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Original Album Series
Original Album Series
Price: $33.60
14 used & new from $14.43

4.0 out of 5 stars "…Home In My Hand..." – Original Album Series by BRINSLEY SCHWARZ [featuring NICK LOWE] (2015 Parlophone/WMG 5CD Box Set), May 5, 2015
This review is from: Original Album Series (Audio CD)
Named after their German Guitarist 'Brinsley Ernest Schwarz' (even though almost all their tunes were penned by Nick Lowe) – Britain’s BRINSLEY SCHWARZ have had one remastered CD compilation to their name (to my knowledge) called "Surrender To The Rhythm" in 1991 on EMI. And that’s been it for decades. So this five-album haul is a welcome inclusion in the increasingly impressive "Original Album Series".

And even though each CD is listed as a 2011 master and doesn’t say where or who remastered them – they are remastered. I’m thrilled to say that these CDs sound wonderful – really clear and full of presence (sounds like Peter Mew’s handy work or they could be the versions prepared for the Japanese reissues in 2013?). Whatever is the truth - there's an awful lot of sublime Seventies music on offer here that you've probably not heard - and should. And for Nick Lowe fans – it’s a motherlode they will need. Here are the Silver Pistol details...

UK released Monday 27 April 2015 (May 2015 in the USA) - "Original Album Series" by BRINSLEY SCHWARZ on Parlophone/Warner Music Group 2564622174 (Barcode 825646221745) is a 5CD Mini Box Set with 5" Card Repro Sleeves and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (39:44 minutes):
1. Hymn To Me
2. Shining Brightly
3. Rock And Roll Women
4. Lady Constant
5. What Do You Suggest [Side 2]
6. Mayfly
7. Ballad Of A Has Been Beauty Queen
Tracks 1 to 7 are their debut album "Brinsley Schwarz". Produced by guitarist Brinsley Schwarz and Dave Robinson - it was released April 1970 in the UK on United Artists UAS 29111 and in the USA on Capitol ST-589. All tracks are NICK LOWE originals except "Hymn To Me" which was written by all four members of the band – NICK LOWE on Guitars, Bass and Lead Vocals, BRINSLEY SCHWARZ on Guitars and Vocals, BOB ANDREWS on Keyboards, Bass and Vocals and BILL RANKIN on Drums. The CD master is dated 2011.

Disc 2 (38:42 minutes):
1. Country Girl
2. The Slow One
3. Funk Angel
4. Piece Of Home
5. Love Song [Side 2]
6. Starship
7. Ebury Down
8. Old Jarrow
Tracks 1 to 8 are their 2nd LP "Despite It All". Like the first album it was Produced by guitarist Brinsley Schwarz and Dave Robinson and released November 1971 in the UK on Liberty Records LBG 83427 and in the USA on Capitol ST-744. All songs are Nick Lowe originals except "Piece Of Home" which was written by Bob Andrews.

Disc 3 (41:10 minutes):
1. Dry Land
2. Merry Go Round
3. One More Day
4. Nightingale
5. Silver Pistol
6. Last Time I Was Fooled
7. Unknown Number [Side 2]
8. Range War
9. Egypt
10. Niki Hoeke Speedway
11. Ju Ju Man
12. Rockin' Chair
Tracks 1 to 12 are their 3rd album "Silver Pistol". Like the first and second album it was Produced by guitarist Brinsley Schwarz and Dave Robinson and released October 1971 in the UK on United Artists UAS 29217 and in the USA on United Artists UAS 5566. Tracks 1, 3, 8, 9 and 12 are IAN GOMM originals (who joined the band for this album and replaces Brinsley Schwarz) while tracks 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are Nick Lowe originals. "Nicky Hoeke Speedway" and "Ju Ju Man" are Jim Ford cover versions. The CD master is dated 2011.

Disc 4 (39:20 minutes):
1. It’s Been So Long
2. Happy Doing What We’re Doing
3. Surrender To The Rhythm
4. Don’t Loose Your Grip On Love
5. Nervous On The Road (But Can't Stay At Home)
6. Feel A Little Funky [Side 2]
7. I Like It Like That
8. Brand New You, Brand New Me
9. Home In My Hand
10. Why, Why, Why, Why, Why
Tracks 1 to 10 are their 4th album "Nervous On The Road" - released September 1972 in the UK on United Artists UAS 29374 and in the USA on United Artists UAS 5647. Produced by Brinsley Schwarz, Dave Robinson and Kingsley Ward – track 1 is by Ian Gomm, track 2 is a co-write between Bob Andrews and Nick Lowe, tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 are Nick Lowe originals while "I Like It Like That" is a Chris Kenner cover version (co-written by Kenner with Allen Toussaint) and "Home In My Hand" is a cover version of a Ronnie Self rockabilly tune. The CD master is dated 2011.

