Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Chicken Shack - BBC Sessions (1968-1970)

Here's something else I'm posting in tribute to Christine McVie, who died today (November 30, 2022) at the age of 79. She started her musical career as the keyboardist and one of two lead vocalists for the British blues band Chicken Shack. She didn't stay with the band long, only about a year, but she sang on their one big hit, "I'd Rather Go Blind." Then she put out a solo album before joining Fleetwood Mac. (At the time, she was known as Christine Perfect, but she changed her name after marrying Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie in 1970.)

I believe I've already posted all the Chicken Shack BBC performances where the lead vocals were done by McVie, on various Fleetwood Mac BBC albums I made, as well as a McVie-focused album called "On My Way." But since I'm posting so many BBC albums, I figure Chicken Shack deserves one. So all those McVie sung songs are here too. But there are more songs sung by the band's lead guitarist Stan Webb.

In my opinion, Webb was a talented lead guitarist, but only an average singer. He should have replaced McVie with another female vocalist to keep things more interesting. Instead, when McVie left in mid-1969, he took over all the vocals. The band continues to this day, still led by Webb, but they never were as popular as they were when McVie was a member. She's on the first 14 songs here, singing lead on about half of them and playing keyboards on all of them. The last twenty minutes (tracks 17 to 21) are all sung by Webb after she left. I couldn't find any more BBC sessions after 1970. As I said, their popularity declined after McVie left.

Everything here is officially unreleased. There is an album of the band's BBC recordings out there called "On Air," but it seems to be one of those many grey market releases, taking advantage of European copyright law. Everything does come from BBC studio sessions. A few of the songs have "[Edit]" in their names, due to the usual problem of BBC DJs talking over the music. As I usually do, I used the X-Minus audio editing program to wipe out that talking.

This album is an hour and five minutes long. If I had a few more songs, I would have had enough for two volumes. Instead, it's just one long one.

01 When the Train Comes Back (Chicken Shack)
02 It's OK with Me Baby [Edit] (Chicken Shack)
03 See My Baby [Edit] (Chicken Shack)
04 Waiting on You (Chicken Shack)
05 Strange Things Happening [Love Me or Leave Me] (Chicken Shack)
06 Every Day I Have the Blues (Chicken Shack)
07 Night Life (Chicken Shack)
08 Side Tracked [Instrumental] [Edit] (Chicken Shack)
09 Mean Old World (Chicken Shack)
10 Get like You Used to Be [Edit] (Chicken Shack)
11 You Done Lost that Good Thing Now (Chicken Shack)
12 I'd Rather Go Blind (Chicken Shack)
13 Hey Baby (Chicken Shack)
14 Look Ma I'm Crying (Chicken Shack)
15 Tears in the Wind (Chicken Shack)
16 Midnight Hour (Chicken Shack)
17 Things You Put Me Through (Chicken Shack)
18 Tired Eyes [Edit] (Chicken Shack)
19 Telling Your Fortune (Chicken Shack)
20 You Knew You Did You Did (Chicken Shack)
21 My Way (Chicken Shack)

The cover photo dates to 1968. McVie, sitting at the piano, used to be further to the right. But I used Photoshop to slide her closer to the others to better fit the square space.

Petula Clark - Ed Sullivan Show Performances, 1965-1969

British singer Petula Clark was a big star in Britain in the 1960s. She sang the kind of mainstream pop that the BBC loved. So you'd think she would have done many BBC sessions. But I can't find evidence of even a single BBC appearance until well into the 1970s. However, I noticed that she did make many appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in the US. Promotion like that helped her become a big star in the US as well. She performed so many songs on that show that there's enough for an album. I consider this kind of a substitute for the BBC album that should have been.

As far as I know, all of these Ed Sullivan appearances are unreleased. But a nice thing about that show is that there's YouTube account for it that posts videos in excellent sound quality. Everything here comes from those YouTube videos. It also goes without saying that I wouldn't bother with this if the performances were lip-synced, but all of these were done live. That seems to have been the rule for that TV show in those days. The only snag in terms of sound quality is an enthusiastic audience cheering over the music sometimes, but that can't be helped.

Clark played most of her big songs here, but not all of them. She also did some unusual choices, such as "A Foggy Day in London Town" and a couple of songs in French. Unfortunately, a couple of songs are truncated due to being in medleys. For instance, "Don't Sleep in the Subway" is only about a minute long. (I didn't include the rest of the medley since it was "Who Am I," a song presented earlier.) I tried extending it, but that didn't work because the song had already changed keys.

Clark's music isn't for anyone. It's very mainstream and poppy - there's lots of strings here, and no wailing guitar solos. But if you're into that kind of thing, she had a string of classics, mostly thanks to the songwriting talent of Tony Hatch, who wrote (or co-wrote) and produced most of her hit singles.

The Ed Sullivan Show continued until 1971, but the last performance from her that I could find is from 1969. That's not too surprising, since her hit singles stopped around that time.

This album is 43 minutes long.

01 Downtown (Petula Clark)
02 I Know a Place (Petula Clark)
03 A Foggy Day in London Town (Petula Clark)
04 Round Every Corner (Petula Clark)
05 My Love (Petula Clark)
06 I Want to Hold Your Hand (Petula Clark)
07 Sign of the Times (Petula Clark)
08 Just Say Goodbye (Petula Clark)
09 Come Rain or Come Shine (Petula Clark)
10 Who Am I (Petula Clark)
11 Colour My World (Petula Clark)
12 Elusive Butterfly (Petula Clark)
13 C'est Ma Chanson - This Is My Song (Petula Clark)
14 Je Me Sens Bien [Aupres de Toi] - My Love (Petula Clark)
15 Don't Sleep in the Subway (Petula Clark)
16 The Cat in the Window [The Bird in the Sky] (Petula Clark)
17 Fill the World with Love (Petula Clark)
18 The Fool on the Hill (Petula Clark)

The cover is a promo photo from 1967. I took Clark's name and the Ed Sullivan Show logo from here and there on the Internet.

Dire Straits - Radio Liverpool, Quaintway's Club, Chester, Britain, 4-19-1978

I've been wanting to post whatever the British band Dire Straits has done for the BBC. It turns out there's not much. They did two short concerts in 1978, plus played a couple of songs for BBC TV, and that's it. The longer of the 1978 concerts has been officially released as the album "Live at the BBC." I do plan to post an album of the other 1978 concert plus some other songs. But first, there's this, since it comes early chronologically.

Often times, the BBC concert is the one to get, if only due to superior sound quality. But in the case of early Dire Straits live music, that's not the case. I found a different concert recorded for a radio station that beats either of the 1978 BBC shows, in my opinion. The sound quality is great despite the fact that it's a bootleg, and it's a bit longer than either of the other two. It's a concert recorded for a radio station in Liverpool about six months before the band's debut album was released. 

There were no problems with this recording. It's impressive how good this sounds considering that it's lucky that this concert bootleg has survived at all. It contains the same songs as the "Live at the BBC" album except it has "In the Gallery" instead of "What's the Matter Baby." (I'm not counting "Tunnel of Love" on the official album, since that doesn't belong there. It's not from the same concert as the others, and although it claims to be from a BBC TV show, it actually is from a concert in Germany.)

01 talk (Dire Straits)
02 Down to the Waterline (Dire Straits)
03 Six Blade Knife (Dire Straits)
04 talk (Dire Straits)
05 In the Gallery (Dire Straits)
06 talk (Dire Straits)
07 Eastbound Train (Dire Straits)
08 talk (Dire Straits)
09 Water of love (Dire Straits)
10 Lions (Dire Straits)
11 Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits)
12 talk (Dire Straits)
13 Wild West End (Dire Straits)
14 talk (Dire Straits)

The cover photo shows the band playing at the Paradiso club in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 1978.

Fleetwood Mac - BBC Sessions, Volume 8: In Concert, Maine Road Stadium, Manchester, Britain, 8-25-1990

As I write this on November 30, 2022, I'm sad to pass on the news that Christine McVie, longtime singer and songwriter for Fleetwood Mac, died today, of natural causes. She was 79. To celebrate her musical legacy, I wanted to post something featuring her. I've posted seven albums of Fleetwood Mac playing for the BBC, all in the 1960s or early 1970s. It turns out they made one more appearance for the BBC, a concert nearly two decades later in 1990. So here is that concert.

