Friday, March 31, 2023

I'm Switching to Mega

With all the ZippyShare download links due to die on April 1, 2023, as that company is going out of business, I have to change all the links. After dithering for a while, and getting a lot of suggestions, I've decided to go with Mega. It seems those links don't expire, and I'm very happy about that. I'll see how it goes, and it any problems pop up.

It's going to take me a while to change over all the links. So please be patient in the meantime. I've already changed the links for posts from the past couple of weeks. But that's not many. For nearly all of the 2,000 other links that need changing, I'm going in alphabetical order - all artists starting with A, then B, and so on. That's my how I organize my music collection. So, for instance, the letter A includes the Allman Brothers Band and the Animals, but also Joan Armatrading and Gregg Allman.

I'll periodically post updates on how far through the alphabet I've gotten. But it's a lot of tedious work changing all the links, so don't expect everything to be fixed in a day or two.

Thanks for your patience. And I'm glad that all the people who had trouble with ZippyShare hopefully won't have trouble with Mega.

Joan Osborne - I Feel So Good - Non-Album Tracks (2009-2012)

Okay, with ZippyShare dying at the end of the month, I've decided to give Mega a shot. Let's see how this goes.

Here's another in a long series of stray tracks albums from Joan Osborne. It's the usual mix of songs from lots of different sources, but this one happens to have a lot of Beatles covers. Five of the eleven songs are from the Beatles ("Lovely Rita," " I Am the Walrus," "Hey Bulldog," and "Julia") or John Lennon solo ("Whatever Gets You thru the Night"). That's mostly due to Osborne being a regular guest at an annual John Lennon tribute concert in New York City. Two of those are officially released, and the rest have excellent sound quality.

Two more songs ("I Feel So Good" and "Boys, You're Welcome") are bonus tracks from her 2012 album "Bring It on Home." Two more,  "Stella Blue" and "God Bless the Child" are unreleased, but again, the sound quality is excellent. A couple others are from various artists albums.

There's a bonus track, a nice unreleased version of the Pink Floyd classic "Comfortably Numb" done as a duet with Dar Williams. Unfortunately, it's only a bonus track due to poor sound quality.

This album is 42 minutes long, not counting the bonus track.

01 The World Beneath the Waves (Joan Osborne)
02 Lovely Rita (Joan Osborne & Cheap Trick)
03 What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (Ian Moss with Jimmy Barnes & Joan Osborne)
04 I Am the Walrus (Joan Osborne)
05 Whatever Gets You thru the Night (Joan Osborne)
06 Stella Blue (Joan Osborne)
07 God Bless the Child (Joan Osborne)
08 Hey Bulldog (Joan Osborne)
09 I Feel So Good (Joan Osborne)
10 Boys, You're Welcome (Joan Osborne)
11 Julia (Joan Osborne)

Comfortably Numb (Joan Osborne & Dar Williams)

The cover photo was taken in a concert on April 13, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Tir Na Nog - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: Live: 1971-1972

I've been posting a lot of music by the Irish folk-rock duo Tir Na Nog, considering they only released three albums in their early 1970s heyday. Sadly, this is the fourth and last album of theirs I have to post. This contains all live material that was played by the BBC at the time.

This consists of two BBC concerts. Since they were relatively short, less than half an hour each, I've put them together. Luckily, all of the songs played were different. 

However, note that I screwed up a little bit. One song, "Spotlight," that I thought belonged here on close inspection was from a BBC studio session instead, so I've updated Volume 1 and put that there at the same time I'm posting this.

The first half of this album (tracks 1 to 13) is from a 1971 BBC concert. This was officially released on the album "Live 1970-'71." Weirdly though, the first song was left off that release. I found it on bootleg and added it in. The second half is a BBC concert that is from 1972. All of those songs are from the official album "Spotlight: BBC Recordings 1972-1973."

This album is 47 minutes long.

01 talk (Tir Na Nog)
02 Our Love Will Not Decay (Tir Na Nog)
03 talk (Tir Na Nog)
04 Daisy Lady (Tir Na Nog)
05 talk (Tir Na Nog)
06 Tir Na Nog (Tir Na Nog)
07 talk (Tir Na Nog)
08 Boat Song (Tir Na Nog)
09 talk (Tir Na Nog)
10 Aberdeen Angus (Tir Na Nog)
11 talk (Tir Na Nog)
12 Looking Up (Tir Na Nog)
13 talk (Tir Na Nog)
14 Come and See the Show (Tir Na Nog)
15 The Same Thing Happening (Tir Na Nog)
16 Teesside (Tir Na Nog)
17 It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (Tir Na Nog)
18 Piccadilly (Tir Na Nog)
19 The Lady I Love (Tir Na Nog)

I found the cover art as part of the artwork for one of their albums (I forget which one).

Monday, March 20, 2023

ZippyShare is going to die soon!

A kind commenter just pointed out to me that Zippyshare has made an announcement that they're going to shut down at the end of the month:

File-sharing site Zippyshare shutting down after 17 years (

That sucks for me. I'm definitely going to find an alternate way to share files. I don't know if everything will be ready by the end of the month though (only ten days from now as I write this). So you might watn to grab what you can while all the links are still working. But I'm going to try my best to switch to a new file sharing method, hopefully before all the links die.

In a way, perhaps this is a good thing. There have been lots of complaints about ZippyShare's flaws (such as pop-up ads and it not working in some countries), but I've been lazy about switching. Now, I have no choice. The thing is, I don't know what to switch to. I'm open to suggestions. The great thing about ZippyShare for me has been that it's totally free. On the downside, links die when they're not used in thirty days, so I've had to constantly fix broken links. What I'd like it something free, or close to free, that doesn't have the dying links problem.

Please let me know what you think I should do! Thanks.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Midnight Oil - The Real Thing - Alternate Version (2000-2002)

In 2000, Midnight Oil released an album called "The Real Thing." But it was a rather odd album. It had four new songs, and the rest were live acoustic versions from 1993 and 1994, when the band played on MTV's "Unplugged" show and did some acoustic concerts after that. (Although it's more accurate to call them semi-acoustic performances, since they played with all their band members, including their drummer.)

I've already posted the four new songs on the stray tracks album "Spirits of the Age." And I've also already posted the full version of the 1993 "Unplugged" concert. However, I happened to be able to make a VERY alternate version of this album, using entirely different performances, but keeping to the same acoustic-y concept.

The main reason I'm able to do this is because, after not playing in acoustic format for a bunch of years, the band played six songs in that format for a US radio show in 2002, shortly before the band broke up. So that makes up a majority of this album, tracks three through eight. The first song, "The Real Thing," was played on a TV show in 2000. The second song, "No Man's Land," was released in an acoustic version in 2001.

So that's all acoustic-y stuff done from 2000 to 2002. But that alone only makes for 33 minutes of music. It so happens I have a few songs from earlier years (1994 to 1996) that were also done in acoustic format but weren't included in the "Unplugged" show I posted. So I added them near the end. 

Finally, the last song is from yet another different time, 2009. It only features the band's lead singer, Peter Garrett, with Jimmy Barnes, who is a famous rock star in Australia. It's an acoustic version of the Jethro Tull classic "Locomotive Breath."

All in all, this ends up being a grab-bag of all the worthy acoustic versions the band did that didn't make it to the "Unplugged" album. The sources may be from different years, but it still makes for a nice, cohesive listen.

This album is 49 minutes long.

01 The Real Thing (Midnight Oil)
02 No Man's Land [Acoustic Version] (Midnight Oil)
03 Golden Age (Midnight Oil)
04 Beds Are Burning (Midnight Oil)
05 Luritja Way (Midnight Oil)
06 The Dead Heart (Midnight Oil)
07 Short Memory (Midnight Oil)
08 Tone Poem (Midnight Oil)
09 Tin Legs and Tin Mines (Midnight Oil)
10 U.S. Forces (Midnight Oil)
11 Surf's Up Tonight (Midnight Oil)
12 Locomotive Breath (Peter Garrett & Jimmy Barnes)

Just like the music in the album, the cover is only very loosely based on the original "Real Thing" album. I used the same text style for the top and bottom. But the original cover is just more of that background yellow to red pattern. So instead I found a photo of band in acoustic mode. Unfortunately, the photo was done way later, in 2015, around the time the band started to reunite. But I guess that's kind of fitting, since the music here is from a bunch of different years.

And by the way, while I was looking for a good picture for this cover, I found a better one for the "Unplugged" album I already posted. So I've changed the cover for that album as well.

