in that there's no crowd noise at all. Bowie and the others rehearsed and filmed their performances for three days straight, and some of those have crowd noise and some don't. I picked the ones that don't, for greater sound quality.

Note that this show was the very last time Bowie heavily referenced his Ziggy Stardust persona with his appearance and costume. But he also was already looking forward to his "Diamond Dogs" persona, which would result in the album of the same name in 1974. The show had the strange title "The 1980 Floor Show" despite taking place in 1973, because of his song "1984," which he played and would feature on the "Diamond Dogs" album. It's a play on words - think "1984 show."

The songs are presented in the exact same order they did on the TV broadcast, minus the Troggs and Carmen songs.

01 1984 - Dodo (David Bowie)
02 Sorrow (David Bowie)
03 Everything's Alright (David Bowie)
04 Space Oddity (David Bowie)
05 I Can't Explain (David Bowie)
06 As Tears Go By (Marianne Faithfull)
07 Time (David Bowie)
08 The Jean Genie (David Bowie)
09 20th Century Blues (Marianne Faithfull)
10 I Got You Babe (David Bowie & Marianne Faithfull)


For the album cover, I started with the cover of a popular bootleg of the show, because I liked the font used. I made some changes to the text to include Marianne Faithfull's name. Then I found a good photo of Bowie and Faithfull together. However, they were separated by a couple of feet, so I edited the photo to move them closer together.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Robyn Hitchcock - Acoustic Covers, Volume 9: 2009-2011

This is part of my series of albums containing nothing but acoustic cover versions by Robyn Hitchcock. 

There's not much else to say. If you're familiar with the other albums in this series, it's more of the same good stuff.

Every single song on this album is officially unreleased. That means some variable sound quality, but overall the sound is pretty good.

Here is a list of the original artists for each song:

01 Free Ride - Nick Drake
02 First Girl I Loved - Incredible String Band
03 You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - Bob Dylan
04 Gigolo Aunt - Syd Barrett
05 Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival
06 Golden Years - David Bowie
07 Soul Kitchen - Doors
08 Rain - Beatles
09 My White Bicycle - Tomorrow
10 Reynardine - Fairport Convention
11 Are You Experienced - Jimi Hendrix
12 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - Bob Dylan
13 Pink Moon - Nick Drake
14 Daydream - Lovin' Spoonful

And here is the song list:

01 Free Ride (Robyn Hitchcock & Graham Coxon)
02 First Girl I Loved (Robyn Hitchcock with Richard Thompson)
03 You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (Robyn Hitchcock with Steve Wynn)
04 Gigolo Aunt (Robyn Hitchcock with Steve Wynn)
05 Bad Moon Rising (Robyn Hitchcock with Steve Wynn)
06 Golden Years (Robyn Hitchcock with Steve Wynn)
07 Soul Kitchen (Robyn Hitchcock with Steve Wynn)
08 Rain (Robyn Hitchcock with Steve Wynn)
09 My White Bicycle (Robyn Hitchcock)
10 Reynardine (Robyn Hitchcock)
11 Are You Experienced (Robyn Hitchcock)
12 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Robyn Hitchcock)
13 Pink Moon (Robyn Hitchcock)
14 Daydream (Robyn Hitchcock)

This album is 47 minutes long.


The cover art photo is from a Carnegie Hall concert in 2010.

Robyn Hitchcock - Acoustic Covers, Volume 8: 2007-2008

This is one of my extensive series of albums of Robyn Hitchcock performing cover versions in the solo acoustic format, usually in concert. On March 17, 2020, I totally overhauled all the albums in this series. I found so many songs that I'd previously missed that sometimes I was able to make a new album between previously existing albums. This is an example of that.

Although this is a new album, there's a mix of songs I'd previously missed, and songs from other albums in this series that have been moved around. The vast majority of the songs are newly discovered, so I'll only mention the four that are not: "China Pig," "Sure 'Nuff 'N' Yes I Do," "If I Fell," and "Free Ride."

I had previously included "First Girl I Loved" as a bonus track on another album, due to its poor sound quality. But I was able to find a better sounding version of the same performance, so I've included that here, no longer as a bonus track.

