Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Gun - BBC Sessions and Live (1967-1968)

I posted an alternate version of the Gun's second album, "Gun Sight," a few days ago. This is the second and final thing I want to post from the band, because they only existed a short time and don't have much material. The first half contains what little BBC studio sessions that exist. The second half is what remains of a concert in France in 1968.

Only parts of three BBC sessions survive. The first three songs come from an officially released by obscure album that compiles BBC sessions by lesser known artists, called "Sights and Sounds, Volume 2." Those sound very good.

The fourth song come from an official album of the band's rarities, called "Reloaded." I don't know what BBC session that one is from exactly, except that it's different from the rest here, and sometime in 1968.

Tracks five through seven, plus the bonus track, come from a different BBC session. These versions are unreleased, except for "The Man Who Paints Pictures," which is also from "Reloaded." The sound quality of these songs is more variable. The song "Unlock My Door" didn't meet my sound quality standards, even though it's also from "Reloaded," so I demoted that one to bonus track status. "The Man Who Paints Pictures" just barely qualified. I used the X-Minus audio editing software to boost the vocals, which helped some. 

The other songs with "[Edit]" in their titles were edited with X-Minus to remove the BBC DJ's talking over the music. In a couple of cases, I also made some other edits while I was at it in hopes they would improve the sound quality a bit.

By the way, note that the songs "Hold On," "A Most Peculiar Man," "The Man Who Paints Pictures" and the bonus track "Unlock My Door" were apparently never properly recorded, other than in these BBC sessions. They are originals (and "Hold On" was covered by Sharon Tandy and others) except for "A Most Peculiar Man," which is by Simon and Garfunkel. I think that one shows the range of this band, because not many bands known for their hard rock sound would cover a Simon and Garfunkel song.

The last four songs are from a mysterious concert in France in 1968. I say "mysterious" because the only information I could find about it is that they come from a concert in France in 1968 - no venue, no town, no date. I found them from a video posted on YouTube by the child of one of the band members. You can find it and watch it on YouTube, which is probably the only concert footage in existence by this band. This is also the only live recording of them I could find, so we're lucky that the sound quality is pretty good. Clearly, the concert was longer than this, as the recording often stops and starts between songs. (I edited a bit to make those transitions less obvious.) But I don't know if any more footage of it survives. 

Two of the songs, "Take Off" and "Race with the Devil," are here both from BBC sessions and live versions. Normally I don't like having two versions of the same song on one album. But the versions here are significantly different. That's especially true of "Take Off," which is two and a half minutes long in the BBC version, and ten minutes long in the live version! 

"I'm So Glad" is a blues song originally done by Skip James, and later covered by Cream and Deep Purple. This is the only known version of the Gun doing it, inspired by the Cream version.

This album is 43 minutes long, not including the bonus track. If you have this album, the alternate version of "Gun Sight" that I posted here, and the band's first album "The Gun," you'll have all the worthy music the band put out in the short time they were together.

01 Hold On [Edit] (Gun)
02 The Lights on the Wall [Edit] (Gun)
03 A Most Peculiar Man [Edit] (Gun)
04 Take Off [Edit] (Gun)
05 Race with the Devil [Edit] (Gun)
06 Sunshine [Edit] (Gun)
07 The Man Who Paints Pictures [Edit] (Gun)
08 talk (Gun)
09 Drives You Mad (Gun)
10 Take Off (Gun)
11 I'm So Glad (Gun)
12 Race with the Devil (Gun)

Unlock My Door [Edit] (Gun) 

https://www78.zippyshare.com/v/Ub8xmDt9/file.html

The cover photo comes from a 1968 photo session. For the band's name, I included the logo styled version that appears on their two albums.

Pentangle - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: 1968-1969

Here's the second of six volumes of Pentangle at the BBC.

As I mentioned with Volume 1, two official albums of the band's BBC recordings have been released. Those two didn't help much with this, however. Only three songs here are officially released, tracks 1, 2, and 7, from "The Lost Broadcasts" album. 

However, that doesn't matter much, because all the songs here are from proper BBC studio sessions, and the unreleased ones sound about as good as the released ones. (Most of the unreleased ones come from "Live On Air," which is an unauthorized "grey market" release.)

Two of the songs suffer from the typical BBC problem of DJs talking over the music (the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles). I applied the usual X-Minus audio editing program treatment that wiped out the talking while keeping the underlying music.

While Fairport Convention mixed folk and rock, Pentangle was more about mixing jazz and rock, since most of the band members came from jazz backgrounds. I think both styles are interesting, though I must admit I prefer Fairport Convention in their peak years.

This album is 44 minutes long.

01 Sweet Child (Pentangle)
02 Hear My Call (Pentangle)
03 Watch the Stars (Pentangle)
04 Can't Keep from Crying Some Time (Pentangle)
05 Every Night When the Sun Goes In (Pentangle)
06 Let No Man Steal Your Thyme [Edit] (Pentangle)
07 Sally Go Round the Roses (Pentangle)
08 Once I Had a Sweetheart (Pentangle)
09 Bruton Town [Edit] (Pentangle)
10 Hunting Song (Pentangle)
11 I Got a Feeling (Pentangle)

https://www1.zippyshare.com/v/UeJZl8P0/file.html

The cover photo is from a publicity photo session some time in 1969.

Crosby & Nash - BBC In Concert, BBC Studios, London, Britain, 9-11-1970

So far, I've posted a ton of Crosby, Stills and Nash/ Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young music, as well as some solo Stephen Stills music, and solo David Crosby music, but nothing by the duo of Crosby and Nash. Since I'm posting a bunch of BBC material today, here's a great concert from them recorded for a BBC TV show.

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY) broke up for the first time (though definitely not the last time!) in July 1970, at the conclusion of a US tour. This concert was recorded in London only two months later. The website www.setlist.fm lists this as the very first public performance by just David Crosby and Graham Nash as a duo, and in fact the only performance they would do as a duo until 1971. They would go on to record and perform as a duo off an on until 2015, when the two of them had a falling out that sadly still hasn't been healed as I write this in 2022. 

This is a great recording. The sound quality is as good as it gets, and the performance was spot on. Clearly, the two of them were bursting with creativity at the time. Only three of the songs were released  at the time - Marrakesh Express, Guinnevere, and Teach Your Children. The rest would come out on later albums. There's a lot of entertaining banter between songs as well.

The only snag with the album is that it's rather short, at 32 minutes. Probably that's because it was meant to fit in a half-hour TV show format. Various versions of this have been rebroadcast without "Song with No Words (Tree with No Leaves)" or "Right Between the Eyes" or both, but I made sure to include both. I would guess that more songs were recorded, given that the concert begins without any applause or introduction, and ends with "Traction in the Rain," a song that had just been written days earlier and not the kind of song to typically end a show. But often if songs weren't broadcast, their recordings are lost to history. 

By the way, I'll have a lot more from the various permutations of CSNY to post by and by. But this is the only music from them that I know of that was specifically recorded for the BBC. Also by the way, you can watch the full concert on YouTube.

01 Simple Man (Crosby & Nash)
02 talk (Crosby & Nash)
03 Marrakesh Express (Crosby & Nash)
04 Guinnevere (Crosby & Nash)
05 talk (Crosby & Nash)
06 Song with No Words [Tree with No Leaves] (Crosby & Nash)
07 talk (Crosby & Nash)
08 Teach Your Children (Crosby & Nash)
09 talk (Crosby & Nash)
10 Right Between the Eyes (Crosby & Nash)
11 talk (Crosby & Nash)
12 The Lee Shore (Crosby & Nash)
13 talk (Crosby & Nash)
14 Traction in the Rain (Crosby & Nash)

https://www73.zippyshare.com/v/dkjNIhFV/file.html

The cover photo is a screenshot taken from the exact concert in question.

The Searchers - BBC Sessions, Volume 3 (1965-1967)

This is the third and final volume of the Searchers at the BBC.

From about 1963 to 1966, the "British Invasion" sound was very popular worldwide, a poppy British version of American soul and rock styles. But musical styles were rapidly changing and growing more sophisticated. By 1967, the psychedelic sound was ascendant, and old styles were passe. Some musical acts evolved and grew, and some fell behind. The Searchers, unfortunately, definitely fell behind. In 1965, they were almost up there with the Beatles in terms of popularity in Britain, but their popularity dropped so rapidly that they didn't even release another new studio album in Britain after 1965.

This album documents their decline. It's all good music, mind you. In fact, I like this one the best out of the three BBC volumes. Their style was increasingly out of touch with the musical trends of the time, but that doesn't matter when it comes to listening to this music now.

The band stuck together well beyond this time frame, and even had some minor revivals years later. But it seems they were too unpopular to merit any more BBC sessions after 1967. It didn't help that they only released one single in 1968. They did play some songs for the "Beat Club" TV show in Germany in 1968, including the excellent "Umbrella Man," but I looked closely at the YouTube videos and those are lip-synced, so I didn't include them here.

As usual, BBC DJs talked over the music of some songs (the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles), and, as usual, I fixed those using the X-Minus audio editing program. 

