Sunday, July 31, 2022

The Tremeloes - BBC Sessions, Volume 4: 1968-1970

This is the fourth volume of out five of the Tremeloes performing for the BBC.

The first eleven songs here have officially released, from the album "BBC Sessions, 1967-1969." But as you can tell from that album title, it ended in 1969. The remaining five songs, all from 1970, are unreleased. Their sound quality is as good as the others.

Typically, British Invasion bands like this one did covers for the BBC that they never recorded in the studio and released. That's the case with the Tremeloes. I didn't check every last song, but I know for instance that "Good Times," "Proud Mary," "I Can't Turn You Loose," were only done for the BBC. Note that a different version of "Blessed" from 1966 was included on Volume 2 in this series, since it was an A-side that year.

The band really blew it with the song "Yellow River." A songwriter by the name of Jeff Christie offered it to the Tremeloes. They recorded it and planned to release it as a single in early 1970. But at the last minute they decided it was too poppy and they wanted to try for a more serious image and sound. So Christie used the Tremeloes' version, but with his lead vocals, and had a number one hit with it under the name "Christie" in Britain, as well as a Top Twenty hit in the US. Given that the Tremeloes hits dried up soon after this, I'll bet they were kicking themselves later. The band's studio version did come out on archival releases years later, but it's interesting to see they did a BBC version at the time.

However, the band did have some other big hits in this time period, including "(Call Me) Number One" and "Me and My Life," both of which reached the top five in the British charts. They were writing a lot more of their own material by this time, including both of those hits.

As you'd expect from this time period, many of the songs had BBC DJs talking over the music (all the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles). As usual, I used the X-Minus audio editing program to wipe out the talking while keeping the underlying music. 

This album is 47 minutes long.

01 I Shall Be Released (Tremeloes)
02 Good Times [Edit] (Tremeloes)
03 Hello World (Tremeloes)
04 En Tu Mondo (Tremeloes)
05 Once on a Sunday Morning (Tremeloes)
06 Proud Mary (Tremeloes)
07 I Can't Turn You Loose (Tremeloes)
08 Blessed (Tremeloes)
09 [Call Me] Number One (Tremeloes)
10 You [Edit] (Tremeloes)
11 What Can I Do [Edit] (Tremeloes)
12 Anything [Edit] (Tremeloes)
13 Yellow River [Edit] (Tremeloes)
14 It's a Long Road [Edit] (Tremeloes)
15 Before I Sleep [Edit] (Tremeloes)
16 Me and My Life [Edit] (Tremeloes)

The cover photo was taken in Australia in 1968.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Colin Blunstone - BBC Sessions, Volume 1 (1971-1973)

I'll bet you know Colin Blunstone's voice, even if you may not know his name. He has a distinctive strong yet whispery voice on classics by the Zombies, including "She's Not There" and "Time of the Season," plus "Old and Wise" by Alan Parsons Project, and some solo hits of his own. There's enough material for two albums of BBC sessions, so here's Volume 1.

The Zombies already broke up by the time they had a hit song and album in 1968 with "Time of the Season" and "Odessey and Oracle" respectively.  Weirdly, in 1969, Blunstone released three singles under the pseudonym "Neil MacArthur," and had a minor hit with a new version of the Zombies song "She's Not There" (even though he'd been the lead singer on the original!). In 1971, he released his first solo album, "One Year." It's regarded as a sleeper classic today and it did fairly well, with a hit single, "Say You Don't Mind." His second solo album, "Ennismore" in 1972, also was critically acclaimed and sold fairly well.

There's an official BBC album for him, called "Live at the BBC," but it's very incomplete. Only three of the songs here, the first three, are from that. But I found some other unreleased songs elsewhere, and musical associate Marley found more of them. The sound quality is generally very good.

Normally, I don't like having two versions of the same song on the same album, but I made an exception here with "Say You Don't Mind." Worse, the two versions are very close together, due to the way I organized this chronologically, as I usually do for these sorts of albums. But they're done in very different styles. One is more rocking and bluesy, while the other is softer, with lots of strings.

There are two songs, the first one and the fourth one, where they're the only songs from that particular BBC studio session. Those sessions almost always had two to three songs, sometimes even four, so it could be there are more songs out there - or they could be lost. If you have anything else, please let me know so I can add them in.

Most of these are BBC radio sessions. However, the second and third tracks are from the BBC TV show "Old Grey Whistle Test." And the last two songs aren't from the BBC at all, but are from a concert in Belgium that I think was shown on TV. 

This album is 41 minutes long.

01 Say You Don't Mind [Blues Version] (Colin Blunstone)
02 Misty Roses (Colin Blunstone)
03 Say You Don't Mind (Colin Blunstone)
04 I Can't Live without You (Colin Blunstone)
05 Andorra (Colin Blunstone)
06 I Don't Believe in Miracles (Colin Blunstone)
07 How Wrong Can One Man Be (Colin Blunstone)
08 How Could We Dare to Be Wrong (Colin Blunstone)
09 Pay Me Later (Colin Blunstone)
10 She's Not There (Colin Blunstone)
11 Looking for Someone to Love (Colin Blunstone)

I only know the cover photo is from the early 1970s.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Tremeloes - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: 1967-1968

This is the third volume of out five of the Tremeloes performing for the BBC.

In 1967, psychedelic music was all the rage, especially in Britain. Virtually every British Invasion band started wearing outrageous clothing, taking drugs, playing the sitar, and so on. But not the Tremeloes. If you listen to the music here, you'll find little to no psychedelic influence. Instead, they kept doing their poppy style, with a soul influence. And they stayed in the charts. Three of the songs here - "Even the Bad Times Are Good," "Suddenly You Love Me," and "My Little Lady" were Top Ten hits in Britain.

Everything here has been officially released, from the album "BBC Sessions, 1967-1969."

Typically, British Invasion bands like this one did covers for the BBC that they never recorded in the studio and released. That's the case with the Tremeloes. I didn't check every last song, but I know for instance that "Walk Away Renee," "Gimme Little Sign," "Angel of the Morning," "(If You Think You're) Groovy," and "My Baby Left Me" were only done for the BBC. Note that a different version of "My Baby Left Me" from 1965 was included on Volume 1 in this series.

As you'd expect from this time period, many of the songs had BBC DJs talking over the music (all the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles). As usual, I used the X-Minus audio editing program to wipe out the talking while keeping the underlying music. 

This album is 47 minutes long.

01 Even the Bad Times Are Good (Tremeloes)
02 Running Out [Edit] (Tremeloes)
03 Be Mine (Tremeloes)
04 Come On Home [Edit] (Tremeloes)
05 Reach Out I'll Be There - Loving You Is Sweeter than Ever [Edit] (Tremeloes)
06 Norman Stanley James St. Clare (Tremeloes)
07 Suddenly You Love Me (Tremeloes)
08 Walk Away Renee [Edit] (Tremeloes)
09 Ain't Nothin' but a House Party [Edit] (Tremeloes)
10 Gimme Little Sign [Edit] (Tremeloes)
11 Helule Helule (Tremeloes)
12 My Baby Left Me [Edit] (Tremeloes)
13 Sing Something Swingle [Edit] (Tremeloes)
14 I Will See You There (Tremeloes)
15 Angel of the Morning [Edit] (Tremeloes)
16 [If You Think You're] Groovy [Edit] (Tremeloes)
17 My Little Lady (Tremeloes)
18 I Miss My Baby [Edit] (Tremeloes)

The cover photo was taken in London in February 1967.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Yes - The Crystal Palace Bowl, London, Britain, 7-31-1971

I've previously mentioned on my blog that there's very little music from the British prog rock band Yes prior to 1972 with excellent sound quality other than their studio albums, plus the two albums of BBC sessions that I've posted here. In 1972, their popularity exploded, and there are a whole bunch of official live albums from that year (and after). Aside from the BBC stuff, there are some excellent sounding 1971 live recordings. I've gathered them all together here to make one concert album out of them. 

