Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Led Zeppelin - Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany, 6-30-1980

I've posted a bunch of Led Zeppelin live material here, with the vast majority of it being BBC performances. But a problem with that is that it mostly just deals with the years 1969 to 1971, and the band stayed together until 1980. I've been looking for an excellent sounding concert from near the end of the band's career, but there are very few soundboards that sound good. Then I came across a version of this Frankfurt 1980 concert that was recently remastered by someone named Liriodendron. 

I thought that sounded better than the others, but I still felt Robert Plant's lead vocals were buried in this mix. So I used the X-Minus audio editing software to boost them up to a volume I liked better. Additionally, I boosted the talking between songs even more so one can usually actually hear what is being said.

The sound quality still isn't totally excellent, but it's very listenable, and I like it better than other 1980 concerts by the band that I've heard. If anyone else knows of something from that time that sounds better, please let me know and I'll consider sharing that one.

At the time, drummer John Bonham was having increasing trouble with alcoholism. (He would die later in 1980, ending the band.) Sometimes that affected his drumming during concerts. In fact, just three days before this concert, he collapsed after the first song in Nuremburg, Germany, forcing the concert to end early. So the band brought in a second drummer (Simon Kirke of Bad Company) to help out. In my opinion, I don't hear any problems. Either Bonham was having a good night, or the second drummer covered up his flaws.

Bassist John Paul Jones later had this to say about the short European concert tour this show was a part of: "Morale was very high. We were in really good spirits. We were stripped down a lot, musically, and as an act, we remember back to what we were doing. Punk kind of woke us up again. 'Oh yeah, I remember what we are supposed to be doing here.' It was about to go for a change of gears and round two ... By the time John [Bonham] died, we all had sorted it out and were ready to go again. He died in rehearsals for an American tour."

This was the fifth to last concert Led Zeppelin ever did, not counting later reunions.

This concert is two hours and nine minutes long.

01 talk (Led Zeppelin)
02 Train Kept a Rollin' (Led Zeppelin)
03 Nobody's Fault but Mine (Led Zeppelin)
04 talk (Led Zeppelin)
05 Black Dog (Led Zeppelin)
06 talk (Led Zeppelin)
07 In the Evening (Led Zeppelin)
08 talk (Led Zeppelin)
09 The Rain Song (Led Zeppelin)
10 talk (Led Zeppelin)
11 Hot Dog (Led Zeppelin)
12 All My Love (Led Zeppelin)
13 talk (Led Zeppelin)
14 Trampled under Foot (Led Zeppelin)
15 talk (Led Zeppelin)
16 Since I've Been Loving You (Led Zeppelin)
17 talk (Led Zeppelin)
18 Achilles Last Stand (Led Zeppelin)
19 talk (Led Zeppelin)
20 White Summer [Instrumental] (Led Zeppelin)
21 Kashmir (Led Zeppelin)
22 talk (Led Zeppelin)
23 Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin)
24 talk (Led Zeppelin)
25 Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin)
26 talk (Led Zeppelin)
27 Money [That's What I Want] (Led Zeppelin)
28 talk (Led Zeppelin)
29 Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin)

The cover photo comes from a concert in Munich five days after the concert featured here.

Gerry Rafferty - Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany, 2-12-1993

Today, British singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty is best known for his 1978 mega-hit "Baker Street," which in turn is best known for its iconic saxophone riff. But he's written other great songs, including the hits "Stuck in the Middle with You" (when he was part of the duo Stealers Wheel) and "Right Down the Line." 

In my opinion, he isn't as famous as he should be. One reason is that he suffered from alcoholism and depression most of his life. Perhaps related to that, he generally avoided doing the things stars need to do to become more famous, such as promotional work. That included doing very little touring. As far as I can tell, he toured some in the 1960s and 1970s, but after that the only major tour he did was in 1993. He died of liver failure in 2011 at the age of 63.

Due to how rare he toured, there are almost no live recordings of him publicly available, including nothing that's been officially released. When it comes to bootlegs, I've only been able to find one. Luckily, it's a very good one, a soundboard with excellent sound quality. Naturally, I'm speaking of the one I'm presenting here. (He did take part in some BBC sessions in the 1970s, and I hope to post an album of those eventually.)

There was only one problem with this recording, in my opinion, and that was that his lead vocals were rather low in the mix. That could have been intentional, as it would seem to fit in with his low-profile nature. (A very limited amount of banter between songs is another example of that.) Be that as it may, I boosted his vocals using the audio editing program X-Minus, and I think it sounds considerably better this way.

In terms of song selection, he chose to play songs from most phases of his career, including a couple from his Stealers Wheels days. He had released an album in late 1992, "On a Wing and a Prayer," so naturally he played about five songs from that. But luckily it was a critically well received album, though its sales were low. Three of the songs in the concert are covers: "Get Out of My Life Woman," "It Makes No Difference," and "A Mess of Blues."

This album is an hour and 35 minutes long. 

01 Instrumental (Gerry Rafferty)
02 Waiting for the Day (Gerry Rafferty)
03 Your Heart's Desire (Gerry Rafferty)
04 Right Down the Line (Gerry Rafferty)
05 Get Out of My Life Woman (Gerry Rafferty)
06 Does He Know What He's Taken On (Gerry Rafferty)
07 Moonlight and Gold (Gerry Rafferty)
08 Don't Give Up on Me (Gerry Rafferty)
09 Hearts Run Dry (Gerry Rafferty)
10 Stuck in the Middle with You (Gerry Rafferty)
11 It's Easy to Talk (Gerry Rafferty)
12 Standing at the Gates (Gerry Rafferty)
13 talk (Gerry Rafferty)
14 The Right Moment (Gerry Rafferty)
15 Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty)
16 Late Again (Gerry Rafferty)
17 Get It Right Next Time (Gerry Rafferty)
18 talk (Gerry Rafferty)
19 It Makes No Difference (Gerry Rafferty)
20 talk (Gerry Rafferty)
21 A Mess of Blues (Gerry Rafferty)

The cover photo is of Rafferty in concert in London in 1993.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Cilla Black - BBC Sessions, Volume 1 (1964-1966)

Next up in my BBC sessions project is British singer Cilla Black. There's enough material for two volumes.

