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Switch
Switch
Price: $26.47
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4.0 out of 5 stars "...We Like To Party..." - Switch by SWITCH (2014 Big Break Records Expanded CD Remaster), October 8, 2014
This review is from: Switch (Audio CD)
Soul and Funk band SWITCH managed 5 albums between 1978 and 1981 on Gordy (USA) and Tamla Motown (UK) - and this is their debut. Typically accomplished and polished Soul ala Kool & The Gang or The Commodores with songwriting involvement from Bobby DeBarge and Jermaine Jackson- it's a mixture of mid-paced steppers and classy smooth ballads recorded by seriously talented players. Here are the multi-instrumentalist details...

Released 25 August 2014 in the UK (7 October in the USA) - Big Break Records CDBBRX 0164 (Barcode 5013929046436) breaks downs as follows (40:04 mnutes):

1. I Wanna Be With You
2. There'll Never Be
3. I Wanna Be Closer
4. We Like The Party...Come On!
5. Fever
6. You Pulled A Switch
7. It's So Real
8. Somebody's Watching You

Tracks 1 to 8 are the album "Switch" - released August 1978 in the USA on Gordy G7-980R1 and October 1978 in the UK on Tamla Motown STML 12096

9. There'll Never Be (Single Version)
10. I Wanna Be Closer (Single Version)

Using the two bonuses and Tracks 6 and 8 - this release will allow fans to sequence their two US 7" singles as follows:
There'll Never Be b/w You Pulled A Switch, June 1978 on Gordy G-7159F
I Wanna Be Closer b/w Somebody's Watching You, December 1978 on Gordy G-7163F

The 16-page booklet has live photos of the band, rare picture sleeves, label facsimiles and liner notes by SHELLEY NICOLE (as well as album credits). But the big news as always is a KEVIN REEVES and NICK ROBBINS remaster from Universal tapes and it sounds just amazing - clear, punchy and full of life.

Highlights include "I Wanna Be Closer" - a great smoocher - and the floor-filling slap-bass funk of "We Like To Party...Come On!" where they sound like an energized Gap Band.

Another superb reissue from BBR and kicking where it matters - sound and presentation...

PS: I've also reviewed these other Big Break Records (BBR) CD remasters:

1. Hot Property - HEATWAVE (1979)
2. Candles - HEATWAVE (1980)
3. Turnin' On - HIGH INERGY (1977)
4. Harvest For The World - THE ISLEY BROTHERS (1976)
5. Go For Your Guns - THE ISLEY BROTHERS (1977)
6. I Hope We Get To Love On Time - MARILYN McCOO & BILLY DAVIS (1976)
7. I Miss You - HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES (1972) [known as "Harold Melvin The Blue Notes" in the UK]
8. Black & Blue - HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES (1973)
9. Love Is The Message - MFSB (1973)
10. All The Faces Of... - BUDDY MILES (1974)
11. I Can See Clearly Now - JOHNNY NASH (1972)
12. In Philadelphia - O'JAYS (1969)
14. Back Stabbers - O'JAYS (1972)
14. Ship Ahoy - O'JAYS (1973)
15. Ebony Woman - BILLY PAUL (1970 and 1973)
16. 360 Degrees Of Billy Paul - BILLY PAUL (1972)
17. War Of The Gods - BILLY PAUL (1973)
18. Smoked Sugar - SMOKED SUGAR (1975)
19. Switch - SWITCH (1978)
20. Just As I Am - BILL WITHERS (1971) [debut LP on Sussex/A&M Records]


The Cry Of Love
The Cry Of Love
Offered by Romann Inc
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Set Her Free...." - The Cry Of Love by JIMI HENDRIX (2014 CD Remaster), October 8, 2014
This review is from: The Cry Of Love (Audio CD)
Like so many fans of "The Cry Of Love" - I came to the album via the original March 1971 vinyl LP housed in that tasty gatefold sleeve (Track Records 2408 101 in the UK). Even in cartoon form - Jimi Hendrix looked like the coolest being on earth. I loved it to bits at the time (especially the leap forward in his songwriting) and across the years I've had battered copies of it rotating on dusty turntables ever since.

When CDs finally arrived - with the exception of a quickly withdrawn Euro version in 1991 on Polydor 847 242-2 - this posthumous album stubbornly refused to show in its original form. Then in April 1997 the Hendrix Estate put out the double-album Hendrix had 'probably' intended onto a single CD - calling it "First Rays Of The New Rising Sun". It combined tracks from that other 1971 posthumous album "Rainbow Bridge" and another tampered set "War Heroes" from 1972. But the artwork was different and to me the original 'feel' of "The Cry Of Love" I'd grown up was completely gone.

But at last in September 2014 - here it is again on Sony/Legacy 88843099652 - only this time with original artwork and in a simple jewel case rather than a fancy card digipak. The booklet's functionary at best - but the real bee's knees here is a new BERNIE GRUNDMAN remaster from the original tapes and WOW is the only appropriate response.

1. Freedom
2. Drifting
3. Ezy Ryder
4. Night Bird Flying
5. My Friend
6. Straight Ahead
7. Astro Man
8. Angel
9. In From The Storm
10. Belly Button Window

Right from the moment "Freedom" leaps out of the speakers - the layered guitars and rhythm section seem so much clearer and not amped up for the sake of it. "Night Flying Bird" (one of my faves) is mind-blowing - those sliding lead in guitars and that funky backdrop - so cool and clever (lyrics from it title this review). Again Mitchell's cymbals and drums throughout "Straight Ahead" sound fabulous and the lovely "Drifting" has always been an equal for me to the more famous and revered "Angel" (which in itself sounds magical). I'd swear there's reduced hiss on "Belly Button Window" without compromising the space around the voice and guitar (which we now know was merely a demo) and that bass rattles at you on "Astro Man" with a renewed power. In facts it's so cool to just have it back as it was - and sounding this good.