This concert took place during a difficult time for the band. They released the successful album "Tango in the Night" in 1987. But then one of their three key singer-songwriters, Lindsey Buckingham, quit the band before the start of their tour to support the album. He was replaced by two guitarists, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Both of the other two key singer-songwriters, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks stayed on board. This new version of the band released the album "Behind the Mask" in 1990. The lack of Buckingham was noticeable, and sales and reviews were disappointing. This concert was part of the tour to support that album.

If you're not a fan of "Behind the Mask," don't worry. Only three songs from it were played here, and one of those is the very good hit single "Save Me." This a good concert for Christine McVie fans because without Buckingham, naturally more of the songs were sung by either McVie or Nicks, with only a few sung by either of the new guitarists.

The sound quality is excellent, as you'd expect from the BBC. But there were a few problems, most of which I fixed. The main version I used lacked all of the first song and half of the second one, as well as the musical intro to "Little Lies." Luckily, I found a second version of the concert on YouTube. The sound quality was ever so slightly worse, but I used that version to fill in the missing parts. "The Chain" and "Little Lies" have "[Edit]" in their titles, since they were spliced together from two different versions. The main version also ended with a handful of songs from a early 1980s Stevie Nicks solo concert, but were not labelled as such. I deleted those, since they have nothing to do with this concert.

Another problem just comes down to personal preference. There was a drum solo in "World Turning" that went on way too long for my tastes. Since I mainly make these albums for my own enjoyment, I cut that down drastically. I removed over 10 minutes of music, and yet I kept some of the solo, leaving the song 10 minutes long.

This album is an hour and 54 minutes long. Rest in peace, Christine.

01 In the Back of My Mind (Fleetwood Mac)
02 The Chain [Edit] (Fleetwood Mac)
03 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
04 Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)
05 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
06 Isn't It Midnight (Fleetwood Mac)
07 Oh Well, Part 1 (Fleetwood Mac)
08 Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac)
09 Stop Messin' Around (Fleetwood Mac)
10 Save Me (Fleetwood Mac)
11 Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac)
12 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
13 I Loved Another Woman (Fleetwood Mac)
14 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
15 Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
16 World Turning [Edit] (Fleetwood Mac)
17 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
18 Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac)
19 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
20 Stand on the Rock (Fleetwood Mac)
21 Little Lies [Edit] (Fleetwood Mac)
22 Stand Back (Fleetwood Mac)
23 You Make Loving Fun (Fleetwood Mac)
24 Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac)
25 talk (Fleetwood Mac)
26 Tear It Up (Fleetwood Mac)
27 Don't Stop (Fleetwood Mac)

I found a bunch of color photos of the band in concert in 1990, but I couldn't find just one that I especially liked. So I used Photoshop to combine two into one. Both are from the same concert in Minnesota, so both have the same general lighting. But one is of Christine McVie, and the other is of Stevie Nicks. I hope they look okay standing together.

Pete Townshend - The Roundhouse, London, Britain, 4-14-1974

If you're a Pete Townshend and/or Who fan, this is a must have album. I've never shared it before because the sound quality was a little under par. But yesterday (as I write this in November 2022), musical associate Lil Panda posted an improved version. He used audio editing programs like Spleeter or X-Minus that have emerged in recent years to improve the mix. Most importantly, he boosted the lead vocals. This is basically his version, though I trimmed the dead air between songs a bit. This still is based on an audience bootleg and the sound quality isn't stellar, but now it's good enough to be very listenable.

What makes this special is that it's a unique concert in Pete Townshend's musical history. For all of the 1960s and 1970s, he was fully dedicated to the Who. He didn't play any solo concerts until 1979, and precious few for many years after that. The first good recording of any such concert comes from 1985. Yet he did this one concert in 1974 for a local charity, playing many songs that he's never played before or since.

Here's a blurb about it written by rock critic Dave Marsh in his book "Before I Get Old - The
Story of The Who":

"On April 14, 1974 (Easter Sunday), Townshend played a solo gig-the first of his career, for the Camden Square Community Play Centre ... Meant to be a quiet afternoon's entertainment, the solo show was blown out of all proportion when the press got word of it. Townshend spent a panicky week's preparation, then came out and did a fairly casual show using electric and acoustic guitars, piano, some synthesizer tapes and the original "My Generation" demo as he ran through a set that also included 'The Seeker', Jimmy Reed's 'Big Boss Man', 'Substitute,' and 'Pinball Wizard'. Despite a drunken heckler, the show was well-received and Pete was surprisingly confident."

The concert featured just Townshend, on either piano, electric guitar, or acoustic guitar. But he used some tape loops for drumbeats on a few songs. He also played some recordings, for instance demo versions of "My Generation." The most unusual feature of the concert are the many cover songs that he rarely played in concert again, if ever: "Big Boss Man," "Amoreuse," "If I Were a Carpenter,"  "Going to New York," "Girl from the North Country," "Corrina, Corrina," and "No Face, No Name, No Number."

This album is an hour and 14 minutes long.

01 The Seeker (Pete Townshend)
02 talk (Pete Townshend)
03 Big Boss Man (Pete Townshend)
04 talk (Pete Townshend)
05 Substitute (Pete Townshend)
06 talk (Pete Townshend)
07 Amoreuse (Pete Townshend)
08 talk (Pete Townshend)
09 If I Were a Carpenter (Pete Townshend)
10 talk (Pete Townshend)
11 Happy Jack (Pete Townshend)
12 talk (Pete Townshend)
13 Tattoo (Pete Townshend)
14 talk (Pete Townshend)
15 Join My Gang (Pete Townshend)
16 talk (Pete Townshend)
17 Behind Blue Eyes (Pete Townshend)
18 Going to New York (Pete Townshend)
19 talk (Pete Townshend)
20 talk - My Generation Demos (Pete Townshend)
21 Girl from the North Country (Pete Townshend)
22 Corrina, Corrina (Pete Townshend)
23 talk (Pete Townshend)
24 No Face, No Name, No Number (Pete Townshend)
25 Let's See Action [Nothing Is Everything] (Pete Townshend)
26 Pinball Wizard (Pete Townshend)
27 See Me, Feel Me (Pete Townshend)
28 My Generation (Pete Townshend)
29 Magic Bus (Pete Townshend)
30 My Generation [Second Version] (Pete Townshend)

For the cover, I was able to find a photo from the actual concert featured here. The picture quality wasn't that great, but I was able to improve it some using Photoshop.

The Kinks - BBC Sessions, Volume 8: In Concert, The Palladium, New York City, 12-31-1980

I didn't realize at first that this unreleased Kinks concert was a BBC concert, because it took place in New York City and was broadcast on a US radio station. But it turns out it was also broadcast in Britain by the BBC. I've even heard the version with a British accented DJ introducing the show to prove it.

Perhaps because this was recorded by a US radio station instead of the BBC, the sound quality was a bit lacking. But I decided the main problem was the lead vocals were too low, and that's something I can fix today, thanks to audio editing programs like X-Minus. So I used that to boost the vocals of every single song. It couldn't do anything for the banter between songs, since the program can't differentiate the vocals of lead singer Ray Davies from the cheering crowd, but it helped a lot with the actual songs.

This isn't that different from the official live album "One for the Road." Both are based on 1980 concert recordings supporting the band's "Low Budget" album. But I prefer full concerts like this over those taken from multiple concerts, like the "One for the Road" album does. Also, the set list is somewhat different. The band even played one song destined for their next album of the same name, "Give the People What They Want."

Speaking of that song, the X-Minus program had to do some extra work on that one. There was some talking that sounded as if it wasn't from the concert at all, but somehow recorded on top of it. There even was a female voice saying the line "At the tone the time will be," which is what you get when you call for the current time! I had to patch in some vocals from a different concert, because some of the talking was over the lead vocals, but you shouldn't be able to hear anything strange now.

Oh, the entire musical intro to "David Watts" was patched in from the "One for the Road" version of the song. I found two versions of this concert. The BBC version didn't have the encore, so it was missing that. The other version had so much DJ talking and cheering over the intro that it couldn't be fixed well. But I think it sounds good now.

This album is an hour and 32 minutes long.

