Friday, February 26, 2021

Roberta Flack - Afro Blue - Non-Album Tracks (1968)

In mid-2020, a deluxe edition of Roberta Flack's album "First Take" was released. This was very special as far as deluxe editions go, because it contained a second disc of what was essentially an entirely unreleased album. In fact, there's so much music on it (an hour and 16 minutes) that it could be a double album. "First Take," her debut album, was recorded in early 1969 and released by the end of that year. All but the first songs here was recorded in 1968. So one might think of this as her true debut album.

Flack started out playing small clubs for several years before getting a record contract. Most of the songs here were recorded in three days, and came easily since they consisted the songs of her well honed stage act. The vast majority of the songs are covers. However, "Groove Me" is not the hit by King Floyd, which wouldn't come out until 1970. It's a Flack original.

The first song is a bit different. "All the Way" is a live recording done in 1969. But it wasn't released until decades later on a Les McCann archival album called "Les Is More." This was included on the "First Take" deluxe edition. (Another song on that, "Trade Winds," has been put on the stray tracks album "Freedom Song" instead.)

By the way, as generous as the bonus tracks on the deluxe edition are, there are many more songs recorded at that session. Other songs include: "On a Clear Day," "A Change Is Gonna Come," "Lovin' You," "Love for Sale," "With These Hands," "A House Is Not a Home," "Just a False Start," "Elusive Butterfly," "First of All," and "This House," plus early versions of the songs from "First Take." Let's hope those get released someday too.

If you like Flack's first few albums before she went fully into a slick, mainstream direction, you're sure to like this.

01 All the Way (Roberta Flack)
02 This Could Be the Start of Something (Roberta Flack)
03 Groove Me (Roberta Flack)
04 Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (Roberta Flack)
05 Hush-A-Bye (Roberta Flack)
06 Afro Blue (Roberta Flack)
07 It's Way Past Suppertime (Roberta Flack)
08 Frankie and Johnny (Roberta Flack)
09 On the Street Where You Live (Roberta Flack)
10 The House Song (Roberta Flack)
11 Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Roberta Flack)
12 The Song Is Love (Roberta Flack)
13 To Sir with Love (Roberta Flack)

I couldn't find any photos of Flack from 1968, which isn't surprising since she was largely unknown back then. The one I used is from a series of promo photos that came out when her debut album was released in late 1969. It was a black and white photo, but I colorized it.

Herman's Hermits - The Covers Album (1968)

I'm psyched to be presenting this, even though it's from the notoriously uncool band Hermit's Hermits. It turns out that in 1968, Herman's Hermits planned to release an album made up entirely of cover versions of well known songs. It never was released, probably because the band's commercial fortunes were rapidly declining in the late 1960s. Every song here remains officially unreleased, so this is a true "lost album." I think it's pretty darn good, especially if you're into the "sunshine pop" genre. If you're into this type of music at all, you should give it a listen.

I know you're probably thinking, "Herman's Hermits?! What the hell?!" It's true they have a bad reputation as an inconsequential and lightweight pop group from the 1960s. And there's some truth to that, for sure. But I've been putting together material for a series of BBC albums from them, and I've been pleasantly surprised by what they did for the BBC, which is often superior to their studio recordings. I plan on posting those BBC performances soon. This is going to serve as a kind of teaser, because most of these songs come from their BBC sessions, though some do not.

Here's what I know about their covers album. Apparently, in 1968, the band recorded about 50 (!) songs for a proposed cover album. None of them have ever been officially released, nor have any of their BBC performances. But some have appeared on bootlegs, so I've collected everything I could find. Twelve of the songs are from BBC sessions. I'll be including them on BBC albums as well, but I figure they can do double duty here too. I'm not sure if all of these were part of the covers album, but I included all the covers they did at the BBC from mid-1967 to early 1969.

Seven more songs from the covers album have leaked out in other ways. Most of these were played on the "Come to the Sunshine" podcast by Andrew Sandoval in 2012. Unfortunately, all of these songs were cut off about two-thirds of the way through. In each case, I did my best to restore the missing parts, usually by repeating verses and/or choruses from earlier in the song. Generally, there was just enough to make this work, with the versions generally going just past the second verses. But for the song "Friends," the end of the second verse got cut off. So if you listen carefully, the last word is actually from the end of the first verse.

I had a similar problem with the BBC performances. In almost every case here, a BBC DJ talked over the starts or ends of the songs. I think I did a pretty good job of restoring the missing bits though, usually by patching in sections from later in the same song.

In terms of the music, I think the band made some excellent choices which they do well in their poppy style. They sound a lot like the Association on many of these songs, with lush harmony vocals. This band was nowhere near the cutting edge, but even so, I was pleasantly surprised to see them do songs by the likes of Buffalo Springfield, Tim Hardin, and Jeff Beck. You don't have to be a fan of Herman's Hermits to enjoy this; just a fan of 1960s pop music in general.

If the band really did record 50 songs for their covers project, that could have easily been a double album with some songs left over. As it is, I was only able to find 47 minutes worth of music. But that so happens to end up being the length of generous single album from that era, so that works out rather nicely.

Here are the original artists for each song:

01 Walk Away Renee - Never My Love - Left Banke - Association
02 Rock and Roll Woman [Edit] - Buffalo Springfield
03 If I Were a Carpenter - Tim Hardin / Bobby Darin
04 New York Mining Disaster 1941 [Edit] - Bee Gees
05 Memphis, Tennessee [Edit] - Chuck Berry
06 Tallyman [Edit] - Jeff Beck
07 Hello Mary Lou [Edit] - Gene Pitney / Ricky Nelson
08 Keep On [Edit] - Bruce Channel
09 It's All Right - Shout [Edit] - Impressions - Isley Brothers
10 Morning Dew [Edit] - Bonnie Dobson / Grateful Dead
11 Love Is Blue [Edit] - Vicky Leandros
12 Save the Last Dance for Me - Drifters
13 Little Green Apples [Edit] - Bobby Russell / O. C. Smith
14 Friends [Edit] - Beach Boys
15 People - Barbra Streisand
16 Daydream [Edit] - Lovin' Spoonful
17 What to Do [Edit] - Buddy Holly
18 Windy [Edit] - Association

Here's the usual song list:

01 Walk Away Renee (Herman's Hermits)
02 Rock and Roll Woman [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
03 If I Were a Carpenter (Herman's Hermits)
04 New York Mining Disaster 1941 [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
05 Memphis, Tennessee [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
06 Tallyman [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
07 Hello Mary Lou [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
08 Keep On [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
09 It's All Right - Shout [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
10 Morning Dew [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
11 Love Is Blue [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
12 Save the Last Dance for Me (Herman's Hermits)
13 Little Green Apples [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
14 Friends [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
15 People (Herman's Hermits)
16 Daydream [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
17 What to Do [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)
18 Windy [Edit] (Herman's Hermits)

The cover art shows the band playing on an unknown TV show in 1968. I'm very glad to have it as the cover, because it shows the band bending ever so slightly to the prevailing cultural winds of the late 1960s, especially with the background imagery, while staying somewhat square. That perfectly describes their music on this album too.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

R.E.M. - Acoustic, KCRW Studios, Santa Monica, CA, 4-3-1991

In early 1991, "R.E.M." released the album "Out of Time." It was a huge hit, reaching number one in both the US and Britain, and eventually selling around 20 million copies worldwide. Rather than go on a traditional tour though, the band only about 20 promotional performances, with some of them just playing a song or two. Most of these were acoustic in nature, though with light drumming. This culminated in a concert for MTV Unplugged. That was eventually released as half of the official live album "Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions." Furthermore, the 25th anniversary deluxe edition of "Out of Time" contains a concert at the Mountain Stage in West Virginia that's very similar to the Unplugged one.

I explain all that to give context to what this is. This is another acoustic concert from that short promotional tour. As such, the set list is similar to both the Unplugged and Mountain Stage ones, but there are differences. One key difference is that both of those shows were in front of audiences. This was done in a radio station studio, and if anyone was there, they didn't clap. So the sound is a little cleaner. Even though this is a bootleg, the sound is excellent, just as good as either of those two officially released shows.

One fun aspect of this show is that the band was clearly having fun winging their way through some odd songs. Several of these are just short snippets of covers, such as "Tusk," "Jackson," and "Radio Ethiopia," because they tried doing those and realized they couldn't get far. They do some other covers more successfully with "Love Is All Around" and "Spooky." 

