Saturday, October 31, 2020

Elton John - BBC Sessions, Volume 5: Hammersmith Odeon, London, Britain, 12-22-1973

My series of Elton John performing for the BBC continues. This is an entire concert that was broadcast on BBC radio at the time. The sound quality is fantastic, and the set list is great too. He was at his creative peak, in my opinion, with this being the same year as the release of his classic double album "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." If I had to suggest just one Elton John concert for someone to listen to, it would probably be this one.

There's not much else to say. About half of the songs are undeniable classics. For the other songs, I actually often prefer these versions to the studio versions, since they're more energetic. 

By the way, John played the same venue almost exactly one year later, and that was recorded by the BBC as well. That's the next album I plan to post in this series.

The concert is an hour and 41 minutes long.

01 Funeral for a Friend - Love Lies Bleeding (Elton John)
02 Candle in the Wind (Elton John)
03 talk (Elton John)
04 Hercules (Elton John)
05 talk (Elton John)
06 Rocket Man [I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time] (Elton John)
07 talk (Elton John)
08 Bennie and the Jets (Elton John)
09 talk (Elton John)
10 Daniel (Elton John)
11 talk (Elton John)
12 This Song Has No Title (Elton John)
13 talk (Elton John)
14 Honky Cat (Elton John)
15 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John)
16 talk (Elton John)
17 The Ballad of Danny Bailey (Elton John)
18 talk (Elton John)
19 Elderberry Wine (Elton John)
20 talk (Elton John)
21 Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer [Instrumental] (Elton John)
22 talk (Elton John)
23 I've Seen That Movie Too (Elton John)
24 talk (Elton John)
25 All the Girls Love Alice (Elton John)
26 talk (Elton John)
27 Crocodile Rock (Elton John)
28 talk (Elton John)
29 Your Song (Elton John)
30 talk (Elton John)
31 Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting (Elton John)

I'm not entirely sure, but I believe this photo was taken from the concert in question.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Norah Jones - Home Concerts 10, New York City, 8-20-2020 to 9-3-2020

I just posted a Norah Jones home concert album last night. I'm trying to post more in order to try to catch up with her quick pace of putting out new music every week, so here's another one.

There's not much to say about this one that hasn't been said about the others in the series. Jones plays some songs on guitar and others on piano. For some of the piano ones, unfortunately, the vocals are a bit lower in the mix compared to the piano than I'd like, but only by a bit. Otherwise, everything is great.

There are no big surprises in terms of song choices. Most of the songs are originals from her albums. She does a few covers, but those were performed by her previously as well.

The album is 45 minutes long.

01 Say Goodbye (Norah Jones)
02 Tragedy (Norah Jones)
03 Carnival Town (Norah Jones)
04 Love Me (Norah Jones)
05 And Then There Was You (Norah Jones)
06 Creepin’ In (Norah Jones)
07 A Song with No Name (Norah Jones)
08 How Deep Is the Ocean (Norah Jones)
09 I Forgot (Norah Jones)
10 Happy Pills (Norah Jones)
11 How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart (Norah Jones)
12 Carry On (Norah Jones)

For the album cover, I came across what I thought is a very cool and arresting recent photo from Jones's Instagram account. It's taken from her video of the song "Flame Twin," off her 2020 album "Pick Me Up Off the Floor."

Etta James - Montreux Jazz Festival, Casino de Montreux, Montreux, Switerland, 7-11-1975

Months ago, I posted an Etta James concert of her at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1977. Today, I'm posting her appearance at the exact same concert venue in Montreux, but two years earlier, in 1975. The sound quality and performance is excellent. Clearly, it's a soundboard, due to it being recorded for a live radio broadcast. This is a very lucky thing, because it's the earliest worthy concert recording from her that we have, with the notable exception of her officially released 1963 live album "Rocks the House."

Originally, I posted only a portion of the concert (about 45 minutes). But I have since been able to find the whole thing, an hour and 20 minutes. The only change I made was to make her comments between songs into separate tracks.

01 talk (Etta James)
02 Respect Yourself (Etta James)
03 talk (Etta James)
04 Drown in My Own Tears (Etta James)
05 talk (Etta James)
06 W-O-M-A-N - Shake Your Booty (Etta James)
07 talk (Etta James)
08 Dust My Broom (Etta James)
09 talk (Etta James)
10 I'd Rather Go Blind (Etta James)
11 talk (Etta James)
12 All the Way Down (Etta James)
13 talk (Etta James)
14 Baby What Do You Want Me to Do (Etta James)
15 Rock Me Baby (Etta James)
16 talk (Etta James)
17 Call It Stormy Monday (Etta James)
18 Tell Mama (Etta James)

I'm very happy to say that the cover art photo comes from the exact concert in question. Since this concert is so similar to her 1977 appearance at the same place, I used the same font for this cover. But to make sure the covers wouldn't get confused with each other, I used a very different color for the text.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Norah Jones - Home Concerts 9, New York City, 7-31-2020 to 8-13-2020

I'm still having a hard time keeping up with Norah Jones and her weekly mini-home concerts. So I'm going to post a few of them to help catch up. Here's the next in the long series.

By now, I assume you know the deal with these. For a good chunk of songs at the start, she plays on the guitar instead of piano. There's not much else to say, other than the sound quality and performance quality is very good, as usual.

Oh, there is one more thing worth mentioning. I just found out today that she's releasing a deluxe edition of her latest album, "Pick Me Up Off the Floor." It has a second disc with 14 extra songs, and all of them are her favorite selections from these home concerts. So you might want to buy that to get the best songs in probably even better sound quality.

This album is 51 minutes long.

01 talk (Norah Jones)
02 Pennies on the Floor (Norah Jones)
03 talk (Norah Jones)
04 Shoot the Moon (Norah Jones)
05 talk (Norah Jones)
06 Roll On (Norah Jones)
07 talk (Norah Jones)
08 For the Good Times (Norah Jones)
09 Long Time Gone (Norah Jones)
10 talk (Norah Jones)
11 Young Blood (Norah Jones)
12 talk (Norah Jones)
13 She's 22 (Norah Jones)
14 All a Dream (Norah Jones)
15 Falling (Norah Jones)
16 One Flight Down (Norah Jones)
17 Flipside (Norah Jones)
18 We'll Be Together Again (Norah Jones)

It's kind of tough coming up with a good album cover for each album in this series, since it's pretty much Norah sitting in the same spot in the same room for each one. Today, I came across a recent CNN interview with her that put a photo of her in her usual home concert spot through some kind of cartoony filter. So I used that, unchanged, for variety's sake.  If you don't like the filter, blame CNN, not me. ;)

The Beach Boys - It's a Beautiful Day - Non-Album Tracks (1978-1979)

Here's the next in my long series of stray tracks albums for the Beach Boys. 

Their official studio albums in the late 1970s were very spotty, so I'm taking the good songs from those. The band's material came down a lot in quality from their earlier peaks like "Pet Sounds," but they were still putting out a lot of good stuff in this era. Brian Wilson still had flashes of brilliance, and his brother Dennis Wilson in particular was hitting a creative peak. 

Unfortunately, they were making big missteps too. For instance, their 1978 album "L.A. (Light Album)" was ruined by the inclusion of an 11 minute long disco version of their previously released song "Here Comes the Night." Ugh! But if you separate the wheat from the chaff, this is actually a pretty good album.

In my opinion, a big part of the reason the late 1970s are not considered a good time for the Beach Boys was that they made terrible decisions about what to include or not include on their albums. "Here Comes the Night" was just one of several really bad clunkers they put on. Meanwhile, they left off lots of good songs. This album includes two songs that remain unreleased, plus another four that only came out as rarities at the time (such as a song on the soundtrack to the movie "Americathon"), or were put on archival releases much later. Six songs can make a world of difference between a good album and a bad one.

Note that I'm not including any songs from the two Dennis Wilson late 1970s solo albums, "Pacific Ocean Blue" and "Bambu." That's because they're solid albums and any Beach Boys fans should have both of them. I think they're the best solo albums by any members of the band, including Brian Wilson. ("Bambu" was never quite finished, and was only officially released decades later.)

I also only have two songs from the band's 1979 album "L.A. (Light Album)." I'll have more of that on the next album in this series. They continued to make good music as a bad through 1979 and 1980, and then pretty much dropped off a cliff after that.