01 You Really Got Me [Instrumental] (Kinks)
02 The Hard Way (Kinks)
03 talk (Kinks)
04 Where Have All the Good Times Gone - Tired of Waiting for You (Kinks)
05 talk (Kinks)
06 Catch Me Now, I'm Falling (Kinks)
07 talk (Kinks)
08 Bird Dog (Kinks)
09 talk (Kinks)
10 N. Y. C. Blues (Kinks)
11 talk (Kinks)
12 Lola (Kinks)
13 Dead End Street (Kinks)
14 Till the End of the Day (Kinks)
15 Low Budget (Kinks)
16 talk (Kinks)
17 Imagination's Real (Kinks)
18 Nothin' More to Lose (Kinks)
19 talk (Kinks)
20 I'm Not like Everybody Else (Kinks)
21 Come On Now (Kinks)
22 talk (Kinks)
23 You Really Got Me (Kinks)
24 talk (Kinks)
25 Give the People What They Want (Kinks)
26 A Gallon of Gas (Kinks)
27 Celluloid Heroes (Kinks)
28 talk (Kinks)
29 All Day and All of the Night (Kinks)
30 talk (Kinks)
31 David Watts (Kinks)
32 Pressure (Kinks)
33 [Wish I Could Fly Like] Superman (Kinks)

The cover photo of lead singer Ray Davies comes from 1980, but I don't know any more than that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Mary Chapin Carpenter - BBC in Concert, Her Majesty's Theatre, London, Britain, 12-10-1994

Here's yet another BBC concert. I could only find one instance of Mary Chapin Carpenter playing for the BBC, but it's a good one.

This concert features Carpenter mostly in acoustic mode, with just a couple of backing musicians and no drummer. 

There isn't much banter between songs, but several times she starts a song by making some comments over the music. There's a running joke about her crush on actor Hugh Grant that's amusing.

Although this is unreleased, the sound quality is as excellent as you'd expect from the BBC.

This concert is 56 minutes long.

01 This Is Love (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
02 Stones in the Road (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
03 Passionate Kisses (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
04 A Keeper for Every Flame (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
05 The Last Word (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
06 talk (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
07 Shut Up and Kiss Me (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
08 Where Time Stands Still (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
09 The Hard Way (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
10 Quittin' Time (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
11 I Feel Lucky (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
12 He Thinks He'll Keep Her (Mary Chapin Carpenter)

The cover photo comes from an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in 1994. 

The Who - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: 1966-1967

This is the second of four albums dealing with the Who's performances at the BBC.

Note that, on November 28, 2022, I split what had been "Volume 2" into two parts, after finding more material from this time period. Part of what had been "Volume 2" is now "Volume 3." If you're interested in this at all, you should get that too. Here's the link:

Additionally, I renamed what had been "Volume 3" to "Volume 4" for obvious reasons.

There is an official album of this BBC material, called "BBC Sessions." But I think I've improved that in some ways, such as adding some songs that were missed or were done for other radio or TV shows, as well as removing the BBC DJ talk over some songs.

The main reason I found enough material to split an album in two is due to a blogger named Prof. Stoned. He's done a great job finding the best versions of albums by classic rock artists, often remixing them to get the most out of them. Here's his blog:

He had improved the Who's BBC sessions, so I wanted to redo my albums based on his work. While doing so, I realized he'd found some BBC recordings I'd missed. For instance, on this album, "So Sad about Us," "Summertime Blues," "Our Love Was," and "Relax" are all actual BBC studio performances is fine audio quality, so I'm not sure why they weren't on the official album.

Another ten songs here are BBC studio versions from the official album. I used the Prof. Stoned versions for all of those too.

Two other songs come from non-BBC bootleg sources. "Barbara Ann" was done for a French TV show. "Glittering Girl" is an odd one. This song was never done by the Who in concert, and only came out on an archival release decades later. But there's some footage from a German TV show of main songwriter Pete Townshend singing part of the song on acoustic guitar for the band's managers. Then there's another snippet of the full band practicing it in a rehearsal. I cleaned up these sections a bit, removing some talking over the music and cutting out some talking between sections. (That's why there's an "[Edit]" in the title. All together, the sections only amount to about two minutes of music. But still, I thought it's interesting enough to inclusion.

Four other songs have "[Edit]" in their titles too. That's due to the usual problem of BBC DJs talking over the music. As usual, I used the X-Minus audio editing program to wipe out the talking while keeping the underlying music.

This album is 45 minutes long.

01 Boris the Spider [Radio 1 Jingle] (Who)
02 Substitute (Who)
03 Barbara Ann (Who)
04 Disguises [Edit] (Who)
05 I'm a Boy [Edit] (Who)
06 So Sad about Us (Who)
07 Boris the Spider [Edit] (Who)
08 Run, Run, Run [Edit] (Who)
09 Happy Jack (Who)
10 See My Way (Who)
11 Glittering Girl [Rehearsal Version] [Edit] (Who)
12 A Quick One while He's Away (Who)
13 Summertime Blues (Who)
14 Pictures of Lily (Who)
15 Our Love Was (Who)
16 Relax (Who)

The cover photo comes from the band playing on a Danish TV show called "Klar I Studiet" in October 1966 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Carole King - BBC in Concert, Royal Albert Hall, London, Britain, 7-13-1989

I keep finding so many BBC concerts that I'm posting a lot of them in a hurry just to keep up with the flood. I already posted one by Carole King that dates back to 1971. I wasn't that impressed with that one, since it's a short show and there are longer ones available from that time period. But I was pleasantly surprised by how good this one is. If you're a fan of her music, you should give it a listen.

King is one of the most successful songwriters of all time, having written or co-written over 100 hits. Hopefully, she's sitting on a mountain of money from all her hit songs. But all that success has meant that she didn't need to go on tour unless she really wanted to. Apparently, she's shy and usually didn't want to. Looking at the database, it seems she's only done two major tours since the 1970s, in 1989 and 2005. By the 1980s, her sales were way down from the millions and millions of albums she sold in the early 1970s. But this is a solid concert, both the new and old songs. She's surprisingly rocking at times, while performing solo on piano at other times.

This concert is unreleased. But it's up to the usual high BBC sound quality standards.

This album is 57 minutes long. I suspect it may have been edited down by the BBC to fit an hour length format.

01 Home Again (Carole King)
02 talk (Carole King)
03 Hard Rock Cafe (Carole King)
04 Smackwater Jack (Carole King)
05 talk (Carole King)
06 Tapestry (Carole King)
07 talk (Carole King)
08 So Far Away (Carole King)
09 talk (Carole King)
10 City Streets (Carole King)
11 Jazzman (Carole King)
12 Someone Who Believes in You (Carole King)
13 Will You Love Me Tomorrow (Carole King)
14 Way Over Yonder (Carole King)
15 I Feel the Earth Move (Carole King)
16 [You Make Me Feel Like] A Natural Woman (Carole King)
17 You've Got a Friend (Carole King)
18 The Locomotion (Carole King)

The cover photo comes from a 1989 concert, but I don't know the details.

UB40 - BBC in Concert, Hammersmith Odeon, London, Britain, 1-7-1984

To be honest, I'm only interested in the first few years of UB40's long career. They started out with a lot of promise, writing good songs with a political edge, but eventually turned into a bland, adult contemporary reggae-lite band that I don't have much interest in. In retrospect, the turning point probably was their 1983 album "Labour of Love." It consisted entirely of covers, and was a huge hit. I really like that album, but I think it showed them that they could have much more success doing covers than doing their own material.

Anyway, it turns out that UB40 did three BBC concerts in 1983 and 1984. That's probably too much. I've already posted one from early 1983, before they did any of their "Labour of Love" songs. This one is from the start of 1984, and consists mostly of "Labour of Love" songs, so I figure both concerts are worthwhile. For the BBC show in between, they are three nice songs that aren't played on the 1984 one. So I've added those as quasi-bonus tracks at the beginning.

This concert was included on a deluxe edition of the "Labour of Love" album, so the sound quality is great. The three tracks from a different show are unreleased.

This album is an hour and six minutes long. The concert without the three extra songs at the start is 55 minutes long.

01 Nkomo-a-Go-Go [Instrumental] (UB40)
02 Dubmobile (UB40)
03 I've Got Mine (UB40)
04 One in Ten (UB40)
05 talk (UB40)
06 Keep On Moving (UB40)
07 talk (UB40)
08 Don't Let It Pass You By (UB40)
09 talk (UB40)
10 Love Is All Is Alright (UB40)
11 talk (UB40)
12 Johnny Too Bad (UB40)
13 talk (UB40)
14 Sweet Sensation (UB40)
15 talk (UB40)
16 Cherry Oh Baby (UB40)
17 talk (UB40)
18 Red Red Wine (UB40)
19 Please Don't Make Me Cry (UB40)
20 Present Arms (UB40)
21 Tyler (UB40)

I couldn't find any really good photos from 1984, but I found one from 1985.