"Back from the storm..." - Jimi sings on "In From The Storm". Indeed he is...and how...


U
U
Price: $28.47
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4.0 out of 5 stars "...Ancient Associates And Fellow Wanderers..." - `U' by THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (2014 Beat Goes On 2CD Remaster), October 8, 2014
This review is from: U (Audio CD)
How do you describe let alone approach 'U' by THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND? Grow a beard, dance around the mulberry bushes looking for fairies, join a Sitar class or just down a couple of pinks with your fiddle-loving mates in a real-ale pub and wickedly laugh at the sheer loony-bin joyous knob of it all.

Following on from the even nuttier "I Looked Up" released only months earlier in the spring of 1970 - this October 1970 double-album of Folk Rock Pantomime has always divided fans between those who secretly love it and those who want to pretend they bought it when they were stoned. Well along comes Beat Goes On of the UK in 2014 - and they want your credit card to reappraise this beast on a beautifully newly remastered 2CD edition. And I for one am digging the Astral Plain and sonic Silver Doves man...

UK released September 2014 - Beat Goes On BGOCD 1164 (Barcode 5017261211644) is a 2CD set that splits the original UK vinyl double-album 'U' (October 1970 on Elektra Records 2665 001) onto 2CDs - Sides 1 and 2 on Disc 1 (53:58 minutes) with Sides 3 and 4 on Disc 2 (53:07 minutes). It comes in their now customary card slipcase.

Consisting of multi-instrumentalists ROBIN WILLIAMSON and MIKE HERON (Guitar, Mandolin, Sitar, Flute, Piano, Bass, Various English and European String Instruments and Vocals) - the band also had ROSE SIMPSON on Bass and LICORICE McKECHNIE on Duet Vocals and Guitar. Guest JANET SHANKMAN sang Lead Vocals on "Bad Sadie Lee" and played Harpsichord on "Queen Of Love", GREG HEAT gave a Voice Sitar to "Invocation" and PETER GRANT played Banjo On "Bad Sadie Lee".

The 24-page booklet features photos of their infamous stage show packed with puppets, theatre mime and mind-expanding visuals, lyrics, recording info and detailed liner notes by noted writer JOHN O'REGAN. But the big news is a lovely new remaster by ANDREW THOMPSON. Many of these tracks are essentially acoustic guitars, mandolins and high vocals - the remaster has hiss on some track but great clarity too.

It opens with the 8-minute instrumental "El Wool Suite" lulling you into a false of hippy security with its gorgeous Sitar vibes - but that's quickly kyboshed by the silly English Folk of "The Juggler's Song" - a Madrigal too far for most. "Time" has lovely acoustic and mandolin while "Bad Sadie Lee" is deliberately comical - Wild West Vaudeville where someone's about to say `varmit" any minute. The production quality on "Queen Of Love" is superb (if you can handle Williamson's discordant voice). Speaking of childlike lady voices - Licorice gives it some welly on the lovely Side 3 opener "Bridge Song". But like Yoko Ono's larynx voice - its a love it or loathe it situation. But to me "Bridge Song" has always had some gorgeous chord-changes - there's a beautiful tune in there somewhere trying desperately to get out.

The audio quality continues on "The Puppet Song" (warm and clear) - the same on the delicate "I Know You" - even if it's a tad hissy. It may go nowhere but the extraordinary Acoustic Guitar workout that is "Astral Plane Theme" has always sounded amazing to me. "Invocation" has hippy lyrics that would make witches blush (lyrics above) and yet is strangely cool too. And then the musical stage show ends on the epic near 16-minute "Rainbow" - a chop-and-change mix of Folk, Rock, Pop and Flute Baroque. It's self-indulgent for sure but those Vocal and Piano play offs at seven minutes have greatness and vision in them.

The Incredible String Band would go on to the altogether better "Liquid Acrobat As Regards The Air" album when they signed to Island in 1971. To sum up - the unwieldy and slightly fay 'U' won't be everyone's cup of Darjeeling for sure - but for others it's a "sweet song of love" from a more innocent time...


I Looked Up
I Looked Up
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4.0 out of 5 stars "...This Moment..." - I Looked Up by THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (2014 Beat Goes On CD Remaster), October 8, 2014
This review is from: I Looked Up (Audio CD)
When the INCREDIBLE STRING BAND put out the vinyl double-album `U' in October 1970 complete with a pantomime show to accompany its half-genius and wholly indulgent sprawl - many fans thought they'd lost it while critics had a total field day. And perhaps the single album "I Looked Up" that preceded `U' only months earlier (which also tested people's patience) lit the fuse for that backlash. Whatever you look at it - four and half decades later - and along comes Beat Goes On of the UK with a spiffing new CD remaster and quality presentation. They're hoping of course you'll reassess the whole hairyman affair in 2014...and if you're a fan, you should. Here are real ale details...

