Sunday, January 31, 2021

Various Artists - Covered: Graham Gouldman, Volume 3: 1972-2017

In recent weeks, I've posted the first two albums in this series. Here's the third and last. Note that this period covers Graham Gouldman's success with the band 10cc, but I haven't included any 10cc versions of songs whatsoever. The whole idea of this album series is to present other musicians doing his songs, not versions by bands he was in.

1972 was a pivotal year in the musical career of Gouldman. Prior to that year, he'd had many successes as a songwriter, but his own career as a singer and performer had never really gotten off the ground. But he hooked up with three other talented singer songwriters as 10cc, and they started having hits. Gouldman is still leading 10cc as I write this, though the other three fell away and the hits generally stopped coming after the 1970s.

One thing about 10cc is that they were always considered quirky, often classified as "art rock" instead of just rock. Their style was so unique and unorthodox that it means few other bands have covered their songs, with the exception of a couple of their more mainstream sounding love songs, "I'm Not in Love" and "The Things We Do for Love," which have been covered a lot. So I had a really hard time finding cover versions of some songs. Certain ones, such as "Art for Art's Sake" and "I'm Mandy, Fly Me," haven't been included because I couldn't find any good covers at all. (If you know of some, please let me know.)

However, I was able to find good versions of most of the other key 10cc songs which Gouldman wrote or co-wrote. There are five of those here. The rest are a mixed bag. Gouldman has remained an active songwriter to the present day, and has taken part in lots of songwriting collaborations in addition to his solo albums and 10cc albums. The two songs he cowrote here with Kirsty MacColl are a case in point. I didn't track down and listen to every single song he had a songwriting share in, so I probably missed some good ones, but hopefully I got most of the really worthy ones.

As a finally note, Gouldman is 74 years old as I write this, but he's still going strong. He put out a solo album in 2020, "Modesty Forbids," and I honestly think it's one of the best thing he's done since the 1970s. So if you like his style, you should check that out.

Meanwhile, the "Covered" series will continue. I've got a lot more songwriters who made their names in the 1960s coming up, including some who are best known for writing Motown hits.

01 Warm Me (Festival)
02 Travelin' Man (Tristar Airbus)
03 I'm Not in Love (Richie Havens)
04 Love's Not for Me [Rene's Song] (Carole Anne Berry)
05 Rubber Bullets (Men They Couldn't Hang)
06 The Things We Do for Love (Gregson & Collister)
07 Things Happen (Kirsty MacColl)
08 Treachery (Kirsty MacColl)
09 I've Got You (McFly)
10 Dreadlock Holiday (Jake & Flo)
11 The Wall Street Shuffle (Take It Easy)
12 Say the Word (Hornal with Matt Berry, Graham Gouldman & Kevin Godley)

The cover photo comes from an awards show in 2015. There was song writing on the wall behind him, but I found that distracting so I erased it in Photoshop.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Joe Walsh - Reunion Arena, Dallas, TX, 7-10-1981

Up until yesterday, I only had one Joe Walsh concert recording, which is the album I've posted here previously, an expanded version of his live album recorded in 1975. But I was looking for some files at Soulseek, and I came across a concert of his that someone marked with an all caps "WOW." That got me to check it out, and sure enough, it worthy of a "wow." Both the performance and the sound quality are e
xcellent. So here it is.

To this day, Walsh has only released one live album, the one from 1975 mentioned above. I think 1981 is a good year for another one. He was riding high from playing with the Eagles for a few years, and had another hit single ("A Life of Illusion") and hit album ("There Goes the Neighborhood"). Unfortunately, his critical and commercial success went downhill after that, compared to what he did before.

The one disappointment I had in seeing this set list was the lack of songs he did with the Eagles. (Though "In the City" is a partial exception. He first did it solo for a movie soundtrack, and then did a different version for the Eagles' "The Long Run" album.) In particular, I fully expected to find "Life in the Fast Lane" here, but it turns out he didn't play that song live in 1981 at all. So I found a version from a 1983 concert with similarly excellent sound, and I've added it as a quasi-bonus track at the end. 

01 Meadows (Joe Walsh)
02 Over and Over (Joe Walsh)
03 talk (Joe Walsh)
04 In the City (Joe Walsh)
05 talk (Joe Walsh)
06 A Life of Illusion (Joe Walsh)
07 talk (Joe Walsh)
08 The Bomber- Closet Queen - Bolero - Cast Your Fate to the Wind (Joe Walsh)
09 talk (Joe Walsh)
10 Dreams (Joe Walsh)
11 talk (Joe Walsh)
12 Theme from Boat Weirdos (Joe Walsh)
13 talk (Joe Walsh)
14 Funk No. 49 (Joe Walsh)
15 You Never Know (Joe Walsh)
16 talk (Joe Walsh)
17 Life's Been Good (Joe Walsh)
18 talk (Joe Walsh)
19 Rocky Mountain Way (Joe Walsh)
20 All Night Long (Joe Walsh)
21 Life in the Fast Lane (Joe Walsh)

I could have used a photo of Walsh in 1981 for the album cover, but I found one from 1979 that I like better. I don't know anything about it other than it's from 1979.

Still More Colorization

Thanks to my discovery of the Pixbim colorization program, I've been colorizing lots of black and white album covers. I believe this is the last batch, because I systematically went through all my covers. There are a small number that I've kept black and white and/or tinted, either because I liked them better that way or I decided it was too much trouble to change.

Here are more colorizations:

David Bowie - I Dig Everything - Various Songs (1964-1966)

Neil Diamond - The Bitter End, New York City, 8-1967

Pete Townshend - Who Demos, Volume 1: 1964-1965

The Allman Brothers Band - One More Ride - Band Demos (1969-1970)

Carole King - It Might as Well Rain until September - More Legendary Demos, Volume 1 (1959-1965)

The Rolling Stones - Honolulu International Center, Honolulu, HI, 7-28-1966

Derek & the Dominos - Electric Factory Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, 10-16-1970

Lucinda Williams - In My Girlish Days - Various Songs (1981-1986)

Nick Drake - Time of No Reply - Alternate Version (1969)

Dave Mason / Mason, Capaldi, Wood & Frog - World in Changes - Various Songs (1968-1970)

And for this bunch below, I didn't like the existing versions for whatever reason, usually because they were black and white or tinted. But I decided that instead of trying to colorize them, I'd just use a different picture altogether.

The Hollies - Live 1968

Traffic - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: In Concert, Paris Theatre, London, Britain, 4-30-1970

The Posies - Acoustic Duo - 99X FM, Atlanta, GA, 5-5-1996

Richard & Linda Thompson - The Price of Love - Various Songs (1982)

Dusty Springfield - Goin' Back - Various Songs (1966-1967)

The Byrds - Acoustic Sessions - Various Songs (1964)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Looking Forward - Alternate Version (1999)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Find the Cost of Freedom - Various Songs (1970)

The Band – The Basement Tapes - Various Songs (1967-1969)

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Paul Simon - Old Roman Amphitheatre, Caesarea, Israel, 5-7-1978

I consider Paul Simon to be one of a handful of the greatest songwriters of all time. But today I realized I haven't posted much of his music here, either from his solo career or from Simon and Garfunkel. Partially, that's because he doesn't have a lot of stray tracks (although he has some that I haven't posted yet). But also, his concerts typically feature his best known songs done in a similar manner to the album versions, so they're not that interesting to me.

That said, this concert has to be the best publicly available live recording of his 1970s solo career. I even prefer it to his 1973 album "Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin'." The main problem I have with that album is that it's so short for a live album, at only about 50 minutes. (By contrast, this concert is an hour and 46 minutes long.) Plus, it came out at a time when he'd only had two solo albums. This contains every song he did from that album but one ("El Condor Pasa"), plus many more. It also has the same collaboration with the Jesse Dixon Singers, though Urubamba has been released by the harmonica player Toots Thielemans.

But what makes this concert stand out is the sound quality. As far as I can tell, it's the only full length concert of him from the 1970s that's a soundboard. I think that's because he simply didn't tour that much in the 1970s. According to, he only played about two dozen concerts for the entire decade (not counting some Simon and Garfunkel concerts in 1970). So we're lucky that we have even one soundboard, and a very good soundboard too.

By the way, I find it rather odd that this concert took place at all. Simon released his hit album "Still Crazy After All These Years" in 1975, then didn't release another album until "One Trick Pony" in 1980. The only thing he released in those five years was the hit single "Slip Slidin' Away" in 1977. During those years, he only played three concerts in 1976, two concerts in 1977 and this one in 1978. I'm guessing the reason the concert happened was because Simon is Jewish, and he'd never performed in Israel before. It wasn't that common for big name artists to play in that country back then. Perhaps an opportunity came up to play there and he took it. 