01 California Feelin' (Beach Boys)
02 Winds of Change (Beach Boys)
03 Winter Symphony (Beach Boys)
04 Come Go with Me (Beach Boys)
05 Pitter Patter (Beach Boys)
06 Kona Coast (Beach Boys)
07 My Diane (Beach Boys)
08 Sad, Sad Summer (Mike Love & Celebration)
09 Angel Come Home (Beach Boys)
10 Goin' to the Beach (Beach Boys)
11 It's a Beautiful Day (Beach Boys)
12 Lookin' Down the Coast (Beach Boys)
13 Baby Blue (Beach Boys)

The cover art photo is a promotional picture of the band from the late 1970s, but I'm not sure about the exact year.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Paul McCartney - Tour Rehearsal, The Barn, Sussex, Britain, 1-1993

I read recently that Paul McCartney is planning on releasing a new album, to be titled "McCartney III," in December 2020.  That reminded me that it's been a while since I've posted anything from here, so here's the next album as I move chronologically through his career.

In February 1993, McCartney released the album "Off the Ground," then soon began another world tour. Just prior to that, sometime in January, he practiced songs for the tour in a barn in the British countryside. We're lucky to have very good unreleased performances from that rehearsal due to him playing some of them on his Oobu Joobu radio show. I've put the most interesting songs together for an album that's an hour and two minutes long.

The rehearsals were different from what actually got played on tour in that McCartney was more willing to try out unusual songs, as well as just have play around and/or experiment. Out of the 18 songs here, I count seven Beatles songs plus one solo hit and a song from his new album. The rest generally are covers of the songs he loved when he was growing up.

01 Fixing a Hole (Paul McCartney)
02 Let It Be (Paul McCartney)
03 Twenty Flight Rock (Paul McCartney)
04 No I Never (Paul McCartney)
05 Jet (Paul McCartney)
06 Three Cool Cats (Paul McCartney)
07 I've Just Seen a Face (Paul McCartney)
08 She's a Woman (Paul McCartney)
09 Cut Across Shorty (Paul McCartney)
10 Hi Heeled Sneakers (Paul McCartney)
11 Shake, Rattle and Roll (Paul McCartney)
12 Get Back (Paul McCartney)
13 Matchbox (Paul McCartney)
14 Blue Suede Shoes (Paul McCartney)
15 Midnight Special (Paul McCartney)
16 Things We Said Today (Paul McCartney)
17 Drive My Car (Paul McCartney)
18 Winedark Open Sea (Paul McCartney)

I couldn't find any photos of McCartney practicing at the barn during these sessions. So instead I used a photo of him playing piano during an appearance on the TV show Saturday Night Live in 1993.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Various Artists - Rock Trump Out, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 (2015-2020)

I posted some similar to this a couple of weeks ago. But this is not the same! Previously, I posted two volumes of this "Rock Trump Out" compilation. Since then, I've found a bunch more songs (nine, to be precise), enough to make a third volume, after some reorganizing. But each album covers a different time period, so some of the new songs are on the first and second volumes. Many of the songs on the third volume are new, but not all of them. Thus, I strongly suggest you download all three volumes.

For the rest of my comments here, I'm using the same comments I posted in the earlier version, with a minimum of changes to reflect what's new with this version.


I'm a very politically progressive person. I'm trying hard to keep this blog focused just on the music. But with the critically important November 2020 presidential election coming up, I don't think I'll be able to keep entirely quiet about politics. Needless to say, I hope you all vote for Joe Biden! As Bernie Sanders put it recently, "This is not just an election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy."

I've put together a collection of songs that combines my political feelings with my love of music. All the songs are either about Trump or at least they're Trump adjacent, addressing the dire situation the country is in due to the Trump presidency. I found so many songs that I've made three albums out of them that are about an hour long each. But, and this is key, these are all GOOD songs that stand on their own musically. I culled them down from a larger bunch based both on topic relevance and musical quality. So if you're feeling frustrated about the Trump presidency and want something to help motivate you to work for his defeat while also entertaining you, this is for you.

Whereas if you're a Trump supporter, you're probably going to skip this. If you post pro-Trump comments here, be warned I'm likely to delete them. Sorry. This is not a place for heated political arguments. If you're not into this, then please move on.

Also, there are NO song parodies here. A lot of those are entertaining, but that's an entirely different thing. All the songs here are serious, and a majority of them are done by big name musicians. 

I've split the songs into three albums. The first album's songs were all released between 2015 and 2017. The second album's songs date from 2018 until 2020. The third album's songs all come from 2020. A couple of them were released only a few days ago as I write this. Within each album, I worked with a friend to sort the songs in a way that hopefully makes for a good musical flow.

In order for a song to be included, it had to be one that I liked. I'm not really a fan of rap or hip hop, so there's very little of that here, even though there have been some big anti-Trump songs in those genres. There are a couple that are rap influenced, especially the ones by the Prophets of Rage (made up of members of Public Enemy and Rage Against the Machine) and Janelle Monae. Still, if someone else put this together, they probably would have included more.

The title is "Rock Trump Out." The idea there is that we can rock while we kick Trump out on election day. The word "rock" is intentional because my musical tastes are based in classic rock, and I want these to be rocking albums. So I excluded some good anti-Trump songs that were good but too folky, too country, etc... to fit. I did include some soul and funk songs and the like, since those fit the upbeat mood.

I've looked around the Internet, and I haven't seen anyone else put a collection together like this, at least not that I could find. I'm sure there are some really good songs that fit the theme that I missed. If you know of any, please let me know and I may well add them in.

If you're someone who wants Trump voted out, please spread this to your friends and family and beyond. It's something that can lift spirits in these difficult times.

I'm almost done with my comments here, but I have a couple of interesting notes about a few songs. Believe it or not, the words to "Old Man Trump" were written by the famous folksinger Woody Guthrie, before he died in the 1960s! In his later years, he lived in an apartment building owned by Donald's father Fred Trump, who not surprisingly was a racist asshole like his son. It's interesting to note that Guthrie complained about the Trump family's bias against black people even back then!

The song "Fergus Laing" by Richard Thompson is another interesting case. Thompson wrote it about Trump before Trump began his run for president, and released it on album the same week Trump's campaign began! It seems Thompson must have been one step ahead of everyone else.

I edited two songs down simply because I thought they were too long. The two are "Can't Put It in the Hands of Fate" by Stevie Wonder and "Going Down to Sing in Texas" by Iris DeMent. I cut the Wonder song from almost seven minutes down to five minutes. I cut the DeMent song from well over nine minutes down to five minutes. For the Wonder song, a lot of what I cut was just repetitive stuff. For the DeMent one, I had to cut out a bunch of verses, She sang about all sorts of things. I tried to keep the focus on Trump and cut the verses that were less related to him.

By the way, this is an example of a song that may not appear to have anything to do about Trump at first glance. (Thompson has confirmed in interviews that it is.) Many of the other songs are like that, where they're more subtle. But if you listen closely, the relevance will sink in. The two Sheryl Crow songs are good examples of that. They just sound like really catchy pop songs until you pay attention to the lyrics with Trump in mind.

I debated whether or not to include a song by Barbra freaking Streisand! Who knew she would ever release a pointed protest song about Trump? It doesn't fit the rocking theme, and I'm not a Streisand fan at all. But in the end it was too good and too relevant to leave out. I'm very surprised to say that.

There are all sorts of really great songs here, too many for me to single out by name. But I'd be curious to hear which ones you like the most or the least.

Normally, I would make different blog posts for the three albums that make up this project. But I've only made one post to make it easy for you to share the whole thing with others if you want to. Note though that there are three zip file links below, not one, so click on all three. I've made covers for the three albums too.

UPDATE: On June 30, 2023, I added a song I'd previously missed, "Dump That Trump," by Rick Estrin and the Nightcats.