Monday, November 28, 2022

The Pretty Things - BBC Sessions, Volume 3:John Peel's Sunday Concert, London, Britain, 6-14-1970

I recently noticed that although I've posted three volumes of the Pretty Things at the BBC, I never posted any concerts from them. There's very little live music from their late 1960s/early 1970s heyday that has been recorded with good sound quality. But there is a BBC from 1970. I hadn't posted it previously because it's rather short, at only 27 minutes. I'm guessing the band was given half of an hour long show, which was common in those days. However, I've decided to post it anyway. Since it is short, I've added three songs to give it a more decent length.

The main show featured here was hosted by BBC DJ John Peel. I'm sure there's an introduction that's missing, since he always had one at the start of his shows. But other than that, it's complete. It also has excellent sound quality, helped by the fact that it's been officially released as part of the album "At the BBC."

Just about the only other excellent sounding concert recording from this time is from the Paradiso in Amsterdam in 1969. Unfortunately, it only features a few full songs. I've already included three of those on "Volume 2" of my BBC series, since they were never otherwise done for the BBC at the time. That left two other full songs, neither of which were played for the John Peel concert in 1970. So I've put those two at the start. However, I noticed the lead vocals were rather low in the mix, so I boosted those using the X-Minus audio editing program. That's why they have "[Edit]" in their titles.

The other song I've added is the last one, "Cries from the Midnight Circus." It was done live for the Beat Club TV show in Germany. (You can find a video of it on YouTube.) I put it at the end because it took place after the John Peel show. I added some applause at the end since to help it fit in with the other songs, since it was played without any audience there. I also added applause to the two Amsterdam songs at the start. Those were done in front an audience, but the recording barely captured any of the clapping.

This album is 41 minutes long, including the three extra songs.

Note that there already was a "Volume 3." But I just renamed that "Volume 4" to make room for this one. I just redid the cover art for that one, and made other changes with the new title. I also redid the cover art for Volumes 1 and 2, since I'd never put "Volume" in their titles.

01 She Says Good Morning [Edit] (Pretty Things)
02 SF Sorrow Is Born [Edit] (Pretty Things)
03 Blue Serge Blues (Pretty Things)
04 talk (Pretty Things)
05 She's a Lover (Pretty Things)
06 talk (Pretty Things)
07 In the Square (Pretty Things)
08 The Letter (Pretty Things)
09 Rain (Pretty Things)
10 talk (Pretty Things)
11 Sickle Clowns (Pretty Things)
12 Old Man Going (Pretty Things)
13 Cries from the Midnight Circus (Pretty Things)

I'm not sure when or where the cover photo comes from. But based on the hair styles and clothes, it looks to be around 1970.

Tom Jones - BBC Sessions, Volume 4: In Concert, Hammersmith Odeon, London, Britain, 4-20-1991

I'd posted three albums of Tom Jones BBC Sessions, all from the 1960s. I posted even more albums of his duet-heavy TV show "This Is Tom Jones." I thought I was all done with him. I'm not even that big of a Tom Jones fan, to be honest. But I recently stumbled across this concert from much later. Since it fits my BBC project, I gave it a listen and decided it's pretty good. So here you go.

Towards the late 1980s, it seemed as if Tom Jones was washed up, other than as an oldies act. But then he had a big hit in 1987 with "A Boy from Nowhere" then another hit 1988 with a cover of Prince's "Kiss." His career was revitalized and he would continue to have hits into the 2000s. This concert came after the release of his 1991 album "Carrying a Torch." That album didn't have any big hits or get great reviews. But some songs on it were produced by Van Morrison, including the title song and "I'm Not Feeling It Anymore," both of them featured here. So it brought him back to his soul roots. I think that makes it an especially good time for a concert recording (although a couple of songs from his latest album are duds, in my opinion).

As usual, the BBC sound quality is excellent. One nice thing is that he did a few rocking songs that he never released on album. "Good Times" was a hit by the Easybeats back in the 1960s. "Texas Twister" was a hit by Little Feat just the year before.

This concert is an hour and 43 minutes long.

01 Good Times (Tom Jones)
02 Hard to Handle (Tom Jones)
03 Love Me Tonight (Tom Jones)
04 talk (Tom Jones)
05 Give Me a Chance (Tom Jones)
06 What's New Pussycat (Tom Jones)
07 Help Yourself (Tom Jones)
08 talk (Tom Jones)
09 Killer on the Sheets (Tom Jones)
10 Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings (Tom Jones)
11 I [Who Have Nothing] (Tom Jones)
12 Zip It Up (Tom Jones)
13 Delilah (Tom Jones)
14 Daughter of Darkness (Tom Jones)
15 Fool for Rock 'n' Roll (Tom Jones)
16 Carrying a Torch (Tom Jones)
17 Some Peace of Mind (Tom Jones)
18 It Must Be You (Tom Jones)
19 I'm Not Feeling It Anymore (Tom Jones)
20 Green, Green Grass of Home (Tom Jones)
21 A Boy from Nowhere (Tom Jones)
22 talk (Tom Jones)
23 I'll Never Fall in Love Again (Tom Jones)
24 talk (Tom Jones)
25 Texas Twister (Tom Jones)
26 Kiss (Tom Jones)
27 It's Not Unusual (Tom Jones)
28 Long Way from Home (Tom Jones)
29 Shelter Me (Tom Jones)

The cover photo of Jones is from Wembley Arena in London in May 1991.

Madness - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: In Concert, Hammersmith Odeon, London, Britain, 12-23-1980

The second volume of the British band Madness at the BBC features a full concert.

This entire concert was released as bonus tracks on a deluxe edition of the band's 1980 album "Absolutely." It's from when the band was still heavily into ska.

There's not much else to say. For once, there were no problems or complications.

This album is 55 minutes long.

01 One Step Beyond (Madness)
02 talk (Madness)
03 E.R.N.I.E. (Madness)
04 Mistakes (Madness)
05 talk (Madness)
06 Disappear (Madness)
07 Bed and Breakfast Man (Madness)
08 talk (Madness)
09 The Return of the Los Palmas 7 [Instrumental] (Madness)
10 Close Escape (Madness)
11 talk (Madness)
12 Overdone (Madness)
13 talk (Madness)
14 Not Home Today (Madness)
15 Razor Blade Alley (Madness)
16 talk (Madness)
17 My Girl (Madness)
18 Take It or Leave It (Madness)
19 talk (Madness)
20 On the Beat Pete (Madness)
21 Embarrassment (Madness)
22 Shadow of Fear (Madness)
23 You Said (Madness)
24 talk (Madness)
25 In the Middle of the Night (Madness)
26 The Prince (Madness)
27 Baggy Trousers (Madness)
28 Rockin' in a Flat (Madness)
29 Madness (Madness)

The cover photo comes from an appearance on a short-lived TV show called "Cheggers Play Pop" in 1982. I would have preferred something from 1980, but this was the closest in time I could find that looked good and showed the whole band on stage.

The Jam - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: 100 Club, London, Britain, 9-11-1977

Here is the second album of the Jam at the BBC. The first one came from BBC studio sessions, but this one is an entire (though relatively short) concert.

When this concert came out in 1977, punk rock was all the rage. The Jam had lots of rocking energy, like punk, but it's interesting to see them doing covers of no less than six songs from the 1950s or 60s: "So Sad about Us" by the Who, "(Love Is like A) Heat Wave" by the Motown band Martha and the Vandellas, "Back in My Arms Again" by the Supremes, "Slow Down," by Larry Williams, "Sweet Soul Music" by Arthur Conley, and "In the Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett. Clearly, they were different than typical punk bands, with deeper musical roots.

This concert was released on a live box set called "Fire and Skill." But I thought the vocals were a bit low, so I boosted them using the X-Minus audio editing program.

Note that it appears the band was short on songs to play, so they played "in the City" twice, the second time as the encore.

This concert is 55 minutes long.