UK released September 2014 - Beat Goes On BGOCD 1166 (Barcode 5017261211668) comes in an outer card slipcase and breaks down as follows (41:27 minutes):

1. Black Jack Davy (Mike Heron)
2. The Letter (Mike Heron)
3. Pictures In A Mirror (Robin Williamson)
4. This Moment (Mike Heron)
5. When You Find Out Who You Are (Robin Williamson)
6. Fair As You (Mike Heron song)

Tracks 1 to 6 are the stereo vinyl album "I Looked Up" - released April 1970 in the UK on Elektra 2469 002 and Elektra EKS 74061 in the USA

Consisting of multi-instrumentalists ROBIN WILLIAMSON and MIKE HERON (Guitar, Mandolin, Sitar, Flute, Piano, Bass, Various English and European String Instruments and Vocals) - the band also had ROSE SIMPSON on Bass and LICORICE McKECHNIE on Duet Vocals and Guitar. The 16-page booklet features two photos of the ISB and detailed liner notes by noted writer JOHN TOBLER that go into a long history of the groups stay at Elektra. But the big news is a lovely new remaster by ANDREW THOMPSON that brings out the music in a really great way. Many of these tracks are essentially acoustic guitars, mandolins and high vocals - the remaster has hiss on some tracks - but the clarity is fab.

Musically if I were to single out two extremes (bad and good) - it would be the near unlistenable nonsense of "Pictures In A Mirror" which goes on for eleven minutes and is painful to listen to. A contrast is the lovely six minutes of "This Moment" - even if it has the "oh no" vocal refrain towards the end. And the remaster is amazing on "When You Find Out Who You Are" as it goes into those delicate vocal duets between Robin and Licorice. But perhaps best of all is the old world madrigal folk of "Fair As You" with its Flute, Gimbri and layered vocals. It has hiss on it for sure but it's not been dampened down in the transfer at the expense of the prominent acoustic guitar and flute (deftly done).

The Incredible String Band would go on to the altogether better "Liquid Acrobat As Regards The Air" album when they signed to Island in 1971. To sum up - it's a bit Bovril - you either love it or loathe it. But if you're a fan - you need this superb remaster in your collection...

PS: see also my review for "U" by THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (2014 Remaster)


Turnin' On
Turnin' On
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4.0 out of 5 stars "...In The Middle Of Turning Me On..." - Turnin' On by HIGH INERGY (2014 Big Break Records Expanded CD Remaster), October 8, 2014
This review is from: Turnin' On (Audio CD)
The four all-singing all-dancing Mitchell sisters from Pasadena in California that made up HI INERGY were touted at the time by none other than Motown Head Honcho BERRY GORDY as America's `new' Supremes. And with songwriters like James Ingram, Bobby Womack, Al Willis and Clay Drayton lining up the catchy tunes - they certainly had what it took to put their debut album to the No. 6 slot in the American R&B charts (No. 28 in Pop). And this typically superb sounding CD reissue by Britain's BBR (Big Break Records) will give fans the perfect excuse to indulge one more time. Here are the details...

Released 25 August 2014 in the UK (7 October in the USA) - Big Break Records CDBBRX 0304 (Barcode 5013929060432) breaks downs as follows (43:05 mnutes):

1. Love Is All You Need
2. You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On)
3. Some Kinda Magic
4. Searchin' (I've Got To Find My Love)
5. Ain't No Love Left (In My Heart For You)
6. Let Me Get Close To You
7. Save It For A Rainy Day
8. Could This Be Love
9. High School

Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Turnin' On" - released October 1977 in the USA on Gordy G6-978S1 and December 1977 in the UK on Tamla Motown STML 12074

9. You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On) (Single Version)
10. Love Is All You Need (Single Version)

Using the two bonuses and Tracks 7 and 3 - this release will allow fans to sequence their two US 7" singles as follows:
You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On), August 1977 on Gordy G-7155F in the USA and October 1977 on Tamla Motown TMG 1087 in the UK
Love Is All You Need, January 1978 on Gordy G-7157F in the USA and March 1978 on Tamla Motown TMG 1103 in the UK

The 12-page booklet has colour photos of the sisters, rare American picture sleeves, label facsimiles and liner notes by RICO `Superbizzee" WASHINGTON (as well as album credits). But the big news as always with BBR is a KEVIN REEVES and NICK ROBBINS remaster from Universal tapes and it sounds just amazing - clear, punchy and full of life.

Highlights include steppers like "Love Is All You Need" and the sexy slink of "You Can't Turn Me Off..." while "Let Me Get Close To You" is a Supremes-type smoocher (written by Faye Usher). James Ingram makes his songwriting presence known on both "Save It For A Rainy Day" and "Could This Be Love" - mid-tempo funkers. They went on to make a whopping further 7 albums for Gordy - but their debut album is now remembered more as a beginning of High Energy Disco and Soul.

Another superb reissue from BBR and kicking where it matters - sound and presentation...

PS: I've also reviewed these other Big Break Records (BBR) CD remasters:

1. Hot Property - HEATWAVE (1979)
2. Candles - HEATWAVE (1980)
3. Turnin' On - HIGH INERGY (1977)
4. Harvest For The World - THE ISLEY BROTHERS (1976)
5. Go For Your Guns - THE ISLEY BROTHERS (1977)
6. I Hope We Get To Love On Time - MARILYN McCOO & BILLY DAVIS (1976)
7. I Miss You - HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES (1972) [known as "Harold Melvin The Blue Notes" in the UK]
8. Black & Blue - HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES (1973)
9. Love Is The Message - MFSB (1973)
10. All The Faces Of... - BUDDY MILES (1974)
11. I Can See Clearly Now - JOHNNY NASH (1972)
12. In Philadelphia - O'JAYS (1969)
14. Back Stabbers - O'JAYS (1972)
14. Ship Ahoy - O'JAYS (1973)
15. Ebony Woman - BILLY PAUL (1970 and 1973)
16. 360 Degrees Of Billy Paul - BILLY PAUL (1972)
17. War Of The Gods - BILLY PAUL (1973)
18. Smoked Sugar - SMOKED SUGAR (1975)
19. Switch - SWITCH (1978)
20. Just As I Am - BILL WITHERS (1971) [debut LP on Sussex/A&M Records]


Clarke Hicks & Nash Years
Clarke Hicks & Nash Years
Price: $32.83
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5.0 out of 5 stars "...Ego Is Dead..." - The Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years: The Complete Hollies April 1963 to October 1968 (2011 EMI 6CD Remasters), October 8, 2014
Released May 2011 in the UK and USA - "The Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years: The Complete Hollies April 1963 to October 1968" is a jam-packed 6CD set (in a double-sized jewel case) on EMI 5099909624221.

