Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Richie Havens - BBC in Concert, London Britain, 1-2-1974

The excellent 1970s BBC TV show "In Concert" is featured yet again. This time, American folk singer Richie Havens was featured. But this was an unusual show in that nearly all such shows were only about half an hour long, but this one is an hour long. It turns out the first half of this show appeared on TV in January 1974, and the second half was shown in July 1974. (Probably, it was recorded in late 1973, but I don't know the exact date, so I'm using the date of the first broadcast.)

As I post this in June 2022, both episodes can be found on YouTube. The band members are wearing the same outfits and playing the same equipment on the same stage, confirming it was two parts of one concert.

Havens performed with three others, but the sound remained acoustic. For instance, the drummer played bongos instead of a full drum kit. With the concert being double the usual length for this show, he was able to play all the songs he was best known for, including his big hit, a cover of "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles, and "Freedom," which was a famous highlight of the Woodstock festival in 1969.

For whatever reason, there's almost no talking between songs. I guess he wanted to make the most of his limited time.

This album is 59 minutes long.

01 Minstrel from Gaul (Richie Havens)
02 Lean on Me (Richie Havens)
03 What about Me (Richie Havens)
04 Tupelo Honey - Just like a Woman (Richie Havens)
05 Wandering Angus (Richie Havens)
06 Here Comes the Sun (Richie Havens)
07 High Flying Bird (Richie Havens)
08 Dreaming My Life Away (Richie Havens)
09 talk (Richie Havens)
10 Handsome Johnny (Richie Havens)
11 Freedom (Richie Havens)

The cover photo is a screenshot I took from the YouTube video of this exact concert. The opening credits were included in the video, so I was able to use the same colors as those credits. However, I added the bottom line of text with additional information.

The Bee Gees - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: 1971-1973

Here's the third and final album of the Bee Gees performing at the BBC in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Of the three volumes, this is the one I'm the proudest to present. Their late 1960s BBC sessions have been frequently bootlegged, and sometimes released as "grey market" albums in Europe (meaning it's technically legal there but the artist didn't authorize it and doesn't get any money from it). However, their early 1970s BBC sessions are much more obscure, to the point that it took me a long time to even confirm that they existed. I couldn't find any of the BBC performances on this album until musical associate Marley came along and shared what he had direct from BBC transcription discs. That means despite their obscurity, these versions sound great. So a big thanks to Marley.

As I mentioned in the previous volumes, I wanted to make this kind of an alternate best of collection for this time period, so if any big hits weren't included, I tried to find them from other TV or radio shows. For this album, five of the songs come from such sources. "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" and "In the Morning (Morning of My Life)" come from different British TV shows. It's especially surprising that "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" was never performed for the BBC, since that was a number one song in Britain in 1971. But the band didn't do any BBC sessions in 1971.

"Living in Chicago," "Massachusetts," and "Saw a New Morning" are from Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show." I'd included "Massachusetts" on Volume 1 in this series, but this is a significantly different acoustic version. "Living in Chicago" and "Saw a New Morning" weren't hits, but I found these sources with excellent sound quality, so I figured I'd throw them in.

Everything here is officially unreleased. The remaining seven songs come from three different BBC studio sessions. In the early 1970s, BBC policy started changing, and often the musical artists were allowed to just use the exact studio versions instead of doing unique versions for the BBC. Some of these are pretty similar to the recorded versions, but I checked closely and they're all different. In 1974, the Bee Gees just had their records played for a BBC session that year, so I didn't bother including that, or anything after, since that same situation persisted.

By the way, "I've Gotta Get a Message to You" was a number one hit in Britain in 1968, but the group didn't play it for the BBC around then. Instead, they did it in a 1973 session. Maybe they realized they'd missed it back then, so they made up for that years later.

This album is 41 minutes long.

01 How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (Bee Gees)
02 In the Morning [Morning of My Life] (Bee Gees)
03 Bad, Bad Dreams (Bee Gees)
04 Never Been Alone (Bee Gees)
05 Run to Me [Edit] (Bee Gees)
06 Living in Chicago (Bee Gees)
07 Alive (Bee Gees)
08 Sea of Smiling Faces (Bee Gees)
09 Massachusetts [Acoustic Version] (Bee Gees)
10 Saw a New Morning (Bee Gees)
11 I've Gotta Get a Message to You (Bee Gees)
12 Wouldn't I Be Someone (Bee Gees)

The cover photo was taken in a hotel room in Japan in 1972. Maurice Gibb was the joker of the group. He's joking around here, gripping the end of a guitar cable with his teeth.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Jackson Browne - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: In Concert, Paris Theatre, London, Britain, 5-27-1972

Here's yet another concert that was recorded for the BBC TV show "In Concert." This was a great show that featured a lot of up and coming singer-songwriters. So it's not that surprising that they got Jackson Browne, even though he's American, not British.

Browne's career began slowly. His song "These Days" was a minor hit for Nico in 1967, when he was only 16 years old. But he didn't release his first solo album, simply titled "Jackson Browne," until the start of 1972. This concert took place a few months after that. I don't know if the exact recording date of May 27, 1972 is correct, as it could be the broadcast date. But he did mention in banter between songs that the Eagles version of song "Take It Easy," which he co-wrote, had recently been released as a single, and that single was released at the start of May, so it least it was the same month as that date. 

This concert featured just Browne solo. Most of the songs are from his first album. But "Take It Easy" and "Redneck Friend" would appear on his second album in 1973. And "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and "Jesus in 3-4 Time" are covers that he would never included on any of his albums. "Peaceful Easy Feeling" is the big hit by the Eagles.

The one bummer about these "In Concert" TV shows is they're usually pretty short. This one is only 31 minutes long.

01 Take It Easy (Jackson Browne)
02 Peaceful Easy Feeling (Jackson Browne)
03 Doctor My Eyes (Jackson Browne)
04 Jamaica Say You Will (Jackson Browne)
05 talk (Jackson Browne)
06 Song for Adam (Jackson Browne)
07 talk (Jackson Browne)
08 Looking into You (Jackson Browne)
09 talk (Jackson Browne)
10 Jesus in 3-4 Time (Jackson Browne)
11 Redneck Friend (Jackson Browne)

The cover photo is a screenshot that I took from a YouTube video of this exact concert. The video didn't include the opening credits. So since I didn't get to see the text color and such, I made my own font and color choices.

The Beautiful South - Cover Songs, Volume 3: 2004-2020

This is the third and final volume of the Beautiful South performing cover songs. Although, I must admit there isn't much music here technically by the Beautiful South. as I will explain. 

The Beautiful South was a British band that existed from 1988 to 2007. The first three songs here are from the Beautiful South proper. But the rest are from key members after the band broke up. In my opinion, the key person to watch was Paul Heaton, the lead singer and main songwriter for the band. But he also often liked to have women sing his songs, either solo or in duets with him, and that continued after the band broke up. 

Jacqui Abbott was the female singer for band during their most popular years, 1994 to 2001. She reunited with Heaton in 2011, and went on to release four duet albums with him from 2014 to 2020 (with hopefully more to come). So there are three songs with just Heaton solo, and then six songs with Heaton and Abbott. In my opinion, all the songs have that same Beautiful South sound, and you can't really tell if it's solo or not unless you look at the credits.

About half of the songs here are unreleased. The released ones (tracks 1 through 3 and 8 through 10) generally are B-sides or from various artists compilations. The unreleased ones are from concerts or radio shows, and essentially have the same sound quality as the released ones.

I like the range of material covered here. For instance, songs in a row originally done by Whitesnake, Michael Jackson, and Oasis. That's range.

This album is 39 minutes long.