Disc 5 (36:35 minutes):
1. Hooked On Love
2. Why Do We Hurt The One We Love?
3. I Worry ('Bout You Baby)
4. Don’t Ever Change
5. Home In My Hand (Live)
6. Play That Fast Thing (One More Time)
7. I Won't Make It Without You
8. Down In Mexico
9. Speedoo
10. The Version (Hypocrite)
Tracks 1 to 10 are their 5th album "Please Don't Ever Change" - released October 1973 in the UK on United Artists UAS 29489 (no USA release). Produced by Brinsley Schwarz and Vic Maile. Track 1 is an Ian Gomm song, tracks 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 are Nick Lowe originals, the Ronnie Self cover "Home In My Hand" is a 'live' version recorded at The Hope & Anchor Pub in London’s Islington. "Speedoo" is a cover of the Cadillacs vocal group hit, "Don't Ever Change" is a Goffin/King song recorded by The Crickets and "The Version (Hypocrite)" is a Bob Marley cover. The CD master is dated 2011

As is mostly the norm with this series - none of these discs have any extras and are straightforward transfers of the original vinyl LPs (with repro artwork front and rear). Each CD label lists the tracks along with Writer and Producer credits - a good idea because the 5” Repro Sleeves (although they look nice) are hard if not impossible to read. As I’ve already pointed out above – there is no real indication as to who remastered these albums only that 2011 is the date for all five titles.

The first album offers strong contenders like "Hymn To Me", "What Do You Suggest?" and the epic rocking ten minutes of "Ballad Of A Has Been Beauty Queen" that finishes Side 2. The second platter for 1970 offers the Soulful Blues of "The Slow One" while the boys go all Country on “Starship” (BJ Cole on the Pedal Steel). The audio quality on the largely acoustic "Edbury Down" is really clean while the seven-minute "Old Jarrow" feels like the band has been listening to Matthews Southern Comfort and Fairport Convention's "Liege & Lief" for an entire week.

Ian Gomm joined the band for "Silver Pistol" contributed three songs to the mix including the Shadows-like instrumental "Rockin' Chair". While "Merry Go Round" sounds great (audiowise) - "Egypt" is very hissy unfortunately. Top sound though on Gomm's "Range War" and Lowe's "The Last Time I Was Fooled".

Nick Lowe's writing began to improve big time by the time the band reached the superb "Nervous On The Road" – cracking Rock 'n' Roller tunes like "Surrender To The Rhythm" and the title track "Nervous On The Road (But Can't Stay At Home)" - while their choices of cover versions were inspired – Chris Kenner's "I Like It Like That" and the brill Rockabilly of Ronnie Self's cool "Home In My Hand". In fact Dave Edmunds would plunder "Home In My Hand" and Jim Ford's "Ju Ju Man" for his own albums.

While Ian Gomm's opener "Hooked On Love" is a great Brinsley tune - Lowe's vignettes again sail above the others on the underrated and criminally forgotten "Please Don't Ever Change" album (in fact for me both it and "Nervous On The Road" are the best albums in here). Songs like the jerky New Wave shuffle of "Why Do We Hurt The One We Love?" and the party boogie of "Play That Fast Thing (One More Time)" give more than a nod to his "Jesus Of Cool" debut solo LP in 1978. "I Won't Make It Without You" gives a real indication of his romantic troubadour years to come also – all cool stuff...

So there you have it - cool band and a very zippy little reissue. Terry Reid, Brinsley Schwarz and Jimmy Webb are all new 27 April 2015 additions in this "Original Album Series" and what winners all three are. Between these and the superlative "Greenwich Village FOLK SCENE" 5CD installment (also in the "Original Album Series") – I'm a very happy bunny indeed (see reviews for the lot).

Buy this cheap-as-chips gift to your inner Nick and Play That Fast Thing (One More Time)...

Can't Help Falling in Love / Home Lovin' Man
Can't Help Falling in Love / Home Lovin' Man
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3.0 out of 5 stars "...I Used To Be A Cardigan But I'm Alright Now..." - Can't Help Falling In Love/Home Lovin' Man by ANDY WILLIAMS (2015 BGO CD), May 5, 2015
I must be mellowing in my old age because as a teenager in Seventies Dublin - Perry Como, Bing Crosby and Andy Williams was the kind of music your parents liked - so as a hairy-assed reprobate - you ran a mile from it. Nice, safe and full of middle-aged white men with perfect teeth and no tattoos - better still the music (if you could call it that) had none of your naughty Sex and Goblins Stuff that Rock had or those American Black Dudes with their gold chains, gnarly bare chests and lurid Soulful Gyrations (thank the Good Lord for that).

Half on what's on offer here is of course God awful schmaltz - a man who couldn't write any tunes 'Easy Listening' everyone else's great songs. The thing is - when ANDY WILLIAMS got it right - he was actually quite good at it. And if you're a fan of cheesy easy - then the audio quality on this UK-released April 2015 CD transfer will be thrilling (72:05 minutes).