Cilla Black, who died in 2015, didn't get a lot of respect back in her 1960s and 1970s heyday, and that's still true today. Her vocal talents, while good, didn't rise to the likes of Dusty Springfield's. It didn't help that after her music career success lessened in the early 1970s, she deemphasized her music and became more of an all-around entertainer, becoming a frequent presenter on British TV. 

That said, there's a lot to like about her music career in the 1960s and early 1970s, which is the time frame of these two BBC volumes. She had lots of hits in Britain, some of them massive. She also had lots of connections to the Beatles, who not only helped her get her first record contract, but even were the backing band for her first audition. The first song here, "It's for You," was written for her by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and was a Top Ten hit in Britain.

As far as I can tell, every single performance here is officially unreleased. But the sound quality is generally excellent, because most of these songs come from BBC Top of the Pops transcription discs, and those sound as good as official releases. But I tried to augment that source, because many of her key songs happened to have not been played there. So there are three songs from the Ed Sullivan Show in the US, two from a 1966 British TV special called "Cilla at the Savoy," and two more from other BBC shows. As a result, I might have missed a key song or two, but overall, this does an able job as a de facto "best of" collection.

This album is 49 minutes long.

01 It's for You (Cilla Black)
02 You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin' (Cilla Black)
03 Heat Wave [Edit] (Cilla Black)
04 Dancing in the Street (Cilla Black)
05 You're My World (Cilla Black)
06 Goin' Out of My Head (Cilla Black)
07 You're No Good [Edit] (Cilla Black)
08 He Was Really Saying Something [Edit] (Cilla Black)
09 I've Been Wrong Before (Cilla Black)
10 Shotgun (Cilla Black)
11 September in the Rain (Cilla Black)
12 Sing a Rainbow (Cilla Black)
13 Anyone Who Had a Heart (Cilla Black)
14 Yesterday [Edit] (Cilla Black)
15 Love's Just a Broken Heart (Cilla Black)
16 1-2-3 [Edit] (Cilla Black)
17 Let There Be Love (Cilla Black with Dudley Moore)
18 Rainbow Edit] (Cilla Black)
19 Lover's Concerto [Edit] (Cilla Black)
20 Night Time Is Here [Edit] (Cilla Black)

The cover photo of Black dates to 1966.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Neil Young - Bread and Roses Festival, Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA, 10-3-1980

In 1979, Neil Young's musical career was hitting new highs. He released an album of new material, "Rust Never Sleeps," and a live album, "Live Rust." Both sold well and were critically acclaimed. He even was named "Artist of the Year" in Rolling Stone magazine by both readers and critics. But in his personal life, things were not going well at all. His young son Ben had cerebral palsy, and for a few years he spent the vast majority of his waking hours every day just taking care of his son. As a result, he didn't play any concerts between the end of the "Rust Never Sleeps" tour in 1978 and a "Trans" tour in 1982.

But there's one exception right in the middle of that four year gap: he played a single, short concert in late 1980 for the annual Bread and Roses benefit festival. This concert is very interesting for those following Young's career. Not only was it his only concert during that stretch, but his set list is quite unusual for him. The concert took place a few weeks before the release of his 1980 album "Hawks and Doves." That album isn't well regarded in his catalog, and for good reason. It's less than half an hour long, and the first half consists of recordings made in the late 1970s that were rejected from other albums. It was a hastily done contractual obligation album, which made it a big step down from his classic "Rust Never Sleeps" album the year before.

That said, the album does have some good songs in it. It's just that there aren't many songs, period, and it has no flow as an album. Since it wasn't received well, Young quickly forgot all about it. Of the five new songs on it (all on Side B), the only one he's ever played in concert much is "Hawks and Doves." He's played that 39 times, all between 1980 and 1985. He's played "Coastline" four times, and the other three - "Stayin' Power," "Union Man," and "Comin' Apart at Every Nail" - just once each! But all five of those were played at this single 1980 concert. 

But that's not all. He also played a new song that remains officially unreleased. Some call it "Winter Winds" and some call it "Turbine." Hopefully it'll be released someday and we'll get to find out what its name is. It's a nice song, and really should have been included on "Hawks and Doves," since it fits in perfectly with the country style of the other new songs. Additionally, he did another new song for the first time, "Motor City." That one would appear on his 1981 album "RE*AC*TOR."

Young played 11 songs in this concert. Of those, seven were played for the very first time, and none of those had even appeared on record yet! The concert had a heavy country sound, and the remaining songs - "Are You Ready for the Country," "Homegrown," and "Four Strong Winds" - all fit in with that. (He played with the same small band that he'd just used to record the "Hawks and Doves" album, and since they didn't know many of his songs, they played "Are You Ready for the Country" twice.)

I'd long had an interest in this concert since it was so unique in his long career. The problem was, the bootleg I'd heard of it didn't sound very good. But a new version has recently come to light. It's still only an audience recording, like previous versions, but it sounds significantly better. The one flaw it had, in my opinion, was that Young's voice was too low in the mix on most of the songs. So I used the audio editing program X-Minus to boost his vocals. Now, his vocals sound great. Sometimes, the rest of the band is kind of muddy, but at least his vocals sound as good as a soundboard boot. While I was at it, I also cleaned up the recording as best I could, removing some of the "woo-hoos" and shouts during songs.

Admittedly, the concert still doesn't sound stellar. But it's certainly listenable now, if you're a Neil Young fan, and it sounds a lot better than it did before.