This album is 37 minutes long.

01 Four Strong Winds (Searchers)
02 When I Get Home (Searchers)
03 I'm Never Coming Back [Edit] (Searchers)
04 Too Many Miles [Edit] (Searchers)
05 Take Me for What I'm Worth (Searchers)
06 It's Time (Searchers)
07 Take It or Leave It (Searchers)
08 Blowin' in the Wind [Edit] (Searchers)
09 Have You Ever Loved Somebody (Searchers)
10 C. C. Rider - Jenny Take a Ride [Edit] (Searchers)
11 Popcorn Double Feature (Searchers)
12 Goodbye, So Long [Edit] (Searchers)
13 I'll Be Loving You [Edit] (Searchers)
14 Western Union (Searchers)
15 I Don't Believe [Edit] (Searchers)

https://www70.zippyshare.com/v/JNlSvyyA/file.html

The cover photo comes from the "Hippodrome" TV show in 1966.

The Foundations - BBC Sessions (1967-1969)

Like the Simon Dupree and the Big Sound BBC album I posted recently, here's an album where I had to dig deep to find the material to make this album.

Today, the Foundations are known as a two-hit wonder, if they're remembered at all. Their 1967 single "Baby, Now that I’ve Found You" was a number one hit in Britain, and a number 11 hit in the US. Their 1968 single "Build Me Up Buttercup" was a top three hit in both the US and Britain. They had four more hits in Britain, including a top ten one with "In the Bad, Bad Old Days (Before You Loved Me)", but it seems most everything they did but those two songs has been forgotten.

The Foundations were a multi-ethnic British soul band that filled an interesting musical need. In the mid- to late 1960s, the British public fell in love with the "Motown sound." But that was based in Detroit in the US. There were very few British musical acts that could convincingly perform this type of music, due to the different ethic and cultural histories of the two countries. But the Foundations nailed that sound exactly, while mostly performing new songs they wrote, or were written for them, instead of doing all Motown covers. 

Here's their Wikipedia entry for more info about them:

The Foundations - Wikipedia

A portion of the British public continued to love the Motown sound long, long after that type of music stopped being made in the US, in what became known as the "Northern Soul" genre. So the Foundations could have kept going successfully. But the band had all kinds of personnel and management problems after hitting the big time, including losing their lead singer. They broke up entirely in 1970.

All the performances here are unreleased. Due the band's obscurity these days, it seems nobody has ever collected their BBC recordings before, so I had to go to the BBC transcription reels and extract each of the songs. The sound quality is generally very good on those reels, but some here are better than others.

BBC DJ Brian Matthew really outdid himself on these recordings. He's the most notorious DJ when it comes to talking over stars and ends of songs. For this album, he talked over every single song, except for the one that didn't come from the BBC. As usual, I wiped his voice using the X-Minus audio editing program.

The one song that doesn't come from the BBC is the "Jerkin' the Dog - Funky Broadway" medley. (Man, the "Jerkin' the Dog" title could definitely be taken the wrong way these days!) That comes from the French TV show "Bouton Rouge." They played two other songs on that show, but I didn't include them here because they were also done for the BBC.

This album is 37 minutes long. If you enjoy the Motown sound but aren't familiar with this band, I think you'll like this.

01 Baby, Now that I’ve Found You [Edit] (Foundations)
02 Things Get Better [Edit] (Foundations)
03 Harlem Shuffle [Edit] (Foundations)
04 A Whole New Thing [Edit] (Foundations)
05 Back on My Feet Again [Edit] (Foundations)
06 It's Alright [Edit] (Foundations)
07 Jerkin' the Dog - Funky Broadway (Foundations)
08 Build Me Up Buttercup [Edit] (Foundations)
09 In the Bad, Bad Old Days [Before You Loved Me] [Edit] (Foundations)
10 Any Old Time [You're Lonely and Sad] [Edit] (Foundations)
11 Waiting on the Shores of Nowhere [Edit] (Foundations)
12 Baby I Couldn't See [Edit] (Foundations)
13 Help Me [Edit] (Foundations)

https://www106.zippyshare.com/v/HtVQjedG/file.html

Not surprisingly, there aren't a lot of good color photos of this band. I don't know where this is from or which band members are in it. I adjusted the colors, since they seemed a bit off.

Savoy Brown - BBC Sessions (1968-1971)

One reason I'm enjoying putting together these many BBC albums is that it's giving me a good reason to check out some musical artists I've overlooked. One of those is the British blues rock band Savoy Brown. They didn't do anything earthshaking, but if you like British blues rock similar to early Fleetwood Mac, this is a solid listen.

Here's the band's Wikipedia page, if you want to know more:

Savoy Brown - Wikipedia

None of this material is officially released. But I'm essentially reposting the work of others, with a few songs added. A music collector named DocDondy first compiled a bunch of the band's BBC tracks, and tried to clean them up. Then someone named Knees found more BBC tracks and did more cleaning, removing hiss and pops, fixing drop outs, improving the equalization, and so on. As a result, these songs sound pretty good even though the source material wasn't all that great.

I've made further changes in that they chose to leave in the BBC DJs talking over the music, and I always try to remove that. So I did my usual thing of using the X-Minus audio editing program to wipe out said talking on all the songs with "[Edit]" in their titles.

Savoy Brown is essentially lead guitarist Kim Simmonds plus a frequently changing group of supporting musicians. As I write this in 2022, the band is still going. However, the band hit its popular peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the British blues rock trend was big. It seems there are no BBC sessions after 1971. I think that's because around that time, the band decided to focus almost exclusively on constantly touring in the US, so they probably weren't in Britain much to promote their music there.

This left me with a problem, because a couple of the band's most popular songs from the time period, "Tell Mama" and "Hellbound Train," were not included. So I found a US live radio show from 1972 for "Hellbound Train," and a US TV show from 1973 with "Tell Mama" and one other song. It was hard to find even that much. I guess the band's popularity wasn't enough for them to get on TV or live radio shows that often.

This album is an hour and 12 minutes long. If it were at least ten minutes longer, I would have had enough to split it into two volumes. But I think one long album is better than two rather short ones.

01 Louisiana Blues [Goin' to Louisiana] [Edit] (Savoy Brown)
02 Walking by Myself [Edit] (Savoy Brown)
03 Gnome Sweet Gnome (Savoy Brown)
04 Mr. Downchild [Edit] (Savoy Brown)
05 Train to Nowhere [Edit] (Savoy Brown)
06 She's Got a Ring in His Nose and a Ring on Her Hand (Savoy Brown)
07 Life's One Act Play (Savoy Brown)
08 You'd Better Pray for the Lord to Guide You (Savoy Brown)
09 I'm Tired (Savoy Brown)
10 Money Can't Save Your Soul [Edit] (Savoy Brown)
11 Looking In [Edit] (Savoy Brown)
12 Blues on the Ceiling [Edit] (Savoy Brown)
13 Street Corner Talking [Edit] (Savoy Brown)
14 Hellbound Train [Edit] (Savoy Brown)
15 Tell Mama (Savoy Brown)
16 Just 'Cos You Got the Blues Don't Mean You Gotta Sing (Savoy Brown)

https://www80.zippyshare.com/v/c4sGJvlq/file.html

This is an extremely modest band, because it's very hard to find any good color photos of them. Even virtually none of their album cover feature the band members. This looks to be from the band's early years. If anyone can recognize who is pictured here, that would help date it, since the band's personnel changed fairly often.

Black Sabbath - BBC Sessions (1970)

I'm not a fan of Black Sabbath at all, as I'm not a fan of the heavy metal genre, with a few exceptions. But they're undoubtedly a popular band, and they did perform at the BBC, so I'm including them in my BBC project.

Black Sabbath began in 1969. They had a big year in 1970, releasing two albums that contained many of their most famous songs. BBC DJ John Peel promoted them at first, and even tried to help them get a record deal. The band played a session on his radio show in late 1969, but it seems no recordings of it still exist. 

Then he hosted the band for a short live set in April 1970. That makes up the first five songs. The first four of these were officially released on an Ozzy Osbourne greatest hits album. But the John Peel intros and audience applause weren't included, so they don't sound like the live versions they actually are.

If you're a big fan of the band, you may be interested to know these versions contain some differences from the usual studio album versions. The song "Black Sabbath" contains an extra verse. "Walpurgis" has significantly different lyrics and theme, before it turned into the song "War Pigs." "Fairies Wear Boots" also has some different lyrics.

Peel's support was crucial in getting the band early exposure, but he quickly lost interest in their occult and horror themes. As a result, there are no BBC sessions after mid-1970, so this is the one and only volume I'm posting. (Most other BBC DJs weren't as daring with their guest selections as Peel, so if he wouldn't book them, it's unlikely any other DJs would.) 

If I only included the songs from the one surviving BBC session, this would be a very short album. But luckily, the band also played four songs for the German TV show "Beat Club" in 1970. Those are the last four songs here. These fit nicely, because they're all different songs, with one exception, the song "Black Sabbath." But it's not a problem having two versions of that one, because they're vastly different: the BBC version is nine minutes long, and the Beat Club version is just under three minutes long.