One bummer though is that there is no banter between songs at all. In fact, the ends of the songs are usually cut off a couple of seconds early. I did a little editing to fade the songs out in a way so the abrupt endings aren't so noticeable. But note that it's not a big problem, since it's literally just a matter or a second or two in most cases. Still, if anyone has a more complete version with the banter between songs, please let me know so I can post that here.

R.E.M. did a similar show for "2 Meter Sessie" in the Netherlands. I found three songs on that that they didn't play at the main KCRW show here, so I've added them as quasi-bonus tracks at the end. The sound quality is equally good on that.

To summarize, if you have the "Unplugged" album, this isn't that different. But still, it's a fun listen, and it's cleaner without the audience clapping. The KCRW portion is 43 minutes long. If you add in the extra songs, the album is 56 minutes long.

01 World Leader Pretend (R.E.M.)
02 Half a World Away (R.E.M.)
03 Disturbance at the Heron House (R.E.M.)
04 Radio Song (R.E.M.)
05 Low (R.E.M.)
06 Love Is All Around (R.E.M.)
07 Tusk (R.E.M.)
08 Losing My Religion (R.E.M.)
09 Bandwagon (R.E.M.)
10 Endgame (R.E.M.)
11 Jackson (R.E.M.)
12 Swan Swan H (R.E.M.)
13 Spooky (R.E.M.)
14 Radio Ethiopia (R.E.M.)
15 Fall on Me (R.E.M.)
16 You Are Everything (R.E.M.)
17 Fretless (R.E.M.)
18 Belong (R.E.M.)

The cover art photo comes from the Mountain Stage concert that I mentioned above.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Fleetwood Mac - Trodd Nossel Studios, Wallingford, CT, 9-23-1975

I hadn't planned on posting this 1975 Fleetwood Mac concert, great though it is, because it's very similar to another concert I posted by them at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey. In fact, the only difference in the songs is that two songs are uniquely performed on this one ("Why" and "Over My Head") and one song was uniquely performed on that one ("Don't Let Me Down Again").  But I'm posting it because there's an upgraded version that came out in late 2020 that I just found out about, and it sounds even better than before. And this bootleg concert already sounded great. So even if you have this popular bootleg, I recommend you get this version.

This is one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac concerts because it happened at a unique time in the band's history. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, they were a popular blues band, led by guitarist Peter Green. But by 1975, the personnel has drastically changed, especially due to the brand new members Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Their 1975 album, simply called "Fleetwood Mac," was the first with this new line-up. It's now regarded as a classic, with every song a hit or should have been a hit. But this new Fleetwood Mac didn't catch on right away. At the time of this concert, they still relied a lot on the band's earlier reputation and songs. So this is a rare moment when the new Fleetwood Mac played lots of the old Fleetwood Mac's songs. Seven of the 13 songs here are from before Nicks and Buckingham joining the band. 

In 1977, the band would release "Rumours," one of the best selling albums of all time. It was so chock-a-block with great, popular songs that their concert set lists dropped the pre-1975 songs almost entirely. So it's only on this recording and the Capitol Theatre one mentioned above where you can hear these earlier songs done by this new line-up.

Needless to say, they do a great job, on both the new and old songs. The only minor fly in the ointment is that it seems most of the comments between songs weren't recorded. One can tell this by the few that there are only a few brief comments here and there, and by the fact that the applause often got suddenly cut off. For that latter problem, I patched in applause from the ends of other songs to make things transition in a more natural manner. I did that for about four or five song endings.

Personally, I think both this and the Capitol Theatre shows are so good that any fan of this Fleetwood Mac era should have both, despite their similarities. The sound quality for this one is possibly the best, helped by the fact that the band played for a small, quiet audience in a recording studio for a radio broadcast. During the quiet songs, it's like you can hear a pin drop.

This concert is an hour and six minutes long.

01 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
02 Get like You Used to Be (Fleetwood Mac)
03 Station Man (Fleetwood Mac)
04 Spare Me a Little of Your Love (Fleetwood Mac)
05 Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac)
06 Why (Fleetwood Mac)
07 Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
08 Over My Head (Fleetwood Mac)
09 I'm So Afraid (Fleetwood Mac)
10 Oh Well, Part 1 (Fleetwood Mac)
11 The Green Manalishi [With the Two Prong Crown] (Fleetwood Mac)
12 World Turning (Fleetwood Mac)
13 Blue Letter (Fleetwood Mac)
14 Hypnotized (Fleetwood Mac)

I know that since this was recorded in a recording studio, a photo of the band playing on an outdoor stage doesn't fit. But I had a hard time finding a good color photo of the band on stage in 1975. This was the best one I could find that shows most of the band members. It's from a concert in San Diego.

Actually, looking back at the original images just now, I see that I had two San Diego concert photos. Linsay Buckingham was out of view on the best one, so I took him from the other one and Photoshopped him into this one. Sorry about that, but like I said, it's really hard to find good color photos of all of them together on stage in 1975.

Elton John - BBC Sessions, Volume 7: 1975-1980

I really thought I was done with this series of albums in which Elton John performs for the BBC. I think he did a lot of great music in the early and mid 1970s, but the late 1970s were a career low for him, thanks to the popularity of disco at the time and drug problems and other personal problems he was having. 

But then I stumbled across a great solo version of "Island Girl" done for the BBC while looking for some other BBC stuff by another artist. I figured that was a full band song, and I had no idea he did a stripped down version with just his voice and piano back in the 1970s. That made me think that perhaps I'd been hasty in writing off his late 1970s public performances. Perhaps he did other songs in a solo acoustic piano format instead of slathering them with disco beats and other bad 1970s production. 

It turns out I found a bunch of stuff like that. In fact, I found so much that I broke off a few songs from Volume 4 in this series (it had been overly long) and added them here. Then I filled the rest with a bunch of performances for the BBC and other TV and radio shows, all of them done in the same solo acoustic format that is drastically different from his studio albums of that era. I'd overlooked or written off some of these songs, but these versions made me consider them in a whole new light.

Note that the song "Bennie and the Jets" appears here twice. Normally I'm against such duplicates, but it's okay here because the first version is with a full band while the second version is a solo piano one. Also, a different version of "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself" appeared on Volume 4.

The song "No Man Is an Island" needs a little explanation. Apparently, during an interview for a documentary in 1980, Elton John was asked to come up with a song on the spot using the words to John Donne's famous poem "No Man Is an Island." (The actual title of the full poem is "Devotions upon Emergent Occasions.") John ably did so, but he kind of cheated in that he used the melody to his song "Breaking Down Barriers," which would appear on his 1981 album "The Fox." So that's why the song "No Man Is an Island" remains unreleased, but it has "Breaking Down Barriers" as a subtitle.

This album is 53 minutes long. I'll probably stop here with the BBC series, unless more interesting TV and radio performances from the 1980s, especially solo acoustic performances, drop into my lap.

Note again that Volume 4 in this series has been changed, since the first four songs here used to be on that one. So you might want to get the updated version of that one, to avoid duplication. And what had previously been Volume 7 (the 1976 BBC concert in Edinburgh) has been renamed Volume 8 to keep things in chronological order.

01 Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (Elton John)
02 Bennie and the Jets (Elton John)
03 Philadelphia Freedom [Live Vocals Only] (Elton John)
04 Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word (Elton John)
05 Island Girl (Elton John)
06 I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself (Elton John)
07 Shine On Through (Elton John)
08 Bennie and the Jets (Elton John)
09 Part Time Love (Elton John)
10 Song for Guy (Elton John)
11 Shooting Star (Elton John)
12 No Man Is an Island [Breaking Down Barriers] (Elton John)
13 Little Jeannie (Elton John)
14 talk (Elton John)
15 Sartorial Eloquence (Elton John)

The cover art photo comes from a 1979 concert, but I don't know any other details about it.

The Grass Roots - The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA, 10-5-1967

Yesterday, I posted an excellent sounding concert bootleg by a lesser known 1960s band, the Youngbloods. Today, I'm doing exactly the same with another lesser known 1960s band, the Grass Roots. If you're into late 1960s music you should check this out, because both the music and the sound quality are surprisingly good.

