martedì 9 maggio 2017

A Passing Fancy - A Passing Fancy (2000 Pacemaker Entertainment Digipack) 1968

Biography A Passing Fancy was born out of Toronto's Yorkville Village scene in the mid-'60s. In 1967 the band released its debut single, "I'm Losing Tonight," which immediately became a hit and scored high on the east coast charts. In 1968, A Passing Fancy released a self-titled album on the independent Boo Records label that was well received and garnered good reviews. The Boo label, formed by two record store owners, only released the album in the Toronto area, so national fame and exposure eluded the band. A Passing Fancy was British-influenced pop with elements of psychedelia and an American garage sound. The band went through a couple of lineup changes while recording the album, but all musicians were credited in the album liner notes. The main songwriters in the band were Jay Telfer and brothers Fergus and Greg Hambleton. The songs were well written and the music was well played. Shortly after the release of the album, one more single followed, "I Believe in Sunshine," which was also a hit. This single broke out across Canada and attracted interest south of the border, as well as with some major labels, but unfortunately it was too late and the band folded. Telfer and the Hambletons, in particular Fergus (as he went by for a time) went on to write more songs and record with other bands in the '70s. They also made a couple of solo albums that were well received and are still active today on the Canadian music scene. Greg Hambleton went on to form Axe Records while Fergus Hambleton continued to perform with his reggae band the Satellites. This reissue of the original Boo Records album by Pacemaker Records in association with the U.S. reissue label Timothy's Brain, is housed in a beautiful digipack case with original album artwork. Although this album contains no bonus tracks (as none were available) or additional liner notes, the sound quality is superb and is taken from the original master tapes. An exciting and long-lost piece of the early Canadian music scene that has thankfully been restored and made available once again for all to hear and a new generation to discover. allmusic.com

Tracklist
01.I'm Losing Tonight 2:53
02.A Passing Fancy 2:41
03.You're Going out of My Mind 2:37
04.Sounds Silly 2:30
05.She Phoned 2:16
06.I Believe in Sunshine 2:27
07.Island 2:11
08.Your Trip 3:10
09.Little Boys for Little Girls 3:35
10.Under the Bridge 2:42
11.Spread Out 2:57
12.People in Me 3:24
13.I'm Losing Tonight (Single Version) 2:49

Rick Mann - Bass
Brian Price - Organ
Brian Smith - Rhythm Guitar 
Jay Telfer - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Ron Forster - Guitar, Vocals
Fergus Hambleton - Organ, Vocals
Louis Pratile - Drums
Phil Seon - Guitar
Dan Troutman - Bass 
Steve Wilson - Drums

domenica 7 maggio 2017

Human Zoo - The Human Zoo (2010 Cicadelic Records) 1970

Biography The Human Zoo's great claim to fame among garage / psychedelic fans is that they were managed by Jim Foster, guitarist with the Human Expression, the West Coast psych act that scored a modest hit with the song 'Optical Sound.' That's not a lot to base a reputation on, but the lone album the Human Zoo left behind is pretty good stuff, and suggests with better promotion they could have risen to much more impressive heights. Boasting two lead singers (Roy Young and Jim Cunningham), the Human Zoo worked up a full and dynamic sound with impressive harmonies on these sessions, and the rest of the band shows off some solid chops - John Luzadder and Larry Hanson are a capable guitar combo, with Hanson also doubling on keyboards, while bassist Bob Dalrymple and drummer Kim Vydaremy hold down the rhythm with strength and confidence. While the Human Zoo could add a trippy edge to their songs (such as 'I Don't Care No More'), they (at least as captured on this album) were at their best when they rocked out, and it's on numbers like 'Na-Na' and 'Funny' that the Human Zoo really connect, while 'Gonna Take Me a Ride' and 'Help Me' reveal they weren't bad with blue-eyed soul stuff, either. The production is simple, but also captures the performances in a clean and natural fashion and is thankfully short on the studio trickery often inflicted on lesser-known psych acts. The recording seems to favor the band's live sound, and if the Human Zoo sounded this tight on-stage, it's hard to say why they didn't attract greater notice at the time. The songwriting is good but not great on The Human Zoo, but otherwise this is several notches above average for a psych act of the period, and fans of late-'60s/early-'70s West Coast rock should find this worth their time. allmusic.com

Tracklist
01.It's Got To Be 3:01
02.Na-Na 2:07
03.Help Me 3:11
04.I Dont' Care No More 2:36
05.Funny 5:09
06.Late To My Resurrection 3:07
07.When Papa Started Drinking 2:27
08.Gonna Take Me a Ride 3:31
09.Stone Sassy Fox 3:16
10.The Human Zoo 3:12
11.The Time Was Over (2:36