Joan Osborne - Real Love - Non-Album Tracks (2005-2008)

Here's the next in a long line of Joan Osborne stray tracks albums. I know she's not that famous, but she's a great vocalist with excellent musical taste.

All but one of the performances here have been officially released. That one, "Baby, It's Cold Outside," was taken from a TV show and sounds as good as the others.

These come from the usual mix of bonus tracks, songs from various artists compilations, songs from other artists' albums, and the like. Three of the songs, tracks one, three, and five, come from Osborne's own studio album, "Christmas Means Love." The thing is, that's a Christmas-themed album, and I'm not big on those. Since I make these albums mainly for myself, I took the few Christmas songs I liked the most and mixed them in with the others.

This album is 44 minutes long.

01 Christmas Must Be Tonight (Joan Osborne)
02 Dream a Little Dream [Demo] (Joan Osborne)
03 Great Day in December (Joan Osborne)
04 Real Love [Demo] (Joan Osborne)
05 Children Go Where I Send Thee (Joan Osborne)
06 Everybody Needs a Friend (Joan Osborne)
07 Baby, It's Cold Outside (Joan Osborne & Bo Bice)
08 Those Memories of You (Holmes Brothers & Joan Osborne)
09 Every Breath You Take (Joan Osborne)
10 I Don't Want to Be with Nobody but You (Joan Osborne)
11 If the End Has Come (Joan Osborne)

The cover photo comes from an appearance at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2007.

Friday, March 17, 2023

VinegarJoe - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: BBC in Concert, Golders Green Hippodrome, London, Britain, 12-1-1973

Here's the second and last of what I have of the British band Vinegar Joe at the BBC. In case you missed the Volume One post, Vinegar Joe had Robert Palmer and Elkie Brooks as co-lead vocalists in the early 1970s, before they both became famous with their solo careers. The first volume contained BBC studio sessions. This one contains live material.

Most of this, tracks 8 through 17, consist of the 1973 BBC concert mentioned in the title. But that's rather short, at 28 minutes. (I'm guessing the BBC gave them a half-hour time slot.) I happen to have a few songs from a different concert in Belgium in 1972, so I added those to the front. That recording survives in very good quality because it was the TV show "Pop Circus."

It's a bit odd that the eighth track is a BBC DJ introducing the start of the concert. I considered changing the order, putting the 1972 concert after the 1973 one. I also considered moving just that DJ intro to the very start of the album. But ultimately I decided to just keep it like this.

By the way, note that I found some different versions of the 1973 concert on popular bootleg trading websites. Pretty much all of the different versions have different dates. Some say it took place in 1972, some just say 1973 without giving a year, and so on. But rest assured all these are the same concert, and I did the research to get the date correct. (For one thing, the band played songs from their album "Six Star General," released in October 1973, so it makes sense the concert took place after that album was released.)

That 1973 concert was kind of a last hurrah for the band. They broke up only a few months later, in the spring of 1974.

01 So Long (Vinegar Joe)
02 talk (Vinegar Joe)
03 See the World (Vinegar Joe)
04 Rock and Roll Gypsies (Vinegar Joe)
05 talk (Vinegar Joe)
06 No One Ever Do (Vinegar Joe)
07 Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (Vinegar Joe)
08 talk (Vinegar Joe)
09 Let Me Down Easy (Vinegar Joe)
10 Food for Thought (Vinegar Joe)
11 Talkin' about My Baby (Vinegar Joe)
12 talk (Vinegar Joe)
13 Giving Yourself Away (Vinegar Joe)
14 talk (Vinegar Joe)
15 Black Smoke from the Calumet (Vinegar Joe)
16 talk (Vinegar Joe)
17 Proud to Be a Honky Woman (Vinegar Joe)

I was only able to find a small number of color photos of the band in concert. The one I chose for the cover is from the Reading Festival in August 1972. I like it because it shows the band's two lead vocalists, Robert Palmer and Elkie Brooks.

Paul Weller - Paul Weller Has Got Soul, Volume 2: The 1970's and 80's

I just posted Volume One of this two volume series. For most of the info on it, please refer to my notes there. In short, British rocker Paul Weller is a huge soul music fan, and I thought it would be fun to compile all the soul covers he's done in his long career. There were so many (as I write this in 2023) that I had to make two big albums.

I think my tastes in soul music are very similar to Weller's. It's my opinion that the soul music was devastated by the rise of disco in the late 1970s, and it's never been as good since then. Weller must have a similar idea, because even though this is billed as covers of the songs from the 1970s and 1980s, everything is from the 1970s except for the last two songs.

As with Volume One, the songs are ordered by when the original versions were released, not by when Weller did his versions. 

It's quite possible that I've missed some cover versions here and there. If you see any that I've missed, please let me know.

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

01 Move On Up - Curtis Mayfield
02 War - Temptations / Edwin Starr
03 Give Me Just a Little More Time - Chairmen of the Board
04 Hanging On to a Memory - Chairmen of the Board
05 What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
06 Family Affair - Sly & The Family Stone
07 Will It Go Round in Circles - Billy Preston
08 I Wanna Be Where You Are - Michael Jackson
09 If I Could Only Be Sure - Nolan Porter
10 Work to Do - Isley Brothers
11 Hercules - Aaron Neville
12 Stoned Out of My Mind - Chi-Lites
13 The Bottle - Gil Scott-Heron
14 Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City - Bobby 'Blue' Bland
15 Wishing on a Star - Rose Royce;
16 One Nation Under a Groove - Funkadelic
17 Thinking of You - Sister Sledge
18 The Razor's Edge - Defunkt
19 Promised Land - Joe Smooth

And here's the usual song list:

01 Move On Up (Jam)
02 War (Jam)
03 Give Me Just a Little More Time (Jam)
04 Hanging On to a Memory (Style Council)
05 What's Going On (Paul Weller)
06 Family Affair (Paul Weller)
07 Will It Go Round in Circles (Paul Weller with Jools Holland)
08 I Wanna Be Where You Are (Carleen Anderson & Paul Weller)
09 If I Could Only Be Sure (Paul Weller)
10 Work to Do (Paul Weller)
11 Hercules (Paul Weller)
12 Stoned Out of My Mind (Jam)
13 The Bottle (Paul Weller)
14 Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City (Paul Weller)
15 Wishing on a Star (Paul Weller)
16 One Nation Under a Groove (Style Council)
17 Thinking of You (Paul Weller)
18 The Razor's Edge (Style Council)
19 Promised Land (Style Council)

This album is an hour and eight minutes long.

Just like Volume One, I had some fun making the album cover heavily based on soul music concert poster art. Here is the exact poster I based this one on.

Paul Weller - Paul Weller Has Got Soul, Volume 1: The 1950's and 60's

Here's something a little different I felt like making. I saw someone on YouTube made a compilation of soul covers by Paul Weller. I thought that was cool, but I also knew that he'd covered way more than a dozen such songs. Even though he's mainly a rock and roll guy, he's been massively influenced by soul music. Heck, his first band the Jam did soul covers in concert even before they got a record contract.

He's done so many covers, in fact, that I had to split this into two very big album. This one deals with his covers of songs that were first done in the 1950s and 1960s. The second one deals with his 1970s and 1980s covers. Rather than order these by the years he recorded them, I thought it would be more interesting to order them by the years the original versions of the songs were first released. One can get a better appreciation over the type of soul music he's liked the most. For instance, this volume only has three songs from the 1950s. But there's a big number of songs from around 1965.

This repeats a lot of stuff I've posted on other stray track albums and such. Look to the mp3 tags for the details. (Note that I put the year the song first came out in the year field, instead of the year Weller released his version.)