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

01 I'm Living Good - Ovations
02 For the Good Times - Kris Kristofferson
03 Never Mind - Nanci Griffith
04 White Man in Hammersmith Palais - Clash
05 A Place in the Sun - Stevie Wonder
06 Career Opportunities - Clash
07 Islands in the Stream - Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
08 Caravan of Love - Isley Jasper Isley
09 Loving Arms - Dobie Gray
10 Here I Go Again - Whitesnake
11 Heal the World - Michael Jackson
12 Some Might Say - Oasis

Here's the usual song list:

01 I'm Living Good (Beautiful South)
02 For the Good Times (Beautiful South)
03 Never Mind (Beautiful South)
04 White Man in Hammersmith Palais (Paul Heaton)
05 A Place in the Sun (Paul Heaton)
06 Career Opportunities (Paul Heaton)
07 Islands in the Stream (Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott)
08 Caravan of Love (Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott)
09 Loving Arms (Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott)
10 Here I Go Again (Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott)
11 Heal the World (Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott)
12 Some Might Say (Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott)

The cover photo shows the Beautiful South in 2006.

Monday, June 27, 2022

The Bee Gees - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: 1968-1970

Here's the second of three volumes of the Bee Gees at the BBC. Like this first one, this contains all studio sessions.

All but one performance here comes from proper BBC sessions. I wanted to included all of the group's big hits from the time period. In this case, one key song was missing: "I Started a Joke." Although they never played the song for the BBC, they did play it live for the "This Is Tom Jones" show. As an unexpected bonus, they put it in a medley with "First of May," although they only played part of the latter song.

Also, all but one of the performances here are unreleased. The one exception is "Saved by the Bell." In 1969, the Bee Gees broke up for a while, and the three brothers started solo careers, before reuniting in 1970. "Saved by the Bell" was a big hit by Robin Gibb as a solo artist. It was released on a compilation of his solo material. Three of the songs here are from Barry Gibb's short solo career in that era, though those are still unreleased.

All of the songs here sound great, because they come from BBC transcription discs that perfectly preserved the original broadcasts. For some reason, the BBC performances from about 1967 to 1969 have been frequently bootlegged, but the ones from the early 1970s have not. Musical associate Marley provided the last few songs here for me (as well as most of the ones on the next volume).

The usual problem of BBC DJs talking over the music occurred here, and in a big way. Twelve out of the 14 BBC performances here had that. I applied the usual solution of using the X-Minus audio editing program to remove the talking while keeping the music.

This album is 46 minutes long.

01 Birdie Told Me (Bee Gees)
02 And the Sun Will Shine [Edit] (Bee Gees)
03 The Singer Sang His Song (Bee Gees)
04 I Started a Joke - First of May (Bee Gees)
05 Jumbo [Edit] (Bee Gees)
06 Tomorrow Tomorrow [Edit] (Bee Gees)
07 Don't Forget to Remember [Edit] (Bee Gees)
08 Saved by the Bell [Edit] (Robin Gibb)
09 Happiness [Edit] (Barry Gibb)
10 This Time [Edit] (Barry Gibb)
11 I'll Kiss Your Memory [Edit] (Barry Gibb)
12 Man for All Seasons [Edit] (Bee Gees)
13 Alone Again [Edit] (Bee Gees)
14 Lonely Days [Edit] (Bee Gees)
15 Every Second, Every Minute [Edit] (Bee Gees)

The cover photo comes from an appearance in a TV studio in 1970. I don't know which studio.

Dexys Midnight Runners - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: 1981-1983

Here's the second of three volumes of BBC sessions by Dexys Midnight Runners. Like this first one, this mainly consists of studio sessions.

The first seven performances have been officially released. Those come from three different sources, as bonus tracks for the studio albums "Searching for the Young Soul Rebels" and "Too-Rye-Ay"), plus the album "Radio 1 Sessions."

The last four songs are unreleased. Surprisingly, the band's signature song "Come On Eileen" doesn't seem to have been performed in a BBC studio session. But it was done live for a British TV show aimed at children called "No. 73." So I used that. "Kevin Rowland's 13th Crime" is basically the song "Kevin Rowland's Band," which would appear on the band's 1985 album "Don't Stand Me Down." But it has some differences, including being played at a different tempo.

The last two songs come from a 1983 BBC concert. I've included them because they didn't appear on any of the previous sources here. I'm not going to post the full concert those are from, because I do plan on posting a 1982 BBC concert with a very similar song list.

This album is 44 minutes long. 

01 Let's Make This Precious (Dexys Midnight Runners)
02 Dubious [Outlook] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
03 Your Own [Early Version of Liars A to E] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
04 Until I Believe in My Soul (Dexys Midnight Runners)
05 Jackie Wilson Said [I'm in Heaven When You Smile] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
06 All in All [This One Last Wild Waltz] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
07 Old (Dexys Midnight Runners)
08 Come On Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners)
09 Kevin Rowland's 13th Crime [Kevin Rowland's Band] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
10 Let's Get This Straight [From the Start] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
11 The Celtic Soul Brothers [More, Please, Thank You] (Dexys Midnight Runners)

The cover photo is a promo photo from 1982.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Pentangle - BBC Sessions, Volume 6: 1971-1973

With this album, the sixth in the series, I reach the end of Pentangle at the BBC.

Pentangle broke up at the end of 1972, though they honored a few commitments into early 1973. (They did get together for some reunions later, but this series only deals with their music from the 1960s and early 1970s.) This album catches them right before their break-up, with all but two of the songs from 1972 - the first one is from 1971, and the last one is from 1973.

All the performances on this volume have been officially released, so everything sounds very good. One comes from "The Lost Broadcasts," five come from "On Air," and three come from the box set "The Time Has Come." However, not all of the songs are actually BBC recordings. "Rain and Snow" and "Willy O' Winsbury" were recorded for a British TV show, and "Reflection" was recorded for a Belgian TV show.

This album is 42 minutes long.

01 Lord Franklin (Pentangle)
02 People on the Highway (Pentangle)
03 No Love Is Sorrow (Pentangle)
04 Cherry Tree Carol (Pentangle)
05 Jump Baby Jump (Pentangle)
06 Lady of Carlisle (Pentangle)
07 Rain and Snow (Pentangle)
08 Willy O' Winsbury (Pentangle)
09 Reflection (Pentangle)

I don't know anything about the cover photo except that it's said to have been taken "circa 1973."

Friday, June 24, 2022

The Bee Gees - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: 1966-1968

Next up in my big BBC project is the Bee Gees. Everyone knows the Bee Gees were one of the leading lights of disco music, with songs like "Stayin' Alive," "Night Fever," and "Jive Talkin'" dominating pop radio for a few years. But fewer people know the very different sound of the Bee Gees in the late 1960s and early 1970s. That's the kind of group on display in this BBC series, because the Bee Gees only did studio sessions for the BBC from 1967 to 1973. This makes enough material for three albums, but it all predates their disco years.

The Bee Gees are one of the best selling musical acts of all time, selling somewhere between 120 and 200 million records. Personally, I recognize they created many great songs, while I sometimes have issue with them (such as what I consider the overuse of Robin Gibb's vibrato on ballads and the overuse of Barry Gibb's falsetto on their disco material). I don't think their BBC recordings are all that great, because they generally stuck to doing their hits, almost never doing unreleased covers or other rarities, and their performances tended to sound very similar to their record versions. 

However, all these versions are different from the record ones, and they did do them live in the BBC studios (often with a BBC orchestra helping out), so it's further proof of how talented they were. Also, there seem to be no concert recordings from the time period of this volume, aside from one 1968 bootleg recorded at a concert in Switzerland with only decent sound quality. So if you want to hear what they sounded like live early on, this is just about as close as you can get. Additionally, these BBC volumes make for a pretty good triple album "best of" for their early years.

Somewhat surprisingly, none of the group's BBC recordings have been officially released, as far as I know. All of them have excellent sound quality, since they all are sourced from BBC transcription discs that survived in top notch condition. I have added a few songs from other TV or radio appearances, usually in the rare cases in which big hits weren't done for the BBC.

The first two songs are examples of such additions. The Bee Gees got started in Australia, and they were sometimes on TV or radio in that country going way back to when they were a child act. I skipped most of that as being of interest only to die-hard fans. But I did include two songs done for Australian TV in late 1966, right before they left Australia to try to make it big in Britain (which, of course, they did). One song is "Spicks and Specks," their biggest hit while still in Australia. The other is a cover of the Rolling Stones hit "Out of Time." As far as I can tell, they never put a version of that song on record.