Roy Young - Vocals
Jim Cunningham - Vocals
Larry Hanson - Guitar, Horn, Keyboards
John Luzadder - Guitar
Bob Dalrymple - Bass
Kim Vydaremy - Drums

mercoledì 3 maggio 2017

Stone Country - Stone Country (2007 Rev-Ola) 1968

Biography Stone Country was a Hollywood, CA-based psychedelic country-rock outfit led by gifted singer/songwriter and guitarist Steve Young. Young, who grew up in the south, moved to New York City in the early '60s, where he became affiliated with the burgeoning Greenwich Village folk music scene. He later moved to Los Angeles in 1964 and began working with Van Dyke Parks and Stephen Stills while still working his day job as a mailman. He formed Stone Country in 1967 and soon thereafter the band was signed to RCA Records. After releasing several singles, RCA issued the group's only album, Stone Country, in March 1968, produced by Rick Jarrard, who also produced Jefferson Airplane and Harry Nilsson's Pandemonium Shadow Show. (Incidentally, Stone Country appeared as themselves in Otto Preminger's 1968 film Skidoo, which features a score by Nilsson). The group disbanded when, in 1969, Young signed as a solo artist with A&M Records. His album Rock Salt & Nails featured cameo performances by James Burton, Gene Clark, Gram Parsons, and Chris Hillman. In 1971, Young signed to Reprise, and eventually recorded a series of critically acclaimed albums in the country-rock style, his most well-known song being "Seven Bridges Road," recorded by Rita Coolidge, Joan Baez, and the Eagles. Clark -- a member of the New Christy Minstrels and the Good Time Singers before joining this band -- went solo and recorded for Imperial and Republic Records. Don Beck went on to join Dillard & Clark, while Denny Conway became a session drummer. Stone Country has not been released on CD and LP copies are valuable and highly collectible.

Before Steve Young became one of the founding fathers of country-rock with his 1969 album Rock Salt and Nails, he was a member of Stone Country, a short-lived pop group that fused country and rock in a very different way. Stone Country's sole album, released in the spring of 1968, is a polished but intriguing mixture of sunshine pop, progressive country, blue-eyed soul, and folk-rock, all wrapped up in a slick package created with the best of L.A. studio craftsmanship (producer Rick Jarrard and arranger George Tipton, who both worked on the album, were also helping Harry Nilsson create his sublime early albums at the same time). Stone Country goes in too many directions at once for its own good, but it's clear that this was a band packed with talent and full of great musical ideas; the opener, "Love Psalm," is a delightful bit of psychedelic pop punctuated with some solid bluegrass picking; "Magnolias" is a gritty and unflinching portrait of life in the Deep South with a powerful vocal from Young; "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" is a musical synopsis of Arthur Penn's hit film of the day featuring some deft country guitar and banjo work; "Why Baby Why" is a solid George Jones cover with a heavy rock & roll stomp; and "Lizbeth Peach"'s baroque textures would do the Left Banke proud. The trouble with Stone Country is that while the bandmembers do everything here quite well (and they played nearly all of it themselves, without the help of session men), the eclecticism feels like a lack of clear focus and vision by the end of the album, and this sometimes sounds more like a bunch of talented individuals than a real group. But the best moments are a splendid example of prescient country-rock and West Coast studio polish, and Stone Country is a superb memorial for a group that had the talent and potential to do some pretty remarkable things.

Tracklist
01.Love Pslam 2:31
02.'Lizbeth Peach 2:25
03.Magnolias 4:19
04.Mantra 2:21
05.Everywhere I Turn 2:15
06.Woman Don't You Weep 3:35
07.Time Isn't There Anymore 2:55
08.Life Stands Daring Me 2:25
09.The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde 3:04
10.The Love You Save (May Be Your Own) 3:19
11.Why Baby Why 1:54
12.Angelica 3:08
13.This Wheels on Fire  2:56
14.Million Dollar Bash 2:18

Line-up
Dann Barry - Bass, Vocals
Steve Young - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Don Beck - 12 String Guitar, Banjo
Dennis Conway - Drums, Percussions
Richard Lockmiller - Rhythm Guitar
Doug Brooks - Rhythm Guitar

sabato 29 aprile 2017

Charlatans - San Francisco 1969 "aka" The Charlatans...plus Cream Puff War 2 PDF Book (2004 Acadia Remaster) 1969

Biography  The Charlatans is the self-titled debut album by the influential San Francisco psychedelic rock band The Charlatans and was released by Philips Records in 1969 (see 1969 in music). The album was recorded at Pacific High Studios, San Francisco, with production and engineering by Dan Healy and The Charlatans.