The concert is rather short, at only 35 minutes. That's the whole thing, since he was on a festival bill with a lot of other acts. 

Oh, and by the way, I just went through all the other Young albums I've posted and fixed the mp3 tags and the volume balance between songs. (Those are just the solo ones - I still need to tackle the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young ones.)

01 talk (Neil Young)
02 Are You Ready for the Country (Neil Young)
03 Coastline (Neil Young)
04 Stayin' Power (Neil Young)
05 Winter Winds [Turbine] (Neil Young)
06 Motor City (Neil Young)
07 talk (Neil Young)
08 Union Man (Neil Young)
09 Comin' Apart at Every Nail (Neil Young)
10 Hawks and Doves (Neil Young)
11 talk (Neil Young)
12 Homegrown (Neil Young)
13 talk (Neil Young)
14 Four Strong Winds (Neil Young)
15 talk (Neil Young)
16 Are You Ready for the Country (Neil Young)

I've only been able to find one photo of Young at this concert. (One can tell others used as bootleg covers and such aren't from the show because they don't have him with a beard, and he wore a beard at the time.) Unfortunately, I'd already used that single photo for the cover of my stray tracks album "Winter Winds." So I've used that photo again here. But the difference is I zoomed in on just his face for the "Winter Winds" cover, whereas this one shows all of his upper body. Furthermore, I added in some artwork taken from the actual festival at the bottom, though I changed some of the white text in it.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Seal - MTV Unplugged, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City, 4-9-1996

I have to admit I don't know much about British singer-songwriter Seal or his music. He's best known for the songs "Crazy" and "Kiss from a Rose," and has sold over 20 million records. But the other day, I got the song "Crazy" stuck in my head, and decided to seek out more of his music. He's usual as singer-songwriters go, because he has a soulful voice, and has typically put a lot of dance pop production to his songs, often including elements of trip hop or house music. 

I do like a lot of these modern production elements on his songs. In particular, his first two albums are his most acclaimed, and producer Trevor Horn did a good job with those. That said, being more of a classic rock guy, I was curious to hear if he's done those songs from his early albums without those modern production elements. It turns out there's one concert recording that's ideal for someone like me, his 1996 MTV Unplugged performance, presented here. It's a long stretch to call it an acoustic performance, since he plays with a full band. But it does have a stripped back sound compared to his records. 

This concert has never been officially released. In fact, he hasn't put out any live albums until the 2000s. But the sound quality is excellent, since it was professionally recorded. It lacked one of his biggest hits though, "Killer." This song was credited to Adamski, and was a big number one hit in 1990. But it was co-written by Seal, and he sang lead vocals on it too. It turned him from a musical nobody to a star in a matter of weeks, leading to a recording contact and the rest of his music career. So, since he didn't do it for the MTV Unplugged show, I found a version he did for a French TV show in 1992, and added that at the end. It happened that he did one more song for that show, a cover of "Hey Joe," the classic rock song made famous by Jimi Hendrix, so I added that in as well.

I believe all the songs here are written or co-written by Seal, with three exceptions. First, there's "Hey Joe" which I just mentioned. He also did "Stone Free" by Hendrix, and "Quicksand" by David Bowie.

As I said above, I don't know much about Seal's music career as a whole. But I think this is a solid, impressive concert performance (even though he almost never talked between the songs), and it includes all of his big hits.

This concert is 45 minutes long. But the album as a whole is 55 minutes long, thanks to the two extra songs at the end.

01 Stone Free (Seal)
02 Prayer for the Dying (Seal)
03 Future Love Paradise (Seal)
04 Blues in E (Seal)
05 Crazy (Seal)
06 Quicksand (Seal)
07 Kiss from a Rose (Seal)
08 Violet (Seal)
09 talk (Seal)
10 Deep Water (Seal)
11 Don't Cry (Seal)
12 Hey Joe (Seal)
13 Killer (Seal)

I could have used a screenshot from the exact concert featured here, since the video of it can be found on YouTube. But I opted for a photo from a different (and unknown) 1996 concert, because the image quality was markedly better.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Texas - Cover Versions, Volume 3 (2008-2021)

Here's the third and last of three volumes of cover versions by the British band Texas.

Texas's lead singer Sharleen Spiteri pursued a solo career for two solo albums, one in 2008 and the other in 2010. Then she rejoined Texas by 2013. So the first six songs come from that solo time period, and only feature Spiteri. But I doubt you'd notice if you didn't look at the credits, because the sound and style is basically the same. Spiteri's 2010 album, "The Movie Songbook," consists entirely of cover songs. I avoided including any of the album versions of those, though I did include a few if I found good alternate or live versions. One song, "Streets of Philadelphia," is a bonus track from that album.

Aside from that bonus track, the only other officially released versions are is "9 to 5" and "Speak Softly, Love," both of which come from different obscure various artists albums. As for the rest, the sound quality is generally excellent, although there is some variation. The vast majority of the songs come from in-person radio station appearances, or TV shows.

As an aside, I'm particularly impressed with the version of "Come On Eileen," which is radically different from the original, but equally good, in my opinion.

UPDATE 1: On November 4, 2022, I updated the mp3 download file. I added three songs I'd previously missed: "Speak Softly, Love," "Don't Save Me," and "I Say a Little Prayer." Thank you to the commenter LaRu for finding those. 

UPDATE 2: On November 12, 2022, I updated the mp3 download file. Commenter LaRu sent me two more songs that I'd missed: "Help" and "Dreams."