Everything else here comes from proper BBC studio sessions. They didn't get hit too bad with the problem of BBC DJs talking over the music. That only occurred for five of the songs here (the ones with "[Edit]" in the song titles). As usual, I used the X-Minus audio editing program to remove the talking while keeping the underlying music.

This album is 45 minutes long.

01 Spicks and Specks (Bee Gees)
02 Out of Time (Bee Gees)
03 New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Bee Gees)
04 One Minute Woman [Edit] (Bee Gees)
05 I Can't See Nobody [Edit] (Bee Gees)
06 To Love Somebody (Bee Gees)
07 Holiday (Bee Gees)
08 Massachusetts (Bee Gees)
09 In My Own Time (Bee Gees)
10 Mrs. Gillespie's Refrigerator (Bee Gees)
11 I Close My Eyes [Edit] (Bee Gees)
12 Cucumber Castle (Bee Gees)
13 World (Bee Gees)
14 Words (Bee Gees)
15 With the Sun in My Eyes [Edit] (Bee Gees)
16 The Earnest of Being George [Edit] (Bee Gees)

The cover photo was taken at the Top of the Pops BBC TV show in 1968. For the text, I used the same font and color as how their name was printed on one of their early albums.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Pointer Sisters - BBC in Concert, London, Britain, 2-12-1974

Here's yet another version of the BBC "In Concert" TV shows from the early 1970s. On the downside, that means it's a fairly short concert. But on the upside, like most of these other than some of the big names, it's never been converted to an audio bootleg until now. 

Most people who think of the Pointer Sisters probably think of them as the pop act they were in the early 1980s, scoring with big hits like "I'm So Excited," "Automatic," "Slow Hand," and "He's So Shy." But this group was significantly different when this was recorded in 1974. For one thing, there were four Pointer Sisters, not three as there would be later, and yes, they were sisters. But also, musically, they had a mostly retro sound, with a look like a girl group from the 1930s or 1940s. However, while they did some old timey jazz and bebop, they also did funk, and country, and more. At this time, they'd only had one album one, with a second about to be released, but they'd already had two R&B hits with "Yes, We Can Can" and "Wang Dang Doodle."

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

The Pointer Sisters - Wikipedia

Despite the fact that there are only five songs here, you can see their stylistic variety, for instance going from country with "Fairytale" straight to some great funk with "Yes, We Can Can." 

This album is only 28 minutes long.

01 Salt Peanuts (Pointer Sisters)
02 Fairytale (Pointer Sisters)
03 Yes, We Can Can (Pointer Sisters)
04 Wang Dang Doodle (Pointer Sisters)
05 Old Songs (Pointer Sisters)

I could have used a screenshot from the YouTube video of this concert, but it would have been fairly low resolution, especially to have all four sisters in the frame. Instead, I used a photo that was taken in London in 1974, but apparently a different show (due to different outfits).

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Iwan Fals - Ngalor Ngidulnya, Volume 4 (2021)

Indonesian singer-songwriter Iwan Fals is one of my favorite musicians, so I'm going to keep posting some of his music here, even though there may only be a handful of people who appreciate it. It really helps to be able to speak Indonesian to understand his excellent lyrics (something I kind of used to be able to speak... now, not so much).

This is the fourth of five volumes of home recordings Fals posted on YouTube during the peak months of the Covid pandemic. Like all the music in this series, it's just him and his acoustic guitar, singing only in Indonesian, drawing from his deep catalog of original material. If you liked the previous ones, you'll like this one too.

This album is one hour long. 

01 Rindu Tebal (Iwan Fals)
02 Maaf Cintaku (Iwan Fals)
03 Sugali (Iwan Fals)
04 Siang Seberang Istana (Iwan Fals)
05 Serdadu (Iwan Fals)
06 Nyanyianmu (Iwan Fals)
07 Sore Tugu Pancoran (Iwan Fals)
08 Aku Antarkan (Iwan Fals)
09 Ujung Aspal Pondok Gede (Iwan Fals)
10 Intermezo (Iwan Fals)
11 Tince Sukarti Binti Machmud (Iwan Fals)

As with the other volumes in this series, the cover image is a screenshot taken from a YouTube video of one of the songs here.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Traffic - Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA, 2-21-1972

I previously posted some Traffic studio outtakes from their early 1970s period. I said that really is the only bootleg recording with excellent sound quality from that time, with the exception of one concert recording. This is that one other recording.

For some reason, bootleggers had a dry spell around the release of Traffic's "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys" album in 1971, with no known soundboard recordings or great audience recordings. That leaves us with this. This concert was professionally recorded for a concert film called "Traffic: Live at Santa Monica." For one, a handful of songs were cut for time reasons: "Rock and Roll Stew," "Many a Mile to Freedom," "Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring," "Hidden Treasure," and "Empty Pages." Also, all of the talking between songs was cut. But at least what remains sounds great, a clear cut above all the bootlegs from that time.

I found an audience bootleg that has all the missing songs. Unfortunately, it's an average sounding recording, and to include them would drag the listening experience way down, so I decided to go without. However, I did my best to at least restore the banter between songs. I found some talking from that audience bootleg. I also searched for other bootlegs from that time period, and took the banter from a couple of those. Since it was just talking, I used the audio editing program X-Minus to edit the heck out those bits, removing most of the mud and hopefully making the vocals clear enough to make out what's being said. Then I made little tweaks to the applause on the other tracks, so the clapping would fit in with the talking.

This concert is rather short as concerts of the time go, at an hour and five minutes. The full concert was closer to two hours. Hopefully, someday the concert will be released in full, since it's highly likely the whole thing was recorded. Until then, this will have to do.

01 talk (Traffic)
02 The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys (Traffic)
03 talk (Traffic)
04 Light Up or Leave Me Alone (Traffic)
05 talk (Traffic)
06 John Barleycorn (Traffic)
07 talk (Traffic)
08 Rainmaker (Traffic)
09 talk (Traffic)
10 Glad - Freedom Rider (Traffic)
11 talk (Traffic)
12 [Roamin' thro' the Gloamin' With] 40,000 Headmen (Traffic)
13 Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic)

The cover photo is a screenshot from the Santa Monica video. Unfortunately, the film quality isn't that great, and it shows. I had a hard time finding any good images of all the members of the band (since it was a big band by then), so I took one just showing key band members Steve Winwood (on guitar) and Jim Capaldi (on tambourine) and two others. The band name with arrows hidden in the lettering was taken from the opening credits of the video.

The Beautiful South - Cover Songs, Volume 2: 1996-2004

Here's the second of three albums of the British band the Beautiful South doing cover versions.

All the songs here have been officially released. The first one come from the album "Blue Is the Color." The rest are B-sides. Clearly, this band very rarely put covers on their albums, but they loved putting them on B-sides.

This album in particular showed the band members had deep and eclectic tastes in music. There are a few famous, classic songs, like "God Bless the Child" by Billie Holiday and "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers. But more of the songs are relatively obscure. 

This album is 40 minutes long.

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

01 Artificial Flowers - Ron Husmann / Bobby Darin
02 God Bless the Child - Billie Holiday
03 Without Her - Harry Nilsson
04 You Just Can't Smile It Away - Bill Withers
05 You've Done Nothing Wrong - Iris DeMent
06 Lean on Me - Bill Withers
07 I Sold My Heart to the Junkman - Basin Street Joys
08 Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - Smiths
09 Another Nite with the Boys - Carole King / Drifters
10 Lipstick Traces [On a Cigarette] - Allen Touissaint / Benny Spellman
11 Lovin' You - Lovin' Spoonful

Here's the usual song list:

01 Artificial Flowers (Beautiful South)
02 God Bless the Child (Beautiful South)
03 Without Her (Beautiful South)
04 You Just Can't Smile It Away (Beautiful South)
05 You've Done Nothing Wrong (Beautiful South)
06 Lean on Me (Beautiful South)
07 I Sold My Heart to the Junkman (Beautiful South)
08 Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now (Beautiful South)
09 Another Nite with the Boys (Beautiful South)
10 Lipstick Traces [On a Cigarette] (Beautiful South)
11 Lovin' You (Beautiful South)

The cover photo was taken in 1996, but I don't know any other details.

