Thursday, September 30, 2021

Aretha Franklin - Tree of Life - Non-Album Tracks (1972-1973)

Aretha Franklin released studio albums in 1972 and 1973. But she easily had enough material for another album, as you can see here.

The first seven songs, plus the last one, all come from the archival release "Rare and Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Age of the Queen of Soul." The next two come, "How I Got Over" and "Old Landmark," from the live album "Amazing Grace." I know lots of people rave about that album, but I'm not into gospel music. These two songs are ones I like, probably because they're more lively. In fact, I believe James Brown performed "Old Landmark" in the 1980 movie "The Blues Brothers."

The song "Somethin' Stupid" stupid is an unreleased studio outtake. Frank Sinatra and his daughter Nancy had a big hit with it in 1967.  "It Takes Two to Tango" is an unreleased duet between Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, from a 1973 TV show.

This album is 42 minutes long.

01 Sweetest Smile and the Funkiest Style (Aretha Franklin)
02 This Is (Aretha Franklin)
03 Do You Know (Aretha Franklin)
04 Tree of Life (Aretha Franklin)
05 Can You Love Again (Aretha Franklin)
06 I Want to Be with You (Aretha Franklin)
07 Suzanne (Aretha Franklin)
08 How I Got Over (Aretha Franklin)
09 Old Landmark (Aretha Franklin)
10 Somethin' Stupid (Aretha Franklin)
11 It Takes Two to Tango (Aretha Franklin & Ray Charles)
12 The Happy Blues (Aretha Franklin)

I gave this album the title "Tree of Life" because that's the name of one of the songs in it, and it sounds like a worthy album title to me. After I did that and I considered what the album cover should be, I decided to go for a literal interpretation instead of using a photo of Franklin, as I'd usually do. I did an image search for the phrase "tree of life," and found a painting by Lioudmila Perry by that name that I liked. I hope she doesn't mind me using it for the cover. If so, I'd be happy to change it to something else.

Bob Dylan - The Gaslight Cafe, New York City, 10-15-1962

In the past few days, I've really gotten into a Bob Dylan mood, so I'm going to post a bunch of his stuff soon (knock on wood). He's been very prolific for many decades, and much of his interesting music hasn't made it to his official albums. So there's a lot from him that's worth posting.

This album is a case in point. In October 1962, Dylan played at the Gaslight Cafe in New York City. A professional sound engineer, Richard Alderson, patched a reel-to-reel tape recorder into the P.A. system to record these shows. If you don't know what that means, basically, that's as good of a soundboard as you could hope to get with 1962 technology and expertise. And sure enough, these songs sound great. An album of the concert called "Live at the Gaslight 1962" was released in 2005. End of story, right?

Wait. Not so fast. For starters, the official album only included 10 of the 17 known recorded songs. That means it's only 46 minutes long, when the full recording is an hour and five minutes long. The other songs eventually did get officially released, but only as part of the "50th Anniversary Collection," which was sold in extremely limited numbers (maybe 100 or so) for an extremely limited time to allow the record company to retain the copyrights on the performances. 

I've compiled the full recording here. But there's another big problem. For whatever reason, on all known versions, there's no banter between songs, and the starts and ends of the songs are often abruptly faded in or faded out. It could be the taper had a limited amount of tape and was trying hard to save it to squeeze more songs in - that happened a lot with bootleg recordings back in those days. But for whatever reason, the editing was so severe that most of the songs were lacking a few seconds either at the beginnings or the ends.

So I got to work. Although my sound editing skills are very basic, this is the kind of thing I can tinker with. Songs have repetitive patterns, so I usually was able to take a section in one part of a song and move that to another part of the song to fill in the missing bits. As you can see, I have "[Edit]" added to 12 of the 17 songs. But in fact I think I made little tweaks to all of the songs, but the others weren't as significant. Now, when you listen, the songs sound complete, with proper beginnings and ends. There's only one or two, with "Barbara Allen" being such a case, where I couldn't come up with a clear ending, so I had the song fade out. But even in those cases the endings are longer by a few seconds and sound more natural instead of abrupt.

Here's another twist to this recording. Due to the way it was recorded as described above, there is virtually no audience response captured whatsoever. No clapping, no coughing, no talking, nothing. Basically, this whole thing sounds exactly like versions professionally recorded in a studio. There were two songs where a bit of clapping could be heard during the fade out. ("John Brown" was one; I forget the other.) But I removed that during my editing. The only instance in this whole album where I hear any audience noise is in a couple of the choruses of "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," where you can faintly hear the audience singing along.

As a result of that, plus the total lack of banter, in my mind I treat this like a collection of studio takes instead of a concert. These sound just as good and clear as anything he was putting on his albums at the time. However, many of these never actually got studio versions, so these will suffice. 

Four of the songs are Dylan originals: "John Brown," "The Ballad of Hollis Brown," "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right." Furthermore, "Rocks and Gravel" is credited as an original, but it's mostly a medley of two traditional songs, "Solid Road" and "Alabama Woman." The originals have all been officially released in other versions, but most of the covers have not. By the way, note that "Ain't No More Cane" would be revived and done in a very different arrangement for the classic "Basement Tapes" Dylan did with the Band in 1967.

Another complication is that some say this comes from one concert, and others say two concerts on different nights. Dylan played at the Gaslight Cafe at least twice in October 1962. I don't know if it's one concert or two, and it probably doesn't ultimately matter. But maybe it's one, because one quirk is that none of the songs feature his harmonica playing, so maybe it was recorded on a night when he forgot to bring one. That helps make these versions unique, because he often did more on guitar where the harmonica breaks normally would be. That said, I've used the song order favored by those who claim it comes from two sources. Songs one through ten are said to have come from the first source and the rest from the second.

By the way, Dylan's songwriting was hitting new heights around this time. It is probable that this is the first performance of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" in front of an audience, and the second such performance of "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." Of course, both are considered classics today.

01 Motherless Children (Bob Dylan)
02 Handsome Molly [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
03 John Brown [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
04 The Ballad of Hollis Brown (Bob Dylan)
05 Kind-Hearted Woman Blues [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
06 See that My Grave Is Kept Clean (Bob Dylan)
07 Ain't No More Cane (Bob Dylan)
08 Cocaine Blues [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
09 The Cuckoo [Is a Pretty Bird] [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
10 West Texas [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
11 A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
12 Don't Think Twice, It's All Right [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
13 Black Cross [Hezikiah Jones] [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
14 No More Auction Block [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
15 Rocks and Gravel [Solid Road - Alabama Woman] (Bob Dylan)
16 Barbara Allen [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
17 Moonshiner [Edit] (Bob Dylan)

I'm not a fan of the cover of the official "Live at the Gaslight 1962" album, so I've made my own. This uses a photo of Dylan playing at Gerde's Folk City, another New York City club, just one month later. There are no known color photos of him in concert from this time period, so I colorized it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Bob Dylan - Carnegie Chapter Hall, New York City, 11-4-1961

I'm making an effort to post some more Bob Dylan concerts, since I haven't posted many so far. He's got a zillion recorded concerts that one can find on the Internet, so one can easily get overwhelmed by the choices. I want to help by offering only the best of the best. I didn't know about this particular concert until a few days ago, when I stumbled across a list by Rolling Stone Magazine of what some writer considered the 10 best Dylan concert recordings of all time. I gave it a listen, and I was stunned by the sound quality, performance, and historical importance. How the heck is this concert not better known?!

This appears to be Dylan's first real concert as a headliner. Prior to this, he'd played in clubs in New York City for about ten months, but those generally were low-key affairs, with different artists on the bill, and a hat passed around for tips. This was different. To boost his profile, Izzy Young, a Dylan supporter who owned the local folk club The Folklore Center, helped him rent a venue that was part of the prestigious Carnegie Hall. Note though, this wasn't held in THE main Carnegie Hall venue, which seats thousands. This was in the same complex, but a much smaller room, basically a rehearsal room on the sixth floor that seated only a maximum of about 200 people. Still, Dylan was trying to make a statement with this show.

Unfortunately, only about 50 people showed up, and nearly all of them were friends either of Dylan or of his long-time girlfriend, Suze Rotolo. (She's pictured with him on the cover of his album "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.") Apparently, Young spent about $100 to make the show happen, and lost most of that due to the poor attendance. (Yet he was still nice enough to give Dylan $20 of the supposed profit.) But luckily, the show was recorded in fantastic sound quality. I am amazed this is from 1961! Since this was Dylan's first concert, he and/or his friends must have gone to great lengths to record it properly, probably so he could analyze his performance to help him make improvements.

Strangely, only one song from this concert has been officially released: the Woody Guthrie classic "This Land Is Your Land" came out on the "Bootleg Series, Volume 7: No Direction Home." So that suggests the record company has the full show, but apparently they continue to just sit on it. Over time, bits and pieces of the concert have leaked onto bootlegs, but six songs remain missing: "San Francisco Bay Blues," "Car Song," "Sally Gal," "Pretty Polly," "The House of the Rising Sun," and "The Cuckoo (Is a Pretty Bird)." Hopefully, those will appear someday.