I call this "The Crystal Palace Bowl, London, Britain, 7-31-1971," because a majority of the music here - 46 minutes - comes from that show. But there are two other sources. The first three tracks were recorded in Gothenburg, Sweden, in January 1971. The last three tracks were recorded in New Haven, Connecticut, in August 1971. Together, those two sources add up to another 37 minutes of music. So if you add it all up, you get one hour and 24 minutes, which is enough for a typical concert.

I've put these three sources together because they all sound truly excellent, while all other live recordings from 1971 or before - generally audience bootlegs - sound significantly worse. The Crystal Palace Bowl and Gothenburg recordings come from an official box set of live performances called "The Word Is Live." It's a shame they didn't release more from these two shows. I don't know if that's because this is all there is, or if some editing choices were made. These shows haven't been bootlegged otherwise. As for the New Haven show, that's a soundboard bootleg. That bootleg is also only part of the show. There are a couple more songs from that source, but I didn't include them because they're versions of songs already featured here.

This is the last Yes album I plan on posting (although that might change if I find something worthy). There's lots of material with excellent sound quality from 1972 and beyond, both officially released and on bootleg. I wanted to highlight the little there is from before 1972. Although this comes from three different sources, I think it sounds like a coherent single concert.

01 Everydays (Yes)
02 talk (Yes)
03 Astral Traveller (Yes)
04 Yours Is No Disgrace (Yes)
05 talk (Yes)
06 I’ve Seen All Good People [Your Move - All Good People] (Yes)
07 talk (Yes)
08 America (Yes)
09 talk (Yes)
10 It’s Love (Yes)
11 Clap - Classical Gas [Instrumental] (Yes)
12 talk (Yes)
13 Perpetual Change (Yes)

Yes played the Crystal Palace Bowl in 1972 as well as 1971. I found a good color photo of them in that venue from 1972, but none from 1971, so I used the 1972 photo.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

The Tremeloes - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: 1965-1967

Here's the second of five volumes of the Tremeloes at the BBC.

This volume is a bit strange in that some of the songs are billed as "Brian Poole & the Tremeloes" and others are just billed as the "Tremeloes." In mid-1966, lead singer Brian Poole left the band for a solo career. But to pretty much everyone's surprise, his solo career flopped and he was soon forgotten, while the four members of the back-up band went on to have even more success without him.

What's particularly strange is that it seems the band slowly transitioned away from him, instead of the usual pattern of it happening suddenly and permanently. (For instance, Wayne Fontana of Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders quit the group in the middle of concert!) So there are two BBC studio sessions here where the Tremeloes played some songs with Poole and some without him. That's why tracks 9 and 10 don't credit him, but tracks 11 and 12 do. Then the remainder are without him again.

After a couple of flop singles, the Tremeloes sans Poole had two big British hits with "Here Comes My Baby" by Cat Stevens and "Silence Is Golden" by the Four Seasons. "Silence Is Golden" went all the way to number one. Both of those hits are here.

Everything here has been officially released. Most of the songs come from the album "Live at the BBC, 1964-1967." The rest come from "BBC Sessions, 1967-1969."

Typically, British Invasion bands like this one did covers for the BBC that they never recorded and released otherwise. That's the case with the Tremeloes. I didn't check every last song, but I know for instance that "Baby It's You," "Like a Rolling Stone," and "It Takes Two" were only done for the BBC.

As you'd expect from this time period, many of the songs had BBC DJs talking over the music (all the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles). As usual, I used the X-Minus audio editing program to wipe out the talking while keeping the underlying music. 

This album is 47 minutes long.

01 I Want Candy [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
02 Baby It's You (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
03 Good Lovin' (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
04 Like a Rolling Stone [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
05 Hey Girl (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
06 Walkin' My Cat Named Dog [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
07 Loving You Is Sweeter than Ever [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
08 That Reminds Me Baby [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
09 Good Day Sunshine (Tremeloes)
10 What a State I'm In [Edit] (Tremeloes)
11 Everything I Touch Turns to Tears (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
12 Everything's Wrong [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
13 Here Comes My Baby (Tremeloes)
14 Run Baby Run [Edit] (Tremeloes)
15 Too Many Fish in the Sea (Tremeloes)
16 Silence Is Golden (Tremeloes)
17 I'll Take You Where the Music's Playing [Edit] (Tremeloes)
18 It Takes Two [Edit] (Tremeloes)

I don't know when and where the cover photo is from exactly, but I assume from the looks of it that it dates to around 1965.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Heart - BBC Rock Hour, Paris Theatre, London, Britain, 5-11-1978

Oftentimes, US musical acts weren't in Britain enough to do multiple BBC studio sessions, but they'd have a London concert recorded by BBC radio. In 1978, Heart got that treatment.

For Heart, 1978 was a particular good year for a concert bootleg. If you like their rocking 1970s style, this is all killer, no filler. Pretty much all of their big 1970s songs are included here, plus a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll." There's no talking between songs. It's all rocking. For instance, how can you beat the classic "Magic Man" followed by the classic "Barracuda" followed by the classic "Crazy on You?"

As you'd expected from a BBC recording, the sound quality is excellent. I didn't have to do any tinkering.

The concert is rather short at only 44 minutes. But, like I said, it's all killer and no filler.

01 Silver Wheels [Instrumental] (Heart)
02 Dreamboat Annie (Heart)
03 Little Queen (Heart)
04 White Lightning and Wine (Heart)
05 Rock and Roll (Heart)
06 Kick It Out (Heart)
07 Sing Child (Heart)
08 Magic Man (Heart)
09 Barracuda (Heart)
10 Crazy on You (Heart)

I couldn't find any really good photo of the sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson on stage from 1978. But I found a nice one of the two of them off stage from that year, so I used that one.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Hall & Oates - BBC in Concert, Town and Country Club, London, 9-5-1990

Opinion on the American duo Hall and Oates is mixed. They've sold many millions of records and have millions of fans, but some think they're overly commercial and cheesy. Personally, I think they had a lot of great singles, but I haven't gotten into their music more than that. But still, I found a concert they did for the BBC, and I liked it enough to want to share it here.

Hall and Oates put out their first album in 1972. They steadily grew in popularity, peaking in the early 1980s, when they were a hit-making machine. They had five Number One hits in the US, and many more hits as well. Their hit-making years pretty much came to an end in 1990 when their song "So Close" made it to number 11 in the US charts. After releasing their 1990 album "Change of Season," they took a seven year hiatus, and have had a lower level of commercial success ever since.