Beat Goes On BGOCD 1177 (Barcode 5017261211774) offers you two whole albums onto 1 CD - the American configuration of "Can't Help Falling In Love" from 1969 on Columbia CS 9896 (CBS Records S 64067 in the UK issued in 1970) and the British version of the American "Love Story" album which was called "Home Lovin' Man" in the UK on CBS Records S 64286. The British version substituted "Love Story" (the opening song on the US album) for "Home Lovin' Man" - otherwise the track list and artwork are the same (the American "Love Story" LP was released February 1971 in the USA on Columbia KC 30497 and reached No. 3 on the US album charts).

There's the usual card wrap that lends the reissue a classy feel, a 16-page booklet with full album credits and a thoroughly enjoyable essay on the Andy's hugely successful career by JOHN TOBLER. But the big news for fans will be the amazing ANDREW THOMPSON remaster from licensed Sony master tapes. Even if the second LP is hissy in places - it sounds full of presence and gives fans music that hasn't been on offer before.

The opening cover of Simon & Garfunkel's masterpiece "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" is huge - beautifully done. We go through the usual suspects of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" and an unfortunately revved up "Can't Help Falling in Love" right through to ham-fisted attempts at Tim Hardin's "Reason To Believe" and Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now". He offers up passable variants of Elton John's "Your Song" and George Harrison's Beatles nugget "Something" - but his James Taylor "Fire And Rain" isn't a patch on the original. Better is the Bacharach/David treatment given to Joe South's "Rose Garden" and it ends with Dad getting down with the younger generation on Harrison's "My Sweet Lord".

A very long way from genius - but if you're a fan - you'll love the presentation and the audio...

Do You Like It Here Now Are You Settling in
Do You Like It Here Now Are You Settling in
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4.0 out of 5 stars "...All Good Clean Fun..." – Do You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling In? (2007 Esoteric Recordings Expanded CD Remaster), May 5, 2015
Already on their 4th album in late 1971 (their 2nd record that year) – MAN were properly hitting their stride as a band by the time they released the wonderfully titled "Do You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling In?" In fact when United Artists decided to issue their own specially priced double-album sampler for the label (following in the illustrious footsteps of "Bumpers" on Island, "A Breath Of Fresh Air" on Harvest and "El Pea" on Chrysalis) - they used a MAN track as its title - calling it "All Good Clean Fun" (that double was released in May 1971 on United Artists UDX 202 and the "All Good Clean Fun" track was exclusive to that double sampler at the time).

In truth Man’s 4th album is largely forgotten now by the Rock buying public (and has always been hard to find on original vinyl) - but this superb CD reissue brings to mind as to why this Welsh legendary group engenders so much affection. It’s a proper belter of a record and in extended form here (three great live tracks) – offers even more that’s worth returning to. Let’s get to why many are called, but few get up...

UK released October 2007 – the Expanded CD for "Do You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling in?" by MAN is on Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2013 (Barcode 5013929711327) and pans out as follows (73:30 minutes):

1. Angel Easy
2. All Good Clean Fun
3. We’re Only Children
4. Many Are Called, But Few Get Up [Side 2]
5. Manillo
6. Love Your Life
Tracks 1 to 6 are their 4th album "Do You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling In?" – released November 1971 in the UK on United Artists UAS 29236 (no USA issue). Production and all compositions are by MAN.

7. Many Are Called, But Few Get Up
8. Angel Easy
9. Romain
Tracks 7 to 9 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED and were recorded live at the Gugenhaalle, Essen, Germany in November 1971

The band at the time consisted of MICKEY JONES on Guitars & Vocals, DEKE LEONARD on Guitars, Piano and Vocals, CLIVE JOHN on Organ, Piano & Vocals, MARTIN ACE on Bass with TERRY WILLIAMS on Drums.

Esoteric Recordings (part of Cherry Red) have handled the whole MAN catalogue reissue program with full-on involvement from the band – so Deke Leonard’s liner notes in the 16-page booklet are a great read – witty, informative and proud of the band’s recorded achievement. Visually the booklet is a feast of concert tickets, trade magazine reviews, flyers and business cards – they also include the lyrics and detailed recording/reissue credits at the rear. But the big news for fans is a PASCHAL BYRNE remaster from original master tapes that brings out all that intricate playing – "All Good Clean Fun" sounds amazing.

While associated with a stoner sound at the time (especially live) – most of Side 1 is actually very Prog – complicated Rock tunes given space to stretch out. It opens with the chugging guitars of "Angel Easy" where the two lead players riff off of each other as they run up and down the frets. "All Good Clean Fun" is a weird little tune but I always liked it. The eight-minutes plus of "We're Only Children" is the mellow side finisher where half way through it goes all Moody Blues and Genesis in the vocal department – it's even a little Gentle Giant (gorgeous guitar solo in there too).