01 That's What Makes Us Great (Bruce Springsteen & Joe Grushecky)
02 Old Man Trump (Ryan Harvey, Ani DiFranco & Tom Morello)
03 Justice (Dumpstaphunk with Trombone Shorty)
04 Hail to the Chief (Prophets of Rage)
05 The Perilous Night (Drive-By Truckers)
06 Make America Great Again (Pussy Riot)
07 Just How Low (Robert Cray)
08 Tin Foil Hat (Todd Rundgren with Donald Fagen)
09 Million Dollar Loan (Death Cab for Cutie)
10 Season of Change (Stone Foundation with Bettye LaVette)
11 Make This World (Lee Fields & the Expressions)
12 Can't You Tell (Aimee Mann)
13 Ode to the Donald [A Song for Donald Trump] (David Clayton-Thomas)
14 Is This the Life We Really Want (Roger Waters)
15 Fergus Laing (Richard Thompson)


01 March March (Chicks)
02 Two Steps Forward (Kirk Fletcher)
03 Above the Law (O'Jays)
04 Shame (Tedeschi Trucks Band)
05 [Keep Mar-a-Lago But] I Want America Back (Eric Hirshberg)
06 Man without a Soul (Lucinda Williams)
07 What the Hell (Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite)
08 Hung Out to Dry (Hoodoo Gurus)
09 Despite Repeated Warnings (Paul McCartney)
10 Wouldn't Want to Be like You (Sheryl Crow with Annie Clark)
11 Can't Deny Me (Pearl Jam)
12 What's He Gonna Say Today (Eric Bibb)
13 The Right to Live in Peace [El Derecho de Vivir en Paz] (Roger Waters)
14 Don't Lie to Me (Barbra Streisand)


01 This Man (Robert Cray)
02 The Revolution Starts Now (Ann Wilson)
03 Can't Put It in the Hands of Fate [Edit] (Stevie Wonder with Rapsody, Cordae, Chika & Busta Rhymes)
04 Turntables (Janelle Monae)
05 Commander in Chief (Demi Lovato)
06 Hands Off (Joan Osborne)
07 Stick That in Your Country Song (Eric Church)
08 Going Down to Sing in Texas [Edit] (Iris DeMent)
09 Do or Die (Ani DiFranco)
10 In the End (Sheryl Crow)
11 Vote That Fucker Out (Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby)
12 The President [2020 Version] (Robyn Hitchcock)
13 Lookin' for a Leader 2020 (Neil Young)
14 Dump That Trump (Rick Estrin & the Nightcats).




I couldn't decide what to do for the album cover art. Then I had the idea to do a Google image search for the phrase "Kick Trump Out." I found a poster with that phrase in big letters made by someone named 4personnen. So I took that and changed "Kick" to "Rock," as well as adding more text at the bottom. I also changed the colors, with a different basic color for each volume.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Robyn Hitchcock - Magnum Force (2012)

"Magnum Force" was a 1975 hit action movie starring Clint Eastwood. It was one of five movies where Eastwood played the character Harry Callahan, better known by the nickname "Dirty Harry." While traveling the world playing concerts, Robyn Hitchcock kept catching the movie on TV, and found himself fascinated by it in some inexplicable way. He was so interested that he wrote a bunch of songs relating to the movie. By 2009, it was reported in the news that Hitchcock was planning to turn his songs about the movie into a Broadway play. Here's an article about it:

Sadly, the "Magnum Force" play has not come to pass, at least not yet. But in 2012, apparently just once, Hitchcock played a bunch of his songs about the movie for a small audience in a club in London. The movie was shown. From time to time, it was stopped and Hitchcock played a song that was relevant to the latest scene. Then the movie resumed. 

Luckily, there's a decent sounding bootleg from this unique concert (or movie screening or whatever you call it). I've taken the recording and stripped it down to just the music. (There wasn't much talking by Hitchcock in any case, but there was some by an emcee.) For once, I didn't have to remove the clapping at the ends of songs, because the audience was told to stay quiet until the end of the movie.

This is a very short album compared to what I usually post here, at just 27 minutes long. But it's all the songs I know of that he's written relating to the movie. I didn't want to dilute that by adding any other songs.

Some of the songs have been officially released by him here and there. "Light Blue Afternoon" appeared on his 2011 album "Tromso, Kaptein," "San Francisco Patrol" was on his 2014 album "The Man Upstairs." "Follow Your Money" was released as a single only with Emma Swift in 2015. "(A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs" first appeared on the 2005 album "Obliteration Pie," then in a different form in the 2006 album "Ole! Tarantula." That one seems to be Hitchcock's favorite of the bunch, since he still plays it in concert a lot. It also has more of an obvious link to the movie than most, since "Briggs" was one of the main characters in it.

That leaves three songs. As far as I can tell, they're still unreleased. I don't even know the real names to them, since he probably only ever played them this one time, and he didn't name them. The names here are the guesses made by the person who recorded the show. If you know of better names for any of them, please let me know.

01 Light Blue Afternoon (Robyn Hitchcock)
02 Can You Fly This Thing (Robyn Hitchcock)
03 What Do I Have to Do (Robyn Hitchcock)
04 San Francisco Patrol (Robyn Hitchcock)
05 Follow Your Money (Robyn Hitchcock)
06 Either You're for Us or You're Against Us (Robyn Hitchcock)
07 [A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations] Briggs (Robyn Hitchcock)

I decided to have a little fun with the cover art. I took a poster from the movie that featured Clint Eastwood holding a big gun. I found a photo of Hitchcock from probably the late 1980s that had a similar shading and shadow angle. I then replaced Eastwood's head with Hitchcock's. I also replaced Eastwood's full name with Hitchcock's in the poster's tag line.

World Party - Beatles Covers (1986-2006)

Karl Wallinger, the main force behind the band World Party, is a huge Beatles fan. He's done a lot of Beatles covers over the years, so many that there's enough to make an album of them. So that's exactly what I've done here. A couple of the songs are from the solo careers of John Lennon and Paul McCartney ("No. 9 Dream" and "Man We Was Lonely" respectively), and there's one Lennon-McCartney song the Beatles never recorded ("A World without Love"). But I figure that's close enough for horseshoes.

One must say that these Beatles covers are often very close to the Beatles versions. Occasionally, takes a very different approach, such as with "The Long and Winding Road," which has a different rhythmic structure. But that's rare. But that's okay. Wallinger obviously had a lot of fun recreating the records he loves.

Most of these songs are officially released, but rare. Three are B-sides. Three more are from the archival box set "Arkeology." A few are from various artists compilations. Two are actual album tracks. But three are unreleased. For two of those, the last two songs on the album, I don't even know what year they're from. All I know is that they were posted on a now defunct official World Party website. I estimated they were released around 2006, but I'm not sure. If anyone knows, please let me know.

I wouldn't have made this if my musical associate Lil' Panda didn't come up with the idea and drop nearly all of the songs in my lap. So thanks for that.

The album is 40 minutes long.

01 Nowhere Man (World Party)
02 Dear Prudence (World Party)
03 Happiness Is a Warm Gun (World Party)
04 Cry Baby Cry (World Party)
05 A World without Love (World Party)
06 I'm So Tired (World Party)
07 Fixing a Hole (World Party)
08 Martha My Dear (World Party)
09 No. 9 Dream (World Party)
10 Penny Lane (World Party)
11 Man We Was Lonely (World Party)
12 The Long and Winding Road (World Party)
13 All You Need Is Love (World Party)

I have no idea where or when the cover art photo was taken. But I liked it, and I didn't see many other good ones to choose from. Judging from his appearance, I'm guessing it's from the early 2000s.

The Spencer Davis Group - Valmiina Pyorii, Helsinki, Finland, 3-19-1967

Just yesterday, Spencer Davis died of pneumonia at the age of 81. He was best known as the founder of the 1960s band the Spencer David Group. But even though the band was named after him, the band was dominated by their remarkable lead singer Steve Winwood. At the time of the band's first single, he'd only just turned 16 years old. But he would go on to have a long and successful career with Traffic, then Blind Faith, then as a solo artist.

I've had a Spencer Davis Group concert that I've been meaning to post, so this seems like a good time to do it. Steve Winwood was only with the band a relatively short time, from 1963 to early 1967. But virtually all of their big success was with him. They had four big hits, which were number 1 either in Britain or Canada: "Keep On Running," "Somebody Help Me," "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm a Man." But despite their successes, they never released a live album, and there are virtually no bootlegs of them in concert.

Luckily, virtually no bootlegs isn't the same as no bootlegs. I've found two interesting videos with very good (though not excellent) sound quality, plus two other officially released live tracks. I've put them all together to make this album. The first four songs here are from an appearance on the German TV show "Beat Beat Beat" in 1966. The rest of the album comes from a concert in Helsinki, Finland, in March 1967 that luckily also was shown on TV. You can find that, and the German TV appearance, on YouTube.

The band was named the "Spencer Davis Group" mainly because Davis was talkative and didn't mind doing interviews, whereas the other band members were shy. So Davis does a lot of the talking between the songs. But Steve Winwood does the vast majority of the lead vocals, as well as playing the organ. If you only know him from his work with Traffic and after that, you're missing out. He already was an excellent vocalist with a remarkable, distinctive voice in these years. Yeah, sometimes the songs are more poppy, but also often soulful and/or bluesy.

