Saturday, April 30, 2022

Beck - Rare Acoustic Performances, Volume 2 (1996-1997)

Recently, I posted a Beck album I made called "Rare Acoustic Performances, Volume 1." Here's the second and last album in that series.

As I explained for Volume 1, I've gathered some excellent sounding acoustic performances from the early part of his career. I didn't have any special place for them, so I've made these albums. If the song performances were totally unique, I put those on various stray track albums. So these generally are songs that aren't that, but still are very much worth hearing.

For the first volume, the sourcing was three different radio shows. For this volume, it's somewhat different. Seven of the songs similarly come from three different radio shows. One of them, "Untitled [KXLU]," is officially released on an obscure various artists collection of performances from that radio station. Everything else here is unreleased. But in addition to that, there are another eight songs taken from concert bootlegs. The first six songs come from a concert in Tilburg in the Netherlands, and the last two come from a concert in Eugene, Oregon. In both cases, the sound quality is excellent, and I stripped out the applause, so those songs sound much like they were recorded in the studio, like the other songs.

Not long after this, in 1999, Beck's sound changed drastically with his "Midnite Vultures" album, and his popularity grew, so acoustic appearances at radio stations became a lot less common. I still have similar things to post from later on, but in different formats, so this is the end of the series.

01 Cyanide Breath Mint (Beck)
02 Truck Drivin' Neighbors Downstairs [Yellow Sweat] (Beck)
03 Hollow Log (Beck)
04 Call Me Beck (Beck)
05 Buried Alive (Beck)
06 Asshole (Beck)
07 Somewhere Far Along (Beck)
08 Two Bit Cares (Beck)
09 Jack-Ass (Beck)
10 Unknown [Ain't Your Time to Go] (Beck)
11 Untitled [KXLU] (Beck)
12 I Ain't Got No Home (Beck)
13 Grinnin' in Your Face (Beck)
14 See Your Face (Beck)
15 Somewhere Far Along (Beck)

I don't know exactly where and when the cover art is from, except it was taken in concert at some point in 1996.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Georgie Fame - BBC Sessions, Volume 1 (1964-1965)

I've posted an album of Georgie Fame at the BBC in the early 1970s as part of a partnership with fellow keyboard player Alan Price. This is the start of three volumes of him performing at the BBC in the 1960s on his own.

I suppose Fame isn't that well known in the US these days. He only had one Top Ten hit there, in 1968 with "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde." But in Britain he's much better known, since he had three number one hits there with "Yeh Yeh," "Get Away," and "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde," as well a bunch of minor hits. Fame is British, and added some R&B and/or jazz sensibilities to the charts. As I write this in April 2022, he's 78 years old, but still touring and recording. If you want to know more about him, here's his Wikipedia page:

Georgie Fame - Wikipedia

All the songs on this volume have been officially released, and they all sound great. The first five songs are from a live session at the Flamingo Club in London that was broadcast on the BBC at the time. I've edited the songs some to remove a DJ talking between songs, as well as some crowd noise.

The remaining songs were all done in BBC studios without an audience. By the time of the first studio session here in late 1964, he was having his first number one hit with "Yeh Yeh" after only a couple of failed singles. From that time forward through the end of the 1960s, the BBC had him do sessions on a fairly regular basis.

A few of the songs have "[Edit]" in their titles. It's the usual reason for these BBC sessions: BBC DJs talking over the music. And as I usually do, I used the audio editing program X-Minus to remove that talking while keeping the underlying music.

This album is 46 minutes long.

01 Night Train [Edit] (Georgie Fame)
02 Bright Lights, Big City [Edit] (Georgie Fame)
03 Walking the Dog (Georgie Fame)
04 Do-Re-Mi [Edit] (Georgie Fame)
05 You're Breaking My Heart (Georgie Fame)
06 Saturday Night Fish Fry (Georgie Fame)
07 Yeh Yeh (Georgie Fame)
08 Preach and Teach (Georgie Fame)
09 Tell All the World about You (Georgie Fame)
10 Let the Sunshine In (Georgie Fame)
11 In the Meantime (Georgie Fame)
12 Point of No Return [Edit] (Georgie Fame)
13 Telegram [Edit] (Georgie Fame)
14 Get on the Right Track, Baby (Georgie Fame)
15 Like We Used to Be (Georgie Fame)
16 Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu (Georgie Fame)
17 No No [Edit] (Georgie Fame)
18 Move It On Over (Georgie Fame)