Across 158 tracks are the A&B-sides of 19 British 7" singles, 3 songs exclusive to two British EPs (as well as the other 18 tracks from all 7 British EPs), 6 Foreign Language versions (5 of which are Previously Unreleased), 3 English language sides on Italian and German singles, 20 compilation exclusives, 7 full British albums and an 8-track Previously Unreleased Live Concert from 1968 in Stereo.

The CDS are sequenced in recording-date order - with the album tracks often spread across different discs. So in order to give an easier-to-read picture - I've posted a HOLLIES UK Singles, EPs and LPs British Discography in the 'comment' section attached to this review. It references track-by-track where those 45's and LPs are on this massive 6CD set and the following individual disc breakdowns give you the straggler songs 'outside' of that Discography...

Disc 1, 28 tracks, 64:34 minutes:
Tracks 6 and 10 are "Zip A Dee Do Dah" and "Poison Ivy" - released 1985 in the UK on "The Hollies" LP on EMI Music For Pleasure 41 5727 1
Track 7 is "I Understand" - released 1993 in the USA on the 3CD Box Set "30th Anniversary Collection 1963-1993"
Tracks 25 and 26 are "When I'm Not There" and "What Kind Of Love" - released 1964 on "The Hollies" UK 4-track EP on Parlophone GEP 8909

Disc 2, 26 tracks, 64:29 minutes:
Track 12 is "We're Through (Alternative Arrangement)" - released 1997 on "The Hollies At Abbey Road 1963-1966" (previously unreleased at the time)
Track 17 is "She Said Yeah" - released 2003 on the 6CD Box Set "The Long Road Home"
Track 18 is "Yes I Will (Alternate Version)" - released 1964 in the UK on "Hollies' Greatest Hits" LP on Parlophone PCS 7057
Track 26 is "Honey And Wine" - released 1965 in the UK on the "I'm Alive" 4-track EP on Parlophone GEP 8942

Disc 3, 28 tracks, 64:24 minutes:
Tracks 1 to 3 are "Listen Here To Me", "So Lonely" and "Bring Back Your Love To Me" - released 2003 on the 6CD Box Set "The Long Road Home"
Tracks 15, 16 and 18 are "She Gives Me Everything I Want", "I Can't Get Nowhere With You" and "You In My Arms" - released 1993 in the USA on the 3CD Box Set "30th Anniversary Collection 1963-1993"
Track 27 is "Look Through Any Window (French Lyric Version)" - first released on the 1988 CD "Rarities"
Tracks 25, 27 and 28 are "Stewball (French Lyric Version)", "You Know He Did (French Lyric Version)" and "We're Through (French Lyric Version)" -all three are Previously Unreleased

Disc 4, 27 tracks, 69:57 minutes:
Track 3 is "A Taste Of Honey" - released 1966 in the USA on the Hollies LP "Beat Group!" on Imperial LP 12312
Tracks 26 and 27 are "Non Prego Per Me" and "Devi Avere Fiducia In Me" - the A&B sides of an Italian 7" single - Previously Unreleased Stereo versions

Disc 5, 24 tracks, 64:11 minutes:
Tracks 3 and 4 are "We're Alive" and "Kill Me Quick" - Italian A&B-sides of a 1967 single; B-side is Stereo version with Backing Vocals
Track 7 is "Schoolgirl" - released 1997 on "The Hollies At Abbey Road 1966-1970" (previously unreleased at the time)

Disc 6, 25 tracks, 73:15 minutes:
Track 8 is "Wings" - released 1969 on the UK on the Various Artists album "No One's Gonna Change Our World" (on Behalf of the World Wildlife Fund) on Regal Starline SRS 5013
Tracks 10 and 11 are "Tomorrow When It Comes" and "Relax" - first released on the 1988 CD "Rarities"
Track 14 is "Man With No Expression (Horses Through A Rainstorm)" - released 1997 on "The Hollies At Abbey Road 1966-1970" (previously unreleased at the time)
Track 15 is "Blowin' In The Wind" - A B-side In Germany and Sweden to ???
Track 16 is "A Taste Of Honey (1968 Version)" - released 2003 on the 6CD Box Set "The Long Road Home"
Tracks 18 to 25 are "Stop! Stop! Stop!", "Look Through Any Window", "The Times They Are A-Changin'", "On A Carousel", "King Midas In Reverse", "Butterfly", "Jennifer Eccles", and "Carrie Anne" - all recorded LIVE AT LEWISHAM ODEON, 24 May 1968 and are Previously Unreleased

Fans will know that the digital remasters are mostly from 1999 and 2003 and were by done by expert tape man PETER MEW at Abbey Road - the sound quality is uniformly great (as I find it is on anything he remasters). The 24-page booklet features an introduction by MICK HOUGHTON, A Q&A with GRAHAM NASH, a UK Discography for the period with the seven EP and LP sleeves pictured in colour and then a song-by-song breakdown (itself broken up with collages of publicity/in-the-studio photos. It's well done (the cover photo taken at Niagara Falls in December 1967 sees the boys in period Gladrags) and for such a huge haul of music is priced cheaply too.