Although the record was The Charlatans' debut album, it was recorded and released relatively late in the band's career, a factor which contributed to its commercial failure. By 1969, the band's lineup had changed considerably from their 1965 – 1967 heyday, leaving Mike Wilhelm (lead guitar, vocals) and Richard Olsen (bass, vocals) as the only original members. Terry Wilson (drums) and Darrell DeVore (piano/keyboards, vocals) were recruited in order to flesh out the band, prior to the recording of the album.

The Charlatans was a critical and commercial flop upon its release. A contributing factor to the album's lack of success was the fact that The Charlatans' sound had become somewhat outdated by 1969, with their brand of jug band blues and gentle psychedelia being largely eschewed by the public in favor of a heavier rock sound. In his book, The Summer of Love: The Inside Story of LSD, Rock & Roll, Free Love and High Times in the Wild West, author Joel Selvin describes the album as "an unenthusiastic coda to a misspent career." Other reviewers have been kinder towards the album, with critic Bruce Eder, noting that the album "is a rather gorgeous and gently challenging piece of San Francisco rock, incorporating elements of blues and big-band swing, as well as '50s rock & roll and elegant '60s pop." A single taken from the album, coupling the Van Dyke Parks-penned song, "High Coin", with "When I Go Sailin' By", was released by Philips Records in 1969 but this too was met with commercial failure. Disillusioned by the album's lack of success, The Charlatans had broken up by the end of 1969.

The Charlatans has been reissued on CD three times to date. Firstly, in 1992 by Eva Records as an unofficial (or bootleg) CD, where it was coupled with another unofficial Charlatans' album, a compilation of unreleased recordings titled Alabama Bound. The second reissue was on One Way Records in 1995 and included two bonus tracks, "The Shadow Knows" and "32-20", both of which had appeared on The Charlatans' debut single in 1966. The third reissue of the album was released under the title San Francisco 1969 by Acadia Records in 2004 and was digitally remastered from the original master tapes. The Acadia release also included a 1969 Philips Records' radio advertisement for the album as a bonus track. Of all the CD reissues, the Acadia release boasts by far the best sound quality.

Tracklist
01.High Coin 3:07
02.Easy When I'm Dead 2:38
03.Ain’t Got the Time 2:47
04.Folsom Prison Blues 2:47
05.The Blues Ain't Nothin' 4:44
06.Time to Get Straight 3:53
07.When I Go Sailin' By 2:46
08.Doubtful Waltz 3:24
09.Wabash Cannonball 4:04
10.Alabama Bound 6:53
11.When the Movies Are Over 3:04
12.Radio Advert (2004 CD reissue bonus tracks) 1:00

Line-up
Mike Wilhelm - Vocals, Guitar, Fretted instruments, Percussion
Richard Olsen - Vocals, Bass, Woodwind instruments, Percussion
Darrell DeVore - Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion
Terry Wilson - Drums, Percussion

sabato 22 aprile 2017

Socrates - Phos (1993 Vertigo Polygram Records) 1976

Biography : Socrates initially known by the more unwieldy moniker Socrates Drank the Conium were one of the best-known Greek rock bands of the early to mid-‘70s, and one of the few to earn a reputation in the rest of the world. On their first three albums they pursued a tough but technically proficient brand of post-psychedelic hard rock that occasionally revealed a touch of prog influence, but on their 1976 release, Phos, the band underwent a major stylistic shift, and embraced those prog leanings with open arms. The main facilitator for this change was famed keyboardist Vangelis, whose prog ensemble Aphrodite's Child preceded Socrates as Greece's rock ambassadors to the wider world. Vangelis came on board as producer and keyboardist for Phos (also contributing a little of his compositional talent), enabling Socrates to make the leap from thinking man's hard rock to artier, more complex song structures and arrangements. There's still plenty of bite to the guitars on most of the tracks, but Vangelis' keyboards take an active role, especially on cuts like the lovely midtempo instrumental "Every Dream Comes to an End," which he co-wrote with the band. But that's not the only route through which Socrates reach out into proggier areas here the pastoral folk-rock of "The Bride," for instance, is strongly reminiscent of Jethro Tull, and the complex lines and rhythms intertwining on "Time of Pain" aren't far from Gentle Giant territory. Not many of Socrates' hard-rocking contemporaries were ever able to take an evolutionary step like this with such success. Review by James Allen