01 Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
02 Should I Stay or Should I Go - Clash
03 Speak Softly, Love [Love Theme from 'The Godfather'] - Nino Rota / Andy Williams
04 Streets of Philadelphia - Bruce Springsteen
05 God Bless the Child - Billie Holliday
06 Many Rivers to Cross - Jimmy Cliff
07 I'd Rather Go Blind - Etta James
08 River Deep, Mountain High - Ike & Tina Turner
09 Jackson - Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
10 Don't Save Me - Haim
11 I Say a Little Prayer - Dionne Warwick
12 Help - Beatles
13 The Letter - Boxtops
14 Let’s Stay Together - Al Green
15 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton
16 To Love Somebody - Bee Gees
17 Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
18 Young Americans - David Bowie
19 Come On Eileen -Dexys Midnight Runners

And here is the usual song list:

01 Son of a Preacher Man (Sharleen Spiteri & Charlotte Church)
02 Should I Stay or Should I Go (Sharleen Spiteri)
03 Speak Softly, Love [Love Theme from 'The Godfather'] (Sharleen Spiteri & Mauro Gioia)
04 Streets of Philadelphia (Sharleen Spiteri)
05 God Bless the Child (Sharleen Spiteri)
06 Many Rivers to Cross [Acoustic Version] (Sharleen Spiteri)
07 I'd Rather Go Blind (Sharleen Spiteri with Ronnie Wood)
08 River Deep, Mountain High [Edit] (Texas)
09 Jackson (Texas)
10 Don't Save Me (Texas)
11 I Say a Little Prayer (Texas)
12 Help (Texas)
13 The Letter (Texas)
14 Let’s Stay Together (Texas)
15 9 to 5 (Sharleen Spiteri)
16 To Love Somebody (Texas)
17 Dreams (Sharleen Spiteri)
18 Young Americans (Texas)
19 Come On Eileen (Texas)

This album is 57 minutes long.

The cover photo is of Sharleen Spiteri at a celebrity event in 2008.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: 1968-1971

Here is the third and final album of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers performing for the BBC.

As I mentioned in the previous two volumes, I'm not a fan of John Mayall's lead vocals. However, in the 1960s, his band the Bluesbreakers was famous for the series of lead guitarists in it. The last bunch of songs were from the time period Mick Taylor was the lead guitarist, and the continues with the first seven songs here. Taylor was only with the Bluesbreakers for about a year. He went on to be a member of the Rolling Stones from 1969 to 1974.

All seven of the songs featuring Taylor come from the mega box set "First Generation." As was the case with many of the songs on the first two albums in this series, in my opinion, Mayall's vocals were buried too low in the mix. Even though I'm not a fan of those vocals, they at least should be mixed properly, in my opinion. So I used the audio editing program X-Minus to boost them.

After Taylor left in 1968, Mayall disbanded the Bluesbreakers. He stopped using the Bluesbreakers name for the next 15 years, then resumed using it for most of the rest of his career (until present day as I write this in 2022). In truth, it didn't matter much if Mayall called his backing band the Bluesbreakers or not - it was always Mayall plus the frequently changing line-ups of his backing band.

It seems Mayall stopped performing for the BBC after this. At least, I can't find any mentions of further BBC performances from 1969 or after. But I did a search and found three songs he did live for the German TV show "Beat Club" with a similarly excellent sound as the BBC recordings. So I've added those at the end. The first two of these are from 1970 and the last one is from 1971. Mayall's lead guitarist for most of 1970 and 1971 was Harvey Mandel, so I'm guessing he played on the Beat Club songs.

Arguably, Mayall's most famous song is "Room to Move," which was recorded in 1969. I looked for a good version from a TV or radio show to include here, but unfortunately I couldn't find one.

This album is 40 minutes long.

01 Picture on the Wall (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
02 Knockers Step Forward [Instrumental] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
03 The Last Time [Edit] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
04 Rock Me Baby [Edit] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
05 Oh Pretty Woman [Edit] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
06 Long Gone Midnight [Edit] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
07 It Hurts Me to Leave [Edit] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
08 I'm Gonna Fight for You, J. B. [Edit] (John Mayall)
09 The Train [Edit] (John Mayall)
10 My Pretty Girl [Edit] (John Mayall)

The cover shows Mayall performing at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 1969.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Bonnie Raitt - BBC Concert: Old Grey Whistle Test, Shepherd's Bush Studios, London, Britain, 3-23-1976

In the 1970s, "The Old Grey Whistle Test" was a popular BBC TV show. Typically, it would have a variety of different performers for each show, but occasionally it would devote an entire show to just one artist. One such occasion was when the American singer Bonnie Raitt played a short concert for the show in London in 1976.

I've posted some of Raitt's acoustic concerts from the early 1970s. But by 1976, she was playing with a full band, so this is a different kind of concert from her. Most of the songs are from her early 1970s albums, but she also does a couple from her latest at the time, "Home Plate," released in 1975. 

This concert is rather short, at only 39 minutes. But I came across another live TV appearance she did one year later for the US TV show "The Midnight Special" where she did her 1977 hit "Runaway" plus another song from her 1977 album "Sweet Forgiveness." So I added those two at the end. That makes the whole album 47 minutes long.

01 Love Me like a Man (Bonnie Raitt)
02 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
03 Too Long at the Fair (Bonnie Raitt)
04 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
05 I'm Blowin' Away (Bonnie Raitt)
06 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
07 You've Got to Know How (Bonnie Raitt)
08 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
09 Write Me a Few of Your Lines - Kokomo Blues (Bonnie Raitt)
10 Sugar Mama (Bonnie Raitt)
11 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
12 What Do You Want the Boy to Do (Bonnie Raitt)
13 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
14 Under the Falling Sky (Bonnie Raitt)
15 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
16 Angel from Montgomery (Bonnie Raitt)
17 Home (Bonnie Raitt)
18 Runaway (Bonnie Raitt)

The cover photo comes from a 1976 concert, but I don't know which one exactly. I could have used a screenshot from the TV show, which is on YouTube, but the quality of this picture is significantly better.