The Grass Roots are reasonably well known, but only for a handful of hit singles, most especially "Let's Live for Today." For many people, they're seen as a lightweight pop group that was just a vehicle for hit songs written by others, and not a serious rock band. That ended up becoming true, but for about two years they actually were a serious, legit, and talented rock band. This concert comes from that time period.

The Grass Roots have a very strange history. It began as a vehicle for singer songwriter P. F. Sloan, along with his production and songwriting partner, Steve Barri. Together in 1965, they wrote the song "Where Were You When I Needed You." It was sung by Sloan, who was a capable singer (as well as a writer of many 1960s hits, most notably "Eve of Destruction"). But after it became a minor hit in 1966, a band was needed to promote it. The record company didn't want Sloan and/or Barri involved, since they were too valuable as songwriters and producers for many bands and not just this one. So a little known San Francisco band called the Bedoins were recruited to be renamed the Grass Roots. They put out an entire album called "Where Were You When I Needed You" in 1966, which was very good because most of the songs were written by Sloan and Barri, and sung by Sloan.

The Grass Roots (a.k.a. the Bedoins) soon grew restless being basically just a front for Sloan and Barri. They wanted to do their own blues rock songs. The record company didn't agree, so the band quit, and promptly faded into obscurity. That meant a new Grass Roots was needed for new songs. Another obscure band was chosen, this one from Los Angeles, called the 13th Floor (which by the way was a totally different band than the much better known 13th Floor Elevators in Texas). This group was talented, and their lead singer Rob Grill had a great voice. Sloan and Barri helped find and produce their next single, "Let's Live for Today." The song actually got started as a song in Italian by the Italian group the Rokes. Translated into English, "Let's Live for Today" was a huge hit for the Grass Roots in 1967, selling over two million copies.

After a big hit like that, it was natural that a "Let's Live for Today" album followed. This is a surprisingly good album, and not just a hit song plus a bunch of filler. Most of the songs were written by the very talented Sloan and Barri, but also the actual Grass Roots band (a.k.a. the 13th Floor) wrote some songs that were on the same level. (Three can be heard on this recording: "Feelings," "Beatin' Round the Bush" and "House of Stone").

Another album followed in 1968, "Feelings." For this one, there were more songs by the band and fewer by Sloan and Barri. "Feelings" is another surprisingly good album, solid all the way.

Unfortunately, "Feelings" didn't sell well. Around this time, Sloan broke with the record company and began to withdraw from the music business, due to a variety of personal problems. Barri carried on as the producer for the Grass Roots. But the record company wanted hits. They pushed the band to do pop hits written by others instead of their own rocking material. This turned out to be a successful commercial strategy, as a number of hits followed, starting with "Midnight Confessions" later in 1968. But the band members were increasingly dissatisfied, and they began leaving one by one until 1974, when lead vocalist Rob Grill remained the only original member (from the second version of the band). The Grass Roots fizzled out altogether a couple of years after that.

I needed to explain all that so you can understand what this concert recording is about. At the time it took place, the Grass Roots were riding high from having their huge hit "Let's Live for Today." Their album by the same name had been recorded but it hadn't been released yet. Most of the songs played are originals or Sloan and Barri songs that would appear on that album. But they also did a few covers that they never put on record: "Got My Mojo Working," "Get Out of My Life Woman," "The Night Time Is the Right Time," and "Have Love, Will Travel."

I think if you'll listen to this you'll agree they were a talented band and not just a front group for some pop hits. Note especially the 12 minute long untitled instrumental, where they jam as well as most other jammy rock bands did back then. It's too bad the record company stifled their creative efforts and pushed them into the pop hit direction. 

If you want to know more about the band, check out their Wikipedia page:

The Grass Roots - Wikipedia

This recording happens to contain sections from two sets recorded on the same day. Who knows what else they played that day that we've missed, but luckily we get most of their best songs from that time period, especially "Where Were You When I Needed You" and "Let's Live for Today." 

The first few songs of the recording have some problems where the quality drops from time to time, probably due to tape damage. By chance, the most damaged song was "Let's Live for Today." But it also so happens that was the only song recorded twice. So I deleted the first damaged version entirely and kept the perfectly fine second version. For the other damaged songs I fixed the problems as best I could, sometimes by adjusting the volume and other times by patching in bits from elsewhere in the song for repeated sections. After the fixes I made, I think the problems are minimal and you might not even notice them unless you listen closely.

So that's the long explanation. The TL:DR version is that the Grass Roots were a legit and talented rock band in this part of their career, and this recording has excellent sound for a 1967 bootleg. So I highly recommend you check it out, even if you're dubious about the Grass Roots in general. 

If you enjoy this concert, I recommend you get the first three albums by the Grass Roots: "Where Were You When I Needed You," "Let's Live for Today," and "Feelings." True, the first one is performed by an entirely different band. But they're unified by the talented songwriting and production of Sloan and Barri. I'm a big fan of Sloan in particular, and I plan on posting some of his solo material here in the future.

This concert is 52 minutes long.

By the way, as a random aside, the lead guitarist on this recording is Creed Bratton. Does that name ring a bell? If it does, it's probably because, decades later, he was a cast member of the popular TV show "The Office," playing a character also known as Creed Bratton. Towards the end of that show's long run, it was finally mentioned that he had been in the Grass Roots long ago. The show had him play some lead guitar to reveal he had real musical talent and that wasn't just a joke.

UPDATE: On June 1, 2023, I updated the mp3 download file. I realized that the date I had for the concert was wrong. I had 5-10-1967, but it actually was 10-5-1967 (October 5, 1967). So I've changed the cover art and the mp3 tags. I also added one song I'd previously missed, "Feelings."

01 Where Were You When I Needed You [Edit] (Grass Roots)
02 Got My Mojo Working (Grass Roots)
03 Beatin' Round the Bush (Grass Roots)
04 This Precious Time (Grass Roots)
05 Get Out of My Life Woman (Grass Roots)
06 Things I Should Have Said (Grass Roots)
07 The Night Time Is the Right Time (Grass Roots)
08 talk (Grass Roots)
09 House of Stone (Grass Roots)
10 talk (Grass Roots)
11 Have Love, Will Travel (Grass Roots)
12 talk (Grass Roots)
13 Let's Live for Today (Grass Roots)
14 Feelings (Grass Roots)
15 Look Out Girl (Grass Roots)
16 Jam [Instrumental] (Grass Roots)

It turns out it's very hard to find any good color photos of the Grass Roots from this time that aren't already used as album covers. So I searched for concert posters and I found an excellent one from when the band headlined a show at the Avalon Ballroom in 1966. Probably this was the earlier version of the band, but hey, it makes a great album cover just the same. ;) I had to do some cropping to get the rectangular poster into a square shape. I added some text, replacing the names of the supporting acts. But I used the exact same font as the original.

The Kinks - BBC Sessions, Volume 10: 1993-1994

Here's the last in my long series of albums of Kinks performing for the BBC. (Keep in mind that I recently renumbered and added to the series prior to this, which is why I suddenly went from having four albums in the series to eight.) This is the end of the road, because the Kinks put out their last studio album in 1993, "Phobia," then ceased to exist around 1996.

For whatever reason, it seems the Kinks didn't make many promotional appearances for all of the 1980s and into the early 1990s. But that changed with the release of "Phobia." They did their first BBC studio sessions since the 1970s, and other similar appearances. Nine out of the 15 songs here (including the bonus track) are BBC performances that were included on the "At the BBC" box set. The rest are all officially unreleased. But they sound very good because of how they come from good recordings of TV and radio appearances.

The previous album in this series, "Volume 7," has four songs from Phobia on it. This has four more, plus two other new songs, "House of Blues" and "To the Bone." The other eight songs are all versions of older classic Kinks hits.

I have one bonus track, but for once it's not a bonus track due to sound quality issues. Instead, the problem is that the "At the BBC" box set included two very similar versions of "Til the End of the Day," since the song was played at two BBC sessions. One of them is plenty for me. So I've included the second one as a bonus track since it's from the box set and maybe some people don't mind two versions of the same song.