The album as a whole is 35 minutes long. The Finland concert part alone is 25 minutes long.

01 Keep On Running (Spencer Davis Group)
02 Sittin' and Thinkin' (Spencer Davis Group)
03 Please Do Something (Spencer Davis Group)
04 Somebody Help Me (Spencer Davis Group)
05 When I Come Home (Spencer Davis Group)
06 talk (Spencer Davis Group)
07 Dust My Blues (Spencer Davis Group)
08 talk (Spencer Davis Group)
09 Mean Woman Blues (Spencer Davis Group)
10 Together 'Till the End of Time (Spencer Davis Group)
11 talk (Spencer Davis Group)
12 I'm a Man (Spencer Davis Group)
13 talk (Spencer Davis Group)
14 Georgia on My Mind (Spencer Davis Group)
15 talk (Spencer Davis Group)
16 Gimme Some Lovin' (Spencer Davis Group)

The cover art photo is of the band in 1967. Steve Winwood was still in the band, here's on the far right, so it must be from early 1967. Winwood's eyes were looking off to the side, so I made an adjustment in Photoshop to make him looking forward like all the others.

Brandi Carlile - Home Concerts 2: Maple Valley, WA, 6-14-2020 (The Firewatcher's Daughter Album)

A few weeks ago, I posted a home concert album of Brandi Carlile. It collected a bunch of performances she played at home during the coronavirus pandemic, usually just a song here or two songs there. This album is different. It's a single home concert, consisting of her entire 2015 "The Firewatcher's Daughter" album, plus two extra songs at the end.

For most of her music career, Carliile has closely collaborated with the twins Phil and Tim Hanseroth. Those two have played guitar and bass, sing backing vocals, and often write or co-write songs on her albums. For this concert, it's just the trio of Carlile plus the Hanseroths, all on acoustic instruments.

During the pandemic lockdown, Carlile has been gradually holding concerts in which she plays all of her albums from start to end. Most of these have been available only behind a pay wall, so I won't be posting them here. But two of them have been made more widely available, including this one, so I'll post those two.

To be honest, I'd never heard "The Firewatcher's Daughter" before this home concert came along. But I like what I've heard a lot, so I'm posting this. It's made me go back and listen to the albums that I'd missed. Hopefully you'll feel the same if you haven't discovered this album in its original form already.

The sound quality of this concert is very good. There's a lot of talking between songs, which is often interesting, and gives a lot of information about the songs and how they came to be written.

The two extra songs at the end are "The Story," Carlile's first hit, and "Hallelujah," the classic by Leonard Cohen.

The concert as a whole is an hour and 18 minutes long.

01 talk (Brandi Carlile)
02 Wherever Is Your Heart (Brandi Carlile)
03 talk (Brandi Carlile)
04 The Eye (Brandi Carlile)
05 talk (Brandi Carlile)
06 The Things I Regret (Brandi Carlile)
07 talk (Brandi Carlile)
08 Mainstream Kid (Brandi Carlile)
09 talk (Brandi Carlile)
10 Beginning to Feel the Years (Brandi Carlile)
11 talk (Brandi Carlile)
12 Wilder [We're Chained] (Brandi Carlile)
13 talk (Brandi Carlile)
14 Blood, Muscle, Skin and Bone (Brandi Carlile)
15 talk (Brandi Carlile)
16 I Belong to You (Brandi Carlile)
17 talk (Brandi Carlile)
18 Alibi (Brandi Carlile)
19 talk (Brandi Carlile)
20 The Stranger at My Door (Brandi Carlile)
21 talk (Brandi Carlile)
22 Heroes and Songs (Brandi Carlile)
23 talk (Brandi Carlile)
24 Murder in the City (Brandi Carlile)
25 talk (Brandi Carlile)
26 The Story (Brandi Carlile)
27 talk (Brandi Carlile)
28 Hallelujah (Brandi Carlile)
29 talk (Brandi Carlile)

The cover art photo is from a short promo video for this concert, in which she held up an oversized version of "The Firewatcher's Daughter" album cover.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Aerosmith - MTV Unplugged, Ed Sullivan Theater, New York City, 8-11-1990

I'm not much of a fan of Aerosmith beyond their hits. But their hits are really good and there are a lot of them. There is one thing from them that I want to share at this blog though, and that is an "acoustic" performance they did for MTV Unplugged in 1990 that never has been officially released. It's really good, and this version I'm sharing is superior to the one that is commonly available as a bootleg.

I put "acoustic" in quotes because they played as a full band, including drums, so it's more like semi-acoustic. But for a hard rocking band like Aerosmith, it was a different sound for them, relatively speaking. I believe it's the only time they ever played in an acoustic format. (Lead singer Steven Tyler has done some acoustic stuff in recent years, but without the rest of the band.) I consider this a "must-have" for any Aerosmith fan.

This show has been frequently bootlegged, and you can find grey market versions on Amazon and other similar places. But that version has a big problem. While it contains all the music in good quality, the recording was butchered between most of the songs, with most of the banter and applause cut off. I found one video clip on YouTube that had much more of the time between songs, but only for a portion of the concert. However, that encouraged me that more of it had to be out there. I looked high and low, and finally managed to find a version that included the full recording. It adds about six minutes to the total length of the concert, so it makes a difference.

The sound quality of this version is excellent. The show was professionally recorded by MTV, so this sounds as good as any live album from the time. It's a mystery to me why this album wasn't officially released, especially since the "Unplugged" trend was big at the time, and bands that did release their "Unplugged" concerts often sold millions of those albums. But at least it's here for you to listen to now.

I've made a few edits to improve things. The version I found with all the time between the songs included sometimes had too much dead air with guitar tuning and the like. So I cut out the boring parts. I also boosted the volume of some of the banter that was a bit quiet. But that was all the tweaking I had to do.

The band played some cover songs that they didn't normally do, for instance "Love Me Two Times" by the Doors, "Smokestack Lightning" by Howlin' Wolf, and "Milk Cow Blues" by Kokomo Arnold (which was done by Elvis Presley and the Kinks as well, by the way). They also did some covers that they put on well-known albums: "Big Ten Inch Record," "Walking the Dog," and "Train Kept A-Rollin'." Add it together, and about half the songs they did were covers.

The main concert is an hour and six minutes long. 

On top of that, I've added some quasi-bonus tracks at the end. Basically, I stuck everything else I had from the band that was acoustic or semi-acoustic. It wasn't much. There are two songs the band played acoustically for the Howard Stern radio show in 1997, "Pink" and "Bacon Biscuit Blues." By the way, I believe "Bacon Biscuit Blues" is an original outtake from the "Nine Lives" album that never got officially released because it didn't fit with the other music they were doing at the time. Then this album ends with acoustic versions of songs that were released as B-sides to the hit A-sides of the same songs in 1993 and 1994. 

Including all four of the extra songs, the album totals a hour and 24 minutes.

01 Hangman Jury (Aerosmith)
02 talk (Aerosmith)
03 Monkey on My Back (Aerosmith)
04 talk (Aerosmith)
05 Love Me Two Times (Aerosmith)
06 talk (Aerosmith)
07 Seasons of Wither (Aerosmith)
08 talk (Aerosmith)
09 Big Ten Inch Record (Aerosmith)
10 One Way Street (Aerosmith)
11 Smokestack Lightning (Aerosmith)
12 Dream On (Aerosmith)
13 talk (Aerosmith)
14 Milk Cow Blues (Aerosmith)
15 Toys in the Attic (Aerosmith)
16 talk (Aerosmith)
17 Walking the Dog (Aerosmith)
18 talk (Aerosmith)
19 Train Kept A-Rollin' (Aerosmith)
20 Train Kept A-Rollin' [Slow Version] (Aerosmith)
21 talk (Aerosmith)
22 Last Child (Aerosmith)
23 Pink (Aerosmith)
24 Bacon Biscuit Blues (Aerosmith)
25 Amazing [Acoustic Version] (Aerosmith)
26 Crazy [Acoustic Version] (Aerosmith)

Boy, did I have a hard time finding a good cover image for this album. The video of the band's "Unplugged" performance is available on YouTube and other places, but it's rather low-res and blurry. It's okay for watching a video, but any screenshot of it looks bad. All the photos I found from the concert, such as the ones used for bootleg covers, were taken from the blurry video. But I finally found one good one taken from yet another bootleg cover of the same concert. The only problem is it only depicts lead singer Steven Tyler instead of the entire band. So this is what I'm going with. But if anyone has a better one, please let me know.