If you want just one live concert recording from this, I think this is the ideal time. Unfortunately, that 1990 album gets low ratings. But this bootleg only contains two songs from it: the hit "So Close," plus a cover of the classic soul song "Starting All Over Again." So basically, this concert is filled with their earlier hits, and they did the vast majority of the big ones. They also did "Everytime You Go Away," which they wrote but was a big hit for Paul Young instead. On top of that, they finished with two soul covers, "Hot Fun in the Summertime" by Sly and the Family Stone, and "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye. Neither of those were ever officially released by the duo.

The sound quality is excellent, just as you'd expect from a BBC recording. There were only two snags. One is that the volume of the talk between songs was sometimes quite low. I easily fixed that by boosting the volume of just those bits. The other is that the song "Wait for Me" only went for about 30 seconds before fading out. So rather than having that frustrating snippet, I removed that song altogether.

 This album is an hour and 44 minutes long.

01 talk (Hall & Oates)
02 Out of Touch (Hall & Oates)
03 talk (Hall & Oates)
04 Family Man (Hall & Oates)
05 talk (Hall & Oates)
06 Say It Isn't So (Hall & Oates)
07 How Does It Feel (Hall & Oates)
08 talk (Hall & Oates)
09 Kiss on My List (Hall & Oates)
10 Starting All Over Again (Hall & Oates)
11 Everytime You Go Away (Hall & Oates)
12 So Close (Hall & Oates)
13 I Can't Go for That [No Can Do] (Hall & Oates)
14 talk (Hall & Oates)
15 Sara Smile (Hall & Oates)
16 She's Gone (Hall & Oates)
17 Rich Girl (Hall & Oates)
18 Maneater (Hall & Oates)
19 talk (Hall & Oates)
20 Adult Education (Hall & Oates)
21 You Make My Dreams (Hall & Oates)
22 Hot Fun in the Summertime (Hall & Oates)
23 What's Going On (Hall & Oates)

I couldn't find any really good color concert photos of the duo in 1990. So I used this one from December 1988, in Tokyo.

Friday, July 15, 2022

The Tremeloes - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: 1964-1965

Next up for my BBC project is the British band the Tremeloes. They don't seem to be that well known or respected today, but they had a long run with many hits, from 1963 to 1971. Being on the pop end of the British Invasion, the musically conservative BBC loved them, so I found enough material for five albums of their BBC studio sessions. Here's the first one.

In the beginning, they were known as "Brian Poole and the Tremeloes." Poole would leave in 1966 and the band would keep going just fine without him. For this album, all the songs are still with Poole.

I think the Tremeloes tend to get dismissed as musical lightweights for three reasons. First, the vast majority of their hits were not written by them. And second, as mentioned above, they were poppy and singles oriented, like the Hollies. That said, if you enjoy the British Invasion sound, they're right up your alley. Personally, I think there's something special about all the music of that genre and time, so I enjoy this stuff even though I don't think they're a top tier band. The third reason is that they were mainly a British success. They had lots of hits there, but only two Top Ten hits in the US.

Their early BBC recordings are included on an official album called "Live at the BBC, 1964-1967." All but two of the songs here are from that, so the sound quality is excellent. The exceptions are the first two songs. In putting together lots of BBC albums for various musical acts, I've gathered that the "Top of the Pops" radio show transcription discs that allowed lots of great music to survive with excellent sound quality began in mid-1964. Prior to that, it seems most BBC recordings have been lost. 

The Tremeloes hit it big in 1963 with a number one British hit, "Do You Love Me," as well as a number four hit "Twist and Shout." So I'm almost certain they would have had BBC sessions that are now lost. I couldn't find much to make up for that, except for a concert appearance at the NME Poll Winners Concert in 1964. (I've posted the entire 1965 concert here.) They only played two songs, but luckily that included "Do You Love Me," and they did "Twist and Shout" for the BBC later. Those two songs are unreleased, but they sound as good as you could hope for considering the time period, since they were broadcast on TV.

As you'd expect from this time period, many of the songs had BBC DJs talking over the music (all the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles). As usual, I used the X-Minus audio editing program to wipe out the talking while keeping the underlying music. 

Typically, British Invasion bands like this one did covers for the BBC that they never recorded and released otherwise. That's the case with the Tremeloes. In fact there are a whole bunch of those on this volume. "Walk Right In," "Baby Blue," "Who's That Knocking," "Twelve Steps to Heaven," "Sho' Miss You Baby," "My Baby Left Me," "Well... Alright," "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," and "She Said Yeah" were only done for the BBC.

This album is 47 minutes long.

01 Candy Man (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
02 Do You Love Me (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
03 Walk Right In (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
04 Baby Blue (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
05 Someone Someone (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
06 Who's That Knocking [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
07 Three Bells (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
08 Twelve Steps to Heaven [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
09 Time Is on My Side [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
10 Uncle Willie [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
11 Sho' Miss You Baby (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
12 Hands Off [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
13 After a While (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
14 My Baby Left Me [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
15 Well... Alright [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
16 Twist and Shout [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
17 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
18 She Said Yeah (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
19 Love Me Baby [Edit] (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)
20 I Go Crazy (Brian Poole & the Tremeloes)

It looks likely the cover photo is from 1964 or 1965, but I don't know the details.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Blondie - BBC in Concert, The Apollo Theatre, Glasgow, Britain, 12-31-1979

Here's a BBC concert from Blondie. As is usually the case with BBC concerts, it's one of the best sounding recordings from the band.

This was officially released in 2010 with the title "At the BBC." But I'm posting it anyway since it's part of my extensive BBC concerts series. It's the only full concert release by the band from their prime era in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In terms of music, if I had to pick the prime time to listen to a Blondie concert, it probably would be about a year later. The band still had to release some classic songs over the next year or so, like "Call Me," "The Tide Is High," and "Rapture." However, the concert is still chock-a-block with hits and great songs, including a couple of covers like "Seven Rooms of Gloom" by the Four Tops and "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown.

Surprisingly, there's almost no banter between songs. I don't know if the concert was really like that or if some of that was cut down for space reasons. (BBC concert recordings are often edited down to fit limited time slots.)

This concert is an hour and 20 minutes long.

01 talk (Blondie)
02 Denis (Blondie)
03 The Hardest Part (Blondie)
04 Die Young, Stay Pretty (Blondie)
05 Accidents Never Happen (Blondie)
06 Victor (Blondie)
07 Living in the Real World (Blondie)
08 Seven Rooms of Gloom (Blondie)
09 Eat to the Beat (Blondie)
10 X Offender (Blondie)
11 Dreaming (Blondie)
12 Slow Motion (Blondie)
13 Shayla (Blondie)
14 Union City Blue (Blondie)
15 Atomic - Eat to the Beat (Blondie)
16 Picture This (Blondie)
17 Pretty Baby (Blondie)
18 Heart of Glass (Blondie)
19 Hanging on the Telephone (Blondie)
20 [Sunday Girl Bagpipes] (Blondie)
21 Sunday Girl (Blondie)
22 I Got You [I Feel Good] (Blondie)
23 One Way or Another (Blondie)

The cover photo of lead singer Debbie Harry doesn't come from this exact concert, but it's pretty close in both time and place. It comes from a concert in Manchester, Britain, three days earlier. The text of the band name is a font used on one of the band's albums, but I changed the color to pink.