Here are the original artists for each song:

01 Lo and Behold - Life During Wartime - Lo and Behold - Bob Dylan - Talking Heads
02 Look at Miss Ohio - Gillian Welch
03 Queen Jane Approximately - Bob Dylan
04 Not Fade Away - Bo Diddley - Buddy Holly - Bo Diddley
05 Shakin' All Over - Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
06 All You Need Is Love - Love Me Do - Beatles
07 The Weight - Band
08 Please Mrs. Henry - Bob Dylan & the Band
09 The Yellow Snake - Incredible String Band
10 China Pig - Captain Beefheart
11 Sure 'Nuff 'N' Yes I Do - Captain Beefheart
12 If I Fell - Beatles
13 While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Beatles

And here is the usual song list:

01 Lo and Behold - Life During Wartime - Lo and Behold (Robyn Hitchcock)
02 Look at Miss Ohio (Robyn Hitchcock)
03 Queen Jane Approximately (Robyn Hitchcock)
04 Not Fade Away - Bo Diddley (Robyn Hitchcock with John Paul Jones)
05 Shakin' All Over (Robyn Hitchcock with John Paul Jones)
06 All You Need Is Love - Love Me Do (Robyn Hitchcock with John Paul Jones)
07 The Weight (Robyn Hitchcock with John Paul Jones)
08 Please Mrs. Henry (Robyn Hitchcock)
09 The Yellow Snake (Robyn Hitchcock)
10 China Pig (Robyn Hitchcock & Gary Lucas)
11 Sure 'Nuff 'N' Yes I Do (Robyn Hitchcock & Gary Lucas)
12 If I Fell (Robyn Hitchcock with Nick Lowe & Elvis Costello)
13 While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Robyn Hitchcock)

This album is 48 minutes long.


The cover art photo comes from the SXSW concert in Austin, Texas, in 2007.

Robyn Hitchcock - Acoustic Covers, Volume 3: 1996-1998

Recently, I did some more digging and found many more acoustic cover versions that Robyn Hitchcock has done over the years. As a result, I'm redoing all the albums in his "Acoustic Covers" series. I found so many new songs that I've been able to make some new albums. Here is one.

Note that most of the songs here were on the previous versions of these albums. But I've added three songs to this album: "Clear Spot," "The End," and "Billy 1." Plus, since I've found some extra songs for the two chronologically earlier albums in this series, I've moved some of the songs from the previous album onto this one. Basically, everything is reorganized, and the best thing to do is re-download all the albums. You can tell if the album in the series is updated if it has a volume number in the title, since I didn't have such numbers up until now.

In terms of content, every song on this album has been officially unreleased. They all come from concert bootlegs. As a result, the sound quality is variable. A couple of songs, such as "Steel and Glass," sound a bit rough. But overall, the sound is pretty good.

Here's a list of the original artists for each song:

01 Steel and Glass - John Lennon
02 Clear Spot - Captain Beefheart
03 The End - Doors
04 Waterloo Sunset - Kinks
05 I'm Set Free - Velvet Underground
06 You Won't See Me - Beatles
07 Billy 1 - Bob Dylan
08 Astronomy Domine - Pink Floyd
09 Silver Dagger - traditional / Joan Baez
10 Blue Jay Way - Beatles
11 Electrolyte - R.E.M.
12 Rainy Day Women No. 12 and 35 - Bob Dylan

And here's the song list:

01 Steel and Glass (Robyn Hitchcock)
02 Clear Spot (Robyn Hitchcock)
03 The End (Robyn Hitchcock)
04 Waterloo Sunset (Robyn Hitchcock)
05 I'm Set Free (Robyn Hitchcock)
06 You Won't See Me (Robyn Hitchcock with Dear Janes)
07 Billy 1 (Robyn Hitchcock)
08 Astronomy Domine (Robyn Hitchcock)
09 Silver Dagger (Robyn Hitchcock)
10 Blue Jay Way (Robyn Hitchcock)
11 Electrolyte (Robyn Hitchcock)
12 Rainy Day Women No. 12 and 35 (Robyn Hitchcock)

This album is 49 minutes long.


