sabato 20 dicembre 2014

The Groop - The Groop (Sundazed) 1969

Biography : The Groop (not to be confused with the marginally less obscure Australian band of the same name) were a manufactured Los Angeles based vocal group that produced one album of lushly-orchestrated, lightly psychedelic, soft folk-pop at the tail end of the 1960s.

In 1968, famed composer/producer Richard Adler, then manager for Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, attended a Washington, DC production of West Side Story, the cast of which included nineteen-year-old Susan Musmanno. Besot with her looks and voice, he met her afterward and suggested her as a potential addition to Mendes’s band, which necessitated coming to Los Angeles for an audition. Musmanno expressed trepidation as she then dreamed of continuing acting in theater. Despite her reservations - and after having surprisingly received the blessing of her conservative family - Musmanno made the journey to the west coast. However, when she arrived, she learned Adler and his Brazillian patrons had ended their relationship. No matter, without much effort, the seasoned industry figure would cook up something else.

Around the same time, whilst on tour in Vancouver with the 5th Dimension, drummer Toxey French met Corlynn Hanney and Brian Griffiths, who at the time were members of Vancouver’s The Numerality Singers, the house band for the CBC’s program, Hits a Poppin’. By the summer of 1968, the two Canadian musicians had moved to Los Angeles and Hanney was now dating Terry Clarke, who’d recently replaced French on drums in the 5th Dimension. Griffiths, meanwhile, co-founded Griffiths Gibson Ramsay, a company that employed French in advertising work. French also worked as a producer for Bones Howe’s Mr. Bones Productions, where he introduced the Canadian musicians to Lou Adler. Adler paired them with his recent discovery, Musmanno. He next sought out one more member to complete his group. The final figure was Richard Caruso; an aspiring actor/server at a local Red Onion restaurant with whom Adler had long been acquainted. When he was brought in, the four became The Groop. Most assuredly, The Groop were a thoroughly manufactured product, (Adler even hired a stylist, Peta Rimmington, to keep The Groop dressed in the latest hippy finery). However, they benefit not only from the fact that the members were talented vocalists (who handled their own arrangements) but Adler also employed a team of talented studio musicians and a team of superb songwriters to ensure their quality.

Soon after their formulation, The Groop quickly began to gel just like a real group on a personal as well as musical level. They all shared a shared poolside bungalow on Adler’s property where they rehearsed and listened together to records by Laura Nyro, 5th Dimension and The Mamas & Papas. Hanney and Griffiths had already known each other back in Canada. The slightly older Caruso was a real, tie-dyed-in-the-wool hippy and he and Musmanno bonded over their shared thespian ambitions. When John Barry (then composing the score for Midnight Cowboy) asked Adler to give him some hip, new music, among other suggestions, Adler pointed him toward The Groop, who not only submitted “A Famous Myth” and “Tears and Joys” for the film’s soundtrack, but also recorded the station ID heard in one scene and a Florida orange juice jingle in another.

The Groop’s first single, “Tears and Joys” was released in April, 1969. They then recorded the tracks that would comprise their sole album, The Groop (1969-Bell), from April to May of 1969. About half of their songs are written by Jeffrey Comanor, whose songs’ sundrenched harmonies contain a slightly forlorn tone positioned somewhere between the songs of John Phillips and Emmitt Rhodes. Comanor had been recording some demos with Toxey around the time of The Groop’s formation and ended up contributing five songs. Joey Stec and Sandy Salisbury from The Millennium contributed “I Just Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye.” Chris Ducey of Penny Arkade offered “The Jet Song” and “Wonder Why;” his writing partner, Ed Millis, submitted “Blustery Day” and “I Try to Think of You When I Can.” Toxey Bell produced. Contributing musicians included Ben Benay, Dennis Budimer, Mike Deasy and Tommy Tedesco on guitar; “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow on pedal steel; Joe Osborne and Jerry Scheff on bass; Larry Knechtel and Mike Melvoin on keyboards; and Jim Gordon on drums. The string and horn arrangements were courtesy of Dave Grusin. Aside from the cloying cover of “The Continental,” the wistful music provides a fittingly elegiac soundtrack to the close of a lysergic era.

In August 1969, The Groop headed to Spain for a two month engagement. After a stay at Majorca’s Sergeant Pepper’s (John Barry was having a home built nearby), the band relocated to Madrid, where they played at JJ (Jota Jota) for the remainder of their stay. When Musmanno was hospitalized for acute appendicitis, The Groop continued as a trio though a local paper asked with a headline, “¿Donde está Susan de Grupo?” Although The Groop had only been together for a brief spell, after fulfilling their obligations in Iberia, the remaining members returned to North America separately, with no intentions of continuing as a unit.