Monday, July 11, 2022

John Denver: BBC Concert: John Denver In Person, Talk of the Town, London, Britain, 4-14-1976

American folk singer John Denver did perform for the BBC TV show "In Concert" in 1973. I couldn't find the audio for that - if anyone has it, please let me know. Also in 1973, he hosted a series of six variety shows for the BBC. But I did find this one, a BBC TV show he did in 1976.

Denver was extremely successful in the early to mid-1970s, but that dropped sharply after 1976. As an example, he had nine Top Twenty hits in the US from 1971 to 1976, but none after that. So this is an ideal time for a concert recording. It does a good job serving as a best of, missing only a couple of key hits like "Rocky Mountain High" and "Back Home Again."

This concert is mostly acoustic, but he had other instruments backing him up on some songs, including strings sometimes. The recording quality is excellent, and there's a lot of enthusiastic banter between songs.

Because this wasn't done for the half hour long "In Concert" TV show, it wasn't subject to that short time restriction. But I'd still bet it's only part of a full concert, because it's only 49 minutes long.

01 talk (John Denver)
02 Starwood in Aspen (John Denver)
03 talk (John Denver)
04 Mother Nature's Son (John Denver)
05 Sunshine on My Shoulder (John Denver)
06 talk (John Denver)
07 Spirit (John Denver)
08 talk (John Denver)
09 Fly Away (John Denver)
10 talk (John Denver)
11 Grandma's Feather Bed (John Denver)
12 Thank God I'm a Country Boy (John Denver)
13 talk (John Denver)
14 Leaving on a Jet Plane (John Denver)
15 talk (John Denver)
16 Calypso (John Denver)
17 talk (John Denver)
18 Annie's Song (John Denver)
19 Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver)
20 talk (John Denver)
21 This Old Guitar (John Denver)

The cover photo is a screenshot from a YouTube video of this exact concert.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Dexys Midnight Runners - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: In Concert, Exhibition Park, Newcastle, Britain, 6-26-1982

Here's the first album I've posted on the road while on vacation. So far, so good.

I've posted two albums of BBC studio sessions by the Dexys Midnight Runners, all focused on the early 1980s. It turns out they also did three full-length concerts that were broadcast on BBC radio, one in 1981, another in 1982, and the last in 1983. I think posting all three is a bit much, since the songs played were fairly similar, especially between the last two. I picked the 1982 as the best, so here it is.

This concert took place right as the band's biggest song, "Come On Eileen," was released as a single. It's interesting that there's no roar from the crowd as the song starts, since it hadn't become a worldwide number one single yet.

I believe all the songs here are also on the previous two BBC sessions albums. But if you want the ultimate concert recording from the band's peak years, this is probably it. As usual with BBC recordings, the sound quality is excellent.

This concert is 57 minutes long. I'm guessing it may have been edited down a bit by the BBC to fit into an hour time slot, since most concerts from this time period were well over an hour long. But that means you probably get the most popular songs. 

01 TSOP [The Sound of Philadelphia] [Instrumental] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
02 Dance Stance [Burn It Down] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
03 Let's Make This Precious (Dexys Midnight Runners)
04 Jackie Wilson Said [I'm in Heaven When You Smile] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
05 Come On Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners)
06 Soon (Dexys Midnight Runners)
07 Plan B (Dexys Midnight Runners)
08 Geno (Dexys Midnight Runners)
09 Respect (Dexys Midnight Runners)
10 Old (Dexys Midnight Runners)
11 The Celtic Soul Brothers [More, Please, Thank You] (Dexys Midnight Runners)
12 There, There My Dear (Dexys Midnight Runners)
13 Show Me (Dexys Midnight Runners)
14 I'll Show You (Dexys Midnight Runners)

The cover photo is from a 1982 concert, but I don't know the details.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Skip Bifferty - BBC Sessions (1967-1969)

I recently posted an album of stray tracks by the British psychedelic band Skip Bifferty. That now clears the way for me to post this, an album of the band's BBC sessions.

Skip Bifferty (which, by the way, is not the name of anyone in the band) only released one album in 1968, also called "Skip Bifferty," before breaking up in 1969. But it turns out they had lots of additional quality songs. I posted an entire stray tracks album of them, as mentioned above. However, that didn't include any songs from their BBC studio sessions, and they played many original songs for the BBC that it seems they never recorded in the studio.

These are all the songs that appear to be exclusive to this BBC album: "I Don’t Understand It," "In the Morning," "Once," "The Hobbit," "Aged Aged Man," "Higher than the Clouds," "The Lion and the Unicorn," and "Disappointing Day." On top of that, in 1969, after changing a couple of band members, the band was renamed "Griffin" and did two more songs only at the BBC: "Shine" and "What a Day It's Been." That's ten songs! And that doesn't even include a version of the Animals hit "Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood" which only has bonus track status here due to lesser sound quality.

Speaking of sound quality, all but one of the Griffin songs here were released on the archival compilation album "The Story of Skip Bifferty." However, many of these had subpar sound. Luckily, four of the worst sounding ones were later released on an obscure various artists compilation of rare BBC material called "Shapes and Sounds, Volume 3." So I used those versions. Also, an unreleased version of the one Griffin BBC performance sounded much better than the version on the "Story" compilation, so I used that. 

In addition to all that, I edited most of the songs (the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles). In some of those cases, the problem was BBC DJs talking over the music. I fixed that with the audio editing program X-Minus, wiping out the talking while keeping the underlying music. But in other cases, the lead vocals were mixed too low. X-Minus took care of that too. Some songs had both of those problems.

Between the alternate versions I used for many of these songs, and the edits I made, I believe these songs sound much better than they did on the "Story" compilation.

I've read that in late 1968, the band worked on songs for their second studio album, which was going to be called "Skiptomania." But their record company was disappointed with the sales of their first album and decided not to extend their contract. Furthermore, the band members had clashes with their assigned producer. This is why, in 1969, they broke up and tried to start over with a new name. It also explains why they had so many songs that never made it to album, but only these BBC sessions.

I don't know what songs were supposed to go on "Skiptomania." But between the unique songs here and the stray tracks album I already posted, there would have been enough for a solid double album!

This album is 44 minutes long.

01 On Love [Edit] (Skip Bifferty)
02 Yours for at Least 24 (Skip Bifferty)
03 Money Man [Edit] (Skip Bifferty)
04 I Don't Understand It [Edit] (Skip Bifferty)
05 When She Comes to Stay [Edit] (Skip Bifferty)
06 In the Morning [Edit] (Skip Bifferty)
07 Follow the Path of the Stars [Edit] (Skip Bifferty)
08 Once [Edit] (Skip Bifferty)
09 Man in Black [Edit] (Skip Bifferty)
11 The Hobbit [Edit] (Skip Bifferty)
12 Aged Aged Man (Skip Bifferty)
13 Higher than the Clouds (Skip Bifferty)
14 The Lion and the Unicorn (Skip Bifferty)
15 Disappointing Day (Skip Bifferty)
16 Shine [Edit] (Skip Bifferty [Griffin])
17 What a Day It's Been (Skip Bifferty [Griffin])

Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood [Edit] (Skip Bifferty)

As I mentioned in my comments to the stray tracks album I posted, I couldn't find a single color photo of the band! However, I did find a couple of decent black and white ones. I colorized one of them for that other album. The one above was too troublesome to colorize, so I tinted it blue instead.