This album is 50 minutes long.

01 Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath)
02 Walpurgis [Early Version of War Pigs] (Black Sabbath)
03 Fairies Wear Boots (Black Sabbath)
04 Behind the Wall of Sleep (Black Sabbath)
05 The Rebel (Black Sabbath)
06 Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath)
07 Blue Suede Shoes (Black Sabbath)
08 Paranoid (Black Sabbath)
09 Iron Man (Black Sabbath)

https://www7.zippyshare.com/v/sgDdo0qz/file.html 

The promotional photo used on the cover is said to date from 1970. I think Ozzy Osbourne is the one kneeling in the front row. He was looking off to the side, so I adjusted his eyes in Photoshop so he's looking at the camera along with the others.

Beverley Knight - Soul Covers, Volume 3 (2010-2013)

I haven't gotten much feedback on this series yet, but I'll keep posting it in hopes that someone is digging it. Here's Volume 3 out of 4, containing nothing but cover versions.

As I've explained with previous posts, Beverley Knight is a British soul singer who has won some fame in Britain, but is virtually unknown in the US and most of the rest of the world. If you haven't heard of her, know that she has a fantastic voice and a great choice in cover songs.

Many of the songs here are most recent than the classic soul songs from the 1960s and 1970s that are frequently covered. That's because a big chunk of the songs originally appeared on a 2011 album "Soul UK" where she favored those types of songs (and limited herself to just covering British artists). However, none of the versions here are the exact ones from that album. Instead, they're generally taken from in person radio show appearances and TV or radio broadcasts. Most of the songs are officially unreleased as a result. But three of them, tracks 2 through 4, are live versions that appeared as bonus or EP tracks.

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

01 Amazing Grace - John Newton
02 Always and Forever - Heatwave
03 Fairplay - Soul II Soul
04 Damn - Lewis Taylor
05 When You Gonna Learn - Jamiroquai
06 One More Try - George Michael
07 Cuddly Toy - Roachford
08 Keep This Fire Burning - Robyn
09 Mama Used to Say - Junior
10 A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke
11 Bring It on Home to Me - Sam Cooke
12 Twist and Shout - Isley Brothers / Beatles

Here's the usual song list:

01 Amazing Grace (Beverley Knight)
02 Always and Forever (Beverley Knight)
03 Fairplay (Beverley Knight)
04 Damn (Beverley Knight)
05 When You Gonna Learn (Beverley Knight)
06 One More Try (Beverley Knight & the ACM Gospel Choir)
07 Cuddly Toy (Beverley Knight)
08 Keep This Fire Burning (Beverley Knight)
09 Mama Used to Say (Beverley Knight)
10 A Change Is Gonna Come (Beverley Knight)
11 Bring It on Home to Me (Vintage Trouble & Beverley Knight)
12 Twist and Shout (Beverley Knight)

Personally, I like all these covers even though I wasn't familiar with many of the original versions. As I said, she has excellent taste in picking cover versions to sing.

This album is 51 minutes long.

https://www19.zippyshare.com/v/waDTKqpG/file.html 

The cover photo might look a bit fake due to the lighting, but it's a real, untouched photo. It was taken at the 2013 Cornbury Music Festival in Oxford, Britain.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

The Searchers - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: 1964-1965

Here's the second of three albums of the Searchers at the BBC.

The first two songs are from the tail end of 1964; all the rest are from 1965. Those first two are from a Swedish radio show. The rest are proper BBC studio sessions, and have been included on the official live album "BBC Sessions."

As I mentioned in Volume 1 of this series, the Searchers were never that big in the US. But in Britain, they were extremely popular for a couple of years. In fact, 1965 was probably their peak.

These BBC recordings suffer the usual problem of BBC DJs talking over the music. But the band got lucky this time, since only four of the songs here have "[Edit]" in their names. As I do, I used the X-Minus audio software to wipe the talking while keeping the underlying music.

This album is 35 minutes long.

01 Memphis, Tennessee (Searchers)
02 Hi-Heel Sneakers (Searchers)
03 What Have They Done to the Rain [Edit] (Searchers)
04 Something You Got (Searchers)
05 Let the Good Times Roll [Edit] (Searchers)
06 Everything You Do (Searchers)
07 Goodbye My Love (Searchers)
08 Magic Potion (Searchers)
09 Bumble Bee (Searchers)
10 Everybody Clap Your Hands [Edit] (Searchers)
11 Sweet Little Sixteen (Searchers)
12 Glad All Over [Edit] (Searchers)
13 He's Got No Love (Searchers)
14 Be My Baby (Searchers)
15 Ready Teddy (Searchers)

https://www97.zippyshare.com/v/OioE5rYi/file.html

The cover photo is from a TV appearance in 1965, but I don't know the details.

Katrina and the Waves - Best Of, Volume 2 (1985-1997)

A few days ago, I posted Volume 1 of the best songs from the band Katrina and the Waves. This is the second and final volume.

There's not much for me to say that I didn't say with Volume 1. In short, I think this band is underrated, and is a lot more than just a "one-hit wonder" type band.

But I will explain a little more about the band's history, picking up in 1985, where the music in this volume begins. 1985 is the year the band redid their 1983 song "Walking on Sunshine" and had top ten hits in the US and Britain with it. The band was willing to sound just as commercials as their record company wanted, which meant they often were overproduced. But despite this willingness, they were unable to follow "Walking on Sunshine" with any big hits, although they did have some minor ones.

The band kept putting out albums through the rest of the 1980s and 1990s. I must admit that I haven't listened to every song on every one. There's a lot of bad, cheesy music on them, to be honest. But they had some real winners too. I particularly like "Red Wine and Whiskey," and think it should have been a big hit.

Bit by bit, the band's sales were falling. It looked like they would fade away into obscurity. But in 1997, pretty much on a whim, they paid $250 to submit a new song the band had written, "Love Shine a Light," to that year's Eurovision contest. If you're an American like I am, you're probably unaware or only dimly aware of Eurovision. But in Europe, it's a very, very big deal. (There's a funny 2020 movie about the contest called "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" that stars Will Farrell.) The band was chosen to represent Britain with their song. Then they went on to not only win the Eurovision contest, but they crushed it, with one of the highest vote tallies ever. The song then went on to become a huge hit in Britain (reaching number three there) and the rest of Europe, but didn't make a dent in the US charts.

This was a very unexpected and improbable comeback for a band that seemed to have been running on fumes for most of the 1990s. But, ironically, the song's success led to the break-up of the band that same year. Kimberley Rew, who wrote the song, was embarrassed by the cheesy Eurovision spectacle (see the Will Farrell movie for a general idea why), and was the only band member not to perform it during the contest. The band had already been fairly poppy, but the song's success pegged them even more or a pop band than a rock band, which meant playing the European cabaret circuit instead of rock venues. Rew didn't like that and broke the band up.

All the songs here are from the band's albums from 1985 to 1997, except for one. The last one is kind of a bonus track, because it's from ten years later, and is a solo release from the band's lead singer, Katrina Leskanich. It's a cover of the Clash song "Hitsville UK" that I happen to really like, so I've added it to the end.

This album is 45 minutes long. I believe all the songs are originals, except for the Clash one.

01 Red Wine and Whiskey (Katrina & the Waves)
02 Walking on Sunshine [Second Version] (Katrina & the Waves)
03 Love That Boy (Katrina & the Waves)
04 Is That It (Katrina & the Waves)
05 Money Chain (Katrina & the Waves)
06 Lovely Lindsey (Katrina & the Waves)
07 Sun Street (Katrina & the Waves)
08 [I Can] Dream about It (Katrina & the Waves)
09 Rock 'n' Roll Girl (Katrina & the Waves)
10 That's the Way (Katrina & the Waves)
11 Love Shine a Light (Katrina & the Waves)
12 Hitsville U.K. (Katrina Leskanich)

https://www114.zippyshare.com/v/6d0b5dCC/file.html

The cover photo is from 1986. For the band's name, I used the font and colors from one of their albums.

Pentangle - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: 1968

Now that I've posted a Pentangle stray tracks album, I can get on with posting their BBC sessions. There's a lot of 'em - six volumes. Here's the first.

Pentangle (sometimes known as "The Pentangle") played frequently for the BBC during their late 1960s/ early 1970s heyday. Much of it has been officially released, but much of it is a mess. There are two official releases: "On Air," which is also known as "Live at the BBC" in some versions, and "The Lost Broadcasts." Additionally, there's another album called "Live On Air" which is a "grey market" unauthorized release. These different albums sometimes have the same versions of the same songs, but occasionally with different sound quality. Then there are even more unreleased songs not on any of them. So it's taken a while to sort this out.

The vast majority of this particular volume comes from "The Lost Broadcasts." But there's one song, "Mirage," that's unreleased, and three more from the unauthorized "Live On Air" album. The sound quality can vary from song to song - these are not all pristine recordings. But I didn't include anything I felt wasn't up to snuff.