The cover photo of Fame is from 1964. He's backstage at some concert, but I don't know which one.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Julian Lennon & John Lennon - Imagine (1971 & 2022) (SONG MASH-UP) (MIKE SOLOF GUEST POST)

I'm going to let Mike have the floor on this. But I want to quickly say that this mash-up Mike made of Julian Lennon singing "Imagine" with his father John Lennon sounds great. You should give it a listen (the download link is at the very bottom of this post), and help share it, because it really is something special. - Paul.

Now, take it away, Mike:

Michael Solof here again. A few days ago (in mid-April 2022), I was blown away by Julian Lennonʼs new release of the track "Imagine" by his dad. After reading the accompanying note from his Twitter post (see below), I knew I just had to see if I could create a version that I wish existed, and try to
make Julianʼs version even more special. With that in mind, I decided to turn it into a duet with his dad. 

No easy feat I must say. I started out by tracking down every version of John singing "Imagine" that I could find. During my search I found many home demos, studio outtakes, live cuts, and TV appearances. My main concern was to find a version where the vocals acoustically matched, as closely as possible, those of the Julianʼs performance. It would sound unnatural to use a big echoing reverb drenched John vocal when Julianʼs recording had a beautiful, dry and intimate vocal. I finally found one that was darn close… but the music was completely different and clashed with Julianʼs sparse and haunting solo acoustic version. A few years ago that would have been a hugely insurmountable problem, but now a days there are websites that use really cool tech to separate the vocals from the instruments. What's left is just crystal clear, beautiful sounding vocals!

Using those same sites, I then separated out all the different parts of both versions so I was left with 4 tracks:
1. Julianʼs Lead Vocals
2. Johnʼs Lead Vocals
3. Nunoʼs guitar track
4. Nunoʼs Background Harmony Vocals

I knew I had to use Julianʼs vocal track as my base, and that I would need to edit Johnʼs vocals to match those as closely as possible. My next problem was Johnʼs phrasings were very different from Julianʼs. It wasn't a simple matter of playing both tracks, as is, at the same time. That sounded horrible and I wanted to make this sound as much like father and son sitting down face to face in a small intimate candlelit studio setting… and singing a beautiful song together for the first time. Now I began the hours and hours I needed to accomplish this. I often had to break up Johnʼs phrases between words, and sometimes syllables, to match the timings and structure of Julianʼs song . Occasionally, when that didn't work, I would even change the speed of the recording of Johnʼs vocal to extend the length of certain phrases slightly, for a better fit. It still didn't sound right. My original attempt had them both singing the entire song together. But then I watched a lot of different duets on YouTube and felt that if I switched back and forth between the verses and the choruses, that would be cool. So I did a version like that… but even that was missing the spark of these two guys just singing together.

So I started again. And this time, I had them trading off lines (starting with Julian since it is his release after all) and then having them both sing together on the chorusʼs. That did it… that gave me tingles! 6 more hours of editing…matching up every word and every syllable of the choruses until I was finally done. But I was still missing one last piece.

I let some friends listen to my mix and one comment I got completely transformed the song. I canʼt believe I didn't think of it first. My mix had both vocals centered, but a friend suggested I pan Julianʼs vocals to the left and Johnʼs to the right. First I tried hard pans all the way to the left and right, but this sounded weird. I wanted them to sound like they were sitting side by side, not across the room from each other. So I switched to a softer pan of each vocal just a bit to the left and right. That was MAGIC!

After a lot of internal debate, I also decided to include at the end of the song the extra harmony vocals provided by Julianʼs friend and co-guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. It really makes for a much fuller and powerful ending. So now hereʼs my version of the duet I wish, more than anything, could have existed. Being a huge and lifelong John Lennon fan, I was always touched by the fact that Julian has spent much of his life following in his dadʼs massive footsteps, fighting against the many injustices occurring around the world. Itʼs just downright inspiring to me. Julian was moved enough by the current situation in Ukraine to record this song. I thought the least I could do was let John join in the protest too!
I think he would have liked that.