The cover art photo comes from a 1996 concert.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Fairport Convention - Tunes My Mother Taught Me - BBC Sessions, Volume 5: Late 1970

I just posted an album dealing with Fairport Convention performing for the BBC in early 1970. This follows that up, with their BBC performances from late 1970.

The band's line-up was stable for all of 1970. The key personnel changes were that Sandy Denny left before the end of 1969, and Richard Thompson left right at the beginning of 1971. The band's sound was consistent throughout the year as well, focusing much more on traditional British folk music than before.

For the early 1970 BBC album, all of the songs came from the "Live at the BBC" box set. For this album, only two songs come from that. Three more come from other archival releases. That leaves three songs that are officially unreleased. But in terms of sound quality, those are about the same. To be honest, I suspect many of the officially released BBC performances are just releases of bootlegs anyway.

01 Tam Lin (Fairport Convention)
02 Bridge Over the River Ash [Instrumental] (Fairport Convention)
03 Staines Morris (Fairport Convention)
04 Tunes My Mother Taught Me [Early Version of Sir B. McKenzie's Daughter's Lament] [Instrumental] (Fairport Convention)
05 The Journeyman's Grace (Fairport Convention)
06 Sickness and Diseases [Edit] (Fairport Convention)
07 Sloth (Fairport Convention)
08 Sir B. McKenzie's Daughter's Lament for the 77th Mounted Lancers Retreat... [Instrumental] (Fairport Convention)


The album cover photo comes from a 1970 photo session. If you look carefully, you'll notice that it's the same photo session as the cover for the "Now Be Thankful" stray tracks collection I made. They're wearing the same clothes.

Fairport Convention - Walk Awhile - BBC Sessions, Volume 4: 1970

Well, things have gotten pretty crazy really fast with the coronavirus. I hope everyone is keeping safe and practicing social distancing. This crisis is the real deal and not just hype, so please act accordingly. That said, life goes on, and I plan to keep on posting as usual.

Which brings us to some more Fairport Convention. I recently posted a stray tracks album of the band for 1970. This is also from 1970, but it's the band performing for the BBC. They played so many songs for the BBC that I've broken things into two albums. This one covers the first half of 1970 only.

For this album, all of the songs come from the "Live at the BBC" album. (It's a different story with the second 1970 album.) Thus, there's no problem with the sound quality at all.

Well, almost. The song "The Deserter" has also been officially released, on a different archival album. But the sound quality for that one is significantly worse than the rest, so I've only included it as a bonus track.

01 Walk Awhile (Fairport Convention)
02 Poor Will and the Jolly Hangman (Fairport Convention)
03 Doctor of Physick (Fairport Convention)
05 Sir Patrick Spens (Fairport Convention)
06 Bonny Bunch of Roses (Fairport Convention)
07 Flatback Caper [Instrumental] (Fairport Convention)
08 Now Be Thankful (Fairport Convention)
09 Dirty Linen [Instrumental] (Fairport Convention)

The Deserter (Fairport Convention)


The cover art photo is of the band from around the middle of 1970.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Imelda May - Dreaming - Non-Album Tracks (2012-2014)

Here's the next stray tracks album from Imelda May. I live in the US, so I'm not totally sure, but I hear May is a big star in Britain and Ireland. But she's far less known everywhere else, including the US. That's a shame, because she has a great voice, great stage presence and beauty, and is a talented songwriter too. Her musical style is heavily influenced by earlier eras, and she's totally divorced from current pop trends. For me, that's a huge positive instead of a negative. If you like the other musicians I post at this blog, you're probably going to like her stuff too.

The songs come from singles, bonus tracks, various artists compilations, and so on. Five of the songs are officially unreleased and come from concert bootlegs. Those sound pretty good though, especially since two of them are from TV show appearances.

I'd hesitated to post the next in my series of stray tracks albums for her though, because I was missing two key songs. A week or so ago, a kind commenter here sent me one of them ("On My Radio"), so I'm proceeding with the next album.

