Sunday, April 30, 2023

The B-52's - Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts, Mansfield, MA, 6-20-1998

I already posted one B-52's concert bootleg, but that was from early in their music career. I had looked for one that at least included songs from their best selling album, 1989's "Cosmic Thing." But I didn't see any that stood out. However, just a few days ago (as I write this in April 2023), I came across this at a bootleg sharing site. It's a pristine soundboard, and the set list is ideal. 

The B-52's kind of petered out in the 1990s. The only released one album for the entire decade, "Good Thing," in 1992. Even then, Cindy Wilson, one of their three lead vocalists, left the band from 1990 to 1994, due to burn out and wanting to raise a child. So one nice thing about this album is that it was from the first tour the band did after Wilson returned. 

Also, in 1998, the band released a greatest hits album called "Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation." It contained two new songs, "Debbie" and "Hallucinating Pluto," which are really solid songs, in my book. But they would also be kind of a last hurrah, as the band wouldn't release any more new music for another ten years, "Funplex" in 2008, and that last album would be a disappointment. So this concert is the ideal time to hear them do all their later songs from albums like "Cosmic Thing" and "Good Stuff" with all of their lead vocalists.

The only downside to the concert is that it didn't include one of their signature songs, "Rock Lobster." I found a review of this concert in Rolling Stone magazine, and it mentioned that song was played. It was the band's final encore at this time. So I found a version from a different 1998 concert and added it to the end. It's from a VH-1 TV special. The sound quality is a little bit below the rest, but still pretty good.

Speaking of sound quality, this generally sounds excellent, but I fixed two flaws. For the first song, the volume fluctuated wildly in the first minute or so, probably as adjustments were being made in real time. I leveled that out. And on the song "Communicate," there was a jarring, weird noise midway through the song. Luckily, it was during a vocal line that immediately got repeated in the same way. So I was able to patch that up. But that's why two of the songs have "[Edit]" in their titles.

This album is an hour and 19 minutes long.

01 Planet Claire [Edit] (B-52's)
02 talk (B-52's)
03 Private Idaho (B-52's)
04 Dance This Mess Around (B-52's)
05 talk (B-52's)
06 Good Stuff (B-52's)
07 talk (B-52's)
08 Hallucinating Pluto (B-52's)
09 talk (B-52's)
10 Roam (B-52's)
11 talk (B-52's)
12 Summer of Love (B-52's)
13 talk (B-52's)
14 Is That You, Mo-Dean (B-52's)
15 talk (B-52's)
16 Strobe Light (B-52's)
17 talk (B-52's)
18 Debbie (B-52's)
19 talk (B-52's)
20 Communicate [Edit] (B-52's)
21 talk (B-52's)
22 Channel Z (B-52's)
23 talk (B-52's)
24 Cosmic Thing (B-52's)
25 talk (B-52's)
26 Love Shack (B-52's)
27 Rock Lobster (B-52's)

The cover photo is taken from an appearance on the TV show "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in August 1998.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Texas - Acoustic Versions, Volume 2 (2008-2021)

It's been a huge pain in the rear for me having to redo all the download links recently, but at least it's had the positive effect of helping me notice some problems with my music collection. One example would be albums I thought I'd posted yet never actually did. Such as this one. I posted "Volume 1" of Texas doing acoustic versions of some of their songs back in October 2022. I even mentioned that I had a second volume coming. Then I just... forgot. Anyway, here it is, finally.

All the performances here are officially unreleased. But the sound quality is very good, because virtually all of them are from in person radio station appearances with no audience. That may even be the case for all of them, except I don't know the source for the first song, other than it being from 2008.

As I said with "Volume 1," I actually prefer the acoustic versions in most cases over the usual studio album ones. Most of the songs are originals, but there are a few cover versions, such as "Xanadu" and "Suspicious Minds." In those cases, they are different versions than the ones I used in the three covers albums I made for the band.

This album is 50 minutes long.

01 Stop, I Don't Love You Anymore (Sharleen Spiteri)
02 All the Times I Cried (Sharleen Spiteri)
03 It Was You (Sharleen Spiteri)
04 Say What You Want (Sharleen Spiteri)
05 Black Eyed Boy [Edit] (Sharleen Spiteri)
06 Xanadu [Edit] (Sharleen Spiteri)
07 I Don't Want a Lover [Edit] (Sharleen Spiteri)
08 Suspicious Minds (Texas)
09 Detroit City (Texas)
10 Dry Your Eyes [Edit] (Texas)
11 Summer Son [Edit] (Texas)
12 The Conversation (Texas)
13 Start a Family (Texas)
14 Hi (Texas)
15 Mr. Haze (Texas)

My apologies to the other band members of Texas, because once again the cover photo is only of the band's lead singer, Sharleen Spiteri. All I know about the photo is that it's from 2005. That's a few years before the time frame for this album, but I picked it because it shows her playing an acoustic guitar.

Jackson Browne - BBC Sessions, Volume 3: In Concert, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD, 8-20-1978

I discovered that Jackson Browne did a third concert for the BBC in 1978. But I researched it, and I couldn't pin down the exact date or location. A lot of copies of this bootleg claim it took place in Shepherd's Bush Empire in London. However, I dug deeper, and discovered that Browne never even was in Europe in 1978, and the set list is clearly from that year. So I dug deeper still, using an version of a defunct Jackson Browne fan site that had extensive and accurate set lists for every concert. I found out that this concert actually took place in Columbia, Maryland. 

My theory is that it was first broadcast on one or more radio stations in the US. Then it was broadcast by the BBC later, and that version got bootlegged. That led to the assumption that it took place in London, since the vast, vast majority of BBC concerts do. But every now and then, the BBC would rebroadcast concerts from elsewhere, perhaps in cases where an artist they wanted to feature wasn't available to tour in Britain. I've posted some albums like that, such as a BBC concert of a 1982 Marshall Crenshaw show that actually took place in New York and was first broadcast there. So I hope this post fixes the confusion and inaccuracy about this recording.

Anyway, as far as the music goes, it's an excellent sounding concert. In 1977, Browne released the album "Running on Empty." It was his most successful album of his career by far, selling seven millions copies in the US alone. So naturally this contains a lot of songs from that album, with some older favorites like "Doctor My Eyes" and "These Days" making up about the other half.

Unfortunately, the BBC version was edited down, probably to fit into an hour-long time slot. Very little banter survived the cuts, and the album is only 55 minutes long. On the plus side, I might have missed something, but as far as I can tell, this is the only soundboard or FM quality recording known from his 1977 and 1978 tours to support "Running on Empty."

01 The Fuse (Jackson Browne)
02 Here Comes Those Tears Again (Jackson Browne)
03 Rock Me on the Water (Jackson Browne)
04 talk (Jackson Browne)
05 Cocaine (Jackson Browne)
06 talk (Jackson Browne)
07 Rosie (Jackson Browne)
08 Doctor My Eyes (Jackson Browne)
09 These Days (Jackson Browne)
10 Running on Empty (Jackson Browne)
11 Love Needs a Heart (Jackson Browne)
12 Nothing but Time (Jackson Browne)
13 The Load Out (Jackson Browne)
14 Stay (Jackson Browne)

I don't know any details of the cover photo, except that it's from a 1978 concert.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Lucinda Williams - Lay It on the Table - Non-Album Tracks (2012)

It's been a long time since I've posted the next Lucinda Williams stray tracks album - three years! That's a shame, because she'd been prolific. I have five more after this one (and she's still making new music).

Only one song here is unreleased: "Loan Me a Dime." It's from a concert bootleg, and the sound quality isn't quite as good, but it's a great performance.

As for the rest, they're mostly from various artists compilations, such as tribute albums. Several also from appearances on albums by other artists. The vast majority are cover songs.

This album is 49 minutes long.