I love the album foursome "Would You Believe?", "For Certain Because", "Evolution" and "Butterfly" that really saw Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks and Graham Nash take off as writers - superb album nuggets like the pre CSN vibe of "Stop Right There", the Beatlesque "You Need Love", the Ogdens Small Faces whimsy of "Dear Eloise" and the Northern Britain social commentary of "Charlie And Fred". And the brilliant "Elevated Observations?" from October 1967's "Evolution" album gave that "Sgt. Peppers" mob a run for their Liverpudlian money (lyrics above). The live show is also far better than I thought it would be - clearly showing how accomplished they were as a band - nailing down difficult stuff like "King Midas In Reverse" with ease.

Further glory would follow for The Hollies on both the Parlophone and Polydor labels with Alan Clarke taking the song-writing ascendancy - while Graham Nash went on to conquer the West Coast of America and then the entire world with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Neil Young.

"All that summer we enjoyed it..." - they sang on "Bus Stop". Great sound, top songs and quality presentation - there's so much to enjoy here...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 8, 2014 3:08 AM PDT


THE LONDON HOWLIN` WOLF SESSIONS (DELUXE EDITION) by HOWLIN` WOLF [Korean Imported] (2003)
THE LONDON HOWLIN` WOLF SESSIONS (DELUXE EDITION) by HOWLIN` WOLF [Korean Imported] (2003)
by HOWLIN` WOLF
Edition: Audio CD

5.0 out of 5 stars "...Wang Dang Doodle..." - The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions by HOWLIN WOLF [& Friends] (2003 Deluxe Edition 2CD Remasters), October 8, 2014
Like many avid collectors I've felt that Universal's 2CD 'Deluxe Edition' series has had some dubious expansions of popular albums across the reissue decades - forever chasing our battered debit cards with yet another sonic temptation. But sometimes - just sometimes - you get the perfect blend. You get a forgotten album that shouldn't be - extras actually worthy of the moniker 'bonus tracks' - classy and sympathetic presentation and a Remaster Engineer capable of bringing genuine new life back into old recordings. Ladies and Gentlemen (and those of you who aren't sure) - welcome to one of those 'DE' beauties. Here are the little red roosters and the wang dang doodles...

Released March 2003 on MCA/Chess 088 112 985-2 (Barcode 08811298524) - "The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions" is a 2CD DELUXE EDITION and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (56:52 minutes):
1. Rockin' Daddy (Side 1)
2. A Ain't Superstitious
3. Sittin' On The Top Of The World
4. Worried About My Baby
5. What A Woman!
6. Poor Boy
7. Build For Comfort (Side 2)
8. Who's Been Talking?
9. The Red Rooster (False Start And Dialogue)
10. The Red Rooster
11. Do The Do
12. Highway 49
13. Wang Dang Doodle
Tracks 1 to 13 are the album "The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions" - released August 1971 in the UK on Rolling Stones Records COC 47101 and Chess CH-60008 in the USA

14. Goin' Down Slow
15. Killing Floor
16. I Want A Word With You
Tracks 14 to 16 are Bonus Tracks - they originally appeared on the American Muddy Waters & Howlin' Wolf LP "London Revisited" from 1974 on Chess CH 60026
They're Newly Remixed From The Session Multi-Tracks for this reissue

Disc 2 (52:50 minutes):
1. Worried About My Baby (Rehearsal Take)
2. The Red Rooster (Alternate Mix With Alternate Piano)
3. What A Woman (A/K/A/ Commit A Crime) (Alternate Take)
4. Who's Been Talking (Alternate Take With False Start & Dialog)
5. Worried About My Baby (Alternate Take)
6. I Ain't Superstitious (Alternate Take)
7. Highway 49 (Alternate Take)
8. Do The Do (Extended Alternate Take)
9. Poor Boy (Alternate Lyrics Mix)
10. I Ain't Superstitious (Alternate Mix)
11. What A Woman (A/K/A Commit A Crime) (Alternate Mix With Organ Overdub)
12. Rockin' Daddy (Alternate Mix)
(All tracks on Disc 2 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED; Tracks 1 to 8 are newly remixed - Tracks 9 to 12 are the original 1970 mixdown sessions)

The first thing that hits you is the awesome sound - remastered by ERICK LABSON. I've sung this man's praises before on many occasions - he's one of Universal's principal sound engineers and has been involved in excess of 1,100 reissues including the vast majority of the huge Chess catalogue. This guy knows his way around tapes like this - and his work here is fabulous - ballsy, clear and full of power. Once of the outer DELUXE EDITION plastic slipcase - the gatefold card digipak offers up a wide and long booklet that is classily put together. You get a revealing interview with NORMAN DAYRON the original engineer, pictures from the period and sessions and a recording credits roll call of ace British and American musicians lining up to play with their hero - ERIC CLAPTON (Guitars), STEVE WINWOOD (Keyboards), BILL WYMAN and CHARLIE WATTS of THE ROLLING STONES (Bass and Drums), HUBERT SUMLIN (Guitar), JEFFREY M. CARP (Harmonica), PHIL UPCHURCH (Bass) and IAN STEWART with LAFAYETTE LEAKE (Piano) to name but some.