(I'm still missing the other one, her version of "Rock Around with Ollie Vee," which has been officially released, but only as a bonus track to the various artists tribute album "Listen to Me: Buddy Holly." If anyone has it, please let me know, and I'll add it to this album.)

This album is from the time period when Imelda May was still heavily in her rockabilly phase. So expect some of that. But there's a wide variety of music here. For instance, the song "On My Radio" mentioned above is a cover of the ska hit by the Selekter. There's blues ("Spoonful"), traditional Irish (such as "Carolina Rua"), and even covers of songs by Blondie ("Dreaming") and Sonny and Cher ("Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"). A lot of good stuff. I think this truly would make a nice album all on its own.

In terms of sound quality, four of the songs here are officially unreleased. But they generally sound pretty good. There's one more, "Important Words," that didn't quite make the cut as far as sound quality, so I bumped that one down to being a bonus track.

01 On My Radio (Imelda May)
02 Carolina Rua (Imelda May & the Chieftains)
03 Spoonful (Imelda May)
04 I Wish I Had Someone to Love Me (Imelda May & the Dubliners)
05 Mr. Five by Five (Imelda May)
06 Clint [Silence on Tourne] (Thomas Dutronc & Imelda May)
07 Meet You at the Moon [Acappella Version] (Imelda May)
08 Beautiful Day (Imelda May & the Levellers)
09 Zombie Girl (Imelda May)
10 Dreaming (Imelda May)
11 Amber Eyes (Imelda May)
12 Bang Bang [My Baby Shot Me Down] (Imelda May)

Important Words (Imelda May)


The cover art photo is of Imelda May in concert in London in 2012.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Bonnie Raitt - The Color of Roses - Non-Album Tracks (1997-1998)

This is the next Bonnie Raitt stray tracks album. As far as stray tracks albums for different musicians go, I feel that Raitt's are especially strong. Including this one.

Generally speaking, the kind of songs that have gone onto Raitt's stray tracks albums I've made are different from the kinds of songs that have gone onto her studio albums. For one thing, she tends to do more covers of classic, well-known songs (which is always a good thing). For another, she does a lot of collaborations. You can see that again for this album. All but two of the songs have her working with other major artists. But I've only included songs where she either does all of the singing or shares the lead vocals.

Five of the nine songs are officially unreleased. All of those come from concert bootlegs. For a couple of those, such as "Have You Ever Loved a Man" (a gender-switched version of the blues classic "Have You Ever Loved a Woman") and "Rock Me Baby," the sound is less than pristine, but is still pretty good.

01 Cold, Cold, Cold (Bonnie Raitt & Little Feat)
02 I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town (Ruth Brown & Bonnie Raitt)
03 Low Down Dirty Blues (Joe Louis Walker & Bonnie Raitt)
04 The Color of Roses (Bonnie Raitt)
05 Kisses Sweeter than Wine (Jackson Brown & Bonnie Raitt)
06 Have You Ever Loved a Man (Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton & B.B. King)
07 Rock Me Baby (Bonnie Raitt)
08 Across the Borderline (Jackson Browne & Bonnie Raitt)
09 Feel like Going Home (Bonnie Raitt and Trisha Yearwood)


The cover art photo is a publicity photo from 1998. It looks so much like an album cover that I'm worried it might be used already. If it's used on some existing album cover, please let me know and I'll change it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Eric Clapton - Sad Day - Non-Album Tracks (1980-1983)

This is the next Eric Clapton stray tracks album. If you liked the previous ones, you should enjoy this one too.

The first few years of the 1980s weren't good for Clapton, either personally or musically. Although he had quit heroin in the 1970s, he became a severe alcoholic. By 1982, he was at the end of his rope and almost suicidal. But he checked into a rehab clinic, quit alcohol, and started to turn his life around.

Given all that personal turmoil, perhaps it's not surprising that he doesn't have many stray tracks from this era. For most of the 1970s, I was able to make an album a year. But this album covers four years. That said, the songs on here are as good as the songs on the previous stray tracks albums I've made for him, in part because I've been choosy.