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

01 Don't Go to Strangers - Orioles
02 Fever - Little Willie John
03 Slow Down - Larry Williams
04 Stand by Me - Ben E. King
05 [Love Is like A] Heat Wave - Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
06 My Girl - Temptations
07 Every Little Bit Hurts - Brenda Holloway
08 How Sweet It Is [To Be Loved by You] - Marvin Gaye
09 I Got You [I Feel Good] - James Brown
10 [I'm A] Roadrunner - Jr. Walker & the All Stars
11 Back in My Arms Again - Supremes
12 I Take What I Want - Sam & Dave
13 Meeting [Over] Up Yonder - Impressions
14 Going to a Go Go - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
15 In the Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett
16 I Don't Need No Doctor - Ray Charles
17 Things Get Better - Eddie Floyd
18 Sweet Soul Music - Arthur Conley
19 I Heard It through the Grapevine - Gladys Knight & the Pips
20 I'd Rather Go Blind - Etta James
21 Big Bird - Eddie Floyd
22 Abraham, Martin and John - Dion
23 Oh Happy Day - Edwin Hawkins Singers
24 I've Never Found a Girl [Who Loves Me like You Do] - Eddie Floyd
25 What Does It Take [To Win Your Love] - Jr. Walker & the All Stars
26 My Whole World Is Falling Down - William Bell

And here's the usual song list:

01 Don't Go to Strangers (Paul Weller)
02 Fever (Jam)
03 Slow Down (Jam)
04 Stand by Me (Jam)
05 [Love Is like A] Heat Wave (Jam)
06 My Girl (Jam)
07 Every Little Bit Hurts (Jam)
08 How Sweet It Is [To Be Loved by You] (Paul Weller)
09 I Got You [I Feel Good] (Jam)
10 [I'm A] Roadrunner (Paul Weller)
11 Back in My Arms Again (Jam)
12 I Take What I Want (Paul Weller)
13 Meeting [Over] Up Yonder (Style Council)
14 Going to a Go Go (Paul Weller)
15 In the Midnight Hour (Jam)
16 I Don't Need No Doctor (Paul Weller)
17 Things Get Better (Paul Weller)
18 Sweet Soul Music (Jam)
19 I Heard It through the Grapevine (Amy Winehouse & Paul Weller)
20 I'd Rather Go Blind (Paul Weller)
21 Big Bird (Jam)
22 Abraham, Martin and John [Acoustic Demo] (Paul Weller)
23 Oh Happy Day (Paul Weller)
24 I've Never Found a Girl [Who Loves Me like You Do] (Paul Weller)
25 What Does It Take [To Win Your Love] (Paul Weller)
26 My Whole World Is Falling Down (Paul Weller)

This album is an hour and 17 minutes long.

This is just a fun listen. But he's covered so many soul classics over the years that the two volumes put together are practically a history of the golden era of soul music.

Since this is a tribute to Weller's love of soul music, I thought it would be fitting to base the cover art on the style of soul music concert posters from the era featured here. In case you're curious, here's the exact poster that I based it on.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Lana Del Rey - BBC in Concert, Glastonbury Festival, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Britain, 6-28-2014

If you follow this blog, it's pretty easy to notice that I prefer music from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. I think the overall quality level was higher back then, for a variety of reasons. That said, I should make more of an effort to expand my BBC project to include more recent, popular musical artists who at least have my respect, even if I'm not a fan. 

Lana Del Rey is one such artist. I'm not really a fan, but it's obvious that she's not just another pretty face, but has musical talent. I could only find one thing she's done for the BBC, which is this unreleased Glastonbury concert from 2014. (However, while I was researching this, in March 2023, I noticed she'll be playing Glastonbury again later this year.)

I found two different versions of this. Both had excellent sound quality. One had the banter between songs (what little there is), and the other didn't. But the other one had two extra songs. So I combined the two.

This album is 53 minutes long.

01 Cola (Lana Del Rey)
02 Body Electric (Lana Del Rey)
03 Blue Jeans (Lana Del Rey)
04 talk (Lana Del Rey)
05 West Coast (Lana Del Rey)
06 Born to Die (Lana Del Rey)
07 talk (Lana Del Rey)
08 Ultraviolence (Lana Del Rey)
09 Young and Beautiful (Lana Del Rey)
10 talk (Lana Del Rey)
11 Summertime Sadness (Lana Del Rey)
12 Ride (Lana Del Rey)
13 Video Games (Lana Del Rey)
14 talk (Lana Del Rey)
15 National Anthem (Lana Del Rey)

The cover photo comes from this exact concert. I took the font style from one of her album covers.

Toots & the Maytals - BBC in Concert, Glastonbury Festival, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Britain, 6-27-2010

Toots and the Maytals are one of a very few number of legendary reggae bands. They're actually credited in the Oxford English Dictionary for the word "reggae," due to their 1968 song "Do the Reggae." Lead singer Toots Hibbert mixed soul with reggae, and Rolling Stone Magazine lists him as one of the 100 greatest singers of all time.

Given all that, I wanted to post whatever BBC material they did, as part of my larger BBC project. I could only find this one show from relatively late in the band's career. (Hibbert died in 2020.) But this bootleg recording is a solid performance with all the big hits, and the sound quality is excellent. So here it is.

Apparently, Hibbert isn't one to waste words, because there's no banter at all between songs. Plus, the band barely gave the audience a moment to rest before launching into the next song. There's not much else to say except I don't think you need to be a die-hard reggae fan to enjoy this, since virtually all of these songs are well known classics of the genre.

This album is 58 minutes long.

01 talk (Toots & the Maytals)
02 Pressure Drop (Toots & the Maytals)
03 Pomp and Pride (Toots & the Maytals)
04 Time Tough (Toots & the Maytals)
05 Sweet and Dandy (Toots & the Maytals)
06 Reggae Got Soul (Toots & the Maytals)
07 Bam Bam (Toots & the Maytals)
08 Funky Kingston (Toots & the Maytals)
09 Never Get Weary (Toots & the Maytals)
10 Take Me Home, Country Roads Intro (Toots & the Maytals)
11 Take Me Home, Country Roads (Toots & the Maytals)
12 Monkey Man (Toots & the Maytals)
13 54-46, That's My Number (Toots & the Maytals)

The cover photo is from this exact concert. I used some Photoshop tricks to extend the background higher above his head. The band name font comes from one of their albums, but I squished it vertically to fit.

Jimmy Webb, Chip Taylor & Nick Lowe - Songwriters' Circle, Subterania Club, London, Britain, 7-16-1999

For a few years, the BBC had a musical TV show alternately called "Songwriters' Circle" or "In the Round." In it, they would bring three singer-songwriters together and have them take turns playing songs. I particularly like it because in most cases the artists would participate with each others' songs, creating some interesting moments.

I've posted one of these shows already. It brought together Richard Thompson, Suzanne Vega, and Loudon Wainwright III. You can find that here:

I hope to post more, when I find good versions. Unfortunately, I've found only a few, so if you have any, please let me know.

This particular show brought together Jimmy Webb, Chip Taylor and Nick Lowe. I'll bet you know Jimmy Webb, or at least know many of his songs. Although he never had a big commercially successful solo career, he wrote many classics, like "Up, Up and Away," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," and "MacArthur's Park." Chip Taylor is much less of a famous name. But he also wrote some classic songs, such as "Wild Thing," "Angel of the Morning," "I Can't Let Go," and "Any Way that You Want Me." Nick Lowe I consider a songwriter's songwriter. He hasn't had many big hits, but he seems incapable of writing a bad song. His hits include "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass," and "Cruel to Be Kind."

For the duration of this concert, Webb played the piano while Taylor and Lowe played guitar. Generally speaking, they played on each others' songs most of the time. For instance, Taylor commented how surprised and delighted he was to hear Webb play a piano solo to his song "Wild Thing." However, I've only included more than one name in the song credits when there was some shared lead vocals near the end of the show. 

One interesting facet of this show is that both Webb and Taylor played an original song that they apparently never have officially released. I'm pretty confident about the names of these songs because the YouTube video of this show has the names of the songs at the bottom of the video for a few seconds when they start. The original song by Webb is "Rich Kids Can't Play the Blues." The one by Taylor, "Talking the President," is commentary about US President Bill Clinton's sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky, which was very big news at the time the show was recorded.  

This concert is 48 minutes long.

01 Highwayman (Jimmy Webb)
02 talk (Chip Taylor)
03 I Can't Let Go (Chip Taylor)
04 talk (Nick Lowe)
05 What's Shakin' on the Hill (Nick Lowe)
06 talk (Jimmy Webb)
07 Galveston (Jimmy Webb)
08 talk (Chip Taylor)
09 Angel of the Morning (Chip Taylor)
10 talk (Nick Lowe)
11 Without Love (Nick Lowe)
12 talk (Jimmy Webb)
13 Rich Kids Can't Play the Blues (Jimmy Webb)
14 talk (Chip Taylor)
15 Talking the President (Chip Taylor)
16 Man That I've Become (Nick Lowe)
17 talk (Jimmy Webb)
18 Wichita Lineman (Jimmy Webb with Chip Taylor)
19 talk (Chip Taylor)
20 Wild Thing (Chip Taylor with Jimmy Webb & Nick Lowe)
21 talk (Nick Lowe)
22 [What's So Funny 'Bout] Peace, Love and Understanding (Nick Lowe with Chip Taylor & Jimmy Webb)

The cover is a screenshot I took from the YouTube video of this show. It's not a great one, but it's one of the very few moments I could find where all three of them were in the same shot. Webb is far back playing piano, Taylor is in the middle, and Lowe is the largest and closest.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Bad Lip Reading - Seagulls - Selected Best Tracks (2011-2019)

Okay, here's something really weird. You may have heard of "Bad Lip Reading" (BLR). It's a YouTube channel created and run by an anonymous producer who intentionally lip-reads video clips poorly, for comedic effect. Many of his videos have gone viral. In fact, his channel has gotten over a billion views.