01 The Informer (Kinks)
02 Celluloid Heroes (Kinks)
03 Days (Kinks)
04 Dead End Street (Ray Davies)
05 All Day and All of the Night (Kinks)
06 Waterloo Sunset [Acoustic] (Kinks)
07 I'm Not like Everybody Else (Kinks)
08 Till the End of the Day (Kinks)
09 You Really Got Me (Kinks)
10 Phobia (Kinks)
11 Over the Edge (Kinks)
12 Wall of Fire (Kinks)
13 To the Bone (Ray Davies)
14 House of the Blues (Kinks)

Till the End of the Day (Kinks)

Good color photos of the Kinks from 1993 or 1994 are surprisingly hard to find. I ended up using a photo of just brothers Ray and Dave Davies, even though there still were others in the band at the time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Youngbloods - Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA, 3-30-1969

Today, I was searching the Internet for some specific music and stumbled upon this concert. I was so delighted by it that I'm posting it straight away. 

The Youngbloods are best known for their hit song "Let's Get Together" (often known as "Get Together"), but they're a lot more than that. I highly recommend their 1969 album "Elephant Mountain" in particular. Since they're not that famous of a band, it's a lucky break that bootleg of them from the 1960s exists with excellent sound quality. This concert sounds great because it was played live on air by the radio station KPFA. 

When I found this, it had the date of March, 30, 1968. But when I listened to it, lead singer Jesse Colin Young mentioned between songs that their new album "Elephant Mountain" was being released "on Tuesday," and that was released in April 1969. I dug a little deeper and eventually found a fan site with lots of concert date info, and that confirmed that the KPFA live broadcast was from 1969 instead.

I believe all the songs are originals except "Too Much Monkey Business" by Chuck Berry and "The Dolphins" by Fred Neil. The latter song was never put on any album by the band. 

The last song, "Sunlight," isn't from the concert. I tried to find an unreleased version of "Let's Get Together" to add to the album, since it's their signature song. I couldn't find a good one, but I came across a nice version of this song from a TV show later in 1969. Maybe it's for the best not to include "Let's Get Together" since it does get overplayed.

If you haven't heard much from this band, this is a good way to get started. The last three songs are all classics, in my opinion.

The album is 54 minutes long, including the extra song at the end.

01 Ride the Wind (Youngbloods)
02 Sugar Babe (Youngbloods)
03 Four in the Morning (Youngbloods)
04 talk (Youngbloods)
05 Too Much Monkey Business (Youngbloods)
06 talk (Youngbloods)
07 On Beautiful Lake Spenard [Instrumental] (Youngbloods)
08 The Dolphins (Youngbloods)
09 talk (Youngbloods)
10 The Wine Song (Youngbloods)
11 talk (Youngbloods)
12 Darkness, Darkness (Youngbloods)
13 Beautiful (Youngbloods)
14 Sunlight (Youngbloods)

Based on the album cover, you might thing these guys are a trippy psychedelic jam band. Not so. They do jam some, but they're based in folk rock. I chose this cover because it's a concert poster for the Youngbloods appearing at the Avalon Ballroom in February 1969. So it's not for this exact concert, but it's only a month earlier, which is close. Besides, I really like the poster art of Rick Griffin, who made this one. 

The original poster is very wide. I had to crop the sides to get it to fit into the square album cover format.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Cat Stevens - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: In Concert, London, Britain, 11-27-1971

In a recent blog post, I said I've been digging deep into BBC material and I plan on posting a lot of that soon. Some musical acts have official BBC collections that are well done and complete, but others are flawed and/or incomplete, and a surprising number still don't have such an official collection at all. I think that's a really big share for music from the 1960s and early 1970s because there wasn't a lot of music being saved back then aside from the released albums and singles. Yet BBC recordings generally have excellent sound quality, and often contain unique songs that otherwise would have been lost forever.

Here's something that isn't revelatory in terms of unique material, but is a lovely album to have just the same if you're a Cat Stevens fan. In fact, in terms of live music from his early 1970s time, I'd say this is the best of the best due to the sheer sound quality. It's also fairly long compared to other live recordings from that time, and has lots of entertaining banter between songs. It's also acoustic, which makes it somewhat different than his semi-acoustic records of that time.

There's not much else to say. The recording is so well done that I didn't have to make any changes. It's 54 minutes long.

UPDATE: On February 14, 2022, I made a minor update. I didn't add or remove any songs. However, since I have two BBC albums that chronologically come before this one, I added "Volume 3" to the title and the cover art.

01 Where Do the Children Play (Cat Stevens)
02 talk (Cat Stevens)
03 Longer Boats (Cat Stevens)
04 talk (Cat Stevens)
05 Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
06 Hard Headed Woman (Cat Stevens)
07 talk (Cat Stevens)
08 Tuesday's Dead (Cat Stevens)
09 Moonshadow (Cat Stevens)
10 talk (Cat Stevens)
11 Wild World (Cat Stevens)
12 talk (Cat Stevens)
13 How Can I Tell You (Cat Stevens)
14 talk (Cat Stevens)
15 Maybe You're Right (Cat Stevens)
16 talk (Cat Stevens)
17 I Love My Dog (Cat Stevens)
18 talk (Cat Stevens)
19 Bitterblue (Cat Stevens)
20 talk (Cat Stevens)
21 Changes IV (Cat Stevens)
22 talk (Cat Stevens)
23 Into White (Cat Stevens)
24 talk (Cat Stevens)
25 Father and Son (Cat Stevens)

For the album cover, I took a screenshot from the BBC video. The text at the top is also exactly from the video. I added the text at the bottom in the same style.

Note though that since I first posted this, I've gone on to post Volumes 4 and 5 in this series, and all the others in the series use the same font color and type. So I've created an alternate cover, for those who want the same look to all the volumes in the series. The same screenshot is used in both versions.

Bob Seger - Bringing It Back - Non-Album Tracks (1973-1974)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm not that big of a Bob Seger fan. I mostly like him on the hits only level. So I'm pretty damn surprised that I ended up making a stray tracks album for him, and equally surprised that it's quite good. If this were an actual album, I think it would be one of his best.

Seger certainly has written many quality hits and even some all-time classics. But my main issue with him has been consistency. I've found the songs on his studio albums hit or miss, with a lot of a misses. What makes this album, in my opinion, is that it's nearly all covers. Only the last song is an original. Like all the other songs here, it's never been officially released in any form.

Seger spent many years in the late 1960s and early 1970s playing small clubs and getting people to dance with his rocking music. Along the way, he probably played many more covers than originals, to give the audience more songs they were familiar with. He put out an album mostly consisting of covers in 1972, "Smoking O.P.s," but I actually like this one better. This comes right at the brink of his stardom, when he would drop most covers from his concert sets. 

Luckily, there were a couple of concerts that were professionally recorded for radio stations and saved as bootlegs right before he retired most of these songs. I had no intention of making this album, but I happened to stumble across it while getting material for the Seger early best of albums I posted here recently, and I was intrigued enough to find more songs to fill out the album.

All the songs were recorded live in concert, but I removed the audience noise, as I often do, to make this sound like a studio album. The sound quality is so good, and the audience was so quiet during the songs, that I was able to do that.

By the way, this comes from right before he formed the Silver Bullet Band he would find fame with. Most of the songs are with the short-lived Borneo Band. But for simplicity's sake, I'm just crediting all the songs to Bob Seger.

01 Carol (Bob Seger)
02 [Your Love Keeps Lifting Me] Higher and Higher (Bob Seger)
03 St. Dominic's Preview (Bob Seger)
04 Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Bob Seger)
05 As Long as I Can Play (Bob Seger)
06 Born Under a Bad Sign (Bob Seger)
07 Don't Burn Down the Bridge ['Cause You Might Wanna Come Back Across] (Bob Seger)
08 Bringing It Back (Bob Seger)
09 See Me in the Evening (Bob Seger)
10 Full Circle (Bob Seger)

The cover art photo dates to 1972, though I don't know the details.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Twilights - Once Upon a Twilight - Alternate Version (1968)

I just posted a Twilights album that gathers up all their best songs from 1965 to early 1968. This is dominated by their 1968 album "Once Upon a Twilight," which makes up the first 11 songs. The last six songs are the few songs the band released after that album until they broke up. So between the two albums, you basically have the career of this short-lived but excellent Australian band.

In my opinion, there was a lot of great rock music that came out of Australia in the mid to late 1960s, but the vast majority of the really good stuff were the A-Sides of singles. I don't know of too many acclaimed albums, and I think this is the only one from that country and era in my collection. It was critically acclaimed at the time, but unfortunately didn't sell well. I think it's solid through and through, with the exception of "The Cocky Song," a "comedy" song that I think flops so badly that I didn't include it at all, not even as a bonus track. Trust me, you're not missing anything, and including it would ruin the mood and flow of the rest of the album.