"Many Are Called, But Few Get Up" has been a concert standard for the band ever since its release here – and its intricate seven-minutes virtually defines MAN’s sound for the whole decade to come. When it breaks into that Rock groove and the lyrics kick in – it’s brilliant stuff (it became a highlight on the live "Maximum Darkness" set in 1975). For me "Manillo" is one the great undiscovered Rock tunes of the early Seventies – very Kevin Ayers somehow in the treated vocals and fuzzed-up wailing guitars and that slinky almost sinister groove (heady stuff). Side 2 then ends with the nine-minute twin-guitar boogie battle of "Love Your Life" – very MAN.

The extras add very nice icing to the cake. After telling the crowd (in both Welsh and German) to sit down so punters at the rear can see – they launch into "Many Are Called, But Few Get Up". The audio is better than bootleg but not quite live album standard – it still rocks though. "Angel Easy" is good too but far better is the slide guitar work on "Romain" – a standout track on the "Man" album from March 1971 - their 3rd LP. Here it stretches out to a crowd-pleasing 18:33 minutes and is everything that was great about the band at the time. It’s crudely recorded for sure but the power of the band is there in spades.

"...The Trip's just begun, we've broken the ice..." - they sang on "All Good Clean Fun". Break the ice and start your trip here...

Nyc 1961-63
Nyc 1961-63
Price: $32.11
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5.0 out of 5 stars "...Soul Galore..." – NYC 1961-1966 by JACKIE WILSON (2015 Ace Records 2CD Remasters), May 4, 2015
This review is from: Nyc 1961-63 (Audio CD)
Oh my giddy aunt – what a reissue! How many decades have we waited for this fabulous double slice of Mr. Excitement Soul? In fact this UK release feels like Rhino's monumental unearthing of Aretha Franklin's unissued Atlantic sides on the "Rare & Unreleased Recordings..." 2CD sensation in 2007.

"NYC 1961-1966" offers fans 48 Soulful tracks across 2CDS – 25 of which are Previously Unreleased (17 new songs and 8 Alternate Takes) from Jackie Wilson’s hugely successful stay at Brunswick Records. There’s one song (Track 15 on Disc 1) from a long-deleted 1987 American LP on Rhino while the remaining 22 cuts are much-needed remasters of rare single sides – many of which haven’t been on CD in decades. And quite apart from the wad of unreleased goodies - the Audio Remasters by DUNCAN COWELL at Audio Archiving from original Brunswick tapes are simply sensational – gorgeous sound throughout - giving full reign to Wilson’s operatic vocals and his troupe of ace musicians. There’s a wad to get through here so let’s get stuck into this treasure trove right away...

UK released Monday 30 March 2015 (April 2015 in the USA) – "NYC 1961-1966" by JACKIE WILSON is a 48-track 2CD set on Ace Records CDTOP2 1428 (Barcode 029667071024) and pans out as follows:

Disc 1 (69:03 minutes):
1. I Believe I’ll Love On (November 1965 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55283, A)
2. Me, My Mother’s Son (Previously Unreleased Song (Take 11), recorded 11 August 1965 in NYC)
3. 3 Days 1 Hour 30 Minutes (January 1966 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55289, A)
4. I’ve Gotta Get Back (Country Boy) (January 1966 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55289, B-side to “3 Days 1 Hour 30 Minutes”)
5. All My Lovin’ (Previously Unreleased Song (Take 7), recorded 3 December 1965, NYC)
6. Soul Galore (Previously Unreleased Take 8 (unedited) of Brunswick 55290 (A), recorded 3 December 1965, NYC)
7. Think Twice by Jackie Wilson &LaVern Baker (Previously Unreleased Take 4 of Brunswick 55287 (A), recorded 11 August 1965, NYC)
8. Please Don’t Hurt Me (I’ve Never Been In Love Before) by Jackie Wilson & LaVern Baker (January 1966 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55287, B-side of “Think Twice”)
9. No Pity (In The Naked City) (June 1965 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55280, A)
10. I’m So Lonely (June 1965 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55280, B-side of “No Pity (In The Naked City)”)
11. I Can’t Stand Another Hurt (In My Heart) (Previously Unreleased Song (Take 4), recorded 8 April 1965, NYC)
12. Watch Out (November 1964 USA 7”single on Brunswick 55273, B-side of “She’s All Right”)
13. She’s All Right (November 1964 USA 7”single on Brunswick 55273, A)
14. Soul Time (March 1965 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55277, B-side of “Danny Boy”)
15. Silent One (Take 4 – Previously Unreleased Song that first appeared on the “Through The Years” Jackie Wilson LP in 1987 on Rhino RNLP 70230 (CD was 1992 on Rhino R2 70230)
16. Change Me (Previously Unreleased Song (Take 8), recorded 8 October 1964, NYC)
17. Haunted House (February 1964 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55260, B-side of “I’m Travelin’ On”)
18. I’m Travelin’ On February 1964 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55260, A)
19. Expressions (Previously Unreleased Song (Take 7), recorded 26 March 1964, NYC)
20. Dream aka I Dreamed (What A Dream Last Night) (Previously Unreleased Song (Take 3), recorded 26 March 1964, NYC)
21. Big Boss Line (Previously Unreleased Take 7 of Brunswick 55266, B-side of “Shake! Shake! Shake!”)
22. Twistin’ & Shoutin’ (Doing The Monkey) (Previously Unreleased False Start/Take 2 of a song on the 1964 Jackie Wilson LP “Somethin’ Else!!” on Brunswick 754117)
23. Hole Me, Need Me (Previously Unreleased Song (Overdub Take 7), recorded 6 January 1964, NYC)
24. Start The Record Over (Previously Unreleased Song (Take 11), recorded 7 August 1963, NYC)
NOTES for Disc 1:
All Tracks STEREO except Track 10 - which is MONO
All Tracks credited to Jackie Wilson except Tracks 7 & 8 - which are Jackie Wilson and LaVern Baker
Previously Unreleased Songs (2015) - Tracks 2, 5, 11, 16, 19, 20, 23 and 24
Previously Unreleased Song (1987) - Track 15
Previously Unreleased Alternate Takes (2015) - Tracks 6, 7, 13, 21 and 22
USA 7” Singles - Tracks 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 17 and 18