But it might as well has been a 1975 concert, since he played basically the same songs as he did then (plus "Slip Slidin' Away") with the same musicians, including the Jesse Dixon Singers and Toots Thielemans. When he toured again in 1980, he used a different bunch of musicians, so this was the last concert with his 1970s musicians.

Note that Simon had almost no banter between songs. It might be that those didn't make the recording, but I think it's more likely that he simply did want to talk much, for whatever reason. The only comments are the bare minimum of his introducing the musicians he played with.

Simon isn't known for playing cover songs much, since his own songs are so fantastic. But each of his guest stars get their own songs to shine with. Plus he sang the blues classic "Baby What You Want Me to Do." According to, this was the only time he ever sang the song on stage. He also finished off the concert with the classic covers "Bye, Bye Love" (by the Everly Brothers) and "Amazing Grace." 

01 Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard (Paul Simon)
02 Homeward Bound (Paul Simon)
03 Mother and Child Reunion (Paul Simon)
04 I Do It for Your Love (Paul Simon)
05 You're Kind (Paul Simon)
06 talk (Paul Simon)
07 Bluesette [Instrumental] (Toots Thielemans with Paul Simon)
08 Have a Good Time (Paul Simon)
09 Still Crazy After All These Years (Paul Simon)
10 Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover (Paul Simon)
11 The Boxer (Paul Simon)
12 Mrs. Robinson (Paul Simon)
13 Slip Slidin' Away (Paul Simon)
14 Duncan (Paul Simon)
15 Something So Right (Paul Simon)
16 talk (Paul Simon)
17 Loves Me like a Rock (Paul Simon with the Jessy Dixon Singers)
18 Some Folks' Lives Roll Easy (Paul Simon with the Jessy Dixon Singers)
19 I Keep So Busy (Jessy Dixon Singers)
20 What Do You Call Him (Jessy Dixon Singers)
21 Bridge Over Troubled Water (Paul Simon with the Jessy Dixon Singers)
22 Gone at Last (Paul Simon with the Jessy Dixon Singers)
23 American Tune (Paul Simon)
24 The Sound of Silence (Paul Simon)
25 America (Paul Simon)
26 Baby, What You Want Me to Do (Paul Simon)
27 Bye, Bye Love (Paul Simon)
28 Amazing Grace (Paul Simon with the Jessy Dixon Singers)

I'm not 100% sure, but I think the cover art photo comes from this exact concert. I only know that it was taken in 1978, with the location unmentioned. But since this was his only concert appearance in 1978, logic says it's from this concert. It's too bad he didn't play during the daytime, because the Old Roman Amphitheatre is spectacular location, right on the ocean. As you can tell from the name, it's a Roman ruin.

The Talking Heads - Jabberwocky Club, Syracuse, NY, 10-13-1977

Yesterday, I posted a live album by James Taylor, where he played at the Jabberwocky Club in Syracuse, New York in 1970. I'd previously posted a live album by Bonnie Raitt at that same club in 1971. That reminded me that I have another excellent concert at the same venue, this one by the Talking Heads. What makes this venue special for bootlegs is that while the club was in existence, from about 1969 to 1985, the club management regularly recorded the concerts there and played them on the local college radio station. That's the case here, so once again the sound quality is excellent.

The Jabberwocky Club was small, only holding about 250 people at most. It was so small that bigger bands couldn't even get all their band members on the stage, and some would have to stand with the audience near the stage. Because it was such a small place, big name acts wouldn't play there. But occasionally a future big name act would play there when they were starting out. That's the case with the Talking Heads. In October 1977, at the time of this concert, they had just released their debut album, "Talking Heads: 77" the month before. So we're very lucky to get this soundboard quality recording at this point of the band's career.

It was a bit tricky for me to figure out what and when this recording was frin, exactly. There are a number of different recordings claiming to be from the Jabberwocky Club, but often giving different dates (including in 1976) and different sets. After doing some research, I figured out that the Talking Heads played the Jabberwocky Club twice in 1977, once in January and again in October. The two dates had very similar set lists, and they played two sets each night. Recordings for most of the sets exist, but I've chosen the best set in terms of sound quality, performance, and song selection, which is the late set from October, because I don't want lots of repetition. However, they played three songs at the January date that they didn't play at the October one, so I've added those three in at the start.

Most of the songs played were released on that first album, "Talking Heads: 77." But they did some non-album originals, like "Love Goes to a Building on Fire," "A Clean Break," and "I Wish You Wouldn't Say That." They also played some covers, like "Sugar on My Tongue," "Love Is All Around," and "Take Me to the River." Also, a few songs would appear on their second album in 1978, such as "Artists Only," "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel," and "I'm Not in Love."

There were a couple of minor problems that I fixed. For the intro to "Artists Only," the sound wobbled in parts, probably because it was the very first song of that particular recording. Luckily, there was a section of the intro that didn't wobble, so I used that to patch in the repeats of that section. Also, for "No Compassion," about five seconds of the song was missing in the middle. Again I got lucky, because it was another case of a repeating section, and I was about to patch that too. I also boosted the volume of the banter between songs. Plus, in some cases, I boosted the volume of the audience applause, or extended it when it got cut off prematurely.

This album is an hour and 12 minutes long, including the three songs at the start from the earlier concert.

01 talk (Talking Heads)
02 Artists Only (Talking Heads)
03 talk (Talking Heads)
04 Sugar on My Tongue (Talking Heads)
05 I Wish You Wouldn't Say That (Talking Heads)
06 Love Goes to a Building on Fire (Talking Heads)
07 talk (Talking Heads)
08 Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town (Talking Heads)
09 Don't Worry about the Government (Talking Heads)
10 Take Me to the River (Talking Heads)
11 The Book I Read (Talking Heads)
12 talk (Talking Heads)
13 New Feeling (Talking Heads)
14 A Clean Break [Let's Work] (Talking Heads)
15 Stay Hungry (Talking Heads)
16 talk (Talking Heads)
17 Thank You for Sending Me an Angel (Talking Heads)
18 Who Is It (Talking Heads)
19 Pulled Up (Talking Heads)
20 No Compassion (Talking Heads)
21 Psycho Killer (Talking Heads)
22 talk (Talking Heads)
23 I'm Not in Love (Talking Heads)
24 talk (Talking Heads)
25 Love Is All Around (Talking Heads)

I couldn't find any photos of the band playing at this particular club. But I did find a good one of them playing at CBGB's in New York City some time in 1977, so I used that.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

James Taylor - Jabberwocky Club, Syracuse, NY, 2-6-1970

I have a particular fondness for solo acoustic performances, so when it comes to live James Taylor music, it's not a big surprise that I especially love his solo acoustic concerts. Unfortunately, those are few and far between. In 2007, he released a nice live album called "One Man Band" that features just him on guitar plus a keyboard player. But other than concerts around the time of that live album, the only other time I know of when he played in that format was at the very start of his career, in 1970. It's probable, like Bonnie Raitt when she started out, that he simply couldn't afford a band to support him yet.

There are a couple of excellent solo acoustic concert recordings by Taylor in 1970. This is one, and I plan on posting the other at a later date. We luckily have this one because the Jabberwocky Club was essentially run by students at the local college, and they regularly broadcast the concerts on the local college radio station, WAER. (Speaking of Raitt, I've posted a concert of her at the same club from 1971.) We're very lucky to have this pristine recording, because although Taylor had put out one album in 1968, it had essentially flopped. His next album, "Sweet Baby James," would be a smash, sell millions, and go on to be included on many best albums of all time lists. But this concert took place a couple weeks prior to the release of the album, so he was relatively unknown. (That probably helps explain why he was playing at a club of only a couple hundred people at the time.)

Once Taylor hit the big time, he began the usual trend of playing songs from his latest album plus the greatest hits from previous albums. He's been frustratingly predictable, with few unusual song choices. But in early 1970, he simply didn't have that option, because he didn't have much material yet. As a result, he peppered his concerts with lots of interesting cover versions. I've already posted an album that compiles his 1970 cover versions, which you can find here:

Eleven out of the 21 songs on that album are the exact same performances as on this concert. But it's worth hearing the concert in full. For one thing, the covers are just one third of all the songs played here. But also, this includes all of his banter. He has entertaining comments before nearly every single song.

Actually, both the concerts on February 6th and 7th were recorded and broadcast. The two concerts were so similar that I've only included the February 6th show, plus three songs at the end that were only played on the 7th. It seems probable that only the second and third sets of each night were saved for posterity. I've removed a couple of references to the end of the set in the middle of this recording, because it otherwise would be a bit odd to hear him talking about only playing one or two more songs in the middle of it.