Musmanno returned to Washington, DC to recover from her operation. That December, she recorded several new tracks with Mike Berniker and Phil Ramone that were intended for a new version of The Groop. Although featuring just her and a session musician named Michael, their version of Harry Nilsson’s “Don’t Leave Me” appeared as a bonus track on Sundazed’s 2007 CD re-issue of The Groop.

Meanwhile, Hanney returned to Los Angeles, at first doing session work such as singing in ads for Pontiac, Datsun, the lottery, Kodak, Kraft, milk and Air Canada as well as recordings for Ann Mortifee, The Payolas, Al Martino, The 5th Dimension, Sherri Ulrich and as a background singer on The Tim Conway Show and The Smothers Brothers Show. In 1970, she joined Leonard Cohen’s traveling band and appears on his Songs of Love and Hate and Live Songs. At Hanney’s insistence, Cohen’s manager, Bob Johnston, encouraged Musmanno fly to Nashville where she auditioned for Cohen’s tour and she joined afterward. At the same time Hanney performed with The Jimmy Joyce Singers who made appearances with Nancy Sinatra as well as The Muppets. Today, Hanney records solo albums and teaches voice – one of her pupils was AC/DC’s Brian Johnson.

After joining Cohen’s touring band, Musmanno met and married Cohen’s touring guitarist/banjo player, Elkin “Bubba” Fowler, who’d been in the one-hit-wonders The Avant Garde (responsible for “Naturally Stoned”) and before that, The Bordermen (both bands also featured future game show fixture, Chuck Woolery). Today, (now as Aileen Fowler), she and Bubba perform and run their own label, Shantih. After the break-up of The Groop, Griffiths retired from performing but still maintains Griffiths Gibson Ramsay Productions. Caruso, in keeping with his image as the true hippy in the band, dropped out and his current whereabouts aren’t known.  Thanks to adamus67 for the information

Tracklist:
01.A Famous Myth 3:27
02.I Try To Think Of You When I Can 2:53
03.The Continental 3:27
04.Blustery Day 3:40
05.Goin' Back 4:01
06.Time Fire 3:36
07.The Jet Song (When The Weekend's Over) 3:58
08.Nobody At All 3:14
09.Haunted Places 3:44
10.I Just Don't Know How To Say Goodbye 2:49
11.Wonder Why 3:04
12.Dianny, Help Me Now 4:48
13.Tears And Joys 2:35
14.Don't Leave Me 2:32

The Groop:
Susan Musmanno – vocals
Corlynn Hanney – vocals
Brian Griffith – vocals
Richard Caruso – vocals

giovedì 18 dicembre 2014

Antrobus & The Flying Hat Band - Buried Together (World Wide Records) 1972 - 1974 (Repost)

Biography : Antrobus were formed in early '71 when Britain's heavy progressive rock underground scene was in full flight. The band exsisted for only one year, and they had no real rehearsel place and that's hard to believe while listening to the nine tracks that were never offical released. They are playing on an amazingly high standard and got accomplished song-writing abilities.Like some of their comrades, they are using also flute and organ but the songs are more focused on heavy riffs and bluesy vocals. A hard-driving rock approach, similiar to that of Stray mixed with Alice Cooper Band and early Pentagram, was adopted but the ability to contrast their sound with classy melodic harmonies is apparent too. And when ANTROBUS are playing hard and heavy, they were just an awesome force. Mixed up with a few sound-effects and a lot of guitarwork, this band had created an effective creepy heavy ass-kickin' sound in their short lifetime. The sound quality isn't high fidelity, but good enough for an enjoyable listening and sometimes I wonder, that this recordings are dated back from the early 70's, due to their refreshing energy.