01 talk (Jam)
02 I've Changed My Address (Jam)
03 Carnaby Street (Jam)
04 talk (Jam)
05 The Modern World (Jam)
06 talk (Jam)
07 Time for Truth (Jam)
08 talk (Jam)
09 So Sad about Us (Jam)
10 talk (Jam)
11 London Girl (Jam)
12 In the Street Today (Jam)
13 talk (Jam)
14 Standards (Jam)
15 talk (Jam)
16 All Around the World (Jam)
17 talk (Jam)
18 London Traffic (Jam)
19 talk (Jam)
20 [Love Is like A] Heat Wave (Jam)
21 Sweet Soul Music (Jam)
22 talk (Jam)
23 Bricks and Mortar (Jam)
24 talk (Jam)
25 In the City (Jam)
26 talk (Jam)
27 Art School (Jam)
28 talk (Jam)
29 Back in My Arms Again (Jam)
30 talk (Jam)
31 Slow Down (Jam)
32 talk (Jam)
33 In the Midnight Hour (Jam)
34 talk (Jam)
35 Sounds from the Street (Jam)
36 talk (Jam)
37 Takin' My Love (Jam)
38 talk (Jam)
39 In the City (Jam)

The cover photo was taken at a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in 1977.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Cliff Richard - BBC Sessions, Volume 4: 1969-1971

This is the fourth of six volumes of Cliff Richard at the BBC.

Richard continued to be popular during this time, with yet more hits in Britain. Personally, I'm not as keen on this volume as the previous ones. He played more middle of the road stuff, sometimes with strings, and less rock and roll. But if you're a fan of his music, you'll probably be into that anyway.

Everything here remains officially unreleased. Almost all the songs come from pristine "Top of the Pops" transcription discs. Thanks to musical associate Marley for helping me find these.

The two exceptions are the first song, a duet of "The Look of Love" and "Walk on By" with Cilla Black, and "The Lady Came from Baltimore." The first comes from Black's TV show "Cilla," and the second comes from a German TV show.

The songs here had the usual problem of BBC DJs talking over the music. As usual, I used the X-Minus audio editing program to remove the talking but keep the music. Those are the ones with "[Edit]" in their titles.

This album is 43 minutes long.

01 The Look of Love - Walk On By (Cliff Richard & Cilla Black)
02 Good Times [Better Times] [Edit] (Cliff Richard)
03 Big Ship [Edit] (Cliff Richard)
04 Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon (Cliff Richard)
05 The Minute You’re Gone [Edit] (Cliff Richard)
06 Throw Down a Line (Cliff Richard & Hank Marvin)
07 Baby, I Could Be So Good [Edit] (Cliff Richard)
08 With the Eyes of a Child (Cliff Richard)
09 So Long (Cliff Richard)
10 The Lady Came from Baltimore (Cliff Richard)
11 I Ain’t Got Time Anymore (Cliff Richard)
12 Your Heart’s Not in Your Love (Cliff Richard)
13 Are You Only Fooling Me [Edit] (Cliff Richard)
14 Don’t Ask Me to Be Friends (Cliff Richard)
15 Sunny Honey Girl [Edit] (Cliff Richard)
16 As I Walk into the Morning of Your Life [Edit] (Cliff Richard)

The cover photo is from May 1970, but I don't know any more than that.

Stevie Wonder - BBC Abbey Road Studio One, Abbey Road Studios, London, Britain, 11-9-2005

It seems that the vast majority of big names in music have performed for the BBC at one time or another. Unfortunately when it comes to Stevie Wonder, I know of only one concert he did for the BBC, and that one occurred relatively late in his career, in 2005. Still, it's a winner. It's a long concert, with excellent sound quality, and a lively performance. And if you're not that into his more recent songs, there are only a few of those. Instead, he focused on his classic hits. This is one of the most popular Stevie Wonder bootlegs, and with good reason.

One minor problem is that the BBC edited this down. Other people later put it back together, because different rebroadcasts had different set lists. But apparently the recordings of two of the songs still haven't come to light. One of them is a long version of "Do I Do." I suspect also that a lot of the banter between songs was cut out.  

This album is an hour and 59 minutes long.

01 talk (Stevie Wonder)
02 Love's in Need of Love Today (Stevie Wonder)
03 talk (Stevie Wonder)
04 Master Blaster [Jammin'] (Stevie Wonder)
05 Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder)
06 Living for the City (Stevie Wonder)
07 Golden Lady (Stevie Wonder)
08 Superwoman (Stevie Wonder)
09 Where Were You When I Needed You (Stevie Wonder)
10 talk (Stevie Wonder)
11 Ribbon in the Sky (Stevie Wonder)
12 You and I [We Can Conquer the World] (Stevie Wonder)
13 Joy Inside My Tears (Stevie Wonder)
14 talk (Stevie Wonder)
15 My Love Is on Fire (Stevie Wonder)
16 Sir Duke (Stevie Wonder)
17 I Wish (Stevie Wonder)
18 Positivity (Stevie Wonder)
19 Isn't She Lovely (Stevie Wonder)
20 All I Do (Stevie Wonder)
21 Tuesday Heartbreak (Stevie Wonder)
22 talk (Stevie Wonder)
23 Maybe Your Baby (Stevie Wonder)
24 You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder)
25 talk (Stevie Wonder)
26 I Just Called to Say I Love You (Stevie Wonder)
27 talk (Stevie Wonder)
28 So What the Fuss (Stevie Wonder)
29 Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
30 You Haven't Done Nothin' (Stevie Wonder)
31 talk (Stevie Wonder)
32 Shelter in the Rain (Stevie Wonder)
33 As (Stevie Wonder)

The cover photo comes from a press conference Wonder took part in for the 2005 Live 8 concert.

Belle & Sebastian - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: Steve Lamacq Show, Bowlie Weekender, Pontins Camber Sands Holiday Park, Rye, Britain, 4-25-1999

Here's the third volume of Belle and Sebastian playing for the BBC. Unlike the first two, this one consists of a full concert. 

Well, most of a concert, anyway. It seems a few songs were cut out due to time constraints. The missing songs are: "A Century of Fakers," "I Know Where the Summer Goes," and "Simple Things." Additionally, the last song performed, a cover of the Who song "The Kids Are Alright," wasn't actually broadcast by the BBC. Instead, it appeared in a documentary film about the band. I already included it on a Belle and Sebastian covers album, but I've included it here too. For the covers album I removed the applause at the end, but for this version I've kept it in.

 This was no ordinary concert for the band. They put together an entire music festival for the first time, with a couple dozen other bands and themselves as the headliners. There's a Wikipedia article about it here:

Bowlie Weekender - Wikipedia

The sound quality is up to the usual high standards you'd expect of the BBC. I did edit "If You're Feeling Sinister" though to fix some minor flaws.

This album is 49 minutes long.

01 Slow Graffiti (Belle & Sebastian)
02 Seeing Other People (Belle & Sebastian)
03 Dog on Wheels (Belle & Sebastian)
04 The Wrong Girl (Belle & Sebastian)
05 talk (Belle & Sebastian)
06 Winter Wooskie (Belle & Sebastian)
07 If You're Feeling Sinister [Edit] (Belle & Sebastian)
08 talk (Belle & Sebastian)
09 I Don't Love Anyone (Belle & Sebastian)
10 talk (Belle & Sebastian)
11 Paper Boat (Belle & Sebastian)
12 The Boy with the Arab Strap (Belle & Sebastian)
13 Photo Jenny (Belle & Sebastian)
14 Lazy Line Painter Jane (Belle & Sebastian with Monica Queen)
15 The Kids Are Alright [Edit] (Belle & Sebastian)

I couldn't find any good photos of this exact concert. However, there's some rough video footage of it, included in that documentary mentioned above. So I took a screenshot from that.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Roger Waters - Colisee de Quebec, Quebec City, Canada, 11-7-1987

Here's something that I really like. If you're a Pink Floyd/Roger Waters fan, you should definitely check it out. This isn't just a bootleg of the date and location in the title; it's something I've carefully put together. It'll take a bit for me to explain why this is special and unique.

Roger Waters, the main singer and songwriter for Pink Floyd, did a solo tour in 1985, another one in 1987, then stayed away from touring until 1999. I've already posted a excellent soundboard bootleg of a show he did in 1985 (with Eric Clapton on guitar, no less). It turns out there's no bootleg of a complete 1987 show with soundboard quality. However, I made a complete show with some editing. I started with the Quebec City show of the title. That had 20 of the 30 songs here with excellent sound quality, due to those songs being professionally recorded for a radio broadcast. Then I found another eight of the songs played that night from a different stop on the tour, in London, England. Those also have excellent sound quality, due to them being professionally recorded for another radio broadcast. That recording wasn't very long, but it was very lucky that almost all of those songs were the ones not included in the Quebec recording.