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - BBC in Concert, London, Britain, 6-12-1974

Here's an album I'm surprised to post. I'm continuing to look for music from the BBC TV show "In Concert" in the early 1970s. Typically, episodes from big names like Neil Young or James Taylor are still around, whereas the ones from lesser names have been lost, or at least I can't find them. But I was able to find this episode featuring the blues duo of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.

Frankly, I'm surprised they merited an episode of the TV show at all. If you look at the list of performers, the vast majority were young acts who were making waves with hit songs or albums, or at least songwriting reputation. Terry and McGhee represented an older generation. By the time this show was recorded, both of them were around 60 years old. They'd been playing as a duo since 1942. 

They didn't have any hit album or single when this show was recorded (or later), but they'd steadily built up a reputation in Britain during the blues boom there in the 1960s. While sticking to traditional acoustic blues for the most part, they were savy to musical trends to some degree. For instance, on their 1973 album most recent to this concert, they recorded songs written by Randy Newman and Curtis Mayfield, and had leading blues musicians play on it, including Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, John Mayall, and John Hammond, Jr. So perhaps it's not so surprising after all that they were considered "hip" enough to have a British audience for an episode of this TV show.

This album is just 35 minutes long, but they packed a lot in it, performing eight songs and telling some stories too.  It's just Sonny Terry on harmonica and vocals and Brownie McGhee on guitar and vocals.

01 talk (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
02 Ride N' Roll (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
03 talk (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
04 I'm a Burnt Child (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
05 talk (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
06 Hootin' the Blues (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
07 talk (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
08 Livin' with the Blues (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
09 talk (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
10 Conversation with the River (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
11 Ballin' the Jack (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
12 Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
13 talk (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
14 Rock Island Line (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)
15 Keep On Walkin' (Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)

Since I found the video of this concert on YouTube, the cover photo is a screenshot I took from it. I also took the font colors and type from the opening credits, though I added in the orange line to convey some extra information.

Dexys Midnight Runners - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: 1978-1981

I recently posted an album of stray tracks from the early years of Dexys Midnight Runners. I like to post those kinds of albums before posting BBC albums. This is the first of three BBC albums I plan on posting, all from the early 1980s time period.

The first three songs here are actually from the late 1970s, and technically aren't from Dexys Midnight Runners at all. For Dexys's first album, released in 1980, the two most important band members were lead singer Kevin Roland, and Kevin 'Al" Archer. Together, their musical careers got started with the band the Killjoys. That band never put out an album. But in 1977, they did a BBC session for DJ John Peel. They sounded like a punk band, which was all the rage in 1977, and frankly there was nothing special about them. But they did a second Peel session in 1978, and sounded like a totally different band, much more like the sound of the future Dexys Midnight Runners. So I've included the (unreleased) songs from that second BBC session, but not the first session. Since Roland is the lead singer, it would be easy to think these are Dexys Midnight Runners songs.

By the way, Archer had a hand in writing some songs for the first Dexys Midnight Runners album in 1980, but he quit the band in 1981. Basically, he found Rowland too difficult to get along with. That would be a frequent theme, with a lot of turnover of other band members.

After those first three Killboys songs, all the other songs have been released as bonus tracks on the deluxe edition of the band's first album, "Searching for the Young Soul Rebels." Most of those come from BBC studio sessions, but the last two are from a BBC concert. The songs are generally from that album or the singles associated with it.

This album is 44 minutes long.

01 Spit on Me (Dexys Midnight Runners [Killjoys])
02 Smoke Your Own (Dexys Midnight Runners [Killjoys])
03 All the Way (Dexys Midnight Runners [Killjoys])
04 Geno (Dexys Midnight Runners)
05 Respect (Dexys Midnight Runners)
06 Dance Stance [Burn It Down] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
07 The Teams that Meet in Caffs [Instrumental] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
08 Tell Me When My Light Turns Green (Dexys Midnight Runners)
09 The Horse [Instrumental] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
10 Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache (Dexys Midnight Runners)
11 There, There My Dear (Dexys Midnight Runners)
12 Soon - Plan B (Dexys Midnight Runners)

The cover photo depicts the band from around 1980, before they adopted their "hayseed farmer" look in 1982.

Pentangle - BBC Sessions, Volume 5: In Concert, London, Britain, 6-20-1970

Finally, after four volumes of Pentangle playing for the BBC, we got to a full concert. A rather short concert, admittedly, but a concert nonetheless.

The likely reason there wasn't a BBC concert before this is that the BBC generally didn't broadcast concerts until 1970, when this took place. There were a few exceptions, such as a Moody Blues concert from 1969 that I've posted here, but very few. And even when concerts did start in 1970, they usually were only half an hour at first. That's the case here. But it's a quality half hour. It has been officially released on the "On Air" album, and the sound quality is excellent.

Since the concert is short, I looked around for other material that would fit that I could add to the end. I found a few songs from a TV show the band performed for just a month before the BBC concert. This short-lived show, called "The Two Brewers," filmed musical acts in the Two Brewers Pub in London. Three of the songs were released on the band's box set "The Time Has Come." The last song here also comes from that show, but is unreleased. That's probably because it's a very atypical comedic song sung by the band's drummer.

This is the third album in a row in this series to include the song "Light Flight." But it was the band's one big hit, and it's such a good song that I don't mind.

With the four songs added at the end, this album's total length is 42 minutes.

01 Train Song (Pentangle)
02 talk (Pentangle)
03 Hunting Song (Pentangle)
04 Light Flight (Pentangle)
05 In Time (Pentangle)
06 talk (Pentangle)
07 House Carpenter (Pentangle)
08 talk (Pentangle)
09 I've Got a Feeling (Pentangle)
10 Wondrous Love (Pentangle)
11 Sally Free and Easy (Pentangle)
12 Sarabande (Pentangle)
13 talk (Pentangle)
14 Blue Monk (Pentangle)

The cover show is of the band playing at the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival. I would have liked to use a 1970 photo, but this one showed them in a real concert (as opposed to TV show) better than any 1970 photo I could find.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Traffic - Alternate Studio Versions, 1971-1973

Traffic was a great band, and they were particularly great live. However, there's a frustratingly small amount of good sounding music by them other than what was released on their official albums. Almost no archival material has been released in the decades since the band broke up in the mid-1970s, other than a few bonus tracks here and there. Most live bootlegs of the band are audience recordings that sound poor to awful. There are a few good ones from 1967 to 1970, but I've posted those here already.

The situation gets even worse after 1970. There's one official live album called "On the Road," but it's merely okay. Most critics said the songs went on too long, and the playing wasn't that inspired. I agree. In my opinion, the band's last great album is "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys" from 1971. I've found one fairly good live recording from that time period, which I will post later. But in terms of sound quality, it turns out there are some unreleased studio recordings that sound fantastic, and that's what this album is.

The first three songs are outtakes from the "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys." There really needs to be some kind of deluxe or even super deluxe release of that album, but as it is, there haven't even been any bonus tracks released. There is a popular bootleg of outtakes though, and that's where these three songs come from. All three are interesting alternate takes with excellent sound quality. 

However, beware that that bootleg has some other songs on it that aren't worthy of inclusion here. For instance, there's an alternate mix of "Rock and Roll Stew" that's just that, an alternate mix, that's barely different from the album version. There also are three instrumental jams that actually aren't Traffic at all, but outtakes from album sessions of a different artist that sounded kind of like them. And so on. These are the three gems from that bootleg.

Most of the rest of the songs date to a performance on the German TV show "Musikladen" in 1973. The band stopped doing BBC sessions and most other TV or radio show appearances after 1970, but this is one key exception. These songs were done live in the studio, without any audience, so they're essentially alternate studio versions as well. Three of the songs are from the band's 1973 album "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory." But there's also a version of "40,000 Headmen," first done in 1968. And there's an instrumental simply called "Jammin'" by Musikladen. If anyone knows of a better title for that one, please let me know.