His videos rely on the fact that when a person says or sings something, the motions of their mouth could also be the exact same motions of some other words. There are a limited number of alternates of what could be said, and he picks phrases for comedic effect. As an example, there's a line in the BTS hit song "Idol" that goes: "You can't stop me lovin' myself." Yet BLR overdubs that to be "You took a sample of my pasta," and it fits the mouth movements perfectly.

You can read more about BLR at its Wikipedia page:

Bad Lip Reading - Wikipedia

What's maybe less known is that BLR has made about thirty songs using this same technique. The songs will use the mouth movements of a scene from a famous movie, or sometimes a music video. But this is even more impressive, because he creates a brand new song to go with the comedic misunderstood lip reading. Even if it's based on a music video of a hit song, he throws that out and comes up with a totally new song from scratch.

The crazy thing is, these songs are really, really good! The lyrics are bizarre, but the production, performance, melody, and every other aspect are top notch. Apparently, this anonymous person does everything: writing the songs, playing all the instruments, producing the vocals, and even singing all the vocals parts. He uses a vocal modulator to make his voice sound whatever he wants it to be, even female voices.

This is all very amusing. But I have to say, all joking aside, from a pure musical level alone, I'm extremely impressed. It's widely speculated that the anonymous person behind BLR must be a very successful music producer, because there are very few people on the planet with the skills to pull this off so successfully. If you peruse the many thousands of comments on each of the YouTube videos of his songs, you'll see one theme over and over, that people actually prefer the songs he wrote over the songs they were based on (when they're based on music videos), and that they could easily be hit songs if their lyrics weren't so bizarre. 

I totally agree. I'm not much of a fan of modern pop, finding it generally formulaic and musically simple. But it modern pop was like his songs, I'd be much more of a fan. The bizarre, funny lyrics are actually a plus in my opinion, because they're the complete opposite of the same ol', same ol' cliched and simple lyrics of the vast majority of modern hit songs. Plus, the lyrics often vaguely make sense in intriguing ways.

To fully appreciate these songs, you need to do to his YouTube channel and watch the videos. Here's a link to help you get there:

Bad Lip Reading - YouTube

But, heck, I just like hearing these songs even without the video element. This album is for other people who feel the same. However, I only took some of my favorite songs, in the hopes this will make you want to go to his channel and see the rest of them, and well as his other funny videos.

Six of the songs here are based on the "Star Wars" movies. The others are either based on other famous movies or TVs or music videos of very popular hits. If you go to the Wikipedia page linked to above, you can find charts that explain the source material of each song.

As an aside, I'm pleased to say that many of the famous people who had their movies or songs parodied by BLR have publicly commented how much they've enjoyed his work. For instance, Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films, said this in 2017: "I love them, and I showed Carrie [Fisher, who played Princess Leia] the Yoda one… we were dying. I showed it to her in her trailer. She loved it. I retweeted it..." He actually went on to take part in another BLR video, reading the vocal lines of the character Han Solo in a scene. 

As another example, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the maker of the smash hit play "Hamilton," called one of the songs here, "Bushes of Love," "THE summer jam of 2017" and said that BLR had "made my life" by parodying some of his songs. In my opinion, in a better alternate universe, many of these would be hit songs in their own right.

This album is 48 minutes long.

01 Gang Fight (Bad Lip Reading)
02 Carl Poppa (Bad Lip Reading)
03 Hey Choo Choo Go (Bad Lip Reading)
04 Bushes of Love (Bad Lip Reading)
05 Seagulls [Stop It Now] (Bad Lip Reading)
06 Not the Future (Bad Lip Reading)
07 Hostiles on the Hill (Bad Lip Reading)
08 Ice God of Hungary (Bad Lip Reading)
09 It's Not a Moon (Bad Lip Reading)
10 Chocolate Lagoon (Bad Lip Reading)
11 Sample of My Pasta (Bad Lip Reading)
12 My Stick (Bad Lip Reading)

The cover photo uses a still of a scene featuring Yoda from the Star Wars move "The Empire Strikes Back." But someone, maybe BLR, added in a microphone. So I figured that was ideal for this cover.

Madness - BBC Sessions, Volume 5: In Concert, Glastonbury Festival, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Britain, 6-28-2009

Here's another full concert of the British band Madness broadcast by the BBC. This one is different than the others because it takes place decades later.

Normally, when it comes to posting music on this blog, I like to catch musical artists when they were at their prime. Many artists keep going for decades after the creative fire is gone, turning into an oldies act. For a long time, that seemed to be the case for Madess. The band broke up in 1986, and didn't do much for a long time after that, other than a studio album of new material in 1999, "Wonderful," and an album of cover versions in 2005.

But then, in 2009, the band came roaring back with the album "The Liberty of Norton Folgate." It was critically and commercially celebrated as a return to form. It reached Number Five in the British album charts, and sold more copies than any of their albums of new material since 1982.

Thus, this is a worthy time for another BBC concert. The band generally played it safe, mostly playing their older hits, but five of the songs are from recent albums. As expected of the BBC, the sound quality is excellent.

This album is an hour and nine minutes long.

01 talk (Madness)
02 One Step Beyond (Madness)
03 Embarrassment (Madness)
04 The Prince (Madness)
05 talk (Madness)
06 NW5 (Madness)
07 talk (Madness)
08 My Girl (Madness)
09 talk (Madness)
10 Dust Devil (Madness)
11 talk (Madness)
12 The Sun and the Rain (Madness)
13 talk (Madness)
14 Chase the Devil (Madness)
15 talk (Madness)
16 Clerkenwell Polka (Madness)
17 talk (Madness)
18 Bed and Breakfast Man (Madness)
19 Shut Up (Madness)
20 talk (Madness)
21 Forever Young (Madness)
22 talk (Madness)
23 House of Fun (Madness)
24 Wings of a Dove (Madness)
25 talk (Madness)
26 Baggy Trousers (Madness)
27 talk (Madness)
28 Our House (Madness)
29 talk (Madness)
30 It Must Be Love (Madness)
31 Madness (Madness)
32 Night Boat to Cairo (Madness)

The cover photo actually comes from this very concert.

Fairport Convention - Cropredy Festival, Cropredy, Britain, 8-8-1997

Here's a rather strange thing I've put together from different sources. But hopefully it'll make sense once I explain.

The British folk-rock band Fairport Convention is rather unusual in that not only has it been in existence since the 1960s, with many different line-ups over the years, but it has annual reunions at the Cropredy Festival in which earlier line-ups often perform. The 1997 Cropredy Festival reunion was a particularly important one, since it marked 30 years since the band was founded in 1967. Virtually all of the many surviving band members took part in two different concerts on August 8th and August 9th. 

The August 8th show concentrated on the first few years of the band's existence. It featured all the surviving members from that time, including Judy Dyble, Richard Thompson (who of course went on to a long and very successful solo career), Simon Nicol, Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks, Iain Matthews, Dave Swarbrick, and Dave Pegg. The band's female vocalist for many of those early years was Sandy Denny, but she died in 1977. So her parts were song by a relative newcomer, Vikki Clayton.

The August 9th show was much longer, and featured numerous different line-ups, from the early 1970s until the current day at that time.

Both concerts were professionally recorded and professionally released as "The Cropredy Box." However, there were two problems with this. One was that over six hours of music were played over those two nights. Even though "The Cropredy Box" is a triple album, that meant a lot of songs had to be left out. Also, there were some problems which led to some key songs not being recorded, such as "Fotheringay."

I must admit that my interest in Fairport Convention is heavily concentrated in their heyday of the late 1960s and early 1970s. (And I'm not the only one who feels that way. There's even an official album of BBC performances from that time period called "Heyday.") I'm especially interested in the years when the musical giants Sandy Denny and/or Richard Thompson were in the band.