The second band on this split-CD is The Flying Hat Band. This was the group where Glen Tipton played, before he left to join Judas Priest. TFHB exsisted only for a short time and the featured four songs are dated back to '74. The songs are also released here for the very first time,so that one can listen to some ferocious guitar leads and intense riffing. But this band doesn't sound like a Priest forerunner. "Lost Time" is fine acoustic bluesy song, with a slight Latino vibe, while "Reaching for the Stars" got a groovy rythm-line and the album closes with exsessive guitars in "Coming of the Lord". This powerful outfit weren't around long enough to gain the respect that the energy and drive of their music demanded. They've got the chance to record an album for a proposed LP on the WWA label and had entered a London studio where they began recording songs. But due to unknown resons, this album was never released. "Buried Together" comes with a very doomy cover-artwork (remember "Die Healing"?) and if you're discovering this disc somewhere than get it. My personal winners are the heavy Antrobus,but TFHB have also their highlights.This CD was release between the German re-issue label SPM International , who have also re-released bands as Groundhogs, Janus, Bodkin, T2 and more, and the English label World Wide Records. allmusic.com

Antrobus 1972:
01.Loving You 2:36
02.All I Really Need 3:15
03.Take Me Back 5:05
04.Pavement Artist 5:18
05.Straight Jacket 4:53
06.Winter 5:58
07.Rock Band Blues 4:08
08.Gonna Be Free 3:39
09.Lightning 3:36
The Flying Hat Band 1974:
10.Seventh Plain 2:49
11.Reaching For The Stars 4:34
12.Lost Time 2:36
13.Comming Of The Lord 6:42

lunedì 15 dicembre 2014

Stories - Stories & About Us (2007 Raven) 1972 - 1973

Biography : Few one-hit wonders have ever been as thoroughly misleading as Stories and their cover of Hot Chocolate's "Brother Louie." Stories turned Hot Chocolate's tale of interracial love into an early-'70s AM pop classic, a number one hit in 1973 and a staple of '70s oldies radio and compilations from that point after, but its very omnipresence hurt the band, suggesting they were another faceless studio-created outfit, maybe even a bubblegum group, when they were nothing of the sort. Stories was the brainchild of former Left Banke pianist/songwriter Michael Brown, who wrote the baroque classics "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina" for the group, and bassist/singer Ian Lloyd. The two were paired after Brown signed to Kama Sutra in 1971, with Lloyd bringing in associates drummer Bryan Madey and guitarist Steve Love, thus completing Stories. Brown and Lloyd collaborated on two albums but Brown did not stick around to finish the second, 1973's About Us, due to his dissatisfaction with the direction Lloyd and producer Eddie Kramer were taking the band. That second album brought the band closer to a polished commercialism, but Raven's 2007's two-fer Stories/About Us the best-produced collection of the band's two major albums ever produced, supplemented by the 1974 single "Another Love," which was released after the group's third album Traveling Underground, was billed to Ian Lloyd & Stories upon its release shows that Stories was always an odd creature, bearing echoes of Brown's delicate work with Left Banke, a more mainstream McCartney-esque pop also reminiscent of a sweeter Raspberries and, thanks to Lloyd's light rasp, hints of Rod Stewart. That hoarse soulfulness served Lloyd well on "Brother Louie," but he was never a true blue-eyed soul vocalist, and not just because Stories didn't often delve into blues-rock: his touch was too light, his voice too high and thin to dig deep into R&B. He was stuck between two sounds, between precious pop and soulful rock, which was completely appropriate for Brown's artful pop writing. Brown's songs for Stories weren't immediate, they were elliptical and gentle, just melodic enough to hint that these tunes are hookier than they are, having just enough structure to suggest big pop arrangements that never quite materialize, at least on their debut Stories. The touchstone for Stories is quite plainly Paul McCartney, as this is music that places the melody at the forefront; it's proudly precious and willfully whimsical, music crying out for listeners with a sweet tooth. Here, Stories make Badfinger seem like muscular macho men, as their hardest-rocking song, "Take Cover" with its big, cascading chorus, it's a tune that could have slipped onto No Dice almost perversely avoids power chords. Then again, "Take Cover," while it does point the way to About Us, is atypical on Stories, as it's built upon baroque ballads and lovely, lilting, mid-tempo pop, signatures of Michael Brown from the days of Left Banke. While it's interesting to hear Brown navigate the valleys of modern rock production here, Stories could have used more definition in its arrangements, more power in its production, to really grab listeners. As it stands, it's ideal music for cultists: music that requires a bit of work, but not too much, to truly appreciate, and it does pay back the effort it demands.