Disc 2 (62:57 minutes):
1. The New Breed (September 1963 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55250, B-side of “Baby Get It”)
2. Say I Do by Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins (July 1963 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55243, B-side of “Shake A Hand”)
3. Shake A Hand by Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins (July 1963 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55243, A)
4. Don’t Laugh At Me aka Don’t Make Me Cry (Previously Unreleased Song (Take 8), recorded 7 August 1963, NYC)
5. Love (Is Where You Find It) (Previously Unreleased Song (Take 5), recorded 7 August 1963, NYC)
6. You Can’t Have Your Cake And Eat It Too (Previously Unreleased Song (Take 5), recorded 28 February 1963, NYC)
7. Call Her Up (Previously Unreleased Alternate Take 7 of Brunswick 55263 (A))
8. What Good Am I Without You? (December 1962 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55236, A)
9. Shake! Shake! Shake! (Previously Unreleased Alternate Take (no number) of Brunswick 55246 (A))
10. Baby Workout (Previously Unreleased Alternate False Start/Take 5 of Brunswick 55239 (A))
11. I Just Can’t Help It (June 1962 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55229, A)
12. My Tale Of Woe (June 1962 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55229, B-side of “I Just Can’t Help It”)
13. Baby, That’s All (August 1962 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55233, A)
14. I Hurt So Bad (Somebody Help Me) (Previously Unreleased Song, recorded 7 August 1962, NYC)
15. Tears (Don’t Care Who Cry Them) (Previously Unreleased Song, recorded 7 August 1962)
16. Sing (And Tell The Blues So Long) (Previously Unreleased Song, recorded 25 January 1962, NYC)
17. I Found Love by Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins (March 1962 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55224, A)
18. There’s Nothing Like Love by Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins (March 1962 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55224, B-side of “I Found Love”)
19. The Dancing Man (Previously Unreleased Song, recorded 25 January 1962, NYC)
20. You Don’t Know What It Means (August 1961 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55219, B-side of “Years From Now”)
21. Years From Now (August 1961 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55219, A)
22. The Test Of Time (Previously Unreleased Song, recorded 22 May 1961, NYC)
23. Lonely Life (June 1961 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55216, B-side of “I’m Comin’ On Back To You”)
24. I’m Comin’ On Back To You (June 1961 USA 7” single on Brunswick 55216, A)
Notes for Disc 2:
All tracks are STEREO except Tracks 9, 10, 11 and 12 - which are MONO
All tracks credited to Jackie Wilson except Tracks 3 & 4 and 17 & 18 – which are Jackie Wilson and Linda Hopkins
Previously Unreleased Songs (2015) - Tracks 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 19 and 22
Previously Unreleased Alternate Takes (2015) - Tracks 7, 9 and 10
USA 7” Singles - Tracks 1, 2, 3, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23 and 24

The 24-page booklet is jam-packed with pages of Brunswick label repro’s, Cashbox Trade Adverts and Reviews and Session-by-Session liner notes by noted authority ROB HUGHES (with contributions from Roger Armstrong and Bob Dunham). It has to be said because the liner notes are laid out in session order – the read can be awkward. If you want to find Track 1 on Disc 1 it’s on Page 20 because it’s from August 1965 - while Track 23 on Disc 2 from May 1961 is on Page 6. I can understand why it’s pitched this way – it makes Discography sense. Each entry is incredibly detailed even stating 2/20 or 1/22 before each line so that you know exactly which track is where (Disc 2 Track 20 or Disc 1 Track 22 and so on). The pictures and adverts are gorgeous to look at (a full-page print for “What Good Am I Without You?” on Brunswick 55236 as the inside back inlay for instance). There are classy black and whites of Jackie in the Studio with Dick Jacobs and Nat Tarnopol dotted throughout the text (and back page). It’s typical Ace Records quality all the way...