In a first for both of us, Peter at and this site are posting Mike's superb effort on the same day, not only to get the song out to as many people as possible, but also to highlight the reason that Julian released it in the first place, which is to show support for Ukraine in their current struggle.

The War on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy... As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could. So today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad’s song, 'IMAGINE'. Why now, after all these years? I had always said that the only time I would ever consider singing ‘IMAGINE' would be if it was the ‘End of the World’…But also because his lyrics reflect our collective desire for peace worldwide. Because within this song, we’re transported to a space, where love and togetherness become our reality, if but for a moment in time…The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for...As a result of the ongoing murderous violence, millions of innocent families have been forced to leave the comfort of their homes, to seek asylum elsewhere. I’m calling on world leaders and everyone who believes in the sentiment of 'IMAGINE', to stand up for refugees everywhere! 

Please advocate and donate from the heart. #StandUpForUkraine @glbltczn @nunobettencourtofficial 

— Julian Lennon
Here's the mp3 of the duet mash-up:

Beck - Rare Acoustic Performances, Volume 1 (1993-1994)

I still have lots of Beck music to post. I've been waiting for months for him to put out one more new song so I could post the latest stray tracks album. In the meanwhile, here's something from very early in his career.

In the early 1990s, it seemed Beck was writing a new song every few hours. He had so many songs that he didn't know what to do with them all. Some weren't released at all, and some were almost never played in public. There are some great sounding bootleg recordings from this time period that contain acoustic versions of many early songs. I've found enough for two albums of them; here's the first one.

This is quite similar to the BBC sessions I've been posting of other musicians lately in that the vast majority of these performances come from live radio sessions. In fact, for this volume, everything is from radio sessions. The first six songs come from a "Morning Becomes Eclectic" show on KCRW in 1993, the next four songs are from a KAOS radio show in Olympia, Washington, in early 1994, and the last five songs are from another "Morning Becomes Eclectic" show still in early 1994.

I've picked the really obscure and unreleased songs from these shows and put them on various stray tracks albums I've made. These songs basically are what's worthy and left over. All the songs are solo acoustic or at least Beck with only other acoustic accompaniment except for two songs: "Loser" and "MTV Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack." In both of those cases, he sang live vocals over prerecorded backing tracks. Both are very worthy versions. For instance, "Loser" starts out sounding much the same as the hit version, but it goes on longer, with a lot of vocal improvisation at the end.

This album is 49 minutes long.

01 Loser [Live Vocals Over Instrumental Recording] (Beck)
02 Mexico (Beck)
03 Death Is Coming to Get You (Beck)
04 Whimsical Actress (Beck)
05 Pay No Mind [Snoozer] (Beck)
06 MTV Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack [Lounge Version]  [Live Vocals Over Instrumental Recording] (Beck)
07 Mattress [Incomplete] (Beck)
08 Painted Eyelids (Beck)
09 Totally Confused (Beck)
10 Your Love Is Weird (Beck)
11 Bogusflow (Beck)
12 Dead Man with No Heart (Beck)
13 Hard to Compete (Beck)
14 It's All in Your Mind (Beck)
15 It's All Gonna Come to Be (Beck)

The cover art features Beck in concert in 1994, but I don't know the exact where or when.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Tom Jones - This Is Tom Jones, Volume 6 (1970-1972)

Thanks for your patience in my posting a bunch of Tom Jones albums in recent weeks. I know he's not everyone's cup of tea. If you're not into his music, you'll be glad to know this is the last album of his I plan on posting.

To be honest, I'm not that into his music myself, but I do like a lot of his 1960s stuff. And these albums of his TV show "This Is Tom Jones" have merit due to all of the guest stars he dueted with. This album is another example, with duets with: Ella Fitzgerald, John Denver, Shirley Basey, Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, Billy Preston, and Englebert Humperdinck.

As usual in this series, all of the songs are officially unreleased, and come from either DVDs or YouTube videos. But this time around, not all of the songs are from his TV show. Most of them are, but his show ended in early 1971. The last four songs date to 1972, and are all appearances he did on other TV shows. 