About Us is a completely different story altogether. No work is required of the listener on this second album by Stories, as Eddie Kramer's cinematic production gives the band definition and drama, pulling them into the leagues of such power poppers as Badfinger, the Raspberries and Todd Rundgren. Not that Stories rocked as hard as any of those three -- there's not much kinetic thrust to their rhythms or reckless abandon to their playing, not even on the boogie "Don't Ever Let Me Down" or the jokey blues of "Down Time Blooze" but there's muscle and color to their sound on About Us; the songs leap out of the speakers and command attention, unlike the tunes on the debut, which whispered and required close listening. Not that Michael Brown has abandoned his long-standing infatuation with delicate melodies, or even his fondness for McCartney-esque whimsy, but when put through the filter of Kramer's production, everything becomes bigger and bolder, to the extent that a jaunty piano instrumental, "Circles," recalls nothing so much as one of Billy Joel's ragtime tunes of the early '70s. Such moves toward the mainstream are undoubtedly why Brown bolted sometime during the recording, leaving the band as the sole province of singer Ian Lloyd, but the music left behind is almost all unmistakably Brown's, as it's all driven by melody and even occasionally built upon baroque keyboards. The major difference and inarguable improvement is in the production, which fleshes out the songs, not only making them easier to appreciate but harder to resist, turning About Us into a minor power pop classic. Of course, the exception to the rule is the album's lone hit, a lush cover of Hot Chocolate's "Brother Louie," which suggested Stories were a blue-eyed soul AM pop band, a suggestion that the rest of the album proved untrue but fewer people heard the other 12 songs on this album, not just in 1973 but throughout the years, so About Us turned into a lost pop classic that even pop aficionados had to be persuaded to find. But once they were persuaded, they were often seduced by this sumptuous yet powerful pop album. Raven's 2007 two-fer contains one bonus track, the 1974 single "Another Love" which was an attempt to do a bisexual spin on "Brother Louie"'s tale of interracial love and, appropriately for the topic, it sounds a bit more glammy than "Brother Louie," or anything else on About Us, actually. Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Stories:
01.Hello People 3:19
02.I'm Comming Home 2:41
03.Winter Scenes 4:21
04.Step Back 3:21
05.You Told Me 3:07
06.Saint James 4:31
07.Kathleen 3:15
08.Take Cover 3:03
09.Nice To Have You Here 3:36
10.High And Low 4:27
About Us:
11.Darling 2:45
12.Don't Ever Let Me Down 2:22
13.Love Is In Motion 3:17
14.Hey France 2:58
15.Please, Please 5:02
16.Changes Have Begun 3:35
17.Circles 1:36
18.Believe Me 3:38
19.Words 2:26
20.Top Of The City 3:00
21.Down Time Blooze 1:19
22.What Comes After 2:02
23.Brother Louie 3:54
Bonus Track Single:
24.Another Love 3:16

Stories:
Ian Lloyd - Lead Vocals, Bass
Steve Love - Vocal Harmonies, Guitar
Brian Madey - Drums
Michael Brown - Piano, Harpsichord, Organ

giovedì 11 dicembre 2014

Ian Lloyd & Stories - Traveling Underground (Buddah Records) 1973

Biography : With 1973's Traveling Underground, Stories changed its name to Ian Lloyd & Stories and unveiled a new five-man lineup. Lead singer Lloyd (a whiskey-voiced belter comparable to Rod Stewart and Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant), guitarist Steve Love, and drummer Bryan Madey were still on board. But keyboardist/composer Michael Brown (a graduate of Left Banke and Montage) was gone, and the new members were keyboardist Kenneth Bichel and bassist Kenny Aaronson. Traveling Underground proved that there was life after Brown for Stories; this is a generally solid effort, although About Us remains the band's most essential album. Like before, Stories came out with an R&B-minded single that doesn't sound anything like the rest of the album it's on. "Mammy Blue" is as different from the other songs on Traveling Underground as "Brother Louie" is from the rest of About Us. A long way from the R&B leanings of "Mammy Blue," tracks like "Stories Untold," "Hard When You're So Far Away," and "Earth Bound/Freefall" favor the type of baroque art-rock approach that had worked so well on Stories' previous releases. "Brother Louie" and "Mammy Blue" indicated that Stories might have made a great blue-eyed soul band, instead, Traveling Underground is the work of a fine pop-rock/art-rock band that occasionally detoured into blue-eyed soul. Review by Alex Henderson

Tracklist:
01.Bridges 5:11
02.Soft Rain 4:33
03.Hard When You're So Far Away 4:28
04.If It Feels Good, Do It 2:50
05.Mammy Blue 3:43
06.Stories Untold 4:04
07.I Can't Understand It 3:58
08.Earthbound / Free Fall 8:16
09.Traveling Underground 4:31