I don't mind the missing songs that much though, because the concert is still a hefty hour and 18 minutes long without them. At the time, Dylan was mostly doing covers. But four of the songs here are originals: "Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues," "Man on the Street," "Song to Woody," and "Talking New York." He must have been very nervous, but it doesn't show much. One nice aspect of this concert is that he talked before most of the songs. Six of the songs (including two of the originals) would appear on his first album, 1962's "Bob Dylan," but many of the others have never been officially released and often only appear on bootleg in excellent quality in this show.

The one key snag with the recording has to do with the first song, "Pretty Peggy-O." The sound quality was fine, but the volume went up and down in waves. I was able to fix that though by making careful volume adjustments throughout the song. That's why it has "[Edit]" in the title. Also, at times, the guitar sound overloads the microphone a bit, but that's a minor quibble considering how primitive concert recording equipment was in the early 1960s. Oh, also, I occasionally cut out some excess guitar tuning between songs, but never any of his banter.

If you're a Dylan fan, this concert is a must have. I have to agree with Rolling Stone Magazine that this is one of his top ten concert recordings, period. True, it's mostly covers, and the originals aren't famous ones, but is probably the best document of very early Dylan, over all the other recording that exist from 1961 or earlier, and even over most of the stuff from 1962.

With this show, Dylan's music career was on its way. He would return to play a sold out show in the main Carnegie Hall venue in October 1963, a little less than two years later.

UPDATE: On November 18, 2021, I updated the mp3 download file. Alert commenter Charles Fontaine found an article talking about the opening of the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, scheduled to take place in May 2022. The article talked about some rarities that will be available at the center, and included an mp3 of the previously unbootlegged "He Was a Friend of Mine" from this show as an example. So I've added it in where it belongs in the set list. It only had a second of cheering when the song ended, so I used the cheering of another song from earlier in the concert to make up for that.

Up above, I had listed the seven songs that were still missing from this concert. I was able to edit that down to six. Hopefully, the others will become available once the Bob Dylan Center opens to the public.

01 Pretty Peggy-O [Edit] (Bob Dylan)
02 talk (Bob Dylan)
03 In the Pines (Bob Dylan)
04 Gospel Plow (Bob Dylan)
05 talk (Bob Dylan)
06 1913 Massacre (Bob Dylan)
07 talk (Bob Dylan)
08 Backwater Blues (Bob Dylan)
09 talk (Bob Dylan)
10 A Long Time A-Growin' (Bob Dylan)
11 Fixin' to Die (Bob Dylan)
12 talk (Bob Dylan)
13 Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues (Bob Dylan)
14 talk (Bob Dylan)
15 Man on the Street (Bob Dylan)
16 This Land Is Your Land (Bob Dylan)
17 talk (Bob Dylan)
18 Talking Merchant Marine (Bob Dylan)
19 talk (Bob Dylan)
20 Black Cross [Hezikiah Jones] (Bob Dylan)
21 He Was a Friend of Mine (Bob Dylan)
22 talk (Bob Dylan)
23 Freight Train Blues (Bob Dylan)
24 talk (Bob Dylan)
25 Song to Woody (Bob Dylan)
26 talk (Bob Dylan)
27 Talking New York (Bob Dylan)

In an attempt to get more people to the concert, Izzy Young made a handbill and distributed it around town. Apparently, it didn't get many people to attend, but copies of it still exist, so I was able to use that to make the cover art. I had to crop the rectangular shape to get a square shape, but I didn't leave out anything important. I kept the picture of Dylan unchanged, but to get the important text to fit, I squeezed that part vertically. Oh, and since I hate black and white album covers, I tinted it yellow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Faces - BBC Sessions, Volume 7: In Concert, BBC, Paris Theatre, London, Britain, 4-1-1973

Over the past couple of months, I've posted a bunch of albums containing the performances the Faces did for the BBC. This is the seventh, and unfortunately, the last. But at least it ends on a high note, with a complete live concert in pretty good sound quality.

This concert took place one month after the band released their last album, "Ooh La La." So it's not surprising the set list was significantly different from the last time the band played a concert for the BBC fourteen months earlier. Four of the songs came from "Ooh La La," plus two more from Rod Stewart's 1972 album "Never a Dull Moment." Plus they did songs they never put out on record, such as "Jealous Guy" by John Lennon and "The Stealer" by Free.

In terms of sound quality, this is good, but not great. Though I'll point out these BBC recordings are pretty much as good as it gets in terms of live Faces recordings. Three of the performances were included on the band's box set "Five Guys Walk into a Bar..." ("The Stealer," "Angel," and "Miss Judy's Farm"). So I used those versions. But in my opinion those don't really sound different from all the rest.

Like most of the band's previous appearances for the BBC, this was hosted by famous BBC DJ John Peel. That's not too surprising considering that he once said, "The Faces were my all-time favorite live band." However, his appearance here is very minimal, with just a comment or two that can be heard.

There are three extra songs at the end that don't come from the main concert. This is because the band first recorded a concert for the BBC on February 8, 1973, but then decided they didn't like their performance. They asked the BBC not to broadcast it, and instead made plans to do it again. That repeat is this main show, on April 1, 1973, at the same location. Personally, I don't see why they didn't like the show, since their performance sounded fine to me. The full unbroadcast show is out there on bootlegs in equally good sound quality. I've chosen not to include it here since the set list is very similar to this show, and the band preferred this one. But I did include three of the songs from that earlier show that were different. One of those, "I Don't Want to Discuss It," plus the banter right before it, was used as a bonus track for the "Ooh La La" album, so I've used that version here.

The main concert is 56 minutes long, no doubt because the BBC show was an hour long. But with the three extra songs at the end, this album is an hour and 11 minutes long.

01 Silicone Grown (Faces)
02 Cindy Incidentally (Faces)
03 Memphis, Tennessee (Faces)
04 If I'm on the Late Side (Faces)
05 talk (Faces)
06 My Fault (Faces)
07 talk (Faces)
08 The Stealer (Faces)
09 talk (Faces)
10 Borstal Boys (Faces)
11 Angel (Faces)
12 Stay with Me (Faces)
13 talk (Faces)
14 True Blue (Faces)
15 Twistin' the Night Away (Faces)
16 talk (Faces)
17 Miss Judy's Farm (Faces)
18 talk (Faces)
19 Jealous Guy (Faces)
20 talk (Faces)
21 Too Bad (Faces)
22 I'd Rather Go Blind (Faces)
23 talk (Faces)
24 I Don't Want to Discuss It (Faces)
25 talk (Faces)
26 It's All Over Now (Faces)

The album cover features a photo of the band playing on the British TV show "Top of the Pops" in February 1973. Sorry the drummer Kenney Jones didn't get included.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Joan Osborne - Strenuous Acquaintances - Non-Album Tracks (1995-1998)

Last week, I posted a Joan Osborne late 1990s "lost album" called "Curds and Whey." It's a real lost album in the sense that there was an album planned for release with that title that roughly contained those songs, nearly all of which remain officially unreleased until this day. She also has a bunch of songs from those same exact years that weren't part of that album, enough to make up a totally different stray tracks album. That's what this is.

I was planning on posting this in a few weeks, so I could post albums from a variety of other artists in the meantime. But just a few days after I posted "Curds and Whey," I found an updated source for four of the songs on it. One snag with that album is that nearly all the songs come from concert bootlegs, and some of them sound merely good, not great. But this new source sounds much better, so the better quality of four of the ten songs boosts the sound quality of the album as a whole. Thus, I'm posting this now with the hopes that anyone reading this will also be interested in getting the upgraded version of "Curds and Whey."

The link for that album is here:

Anyway, let's get back to the music contained here. In 1995, Osborne had a big hit single - "One of Us" - and an accompanying big hit album, "Relish." Technically, that was her second album. as she released a live album in 1991, but she went from relatively unknown to a star in a short time. Once she was famous, offers for her to appear on movie soundtracks and various artists compilations and the like flowed in. This collects those types of non-album tracks. 

The first three are "Relish" bonus tracks that weren't released until two decades later. The first two appear to be originals. Then there's her hit "One of Us." I've included it because it's a live acoustic version that sounds significantly different (plus I didn't have a better place to put that bonus track). "Brick House" is a cover of the famous 1970s Commodores hit. Apparently, this was considered for inclusion on her "Curds and Whey" album, but I put it here because it would have made that other album too long, and I think it fits better here with covers of other famous songs.

"Strenuous Acquaintances" is an original that also was considered for the "Curds and Whey" album. However, it was released on a movie soundtrack in 1996, so I doubt it would have been included on that album when it should have been released in 1998 or 1999. "Spooky" is another classic cover, and it also was considered for the "Curds and Whey" album. But she released two different versions of it. I put one version on my version of that album, and the other version here.

That leaves a couple of duets included on other people's albums ("Beautiful Side of Madness" and "Passin' Thru"), and more covers of classics that came out on various artists collections ("I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You.")