Like "Fathers & Sons" with Muddy Waters and The Paul Butterfield Band blowing up a storm in 1969 - I've always felt this "London Session" was one of the most successful of those Blues-Rock collaboration albums precisely because of who was involved (Clapton in particular was in blinding form). Chester Burnett wasn't in the best of health (he would be lost to us in early 1976) - and at times his voice does seem ever so-slightly uncomfortable with the arrangements and the UK surroundings - but Clapton and his adoring boys broke the ice and brought in a formidable project in the end.

Side 1 opens with the Wolf's own "Rockin' Daddy" followed by Willie Dixon's "I Ain't Superstitious" and the joint is jumping right away. We get mean and gritty with a harmonica and piano-driven "Sittin' On Top Of The World" and the horns of Dennis Lansing, Joe Miller and Jordan Sandke back up the band for "Built For Comfort". Clapton tears into "Red Rooster" - really enjoying himself after giving the master the respect he needed by asking the Wolf to lead on guitar. But if was to single out two killers - it's the rocking "What A Woman!" and the unbelievably good Blues Boogie of "Highway 49" (a Joe Williams cover). I've put them on countless Shop Play CDs in Reckless - and it never failed - kids rushing to the counter wanting to know who `the real deal' is...

The 3 extras on Disc 1 are unbelievable - "Goin' Down Slow" featuring blistering slow bluesy harmonica playing from Jeffrey Carp - then his own "Killing Floor" in boogie style with the band sounding in your face and loving it. As if that's not enough - Disc 1 finishes with another storming version of one of the album's highlights "What A Woman!" Wow!

It's arguable that Disc 2 is actually a better album - meaner and grittier - with versions that are complete but rougher around their frayed edges. The slashing slide guitar on "Red Rooster" and the boogie of "What A Woman!" are fantastic stuff. Love the harmonica and shambolic feel to "Worried About My Baby" - razor sharp bass and vocals too in the remaster. And the piano is far more to the fore for "Highway 49" - his presence exuding out of the speakers ("stop by the whiskey store...and get me a jug of wine...").

Hospitalized in late 1975 with liver failure after an automobile accident - he passed away 10 January 1976 - one of the true greats - a Blues force of nature that wouldn't be tamed.

Hit the Blues Highway 49 children and start your journey to the dark side here...


Jackson C Frank by Frank, Jackson C. (2001) Audio CD
Jackson C Frank by Frank, Jackson C. (2001) Audio CD

5.0 out of 5 stars “…My Heart’s True Song…” – Jackson C. Frank by JACKSON C. FRANK (2001 Sanctuary Expanded CD Remaster), October 8, 2014
New Yorker Jackson Casey Frank produced simple acoustic songs of such beauty and intensity that comparisons to Nick Drake and Tim Buckley immediately jump to mind. And yet this American Folk troubadour had a life so tragic (horrific personal injuries in a fire at the age of 13, loss of a son, mental illness and homelessness) - it threatens to overshadow his recorded legacy. But there is at least this stunning little CD reissue from the good folks at Sanctuary that only hammers home what a loss his passing was. Here are the blues that ran the game...

Originally released 19 November 2001 on CD (reissued in March 2008) - Sanctuary CMRCD366 (Barcode 5050159136629) breaks down as follows (56:16 minutes)

1. Blues Run The Game
2. Don't Look Back
3. Kimble
4. Yellow Walls
5. Here Comes The Blues
6. Milk And Honey
7. My Name Is Carnival
8. I Want To Be Alone (Dialogue)
9. Just Like Anything
10. You Never Wanted Me
Tracks 1 to 10 are his only officially released vinyl album "Jackson C. Frank" - released December 1965 in the UK-ONLY on Columbia Records 33SX 1788

11. Marlene
12. Marcy's Song
13. The Visit
14. Prima Donna Of Swans
15. Relations
Tracks 11 to 15 are Bonuses - Previously Unreleased 1970's Demos

This classy Sanctuary CD reissue and remaster comes housed in a card slipcase - the inner 12-page booklet has superbly detailed and informative liner notes by noted musicologist ALAN ROBINSON. It doesn't say who did the remaster - but the sound is beautiful. Just a voice and guitar, Paul Simon's simple and sympathetic production values and CBS facilities all combine to offer up a warm and atmospheric listen. One or two of the DEMOS are hissy in places but they're a fascinating addition - more emotionally naked acoustic songs waiting to be born...

Introduced by a kind lady called Judith Piepe to both PAUL SIMON and ART GARFUNKEL (staying in her London flat at the time) - Simon liked what he heard so much - he offered to produce Frank's debut album (which he famously did). Frank also befriended a nineteen year-old nurse and singer called SANDY DENNY and in turn another unsigned songwriting talent AL STEWART. When it came to recording the album - he was so scared he hid behind a screen in the studio (so Simon and Stewart wouldn't see him) - recording the whole album on acoustic guitar in less than three hours at the CBS Studios in New Bond Street. Columbia even tried a UK 45 released the same month as the album (December 1965) - "Blues Run The Game" b/w "Can't Get Away From Your Love" on Columbia DB 7795. The non-album B-side is unfortunately not on this CD (see the "Blues Run The Game" compilation).

If you want to know just emotive the opening song "Blues Run The Game" is - check out the SIMON & GARFUNKEL version that first appeared as an unreleased track on their 3CD "Old Friends" Box Set in 1997 - it's unbelievable good (also a bonus track on the 2001 reissue of "Sounds Of Silence"). Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Nick Drake, Eddi Reader and others have all done covers of it - and it's probably the standout track on here. Not to be outdone - "Milk And Honey" is just gorgeous too (lyrics from it title this review) as is the aching "I Want To Be Alone (Dialogue)".