The text for the band name and "Unplugged" is exactly as it was from the bootleg cover. The only change I made is the small text under the word "Unplugged."

Melissa Etheridge - Home Concert Covers, Volume 4, Los Angeles, CA, 5-4-2020 to 5-12-2020

For the first couple of months of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, Melissa Etheridge was extremely prolific, doing a home concert nearly every single day. Then, on May 13, 2020, her son Beckett died of issues related to opiod addiction at only 21 years old. She immediately stopped her home concerts to grieve. When she resumed them about a month later, she began doing them less often, and also making them available only with a paid subscription. I don't want to post something here from behind a paywall. So this is the last bunch of songs from when she was still posting everything for free.

As with the previous albums in this series, I've only included the cover versions she did. She also performed lots of originals, but those are available on her albums, and her covers generally have never been released on album. Also like the previous albums, she did some songs solo acoustic. For others, she built up loops that allowed her to play multiple instruments at once. Those usually included her playing the drums, making her sound like a full band.

Furthermore, also like the previous albums, I've created two versions. One version includes her lengthy talking between songs. The other version is just the music. The version with the talking is 59 minutes long. The music only version is 48 minutes long.

I have one more album from this time period this is a show focusing entirely on Neil Diamond songs. In recent months, she has released some songs for free, so I plan on posting some of those eventually.

01 Rock Me Baby (Melissa Etheridge)
02 Intro to Any Other Way (Melissa Etheridge)
03 Any Other Way (Melissa Etheridge)
04 talk (Melissa Etheridge)
05 Who's Makin' Love (Melissa Etheridge)
06 Merry Christmas Baby (Melissa Etheridge)
07 Intro to Happy Xmas [War Is Over] (Melissa Etheridge)
08 Happy Xmas [War Is Over] - Give Peace a Chance (Melissa Etheridge)
09 These Arms of Mine (Melissa Etheridge)
10 talk (Melissa Etheridge)
11 Lucille (Melissa Etheridge)
12 talk (Melissa Etheridge)
13 Tupelo Honey (Melissa Etheridge)
14 talk (Melissa Etheridge)
15 I've Been Loving You Too Long (Melissa Etheridge)
16 talk (Melissa Etheridge)
17 Hold On, I'm Comin' (Melissa Etheridge)
18 Wait a Minute (Melissa Etheridge)

Here's the song list for the music only version:

01 Rock Me Baby (Melissa Etheridge)
02 Any Other Way (Melissa Etheridge)
03 Who's Makin' Love (Melissa Etheridge)
04 Merry Christmas Baby (Melissa Etheridge)
05 Happy Xmas [War Is Over] - Give Peace a Chance (Melissa Etheridge)
06 These Arms of Mine (Melissa Etheridge)
07 Lucille (Melissa Etheridge)
08 Tupelo Honey (Melissa Etheridge)
09 I've Been Loving You Too Long (Melissa Etheridge)
10 Hold On, I'm Comin' (Melissa Etheridge)
11 Wait a Minute (Melissa Etheridge)

Here's the link with the talking and the music:

Here's the link that contains only the music:

The cover art photo is from one of her home concerts from around this time period.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Elton John - BBC Sessions, Volume 4: 1972-1974

Here's the next in my series of BBC albums for Elton John. Most of the albums in this series are entire concerts. But this consists of a bunch of performances from different radio or TV shows strung together. Most are from the BBC, but a couple near the end are not. The sound quality is generally excellent. In terms of song choice, this could almost serve as a greatest hits for the time period.

The first three songs are from a concert at the Royal Festival Hall in 1972. I'm not sure what TV show these are from, but they almost certainly are from one, because professional quality video footage of the songs exist on YouTube. This was part of a full concert by Elton John, but I've only been able to find these three in high quality. The next two songs are from a "Royal Variety Performance" that was broadcast on TV as well. it was a sort of variety show done in front of British royalty, and I believe these were the only two songs played by John.

One song, "Daniel," appears to be live vocals only that were done to prerecorded instrumental tracks. A couple others might also fall into that category, but I'm not sure. If you can tell, please let me know. It's surprising to me how few TV or radio appearances I could find, considering that John was probably the best selling musician in the world for a few years in the early 1970s. So I went with live vocals only versions because I couldn't find any better ones.

"Get Down" was a hit by Gilbert O'Sullivan. This is a duet version with John from a TV special hosted by O'Sullivan.

01 talk (Elton John)
02 Rocket Man [I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time] (Elton John)
03 Honky Cat (Elton John)
04 talk (Elton John)
05 Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (Elton John)
06 I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself (Elton John)
07 talk (Elton John)
08 Crocodile Rock (Elton John)
09 Daniel [Live Vocals Only] (Elton John)
10 Step into Christmas (Elton John)
11 Get Down (Gilbert O'Sullivan & Elton John)
12 Candle in the Wind (Elton John)
13 Ticking (Elton John)
14 Grimsby (Elton John)

The cover art photo comes from a performance on German TV in 1972.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren - Sunday Mornings with Elle and Toni, Volume 6: 2018-2019

Here's the next in my long series of acoustic covers albums by Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren. Please see the previous albums in this series for more about them and their style of music.

As I've mentioned previously, one thing I really like about their cover versions is how they mix performing well-known, classic songs with lesser known ones that are often just as good. With each album, there are at least a couple of songs that are new to me. That's especially the case with this album. There are a handful of unusual songs this time around. 

One great example is their version of "NFL on Fox Theme." They took this melody, which should be familiar to anyone who watches professional football games on TV, and turned it into kind of a bluegrass hoedown! Pretty clever and fun.

This album is 46 minutes long.

This is the list of the original artists for each song:

01 No Rain - Blind Melon
02 Sea of Love - Phil Phillips
03 NFL on Fox Theme [Instrumental] - Scott Schrerer
04 Forever and Ever, Amen - Randy Travis
05 Baby Blue - Trevor Lindgren
06 Mary Hamilton - traditional
07 Illegal Smile - John Prine
08 The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
09 Your Song - Elton John
10 I'm Not the Only One - Sam Smith
11 The Monkey and the Engineer - Jesse Fuller
12 Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone - Flatt & Scruggs
13 The Mighty Quinn [Quinn the Eskimo] - Bob Dylan
14 Rocky Raccoon - Beatles
15 Fly Me to the Moon - Bart Howard / Peggy Lee

Here's the usual song list:

01 No Rain (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren)
02 Sea of Love (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren)
03 NFL on Fox Theme [Instrumental] (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren)
04 Forever and Ever, Amen (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren)
05 Baby Blue (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren with Trevor Lindgren)
06 Mary Hamilton (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren with Alana)
07 Illegal Smile (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren)
08 The Middle (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren)
09 Your Song (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren)
10 I'm Not the Only One (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren with Josh Turner)
11 The Monkey and the Engineer (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren)
12 Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren)
13 The Mighty Quinn [Quinn the Eskimo] (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren)
14 Rocky Raccoon (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren with the Other Favorites)
15 Fly Me to the Moon (Elle Cordova & Toni Lindgren)

The cover art photo is taken from their video performing the song "Harvest Moon" in 2019.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Rolling Stones - A Second Helping of Goats Head Soup - Non-Album Tracks (1973-1974)

It's been a long time since I've posted a stray tracks album from the Rolling Stones. I've been working my way through their career chronologically. The last album I posted was from the "Exile on Main Street" ere ending in 1972.  The next album they released was "Goats Head Soup" in 1973. I've had some issues with that album. It has some great songs, and some duds. So I considered making an alternate version of it by replacing the weaker songs. But I kept collecting material and eventually realized I had enough material for a stray tracks album from that time period. So I've made that instead.

Note that this deals with both the era of "Goats Head Soup" and also their next album, 1974's "It's Only Rock and Roll." In my opinion, the Stones got distracted by money and fame in the mid-1970s. So the number of quality outtakes was declining in 1973 and 1974. Then there were even fewer for the next couple of years, until a flood of material leading up to the "Some Girls" album in 1978. Thus I've had to combine material from the two albums to make up one solid stray tracks album.