In 1979, he fired all but one member of the band he'd had for most the 1970s, Albert Lee. Then he hooked up with Gary Booker, the keyboardist and lead vocalist for Procul Harum. Clapton, Booker, and Lee recorded an album in 1980 called "Turn Up Down." It was to be billed as another Clapton solo album, but in reality Lee and Booker had large roles, singing and writing some of the songs on it.

Unfortunately for Clapton, his record company rejected the album. They wanted a proper Clapton solo album, and they didn't like the Booker or Lee songs. Also, the general tone of Clapton's songs on it were mellow, often even more mellow than his already laid-back 1970s solo style. So Clapton took a few of the songs from it and rerecorded them, plus he came up with more songs. That turned into the 1981 album "Another Ticket."

I've been selected with the "Turn Up Down" tracks, only including five of them here. I didn't include any of the Booker or Lee-led songs, in part because I don't think they fit well on a Clapton album, but also because I don't think most of them are very good. I also didn't include the Clapton songs that eventually showed up on "Another Ticket" (such as "Rita Mae," "Catch Me If You Can," and "Hold Me Lord." Although the "Turn Up Down" versions are different, they're not special, in my opinion. I also didn't include a couple of Clapton songs that I just didn't think were that good.

The remaining six songs are a motley bunch from 1981 to 1983. Only one of them, a live guitar duet with Jeff Beck, has been officially released. The rest mostly come from concert bootlegs, though one, "Say Hello to Billie Jean," is a good outtake from the "Another Ticket" album.

The album ends with, "Sweet Little Lisa," a song that sung by Clapton's second guitarist, Albert Lee. Although I didn't like Lee's "Turn Up Down" tracks, I do like this one. Clapton's guitar can be heard on it, and it was performed in lots of Clapton concerts around this era, always sung by Lee. Chronologically, it fits at the end, which works well, because you can include it or not, depending if you think it fits, since it's more of a Lee song than a Clapton one.

01 There Ain't No Money (Eric Clapton)
02 Freedom (Eric Clapton)
03 Games Up (Eric Clapton)
04 Oh How I Miss My Baby's Love (Eric Clapton)
05 I'd Love to Say I Love You (Eric Clapton)
06 Cause We've Ended as Lovers [Instrumental] (Jeff Beck & Eric Clapton)
07 Stay Away from My Baby (Eric Clapton)
08 Say Hello to Billie Jean (Eric Clapton)
09 Goodnight Irene (Eric Clapton)
10 Sad, Sad Day (Eric Clapton)
11 Sweet Little Lisa (Albert Lee & Eric Clapton)


The cover art photo features Clapton in concert in 1983.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Fleetwood Mac - BBC Sessions, Volume 6: In Concert, Paris Theatre, London, Britain, 4-9-1970

Note that this previously was called "Volume 5: of Fleetwood Mac's BBC Sessions. I have since found enough music to split what had been Volume 4 into two, so this is now "Volume 6." Apologies for the confusion.

This contains all of a single show the band did for the BBC in April 1970. But there's a complication. It turns out that this full show actually has been officially released, as part of the archival double album "Show-Biz Blues." It makes up all of the second disc of that album, except for the first two songs from it. I didn't realize this at first because that album is so poorly annotated. It merely stated that the songs on the second disc were from a "London Concert, 1970." And while the official version included all the songs from it, in the correct order, they left out all the talking between songs. Instead, they added fake audience noise to cover for the lack of talking. They have the cheering continue onto the start of each subsequent song to make it seem as if the band kept playing with barely a pause between songs, when the bootleg version makes clear that isn't what happened at all.

