Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Joe Jackson - BBC Sessions, Volume 5: In Concert, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Britain, 1-30-1995

With this post, I've had to do something I've never done before, and something I really don't want to do: I skipped over posting an album in an album series. I'm going from having posted "BBC Sessions, Volume 3" to "BBC Sessions, Volume 5," with no "Volume 4" in between. The reason is copyright violation trouble. "Volume 3" was automatically removed due to a copyright violation. The material for "Volume 4" comes from the exact same album as the material for "Volume 3," the album "At the BBC." So I figure I'd be pushing my luck if I tried to post that. Whereas nothing from this "Volume 5" album has been officially released, so I'm assuming I'll be safe with this one.

That said, I did make the "Volume 4" album, with the cover art and all. It's a short 1983 concert. I have posted it at SoulseekQT, which has different standards, so feel free to get it there.

Now, let me get to the content of this album. In 1994, Jackson released the studio album "Night Music." He was getting into classical music at the time, and it's a mix of classically inspired songs with more typical pop songs. It was not well received. If one looks at the crowd-sourced ratings as I write this in February 2024, it has the lowest ratings of all of his albums up to that point in his career. (He would do a couple more classically influenced albums that also would not be well received.) 

So this concert is a mixture of songs from "Night Music" plus his usual assortment of popular tracks from his previous albums. However, I must say the "Night Music" songs come across better in this concert than they do on the studio album. Most are just songs that could have easily fit on his earlier albums. "Ever After" in particular is a standout. But also, there are a couple of classically inspired instrumentals, "Nocturne No. 2" and "Nocturne No.4," that are actually totally rearranged from the album versions, done just as solo piano pieces. I like them a lot better this way.

The concert recording has excellent sound quality, even though it's a bootleg. But there was a major problem: apparently the BBC cut out some songs to fit the concert into a certain time slot. Five songs were missing: "Nocturne No. 4," Nocturne No. 2," "The Other Me," "Tango Atlantico," and "Steppin' Out." I was able to find one other concert bootleg from this tour, from New York City in November 1994, to get good versions of "Nocturne No. 4," Nocturne No. 2," and "Steppin' Out." However, "The Other Me" and "Tango Atlantico" were not played at that other concert and I couldn't find any other good versions of them from that tour, so those two haven't been included. 

I suspect also that some of the banter between songs got cut out due to BBC edits. For instance, Jackson never introduced his band members, which was something he's always done. But at least some banter did survive.

By the way, "Is She Really Going Out with Him - It's Different for Girls" is an unusual case. Both those songs were early hits from him. But on this performance, he played the music to "Is She Really Going Out with Him" with the lyrics to "It's Different for Girls." Then, later in the song, he played the music to "It's Different for Girls" with the music to "Is She Really Going Out with Him!" So it's a medley, but not like you would normally expect.

Unfortunately, I haven't found any evidence of Jackson performing for the BBC after this concert. So the BBC series for him ends here, unless something else turns up.

This album is an hour and 24 minutes long.

01 Home Town (Joe Jackson)
02 Real Men (Joe Jackson)
03 talk (Joe Jackson)
04 Nocturne No. 4 [Instrumental] (Joe Jackson)
05 Is She Really Going Out with Him - It's Different for Girls (Joe Jackson)
06 Stranger than Fiction (Joe Jackson)
07 talk (Joe Jackson)
08 Sea of Secrets (Joe Jackson)
09 Nocturne No. 2 [Instrumental] (Joe Jackson)
10 talk (Joe Jackson)
11 The Man Who Wrote Danny Boy (Joe Jackson)
12 talk (Joe Jackson)
13 Ever After (Joe Jackson)
14 talk (Joe Jackson)
15 Only the Future (Joe Jackson)
16 Another World (Joe Jackson)
17 Chinatown (Joe Jackson)
18 Breaking Us in Two (Joe Jackson)
19 You Can't Get What You Want [Til You Know What You Want] (Joe Jackson)
20 Got the Time (Joe Jackson)
21 What's the Use of Getting Sober (Joe Jackson)
22 I'm the Man (Joe Jackson)
23 Steppin' Out (Joe Jackson)

I couldn't find any good photos of Jackson in concert from 1995. I ultimately had to resort to using one from 1997, from a concert in Paris.

Eric Clapton - Black Cat Bone - Non-Album Tracks (1994-1996)

On one hand, I'm still annoyed, maybe permanently annoyed, at Eric Clapton's idiotic comments and behavior about the Covid pandemic. But on the other hand, he's done a lot of great music, and I have a ton of albums I've prepared from even before the Covid crisis. So I'm gonna try to move faster on posting them. This is another stray tracks album.

Around this time, Clapton was going through a particularly bluesy phase, culminating with his all blues album "From the Cradle" in 1994. 

One partial exception is the song "Change the World," which was a big hit in the U.S. in 1996, reaching the Top Five of the singles chart, and one of the most played songs on the radio that year. It has a much more poppy sound that the others, including a hint of hip hop. But at the same time, Clapton said the song still has "one foot in the blues, even if it's subtly disguised."

"Change the World," released only as an A-side and on a movie soundtrack, is one of four officially released songs here. The others are "Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up on Love," from a live Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute album, "Every Day I Have the Blues," from a "Live at Hyde Park" DVD, and "Low Tide," an instrumental from another movie soundtrack.

The other songs are all blues songs from concert bootlegs. With Clapton bootlegs being very popular, I had no problem sourcing all of them from soundboard boots. Note that I ran them through the MVSEP audio editing program filter to remove the crowd noise, so they'd fit in with the studio tracks. I also boosted the lead vocals on a few tracks that needed it.

This album is 51 minutes long.

01 I Can't Judge Nobody (Eric Clapton)
02 Forty-Four (Eric Clapton)
03 Ain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do (Eric Clapton)
04 Black Cat Bone (Eric Clapton)
05 I'm Gonna Cut Your Head (Eric Clapton)
06 Blues All Day Long [Blues Leave Me Alone] (Eric Clapton)
07 I Got My Mojo Working (Eric Clapton)
08 Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up on Love (Eric Clapton)
09 Change the World (Eric Clapton)
10 Every Day I Have the Blues (Eric Clapton)
11 Low Tide [Instrumental] (Eric Clapton)

All I know about the photo used for the cover is that it's from 1996. The little picture of the cat in the top right corner I added on a whim, after doing an image search for the phrase "black cat bone."

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Various Artists - Mike’s Mixes - Uncovered Classics, Volume 1 (1964-2006) (A MIKE SOLOF GUEST POST)

Here's another collection of unique mixes by guest poster Mike Solof. I'll let him describe what it's about.


It’s Mike. You might know me from my series of Uncovered Beatles tracks. I’m back and starting a whole new series of non-Beatles cuts that I’m calling Uncovered Classics. The series will feature some of my remixes of classic tracks that I know and love and grew up listening to on my old FM radio. I own a broad spectrum of music that I have collected over the past 40 years. This new series will focus on some of my favorite songs, mostly well-known classics, but also a few you might not be familiar with.

As with my Beatles series, the thing I enjoy most is using modern tech to rip apart the commercially released tracks you know by heart… and find all the cool stuff that is hiding in the cracks and crevices deep, deep within. The buried gems, the treasures you never usually get a chance to hear because they had been buried deep in the mix under all those other “bothersome” instruments and vocals... until now!

Below is a brief track by track summary of what I've included in my intro into this new series. Please read the PDF file included in the download zip for more information, including song by song details.

This album is an hour and one minute long.

01 Long Train Runnin' [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Doobie Brothers)
02 Exposure [2020 Mike’s Mix] (Robert Fripp)
03 Bedspring Kiss [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Jellyfish)
04 Fly Me to the Moon [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Frank Sinatra)
05 Borderline [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Madonna)
06 Ramble On [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Led Zeppelin)
07 Slip Kid [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Who)
08 Lone Jack [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Pat Metheny Group)
09 Once in a Lifetime [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Talking Heads)
10 Thick as a Brick [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Jethro Tull)
11 Seven Bridges Road [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Eagles)
12 You Know My Name [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Chris Cornell)
13 Relax [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Frankie Goes to Hollywood)
14 Bohemian Rhapsody [2024 Mike’s Mix] (Queen)

Paul here again. I don't know what's going on with the cover art. A Mike self portrait, maybe?! Perhaps he can explain.

Ron Sexsmith - Reasons to Believe, Volume 3: 2002-2005

This is Volume 3 of my Rox Sexsmith stray tracks collection. It mostly consists of cover versions, but there are a few originals in there.

All but two of the songs are officially release. Those two are "Guess Things Happen That Way" and "Wrecking Ball." They're from concert bootlegs. But they're probably from soundboards, because their sound quality is excellent.