I made a few edits to this. As I often do, I broke the banter into their own tracks, then boosted the volume for those. Also, there was a fair amount of hiss. I didn't fit in a problem during the songs. But for the banter, the hiss really stood out during the silent parts. So I applied some noise reduction, but only to the banter. I also made a couple other minor fixes, like when the applause faded out too quickly.

This concert is an hour and 37 minutes long, including the three songs at the end from the show one night later.

01 talk (James Taylor)
02 Rainy Day Man (James Taylor)
03 talk (James Taylor)
04 Diamond Joe (James Taylor)
05 talk (James Taylor)
06 Things Go Better with Coke (James Taylor)
07 talk (James Taylor)
08 Machine Gun Kelly (James Taylor)
09 talk (James Taylor)
10 Anywhere like Heaven (James Taylor)
11 talk (James Taylor)
12 Fire and Rain (James Taylor)
13 talk (James Taylor)
14 Circle Round the Sun [I Know You Rider] (James Taylor)
15 talk (James Taylor)
16 Will the Circle Be Unbroken (James Taylor)
17 Carolina in My Mind (James Taylor)
18 talk (James Taylor)
19 Sunshine Sunshine (James Taylor)
20 talk (James Taylor)
21 Dixie (James Taylor)
22 talk (James Taylor)
23 Hallelujah, I Love Her So (James Taylor)
24 talk (James Taylor)
25 Blossom (James Taylor)
26 talk (James Taylor)
27 Sunny Skies (James Taylor)
28 talk (James Taylor)
29 Brighten Your Night with My Day (James Taylor)
30 talk (James Taylor)
31 Pretty Boy Floyd (James Taylor)
32 talk (James Taylor)
33 Yesterday (James Taylor)
34 talk (James Taylor)
35 Steamroller (James Taylor)
36 talk (James Taylor)
37 Country Road (James Taylor)
38 talk (James Taylor)
39 Duncan and Brady (James Taylor)
40 talk (James Taylor)
41 Hush-a-Bye (James Taylor)
42 Something in the Way She Moves (James Taylor)
43 talk (James Taylor)
44 Taking It In (James Taylor)
45 talk (James Taylor)
46 If I Needed Someone (James Taylor)
47 talk (James Taylor)
48 Sweet Baby James (James Taylor)
49 talk (James Taylor)
50 People Get Ready (James Taylor)
51 talk (James Taylor)
52 Something's Wrong (James Taylor)
53 talk (James Taylor)
54 Knocking 'Round the Zoo (James Taylor)
55 talk (James Taylor)
56 Satisfied Mind (James Taylor)

The cover art photo is of Taylor in concert in 1970, but I don't know which concert exactly. Although I couldn't find a photo of him at the Jabberwocky Club, I did find the club's logo, so I added that in. Also, his nose was covered by the microphone, and it wasn't a good look. So I used Photoshop to move the microphone back a bit, then pasted in a different nose to fill in the missing spot.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Bonnie Raitt - KSAN Radio Show, The Record Plant, Sausalito, CA, 12-9-1973

It's a shame there still are no official live albums from the early part of Bonnie Raitt's career. In my opinion, her first three albums all among with her best, and she was a talented live performer with entertaining between song banter from the very start. I've posted a couple of her bootleg concerts from 1971 or 1972 already, but those were solo acoustic. This is from 1973, so it encompasses her third album as well, and it's with a semi-acoustic band. 

But what really makes this a special recording, in my opinion, is the sound quality. This was recorded at a recording studio for a live radio broadcast in front of a VERY small audience. At one point, Raitt commented that she guessed 25 people were there. It also was a very polite audience that never made any noise during the songs. So while there's some clapping after every song, this is about as good and clear as concert recordings get.

As I often do with concert recordings, I broke the banter between songs into their own tracks, then boosted the volume of that banter. I also cut out some guitar tuning between songs, but there wasn't much of that to cut.

The only bummer about this recording is that it's only 53 minutes long, which is relatively short compared to a typical full concert. All the songs she played came from her excellent first three albums, with the exception of the last song, which is a cover of the Aretha Franklin hit "Baby, I Love You."

01 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
02 Love Me like a Man (Bonnie Raitt)
03 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
04 You Got to Know How (Bonnie Raitt)
05 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
06 I Thought I Was a Child (Bonnie Raitt)
07 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
08 Under the Falling Sky (Bonnie Raitt)
09 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
10 Everybody's Crying Mercy (Bonnie Raitt)
11 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
12 Give It Up or Let Me Go (Bonnie Raitt)
13 Too Long at the Fair (Bonnie Raitt)
14 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
15 I Feel the Same (Bonnie Raitt)
16 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
17 Guilty (Bonnie Raitt)
18 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
19 Women Be Wise (Bonnie Raitt)
20 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
21 Love Has No Pride (Bonnie Raitt)
22 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
23 Baby, I Love You (Bonnie Raitt)

The cover art photo was taken at a concert in Lenox, Massachusetts, in August 1973. A backing musician was behind her, but I considered that distracting so I used Photoshop to edit him out.

Monday, January 25, 2021

More Colorization

I've been colorizing a few more album covers, thanks to my recent discovery of the program Pixbim. Here they are, with one example shown:

For this first one, I found a different photo than the one I'd previously used, and colorized that.

Tom Petty & Mudcrutch - I Can't Fight It - Various Songs (1973-1975)

Richard Thompson - Shoot Out the Lights Acoustic

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

Richard & Linda Thompson - The Bottom Line, New York City, 5-18-1982, Early Show

Richard & Linda Thompson - The Bottom Line, New York City, 5-18-1982, Late Show

Neil Finn - Home Concerts 1, Los Angeles, CA, 3-18-2020 to 3-26-2020

Gordon Lightfoot - The Riverboat, Toronto, Canada, 1-27-1966

The Allman Brothers Band (31st of February) - Morning Dew - Various Songs (1968-1969)

Rosanne Cash - I Count the Tears - Various Songs (1992-1996)

Buckingham Nicks - Buckingham Nicks (1973) 

Paul McCartney - We All Stand Together - Various Songs (1981-1984)

Bonnie Raitt - Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, PA, 2-22-1972

Also, I just realized that the cover photo for Bonnie Raitt's album "Trick or Treat" used the exact same photo as the cover for her "When the Spell Is Broken" album. So I've replaced it:

Furthermore, I decided I didn't like the cover for this below album, so I replaced it with a totally different photo:

Bonnie Raitt – Jabberwocky Club, Syracuse, NY, 3-27-1971

The Indigo Girls - Heartache Central Time - Various Cover Versions (1982-1987)

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

Imelda May - No Turning Back (2003)

Richard & Linda Thompson - The Wrong Heartbeat - Various Songs (1978-1980)

In this case, I found a different photo and colorized it:

Richard & Linda Thompson - The Madness of Love - Various Songs (1977)

For this one, I also found a different photo and colorized it:

Richard & Linda Thompson - Shady Lies - Various Songs (1970-1972)

That's it for now, but some more probably will be coming soon. I don't want to replace all the black and white covers, but I'm surprised how many there are I do want to replace, given how I've tried very hard to have the covers be color as much as possible.

The Jeff Beck Group - Throw Down a Line - Non-Album Tracks (1967-1969)

A few weeks back, I posted an album of the Jeff Beck Group playing at the BBC for the few years that Rod Stewart was the lead singer of the band. I'm particularly interested in that time, so here are all the quality stray tracks I could find from the same period.

The Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart are known for two classic albums, "Truth" in 1968 and "Beck-Ola" in 1969. Before that though, there were three singles in 1967: "Hi Ho Silver Lining," "Tallyman," and "Love Is Blue." They were all minor hits in Britain, especially "Hi Ho Silver Lining," which made the top twenty twice, once in 1967 and again in 1972. Beck actually sang lead vocals on "Hi Ho Silver Lining" and "Tallyman," which was an oddity for him, since he almost never did that for the rest of his long career. 

The singles were credited to "Jeff Beck" instead of "The Jeff Beck Group," because the band was still coalescing. But various band members were usually involved, especially with each succeeding single. Stewart even sang backing vocals on the first one, "Hi Ho Silver Lining," and lead vocals on the second B-side, "I've Been Drinking "Drinking Again)." 

There was an especially notable and different group of musicians who played on the instrumental "Beck's Bolero," though, which was actually recorded in 1966. In addition to Beck, there was Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones (future members of Led Zeppelin) and Keith Moon (a member of the Who), and the well-known session player Nicky Hopkins. I've included it here even though it was also on the album "Truth" because the album version is edited and remixed.