Marmalade - BBC Sessions, Volume 4: 1971-1973

Here's a bit of BBC history. Form 1960s until decades later, the best BBC recordings of each week were compiled onto a show for countries outside of Britain (mostly current or former British colonies) called "Top of the Pops." (Note this is not to be confused with a BBC TV show of the same name!) The transcription discs of this show were sent all over world, so great quality versions of all the shows exist when many other radio shows were lost or were only poorly recorded over the radio.

I don't know why, but for some reason, the 1960s "Top of the Pops" recordings have gotten around a fair amount and have often been bootlegged or put on official records, but the early 1970s ones are much, much rarer. However, a musical friend Marley has most of them, and has been sharing them with me. This is allowing me to fill in gaps. For instance, I was able to post all the Bee Gees BBC recordings from 1967 to 1973, when the early 1970s ones are extremely rare. (Unfortunately, after about 1973, "Top of the Pops" mostly played singles instead of having in studio performances, though there were some exceptions.)

Now, Marmalade is getting the same treatment. Previously, I'd only been able to find one albums' worth of their 1970s BBC material. But thanks to Marley, that has turned to three albums, plus the unchanged one from the 1960s. I radically overhauled Volume 2, so if you downloaded that, you should get it again. Volume 3 is a live concert broadcast by the BBC that I hadn't posted before. And everything here is new, all thanks to what Marley was able to find.

Marmalade kept evolving with the times and kept having (British) hits, from 1967 to 1972. Their last big hit is "Radancer," included here, which reached number six on the British charts. The band increasingly switched from pop to an almost hard rocking sound at times to stay relevant. 

In late 1971, one of the band's lead singers and songwriters, Junior Campbell, left for a briefly successful solo career. Three of the songs here are from his solo career, including the hit "Hallelujah Freedom." Also, note that the song "Dinosaur," which was done for the BBC in late 1973, does not seem to have been released by Marmalade in any form. They released an album in 1971 and another one in 1974, and had some significant personnel changes between the two. I'm guessing the song got lost in the shuffle.

Four of the songs have "[Edit]" in their titles, due to the usual problem of BBC DJs talking over the music. As usual, I used the X-Minus audio editing program to fix that. Thankfully, this practice died out, so the latter songs here are free of that.

Marmalade's popularity faded as the 1970s went on. But they had a hit song in 1976, "Falling Apart at the Seams," and then never made the charts again. However, as far as I can tell, the last BBC session they did with unique performances was in late 1973, so that's when this series ends.

This album is 43 minutes long.

01 Lonely Man [Edit] (Marmalade)
02 Sarah [Edit] (Marmalade)
03 Radancer [Edit] (Marmalade)
04 Empty Bottles (Marmalade)
05 Just One Woman (Marmalade)
06 Hallelujah Freedom [Edit] (Junior Campbell)
07 If I Call Your Name (Junior Campbell)
08 Ode to Karen (Junior Campbell)
09 Engine Driver (Marmalade)
10 Our House Is Rockin' (Marmalade)
11 [Your Wish Is In] The Wishing Well (Marmalade)
12 Dinosaur (Marmalade)

The cover photo is of the band in concert in 1972, but I don't know the details beyond that.

Marmalade - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: Sunday Show, Paris Theatre, London, Britain, 12-14-1971

I thought I was all done with posting material by the British band (the) Marmalade. However, I recently found a lot more of their BBC performances, thanks to musical associate Marley. I had one album for all their BBC material from 1970 and after. Now, that is increased to three albums! 

Marmalade played a short (officially unreleased) concert for BBC radio near the end of 1971. Previously, I had used a few songs from this for that sole late BBC album. Now, I'm presenting the concert in full, including banter between songs by DJ John Peel. The concert was only half an hour long. But one of the songs, "Lady of Catrine," isn't included here because it got cut off halfway through. What remains is just 25 minutes long.

As far as I know, there are no Marmalade concert bootlegs other than this show, plus a half hour long performance they did in 1970 for a British TV show called "Doing Their Thing." I had included a couple of rare cover songs from that show on Volume 2 in this series, and I decided to keep them there. But they did three more songs for "Doing Their Thing" that they didn't do for the John Peel BBC show, so I've added those to the end. With those three songs add, this album is a total of 36 minutes long.

In the late 1960s, Marmalade was known as a pop band that had hit singles written by others. By the time of this concert, they'd transformed into more of a rocking band that still had hit singles, but mostly wrote them themselves. I included two covers from the "Doing Their Thing" show on Volume 2, but this still has one notable cover, "Who Needs Ya," originally by Steppenwolf.

01 talk (Marmalade)
02 Mama Goose Love (Marmalade)
03 talk (Marmalade)
04 Empty Bottles (Marmalade)
05 talk (Marmalade)
06 Sarah (Marmalade)
07 talk (Marmalade)
08 Back on the Road (Marmalade)
09 talk (Marmalade)
10 Jody (Marmalade)
11 talk (Marmalade)
12 Who Needs Ya (Marmalade)
13 Rainbow (Marmalade)
14 talk (Marmalade)
15 Reflections of My Life (Marmalade)
16 talk (Marmalade)
17 Life Is (Marmalade)

The cover photo is a screenshot taken from the "Doing Their Thing" show, since I found a video of that on YouTube. It's rather low-res, but at least it shows all the band members.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Skip Bifferty - I Am the Noise in Your Head - Non-Album Tracks (1967-1969)

In the late 1960s, there are many cases of musical artists releasing one poorly selling and supposedly classic album, and then breaking up and drifting back into total obscurity. That's especially true for psychedelic bands. Skip Bifferty is one such band. In most cases, these albums have a lot of hype but end up being underwhelming. But Skip Bifferty's one album, released in 1968 and also called "Skip Bifferty," is one I like. (It also gets a very good average review rating on rateyourmusic,com, resulting in the bolded status reserved for only the best rated albums.)

Although Skip Bifferty didn't last longer than one album, they had enough other material for this album of stray tracks. On top of that, because they were a British band, they performed for the BBC at times, and there's enough material for a BBC album that I'll post later. That has a few more unique songs on it that didn't make it to their sole album or to this collection.

Here's the Wikipedia entry if you want to know more about the band:

Skip Bifferty - Wikipedia 

Their story isn't particularly dramatic. They put out a few singles, and one album, but nothing they did caught fire and sold in large numbers, so they faded away and broke up. Near the end, they released one single under the name "Heavy Jelly," probably due to growing problems with their record company. With a slight personnel change, they released another single as "Griffin," and then broke up for good.

By the way, nobody in the band was actually named "Skip Bifferty." I don't know why they chose that name. If anyone does, please let us know.

Although this is a stray tracks album, I think if this had been released as an album back in the day, it's one that most bands in the genre would have envied. It has five A-sides on it, so it's not like this contains leftovers. Everything here has been officially released, and all of it was compiled on the official archival album "The Story of Skip Bifferty." So the sound quality is excellent. 

If you've never heard this band's music before, I would suggest starting with their 1968 album "Skip Bifferty." But this is similar and almost as good.