I'm not sure, but I suspect the vagueness in the "Show-Biz Blues" liner notes is deliberate. It turns out there are a bunch of BBC performances on the first disc of that album as well, and they're all mislabeled as studio versions. For some reason, whoever put that together didn't want it known that many songs from it were from BBC sources. Maybe they didn't want to pay the BBC a share of the album profits? Had they kept the talking between songs, it would have been obvious that they were BBC tracks, since most of the talking was done by a BBC DJ.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that it turns out the bootleg version sounds great, almost as good as the "Show-Biz Blues" version. Plus, it's more complete with the talking, and doesn't have the fake audience noise at the start of each song. So I've used the bootleg version as my source here. But the "Show-Biz Blues" version was properly mixed and the bootleg version was raw. So I asked a friend named MZ, who has better sound editing skills than I do, to edit the files and improve the mix. He did, and his version is a definite improvement. That's what I'm posting here.

This concert was part of a weekly hour-long series hosted by BBC DJ John Peel called "In Concert." In ran every week in 1970 and 1971, and then less often for a few years after that. I've already posted a bunch of other concerts from that series, for instance concerts by Traffic, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, and so on. For this particular week, Peel was absent and was replaced by another BBC DJ, David Symonds. As I mentioned above, he did nearly all the talking between songs, acting like an MC and announcing nearly every song.

Unfortunately, this is the last album in the Fleetwood Mac BBC series to feature guitarist Peter Green. Personally, I think his era of the band was most interesting towards the end, when they widened their repertoire beyond the blues. Luckily, this concert was recorded only about a month before he left the band. Some say he started to mentally deteriorate starting in early 1970 after taking too much LSD. Whether that's true or not, his lead guitar playing was still very sharp for this concert, and his singing was perfectly fine as well.

01 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
02 Rattlesnake Shake (Fleetwood Mac)
03 Underway [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)
04 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
05 Stranger Blues (Fleetwood Mac)
06 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
07 World in Harmony [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)
08 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
09 Tiger (Fleetwood Mac)
10 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
11 The Green Manalishi [With the Two Prong Crown] (Fleetwood Mac)
12 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
13 Coming Your Way (Fleetwood Mac)
14 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
15 Great Balls of Fire (Fleetwood Mac)
16 Twist and Shout (Fleetwood Mac)


I have no idea when or where the cover art photo is from. I believe I took it from the liner notes to the "Live at the BBC" album. But it does seem to show the band's early 1970 line-up, including Peter Green. The coloring was a bit off. I did my best to fix in in Photoshop, but it still may be slightly off.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

U2 - Salome - Non-Album Tracks (1991-1992)

Yesterday, I posted an album of stray tracks from U2's "Achtung Baby" era. That album, by the way, has sold 20 million copies and is on many lists of the top 100 albums of all time. But U2 was so prolific during their recording sessions for that album that I was able to make not one, but two, albums of stray tracks. So here's the second one.

Check out my post for the other album, "Blow Your House Down," for a general overview. That album mostly consists of bonus tracks that were later released on a deluxe version of "Achtung Baby." By contrast, this album mostly consists of B-sides. Most of those were first released in 1992, because "Achtung Baby" was released in November 1991 and most of the singles came out in 1992. But it's a very good bet that most or all of these were actually recorded in 1991 while the band was working on the album.

This time, like the other U2 stray tracks album I posted for this period, I've included two unreleased songs, which happen to be the first two. Also as with that other album, I could have included a lot more, since there are plenty more unreleased songs available on bootleg, but I wanted to keep my standards high. Many of those others, in my opinion, are more early versions of songs that were released later instead of totally separate songs. You can hear on some of these how bits and pieces were recycled here and there. U2 did a lot of that in this time. Again, if you think I missed a particularly good unreleased song, please let me know and I'll reconsider.

Four of the songs here are covers of famous tunes: "Satellite of Love" by the Velvet Underground / Lou Reed, "Paint It, Black," by the Rolling Stones, "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, and "Can't Help Falling in Love" made famous by Elvis Presley. I believe all the rest are U2 originals.

"Slow Dancing" is an unusual case. I have three different versions of this song that I'll be putting on three different stray tracks albums. First, there's this version recorded in concert that's basically a solo acoustic rendition from 1992. Then there's a studio version that was a B-side in 1993, which I'll put on my next album for the band. Finally, there's a 1997 studio version that's a duet with Willie Nelson, which will go on a still later album. Luckily, it's a good song, and all three versions are significantly different and interesting, or I wouldn't use all three.