As I mentioned in my previous Twilights post, the band was highly influenced by the Beatles and other similar British bands of the time. (They went to Britain in 1966 and 1967 in a brief and unsuccessful effort to make it big there. But they soaked up the music and the cultural trends, and even managed to get to watch the Beatles record "Penny Lane" in the Abbey Road studio, since they were recording there too at the time.)

The songwriting here is excellent. I especially like "Comin' On Down." In my perfect world, this catchy song would be a big hit and still get played on classic rock stations. In reality, it was merely a B-side that got very little notice. Perhaps that's because the song was about an imagined devastating nuclear war, which isn't exactly typical Top 40 material! (But the fact that bands then wrote songs about anything and everything is one reason why I especially like the musical era.)

I like the song so much that I made my own edit of it. The "real" version comes to a top stop at about 2 minutes and five seconds. Then it ends with about ten seconds of a child singing "All Things Bright and Beautiful." I found that odd and unsatisfying, when the song desperately needed to go back to the chorus again. So I have the chorus repeat and fade for another 40 seconds or so. Sorry about taking that artistic liberty, but I couldn't help myself. ;) I've included the unedited version as a bonus track for the purists who prefer to hear that.

Terry Britten was the band's main songwriter at this point. Unfortunately, after the band broke up near the end of 1968, he only put out a couple of singles before he more or less gave up performing and stuck just to songwriting. (As I mentioned in the previous post, he wrote some big hits for others.) Thanks to the help of a commenter named Big Gray, I found his three post-Twilights singles (released under the very-short-lived band Quartet), and I've included that at the end. Those  songs sound exactly like the other Twilights songs. The other single he did that I know of had the A-Side "Now" and the B-Side "Will My Lady Come."

The band's main singer Glenn Shorrock stayed busy with several bands and eventually found much bigger success with the Little River Band in the late 1970s. So I haven't included any of his post-Twilights material here.

01 Once upon a Twilight (Twilights)
02 What a Silly Thing to Do (Twilights)
03 Bessemae (Twilights)
04 Stop the World for a Day (Twilights)
05 Mr. Nice (Twilights)
06 Take Action (Twilights)
07 Blue Roundabout (Twilights)
08 Devendra (Twilights)
09 Found to Be Thrown Away (Twilights)
10 Tomorrow Is Today (Twilights)
11 Paternosta Row (Twilights)
12 Tell Me Goodbye (Twilights)
13 Comin' On Down [Edit] (Twilights)
14 Sand in the Sandwiches (Twilights)
15 Lotus (Twilights)
16 2000 Weeks (Terry Britten)
17 Bargain Day (Terry Britten)
18 Now (Quartet with Terry Britten)
19 Will My Lady Come (Quartet with Terry Britten)
20 Joseph (Quartet with Terry Britten)
21 Mama Where Did You Fail (Quartet with Terry Britten)

Comin' On Down (Twilights)

The album cover is the exact album cover that originally came out, with no changes.

The Twilights - Cathy Come Home - Non-Album Tracks (1965-1968)

Yesterday, I promised to post more 1960s music from Australia, but I got a bit distracted. Here it is. Maybe you haven't heard of the Twilights. I hadn't until a couple of years ago (as I write this). But possibly my favorite musical style is classic rock from the late 1960s, the kind similar to what the Beatles were doing then. It turns out there's a lot of that done very well outside of the US and Britain; it just that you have to dig a little deeper to find it. The Twilights are a very good example.

Unfortunately, the Twilights didn't have a long career. They were only together from 1964 to 1968. But one of the singer songwriters, Glenn Shorrock, when on to greater fame and fortune with Axiom and then the Little River Band. Another songwriter, Terry Britten, went on to write many songs for others, including the hits "Devil Woman" for Cliff Richard and "We Don't Need Another Hero" for Tina Turner. You can read more about the band at their Wikipedia page entry:

The Twilights - Wikipedia

They started out basically as an R&B band that mostly did covers, much like the Pretty Things, the Yardbirds, the early Rolling Stones, and many other British bands. But, like the best of those bands, they developed their own songwriting skills and transitioned around 1967 as psychedelic music briefly became the new trend. You can see the transition on this album. 

I didn't include all the songs they did; I only included the ones I like. In particular, I skipped a lot of the covers they did early on, because many of those are songs that have been played to death by others, such as "You Really Got a Hold on Me" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Instead, I concentrated on the songs they wrote, or songs especially written by others for them (such as "Long Life" written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees), plus some of the covers that they had hits with, like "Needle in a Haystack."

There are two songs at the end here that are technically by a band called "Pastoral Symphony." But no such band really existed. It was the Twilights collaborating with another Australian singer, Terry Walker, for one single. So I figured that was fit to be included.

The music here isn't all the band did. They released an acclaimed album in 1968, "Once Upon a Twilight," and a few singles after that. That'll come next.

The Twilights were so influenced by the Beatles that they got a copy of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" a few weeks early, and proceeded to play every single song on it, in order, in their concerts. I wish a recording of that existed. So if you're into that kind of music, like I am, you should enjoy this. The song "Cathy Come Home" in particular was a big hit and should be considered a classic.

01 I'll Be Where You Are (Twilights)
02 If She Finds Out (Twilights)
03 I Won't Be the Same Without Her (Twilights)
04 It's Dark (Twilights)
05 Needle in a Haystack (Twilights)
06 Long Life (Twilights)
07 Lucky Man (Twilights)
08 You Got Soul (Twilights)
09 What's Wrong with the Way I Live (Twilights)
10 9.50 (Twilights)
11 Young Girl (Twilights)
12 Time and Motion Study Man (Twilights)
13 Cathy Come Home (Twilights)
14 The Way They Play (Twilights)
15 Always (Twilights)
16 Love Machine (Pastoral Symphony [Terry Walker & the Twilights])
17 Spread a Little Love Around (Pastoral Symphony [Terry Walker & the Twilights])

For the album cover, I used the cover of the "Cathy Come Home" with a few minor changes. I removed the record company logo, since they didn't put that on their other albums. I removed the name of the B-Side, and doubled to name of the A-Side, "Cathy Came Home," to cover up for that.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Easybeats - BBC Sessions, 1966-1968

Today is kind of "Australia in the 1960s" day at this blog, because I have three albums to post from that time and place. In my opinion, a lot of good music gets missed because a particular talented artist might only be well known in one country and not another. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet and other mass communication, country borders don't matter nearly as much when it comes to music. But things were very different in the 1960s, when a musician could be huge in one country and almost unheard of everywhere else.

A good case in point is the Easybeats. They were sort of the Beatles of Australia in the 1960s, complete with lots of hits and hordes of screaming girls at their concerts. But, like the Beatles, the adulation was deserved, because they were the most talented group around. In 1966, they relocated to Britain to try to make it there too. They were only partially successful. They had one song, "Friday on My Mind," that was such a natural classic that it was a big hit in Britain and even the US. But aside from that, they had 15 hits in total in Australia and only one more in Britain. 

Here's their Wikipedia article if you want to know more about them:

The Easybeats - Wikipedia

Luckily, for us, the fact that they spent a lot of time in Britain from 1966 to 1968 means they recorded enough performances at the BBC for a BBC collection. Unfortunately, the Easybeats have been treated shabbily by record companies, both back then and continuing through to today. There is one official album that includes most of their BBC performances, called "Live - Studio and Stage." But the sound quality for those was only okay. Thankfully, some person named Q has stepped forward and created a much better BBC album for the band. I've used the Q versions of the songs whenever possible over the official ones. I've also added five songs that Q didn't include, which are the few good TV or radio performances I could find of other songs. Some of those were done in front of audiences and have a bit of audience cheering on them.

As is usually the case with BBC recordings, many of the songs had BBC DJs talking over the music.  There were six such songs here; they have "[Edit]" in the title. I used the X-Minus audio editing program to remove the talking while keeping the underlying music.