I’ve already mentioned the superlative Audio - which I think is shockingly good. The odd track like “Watch Out” start out with thrilling studio chatter but 95% of the rest are straightforward start and finish songs with little messing about inbetween. When you play track 1 on Disc 1 Eddie Singleton’s “I Believe I’ll Love On” – a 1965 single in full-on STEREO – the Audio is glorious – it stays that way pretty much throughout.

“Me, My Mother’s Son” (track 2 on Disc 2) begins the run of Previously Unreleased material and its very good - a dancer that pushes the guitar to the right and the brass to the left. “3 Days 1 Hour 30 Minutes” is very Wilson Pickett in its frantic funk but actually better is the slower talker-tune on the flipside – “I’ve Gotta Get Back (Country Boy)”. Northern Soul clubbers will chew up the stepper “All My Lovin’” – the first genuinely great unreleased track. You can hear why Take 8 of “Soul Galore” was left in the can (the vocals at the start don’t quite work) - but that doesn’t stop the tune from being a barnstormer – great groover. Again another B-side outdoes the A for me with “Please Don’t Hurt Me (I’ve Never Been In Love Before)” where the powerhouse duo of Jackie Wilson and LaVern Baker go head-to-head in a slow ‘beggin’ you please’ vocal battle.

I’ve had the June 1965 single “No Pity (In The Naked City)” on at least 3 compilations before but never heard it sound this good or clear (absolute stunner – and nice to hear its rare B-side “I’m So Lonely” follow it). We’re hit with another gorgeous sounding Previously Unreleased track – “I Can’t Stand Another Hurt (In My Heart)” – it’s a hurting ballad and his vocal is superb (even if the organ dominates the tune a little too much). 7” single genius crops up with “Watch Out” (the flip of 1964’s “She’s All Right”) – what a choppy winner with very cleverly layered vocals from other bass singers in the group (Ray Gordy Orchestra). Unfortunately the fabulous studio chatter (“take it down just a hair”) that should precede the song has been added onto to the end of the track before it “I Can’t Stand Another Hurt...” I can understand why Ace did this – it allows you to cue up the single “Watch Out” without intrusive stuff at the beginning (worth pointing out).

Another thumping dancer B-side turns up with “Soul Time” (flip of 1965’s cover of the Irish air “Danny Boy”). “Silent One” is lovely stuff – it originally appeared on the American Rhino LP “Through The Years” in 1987 (reissued on Rhino CD in 1992) and to my knowledge hasn’t been available since. It’s a winner and beautifully produced too. But then we’re hit with what I think is the prize on Disc 1 – a pleader ballad – the unreleased “Change Me” recorded in October 1964 in Stereo. It’s Soul melodrama in all the best ways. “Haunted House” is a gorgeous B-side – full of atmosphere and Sixties Soul. Of the remainder the hand-clapping foot-stomping “Big Boss Line” is another winner – presented here as an Alternate Take for this infectious B-side.

Disc 2 opens with “The New Breed” where Jackie tells us the kids of America have found their groove with Soul Music (too damn right). I’ve had the “Shake A Hand” duet with Linda Hopkins before but I’ve never had its storming B-side “Say I Do” where the big-throated pair roar into the microphones like they’re trying to outdo each other. It’s followed by three unreleased – the ballad “Don’t Laugh At Me”, a salsa tune called “Love (Is Where You Find It)” and a mid-tempo number entitled “You can’t Have Your Cake And Eat It Too” – they’re good rather than being great. Better is the Alternate Take of “Call Her Up” where his vocals are typically enthusiastic.

Having had so much Stereo – the cluster of Mono cuts in the middle of Disc 2 come as something of a shock – not that the False Start and Take 5 of “Baby Workout” isn’t brilliant (it is). We go all Vocal Group on fab little bopper “I Just Can’t Help It” (the uncredited backing group may be the Hollywood Flames with Donald Height) and I’ve never heard its rare B-side “Tale Of Woe” before anywhere else. Of the next three unreleased I like “Sing (And Tell The Blues So Long)” the best and the audio on the single “Years From Now” b/w “You Don’t Know What It Means” is truly fantastic. It ends on the chipper “I’m Comin’ On Back To You” sounding like it was minted yesterday.

Not everything on these 2CDs is unmitigated genius – but man the good stuff far outweighs the bad by a mile. A superlative release from the mighty Ace Records of the UK and surely one of 'the' Soul Reissues of 2015...
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2015 9:59 AM PDT

Greenwich Village Folk Scene
Greenwich Village Folk Scene
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $21.47
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5.0 out of 5 stars "…Bleecker & MacDougal..." – The Greenwich Village FOLK SCENE Original Album Series (2015 Warners Music Group/Elektra 5CD Box), April 29, 2015
A genius release in many ways - with the big prize for Acoustic Folk Blues lovers and collectors being the first-time-on-CD reissue of the hugely influential "The Blues Project" album on Elektra Records from 1964 (and what a winner it is). There's a sea of goodies on offer here and many illustrious guests – so let's get to the gory details...