Ian Lloyd & Stories:
Ian Lloyd - Vocals
Steve Love - Guitar
Kenneth Bichel - Keyboards, Art Synthesizers, Mellotron
Brian Madey - Drums, Percussion
Kenny Aaronson - Bass Guitar

martedì 9 dicembre 2014

Pretty Things - Philippe Debarge 1969

Biography : The Pretty Things' career was rife with peculiar episodes, and none was more peculiar than the unreleased album which makes up the bulk of this bootleg. In 1969 the band recorded eleven original songs with an unknown French singer, Phillipe DeBarges, taking the place of Phil May. May and Pretty Things bassist Wally Allen produced the record, which was never released. It's quite similar in nature to the Pretties' own late-'60s psychedelic recordings, though more pop-oriented than S.F. Sorrow, sounding more like the soundtrack items that ended up on Electric Banana; in fact, three of the songs ("Alexander," "Eagles Son," and "It'll Never Be Me") were done as authentic Pretty Things tracks on Electric Banana as well. It's pleasant if usually slight pop-psych, often utilizing chunky guitar strums of the kind that Pete Townshend used (possibly due in part to the Pretties' influence?) on Tommy. Some of these songs were probably too strong to donate to DeBarges, though, like "Alexander" (one of their best late-'60s cuts), "Running You & Me" (with opening guitar chords quite reminiscent of the Tommy style), the swinging mod-like "You Might Even," and "Eagles Son." Sound quality is good, although as it's been taken from an acetate, there's some surface noise. The disc is made all the more enticing to Pretties fans via a generous 13 bonus tracks. All are taken from 1965-69 television and BBC appearances, including performances of the hits "Honey I Need," "Don't Bring Me Down," and "Midnight to Six Man," as well as uncommon items like BBC versions of "Sitting All Alone" and a few songs from S.F. Sorrow; quality on these is only fair, but listenable. by Richie Unterberger

Tracklist:
01.Hello, How Do You Do? 4:03
02.You Might Even Say 3:59
03.Alexander 2:55
04.Send You with Loving 3:00
05.You're Running You and Me 4:36
06.Peace 1:44
07.Eagle's Son 3:06
08.Graves of Grey 0:48
09.New Day 4:07
10.It'll Never Be Me 4:32
11.I'm Checking Out 3:40
12.All Gone Now 2:19
13.Monsieur Rock (Ballad of Philippe) 5:33

Pretty Things:
Philippe DeBarge - Lead Vocals
Phil May – Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals
Vic Unitt - Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals
Dick Taylor – Lead Guitar
Wally Waller – Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Jon Povey – Keyboards, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
John C. Alder (aka Twink) - Drums
Skip Alan – Drums

martedì 2 dicembre 2014

Spirit Of John Morgan - Age Machine (Repertoire Records) 1970

Biography : Blues-rock band founded in the summer of 1968 in North Devon John Morgan, after giving Vale University of Manchester. The first concert took place at London's legendary Marquee Club where you spotted them the future founder of the company Chrysalis Ellis Wright. Thanks to gain manager Dave Robson, who had under his "wings" among others. Ten Years After, Jethro Tull or Marmalade.
Robson secured a contract with a small group of Carnaby Records label, for which immediately in September 1969 under the leadership of a debut LP in the studio Olympic Sounds Barnes. The album was preceded by the single Train For All Seasons / Never Let Go (CNS 405), the A side is identical to the songs from the album Ride On. Spirit of John Morgan (1969) good mix of psycedelic rock, heavy blues, some folk and early british progressive rock (especially great John Morgan's organ). surely their best album. Very consistent. (Grham Bond's song "I Want You" from this album later was again covered by retro prog Italian band called "Standarte" in their s/t album. Also includes "Honky Tonk Train Blues" However, the company has released only 500 pressings compared to the promised 5000, which disgusted the band, but to follow a contract for two albums.

The second album, Age Machine, produced by Dave Mackay helped finish among others. Session musicians Cliff Richard. Thomas went on tour with Chicken Shack and then with Mott The Hoople. Age Machine (1970) - more pop/folk oriented tracks but still many good prog rock songs here like "Lost Nirvana"(with evident classical music influences), "Seventh Dawn"(early Santana-like) and great version of Yes' song "No opportunity, necessary no experience needed".