A known rarity (originals regularly sell for £300 plus) - the album was reissued in the UK as "Jackson Frank Again" (with a different cover) in April 1978 on B&C Records BCLP 4 - but the music scene at the time ignored it. A UK 7" single combining "Blues Run The Game" b/w "Milk And Honey" preceded the reissue album in March 1978 on B&C Records BCS 0012 - but sank without a trace.

Listening to "Jackson C. Frank" now in 2014 - it's a little like Springsteen's "Nebraska" or Johnny Cash's "American Recordings" - sometimes you just need to hear simple from-the-heart stuff - a man's voice, his spirit and his guitar. After years of mental health problems and even homelessness - Jackson Frank passed away in 1999 without people noticing. At least this beautiful (and cheap) CD reissue celebrates his superlative debut album with real class and style. One for the desert island in us all...


Eagles Selected Works 1972-1999
Eagles Selected Works 1972-1999
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $20.55
53 used & new from $13.42

5.0 out of 5 stars “…Pretty Maids All In A Row…” – Selected Works 1973-1999 by EAGLES (2000/2013 Elektra 4CD Bernie Grundman Remasters), October 8, 2014
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2013 REISSUE ***

Originally released as a Long Book in November 2000 - this November 2013 reissue on Elektra 8122796239 reduces that "Selected Works 1973-1999" 4CD retrospective into a manageable card slipcase and keeps the four-themed CDs, the booklet (24-pages) and best of all - the superb Bernie Grundman/Richard Davis remasters. Here are the witchy women, ornery outlaws and dry-roasted desperados...

Disc 1 "The Early Years" (49:44 minutes)
1. Take It Easy ("Eagles", 1972)
2. Hollywood Waltz ("One Of These Nights", 1975)
3. Already Gone ("On The Border", 1974)
4. Doolin'-Dalton ("Desperado", 1973)
5. Midnight Flyer ("On The Border", 1974)
6. Tequila Sunrise ("Eagles", 1972)
7. Witchy Woman ("Eagles", 1972)
8. Tran Leaves Here This Morning ("Eagles", 1972)
9. Outlaw Man ("Desperado", 1973)
10. Peaceful Easy Feeling ("Eagles", 1972)
11. James Dean ("On The Border", 1974)
12. Saturday Night ("Desperado", 1973)
13. On The Border Dean ("On The Border", 1974)

Disc 2 "The Ballads" (58:26 minutes):
1. Wasted Time Reprise
2. Wasted Time ("Hotel California", 1976)
3. I Can't Tell You Why ("The Long Run", 1979)
4. Lyin' Eyes ("One Of These Nights", 1975)
5. Pretty Maids All In A Row ("Hotel California", 1976)
6. Desperado ("Desperado", 1973)
7. Try And Love Again ("Hotel California", 1976)
14. The Best Of My Love ("On The Border", 1974)
8. New Kid In Town ("Hotel California", 1976)
9. Love Will Keep Us Alive (1 of 4 new tracks on "Hell Freezes Over", 1994)
10. Sad Café ("The Long Run", 1979)
11. Take It To The Limit ("One Of These Nights", 1975)
12. After The Thrill Is Gone ("One Of These Nights", 1975)

Disc "The Fast Lane" (69:55 minutes):
1. One Of These Nights Intro
2. One Of The Nights ("One Of These Nights", 1975)
3. Disco Strangler ("The Long Run", 1979)
4. Heartache Tonight ("The Long Run", 1979)
5. Hotel California ("Hotel California", 1976)
6. Born To Boogie (outtake from "The Long Run" sessions - previously unreleased)
7. In The City ("The Long Run", 1979)
8. Get Over It (2 of 4 new tracks on "Hell Freezes Over", 1994)
9. King Of Hollywood ("The Long Run", 1979)
10. Too Many Hands ("One Of These Nights", 1975)
11. Life In The Fast Lane ("Hotel California", 1976)
12. The Long Run ("The Long Run", 1979)
13. Long Run Leftovers (instrumental outtakes from "The Long Run" sessions)
14. The Last Resort ("Hotel California", 1976)
15. Random Victims Part 3 (outtakes from various recordings sessions)

Disc 4 "The Millennium Concert" (59:53 minutes):
1. Hotel California
2. Victim Of Love
3. Peaceful Feeling
4. Please Come Home For Christmas
5. Ol' 55
6. Take It To The Limit
7. Those Shoes
8. Funky New Year
9. Dirty Laundry
10. Funk 49
11. All She Wants To Do Is Dance
12. The Best Of My Love
Recorded live at The Staples Centre, Los Angeles, 31 December1999

When this rather dull looking 4-disc set came out in 2000 - fans were both thrilled and let down. The themes given to the first three CDs were cleverly sequenced for sure - giving the listener an EAGLES song experience that touches well know bases but also throws in some of those forgotten album gems like say "Saturday Night", "Train Leaves Here This Morning", "Try And Love Again" and "Pretty Maids All In A Row". But it doesn't take a genius to look at the total playing times of the CDs (especially Disc 1 and 2) and wonder - why so much empty space? And in 2000 - this sucker wasn't cheap either...