The sixth through eighth songs are ones the band rarely played in concert. Don't be deceived by the title "Oh Pretty Woman." This is not the classic Roy Orbison hit. (That has a comma in the name after the "Oh.") Instead, it's a blues song by Albert King. "Jeff's Boogie" was originally done by the Yardbirds when Beck was a member of that band. "(You Make me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" is the classic soul song made famous by Aretha Franklin, but this is an instrumental version that highlights Nicky Hopkins' keyboard skills. For all of these, I removed the audience response as best I could so they'd fit in with the studio tracks.

The song "Throw Down a Line" was considered for the A-side of a single in 1969, but was never released, maybe because the band was breaking up by then. It and "Sweet Little Angel" (a B. B. King song) only came out decades later as bonus tracks.

Speaking of bonus tracks, I have four of my own here. These are all different versions of songs on the "Truth" and "Beck-Ola" albums, and eventually appeared as bonus tracks to those albums. I've included them because they're often quite different. 

This album is 39 minutes long, not including the four bonus tracks.

01 Hi Ho Silver Lining (Jeff Beck Group)
02 Beck's Bolero [Instrumental] (Jeff Beck Group)
03 Tallyman (Jeff Beck Group)
04 Love Is Blue (Jeff Beck Group)
05 I've Been Drinking [Drinking Again] (Jeff Beck Group)
06 Oh Pretty Woman (Jeff Beck Group)
07 Jeff's Boogie [Instrumental] (Jeff Beck Group)
08 [You Make Me Feel Like] A Natural Woman [Instrumental] (Jeff Beck Group)
09 Throw Down a Line (Jeff Beck Group)
10 Sweet Little Angel (Jeff Beck Group)

All Shook Up [Early Version] (Jeff Beck Group)
Blues Deluxe [Gambler's Blues] [Early Version] (Jeff Beck Group)
Jailhouse Rock [Early Version] (Jeff Beck Group)
You Shook Me [Early Version] (Jeff Beck Group)

The album cover art was a collaboration between PJ of his "Albums I Wish Existed" blog and myself. PJ made the original version using a black and white photo of Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck I'd suggested for him (due to a lack of good color photos from that time period). Then he colorized it using the Pixbim program. Later,  I made some improvements in Photoshop, mainly by fixing the colors of the clothes, which didn't look right. Also, the record company logo in the top left corner is the same as the one on at least some versions of the "Truth" album.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

First Aid Kit - Who by Fire - Leonard Cohen Tribute, Dramaten, Stockholm, Sweden, 3-13-2017

I have to admit that, as I write this, I have very little familiarity with First Aid Kit's music. But I keep hearing good things about this Swedish sister duo. Yesterday, I was listening to a new home concert by Larkin Poe (which I plan on posting here eventually), and they highly praised the songwriting and harmony vocals of First Aid Kit, so I decided to check them out. I'm only beginning to look into this music, but I discovered they headed an interesting Leonard Cohen tribute concert in 2017. I gave it a listen, and liked it so much that I decided to post it here straight away.

I don't know about the background behind this concert, for instance if there was a special occasion or anniversary for it. But for whatever reason, First Aid Kit headed a Leonard Cohen themed concert several nights in a row in Stockholm, Sweden. One of the nights was filmed and then played on Swedish television the next day. That's the version here. Because it was professionally filmed, the sound quality is excellent.

The concert is dominated by First Aid Kit, who sing on almost every song. But they involved a number of other lead vocalists, none of whom I've heard of. I assume from the names that all of them are Swedish, but I don't know if any are big names in Sweden or not. First Aid Kit are known for their harmony vocals. For all but a couple of songs, typically if someone else sings lead, First Aid Kit help with prominent harmonies. 

It's clear that the duo have a deep love of Leonard Cohen, due to their song selection. They do some of his most famous songs, especially "Suzanne" and "Hallelujah," but they also do some deep cuts, including off more recent albums. But what's most interesting and unexpected, in my opinion, is there are quite a few recitations of his poems over instrumental backings. A couple of those are song lyrics that are spoken instead, but most of them come from Cohen's books of poetry.

The concert is also unusual in that the whole thing was carefully put together almost like one continuous piece of music rather than a series of songs. There is absolutely no talking between songs whatsoever, not even a single "thank you," and most of the songs flow into each other. Due to that, there are only a few times where there's enough of a pause for the audience to react and clap. As a result, it often sounds more like a studio recording than a live concert.

Based on this concert, I'm definitely going to want to check out more of First Aid Kit's music. Anyone this deep into Leonard Cohen has to have great musical taste, and their performances are impressive. If, like me, you're a big Cohen fan but know little to nothing about First Aid Kit, I highly recommend you give this a listen. Given the time and effort they must have put into this excellent unique show, I'm really surprised no audio or video version of it has ever been officially released.

By the way, the names of the sisters that make up First Aid Kit are Klara and Johanna Soderberg, so two of the poem recitations near the end are by them.

01 Tired [Poem Recitation] (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani & Maia Hansson Bergqvist)
02 Suzanne (First Aid Kit)
03 Sisters of Mercy (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani & Maia Hansson Bergqvist)
04 Who by Fire - As the Mist Leaves No Scar [Poem Recitation] - Who by Fire (First Aid Kit)
05 Twelve O'Clock Chant [Poem Recitation] (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani & Maia Hansson Bergqvist)
06 Everybody Knows (Frida Hyvonen with First Aid Kit)
07 Avalanche (Loney, Dear)
08 The Future [Poem Recitation] (First Aid Kit & Maia Hansson Bergqvist)
09 Chelsea Hotel No. 2 (Jesper Lindell with First Aid Kit)
10 You Want It Darker (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani & Maia Hansson Bergqvist)
11 If It Be Your Will (First Aid Kit)
12 The Asthmatic [Poem Recitation] (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani & Maia Hansson Bergqvist)
13 Famous Blue Raincoat (Maja Francis with First Aid Kit)
14 Anthem [Poem Recitation] (Maia Hansson Bergqvist)
15 Show Me the Place (Jesper Lindell with First Aid Kit)
16 Hallelujah (Annika Norlin with First Aid Kit)
17 Prayer for Messiah [Poem Recitation] (Klara Soderberg)
18 Bird on a Wire (First Aid Kit)
19 Who by Fire [Poem Recitation] (First Aid Kit with Maia Hansson Bergqvist)
20 So Long, Marianne (First Aid Kit, Frida Hyvonen, Jesper Lindell, Annika Norlin, Maja Francis & Maia Hansson Bergqvist)
21 You'd Sing Too [Poem Recitation] (Johanna Soderberg)

For the album cover, I took the main design (of what look like beige piano keys to me) from a screenshot of the intro to the video of the concert that's up on YouTube. I then took another screenshot of the First Aid Kit duo from later in the video, and added that in.

Friday, January 22, 2021

The Kinks - Never Say Yes (Song Edit) (1965)

Today happens to be my birthday, and I'm a huge Kinks fan. They're my second favorite band behind only the Beatles. So I was very psyched today when a musical friend of mine, MZ, sent me a Kinks song from 1965 that apparently has never been bootlegged before and I'd never even heard of! It must have been played on a radio show recently, because a DJ talked over the start and end of the song. Luckily, the talking was only over some instrumental bits that were repeated elsewhere in the song, so I was able to edit the talking out. The song quality is excellent, and it's a wonderful lost gem of a song. If you're a Kinks fan, you need to hear this!

I was able to dig up some information about this demo. Incredibly, it was meant for Elvis Presley to sing in one of his many movies, but that never came to be. I found a mention of it in a book called "The Kinks: All Day and All of the Night, Day by Day Concerts, Recordings, and Broadcasts, 1961-1996," by Doug Hinman. Here's the relevant excerpt, after the book mentioned that Ray Davies recorded a demo of the song "All Night Stand" in December 1965:

"It's possible but unconfirmed that Ray recorded a second demo, "Never Say Yes." Elvis Presley's UK publisher had asked him to submit one or two songs for the next Presley film "Spinout," which was first intended to be titled "Never Say Yes."  Ray submitted "Never Say Yes" and possibly one other. Although the song(s) were never used, film producer Joe Pasternak apparently did express an interest in it/them."

So we can definitely confirm that factoid now, since the recording exists. ;) Although it's just a demo, it's a full band demo. I assume the Kinks were the backing band, since Davies wasn't known to play with other bands at the time.

I've also updated my stray tracks album for the time period, "Kwyet Kinks," and I've included the song in that as well. Here's the link to the album with the song in it:

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Beck - Song Reader Live - Non-Album Tracks (2013)

In late 2012, Beck released a very strange music project. He hadn't released a proper studio album since 2008. But rather than release a new one of those, he released a book of sheet music, which he called "Song Reader." Apparently, he had become fascinated by the sheet music of the 1800s and the first couple decades of the 1900s, before radio or record players became popular. Back then, if you wanted to hear some music, you pretty much had to play it yourself or listen to someone else play it. The book contained the sheet music and/or artwork for dozens of songs, though many songs were just snippets or song titles.