01 Tryin' to Get to Heaven (Lucinda Williams)
02 Driving South (Walter Rose with Lucinda Williams)
03 God I'm Missing You (Lucinda Williams)
04 Lay It on the Table (Marvin Etzioni & Lucinda Williams)
05 Mississippi You're on My Mind (Lucinda Williams)
06 I'm Ready (Lil' Band O' Gold with Lucinda Williams)
07 Loan Me a Dime (Lucinda Williams with Jackshit)
08 Hurt (Lucinda Williams)
09 House of Earth (Lucinda Williams)
10 That Time of Night (Lucinda Williams)

The cover is a photo taken at the London Jazz Festival on November 10, 2012.

Joan Armatrading - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: In Concert, Glastonbury Festival, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Britain, 6-27-1992

Last year (November 2022 specifically), I posted a 1981 BBC concert by singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading. At that time, I knew she did another one, in 1991, but I was unable to find it. I put it on my SoulseekQT want list, and after all these months I was finally able to get it. So here it is.

Armatrading actually did some other BBC shows that I know of. But those were in the 1970s, before she had built up a bunch of well known songs. By the time of this concert though, she had quite a few of those. The Glastonbury Festival is a very big deal, with audiences of more than 100,000 people. So she played a tight set, with almost no talking between songs, of her best material. Three of the songs came from her most recent album, 1992's "Square the Circle." Unfortunately, she didn't include "Wrapped Around Her," which was the sole hit from the album in Britain.

The sound quality is as good as you'd expect from the BBC.

This album is 56 minutes long.

01 Crazy (Joan Armatrading)
02 I'm Lucky (Joan Armatrading)
03 Down to Zero (Joan Armatrading)
04 True Love (Joan Armatrading)
05 Someone's in the Background (Joan Armatrading)
06 Can I Get Next to You (Joan Armatrading)
07 Love and Affection (Joan Armatrading)
08 talk (Joan Armatrading)
09 Drop the Pilot (Joan Armatrading)
10 Kissin' and A-Huggin' (Joan Armatrading)
11 Show Some Emotion (Joan Armatrading)
12 Me, Myself, I (Joan Armatrading)

The cover photo is from a 1992 concert, but I don't know which one.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Stephen Stills & Neil Young - Light Up the Blues Benefit, Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, CA, 4-25-2015

As I write this in April 2023, Stephen Stills has a new archival live album out, called "Live in Berkeley 1971." I'm glad because it fills a key gap in his musical history. His first solo tour was in 1971, when he was at a peak of his musical creativity, but there have been only one or two poor sounding audience bootlegs to document this tour. So the new album is a big step up. 

I'm not going to post that here, since it's an album that now exists instead of one that should exist. However, to celebrate its release, I can post something else from Stills. A short concert he did in 2015 with Neil Young came to mind, so here it is.

Of course, Stills has played with Young lots of times, first as part of Buffalo Springfield (including a 2011 reunion tour), and then as part of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY). But the only time they played just as a duo was in 1976. They put out an album together called "Long May You Run." They started a concert tour together, but Young got bored and quit halfway through. They're remained close friends, even though the ups and downs of CSNY, but surprisingly have almost never played as a duo since 1976. This concert is a nice exception to that rule. 

The only other cases I know of are this same "Light Up the Blues" annual benefit in 2016, and then again just a few days ago as a I write this. Looking for a cover photo for this album, I stumbled upon the fact that there was another benefit on April 22, 2023, with not only Stills and Young playing together, but Joe Walsh joining in on a couple of songs. I hope a good recording of that emerges that can be shared. But what makes this show particularly nice is that the sound quality is pretty good. I think it's an audience bootleg, not a soundboard, but it's close enough that I wasn't sure at first.

The concert starts with an introduction by actor Brad Pitt, of all people. There were some other artists performing, including Steve Earle, Shawn Colvin, and White Buffalo, so the set was relatively short. (All of the acts joined in on the "Rockin' in the Free World" encore.) I like that Stills and Young avoided some of the usual CSNY warhorses and played relatively new songs, like "If I Don't Know," "Virtual World," and "Don't Want Lies."

This album is 54 minutes long.

01 talk by Brad Pitt (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
02 Long May You Run (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
03 talk (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
04 Human Highway (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
05 talk (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
06 If I Don't Know (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
07 Virtual World (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
08 Don't Want Lies (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
09 talk (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
10 For What It's Worth (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
11 talk (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
12 Bluebird (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
13 talk (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
14 Mr. Soul (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)
15 Rockin' in the Free World (Stephen Stills & Neil Young)

The cover photo comes from this exact concert.

Spirit - Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, 5-16-1970

Here's something I'm particularly psyched to post. Back in 2020, I posted a live bootleg of the American band Spirit, at the Texas International Pop Festival in 1969. That's an excellent sounding concert, though a rather short one. But as I noted at the time, it seemed to be the only excellent live recording of the band in their prime, when they released four albums from 1967 to 1970.

Until now, that is. This concert sounds as good or better, and is longer. A merely okay sounding audience bootleg of this Fillmore West 1970 concert has been traded for ages, but that's not exactly what this is. I just recently realized that in 2022, much, though not all, of this concert was officially released as part of a new edition of the band's classic 1970 album "Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus." I gave that a listen, and was very pleasantly surprised to find that they'd used a much better soundboard version of the exact same concert that has been popularly traded in audience bootleg form. 

But there were some odd things about it. For one, a good chunk of the concert was missing. One song ("Mechanical World") sounded great, but was from a different concert, in 1969. Two of the songs that were included, "Dark Eyed Woman" and "Uncle Jack," sounded much worse than the others. It seems they were taken from the audience bootleg instead. (I'm guessing the soundboard recording only survived for part of the show.) There also was virtually no banter between songs, or any applause at the ends of songs. Additionally, the song order was sometimes messed up in comparison with the audience boot, which seemed to be one continuous recording.

So I set out to fix these things, to create the best version of this concert possible. First off, I discarded "Mechanical World" since it didn't fit, and "Dark Eyed Woman" and "Uncle Jack,"since the sound quality was so much worse than the rest. Second, I aligned the song order with that of the audience bootleg as best I could. Third, I kept the excellent soundboard recordings for the actual songs, but patched in the cheering at the ends of songs from the audience bootleg. I also included what little banter there was, while editing out dead air and tuning between songs. So now it sounds much more like a natural concert recording.

The one bummer about this concert is that a bunch of songs are on the audience bootleg that aren't included here because the sound quality is significantly worse than the rest. Those include: "Mechanical World," "I Got a Line on You," "Morning Will Come," "Groundhog," "Me and My Lady," "Shotgun," and "Hambone," plus the two mentioned above, "Dark Eyed Woman" and "Uncle Jack." But I think, in this case, less is more, due to such a dramatic difference in the sound quality. I believe the end result is better than the official 2022 release.

Happily, even with all those missing songs, this still is a healthy hour and six minutes long. Also, as an aside, as lead guitarist Randy California mentioned in a comment in this recording, he wrote the classic song "Nature's Way" earlier the same day of this concert.

I believe this features the band's original line-up of Randy California, Ed Cassidy, John Locke, Mark Andes, and Jay Ferguson. According to the band's Wikipedia page, that line-up stayed together until January 1971. But I've seen some conflicting things about that. Perhaps someone with good ears can tell if Ferguson is singing on some of these songs or not, and then let me know, since he was one of the band's two lead singers.

01 talk (Spirit)
02 Sweet Stella Baby (Spirit)
03 1984 (Spirit)
04 Country Echo [Instrumental] (Spirit)
05 Jealous (Spirit)
06 talk (Spirit)
07 All the Same (Spirit)
08 Fresh Garbage (Spirit)
09 It Shall Be (Spirit)
10 talk (Spirit)
11 Nothing to Hide (Spirit)
12 Ice [Instrumental] (Spirit)
13 Mr. Skin (Spirit)
14 talk (Spirit)
15 Animal Zoo (Spirit)
16 talk (Spirit)
17 Nature's Way (Spirit)
18 I'm Truckin' (Spirit)
19 So Little Time to Fly (Spirit)
20 Fog [Instrumental] (Spirit)

In 1969, Spirit appeared on the German TV show "Beat Club" and played the song 1984. The recording isn't that good, because the guitar of lead guitarist Randy California went out of tune halfway through his solo. But I took a screenshot from the YouTube video of that performance for the cover. (One band member was off to the side and didn't get included.)