Regarding the officially released songs, six of them come from the 2004 album "Has-Been and Wives:" tracks 5, 8, 9, 11, 13, and 15. Technically, this album was credited to "the Kelele Brothers," but that's just another name for Sexsmith and his backing band. They did another album in 2001, and I included some songs from that on the last album in this series. As with that volume, I've only included the songs where Sexsmith is the lead vocalist. I've scattered them between some other songs because the sound is ukelele-centric, and I wanted to spread that out.

Regarding the other songs, they're generally from various artists collections and appearances on other artists' albums. For instance, there are songs from tribute albums to Stephen Foster, NRBQ, and Gordon Lightfoot. There's also one song, "All Too Much," that's a bonus track.

Note that the first song, "Wastin' Time," appears on his debut studio album "Ron Sexsmith." But this is a piano-centric version that I figured was different enough to merit inclusion.

As with the rest of this series, thanks to Pete the Greek for help finding the songs and organizing the information about them.

This album is 50 minutes long.

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

01 Wastin' Time [Piano Version] - Ron Sexsmith
02 Maybe This Christmas - Ron Sexsmith
03 Guess Things Happen That Way - Johnny Cash
04 Drifters - Gordon Lightfoot
05 Chick Habit - Serge Gainsbourg / April March
06 All Too Much - Ron Sexsmith
07 Wrecking Ball - Neil Young
08 Father Christmas - Kinks
09 Boredom and Loneliness - Ron Sexsmith
10 Comrades Fill No Glass for Me - Stephen Foster
11 I Don't Want to Hear It Anymore - Randy Newman / Dusty Springfield
12 My Girlfriend's Pretty - NRBQ
13 Blue, Red and Grey - Who
14 Los Mismo Que Yo [If Only] - Alex Cuba & Ron Sexsmith
15 One Brown Mouse - Jethro Tull
16 Song No. 6 - Ane Brun

Here's the usual song list:

01 Wastin' Time [Piano Version] (Ron Sexsmith)
02 Maybe This Christmas (Ron Sexsmith)
03 Guess Things Happen That Way (Ron Sexsmith)
04 Drifters (Ron Sexsmith)
05 Chick Habit (Kelele Brothers [Ron Sexsmith])
06 All Too Much (Ron Sexsmith)
07 Wrecking Ball (Ron Sexsmith)
08 Father Christmas (Kelele Brothers [Ron Sexsmith])
09 Boredom and Loneliness (Kelele Brothers [Ron Sexsmith])
10 Comrades Fill No Glass for Me (Ron Sexsmith)
11 I Don't Want to Hear It Anymore (Kelele Brothers [Ron Sexsmith])
12 My Girlfriend's Pretty (Ron Sexsmith)
13 Blue, Red and Grey (Kelele Brothers [Ron Sexsmith])
14 Los Mismo Que Yo [If Only] (Alex Cuba Band & Ron Sexsmith)
15 One Brown Mouse (Kelele Brothers [Ron Sexsmith])
16 Song No. 6 (Ane Brun & Ron Sexsmith)

The cover photo shows Sexsmith at a concert in Bochum, Germany, in 2004.

Monday, February 26, 2024

U2 - BBC Sessions, Volume 5: Old Grey Whistle Test, Balmoral TV Studios, Belfast, Britain, 3-8-1987

I continue with more of U2 performing for the BBC. This is a short but interesting 1987 concert.

1987 was the year U2 went from being "mere" stars to being superstars, thanks to their blockbuster album "The Joshua Tree." This concert for the BBC TV Show "The Old Grey Whistle Test" took place the day before that album was released. In fact, after the show, at midnight, they went to a local record store and signed autographs for people waiting in line to buy the album as soon as it turned midnight. So this was the first public unveiling of two new songs, "Exit" and "In God's Country." ("Trip through Your Wires" had been performed just once prior to this.) Furthermore, they did two cover songs, "People Get Ready" and "Southern Man." They had done "Southern Man" a bunch of times in 1982, but this was the first time they ever played "People Get Ready" in public. Furthermore, this apparently was the only time they ever played "Pride (In the Name of Love)" in the same key as the album version.

The two last songs are unusual too, but I mention them separately because they're actually from a different show. The main show is rather short, only 22 minutes long. So I wanted to add a bit more. The last two songs (tracks 9 to 11) are from a brief appearance the band made on an Irish TV show just a week later. They did two covers. It was the first time they did "Springhill Mining Disaster," and it was the only time they ever did "Happy Xmas (Was Is Over)."

Everything here is unreleased, as far as I know. But the main show had some serious sound quality issues. There was a constant noise through the whole thing that was annoying. But I used some sound editing tricks to get rid of it. So I would imagine this sounds better than any other bootleg versions out there up to this point.

This album is 28 minutes long.

01 talk (U2)
02 People Get Ready (U2)
03 Southern Man (U2)
04 Trip through Your Wires (U2)
05 Exit (U2)
06 In God's Country (U2)
07 talk (U2)
08 Pride [In the Name of Love] (U2)
09 talk (U2)
10 Springhill Mining Disaster (U2)
11 Happy Xmas [Was Is Over] (U2)

The cover photo is from this exact performance. (Note the "Whistle Test" sign in the background.) Unfortunately, it's probably a screenshot from the video and the picture quality isn't that great.

Chris Isaak - Acoustic, Volume 1: 1989-1996

I'm a big fan of acoustic music, and one thing I like about Chris Isaak is that he's always had an acoustic side to his music. It hasn't fully shown up that much on his studio albums, but I've found enough for three albums of acoustic versions. This is the first one.

Everything here is officially unreleased. The first song is from 1989. The next big chunk, tracks two through ten, are from a 1991 appearance on the Dutch radio show "2 Meter Sessies." Tracks 11 through 13 are from a 1994 appearance on a Los Angeles radio show called "Music Hall." Then tracks 14 through 17 are from another appearance on that show a year later. The last song is from an appearance on an Australian TV show in 1996. So the vast majority of these are from in-person radio station performances. All the songs were essentially done in studio conditions, with no audience noise.

This album is 42 minutes long. 

01 Vaya Con Dios [Edit] (Chris Isaak)
02 Wicked Game (Chris Isaak)
03 Undo the Right (Chris Isaak)
04 Leavin' It All Up to You (Chris Isaak)
05 I'm Not Waiting (Chris Isaak)
06 La Tumba Sera el Final (Chris Isaak)
07 Solitary Man (Chris Isaak)
08 Western Stars (Chris Isaak)
09 Leah (Chris Isaak)
10 Pretty Papers (Chris Isaak)
11 Guess Things Happen that Way (Chris Isaak)
12 Sweet Leilani (Chris Isaak)
13 Nobody Else but Me (Chris Isaak)
14 Cryin' (Chris Isaak)
15 You're the Only Good Thing [That's Happened to Me] (Chris Isaak)
16 Forever Blue (Chris Isaak)
17 Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing (Chris Isaak)
18 Think of Tomorrow (Chris Isaak)

I don't know any details about the cover photo, except it was taken in 1991.

The Rolling Stones - Some Covers, Volume 2: 1979-1981

I posted "Some Covers, Volume 1" by the Rolling Stones back in September 2021. I planned to post Volume 2 soon thereafter. It's now two and a half years later. Oops! The reason for the delay was that I wanted to post my stray tracks albums for the band's "Some Girls" era, and that got delayed for various reasons I've explained elsewhere. So now I'm finally free to post this one.

Just like "Volume 1," this collects cover versions the band did that they didn't put on their studio albums at the time. But after getting themselves together and making the classic "Some Girls" album in 1978, the band started to split. Lead guitarist Keith Richards finally got off various drug addictions and wanted to take more of a leadership role in the band. But lead singer Mick Jagger didn't like that, and the two of them butted heads.

One result of that was the key members began taking part in more solo projects. There aren't any solo songs from Jagger, but there are two solo songs by Richards, one by guitarist Ronnie Wood, and two more by a short-lived side project band that was headed by both Richards and Wood, the New Barbarians.

Furthermore, Richards sings one of the Rolling Stones songs here, "Your Angel Steps Out of Heaven." As a result of all that, Richards sings four songs and Wood sings two. Normally, Jagger sang the vast majority of the songs for the band. But that leaves only seven songs for him, and two of those are duets with blues legend Muddy Waters. So that's a bit unusual, but that's what the source material gave me. I tried to sort the songs so that it usually alternates between one sung by Jagger and then one sung by Richards or Wood.

Only five of the songs here are officially released. "Going to a Go-Go" is from the rather obscure archival live album "Hampton Stadium." "Let’s Go Steady Again" is a duet between Richards and a lesser known female singer, Kristi Kimsey. This song comes from a Kimsey album called "As I Look Back." "Seven Days," a great Bob Dylan cover, is from a Ronnie Wood solo album. The two songs with Muddy Waters, "Hoochie Coochie Man" and "Champagne and Reefer," are from another fairly obscure archival live album called "Checkerboard Lounge Live."