The last song, Light Up or Leave Me Alone" from the "Low Spark" album, is a bit of cheat, because it's actually taken from a 1973. But I'm including it here because it was filmed for a German TV show, and the sound quality is so excellent that you'd think it's another studio outtake. That's helped by the fact that I cut out the audience applause at the end.

If you like Traffic from the early 1970s and want to hear something more than what's on their official albums, this is as good as it gets in terms of sound quality and performance. Let's hope more gets officially released someday.

This album is an hour and three minutes long.

01 The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys (Traffic)
02 Rock and Roll Stew (Traffic)
03 Rainmaker (Traffic)
04 Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory (Traffic)
05 Evening Blue (Traffic)
06 [Sometimes I Feel So] Uninspired (Traffic)
07 [Roamin' thro' the Gloamin' With] 40,000 Headmen (Traffic)
08 Jammin' [Instrumental] (Traffic)
09 Light Up or Leave Me Alone (Traffic)

The cover photo is a screenshot I took from the Musikladen show.

Various Artists - BBC Electric Proms, Stax Records: 50 Years of Soul, Royal Albert Hall, London, Britain, 9-1-2017

I've been doing a lot of searching for BBC concerts these days, because their sound quality is almost always fantastic and they're often surprisingly overlooked bootlegs. I've come across some unexpected things, and this is one.

Stax Records was founded in 1957. It was the most prominent American record label for what became known as "southern soul," which had a more rough sound than soul music in the north, like that in Detroit (Motown) or Chicago. In the 1960s and early 1970s, Stax Records was the home to many soul stars like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Booker T. & the MGs, the Staples Singers, and many more.

You can read more about the record company at Wikipedia if you're not already familiar:

Stax Records - Wikipedia

In 2017, the BBC put on a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Stax. It featured most of the Stax stars who were still alive all those years later - Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave), Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Steve Cropper, and Booker T. Jones. In addition, it featured some younger British soul stars who were influenced by Stax: Beverley Knight, James Morrison, and Ruby Turner. There also was Tom Jones, who was star back in the Stax heyday, and was still going strong 50 years later. The show was emceed by British pianist Jools Holland, and backed by Holland, his band, and his orchestra (frequently used for his BBC TV show).

This concert got rare reviews at the time, and deservedly so. Both the younger and older artists did well. This was a "last hurrah" for most of the older artists, due to the passage of time. 

I've already highlighted the singing skills of Beverley Knight with a series of cover versions albums. I didn't include her covers here, since I knew I'd be posting this. So if you like those albums, there's more of her here to like.

I left off one song on purpose. The concert ended with an encore of "Sweet Soul Music." But it was done to start the show, and done much better. The encore seems unplanned, and frankly it wasn't very good, with too many people trying to sing lead vocals and tripping over each other. This concert is stronger without it.

This concert is an hour and nine minutes long. The sound quality is as good as you'd expect from the BBC, sounding like an officially released album.

01 talk (Jools Holland)
02 Sweet Soul Music (Tom Jones, Beverley Knight & James Morrison)
03 talk (Jools Holland)
04 Hard to Handle (Tom Jones)
05 talk (Jools Holland)
06 I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down (Tom Jones & Sam Moore)
07 talk (Jools Holland)
08 Soul Man (Sam Moore)
09 talk (Jools Holland)
10 B-A-B-Y (Beverley Knight)
11 talk (Jools Holland)
12 I Forgot to Be Your Lover (William Bell)
13 talk (Jools Holland)
14 Private Number (William Bell & Beverley Knight)
15 talk (Jools Holland)
16 Knock on Wood (Eddie Floyd)
17 talk (Jools Holland)
18 Try a Little Tenderness (James Morrison & Steve Cropper)
19 talk (Jools Holland)
20 Green Onions [Instrumental] (Booker T. Jones & Steve Cropper)
21 talk (Jools Holland)
22 I'll Take You There (Ruby Turner)
23 talk (Jools Holland)
24 [Sittin' On] The Dock of the Bay (Tom Jones & Steve Cropper)
25 talk (Jools Holland)
26 Blues for New Orleans [Instrumental] (Booker T. Jones)
27 talk (Jools Holland)
28 Walking the Dog (Sweetie Irie & Nadia Rose)
29 talk (Jools Holland)
30 Hold On, I'm Coming (Sam Moore & Beverley Knight)
31 talk (Jools Holland)
32 634-5789 (Eddie Floyd & James Morrison)
33 talk (Jools Holland)

I found a bunch of good photos of this exact concert (for once). I could have used a photo showing many different stars here, but each of them would be so small that you could barely tell who they are. I decided it was better to chose a picture with just three of the stars, to better show the spirit of the concert. This picture has James Morrison singing into a microphone, with Beverley Knight and Tom Jones looking on.

For the text, I used the Stax Records logo at the top, plus the BBC logo at the bottom. I also found special lettering for the Electric Proms, a series of special BBC summer concerts that ran for a few years.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Yes - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: 1970-1973

When musical acts get really famous, they often stop bothering with BBC sessions. That, unfortunately, is the case with Yes. They didn't stop all at once though. This album has them trailing off. There's some very good versions of songs here, while it's also frustrating that other songs from this time period are not included.

The first two songs date from early 1970, at a time when Yes could barely dent any musical charts. They both appear on the band's official BBC album "Something's Coming." But then the band hit it big with two albums in 1971, and pretty much stopped their BBC sessions.

The third song is credited to Yes, but it's really just the band's guitarist Steve Howe doing a solo acoustic performance of the Yes song "Clap" in a medley with the popular hit "Classical Gas." This was done for the BBC, but wasn't included on the band's official BBC album for some reason.

There is said to be a 1971 BBC version of "Starship Trooper," but the versions I've heard sound terrible, so I didn't include it here, not even as a bonus track. Besides, there's some debate about where that came from and if it was a BBC version at all.

Not only did the band stop performing for the BBC, they rarely performed for other TV or radio shows. Luckily, there's one exception here. The fourth and fifth songs come from a 1971 appearance on the German TV show "Beat Club." However, I cheated with the song "I've Seen All Good People." For some reason, the band only played the second half of that two-part song, the "All Good People" part. I didn't like that, so I found an alternate version of the first half (done in the studio and released as a bonus track), and merged that with the Beat Club second half.

In 1973, Yes released the album "Tales from Topographic Oceans." It's become kind of Exhibit A for prog rock bands going overboard, because it's a double album where even the shortest song is nearly 20 minutes long! The album faced a lot of controversy, and mixed reviews, when it came out. It seems the band decided to put some more effort into promotion as a result, and played alternate versions of all the songs for the BBC. Unfortunately, only the recording of one of the four mega-songs has survived, which is the sixth track here. This too was forgotten by the official BBC album, even though the sound quality is as good as the songs that went on it.

There are a few other BBC recordings the band did that I didn't include even as bonus tracks because the sound quality was bad or even downright horrible. However, I've made one exception: "For Everyone." This original song was never released on record, except for the BBC version, which is included on Volume 2 in this series. That version has pretty decent sound quality. This version sounds worse. It might not even cut the mustard as a bonus track, except I figured it's worthy due to its musical content. This version is twice as long as the other version done for the BBC and has significant differences.  

Amazingly, it seems the band never did any live version of their classic 1972 song "Roundabout" for any TV or radio show. At least in this era, that is. In the late 1970s, with the band's popularity declining, they would do another concert for the BBC, so I'll post that later.

This album is 50 minutes long, not counting the bonus track, which is 10 minutes long.

01 Sweet Dreams [Edit] (Yes)
02 Then [Edit] (Yes)
03 Clap - Classical Gas [Instrumental] (Yes)
04 Yours Is No Disgrace (Yes)
05 I've Seen All Good People [Your Move - All Good People] [Edit] (Yes)
06 The Revealing Science of God - Dance of the Dawn (Yes)

For Everyone [Edit] (Yes)

The cover art shows the band on a TV show in 1971, maybe "Top of the Pops." I assume they mimed the performance.