With that in mind, I wanted to make my own version of these shows, concentrating on the songs with Thompson playing on them in particular and discarding the rest. But what to do about the many missing songs? It turns out there's no good bootlegs of those other songs, at least that I could find. However, it turns out that, a mere two days earlier all the people mentioned above (apparently except Iain Matthews) had a warm-up concert in the nearby town of Banbury to practice those early songs they hadn't played together in many years. And, luckily, there is a very good sounding bootleg from that show. It doesn't sound as good as the ones from the official release of the actual Cropredy shows, but it's worthy of filling the gaps.

So this is an amalgamation of the songs from "The Cropredy Box" wherever possible with the Banbury songs for the rest. Also, the official album had almost no banter between songs, but the Banbury show had a lot, so I used that. But I did cut the banter down some. There were some parts where one couldn't hear what was being said that well, and other parts that went on too long or were mostly dead air. 

The end result is probably the closest one is going to get to the full August 8th show as is possible, unless a more complete version of "The Cropredy Box" gets released someday. I did find a list of the exact songs played, and the order they were played in, so I stuck to that as much as possible.

The first song, "Wings," isn't actually from the early years of the band. Instead, it was written by band member Ashley Hutchings as retrospective commentary on what those years were like. The next three songs were from the brief time period Judy Dyble was the band's female vocalist, so she's featured on those. But back in the day she was replaced by Sandy Denny, so in this concert she was replaced by Vikki Clayton. Dave Swarbrick and Dave Pegg didn't join the band until a couple of years after that, so they also joined in later in this concert.

Note that "Million Dollar Bash" was originally written by Bob Dylan. But this version has mostly new lyrics written by Fairport Convention. The new lyrics jokingly comment on some of the band's history.

I did the exact same thing to the August 9th concert as I did with this one, mixing the "Cropredy Box" songs with the Banbury bootleg ones. I plan on posting that soon.

By the way, it seems that even more songs were played in the August 8th show, probably a lot more. I found YouTube videos of a few more, and in one, there's a reference to the show being well over two hours long! Weirdly, those extra songs don't show up in the known setlists for the Banbury or Cropredy shows at, which closely resemble each other. But it's hard to deny the evidence of the YouTube videos. Hopefully, someday, more of this music will emerge in excellent sound quality. 

I've included the extra songs I found as bonus tracks. They're only bonus tracks because the sound quality is notably poorer than even the Banbury tracks. It's also fitting that they're not numbered like the rest, because I have no idea where they would have fit in with the song order. There were a couple others I didn't include even as bonus tracks, such as "Tale in Hard Time" and "Tam Lin," because the bass rumbled so much that I deemed them unlistenable.

This album is an hour and 13 minutes long.

01 Wings (Fairport Convention)
02 Both Sides Now (Fairport Convention)
03 talk (Fairport Convention)
04 Jack O'Diamonds (Fairport Convention)
05 talk (Fairport Convention)
06 Time Will Show the Wiser (Fairport Convention)
07 talk (Fairport Convention)
08 Fotheringay (Fairport Convention)
09 Mr. Lacey (Fairport Convention)
10 talk (Fairport Convention)
11 Suzanne (Fairport Convention)
12 talk (Fairport Convention)
13 talk (Fairport Convention)
14 Percy's Song (Fairport Convention)
15 talk (Fairport Convention)
16 Genesis Hall (Fairport Convention)
17 talk (Fairport Convention)
18 Million Dollar Bash (Fairport Convention)
19 talk (Fairport Convention)
20 Come All Ye (Fairport Convention)
21 talk (Fairport Convention)
22 Lark in the Morning [Instrumental] (Fairport Convention)
23 talk (Fairport Convention)
24 Reynardine (Fairport Convention)
25 talk (Fairport Convention)
26 Matty Groves (Fairport Convention)

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
Nottamun Town

I could only find two good photos of the 1997 Cropredy concerts. So I've used one for this album and the other for the August 9th one. I took the fancy writing on the top half from some promotional artwork for the 2007 concert, and squished it horizontally to make it fit.

The picture shows (from left to right): Simon Nicol (red shirt on guitar), Dave Mattacks (in the background on drums), Dave Pegg (blue shirt on bass) and Dave Swarbrick (with his back to the camera on fiddle).

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Beck - Morning Becomes Eclectic, KCRW Studios, Santa Monica, CA, 11-24-1998

Now that I've all caught up with stray tracks albums from Beck, I have some other albums from him I'd like to post. This is a great album for anyone who likes his 1998 album "Mutations." That's probably my favorite album from him. He performed most of the album for a radio station, so the sound quality is excellent and there is no crowd noise.

Beck has had a long relationship with the radio station KCRW in Santa Monica, California. That had him perform live on air back in 1993, before he hit it big with the single "Loser" in 1994. Since then, he's often returned for more in person performances at the station. He doesn't do it every single year, but he at least performs there once every few years.

I've posted some of his KCRW performances on albums with other sources too, such as my two volumes of Beck's "Rare Acoustic Performances." Those were relatively short solo acoustic performances. But as he got more famous, his KCRW shows got longer, and usually included a band. That's the case here.

There was a lot of the typical radio interview banter between songs. I cut the vast majority of that out, because I don't think it has much relisten value. However, I did keep the brief comments he made to introduce each of the songs.

He played seven of the 12 songs from "Mutations." Only the last one, "Debra," is not from that album. Instead, that song would appear on his 1999 album "Midnite Vultures."

This album is 38 minutes long.

01 Cold Brains (Beck)
02 talk (Beck)
03 Bottle of Blues (Beck)
04 talk (Beck)
05 Sing It Again (Beck)
06 talk (Beck)
07 O Maria (Beck)
08 talk (Beck)
09 Dead Melodies (Beck)
10 talk (Beck)
11 Nobody's Fault but My Own (Beck)
12 talk (Beck)
13 Tropicalia (Beck)
14 talk (Beck)
15 Debra (Beck)

The cover shows Beck in concert in Wigan, Britain, in May 1998.

Vinegar Joe - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: 1972-1974

I recently posted a couple of BBC albums of the British band Alan Bown. Being in that band was the first big break in the career of singer Robert Palmer. He then went on to join this band in 1971. It broke up in 1974. Palmer then went on to a very successful solo career.

But he wasn't the only one. Vinegar Joe was unusual in that it had two lead singers, a man and a woman. The man was Palmer and the woman was Elkie Brooks. She also would have a successful solo career in Britain, with 13 hits in that country. But Palmer and Brooks typically didn't sing together in harmony like, say, the Everly Brothers. Instead, Palmer would usually sing one song and Brooks would sing another.

The band released three albums from 1972 to 1974, but despite their obvious talents, they never had a hit album or single. You can read more about the band here:

Vinegar Joe (band) - Wikipedia

Everything here is officially unreleased. The songs are from 1972, except for the last two. All but one are from BBC studio sessions. That one is "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," which come from a concert in Stockholm, Sweden, that was filmed for TV. The sound quality is generally very good, although there is some variation.

There's one bonus track. It also sounds pretty good. The reason it's a bonus track is because another version of the song is already on the album. The bonus track version comes from the "Old Grey Whistle Test" BBC TV show.

You may not this is called "Volume One." I have a second volume, which consists of a short BBC concert.

This album is 36 minutes long, not including the bonus track.

01 Early Monday Morning (Vinegar Joe)
02 Rusty Red Armour (Vinegar Joe)
03 Leg Up (Vinegar Joe)
04 Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Vinegar Joe)
05 Rock and Roll Gypsies (Vinegar Joe)
06 So Long (Vinegar Joe)
07 Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (Vinegar Joe)
08 Dream My Own Dreams (Vinegar Joe)
09 Proud to Be a Honky Woman (Vinegar Joe)

Rusty Red Armour (Vinegar Joe)

The cover photo was taken at a dressing room after a concert in Aylesbury, Britain, in December 1972. Elkie Brooks is the lone female, in the red dress. Robert Palmer is in the back row in a white T-shirt, which is head turned to the side.

The Band - Islands - Alternate Version (1977)

Having just posted my alternate version of the Band album "Northern Lights - Southern Cross," I might as well post the last album of theirs that I've made an alternate version for, "Islands."

I post a lot of stray tracks albums here, and that's essentially what the official album "Islands" is. Robbie Robertson, the band's main songwriter, disbanded the group in 1976, with their last concert (called "The Last Waltz") taking place near the end of the year. However, they still owed one more studio album to their record company. So they cobbled together some older outtakes and a few leftover new songs and made the album. 