Steve Winwood - BBC in Concert, Manchester Opera House, Manchester, Britain, 5-22-1997

Here's another BBC concert, this time from Steve Winwood. 

I figure this one has to be seriously edited down. It's only 45 minutes long, and one would assume someone like Winwood would play concerts that are about an hour and a half long, at least. If there was any dialogue between songs, that's gone too. 

The result is that only the most popular songs remain. For instance, this dates from 1997, but there's almost nothing that he did from the 1990s. The lone exception is a cover of "Family Affair," which he put on his 1997 album, but it is a Sly and the Family Stone song from the early 1970s. Winwood didn't have any big hits in the 1990s. What remains are his big hits from the 1980s, plus three hits he did in the 1960s with the Spencer Davis Group. Curiously, there's nothing at all from his years with Traffic. These editing choices means the songs here have an emphasis on lively rhythm and blues.

As usual with BBC concerts, the sound quality is excellent.

The album is 45 minutes long.

01 I'm a Man (Steve Winwood)
02 Roll with It (Steve Winwood)
03 While You See a Chance (Steve Winwood)
04 Family Affair (Steve Winwood)
05 Freedom Overspill (Steve Winwood)
06 Keep On Running (Steve Winwood)
07 Higher Love (Steve Winwood)
08 Gimme Some Lovin' (Steve Winwood)

The cover photo comes from a performance at the VH-1 Music Awards in Los Angeles in 1997.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Thomas Dolby - BBC in Concert, The Dominion Theatre, London, Britain, 2-28-1984

I had no plans to post anything by British new wave musician Thomas Dolby. But it turns out he performed a concert for the BBC in 1984. I gave it a listen and it's quite good, so here it is.

I consider Dolby to be a very talented musician and songwriter, best known for his hit songs "She Blinded Me with Science" and "Hyperactive." The problem I have with his music career though is that there isn't that much of it. He's a man of many talents, and writing and recording music is just one of the things he does. For instance, he started two successful Silicon Valley companies, and was the CEO of one of them for many years. He also is a professor of a music program at John Hopkins University. Additionally, he's been a musical director for TED talks, and has been involved in virtual reality technology.

With so many other things going on, he's rarely done any concert tours. In fact, at one point he went 15 years without any public performances. But it seems his music career was a higher priority in the early 1980s, when he had most of his hits, so we have this recording.

This appears to be the compete concert. It was broadcast on the BBC at various times with various edits. Most bootleg versions on the Internet don't include two songs, "The Flat Earth" and "Windpower," but this version has them all.

Note that one of the songs here was never officially released by Dolby in any form: "New Toy." He wrote it for Lene Lovich, who had a minor hit with it in Britain in 1981. So it's great to have his version of his own song.

This concert is an hour and nine minutes long.

01 White City (Thomas Dolby)
02 Dissidents (Thomas Dolby)
03 The Flat Earth (Thomas Dolby)
04 One of Our Submarines (Thomas Dolby)
05 Puppet Theatre (Thomas Dolby)
06 talk (Thomas Dolby)
07 New Toy (Thomas Dolby)
08 Airwaves (Thomas Dolby)
09 I Scare Myself (Thomas Dolby)
10 Hyperactive (Thomas Dolby)
11 Europa and the Pirate Twins (Thomas Dolby)
12 She Blinded Me with Science (Thomas Dolby)
13 Commercial Breakup (Thomas Dolby)
14 Windpower (Thomas Dolby)

The cover photo comes from his 1984 tour, but I don't know the details.

Supertramp - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: 1974-1975

I've already posted a volume of Supertramp performing for the BBC. That contained BBC studio sessions. This is another volume of more studio sessions. After this, they didn't do any more BBC studio sessions that I know of. However, they did record two concerts for the BBC, so I plan on posting those as well.

Supertramp was formed in 1969, but languished in obscurity for most of the early 1970s. It was only in 1974 with the release of the album "Crime of the Century" that they started to have big success. Their success continued in 1975 with their "Crisis? What Crisis?" album.

When I put together the songs for Volume 1 in this series, I found many early BBC performances had poor sound quality, so I didn't include them. With this volume, the sound is significantly better, despite the fact that everything here is officially unreleased. 

Only two of the songs, "School" and "Crime of the Century," come from proper BBC radio studio sessions. "Dreamer" and "Rudy" were played on the BBC TV show "The Old Grey Whistle Test." Supertramp did two concerts in 1975 that were broadcast on BBC radio. I will post one of them in full as Volume 3 in this series. The other one only has three different songs, so I've put those as the last three songs here.

"Dreamer" has "[Edit]" in its title not because of BBC DJs talking over the music. Thankfully, that was very rare by the mid-1970s. Instead, it's because I found a glitch that I patched up with a different section of the song.

This album is 39 minutes long.

01 School (Supertramp)
02 Dreamer [Edit] (Supertramp)
03 Rudy (Supertramp)
04 Crime of the Century (Supertramp)
05 Ain't Nobody but Me (Supertramp)
06 A Soapbox Opera (Supertramp)
07 From Now On (Supertramp)

For a band that sold tens of millions of records, it's surprisingly hard to find good photos of them. This can be seen on their album covers, which never show the band members. I guess they were really modest or shy or something. As a result, I had to resort to taking a screenshot of their "Old Grey Whistle Test" TV appearance. It's pretty low-res, and only shows three band members. If anyone has a better color photo from this time, please let me know so I can use it.

Friday, August 19, 2022

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: 1967-1968

A few days ago, I posted the first of three albums of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers performing for the BBC. That one largely dealt with the time Eric Clapton was the band's lead guitarist. 

For this volume, Peter Green was the lead guitarist for the first 7 songs. After leaving this band, he would help form Fleetwood Mac and become a big star. Note that bassist John McVie had been a member of the Bluesbreakers since the band formed around 1963, but he too left to form Fleetwood Mac. Drummer Mick Fleetwood was briefly a member right around when Green left, and also left to with the other two to start Fleetwood Mac (named after Fleetwood and McVie).