That leaves the unreleased songs. "Linda Lu," "Your Angel Steps Out of Heaven," and "Sweet Home Chicago" are from studio sessions by the band. "Linda Lu" has "[Edit]" in the title because I thought it went on too long without purpose, so I edited out about a minute of it. The next two songs, "Apartment No. 9," and "Worried Life Blues," are from a soundboard bootleg of a New Barbarians concert. "Twenty Flight Rock" is from a concert in Hartford, Connecticut, during the band's big 1981 tour. Richards has a penchant for weepy country songs, surprisingly enough. The last two unreleased songs, "Oh, What a Feeling" and "Don't," were done by him as solo performances in the studio.

I've collected one more album of covers that deals with the rest of the 1980s. I hope it won't take as long before I post that one.

This album is 51 minutes long.

01 Linda Lu [Edit] (Rolling Stones)
02 Your Angel Steps Out of Heaven (Rolling Stones)
03 Sweet Home Chicago (Rolling Stones)
04 Apartment No. 9 (New Barbarians (Keith Richards & Ronnie Wood))
05 Worried Life Blues (New Barbarians (Keith Richards & Ronnie Wood))
06 Going to a Go-Go (Rolling Stones)
07 Let’s Go Steady Again (Rolling Stones with Kristi Kimsey)
08 Twenty Flight Rock (Rolling Stones)
09 Seven Days (Ronnie Wood)
10 Hoochie Coochie Man (Muddy Waters & the Rolling Stones)
11 Oh, What a Feeling (Keith Richards)
12 Down the Road Apiece (Rolling Stones)
13 Champagne and Reefer (Muddy Waters & the Rolling Stones)
14 Don't (Keith Richards)

I picked a pretty strange Stones concert poster for the cover art to Volume 1. I did the same with this one. I don't have the details about this poster, but I cropped out much of it so I could focus on the flower with the Stones lips logo.

Natalie Merchant - VH-1 Storytellers, Manhattan Center, New York City, 9-14-1998

I just posted a couple of albums of the band 10,000 Maniacs. Natalie Merchant was that band's main singer and songwriter. She left for a solo career in 1993. I have plans to continue with more albums of Merchants doing cover songs in her solo career. But before I get to that, I figured I'd post an album of her original material. 

This is from her appearance on the TV show "VH-1 Storytellers." The main idea behind the show was for the musical act to tell stories behind the songs they played, and she did definitely that here. 

This is unreleased on audio, but I believe it has been released as a video.

I believe the last four tracks weren't actually included in the original TV show, but were included in the video later. There also was a second take of the song "These Are Days," but I didn't include it since it was virtually the same as the version here.

The timing of this concert is excellent if you're just a casual fan. She had two really popular albums in 1995 and 1998 ("Tigerlily" and "Ophelia" respectively), then her sales went way down. So this captured her at the peak of her popularity, and includes most of her best known solo songs, as well as a few from her 10,000 Maniacs era.

This album is 51 minutes long.

01 These Are Days (Natalie Merchant)
02 talk (Natalie Merchant)
03 Carnival (Natalie Merchant)
04 talk (Natalie Merchant)
05 What's the Matter Here (Natalie Merchant)
06 talk (Natalie Merchant)
07 Kind and Generous (Natalie Merchant)
08 talk (Natalie Merchant)
09 Break Your Heart (Natalie Merchant)
10 talk (Natalie Merchant)
11 Wonder (Natalie Merchant)
12 talk (Natalie Merchant)
13 Verdi Cries (Natalie Merchant)
14 talk (Natalie Merchant)
15 Life Is Sweet (Natalie Merchant)

The cover photo is a screenshot I took from the video of this exact concert.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Various Artists - Prince's Trust Rock Gala, Wembley Arena, London, Britain, 6-5-1987

I just posted the Prince's Trust concert from 1986. This is the 1987 concert. It's the same basic idea, but many of the songs and performers are different. Both are very worthwhile listens.

Like the 1986 concert, this one started with some newer musical acts. With the benefit of hindsight, some were good choices, and others... not so much (cough cough, Curiosity Killed the Cat and Go West, cough cough). But if you don't like all the artists, that's okay, because none of the first few acts lasted more than a single song.

There were fewer big name artists in this concert than the 1986 one. Plus, the entire concert was about half an hour shorter. (If, in fact, this is the whole thing - I'm not entirely sure.) But on the other hand, the finale was probably even more impressive. I'll get to that in a minute.

First though, I want to point out that, like the 1986 concert, for many of the songs, there was a backing band made up of many stars. I don't know which songs exactly, because I can't find the full video of this concert on YouTube. But, for instance, when Ben E. King sang his song, his backing band included Phil Collins on drums, Midge Ure on rhythm guitar, and Eric Clapton on lead guitar.

But the big deal was the finale. In the 1986, the biggest star was ex-Beatle Paul McCartney. But the 1987 concert outdid that by having two ex-Beatles performing together: George Harrison and Ringo Starr! Harrison's appearance was a particularly big deal because he hadn't performed in concert since his 1974 tour (other than a couple of brief appearances in the finales of other artist's concerts). 

I randomly stumbled across a description of the concert's finale in a 2015 article in Guitar World Magazine. Here it is:

"On June 5, 1987, three of the five original musicians who appeared on the classic Beatles 'White Album' track 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' reunited to perform the song live at the Prince's Trust Rock Gala in London's Wembley Arena. George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Eric Clapton were joined in an all-star U.K. band, including Elton John, Phil Collins, Jeff Lynne, Ray Cooper, and... well, if you're wondering who that understandably happy bassist is, it's Mark King from Level 42. Harrison, Starr, and Clapton last performed the song live 16 years earlier at the Concert for Bangladesh in New York City. What most interesting about this performance is the fact that A., the normally Strat-happy Clapton is playing a beautiful Gibson Les Paul, just as he did on the original 1968 recording, and B., the also-Strat-happy Harrison joins Clapton in the extended guitar solo at the end of the song. The two guitarists trade solos and feed off each other's energy, and their intertwining lines are often pretty damn cool."

In addition to that, someone, I'm guessing Clapton, played a guitar solo for "With a Little Help from My Friends," a song that normally lacked any solo. It's a shame that Jeff Lynne apparently didn't sing any of his Electric Light Orchestra hits. But he sang backing vocals on all three of the Beatles songs at the end. Given that Lynne is a huge Beatles fan, this must have been the closest he ever got to a fantasy of being a part of the Beatles, getting to sing with Harrison and Starr, with Clapton on guitar for good measure!

This album is an hour and 45 minutes long.

01 Running in the Family (Level 42 with Eric Clapton)
02 If I Was (Midge Ure)
03 Misfit (Curiosity Killed the Cat)
04 Don't Look Down (Go West)
05 Invisible (Alison Moyet)
06 Through the Barricades (Spandau Ballet)
07 So Strong (Labi Siffre)
08 Run to You (Bryan Adams)
09 Hearts on Fire (Bryan Adams)
10 Somebody (Bryan Adams)
11 talk (Dave Edmunds & Bryan Adams)
12 The Wanderer (Dave Edmunds & Bryan Adams)
13 talk (Eric Clapton)
14 Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
15 Behind the Mask (Eric Clapton)
16 Stand by Me (Ben E. King)
17 talk (Phil Collins)
18 Reach Out, I'll Be There - I Can't Help Myself - Same Old Song (Phil Collins & Paul Young)
19 You've Lost That Loving Feeling (Phil Collins & Paul Young)
20 talk (Elton John)
21 Your Song (Elton John)
22 Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting (Elton John)
23 talk (George Harrison & Ringo Starr)
24 While My Guitar Gently Weeps (George Harrison & Eric Clapton with Ringo Starr & Jeff Lynne)
25 Here Comes the Sun (George Harrison with Ringo Starr & Jeff Lynne)
26 With a Little Help from My Friends (Ringo Starr with George Harrison, Eric Clapton & Jeff Lynne)

I searched the Internet pretty thoroughly for a color version of the group photo from this concert. All I could find was a black and white version. I tinted it blue. If anyone can find the color version, please let me know so I can upgrade this. There are way too many people in the photo for me to try to make a colorized version.

Various Artists - Prince's Trust Rock Gala, Wembley Arena, London, Britain, 6-20-1986

Hmmm. I could have sworn I'd posted this months ago. I'd posted the 1982 Prince's Trust concert a while back. I was getting to post the next one in the series, from 1987, when I did a search and noticed this one wasn't here. So now you'll get two in a row, as I'll be posting the 1987 one today as well. 

Prince Charles, the crown prince of Britain at the time, ran a charity to help troubled youths. It's still going as I write this in 2024, and Charles has finally become king. 

These concerts didn't happen every year. In fact, I don't think there was any after the 1982 one I mentioned until this one, although there was a Dire Straits concert in 1985 that benefited the charity. This one, though, was truly a star-studded event. Perhaps inspired by Live Aid in 1985, the big names showed up in droves.