Tracklist
01.Starvation 3:46
02.Queen of The Universe 5:00
03.Every Dream Comes to An End 5:58
04.The Bride 3:44
05.Killer 2:27
06.A Day in Heaven 4:33
07.Time of Pain 3:30
08.Mountains 7:44

Antonis Tourkogiorgis - vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, bass
John Spathas - lead guitar, acoustic guitar
George Tradalidis - drums, percussion
Vangelis Papathanassiou - keyboards, percussion

domenica 16 aprile 2017

REPOST : California Easter Album (Penguin Records CD Version) 1967 (Bootleg)

Super rare original 2xLP set featuring an outstanding selection of hard to find recordings from the fabulous West Coast sunny Sunset Strip & San Francisco Sounds sixties legendary & essential. Killer out of the haze when the San Francisco sounds ruled the airwaves and the great Acid Wave was in full swing. Unbelievable awesome live tracks by Love with Arthur Lee from the Fillmore West 1970; Hot Shit a seemingly one off clash of the titans pre Hot Tuna gathering with Jorma Kaukonen,Jack Casady and Marty Balin amongst others recorded in 1969 in Los Angeles (was one of the earliest Hot Tuna gigs and billed as Hot Shit, their original name); Mad River Live at the San Jose in 1967; Pig Pen (Dead) & Peter Albun (Big Brother & the Holding Company); Jerry & Sarah Garcia; Blue Cheer live 1968 L.A. TV studio. Indeed just too good to be true an amazing set.

In this CD version don't included the first 6 tracks of the double LP version.

Tracklist
01.Love - If you wanna be free (Fillmore West, 1970)
02.Love - Stand out (Fillmore West, 1970)
03.Love - And more again (Fillmore West, 1970)
04.Love - Singing cowboy (Fillmore West, 1970)
05.Hot Shit - Come back baby (pre Hot Tuna, Los Angeles Forum, 1969)
06.Hot Shit - True religion (pre Hot Tuna, Los Angeles Forum, 1969)
07.Hot Shit - Sense of direction (pre Hot Tuna, Los Angeles Forum, 1969)
08.Mad River - Wind chimes (San Josè, 1967)
09.Mad River - War goes on (San Josè, 1967)
10.Blue Cheer - Summertime blues (TV broadcast, 1968)
11.Blue Cheer - Out of focus (TV broadcast, 1968)

Happy Easter to All Fans!


lunedì 3 aprile 2017

Circus - Circus (2000 Gear Fab Records) 1973

Biography : Circus' only released album is something of a letdown. They attained considerable popularity on the bountiful Madison, WI, rock scene and then throughout the Midwest festival circuit due to their impressive live show and jamming capabilities. And the list of artists that they supported makes for a winning resume. But Circus is not nearly as interesting as albums by fellow scenesters SOUP or Tayles because the band was mostly unable to translate the excitement of their live shows into the recording studio. Instead of a talented improvisational band, it makes them sound more often like a pedestrian blues-rock or hard rock outfit. The band's signature claim to fame is their utilization of synthesizers, particularly the Moog and clavinet, and the instruments do add intriguing textures, but they are unable to conceal the rather plodding, drab songwriting. Their original tunes pale in comparison to even the second-rate tunes by the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead, two bands that seem to be touchstones for Circus. They simply are unable to muster many melodies that are particularly memorable, and when they do, as on "Fat Boogie Mama," it is borrowed almost entirely even down to the actual hook from Loggins & Messina's "Your Mama Can't Dance." The most interesting original may be "Travlin' Blues," which, contrary to the title, is solid country-rock with a nice banjo solo. It suggests that Circus may have benefited from leaning harder on that genre, at least in the recording studio. That notion is supported by their country-folk version of Ray Davies' "Skin and Bones," by far the best actual song on the album, with its exquisite acoustic slide guitar. The lack of a distinctive artistic impulse is all the more unfortunate because the five members are such outstanding players, even approaching the high skill level of their inspirations. The dual-guitar attack is hardly visionary, but it is thrilling, and Fred Omernik's keyboard work is superb. The lead vocals are nothing special, but the harmonies frequently are, especially when they appropriate the lead. Still, Circus was primarily a live attraction, and a much in-demand one at that. So it is no surprise that the most satisfying performance on the album is the 12-and-a-half-minute jam on the Rhinoceros cut "Old Age," full of awesome organ and synthesizer work and jazzy guitars as well as limber, tribal drumming. It recalls Santana one minute, space rock the next, and groovy early-'70s funk in general. In other words, it is an exceptional interpretation that evokes how strong of a live unit they really were. But as a studio band, Circus was disappointing more often than it was not. A live recording might have made for better listening. Review by Stanton Swihart