Fast forward thirteen years later - and it's 2013 reissue into a card slipcase (four-way foldout holder inside) whilst boasting on online price tag of just seven pound coins - represents a far better buy (and not just in terms of its more manageable and very pretty `mini' box set packaging - but in the exclusives that aren't available anywhere else). The booklet has great liner notes by DAVID WILD with interviews, period photos, a note from original Producer Bill Szymczyk and Glenn Frey. Then there's the real deal - the gorgeous Bernie Grundman/Richard F. W. Davis remasters which brings stuff like "Doolin' Dalton", "I Can't Tell You Why" and the full version of "One Of These Nights" to life - warm, clear and beautifully produced.

The live show is good rather than great and suffers from the hugeness of the event - the duelling guitars on "Hotel California" feeling like their way back in the mix and instead of being out front. The "Funky New Year" track is good and "Please Come Home For Christmas" pleasant - but it takes Joe Walsh's "Funk 49" to really liven up things.

Written by Pete Vale, Jim Capaldi and Paul Carrack - "Love Will Keep Us Alive" showed that that melody magic hadn't disappeared and in the Elevens - the Eagles now seem more comfortable with their own legend than ever.

Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Randy Meisner, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit - what a line-up of talent. Put this cowboy builder in your ten gallon hat real soon...


River
River
Price: $23.47
27 used & new from $9.64

5.0 out of 5 stars “…I’ve Had A Thousand Dreams About You…” – River by TERRY REID (2014 Beat Goes On CD Remaster), October 8, 2014
This review is from: River (Audio CD)
Joe Walsh’s “Barnstorm”, Roy Harper’s “Stormcock”, Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”, Stephen Stills’ “Manassas”, Donny Hathaway’s “Extension Of A Man”, Joni Mitchell’s “The Hissing Of Summer Lawns”, Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”, Tom Waits’ “Blue Valentine”…

There are some records you simply can’t be rational about. You love them to distraction – year after year - decade after decade. In fact your affection for them only grows with their passing seasons and your receding hairline. Terry Reid’s wonderfully ethereal “River” (from 1973) is one of those albums. Any excuse to buy it again is fine by me. Well BGO of the UK have made that smart move and reissued it in 2014 – and this time with real style…

UK released September 2014 – Beat Goes On BGOCD 1165 (Barcode 5017261211651) is a straightforward transfer of his 3rd vinyl LP “River” originally released March 1973 in the USA on Atlantic SD-7259 and April 1973 on Atlantic Records K 40340 in the UK. The last CD incarnation I had of this was the excellent ‘Water’ label issue from America released 2002 that had a chunky booklet and a good remaster. But I’d have to say that this is even better – especially sonically.

ANDREW THOMPSON has been carried out the remaster with tapes licensed from WEA – and it’s gorgeous. The seven tracks (36:35 minutes) are soft, almost acoustic vocal rambles in places and need a deftness of touch in the transfer. Others are funky even soulful Rock and need a bit of muscle – he’s achieved both. I love the way this CD remaster sounds. The outer card wrap slipcase gives the release a feeling of class and event and the 12-page booklet features liner notes from noted writer JOHN O’REGAN (could have done with more photos though).

Reid famously turned down the Led Zeppelin gig – suggesting Robert Plant to Jimmy Page and Ian Gillan as Rod Evans replacement in Deep Purple – so in those terms you could say he did British Rock and our world a bit of a favour. His own career’s blistering success however has been erratic if not at all. His debut album “Bang Bang You’re Terry Reid” was released October 1968 on Epic in the States only – his 2nd self-titled LP “Terry Reid” came out in November 1969 and was his first in the UK on Columbia Records. Both were critically acclaimed in certain circles but neither did chart business despite quality singles off of each. So a new signing with the spiritual home of Led Zeppelin on Atlantic Records must have seen like a break at the time. But “River” peeled back the raspy guttural ‘rawk’ songs of the first two records and went for a more ‘down by the river contemplating life’ vibe – and again it received praise but despite touring with a stellar band both Stateside and here in Blighty - precious little record sales. And in some respects the album has remained a bit of an underground classic ever since.

EDDIE OFFORD (long-time associated with Yes) produced “Dream” and “Milestones” in England while Atlantic’s resident producing genius TOM DOWD did the other five in America. REID played guitar and sang, DAVID LINDLEY played Steel, Slide and Electric guitar on all selections with LEE MILES on Bass and CONRAD ISADORE drumming on 4 tracks. WILLIE BOBO supplies Percussion on “River”. Having relocated to California in 1972 while legal wrangles were being sorted out – the laid-back groove of that lifestyle permeates every song. The opener “Dean” is a little trippy, a little bluesy and yes even Soulful and Funky. His voice is just amazing. “Avenue” features Lindley’s distinctive playing to the fore and has some strange choppy rhythms while acoustic Rock-Funk follows in “Things To Try” – a cool little tune and surprising Atlantic didn’t consider it as a single.

Side 2 opens with “Live Life” settling into a sort of Tony Joe White groove – sexy and infectious – letting his fantastic voice rip in the second half. It gets all jazzy and smoking-room with the languid title track “River” where Willie Bobo shuffles on Percussion in the background. In fact I’m reminded of Dire Straits’ debut album “Water Of Love” (also produced by Dowd). “Dream” has always been my favourite (lyrics from it title this review). Acoustic sloppy – it just sort of lingers like a old melody – maybe I’ll stay – maybe I’ll go – playful and sweet. It ends on the Nick Drake gentleness and peace of “Milestones” – as delicate and as a lovely a tune as you’ve ever heard - with superb layered Reid vocal flourishes throughout.

In August 2011 I did a Listmania List on Amazon UK and USA called “Obscure Albums That Shouldn’t Be…” and Terry Reid’s “River” is on both. Get this gorgeous record in your life and well done to all at BGO for doing it justice one more time…


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