Earlier in 2020, a deluxe version of "Goats Head Soup" was released. Unfortunately, it missed releasing a lot of quality outtakes. There are only three songs here from that. One of them, "Scarlet," is actually a 1974 outtake, so they stretched things to include it. Luckily, there are some high quality bootleg versions of still unreleased outtakes from 1973 and 1974, like "Fast Talking, Slow Walking," "Drift Away," and "Living in the Heart of Love." "Drift Away" is a cover of the hit song by Dobie Gray. 

Four of the songs here aren't actually Rolling Stones songs. But in my opinion, they sure sound like them. I've included three songs from Ronnie Wood's 1974 solo album, from right before he joined the Stones. Except two of the versions of those songs included here, "Am I Grooving You" and "Sure the One You Need," were performed live by the First Barbarians, a short lived group with both Ronnie Wood and Stones guitarist Keith Richards. Another song, "I Can Feel the Fire," is the version from the Wood solo album ("I've Got My Own Album to Do"). This one features prominent lead vocals by the Stones' lead vocalist Mick Jagger, so it also sounds very much like a Stones song to me. 

The final song not by the Stones is "Too Many Cooks (Spoil the Soup)." This was done in 1973 by Mich Jagger, but wasn't officially released until it made it onto "The Very Best of Mick Jagger" in 2007. A lot of famous musicians played on it, including Al Kooper, Jack Bruce, and Harry Nilsson. It was produced by none other than John Lennon, though he didn't play on it. It's a cover of an obscure soul song. In my opinion, it's better than most of the Stones songs from this time period.

I'm calling this album "A Second Helping of Goats Head Soup" entirely due to the album cover I chose to use. This originally was supposed to be the cover for "Goats Head Soup." But retailers were skittish about it, so the band went in a totally different direction. This was included as an insert for early editions of the album. Personally, I think it's a much better cover, so I wanted to use it. Since it literally shows goats head soup, I figured I needed a name that addressed that but wasn't exactly "Goats Head Soup," since that was used already. That's why I added the "Second Helping" part.

"Waiting on a Friend" is added as a bonus track. It's only a bonus track, because that song was eventually released in 1981, on the "Tattoo You" album. But this version was recorded in 1973. It's different enough to be interesting, but it also sounds good enough to have been released. It's a shame it wasn't included on "Goats Head Soup," since it would have made the album a lot stronger.

01 All the Rage (Rolling Stones)
02 Come to the Ball (Rolling Stones)
03 Separately [Instrumental] (Rolling Stones)
04 Criss Cross (Rolling Stones)
05 Fast Talking, Slow Walking (Rolling Stones)
06 Through the Lonely Nights (Rolling Stones)
07 Too Many Cooks [Spoil the Soup] (Mick Jagger)
08 Sure the One You Need (First Barbarians (Keith Richards & Ronnie Wood))
09 Drift Away (Rolling Stones)
10 Am I Grooving You (First Barbarians (Keith Richards & Ronnie Wood))
11 Scarlet (Rolling Stones with Jimmy Page)
12 Living in the Heart of Love (Rolling Stones)
13 I Can Feel the Fire (Ronnie Wood with Mick Jagger)

Waiting on a Friend [Original Version] (Rolling Stones)

See the explanation above about the album cover art. The only change I made was to add the text to it.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Rockpile - The Bottom Line, New York City, 10-24-1978

I love Rockpile, the late 1970s band with Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds. They had lots of great songs, and they could really rock. It's a shame they never got their due, in my opinion largely due to the fact that Lowe and Edmunds were on different record labels, so Rockpile was only ever able to record one studio album, right when they broke up.

Rockpile definitely excelled on stage. It's too bad they never released a live album while they were still together. One was released decades later, but that's a concert from 1980. This show is from 1978, with a significantly different song list. This concert from The Bottom Line in New York City is a great one. It was played live on the radio, so the sound quality is as good as a professionally recorded live album. Just listening to it, I can almost see and smell the sweat from a tightly packed crowd dancing to the relentlessly energetic songs. If you like good ol' rock and roll, give this a listen! 

There were some issues with the bootleg recording that I had to fix. The music was just fine, but sometimes things got a little problematic with the applause after some songs. In two cases, a DJ for the radio station recording and playing the concert over the radio spoke over the applause to remind listeners what station they were listening to. I removed those. In a few other cases, the applause at the ends of songs was missing or cut short. So I did my usual trick of patching in applause from the ends of other songs.

There are two notable things about the last song, "Let It Rock," a Chuck Berry number. First, it features Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones as an additional lead guitarist. Two, it's not actually from the concert in question. But, it's from the very next night, at the same venue. The recording of that night is also excellent. The set list was the same with the exception of this one song with Richards, so I've only included that song at the end.

By the way, Lowe once wrote an interesting account of Richards playing "Let It Rock." It's probably from the appearance that is included here, though it's possible he played with the band more than one. Lowe claims it was at the Bottom Line, but in 1979, but he could have the timing wrong. Anyway, here's the link to the short story:

The concert is 59 minutes long, including the extra song with Richards. If you own listen to just one Rockpile concert, I recommend this one, even over their official album "Live at Montreux 1980."

01 Down, Down, Down (Rockpile)
02 So It Goes (Rockpile)
03 I Knew the Bride [When She Used to Rock and Roll] (Rockpile)
04 talk (Rockpile)
05 Deborah (Rockpile)
06 talk (Rockpile)
07 I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass (Rockpile)
08 talk (Rockpile)
09 No More Mr. Nice Guy (Rockpile)
10 Trouble Boys (Rockpile)
11 It's My Own Business (Rockpile)
12 talk (Rockpile)
13 Never Been in Love (Rockpile)
14 Love So Fine (Rockpile)
15 Promised Land (Rockpile)
16 talk (Rockpile)
17 I Hear You Knocking (Rockpile)
18 They Called It Rock (Rockpile)
19 Heart of the City (Rockpile)
20 Ju Ju Man (Rockpile)
21 Here Comes the Weekend (Rockpile)
22 Let It Rock (Rockpile with Keith Richards)

The cover art photo features just Nick Lowe (left) and Dave Edmunds (right). I could have used a photo with all four band members, but I liked this one the best. It's from a concert in New York City in August 1979, probably the Palladium.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Morgan James - Acoustic Cover Songs, Volume 3, 2016-2017

I've posted two Morgan James albums already, and not that many people have downloaded them so far. If you haven't given her a try, you're missing out. She has a truly impressive voice, the kind you'd expect of a Broadway star (and she has featured in Broadway plays). But the surprise twist is that all of the performances here are just her and an acoustic guitar. Like the other albums I'm posting for her, all the songs are cover versions, and she does a lot of songs that aren't typically done in the acoustic format. You can see that here, with covers of the likes of Prince, Tina Turner, and Soundgarden. So what's not to like? Give her a shot if you haven't already.

The vast majority of the songs were released by James through social media, and are unreleased on album. The sound quality is consistently high. Three of the songs are taken from a concert bootleg, but I've edited them to remove the audience applause at the end, so they fit in with the others.

Here are the original artists that made each song famous:

01 Gravity - John Mayer
02 Vultures - John Mayer
03 I'm Gonna Find Another You - John Mayer
04 If You Love Somebody Set Them Free - Sting
05 How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore - Prince
06 Funkier than a Mosquito's Tweeter - Ike & Tina Turner
07 I Love You More than You'll Ever Know - Blood, Sweat & Tears
08 Human Nature - Michael Jackson
09 What's Love Got to Do with It - Tina Turner
10 Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden
11 Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen

Here's the usual song list:

01 Gravity (Morgan James)
02 Vultures (Morgan James)
03 I'm Gonna Find Another You (Morgan James)
04 If You Love Somebody Set Them Free (Morgan James)
05 How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore (Morgan James)
06 Funkier than a Mosquito's Tweeter (Morgan James)
07 I Love You More than You'll Ever Know (Morgan James)
08 Human Nature (Morgan James)
09 What's Love Got to Do with It (Morgan James)
10 Black Hole Sun (Morgan James)
11 Hallelujah (Morgan James)

The cover art photo is a screenshot from one of the 2016 perofrmances here. But I didn't keep track of which one exactly.

Lulu - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: 1968-1970

When I'd first posted this album, I'd commented that it was a step down from the first two in this series both in terms of performance and sound quality. That's no longer the case. Thanks to musical associate Marley, I was able to add a bunch of songs that I'd missed. All of those are BBC studio sessions with the best sound quality. If you downloaded this before, you definitely should do it again, along with the new Volume 4 in the series.