Blue Oyster Cult - BBC Rock Hour, Cobo Hall, Detroit, MI, 12-30-1977

Do I know much about Blue Oyster Cult beyond "Don't Fear the Reaper" (more cowbell and all), "Burnin' for You," "Godzilla," and a few more songs? No. Not yet, at least. But they're a popular rock band that did a concert for the BBC, so it's going on my blog. :)

This bootleg show actually was recorded in Detroit in the USA, not in Britain as these things usually go. It may have been broadcast first by the US radio station KBPH. But for whatever reason there's a version with a BBC DJ introducing the show (the decidedly non-hard rock but omnipresent Brian Matthew), so it counts as a BBC broadcast.

Perhaps the fact the BBC didn't direct the recording of this helps explain that the recording has one serious flaw: the vocals were way too low. Luckily, these days that can be fixed with audio editing programs like X-Minus, so that's what I did. Technically, all the songs should have "[Edit]" in their titles since I edited them all, but that seems unnecessary since it happened to all of them, and you can just read about that here instead. I think it sounds much better now.

1977 was a good year for the BBC to do a show of their music, because their classic "Don't Fear the Reaper" had been released the year before, and "Godzilla" had come out on album just a month before this concert. The rest of their songs are much like a "best of" up until that point, but there's also one cover, Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild."

This album is 48 minutes long.

01 R. U. Ready to Rock (Blue Oyster Cult)
02 E. T. I. [Extra Terrestrial Intelligence] (Blue Oyster Cult)
03 Cities on Flame (Blue Oyster Cult)
04 Hot Rails to Hell (Blue Oyster Cult)
05 Godzilla (Blue Oyster Cult)
06 This Ain't the Summer of Love (Blue Oyster Cult)
07 Born to Be Wild (Blue Oyster Cult)
08 Don't Fear the Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult)

The cover photo comes from a concert in the Hammersmith Odeon in London, 1977. (That's a bit ironic, since one would think this concert would have been recorded there instead of Detroit.) I took the lettering of the band's name from one of their albums mainly because I'm amused at how incredibly similar it is to the lettering used for the joke heavy metal band Spinal Tap. Both of them even have an umlaut over an unnecessary letter!

Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Chambers Brothers - Colour Me Pop, London, Britain, 8-1969

Here's something that I wouldn't have put together and posted except for the fact that it's so damn rare. I feel good when I can help bring back recordings like this from the brink of being lost forever.

In 1968, the BBC started a music-themed TV show, "Colour Me Pop," that was broadcast in color (a big deal at the time - most shows in Britain wouldn't be filmed in color until 1969 or even later) and usually focused on just one musical artist per half-hour episode. The show only lasted one year, but it was basically succeeded by the similar show "Disco 2," which then was succeeded by "The Old Grey Whistle Test," which ran for many years. There were dozens of episodes, as you can see in the Wikipedia entry on the show here:

Colour Me Pop - Wikipedia

Unfortunately, the video footage has been lost for all but a handful of acts. There's more audio, but the vast majority of that has been lost as well. One of the few acts where the video footage survived was the US soul music group the Chambers Brothers. They're best known for their psychedelic soul hit "Time Has Come Today" in 1967. Although they were filmed for Colour Me Pop, the show was cancelled shortly thereafter, so the footage was never actually shown on TV. (I don't know exactly when this was recorded, but I think August 1969 is a good guess.)

In 2018, some mysterious person posted a bunch of videos from Colour Me Pop, Disco 2, and the Old Grey Whistle Test on YouTube. One such video was the full show with the Chambers Brothers. Somehow, the footage has survived even though it had never aired. Unfortunately, later that year, YouTube deleted that person's account for copyright violations.

I recently found out the Chambers Brothers recording existed thanks to a mention in that Wikipedia entry above. I looked high and low on the Internet and couldn't find any mentions of it after that person's YouTube account was deleted. But I reached out to some musical associates, and one of them, marley, actually has the audio for the full show. So here it is. Hopefully this will spread around so it won't disappear from the Internet again.

Not all of this is from Colour Me Pop. It turns out the Chambers Brothers only played 25 minutes of music. Since that's rather short, I looked around to see if there was anything else I could add. I found they did two songs for the US TV show "Playboy After Dark" in 1968. So I added those as the first two songs here.

As I mentioned above, I'm not that big of a fan of this band, but they have one undeniably great original song, "Time Has Come Today." This ends with an impressive 11-minute long version. As for sound quality of this show, while it's not excellent, I'd call it very good.

With the two extra songs at the start, this album is 30 minutes long.

If anyone has the actual video and wants to link to it in the comments, that would be great. And if you have other super rare material like this that you think needs sharing, please let me know so I can help share it. (Perhaps someone grabbed some of that Old Grey Whistle Test material that got posted in 2018 and then disappeared, for instance.)

01 I Wish It Would Rain (Chambers Brothers)
02 Love Is All I Have (Chambers Brothers)
03 I Can't Stand It (Chambers Brothers)
04 Do Your Thing (Chambers Brothers)
05 Are You Ready (Chambers Brothers)
06 People Get Ready (Chambers Brothers)
07 Time Has Come Today (Chambers Brothers)

The cover photo shows the band on TV in 1969, but I don't know the details. I took the text of the band name from one of their album covers and turned the black writing to blue to make it stand out. The "Colour Me Pop" text below with the colored stripes is taken directly from some of the visuals used on the show.

Gordon Lightfoot - Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, 10-5-1968

I wasn't planning on posting any more of Gordon Lightfoot's music. I like his stuff, but to be honest only in limited doses. However, I stumbled across this by accident the other day, and the quality is so good for 1968 that I couldn't resist sharing it. The sound quality is phenomenal for the era - as good or better than most official live albums from that time. And the performance is solid too. Lightfoot is backed by a second guitarist (Red Shea) and bassist (John Stockfish), but their contributions are subtle - it's basically him in solo acoustic mode. 

Because this was is such great quality already, I didn't have to do anything other than put some of his banter between songs onto separate tracks. He didn't talk much in any case, other than telling a weird joke near the end.

Apparently, this was recorded by Bill Graham, who owned the venue. He played it on a radio station a couple of years later, which is how it got to the public. It's a crying shame this hasn't been officially released. I think it's better than his official live album from 1969. 

This album is 58 minutes long.

01 I'm Not Sayin' (Gordon Lightfoot)
02 talk (Gordon Lightfoot)
03 If I Could (Gordon Lightfoot)
04 Softly (Gordon Lightfoot)
05 Boss Man (Gordon Lightfoot)
06 Black Day in July (Gordon Lightfoot)
07 Cold Hands from New York (Gordon Lightfoot)
08 Walls (Gordon Lightfoot)
09 Affair on 8th Avenue (Gordon Lightfoot)
10 talk (Gordon Lightfoot)
11 Steel Rail Blues (Gordon Lightfoot)
12 talk (Gordon Lightfoot)
13 Long Thin Dawn (Gordon Lightfoot)
14 Rosanna (Gordon Lightfoot)
15 Mountain and Marian (Gordon Lightfoot)
16 Early Morning Rain (Gordon Lightfoot)
17 The Auctioneer (Gordon Lightfoot)
18 Unsettled Ways (Gordon Lightfoot)
19 talk (Gordon Lightfoot)
20 Pussywillows, Cat-Tails (Gordon Lightfoot)
21 Canadian Railroad Trilogy (Gordon Lightfoot)

The cover photo comes from a concert in Vancouver, Canada, in 1968.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Moody Blues - BBC Sessions, Volume 4: David Symonds Show, London, Britain, 12-17-1969

Note that I already posted a Volume 4 of the Moody Blues playing for the BBC. So what is this? I realized that with the way I'd compiled BBC albums for the band, I'd split up their 1969 concert between two albums, ruining the listening experience of hearing it as a single album. 

Around the same time, I came across some additional BBC material, allowing me to replace the versions on other albums. Thus, what had been "BBC Sessions, Volume 4" is now "Volume 5" instead, and there are no performances on any of the albums that are exactly the same. If you want the latest and greatest, I suggest downloading this, plus the revised versions of (what is now) Volumes 3 and 5.