Of course, he kept going with many more TV show appearances and concerts. He's still going as I write this in 2022. But my interest in his music drops drastically around 1972. He's started his music career in much more of a soul music style, but that had been slowly eroding. You can see that with his choice of guest stars on this album. After 1972 or so, he went even more in a show-biz direction away from his soul (and rock) roots. That said, I think this album is just as strong as most of the others in this series.

This album is 46 minutes long.

01 Vehicle (Tom Jones)
02 Mary's Boy Child (Tom Jones)
03 Patches (Tom Jones)
04 Sunny (Tom Jones & Ella Fitzgerald)
05 Silent Night (Tom Jones, Ella Fitzgerald & the Treorchy Male Choir)
06 All Right Now (Tom Jones)
07 Carolina in My Mind (Tom Jones & John Denver)
08 With a Little Help from My Friends (Tom Jones & Shirley Bassey)
09 This Guy's in Love with You (Tom Jones & Petula Clark)
10 She's a Lady (Tom Jones)
11 Sweet Sweetheart (Tom Jones & Dusty Springfield)
12 Ball of Confusion [That's What the World Is Today] (Tom Jones)
13 Tired of Being Alone (Tom Jones)
14 Games People Play (Tom Jones, Billy Preston & Engelbert Humperdinck)
15 Witch Queen of New Orleans (Tom Jones & Engelbert Humperdinck)
16 Baby, You've Got What It Takes (Tom Jones & Dusty Springfield)

As with the other albums in this series, I chose a cover photo of Jones from one of his duets instead of him alone. This one features him and Dusty Springfield.

Susanna Hoffs - McCabe's Guitar Shop, Santa Monica, CA, 4-28-2012

I've already posted a Susanna Hoffs live concert that took place at McCabe's Guitar Shop near Los Angeles. But that one took place in 1994, and this is from 2012, eighteen years later.

Hoffs has generally prioritized her music career with the Bangles over her own solo career. However, one important exception is her 2012 solo album "Someday." It's an excellent album, easily her best solo album in my opinion, so if you like her music with the Bangles you should check it out. This concert took place shortly before that album was released, but still contains a bunch of songs from it. Matthew Sweet, who collaborated with Hoffs on three "Under the Covers" albums, also plays and sings on a few songs near the end.

Note that this bootleg recording is not a soundboard, which is my usual standard. But it's an excellent sounding audience recording. McCabe's is a very small club to begin with, so the sound is pretty good from that fact alone. I'm guessing there were less than 100 people there. There are no soundboards of her concerts from around this era, and this is the best sounding one that I've found.

Generally speaking, Hoffs played songs from her solo career plus Bangles hits. But she also threw in a few covers, such as "Teacher, Teacher" by Rockpile, and "All I've Got to Do" by the Beatles, and "Different Drum" by the Stone Poneys with Linda Ronstadt. There are more covers near the end with Sweet that appeared on their "Under the Covers" album.

By the way, she played two concerts this evening. This is the late show. Both shows were bootlegged, and the set lists were almost exactly the same. However, she and Sweet played "Rain" by the Beatles as one of the encores for the early show. So I added that in as the last song. They made a couple of big flubs where they hesitated before going into the next verses. So I edited those mistakes out, which is why "[Edit]" is included in the song title.

01 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
02 Raining (Susanna Hoffs)
03 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
04 November Sun (Susanna Hoffs)
05 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
06 Always Enough (Susanna Hoffs)
07 Different Drum (Susanna Hoffs)
08 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
09 Picture Me (Susanna Hoffs)
10 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
11 All I've Got to Do (Susanna Hoffs)
12 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
13 One Day (Susanna Hoffs)
14 Eternal Flame (Susanna Hoffs)
15 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
16 All I Want (Susanna Hoffs)
17 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
18 Manic Monday - 1999 - Sunday Morning - Femme Fatale (Susanna Hoffs)
19 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
20 In Your Room (Susanna Hoffs)
21 Hero Takes a Fall (Susanna Hoffs)
22 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
23 Holding My Breath (Susanna Hoffs)
24 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
25 Teacher, Teacher (Susanna Hoffs)
26 talk (Susanna Hoffs)
27 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Susanna Hoffs with Matthew Sweet)
28 talk (Susanna Hoffs with Matthew Sweet)
29 To Sir with Love (Susanna Hoffs)
30 talk (Susanna Hoffs with Matthew Sweet)
31 King Midas in Reverse (Susanna Hoffs with John Wicks)
32 Cinnamon Girl (Susanna Hoffs with Matthew Sweet)
33 Rain [Edit] (Susanna Hoffs with Matthew Sweet)