UK released Monday 23 February 2015 (March 2015 in the USA) - "The Greenwich Village FOLK SCENE" in the Original Album Series (by Various Artists) on Warner Music Group/Elektra 8122795661 (Barcode 081227956615) is a 5CD Mini Box Set with 5" Card Repro Sleeves and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (37:33 minutes):
1. Take Your Fingers Off Of It
2. Come On In
3. Mandolin King Rag
4. Overseas Stomp
5. Evolution Mama
6. The Even Dozens
7. I Don’t Love Nobody
8. Rag Mama [Side 2]
9. France Blues
10. On The Road Again
11. Original Colossal Drag Rag
12. All Worn Out
13. Lonely One In This Town
14. Sadie Green
Tracks 1 to 14 are the album "The Even Dozen Jug Band" by THE EVEN DOZEN JUG BAND released 1964 in the USA on Elektra EKL 246 (Mono) and EKS 7246 (Stereo). It was also belatedly issued in the UK on Bounty BY 6023 in 1966 (Stereo only). The Stereo mix is used for the CD and the master is probably the 2001 Rhino/Collector's Choice Music remaster. Produced by Paul A Rothchild - the Americana group contained Pete Jacobson, John Sebastian (credited as John Benson) who formed The Loving Spoonful, Steve Katz who went on form Blood, Sweat & Tears with Al Kooper, virtuoso guitarist Stefan Grossman, keyboardist and conductor Joshua Rifkin and Maria Muldaur (then Maria D’Amato – she’s visible on the album sleeve sat on the wall to the far left with a guitar).
Pete Jacobson plays Guitar on 3, 5, 10 and 13 and sings Lead Vocals on 5, 8 and 12
Pete Siegel plays Guitar on 1 and 14, Banjo on 1, 4 and 14 and sings Lead Vocals on 1, 7, 10 and 13
Stefan Grossman plays Guitar on 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12 and 14, Banjo on 3, 5 and 11 and sings Lead Vocals with Bob Gurland on 1
John Sebastian plays Harmonica on 9, 10 and 13 and plays Kazoo on 11
Steve Katz sings on 2, 4, 9, 10 and 14 and plays Washboard on 1, 3 and 13
Josh Rifkin plays Piano on 5, 6, 8, 11 and 14 and sings backing Vocals on 5 and 12
Maria Muldaur (as Maria D’Amato) sings Backing Vocals on 2, 4 and 9
Bob Gurland plays Trumpet on 1, 5, 7, 8 and 11 and sings Lead Vocals on 1

Disc 2 (48:08 minutes):
1. Fixin' To Die – DAVE RAY (Bukka White cover)
2. Blow Whistle Blow – ERIC VON SCHMIDT (Margaret Johnson cover)
3. My Little Woman – (SPIDER) JOHN KOERNER (Koerner song)
4. Ginger Man – GEOFF MULDAUR (Geoff Muldaur song)
5. Bad Dream Blues – DAVE VAN RONK (Van Ronk song)
6. Winding Boy – IAN BUCHANAN (Jelly Roll Morton cover)
7. I'm Troubled – DANNY KALB (a Muddy Waters cover)
8. France Blues – MARK SPOELSTRA (Spoelstra song)
9. Don't You Leave Me – DAVE VAN RONK (Jelly Roll Morton cover) [Side 2]
10. Devil Got My Woman – GEOFF MULDAUR (Skip James cover)
11. Southbound Train – (SPIDER) JOHN KOERNER (Big Bill Broonzy cover)
12. Downtown Blues – GEOFF MULDAUR (Vera Hall Ward cover)
13. Leavin’ Here Blues – DAVE RAY (Dave Ray song)
14. Hello Baby Blues – DANNY KALB (Kalb song)
15. She’s Gone – MARK SPOELSTRA (Jim Jackson cover)
16. Slappin' On My Black Cat Bone – DAVE RAY (John Koerner song)
Tracks 1 to 16 are the LP "The Blues Project – A Compendium Of The Very Best On The Urban Blues Scene" by VARIOUS ARTISTS released 1964 in the USA on Elektra EKL 264 (mono) and EKS 7264 (Stereo). John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful plays Harmonica on "Blow Whistle Blow", "I'm Troubled" and "Downtown Blues". Eric Von Schmidt plays Mandolin on "Devil Got My Woman" and Piano on "Downtown Blues". BOB DYLAN is credited as the fictitious Bob Landy and plays Treble Piano on "Downtown Blues". "Blow Whistle Blow" is a re-working of Margaret Johnson's "When A Gator Holler, Folks Say It's A Sign Of Rain". First time on CD for this rare and influential album (Stereo mix used) – the master from the disc is dated 2014 and is definitely remastered to a very high quality.