As far as I can tell, this is one of the first full rock concerts recorded for the BBC. Their concert series wouldn't begin until 1970, so this was done for the David Symonds Show. Unfortunately, it's a relatively short concert at only 30 minutes, but consider by the conservative BBC standards at the time it would have been rule-breaking to play that much music by the same band all at once.

The material here has been officially released twice, as bonus tracks on the deluxe version of the band's 1969 album "To Our Children's Children Children," and as part of the "Live at the BBC" album. I didn't do much to it, other than breaking the talking between songs into their own tracks.

01 Gypsy [Of a Strange and Distant Time] (Moody Blues)
02 The Sunset (Moody Blues)
03 talk (Moody Blues)
04 Never Comes the Day (Moody Blues)
05 talk (Moody Blues)
06 Are You Sitting Comfortably (Moody Blues)
07 Poem- The Dream (Moody Blues)
08 Have You Heard, Part 1 - The Voyage - Have You Heard, Part 2 (Moody Blues)
09 Nights in White Satin (Moody Blues)
10 talk (Moody Blues)
11 Legend of a Mind (Moody Blues)

The cover photo isn't the greatest, but it's pretty much the only color photo of the band I could find playing live in 1969. I don't know where or when exactly.

The Rolling Stones - BBC Sessions, Volume 4: John Peel Show, Leeds University Union, University of Leeds, Leeds, Britain, 3-13-1971

I've posted three albums of the Rollings Stones playing for the BBC in the 1963 to 1965 time frame. (By the way, I've renumbered those albums, as I'll explain below.) I thought I was done with the Stones and the BBC. But I just stumbled across the fact that a famous concert the band played in Leeds, Britain, in 1971 was actually recorded for, and played on, BBC radio at the time. It was first broadcast on the "John Peel Show," although DJ John Peel wasn't there to act as emcee like he usually did since it took place outside of London and the band recorded the concert themselves.

This concert appeared as a bootleg for many years, usually with the name "Get Your Leeds Lungs Out" after a comment singer Mick Jagger made between songs. It was missing a couple of songs and the sound quality wasn't perfect. But then in 2015, the full concert was released with flawless sound quality as part of the "super deluxe" edition of the band's 1971 album "Sticky Fingers." If you haven't heard this yet, you're missing out! In terms of sound quality and performance, this is not only one of the very best recorded Rolling Stones concerts, I'd argue it's one of the best recorded concerts by anyone!

It's that good. It's a shame that it has only come out as part of an expensive "super deluxe" package and not as an individual release, when it blows most of the well known official Rolling Stones live albums away. One reason it's so good is because it was recorded in a small venue. The band actually played at the student union for the University of Leeds, which could only fit a couple hundred people. So that was the equivalent of playing at a small club. Whereas most of the band's official live albums were recorded in giant stadiums, with the sound quality and intimacy suffering as a result.

I'm one of those people who think the band was at its best when guitarist Mick Taylor was a member. This is arguably the peak of the Mick Taylor years, where he was fully integrated into the band and its sound, and before he started to pull away, before leaving in 1974. 

Thanks to the great sound quality, I didn't have to do anything except separate the banter between songs onto their own tracks.

This album is an hour and seven minutes long.

Oh yeah. I mentioned up above that I renamed the earlier Stones BBC albums posted here. That's because when I decided to post this, I realized I had a "Volume 1," "Volume 2," and a "Live at the BBC 1964" album. Now, "Volume 1" is still the same, the live album is called "Volume 2," and what had been "Volume 2" is "Volume 3." Fixing that cleared the way to naming this one "Volume 4." While I was at it, I also upgraded the sound quality on some songs for all three albums, using superior versions to the official BBC album versions, thanks to Prof. Stoned's music blog.

01 talk (Rolling Stones)
02 Jumpin' Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)
03 Live with Me (Rolling Stones)
04 Dead Flowers (Rolling Stones)
05 talk (Rolling Stones)
06 Stray Cat Blues (Rolling Stones)
07 Love in Vain (Rolling Stones)
08 Midnight Rambler (Rolling Stones)
09 talk (Rolling Stones)
10 Bitch (Rolling Stones)
11 talk (Rolling Stones)
12 Honky Tonk Women (Rolling Stones)
13 [I Can't Get No] Satisfaction (Rolling Stones)
14 Little Queenie (Rolling Stones)
15 talk (Rolling Stones)
16 Brown Sugar (Rolling Stones)
17 talk (Rolling Stones)
18 Street Fighting Man (Rolling Stones)
19 talk (Rolling Stones)
20 Let It Rock (Rolling Stones)

The cover photo comes from this exact concert. With the roof visible in the background, maybe this can give you a sense of how small the room was. Sadly, the picture is in black and white, and it's too much of a pain in the butt for me to convert it into color, at least for now.

Tom Paxton - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: In Concert, London, Britain, 12-28-1970

Here's another early BBC "In Concert" TV show, this time featuring singer-songwriter Tom Paxton.

Paxton's popularity probably peaked in the 1960s, when he wrote some classic folk songs like "The Last Thing on My Mind," "Bottle of Wine," and "Ramblin' Boy" that were covered by dozens of other famous musical acts. But he kept on steadily writing and recording quality songs for decades after that, and apparently is still performing at the age of 84 as I write this in 2022. 

Here's the Wikipedia link if you want to know more about him:

Tom Paxton - Wikipedia

There's not much else to say here, except the songs played here tended to be ones from his most recent albums instead of his most famous ones. However, it's not surprising he ended the concert with probably his best known song, "The Last Thing on My Mind." 

Like most of the early 1970s BBC TV show recordings, this concert was short, at only 32 minutes.

01 Morning Again (Tom Paxton)
02 talk (Tom Paxton)
03 I Lost My Heart on a 747 (Tom Paxton)
04 talk (Tom Paxton)
05 Whose Garden Was This (Tom Paxton)
06 talk (Tom Paxton)
07 Forest Lawn (Tom Paxton)
08 Annie's Going to Sing Her Song (Tom Paxton)
09 talk (Tom Paxton)
10 Jennifer's Rabbit - I Give You the Morning (Tom Paxton)
11 talk (Tom Paxton)
12 Talking Vietnam Potluck Blues (Tom Paxton)
13 Jimmy Newman (Tom Paxton)
14 The Last Thing on My Mind (Tom Paxton)

The cover photo is a screenshot I took from the video of this concert, which I found on YouTube. Since the video included the opening credits, I used the same font and colors as those credits, except I added extra information with the extra bottom line in purple.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

David Gates (Bread) - BBC in Concert, London, Britain, 7-1971

I'm continuing to prioritize posting BBC concerts from the early 1970s, so here's another one. This is rather odd, because it features David Gates, the main singer and songwriter for the soft rock band Bread, at a time when he hadn't started a solo career yet. In fact, Bread was just hitting it big when this was recorded. Apparently what happened was that the BBC TV show "In Concert" was focusing on songwriters at the time, so only Gates was invited to play, not all of Bread.

Whatever the reason, it's an interesting look at the songs of Bread being done in a different way. It's mostly a solo show, with Gates playing on guitar or piano depending on the song, but a full band joins in for a couple of songs, and there's some strings on other songs. 

This was broadcast in February 1972, but apparently it was recorded in July 1971. At that time, Bread had three hit singles, "If," "It Don't Matter to Me," and "Make It with You." He played those three here, plus "Baby I'm-a Want You" and "Diary," which would be hits later. The other songs come from Bread albums, except for "Change of Heart" which wouldn't appear on a Bread album until 1977.

This album is 32 minutes long.