After that, there were just two songs on the Quebec City set list that I didn't have: "Not Now John" and "Going to Live in L.A." Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any soundboard level boots of those. But I listened to those songs from a bunch of audience tapes, and found what I decided was the best ones, from a concert in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Those two don't sound quite as good as the others, but they're pretty close. Plus, it's just two songs. The result is that you can hear what a complete 1987 Roger Waters concert sounded like, with truly impressive sound quality.

However, it's more complicated than that. Waters was touring to support a pretty usual concept album, "Radio K.A.O.S." To explain what it was about, I'm going to quote a (slightly edited) review I saw for it written on social media by someone named Castovalve:

"Roger's protagonist is disabled, can hear radio waves 'in his head', moves to America after his brother is jailed, meets radio DJ Jim Ladd, fakes a nuclear Armageddon, but ultimately humanity is redeemed via the magic and sweeping majesty of the Live Aid benefit concert. I feel stupid even trying to describe the plot. ... But, this album is soaked in horrifying 80's production - it's all fake drums, synthesizers, and squealing sax solos. ... Jim Ladd contribues unfunny and annoying dialogue to the record."

So yeah, as you can guess from that summary, the album had issues. Waters himself later basically disowned it, mainly due to the production:

"Between [producer] Ian Ritchie and myself, we really fucked that record up. We tried too hard to make it sound modern. I allowed myself to get pushed down roads that were uncomfortable for me. I should never have made that record."

I agree that the album suffered from typical 1980s production excesses. But the songs sound much better live in concert, without all the studio tinkering. They're also nicely mixed with lots of classic Pink Floyd songs.

However, Waters didn't just have a regular concert. He tried to keep some of the conceits of the concert album going. For instance, there was a dialogue between the story's main character, Billy, and the radio DJ Jim Ladd. Ladd appeared live for every show of the tour and talked to the audience and/or to a computerized voice of Billy, before or even or some of the songs. Furthermore, there also was the idea that the story was playing out live over Ladd's radio station ("Radio K.A.O.S"), so there were attempts to make the concert seem like it was being played over the radio, even for the audience there live. For instance, Ladd typically started the concerts playing one or two recorded hits by other artists. A recording of the Pink Floyd classic "Arnold Layne" was played. There were fake commercials. There even was a call in section where real fans called in and had Waters answer questions live in front of the audience.

For better or worse, parts of the Quebec City concert broadcast on the radio, and thus available here in excellent sound quality, cut out nearly all of that. I'm not a big fan of the fake commercials and such myself, so I decided to cut out what was left, and just keep the songs. Thus I cut out a few remaining instances of Billy and/or Jim Ladd talking. I think this makes the concert much more amenable to repeat listening. The radio station conceits didn't really work anyway, in my opinion, because the songs from "Radio K.A.O.S." with the album concept were scattered around and mixed with Pink Floyd songs, so the very hard to follow plot became even harder to follow. I think it's better to just enjoy the songs as songs. Stripped from the concept and the talking bits, I think the "Radio K.A.O.S." songs hold up pretty well. It helps that two of the better ones, "Molly's Song" and "Going to Live in L. A." didn't actually appear on the album but showed up as B-sides instead. (Another regret Waters had was that he'd wanted to make a double album, not a single one, so a bunch of songs were left off it, including those two. Most of the rest remain unreleased.)

If you look at the set list below, you'll see a lot of songs have "[Edit]" in their titles. Those are the ones where I made significant edits. In about half of the cases, I made edits to remove the talking of Billy and/or Jim Ladd. For the other half, I had to make some edits to make the songs from different sources fit together. For instance, one might come to a sudden end, so I would add in some applause patched in from the end of another song. The bottom line is that this should sound like a single concert now, with a focus on just the songs. (By the way, Waters himself said virtually nothing between songs, since he gave that role to Jim Ladd.)

A further complication is that there were a few songs Waters didn't want to sing because they were out of his vocal range. Most of those were Pink Floyd classics that he wrote but were sung by band member David Gilmour. For this tour, Paul Carrack (of the bands Ace, Squeeze, and Mike + the Mechanics) sang most of those.

Even with all the banter, fake commercials, prerecorded songs, and such cut out, this is a longer concert than usual, at two hours and ten minutes. 

In case you want to know more about what you missed, here's a good review of a concert on this tour, with explanations about everything that happened, song by song (the set lists differed only a little bit from night to night):

Amazing Pudding , issue #26, 1987 (

From what I understand, when Waters toured again many years later (1999 and after), he'd lost some vocal range and power, and it's said he often lip-syncs to many of his songs. So if you want one best recording of him all real in a solo concert, in my opinion this would be the one to hear.

01 Radio Waves (Roger Waters)
02 Welcome to the Machine [Edit] (Roger Waters)
03 Who Needs Information (Roger Waters)
04 Money (Roger Waters with Paul Carrack)
05 In the Flesh (Roger Waters)
06 Have a Cigar (Roger Waters with Paul Carrack)
07 Pigs [Three Different Ones] (Roger Waters)
08 Wish You Were Here (Roger Waters)
09 Mother (Roger Waters)
10 Molly's Song [Edit] (Roger Waters with Doreen Chanter)
11 Me or Him [Edit] (Roger Waters)
12 The Powers That Be [Edit] (Roger Waters)
13 Going to Live in L. A. [Edit] (Roger Waters)
14 Sunset Strip [Edit] (Roger Waters)
15 Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert (Roger Waters)
16 Southampton Dock (Roger Waters)
17 If (Roger Waters)
18 5-06 AM [Every Stranger's Eyes] (Roger Waters)
19 Not Now John [Edit] (Roger Waters)
20 Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1 [Edit] (Roger Waters)
21 The Happiest Days of Our Lives (Roger Waters)
22 Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 (Roger Waters)
23 Nobody Home (Roger Waters)
24 Home [Edit] (Roger Waters)
25 Four Minutes [Edit] (Roger Waters with Doreen Chanter)
26 The Tide Is Turning [After Live Aid] [Edit] (Roger Waters)
27 Breathe (Roger Waters with Paul Carrack)
28 Brain Damage (Roger Waters)
29 Eclipse (Roger Waters)
30 talk (Roger Waters)

The cover photo comes from the Hoffman Estates concert where two of the songs here were recorded. Apparently he wore these dark sunglasses for the entire tour, because he wore them for all of the photos I saw of him on stage.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

B. B. King and Friends - A Night of Blistering Blues, Ebony Showcase Theater, Los Angeles, CA, 4-15-1987

Hopefully, if you're a fan of the blues, you'll take a look at the list of artists mentioned on the cover art, say, "Wow!" and download this immediately. This concert mainly features B. B. King, who does all the talking, but his special guests are: Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Dr. John, Etta James, Albert King, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Billy Ocean, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Why did all of these big names of soul and blues get together for this concert? I don't know if there was some special occasion or anniversary, but this show was filmed for a TV special shown on Cinemax, alternately called "A Night of Blistering Blues" or "A Blues Night." I've gone with the former name because it's more interesting.

Generally speaking, King did the lion's share of lead vocals. But he shared vocals with Albert King, Etta James, Billy Ocean, Gladys Knight, and Chaka Khan. I believe Phil Collins played drums on all the songs, along with another drummer. Paul Butterfield did all the harmonica playing. Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan played lead guitar, and on more songs than just the ones they're credited on below. B. B. King and Albert King played lots of lead guitar as well.

This really was a once in a lifetime gathering of musical greats, and they rose to the occasion. I don't know why this has never been officially released as an album. The only flaw is that the last song was a blues jam with all the lead guitarists: B. B. King, Albert King, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But unfortunately, it fades out after only a minute of guitar soloing from B. B. King. If you watch the video of this on YouTube, you'll see the credits are rolling and the recording ends when the show finishes.

This album is 56 minutes long.