For the band name text, I used some special lettering taken from a concert poster. I then added psychedelic colors. And I imitated that style for the bottom text.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Bonnie Raitt - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: In Concert, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, Britain, 11-7-1998

A while back, I posted an album of Bonnie Raitt playing a concert for the BBC in 1976. As I was fixing dead links yesterday, I came across that one and decided I needed to rename it to "BBC Sessions, Volume 1," because I have since come across three other BBC concerts she did after that. So I have renamed it. You can get that here:

But it's odd to have a "Volume 1" without at least a "Volume 2," so I'm posting this one too. The other two will follow eventually.

Boy, did things change between her 1976 BBC concert and this one, 22 years later. He career was revitalized in a big way with her 1989 album "Nick of Time," and her sales soared. This concert focuses on that later phase in her career, with arguably her three biggest hits, "Thing Called Love," "I Can't Make You Love Me," and "Something to Talk About."

The sound quality is fantastic; no worries there.

The one snag about this album is that it's only 54 minutes long, whereas most concerts she did were closer to an hour and a half. But that's common for radio broadcasts of concerts. This one was probably cut down to fit into an hour long time slot.

01 Love Letter (Bonnie Raitt)
02 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
03 I Believe I'm in Love with You (Bonnie Raitt)
04 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
05 Lovers Will (Bonnie Raitt)
06 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
07 Round and Round (Bonnie Raitt)
08 Something to Talk About (Bonnie Raitt)
09 I Can't Make You Love Me (Bonnie Raitt)
10 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
11 Come to Me (Bonnie Raitt)
12 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
13 Thing Called Love (Bonnie Raitt)
14 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
15 Tell It Like It Is (Bonnie Raitt)
16 talk (Bonnie Raitt)
17 Angel from Montgomery (Bonnie Raitt)

The cover photo isn't from this concert. But at least it's relatively close in space and time. It was taken in Earl's Court, London, the previous month.

Santana with Jose Feliciano - L.A. Forum, Los Angeles, CA, 3-22-1971

I've posted well over 2,000 albums on this blog by now, yet it staggers me to think of how much more I want to post that I haven't gotten to yet. For instance, I'm embarrassed by the fact that I've hardly posted any music by the Beatles (and none by solo John Lennon) yet, despite the fact they're my favorite group. And I have a mountain of BBC material I haven't even had a chance to listen to yet. Another artist that's been sorely lacking here is Santana. So here's something from them.

Santana the band has been in existence for over 50 years as a write this. But my favorite time period for the band was their first incarnation, which released three albums from 1969 to 1971. So I figured I should start with something from that time. I think they peaked in 1971 with the addition of Neal Schon as a second lead guitarist, so I looked for something from that year. I settled on this concert bootleg. It stands above other 1971 bootlegs for two reasons. For one, it's an excellent sounding soundboard recording. And for the other, Puerto Rican singer and guitarist Jose Feliciano was one of the opening acts for this show, and joined Santana for three songs at the end of their set. That makes it something a bit different from other Santana concerts from that year.

Regarding the sound quality, there was one flaw that perhaps has stopped this from being better known. Generally speaking, it sounds great, as good as official live albums of the time, but the vocals were rather low in the mix. That isn't that big of a deal since most of the songs are instrumentals, but still, it was less than ideal. So I used the audio editing program UVR5 to boost the vocals. This went without a hitch on all the songs with vocals until the last one, "Guajira." For that one, the vocals were buried so much that I had to do a lot of extra work on it to get them in shape. Even then, there are a few passages where the vocals were too low to be able to do anything.

Note that two of the last three songs are repeats from earlier in the show: "Black Magic Woman - Gypsy Queen" and "Oye Como Va." Clearly, they repeated them because Feliciano was the lead singer the second time on those, as well as the main singer for the last song, "Guajira." "Oye Como Va" and "Guajira" already were in Spanish. But it's interesting that he sang Spanish lyrics to "Black Magic Woman" as well.

This album is an hour and 24 minutes long.

01 Waiting [Instrumental] (Santana)
02 Ballin’ [Instrumental] (Santana)
03 Black Magic Woman - Gypsy Queen (Santana)
04 Oye Como Va (Santana)
05 Savor [Instrumental] (Santana)
06 Samba Pa Ti [Instrumental] (Santana)
07 talk (Santana)
08 Toussaint L'Ouverture [Instrumental] (Santana)
09 Evil Ways (Santana)
10 talk (Santana)
11 Incident at Neshebur [Instrumental] (Santana)
12 Jungle Strut [Instrumental] (Santana)
13 Everybody’s Everything (Santana)
14 Gumbo [Instrumental] (Santana)
15 talk (Santana)
16 Black Magic Woman - Gypsy Queen [Spanish Version] (Santana & Jose Feliciano)
17 Oye Como Va (Santana & Jose Feliciano)
18 Guajira (Santana & Jose Feliciano)

All I know about the cover photo is that it's from around 1970.

Also, I came across a poster for the show. I didn't use it for the cover because I find it kind of bland, but I'm including it here for anyone who is interested.

Robert Plant - BBC Sessions, Volume 1: In Concert, Wembley Arena, London, Britain, 9-10-1985

Robert Plant has performed for the BBC many times over the course of his long solo career (not to mention his additional appearances as part of Led Zeppelin). But even though there's a very big interest in bootlegs of his music, I haven't seen his BBC shows put together in any systematic way. So I'm going to try to do that, starting here.

Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980, with the death of drummer John Bonham. It took a couple of years for Plant to get a solo career going, but by 1985 he already had two very successful solo albums under his belt. For most of his 1980s solo concerts, he avoided his Led Zeppelin entirely. But around this time, he also was getting back in touch with his musical roots by performing lots of songs from the early years of rock and roll. That interest led to the big success of the 1984 Honeydrippers EP "Volume One," which sold over a million records in the US and spawned a couple of big hit singles too.

This concert, while relatively short, shows both of his musical sides at the time. The first six songs are from his 1980s solo albums and are in a modern rock / new wave style. The rest are all covers, generally of 1950s songs, with the exception of his solo hit "Big Log" near the end.

There are more songs played at the concert that I couldn't find with this sound quality: "Like I've Never Been Gone," "Pink and Black," "Burning Down One Side," "Too Loud," and "Messin' with the Mekon." I didn't want to mess with the recording too much, but I figured "Burning Down One Side" was a hit at a time and was a key song in his concerts that year. So I used a soundboard bootleg of a Birmingham concert hat year and added the song in the order it was played.

The order of the songs was slightly different in the bootleg I found for this concert. For instance, "Big Log" was in the first half of the concert instead of at the end. But I found a set list that I think is likely the correct order, so I moved a couple of songs around to match that. It's probable that the BBC changed the song order at the same time they cut out a few of the songs.

Out of all of the "oldies" Plant covered in concert around this time, my favorite is "(Every Time I Hear) That Mellow Saxophone." It was written and recorded by Roy Montrell in 1956. He was an in demand session guitarist, but only ever released two singles. Neither was a hit, but this one has been covered by lots of musicians because it's such a fun song. It wasn't played in this show, but I couldn't resisting adding in a version from a 1986 show. I've added it at the end as a quasi bonus track.

This concert is an hour and 19 minutes long.

01 In the Mood (Robert Plant)
02 Pledge Pin (Robert Plant)
03 Little by Little (Robert Plant)
04 Burning Down One Side (Robert Plant)
05 Thru' with the Two Step (Robert Plant)
06 Slow Dancer (Robert Plant)
07 Rockin' at Midnight (Robert Plant)
08 talk (Robert Plant)
09 Young Boy Blues (Robert Plant)
10 Sea of Love (Robert Plant)
11 talk (Robert Plant)
12 Honey Hush (Robert Plant)
13 Big Log (Robert Plant)
14 talk (Robert Plant)
15 [Every Time I Hear] That Mellow Saxophone (Robert Plant)

The cover photo is from a concert in Illinois in 1985. By the way, the color in his hair is due to red lighting.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Madness - BBC Sessions, Volume 6: 2012-2017

This is the sixth BBC album from Madness that I plan on posting, and also probably the last. This ends in 2017, and I haven't come across any BBC material dating after that. They're still in existence as I write this in 2023 though, so one never knows for sure.