In 2014, a various artists album also called "Song Reader," was released with 20 different artists performing a song from his sheet music book. Beck only played one song on that album. But in order to encourage people to learn the songs on their own, Beck has never released his own versions of any of these songs, except for the one he did on the "Song Reader" album ("Heaven's Ladder"). 

However, mostly in the summer of 2013, he played some of the songs in concert. Although I admire Beck's intentions with this project, these are songs he wrote and I want to hear his versions of them. So I've taken the one studio recording plus the best concert versions I could find, and made the best album "Song Reader" out of them that I could. I call it "Song Reader Live" to distinguish it from the various artists album also called "Song Reader."

The problem with making this album is that Beck has only rarely played these songs. A few of them were played at a handful of concerts, but others were only played once. As a result, I've had very limited options when it comes to bootleg recordings of them. Luckily, it turns out that most of them that he did play in public were recorded well at least once. But there are a few that sound rougher. I've put those near the end.

Even including the songs with less than ideal sound quality, I was only able to come up with 10 songs that are a total of 28 minutes long. That's pretty short for an album (and it's less than half of all the songs he wrote for this project). It so happens that he performed two other songs in the summer of 2013 that were only played at two concerts. These were specifically done for a musical collaboration with a choir. I stuck them on the end of this album, and that's increased the album length to 35 minutes. But none the recordings of those two songs sound fairly rough as well. Consider them bonus tracks of sorts.

The word "Edit" is added to the titles of two of the songs, "Please Leave a Light On When You Go" and "I'm Down." That's because there were some serious flaws in the performances I felt compelled to fix. For instance, with one of those songs (I forget which), he flubbed a section of the song and then redid it. I edited out the flubbed part.

I sincerely hope that someday Beck will officially release his own versions of these songs. But until then, this is the closest we've got.

01 Heaven's Ladder (Beck)
02 Please Leave a Light On When You Go [Edit] (Beck)
03 Sorry (Beck)
04 Just Noise (Beck)
05 I'm Down [Edit] (Beck)
06 Do We, We Do (Beck, Joan Wasser & Conor J. O'Brien)
07 Don't Act like Your Heart Isn't Hard (Beck)
08 Rough on Rats (Beck)
09 Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings (Beck)
10 America, Here's My Boy (Beck)
11 Free Me (Beck)
12 Wake Up (Beck)

I made the album cover out of three different sources. The main image of the strangely dressed people playing musical instruments come from a poster for a November 2013 concert in Los Angeles that featured the songs from the "Song Reader" project. (Beck played, but he was only one of many musicians, so he only did a couple of songs.) I took Beck's name and the album title from another various artists "Song Reader" performance. I added the "Live" myself. Finally, to emphasize the sheet music theme, I added some sheet music visuals to the background.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Jim & Ingrid Croce - Jim and Ingrid Too - Expanded Version (1967-1969)

I just posted the 1969 album "Croce," also known as "Jim and Ingrid Croce." It's the main product of a short period in Jim Croce's musical career when he was part of a musical duet with his wife Ingrid. This is basically an extension of that, gathering up some stray pieces of their musical output from 1967 and 1969.

The main portion of this album are seven songs known as "Jim and Ingrid Too." As far as I can tell, this was never released in Croce's lifetime. (He died in a plane crash in 1973.) Instead, when the "Jim and Ingrid Croce" was re-released in 2004 (yet again), that edition included this group of songs on a second record, called "Jim and Ingrid Too."

According to the liner notes for that album, around the time the "Croce" album was released in 1969, the duo had a chance to become hosts for a children's TV show in Boston. They recorded 21 songs as an audition tape that showed off their musical versatility. They didn't get the job, but the tape survived. Decades later, only seven of those 21 songs were chosen to be publicly released. I hope more of the rest will be made public someday.

Additionally, two more songs ("The Way We Used To" and "Country Girl") from around this time period were released on the archival album "The Faces I've Been" in 1975. So I've added those in.

Finally, the duo performed live in the studio on a radio show in Philadelphia in 1967. I'll bet that Croce made other such performances for radio stations during his career, but for whatever reason an excellent recording of this one appearance has survived while others have not (or at least haven't been made publicly available through bootlegs). Luckily, several of the songs played weren't otherwise recorded by Jim and/or Ingrid, so I've added them at the end.

This is a fairly good album in my opinion, about as good as the "Croce" album from the same time period. It helps that almost all the songs are written by Jim, or by Jim and Ingrid. The only ones that are covers are the last three songs from the 1967 radio show.

However, like the "Croce" album, it's rather short. Even with all the added songs, it's only 29 minutes long.

This is the last of Croce's early material that I plan on posting (unless something new emerges). But if you like this stuff, I strongly recommend the archival album "Home Recordings: Americana." It was recorded in 1967, with just Jim and his acoustic guitars, and it consists entirely of covers of classic songs. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I haven't posted that here because it seems to be widely available and well known.

01 Child of Midnight (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
02 Marianne (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
03 Railroads and Riverboats (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
04 Hard Times Are Over (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
05 The Railroad Song (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
06 Maybe Tomorrow (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
07 Pa [Song for a Grandfather] (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
08 The Way We Used to Be (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
09 Country Girl (Jim Croce)
10 Darcy Farrow (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
11 Coconut Grove (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
12 Bringin' Mary Home (Jim Croce)

As far as I can tell, this album has never really existed per se. Instead, the first seven songs have been a bonus disc on a rerelease of a different album. Be that as it may, doing a Google search, I found some album covers for it. All of them used the photo and text in the version shown here, but the photo was either black and white or tinted. I decided to colorize it to give it some more zing.

Jim & Ingrid Croce - Croce (Jim and Ingrid Croce) (1969)

I just posted Jim Croce's debut album "Facets" from 1966. As I said with that post, I'm posting all of his recorded and available music prior to when he became famous in 1972. There isn't much of it, and it tends to get overlooked. (One exception is the archival release "Home Recordings - Americana" which dates to 1967 but seems widely available and well known, so I don't need to post it here.) Here's the next album in the series.

As I described in my write-up about Croce's 1966 album "Facets," that was an album he recorded and released all by himself, without any record company. Also in 1966, he married a woman named Ingrid who was a talented singer. They became a musical duo and performed in public frequently while they also had day jobs to pay the rent. By 1969, they were ready to record a record together, and this is it. Their profile grew enough by that time that it was released by a major label, Capitol Records. 

Ironically, the limited run of Croce's poorly produced 1966 album did well and sold out, while the much better 1969 album sold poorly, much below expectations. It did so badly that Jim and Ingrid basically dropped out of the music business for a while. (This was helped along by Ingrid getting pregnant and then having a baby, which kept both of them busy.) But in a way, the failure of this album was the key to Croce's later success. He decided to give it one more shot before leaving the music business for good, and he redoubled his songwriting efforts. Not having to tour gave him lots of time to write songs. In this burst of songwriting, he wrote most of the songs on his three hit albums released in 1972 and 1973,

In any case, this album shows his musical skills had drastically improved since his 1966 album. All but two of the songs were written by him either solo or with Ingrid. (The two covers are "the Next Man that I Marry" and "What the Hell.") Croce later realized that the first song here, "Age," was so good that it needed more exposure. So he redid it for his 1973 album "I Got a Name."

Jim Croce dominates this album, but it is a duet album and Ingrid has a prominent role too. She harmonizes with him on every song and occasionally sings lead, especially on the song "The Next Man that I Marry." Her vocals probably won't blow you away, but she certainly was a capable singer. However, for his later albums, Croce continued as a solo artist, even though he stayed happily married to Ingrid until his death in a plane crash in 1973. As far as I know, Ingrid never released any music on her own.

This album is quite short, at only 28 minutes long. Jim and Ingrid did record some other music together around the same time, but I'm saving that for a different album that I'll be posting here.

01 Age (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
02 Spin, Spin, Spin (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
03 I Am Who I Am (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
04 What Do People Do (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
05 Another Day, Another Town (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
06 Vespers (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
07 Big Wheel (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
08 Just Another Day (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
09 The Next Man that I Marry (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
10 What the Hell (Jim & Ingrid Croce)
11 The Man that Is Me (Jim & Ingrid Croce)

This album languished in obscurity until Jim Croce became a big star in 1972 and 1973. Then it got rereleased multiple times, often with different names (including "Bombs Over Puerto Rico," bizarrely enough) and different album covers. I believe the original album cover was very similar to the one I've included above. It had the same photo in the middle, but the area outside that had a peach color and the only word on it was "Croce." I've chosen this version because it also says "Jim and Ingrid Croce" at the bottom. Technically, "Croce" was the original name of the album, but since that's so vague it's often known as "Jim and Ingrid Croce" instead.