John Morgan continued touring and in 1972 he has recorded under his own name album Kaleidoscope (LP Carnaby 6,302,010). In addition to former colleagues Curtis, Thomas Walker added a backing band in the studio Mike Carlos (dr) and Chris Kerredge (gt). Phil Shutt became the bassist with Kiki Dee, Thomas worked on the track. Mick Walkel accompanied Morgan on cello, concerto in 70s. Morgen still performs in clubs, particularly in Southern France and specializes in the semi-acoustic blues. He also released two albums in their own limited edition: 'Live At Durant' and '24 Hours in Brittany'(1992) which were available only at his concerts. John Morgan died in 2007. Thanks to adamus67 for the informations.

Tracklist:
01.Age Machine 3:36
02.No Opportunity Necessery 5:38
03.Friend Of Jesus 2:49
04.Golden Rollin' Belly 2:31
05.Never Let Go 3:15
06.Lost Nirvanna 5:00
07.Seventh Dawn 3:56
08.Won't You Come Home 2:32
09.Mumbo Jumbo 4:31
10.Putney Breakdown 2:13
11.The Floating Opera Show 2:58

Spirit of John Morgan:
John Morgan - organ, piano, vocals
Mick Walter - drums, percussion, vocals
Don "Fagin" Whitaker - lead guitar, vocals
Phil Shutt (Phil Curtis) - bass
Trevor Thoms (Trevor James) - guitar

sabato 29 novembre 2014

Rattles - The Witch (Repertoire Records) 1970

Biography : One of the most successful, and certainly one of the most prolific, German rock groups of the '60s, the Rattles enjoyed reasonable success in their native land without making much of an impression elsewhere (though some of their material was released in other countries). Starting out in the same Star Club-based Hamburg scene as the Liverpool groups of the early '60s, their early repertoire was built upon a similar base of '50s rock and soul/R&B. They released about 30 singles during the '60s (some on the Star-Club label itself), as well as almost ten albums, eventually making the transition to original material, and marching on well into the 1970s. (by Richie Unterberger)


Tracklist:
01.You Can't Have Sunshine Everyday 3:02
02.The Mask 2:39
03.I Will 4:46
04.Where Is the Friend 2:23
05.Guy 2:22
06.The Witch 2:58
07.Worm Eaten Wood 3:32
08.Virgin 2:46
09.Rescue 3:39
10.Man 2:49
11.Eleanor Rigby 9:52
12.Suzie Q 6:06
Bonus Track:
13.The Witch (single version) 2:38
14.Get Away (single) 3:22
15.Devil's on the Loose (single) 2:53
16.I Know You Don't Know (single) 4:03
17.Money Making Machine (single) 3:13
18.Playing With Fire (single) 3:56
19.Something Else (single) 2:32
20.What Do I Care (single) 4:19

The Rattles:
Kurt "Zappo" Lungen - bass
Herbert Bornhold - drums
Frank Mille - guitar, vocals
Edna B. Jerano - vocals

domenica 23 novembre 2014

Nosy Parker - Nosy Parker (2002 Gear Fab) 1975

Biography: Nosy Parker has been mislabeled as psychedelia, Baroque pop, folk-rock, and prog rock by zealous rare-vinyl dealers and collectors across the globe, but it doesn't quite fit in any of those categories exactly. It does, however, draw from each of those sources, some with more success than others. Regardless of whether the descriptions truly represent Nosy Parker's sound, with the Gear Fab reissue it can be easily judged on its own merits and against the claims of its proponents. By those standards, the album may be slightly disappointing to listeners searching for genuine lost treasure. Nosy Parker has its moments in fact, quite a few of them but according to objective criterion it is decidedly second-rate when stacked against some of the artists (the Byrds, Genesis) to whom it has been compared. In the band's defense, the recording may not be entirely representative of its sound, considering it was committed to tape without the benefit of overdubs in a two-day blur in 1975. Nevertheless the album alternates between rather pedestrian (and sometimes downright contradictory) hard and soft rock impulses, on the one hand, and, on the other, much more interesting, even novel amalgams of folk and progressive sensibilities ("Buskers and Street Musicians," "Song for a Gentle Lady," the lovely "Silver Wings") that blend delicately picked acoustic melodies, enticing synth tones, and intricate playing, even if they tend to stick around a little too long for their own good or grow full of themselves (as does the suite-like "Notre Dame") or get too wizard-and-warlock-y in the lyric department. Unfortunately, there is too much of the former quality to make Nosy Parker an effort about which the average fan (or even a partisan of the era's music) will get excited, though its stature does increase with each listen. Devotees of ridiculously rare prog-ish music, on the other hand, will probably benefit by giving this one a chance. allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01.Widow's Walk 5:28
02.Buskers And Street Musicians 6:18
03.Notre Dame 10:13
04.Wizards In The Afternoon 4:50
05.Songs For A Gentle Lady 4:05
06.Lucy Gray 5:26
07.Silver Wings 4:11
08.Beyond Beaujolais 4:15
09.Leave The Last Day For The Sun 3:55
10.Widow's Walk (Acoustic Version) 4:44