Before, most of the songs here came from Lulu's TV, "It's Lulu." True, that was a BBC show, so it kept the BBC content coming, but the sound quality was often merely good instead of great. Now, ten of the 20 songs come from BBC studio sessions instead, with excellent sound quality. I was able to replace a couple of the songs with better versions, but most of those ten are newly discovered by me.

I'd previously thought that the best of Lulu's music career petered out by the end of the 1960s. But I think these songs made a case that she kept going strong into the early 1970s.

All of the performances here are officially unreleased. One snag with the new BBC studio sessions tracks is that most of them had BBC DJs talking over the music. But I was able to remove the talking and keep the underlying music thanks to the X-Minus audio editing program. Those are the ones with " [Edit]" in their titles.

The two bonus songs are duets with Dusty Springfield. I've included them on my collections of Springfield's "On TV and Radio" albums. They'd previously been included as regular tracks on this album. But after drastically revamping it, I realized those two had poorer sound quality than the rest. So those two got bumped down to bonus track status.

This album is 49 minutes long, not including the bonus tracks.

UPDATE: On October 24, 2022, I drastically revised this album. I mentioned some of the changes up above, but there's too many changes to explain them all in detail. Please just delete the earlier version and listen to this better one. The vast majority of the songs are new. Some of the songs that had been here have been moved to the new Volume 4 album in this series.

01 By the Time I Get to Phoenix (Lulu)
02 Walk Right Back (Lulu & the Everly Brothers)
03 Funky Street (Lulu)
04 I'm a Tiger (Lulu)
05 Games People Play (Lulu & Johnny Cash)
06 Oh Me, Oh My [I'm a Fool for You Baby] [Edit] (Lulu)
07 Sweep Around Your Own Back Door [Edit] (Lulu)
08 The Letter [Edit] (Lulu)
09 Boom Bang a Bang (Lulu)
10 'It's Lulu' Theme Song [Instrumental] (Lulu)
11 At the Crossroads (Lulu)
12 Feelin' Alright [Edit] (Lulu)
13 Marley Purt Drive [Edit] (Lulu)
14 Mr. Bojangles [Edit] (Lulu)
15 Dirty Old Man [Edit] (Lulu)
16 Hum a Song [From Your Heart] [Edit] (Lulu)
17 Show Me [Edit] (Lulu)
18 Girl Talk (Lulu & Cass Elliot)
19 Keep the Customer Satisfied (Lulu)
20 Sweet Little Sixteen - Long Tall Sally - Blue Suede Shoes (Lulu)

Free the People (Dusty Springfield & Lulu)
Joy to the World (Dusty Springfield & Lulu)

The cover art photo comes from a BBC TV show in 1971, but I don't know the details.

Stevie Wonder - Rainbow Theatre, London, Britain, 2-2-1974

There are very, very few great live recordings of Stevie Wonder from his peak years in the 1970s. Most of those are from 1972 and 1973, including a couple I've posted here already. He only toured a bit in 1975, then not at all in 1976 (despite releasing his magnum opus "Songs in the Key of Life" that year) , and continued to stay off the stage for the rest of the 1970s except for a short tour in 1979.

But that still leaves 1974, and arguably this is his greatest live recording, from a concert early that year. This is a soundboard bootleg, and the sound quality is fantastic. The only problem is that the audience applause often quickly faded out at the ends of the songs. I suspect there's some missing banter from between the songs as well, although he does a fair amount of talking during the songs. I think I managed to fix the applause problem by patching in applause from the few song endings that had it to the ones that didn't. 

The concert begins with twenty minutes of instrumentals, including a drum solo. But the musical interplay is sharp from those instrumentals onwards. Many of the songs are stretched well beyond their album version lengths, allowing for lots of improvisation. For instance, "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" is 3 minutes on album, but 11 minutes here.

There's a lot of controversy about which date this concert took place. The date most commonly used is January 29, 1974. But it has been determined that the Doobie Brothers headlined the same venue that night. Other dates given include January 20, January 24, and February 24! However, a website on the history of the venue (the Rainbow Theatre) makes clear he only played there on January 24th and February 2nd. And at one point in the concert, he thanked the audience for coming back so soon after him playing there recently, which logically means it most likely is from February 2nd.

I've added five songs to the end of the show. The first four come from two short shows he did in France and Germany in the two weeks prior to the main show. They also are have excellent sound quality since they were recorded for TV broadcast. I've only included the songs that weren't also played in the main show.

The last song comes from about a year later, at the yearly Grammy Awards ceremony. This is the only truly excellent sounding performance I've found from him from 1975. There are two popular 1975 bootlegs, one from Toronto, Canada, and one from Kingston, Jamaica (with Bob Marley guesting on two songs!), but the sound quality from both of those aren't good enough for me to want to share them.

The main show from the Rainbow Theatre is an hour and a half long. If you add in the extra songs, it's an hour and 51 minutes of Stevie Wonder at his musical peak.

01 Instrumental No. 1 - Drum Solo (Stevie Wonder)
02 Contusion [Instrumental] (Stevie Wonder)
03 Instrumental No. 2 (Stevie Wonder)
04 talk (Stevie Wonder)
05 Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder)
06 Superwoman (Stevie Wonder)
07 To Know You Is to Love You (Stevie Wonder)
08 Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours (Stevie Wonder)
09 Visions (Stevie Wonder)
10 Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing (Stevie Wonder)
11 Living for the City (Stevie Wonder)
12 You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder)
13 Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
14 [You've Been Better to Me Than] A Lot of My Dreams (Stevie Wonder)
15 All in Love Is Fair (Stevie Wonder)
16 Danka Shoen - Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours (Stevie Wonder)
17 I Can See the Sun in Late December (Stevie Wonder)
18 He's Misstra Know-It-All (Stevie Wonder)
19 You Haven't Done Nothin' (Stevie Wonder)

The cover art photo is of Wonder playing at the Rainbow Theatre around this time. But I'm not sure if it's from the exactly show, since he played there at least twice in early 1974.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Norah Jones with Sasha Dobson - Home Concerts 8, New York City, 7-10-2020 to 7-23-2020

I have to post more of Norah Jones's home concert recordings, because she keeps coming out with more each week and I'm falling behind! I consider that a good problem. So here's the next in the series.

This one is a bit different from all the others, and is also different from the other ones I haven't posted yet so far. For the first five songs, Jones is joined by a special guest instead of playing totally solo. The guest is Sasha Dobson. Jones, Dobson, and Catherine Popper have made up the band Puss n Boots since 2008, releasing albums in 2014 and 2020. 

The presence of Dobson gives the session a different feel. Of course musically it's different with them playing and singing together. But also, Jones is way more talkative between songs, and more lively. Clearly, she's having a blast. When she plays on her own in these home concerts, she rarely says anything at all.

That's just for the first five songs. The remaining four songs were recorded the next week, and feature Jones on her own, as usual.

Altogether, the music totals up to just 37 minutes.

01 Tell Yer Mama (Norah Jones & Sasha Dobson)
02 talk (Norah Jones & Sasha Dobson)
03 You Don't Know (Norah Jones & Sasha Dobson)
04 talk (Norah Jones & Sasha Dobson)
05 Sex Degrees of Separation (Norah Jones & Sasha Dobson)
06 talk (Norah Jones & Sasha Dobson)
07 Same Ole Bullshit (Norah Jones & Sasha Dobson)
08 talk (Norah Jones & Sasha Dobson)
09 Sinkin' Soon (Norah Jones & Sasha Dobson)
10 talk (Norah Jones & Sasha Dobson)
11 Falling (Norah Jones)
12 Jesus, Etc (Norah Jones)
13 talk (Norah Jones)
14 Day Breaks (Norah Jones)
15 Painter Song (Norah Jones)

The cover art photo is a screenshot from the session where Jones was joined by Dobson.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Various Artists - Farm Aid on the Road 2020, 9-26-2020

Here's another recent live stream benefit concert with lots of big names. Farm Aid has been happening every year since 1985, funding a non-profit that benefits Americans with family farms. Of course, the 2020 concert has had to be a virtual event, with artists prerecording their songs from their homes. This is a particularly long concert, almost three hours, after the many cuts I made.

Speaking of those cuts, I didn't cut any of the music. But there was lots of talking between songs, including testimonials from farmers and even some commercials. I cut all that out. Musician Jon Batiste introduced each of the other musicians, and I cut all those intros out too. I also frequently edited down the comments from the artists themselves to the bare bones. My thinking there was I wanted this to be focused on the music, with repeat playability.