In fact, I find this concert frustrating, because so much big name talent was underused. The concerts started with sets by Big Country, Suzanne Vega, and Level 42. I definitely like Big Country and Suzanne Vega (whereas Level 42, not so much), and I've posted albums by them here. But it seems very odd to me that they got to play four or five songs each, while much bigger names like Sting, Mark Knopfler, George Michael, David Bowie, and Mick Jagger got less than one full song, since they only appeared as part of duets. Very strange.

That said, what there is here is quite good. It's just that I wish there had been a lot more of it. But as far as I can tell, this was the complete concert. I guess the organizers had to keep things relatively short because the concert was broadcast live on TV and radio in Britain. I gather the reason Big Country, Suzanne Vega, and Level 42 had such surprisingly long sets was because one purpose of the show was to showcase new talent. This is a trend with the other Prince's Trust concerts I'm aware of. At least in this year the new acts would end up being pretty good. (Some other years weren't so lucky.)

One special aspect of this concert is how much the big stars in the second half of the show performed together. You don't really see it in the artist credits on each song. For instance, typically, Phil Collins played drums, Elton John played piano, Midge Ure of Ultravox played rhythm guitar, and Eric Clapton or Mark Knoplfer played lead guitar. At one point, you can hear Rod Stewart joke about how happy he is to finally get Elton John in his backing band. But that's not all. You really the watch the video this (the whole thing can be found on YouTube as I type this) to see all the stars backing each other.

The highlights are many, too many for me to describe. But I'll point out that the biggest start of the evening had to be Paul McCartney, who closed the show. Keep in mind that, from the perspective of 1986, McCartney hadn't barely played in any concerts since the 1970s. Starting in 1989 he would go on a world tour, and he would tour often after that. But he'd only made three other concert appearances in the 1980s prior to this, and each one was just for a couple of songs at most. (For instance, he played one song for Live Aid in 1985.)

By the way, note that there's a flaw with the duet of "Dancing in the Street" by David Bowie and Mick Jagger. For some reason, Bowie's vocals are way down in the mix. I currently don't have the means to fix that, since it's tricky with them singing together most of the time. But with audio editing technology advancing recently, it probably will be fixable eventually.

Note that various versions of this concert have been officially released, both on audio and video. But as far as I can tell, none of them are complete. The audio version, for instance, is only the length of a single album. So there's a lot more music here.

This album is two hours and 17 minutes long.

01 Introduction (Emcee)
02 talk (Big Country)
03 Wonderland (Big Country)
04 Fields of Fire (Big Country)
05 talk (Big Country)
06 Look Away (Big Country)
07 Chance (Big Country)
08 talk (Big Country)
09 In a Big Country (Big Country)
10 talk (Big Country)
11 talk (Suzanne Vega)
12 Tom’s Diner (Suzanne Vega)
13 talk (Suzanne Vega)
14 Cracking (Suzanne Vega)
15 Small Blue Thing (Suzanne Vega)
16 talk (Suzanne Vega)
17 Marlene on the Wall (Suzanne Vega)
18 talk (Emcee)
19 Lesson in Love (Level 42)
20 Leaving Me Now (Level 42)
21 Something about You (Level 42)
22 talk (Level 42)
23 Your Song (Elton John)
24 talk (Phil Collins)
25 In the Air Tonight (Phil Collins)
26 talk (Emcee)
27 Better Be Good to Me (Tina Turner)
28 talk (Tina Turner)
29 Tearing Us Apart (Eric Clapton & Tina Turner)
30 talk (Eric Clapton)
31 Call of the Wild (Midge Ure)
32 talk (Midge Ure)
33 Money for Nothing (Mark Knopfler & Sting)
34 talk (Mark Knopfler)
35 Every Time You Go Away (Paul Young)
36 talk (Paul Young)
37 Reach Out (Joan Armatrading)
38 No One Is to Blame (Howard Jones)
39 talk (Rod Stewart)
40 Sailing (Rod Stewart)
41 I’m Still Standing (Elton John)
42 talk (Elton John)
43 Every Time You Go Away (Paul Young & George Michael)
44 talk (George Michael)
45 I Saw Her Standing There (Paul McCartney)
46 Long Tall Sally (Paul McCartney)
47 talk (Paul McCartney)
48 Dancing in the Street (David Bowie & Mick Jagger)
49 Get Back (Paul McCartney & Everyone)
50 talk (Paul McCartney)

Each time one of these concerts happened, there typically was a group photo. If anyone wants to identify all the people in the photo, that would be great.

Jackson Browne with David Lindley - The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA, 9-7-1975

Here's a really epic Jackson Browne concert. It was nearly three hours long! The sound quality is great, and the performance is too. So if you're a fan of his music, you should get this.

Furthermore, this concert has been a popular bootleg for many years, but it now sounds much better than ever before. It was broadcast live on a local radio station as it happened. But even though it took place in a small club, there was a lot of crowd noise through the songs.

Last week (I'm writing this in February 2024), I noticed that my sometimes musical associate Lil Panda recently posted this concert at a bootleg sharing website. I recently showed him the technique of reducing the crowd noise through new AI technologies. (He uses the program X-Minus.) You may recall I used this technique to improve an Elliott Smith concert boot a few weeks ago. Not only did he use this to improve this concert, but he's been using it to improve a bunch of other recordings. So I hope we'll see more good work from him, and that others will start using it more as well.

Anyway, that helped a lot, but I noticed there still was a low buzzing sound through nearly the entire concert. Since this was an acoustic concert with no bass player, I was able to use another technique: I broke the songs into four tracks (vocals, drums, bass, and other) and then simply eliminated the bass track. This got rid of most of the buzz, though not all of it. 

And while I was at it, I noticed occasional sharp spikes in the drum track during songs, which didn't make sense since there was no drumming either. I checked each one, and found they were usually due to plosives in the singing. That means the loud popping of P sounds. Singers try hard to avoid this, but Browne was popping his P's all over this concert, for some reason. But I just eliminated those spikes and got rid of most of those.

This concert sounded very good already, since it was professionally recorded to start with, but after what Lil Panda and I did to it, it sounds even better, in my opinion. Even if you have this already, you should get this new version.

Now, let me discuss this musical content. In 1975, Browne had released three excellent studio albums, but he still wasn't a big star. Notice he was still playing a small club. (His popularity would surge with his 1976 and 1978 albums.) Starting in 1972, he began musically collaborated with David Lindley, and Lindley would tour with Browne nearly all the time until around 1980, when he started his own solo career. The only two people on stage at this concert were Browne and Lindley. Lindley really added a lot, because he had many talents, playing over 40 different instruments. He alternated between different instruments here, especially violin and lead guitar. 

Lindly also essentially did his own solo set in the middle of this concert. He took the spotlight for tracks 13 through 19, all instrumentals. I labeled all the songs the same in this concert for consistency's sake, but I was tempted to label those songs "David Lindley with Jackson Browne" instead of the other way around.

Another interesting aspect of this concert is that Browne sang three songs by Warren Zevon: "Mohammed's Radio," "Werewolves of London," and "Hasten Down the Wind." At the time, Zevon was essentially an unknown in the music world. He'd released one obscure solo album in 1970, but that was long forgotten by 1975. His solo career would essentially start in 1976 with the released of his album "Warren Zevon." Browne produced this album. I don't know the exact timing, but I'm guessing Browne knew these Zevon songs well enough to play them in concert because he was right in middle of producing that album.

What's interesting though is that one of those Zevon songs was "Werewolves of London." You can hear the crowd loved it. Yet it wasn't included on Zevon's 1976 album, for some reason. Instead, it was released on his next one, in 1978. It went on to be a big hit for him, and his signature song.

Browne has long been criticized for being too sober and serious, kind of the stereotype of the earnest, mellow, and politically correct singer-songwriter. Naturally, he played a lot of his serious original songs here. But he also showed a different side, mostly through a selection of playful and rocking cover songs, such as "Do You Wanna Dance," "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Run Boy Run," and "Runaway." He even played an obscure cover song, "You Asshole You," that made the audience laugh. Other covers included "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies," "Your Sweet and Shiny Eyes," "Long Distance Love," and "Cocaine." (That last one would appear on his blockbuster 1978 album "Running on Empty.")

Due to its length, sound quality, performance, and song selection, this is probably the ultimate 1970s Browne concert recording.

This album is two hours and 47 minutes long.