All in all, I think this is a strong collection. In my opinion, Osborne's top musical attribute is her stellar, soulful voice, so she naturally does well when singing covers of great songs.

This album is 47 minutes long.

01 Here Comes What's Coming (Joan Osborne)
02 Mighty One (Joan Osborne)
03 One of Us [Live Acoustic] (Joan Osborne)
04 Brick House (Joan Osborne)
05 Beautiful Side of Madness (Joan Osborne & Terrell)
06 I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Joan Osborne & Stevie Wonder)
07 Strenuous Acquaintances (Joan Osborne)
08 Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (Joan Osborne)
09 Spooky (Joan Osborne)
10 Passin' Thru (Joan Osborne & Ricky Scruggs)

For the album cover, I used a photo of Osborne taken backstage at a concert in Chicago in 1995.

Aretha Franklin - The Columbia Years, Volume 2 - Selected Best Tracks (1964-1966)

Note that, back in 2018, I posted an album at this blog of Aretha Franklin's tenure at her first record company, Columbia Records. It was simply called "The Columbia Years." Last month (August 2021), a new box set of her entire music career was released, simply called "Aretha." Listening to that, I found some good songs from her Columbia time period that I'd missed. Then I went back and listened to more of her stuff from that time period, and found more. 

The net result was that I found enough material to turn a single album about 45 minutes long into two albums that long. So, if you're interested in this music at all, note that this is called "Volume 2," and make sure you get "Volume 1" as well. The songs are in rough chronological order, and this covers the second half of that time. But, in my opinion, her musical sound was fairly consistent during her time at Columbia, so "Volume 1" is just as good as "Volume 2."

1964 was a particularly busy year for Franklin. She recorded four albums that year, though one of them was shelved until much later. So most of the songs here come from that year. I believe she last recorded for Columbia in 1965, though some of it wasn't released until 1966. As far as I can tell, she didn't record any albums in 1966. But in early 1967 she cut a new album for Atlantic Records ("I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You") that would be a big hit and send her on the path to becoming a superstar.

As a whole, I like her music on Atlantic Records much better than what she did for Columbia. That said, I selected the songs that I considered the best, which usually are also the ones with a similar sound to her Atlantic style. I tended to avoid the syrupy ballads with lots of strings in favor of more soulful songs. Most of these could have fitted on her late 1960s albums without anyone blinking an eye. So if you like those you should like this stuff, though there are fewer uptempo songs.

This album is 46 minutes long. Please don't forget to check out Volume 1. Here's the link for that:

01 Lee Cross (Aretha Franklin)
02 A Little Bit of Soul (Aretha Franklin)
03 Nobody Knows The Way I Feel This Morning (Aretha Franklin)
04 Evil Gal Blues (Aretha Franklin)
05 Soulville (Aretha Franklin)
06 I'll Keep On Smiling (Aretha Franklin)
07 Every Little Bit Hurts (Aretha Franklin)
08 The Shoop Shoop Song [It's in His Kiss] (Aretha Franklin)
09 Walk On By (Aretha Franklin)
10 One Room Paradise (Aretha Franklin)
11 Running Out of Fools (Aretha Franklin)
12 Muddy Water (Aretha Franklin)
13 One Step Ahead (Aretha Franklin)
14 [No, No] I'm Losing You (Aretha Franklin)
15 Can't You Just See Me (Aretha Franklin)
16 Take a Look (Aretha Franklin)
17 Cry like a Baby (Aretha Franklin)

After splitting the original "Columbia Years" album I made in two, I decided to make new covers for both parts. I was only album to find one good color photo of Franklin from the right time period, but one was enough! :) This is a promo photo from 1964.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Bob Dylan - Town Hall, New York City, 4-12-1963

Last week as I write this, a new official album in Bob Dylan's "Bootleg Series" was released, called "Volume 16: Springtime in New York, 1980-1985." I have some things I want to do with some of the newly revealed and/or improved songs there, but before I do, I want to fill in some gaps from earlier in his career. But listening to that new release has put me in a Dylan mood, so I want to post something else by him.

This 1963 solo acoustic concert came to mind. It's incredible. Technically, all of it has been officially released, but only in the very most technically correct way. A few songs here and there have been widely released, but not that many. For instance, the "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" from this concert came out on the "Greatest Hits, Volume 2" album in 1971, and the "Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie" poem was released on the "Bootleg Series, Volumes 1-3" in 1991. But the vast majority of it only came out in 2013 on the "50th Anniversary Collection 1963." This was an extremely limited release, with only 100 copies sold, just enough to preserve copyright rights in Europe. So, for all practical purposes, unless you are one of the very lucky 100 people to own that, most of this remains effectively unreleased.

The reason bits and pieces have been released over the years is because the whole concert was professionally recorded at the time, in the hopes of making an official live album out of it. There was a live album planned, to be called "In Concert," mixing songs from this concert and one other one. It was so close to being released later in 1963 that the album cover and all the other artwork was made. But apparently Dylan was shy about including his "Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie" poem, which the record company wanted to do, and it never happened. However, some point in the 2010s, a fantastic version of the entire concert was bootlegged, taken from the professional recording. It actually sounds better than the "50th Anniversary Collection 1963" version, so that's what I've used here.

One thing to keep in mind about this concert is just how early it was in Dylan's career. When this concert took place, his first album, "Bob Dylan," had been released the previous year, but his pivotal second album, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan," was still to be released one month later. Thus, incredibly, only three of the 24 songs he did in the two hour long concert were released at the time! (Those three were the original "Talkin' New York," plus the only covers in the concert, "Highway 51" and "Pretty Peggy-O.") Even if the songs from the imminent album release "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" were included, that's only another five songs. A good portion of the songs would not be released at all, until archival releases like the Bootleg Series ones decades later. 

So the audience must have been blown away, with many future classics heard, including "Blowin' in the Wind," "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," and "Masters of War." The audience seemed familiar with many of the songs, with occasional catcalls for certain ones. I can only guess that because this concert took place in New York City, and Dylan had been performing there a lot over the past couple of years, some of the songs had become well known to some fans through such concerts. (Note that even the cover versions of many of these songs would come later. For instance, Peter, Paul and Mary's huge hit with "Blowin' in the Wind" wouldn't be released until the second half of 1963.)

That said, for even the most die-hard Dylan fan at the time, the concert must have been a revelation. A number of songs were performed in public by him for the first time ever, including "Tomorrow Is a Long Time," "Dusty Old Fairgrounds," "Ramblin' Down through the World," and "Bob Dylan's New Orleans Rag." Also, "Hiding Too Long," a nice original, seems to have been played only once ever, at this concert, and was never recorded in the studio. I figure that Dylan knew the concert was being recorded for a likely live album, so he went all out to make an impression. But the piece de resistance was the last "song," which is actually a spoken poem, "Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie." Dylan is famous for his poetic genius, but I'm pretty sure this is the one and only time in his long music career that he read a poem on stage instead of just singing songs. In my opinion, it's one of the most impressive things he ever did.

I made some changes to improve this album. As I mentioned, the sound quality is fantastic. But there was a little bit of dead time between songs here and there where he tuned his guitar. I cut those down, eliminating about four minutes from the total length of the concert. Believe me, you're not missing anything. I didn't cut out a single word he said between songs, just some of the tuning. The other thing I did was boost some of his talking, because sometimes he talked quietly or mumbled. So you can hear all of his comments really well now. Another neat thing about this concert is that he was fairly talkative between songs, at least in comparison to later in his career, when he often would have no banter at all. He spoke before almost every song here, though usually just a sentence or two.

Finally, the great bootleg version I used had one flaw in that the audience noise at the very beginning was cut short, with the concert starting only a couple of seconds before the first song. I found a different version with about 10 more seconds of audience noise, and added that in.