Speaking of that song, "I Keep Forgettin'" is a cover that the band never recorded in the studio. So is "Old McDonald Had a Farm," of all things! In both cases, they spiced the songs up by adding reggae-influenced rhythms to them. "Mother-in-Law" is another cover unique for the BBC that was done in a more typical manner. And "River Deep, Mountain High" is also a cover, but one that they did an album version of. I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think all the other songs are originals, minus the "Batman" snippet in one song.

"Friday on My Mind" is a great song, an all-time classic, and chances are good you know that one. But if that's all you know, trust me, the band is much more than a one-hit wonder. As far as 1960s bands go, I have a top tier of bands with the Beatles, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, and the Who in it. The Easybeats aren't at the level, but I'd put them on the second tier, with the likes of the Hollies, the Small Faces, the Move, and so on.

This album is 54 minutes long, not including the bonus tracks.  If you don't know the band well, this would serve as a good intro, though it's missing many of their top songs.

The band played about five songs twice for the BBC (I think the duplicates were "Friday on My Mind," "Pretty Girl," "Falling Off the Edge of the World," "Hello, Hard Are You," and "What in the World"). I'm against repeating the same song twice on an album unless there are significant differences between the versions, so I only included one of each of those on the main album. However, I've included the second versions of two songs as bonus tracks.

01 She's So Fine (Easybeats)
02 Made My Bed, Gonna Lie in It (Easybeats)
03 Pretty Girl (Easybeats)
04 Friday on My Mind (Easybeats)
05 Sorry [Edit] (Easybeats)
06 Lovin' Machine - Batman - Lovin' Machine (Easybeats)
07 Saturday Night [Edit] (Easybeats)
08 Mother-In-Law (Easybeats)
09 Who'll Be the One (Easybeats)
10 In My Book (Easybeats)
11 I'll Make You Happy (Easybeats)
12 River Deep, Mountain High [Edit] (Easybeats)
13 Heaven and Hell (Easybeats)
14 I Keep Forgettin' [Edit] (Easybeats)
15 Falling Off the Edge of the World [Edit] (Easybeats)
16 Hello, How Are You (Easybeats)
17 Old MacDonald Had a Farm [Edit] (Easybeats)
18 Down to the Last 500 (Easybeats)
19 What in the World [Edit] (Easybeats)
20 Good Times (Easybeats)

Falling Off the Edge of the World (Easybeats)
Friday on My Mind (Easybeats)

I don't know who this Q person is, but he or she rocks. In addition to coming up with the best versions of most of these songs, as mentioned above, Q also made some excellent cover art. I'm using that with only the minor edit of changing the text from "1966-68" to "1966-1968."

Brinsley Schwarz - You Got Me Hummin' - Non-Album Tracks (1972-1974)

Sometimes, when I post a stray tracks album here, I think I'm all done finding the rarities of a particular musical artist... and then later I find a bunch more. Occasionally, I find so many that two albums I made turn into three, with a "new" one in the middle. That's the case here, even though I only had a total of two Brinsley Schwarz stray tracks albums prior to this. So this isn't really a "new" Brinsley Schwarz collection so much as I have a bunch of new songs scattered through the three albums and you need to download or redownload all three to get them all.

To help you with that, here are the links to the other two:

Brinsley Schwarz are not a well known band, since they only existed from 1970 to 1975 and never had a big hit. But if you like Nick Lowe's music as a solo artist or part of Rockpile you should like this, because Lowe was the main singer and songwriter for this band. Because this band's popularity is limited, it's really hard to find all their unreleased rarities. I've found a lot more than before, but there are still some that I've only heard of and apparently just exist in private collections. If you have some of those and want to share, please let me know.

I believe three of the songs here are new ("The Old Country," "That's What It Takes," and "Murder on My Mind"). But there are more on the other two volumes in this series, for instance, four new ones on the first album. So, again, make sure you get the latest versions of all three.

In any case, this is more fun and rocking music, and the sound quality is generally very good. I suspect the reason that more of these didn't get on the band's studio albums is because most of them are cover versions, whereas the albums are mostly filled with originals. But these guys had great taste in covers, especially obscure ones.

01 What Would You Do (Brinsley Schwarz)
02 The Old Country (Brinsley Schwarz)
03 That's What It Takes (Brinsley Schwarz)
04 Having a Party (Brinsley Schwarz)
05 You Got Me Hummin' (Brinsley Schwarz)
06 Mama Told Me Not to Come (Brinsley Schwarz)
07 I'm Gonna Make You Love Me (Brinsley Schwarz)
08 Hypocrite (Brinsley Schwarz)
09 You Never Can Tell (Brinsley Schwarz)
10 Wait (Brinsley Schwarz)
11 Run Rudolph Run (Brinsley Schwarz)
12 Murder on My Mind (Brinsley Schwarz)
13 [It's Gonna Be A] Bring Down (Brinsley Schwarz)
14 Love Is Gone (Brinsley Schwarz)

I'm not sure what the deal with the cover art is. It totally looks like an album cover from an earlier era in my opinion, but it wasn't. Instead, it seems to have been some kind of promo art put out by the record company. I cropped the image from a slightly larger picture and replaced some other text with the album name near the bottom. Otherwise, it's just like I found it.

Friday, February 19, 2021

The Moody Blues - Ce Soir on Danse, ORTF, Paris, France, 7-13-1968

As I mentioned in a recent blog post, I'm working on posting some more Moody Blues music. As part of putting that together, I came across a very interesting concert recording from them that I never knew existed. It's got great sound quality and comes from a time when there are very few live recordings, even as bootlegs. So here you go.

You might say this is officially released, but just barely. In 2018, a super deluxe edition of the band's 1968 album "In Search of the Lost Chord" was released. As part of that, it contained two DVDs. One of them had the video footage of this concert. I've converted it to mp3 files. I don't believe this was available anywhere as music files until now.

This is a very interesting concert, because it combines the music of the first and second versions of the band. Basically, from 1964 to 1966, the Moody Blues were one of many R&B based British bands, best known for their hit "Go Now." At the start of 1967, they lost two band members and gained two others, including Justin Hayward, who would be the main singer and songwriter. The band was practically reborn into a different style of lush and somewhat poppy prog rock.

At the time of this concert, the band had released their 1967 album "Days of Future Passed," but they hadn't released any music in 1968 yet. This concert took place in France, and that's important. They were much more popular as a R&B act in France than anywhere else, thanks to their 1966 single "Bye Bye Bird," a cover of a song by blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson, which hit number one in France but stiffed everywhere else. Thus, they played "Bye Bye Bird" and other songs in that R&B style, even though they no longer had their lead singer (Denny Laine) from their R&B era. This was probably the very last gasp of the band with even one foot in that earlier mode.

I broke the video up into the songs listed below. The sound quality is excellent, because the concert was recorded for a French TV show. There are no talking tracks between songs, because the band members hardly said a single word, other than the occasional "thank you." I'm guessing maybe they worried the French audience wouldn't understand them. 

If you look at the song list, you might notice they played "Nights in White Satin" twice. Normally I hate to have the same song twice on an album, but since that's what they did, I'm leaving in both versions. Of course it makes sense that they particularly wanted to promote that classic song. Also, note that the band didn't exactly play "God Save the Queen" (which by the way has the same melody as "My Country 'Tis of Thee"). That song is listed because there was about a minute of drumming as the next song started, and somehow the melody to that song can be clearly heard. So it's more like a snippet of that song briefly and accidentally happened.

I've added two extra songs at the end as quasi-bonus tracks. These two come from a different appearance on the same French TV station a few months later. Both of those songs are from their next album "In Search of the Lost Chord" because it finally got released in the meanwhile. There's no applause after those songs because there was no studio audience, apparently.

Oh, by the way, the song "Beautiful Dream" is a song by band member John Lodge that has never been officially released in any form except on the DVD mentioned above. 

The main concert is 46 minutes long, but this album is 53 minutes long if you count the two extra songs as well.