This album is 47 minutes long.

01 On Love (Skip Bifferty)
02 Cover Girl (Skip Bifferty)
03 Happy Land (Skip Bifferty)
04 Reason to Live (Skip Bifferty)
05 Man in Black (Skip Bifferty)
06 Round and Round (Skip Bifferty)
07 This We Shall Explore (Skip Bifferty)
08 Schizoid Revolution (Skip Bifferty)
09 I Keep Singing the Same Old Song (Skip Bifferty [Heavy Jelly])
10 Blue (Skip Bifferty [Heavy Jelly])
11 I Am the Noise in Your Head (Skip Bifferty [Griffin])
12 Don't You Know (Skip Bifferty [Griffin])

Skip Bifferty is such an obscure band that I couldn't even find a single color photo of them. But I found a decent black and white one, and then I colorized it. I took the lettering of the band's name, complete with red stripe running through it, from the cover of one of their singles.

David Bowie - BBC Sessions, Volume 7: In Concert, Milton Keynes National Bowl, Milton Keynes, Britain, 8-5-1990

I had previously posted six albums of David Bowie performing for the BBC, from the years 1967 to 1980. I had thought I was done with his BBC material, since I'm not a big fan of his music after the mid-1980s. But then I came across this concert broadcast on BBC radio in 1990, and couldn't resist posting it.

In 1987, put out the album "Never Let Me Down," which wasn't well received. He supported it with a worldwide"Glass Spider" concert tour, which was criticized as overblown and pretentious. He regrouped in 1988 with a new band, Tin Machine, that had a very different sound. However, while this band's first album had a better critical reception, its sales were disappointing. In 1990, his record company put out a career spanning box set called "Sound + Vision." Bowie decided to take a break from his Tin Machine band and put on a world tour to promote the box set. 

He famously and repeatedly claimed that he would use this tour to exclusively play his older hits, and then would retire them. However, the claim wasn't entirely true. He did retire some of his songs, such as "Space Oddity" and "Young Americans." And from this point on, he tended to play lesser known songs from his back catalog more often. But he did play many of his older hits on subsequent tours. In any case, those claims helped fill the seats, causing most of the concerts to sell out. 

To make a long story short, this concert (and the tour as a whole) is a great selection of his favorite songs from his entire music career up until that point. He didn't play any songs from his 1987 album "Never Let Me Down," nor did he play any Tin Machine songs. But guitarist Adrian Belew was in the tour band (which consisted of just five musicians, in contrast to a much bigger sound for the Glass Spider tour). Bowie wrote and sang lead on a song off Belew's 1990 album "Young Lions," and Bowie sang that sole new song in this concert.

Normally, BBC broadcast recordings are pretty close to flawless. But this one had a serious flaw: Bowie's vocals were relatively low in the mix. Happily, that was something I could fix, thanks to audio editing programs like X-Minus. I used that program to boost his vocals on every song here. I didn't feel the need to add "[Edit]" to the titles of all the songs, since the treatment was the same for all the songs. But you will find that one on song, "Station to Station," because that song had an additional problem. There was a section above five seconds long in the middle of the song that was missing. Luckily, it was in a place that was repeated elsewhere, so I fixed it by patching in a section from elsewhere in the song.

Other than "Pretty Pink Rose" there aren't really any surprises here, since it's a greatest hits type show. But he did perform the Them hit "Gloria" as part of a medley with "The Jean Genie." He never officially released his version of that song.

I understand that this show took place in front of an audience of 60,000 people during a summer heat wave. Many suffered from dehydration, sunburn, and heat exhaustion. However, you can't tell that at all just listening to this recording.

This concert is an hour and 47 minutes long.

01 Space Oddity (David Bowie)
02 Rebel Rebel (David Bowie)
03 Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie)
04 Fashion (David Bowie)
05 talk (David Bowie)
06 Life on Mars (David Bowie)
07 talk (David Bowie)
08 Pretty Pink Rose (David Bowie)
09 Sound and Vision (David Bowie)
10 Blue Jean (David Bowie)
11 Let's Dance (David Bowie)
12 Stay (David Bowie)
13 Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie)
14 China Girl (David Bowie)
15 Station to Station [Edit] (David Bowie)
16 Young Americans (David Bowie)
17 Suffragette City (David Bowie)
18 Fame (David Bowie)
19 'Heroes' (David Bowie)
20 Changes (David Bowie)
21 The Jean Genie - Gloria (David Bowie)
22 White Light-White Heat (David Bowie)
23 Modern Love (David Bowie)

The photo chosen for the cover is the only high-resolution one I could find where I was 100% sure it came from this exact concert. So I used it, even though it's a bit odd with his hands on his face.

Spooky Tooth - BBC Sessions (1968-1969)

I must admit that I didn't know much about the British band Spooky Tooth until it came their turn for my BBC project. It turns out I like their blues rock music, although they weren't together long. There was only enough for the one BBC album here.

Spooky Tooth formed in 1967. But at first they were known as "Art," and put out an album in 1967 with that name. The band had an excellent lead singer and keyboardist, Mike Harrison. However, they didn't have anyone who was really good at writing songs. So they got an American living in Europe named Gary Wright to join. He too was a lead singer and keyboardist, so they band wound up having two people in those roles. Wright would later find bigger fame in 1975 with the hit songs "Dreamweaver" and "Love Is Alive."

The band had two phases in their prime years. They were together from 1967 to 1970. Then they broke up, only to reunite in 1973 and 1974 for three more albums before breaking up again. Everything here is from 1968 and 1969 because I couldn't find BBC recordings from any other years.

Everything here is listenable, or I wouldn't have included it, but the sound quality does vary a lot. Tracks 1, 2, and 6 through 9 have all been released as bonus tracks, and their sound quality is excellent. The rest are unreleased, with five of the six coming from John Peel sessions, and their sound quality is where things get variable. None of those come from Top of the Pops transcription discs where the sound quality is pristine. I'm guessing most or all of them were taped off the radio. I edited three of those, the ones with "[Edit]" in their names. I believe I boosted the lead vocals some on those to make them more listenable.

This album is 39 minutes long.

01 Sunshine Help Me (Spooky Tooth)
02 Too Much of Nothing (Spooky Tooth)
03 Tobacco Road (Spooky Tooth)
04 Evil Woman (Spooky Tooth)
05 Love Really Changed Me [Edit] (Spooky Tooth)
06 The Weight (Spooky Tooth)
07 Feelin’ Bad (Spooky Tooth)
08 I Can’t Quit Her (Spooky Tooth)
09 Blues Town (Spooky Tooth)
10 Better by You, Better than Me [Edit] (Spooky Tooth)
11 That Was Only Yesterday [Edit] (Spooky Tooth)
12 Pretty Woman [Edit] (Spooky Tooth)

I'm not that happy with the cover photo, since all the band members are looking to the side. But it's really hard to find good color photos of this band, so this what we've got. I don't know when or where this photo comes from, but it's evident that it's from the band's 1968 to 1969 era.