Green was replaced on lead guitar by Mick Taylor. He is featured on all of the rest of the songs here, including the two bonus tracks. Taylor only stayed with the Bluesbreakers for about a year, then left to become a member of the Rolling Stones for a few years. There are more songs featuring him in Volume 3 of this series.

All the songs here come from the 2021 mega-box set "First Generation." The sound quality is generally excellent. However, on some of the songs, I felt Mayall's lead vocals were too low in the mix. I'm not a fan of Mayall's singing, but I felt he should either be heard properly or not at all. So I used the X-Minus audio editing program to boost his vocals on the songs marked with "[Edit]." It's possible that some of those songs had BBC DJs talking over some of the music, and I fixed that again, or maybe it was both problems. It's been a while since I fixed these, so I don't remember.

There are two versions of the instrumental song "Curly" here. Since it was a showpiece for Green's guitar work, I've kept both.

Getting back to the sound quality issue, some of the songs with Taylor don't sound as good as the others. Generally speaking, I thought they were fine, and worthy of inclusion. But two of them, "Jenny" and "The Last Time," were far worse than the rest, so those two got demoted to bonus track status.

01 Leaping Christine (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Peter Green)
02 Sitting in the Rain (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Peter Green)
03 Curly [Instrumental] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Peter Green)
04 Riding on the L and N (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Peter Green)
05 Dust My Blues [Edit] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Peter Green)
06 No More Tears (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Peter Green)
07 Curly [Instrumental] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Peter Green)
08 Suspicions [Edit] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
09 Worried Love [Edit] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
10 Supermarket Day [Edit] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
11 Snowy Wood [Instrumental] [Edit] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
12 Sweet Sixteen (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
13 Another Man's Land (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)

Jenny (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)
The Last Time (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor)

The cover photo shows Mayall in concert in 1968. I would have liked to use a good color photo showing Mayall and either Green or Taylor, but I couldn't find any.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: 1965-1966

First off, note that this album is VERY similar to one I've already posted at this blog. I must admit I'm not a fan of John Mayall's vocals. However, his 1960s Bluesbreakers backing bands included a series of great lead guitarists, including Eric Clapton. I previously posted a few albums of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers when Clapton was the guitarist, including a BBC album. This is basically the exact same thing, except it has five songs in the middle from a time when Clapton wasn't in the band. It's also the first of three albums focusing on Mayall and the Bluesbreakers performing for the BBC in 1960s.

So why are there some songs in the middle here without Clapton? Clapton was a member of the band for their first BBC session, which consists of the first four songs here. But then Clapton semi-quit the Bluesbreakers for the month of October 1965, and that happened to be when another BBC session took place. A guitarist by the name of Jeff Kribit from the little-known Dr. K's Blues Band took Clapton's place for the session. That session makes up tracks five through nine. Then Clapton rejoined the band, so the rest of the songs here feature him. 

This album ends when Clapton left the band for good in 1966. The next volume in this BBC series starts in 1967, with future Fleetwood Mac star Peter Green as the lead guitarist.

In 2021, a John Mayall box set called "First Generation" was released. All of the songs here come from that. The sound quality of the songs are generally excellent. However, I noticed a problem. As I said, I'm not a fan of Mayall's singing. Many of the songs had his vocals rather low in the mix. Even though I don't like his singing much, it should at least be mixed correctly, so I boosted his vocals relative to the instruments for all the songs with "[Edit]" in their titles. Additionally, a couple of those songs may have had the additional problem of BBC DJs talking over some of the music. But if so, I don't remember which ones. However, if that was the case, I removed the talking using the X-Minus audio editing program.

01 Crawling Up a Hill [Edit] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
02 Heartache [Edit] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
03 Crocodile Walk [Edit] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
04 Bye Bye Bird [Edit] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
05 I'm Your Witchdoctor (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Jeff Kribit)
06 Cheatin' Woman (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Jeff Kribit)
07 Big Time Playboy (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Jeff Kribit)
08 Parchman Farm [Edit] (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Jeff Kribit)
09 Nowhere to Run (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Jeff Kribit)
10 Little Girl [Edit] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
11 Hideaway [Instrumental] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
12 Tears in My Eyes [Edit] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
13 Parchman Farm [Edit] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
14 Burning My Fingers [Burned My Fingers] [Edit] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
15 All Your Love [Edit] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
16 Steppin' Out [Instrumental] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
17 On Top of the World [Edit] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)
18 Key to Love [Edit] (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton)

There aren't many color photos of Clapton as a part of the Bluesbreakers. However, a photo session was done for the cover of their only studio album, often known as the "Beano" album for the comic that Clapton was reading for the cover photo. This photo is an outtake from that same photo session.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Supertramp - BBC Sessions, Volume 4: Sight and Sound, Queen Mary College, London, Britain, 11-10-1977

Here's the last of four volumes of Supertramp at the BBC. Like Volume 3, this is a full concert that was broadcast on BBC radio. The difference is that one was from early 1975, and this is from late 1977.

Between that concert and this one, Supertramp released two studio albums, "Crisis? What Crisis" in late 1975, and "Even in the Quiestest Moments..." in April 1977. Not surprisingly, this concert featured several songs from that 1977 album, including the hit single "Give a Little Bit."

This concert is an hour and five minutes long. I'm not sure if that's the complete concert, since it would be a rather short one for a headlining act. But it's all we've got. This concert remains officially unreleased, but the sound quality is as good as you'd expect from a BBC broadcast.

Apparently, parts of this concert were broadcast by the BBC at different times. The bootleg I took this from used no less than five different sources to present the songs with their best sound quality. 