I found a full BBC concert from 2012, and at first I was going to post all of that. But I decided that it was quite similar to the 2009 concert I already posted as "Volume 5." The only difference was a section in the middle where they played a bunch of new songs. So instead, I only selected those new ones. Then I found more BBC from 2014, 2016, and 2017. Some were in front of a live audience and some were not, so this is a mix.

The sound quality is excellent throughout. However, for a few of the songs, a BBC DJ (Chris Evans) spoke over the endings. I used the audio editing program UVR5 to wipe his voice while keeping the music. Those are the songs with "[Edit]" in their titles.

Most of the songs here are originals, but there are a few interesting covers: "You Keep Me Hangin' On," "Kooks," "Sunny Afternoon," and "Shop Around." Also, most of them are originals that were new at the time, but they included some older hits: "House of Fun," "It Must Be Love" (which also is a cover, by the way), "Embarrassment," and "Cardiac Arrest." Note that "My Girl 2" is a totally different original song than their old hit "My Girl."

This album is an hour and five minutes long.

01 My Girl 2 (Madness)
02 talk (Madness)
03 Never Knew Your Name (Madness)
04 talk (Madness)
05 La Luna (Madness)
06 talk (Madness)
07 How Can I Tell You (Madness)
08 talk (Madness)
09 Kitchen Floor (Madness)
10 talk (Madness)
11 Misery (Madness)
12 talk (Madness)
13 Death of a Rude Boy (Madness)
14 The Last Rag and Bone Man (Madness)
15 You Keep Me Hangin' On (Madness)
16 Kooks (Madness)
17 House of Fun [Edit] (Madness)
18 Mr. Apples [Edit] (Madness)
19 It Must Be Love [Edit] (Madness)
20 Sunny Afternoon (Madness)
21 Embarrassment (Madness)
22 Blackbird (Madness)
23 Cardiac Arrest (Madness)
24 Shop Around (Madness)
25 Herbert (Madness)

The cover photo was taken during the closing ceremony of the Olympics in London in 2012. A few of the band members are further to the sides and were cropped out.

Tom Paxton - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: In Concert, Paris Theatre, London, Britain, 11-9-1971

American folk singer Tom Paxton performed for the BBC a few times in the early 1970s after apparently not appearing at all in the 1960s. I've already posted a BBC concert from 1970. (I just renamed it "BBC Sessions, Volume 1," due to posting this show.) Then there's this. Then there's another concert in 1972. Part of it appears on the official live album "Live in Concert."

This one has been hard to track down. I found two different sources and put them together. But I'm still missing a big chunk of concert towards the end. It was hosted by BBC DJ John Peel. I figure there's another twenty minutes to be found, since his shows in this time period were usually an hour long.

But hey, I figure posting most of it is better than not posting any of it. Plus, by posting it, perhaps someone out there can step forward with the rest of it. That goes for the full 1972 show, not to mention any of his other BBC concerts.

There's not much else to say. The sound quality is very good, but not excellent. Part of this is officially released on that "Live in Concert" album mentioned above (which puts together parts of the 1971 and 1972 BBC shows), and part is from bootleg.

This concert is 41 minutes long.

01 talk (Tom Paxton)
02 Every Time (Tom Paxton)
03 About the Children (Tom Paxton)
04 talk (Tom Paxton)
05 Louise (Tom Paxton)
06 Saturday Night (Tom Paxton)
07 talk (Tom Paxton)
08 Now That I've Taken My Life (Tom Paxton)
09 talk (Tom Paxton)
10 Forest Lawn (Tom Paxton)
11 talk (Tom Paxton)
12 Mr. Blue (Tom Paxton)
13 talk (Tom Paxton)
14 Jennifer's Rabbit - I Give You the Morning (Tom Paxton)
15 talk (Tom Paxton)
16 Victoria Dines Alone (Tom Paxton)
17 talk (Tom Paxton)
18 The Hostage (Tom Paxton)
19 All Night Long (Tom Paxton)

The cover photo comes from an appearance on the Marty Feldman Comedy Machine TV show in 1971.

David Crosby & Venice - For the Arts Benefit, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA, 3-5-2011

Here's an interesting bootleg that I just discovered. Not long after David Crosby died in January 2023, the band Venice put this concert on their YouTube page. I found it there and converted it to mp3s. It features Crosby and Venice performing some of the best known Crosby, Stills, Nash and sometimes Young songs. It's professionally recorded, and sounds great.

I've been a fan of the band Venice since the 1990s. I think I found out about them when I saw a quote where Crosby called them his favorite musical artist. That's not totally surprising, since they have a soft rock, 1970s sound that's very similar to CSN. They're especially known for their harmony vocals. But although they've released many albums and worked with many famous musicians (including Jackson Browne, who has played with them a bunch of times), they never hit the big time.... except, oddly, in the Netherlands, where they're stars.

The band Venice is very closely tied to the neighborhood of Venice in Los Angeles, as their name shows. As part of that, they've taken part in annual concerts that benefit the music programs of schools in Santa Monica. Each year, Santa Monica High School gets some surprisingly big names to play at their benefit concert, for a mere high school. For instance, in 2011, the year of this concert, not only did David Crosby and Venice play together as the headline act, but the supporting acts were America and Richard Page of the band Mr. Mister. You can read an article about the concert here:

Artists Rock For Santa Monica School District: America, David Crosby, Richard Page of Mr. Mister, and Venice Support Local Schools - SM Mirror

I would have included more of the concert, but the video posted on YouTube only included the set with Crosby and Venice together. Even an earlier set just by Venice wasn't included. America and Richard Page did join in singing on the last song, "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," but you can't really hear them.

Crosby and Venice didn't just play songs where Crosby sang lead vocals. Venice has two lead vocalists, Kip Lennon and Mark Lennon (the four band members are all brothers). So Crosby sang the Crosby-written songs, and either Kip or Mark sang the lead vocals on the other CSN(Y) songs, while Crosby sang his usual harmony parts. In my opinion, the combined vocals often sound better than the CSN live versions. But that's not all. They were backed on some songs by the Santa Monica High School orchestra, plus choir, as well as a local horn section and a local drum corps! So at times there were dozens of people on stage. But they must have practiced, because it sounds very professional and well put together.

It seems that Crosby performed with Venice in this annual concert multiple times. However, there aren't available recordings for most years. However, I also found a soundboard recording of the 2004 show. The first 12 tracks here are from the 2011 one. But they played two different songs at the 2004 show, "Woodstock" and "My Country 'Tis of Thee," so I've added those at the end. They happened to be the last two songs of the 2004 show, so they fit as the last songs here as well.

Just the 2011 portion is 41 minutes long. But with the two extra songs at the end included, the concert is 50 minutes long.

01 talk (David Crosby & Venice)
02 Long Time Gone (David Crosby & Venice)
03 talk (David Crosby & Venice)
04 Guinnevere (David Crosby & Venice)
05 talk (David Crosby & Venice)
06 Wooden Ships (David Crosby & Venice)
07 talk (David Crosby & Venice)
08 Carry On (David Crosby & Venice)
09 talk (David Crosby & Venice)
10 Ohio (David Crosby & Venice)
11 talk (David Crosby & Venice)
12 Suite- Judy Blue Eyes (David Crosby & Venice)
13 Woodstock (David Crosby & Venice)
14 talk (David Crosby & Venice)
15 My Country 'Tis of Thee (David Crosby & Venice)

The cover is a screenshot taken from the YouTube video of the 2011 concert.

XTC - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 3-8-1982

This is my first post for the music of the British band XTC. In the future, I plan to post some BBC albums by them. But in the meantime, this non-BBC bootleg is probably their best concert recording.