01 Why I Sing the Blues (B. B. King, Albert King, Etta James, Billy Ocean, Gladys Knight & Chaka Khan)
02 talk (B. B. King)
03 Please Send Me Someone to Love (B. B. King & Gladys Knight)
04 talk (B. B. King)
05 The Thrill Is Gone (B. B. King with Eric Clapton & Phil Collins)
06 talk (B. B. King)
07 I'd Rather Go Blind (B. B. King, Dr. John & Etta James)
08 talk (B. B. King)
09 When Something Is Wrong with My Baby (B. B. King, Chaka Khan & Billy Ocean)
10 talk (B. B. King)
11 The Sky Is Crying (B. B. King, Paul Butterfield, Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan)
12 talk (B. B. King)
13 Something's Got a Hold on Me (B. B. King & Etta James)
14 talk (B. B. King)
15 In the Midnight Hour (B. B. King & Billy Ocean with Paul Butterfield & Stevie Ray Vaughan)
16 talk (B. B. King)
17 Ain't Nobody's Business (B. B. King, Etta James, Chaka Khan & Gladys Knight)
18 talk (B. B. King)
19 Let the Good Times Roll (B. B. King, Albert King & Etta James)
20 Take My Hand, Precious Lord (B. B. King, Etta James, Chaka Khan & Gladys Knight)
21 talk (B. B. King)
22 Blues Jam [Instrumental] (B. B. King)

I haven't seen any good photos from this concert. So I took a screenshot from the YouTube video. The quality is rather low-res, but this is all there is. From right to left, you can see: Stevie Ray Vaughan, B. B. King, Albert King, Eric Clapton, and Etta James.

Maria McKee - Acoustic Versions, Volume 2: 1989-1996

Back in 2019, I posted an album of acoustic performances by Maria McKee. Writing this in November 2022, I've come across more acoustic versions, enough to split that album in two. This is the second part of that. But the added songs are split more or less evenly between the two volumes. The old version has been changed and renamed to "Volume 1." If you want this, you should get the updated version of that too. Here's the link:

The first three and last three songs here are officially unreleased. The first three come from a concert and the last three come from radio show appearances. The middle six are generally from B-sides, though the last one ("My Lonely Sad Eyes") comes from a compilation album.

Not all the songs here are fully acoustic, meaning just her on an acoustic guitar or a piano. Some are even done as a small band, complete with drums. The version of "My Lonely Sad Eyes" is one such example. But still, these versions have much more of an acoustic feeling than the better known album versions of the same songs. 

This album is 42 minutes long.

01 Wheels (Maria McKee)
02 Hold Me (Maria McKee)
03 I´ll Be Your Shelter (In the Time of Storm) (Maria McKee)
04 Show Me Heaven [Acoustic Demo] (Maria McKee)
05 Sweetest Child [Acapella Version] (Maria McKee)
06 I'm Gonna Soothe You [Acoustic Version] (Maria McKee)
07 The Way Young Lovers Do [Acoustic Version] (Maria McKee)
08 I Can't Make It Alone [Acoustic Version] (Maria McKee)
09 My Lonely Sad Eyes [Acoustic Version] (Maria McKee)
10 Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye (Maria McKee)
11 Rattlesnake Mama (Maria McKee)
12 This Perfect Dress (Maria McKee)

The cover photo is from a concert in Santa Ana, California, in 1998. That's a big late for this time frame, but I chose it since it shows McKee playing an acoustic guitar.

Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera - Flames - Non-Album Tracks (1967-1970)

If you're into British classic rock, here's a band you should be aware of, if you don't know of them already: Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera. In my opinion, they should be much better known than they are. Their song "Flames" in particular is a classic and has been covered by Led Zeppelin in concert and later by Robert Plant in his solo career. They only put out two albums. But they have enough stray tracks material for another album, which is presented here.

I suspect a big reason the band isn't better known is because they only put out two albums: "Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera" in 1967, and "Ride a Hustler's Dream" in 1969. Furthermore, there was a lot of change between their two albums. The band's lead singer had the name Dave Terry. But after this band started becoming successful, most people assumed he was Elmer Gantry (when in fact it was a reference from a Sinclair Lewis novel). He leaned into that and has his name legally changed. But after the first album, he left for a solo career. However, the band carried on quite well without him for their second album. I recommend both albums, especially the first one.

Two band members, Richard Hudson and John Ford, went on to join the Strawbs, They co-wrote the 1973 single "Part of the Union," which was a big hit in Britain. They later went on to form the duo Hudson Ford, and had another big single with "Pick Up the Pieces." Meanwhile, singer Elmer Gantry formed the band "Stretch" and had a hit single in 1975 with "Why Did You Do It." He also later sang lead vocals for the Alan Parsons Project.

Here's more info about the band, from their Wikipedia page:

Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera - Wikipedia

All the songs here have been officially released. Six of them are A- or B-sides, and another five were released years later as bonus tracks or on a box set. The first song is from an early version of the band and came out on a various artists compilation. 

There is just one song from a BBC session, which was later released as part of a box set: "All Along the Watchtower." This is because a plan another album just of BBC sessions. But this song was done twice, and both versions are interesting, so I thought I'd put one here in order to avoid having the same song appear twice on one album.

Note also that the version of "Flames" here is the demo version. There's  another version on the 1967 album "Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera," as well as a single version. The single version isn't that different from the album version. But this demo version is a bit more different, so I thought it was worthy of inclusion, especially since it's such a good song.

This album is 39 minutes long.

01 See Saw (Elmer Gantry & the Union)
02 Flames [Demo] (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)
03 Salisbury Plain (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)
04 All Along the Watchtower (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)
05 Dreamy (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)
06 To Be with You (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)
07 And I Remember (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)
08 Talk of the Devil (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)
09 The Painter (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)
10 Volcano (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)
11 A Quick 'B' (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)
12 She Keeps Giving Me These Feelings (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)
13 There's a Hole in My Pocket (Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera)

There are very few color photos of this band. I've found a decent one which I chose to make the cover of the BBC compilation. So for this one, I had to use a black and white one. I jazzed it up by tinting it, then adding some flames at the top and bottom to fit with the album title.

The Jam - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: 1977-1979

I think it's possible that of all the musical acts I've posted about here, none has played more for the BBC than Paul Weller. It's high time I start posting some of his stuff. I was hesitant to do so because a lot of it has been officially released. But I realized that there's a lot that is still unreleased.

This album is a case in point. It contains just studio BBC sessions from Weller's first band, the Jam. Twelve of the 15 performances here have been officially released on an album called "At the BBC." But three have not. Those three, tracks ten through twelve, were recorded for the BBC TV show "The Old Grey Whistle Test" in 1978. I suppose that's why they were overlooked. But they really should have been included, especially since they were performed without an audience.

Anyway, Weller has done so much for the BBC that I'm not going to post it all. Heck, I'm sure there's lots that I don't even know exist. But I'll still post a lot from his the with the Jam, the Style Council, and his long solo career. I plan on posting all of the Jam material, because it's all very good.

This album is 40 minutes long.

01 In the City (Jam)
02 Art School (Jam)
03 I've Changed My Address (Jam)
04 The Modern World (Jam)
05 All Around the World (Jam)
06 London Girl (Jam)
07 Bricks and Mortar (Jam)
08 Carnaby Street (Jam)
09 Billy Hunt (Jam)
10 In the Street Today (Jam)
11 'A' Bomb in Wardour Street (Jam)
12 Thick as Thieves (Jam)
13 The Eton Rifles (Jam)
14 Saturday's Kids (Jam)
15 When You're Young (Jam)

The cover photo of the Jam dates to 1977. I used Photoshop to move the band members a bit closer to each other.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Randy Newman - KSAN, Boarding House, San Francisco, CA, 6-11-1972

American singer-songwriter Randy Newman hasn't released much in the way of live performances from his early years. That's a shame, because he did solo shows with just him playing a piano, which allowed one to hear his songs in a more stripped down style than the album versions. This tries to rectify that.

He did put out one live album in 1971, simply called "Live." But there are two problems with that album, in my opinion. First, it's very short, at only 28 minutes long. And secondly, it was recorded in 1970. He'd only put out two solo albums by then. This concert comes after the release of his classic 1972 album "Sail Away," giving him stronger material to work with. Songs from that album like "Sail Away," "Political Science," "You Can Leave Your hat On," and "God's Song (That’s Why I Love Mankind)" are all time greats in my opinion, and they're all performed here.

The sound quality of this concert is excellent because it was professionally recorded and played by a San Francisco radio station. The only minor snag is that there were two points during the concert when an overdubbed voice came out to remind listeners of the radio station's call letter. Using the X-Minus audio editing program, I wiped out those mentions. Those are the two songs with "[Edit]" in their titles.