01 Tuesday Afternoon [Forever Afternoon] (Moody Blues)
02 Nights in White Satin (Moody Blues)
03 Legend of a Mind (Moody Blues)
04 Bye Bye Bird (Moody Blues)
05 God Save the Queen [Instrumental] (Moody Blues)
06 Fly Me High (Moody Blues)
07 I’ve Got a Dream (Moody Blues)
08 Beautiful Dream (Moody Blues)
09 Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Moody Blues)
10 Peak Hour (Moody Blues)
11 Nights in White Satin (Moody Blues)
12 Dr. Livingstone, I Presume (Moody Blues)
13 Ride My See Saw (Moody Blues)

I have to admit I kind of got lazy with the album cover art. I wanted to use an image from the exact concert in question, which is possible since one can watch it on DVD. But the show was only recorded in black and white, and I hate black and white album covers, so I decided to take a screenshot and colorize it. I took a screenshot of just Justin Hayward instead of the whole band because the band was playing in a crowded room with people on all sides, and colorizing all the band members and lots of the audience on top of that would have been too much trouble for me. I chose a rare angle where there was nothing but darkness behind him, again 'cos it was the easiest way to go.

I took the band name font and style from that same DVD. I also took the cursive title of the TV show from the DVD too. Note the lack of a capital "D" in "danse" is exactly how it appeared on screen, so that isn't my fault. I added in the line of text below the TV show name in the same font.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Simon & Garfunkel - Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 5-2-1970

When it comes to posting concerts here, I only want to post the best of the best. There are way too many mediocre to poor sounding bootlegs out there. Plus, if there are good official albums available, I don't want to post something that substantially duplicates that.

That second issue is why I've never posted a Simon & Garfunkel concert here before. There's a bunch of official live material out there from their 1960s heyday. But here's one concert that's different and worthy of having. This, admittedly, is similar to the official album "Live 1969." But that was taken from a bunch of 1969 concerts. This is one 1970 concert presented in its entirety. 

Their album "Bridge Over Troubled Water' was released in January 1970, and was a massive critical and commercial success, going on to sell over 25 million copies. But the duo were on the verge of breaking up, and did so later that year. They only performed 10 concerts in 1970. Luckily, one of them, this one, was bootlegged as a soundboard, so the sound quality is top notch. 

The only thing I didn't like about the recording is that the duo were so popular that the applause after some songs went on and on and on! I edited some of that down, because I didn't want to hear a minute or more of cheering and clapping, which was the case for some of the songs towards the end of the show.

This concert isn't super vital, since the song list is quite similar to the "Live 1969" one. But I prefer this one to that one, mostly because it's a single concert instead of a selection. 

This album is an hour and 13 minutes long. And, in case you missed the label on this post, it's an acoustic performance, with just Simon and Garfunkel (plus a pianist for the song "Bridge Over Troubled Water").

01 The Boxer (Simon & Garfunkel)
02 Homeward Bound (Simon & Garfunkel)
03 Fakin' It (Simon & Garfunkel)
04 talk (Simon & Garfunkel)
05 The 59th Street Bridge Song [Feelin' Groovy] (Simon & Garfunkel)
06 talk (Simon & Garfunkel)
07 That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine (Simon & Garfunkel)
08 I Am a Rock (Simon & Garfunkel)
09 talk (Simon & Garfunkel)
10 For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her (Simon & Garfunkel)
11 Mrs. Robinson (Simon & Garfunkel)
12 talk (Simon & Garfunkel)
13 Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel)
14 El Condor Pasa [If I Could] (Simon & Garfunkel)
15 Leaves that Are Green (Simon & Garfunkel)
16 Punky's Dilemma (Simon & Garfunkel)
17 America (Simon & Garfunkel)
18 talk (Simon & Garfunkel)
19 So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright (Simon & Garfunkel)
20 Song for the Asking (Simon & Garfunkel)
21 A Poem on the Underground Wall (Simon & Garfunkel)
22 talk (Simon & Garfunkel)
23 Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel)
24 The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)
25 Bye Bye Love (Simon & Garfunkel)
26 Old Friends - Bookends (Simon & Garfunkel)

The cover art photo was taken in Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 28, 1970, just a few days before the concert included here.

The Kinks - BBC Sessions, Volume 9: 1981-1993

A year or two ago as I write this, I posted four albums of the Kinks performing for the BBC. Those albums went from the start of their career to 1978. I searched around and thought that was all there was, except for some 1993, the year of their last studio album "Phobia." However, since then, I've found enough material to make two more volumes in this series. Here's one of 'em.

Before I continue, I have to explain a bit about naming and numbering. When I posted those four previous BBC volumes, I called them "At the BBC," in line with the official Kinks BBC box set. But that's confusing, and I've tended to call my other BBC albums for other bands "BBC Sessions," so I've renamed everything in this series to that new name. Secondly, as I said, originally there were four albums chronologically before this one, but now there are six. That's because it occurred to me that two of the Kinks concerts I'd posted were performed for BBC radio, so those should be part of this series. Thus, I've renamed the 1974 Hippodrome concert and the 1977 Christmas concert. That makes this one Volume 7.

Oh, by the way, while I was doing all that renaming and renumbering, I decided to improve the cover art for each one too. Previously, all but the first one had black and white photos of the band. I decided I could do better, and I replaced all of them with color photos (including the first one, because I found a better photo). So you might want to check those out. The music in each album is the same, though I've updated the mp3 tags to reflect the new album titles, and adjust the volume balance between songs as well.

With that out of the way, let me finally get to the music here. In fact, the Kinks didn't perform for the BBC for all of the 1980s. But I was able to fill in that gap with some other TV or radio performances. For instance, they played on the US TV show "Saturday Night Live" in 1981 and again in 1984. Even so, the 1980s fly by fairly quickly with only seven songs here. The last five songs are from 1993, and mostly do come from BBC performances. There are lots more songs from the 1990s though, enough for me to justify another volume in this series after this one. I plan on posting that soon.

In terms of sound quality, all of the songs here are officially unreleased. But because they're from TV or radio shows, they generally sound very good, though some sound better than others.

UPDATE: On November 29, 2022, I updated the mp3 download file. I didn't change the music. But I made a 1975 concert a part of the Kinks BBC series, and I added a 1980 BBC concert, so I had to renumber all the volumes after that. That meant a changed title, changed cover art, and changed mp3 tags.

01 Destroyer (Kinks)
02 Art Lover (Kinks)
03 Do It Again (Kinks)
04 Word of Mouth (Kinks)
05 Lost and Found (Kinks)
06 Think Visual (Kinks)
07 How Do I Get Close (Ray Davies)
08 Scattered (Kinks)
09 Hatred [A Duet] (Kinks)
10 Only a Dream (Kinks)
11 Somebody Stole My Car (Kinks)
12 Drift Away (Kinks)

I'm not sure what year the cover art photo was taken. But judging by the band members and their clothes and hair, I'm sure it's from the 1980s.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Norah Jones - Home Concerts 14, New York City, 11-12-2020 to 12-24-2020

I'm happy to be presenting the next in my long series of Norah Jones home concert albums. But there's bad news in that this might be the last one. The number of songs she did in her home concerts slowed down in November and December 2020, ending with a Christmas song the day before Christmas. When she posted that, she said she would be back with more in 2021, but it's mid-February 2021 as I write this, and she hasn't done any of her usual weekly home concert shows. 

By now, if you've listened to some of the albums in this series, you should know the drill. She plays all the songs alone on either piano or guitar. Everything is officially unreleased, but the sound quality is pretty good. Most of the songs were done by her in different formats before, but there are four here that seem to be new: "What a Difference a Day Makes," I'll Fly Away," "Blue Christmas," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." During this time period, she did repeat some songs she played in previous home concerts, but I didn't include any of those duplicates.

I've added in two songs she did at a Tom Petty tribute concert in October 2020 as bonus tracks. They sound just as good as the others, but they're only bonus tracks because A) they weren't done as part of her home concert series and B) I've posted them on a different album already.

This album is 42 minutes long, not including the bonus tracks.

01 You Are Not Alone (Norah Jones)
02 Until the End (Norah Jones)
03 Don’t Know What It Means (Norah Jones)
04 What a Difference a Day Makes (Norah Jones)
05 [Talk to Me Of] Mendocino (Norah Jones)
06 Hurts to Be Alone (Norah Jones)
07 Space Captain (Norah Jones)
08 talk (Norah Jones)
09 I'll Fly Away (Norah Jones)
10 Blue Christmas (Norah Jones)
11 talk (Norah Jones)
12 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Norah Jones)

Only a Broken Heart (Norah Jones)
Time to Move On (Norah Jones)

Re: the album cover art, I got tired of using screenshots from her home concerts, since those look very similar to each other. Instead, I searched Norah Jones's Instagram, and found this artistic photo looking at her at the piano through a window. It dates from September 2020.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Richard & Linda Thompson - BBC Sessions, Volume 4: 1981-1982

Here's the fourth and final album in my album series of Richard and Linda Thompson performing for the BBC. If you liked any of the first three, this is more of the same good stuff.