Given that background, it's no surprise that it's considered one of their weaker albums. It's also rather short, at only 35 minutes. That said, there are some very good songs on it, as well as some forgettable ones. Plus, there were some other songs done around that time that can be added to strengthen it quite a lot. 

There are ten songs on the official version of the album. I've removed three of them: "Street Walker," "Ain't That a Love of Love" (a cover), and the instrumental "Islands." Instead, I've added seven songs, making this a significantly longer album.

The first added song here is "Twilight." It's a very good song, but for some reason was only released as a single in 1976. It's puzzling why it wasn't included on "Islands," especially since the album was short. 

Three more songs come from the soundtrack to the movie "The Last Waltz." The vast majority of that triple album consists of the concert performed in 1976 with lots of famous guests. But there were some studio tracks included as well. Some are remakes of older songs that don't fit here. But there are three really good previously unreleased ones: "Out of the Blue," "Evangeline," and "The Well." Logically, those should have gone on "Islands." But it seems the Band had troubles with their record company. "The Last Waltz" was put out by a different record company, and the songs going on that album probably had to do with that record company dispute.

Another added song is "Home Cookin'." It was unreleased at the time, but was released much later on the box set "Across the Great Divide." 

Finally, there are two songs that come from a bootleg of a recording session: "Hard Times" and "Steppin' Up in Class." These are both covers. Eric Clapton was recording a studio album in 1976, and he had the Band play on a couple of his songs. So these are outtakes from that, which means Clapton plays on them too. The vocals to the song "Steppin' Up in Class" were somewhat buried in the mix, so I used the audio editing program X-Minus to make them clearer and cut out some rambling parts.

The official version of "Islands" is just a so-so album. But I think this version is much stronger.

This album is 49 minutes long.

01 Twilight [Single Version] (Band)
02 Out of the Blue (Band)
03 Evangeline (Band with Emmylou Harris)
04 The Well (Band)
05 Hard Times (Band with Eric Clapton)
06 Home Cookin' (Band)
07 Right as Rain (Band)
08 The Saga of Pepote Rouge (Band)
09 Livin' in a Dream (Band)
10 Knockin' Lost John (Band)
11 Georgia on My Mind (Band)
12 Steppin' Up in Class [Edit] (Band with Eric Clapton)
13 Christmas Must Be Tonight (Band)

For the cover art, I simply used the official cover. But I wanted it to be somewhat different, to show this is an alternate versions. So I made two changes. One, I zoomed in a little more, so there's less black area around the edges. And two, I made the letters of "The Band" in the middle mostly see-through. (I used some Photoshop tricks to fill in that area with more sunset colors.)

Beck - Find My Way - Non-Album Tracks (2019-2023)

I've been waiting over a year to post this album, and now I finally can. The reason I had to wait is because this is an album of Beck's latest stray tracks (as I write this in March 2023). It took a long while for him to come up with enough material to fill an album. Earlier in his career, he was spitting out new songs right and left. But his output has slowed down a lot in recent years, especially ever since the Covid pandemic began. But finally, here were are.

All but one song here is officially released. That one "Night Running," That song was originally done as a collaboration with Cage the Elephant on their 2019 album "Social Cues." However, Beck has played the song in some of concerts since then, and that is all Beck instead of only part, so I preferred that. This recording is from a 2022 soundboard concert bootleg.

As for the other songs, they're from the usual grab bag of A-sides, B-sides, various artists compilations, movie soundtracks, appearances on other artists' albums, and the like. For instance, in 2019, Paul McCartney asked other artists to perform their versions or remixes of songs from McCartney's album "McCartney III," and he put the results on an album called "McCartney III Reimagined." The song "Find My Way" is from that. (By the way, you should watch the video of the song on YouTube. It's really interesting.)

There are a lot of covers here. For instance, in 2019, Beck released an EP in tribute to Prince, who died in 2016. It included "The Paisley Experience," which is a medley of four of Prince's most famous songs. Other covers include "Goin' Back," "The Bells of Rhymney," "I Am the Cosmos," and "Old Man."

This album is 43 minutes long.

There are two bonus tracks. The live acoustic medley of "Debra - Raspberry Beret" has great sound quality. But it's only a bonus track because it's only a medley of "Debra," a song he's done zillions of times, and "Raspberry Beret," which is featured in a studio version elsewhere on this album. "Don't Come Around Here No More" was done for a Tom Petty tribute show (which I've posted in full at this blog), but while the instrumentation sounds fine, the vocals sound like they were recorded from several rooms away.

01 Tarantula (Beck)
02 Goin' Back (Jakob Dylan & Beck)
03 The Bells of Rhymney (Jakob Dylan & Beck)
04 The Paisley Experience- Raspberry Beret - When Doves Cry - Kiss - 1999 (Beck)
05 Hypocrite (Beck)
06 I Turn My Camera On (Beck)
07 The Valley of the Pagans (Gorillaz & Beck)
08 I Am the Cosmos (Beck)
09 Find My Way (Beck & Paul McCartney)
10 Night Running (Beck)
11 Old Man (Beck)
12 Thinking about You (Beck)

Debra - Raspberry Beret [Live Acoustic] (Beck)
Don't Come Around Here No More (Beck)

The cover art was made by someone called Citizen Kane Wayne. It looks like they took a photo of Beck and added blurry versions of it on either side. I thought it looked cool for an album cover, but it was black and white, so I added some color and used it. I think it comes from the photo sessions related to the video shot for the song "Find My Way." I took the lettering on the cover from the cover art for the "Find My Way" single.

Monday, March 13, 2023

The Band - Northern Lights - Southern Cross - Alternate Version (1975)

Putting the Wild Honey Orchestra tribute concert to the band together the other day put me in the mood for more music from the Band. So here's something directly from them. It's my alternate version of their 1975 album "Northern Lights - Southern Cross."

Actually, this album is already a very good one, one of their best. But there are a few stray tracks from that time period one can add to make it even better. I removed one so-so song, "Ring Your Bell." Then I added three songs originally from "The Basement Tapes:" "Ain't No More Cane," "Don't Ya Tell Henry," and "Bessie Smith."

Now, you may well ask, "Why the heck add those three? 'The Basement Tapes' are a collection of songs Bob Dylan and the Band recorded in 1967." That's true, except for those three songs I mentioned. I believe there's been kind of conspiracy about the origins of these songs. In 1975, Robbie Robertson, the main songwriter for the Band, was given the task of putting "The Basement Tapes" together. Even though the vast majority of the songs were written and sung by Dylan, apparently Dylan wasn't interested in being involved in putting the archival album together. 

My theory is that Robertson saw an opportunity to beef up the percentage of Band songs by recording a few new ones and pretending they were from 1967 with the others. That way, "The Basement Tapes" were seen as more of a collaborative effort between Dylan and the Band, when in fact the vast majority of songs were Dylan's. As it was, eight of the 24 songs on the album were by the Band. Without those extra three, it would have been a partly five by the Band compared to 19 by Dylan. (Many, many more excellent Dylan songs not included, enough for me to have made a double album that I've posted here called "More Basement Tapes.")

I'm supported in my theory by an account by engineer Rob Fraboni. He was intimately involved in the production of "The Basement Tapes" in 1975. He claims the three songs I mentioned were in fact recorded in 1975, plus one more, a cover of the Chuck Berry song "Going Back to Memphis," which remained unreleased. Fraboni also says the Band overdubbed many vocal and instrumental parts to other Basement Tapes songs at that time, again making them sound more like collaborative efforts instead of Dylan-dominated ones.

The song "Don't Ya Tell Henry" was written by Dylan, and a version was recorded in 1967 as part of the Basement Tapes sessions. But it was a sloppy, drunken version with Dylan on lead vocals. It seems the Band basically took the song for their own by recording a 1975 version with Band members doing the lead vocals.

"Ain't No More Cane" is a traditional song. But it has a similar story in that Dylan sang the lead on it in the actual Basement Tapes sessions. The Band liked both of these songs, and performed them in concert as far back as the Woodstock Festival in 1969. The 1975 version again has Band members doing the lead vocals instead of Dylan.

"Bessie Smith" is a greater mystery. The Band never played it in concert, so it could have been written as late as 1975, even though it fits in perfectly with other Basement Tapes songs.