01 Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
02 Take It Easy (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
03 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
04 Your Sweet and Shiny Eyes (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
05 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
06 Long Distance Love (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
07 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
08 Fountain of Sorrow (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
09 Jamaica Say You Will (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
10 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
11 Mohammed's Radio (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
12 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
13 Fiddlin' Around [Instrumental] (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
14 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
15 True Arkansas Traveler [Instrumental] (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
16 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
17 I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry [Instrumental] - Instrumental (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
18 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
19 Reel of the Hanged Man [Instrumental] (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
20 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
21 For Everyman (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
22 The Times You've Come (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
23 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
24 Song for Adam (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
25 Cocaine (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
26 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
27 You Asshole You [You Just Want Meat] (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
28 Werewolves of London (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
29 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
30 Late for the Sky (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
31 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
32 For a Dancer (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
33 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
34 Hasten Down the Wind (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
35 Doctor My Eyes (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
36 These Days (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
37 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
38 Before the Deluge (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
39 talk (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
40 Do You Wanna Dance (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
41 Run Boy Run (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
42 Redneck Friend (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
43 Sweet Little Sixteen (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
44 Pipeline [Instrumental] - Runaway (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)
45 Your Bright Baby Blues (Jackson Browne with David Lindley)

For the cover, I wanted a photo of Browne and Lindley together in the 1970s. But I found surprisingly few. This was really the only decent color one I came across. I don't know the details, but it looks to be from the 70s.

Lyle Lovett - West End Cultural Center, Winnipeg, Canada, 10-23-1997

It's high time I finally post some music by Lyle Lovett. I'm not a big of most typical country music, but Lovett's music is different. He mixes country, jazz, folk, gospel, blues, and more, and adds in a quirky sense of humor. So you might like his stuff even if you don't typically listen to country.

The sound quality of this concert is freaking amazing. Yes, it's a bootleg (and a soundboard), but it's hard to imagine a concert being recorded any better. During the quiet parts between songs, you could have heard a pin drop. The performance is excellent too, and the set list is strong. If you were to listen to just one live recording from him, I would suggest this one, even over his one official live album, "Live in Texas." That one came out in 1999, so not too distant in time from this one, but many of the songs performed are different anyway. Besides, this one is nearly twice as long!

Lovett has typically performed his concerts with three backing bands: his Large Band, his Small Band, and in an even smaller acoustic format. This concert was performed with his Large Band. 

I wish all bootlegs were this easy to deal with. Not only is the sound quality fantastic, there were no problems to fix. The only change I made was that I cut out some dead air between songs, mostly guitar tuning.

This concert is an hour and 55 minutes long.

01 Which Way Does That Old Pony Run (Lyle Lovett)
02 talk (Lyle Lovett)
03 Good Intentions (Lyle Lovett)
04 talk (Lyle Lovett)
05 God Will (Lyle Lovett)
06 Give Back My Heart (Lyle Lovett)
07 talk (Lyle Lovett)
08 Sleepwalking (Lyle Lovett)
09 talk (Lyle Lovett)
10 Fiona (Lyle Lovett)
11 talk (Lyle Lovett)
12 Fat Babies (Lyle Lovett)
13 talk (Lyle Lovett)
14 Fat Babies [Reprise] (Lyle Lovett)
15 If I Were the Man You Wanted (Lyle Lovett)
16 talk (Lyle Lovett)
17 Her First Mistake (Lyle Lovett)
18 talk (Lyle Lovett)
19 This Old Porch (Lyle Lovett)
20 talk (Lyle Lovett)
21 Nobody Knows Me (Lyle Lovett)
22 L.A. County (Lyle Lovett)
23 If I Had a Boat (Lyle Lovett)
24 talk (Lyle Lovett)
25 Walk through the Bottomland (Lyle Lovett)
26 She's No Lady (Lyle Lovett)
27 talk (Lyle Lovett)
28 Family Reserve (Lyle Lovett)
29 Church (Lyle Lovett)
30 talk (Lyle Lovett)
31 Closing Time (Lyle Lovett)
32 talk (Lyle Lovett)
33 You Can't Resist It (Lyle Lovett)
34 Road to Ensenada (Lyle Lovett)
35 Simple Song (Lyle Lovett)

The cover photo was taken at a concert at the Medinah Temple in Chicago, Illinois, on November 12, 1997. The colors were quite messed up, with his skin tone too red to be human. I tried to fix it in Photoshop, but the colors are probably still a bit off.

Friday, February 23, 2024

10,000 Maniacs - Cover Songs, Volume 2: 1993

This is the second and last volume of cover versions by the band 10,000 Maniacs. 

The undisputed star of 10,000 Maniacs was Natalie Merchant, who was the lead singer and wrote the lyrics of all their songs, and most of the music too. She left in 1993 to start a solo career, which was very successful. 10,000 Maniacs found a new female singer and continued without her, but other than one hit, they didn't have much success. My interest in the band ends when Merchant left.

All the songs here are from the last year Merchant was in the band. This album is about the same length as Volume 1, which deals with nine years of the band's career. Perhaps they wanted to go out with a bang, doing lots of covers of their favorite songs. Most of them are classic hits, although there are a few oddball selections. Perhaps the most surprising is "He's 1-A in the Army and He's A-1 in My Heart," which is from 1941, during World War II and have a military theme to the lyrics.

Four of the songs here have been officially released on record, with another three being released only on DVD. The first three are B-sides. "Because the Night" appeared on the band's album "MTV Unplugged." The three songs after that, tracks 6, 7, and 8, appeared on a DVD of the band's MTV show only, and feature David Byrne from the Talking Heads in a supporting role.

The other songs all come from concert bootlegs. Luckily, the band was popular enough by this time for me to be able to find soundboard recordings of all of them.

Although this is the end of covers by 10,000 Maniacs, I like Merchant's voice and her choice of cover songs. So I'll be carrying on with more cover albums dealing with her solo career. There actually are dozens more interesting covers done by 10,000 Maniacs, but I couldn't find recordings of them with soundboard-level quality, or even any recordings at all. But if anyone has more that sound as good as these do, let me know and I'll add them in.

This album is 41 minutes long. 

This is a list of the original artists for each song:

01 Everyday Is like Sunday - Morrissey
02 [Don’t Go Back To] Rockville - R.E.M.
03 To Sir with Love - Lulu
04 Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
05 Because the Night - Patti Smith / Bruce Springsteen
06 Dallas - Jimmy Dale Gilmore
07 Let the Mystery Be - Iris DeMent
08 Jolene - Dolly Parton
09 He's 1-A in the Army and He's A-1 in My Heart - Harry James
10 I Know How to Do It - Dinah Washington
11 Drift Away - John Henry Kurtz / Dobie Grey
12 Band of Gold - Freda Payne
13 The Art of Love - Eartha Kitt
14 Long Black Veil - Lefty Frizzell

Here's the usual song list:

01 Everyday Is like Sunday (10,000 Maniacs)
02 [Don’t Go Back To] Rockville (10,000 Maniacs)
03 To Sir with Love (10,000 Maniacs)
04 Son of a Preacher Man (10,000 Maniacs)
05 Because the Night (10,000 Maniacs)
06 Dallas (10,000 Maniacs & David Byrne)
07 Let the Mystery Be (10,000 Maniacs & David Byrne)
08 Jolene (10,000 Maniacs & David Byrne)
09 He's 1-A in the Army and He's A-1 in My Heart (10,000 Maniacs)
10 I Know How to Do It (10,000 Maniacs)
11 Drift Away (10,000 Maniacs)
12 Band of Gold (10,000 Maniacs)
13 The Art of Love (10,000 Maniacs)
14 Long Black Veil (10,000 Maniacs)

The cover photo is from a concert in Houston on June 6, 1993.

Supergrass - Believer - Non-Album Tracks (1995-1997)

I feel I've been remiss in not posting anything from the British band Supergrass. But there are so many great musical acts out there. Even after doing this blog over five years, there are many I haven't gotten to yet.

This is a collection of non-album tracks. It's the only such collection I have. For some reason, the band recorded a big surplus of songs while recording their first two albums, "I Should Coco" in 1995 and "In It for the Money" in 1997. In particular, when I got "In It for the Money" shortly after it came out, it came with a second disc of extra songs. Seven of the songs here come from that.

Supergrass is considered a "Britpop" band, and got popular in Britain around the same time as other Britpop bands like Oasis and Blur. Like the best of those bands, their music had a new style while still building on musical styles from the past, especially the 1960s. One can see that here by the fact that although most of the songs here are originals, the three covers, "Just Dropped In (To See What My Condition Was In)," "Stone Free," "Where Have All the Good Times Gone," are all from the 1960s.

All of the songs here have been officially released. Most of them are from B-sides. Only four are not, tracks five through eight. Those come from a 20th anniversary version of the "I Should Coco" album. Note that most of the others made it onto a later deluxe version of  "In It for the Money."

For some reason, the amount of non-album tracks seems to go way down after their first two albums. (The last song is actually from 1999.) Probably, they had a really big burst of creativity in this era. "In It for the Money" is my favorite album of theirs, and it's made its way to various best albums lists. For instance, readers of the British music magazine Q twice voted it one of the top 100 albums of all time. So I don't have any more non-album tracks collections from them planned. However, I do plan on posting more of their music, especially BBC material.

This album is 50 minutes long.