The band's next album, "Breakfast in America," would be a massive blockbuster, selling four million copies in the US and over 10 million worldwide. Unfortunately, it seems the band got so big that they decided they didn't need BBC promotion anymore, because I can't find anything they did for the BBC after this. One of the band's two lead singers and songwriters, Rodger Hodgson, left in 1983, so I'm not that interested in the band after that point.

That said, I do plan to post a live album of the band from 1979, in order to include their great "Breakfast in America," but it's not a BBC related recording.

01 Give a Little Bit (Supertramp)
02 Bloody Well Right (Supertramp)
03 talk (Supertramp)
04 Lady (Supertramp)
05 From Now On (Supertramp)
06 talk (Supertramp)
07 Babaji (Supertramp)
08 Poor Boy (Supertramp)
09 Dreamer (Supertramp)
10 Another Man's Woman (Supertramp)
11 Hide in Your Shell (Supertramp)
12 talk (Supertramp)
13 Fool's Overture (Supertramp)

The cover photo is from 1977. I would have preferred one of the band in concert, but at least it's in color and from the appropriate year.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Supertramp - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: Hammersmith Odeon, London, Britain, 3-9-1975

Supertramp did some BBC studio sessions in the early 1970s. As their popularity grew, they graduated to have entire concerts broadcast for the BBC. Here's one, from 1975.

Supertramp actually performed two concerts for the BBC in 1975, one in January, and this one in March. Both set lists were very similar, but there were three unique songs to the January concert, so I included those in Volume 2 of this series. That concert remains unreleased, while this one has been released as part of the 2014 deluxe edition of the "Crime of the Century" album. It has slightly better sound than the other concert, so I'm posting this one.

The album "Crime of the Century" was released in late 1974, and the band's 1975 album "Crisis? What Crisis" wouldn't be released until November. So this was still part of the tour to support "Crime of the Century." However, a couple of songs that would appear on "Crisis? What Crisis" do appear here, like "Lady" and "Another Man's Woman."

At an hour and 14 minutes, this appears to be the compete concert.

01 School (Supertramp)
02 Bloody Well Right (Supertramp)
03 talk (Supertramp)
04 Hide in Your Shell (Supertramp)
05 Asylum (Supertramp)
06 talk (Supertramp)
07 Sister Moonshine (Supertramp)
08 Just a Normal Day (Supertramp)
09 Another Man's Woman (Supertramp)
10 talk (Supertramp)
11 Lady (Supertramp)
12 talk (Supertramp)
13 'A' - You're Adorable (Supertramp)
14 Dreamer (Supertramp)
15 Rudy (Supertramp)
16 If Everyone Was Listening (Supertramp)
17 talk (Supertramp)
18 Crime of the Century (Supertramp)

I'm still surprised how hard it is to find any good color photos of Supertramp, since they're so popular. I found one of the band in concert in May 1975. However, the band members were spread out on stage. So I chose to crop it down to just show the band's two main singers and songwriters, Rodger Hodgson and Rick Davies.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

B. B. King - BBC in Concert, Hammersmith Odeon, London, Britain, 10-14-1978

B. B. King had a long career as one of the giants of the blues. He was in his element in concert, touring close to 365 days a year, year after year after year. He put out some classic live albums from 1965 to 1971, but there isn't nearly as much live recordings from the rest of the 1970s. So it's good this unreleased BBC broadcast from 1978 fills a gap.

King was consistently good, and he delivers as expected here. There's not much else to say except that the sound quality is excellent, like you'd expect from a BBC broadcast. The set list had changed a lot from his classic 1960s and 1970s albums, though there are a few standards included like "How Blue Can You Get" and "The Thrill Is Gone."

Note that the last song ends with King leaving the stage, but his band still vamping as the song fades out. I faded it out right before a BBC DJ came on and started talking over the music. There was just a bit of that before that recording came to an end, with the band still vamping.

This album is an hour long. I'm guessing that wasn't the full concert, though it might have been if there were other big acts on the bill.

01 Caledonia (B. B. King)
02 How Blue Can You Get (B. B. King)
03 The Life I Sing About (B. B. King)
04 Night Life (B. B. King)
05 Think I'm Going Out of My Mind (B. B. King)
06 When It All Comes Down [I'll Still Be Around] (B. B. King)
07 Hold On (B. B. King)
08 Made Your Move Too Soon (B. B. King)
09 The Thrill Is Gone (B. B. King)
10 I Believe to My Soul (B. B. King)
11 You Let Me Down (B. B. King)

The cover photo comes from a 1978 concert in Copenhagen, Denmark. The text for his name at the top is taken directly from his 1965 album "Live at the Regal."

The Tremeloes - BBC Sessions, Volume 5: 1970-1972

This is the fifth and last of five volumes of the Tremeloes performing for the BBC.

The last big hit the Tremeloes had was "Me and My Life," which reached the top five in Britain in 1970. The BBC version of that one was the last song on Volume 4 in this series. They had two minor British hits in 1971, "Right Wheel, Left Hammer, Sham," and "Hello Buddy," and then faded from the charts entirely.

Clearly, the Tremeloes were increasingly out of step with music trends, especially as "glam rock" dominated the charts by 1972. But in retrospect, this music was just as good as when they were having earlier hits. It's just that it was seen as weak tea compared to the hard rock and other sounds of the era. One plus was they went from a band that mostly did covers to one that mostly did their own material.

All the songs here are officially unreleased. The vast majority come from BBC transcription discs given to me by musical associate Marley. All of those sound excellent. The first two songs, however, aren't even BBC recordings. Instead, they were performed on the British TV show "Doing Their Thing." They did some other songs on that show (which you can see on YouTube), but I didn't include those because they were done for the BBC without crowd noise.

Even in the early 1970s, some 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. But as you can see from the chronological song list, that talking trend slowly died off, with only one instance of it in the second half of this album.