01 Ramblin' Down through the World (Bob Dylan)
02 talk (Bob Dylan)
03 Bob Dylan's Dream (Bob Dylan)
04 Talkin' New York (Bob Dylan)
05 talk (Bob Dylan)
06 The Ballad of Hollis Brown (Bob Dylan)
07 talk (Bob Dylan)
08 The Walls of Red Wing (Bob Dylan)
09 talk (Bob Dylan)
10 All Over You (Bob Dylan)
11 talk (Bob Dylan)
12 Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues (Bob Dylan)
13 Boots of Spanish Leather (Bob Dylan)
14 talk (Bob Dylan)
15 Hero Blues (Bob Dylan)
16 talk (Bob Dylan)
17 Blowin' in the Wind (Bob Dylan)
18 talk (Bob Dylan)
19 John Brown (Bob Dylan)
20 Tomorrow Is a Long Time (Bob Dylan)
21 talk (Bob Dylan)
22 A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (Bob Dylan)
23 talk (Bob Dylan)
24 Dusty Old Fairgrounds (Bob Dylan)
25 talk (Bob Dylan)
26 Who Killed Davey Moore (Bob Dylan)
27 talk (Bob Dylan)
28 Seven Curses (Bob Dylan)
29 talk (Bob Dylan)
30 Highway 51 (Bob Dylan)
31 talk (Bob Dylan)
32 Pretty Peggy-O (Bob Dylan)
33 talk (Bob Dylan)
34 Bob Dylan's New Orleans Rag (Bob Dylan)
35 talk (Bob Dylan)
36 Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Bob Dylan)
37 Hiding Too Long (Bob Dylan)
38 talk (Bob Dylan)
39 With God on Our Side (Bob Dylan)
40 talk (Bob Dylan)
41 Masters of War (Bob Dylan)
42 talk (Bob Dylan)
43 Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie (Bob Dylan)

For the cover art, I was tempted to use the cover of the "In Concert" live album that almost was released. However, I plan on posting another great 1963 concert, and that cover fits better there, I think. So instead I've used the actual promotional material for this exact concert. The only thing I did was crop it, and then tint it blue to make it look a little more interesting.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Joan Osborne - Curds and Whey - Non-Album Tracks (1995-1998)

I plan on posting a bunch of Joan Osborne stray tracks albums soon. But this is not exactly one of those. Instead, I'd call it a lost album. A couple of weeks ago, I posted another lost album by her, from the early 1990s, called "Chick." This is a similar lost album from the late 1990s. Like "Chick," nearly all of the songs are originals. I'll post a stray tracks album soon covering the same time period that contains songs from movie soundtracks, various artists compilations and the like that are mostly cover versions.

In 1995, Osborne had a big hit with the song "One of Us" and with the album "Relish." But then she didn't release a follow-up album until 2000. That was a remarkable amount of time, considering the importance of wanting to follow up a hit while the iron was still hot. What the heck happened?! As you'll see from listening to this album, she had a good album of original songs that was ready to be released by 1997, or 1998 at the latest. 

What happened was the record company. You can read an account of it here:

Joan Osborne is dropped from Mercury Records |

Here's my summary. At the time, Osborne was signed to Mercury Records. They were delighted with her unexpected hit "One of Us," and naturally wanted her to have another hit just like it. But Osborne was (and is) a serious musician, and didn't want to be put forward as a pop star. Here's a quote (from the linked article) by David Lowery, a member of the band Cracker who worked with her during that time: "I know she was bummed out by her relationship with her label. I think they totally misunderstood her as an artist. She's a great rock female voice, a down and dirty, ballsy singer, and they wanted her to do poppy, VH-1 stuff."

So the label flat out refused to release her new album, even though "Relish" went triple platinum in the US. She refused to remake herself the way they wanted, so a stalemate ensued. Then things went from bad to worse in the late 1990s when Mercury Records merged with another record company, and the few supporters she had in the company left. So she was dropped from the record company altogether by the start of 2000.

Think about how crazy that is. She'd sold millions of records, but the record company wouldn't allow her to release a follow-up AT ALL, for five years! To make matters worse, they owned the rights to all the songs she'd recorded for her planned follow-up, and they refused to let her release them for an album on another label. Thus, the songs here are all still officially unreleased in any form. Instead, she had to come up with a different bunch of songs for her next album, "Righteous Love," which was released in 2000. (Apparently, two songs from her planned follow-up album, "Hurricane" and "Baby Love," did manage to make it onto that album somehow, so they're not included here.)

The album she wanted to release was supposed to be called "Curds and Whey," which is a phrase mentioned in the first song, "Sensitive," and is also well known from the "Little Miss Tuffet" nursery rhyme. Unfortunately, none of the studio versions of any of these songs have been made public on bootleg. But, fortunately, she did most of them in concert, and there are bootleg versions of most of those.

Like her lost album "Chick," most of what I know about this album comes from a Wikipedia page that only exists on the Portuguese version of Wikipedia for some reason. That can be found here:

Curds and Whey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I used the song list from that page to find as many of the songs as I could. I was able to find versions of all of them except for "Hillbilly." However, the sound quality of one song, "Beautiful Things," is pretty rough, so I've only included that as a bonus track. Also, I didn't include her cover of the classic Commodores funk hit "Brick House" because the album was already pretty long without it, and it didn't fit that well. I've put a version of that on the stray tracks album that covers this same time period. Plus, as I mentioned above, "Hurricane" and "Baby Love" weren't included because versions of those went on her next album.

That leaves 48 minutes of music, if you don't count the bonus track. All of the songs are originals, with the exceptions of "Spooky," a 1960s classic by Classic IV, and "Mind Full of Worry," a 1995 song by the relatively obscure band the Aquanettas. "Spooky" has "[Alternate Version]" in the title, because she did another version around the same time that I'm putting on the stray tracks album mentioned above, and apparently that's the original one she did.

It seems she didn't play these songs in concert that often. In some cases, I was only able to find one decent version. So the sound quality ranges from good to very good, but isn't great. Hopefully someday the legal issues will be resolved and the studio versions of these will be officially released. Until then, this is probably the best version that can be made out of what is publicly available. 

Joan Osborne has gone on to have a long, successful, and critically acclaimed music career that is much more than just the one-hit wonder status of "One of Us," so she gets the last laugh over her record company. But still, if I were her, I'd be pissed at how her early career got treated. If some version of this album had been released, odds are good she would have kept more of her momentum going, instead of pretty much having to start over in 2000. And the failure to release "Chick" and all the originals on that is another big lost opportunity.

01 Sensitive (Joan Osborne)
02 Platform Shoes (Joan Osborne)
03 Hammerhead (Joan Osborne)
04 Libertine (Joan Osborne)
05 Strange Things (Joan Osborne)
06 Mind Full of Worry (Joan Osborne)
07 La La (Joan Osborne)
08 Wedding Day (Joan Osborne & Cracker)
09 Century (Joan Osborne)
10 Spooky [Alternate Version] (Joan Osborne)

Beautiful Things (Joan Osborne)

For the cover art, I found a poster of a concert she did at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco from 1996 that I liked. I had to make some changes though. For starters, as usual, I had to make some major clips to get the rectangular poster shape to fit in a square space. Then, the name of the supporting act was written near the bottom in the space I chose, so I overwrote that with the "Curds and Whey" album name.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Faces - BBC Sessions, Volume 6: In Concert, BBC, Paris Theatre, London, Britain, 2-17-1972

Here's the next in the series of albums of the Faces playing for the BBC. There's just one more to go after this. Personally, I think this is one of the best in the series, both in terms of sound quality and performance. Plus, by this time, the band had more songs to choose from, and they still had Ronnie Lane. 

There's not much to say with this one that I didn't say earlier in the series. All the songs come from one concert performance recorded by the BBC in front of an audience. There were no tricky problems requiring any fixes anywhere. Oh, BBC DJ John Peel is back acting as emcee, but he didn't speak much this time compared to earlier in this series.

This concert is an hour and one minute long.

01 talk (Faces)
02 Three Button Hand Me Down (Faces)
03 talk (Faces)
04 Miss Judy's Farm (Faces)
05 talk (Faces)
06 Memphis, Tennessee (Faces)
07 talk (Faces)
08 Give Me the Moonlight (Faces)
09 Too Bad (Faces)
10 talk (Faces)
11 Last Orders Please (Faces)
12 talk (Faces)
13 Devotion (Faces)
14 talk (Faces)
15 That's All You Need - Country Honk - Gasoline Alley - That's All You Need (Faces)
16 talk (Faces)
17 [I Know] I'm Losing You (Faces)
18 talk (Faces)
19 Stay with Me (Faces)
20 talk (Faces)
21 Had Me a Real Good Time - Underneath the Arches - Every Picture Tells a Story (Faces)

As with most of the albums in this series, I had trouble finding good photos of the band from the right year. So for this album, I used a concert poster of the band from that year instead.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Morgan James - Quarantunes, Volume 6 (2020)

This is the next is my series of Morgan James's acoustic covers albums. If you've been following this, I posted a bunch of acoustic albums of songs she did prior to 2020. Then, during the coronavirus quarantine, she played 100 different cover songs in 100 days. This is the sixth of seven albums for that series, which she called "Quarantunes."

I don't have much to say that I haven't said for previous albums in this series. As usual, she plays an interesting and wide variety of songs, going from the pre-rock and roll era up to modern pop. These are not the typical hit songs one sees played acoustically.