01 Take You Down (U2)
02 Sweet Baby Jane (U2)
03 Satellite of Love (U2)
04 Alex Descends into Hell for a Bottle of Milk - Korova 1 (U2)
05 Paint It, Black (U2)
06 Lady with the Spinning Head [UVI] (U2)
07 Salome (U2)
08 Fortunate Son (U2)
09 Where Did It All Go Wrong (U2)
10 Can't Help Falling in Love [Triple Peaks Remix] (U2)
11 Slow Dancing [Live Acoustic] (U2)


As I noted with the other stray tracks album from this era, U2 got very artistic with their covers during this time. Rather than try to duplicate that from scratch, I took the simpler path of using the covers to their singles from the album. I selected the cover to the "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" single. All I did was remove that song title from the top and replace it with my own.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Tommy Keene - Keene's Covers - Selected Cover Tracks (1979-2017)

I have to admit that I don't know much about Tommy Keene on his music. He had a limited but dedicated following in the "power pop" genre. He was best known for the minor hit "Places That Are Gone" in 1984. He died in 2017 due to heart failure. I've been meaning to hear more of his music, but I've got a mountain of stuff on my "to listen to" list, and I haven't gotten around to it.

So why the heck am I posting this?! Well, a musical acquaintance of mine who goes by Lil Panda liked some of the covers collections I've posted here, such as the one for Blondie, and has given me suggestions on some other artists who could benefit from the same treatment. So I plan to post more covers collections, by and by. In Keene's case, Lil Panda sent me a whole bunch of his cove versions. Then I went and found a few more he'd missed. I also removed some that I thought weren't that strong. The result is a 55-minute-long fun selection of rocking songs that anyone can enjoy, whether you're a fan of Keene's music or not.

I think the best way to get you to listen to this is show who did the original versions of these covers. If you like those artists, or power pop in general, chances are very good you'll like this.

01 Hippy Hippy Shake - Chan Romero / Beatles
02 Hey Little Child - Alex Chilton
03 Teenage Head - Flamin' Groovies
04 Kill Your Sons - Lou Reed
05 Our Car Club - Beach Boys
06 Shake Some Action - Flamin' Groovies
07 Tattoo - Who
08 Carrie Anne - Hollies
09 Lost a Number - Nils Lofgren
10 Have You Seen My Baby - Randy Newman / Flamin' Groovies
11 The Puppet - Echo & the Bunnymen
12 Much Too Much - Who
13 Ride On Baby - Rolling Stones
14 Nighttime - Big Star
15 Out of the Blue - Roxy Music
16 Love You To - Beatles
17 Raymond Chandler Evening - Robyn Hitchcock

So, basically, Tommy Keene had very good taste in music. ;) Pretty much all the music he likes to cover is the same stuff I like. I especially appreciate that he generally avoided the big hits in favor of lesser known gems. For instance, if someone is going to cover a Beatles song, what are the odds it would be "Love You To?" Or when you think of the Beach Boys, "Our Car Club" isn't exactly the first song to come to mind. So this is a nice way to bring more appreciation to some of those more obscure songs.

Three of the songs are officially unreleased: "Lost a Number," plus the last two, "Love You To," and "Raymond Chandler Evening." But I had very high sound quality standards for this album, so anything that didn't sound as good as the studio tracks got cut. I had to reject a handful of nice covers as a result.

A bunch of the songs come from Keene's one and only all-covers album, "Excitement at Your Feet," which was released in 2013. Frankly, I could have included all the songs from that album, since they're all good, but I didn't want to discourage people from buying it. Instead, if you like this, check that out and you'll find even more covers in the same vein.

01 Hippy Hippy Shake (Tommy Keene)
02 Hey Little Child (Tommy Keene)
03 Teenage Head (Tommy Keene)
04 Kill Your Sons (Tommy Keene)
05 Our Car Club (Tommy Keene)
06 Shake Some Action (Tommy Keene)
07 Tattoo (Tommy Keene)
08 Carrie Anne (Tommy Keene)
09 Lost a Number (Tommy Keene)
10 Have You Seen My Baby (Tommy Keene)
11 The Puppet (Tommy Keene)
12 Much Too Much (Tommy Keene)
13 Ride On Baby (Tommy Keene)
14 Nighttime (Tommy Keene)
15 Out of the Blue (Tommy Keene)
16 Love You To (Tommy Keene)
17 Raymond Chandler Evening (Tommy Keene)


The cover art photo is a publicity photo from 2011.