Despite the smallness of the venue, posters were made and sold for this exact show. So for the album cover, I just used one of the posters. I had to crop the rectangular shape to a square one, but all of Hoffs was just barely able to fit. Also, only the word "Susanna" was in big letters in the middle, so I added "Hoffs" in the same font. There was more info at the bottom of the poster, but I only included a portion of that that mentioned the location and the date.

Friday, April 15, 2022

The Spencer Davis Group - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: 1967-1973

I already post4ed two albums of the Spencer Davis Group performing for the BBC. Those dealt with the time Steve Winwood was a member, and lead singer, of the group. I figured that was it, because Winwood is a musical giant and was the chief attraction for me. But in putting together lots more BBC albums for this blog, I found out that the band still had merit without him. 

Most importantly, when he left in early 1967, along with his brother Muff Winwood, they were replaced by Phil Sawyer on guitar and Eddie Hardin on keyboards. Sawyer didn't stay long, but Hardin was the key recruit. He sang lead vocals, and his voice had more than a passing resemblance to Steve Winwood's. But also, it turned out he was a decent songwriter. In late 1968, he left the band and took the drummer Pete York with him. They created the duo Hardin and York and had some success. The rest of the Spencer Davis Group fizzled out and then broke up without those two. Then, in 1973, the band was reformed with Hardin and York back in the fold, only to break up again in 1974.

So the way I look at it, this was basically a new band, an early version of Hardin and York. Guitarist Spencer Davis himself was a point of continuity, but in my opinion he was never the key member of the group despite having his name in the band's name. This new band didn't reach the commercial or critical success of the band with Steve Winwood, because Winwood's vocal and instrumental talents are unique and extraordinary, but if you compare them with other bands of the day, they were pretty good, I think. They still kept doing some R&B like they'd done with Winwood, but they also did a fair amount of psychedelic influenced music, to keep up with the times in 1967 and 1968.

This Winwood-less version of the band didn't do that many BBC sessions, but luckily there's just enough for an album decent length. It would be longer, except I didn't include the second versions of three songs they played twice: "Time Seller," "Feel Your Way," and "Mr. Second Class." As it is, I think it works neatly as a "best of" of this version of the band, featuring all their best known songs, including their three minor British hits, "Time Seller," "Mr. Second Class," and "After Tea." ("Time Seller" hit number two in the Netherlands.)

By the way, although it wasn't released as a single, their best song may be the first one, "Don't Want You No More." If you're a fan of the Allman Brothers Band, you probably recognize this. They did an instrumental version if it on their first album as part of a medley with the song "It Ain't My Cross to Bear," and they played that medley a zillion times in the years afterwards. It's interesting to hear the original version with lyrics.

All of the performances here from 1967 and 1968 have been officially released on the compilation album "Taking Out Time." However, a number of them, the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles, had BBC DJs talking over the music. I removed the DJ vocals in the usual way I do, using X-Minus audio editing software.

The last three songs are somewhat different. These all date to 1973, during the band's short-lived reunion. They're all from an unreleased concert that was broadcast on the BBC at the time. They finished with a version of "Gimme Some Lovin'," the band's most famous song from when Winwood was a member. 

This album is 42 minutes long.