What makes this the best has to do with timing. The band released records from 1977 to 2000. But in 1982, after only a few years of touring, the band's main singer-songwriter, Andy Partridge, had a nervous breakdown. It turned out that he had been addicted to Valium for years. His wife finally forced him to stop taking it. Once it was out of his system, he found he was terrified of performing on stage. He had a panic attack at the start of a concert in Paris, France, on March 18, 1982. After that, the band never really played concerts again, although they did sometimes still play songs for the BBC and other radio shows.

This concert took place just ten days before Partridge's incident. It also happened shortly after the release of their classic 1982 double album "English Settlement." I've checked, and it seems there really are only two soundboard-level concerts by the band in 1982 that have key "English Settlement" songs such as "Senses Working Overtime" (their biggest hit), "Ball and Chain," and "No Thugs in Our House." There's this one, and a concert-length appearance on the German TV show "Rockpalast" a month earlier. Unfortunately, the best recording of the "Rockpalast" show I could find doesn't sound as good as this one. So this is the best concert recording from right before the band stopped touring.

Seven of the songs here are from "English Settlement," including the three best known songs, mentioned above. Another seven are from the band's previous album "Black Sea." Of the few other songs, there's an interesting version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," virtually the only cover song the band played in concert (and which was done on the band's album "White Music").

There were a couple of problems with the recording, however. One was that the first two songs were missing. Luckily, those songs were played at the "Rockpalast" show too, so I've added those versions in the same order they were played here. The sound quality is rougher, but it's only two songs.

The second problem is that the lead vocals were low in the mix for many of the songs. So I used the audio editing program UVR5 (which I'm now using instead of X-Minus or Spleeter) to boost the vocals. I think the concert sounds excellent now.

This concert is an hour and 31 minutes long.

01 Respectable Street (XTC)
02 Burning with Optimism’s Flames (XTC)
03 talk (XTC)
04 Runaways (XTC)
05 Jason and the Argonauts (XTC)
06 Melt the Guns (XTC)
07 Snowman (XTC)
08 Ball and Chain (XTC)
09 talk (XTC)
10 No Thugs in Our House (XTC)
11 Senses Working Overtime (XTC)
12 All Along the Watchtower (XTC)
13 No Language in Our Lungs (XTC)
14 Towers of London (XTC)
15 Making Plans for Nigel (XTC)
16 Living through Another Cuba (XTC)
17 Generals and Majors (XTC)
18 Real by Reel (XTC)
19 Sgt. Rock [Is Going to Help Me] (XTC)
20 talk (XTC)
21 Life Begins at the Hop (XTC)

I got lucky with the cover photo. At first, I couldn't find any photos of the band in concert in 1982. But then I came across two from the concert in Paris on March 18 where Partridge had his panic attack, taken by Jean-Christophe Prunet. One showed most of the band. But Partridge, it the middle, was basically a white blog due to a spotlight on him oversaturating the image. The other was just of Partridge, but didn't have the overexposure problem. So I used Photoshop to patch in just his head to the rest of the other image. These photos must have been taken right before his panic attack, since that happened during the first song they played that night.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Midnight Oil - BBC in Concert, Wembley Arena, London, Britain, 5-12-1990

I recently posted a Midnight Oil concert from 1985. I said then I found two BBC concerts by the band, but they were short with merely good sound quality, so I wasn't going to post them. That's still true, but I'm happy to say that I've found another BBC concert that is a full concert with great sound quality, and from right at their peak of popularity. Here it is.

Actually, the bit about great sound quality wasn't entirely true. When I found this bootleg, I thought the lead vocals were too low in the mix. But I was able to use an audio editing program to fix that. So now it does sound great.

I also discovered another problem: there are two popular versions on the Internet, and they have different song lists. I found the correct song list, which consists of all of the songs from one version, and just two extra songs from the other one (which misses some from the first version). So I've combined the two to create the full concert. I believe the two songs from the other source are "Lucky Country" and "Only the Strong." They had a different level of cheering from the others, so I patched in more cheering at the ends of those. 

Midnight Oil is known for almost always doing all their own songs.  But in this concert they did two covers: "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" and "Know Your Product."

This concert is an hour and 26 minutes long.

01 King of the Mountain (Midnight Oil)
02 talk (Midnight Oil)
03 Dreamworld (Midnight Oil)
04 River Runs Red (Midnight Oil)
05 talk (Midnight Oil)
06 Warakurna (Midnight Oil)
07 Read about It (Midnight Oil)
08 The Dead Heart (Midnight Oil)
09 Best of Both Worlds (Midnight Oil)
10 Koskiusko (Midnight Oil)
11 Power and the Passion (Midnight Oil)
12 Lucky Country (Midnight Oil)
13 Only the Strong (Midnight Oil)
14 Beds Are Burning (Midnight Oil)
15 Bedlam Bridge (Midnight Oil)
16 Forgotten Years (Midnight Oil)
17 talk (Midnight Oil)
18 [What's So Funny 'bout] Peace, Love and Understanding (Midnight Oil)
19 Hercules (Midnight Oil)
20 talk (Midnight Oil)
21 Know Your Product (Midnight Oil)
22 Blue Sky Mine (Midnight Oil)

The cover photo comes from an unknown 1990 concert.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Keb Mo - Mo at Home - Home Concerts, Franklin, TN, 3-20-2020 to 4-29-2020

Back in 2020 and 2021, due to the Covid pandemic, there were lots of home concerts by different musical artists, and I've posted dozens of them here. But there are a few I just plain forgot to post. I noticed this one today as I was fixing broken links. Yeah, it's a couple of years late, but better late than never. :)

I did manage to post a different 2020 home concert by Keb Mo. You can find that here:

This is from a similar time period. But that was one single, album-length performance. This comes from a bunch of different dates over a one month time span. Mo's discography is big enough though that most of the songs are different. The ones played in both are "Grandma's Hands" and "Life Is Beautiful."

Personally, I think Mo's special talent is playing acoustic blues. Unfortunately, he's usually chosen to go in an "adult contemporary" direction instead. So it's great to have recordings like this, where he went back to his acoustic roots.

Everything here is unreleased, by the way. Most of the videos come from Mo's YouTube webpage. He's the one that gave the series of videos the title "Mo at Home."

This album is 44 minutes long.

01 talk (Keb Mo)
02 America the Beautiful (Keb Mo)
03 One Friend (Keb Mo)
04 talk (Keb Mo)
05 I'm a Hero (Keb Mo)
06 talk (Keb Mo)
07 Hand It Over (Keb Mo)
08 talk (Keb Mo)
09 Just like You (Keb Mo)
10 I See Love (Keb Mo)
11 Grandma's Hands (Keb Mo)
12 talk (Keb Mo)
13 I'm Telling You Now (Keb Mo)
14 In Spite of Ourselves (Keb Mo & Robbie Brooks Moore)
15 I'll Be Your Water (Keb Mo)
16 Dangerous Mood (Keb Mo)
17 Life Is Beautiful (Keb Mo)

The cover is a screenshot from one of the YouTube videos of the songs here.

David Bowie - Bridge School Benefit, Mountain View, CA, 10-19-1996

I plan on posting some more albums of David Bowie at the BBC, because he returned to the BBC a bit towards the end of his career. But first, this makes a good stop in the mid-1990s between BBC shows. What makes this concert stand out is that it was done in the acoustic format, with Bowie only accompanied by a second guitarist and bassist.

I originally had an audience bootleg of this concert. Later, I found a soundboard bootleg. The soundboard had much better and clearer sound quality. But the downside was that it reduced the audience noise to almost nothing. It's strange to have a song end and basically just hear crickets when there's supposed to be cheering. So I took the cheering after each song from the audience bootleg and patched that into the soundboard version. Now, I think it sounds better than ever before.

The yearly Bridge School Benefit typically puts on two shows each year, on back to back nights. That was the case in 1996. Bowie played similar sets each night, but there were a few differences. I had that same two sources for both shows. So most of the songs here are from the October 19th show, but I've added in three songs from the October 20th show at the end. 