I think the band often appeared on jazz, blues, and/or folk specialty shows, so their songs weren't talked over by BBC DJs as much as if they were always on the pop oriented shows. But still, that did happen to them sometimes. Three of the songs here had that problem (the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles), so I used the X-Minus audio editing software to fix them. 

01 Turn Your Money Green (Pentangle)
02 Travelling Song (Pentangle)
03 Soho (Pentangle)
04 Mirage (Pentangle)
05 No More My Lord (Pentangle)
06 I Am Lonely (Pentangle)
07 Forty-Eight (Pentangle)
08 Orlando (Pentangle)
09 Three Dances- Bransle Gay - La Rotta - The Earle of Salisbury [Instrumental] (Pentangle)
10 The Time Has Gone (Pentangle)
11 In Your Mind [Edit] (Pentangle)
12 I Loved a Lass [Edit] (Pentangle)
13 Sovay [Edit] (Pentangle)
14 I've Got a Feeling (Pentangle)

https://www1.zippyshare.com/v/SERLCUdb/file.html

I don't know when or where the photo used for the cover comes from. There aren't many good color photos of the band, so one can't be too choosy. But it looks to me to be from their early years, so I used it for this first album in the series.

Vangelis - Blade Runner - Ultimate Edition (1982) (A MIKE SOLOF GUEST POST)

Greek musician Vangelis died about a week ago as I write this in late May 2022. He was 79 years old. Occasional guest posted Mike Solof is a big fan of the 1982 sci-fi movie "Blade Runner" and its music. Personally, I'm not really into instrumental movie soundtrack music. But Mike is very excited about this particular release and wants it to reach a wider audience, so he's asked me if I could post it here, as well as at PJ's music blog "Albums I Wish Existed." 

As if Mike's style, he's written a PDF file with detailed notes. I'll leave most of the explanation to him in those notes. But I'll just briefly say that when the movie first was released, it wasn't popular enough for a proper soundtrack release too. Over the years, the movie grew to classic status, so various official soundtrack releases did happen. But each of these was botched, including music not in the movie and leaving out other music actually in the movie. Mike has been working on this for many years, and has put together an "ultimate edition" from lots of different sources.

This was released as the "Albums I Wish Existed" blog a few days ago. But I noticed that many of the songs went deep into the red in their audio profiles, meaning there was a lot of distortion. I asked Mike for the original FLAC files, and converted them into mp3s myself, then adjusted the volume levels. There was only a little bit of red in his FLAC files, and I elminated that with my adjustments. So maybe this version will sound a bit better.

There's so much music that it's been split into two albums. Here's the track listing for Disc 1:

01 Ladd Company Fanfare (John Williams)
02 Prologue and Main Titles (Vangelis)
03 Leon's Test (Vangelis)
04 Rain... Peals of Thunder... And Sounds of a November Night (Ensemble Nipponia)
05 Los Angeles 2019 (Vangelis)
06 The Blue Room (Vangelis)
07 Flight to Tyrell Corporation (Vangelis)
08 Deckard Meets Rachael (Vangelis)
09 Deckard Meets Rachael [Reprise Version] (Vangelis)
10 Rachael's Voight-Kampff Test [Dr. Tyrell's Owl] (Vangelis)
11 Harps of the Ancient Temples (Gail Laughton)
12 At Mr. Chews (Vangelis)
13 Memories of Green (Vangelis)
14 Blade Runner Blues [Full Length Version] (Vangelis)
15 I'm Hungry JF (Vangelis)
16 Prelude to Deckard's Dream (Vangelis)
17 Deckard's Dream (Vangelis)
18 Thinking of Rachael (Vangelis & Dick Morrisey)
19 Esper Analysis [Longing & Empty Streets] (Vangelis)
20 Esper Machine Noises (Vangelis)
21 Animoid Row, Part 1 [Tales of the Future] (Vangelis)
22 Animoid Row, Part 2 (Vangelis)
23 Leon's Room (Vangelis)
24 Qu'ran (Brian Eno & David Byrne)

And here's the track listing for Disc 2:

01 Taffey Lewis' Club (Vangelis)
02 Salome's Dance (Vangelis)
03 Waiting for Zhora (Vangelis)
04 One More Kiss, Dear (Vangelis)
05 Zhora's Retirement (Vangelis)
06 I Am the Business (Vangelis)
07 I Dreamt Music [Alternate Love Theme Version] (Vangelis)
08 I Dreamt Music [Alternate Prelude to Love Theme Version] (Vangelis)
09 Love Theme (Vangelis)
10 The Blimp (Ensemble Nipponia)
11 Morning at the Bradbury (Vangelis)
12 The Prodigal Son Brings Death [Prelude]- Will You Help Us (Vangelis)
13 The Prodigal Son Brings Death [Interlude]- Elevator To Tyrell's Bedroom (Vangelis)
14 The Prodigal Son Brings Death [Postlude]- Queen To Bishop 6 (Vangelis)
15 The Prodigal Son Brings Death [Outro]- I Want More Life... Father (Vangelis)
16 The Prodigal Son Brings Death [Demo Version] (Vangelis & the English Chamber Choir)
17 Bradbury Apartments [Demo Version] (Vangelis)
18 Dangerous Days (Vangelis)
19 Roy Enters the Bradbury (Vangelis)
20 Wounded Animals (Vangelis)
21 Tears in Rain (Vangelis)
22 Rachael Sleeps [Unveiled Twinkling Space] (Vangelis)
23 End Titles (Vangelis)

Although the music is split into two discs, you only need one link to get the whole thing:

https://www108.zippyshare.com/v/q3Z8MZRN/file.html

There are several different official covers, due to the different versions that have come out over the decades. Mike picked this one for his cover, without any changes.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Tim Buckley - BBC Sessions (1967-1974)

First off, I have to say it's a bit of a stretch to call this album "BBC Sessions." Only eight of the 15 songs were actually done for the BBC. But the rest are from other TV or radio shows, so it all fits that general theme. And all the songs sound great, with most of them done in recording studios or at least sounding like it.

These days, unfortunately, I suppose that the main reason people have heard of Tim Buckley is because they know he's the father of Jeff Buckley, the singer who burned brightly in the 1990s but died after only releasing one album in his lifetime. That's too bad, because Tim Buckley's music is very critically acclaimed, though it has only sold a tiny fraction of what Jeff Buckley's music has sold.

Tim Buckley was an American singer-songwriter who released about an album a year from 1966 to 1974, then died of a drug overdose in 1975. In all that time, he only did one proper BBC studio session, in 1968. The songs from that session are tracks 2 through 6 here. They're the only officially released performances, coming out on an EP called "The Peel Sessions." But "Happy Time" is from an appearance on a 1968 BBC TV show, and the last two songs are from an appearance on another BBC TV, in 1974.

The rest of the songs are generally TV appearances that I found through the 2007 movie documentary about him called "My Fleeting House." Thankfully, that documentary has talking between songs, but no talking over the songs. That documentary rounded up pretty much all the TV footage of him known to exist, in excellent sound quality. So I converted the movie file into mp3s of the songs that I didn't have here already. (There were only one or two song with multiple versions that I didn't use.)

"Song to the Siren" is of particular interest. This version was recorded in 1967 for the last episode of the US TV show "The Monkees." Buckley wouldn't put the song on album until 1970. This version is significantly different from the album version, especially because it consists of just him and his acoustic guitar instead of a full band.

If you're not familiar with Buckley's music, this is a good place to start. It contains versions of his most famous songs. And being an hour and six minutes long, it's not an overwhelming amount of music. Note though that he has a kind of jazzy improv style that's rare for most singer songwriters, and some people love it, but other people can't get into it. 

By the way, I believe all the songs are written or co-written by Buckley except for "Sally Go Round the Roses" and "The Dolphins."

01 Song to the Siren (Tim Buckley)
02 Morning Glory (Tim Buckley)
03 Coming Home to You [Happy Time] (Tim Buckley)
04 Sing a Song for You (Tim Buckley)
05 Hallucinations - Troubadour (Tim Buckley)
06 Once I Was (Tim Buckley)
07 Happy Time (Tim Buckley)
08 Come Here Woman (Tim Buckley)
09 I Woke Up (Tim Buckley)
10 Blue Melody (Tim Buckley)
11 Venice Beach [Music Boats by the Bay] (Tim Buckley)
12 Pleasant Street (Tim Buckley)
13 Sally Go Round the Roses (Tim Buckley)
14 Honey Man (Tim Buckley)
15 The Dolphins (Tim Buckley)

https://www115.zippyshare.com/v/041DksI1/file.html

The cover photo is a screenshot I took from an appearance he did on a TV show called "The Show" in 1970.

Katrina and the Waves - Best Of, Volume 1 (1981-1984)

One thing I'd like to post more of at this blog is "best of" collections. That can get problematic in terms of copyright issues, since they usually contain all or mostly all released versions, so I don't want to post them willy nilly. But occasionally there are musical artists that have been poorly served by "best of" collections, and I think could use more attention. I posted a "best of" like that for Evie Sands in 2018, but I think that's the only one I've posted so far.