01 Don't Want You No More [Edit] (Spencer Davis Group)
02 Mr. Second Class [Edit] (Spencer Davis Group)
03 Time Seller [Edit] (Spencer Davis Group)
04 Feel Your Way (Spencer Davis Group)
05 Taking Out Time (Spencer Davis Group)
06 Moonshine [Edit] (Spencer Davis Group)
07 After Tea [Edit] (Spencer Davis Group)
08 Dust My Blues [Edit] (Spencer Davis Group)
09 With His New Face On (Spencer Davis Group)
10 Let's Have a Party (Spencer Davis Group)
11 Catch You on the Rebop (Spencer Davis Group)
12 Gimme Some Lovin' (Spencer Davis Group)

Boy, did I have a heard time finding any decent photos of this version of the band. Steve Winwood casts such a huge shadow over the band that it seems virtually any photo includes him. I had to resort to using the photo of the cover of the "Taking Out Time" compilation album. It's not great - is it intentional that one of the band members is visibly yawning? - but at least it's not terrible.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Robyn Hitchcock - Acoustic Covers, Volume 14: 2016

It's been a while since I've posted anything from Robyn Hitchcock, and a still have plenty to post before catching up to current day, so here's another album from him. It's yet another in the very long series of acoustic covers. I just have one more to post after this until the start of the Covid pandemic (where he began playing tons of home concerts with even more acoustic covers).

As with his other acoustic covers, he doesn't try to radically reinvent any of the songs, but he performs all of them very well, and has impeccable taste in source material.

Hitchcock is nothing if not consistent about the musicians he loves the most. Most of his favorites are featured here, though there's no Syd Barrett, and he did two John Lennon songs instead of Beatles ones. The first three songs are David Bowie songs because this took place right after Bowie died.

As with the vast majority of the volumes in this series, all the performances here are officially unreleased. They come from concert bootlegs. Not all of those are soundboard sourced, so the sound quality isn't always excellent. But it's generally at least very good. For the song "Quicksand," there were a few annoying "woo-hoo" noises from the audience in the middle of the song. So I used audio editing software to get rid of that, thus the "[Edit]" in the title.

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

01 Quicksand - David Bowie
02 Soul Love - David Bowie
03 The Prettiest Star - David Bowie
04 Pancho and Lefty - Townes Van Zandt
05 Let It Be Me - Everly Brothers
06 Candy Says - Velvet Underground
07 Pale Blue Eyes - Velvet Underground
08 Isolation - John Lennon
09 No. 9 Dream - John Lennon
10 October Song - Incredible String Band
11 Just like a Woman - Bob Dylan
12 The Butcher - Leonard Cohen
13 Isis - Bob Dylan

Here's the usual song list:

01 Quicksand [Edit] (Robyn Hitchcock)
02 Soul Love (Robyn Hitchcock)
03 The Prettiest Star (Robyn Hitchcock & Emma Swift)
04 Pancho and Lefty (Robyn Hitchcock & Grant-Lee Phillips)
05 Let It Be Me (Robyn Hitchcock & Emma Swift)
06 Candy Says (Robyn Hitchcock with Sean Nelson & Emma Swift)
07 Pale Blue Eyes (Robyn Hitchcock with Sean Nelson & Emma Swift)
08 Isolation (Robyn Hitchcock)
09 No. 9 Dream (Robyn Hitchcock)
10 October Song (Robyn Hitchcock)
11 Just like a Woman (Robyn Hitchcock & Emma Swift)
12 The Butcher (Robyn Hitchcock)
13 Isis (Robyn Hitchcock)

This album is 52 minutes long.

The cover photo comes from a 2016 concert, but I don't recall the details.

Iwan Fals - Ngalor Ngidulnya, Volume 3 (2021)

Here's the third volume in my series of Iwan Fals acoustic home concerts. Who is Iwan Fals? In case you missed my earlier posts on him, he's an Indonesian rock star, often called the "Bob Dylan of Indonesia." In my opinion, he's an all-time musical giant, and so far ahead of all other Indonesian musicians that he's in a league of his own.

Unfortunately, his chief strength is probably his lyrics, which address all sorts of political and social topics in addition to the usual romantic topics. If you don't understand Indonesian, that will slip by you, because all the songs here are in Indonesian. As a result, I suspect very few people will download this, but hopefully the few who do will dig it.

As with the other albums in this series, he played some of his best known songs from his vast back catalog, with a focus on the ones that work well in a solo acoustic context.