Most of the songs are written by Bowie, but he did two snippets of cover songs, "I'm a Hog for You" and "You and I and George." Plus, "White Light/White Heat" is a Velvet Underground cover.

As an aside, in his banter between songs, he occasionally made reference to some of the other performers in that year's Bridge School concerts. Pete Townshend played on October 19th, and he talked some about how much Townshend influenced him. Billy Idol and Bonnie Raitt played on October 20th only, and he made jokes referencing them. Additionally, he was introduced at the start of this recording by Neil Young.

This album is 44 minutes long.

01 talk by Neil Young (David Bowie)
02 Aladdin Sane (David Bowie)
03 talk (David Bowie)
04 The Jean Genie (David Bowie)
05 I'm a Hog for You (David Bowie)
06 talk (David Bowie)
07 I Can't Read (David Bowie)
08 talk (David Bowie)
09 The Man Who Sold the World (David Bowie)
10 talk (David Bowie)
11 'Heroes' (David Bowie)
12 talk (David Bowie)
13 Let's Dance (David Bowie)
14 talk (David Bowie)
15 You and I and George (David Bowie)
16 talk (David Bowie)
17 China Girl (David Bowie)
18 White Light-White Heat (David Bowie)

The cover photo comes from one of the 1996 Bridge School Benefit concerts, though I don't know which one.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Dire Straits - Sydney Entertainment Center, Sydney, Australia, 4-26-1986

In my opinion, this is the best live Dire Straits recording available, even though it's a bootleg. I hadn't posted it prior to now because I thought the lead vocals were rather low in the mix. But I've fixed that, so I believe this new version sounds better than any other.

There are two things that make this concert exceptional, in my opinion. The first is timing. In 1984, the band released the official live album "Alchemy," based on 1983 concerts. And in 1993, another live album was released, "On the Night," based on 1992 concerts. But between the two was the release of the "Brothers in Arms" studio album in 1985. That album was a massive hit, selling over 30 million albums worldwide, making it one of the best selling albums of all time. Whereas the band's 1991 album that the resulted in the tour for the "On the Night" was considered a commercial and critical disappointment. So it makes great sense to have a concert from the "Brothers in Arms" tour that heavily features songs from that album.

But also, this was the very last concert of that tour. As such, the band put in extra effort to have the tour end on a high note. One result was an extra long show, with over two hours of music. There's also the special treat of having the audience sing the famous Australian song "Waltzing Matilda," and lead singer and songwriter Mark Knopfler giving a special thank you speech summing up the tour.

So one factor is the timing. The other big factor is the sound quality. This was professionally recorded and later shown on TV. (You can find the video of the entire concert on YouTube.) So it's an excellent soundboard recording, maybe the best of the tour. The only snag was the lead vocals being low in the mix, as I mentioned above. But I fixed that with the audio editing program UVR5.

This album is two hours and 11 minutes long.

01 Ride Across the River (Dire Straits)
02 Expresso Love (Dire Straits)
03 Industrial Disease (Dire Straits)
04 So Far Away (Dire Straits)
05 Romeo and Juliet (Dire Straits)
06 Private Investigations (Dire Straits)
07 Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits)
08 Why Worry (Dire Straits)
09 Your Latest Trick (Dire Straits)
10 Walk of Life (Dire Straits)
11 talk (Dire Straits)
12 Two Young Lovers (Dire Straits)
13 Money for Nothing (Dire Straits)
14 Tunnel of Love (Dire Straits)
15 Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits)
16 Solid Rock (Dire Straits)
17 talk (Dire Straits)
18 Waltzing Matilda (Dire Straits)
19 talk (Dire Straits)
20 Going Home [Theme from Local Hero] [Instrumental] (Dire Straits)

For the album cover, I took a screenshot from the video of this exact concert that I found on YouTube.

Los Lobos - Bare Necessities - Non-Album Tracks (2005-2009)

Here's another in a series of stray tracks album for the band Los Lobos.

Most of the songs have been officially released. The three exceptions are the first track, "Who Do You Love," and the last two, "All Your Love (I Miss Loving)" and "Whittier Boulevard." Those three come from concert bootlegs, but soundboards with high sound quality.

Many of the other songs come from various artists compilations, including tribute albums to Sublime, Queen, and Fats Domino. One song, "Border Town Girl," was from a new best of collection.

Three of the songs come from the band's 2009 studio album "Los Lobos Goes Disney." I consider this a poor album that was pushed on the band due to the fact that the Disney corporation owned their record company. I found a quote on the Los Lobos Wikipedia page from a book on the band called "Los Lobos: Dream in Blue." It states, "Alas, the band's collective heart was clearly not in the making of the awkwardly titled [album]." So I've taken what I consider the three best songs from it, which are tracks seven though nine.

This album is 42 minutes long.

01 Who Do You Love (Los Lobos)
02 Pawn Shop (Los Lobos)
03 Sleeping on the Sidewalk (Los Lobos)
04 Canto a Veracruz (Los Lobos)
05 Border Town Girl (Los Lobos)
06 Billy 1 (Los Lobos)
07 The Fat Man (Los Lobos)
08 Not in Nottingham (Los Lobos)
09 Bare Necessities (Los Lobos)
10 The Ugly Bug Ball (Los Lobos)
11 All Your Love [I Miss Loving] (Los Lobos)
12 Whittier Boulevard [Instrumental] (Los Lobos)

The cover photo shows the band at an awards ceremony in 2006.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Paul Rodgers - Night of 100 Guitars, Wembley Arena, London, Britain, 6-26-1994

In 1994, the Gibson guitar company had their 100th anniversary as a business. To celebrate this, they staged a concert that brought together several famous lead guitarists. Headlining the show, however, was a singer, Paul Rodgers, formerly of Free and Bad Company. Here is a bootleg of that show.

In 1982, Bad Company broke up. After that, Rodgers was in some other bands, such as the Firm. He released his second true solo album in 1993, "Muddy Waters Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters." He brought in a whole bunch of famous lead guitarists to play on different songs. So it wasn't a stretch for him to play with some of them for this concert: Brian May of Queen, Slash of Guns N' Roses, and Neal Schon of both Santana and Journey. Schon was part of Rodgers' band for the whole concert, while the others only joined in for certain songs. Additionally, bassist Andy Fraser was featured on some songs. He had a critical role in Free with Rodgers back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, writing or co-writing many of the band's songs. He'd kept a low musical profile since then, suffering from both HIV and cancer since the early 1980s. So this concert was a bit of a Free reunion as well.

Most of the songs were classics originally by either Free or Bad Company. Only two songs, "Muddy Water Blues" and "Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl," were from his recent Muddy Waters tribute album.

This concert is an hour and four minutes long.

01 talk (Paul Rodgers)
02 Travellin' Man (Paul Rodgers)
03 talk (Paul Rodgers)
04 Wishing Well (Paul Rodgers)
05 talk (Paul Rodgers)
06 Fire and Water (Paul Rodgers)
07 talk (Paul Rodgers)
08 Muddy Water Blues (Paul Rodgers)
09 talk (Paul Rodgers)
10 Feel like Making Love (Paul Rodgers)
11 talk (Paul Rodgers)
12 Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl (Paul Rodgers with Brian May)
13 A Little Bit of Love (Paul Rodgers with Brian May & Andy Fraser)
14 talk (Paul Rodgers)
15 Mr. Big (Paul Rodgers with Andy Fraser)
16 talk (Paul Rodgers)
17 Let Me Love You (Paul Rodgers with Slash)
18 talk (Paul Rodgers)
19 The Hunter (Paul Rodgers with Slash)
20 Bad Company (Paul Rodgers with Slash)
21 All Right Now (Paul Rodgers with Andy Fraser, Brian May & Slash)
22 talk (Paul Rodgers)
23 Crossroads (Paul Rodgers with Andy Fraser, Brian May, Slash & Zakk Wylde)

The cover photo of Rodgers comes from this exact concert. I would have liked to have one or more of the lead guitarists in the photo too, but I couldn't find any good ones like that. The writing at the top comes from the promotional material for the show, including the font type and color. So I replicated that design for the writing at the bottom.