01 Sitting Up Straight (Supergrass)
02 Odd (Supergrass)
03 Wait for the Sun (Supergrass)
04 Sex (Supergrass)
05 Just Dropped In [To See What My Condition Was In] (Supergrass)
06 Stone Free (Supergrass)
07 I Believe in Love (Supergrass)
08 Where Have All the Good Times Gone (Supergrass)
09 Melanie Davis (Supergrass)
10 Nothing More's Gonna Get in My Way (Supergrass)
11 20ft Halo (Supergrass)
12 Je Suis Votre Papa Sucre (Supergrass)
13 Don't Be Cruel (Supergrass)
14 We Still Need More [Than Anyone Can Give] (Supergrass)
15 Believer (Supergrass)

I'm not quite sure what the story with the album cover is. The band's 1997 album "In It for the Money" has a cover that seems to have been used the vast majority of the time. But there's also an alternate cover, which is this one. All I did was remove that album title and replace it with a new title.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

There Goes Another One

I was notified today that another album I'd previous posted has been hidden due to copyright issues. In this case, it's "BBC Sessions, Volume 4" by T. Rex. 

That especially sucks because it's obviously part of a series, as you can tell by the name, and an unfinished series at that. All the material on the first three volumes comes from the same source, a box set, so it's probably just a matter of time before those are banned too.

If anyone would be willing to post these sorts of albums on a different website or blog, so I could then link to that webpage, that would really help. I'm sure I would have less grief than if I have to post a download link here. Someone named Nico helped me do that with an album recently, and it worked. Nico, if you still out there, I could use more help like that (including the Tom Petty set from the No Nukes festival, which still doesn't have a link). Or if anyone else could help, that would be really great.

The Rolling Stones - Some More Girls 1 - Non-Album Tracks (1977-1978)

You might have noticed that I posted a series of stray tracks albums for the Rolling Stones up until two and a half years ago (writing this in February 2024), and then I stopped. That's because I got stuck around 1978 in their career. But I recently found a way to tackle this time period for the band. (Funnily enough, I also got stuck around 1978 with Bob Dylan's career for a long time.) I've created no less than three albums. The first is "Some Covers, Volume 1," an album entirely of cover versions that I posted back in 2021. Next comes this, "Some More Girls 1." That'll quickly be followed by "Some More Girls 2."

To understand why there's so much Rolling Stones material around 1978, you have to understand some of the band's history. In February 1977, the band's lead guitarist Keith Richards was caught by police in a hotel room with so much heroin that he was charged with drug trafficking, which could have resulted in a very long prison sentence, possibly even life in prison. Ultimately, his charge was reduced to mere drug possession and he only got a suspended sentence. But the band members didn't know that result until late 1978. In the meantime, the decided to record as much new music as possible, in case he was locked up for years.

Also in 1977, punk music was suddenly all the rage. The Rolling Stones had been coasting for a few years, reveling in their luxury lifestyle and taking way too many drugs. But they felt challenged by punk music and found new inspiration in wanting to stay relevant. The result was their 1978 album "Some Girls," widely considered to be one of their best. In fact, Rolling Stone Magazine has listed it as one of the 500 best albums of all time.

One reason it was so good was because they came up with so many new songs from all those sessions while worrying about Keith Richards' possible prison sentence that they had plenty to pick and choose from for the album. In fact, they wrote about 50 new songs, and only ten were used on the album. Some more would come out on their next two albums, "Emotional Rescue" and "Tattoo You." Then, in 2011, the "Some Girls" album was released with an entire second album of extra songs. Many of them were overdubbed, especially with lots of new vocals by lead singer Mick Jagger.

I've created two albums to gather all the extra songs from the "Some Girls" era that are publicly available. That includes most of the songs from the 2011 deluxe edition of the album, as well as lots of still unreleased outtakes. Note that I say "most of" because one of the deluxe edition songs, "We Had It All" was actually recorded in 1979, well after "Some Girls" was released. So I'll be putting that elsewhere. I've put another song, "Tallahassee Lassie," on the "Some Covers 1" album.

This album is composed of the remaining songs from the deluxe edition, plus one more. That one, "Everything's Turning to Gold," was released as a B-side in 1978.

I've arranged this so nearly all the songs are originals, with most of the cover versions going to the "Some Covers 1" album. The only cover here is "You Win Again," originally by Hank Williams. 

There's not much else to say, since this is very similar to the second disc of the deluxe edition of "Some Girls." Note though that I edited one song, "Petrol Blues." That's because it came to a very abrupt end that didn't sound good to me. So I took an small, instrumental portion from earlier in the song and added it to the end, then faded it out. That makes the song about ten seconds longer. I think it has a better finish now.

This album is 40 minutes long.

01 Claudine (Rolling Stones)
02 Everything's Turning to Gold (Rolling Stones)
03 So Young (Rolling Stones)
04 Do You Think I Really Care (Rolling Stones)
05 When You're Gone (Rolling Stones)
06 No Spare Parts (Rolling Stones)
07 Don't Be a Stranger (Rolling Stones)
08 I Love You Too Much (Rolling Stones)
09 Keep Up Blues (Rolling Stones)
10 You Win Again (Rolling Stones)
11 Petrol Blues [Edit] (Rolling Stones)

The cover of "Some Girls" is very memorable. It's based on a vintage advertisement for female wigs, except some faces were replaced by members of the Rolling Stones and a random selection of female celebrities (as well as George Harrison, believe it or not). This led to legal trouble and the cover has since changed twice, but the basic look has stayed the same. I thought it would be fun to go with that same general idea. So I found a vintage ad for female underwear that seemed to have a similar vibe, and I used that. I also mimicked the font style and text placement for the words.

The Rolling Stones - Some More Girls 2 - Non-Album Tracks (1977-1978)

I just posted "Some More Girls 1," a collection of stray tracks by the Rolling Stones from 1977 and 1978. This is a complimentary album to that one, as you can tell by the name, containing yet more stray tracks from the same time period.

I mentioned in my write-up for "Some More Girls 1" that I was found myself unable to post these albums for over two years. That was almost entirely due to this album (and I wanted to post them together). The other one was easy, because it mostly contained the songs from the deluxe edition of the classic 1978 album "Some Girls." This one contains all the other good outtakes I could find from the same time period. 

For a long time, I felt this one just didn't hold up musically, compared to the other album. As I mentioned in my write-up for that album, the Rolling Stones recorded a surprisingly large number of songs in 1977 and 1978 - about 50 in total. Of the unreleased ones, nearly all of them have been bootlegged in some form or another. But the problem is that a lot of them just aren't very good. As I mentioned for that other album, the band was stockpiling songs because of a worry that lead guitarist Keith Richards would have to serve a long prison sentence (although in the end he didn't have to). In many, many cases, the band was just brainstorming ideas, with no vocals or only a hummed or mumbled melody. I suppose the idea was that if Richards had to go to prison, lead singer Mick Jagger was the band's main lyricist, and he could write and sing the vocals later. That's why, when the deluxe edition of "Some Girls" was released in 2011 with a dozen extra songs, most of the extra songs had new vocals added by Jagger, often with newly composed lyrics.

The short version of all that is that while there are many unreleased songs from this era, most are lacking intelligible lyrics (since they largely hadn't been written yet) or any vocals at all. Furthermore, the sound quality of these bootlegs varies wildly. Some of the songs I found I thought were pretty good, but the sound quality was lacking. 

In a way, my dithering paid off, because in late 2021, the band's 1981 album "Tattoo You" was rereleased as a deluxe edition, with an entire second album of extra songs. But despite being a classic album, "Tattoo You" was made up of revamped outtakes from the 1970s, so the extra songs were also all from the 1970s. It turns out four of those were from the 1977-1978 "Some Girls" sessions. So I was able to include them on this album and get rid of some of the more dodgy selections I'd previously had.

Furthermore, in the last couple of years, audio editing technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, thanks to artificial intelligence breakthroughs. So I was able to use this new technology to improve the mixes of some of the other songs, most especially by boosting the lead vocals on some of them.

I also ultimately decided less is more. I had some iffy songs that I wasn't sure to include on the album or not, or as bonus tracks or not. In the end, I decided to let most of them go. The end result is pretty decent, I think, though it still obviously doesn't compare with the "Some Girls" album itself, an undisputed classic.

Tracks 1, 2, 10, and 11 are from the "super deluxe edition" of Tattoo You, as mentioned above. Note that includes an early version of the classic hit "Start Me Up" that's different enough to be interesting. Also, the released version of "It's a Lie" is about five minutes long, and I thought that was too long. The song started to get boring for me. So I edited about a minute out of it.

The only other released song is "Don't Look Back," which was released as a single in 1977. Some might argue that it doesn't belong here, since it's not actually a Rolling Stones song. It was a duet performed by reggae star Peter Tosh and Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger. In my opinion, having Jagger's voice prominently featured makes it fit with the other songs. Besides, this was well before Jagger began a real solo career, so there's no better album from this era to add it to.