The only album this duo released in 1981 or 1982 is the great album "Shoot Out the Lights" in 1982. So you might expect to see a lot of songs from that. In fact, only three songs come from it ("Just the Motion," "Shoot Out the Lights," and "A Man in Need"). Instead, the songs are from all points in their musical careers, even including a song from when Richard Thompson was in Fairport Convention ("Sloth").

Technically, only one of the songs is officially unreleased, but that depends on what you think of a DVD release. Eight of the 12 songs come from an officially released DVD, but I had to convert them to mp3 format. The vast majority of the songs were broadcast on the BBC, though the last one was broadcast on a US radio station. All of the songs have excellent sound. As with the rest of this series, I stripped the audience applause at the end. And, like the rest of the series, I doubt you'd even notice these came from a concert with an audience if I didn't mention it, because the audience stayed so quiet during the songs and the sound is so good.

01 Just the Motion (Richard & Linda Thompson)
02 Night Comes In (Richard & Linda Thompson)
03 I'm a Dreamer (Richard & Linda Thompson)
04 I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (Richard & Linda Thompson)
05 Shoot Out the Lights (Richard & Linda Thompson)
06 You're Going to Need Somebody (Richard & Linda Thompson)
07 Dargai [Instrumental] (Richard & Linda Thompson)
08 Dimming of the Day (Richard & Linda Thompson)
09 Time to Ring Some Changes (Richard & Linda Thompson)
10 A Man in Need (Richard & Linda Thompson)
11 Withered and Died (Richard & Linda Thompson)
12 Sloth (Richard & Linda Thompson)

For the album cover, I took a couple of screenshots from the DVD mentioned above. One was of Richard and the other was of Linda. In Photoshop, I adjusted things so they would be close to each other (instead of widely separated on stage as they actually were).  The odd coloring is due to colored stage lights.

Morgan James - Valentine's Day Love Songs, Home Concert, New York City, 2-14-2021

As I write this, the coronavirus pandemic situation is improving, but it's far from over. In terms of music, some artists have resumed performing concerts, presumably with social distancing precautions in place,  but many have not. So the home concert trend continues. There aren't nearly as many as there were in the middle of 2020, but much of that is because the musicians who got serious about doing them decided to monetize them, offering pay to listen/view performances in lieu of having traditional concerts in front of audiences.

Morgan James is a case in point. She posted a lot of free material on YouTube in the first months of the pandemic (which I haven't gotten around to posting here yet, but I will). Then she switched to posting one concert a week that one has to pay for through StageIt, with each one having a different musical theme. I don't want to hinder an artist's effort to make a living through such things, so I won't be posting any of those (except perhaps way afterwards, when they've long stopped being offered for money). However, two days ago she posted one of her weekly shows for free on YouTube, so I consider that fair game.

This show took place on Valentine's Day, so it has a love songs theme. There's not much else to say, except that the sound quality is excellent, and all the songs are performed with just the voices of Morgan James and sometimes her husband Doug Wamble, plus a single acoustic guitar played by Wamble. I included all the music, but I cut out a few minutes of the banter between songs. I removed bits that I didn't think would have replay value, such as a complaint about a spammer or some thanks to specific people who donated some money while listening.

This album is 54 minutes long.

Here's a list of the original artists that made these songs well known:

01 L-O-V-E [L Is for the Way You Look at Me] - Nat King Cole
03 Let's Stay Together - Al Green
05 Feel like Makin' Love - Roberta Flack
07 Your Song - Elton John
09 Make You Feel My Love - Bob Dylan
11 Knocks Me Off My Feet - Stevie Wonder
13 I Will - Beatles
15 The Very Thought of You - Ray Noble with Al Bowlly
16 The Nearness of You - Glenn Miller with Ray Eberle
18 Love Is Here to Stay - George & Ira Gershwin / Gene Kelly
20 My Funny Valentine - Rodgers & Hart / Chet Baker
22 Oh Me, Oh My [I'm a Fool for You Baby] - Lulu / Aretha Franklin
24 Sara Smile - Hall & Oates
26 God Only Knows - Beach Boys
28 Love Will Keep Us Alive - Eagles

And here's the usual song list:

01 L-O-V-E [L Is for the Way You Look at Me] (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
02 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
03 Let's Stay Together (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
04 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
05 Feel like Makin' Love (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
06 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
07 Your Song (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
08 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
09 Make You Feel My Love (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
10 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
11 Knocks Me Off My Feet (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
12 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
13 I Will (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
14 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
15 The Very Thought of You (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
16 The Nearness of You (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
17 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
18 Love Is Here to Stay (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
19 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
20 My Funny Valentine (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
21 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
22 Oh Me, Oh My [I'm a Fool for You Baby] (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
23 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
24 Sara Smile (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
25 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
26 God Only Knows (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
27 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
28 Love Will Keep Us Alive (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)
29 talk (Morgan James with Doug Wamble)

I made the cover from a screenshot of the YouTube video of this concert.

Bob Seger - Back in '72 (1973)

Here's something else from Bob Seger while I'm at it. As I mentioned previously, all of Seger's albums through 1973 remain officially out of print. I got a request from my musical associate Lil Panda to post all of one of them, "Back in '72" from 1973. He thinks it's a particularly strong album, so if you only get one of the out of print albums, it should be the one. Indeed, if you look at the crowd sourced ratings of all his albums at, this album gets the third highest rating of all his studio albums, behind only "Night Moves" from 1976 and "Stranger in Town" from 1978.

Lil Panda sent me his version of the album, which is the best quality version he could find. So that's what I'm sharing here. 

By the way, I have four of the songs here on the second early best of album that I just posted: "Rosalie," "Back in '72," "I've Been Working," and "Turn the Page."

This album is 35 minutes long.

01 Midnight Rider (Bob Seger)
02 So I Wrote You A Song (Bob Seger)
03 Stealer (Bob Seger)
04 Rosalie (Bob Seger)
05 Turn the Page (Bob Seger)
06 Back in '72 (Bob Seger)
07 Neon Sky (Bob Seger)
08 I've Been Working (Bob Seger)
09 I've Got Time (Bob Seger)

The cover is the exact same as the original without any changes.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Bob Seger - Best of the Early Years, Volume 2 (1971-1973)

A couple of days ago, I posted the Volume 1 to this blog. My explanation from that remains the same here. Bob Seger wasn't well known outside of his home town of Detroit until he hit it big around 1975. Later, after he became a rock superstar, he decided he didn't like his early albums and let all of them from 1973 and earlier go out of print. Amazingly, they're still out of print and not well known decades later. So this compiles the second half of what I consider the best songs from his out of print era.

All of the songs come from three albums, except for "Lookin' Back," which was an A-side in 1971. The three albums are: "Brand New Morning" in 1971, "Smokin' OPs" in 1972, and "Back in '72" in 1973. "Brand New Morning" is a solo acoustic album (though against Seger's wishes, as the record company released his demos without his permission), "Smokin' OPs" is a covers album, and "Back in '72" is a more typical rocking album mostly made of originals. 

The songs "If I Were a Carpenter," "Love the One You're With" and "I've Been Working" are covers; the rest are originals. A live version of the last song, "Turn the Page," would become a rock classic when it was released on the album "Live Bullet" in 1976. But this is the original studio version.

By the way, for the time period of album and the previous Best Of, Seger's backing back went under different name, such as Bob Seger and the Last Heard, the Bob Seger System, and Bob Seger and the Borneo Band. His more famous Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band wouldn't be formed until 1974. For simplicity's sake, I just label everything as "Bob Seger."

01 Brand New Morning (Bob Seger)
02 Railroad Days (Bob Seger)
03 Sometimes (Bob Seger)
04 Lookin' Back (Bob Seger)
05 If I Were a Carpenter (Bob Seger)
06 Love the One You're With (Bob Seger)
07 Back in '72 (Bob Seger)
08 I've Been Working (Bob Seger)
09 Rosalie (Bob Seger)
10 Turn the Page (Bob Seger)

The cover art photo was taken at a concert in Lakeview High School in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, some point in 1973.