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

01 Nowhere Man - Beatles
02 Alone - Heart
03 Where or When - Rodgers & Hart
04 I'll Remember - Madonna
05 I Wanna Be Where You Are - Michael Jackson
06 Some Other Time - Leonard Bernstein
07 I Will Remember You - Sarah McLachlan
08 Every Time We Say Goodbye - Cole Porter
09 Here I Go Again - Whitesnake
10 Lonely Teardrops - Jackie Wilson
11 Miss Otis Regrets - Cole Porter
12 Do Nothin' Til You Hear from Me - Duke Ellington
13 Roam - B-52s
14 A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke
15 How Long Has This Been Going On - George & Ira Gershwin

Here's the usual song list:

01 Nowhere Man (Morgan James)
02 Alone (Morgan James)
03 Where or When (Morgan James)
04 I'll Remember (Morgan James)
05 I Wanna Be Where You Are (Morgan James)
06 Some Other Time (Morgan James)
07 I Will Remember You (Morgan James)
08 Every Time We Say Goodbye (Morgan James)
09 Here I Go Again (Morgan James)
10 Lonely Teardrops (Morgan James)
11 Miss Otis Regrets (Morgan James)
12 Do Nothin' Til You Hear from Me (Morgan James)
13 Roam (Morgan James)
14 A Change Is Gonna Come (Morgan James)
15 How Long Has This Been Going On (Morgan James)

As usual with this series, I made the cover art using a screenshot from one of the videos of these songs found on YouTube, but I forget which one.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Faces - BBC Sessions, Volume 5: 1971-1973

Here's the next in my series of albums featuring the Faces performing for the BBC. The last three in the series were live concerts recorded for the BBC. This one is different than those, but similar to the first one, in that it features a bunch of songs where the Faces played in the BBC studios without any audience. But I've also thrown on a some other things, taken from the band playing on TV shows and live rarities.

Tracks one, two, and five through ten were recorded at BBC studios. Tracks two and ten out of those are officially unreleased, but they come from the same sessions as the released ones. The other tracks come from either the band's box set "Five Guys Walk into a Bar..." or from album bonus tracks. As you'd expect, the sound quality from these BBC recordings are generally excellent, even the unreleased ones.

While the Faces still existed as a band, Rod Stewart never played live in concert without them. But there's kind of an exception here with tracks two and three, "Gasoline Alley" and "Lady Day." That's because these songs are simply Stewart singing songs by himself while standing in the middle of some random city street. These performances are unreleased, but they were recorded for a German TV, and you can find the video of them on YouTube. Sometimes in the background, you can hear the sounds of cars driving by or kids playing. Even though both songs were clearly recorded at the same time by the same people, "Gasoline Alley" sounds better. With "Lady Day," Stewart's voice was too quiet in many parts. But I painstakingly boosted those parts using a sound editor, which is why that song has "[Edit]" in the title.

Of the remaining four songs (the last four), three of them come from a Dutch TV, and the other, "Jealous Guy" is a cover of a John Lennon song that was rarely done live, and was included on the band's box set. Two of the songs from the Dutch TV show, "Memphis, Tennessee" and "True Blue," were played live in concert. I made some edits to get rid of most of the crowd noise, which is why those songs have "[Edit]" in the title also. (Ditto for the second track, "Richmond.") The last song, "One Last Sweet Cheerio," seems to have been done backstage after the concert, which is why it wasn't marked as live despite coming from the same source as two songs that were.

The bonus track "Too Bad" is a bonus track due to poor sound quality. I tried to improve it by using Spleeter to raise the lead vocals through the muck. That's why that one has "[Edit]" in the title as well. But that could only help so much, so it's still a mere bonus track.

This album is 49 minutes long, not counting the bonus track. As far as I can tell, the band didn't play in the BBC studios again. So the last two albums in this series will be more live concerts that were recorded by the BBC.

01 Bad 'N' Ruin (Faces)
02 Richmond [Edit] (Faces)
03 Gasoline Alley [Acappella Version] (Rod Stewart)
04 Lady Day [Acappella Version] [Edit] (Rod Stewart)
05 Miss Judy's Farm (Faces)
06 Stay with Me (Faces)
07 Maggie May (Faces)
08 Cindy Incidentally (Faces)
09 My Fault (Faces)
10 Borstal Boys (Faces)
11 Memphis, Tennessee [Edit] (Faces)
12 True Blue [Edit] (Faces)
13 Jealous Guy (Faces)
14 One Last Sweet Cheerio [Acappella Version] (Faces)

Too Bad [Edit] (Faces)

When it comes to album cover art, once again I was left with slim pickings. I'm continually surprised at how few good photos of the band that can be found on the Internet. Anyway, I picked a good photo this time, I think, but unfortunately it's one that only shows three members of the band, instead of all five. But at least they are the three most famous, from right to left: Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, and Ronnie Lane. It comes from a concert in the Netherlands in March 1973, not long before Lane left the band.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Molly Tuttle - Livestream Concert, Volume 3: Pickin' Party - The Basement, Nashville, TN, 12-17-2020

Here's the last of three livestream concerts Molly Tuttle did near the end of 2020. All three concerts were special, with entirely different set lists from each other, so all three are worthy of posting here.

This one differs from the previous two in three important ways. First, instead of doing all covers, Tuttle stuck much more to her own songs. She's probably best known for her amazing guitar picking ability, and you can see the focus on that with the concert's theme of "Pickin' Party." Secondly, as the "party" part suggests, this one isn't just her and a couple of band members, like the two previous concert. She had three special guests join in at different times. To be honest, I wasn't previously familiar with any of the guests, but they joined in with lead vocals sometimes, often on their own songs, and often took part in guitar picking duels with Tuttle.

The final difference with the previous two concerts is that those were almost entirely just the songs and no talking, whereas this one has all the banter between songs. In my opinion, this gives the concert a lot more character, so I much prefer it this way. I hope that posting these concerts will inspire anyone who has versions of either of the two previous concerts to step forward and share that, so I can update those with all the banter there must have been on those.

There's not much else to say except I hope that by posting these concerts, I'll be able to turn more of you folks onto her music. In my opinion, she's one of the most talented newcomers in music these days.

This concert is an hour and 19 minutes long. That makes it about 20 minutes longer than either of the previous two concerts in this series, probably because this one has the banter between songs and those don't.

01 Save This Heart (Molly Tuttle)
02 talk (Molly Tuttle)
03 Supermoon [Instrumental] (Molly Tuttle)
04 talk (Molly Tuttle)
05 Good Enough (Molly Tuttle)
06 talk (Molly Tuttle)
07 She's a Rainbow (Molly Tuttle)
08 talk (Molly Tuttle)
09 Fox on the Run (Molly Tuttle with Daniel Donato)
10 talk (Molly Tuttle with Daniel Donato)
11 Love's Gonna Live Here (Molly Tuttle with Daniel Donato)
12 talk (Molly Tuttle with Daniel Donato)
13 I Been to Georgia on a Fast Train (Molly Tuttle with Daniel Donato)
14 talk (Molly Tuttle with Ellen Angelico)
15 Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good (Molly Tuttle with Ellen Angelico)
16 talk (Molly Tuttle with Ellen Angelico)
17 I'd Like to Fall in Love Sometime (Molly Tuttle with Ellen Angelico)
18 talk (Molly Tuttle)
19 Gentle on My Mind (Molly Tuttle)
20 talk (Molly Tuttle with David Grier)
21 Instrumental (Molly Tuttle with David Grier)
22 talk (Molly Tuttle with David Grier)
23 White Freightliner Blues] (Molly Tuttle with David Grier)
24 talk (Molly Tuttle with David Grier)
25 Instrumental (Molly Tuttle with David Grier)
26 talk (Molly Tuttle)
27 Let the Whole World Talk (Molly Tuttle)
28 talk (Molly Tuttle)
29 Friend of a Friend (Molly Tuttle)
30 talk (Molly Tuttle)
31 Old Man at the Mill (Molly Tuttle)
32 talk (Molly Tuttle)
33 Over the Line (Molly Tuttle)
34 talk (Molly Tuttle)
35 Light Came In [Power Went Out] (Molly Tuttle)
36 talk (Molly Tuttle)

For the two previous concerts in this series, I was able to use screenshots of the exact concerts in question for the album art. I wasn't able to do that in this case. So instead I used a different screenshot from the previous concert. If anyone has a good image from this exact concert, please let me know.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Chris Isaak - Devil Woman - Non-Album Tracks (1985-1988)

Here's another album where I felt blocked from posting it for a long time. This is a collection of stray tracks from the start of Chris Isaak's career. Isaak released his first album in 1985. During his first years, he played many covers in concert that he didn't put on album. This is mainly a collection of those. Unfortunately, because he wasn't a big star at first, there aren't many bootlegs from those years, and most of them are average sounding.

So, for a long time, I had a bunch of interesting covers to make up an album, but I felt I couldn't post it due to the sound quality. But happily, I waited and waited, and eventually I came across a better sounding bootleg. I used that for the last seven songs, which is the whole second half of the album. A few of the other songs still only sound good, not great, but I figure this is likely the best things are going to get, and the overall sound quality is good enough.

The only officially released song here is the first one, "Another Idea." That's a bonus track from his 1985 album, simply titled "Chris Isaak." All the other songs are taken from concert bootlegs.

On a different note, I want to comment why I think this album is worth listening to. To be honest, I'm not that big of a fan of Chris Isaak's studio albums. Sometimes he has good to great original songs, most notably his classic hit "Wicked Game." But too often, his songs are predictable, without a lot of variation from one song to another. I actually prefer his non-album tracks. I think the situation is very similar to Norah Jones, where her album songs generally fall into a predictable, samey mold, but she has a lot of non-album songs where she takes greater chances, and does many more covers, leading to greater variety.