As with all the volumes in this series, I took all the performances from videos that Fals posted on YouTube. 

This album is an hour and two minutes long.

01 Asmara Tak Secengeng Yang Aku Kira (Iwan Fals)
02 Siang Pelataran S. D. Sebuah Kampung (Iwan Fals)
03 Berikan Pijar Matahari (Iwan Fals)
04 Semoga Kau Tak Tula Tuhan (Iwan Fals)
05 Puing II (Iwan Fals)
06 Jendela Kelas I (Iwan Fals)
07 Celoteh Camar Tolol dan Cemar (Iwan Fals)
08 Nak (Iwan Fals)
09 Adzan Subuh Masih di Telinga (Iwan Fals)
10 Berkacalah Jakarta (Iwan Fals)
11 Tolong Dengar Tuhan (Iwan Fals)

Like the other albums in this series, the cover photo is a screenshot taken from one of the YouTube videos of the performances here.

Joan Osborne - Stand Back - Non-Album Tracks (2003-2005)

I have a ton of Joan Osborne music to post, so I'm going to try to prioritize that a bit more. Here's the next in a long series of her stray tracks albums.

At this point in her career, Osborne was wearing a few musical hats. She had her solo career going on, of course. But she also got involved singing with the Funk Brothers, the backing group to most of the Motown hits from the 1960s and early 1970s. She was featured in the documentary movie about them called "Standing in the Shadows of Motown." The first two songs here are unreleased performances she did with the Funk Brothers on a tour promoting that movie.

She also began getting involved with various successor bands to the Grateful Dead around this time. That's a whole separate thing, in my opinion, so I'll post her music related to that at another time.

The two songs with the Funk Brothers mentioned above are unreleased (but come from an excellent sounding soundboard bootleg). The last two songs here also are unreleased, and come from concert bootlegs. The first of those, "On the Old Kentucky Shore," was originally done by her as a duet with Ricky Scaggs for a various artists album celebrating the music of country musician Bill Monroe. I didn't like that version, because it featured a lot more of Scaggs than it did of Osborne. But I found this live version instead that has only Osborne singing all the lead vocals, so I used that one. The last song, "Turtle Blues," was most famously done by Janis Joplin.

Unfortunately, these last two songs don't sound as great as the rest. But I used some sound editing tricks to improve them as much as possible. Also, for "Turtle Blues," it seems a section of the song in the middle was missing. So I cut out all of that verse to make the missing section less obvious.

As for all the songs in between, they are all officially released. Generally, they come from Osborne's appearances on other people's albums, or on various artists compilations. But also, she did a Christmas album around this time. Personally, I don't like the whole thing, so I took the songs I did like and added them to this album, as well as the next stray tracks album in this series.

This album is 44 minutes long.

01 For Once in My Life (Joan Osborne & the Funk Brothers)
02 I Heard It through the Grapevine (Joan Osborne & the Funk Brothers)
03 Lover Man (Greg Osby with Joan Osborne)
04 Stand Back (Joan Osborne)
05 Just to Be Alone with You (Joan Osborne)
06 Santa Claus Baby (Joan Osborne)
07 Christmas in New Orleans (Joan Osborne)
08 Spoonful (Joan Osborne & Vivian Campbell)
09 What Do Bad Girls Get (Joan Osborne)
10 On the Old Kentucky Shore (Joan Osborne)
11 Turtle Blues [Edit] (Joan Osborne)

The cover photo features Osborne at a public event in 2005.

Tom Jones - This Is Tom Jones, Volume 5 (1970)

I haven't posted much since getting back from vacation, been busy, but I hope to post a bunch in the next few days to make up for it. First up is some more Tom Jones. This is the fifth out of six volumes of his performances from his TV show, "This Is Tom Jones."

As with the other volumes, this has a lot of duets on it. In fact, ten out of the 14 songs are duets. And also like those others, he sings and plays with some of the biggest stars in music at this time. The duets here are with: Leslie Uggams, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Burt Bacharach, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Reed, and the Supremes. I must admit I'd never heard of Uggams before, but it's ridiculous that he had so many duets with those other big stars. And consider that this is only from one portion of one season of his show, and I was only able to find some of the duets done during that time.