Tracklist 
01.Fat Boogie Mama 4:09
02.You To Me 4:21
03.Let Me Tell You 4:12
04.Skin And Bones 3:53
05.Arrow 3:31
06.Travlin' Blues 2:45
07.Old Age 12:28
08.C'Mon If You're Comin' 4:09
09.I'm Walkin' 3:19
10.Bar Room Wiggy 3:39

Brett Peterson - Vocals, Guitar
Randy Glodowksi - Vocals, Guitar
Fred Omernik - Vocals, Organ, Piano
Wayne Kostroski - Bass
Ray Cyr - Drums, Congas, Percussion

sabato 1 aprile 2017

Black Pearl - Black Pearl & Live (2007 Lion Records Digipack) 1969 - 1970

Biography : Back in the late '60s, there were several bands that amped up the smooth and sexy R&B sound of the day giving it a shot of adrenaline and a bit more, well, cajones. The prime example of this approach was the mighty MC5, but there were other acts that followed the same template albeit all but forgotten over the years such as Black Pearl. Although they hailed from San Francisco and were pals of the Grateful Dead, they did not reflect the expected hippie-dippie-isms from bands of that area/era. Singer Bernie B.B. Fieldings had obviously studied his James Brown records, as his vocal delivery brings to mind the hardest working man in show business, as well as the MC5's Rob Tyner at times. But unlike the 5, Black Pearl weren't loaded with as many memorable hooks in their songs, nor a raise-your-fist-in-the-air anthem like "Kick Out the Jams." Still, their lone studio album (their other release was a live recording) a self-titled release from 1969 provided a much needed alternative to all the mellow/laid-back music that was ruling the mainstream at the time, especially on such funky-psychedelic-garage rock ditties as "Crazy Chicken" and "Mr. Soul Satisfaction." As you've probably guessed by now, if you're a fan of the MC5, it would certainly be worth it to hunt down a copy of Black Pearl. Review by Greg Prato

Tracklist
01.Crazy Chicken 3:04
02.Thinkin'bout The Good Times 4:14
03.White Devil 5:02
04.Mr. Soul Satisfaction 3:39
05.Forget It 3:47
06.Climbing Up The Walls 3:58
07.Bent Over 2:56
08.Endless Journey 3:53
09.Reach Up 4:06
Live 1970
10.Uptown 4:45
11.I Get The Blues Most Every Night 6:45
12.Hermit Freak Show 4:10
13.Cold Sweat 11:02
14.People Get Ready 8:03

Bernie "B.B" Fieldings - Vocals
Bruce Benson - Guitar
Tom Mulcahy - Guitar
Jerry Causi - Guitar
Geoffrey Morris - Bass
Oak O'Connor - Drums

mercoledì 29 marzo 2017

Alacran (Spain) - Alacran (2000 Disconforme) 1971

Biography : Madrid's Alacran was the brainchild of drummer and guitarist Fernando Arbex, who enlisted fellow Spaniards Oscar Lasprilla on keyboards and vocalist/bassist Ignacio Egaña. Their self-titled debut was their only album, and the opening track, "Sticky," was their only single. Recorded in 1969 and issued with no promotion on either side of the Atlantic, the album nonetheless captured the attention of the youth culture in their homeland and in parts of the rest of Europe. Remarkably, the edginess of the guitars and the deep Latin groove in the rhythms and minor-key melodies draw inevitable and accurate comparisons to Santana. Alacran is far more psychedelic and garage-y than the Santana band and, being a power trio, relied on the blues more as well. But nonetheless, this is the sound of Latin rock at the beginning, and the album is stellar. Alacran disbanded when Lasprilla moved to England, and the two remaining members formed the legendary Barrabas. The Alacran disc, however, is better than all of the Barrabas efforts put together. It remains an underground classic in the 21st century.
Review by Thom Jurek

Tracklist
01.Sticky 3:57
02.Son (America, America) 5:02
03.My Soul (Suddenly) 4:33
04.San Francisco (California) 3:48
05.Take A Look Around You, Baby 3:30
06.Will You Keep My Love Forever 3:45

Fernando Arbex - drums, guitar
Ignacio Egana - vocals, bass
Oscar Lasprilla - guitar, keyboards

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Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body

Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body