For this album, I'm pretty sure that all the songs are covers, with the exception of the first one. Isaak is known for his retro sound based mainly in 1950s styles. He certainly knows his stuff, playing some interesting obscurities, as well as some well-known classics.

By the way, I like Isaak's non-album material so much that I have three more stray tracks albums of his. And I'll be able to post them soon, now that I've gotten past the problems mentioned above that stopped me from posting this one.

Here's the original artists for each song:

01 Another Idea - Chris Isaak
02 Devil Woman - Marty Robbins
03 Fortune Teller - Allen Toussaint
04 I Just Don't Understand - Ann-Margaret
05 Mystery Train - Junior Parker
06 Baby, Please Don't Go - Big Joe Williams
07 Believe What You Say - Ricky Nelson
08 The Man with the Golden Arm [Instrumental] - Elmer Bernstein
09 Bonnie B - Jerry Lee Lewis
10 Caledonia - Louis Jordan
11 Shake Your Hips - Slim Harpo
12 Vaya con Dios - Les Paul & Mary Ford
13 Dixie Fried - Carl Perkins
14 Honky Tonk [Instrumental] - Bill Doggett

Here's the usual song list:

01 Another Idea (Chris Isaak)
02 Devil Woman (Chris Isaak)
03 Fortune Teller (Chris Isaak)
04 I Just Don't Understand (Chris Isaak)
05 Mystery Train (Chris Isaak)
06 Baby, Please Don't Go (Chris Isaak)
07 Believe What You Say (Chris Isaak)
08 The Man with the Golden Arm [Instrumental] (Chris Isaak)
09 Bonnie B (Chris Isaak)
10 Caledonia (Chris Isaak)
11 Shake Your Hips (Chris Isaak)
12 Vaya con Dios (Chris Isaak)
13 Dixie Fried (Chris Isaak)
14 Honky Tonk [Instrumental] (Chris Isaak)

The album cover uses a promotional photo of Isaak from 1985.

The Who - No Road Romance - Non-Album Tracks (1977-1979)

As I mentioned with my last post, there are certain cases where I've ran into difficulties that has stopped me from continuing to post stray tracks albums for certain artists. Another such case is the Who.

First off, I have to explain why the last stray tracks album I made for the band ended in 1972, and this one begins in 1977. In 1973, the Who released the great double album "Quadrophenia." There are some stray tracks related to that album, including some that were done years later for the 1979 movie, such as "Joker James" and "Four Faces." But since it's a concept album, I feel any such song should be included as part of a super-sized version of that album instead of something else. (Hey, now that I think about it, maybe I should put together something like that. I haven't until now.)

After that, the Who weren't that active for a few years, partially due to the declining health and musical skills of drummer Keith Moon. The band did put out the album "The Who by Numbers" in 1975. I really like that album, but as you can guess from the title, the band wasn't really into it at the time, and mostly just put out an album because they were expected to. So it's not that much of a surprise that there aren't any outtakes (or at least none have publicly emerged).

So that takes us to 1977 and after, when the band got together again to make the 1978 album "Who Are You." The problem I faced is that I found a bunch of interesting songs, but most of them weren't of sufficient sound quality for my usual standards. In particular, after Moon died and was replaced by Kenny Jones, the Who played a lot of brand new songs in concert in 1979. I think that year was the only time in the history of the band when they regularly tried out unreleased songs, sometimes significantly changing them from night to night as they continued to evolve. Many of these were never later officially released. But unfortunately there are very few high quality bootlegs from that year (which typically means soundboards or radio broadcasts), and the bootleg versions of these songs just don't sound that good.

Thus, for a long time, I didn't know what to do about this album. I hoped better versions would emerge, and earlier this year a Record Store Day version of the 1981 album "Face Danes" did include some bonus tracks, one of which I've included here. But I could be waiting for years, or maybe forever, for more versions to appear. So instead, I dug deeper and found some other songs to fill out the album, and then I turned those merely okay sounding unreleased songs into bonus tracks. 

So what do we actually have here? "Bogey Man" is a very good song by bassist John Entwistle. It has remained unreleased, though I think it was good enough to be on a Who album (and definitely good enough for a Entwistle solo album). Although all of the Who isn't on it, drummer Keith Moon is. 

"No Road Romance," "Empty Glass," and "Who Are You (Lost Verse Mix)" are bonus stracks from the "Who Are You" album. A different version of "Empty Glass" would be included on the 1980 Pete Townshend solo album of that same name. "Who Are You" of course is one of the Who's best known song, but I've included this version due to that lost verse mentioned in the song's subtitle.

"How Can You Do It Alone" is a song that would be released on the band's 1981 album "Face Dances." But I've included this 1979 live version because the band had a very different arrangement for it that in my opinion is significantly better than the album version. 

Finally, the one really excellent bootleg concert recording from 1979 that I've found is of the band's performance for the benefit concert "The Concert for Kampuchea." An official film and album was released for that, but those only included three Who songs. Whereas that band (and the others) played a full concert, and the whole thing was professionally recorded. From that, I took a cover of the blues standard "I'm a Man," plus an apparent original blues song "I Don't Want to Be an Old Man" (though that title might just be a bootlegger's guess). 

Last, but most interesting, as a version of the Motown classic "Dancing in the Street" that morphed into the original song "Dance It Away," which would appear as a Pete Townshend B-side a couple years later. However, what's interesting, in my opinion, is that in the middle of this long medley, Townshend had a very interesting spoken interlude that is very rare, if not unique, in the history of Who concerts. His comments were inspired by the theme of the concert, being a benefit for the victims of the war-torn Southeast Asian country of Cambodia (also known as Kampuchea). Around that time, many thousands fled that country, and neighboring Vietnam, in boats. Townshend's comments refer to that. Note that when he complains about "fuckin' Arabs," he is sarcastically acting like a xenophobic opponent of immigration, just as he's being sarcastic when he supposedly lists his favorite TV shows. In fact, that's an attempt to critique the small-mindedness of a certain portion of the population. Anyway, sorry for the long-winded explanation, but I figured it's important because sarcastic critiques can often be misunderstood.

This album is 46 minutes long, not counting the bonus tracks. If you add those, it's an hour and two minutes.

Speaking of those bonus tracks, I explained the sound quality issues those have already. But I also want to mention that "Cat's in the Cupboard" would later appear of the 1980 Pete Townshend solo album "Empty Glass" in a fairly different version. However, the other three don't appear to have been released anywhere in any form. These evolved in concert so much that different versions have different titles. For instance, "Blue, Black, White, and Red" was also called "Blue, Blue, Blue," and "Blue, Black, and White," as the colors mentioned in the songs changed. And "You've Got Rock and Roll" was also played with the main line changing to "That's Rock and Roll." 

There are yet other interesting songs done live that year, including the originals "I'm London" and "I Am an Animal" the later also eventually appearing on the "Empty Glass" album, as well as a bunch of interesting covers, but I didn't want to overwhelm this album with too many fair to poor sounding bonus tracks. I think I picked the best ones.

01 Bogey Man (John Entwistle with Keith Moon)
02 No Road Romance (Who)
03 Empty Glass (Who)
04 Who Are You [Lost Verse Mix] (Who)
05 How Can You Do It Alone [Early Live Version] (Who)
06 I'm a Man (Who)
07 I Don't Want to Be an Old Man (Who)
08 Dancing in the Street - Dance It Away (Who)

Blue, Black, White, Red (Who)
Cat's in the Cupboard (Who)
Take a Fool like You (Who)
You've Got Rock and Roll (Who)

For the album cover, I chose a photo of the band from 1977 when Keith Moon was still alive. John Entwistle (on the far left) was the only one looking off to the side, so I made a minor edit to have him looking forward with the rest of the band.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

The Rolling Stones - Some Covers, Volume 1 (1977-1978)

There are some artists where I've run into roadblocks that has hindered me from continuing posting stray tracks albums chronologically. Lately, I've been putting in extra effort to try to get past those blocks. One such case in the Rolling Stones. 

So far, I've posted stray tracks albums all the way up until their 1978 album "Some Girls." That album is very tricky to deal with because in early 1977, guitarist Keith Richards was arrested in Canada for a heroin charge that could have given him up to seven years in prison. In the end, his charge was reduced, and though he pleaded guilty, he didn't serve any prison time at all. But the Rolling Stones didn't know that at the time. So, starting in late 1977, they recorded pretty much every musical thought they had at the time, so they'd have years of music to release in case Richards spent years in prison. 

As a result, there's a ton of recorded music from around that time that didn't end up on "Some Girls." In 2011, the band put out a double album version, with a second album of previously unreleased outtakes. Later this year (2021 as I write this), they'll be putting out a deluxe edition of the 1981 album "Tattoo You" that will include a few more outtakes from that 1977-1978 pile. But even those releases are only a portion of all the worthy material the band recorded at that time.

I've decided to split up this material into four albums of about 45 minutes each. Two of them consist entirely of cover versions, and two of them are originals. One of those will closely follow the extra songs from the 2011 "Some Girls" release, with some other songs added. Here's the first of the covers albums.