Jim Croce - Facets (1966)

As I said in another Jim Croce post recently, Croce's music career goes much further back than most people realize. Croce emerged from obscurity to become a musical star in 1972. He had three hit albums that year and in 1973 before dying in a plane crash towards the end of 1973. His 1972 album "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" was commonly thought to be his debut album, but it wasn't. His real debut album is this one, released all the way back in 1966.

In my opinion, the music on this album is merely good. His musical talents weren't fully developed yet, and his 1972 and 1973 albums would be much better. But I've noticed that his pre-1972 output is little known and very hard to find (with the exception of one archival album, "Home Recordings - Americana"), so I've decided to post it all (except for the "Americana" album) to give it more exposure. 

There's an interesting story behind this album. Croce's parents loved music, and he built his musical knowledge off their record collection. But, like many parents, they wanted him to have a safe and dependable career so they were against him becoming a professional musician. In 1966, Jim Croce married Ingrid, who would remain his wife until his death. Apparently trying some reverse psychology, his parents gave them $500 as a wedding gift, with the stipulation that they had to use it to record an album. It seems they thought the album would fail to sell and Croce would be so discouraged that he would give up his plans for a music career. But what actually happened was he recorded the album presented here, printed up 500 copies, and then sold them for $5 each. The printing sold out due to him promoting it with concerts in clubs and he made a fair amount of money on it. So the wedding gift scheme backfired and only increased his desire to be a professional musician.

Unfortunately, this was a DIY (do it yourself) project recorded on the cheap without a proper producer, so the sound isn't great. It was officially rereleased many years after his death, but I guess there wasn't much they could do to improve the sound. It's not bad by any means, but don't expect the high fidelity typical of studio albums.

Croce began publicly performing music in the early 1960s while he was a college student. I'm not aware of any good publicly available live recordings of him prior to 1972... except for a short one all the way back in 1964! I have no idea how he was recorded well that far back, but one archival release does have a few songs from that 1964 concert. A couple of those songs didn't sound good to me, mainly because of too much audience noise drowning out the music, but I've added three of those 1964 songs to the end of this album.

Note that in these early years, Croce was only beginning to become a talented songwriter. Just two of the songs, "Texas Rodeo" and "Sun Came Up," are originals. Plus, for "The Ballad of Gunga Din," he took the lyrics from a poem by Rudyard Kipling and added his own music to it.

This is a short album. The actual album is only 27 minutes long. Since I added three songs at the end, the total is 33 minutes long.

01 Steel Rail Blues (Jim Croce)
02 Coal Tattoo (Jim Croce)
03 Texas Rodeo (Jim Croce)
04 Charley Green, Play That Slide Trombone (Jim Croce)
05 The Ballad of Gunga Din (Jim Croce)
06 Hard Hearted Hannah [The Vamp from Savannah] (Jim Croce)
07 Sun Come Up (Jim Croce)
08 The Blizzard (Jim Croce)
09 Running Maggie (Jim Croce)
10 Big Fat Woman (Jim Croce)
11 Until It's Time for Me to Go (Jim Croce)
12 San Francisco Bay Blues (Jim Croce)
13 Washington at Valley Forge (Jim Croce)
14 La Bamba (Jim Croce)

The original album cover for this album is awful, quite possibly the worst I've ever seen! It basically looks like someone stuck a Post-It note to a plain background and called that the cover. No doubt that wasn't some ironically simple statement, but just a reflection of the cheap DIY way the album was made.

Rather than use that one, I decided to come up with one myself. I found a photo of Croce that looked to be from the late 1960s, though I don't know the year. It was of him and his wife Ingrid, and she had a hand on one of his shoulders. I cropped her out of the picture and removed the hand in Photoshop so the focus would be entirely on him. That's the album cover at the top.

After I did that, I found out that when the album was officially rereleased decades later, it was given a different cover that was much better than the original. I've included that mostly black one here too, for those who prefer that one.

Larkin Poe - Yet Even Still More Further Tip O' the Hat - Various Cover Versions (2020)

Running the blog, one of the very favorite album series I've put together is this one. Since 2017, the roots rock duo Larkin Poe has been periodically releasing acoustic cover versions of songs they like on YouTube. I've been gathering them as they come out and compiling them into albums. This is the sixth one so far. If you haven't given any of these a listen yet, why not get started with this one? 

As with past albums in this series, Larkin Poe has chosen an interesting mix of famous songs and lesser known gems and given them their talented acoustic treatment. Compared to previous albums though, I'd say there are more lesser known gems. I prefer that, as it helps me discover some good songs I sometimes overlooked.

By the way, Larkin Poe has stopped calling these performances their "Tip O' the Hat" series. Instead, they just call it their "Cover Channel." But it will always be the "Tip O' the Hat" to me, so I plan on keep calling it that. ;) 

Also by the way, the three Christmas themed songs near the end actually aren't a part of the series, but come from a video the duo did for "Fender Play Live" in December 2020. Since they're acoustic cover versions and I didn't have a better spot for them, I've included them here.

One final note. I naturally called the first album in this series "Tip O' the Hat," then the second one "More Tip O' the Hat." From there, I kept expanding the album titles until they're grown comically long and unwieldy. But I'm having fun with it. If anyone has suggestions on what I should call the next one, please let me know. It's getting harder to expand the titles without breaking grammar rules. ;)

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

01 Who Do You Love - Bo Diddley
02 If I Needed You - Townes Van Zandt
03 Born to Be Wild -  Steppenwolf
04 Lovin' in My Baby's Eyes - Taj Mahal
05 Angie - Rolling Stones
06 Nothing Breaks like a Heart - Mark Ronson with Miley Cyrus
07 In My Life - Beatles
08 Gasoline Alley - Rod Stewart
09 White Lightning - George Jones
10 These Dreams -  Heart
11 Crocodile Rock - Elton John
12 Hellhound on My Trail - Robert Johnson
13 Kiss from a Rose - Seal
14 The Christmas Song [Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire] - Mel Torme / Nat King Cole
15 Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
16 Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
17 Church Street Blues - Tony Rice

And here's the usual song list:

01 Who Do You Love (Larkin Poe)
02 If I Needed You (Larkin Poe)
03 Born to Be Wild (Larkin Poe)
04 Lovin' in My Baby's Eyes (Larkin Poe)
05 Angie (Larkin Poe)
06 Nothing Breaks like a Heart (Larkin Poe)
07 In My Life (Larkin Poe)
08 Gasoline Alley (Larkin Poe)
09 White Lightning (Larkin Poe)
10 These Dreams (Larkin Poe)
11 Crocodile Rock (Larkin Poe)
12 Hellhound on My Trail (Larkin Poe)
13 Kiss from a Rose (Larkin Poe)
14 The Christmas Song [Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire] (Larkin Poe)
15 Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (Larkin Poe)
16 Santa Baby (Larkin Poe)
17 Church Street Blues (Larkin Poe)

I found the cover art photo from the duo's Facebook page. It dates to November 2020.

Brinsley Schwarz - A. O. R., Tilburg, Netherlands, 5-18-1974

Brinsley Schwarz were one of the best and best known "pub rock" bands in the early 1970s. Their main singer and songwriter Nick Lowe would go on to greater fame with Rockpile and his solo career. (Strangely, Brinsley Schwarz was the name of one of the band members as well as the band as a whole.) I think they're very underappreciated. They wrote a lot of fun originals, and also had a habit of playing unjustly obscure songs.

I plan on posting a lot more from this band soon. But while I getting some other things ready, I decided to post this concert because I feel it's the best live recording of the band. There's one official live album called "Live Favorites," but this one is better, even though it's a bootleg. The sound quality is excellent, and it's a full show that's slightly shorter than two hours long. ("Live Favorites" by contrast is also from a single concert, but it's only 45 minutes long.)

I didn't have to do much to improve this recording, but I did do a couple of things. The main thing was that I broke the banter between songs into separate tracks and then boosted the volume of that banter. (Lowe does nearly all the talking.) Also, the last fifteen seconds or so of the song "(It's Gonna Be A) Bring Down" was missing. I restored much of that from a similar musical section earlier in the song, then finished it off with a bit of the same song from a bootleg of another concert. I also made a couple other fixes here and there, for instance getting rid of a squall of feedback in the middle of a song by patching in a bit of another part of the song.