In terms of the music, this differs from some other similar benefit concerts during the pandemic in that the big name artists got to play up to four songs instead of just one or two. Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews all got to play four songs each, and most of the others played two. Willie Nelson and his two sons Lukas and Micah ended the show with eight songs, with them rotating who did the lead vocals. (Particle Kid is the name of Micah Nelson's band.)

the sound is generally excellent. The only exception to that is Neil Young's set. Neil, being weird as he often is, decided to play his songs in a chicken coop in a farm. So there's a lot of ambient noise, especially the clucking of chickens. There was nothing I could do to improve the sound there, but it still sounds okay.

As I mentioned yesterday when posting the "A Night for Austin" benefit concert, there are a lot of these sorts of concerts in 2020, but I pass on most of them. However, like the Austin one, I was impressed by the consistently high quality of music in this one. I encourage you to give it a listen.

01 Home (Jack Johnson)
02 Better Together (Jack Johnson)
03 And It's Still Alright (Nathaniel Rateliff)
04 Time Stands (Nathaniel Rateliff)
05 Where Rainbows Never Die (Chris Stapleton)
06 Starting Over (Chris Stapleton)
07 To Live (Norah Jones)
08 Sunrise (Norah Jones)
09 The Movie Song (Record Company)
10 Black Patch (Kelsey Waldon)
11 Colors (Black Pumas)
12 Confines (Black Pumas with Jack Johnson)
13 Don't Drink the Water (Dave Matthews)
14 Rye Whiskey (Dave Matthews)
15 Grey Street (Dave Matthews)
16 Shadows on the Wall (Dave Matthews)
17 Drink Up and Go Home (Valerie June)
18 Lonesome Valley (Valerie June)
19 Longest Days (John Mellencamp)
20 Jack and Diane (John Mellencamp)
21 Easy Target (John Mellencamp)
22 Rain on the Scarecrow (John Mellencamp)
23 The Eye (Brandi Carlile)
24 The Mother (Brandi Carlile)
25 Field of Opportunity (Neil Young)
26 Homegrown (Neil Young)
26 talk (Neil Young)
27 Harvest (Neil Young)
28 Old Man (Neil Young)
29 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young)
30 You Don't Know like I Know (Bonnie Raitt & Boz Scaggs)
31 All My Tears [Be Washed Away] (Jamey Johnson)
32 Every Night Is Saturday Night in New Orleans (Jamey Johnson)
33 Far Away (Edie Brickell with Charlie Sexton)
34 Jubilee (War & Treaty)
35 Little Boy Blue (War & Treaty)
36 Letting Me Down (Margo Price)
37 Prisoner of the Highway (Margo Price)
38 American Life (Particle Kid)
39 Focus on the Music (Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real)
40 King Harvest [Has Surely Come] (Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real)
41 Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die (Willie Nelson with Micah Nelson & Lukas Nelson)
42 I Thought about You, Lord (Micah Nelson with Lukas Nelson & Willie Nelson)
43 Hands on the Wheel (Lukas Nelson with Micah Nelson & Willie Nelson)
44 On the Road Again (Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson & Micah Nelson)
45 I'll Fly Away (Jon Batiste)
46 Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Willie Nelson & Jon Batiste)

For the album cover, I decided to use the official logo for the concert. This appeared at the very start of the concert video when it appeared on YouTube. I made some adjustments to the date at the bottom, but otherwise left it unchanged.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Spirit - Live at the Texas International Pop Festival, Dallas International Motor Speedway, Lewisville, TX, 9-1-1969

I'm a fan of the band Spirit, but mostly their original line-up. That line-up released four really good albums from 1968 to 1970. I wanted a good live album from that version of the band, especially since they were very well known for their live shows. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, almost no good sounding recordings exist from that time. There are some bootlegs, but they sound middling or poor.

Luckily, there are two soundboard bootlegs from 1969. One, from Boston, doesn't meet my standards, mostly due to lots of hiss. But this one, from the Texas International Pop Festival in Dallas, sounds good enough to be a satisfying listen. Unfortunately, it's not a very long show. They were on a bill with lots of big name artists, and most of them had the keep their sets relatively short. This one is about 45 minutes long.

If you want some live Spirit from their peak years, this is definitely the way to go.

By the way, the last song, "1984," is a bonus track of sorts. I checked to see if there were any radio or TV appearances with high quality sound, and I didn't find much at all, except for a couple of different versions of their hits, mainly versions of "I've Got a Line on You." But "1984" was a minor hit too, and this version from a German TV show is excellent.

01 Trancas Fog-Out [Instrumental] (Spirit)
02 I'm Truckin' (Spirit)
03 Fresh Garbage (Spirit)
04 Poor Richard (Spirit)
05 Caught [Instrumental] (Spirit)
06 Ground Hog (Spirit)
07 Policeman's Ball (Spirit)
08 Drum Solo - Mechanical World (Spirit)
09 I've Got a Line on You (Spirit)
10 Aren't You Glad (Spirit)
11 1984 (Spirit)

I was unpleasantly surprised to find very, very few good photos of Spirit in concert from their peak years. I found one good one that from around 1969, but it was only in black and white. I wanted it to have a psychedelic look, so I took a psychedelic background and melded it into the photo. I like how the combo worked out.

Various Artists - A Night for Austin Benefit Concert, 6-10-2020

Back in June 2020, there was a benefit concert to help concert venues in Austin, Texas that were in financial danger due to the coronavirus lockdown ending all concerts for a while. It was organized by the married couple Paul Simon and Edie Brickell, and they got a lot of big names to help out. I missed hearing about the concert when in happened, but I'm catching up to it now.

Generally speaking, each artist only performed one song. As the hosts, Paul Simon took part in three songs, and Edie Brickell took part in two. Because this was recorded at the height of coronavirus related problems, there was no fixed location. Instead, all the performances were recorded in advance in the musician's homes. 

I've cut this down a fair amount to make it better for repeat listenings. I didn't remove any of the music. However, there was a lot of talking between songs, and I cut that down quite a lot. There was a lot of talk praising Austin, Texas as a musical hub, and people complimenting Simon and Brickell for arranging the benefit concert, and asking people for donations to help out, and so on.

There have been a lot of these kinds of benefit concerts since the pandemic began. Most of them don't interest me that much. But I like most of the artists here, and the song selection. Simon and Brickell kept the quality control high. 

The concert is an hour and forty minutes long.

By the way, I had to figure out the names of all the songs. I think I got them all right, except for one. I didn't know the title of the 19th track, done by Flaco Jimenez, but a kind commenter gave me the name, so I've fixed that one.

01 Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard (Paul Simon)
02 Sailin' On Through (Terry Allen)
03 Rainy Taxi (Britt Daniel)
04 The Governor (Gary Clark, Jr.)
05 Lonestar (Norah Jones)
06 Shadows (Kalu & the Electric Joint)
07 Roll with What You've Got (Charlie Sexton with Doyle Bramhall II)
08 [Get Your Kicks On] Route 66 (Asleep at the Wheel)
09 Easy Does It (David Ramirez)
10 [Hey Baby] Que Paso (Augie Meyers with Flaco Jimenez & Los Texmaniacs)
11 When It Don't Come Easy (Patty Griffin)
12 Baby, Please Come Home (Jimmy Vaughan)
13 Five Hearts Breaking (Alejandro Escovedo)
14 Colors (Black Pumas)
15 Mr. Lee (Paul Simon & Edie Brickell)
16 The Last Thing on My Mind [Instrumental Version] (Jerry Douglas)
17 Too Sick to Pray (Ethan Hawke & Indiana Hawke)
18 Lovers in a Dangerous Time (Shawn Colvin)
19 Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio (Flaco Jimenez & Los Texmaniacs)
20 No Wicked Grin (John Hiatt)
21 When Something Is Wrong with My Baby (Bonnie Raitt & Boz Scaggs)
22 Pontiac (Ryan Bingham)
23 Just Outside of Austin (Lukas Nelson)
24 If I Had a Boat (Lyle Lovett)
25 Little Brother (Vince Gill)
26 Keep Believing (Edit Brickell)
27 America (James Taylor)
28 Homeward Bound (Paul Simon)
29 On the Road Again (Willie Nelson)

The album cover is based on a promotional poster for the concert. The poster was rectangular, with the bottom portion listing all the artists who took part. I simply cut that part off, and the rest fit in a square space very nicely. So I didn't make any changes except cropping the image, and pasting in the date of the concert at the bottom.