So here's another. Katrina and the Waves were a British New Wave band best known for their 1985 smash hit song "Walking on Sunshine." In terms of chart positions, it isn't that impressive, hitting number eight in the British chart and number nine in the US chart. But it's become one of those perennial classics that gets played frequently on the radio and appears in lots of movies. 

That song is so big that it overshadows everything else the band did. They had two more top forty hits in Britain, "Sun Street" and "Love Shine a Light," and two more top forty hits in the US, "Do You Want Crying" and "This Is It." So they're not a "one-hit wonder." In fact, "Love Shine a Light" was a much bigger hit in Britain, reaching number three there in 1997. But they could and should have had more hits than that. For instance, one of their best songs is "Going Down to Liverpool," which was done in an extremely similar version by the Bangles, who had a hit with it.

Speaking of the Bangles, they and the Go-Go's still get lots of attention as 1980s female bands. But in my opinion, Katrina and the Waves should be up there too. True, only the lead singer, Katrina Leskanich, was female. The band's secret weapon was Kimberley Rew. Formerly the lead guitarist in Robyn Hitchcock's band the Soft Boys, he was the ace songwriter behind "Walking on Sunshine," "Going Down to Liverpool," and most of the rest of this band's best songs.

I think the reason Katrina and the Waves doesn't get more love these days is because in addition to putting out some great songs, they put out many more bad ones. A Trouser Press review of one of their 1990s albums called it "bland, overprocessed, commercial slop." Admittedly, there's a lot of that. That's why a carefully selected "best of" is so important. All the official "best of" collections I've seen miss the mark by including some bad songs and neglecting some good ones. I've found so many good songs that I made two volumes.

The first volume deals with the years before the band hit the big time with "Walking on Sunshine" in 1985. Critics generally like this early material better, because it is less slick and overproduced. The first two songs come from a Kimberley Rew 1981 solo album. Rew sang most of the songs, including these two, but that album had a couple of songs sung by Katrina Leskanich on it. Next came a 1982 EP credited to "Katrina and the Waves" for the first time. Again, Rew sang most of the songs, but the best two, included here as tracks 3 and 4, were sung by Leskanich. Rew has a good voice. Note for instance that he sings the version of "Going Down to Liverpool" included here. But he wisely realized that Leskanich has a great voice, and after that EP nearly all the songs he wrote for the band were sung by her.

The band's record company must have really dropped the ball, because it amazes me that none of the catchy and commercial sounding songs here were hits. That includes this version of "Walking on Sunshine," which is the one first put on record in 1983. It was redone in 1985 with less guitar and more horns, and I've put that hit version of Volume 2. But even this early version should have been a no-brainer hit, in my opinion.

This album is 42 minutes long. I believe all the songs are originals, except for the cover of the soul classic "River Deep, Mountain High."

01 My Baby Does Her Hairdo Long (Kimberley Rew)
02 Give Me Some of That Love (Kimberley Rew)
03 Saturday Week (Katrina & the Waves)
04 Atomic Rock 'n' Roll (Katrina & the Waves)
05 Brown Eyed Son (Katrina & the Waves)
06 Going Down to Liverpool (Katrina & the Waves)
07 Spiderman (Katrina & the Waves)
08 Walking on Sunshine (Katrina & the Waves)
09 I Want a Man (Katrina & the Waves)
10 Do You Want Crying (Katrina & the Waves)
11 Mexico (Katrina & the Waves)
12 He's a Charmer (Katrina & the Waves)
13 That's Just the Woman in Me (Katrina & the Waves)
14 River Deep, Mountain High (Katrina & the Waves)

https://www114.zippyshare.com/v/oOVwNr4v/file.html

The cover photo is from 1985. I couldn't find any really good color ones from earlier.

The Searchers - BBC Sessions, Volume 1 (1963-1964)

I'm working my way through the BBC sessions of virtually all the big names in British music in the mid- and late 1960s. (There are a few exceptions like the Dave Clark Five, which only did one BBC session, probably because their drummer wasn't very good and had to be replaced on studio recordings by a session drummer.) As I start finishing with the 1960s, I'll move into the 1970s. Next is the Searchers. There's enough for three BBC sessions albums, so here's the first one.

The Searchers were a much bigger deal in Britain than they ever were in the US. As an example, they have three number one hits in Britain, and two more that just missed, while they only had one top ten hit in the US. Since they were big stars in Britain for much of the 1960s, it makes sense that they recorded a bunch of BBC sessions. I assume they had frequent BBC sessions from mid-1963 onwards, when they had their first number one hit in Britain with "Sweets for My Sweet." 

However, it seems most of their BBC sessions from 1963 and 1964 have been lost. This isn't too surprising, since most BBC sessions from those years have been lost in general, unless they're from really big names like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. In fact, the one BBC session of theirs from 1963 that has survived comes from a BBC Beatles special. All of the songs on it were saved due to Beatles fans. Other than that one session, nothing seems to have survived until late 1964.

So, to make up for that, I looked for other TV or radio appearances the band did, to try to fill the gap. Luckily, I found one really great source. The band played live in Sweden in early 1964, and this has been saved with excellent sound quality and released officially. So nine of the songs here are from that.

Tracks 1, 2, 13, and 14 are from BBC studio sessions, but they haven't been officially released. The bootleg versions here sound pretty good though. Track 12, "Don't Throw Your Love Away," is also unreleased, and comes from a live concert. That leaves just the last two songs, which are BBC studio sessions tracks from an official live album called "BBC Sessions."

I ended up finding versions of most of their big early hits, but not all. One key miss is the song "Sugar and Spice," which was a number one hit in Britain for them in 1963. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

This album is 36 minutes long.

01 Sweets for My Sweet (Searchers)
02 Da Doo Run Run (Searchers)
03 Farmer John (Searchers)
04 Money [That's What I Want] (Searchers)
05 Ain't That just like Me (Searchers)
06 Let the Four Winds Blow (Searchers)
07 Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya (Searchers)
08 Some Other Guy (Searchers)
09 Alright (Searchers)
10 Needles and Pins (Searchers)
11 What'd I Say (Searchers)
12 Don't Throw Your Love Away (Searchers)
13 Love Potion No. 9 (Searchers)
14 Red Sails in the Sunset (Searchers)
15 When You Walk in the Room [Edit] (Searchers)
16 This Feeling Inside (Searchers)

https://www1.zippyshare.com/v/WrrymMJl/file.html

The cover photo shows the band at the British TV show "Thank Your Lucky Stars" in Birmingham in 1964.

The Gun - Gunsight - Alternate Version (1969)

The Gun are a British hard rock trio that I feel are underappreciated these days. I plan on posting a BBC album from them soon, but first I want to post this one. (By the way, the band is also known just as "Gun" - both names have been used on their albums. I prefer "The Gun.")

They released two albums in the short time they were together: "The Gun" in 1968 and "Gunsight" in 1969. "The Gun" is a solid album, so there's no need for me to do anything with it. But "Gunsight" had issues, and isn't as well regarded. By making this alternate version, and then posting their BBC sessions later, I think you'll have three albums from the Gun that are solid through and through.

First, a little more about the Gun. Their main claim to fame is the 1968 song "Race with the Devil," which was a top ten hit in Britain. Jimi Hendrix played it in concert, which is a rare honor indeed. The band was led by brothers Paul Gurvitz, on lead guitar and vocals, and Adrian Gurvitz, on bass. In the 1970s, they would be in the bands "Three Man Army" and then "The Baker Gurvitz Army."

Here's the Wikipedia entry on the Gun:

Gun (1960s band) - Wikipedia

Getting back to the "Gunsight" album, the general consensus is that it's hit and miss. Most of the songs were good, but there were a few weak ones. It so happens that the band did four songs in the studio that didn't appear on either of their two albums, which I've added here. "The Lights on the Wall" was supposed to be their debut single in 1967, but it wasn't released until the archival album "Reloaded" decades later. "Drives You Mad" and "Runnin' Wild" were unsuccessful A-sides, and "Don't Look Back" was a B-side.

I also removed what I consider the weakest songs. "Drown Yourself in the River" is a generic blues with inane, repetitive lyrics, so that one got the axe. "Angeline" is an overly long ballad that is way out of place with the rest of the album, so I axed that too. Those are the only ones I removed - the album was rather short to begin with. 

But I made a major edit to another song. "Lady Link" is a nice classical guitar instrumental, but on the album it was cut in two, with each half separated by another song. I've merged the two halves together. Even so, it's only a minute and a half long. Finally, I changed the track order a bit, moving the song "Oh Lady You" to the end. Like "Angeline," it's a ballad that doesn't have much to do with the rest of the album. But I think it's a better one, and it works better as the last song, kind of like the calm after the stormy hard rock of the rest of the album. Besides, being the last song, if you don't like it, you can easily remove it.

There were a zillion hard rock bands in the late 1960s, due to the success of Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and the like. But the Gun was a cut above most of them, in my opinion. Paul Gurvitz could bring it with his lead guitar skills, but crucially, the band could also write good songs. I think they would be much better known today if they'd stuck together instead of splitting after just two albums. Anyway, if you like this one, I highly recommend you get their 1968 album, "The Gun." Their BBC sessions will follow soon.