01 It Don't Matter to Me (David Gates)
02 talk (David Gates)
03 Look at Me (David Gates)
04 talk (David Gates)
05 The Other Side of Life (David Gates)
06 talk (David Gates)
07 She Was My Lady (David Gates)
08 talk (David Gates)
09 He's a Good Lad (David Gates)
10 Change of Heart (David Gates)
11 talk (David Gates)
12 Make It with You (David Gates)
13 Diary (David Gates)
14 talk (David Gates)
15 Baby I'm-a Want You (David Gates)
16 talk (David Gates)
17 If (David Gates)

The cover photo is a screenshot taken from this exact concert.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Peter & Gordon - BBC Sessions (1964-1967)

Some 1960s musical acts have stayed popular over the decades, and others have faded away. Unfortunately, the British duo Peter and Gordon have pretty much faded away. But they released a surprising amount of good music, considering their low profile today.

I had to dig pretty deep to make this collection. I don't think anyone has put together a BBC sessions album of their music before. All of the songs here are officially unreleased, but they generally sound as good as released stuff, thanks to the high quality of the BBC transcription discs these come from.

I'd guess that what fame this duo has today is mainly due to Peter Asher (his partner being named Gordon Waller). For one thing, Asher became a very successful producer in the 1970s, as well as being the manager for singer Linda Ronstadt. He was lucky that Jane Asher was his sister, because she dated Paul McCartney from 1963 to 1968, and was even engaged to him at one point. So when the Beatles wrote songs that they didn't want to record themselves, they sometimes gave them to Peter and Gordon. Their first hit in 1964, "A World without Love," was written by the songwriting due of Lennon and McCartney, and hit number one in the US and Britain. Lennon and McCartney wrote other hits for them too: "Nobody I Know," "I Don't Want to See You Again," and "Woman."

While the Beatles written songs were key to making them stars, they went on to have some bit hits on their own, including "True Love Ways," "I Go to Pieces," and "Lady Godiva," each of which were million sellers.

Here's the Wikipedia entry for more info:

Peter and Gordon - Wikipedia

The vast majority of these songs come from BBC studio sessions. But there were a couple of big hits that either weren't done for the BBC, or those recordings haven't survived in the public domain. So for "A World without Love," "I Go to Pieces," and "I Don't Want to See You Again," I found live versions done for TV shows. "Nobody I Know" comes from a Swedish concert that was broadcast on the radio there. These don't sound quite as good as the rest, due to the crowd noise.

 I also found one song done for a TV show that wasn't a hit but sounded good enough to merit inclusion, the Simon and Garfunkel classic "Homeward Bound."

The sound of Peter and Gordon wasn't that far from Simon and Garfunkel, with both duos emphasizing folk rock with harmony vocals. But musical trends changed drastically around 1967. Simon and Garfunkel evolved and endured, while Peter and Gordon petered out (pardon the wordplay). Their last BBC session seems to have been in 1967, and they broke up in 1968.

As is usually the case with BBC recordings from this time period, the BBC DJs (especially Brian Matthew - sigh!) talked over the music sometimes. For all the songs with "[Edit]" in their names, I used the X-Minus audio editing program to wipe out that talking while keeping the underlying music.

A few of the songs here seem to have never been officially released by the band, all covers: "Midnight Special," "Maggie's Farm," "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame," and "He Will Break Your Heart."

This album is 54 minutes long. It would have been longer, but there were a few songs I thought were clunkers that I didn't include. 

By the way, another British duo, Chad & Jeremy, had a very similar career arc, having hits around the same time then also breaking up in 1968. I would have been interested to put together a BBC sessions album for them, but I can't find any BBC recordings by them at all.

01 A World without Love (Peter & Gordon)
02 Nobody I Know (Peter & Gordon)
03 I Go to Pieces (Peter & Gordon)
04 I Told You So [Edit] (Peter & Gordon)
05 True Love Ways (Peter & Gordon)
06 Midnight Special (Peter & Gordon)
07 To Know You Is to Love You [To Know Him Is to Love Him] (Peter & Gordon)
08 When the Black of Your Eyes Turns to Grey [Edit] (Peter & Gordon)
09 I Don't Want to See You Again (Peter & Gordon)
10 Baby, I'm Yours (Peter & Gordon)
11 Maggie's Farm [Edit] (Peter & Gordon)
12 Woman (Peter & Gordon)
13 Wrong from the Start [Edit] (Peter & Gordon)
14 A Boy with Nothing [Edit] (Peter & Gordon)
15 Morning's Calling [Edit] (Peter & Gordon)
16 Lucille (Peter & Gordon)
17 Homeward Bound (Peter & Gordon)
18 [Marie's the Name] His Latest Flame [Edit] (Peter & Gordon)
19 Knight in Rusty Armour (Peter & Gordon)
20 Lady Godiva [Edit] (Peter & Gordon)
21 He Will Break Your Heart [Edit] (Peter & Gordon)
22 Sunday for Tea (Peter & Gordon)

The cover photo is from an appearance on the TV show "Hullabaloo" in March 1966.

Dexys Midnight Runners - Show Me - Non-Album Tracks (1979-1982)

If you live anywhere but in Britain, you probably know the British band Dexys Midnight Runners mainly for one song: "Come On Eileen." That was a number one hit in the US, Britain, and many other places in 1982, and continues to be played all over the place. In the US, the band is a true one-hit wonder. But in Britain, they had seven other top twenty hits, including another number one, "Geno," in 1980.

In my opinion, Dexys Midnight Runners (note that, weirdly, there's no apostrophe in "Dexys") is much more than a one-hit wonder.  The band has basically been Kevin Rowland, the lead singer and main songwriter, and a frequently changing bunch of supporting musicians. They put out a lot of good music from 1979 to 1982. At the end of that time, Rowland had trouble dealing with massive success, and got addicted to drugs, and suffered from depression. He didn't release much more for a long time after that, but eventually pulled himself together and has released some good records later in his career. But this is a stray tracks album that deals only with the band's years of peak popular success.

 During this time period, the band released two studio albums, "Searching for the Young Soul Rebels" in 1980, and "Too-Rye-Ay" in 1982. I've avoided including any songs on those albums, unless there are significantly different versions. It turns out the band was just as focused on releasing singles they didn't put on their albums as their albums. There are five A-sides included here, and eight B-sides.

Three of the A-sides were top forty hits in Britain: "Dance Stance," "Show Me," and "Let's Get This Straight (From the Heart)." "Dance Stance" is rather confusing, because that was its name when released as a single, but it later appeared on the "Searching for the Young Soul Rebels" album with the name "Burn It Down." It was a different version, but they're basically the same song, so I gave it the title "Dance Stance" but I put "Burn It Down" into the title as a second name as well.

In addition to all those A- and B-sides, there are a few rarities. "Hold On, I'm Coming" is a demo version of the classic Sam and Dave soul hit, done as a studio demo. It was eventually released as a bonus track. "Big Time Operator" is a cover of a song originally done by Zoot Money's Big Roll Band in the 1960s. This is unreleased, but it comes from a concert that was broadcast on the radio at the time, so the sound quality is a good as the rest. "Merry Xmas Everybody" is a cover of the Slade hit from the 1970s that was done for a Christmas-themed British TV show.

In my opinion, there's enough good material here for an album that would rival either of the band's two albums from this time period, though it probably would be improved by trimming one or more of the four instrumentals. 

I'm posting this album now because there are three BBC albums by the band that I want to post soon. I usually like to post stray tracks albums first.

This album is 48 minutes long.

01 Dance Stance [Burn It Down] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
02 Hold On, I'm Coming [Demo] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
03 The Horse [Instrumental] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
04 Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache (Dexys Midnight Runners)
05 Big Time Operator (Dexys Midnight Runners)
06 Keep It, Part Two [Inferiority, Part 1] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
07 One Way Love (Dexys Midnight Runners)
08 Plan B (Dexys Midnight Runners)
09 Soul Finger [Instrumental] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
10 Show Me (Dexys Midnight Runners)
11 Soon (Dexys Midnight Runners)
12 Love, Part 2 (Dexys Midnight Runners)
13 Dubious [Outlook] [Instrumental] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
14 Let's Get This Straight [From the Start] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
15 TSOP [The Sound of Philadelphia] [Instrumental] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
16 Merry Xmas Everybody (Dexys Midnight Runners)

The promo photo of the band is from 1982.