The duets with Aretha Franklin are particularly significant, in my opinion. They did four songs together, for almost 10 minutes of music. I doubt Franklin ever dueted with anyone as much as she did with Jones on this TV appearance. And while the Ray Charles duet is technically only one track, it's a medley of three songs that lasts seven minutes.

As with the other albums in this series, this is sourced from DVDs and YouTube videos. The DVD tracks sound better, not surprisingly, but it all had to meet my usual sound quality standards.

Even if you're not much of a Tom Jones fan, there's a lot to like here. Yeah, there are a few cheesy show-biz tunes. But there also are plenty of duets with some all-time greats, generally doing classic songs.

This album is 47 minutes long.

01 Somewhere (Tom Jones & Leslie Uggams)
02 Venus (Tom Jones)
03 If I Ruled the World (Tom Jones)
04 That Thing Called Love - Understanding - Bright Lights (Tom Jones & Ray Charles)
05 I Heard it Through the Grapevine (Tom Jones & Smokey Robinson)
06 What the World Needs Now (Tom Jones with Burt Bacharach)
07 Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head (Tom Jones & Burt Bacharach)
08 It's Not Unusual - See Saw (Tom Jones & Aretha Franklin)
09 Spirit in the Dark (Tom Jones & Aretha Franklin)
10 The Party's Over (Tom Jones & Aretha Franklin)
11 Funky Chicken (Tom Jones)
12 Guitar Man (Tom Jones & Jerry Reed)
13 River Deep, Mountain High (Tom Jones & Supremes)
14 Try a Little Tenderness (Tom Jones)

As with the other albums in this series, I figured it would be more interesting to show a photo of Jones from one of his duets on the cover rather than him alone. So I chose him singing with Aretha Franklin from the performance featured here.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Roy Orbison - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: Roy Sings Orbison, London, Britain, 7-11-1975

A couple of weeks ago, I published the first volume of Roy Orbison at the BBC. Here's the second and final volume.

Generally speaking, I like to post music of artists here when they were in their peak years. For Orbison, in my opinion, that was the 1960s. Then he spent a long time in the musical wilderness, without much critical or commercial success, before hitting another peak in the late 1980s with a new successful hit single and album, as well as membership in the Traveling Wilburys. Unfortunately, he died of a heart attack in 1988 at the age of 52, cutting his career revival short.

This album takes place during that musical wilderness time, when he seemed to be very out of fashion with the musical trends of the time. But I'm posting this because he was stubbornly consistent, in a good way, meaning this concert from 1975 probably would have sounded nearly exactly the same as if it had been recorded in, say, 1967, except for a few song selections. He kept doggedly pursuing his musical vision, and eventually the rest of the world caught up with him again. 

I also like it because it's a single show done for a BBC TV special in front of a live audience, so it has a good musical unity, as well as occasional comments by Orbison between the songs. The one downside to that is that it's relatively short, at only 33 minutes long.

There has been one official, though obscure, BBC album for him, called "Live at the BBC." I'm not a fan of it because it only grabs some BBC recordings here and there. In this case, that album included seven of the eleven performances from this show, and none of the banter between songs. So I ignored that album as a source, and used a complete version I found on YouTube instead. In terms of sound quality, I can't really tell the difference. I think this sounds perfectly fine.

Generally speaking, this is a run through of his best known songs. But it also includes "Hung Up on You," which was his latest single release at the time.

01 Only the Lonely (Roy Orbison)
02 talk (Roy Orbison)
03 Crying (Roy Orbison)
04 Penny Arcade (Roy Orbison)
05 talk (Roy Orbison)
06 Blue Bayou (Roy Orbison)
07 Running Scared (Roy Orbison)
08 talk (Roy Orbison)
09 Hung Up on You (Roy Orbison)
10 talk (Roy Orbison)
11 Candy Man (Roy Orbison)
12 In Dreams (Roy Orbison)
13 talk (Roy Orbison)
14 Mean Woman Blues (Roy Orbison)
15 It's Over (Roy Orbison)
16 talk (Roy Orbison)
17 Oh, Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)

The cover image is a screenshot taken from the exact show featured here.