That leaves six unreleased songs on the album proper. Most of them had issues, which is why you see "[Edit]" included in the song titles for some of them. In some cases, I thought they went on too long, so I cut them down to a reasonable length, like I did with "It's a Lie." Keep in mind that the band was figuring these songs out as they were playing them, so they often went on extra long in their efforts to find the right groove. I have no doubt that most or all of them would have been shortened up eventually if they even were included on studio albums.

Note that one song, "So Young," also appears on "Some More Girls 1." But that was a full band version, and this one is basically just accompanied by a piano. So I thought both were worthy of inclusion. Also note that "Covered in Bruises" is sung by band member Ronnie Wood. It's an early version of the song "1 2 3 4," which ultimately came out on his 1981 solo album "1 2 3 4." But while that album has a solo version, this is an actual Rolling Stones version, done at the same time as most of the others here (typically, December 1977). I figured it also is different enough for inclusion, even to the point of having a different title.

As with the other album, I wanted the vast majority of the songs to be originals. So only one is a cover, "Shame, Shame, Shame," originally by Jimmy Reed. Most of the covers were put on the album "Some Covers 1" instead. In case you don't have that one yet, here's the link:

This album still has its flaws. For instance, some songs still just have mumbled vocals instead of fully completed lyrics, like "Everlasting Is My Love" (call me crazy, but I think I hear Bruce Springsteen's name mentioned in that one). But still, I think this is a worthy album. While it can't compare with "Some Girls," some of these songs are as good or better than the ones that made it on their next album, the very uneven "Emotional Rescue."

The bonus track "You Don't Have to Go" is another example of a song that wasn't really finished. It was too rough for me to include on the album proper.

This album is 40 minutes long, not including the bonus track.

01 Fiji Jim (Rolling Stones)
02 Shame, Shame, Shame (Rolling Stones)
03 Everlasting Is My Love [Edit] (Rolling Stones)
04 The Way She Held Me Tight [Misty Roads] (Rolling Stones)
05 Don't Look Back (Peter Tosh & Mick Jagger)
06 Never Make You Cry [Edit] (Rolling Stones)
07 So Young [Piano Version] (Rolling Stones)
08 Covered in Bruises [Early Version of 1 2 3 4] [Edit] (Rolling Stones)
09 Not the Way to Go [Edit] (Rolling Stones)
10 It's a Lie [Edit] (Rolling Stones)
11 Start Me Up [Early Version] (Rolling Stones)

You Don't Have to Go [Edit] (Rolling Stones)

Check out the write-up of "Some Girls 1" for a better explanation of what this cover art is all about. Basically, I was trying to imitate the style of the official "Some Girls" cover, which was based on a vintage advertisement for female beauty products. I found another real vintage ad with a similar vibe, then added the text in the same style and locations the official album.

The Sweet - BBC Sessions (1969-1974)

I recently got a request from someone commenting at my YouTube account, asking for BBC sessions from the British glam rock band the Sweet. So here's what I came up with.

Being an American, I'm not that familiar with the Sweet. They were much more popular in Britain, in the 1970s. Nowadays, it seems they're mainly remembered for three big hits: "Ballroom Blitz," "Fox on the Run," and "Love Is like Oxygen." Unfortunately, none of those are here. They were such big hits that they were performed on the British TV show "Top of the Pops," but like most performances on that show, they were lip-synced. 

The Sweet has a somewhat controversial reputation. Most of their hits were written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, who wrote so many hits for many musical acts in the 1970s that they were commonly called "Chinnichap." These songs typically were in a poppy "bubblegum" style. But the Sweet were really a harder rocking band at heart. They grew increasingly proficient with their own songs for B-sides and album tracks, and eventually parted with Chinnichap around 1974 and still had some success.

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

The Sweet - Wikipedia

The songs here show the conflict the band was having between the successful poppy hits and the harder rocking stuff they preferred. With these BBC sessions, they could let it all hang out more than TV appearances where they only played their hits. So there are some B-sides, as well as cover versions that they generally didn't put on their albums. One can especially see the influence of the Who. They played two songs associated with the Who in full ("I Can't Explain" and "Summertime Blues") as well as a medley of many Who songs. They also did covers by the Doors ("Love Me Two Times"), the Move ("I Can Hear the Grass Grow"), Jimmy Reed ("Baby, What You Want Me to Do"), the Beatles ("Paperback Writer"), Little Richard ("Lucille"), and Jerry Lee Lewis ("Great Balls of Fire"). Out of all those, I believe only the last three were done on their albums at the time.

Most, but not all, of these have been officially released. In 2017, a box set was released called "Sensational Sweet." That included most of their BBC recordings. Most of the songs here are from that. However, some BBC sessions were missed (tracks 13, 16, and 17). Furthermore, I found a few other performances from British TV shows that weren't lip-synced, so I decided to include those too. "Teenage Rampage" is from a show called "Crackerjack." Tracks 21 and 22 are from the show "45." Tracks 23 and 24 are from the show "The Geordie Show." 

I made some edits to improve the sound. I was surprised that there weren't tons of songs with BBC DJs talking over the music. Then I realized the people who made the box set cut out those parts of songs. That's why many of these fade out at the end, usually quite quickly. I'm guessing some other songs weren't included at all because too much talking ruined the songs. If anyone has the complete versions, let me know. I can do my usual thing of using programs like UVR5 to remove the talking, a technology that wasn't available when the box set was released in 2017. 

As it is, I did that for two songs. "Alexander Graham Bell" is a rare case of a BBC session song that wasn't included on the box set, so I removed the talking on that one. And "The Six Teens" is from a TV show, but the emcee talked over the beginning of it, so I removed that too.

This isn't an ideal introduction to the Sweet, since it's missing many of their biggest hits, including the three biggest I mentioned above, as well as five others that made the Top Five in Britain. But it does show more of their hard rocking side, and it includes six cover versions they never put on album at the time.

By the way, there's one song on the BBC portion of the box set that I considered so terrible that I left it off entirely. That's "The Lollipop Man," which they performed for the BBC in 1969. It's a really embarrassing bubblegum pop song that wasn't even good at being bubblegum, completely failing to make the charts. This album is stronger without it.

This album is rather long, at an hour and 13 minutes long. If I had a few more songs worth including, I could have split it into two albums. Instead, I'm keeping it as one long one.

01 Time (Sweet)
02 The Juicer (Sweet)
03 All You'll Ever Get from Me (Sweet)
04 Love Me Two Times (Sweet)
05 I Can't Explain (Sweet)
06 Paperback Writer (Sweet)
07 I Can Hear the Grass Grow (Sweet)
08 Baby, What You Want Me to Do (Sweet)
09 The Who Medley (Sweet)
10 Summertime Blues (Sweet)
11 Done Me Wrong All Right (Sweet)
12 Mr. Businessman (Sweet)
13 Alexander Graham Bell [Edit] (Sweet)
14 Santa Monica Sunshine (Sweet)
15 Chop Chop (Sweet)
16 Little Willie (Sweet)
17 Man from Mecca (Sweet)
18 Lucille - Great Balls of Fire (Sweet)
19 Need a Lot of Lovin' (Sweet)
20 Teenage Rampage (Sweet)
21 You're Not Wrong for Loving Me - Lady Starlight (Sweet)
22 The Six Teens [Edit] (Sweet)
23 Solid Gold Brass (Sweet)
24 Turn It Down (Sweet)

The cover photo comes from an appearance on the "Top of the Pops" TV show in June 1971. The band name at the top was taken from one of their albums.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Fiona Apple - Cover Songs, Volume 3: 2011-2016

This is the third album of Fiona Apple performing cover versions. There's one more album to go after this.

If you like the previous volumes, you'll like this one. Once again, Apple surprised with lots of unusual choices for her covers. I have to admit though I did cheat a bit, in that I included three songs written or co-written by Apple. She has so few original songs that haven't appeared on her studio albums that I figure this is the best place to put them in my collection. Those are "Dull Tool," Container," and "Railroad Sam and Slingshot Sue." The last one is a bit odd, because I looked it up and it was written by Apple, another singer-songwriter named Andrew Bird, and a five-year-old boy only identified as Sam!

Five of the 12 songs on this album are officially released (track 2, 3, 6, 8, and 10). "Pure Imagination" is a rather odd case. It was released as an A-side in 2013. It's a song from the first "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" movie, released in 1971. The others are from movie soundtracks and appearances on other artist's albums.

As for the unreleased songs, only two come from concert bootlegs: "Jolene" and "It's Only Make Believe." Unfortunately, "Jolene" sounds a bit worse than the others, coming from an audience boot, but I included it anyway due to it being a strong performance of a great song. The others generally come from TV appearances (track four and nine) or an Internet show (tracks 11 and 12). 

The bonus track, "He's Funny That Way," is a bonus track because it doesn't sound as good as the others.