Aimee Mann - Acoustic Versions, Volume 2: 1994-2002

Sometimes I get started posting a series of albums, then get distracted and forget to post the rest of it. I posted "Volume 1" of Aimee Mann's acoustic performances a few months ago. Today, I noticed that it's high time to post "Volume 2," so here you go. There are four volumes in this series.

These are mostly unreleased versions, from in-person radio station appearances. But not all of them are. "That's Just What You Are" and "Ghost World" are from B-sides. "Save Me" and "It's Not" are from radio station appearances, but they both have been officially released, one on a various artists compilation and the other as a bonus track.

The sound quality is very good. Three of the songs were done in front of audiences, but that didn't mar the sound quality.

This album is 49 minutes long.

There's one bonus track, "I Know There's a Word." It comes from a concert bootleg. The sound quality is decent, but not as good as the others, so it only merits bonus track status.

01 Jacob Marley's Chain (Aimee Mann)
02 Fifty Years after the Fair (Aimee Mann)
03 That's Just What You Are [Acoustic Mix] (Aimee Mann)
04 You're with Stupid Now (Aimee Mann)
05 Long Shot (Aimee Mann)
06 Choice in the Matter (Aimee Mann)
07 You Could Make a Killing (Aimee Mann)
08 Sugarcoated (Aimee Mann)
09 All Over Now (Aimee Mann)
10 Par for the Course (Aimee Mann)
11 Save Me (Aimee Mann)
12 Ghost World (Aimee Mann)
13 Humpty Dumpty (Aimee Mann)
14 It's Not (Aimee Mann)

I Know There's a Word (Aimee Mann)

The cover photo is from an appearance on "The Tonight Show" TV show in 2000.

Imelda May - Acoustic Versions, Volume 1 (2009-2014)

I've been collecting acoustic performances by the great Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May for some time now. But I found enough that seemed too long for one album, but not quite enough for two albums, so I waited until more came along. She finally did another acoustic session a few weeks ago (as I write this in April 2023), so I have enough for two short albums. Here's the first one.

May doesn't have a strong acoustic focus to her music. But sometimes when she's promoted her music, she's appeared at radio stations and performed by herself or just with one guitarist. (In this time period, she was married to guitarist Darrel Higham, and he usually played the guitar while she just sang.) These acoustic versions are very nice, in my opinion, and make a fine collection when put together. Everything here is unreleased, from those radio station in-person performances. It's all taken from YouTube videos, but the sound quality is very good.

The first volume roughly corresponds to her rockabilly phase. As a result, a lot of these songs are lively even in acoustic format, but they work well this way. Most of them are written or co-written by May, but there are a few covers, like "Kentish Town Waltz" and "Tainted Love."

This album is 39 minutes long.

01 Feel Me (Imelda May)
02 Kentish Town Waltz (Imelda May)
03 Johnny Got a Boom Boom [Acoustic Band Version] (Imelda May)
04 Mayhem (Imelda May)
05 Tainted Love (Imelda May)
06 Sneaky Freak (Imelda May)
07 Inside Out (Imelda May)
08 Big Bad Handsome Man (Imelda May)
09 Psycho [Solo Electric Version] (Imelda May)
10 Love Tattoo (Imelda May)
11 Proud and Humble (Imelda May)
12 All for You (Imelda May)
13 Falling in Love with You Again (Imelda May)
14 It's Good to Be Alive (Imelda May)
15 Right Amount of Wrong [Solo Electric Version] (Imelda May)

I'm not sure when or where the cover photo is from. But it must be from her rockabilly phase (which means prior to 2017), due to her distinctive hair style.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Jackson Browne - BBC Sessions, Volume 2: Old Grey Whistle Test, BBC Television Theatre, London, Britain, 12-7-1976

In the early and mid-1970s, Jackson Browne's popularity had been slowly but steadily growing. He wasn't well known in Europe though, since he'd never toured there. But in 1976, he did his first European tour, to promote his latest album, "The Pretender." This isn't from a BBC radio show, it's from the BBC TV show "The Old Grey Whistle Test," so that was a big promotional boost for him. This recording is rather short due to limits on TV time, but I presume he brought his A-game to make the best out of it.

One slightly odd aspect of this show is that singer-songwriter Warren Zevon was the supporting act for Browne's European tour, and he was generously given a spot in this show. He sang his song "Mohammed's Radio," with Browne helping on backing vocals.

This sound quality is the usual BBC high quality. But there was on problem. The last song, "The Pretender," faded out about three and a half minutes into it, and it's a seven-minute-long song. I assume that's because Browne had a certain allotted amount of TV time to perform and he went over it. So I found a different version of the song also with high quality, from 1976 (taken from a concert in Amsterdam), and I patched that in to finish the song off. That's why that song has "[Edit]" in its title.

This concert is 48 minutes long.

01 talk (Jackson Browne)
02 Something Fine (Jackson Browne)
03 talk (Jackson Browne)
04 For Everyman (Jackson Browne)
05 talk (Jackson Browne)
06 Fountain of Sorrow (Jackson Browne)
07 talk (Jackson Browne)
08 The Only Child (Jackson Browne)
09 talk (Jackson Browne)
10 For a Dancer (Jackson Browne)
11 talk (Jackson Browne)
12 Mohammed's Radio (Warren Zevon & Jackson Browne)
13 talk (Jackson Browne)
14 The Pretender [Edit] (Jackson Browne)

The cover photo is from an unknown concert in 1976.

Norah Jones - Fragile - Non-Album Tracks (2001-2002)

In 2002, the debut album of Norah Jones was released, called "Come Away with Me." It was a huge hit, to put it mildly, selling nearly 30 million albums worldwide. In 2022, a 20th anniversary deluxe edition was released. That contained a bunch of previously unreleased songs. There were enough for a new album of these stray tracks, though it's a short one. So here it is. If you enjoyed her debut album, this is very much in the same vein.

I already had posted some of the rare tracks on this deluxe edition release through my stray track albums from that time period. So I skipped all those. However, I did include two alternate versions of songs I've posted elsewhere: "Something Is Calling You" and "Peace." I felt those versions were different enough and interesting enough to be worthy. I also included two versions of the same song here, "What Am I to You." The second version, at the end, is done acoustically, and again is interesting enough for inclusion.

This album is 33 minutes long.

01 What Am I to You (Norah Jones)
02 Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most (Norah Jones)
03 Walkin' My Baby Back Home (Norah Jones)
04 World of Trouble (Norah Jones)
05 Something Is Calling You [Alternate Version] (Norah Jones)
06 What Would I Do (Norah Jones)
07 A Little at a Time (Norah Jones)
08 Fragile (Norah Jones)
09 Peace [Alternate Version] (Norah Jones)
10 What Am I to You [Acoustic Version] (Norah Jones)

I've made a ton of album covers that are photos of the pretty face of Norah Jones. I thought I'd try something different this time, so I Googled her name plus the word "art" and found this image. It was made by Mulyadi Burham. All I did was crop it and add the text.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Beck with the Flaming Lips - Morning Becomes Eclectic, KCRW Studios, Santa Monica, CA, 11-24-2002

I recently posted two albums of Beck performing for the "Morning Becomes Eclectic" radio show. He really likes playing for this show, and typically does so every other year or thereabouts. So here's another one.

This one is rather unique because Beck was backed by the critically acclaimed band the Flaming Lips for a 2002 tour. At the end of their tour, they did this performance. Beck did all the lead vocals. But he also sang one song by the Flaming Lips, "Do You Realize?"

As is typical for these radio shows, there was lots of talking between the songs, with both Beck and Wayne Coyne, lead singer of the Flaming Lips, talking a lot. I cut that way down, limiting it to only the parts where they discussed the songs they were about to play.

Actually, this wasn't the only performance Beck gave for this radio station in 2002. He did one a few months earlier, with only one other musician. The song list was largely the same, and I think the Flaming Lips performance is more interesting. However, he played three songs he didn't play in the other show. So I've added those to the end.