Deep Purple - BBC Sessions, Volume 7: Gaumont State Theatre, London, Britain, 5-22-1974

A while back, I posted six volumes of Deep Purple playing for the BBC. The different personnel changes of the band are commonly known as Mark I, Mark II, and so on. All of those volumes features the Mark I or Mark II versions. I mentioned that the Mark III version of the band also had a concert broadcast by the BBC in 1974. Several people asked me to post it. I was reluctant because I'm mainly a fan of the Mark I and II versions, plus this concert has been officially released in full. But I'm trying to be more thorough posting BBC material from the 1960s and 1970s especially, so here we are.

The Mark II version of the band is the most celebrated one, especially due to the classic 1972 album "Machine Head," and the song "Smoke on the Water." Two band members left in 1973. Since of them included the lead singer, Ian Gillan, the sound of the band changed significantly. He was replaced by two lead vocalists, Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale, which was the start of the Mark III phase. They released the album "Burn" in 1974, which was both a critical and commercial success.

This concert took place just a few months after the release of "Burn," so it naturally features a good number of songs from that album, plus older favorites. As mentioned above, the concert has been officially released, through the album "Live in London."

The band almost always played an encore. In this time period, it usually was a cover of the song "Going Down," with the band's own "Highway Star" sometimes added. But apparently something happened backstage, though it wasn't clear what, and there was no encore this night. It wasn't really necessary, but I wanted to hear this concert with the encore that should have been. So I went looking for any recordings of those two songs from around that time period. I had to go all the way to early 1975 and the official album "Live in Paris" to find them. So those are the last two songs here. If you're a purist, especially if you already have the "Live in Paris," then just disregard those.

The Mark III version of the band released the "Stormbringer" album in late 1974. But there was another personnel change in early 1975. The new Mark IV version of the band only lasted about a year. After that, the band broke up and didn't reunite until 1984. I don't know of any BBC recordings by the Mark IV version of the band, so this is where this BBC series ends, I think.

This concert is an hour and 35 minutes without the encore, and an hour and 51 minutes with it.

01 talk (Deep Purple)
02 Burn (Deep Purple)
03 talk (Deep Purple)
04 Might Just Take Your Life (Deep Purple)
05 talk (Deep Purple)
06 Lay Down, Stay Down (Deep Purple)
07 talk (Deep Purple)
08 Mistreated (Deep Purple)
09 talk (Deep Purple)
10 Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple)
11 talk (Deep Purple)
12 You Fool No One (Deep Purple)
13 talk (Deep Purple)
14 Space Truckin' (Deep Purple)
15 talk (Deep Purple)
16 Going Down (Deep Purple)
17 Highway Star (Deep Purple)

I didn't find a photo in concert featuring everyone in the band. So for the cover, I used one showing the two lead singers, Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale, and lead guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. All I know about it is that it dates to the year 1974.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

P. P. Arnold - BBC Sessions (1967-1968)

This is possibly the shortest album I've posted yet. It's more like an EP than an album. But in this case, it's quality over quantity. These BBC sessions by soul singer P. P. Arnold are really great.

I'm not sure whether to refer to Arnold as an American or British soul singer, because she's both. She was born and raised in the US. But after a couple of years as a backing singer in the US, including backing Ike and Tina Turner, she moved to Britain. She's lived there for the vast majority of the rest of her life, up to the current day. (She's 75 years old as I write this in 2022.) Her move was a smart one, based on supply and demand. In the late 1960s, there was great interest in soul music in Britain, but very few talented black female singers, so she went from being a backing vocalist to being a minor star. She had a couple of British hits with "First Cut Is the Deepest" in 1967 and "Angel of the Morning" in 1968.

Here's her Wikipedia entry if you want to know more:

P. P. Arnold - Wikipedia

Unfortunately, the amount of recorded material she did as a lead vocalist is relatively small. She put out the album "The First Lade of Immediate" in 1967, and "Kafunta" in 1968. But her planned third album stalled out, despite featuring lots of big British stars. For instance, it was co-produced by Eric Clapton, and Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. That album, "The Turning Tide," wasn't finally finished off and released until 2017. After that, she mostly returned to backing vocals work, although she occasionally sang guest lead vocals on singles, and had a few dance hits in the 1980s and 1990s that way.

So given the paucity of her released material, these unreleased BBC performances are a significant addition. What's especially great is that they contain two killer cover versions that she never officially released: "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "Tin Soldier." She was closely associated with the British band the Small Faces, singing backing vocals on some of their songs, including "Tin Soldier," but here she actually sang lead on that.

There are only six songs here from BBC studio sessions, totaling 19 minutes. Although they're all unreleased, they come from BBC transcription discs and sound great. Five of those six songs suffered from the usual problem of this era of BBC DJs talking over the music (the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles). As usual, I applied the X-Minus audio editing program to fix that. 

Unfortunately, in the case of "Tin Soldier," in the first ten seconds or so, X-Minus wasn't able to completely get rid of the talking - I can still hear faint traces. I tried a couple of other similar programs, and they didn't do any better. If anyone can do a better job cleaning up that one, please let me know. I'd really appreciate it.

Since 19 minutes is an extremely short album, I looked around for other TV or radio show performances of hers to include. But there is virtually nothing from this time period that isn't lip-synced. However, I did find two more performances from French TV shows: "To Love Somebody" and "(If You Think You're) Groovy." This second song was written by the Small Faces for her, and she was backed by them on the studio recording. For this French TV show version, she appeared with them on the performance, but only the vocals were actually live. Unfortunately, her lead vocals were way too low. So I used X-Minus to boost them up, which is why that version has "[Edit]" in the title too. 

Note that this song also appears earlier in the album as one of the BBC tracks. I normally hate to have two versions of the same song on the same album, but I've made an exception here since there's so little of Arnold's material from this time period available.

Finally, as kind of a bonus track, I added an A-side Arnold did with Primal Scream in 1996 called "Understanding." It's from a totally different era, but I've included it because it's a cover of a Small Faces song and it sounds exactly like it was recorded in the late 1960s.

As I mentioned above, the BBC tracks alone are only 19 minutes long. With the three extra songs I've added at the end, this album is still very short at 29 minutes long.

01 The First Cut Is the Deepest [Edit] (P. P. Arnold)
02 Something Beautiful Happened (P. P. Arnold)
03 The Time Has Come [Edit] (P. P. Arnold)
04 [If You Think You're] Groovy [Edit] (P. P. Arnold)
05 [I Can't Get No] Satisfaction [Edit] (P. P. Arnold)
06 Tin Soldier [Edit] (P. P. Arnold)
07 To Love Somebody (P. P. Arnold)
08 [If You Think You're] Groovy [Edit] (P. P. Arnold & the Small Faces)
09 Understanding (P. P. Arnold & Primal Scream)

The cover photo comes from a 1967 publicity shoot.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Yes - BBC Sessions, Volume 5: Friday Rock Show, Wembley Arena, London, Britain, 10-28-1978

I explained in previous posts that the British prog rock band Yes performed for the BBC frequently from 1969 to 1971. But then the band's popularity soared, and they seemingly decided they didn't need much BBC promotion anymore. However, they did have two full concerts played on BBC radio in 1975 and 1978. I'm posting the 1978 one here.