The Tremeloes kept going off and on after 1972, and a version of the band is still going as I write this in 2022. But there were many personnel changes and they became an "oldies" band with little to no new material, so I lose interest at the point, just as the BBC did.

This album is 47 minutes long.

01 Games People Play - Proud Mary (Tremeloes)
02 Hound Dog - Rip It Up - Johnny B. Goode - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (Tremeloes)
03 But Then I [Edit] (Tremeloes)
04 I Swear [Edit] (Tremeloes)
05 Wait on Me [Edit] (Tremeloes)
06 Hello Buddy [Edit] (Tremeloes)
07 Right Wheel, Left Hammer, Sham [Edit] (Tremeloes)
08 Too Late to Be Saved (Tremeloes)
09 If You Ever (Tremeloes)
10 How Can You Say Goodbye (Tremeloes)
11 Do I Love You (Tremeloes)
12 Gotta Get Away (Tremeloes)
13 Hands Off [Edit] (Tremeloes)
14 I Like It That Way (Tremeloes)
15 Blue Suede Tie (Tremeloes)
16 Laura Lee (Tremeloes)

I'm not sure when or where the cover photo is from, but judging from their appearance, I think it's a good guess that it dates to the early 1970s.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Supertramp - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: 1969-1974

So far with my BBC project, I've been emphasizing posting the 1960s material before getting to the 1970s and beyond. But that's just a rough rule, and I've been posting some things from different decades. I had a request a while back to post Supertramp's BBC material. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so here's the start of that.

Supertramp was an extremely popular British prog rock/ pop rock band, selling over 60 millions records worldwide. The band formed in 1969, but it took a few years, and some personnel changes, before finding mainstream success. I've found enough material for four BBC albums. This first one deals with the years before they really hit it big.

The first song is not actually a BBC recording, but it's remarkable in a number of ways, so I've included it. The band formed in 1969 with Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies, who would be the main singers and songwriters for the band through the 1970s. Everyone else in the band at the time would leave by 1973. The band had their first concert in Munich, Germany in 1969, while still known as "Daddy." By chance, a German filmmaker filmed one song at that concert, a ten-minute long cover of the Bob Dylan classic "All Along the Watchtower." Thanks to that film footage, the audio to that has survived with pretty good sound quality.

That performance is still officially unreleased. Everything else here comes from unreleased BBC studio sessions. I found double the amount of material I'm presenting here, but the sound quality ranged from just okay to pretty bad, so I left all that out. Most of it were different versions of the same songs here anyway, so you're not missing that much. What remains doesn't always sound great, but at least it's good and listenable.

Supertramp put out albums in 1970 ("Supertramp") and 1971 ("Indelibly Stamped"), neither of which had much of an impact. Then they changed the sound and had significant personnel changes. It took three years until their next album, which was an eternity in those days. But the wait paid off, because their 1974 album "Crime of the Century" had two hit singles, "Dreamer" and "Bloody Well Right," and sold millions around the world.

Somewhat surprisingly, Supertramp had occasional BBC sessions all through this time period. There are songs here from 1972, 1973, and early 1974, months before "Crime of the Century" was released. The song from 1973, "Chicken Man," is an early version of "Another Man's Woman," which would appear on their 1975 album "Crisis? What Crisis?"

This album is 46 minutes long.

01 All Along the Watchtower (Supertramp)
02 It's a Long Road [Edit] (Supertramp)
03 Try Again (Supertramp)
04 Birds of Prey (Supertramp)
05 Pony Express (Supertramp)
06 Chicken Man [Early version of Another Man's Woman] (Supertramp)
07 Bloody Well Right (Supertramp)
09 If Everyone Was Listening (Supertramp)

The cover photo is a screenshot taken from the 1969 film footage mentioned above. It's pretty low-res, but it's historic. Plus, there's a real lack of any good color photos of the band from their early years. The text of the band's name is a version of the font used on their 1979 album "Breakfast in America."

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Colin Blunstone - BBC Sessions, Volume 2 (1973-1991)

This is the second of two volumes of BBC performances by Colin Blunstone.

Blunstone put out albums through the 1970s. In my opinion, the first two were really good, and similar in sound to what he did with the Zombies in the 1960s. But each album got a little worse after that. You can see this in the scores at, which aggregates lots of reviews. Trying to make popular music, he increasingly resorted to a bland, middle of the road sound, which lost what made his music special and dropped his popularity. 

The BBC generally likes hit makers, so the first six songs are from 1973 and 1974 (with two of them from the BBC TV show ("Old Grey Whistle Test"), but then the BBC sessions stopped. He did have a hit again in 1982 when he was the guest lead vocalist for the Alan Parsons Project song "Old and Wise." I couldn't find a BBC version of that, but I found one from a Belgian TV show. 

The last four songs come from a 1991 BBC session. I assume that had more to do with the growing popularity of his work with the Zombies in the 1960s, because two of the songs were Zombies songs, and the other two were from his early 1970s albums. Note that different versions of three of those are on Volume 1 of this series.

After that, most of his music has been done with Rod Argent of the Zombies in various Zombies reunions. So this BBC series ends there.

Tracks 5, 6, and 8 through 11 have been officially released on the "Live at the BBC" album. The others generally sound as good.

This album is 42 minutes long.

01 I Want Some More (Colin Blunstone)
02 Setting Yourself Up (Colin Blunstone)
03 Wonderful [Edit] (Colin Blunstone)
04 Weak for You (Colin Blunstone)
05 Brother Lover (Colin Blunstone)
06 Something Happens When You Touch Me (Colin Blunstone)
07 Old and Wise (Colin Blunstone)
08 She's Not There (Colin Blunstone)
09 Time of the Season (Colin Blunstone)
10 Andorra (Colin Blunstone)
11 Caroline Goodbye (Colin Blunstone)

The cover photo is from 1973.