Vitamin D

This post has nothing to do with music. I usually don't do this sort of thing, but everyone is concerned about the coronavirus these days, and I found a good health tip that I haven't seen anywhere else, so I thought I could help spread the word.

I just watched this video by a good doctor who is making daily videos about the coronavirus. He's a totally legit doctor who backs up everything he says with hard scientific evidence.


He makes the argument that daily supplements of Vitamin D cuts the chance of getting an acute respiratory infection in half. So while it's too soon to know if it helps with the coronavirus, it's likely it does, since that's what the coronavirus is. Taking a huge dose when you're sick doesn't help, and may even hurt. But taking a small amount every day is good prevention.

Anyway, I hope that's a helpful tip for some people, but now let's get back to the music.

U2 - Blow Your House Down - Non-Album Tracks (1990-1991)

I think a key reason that most U2 albums have been so successful both critically and commercially is that the band usually recorded enough songs for two albums, and then selected their favorites for just one album, leaving the rest to be B-sides and bonus tracks and the like. That's especially the case for one of their most celebrated albums, 1991's "Achtung Baby." They wrote enough music for three additional albums of outtakes, at least. There are so many extra songs that I was able to make two albums of stray tracks out of them, with this being the first one. Yet I was still able to some quality control and not include the ones I considered weak.

U2 had a problem with "Achtung Baby," because bootleg recordings of their album sessions were made public even before the album was released. A lot of those recordings were early versions of songs that ended up on "Achtung Baby" or its follow-up, "Zooropa." Sometimes, they took bits and pieces from some songs that didn't make the album and incorporated them into songs that did. You can hear some instances of that here if you listen carefully. In particular, "Down All the Days" has a lot in common with "Numb" on "Zooropa," even though it has totally different lyrics and many other differences.

U2 made a significant change to their sound for "Achtung Baby." The first sign of that new sound was a cover of the Cole Porter song "Night and Day," released in 1990. So this album naturally starts off with that. After that, to be honest, most of the best remaining songs wound up either as B-sides or bonus tracks when a deluxe version of the album came out many years later. The rest of this album is mostly bonus tracks, and the next one will mostly consist of B-sides. But there are some unreleased songs on both. This one has two, "Doctor Doctor" and "Back Mask," In terms of sound quality, they sound as good as the rest.

This album is relatively short, at 38 minutes. The next one that finishes off the "Achtung Baby" era is almost as short. I could have easily made both albums longer, since there are lots of unreleased songs I didn't include. But I wanted to keep the quality control level high. Those other songs pretty much remained unreleased for a good reason, in my opinion. The band did a lot of experimenting, and had many dead ends as well as winners. But the outtakes from this era are a confusing mess. If you think I've missed some good ones, let me know which ones and I'll possibly reconsider.

By the way, I think all the songs are U2 originals, except for "Night and Day" which I mentioned above as a Cole Porter song, and "Everybody Loves a Winner," which was a soul hit for William Bell in the 1960s.

01 Night and Day (U2)
02 Blow Your House Down (U2)
03 Down All the Days [Early Version of 'Numb'] (U2)
04 Heaven and Hell (U2)
05 Oh Berlin (U2)
06 Everybody Loves a Winner (U2 & Maria McKee)
07 Doctor Doctor (U2)
08 Back Mask (U2)
09 Near the Island [Instrumental] (U2)


U2 got very artistic for their album covers in their "Achtung Baby" era. That's tough to convincingly replicate. So instead of trying to come up with something from scratch, in this case, I just used the covers to one of their singles. This is the "Mysterious Ways" cover. The only change I made was to replace the title "Mysterious Ways" with my own title, using the same font and angle.