This band was in its natural element playing live. The very name of the genre they're closely associated with, pub rock, is all about playing in pubs and other small clubs. If you've never heard this band before, this is a good place to start.

01 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
02 You Been Cheating (Brinsley Schwarz)
03 Small Town, Big City (Brinsley Schwarz)
04 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
05 I'll Be Doggone (Brinsley Schwarz)
06 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
07 Love Is Gone (Brinsley Schwarz)
08 It's Been So Long (Brinsley Schwarz)
09 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
10 I've Cried My Last Tear (Brinsley Schwarz)
11 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
12 Happy Doing What We're Doing (Brinsley Schwarz)
13 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
14 I'm Ahead If I Can Quit While I'm Behind (Brinsley Schwarz)
15 Don't Lie to Me (Brinsley Schwarz)
16 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
17 Surrender to the Rhythm (Brinsley Schwarz)
18 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
19 Country Girl (Brinsley Schwarz)
20 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
21 Range War (Brinsley Schwarz)
22 [It's Gonna Be A] Bring Down [Edit] (Brinsley Schwarz)
23 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
24 Save the Last Dance for Me (Brinsley Schwarz)
25 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
26 Down in the Dive (Brinsley Schwarz)
27 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
28 Down in Mexico (Brinsley Schwarz)
29 Ju Ju Man (Brinsley Schwarz)
30 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
31 Wonder Woman (Brinsley Schwarz)
32 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
33 Home in My Hand (Brinsley Schwarz)
34 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
35 Run Rudolph Run (Brinsley Schwarz)
36 talk (Brinsley Schwarz)
37 Brown Sugar (Brinsley Schwarz)

There are very few good color photos of this band, but I managed to find one of them in concert. This comes from an appearance at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in May 1973.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Neil Young - Shots - Non-Album Tracks (1976-1978)

Note that I've posted this Neil Young stray tracks album already. However, I just deleted that post and I'm reposting it with a new mp3 download file, due to the fact that I've just posted another Neil Young stray tracks album, "Ranch Romances," that significantly changed what's on this one. I want to make sure that the people who downloaded that also download the latest version of this.

Neil Young has long had a habit of writing a song and then not releasing it for years afterwards, sometimes waiting decades. For all of these stray tracks albums, I've imagined that he released his songs in the normal fashion, putting them on an album a year or two later at the most.

A majority of the songs here would be released by Young in different versions years later. "Peace of Mind" was released on the "Comes a Time" album in 1978, just two years after the version here. However, I've included it here because this is a rocking full band version that's very different from the 1978 country version. It's a similar situation with "Hold Back the Tears." That was on "American Stars n' Bars" in 1977, but this is a different version that remains unreleased. "Cryin' Eyes" came out in a drastically different version on the "Life" album in 1987. "Lost in Space" and "Captain Kennedy" were both recorded in 1977, but not released until the 1980 album "Hawks and Doves." A different version of "The Ways of Love" was included on the 1989 album "Freedom." A rocking version of "Shots" was included on the 1981 album "Re-act-or," but this is an acoustic version.

That leaves just "Windward Passage" and "Lady Wingshot" as songs that are still unreleased in any form today.  "Lady Wingshot" is a song about the famous female sharpshooter Annie Oakley, by the way. This version of "Windward Passage" sounds great, and comes from a soundboard, but it got cut off before it ended. However, I faded it out at a point where I feel it sounds finished.

There's at least one more unreleased original song from this time period, "Bright Sunny Day." Young only played it one time in concert, in 1978. Unfortunately, the bootleg recording of it sounds terrible, so bad that I couldn't even bear to include it as a bonus track. But if you're curious, you can find it on YouTube. 

Chances are, if and when "Archives, Volume III" is released, we'll find out about other unreleased songs or versions. For instance, it's known the song "Unknown Beauty' was first written around 1978, but wasn't released until the "Harvest Moon" album in 1992.

1978 is not just the chronological end of this album, it was the end of an era for Young. He had two hit albums in 1979, "Rust Never Sleeps" and "Live Rust." But they were recorded in 1978. He didn't play any concerts or do any studio recording in 1979 at all, because he'd given birth to a child with cerebral palsy, and taking care of him would end up taking 15 of more hours of his day, every day, for the next few years. So Young's 1970s flood of songwriting creativity ends in 1978. In my opinion, it would take him a long time to fully get his groove back.

For the bonus track, I've added another version of "Windward Passage." That's because the version I put on the album sounds great since it's from a soundboard bootleg, but is incomplete at about four and a half minutes long. The bonus track version is compete at over eight minutes long, but it comes from an audience bootleg that still sounds decent but doesn't sound as good. Personally, I prefer the shorter version, not only for the sound quality but because I feel the extra four minutes don't do much anyway. Here you can take your choice. (By the way, I tried to merge the two versions together, but I couldn't get that to work, due to different pitches and tempos and so forth. If anyone else can, please let me know.)

01 Shots (Neil Young)
04 Lady Wingshot (Neil Young)
05 Windward Passage [Instrumental] (Neil Young & the Ducks)
06 Cryin' Eyes (Neil Young & the Ducks)
07 Country Home (Neil Young)
07 Lost in Space (Neil Young)
08 Captain Kennedy (Neil Young)
09 Hold Back the Tears (Neil Young)
10 Peace of Mind [Electric Version] (Neil Young)
10 The Ways of Love (Neil Young)

Windward Passage [Instrumental] (Neil Young & the Ducks)

The cover art photo comes from a Crosby, Nash and Young (no Stills!) concert in Santa Cruz in August 1977. I cropped the photo so that Crosby and Nash aren't included.

Neil Young - Ranch Romances - Non-Album Tracks (1976)

I'm finishing sorting out Neil Young's prolific mid-1970s songwriting burst. I just posted "Dume" to gather the rest of his stray tracks from 1974 and 1975. This album gathers most of his 1976 stray tracks. I will follow this with a revised version of "Shots" to collect the rest of 1976, plus songs from 1977 and 1978.

Neil Young wrote so many excellent songs in the mid-1970s that he didn't know what to do with them all. There were numerous "lost albums," meaning albums he considered but ultimately didn't release. "Homegrown" is one such 1975 album that was finally released in 2020. "Hitchhiker" was a proposed 1976 album that was released in 2017. But there were more. Around 1976, "Mediterranean," "Chrome Dreams," and "Ranch Romances" were all titles that were considered. I have no idea what the actual song lists were for any of these. I've simply taken the stray tracks from early to mid-1976 and gathered them here. I could have easily chosen another name, but "Ranch Romances" appealed to me. If anyone knows more about these proposed albums and which songs exactly were supposed to be on them, please let me know.

I've already posted a series of albums in which I maximized the number of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young songs and albums. For these albums, I'm doing the opposite, imagining that Young put out all his songs on his solo albums shortly after he wrote and recorded them. As part of that, I'm acting as if the Stills-Young Band album "Long May You Run" next happened. I've included four songs from that - "Let It Shine," "Midnight on the Bay," "Fountainbleau" and "Ocean Girl" - but only "Ocean Girl" is the exact same version as the one on that album.

I've been able to update my Neil Young stray tracks albums due to the release of the "Archives, Volume II" box set in late 2020. But note there are a number of previously unreleased alternate versions on there that I'm not including on any of these albums. Also, the material from that ends in mid-1976. The impact of that here is that I presume a version of the still unreleased song "Evening Coconut" will appear on "Archives, Volume III," whenever that comes out. For now, we have to make do with this slightly rough bootleg version. It's the exact same situation with "Sad Movies," except the song quality of this bootleg version is excellent.

The song "Campaigner" first appeared on the 1977 best of compilation album "Decade." It turns out that version was the exact same version on "Hitchhiker," except that one verse was edited out. I've used the longer version. 

A couple of the other songs here eventually came out on other releases. A live version of "Stringman" was released on the 1993 album "Unplugged." A new version of "Hitchhiker" first came out on the 2010 album "La Noise," then the original 1976 version came out on the 2017 album also called "Hitchhiker."

01 Campaigner [Long Version] (Neil Young)
02 Let It Shine (Neil Young)
03 Sad Movies (Neil Young)
04 Midnight on the Bay (Neil Young)
05 Stringman (Neil Young)
06 Fontainebleau (Stills-Young Band)
07 Evening Coconut (Stills-Young Band)
08 Ocean Girl (Stills-Young Band)
09 Mediterranean (Neil Young)
10 Hitchhiker (Neil Young)

At the time Young wrote these songs, he owned a ranch and he was having a lot of romantic trouble, breaking up with his romantic partner of several years, Carrie Snodgress, in 1975. So maybe that's why he wanted to call an album "Ranch Romances." But I found out there were a series of pulp novels in the 1970s called "Ranch Romances," and maybe that played into his thinking. For the album title text, I used the exact font taken from the cover of one of the novels. All the novel covers used the exact same font and style.