This album is 44 minutes long.

Here's a list of the original songs for each album:

01 Jolene - Dolly Parton
02 Dull Tool - Fiona Apple
03 You're the One I Love - Everly Brothers
04 Let Me Roll It - Paul McCartney
05 It's Only Make Believe - Conway Twitty
06 Pure Imagination - Leslie Bricusse &Anthony Newley
07 Container - Fiona Apple
08 I'm in the Middle of a Riddle - Anton Karas
09 Tombstone Blues - Bob Dylan
10 Left Handed Kisses - Andrew Bird
11 [I’d Like to Get You on A] Slow Boat to China - Kay Kyser & His Orchestra
12 Railroad Sam and Slingshot Sue - Andrew Bird, Fiona Apple & Sam
He's Funny That Way - Billie Holiday

Here's the usual song list:

01 Jolene (Fiona Apple with Nickel Creek)
02 Dull Tool (Fiona Apple)
03 You're the One I Love (Sara Watkins with Fiona Apple)
04 Let Me Roll It (Fiona Apple with the Roots)
05 It's Only Make Believe (Fiona Apple)
06 Pure Imagination (Fiona Apple)
07 Container (Fiona Apple)
08 I'm in the Middle of a Riddle (Fiona Apple & Maude Maggart)
09 Tombstone Blues (Watkins Family Hour with Fiona Apple)
10 Left Handed Kisses (Andrew Bird with Fiona Apple)
11 [I’d Like to Get You on A] Slow Boat to China (Fiona Apple & Andrew Bird)
12 Railroad Sam and Slingshot Sue (Fiona Apple & Andrew Bird)

He's Funny That Way (Fiona Apple)

The cover photo is from a concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on September 14, 2012.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Marshall Crenshaw - The Human Jukebox, Volume 9: 2019-2023

We come to the end of my long series of Marshall Crenshaw cover songs albums. This is the ninth and last. 

Sadly, you should know this series ends with a bit of a disappointment, because the sound quality isn't up to my usual standards for many of these songs. The problem is, nearly all these songs come from concert bootlegs, and in Crenshaw's later years he's been playing fewer concerts and his popularity has declined some. As a result, there aren't a bunch of soundboard and/or radio broadcast concerts like there were in earlier years, so these generally come from audience boots. Thus, I've had to lower my standards some. I still do have standards, mind you. I rejected a bunch of songs for this. But I also included some that probably would have been demoted to bonus tracks on some earlier volumes.

Only the first song is officially released. It comes from a various artists compilation. As I mentioned above, most, or maybe all, of the rest are from audience bootlegs. 

Crenshaw's song selections are less obscure for this time around. I know most of the songs already, and I'd guess you know most of them too. But he still had a couple of obscurities. For instance, "Lindbergh" is a Woody Guthrie song about Charles Lindbergh and other pro-fascists in the U.S. in the 1930s and 40s. As Crenshaw commented before the song, it's message is a timely one with fascist sentiments on the rise again.

This album is 47 minutes long.

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

01 What the Hell I Got - Michel Pagliaro
02 Beware of Darkness - George Harrison
03 Tight Rope - Leon Russell
04 No Matter What - Badfinger
05 Rock and Roll - Velvet Underground
06 Kicks - Paul Revere & the Raiders
07 Something - Beatles
08 Rain on the Roof - Lovin' Spoonful
09 Bob Dylan's 115th Dream - Bob Dylan
10 What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
11 I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time - Third Bardo
12 Lindbergh -Woody Guthrie

Here's the usual song list:

01 What the Hell I Got (Marshall Crenshaw)
02 Beware of Darkness (Rich Pagano & Friends with Marshall Crenshaw & Brian Mitchell)
03 Tight Rope (Rich Pagano & Friends with Marshall Crenshaw)
04 No Matter What (Marshall Crenshaw & the Smithereens)
05 Rock and Roll (Marshall Crenshaw & the Smithereens)
06 Kicks (Marshall Crenshaw & the Smithereens)
07 Something (Marshall Crenshaw & the Smithereens)
08 Rain on the Roof (Marshall Crenshaw with the Wild Honey Orchestra)
09 Bob Dylan's 115th Dream (Marshall Crenshaw)
10 What a Wonderful World (Marshall Crenshaw)
11 I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time (Golden Jubilee Band with Marshall Crenshaw)
12 Lindbergh (Marshall Crenshaw)

The cover photo was taken in Maplewood, New Jersey, on April 12, 2019.

Patti Smith - Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA, 5-13-1979

As part of my big BBC project, I checked to see if American singer-songwriter Patti Smith ever performed for the BBC. It turns out she played the Glastonbury Festival twice, in 1999 and 2012, and that counts, since those are usually broadcast on BBC radio. However, I could only find the 2012. I decided, rather than post something from that late in her career, why not post something from her peak years?

That led me to this concert. It seems to be her most popular bootleg concert, and for good reason. She released four classic albums from 1975 to 1979, then retired from music for nine years. She focused on family for a while, as she got married in 1980 and then gave birth to two children. So this concert came right at the end of her 1970s era, allowing her to play the best songs from all four of those albums. 

Furthermore, there aren't many excellent sounding boots from her from the 1970s (and no official live albums, surprisingly enough), but this one sounds great. It was broadcast that same evening by a local radio station. There were some issues with it, including a poor mix. But I used a version that was remixed in 2018 by someone named EN, which sounds a lot better. Then I made a change of my own: I thought the vocals were still low in the mix, so I boosted them for all songs using the UVR5 audio editing program. 

There was one additional, minor problem. Every few songs, the radio station had a DJ do a quick station identification. Happily, this always occurred during crowd applause, so no music was lost, but I still find it annoying. So I got rid of all those. "Citizen Ship" has "[Edit]" because I had to do some particularly tricky editing to make that DJ talk go away without it being noticeable. But I could have easily added "[Edit]" to half a dozen other songs, since I made similar edits to get rid of all that DJ talk. I also cut out some dead air between songs, such as tuning and futzing around, but I didn't cut much.

I should probably credit this to "the Patti Smith Group" instead of just "Patti Smith," since that's what her band was called during the 1970s. Guitarist Lenny Kaye had a particularly big role in this concert, helping to sing lead vocals on a couple of songs, for instance "Mr. Tambourine Man." But I'm keeping it just "Patti Smith," so it'll be consistent with other albums I hopefully post from her after the 1970s, when she dropped the "Group" from the name.

As Smith explained during her banter between songs, there was no opening act. Instead, she performed a particularly long show, with an intermission. She also explained that she'd lived some years in Philadelphia during her childhood (Upper Darby is part of greater Philadelphia), and her mother and other friends and family were in the audience. So she probably was especially emotionally invested in the show.

If you're not familiar with Smith's music, this is a good place to start. It almost serves as a best of for her 1970s albums, though it is missing a few key songs. Furthermore, there are a bunch of covers that never made it to any of her albums, mostly of classic hits from the 1950s and 1960s. She also did an unexpected version of "Tomorrow," which is from the musical "Annie." It seems like a much older song, but it was composed just two years earlier, in 1977. Apparently, that was one of her mother's favorite songs at the time.

This concert is two hours and seven minutes long.

01 Privilege [Set Me Free] (Patti Smith)
02 Till Victory (Patti Smith)
03 talk (Patti Smith)
04 So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star (Patti Smith)
05 talk (Patti Smith)
06 Mr. Tambourine Man (Patti Smith)
07 talk (Patti Smith)
08 Citizen Ship [Edit] (Patti Smith)
09 talk (Patti Smith)
10 It's So Hard (Patti Smith)
11 talk (Patti Smith)
12 Redondo Beach (Patti Smith)
13 talk (Patti Smith)
14 Poppies (Patti Smith)
15 talk (Patti Smith)
16 Tomorrow (Patti Smith)
17 talk (Patti Smith)
18 Jailhouse Rock (Patti Smith)
19 25th Floor (Patti Smith)
20 talk (Patti Smith)
21 Kimberly (Patti Smith)
22 5-4-3-2-1 (Patti Smith)
23 talk (Patti Smith)
24 Be My Baby (Patti Smith)
25 talk (Patti Smith)
26 Secret Agent Man (Patti Smith)
27 talk (Patti Smith)
28 Revenge (Patti Smith)
29 talk (Patti Smith)
30 Dancing Barefoot (Patti Smith)
31 Because the Night (Patti Smith)
32 talk (Patti Smith)
33 Frederick (Patti Smith)
34 talk (Patti Smith)
35 Seven Ways of Going (Patti Smith)
36 talk (Patti Smith)
37 Hymn (Patti Smith)
38 Gloria [In Excelsis Deo] (Patti Smith)
39 talk (Patti Smith)
40 Pumping [My Heart] (Patti Smith)
41 talk (Patti Smith)
42 My Generation (Patti Smith)

The cover photo is from a concert in Chicago a few weeks later, on June 8, 1979.