This album is 40 minutes long.

01 The Lights on the Wall (Gun)
02 Drives You Mad (Gun)
03 Don't Look Back (Gun)
04 Runnin' Wild (Gun)
05 Head in the Clouds (Gun)
06 Dreams and Screams (Gun)
07 Hobo (Gun)
08 Situation Vacant (Gun)
09 Lady Link [Instrumental] [Edit] (Gun)
10 Long Hair Wildman (Gun)
11 Oh Lady You (Gun)

https://www9.zippyshare.com/v/zjgolHhy/file.html

I could have just used the official album cover, but I didn't like it much, so I made my own. There are very few good color photos of the band, but I found one from a promotional photo shoot in November 1968. I also used the band's logo for their name up in the upper right.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Liz Phair - Carnivore - Various Songs (1993-1995)

Back in early 2020, I posted an album containing all of Liz Phair's "Girlysound" demos from the early 1990s that weren't later put on other albums of hers. At that time, I said I would follow up with stray tracks collections from later in her career. With this blog, sometimes it takes me a long time, but I eventually plan on finishing stuff like that off. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so if there's anything you want sooner rather than later, please let me know.

Liz Phair has had an up and down career, but in my opinion she's written a high percentage of very good songs. That's not well reflected on her albums though, with a few exceptions like her 1993 classic album "Exile in Guyville." On some albums, she bent to what the record companies wanted her to do, mainstreaming her sound and making her less interesting. By contrast, lots of her better songs have fallen through the cracks and not appeared on her studio albums at all.

This album gathers stray tracks from the early 1990s, when she was at the peak of her critical and commercial success. With a few exceptions, like "Turning Japanese" and "The Tra La La Song," the songs here are originals. Note though that sometimes she writes a song heavily based on an existing one, and "Wild Thing" is a case of that. Also note that "Beginning to See the Light" is not a cover of the Velvet Underground song by that name, even though she's a big fan of that band, but a totally different original.

Five of the 14 songs here are unreleased. Those five are either studio outtakes or in-person radio station performances, so their sound quality is as good as the others. The rest of the songs come from singles, bonus tracks, movie soundtracks, and various artists compilations. About half are solo acoustic and with a band. The song "Carnivore" was done both ways, so I put the acoustic version at the end, out of chronological order with the rest.

The album is 43 minutes long, not counting the bonus track.

Speaking of the bonus track, "You Have No Idea" is an interesting original song that unfortunately was only rarely played in concert. The one bootleg of it has rough sound quality, thus the bonus track status.

Phair doesn't have a big discography, but even so, I have two more albums of stray tracks from her that I plan on posting.

01 Carnivore (Liz Phair)
02 Say You (Liz Phair)
03 Ant in Alaska (Liz Phair)
04 Standing [Instrumental] (Liz Phair)
05 Wild Thing [Band Version] (Liz Phair)
06 Down (Liz Phair)
07 Wasted (Liz Phair)
08 Animal Girl (Liz Phair)
09 Turning Japanese (Liz Phair with Material Issue)
10 The Tra La La Song [One Banana, Two Banana] (Liz Phair with Material Issue)
11 Don't Have Time (Liz Phair)
12 I'll Get You High (Liz Phair)
13 Beginning to See the Light (Liz Phair)
14 Carnivore [Acoustic Version] (Liz Phair)

You Have No Idea (Liz Phair)

https://www17.zippyshare.com/v/1Nctp8eu/file.html

I don't know when or where the cover photo was taken, but it looks to be early or mid-1990s from her appearance.

Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders - BBC Sessions (1964-1968)

In November of 2021, I posted an album of BBC sessions by the Mindbenders, from 1966 to 1968. I did things out of order, because the Mindbenders first came to fame as the backing band to British singer Wayne Fontana. So this album essentially has two parts. The first 15 songs feature Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders, and the remaining nine songs feature just Fontana from his short solo career.

Fontana had a bunch of hits in Britain, both with the Mindbenders and as a solo artist, but today he's mainly known for the really big hit "The Game of Love." That reached number two in Britain, and number one in the US (his only hit there). Here's the Wikipedia link if you want to know more:

Wayne Fontana - Wikipedia

The Mindbenders came together as Fontana's backing band, but they were more than just a typical backing band. I could be wrong, but I think a few of the songs here are sung by one of the Mindbenders instead of Fontana, probably Eric Stewart, who would later be a key member of the 1970s band 10cc. If anyone knows, please let me know. The Mindbenders wanted more of a rock and roll direction, and Fontana was leaning more towards being a crooner. Fontana abruptly quit in the middle of a concert towards the end of 1965. The Mindbenders went on to considerable success without him, especially with the hit song "A Groovy Kind of Love."

Normally for these BBC albums, I try to include all the unique songs I can find in worthy sound quality. But in this case, there were a handful of his solo songs in his crooning style that I didn't like, so I didn't include them. I figure that Fontana's isn't that popular these days, so there aren't going to be scores of fans screaming bloody murder at the omission. Sorry if anyone is disappointed, but I think it makes for a much stronger album.

Everything here is officially unreleased as far as I can tell (not counting some unauthorized "grey market" releases), and it's all from BBC studio sessions. As usual, some of the songs had BBC DJs talking over the music. And, as usual, I used the audio editing program X-Minus to wipe that talking. In this case, about half of the songs were affected, the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles.

As is often the case with these albums, I think this serves as an excellent "best of" collection. It includes all the key songs, and there's much more here of worth than just "The Game of Love." I particularly like "Like I Did," and two Graham Gouldman songs first done by Fontana, "Pamela, Pamela" and "The Impossible Years." 

Also, the album version of "Please Stop the Wedding" was marred by some talking sessions done by someone with a totally incongruous Indian accent. I suspect that was influenced by Peter Sellers doing that accent in some movies at the time, but it ruined the song by adding "funny" bits to a very serious song. The BBC version is thankfully free of that Indian voice, revealing a pretty good song.

Fontana's career faded out around 1968, due to changing musical trends and a lack of hits, so that's where this album ends too.

This album is 57 minutes long.

As an aside, while putting this album together, I stumbled on one song featuring just the Mindbenders that I'd missed. It's a medley of four soul hits, done for a German TV show. So I've updated the Mindbenders BBC album. You can get the new version here:

https://albumsthatshouldexist.blogspot.com/2021/11/the-mindbenders-bbc-sessions-1966-1968.html

01 She's Got the Power (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
02 Um Um Um Um Um Um (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
03 I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
04 The Girl Can't Help It [Edit] (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
05 Since You've Been Gone [Edit] (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
06 Too Much Monkey Business [Edit] (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
07 It's Just a Little Bit Too Late (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
08 The Game of Love (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
09 She's a Rebel [He's a Rebel] [Edit] (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
10 My Babe [Edit] (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
11 Like I Did (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
12 Sticks and Stones (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
13 Young Blood (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
14 She Needs Love (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
15 I'm Talking about You [Edit] (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders)
16 Can I Get a Witness [Edit] (Wayne Fontana)
17 It Was Easier to Hurt Her [Edit] (Wayne Fontana)
18 Come On Home (Wayne Fontana)
19 The Sun's So Hot Today [Edit] (Wayne Fontana)
20 [There's] Always Something There to Remind Me [Edit] (Wayne Fontana)
21 Pamela, Pamela (Wayne Fontana)
22 The Impossible Years (Wayne Fontana)
23 Please Stop the Wedding [Edit] (Wayne Fontana)
24 Waiting for a Break in the Clouds [Edit] (Wayne Fontana)

https://www17.zippyshare.com/v/JaPGYQsi/file.html

I was torn between using a photo of just Fontana or one with him and the Mindbenders. I was swayed by the fact that I found a particularly good one (in terms of picture quality) of just him. This photo dates to 1966.

Pentangle - Travelling Songs - Various Songs (1968-1972)

As part of my big BBC project, I'm turning my attention soon to the British folk band Pentangle. But before I get to their considerable amount of BBC material, I want to post a stray tracks album first. This gathers up all their studio material that isn't on any of their studio albums.

My apologies to PJ over at his excellent "Albums I Wish Existed" blog, because he's previously posted an album that is almost identical to this one. He had the same idea, so it makes sense that he gathered the same bunch of songs. It so happens I'd gathered these songs on my own already, and there are a couple of key differences with his album, so I think this is worth posting.

For the most part, this consists of A-sides, B-sides, and bonus tracks. "Travelling Song" is an A-side from 1968. "I Saw an Angel" and "Cold Mountain" are B-sides from 1969. Tracks 1, 3, 4, and 6 are bonus tracks. "Name of the Game" is from a 1969 BBC performance. I tried to avoid including BBC performances since I'll soon be posting a whole bunch of BBC albums by the band, but I couldn't resist in this case because it's an original they otherwise never recorded. (There are many other songs on the BBC albums I'll be posting that include covers they otherwise never recorded.)