Nosy Parker:
Thomas Viola – Vocals, Guitar
Joseph Celano – Vocals, Guitar, Clarinet
Anthony Abbate – Bass
William Viola – Drums, Percussion, Strings, Synthesizer
Anthony Abbate – Synthesizer


domenica 9 novembre 2014

Bliss - Bliss 1969 (Repost)

Biography : Recorded in Phoenix Arizona's Audio Records with producer Hadley Murrell (who also contributed a pair of songs), 1969's "Bliss" was released by the L.A.-based Canyon Records. Musically the LP offered up a mix of originals (all three members contributing material), and blues covers. Interestingly, based on the cover which shows a chalice and a young, angry looking priest, our initial expectations were that this might be a Christian-rock LP. Those thoughts were reinforced by the opener "Ride the Ship of Fool" which blended a nice melody with sweet harmonies and a pseudo-religious lyric and "Cry for Love". While those characteristics are enough to send a large segment of the population running for cover, in this case the results aren't half bad. The religious sentiments are kept in check throughout and are wrapped in a series of tasty rockers. Powered by Aldred's powerhouse drumming and Reed's fuzz guitar (check out "VIsions" and their cover of Joe Tex's "I Want To be Free"), this is simply a great LP!.

Tracklist:
01.Ride the Ship of Fools 4:21
02.Cry for Love 4:50
03.Gangster of Love 2:58
04.I Want To Be Free 3:00
05.Visions 3:35
06.Don't Think 2:07
07.I'm Gonna Hurt You 2:03
08.Make My Old Soul New 2:05
09.Rock Me Baby 3:28

Bliss :
Corky Aldred - vocals, drums
Rusty Martin - bass
Brad Reed - vocals, guitar

sabato 8 novembre 2014

H.P.Lovecraft - H.P.Lovecraft I & H.P.Lovecraft II (Collector's Choice Edition) 1967 - 1968 Repost

Biography : Featuring two strong singers (who often sang dual leads), hauntingly hazy arrangements, and imaginative songwriting that drew from pop and folk influences, H.P. Lovecraft was one of the better psychedelic groups of the late '60s. The band was formed by ex-folky George Edwards in Chicago in 1967. Edwards and keyboardist Dave Michaels, a classically trained singer with a four-octave range, handled the vocals, which echoed Jefferson Airplane's in their depth and blend of high and low parts. Their self-titled 1967 LP was an impressive debut, featuring strong originals and covers of early compositions by Randy Newman and Fred Neil, as well as one of the first underground FM radio favorites, "White Ship." The band moved to California the following year; their second and last album, H.P. Lovecraft II, was a much more sprawling and unfocused work, despite some strong moments. A spin-off group, Lovecraft, released a couple LPs in the '70s that bore little relation to the first incarnation of the band. allmusic.com

H.P.Lovecraft I :
01.Wayfaring Stranger 2:35
02.Let's Get Together 4:35
03.I've Been Wrong Before 2:46
04.The Drifter 4:11
05.That's The Bag I'm In 1:46
06.The White Ship 6:33
07.Country Boy & Bleeker Street 2:35
08.The Time Machine 2:05
09.That's How Much I Love You, Baby (More or Less) 3:55
10.Gloria Patria 0:27

H.P.Lovecraft II :
01.Spin, Spin, Spin 3:21
02.It's About Time 5:17
03.Blue Jack of Diamonds 3:08
04.Electrollentando 6:34
05.At the Mountains of Madness 4:57
06.Mobius Trip 2:44
07.High Flying Bird 3:21
08.Nothing's Boy 0:39
09.Keeper of the Keys 3:05
10. Anyway That You Want Me (Bonus)
11.It's All Over For You (Bonus)