If that's what they did, that's fine with me. "The Basement Tapes" are a great album, including the newly recorded Band songs and overdubs and all. But what's silly is that the pretense continues that those songs were recorded much earlier. For instance, in 2000, an expanded version of the 1971 Band album "Cahoots" was released. "Bessie Smith" was added to it, and the liner notes state it was recorded in 1970. But it's the only song on that re-release that lack any recording details. Similarly, when the Band box set "Across the Great Divide" was released in 1994, the liner notes claim that "Don't Ya Tell Henry" and "Ain't No More Cane" were recorded in an "unknown studio" on an unknown date in either 1967 or 1968. 

Those three songs are literally the only ones with such vague recording details, and they're also the exact ones that Fraboni claims were actually recorded in 1975. I believe Fraboni, especially since the motive of wanting to secretly beef up the Band's involvement in the Basement Tapes makes perfect sense. If that's the case, then these three songs were recorded around the same time as the "Northern Lights - Southern Cross" ones and belong as bonus tracks or the like with that album. So that's why I've included them here.

This album is 48 minutes long.

I've included "Twilight" as a bonus track. The sound quality is just as good as the others. The reason it's a bonus track is because this is an early version. The song would be released as a stand-alone single in 1976, and in my opinion that version is very different, more rocking, and better. So I'm including that in my alternate version of the Band's "Islands" album.

01 Ophelia (Band)
02 Forbidden Fruit (Band)
03 Ain't No More Cane (Band)
04 Acadian Driftwood (Band)
05 Jupiter Hollow (Band)
06 Don't Ya Tell Henry (Band)
07 Rags and Bones (Band)
08 Bessie Smith (Band)
09 Hobo Jungle (Band)
10 It Makes No Difference (Band)

Twilight [Early Version] (Band)

For the album cover, I used the exact same photo as that on the official cover. However, I zoomed in more, allowing the band members and the fire to be larger. I also redid the lettering, using the same font and color.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Various Artists - Covered: Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong, Volume 3: 1970-1983

Here's the third and last album celebrating the songs of the songwriting team of Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong. 

As you can see from the song list below, during this time period, they continued their wildly successful hit-making ways through much of the 1970s. It's pretty incredible they wrote three all-time classics, "War," "Just My Imagination," and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," on top of all their other classics on the previous two volumes.

Most of their success was for the distinctive Motown record label. But as the 1970s went on, their fortunes declined, as was the case for many Motown related artists. Barrett Strong left Motown by the end of 1973, ending their songwriting collaboration. In retrospect, this clearly was a bad move. Strong tried resurrecting his singing career (he'd had a big hit with "Money (That's What I Want)" way back in 1959). but to very little success. I've included one of his minor solo hits here, "Stand Up and Cheer for the Preacher."

Norman Whitfield fared better for a few years, though he never consistently hit the heights he did while writing song with Strong. His biggest success in the late 1970s was the band "Rose Royce." He plucked them from obscurity and produced several big hits for them. One song he wrote, "Car Wash," was a Number One hit in the US. Some of the other hits, like "Wishing on a Star," were written by others, so they're not included here.

However, the end came quickly for Whitfield. The hits dried up around 1978. A few years after that, he seems to have retired from producing and songwriting. The last song here, "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)," was a huge hit for Paul Young in 1983, reaching Number One in Britain. But it actually was written by Barrett and Whitfield (and Marvin Gaye) back in 1962.

Whifield died in 2008 at the age of 68. Strong lived all the way until January 2023, dying at the age of 81.

01 War (Edwin Starr)
02 Just My Imagination [Running Away with Me] (Temptations)
03 You Need Love Like I Do [Don't You] (Clydie King)
04 Superstar [Remember How You Got Where You Are] (Temptations)
05 Smiling Faces Sometimes (Undisputed Truth)
06 Papa Was a Rollin' Stone (Temptations)
07 Take a Look Around (Temptations)
08 It Should Have Been Me (Yvonne Fair)
09 Masterpiece (Temptations)
10 Stand Up and Cheer for the Preacher (Barrett Strong)
11 Car Wash (Rose Royce)
12 Theme Song from 'Which Way Is Up' (Stargard)
13 I Wanna Get Next to You (Rose Royce)
14 Wherever I Lay My Hat [That's My Home] (Paul Young)

Again, I had a hard time finding good photos of them for the cover. I wound up using different photos and then putting them together. The photo of Strong is from 2004. He's in the front. I don't know what year the photo of Whitfield was taken.

Tir Na Nog - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: 1971-1973

I got a request to post more albums from the Irish folk rock duo Tir Na Nog, so here's another one. I have another album after this, and that's all I've got.

I've created two albums of BBC recordings. I realized I could split them logically into BBC studio sessions and BBC live sessions. That solves the problem of having some songs done twice. This is the studio sessions album.

All the songs here come from two official, but obscure, albums: "Live 1970-'71" and "Spotlight BBC Recordings 1972-1973." You can tell which ones come from the  "Live 1970-'71" because those were all taken from the "Top of the Pops" BBC radio show, hosted by DJ Brian Matthew, and he was the worst offender when it came to talking over the music. So that's why the first six songs have "[Edit]" in their names. As usual, I used the audio editing program X-Minus to wipe out the talking.

Here's an interesting fact: Tir Na Nog covered "Free Ride," a song by folk singer Nick Drake, on their 1973 album "Strong in the Sun." It's performed here too. Drake died in 1974, still a relatively unknown musical figure at the time. This made Tir Na Nog the only non-obscure musical artists to cover a Drake song while he was still alive.

Speaking of covers, "Maggie's Fam" is the well known Bob Dylan song. But I believe all the others are originals.

This album is 45 minutes long.

01 Daisy Lady [Edit] (Tir Na Nog)
02 Tir Na Nog [Edit] (Tir Na Nog)
03 Mariner Blues [Edit] (Tir Na Nog)
04 Live a Day [Edit] (Tir Na Nog)
05 Maggie's Farm [Edit] (Tir Na Nog)
06 Dante [Edit] (Tir Na Nog)
07 Strong in the Sun (Tir Na Nog)
08 Cinema (Tir Na Nog)
09 Most Magical (Tir Na Nog)
10 Free Ride (Tir Na Nog)
11 Los Angeles (Tir Na Nog)
12 Backwaterawhile (Tir Na Nog)
13 Spotlight (Tir Na Nog)

I believe the cover photo is an outtake from the photo sessions for their third album, "Strong in the Sun."

The Wild Honey Orchestra - Tribute to Music from Big Pink and the Band, Alex Theatre, Glendale, CA, 3-25-2017

Here's yet another Wild Honey Orchestra (WHO) tribute show. This time, the focus was on the Band. It was mainly billed as a tribute to the Band's classic 1968 album "Music from Big Pink." But they also managed to play all the songs from their classic 1969 album "The Band," as well as plenty of other songs from around that time period. Surprisingly, though, there were no songs from 1967's "The Basement Tapes" that the Band did with Bob Dylan (except for the three on "Music from Big Pink"). It's very possible that's the target for a different WHO tribute show.

Songs one through 12 consist of "The Band" album played in order. Songs 13 to 20 are other good Band songs, mostly from the early 1970s. Songs 21 to 30 consist of the "Music from Big Pink" album. Then two more songs were played. The last song, "I Shall Be Released," is also from the "Music from Big Pink" album, but was held back because it made for a good final encore.

The concert had a special guest: Garth Hudson. He was the keyboard player for the entire duration of the Band's existence. While most members of the Band were talented lead vocalists, Hudson was not. So he didn't sing lead for any of these songs. However, there were a couple of instrumental showcases for him, especially "The Genetic Method," as well as an unnamed piano solo instrumental. Additionally, I believe he played on many or most of the other songs. Plus, a couple of songs at the end were sung by his wife, Sister Maud Hudson.

Otherwise, the songs were done by many of the same "usual suspects" who performed in most of the other WHO concerts. However, this one had more unique guests than some of the others I've posted here. In particular, they got a very big name by having Jackson Browne sing a couple of songs. Other notables who generally weren't in the other WHO shows I've posted include: Carlene Carter, Peter Case, Victoria Williams, Van Dyke Parks, and Brenda Holloway. 

The source for this is the same as the others I've posted, which means the recording has the same plusses and minuses. The main plusses are that the sound quality is excellent, and all the songs are here. The main negative is that none of the banter between songs is included, unless one counts the comments made at the ends of songs while the audience was still clapping. Another minus was that the applause usually cut off early, right after those comments. So I patched in more applause from other songs for the vast majority of the songs.

This concert is unusually long, even by the standards of the other WHO shows I've posted. It's two hours and forty minutes long.