In 1976 and 1977, music trends shifted dramatically with the rise of disco, punk, and new wave. Most prog rock bands like Yes struggled to stay popular and relevant. Yes put out a commercially and critically successful album in 1977, "Going for the One." But in 1978, their next album "Tormato" flopped. Lead vocalist Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman left the band after the tour supporting that album. Yes would have a big resurgence in 1983 with their huge hit "Owner of a Lonely Heart," but they would have a few years of poor sales and personnel changes before getting there.

Given that background, it's understandable to see that if the band thought they were too big to need much BBC promotion from 1972 to 1977, they changed their minds in 1978 and approved the radio broadcast of this concert. Although "Tormato" isn't considered one of the better Yes albums, it did have some good songs on it, and only three songs from it are included here: "Circus of Heaven," "Don't Kill the Whale," and the medley "Madrigal - On the Silent Wings of Freedom." So it's actually a good time for a live album from the band, featuring the best of their 1970s material right before two key members left and the band went through some significant changes.

Two of the performances here have been officially released. "Don't Kill the Whale" was included on the live album "Yesshows," and "I've Seen All Good People" was also on that album, but only as a bonus track. Although everything else is unreleased, the sound quality is so high that you can't tell the difference between the released tracks and the others.

This album is an hour and 58 minutes long.

UPDATE: On May 30, 2023, I updated the mp3 download file. But the only change I made was to the album title, since I discovered a 1975 BBC concert I'd previously missed. But that meant changing the cover art and all the mp3 tags.

01 Intro - Siberian Khatru (Yes)
02 talk (Yes)
03 Heart of Sunrise (Yes)
04 Circus of Heaven (Yes)
05 Time and a Word (Yes)
06 Long Distance Runaround (Yes)
07 The Fish [Instrumental] (Yes)
08 Survival - Perpetual Change (Yes)
09 Soon (Yes)
10 Don't Kill the Whale (Yes)
11 Clap (Yes)
12 Starship Trooper (Yes)
13 Madrigal - On the Silent Wings of Freedom (Yes)
14 Piano Intro - Awaken (Yes)
15 I've Seen All Good People [Your Move - All Good People] (Yes)
16 Roundabout (Yes)

The cover photo comes from a 1978 Yes show, but a different one, in Hamburg, Germany.

The Who - Old Red Wine - Non-Album Tracks (1994-2020)

It's taken ages, but this is finally the last of stray tracks for the Who. I had delayed posting this because I found out two previously unreleased versions of songs from the band's 1982 album "It's Hard" were released in recent months (as I write this in July 2022). It took a while, but I finally got copies, and added them to the previous stray tracks album in this series, "After the Fire." That album was rather long with the two songs added to it, and this album was rather short, so I moved what had been the last song on that one to be the first song here. So I recommend you download that one too.

Unfortunately, after 1982, the Who became more of an "oldies" band, frequently playing their hits in concert, but rarely releasing new music. They have only put out two new albums in all the years since then, "Endless Wire" in 2006, and "Who" in 2019. This collects what occasional new music they did that wasn't on either of those albums. 

Also, I didn't include anything from Pete Townshend's solo career, because I think almost everything he did is very good and worth listening to. But I did consider fair game Roger Daltrey's solo songs if they were A) good songs and B) either sounded particularly Who-like and/or had some Pete Townshend connection. I think it's unfortunately that Daltrey generally tried an MOR (middle of the road) approach with his solo material instead of rocking out like the Who, so the number of songs that fits my criterion is fairly small for this era. 

The first song is a Townshend song from one of his solo albums but in a different version that's sung by Daltrey. The second song is a medley of Johnny Cash songs done live in acoustic mode by the Who. The next three songs are original Who songs added on to various compilations of the band's best songs. The three songs after that come from a 2018 Daltrey solo album called "As Long as I Have You" that was particularly good and rocking by his solo standards. Two of them even featured Townshend on guitar, and the other is a 1960s soul cover. The remaining four songs are bonus tracks from various editions of the band's 2019 album "Who." The last two weren't performed and released until 2020.

Although it's very slim pickings on a yearly basis for new Who material during these years, what they did do is pretty solid, in my opinion. 

This album is 45 minutes long.

01 The Sea Refuses No River (Roger Daltrey)
02 There You Go - I Walk the Line - Ring of Fire (Who)
03 Real Good Looking Boy (Who)
04 Old Red Wine (Who)
05 Be Lucky (Who)
06 How Far (Roger Daltrey with Pete Townshend)
07 As Long as I Have You (Roger Daltrey)
08 Get On Out of the Rain (Roger Daltrey with Pete Townshend)
09 This Gun Will Misfire (Who)
10 Danny and My Ponies (Who)
11 Break the News [Acoustic Version] (Who)
12 She Rocked My World [Acoustic Version] (Who)

The cover photo was taken at a press conference in 2000. Unfortunately, bassist John Entwistle, shown on the left in the photo, died two years later.

Bad Company - Acoustic, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH, 7-21-1999

The British band Free did a ton of stuff for the BBC during their short time as a band in the late 1960s and early 1970s. So I expected to find BBC performances by lead singer Paul Rodgers' successor band Bad Company. However, it seems Bad Company didn't play for the BBC until long after their 1970s heyday. But while looking for something from them, I stumbled upon this interesting acoustic concert from 1999. 

In short, Bad Company put out their first album in 1974, and immediately found success. They had lots of hits through the rest of the 1970s. But in the early 1980s, Rodgers left the band, and their popularity declined. After nearly two decades with two other lead singers, the original four band members, including Rodgers, reunited in 1999. So while this isn't from their heyday, it does feature that line-up. (This line-up would break up by the end of 1999, and never reunite again, due to one of the band members, bassist Boz Burrell, dying in 2006.)

There are two other aspects of this concert that make it a must-have for any fan of the band. One is that the sound quality is fantastic. Although it's a bootleg, you'd never know, since it was professionally recorded for a radio station broadcast. Even better, it was recorded for a small club audience, so you don't get that cavernous large arena sound. The second factor is that it's a genuinely acoustic show (with minimal drums). Apparently, it's the only time this hard rocking band played a concert that way. Rodgers makes some comments between songs about how he's looking forward to coming back with all their instruments. But I think it's very interesting to hear the songs in this different way.

This took place at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. It seems they had some kind of effort to put on acoustic concerts there, because I've posted another acoustic concert that took place there from Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, and I know of another one by the Allman Brothers Band. If anyone know of other great sounding acoustic concerts from this venue, let me know so I can post those too. 

One downside is that the concert is rather short, at only 42 minutes long. I trimmed a little bit of dead time between songs. I also cut out a long intro by a DJ. They didn't necessarily play all of their biggest hits, focusing instead on the songs they felt worked for the acoustic format.

01 talk (Bad Company)
02 Feel like Makin' Love (Bad Company)
03 talk (Bad Company)
04 Shooting Star (Bad Company)
05 talk (Bad Company)
06 Soul of Love (Bad Company)
07 talk (Bad Company)
08 Seagull (Bad Company)
09 talk (Bad Company)
10 Tracking Down a Runaway (Bad Company)
11 talk (Bad Company)
12 Youngblood (Bad Company)
13 talk (Bad Company)
14 Silver, Blue and Gold (Bad Company)
15 talk (Bad Company)
16 Bad Company (Bad Company)

The cover photo features only Paul Rodgers, at a concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in 1999. The band name text was taken from one of their album covers. I duplicated the font and color for the text at the bottom.