H.P.Lovecraft :
George Edwards – vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, guitarrón, bass
Dave Michaels – vocals, organ, piano, harpsichord, clarinet, recorder
Jerry McGeorge – bass, vocals (1967)
Tony Cavallari – lead guitar, vocals
Michael Tegza – drums, percussion, timpani, vocals
Jeff Boyan – bass, vocals (1968)

mercoledì 5 novembre 2014

Riverson - Riverson (Kismet Records) 1972

Biography : Of all the zillions of CSNY-inspired westcoast hippie rock LPs from the early 1970s, this is one of the very best. Another feather in the cap for the great Columbia Canada office, with an excellent production bringing out the max from these talented long hairs. Clearly out of a "Deja Vu" corner (minus the sugary Nash crap, naturally), the song writing here is very good, grabbing your attention without being overly commercial, while the band lays down a groove that is both relaxed and tight. You can hear early AOR moves creeping into the hippie stylings, and much like on Homer this is not a disadvantage but helps broaden the album's impact. Female vocalist Franki Hart of Freedom North handles a few tracks, but is given solid competition by the male vocalists who sing just as well. Soaring, lyrical guitar leads recur throughout the LP, and there are some vague prog moves with flute on one track. Clocking in at 42 minutes, this could have omitted 1-2 tracks, and it's a testament to Riverson's strength that the playtime seems warranted. Recommended to anyone with an ear for top-level, upscale 70s westcoast sounds. Acid Archives

Tracklist:
01.Clear Night 3:05
02.Winter Garden 3:16
03.Eleanor Rigby 4:12
04.I'll Be There 3:15
05.Empty Sky 4:17
06.Take Me 2:58
07.Stoney Day 4:33
08.Between the Lines 4:15
09.Can't Live Without You 3:06
10.Medallion Castle 4:25
11.Hermit Glen 3:10
Bonus tracks:
12.Sittin Waitin
13.Chances

Riverson:
Franki Hart - vocals, piano, acoustic guitar
Rayburn Blake - vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo
Brian Edwards - vocals, bass
Graham Lear - drums

sabato 1 novembre 2014

Heavy Metal Kids - Heavy Metal Kids (2009 Remastered) 1974

Biography: The Heavy Metal Kids never became stars, never won any readers polls, never had a hit record. But, if you could roll back time to that moment in 1974 when the very first needle hit the very first pressing of their eponymous debut album, it would be impossible to predict that sordid fate. Quite frankly, Heavy Metal Kids rises so far above the rest of the period pack that Sparks and Cockney Rebel notwithstanding there was no more exciting proposition to be found on the new-release shelves. Part unrepentant boogie band, part pub rock leviathan, and part good-time distillation of the best of Slade and the Faces, fronted by the utterly irresistible cackle of singer Gary Holton, the Kids' flash, slash, and sashay assault had a cosmic energy that could transform even the ballads ("It's the Same," "Nature of My Game") into fists-in-the-air anthems. A decade later, the band could have so rewritten the notion of the power ballad that suffering through the 1980s might never have been necessary; a decade earlier, the British Invasion could have been the new prog. Imagine Jim Steinman producing Them, and you're close to the majesty of Heavy Metal Kids. As it is, the only people who seem to have truly noted what the Kids were doing were the Rolling Stones the laconic reggae of "Run Around Eyes" is a dry run for the Stones' later romp through "Cherry Oh Baby." Heavy Metal Kids hits so many peaks "Ain't It Hard," "Always Plenty of Women," "Hangin' On" that the end of the album comes so quickly that even they seemed to be taken by surprise. The closing "Rock n' Roll Man," heralded by one of the most triumphant roars in rock history, is followed not by the sound of needle scraping label, but by a violent reprise for what remains the Kids' finest hour: the stomping, storming "We Gotta Go." And that is not only a juxtaposition that will have you talking Cockney for the rest of the day, it also tells you everything you need to know about The Heavy Metal Kids. Nothing can be taken for granted and nothing was. Including the fame and glory that this album still demands. allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01.Hangin' On 3:11
02.Ain't It Hard 3:00
03.It's The Same 5:49
04.Run Around Eyes 2:59
05.We Gotta Go 4:51
06.Always Plenty Of Women 3:27
07.Nature Of My Game 3:37
08.Kind Woman 4:26
09.Rock N Roll Man 7:37
10.We Gotta Go (Reprise) 1:30
Bonus Track:
11.It's The Same (Live) 3:42

Heavy Metal Kids:
Micky Waller - guitars
Ronnie Thomas - bass & vocals
Gary Holton - lead vocals
Danny Peyronel - keyboards & vocals
Keith Boyce - drums & percussion

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Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body

Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body