By and large, when it came to covers, the band chose favorite songs they knew growing up, from the 1950s or earlier. So you get Chuck Berry songs, blues classics, and the like, but also a couple of reggae songs, and the occasional country song done by Keith Richards alone on acoustic guitar. 

Only four of the performances here have been officially released. "Tallahassee Lassie" was one of the 2011 "Some Girls" bonus tracks. "Run Rudolph Run" and "The Harder They Come" were released as the A- and B-sides of a Keith Richards solo single in 1978, but I credit those to the Rolling Stones since that band in fact backed him on those supposed "solo" songs. Finally, "Sweet Little Sixteen" was done in concert and was released on the live album "Live in Texas '78." 

The studio sessions from 1977 and 1978 have been bootlegged at high quality, so everything here sounds good. The only other live track is "Hound Dog," but that's from a soundboard bootleg, so it sounds as good as the rest.

By the way, the song "Don't Look Back" was originally done by the Temptations in 1965 in the typical Motown style. In 1978, Peter Tosh and Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger released a reggae version as a single. I'll include that version on another stray tracks album. This is a different, unreleased version, also done in reggae style, but with all of the Rolling Stones and without Peter Tosh. 

This album is 51 minutes long.

Here's a list of the original artists who made each song famous:

01 Tallahassee Lassie - Freddy Cannon
02 Back in the U.S.A. - Chuck Berry
03 Shame, Shame, Shame - Jimmy Reed
04 Run Rudolph Run - Chuck Berry
05 The Harder They Come - Jimmy Cliff
06 I Ain't Superstitious - Willie Dixon / Howlin' Wolf
07 Blues with a Feeling - Little Walter
08 Say It's Not You - George Jones
09 Don't Look Back - Temptations / Peter Tosh
10 Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran
11 Hound Dog - Big Mama Thornton / Elvis Presley
12 My First Plea - Jimmy Reed
13 Key to the Highway - Charlie Segar / Little Walter
14 Sweet Little Sixteen - Chuck Berry
15 What Am I Living For - Chuck Willis
16 She Still Comes Around [To Love What's Left of Me] - Jerry Lee Lew

Here's the usual song list:

01 Tallahassee Lassie (Rolling Stones)
02 Back in the U.S.A. (Rolling Stones)
03 Shame, Shame, Shame (Rolling Stones)
04 Run Rudolph Run (Rolling Stones)
05 The Harder They Come (Rolling Stones)
06 I Ain't Superstitious (Rolling Stones)
07 Blues with a Feeling (Rolling Stones)
08 Say It's Not You (Keith Richards)
09 Don't Look Back (Rolling Stones)
10 Summertime Blues (Rolling Stones)
11 Hound Dog (Rolling Stones)
12 My First Plea (Rolling Stones)
13 Key to the Highway (Keith Richards)
14 Sweet Little Sixteen (Rolling Stones)
15 What Am I Living For (Rolling Stones)
16 She Still Comes Around [To Love What's Left of Me] (Keith Richards)

There are a zillion photos of the Rolling Stones. So, for this album cover, I wanted to use something different. I found a really interesting concert poster for a 1973 concert that features a dragon. I had to crop it to get the rectangular poster to fit into the square space, and I added the text.

Peter Gabriel - Rarities, Volume 1: Free at Last - Studio Recordings, 1974-1977 (A MIKE SOLOF GUEST POST)

Here's another Mike Solof guest post. I really like Peter Gabriel's solo career music (most of it, anyway), but Mike takes that fandom to a different level. So I'm leaving the curation of that career for this blog to him. This is just the first album in what promises to be a long series, which is why the title includes the part "Rarities, Volume 1." To be honest, he'd post a lot more of Gabriel's rare music than I would, but I figure more options are always better than fewer.

As usual, Mike has created a PDF file that's included in the zip file with his own comments. Please read that. I'll just say a few additional things here.

One, Peter Gabriel has a history of being a musical perfectionist who is very selective over what he's allowed on his albums. As a result, there's a surprising amount of unreleased material. For instance, the vast majority of this album is made of originals that never made it to any of his albums, and still aren't released as bons tracks or the like. One might even imagine this to be his true first solo album, since there's another material for it.

Two, there are two songs where there have been some musical edits. I want to explain those, since Mike doesn't mention them in the notes. A few weeks ago as I write this, PJ at his blog "Albums I Wish Existed" asked me to use the Spleeter music editing program to remove some weird clapping noises on the song "You Get What You Want." So I did. That was such a good idea that I've used that same edit here too. The other edit is something new. When listening to this, I noticed the lead vocals for the song "Get the Gun (Down the Dolce Vita)" were buried down in the mix. So I used Spleeter again to bring those vocals more to the fore.

However, in case you're someone who doesn't like those edits, the unedited versions for both songs are included as bonus tracks. The edits (or lack thereof) are the only differences with those versions.

This album is 50 minutes long, not including the bonus tracks. And if you like this, there's a lot more where it came from. Mike has already sent me six more volumes that I hope to post relatively soon. And that's for just a fraction of Peter Gabriel's solo career!

01 You Never Know (Peter Gabriel with Phil Collins & Anthony Phillips)
02 Firebirds (Peter Gabriel with Phil Collins & Anthony Phillips)
03 You Get What You Want [Edit] (Peter Gabriel with Phil Collins & Anthony Phillips)
04 Howling at the Moon (Peter Gabriel)
05 Excuse Me (Peter Gabriel)
06 Funny Man (Peter Gabriel)
07 No More Mickey (Peter Gabriel)
08 Get the Guns [Down the Dolce Vida] [Edit] (Peter Gabriel)
09 Here Comes the Flood (Peter Gabriel)
10 God Knows (Peter Gabriel)
11 Strawberry Fields Forever (Peter Gabriel)
12 Slowburn [Extended Version] (Peter Gabriel)
13 Jetzt Kommt Die Flut [German Version of Here Comes the Flood] (Peter Gabriel)

Get the Guns [Down the Dolce Vida] (Peter Gabriel)
You Get What You Want (Peter Gabriel with Phil Collins & Anthony Phillips)

For the cover art, I asked Mike to pick a photo, and this is the one he chose. I don't know the details, but I'd guess it's from around 1977, when the punk look was all the rage.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Joan Osborne - Chick - Non-Album Tracks (1992-1994)

Sometimes, putting together an album for this blog is easy; other times it's really hard. This one was really hard. First, let's review the early history of Joan Osborne's musical career. She put out a live album called "Soul Show: Live at Delta 88" in 1991. But then she didn't put out her second album until 1995. That album, "Relish," was a critical and commercial success, and contained her big hit "One of Us." But it turns out she planned to release a different album in 1993 or 1994, to be called "Chick." 

This is a genuine "lost album," but few people have ever heard of it. Luckily, I found a Wikipedia page about it. Not the English Wikipedia though! For some reason, the page only exists in the Portuguese version. Here's the link (you might want to use Google Translate to convert it into English):

Chick - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I don't why the album was never released. Instead, an EP with only three songs came out in 1993, called "Blue Million Miles." Two of the songs planned for it, "Crazy Baby" and "Pensacola," were later included on the "Relish" album in different versions. As a result, I haven't included those here. Another song, "Strenuous Acquaintances," came out on a 1996 movie soundtrack, so I haven't included that here either (though it will find a home on a later Joan Osborne stray tracks album).

Using that Portuguese Wikipedia page as my main guide, I've managed to find most of the songs planned for the "Chick" album. There are no leaks of studio sessions from this time period, so I resorted to using live versions. However, I have included the three studio songs on the "Blue Million Miles" EP, since they were planned to be included on the album too. I couldn't find two of the songs, "Live for Yourself" and "I Should Have Quit You." But I found two other original songs from the time period not mentioned: "With Less than Love" and "Let Your Hair Down Mama."

So far, so good. But I put that together years ago and never posted it on this blog. The reason was sound quality. Frankly, a big chunk of the versions I found simply didn't sound very good. But recently I dug deeper, and managed to find soundboard versions for every song. However, that alone didn't fix the sound problem, because some of the songs had bad mixes, with the lead vocals buried. The breakthrough that came for me was my recent discovery of the Spleeter sound editing program. Using that, I was able to boost the lead vocals on four of the songs. (I also edited down "Open So Wide (All Night)" by three minutes, because its nine-minute length went on too long, in my opinion.)

So yeah, this one was tough to put together. But in the end, I think the result is a very listenable album. I believe all the songs are originals, with the exception of "His Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles," which is a Captain Beefheart cover. What surprises me is just how good these songs are, yet how rare they are. For some of them, such as the last three, I was only able to find one bootleg recording, despite the fact that there are dozens of bootlegs from the early 1990s. I would think that some of these would end up being the kinds of songs that she would play in concerts for decades, but for whatever reason even Osborne seems to have forgotten these songs as soon as the big success of "Relish" happened.

This album is 49 minutes long.

Now that I've posted this one, hopefully it will allow me to move forward and post a long series of stray tracks albums from her. The next one in the series is another lost album from the later 1990s called "Curds and Whey" that is equally interesting, in my opinion.