That just leaves the last three songs. "The Best Part of You" and "Tam Lin" are from a 1970 movie, and were eventually included on the Pentangle box set "The Time Has Come." 

"Christian the Lion," from a 1972 movie, is a more complicated case. This song also was included on the box set. But it was played in sections throughout the movie instead of ever appearing as a whole. They made the strange decision on the box set to mix these sections with incidental, instrumental music by the band that was also in the movie. This instrumental music has nothing to do with this song, and is forgettable background music, so I haven't included it. Instead, I patched the different parts of "Christian the Lion" together to make one coherent song (thus the "[Edit]" in the song title).

PJ's version of this album also included an instrumental version of the song "Jack Orion" from the box set. I didn't see the point to that, especially since it was just a vocal version of the song with the vocals removed. He also split "Tam Lin" into two parts; I prefer it all together. Finally, he didn't include "Christian the Lion," probably because the version of the box set is such a mess.

Here's his version, if you want some of the different bits:

https://albumsiwishexisted2.blogspot.com/2020/12/pentangle-casbah-1970.html

This album is 35 minutes long. 

01 The Wheel [Instrumental] (Pentangle)
02 Travelling Song (Pentangle)
03 The Casbah [Instrumental] (Pentangle)
04 Koan [Instrumental] (Pentangle)
05 I Saw an Angel (Pentangle)
06 Haitian Fight Song [Instrumental] (Pentangle)
07 Cold Mountain (Pentangle)
08 Name of the Game (Pentangle)
09 The Best Part of You (Pentangle)
10 Tam Lin (Pentangle)
11 Christian the Lion [Edit] (Pentangle)

https://www57.zippyshare.com/v/jl4hzSP2/file.html

The photo for the album cover comes from a 1969 promotional photo shoot. It's not the greatest photo, but there are surprisingly few good color photos for this rather well-known band.

Mary Hopkin - BBC Sessions, Volume 2 (1971-1977)

Here's the second and last album of Mary Hopkin at the BBC. 

As I've explained in previous posts about her, Hopkin was a big star from about 1968 to 1971. She seemingly started to lose interest in having a prominent music career around 1971, and stopped performing concerts in 1972. After that, her appearances on TV or radio slowly petered out. This album reflects that. The first ten songs are from 1971, the next three are from 1972, and the rest are from 1974 and 1977.

Everything here is unofficially unreleased. But it all sounds very good, because it was all on the BBC in one way or another, although some are from BBC TV shows. (Specifically, tracks 8 to 10 are from a Lulu TV show, and tracks 14 and 15 are from a Cilla Black TV show.) The last two are songs from when Hopkin joined folk guitarist Bert Jansch in a concert in 1977. Those were broadcast on BBC radio later, so they sound as good as the rest.

The remainder are from BBC studio sessions. There was some BBC DJ talking over the music, even though that had mostly gone out of style by 1971. That's the case for tracks 1, 2, and 4. As usual, I used the audio editing program X-Minus to wipe the talking while keeping the underlying music.

The three songs from the Lulu TV show, tracks 8 to 10, also have "[Edit]" in their names, but it's not for the usual reason mentioned above. Instead, I felt the vocals were way too quiet compared to the backing music, so I used X-Minus to boost the vocals. They sound a lot better now, although the sound on them is still a bit worse than the rest.

This album is rather long, at 56 minutes. A few more songs and I would have split this into three short albums, but instead I had to settle for two long albums.

01 Jefferson [Edit] (Mary Hopkin)
02 Earth Song [Edit] (Mary Hopkin)
03 Ocean Song (Mary Hopkin)
04 Silver Birch and Weeping Willow [Edit] (Mary Hopkin)
05 Streets of London (Mary Hopkin)
06 There's Got to Be More (Mary Hopkin)
07 Water, Paper and Clay (Mary Hopkin)
08 Let My Name Be Sorrow [Edit] (Mary Hopkin)
09 Prelude [Edit] (Mary Hopkin)
10 Snowbird [Edit] (Mary Hopkin & Lulu)
11 What a Friend You Are (Mary Hopkin)
12 Aderyn Pur (Mary Hopkin)
13 Sparrow (Mary Hopkin)
14 Shamarack (Mary Hopkin)
15 Both Sides Now (Mary Hopkin & Cilla Black)
16 Once I Had a Sweetheart (Mary Hopkin)
17 With You or Without You (Mary Hopkin)
18 Ask Your Daddy (Mary Hopkin & Bert Jansch)
19 If I Had a Lover (Mary Hopkin & Bert Jansch)

https://www10.zippyshare.com/v/HA3PZokY/file.html

There aren't many good photos of Hopkin from 1971 or after, so I've used one that apparently is from a 1970 TV show. I don't know the details.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Bonnie Raitt - I Wish - Various Songs (2004-2007)

Right now, I'm neck deep in posting BBC sessions albums, but I still have tons of other stuff I want to post, including lots of stray tracks collections. So here's another from Bonnie Raitt.

Being a talented and distinctive singer as well as slide guitarist, Raitt has sung many duets. But, by chance, this album is ALL duets! And some of them are with really big names, like Stevie Wonder, Norah Jones, and the Rolling Stones. Three are with Keb Mo, probably helped by the fact that they went on tour together during this time period.

Often, these sorts of Raitt's duets showed up on other people's albums. But that's only the case with three of the songs here. The other six are all unreleased, and all come from concert bootlegs. Most of them are from soundboard recordings and sound very good.

I think "A Change Is Gonna Come" is a particularly good performance. Raitt and the Neville Brothers took what is normally about a three minute song and stretched it to seven with lots of passionate singing and soloing. Unfortunately, the recording came from an audience bootleg, though a good one. To help with the sound quality, I used the audio editing program X-Minus to boost some of the lead vocals and quiet random shouts and other audience noise. That's why it has "[Edit]" in the title. I think it sounds very good now, other than some audience noise near the start that I couldn't get rid of.

The bonus track actually is not a duet. This medley of "(I'm a) Road Runner" and "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)" is also from an audience bootleg, but more of a muffled one with sound issues that are beyond my ability to fix. So that's why it's merely a bonus track. 

This album is 43 minutes long, not counting the bonus track. 

By the way, at the same time I posted this album, I've posted new links for all the previous Bonnie Raitt stray tracks albums, with updated mp3 tags and improved volume balance between songs. Also, I added one song that I'd missed to the "Trick or Treat" album, and two songs for the "When the Spell Is Broken" album. Here are the links to those:

https://albumsthatshouldexist.blogspot.com/2020/01/bonnie-raitt-trick-or-treat-various.html

https://albumsthatshouldexist.blogspot.com/2020/02/bonnie-raitt-when-spell-is-broken.html

01 True Love Is Hard to Find (Toots & the Maytals & Bonnie Raitt)
02 No Gettin' Over You (Bonnie Raitt & Keb Mo)
03 I Wish (Stevie Wonder & Bonnie Raitt)
04 I Don't Want Anything to Change (Bonnie Raitt & Norah Jones)
05 Every Morning (Keb Mo & Bonnie Raitt)
06 A Change Is Gonna Come [Edit] (Neville Brothers & Bonnie Raitt)
07 634-5789 (Bonnie Raitt & Keb Mo)
08 Shine a Light (Rolling Stones & Bonnie Raitt)
09 I'm in Love Again - All by Myself (Bonnie Raitt & John Cleary)

[I'm a] Road Runner - Bad Case of Loving You [Doctor, Doctor] (Bonnie Raitt)

https://www4.zippyshare.com/v/4Ajig4ru/file.html

The cover photo is from a concert in 2006, but I don't know any more than that.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Amen Corner - BBC Sessions (1967-1970)

Next up with a BBC sessions album is the British band Amen Corner. 

This band only existed from 1966 to 1969, but it had four top ten hits in Britain ("Bend Me, Shape Me," "High in the Sky," "(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice," and "Hello Susie"), plus one that came close ("Gin House Blues"). "(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice" made it all the way to number one. But they had no success at all in the US. The band's lead singer was Andy Fairweather Low. He would have a couple of solo hits in the 1970s before becoming a session musician.

This BBC album serves as a nice de facto "best of " album because it contains all their best known songs. Plus, as these sessions from this time period usually do, you get some interesting covers that the band never put on record: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Knock on Wood," "Day Tripper," and "The Duck."

In 1970, the band broke up when one member left. But the rest of them, including Andy Fairweather Low, continued for one album with the new name "Fair Weather." They had a top ten hit in Britain with the song "Natural Sinner." It so happens I found two BBC sessions that band did with that song plus two others, so I've added those to the end of this album.

As usual, BBC DJs talked over a bunch of their songs, the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles. That happened to 15 out of the 21 songs here. Sigh. Also as usual, I used the audio editing program X-Minus to wipe that talking while keeping the underlying music.

The sound quality is all the songs is excellent. None of these performances have been officially released, except on unauthorized "grey market" releases.

This album is an hour and one minute long.

UPDATE: On June 6, 2022, I updated the mp3 download file with one song I'd missed, "God Cried Mother." Thanks to Marley for sharing that one.