As for the cover photo, I found it with a Rolling Stone magazine article about the "Archives, Volume II" box set. It looks like it dates from that time period, but I don't know the exact details.

Neil Young - Dume - Non-Album Tracks (1974-1975)

In 1974 and 1975, Neil Young arguably hit his peak as a songwriter. It wasn't just that the songs he wrote were so good; it's that there were so many of them as well. In 1975, he released the studio albums "Tonight's the Night" and "Zuma." We can discount "Tonight's the Night" because it actually was recorded in 1973. But there was another excellent 1975 album that he sat on until 2020: "Homegrown." On top of that, I've posted another album of excellent songs that could have been released in early 1975: "Homefires." Then, on top of that, there's this album, which mainly consist of outtakes from the "Zuma" sessions. So even with "Tonight's the Night" put aside, that's the equal of four studio albums of excellent songs all from the same year!

A year or two ago, I had already posted a couple of albums of his mid-1970s, which I called "Deep Forbidden Lake" and "Let It Shine." I'm deleting both of those today because they're being replaced by four albums: "Last Dance," "Homefires," "Dume," and "Ranch Romances." If you've downloaded those in the past, I highly recommend you get rid of those. They're obsolete thanks to "Archives, Volume II" released in late 2020, with many previously unreleased songs and versions.  

One thing you may notice about the song list below is that many of the songs here have already been released elsewhere by now. For instance, "Deep Forbidden Lake" came out on the "Decade" compilation in 1977. This exact version of "The Old Homestead" came out on the 1980 album "Hawks and Doves." "Bad News Comes to Town" was done in a drastically different big band version on tour in 1988, and then that version was included in the archival release "Bluenote Cafe" in 2015. A different version of "Too Far Gone" appeared on "Freedom" in 1989. A different version of "Hawaii" came out on the archival release "Hitchhiker" in 2017. Finally, different versions of "Ride My Llama," "Powerfinger" and "Pocahontas" were included on "Rust Never Sleeps" in 1979.

The thing is though, all of those later releases could and should have been released in 1975. But there also are a few songs that appear here for the first time, thanks to "Archives, Volume II," such as "Changing Highways," "Daughters," and "Born to Run."

The first five songs here are still from late 1974 recording sessions. The rest were recorded in the May and June 1975 recording sessions that resulted in the "Zuma" album. The "Archives, Volume II" box set calls the disc with these sessions on it "Dume," so that's the name I've given it as well. This is because most of the songs were recorded at a studio in Point Dume, California, near Malibu. (Similarly, "Zuma" is the name of a beach near Malibu.)

By the way, there was one song, "Love-Art Blues," that I had planned to include on this album. But at the last minute, I decided there was room to include it on the previous album in this series, "Homefires." So please redownload that album or you'll miss that song. Sorry 'bout that. Here's the link:

01 Bad News Comes to Town (Neil Young)
02 Changing Highways (Neil Young)
03 Daughters (Neil Young)
04 The Old Homestead (Neil Young)
05 Deep Forbidden Lake (Neil Young)
06 Born to Run (Neil Young)
07 Hawaii (Neil Young)
08 No One Seems to Know (Neil Young)
09 Too Far Gone (Neil Young)
10 Ride My Llama (Neil Young)
11 Powderfinger (Neil Young)
12 Pocahontas (Neil Young)

This album essentially is a companion album to "Zuma," so I wanted an album cover to reflect that. At the Steve Hoffman music forum, I saw someone took some of the extra artwork from the "Zuma" album, inverted the light and dark, and used that as a cover. I don't remember who that way, sorry, but I liked the idea and decided to do the same. I used one main drawing from the "Zuma" booklet, overlaid on the official "Zuma" cover, then added bits and pieces from a couple other drawings. I added Neil Young's name to the upper left corner.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Various Artists - Covered: Graham Gouldman. Volume 2: 1967-1971

A few days ago, I posted the first album in this series celebrating the songwriting of Graham Gouldman. Here's the second, and there's one more to come.

That first album largely covered Gouldman's big successes in the mid-1960s, when he wrote some big, classic hits for different artists. The first half has some more in that vein, still with some success. For instance, "Tallyman" was a hit for Jeff Beck in 1967. However, in 1967 and 1968, music trends were changing rapidly and drastically. Gouldman's pop style fell out of favor as music grew increasingly "heavy" and serious towards the end of the 1960s. Note how many of the bands here like the Herman's Hermits, Wayne Fontana, the Mindbenders, and so on went from often being near the top of the charts to dropping off the charts altogether.

As a result, Gouldman spent a few years more or less in the music wilderness. But during that time, he increasingly linked up with the three other songwriters in 10cc. They finally went by the 10cc in 1972, and soon had a series of hits on their own. Yet during this time, Gouldman never lost his knack for writing catchy and good songs, as you'll see here.

Note that, once again, these are all songs without Gouldman singing lead on them. While he continued to write for others during this period, he often sang and wrote songs for himself, though under a variety of names. I will be compiling the best of those on a different album in the future.

01 Schoolgirl (Hollies)
02 Ooh She's Done It Again (Herman's Hermits)
03 Naughty Nippon Nights (Shadows)
04 Tallyman (Jeff Beck)
05 Upstairs, Downstairs (Herman's Hermits)
06 The Impossible Years (Wayne Fontana)
07 The Love Was in My Eyes (Applejacks)
08 My Father (Jonah Jones)
09 The World Is for the Young (Herman's Hermits with Stanley Holloway)
10 Uncle Joe, the Ice Cream Man (Mindbenders)
11 It's Nice to Be Out in the Morning (Herman's Hermits)
12 Some People (Chords Five)
13 It's Alright Now (Herman's Hermits)
14 Crickets (Peter Cowap)
15 Come On Plane (Silver Fleet)
16 Because You're There (Peter Noone)

I'm not exactly sure when or where this cover art photo is from, but I'm guessing it's the late 1960s or early 1970s. There was a bunch of stuff behind him that I found distracting, so I replaced all that with a blank background.

Oingo Boingo - Remember My Name - Non-Album Tracks (1987-1995)

I've posted quite a few Oingo Boingo stray tracks albums, which is rather surprising in my opinion considering that the band wasn't active that long. But for whatever reason, they had a habit of leaving lots of good songs off their albums. Here's the fifth and last. It's the last because the band folded in 1995.

Personally, my favorite period for the band is the first half of the 1980s. It was led by Danny Elfman, who was the lead vocalist and main songwriter. In 1985, he scored the music to a major motion picture, and from that point on he stayed very busy writing scores to dozens of movies. With each passing year, it seemed his interest in Oingo Boingo lessened until he disbanded the band altogether in 1995, after a farewell tour. 

This album deals with the years the band was slowing fading due to Elfman's changing interests. The band's musical style was changing too, growing more serious as Elfman aged and developed. But although I prefer the earlier style, in my opinion pretty much everything the band did was good. In fact, I would argue that many of the rare or unreleased songs here are as good or better than the songs on the band's albums.

Six of the songs here are unreleased. Most of those are studio outtakes and the sound quality is very good. "Minne the Moocher," a cover of the classic 1930s song, is the only one from a concert bootleg, and the sound quality of that one is a bit lower. Also, note that a different version of "Cindarella Undercover" did appear on the band's live in the studio album "Boingo Alive." Plus, the song was actually written in the late 1970s, and I posted a 1981 version on the stray tracks album "I Was a Teenage Monster."

By the way, "This Time" isn't an Oingo Boingo track at all, but a Danny Elfman solo one. It was actually done as a bonus track for the soundtrack to "Nightmare Before Christmas" in 1994. I included it because it has Elfman on lead vocals, something he almost never did for any of his soundtrack scores, and it was done while Oingo Boingo was still together.

This album is 59 minutes long.

01 Cinderella Undercover (Oingo Boingo)
02 Happy (Oingo Boingo)
03 Mama (Oingo Boingo)
04 Find You (Oingo Boingo)
05 Inside (Oingo Boingo)
06 Remember My Name (Oingo Boingo)
07 Try to Believe [Soundtrack Version] (Oingo Boingo)
08 Minnie the Moocher (Oingo Boingo)
09 Helpless (Oingo Boingo)
10 Water (Oingo Boingo)
11 This Time (Danny Elfman)
12 Piggies (Oingo Boingo)
13 Change (Oingo Boingo)

For the cover art, I found a nice graphic with the band's name in it on the Internet. I don't know where or when it's from, but I thought it looked cool. All I did was add the black background and the album title at the bottom.