01 His Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles (Joan Osborne)
02 Billie Listens [To Your Heartbeat] (Joan Osborne)
03 The World Is a Genius [Edit] (Joan Osborne)
04 What You Gonna Do [What about Me] (Joan Osborne)
05 Shack Up with Me (Joan Osborne)
06 Enemy in the Sky (Joan Osborne)
07 How Red Was My Kiss [Edit] (Joan Osborne)
08 With Less than Love [Edit] (Joan Osborne)
09 Open So Wide [All Night] [Edit] (Joan Osborne)
10 Let Your Hair Down Mama [Edit] (Joan Osborne)
11 Madison (Joan Osborne)

I had two ideas for the album cover. One was to use the cover of the 1993 EP "Blue Million Miles." The other was to use a photo of her from that time period. The EP cover was abstract art, without any sign of her. I thought it was interesting, yet lacking. Ultimately, I decided to combine the two ideas. I used the EP cover as the basis, but for a grey area in the middle, I superimposed a photo of her in concert from a concert at the Wetlands club in 1992. I also had to update the text on the cover.

The Pretenders - Both Sides of Goodbye - Non-Album Tracks (2005-2008)

It's been a long time since I've posted the last Pretenders stray tracks album, so here's another one. Of course, by this time "the Pretenders" has basically become lead singer and songwriter Chrissie Hynde, plus whoever else she felt like playing with (though at least original drummer Martin Chambers was in the band during this time period). About half the songs here are credited to the Pretenders and the other half just to Hynde, but it doesn't really make a difference.

The Pretenders put out albums in 2002 and 2008. That was a fairly long time, but as you can see here, Hynde continued to put out songs during that time, with or without the Pretenders. Only three of the songs are officially unreleased: "Candy, "Only Happy When It Rains," and "Waterloo Sunset." Those three are taken from TV show broadcasts, not concert bootlegs, so their sound quality is very good. The rest of the songs come from a wide variety of sources, including singles, an EP, various artists compilations, and movie soundtracks.

This album is 42 minutes long.

Oh, by the way, the same day I posted this, I added three more songs to the Pretenders stray tracks album "Spiritual High." So you might want to check that out too. Here's the link:

01 Lovesong (Chrissie Hynde)
02 Neither of Us Can See (Incubus & Chrissie Hynde)
03 Waterloo Sunset (Pretenders)
04 Don't Hang Up (Ringo Starr & Chrissie Hynde)
05 The Joker - Everything I Own (Jason Mraz & Chrissie Hynde)
06 Candy (Pretenders & Iggy Pop)
07 Only Happy When It Rains (Pretenders & Shirley Manson)
08 My Father (Chrissie Hynde)
09 Both Sides of Goodbye (Pretenders with Willie Nelson)
10 Blue Christmas (Pretenders)
11 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Pretenders)
12 Chicago (David Gilmour, Bob Geldof & Chrissie Hynde)

The cover art photo shows Chrissie Hynde at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert in New York City where the Pretenders were inducted.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren - Sunday Mornings with Reina del Cid, Volume 10 (2020)

I'm still slowly trying to catch up with the present day when it comes to Reina del Cid and Toni Lindgren and their tradition of doing new cover songs most every Sunday morning. I'm getting closer by posting this album - I still have a couple more to get fully caught up. 

I don't have much to say that I haven't said for the other albums in this series. If you've liked those, you'll like this one. Once again, there's a nice mix of well-known classics and more obscure tunes.

One thing worth noting is that a couple of the songs - "Werewolves of London" and "Monster Mash" were done near Halloween, 2020, so they have that theme going. For "Monster Mash," the duo even dressed up in Halloween costumes for their performance.

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

01 Tequila [Instrumental] - Champs
02 Wayfaring Stranger - traditional
03 When I Paint My Masterpiece - Bob Dylan
04 King of the Road - Roger Miller
05 Mama Said - Shirelles
06 Rocket Man [I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time] - Elton John
07 Dancing in the Moonlight - King Harvest
08 Stranded - Van Morrison
09 Alberta - Doc Watson
10 Two Sisters [The Wind and the Rain] - traditional
11 Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon
12 Monster Mash - Bobby 'Boris' Pickett
13 The Times They Are A-Changin' - Bob Dylan

Here's the usual song list:

01 Tequila [Instrumental] (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
02 Wayfaring Stranger (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
03 When I Paint My Masterpiece (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
04 King of the Road (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
05 Mama Said (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
06 Rocket Man [I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time] (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
07 Dancing in the Moonlight (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
08 Stranded (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
09 Alberta (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
10 Two Sisters [The Wind and the Rain] (Reina del Cid & Alana)
11 Werewolves of London (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
12 Monster Mash (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
13 The Times They Are A-Changin' (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)

The cover art is a screenshot taken from one of the videos of the songs featured here, but I don't remember which one.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

The Gang of Four - To Hell with Poverty - Non-Album Tracks (1978-1982)

If you're not familiar with the Gang of Four, you should check them out. They didn't sell a lot of records back in their 1970s and 1980s heyday (except for their fluke hit single "I Love a Man in a Uniform"), but their musical style has been highly influential. Their first two albums, 1979's "Entertainment!" and 1981's "Solid Gold" are considered classics, and their third album, "Songs of the Free," is pretty good as well. Rolling Stone Magazine lists "Entertainment!" as one of the 500 best albums of all time. But they had a bunch of excellent songs that didn't get on any of those albums. So here's a stray tracks collection gathering up all their worthy songs that didn't make it on their albums from their classic years, 1978 to 1982.

In my opinion, there are two things that make the band stand out. One is the guitar playing of Andy Gill, which was somehow simultaneously abrasive and melodic. The other is the political nature of their lyrics, which was very unusual at that time. One Rolling Stone Magazine writer called them "probably the best politically motivated band in rock and roll."

Seven of the songs here are from EPs or singles that were released back in those years. They contain some exceptional songs, like "To Hell with Poverty" and "Capital (It Fails Us Now)." Some other songs were released as singles and such, but I haven't included those if versions appeared on their studio albums, even if those versions were somewhat different. However, I have included an alternate version of "Contract," a song on the "Entertainment!" album, because this version is significantly different, with most of the lyrics in particular being changed. 

I've also included a bunch of rarer songs. Most of these were taken from the 2021 box sex "77-81." That contains lots of demos and rare tracks, but frankly in my opinion, most of those are only of marginal interest. Some suffer from poor sound quality, while others are embryonic versions of songs the band improved upon later. But the songs I considered worthy are included here. Two are covers done in concert ("Rosanne" by the Mekons and "Sweet Jane" by the Velvet Underground). 

The first five songs here are all originals that weren't released at the time. For two of those, "Information" and "Blood Free," plus the cover of "Rosanne," the vocals were recorded quite low in the mix. So I used the sound editing program Spleeter to separate the songs into tracks and then boost the vocals. (Note by the way that the "77-81" box set calls "Information" "Song One" and "Blood Free" "Song Two," but their correct names are known from other versions that were played in concert.) There are a few other rare songs that I didn't include here, because the sound quality was too low, or the songs themselves simply weren't that good.

PJ over at his blog "Albums I Wish Existed" posted an album of Gang of Four rarities that's very similar to this one. Due to that effort, I wasn't going to post anything. But thanks to the release of the box set mentioned above, some material has come to light that makes that different enough from PJ's version to merit interest, I think.

I've included three bonus tracks. All three sound pretty good. I've included a live version of "Blood Free" because this is a rare original by the band, and this version sounds about as good as the studio version I've included. I had a hard time deciding which one to include, so I've added both. The other two bonus tracks are live songs included on the 1982 EP "Another Day / Another Dollar." I don't think they're essential stray tracks, but they're here for anyone who wants everything from that EP that wasn't put on one of the band's albums.

This album is 48 minutes long, not counting the bonus tracks.

01 Elevator (Gang of Four)
02 Silence Is Not Useful (Gang of Four)
03 Information [Edit] (Gang of Four)
04 Blood Free [Edit] (Gang of Four)
05 Hold Up My Weekend (Gang of Four)
06 Contract [Alternate Version] (Gang of Four)
07 It's Her Factory (Gang of Four)
08 Armalite Rifle (Gang of Four)
09 Rosanne [Edit] (Gang of Four)
10 Sweet Jane (Gang of Four)
11 To Hell with Poverty (Gang of Four)
12 Capital [It Fails Us Now] (Gang of Four)
13 History's Bunk (Gang of Four)
14 Lord Make Me a Cowboy (Gang of Four)
15 The World at Fault (Gang of Four)

Blood Free [Live] (Gang of Four)
Cheeseburger [Live] (Gang of Four)
What We All Want [Live] (Gang of Four)

The cover art is simply the original cover of the "To Hell with Poverty" single. (It was released as a single in some countries as well as part of an EP.) However, I made some changes. For one thing, I erased the name of the B-side, which was written near the bottom of the cover. I also could only find a low-res version of the original cover, so I used some Photoshop tricks to sharpen the picture and generally clean it up.