01 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Edit] (Amen Corner)
02 Gin House Blues (Amen Corner)
03 Knock on Wood [Edit] (Amen Corner)
04 Our Love [Is in the Pocket] [Edit] (Amen Corner)
05 The World of Broken Hearts (Amen Corner)
06 Day Tripper [Edit] (Amen Corner)
07 I Don't Want to Discuss It [Edit] (Amen Corner)
08 Bend Me, Shape Me (Amen Corner)
09 The Duck [Edit] (Amen Corner)
10 Satisnek the Job's Worth [Edit] (Amen Corner)
11 Shake a Tail Feather [Edit] (Amen Corner)
12 High in the Sky [Edit] (Amen Corner)
13 So Fine [Edit] (Amen Corner)
14 Baby Do the Philly Dog [Edit] (Amen Corner)
15 [If Paradise Is] Half as Nice [Edit] (Amen Corner)
16 Proud Mary (Amen Corner)
17 Things Ain't What They Used to Be [Edit] (Amen Corner)
18 Hello Susie [Edit] (Amen Corner)
19 Lady Riga [Edit] (Amen Corner)
20 Natural Sinner (Fair Weather)
21 Road to Freedom (Fair Weather)
22 God Cried Mother [Edit] (Fair Weather)

https://www3.zippyshare.com/v/tr4KaBSX/file.html

I don't know where or when the cover photo is from. But it was one of very few good color photos I was able to find at all, so there ya go.

Beverley Knight - Soul Covers, Volume 2 (2007-2010)

Here's the second of four albums I've made of British singer Beverley Knight performing classic soul songs.

As I mentioned in my post for Volume 1, until recently I'd never heard of Knight, since I'm American and she's only a star in Britain. But if you like soul music from the 1960s and 1970s, you don't need to know much about her to enjoy this. In short, she has an incredible "diva" voice, but also knows not to get carried away with oversinging to show off, and she has great taste in covers.

The vast majority of the songs on Volume 1 were officially released, but this time all but one performance is unreleased. (The one exception is "Rock Steady.") Some of the songs here were done by her on record, but I avoided those versions in favor of performances done on TV or radio shows, and concerts. These pretty much all have very good sound quality, because I was selective. The vast majority of these were done on TV or radio shows, so they were professionally recorded.

Here's a list of the artists that made the songs famous:

01 Ain't That a Lot of Love - Homer Banks
02 Raspberry Beret - Prince
03 Think - It Takes Two - Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
04 Rock Steady - Aretha Franklin
05 I'm Every Woman - Chaka Khan
06 We Can Work It Out - Beatles
07 Joy to the World - Isaac Watts & Lowell Mason
08 Silent Night - Franz Xaver Gruber & Joseph Mohr
09 Disrespectful - Chaka Khan
10 Too Much Heaven - Bee Gees
11 We've Only Just Begun - Carpenters
12 Let It Be - Beatles
13 His Eye Is on the Sparrow - Mahalia Jackson

Here's the usual song list:

01 Ain't That a Lot of Love (Beverley Knight with Jools Holland)
02 Raspberry Beret (Beverley Knight)
03 Think - It Takes Two (Beverley Knight)
04 Rock Steady (Beverley Knight)
05 I'm Every Woman (Beverley Knight & Jocelyn Brown)
06 We Can Work It Out (Beverley Knight & Charlotte Church)
07 Joy to the World (Beverley Knight)
08 Silent Night (Beverley Knight)
09 Disrespectful (Chaka Khan & Beverley Knight)
10 Too Much Heaven (Beverley Knight)
11 We've Only Just Begun (Beverley Knight)
12 Let It Be (Beverley Knight)
13 His Eye Is on the Sparrow (Beverley Knight with Jools Holland)

https://www30.zippyshare.com/v/b4wnmmhD/file.html

The cover photo is from a 2009 concert in Brighton, Britain.

Grapefruit - BBC Sessions (1968-1969)

I just posted a BBC sessions album from an obscure 1960s British band. Here's another one! This time, it's Grapefruit.

In digging up BBC sessions for this blog, I've come across many 1960s artists that I didn't know that well, but have come to enjoy. Grapefruit definitely fit into that. If you enjoy the music of Badfinger, heavily influenced by the late Beatles sound, then Grapefruit should be right up your alley. Just like Badfinger, they had many Beatles links. Not only were they signed to the Beatles' record label Apple, one of their songs was produced by Paul McCartney AND John Lennon. Even their name came from a suggestion by Lennon.

If you want to know more about the band, here is the Wikipedia link:

Grapefruit (band) - Wikipedia

 I'll say a little more in summary. The key member in my opinion was George Alexander (also known as Alexander Young), the band's lead singer and main songwriter. He came from a very musical family, because he was the brother of George Young, one of the two key songwriters in the Australian band the Easybeats, as well as being the brother of Malcom and Angus Young, members of the Australian band AC/DC. He wasn't in the Easybeats at this time because the rest of his family emigrated from Britain to Australia in the early 1960s, but he stayed behind because he was older than his brothers and already was making a living as a musician.

Anyway, I think that the quality of the songs here is very good. The original "Dear Delilah" was a top 20 hit in Britain, and the cover "C'mon Marianne" was a top 40 hit there. All the rest are originals, I believe, except for "Say You Don't Mind" and "To Love Somebody." In my opinion, the band should have been more successful, but their record company bungled things, they didn't tour and promote their music that much, their records were overproduced, and they didn't stick together long. As far as the overproduction, these BBC versions are usually better because they're simpler, even though some of them have orchestral arrangements added.

All but one of the performances here have been officially released, on the album "Around the BBC." The one exception is "Yes." I removed a couple of songs that were performed twice, and without those the album was a bit short, so I looked around for other TV or radio show performances to add. I found a few songs they did for a French TV show called "Bouton Rouge." A couple of those were also done for the BBC, so I didn't include them, but "Yes" was unique, so it's been added here.

As for the BBC tracks, the vast majority of them had the problem of BBC DJs talking over the music - all the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles. As usual, I used the audio editing program X-Minus to wipe the talking and keep the underlying music.

As mentioned above, this album is a bit short, at only 34 minutes long.

01 Breaking Up a Dream [Edit] (Grapefruit)
02 Dear Delilah [Edit] (Grapefruit)
03 Trying to Make It to Monday [Edit] (Grapefruit)
04 Yes [Edit] (Grapefruit)
05 Elevator [Edit] (Grapefruit)
06 Say You Don't Mind [Edit] (Grapefruit)
07 Somebody's Turning on the People (Grapefruit)
08 C'mon Marianne (Grapefruit)
09 Someday Soon [Edit] (Grapefruit)
10 Round Going Round [Edit] (Grapefruit)
11 To Love Somebody [Edit] (Grapefruit)
12 Deep Water (Grapefruit)
13 Thunder and Lightning (Grapefruit)

https://www101.zippyshare.com/v/eOWqy2ZP/file.html

The cover uses a promo photo of the band. I don't know exactly where or when it was taken. I don't know why, but for some reason I added a slice of a grapefruit at the bottom corner.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Jethro Tull - BBC Sessions, Volume 3- Sight and Sound, Golders Green Hippodrome, London, Britain, 2-10-1977

I recently posted two albums of the British band Jethro Tull at the BBC. I thought that was all I was going to post, but I had a request to post a little more from them, so here it is. The band's studio sessions for the BBC ended in 1975, at least for many years after that. But they did some full concerts in the late 1970s that were broadcast on the BBC. The 1978 has been officially released as an album, but the 1977 one is still unreleased. So here it is.

This concert took place immediately after the release of the band's album "Songs from the Wood." Naturally, there are some songs from that, as well as favorite songs from earlier albums. Lead singer Ian Anderson is fairly chatty between songs. I've put all such talking on separate tracks.

Unfortunately, this album is only 57 minutes long, which I assume is shorter than typical Jethro Tull concerts. I'm guessing the BBC slotted only an hour for this show, so it was edited down from something longer. But on the plus side, the sound quality is excellent. In fact, it may be better than the official live album from 1978, "Live: Bursting Out," which has had complaints for a less than stellar sound quality.

01 talk (Jethro Tull)
02 Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day (Jethro Tull)
03 talk (Jethro Tull)
04 Jack in the Green (Jethro Tull)
05 talk (Jethro Tull)
06 Thick as a Brick (Jethro Tull)
07 talk (Jethro Tull)
08 Songs from the Wood (Jethro Tull)
09 talk (Jethro Tull)
10 Velvet Green (Jethro Tull)
11 talk (Jethro Tull)
12 Hunting Girl (Jethro Tull)
13 Aqualung (Jethro Tull)
14 Guitar Solo [Instrumental] (Jethro Tull)
15 Wind Up (Jethro Tull)
16 Locomotive Breath (Jethro Tull)

https://www83.zippyshare.com/v/6RKdoKF6/file.html

I didn't see any good photos of the entire band in concert from 1977, but I did find one that I liked that's a close-up of lead singer Ian Anderson, so I used that one.