Unfortunately, this is the last WHO show I plan on posting, until I come across more worthy recordings. I did find a recording of the 2014 show, which was a tribute to the Beatles albums "Revolver" and "Abbey Road." However, it's a rough audience bootleg and I don't find it listenable.

01 Across the Great Divide (David Baerwald with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
02 Rag Mama Rag (Jerry Riopelle with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
03 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Carlo Nuccio with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
04 When You Awake (Peter Holsapple, Skylar Gudasz & Van Dyke Parks with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
05 Up on Cripple Creek (Carlo Nuccio & Fuzbee Morse with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
06 Whispering Pines (Continental Drifters with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
07 Jemima Surrender (Gary Eaton with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
08 Rockin' Chair (Victoria Williams & the Continental Drifters with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
09 Look Out Cleveland (Jeff Young with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
10 Jawbone (Chris Price & David Goodstein with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
11 The Unfaithful Servant (Carlene Carter with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
12 King Harvest [Has Surely Come] (Terry Reid with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
13 Stage Fright (All Day Sucker with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
14 When I Paint My Masterpiece (Steve Wynn & Van Dyke Parks with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
15 All la Glory (Rob Laufer & Van Dyke Parks with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
16 Ophelia (Sarah Kramer with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
17 4% Pantomime (Luther Russell & Rob Laufer with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
18 Life Is a Carnival (David Goodstein with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
19 The Shape I'm In (Keith Allison with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
20 Get Up Jake (Nick Guzman & Danny Henry with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
21 Tears of Rage (Syd Straw with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
22 To Kingdom Come (Louise Goffin & Julianna Raye with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
23 In a Station (Plainsong [Iain Matthews & Andy Roberts] with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
24 Caledonia Mission (Jackson Browne with Susan Cowsill & the Wild Honey Orchestra)
25 The Weight (Continental Drifters & Jackson Browne with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
26 We Can Talk (Cindy Lee Berryhill, Victoria Williams & Syd Straw with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
27 Long Black Veil (Steve Barton with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
28 The Genetic Method - Chest Fever [Edit] (Garth Hudson & Bebopalula with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
29 Lonesome Suzie (Luther Russell with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
30 This Wheel's on Fire (Peter Case with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
31 Piano Solo [Instrumental] (Garth Hudson with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
32 It Makes No Difference (Skylar Gudasz with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
33 Baby Don't You Do It [Don't Do It] (Sister Maud Hudson & Steve Wynn with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
34 I Shall Be Released (Robert Levon Been & Sister Maud Hudson with the Wild Honey Orchestra)

The cover art is entirely based on promotional art for the concert. I cropped some things out and resized other things to make a rectangular poster fit into a square space.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

The Bee Gees - Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia, 7-15-1971

I have some Bee Gees concerts I've been planning on posting, including a couple of BBC ones from later in their career, so here's one. Unfortunately, there's very little in the way of concert recordings from them from the 1960s. This is the very earliest concert that has truly excellent sound. That's because it was both broadcast on the radio at the time as well as shown in black and white on TV.

The Bees Gees grew up in Australia. But they left the country in 1966 to pursue bigger opportunities after having their first big hit, "Spicks and Specks." 1971 was the first time they returned to tour their home country. The tour was a big success, with sold out shows everywhere. They brought with them a small band and a 16-piece orchestra.

In case you're only familiar with the band's late 1970s disco hits like "Stayin' Alive," this is a drastically different band. But they were very commercially successful in this earlier era too. And they played just about all of their big hits. In fact, their song "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" was a Number One hit, and Number Two in Australia, a couple of months before this concert.

This bootleg can be found in many Internet spots where bootlegs are traded. However, the encore, "Spicks and Specks" is almost always left out. So I'm glad to have it included here. It was a very appropriate song to finish on, harkening back to their time in Australia in 1966 with that hit song.

This album is exactly an hour long. It could be that some more of the concert is not included here, especially banter between songs. For instance, the last song starts with the audience already very excited.

01 New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Bee Gees)
02 To Love Somebody (Bee Gees)
03 talk (Bee Gees)
04 Really and Seriously (Bee Gees)
05 talk (Bee Gees)
06 Every Second, Every Minute (Bee Gees)
07 talk (Bee Gees)
08 Lay It on Me (Bee Gees)
09 talk (Bee Gees)
10 Jingle Jangle (Bee Gees)
11 In the Morning [Morning of My Life] (Bee Gees)
12 talk (Bee Gees)
13 Holiday (Bee Gees)
14 I Can't See Nobody (Bee Gees)
15 talk (Bee Gees)
16 Words (Bee Gees)
17 talk (Bee Gees)
18 How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (Bee Gees)
19 I Started a Joke (Bee Gees)
20 I've Gotta Get a Message to You (Bee Gees)
21 Massachusetts (Bee Gees)
22 Lonely Days (Bee Gees)
23 Spicks and Specks (Bee Gees)

The cover photo is actually from November 1972. But I couldn't find any really good ones of them in concert in 1971. Plus, I think this is a fitting one because you can see the orchestra in the background.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Alan Bown (with Robert Palmer) - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: 1969-1970

Here's the second and last BBC Sessions album for the band Alan Bown. By chance, this album is great for highlighting the start of the career of Robert Palmer. So if you're a fan of his music, you may want to listen to this, even if you care nothing about Alan Bown.

Robert Palmer would later go on to much bigger fame and fortune with hits like "Addicted to Love" and "Simply Irresistible" in the 1980s. From 1966 to 1969, the lead vocalist for the band was Jess Roden. But he decided to leave in 1969 for a solo career. He was replaced by Palmer in time for the 1969 single "Gypsy Girl." That happens to be the third song here. Palmer left in October 1970 to join the band Vinegar Joe. It so happens the last song here was recorded in September 1970. The band stayed together until 1972, but if there are later BBC recordings, I don't have them.

As a result, the vast majority of the songs here are sung by Palmer. I think only the first one is not. Most of the songs are from the 1970 album "Listen." That was released in late 1970 as Palmer was leaving the band. They were recorded at the last minute by a new vocalist, so the Palmer versions have never been released. (Ironically, the exact same thing happened when he came into the band. Roden, the previous lead vocalist, had his album vocals wiped by Palmer's versions for most of the songs.) Because of that, one can hear the Palmer versions here, almost like a lost album from Palmer's long music career.

All but one of these versions of the songs here are officially unreleased. The one exception, "Movie Star Baby," has come out on a various artists compilation of obscure BBC recordings. However, the vast majority come from pristine transcription discs, so the sound quality is really good. There are three exceptions. Two songs, "Crash Landing" and "Make Up Your Mind," come from a BBC concert hosted by DJ John Peel. I'm guessing this was a longer show of at least half an hour yet somehow only two fell into my hands. If anyone has the rest of the show, please let me know. Also, the song "Curfew" comes from a BBC TV show called "Disco 2." That show later evolved into the better known "The Old Grey Whistle Test." I found that because a video of it survives on YouTube. Unfortunately the picture quality is crappy and it black and white even though the sound quality is fairly good. But even so, it's interesting, because it's probably the earliest TV footage from Palmer's long music career.

As with Volume One, many songs have "[Edit]" in their names. That's from the usual problem of BBC DJs talking over the music. As usual, I used the audio editing program X-Minus to fix that.

Personally, I like this volume more than the first one. For one thing, you have the Robert Palmer factor. But also, nearly all the songs are original (at least "I Got a Line on You" is a cover), and the band was moving into an interesting progressive rock direction. It's too bad they broke up not long after this. They probably would be a lot better known if they'd stuck around.

This album is 46 minutes long.

01 My Friend [Edit] (Alan Bown)
02 Movie Star Baby [Edit] (Alan Bown)
03 Gypsy Girl [Edit] (Alan Bown)
04 I Got a Line on You [Edit] (Alan Bown)
05 Friends in St. Louis [Edit] (Alan Bown)
06 All I Can [Edit] (Alan Bown)
07 Loosen Up [Edit] (Alan Bown)
08 Strange Little Friend [Edit] (Alan Bown)
09 Crash Landing (Alan Bown)
10 Make Up Your Mind (Alan Bown)
11 Curfew (Alan Bown)
12 Make Us All Believe [Edit] (Alan Bown)
13 Pyramid [Edit] (Alan Bown)

I had to look high and low to find any decent photo of the band with Robert Palmer in it. I finally succeeded by searching the Facebook page of a fan club of the band. This is from 1969. Palmer is standing on the far right, holding a hand to his mouth, smoking a cigarette. It was in black and white, but I colorized it.