Newman's singing and/or musical style isn't for everyone. But if you're into talented songwriting, he's up there at the top with a handful of other legends.

This album is 50 minutes long. That's still short as concerts usually go, but it appears to be the full show.

01 talk [by Tom Donahue] (Randy Newman)
02 Lover's Prayer (Randy Newman)
03 You Can Leave Your Hat On (Randy Newman)
04 Dayton Ohio,1903 (Randy Newman)
05 talk (Randy Newman)
06 Yellow Man (Randy Newman)
07 talk (Randy Newman)
08 Lucinda (Randy Newman)
09 Living without You [Edit] (Randy Newman)
10 Beehive State (Randy Newman)
11 Linda (Randy Newman)
12 Old Kentucky Home (Randy Newman)
13 Suzanne (Randy Newman)
14 talk (Randy Newman)
15 Memo to My Son (Randy Newman)
16 Political Science (Randy Newman)
17 Last Night I Had a Dream (Randy Newman)
18 talk (Randy Newman)
19 God's Song [That’s Why I Love Mankind] (Randy Newman)
20 Burn On (Randy Newman)
21 Sail Away (Randy Newman)
22 I Think It's Going to Rain Today [Edit] (Randy Newman)
23 Lonely at the Top (Randy Newman)
24 Davy the Fat Boy (Randy Newman)

The cover photo is from the right year, 1972, but the wrong place, Amsterdam.

Belle & Sebastian - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: 1997-1998

Here's the next in my long series of albums featuring Belle and Sebastian at the BBC.

This one is fairly short, at only 37 minutes. But the band didn't return to the BBC studios until 2001, so this is all that fits. (They did have one concert broadcast by the BBC in 1999, and that'll be the subject of the next volume.)

The first five songs come from the same BBC session in 1997, and are all included on the official album "The BBC Sessions." The remaining four are actually from a studio session in front of an audience for Radio France in 1998. They're officially unreleased. But they're BBC tracks too, because these four were broadcast on the BBC as well. The rest of the session was not, but it can be found on a bootleg called "The Black Session."

01 Seymour Stein (Belle & Sebastian)
02 Lazy Line Painter Jane (Belle & Sebastian)
03 Sleep the Clock Around (Belle & Sebastian)
04 Slow Graffiti (Belle & Sebastian)
05 Wrong Love [The Wrong Girl] (Belle & Sebastian)
06 The Boy Done Wrong Again (Belle & Sebastian)
07 Dog on Wheels (Belle & Sebastian)
08 Seeing Other People (Belle & Sebastian)
09 A Century of Fakers (Belle & Sebastian)

The cover photo comes from a concert in New York City in September 1997. I would have liked to include more band members, but good photos of that are typically few and far between since there are lots of band members apart from each other on stage. This one has Stuart Murdoch in the foreground and Isobell Campbell in the background. Campbell was much smaller and more distant, so I used Photoshop to increase her size and move her closer to Murdoch.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Latin Crossings (Steve Winwood, Tito Puente & Arturo Sandoval) - Westport Festival, Music Halle, Hamburg, Germany, 7-18-1998

I've posted a couple of rather unusual Steve Winwood albums in recent days. So what the heck, here's another one. This is probably the strangest of all. In 1998, Steve Winwood took part in a short European tour with a couple of stars from the Latin jazz world: percussionist Tito Puente and trumpet player Arturo Sandoval. They did some Latin tunes, as well as some of Winwood's hits that had a Latin influence on them. The band never released any recordings, and never played again after this tour. The whole thing probably would have slipped into the mists of time except for the fact that a bootleg of an excellent soundboard exists, which is presented here.

Winwood hasn't been that influenced by Latin sounds (compared to say, Stephen Stills, who has done a bunch of Latin-based songs), so this collaboration seems to have come out of left field. But it turns out that in 1976 he played lead guitar on a Latin music album by the Fania All Stars called "Delicate and Jumpy." He even played one song from that album here, "Picadillo." Mostly, he stayed on keyboards for this concert. But on that song and a couple others, he broke out the lead guitar instead, sounding quite a bit like Carlos Santana at times.

I applaud Winwood for taking part in a collaboration like this. Most stars as famous as he was by the 1990s would have been content to do the same thing and just play their own concerts full of their own hits. I'm guessing he did this for the love of the music instead of for what minimal money he would have made.

The only problem with this concert is it seems to get cut off before the end of the concert. The last song "Gimme Some Lovin'" got abruptly cut off near the end of the song. I fixed this by finding an audience bootleg elsewhere, then patching about fifteen seconds just to give it closure. It's such a short addition that the poor sound quality doesn't sound apparent, in my opinion. But it seems the band played other songs, such as "Oye Coma Va," a song originally done by Tito Puente but also made famous by Santana. Still, having some of this is better than nothing.

This album is 52 minutes long.

01 Con Sandunga [Instrumental] (Latin Crossings [Steve Winwood, Tito Puente & Arturo Sandoval])
02 Higher Love (Latin Crossings [Steve Winwood, Tito Puente & Arturo Sandoval])
03 Para Los Rumberos (Latin Crossings [Steve Winwood, Tito Puente & Arturo Sandoval])
04 The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Latin Crossings [Steve Winwood, Tito Puente & Arturo Sandoval])
05 I'm a Man (Latin Crossings [Steve Winwood, Tito Puente & Arturo Sandoval])
06 Picadillo [Instrumental] (Latin Crossings [Steve Winwood, Tito Puente & Arturo Sandoval])
07 Gimme Some Lovin' [Edit] (Latin Crossings [Steve Winwood, Tito Puente & Arturo Sandoval])

I had a hard time finding any good photos of this band. So in the end I took a screenshot of a video of them from YouTube. It's rather rough, but at least it's something. The words at the top come from a concert poster, unchanged.

The B-52's - US Festival, Glen Helen Regional Park, San Bernardino, CA, 9-2-1982

I like the B-52's a lot, but unfortunately there isn't an official concert album from their 1980s prime. (There is one from 1979.) I checked to see if they ever did any shows for the BBC. It appears they did not. There aren't even that many good bootlegs from the 1980s, though there are many from later years. The best one I could find was of a video of their performance for the 1982 US Festival. I split it up and converted it into mp3s.

I don't know where this video is from exactly. It's definitely professionally done (you can watch it on YouTube), with excellent sound. There are even about four instances between songs where there is a cutaway from the concert to interview the band members. I removed all of those, which were rather brief and not that interesting. There also were some occasions where the applause after the songs were cut short. I patched in applause from the ends of other songs to make sure all of the songs ended naturally.

There were two US Festivals, one in 1982 and the other in 1983. They were very big deals at the time, though they seem to have faded from memory, probably due to a lack of any movies or albums. Apple Computers co-founder Steve Wozniak was behind them. He paid big money for tons of top name acts to play at the festivals. He paid so much money that he lost millions of dollars each year, despite the fact that about half a million people showed up each time.

I would love to post more concert albums from both US Festivals, but the bootlegs I've heard tend to have sound quality that's good but not great. This is a rare exception, due to whatever professional video it comes from. If you know of more of the performances with excellent sound, please let me know.

As for the B-52's performance here, keep in mind that they were playing to an audience of hundreds of thousands of people! But they clearly had become a tight, professional band by this time, because you can't tell. The same goes for the sound quality. This doesn't sound boomy and echoy, like many shows recorded in massive spaces. There's a popular bootleg of the band playing in Jamaica in 1982, but I like this better, in part because this one is longer.

This album is 56 minutes long.

01 Planet Claire Intro [Instrumental] (B-52's)
02 Party Out of Bounds (B-52's)
03 Give Me Back My Man (B-52's)
04 Planet Claire (B-52's)
05 talk (B-52's)
06 Throw That Beat in the Garbage Can (B-52's)
07 talk (B-52's)
08 Lava (B-52's)
09 talk (B-52's)
10 Mesopotamia (B-52's)
11 6060-842 (B-52's)
12 talk (B-52's)
13 Big Bird (B-52's)
14 talk (B-52's)
15 52 Girls (B-52's)
16 talk (B-52's)
17 Dance This Mess Around (B-52's)
18 talk (B-52's)
19 Private Idaho (B-52's)
20 Rock Lobster (B-52's)
21 talk (B-52's)
22 Strobe Light (B-52's)

The cover photo comes from this exact concert.