This album is 51 minutes long.

01 talk (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
02 The Golden Age (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
03 talk (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
04 We Live Again (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
05 talk (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
06 Cold Brains (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
07 talk (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
08 Do You Realize (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
09 talk (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
10 Lonesome Tears (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
11 Lost Cause (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
12 Little One (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
13 Paper Tiger (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
14 talk (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
15 New Pollution (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
16 talk (Beck with the Flaming Lips)
17 Side of the Road (Beck)
18 talk (Beck)
19 Guess I'm Doing Fine (Beck)
20 talk (Beck)
21 Round the Bend (Beck)

At first, I was going to use a photo of Beck and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips playing together on the Austin City Limits TV show in 2002. However, that photo was rather low res. More importantly, I discovered a YouTube video of one of the songs ("New Pollution") from this exact show. So I took a screenshot of that. Unfortunately, it only shows Beck, since the Flaming Lips members were scattered all over the studio at the time.

The Blues Project - The Matrix, San Francisco, CA, 9-1966

I previously posted a couple of albums featuring the Doors playing at the Matrix in San Francisco in 1967. That put me in the mood to post this, which also is a concert that took place at the Matrix. Like the Doors concerts, the sound quality is fantastic. Since it is known the owner of the Matrix recorded the Doors with professional equipment, I strongly suspect that's what happened here, a few months earlier.

Let me explain some about the Blues Project, if you're not familiar with them. Chances are you don't know much about them, because they had a lot of talent and potential, but broke up too soon. They were formed in 1965 and broke up in 1967. They had some reunions in the 1970s and after, but their moment was gone. 

Unfortunately, the band's name was misleading. While they did play blues, they also played folk, soul, jazz, rock, and pop, and mixed them together in different combinations. They had a lot of variety because they had several talented singer-songwriters. The best known is probably organist Al Kooper, who already had co-written the song "This Diamond Ring," which was a Number One hit in the US by Gary Lewis and the Playboys in 1965, and would go on to more success by founding Blood, Sweat and Tears. But the band's guitarists Steve Katz and Danny Kalb also wrote and sang for the band, and had later success as well. 

Having different talents like this in the band made it something special for a brief time, but it also caused the band to split up, in the same way that Crosby, Stills, Nash and sometimes Young always seemed to be squabbling, reuniting, and breaking up.

This concert recording happens to have taken place at an excellent time. At this point, the band was still united, and would put out their second album, "Projections," two months later. But in the spring of 1967, Kooper and Katz would leave, then more would follow, with the band ending in the summer of 1967, shortly after appearing at the Monterey Pop Festival.

This concert has been kind of released over the years. What I mean is, several versions have come out, but they appear to be "grey market" releases that aren't entirely legal, and no profits go to the artist. The sound quality is excellent, as I mentioned above. However, the vocals between songs were very low, to the point that one could barely hear them. I boosted those quite a lot. I had to boost them so much that that resulted in a lot of hiss for those bits. So I used some noise reduction on them. I'm very, very reluctant to use that on any actual music, but I figure it's far less of a problem using it only on the talking between songs.

This concert features two sets by the band on the same night. You can hear when they took a break. Fortunately, they only played one song in both sets, "Flute Thing," and that was an instrumental jam with lots of variation with each take. It's also not known which night this was exactly. As you can see from the cover art, the band played the Matrix for a week in September 1966, so it could have been recorded on any of those days.

If you like classic rock from the 1960s, I suggest you give this a listen. I'm sure this band would be much more famous today if they'd stayed together longer. And the bland name didn't help either. I'd argue this is probably their best recording, better than any of their official material.

This album is an hour and 37 minutes long.

01 talk (Blues Project)
02 Louisiana Blues (Blues Project)
03 talk (Blues Project)
04 Steve's Song (Blues Project)
05 talk (Blues Project)
06 I Can't Keep from Cryin' Sometimes (Blues Project)
07 talk (Blues Project)
08 Caress Me Baby (Blues Project)
09 talk (Blues Project)
10 Flute Thing [Instrumental] (Blues Project)
11 talk (Blues Project)
12 Wake Me, Shake Me (Blues Project)
13 The Way My Baby Walks (Blues Project)
14 talk (Blues Project)
15 Love Will Endure (Blues Project)
16 Jelly, Jelly (Blues Project)
17 talk (Blues Project)
18 Cheryl's Going Home (Blues Project)
19 talk (Blues Project)
20 You Can' Catch Me (Blues Project)
21 talk (Blues Project)
22 Shake That Thing (Blues Project)
23 talk (Blues Project)
24 Catch the Wind (Blues Project)
25 talk (Blues Project)
26 You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover (Blues Project)
27 talk (Blues Project)
28 Flute Thing [Instrumental] (Blues Project)
29 talk (Blues Project)
30 Hoochie Coochie Man (Blues Project)
31 If You Don't Come Back (Blues Project)

As mentioned above, the cover art is a poster for the week long set of shows the band played at the Matrix from which this concert comes. Since the original poster was rectangular, I squished it some vertically, and cropped out the top and bottom. I also removed a few small words, such as the club's street address, and added "1966."

The Doors - The Matrix, San Francisco, CA, 3-10-1967

There are two Doors concerts from the same venue, the Matrix, only three days apart. These concerts have excellent sound quality and performances. They're a unique view into the Doors playing a half-empty small club right before they hit it big a couple of months later. I just posted the first one, from March 7th, 1967, so I might as well post this one too. It's definitely worth getting both if you're a Doors fan, even though the set lists are similar.

I said most of what I want to say about this in my write up for the March 7th show. But I'll mention that much, though not all, of this was officially released on the 2008 official album "Live at the Matrix 1967." Unfortunately, that mixed both shows together with no apparent logic, and left out many songs. That album also used the same bootleg source I'm using here instead of the master tapes, which still exist. The master tape versions of some song from the March 7th show have been released, but none from the March 10th show have made it to the public yet. 

When I looked into this, I found a few comments that the March 10th show has a slightly better sound than the March 7th one. But it so, it's very, very close. Both are soundboards recorded with multiple microphones. These blow away all other of the very few recordings of the band from around that time period. 

Note that the March 9th Matrix concert was also recorded by the same person, who was the owner of the venue. But that was recorded over with the March 10th recording, unfortunately. The only thing that survived from March 9th were the last few minutes of "The End." I haven't included that, since it's incomplete.

This concert took place two months after the release of the band's debut album, "The Doors," but before the sales of that album took off. But it's notable how varied their song list already was. They played most of the songs from their debut album, but also most of the songs from their second album "Strange Days," which hadn't even been recorded yet. They also played more cover songs than they would later. Some of those here - "Money (That's What I Want)," "I'm a King Bee," "Gloria," "and "Summertime" - were not played in the March 7th show. That show appears to be complete, while this one is not, so some key songs are missing here, like "Light My Fire" and "The End." Both both are definitely worth hearing.

As I did with the March 7th show, I cut out a lot of dead air between songs. It seems the band did virtually no talking to the audience whatsoever, so you're not missing anything other than some guitar tuning and instrumental noodling. I also boosted the volume of the tepid applause from the small audience.

This album is an hour and 18 minutes long.

01 My Eyes Have Seen You (Doors)
02 Soul Kitchen (Doors)
03 I Can't See Your Face in My Mind (Doors)
04 People Are Strange (Doors)
05 When the Music's Over (Doors)
06 Money [That's What I Want] (Doors)
07 Who Do You Love (Doors)
08 Moonlight Drive (Doors)
09 Summer's Almost Gone (Doors)
10 I'm a King Bee (Doors)
11 Gloria (Doors)
12 Break On Through [To the Other Side] (Doors)
13 Summertime [Instrumental] (Doors)
14 Back Door Man (Doors)
15 Alabama Song [Whisky Bar] (Doors)

I don't know when or where the cover photo of Doors lead singer Jim Morrison is from. But it looks like it was in a small venue during the band's early era. So I think it fits this pretty well.