Disc 3 (50:47 minutes):
1. I Ain't Marching Anymore
2. In The Heat Of The Summer
3. Draft Dodger Rag
4. That’s What I want To Hear
5. That Was The President
6. Iron Lady
7. The Highwayman
8. Links On The Chain [Side 2]
9. Hills Of West Virginia
10. The Men Behind The Guns
11. Talking Birmingham Jam
12. Ballad Of The Carpenter
13. Days Of Decision
14. Here's To The State Of Mississippi
Tracks 1 to 14 are the album "I Ain’t Marching Anymore" by PHIL OCHS released 1965 in the USA on Elektra EKL 287 (Mono) and EKS 7287 (Stereo). Originally Produced by JAC HOLZMAN – all songs are written by Ochs except "The Highwayman" (a co-write with Alfred Noyce), "The Men Behind The Guns" (uses the words of John Rooney) and "Ballad Of The Carpenter" (a Ewan MacColl cover). The CD uses the 2001 Rhino/Elektra Bill Inglot/Dan Hersch Remaster of the Stereo mix and sounds beautiful.

Disc 4 (34:12 minutes):
1. Bleecker & MacDougal
2. Blues On The Ceiling
3. Sweet Mama
4. Little Bit Of Rain
5. Country Boy
6. Other Side To This Life
7. Mississippi Train
8. Travelin' Shoes [Side 2]
9. The Water Is Wide
10. Yonder Comes The Blues
11. Candy Man
12. Handful of Gimme
13. Gone Again
Tracks 1 to 13 are the album "Bleecker & MacDougal" by FRED NEIL – released 1965 in the USA on Elektra EKL 293 (mono) and EKS 7293 (Stereo). It was reissued Stateside in 1970 as "Little Bit Of Rain" on Elektra EKS 74073 in Stereo only and with a different cover. Originally Produced by PAUL A. ROTHCHILD – all songs are Fred Neil originals except the Traditional "The Water is Wide" and "Candy Man" which is a co-write with Beverley Ross and was made famous by Roy Orbison. John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful plays Harmonica and Felix Pappalardi (later with Mountain and Joe Walsh’s Barnstorm) plays Bass on many tracks. The CD uses the 2001 Rhino/Elektra Bill Inglot/Dan Hersch Remaster of the Stereo mix and sounds beautiful.

Disc 5 (37:18 minutes):
1. Ain't That News
2. The Willing Conscript
3. Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation
4. Hold On To Me Babe
5. The Name Of The Game Is Stud
6. Bottle Of Wine
7. The Natural Girl For Me
8. Goodman, Schwerner And Chaney [Side 2]
9. We Didn’t Know
10. Buy A Gun For Your Son
11. Every Time
12. Georgie On The Freeways
13. Sully's Pail
14. I’m The Man Who Built The Bridges
Tracks 1 to 14 are the album "Ain't That News" by TOM PAXTON - released 1965 in the USA on Elektra Records EKL 298 (Mono) and EKS 7298 (Stereo). Produced by JAC HOLZMAN – all songs are written by Tom Paxton. Barry Kornfeld (of The Artie Kornfeld Tree) plays 2nd Guitar and Banjo with Felix Pappalardi on Bass. The CD uses the 2001 Rhino/Elektra Bill Inglot/Dan Hersch Remaster of the Stereo mix and sounds beautiful.

As is mostly the norm with this series - none of these discs have any extras and are straightforward transfers of the original vinyl LPs (with repro artwork front and rear). Each CD label lists the tracks along with Writer and Producer credits - a good idea because the 5" Repro Sleeves (although they look nice) are hard if not impossible to read. The Fred Neil, Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton albums turned up in October 2001 on the Rhino/Elektra "2 Elektra Classics" series of CD reissues with gorgeous Bill Inglot/Dan Hersch Remasters from original tapes - and to my ears those lovely transfers of the Stereo mixes have been used here. The Even Dozen Jug Band is probably the 2001 Rhino/Collector’s Choice Music remaster and the Various Artists compilation "The Blues Project" is new – both of which are perfectly complimentary to the other three and both boasting wonderfully clear and full audio too.

Happy-wappy Jug Band Music arrives in the shape The Even Dozen Jug Band – all washboards, kazoos, banjos, mandolins and plucked acoustic guitars telling us tales of Tennessee Mamas talking about Evolution and "...gals after my money..." in "I Don't Love Nobody". It's blindingly great fun and sounds incredible given its vintage. But it gets quickly set aside for the real prize on here – "The Blues Project" album from 1964. This is sensational stuff – clued-up white singers keeping black Blues alive with a passion and a real sense of history changing. Each track features voices and acoustic guitars that have become legend in Folk Blues circles – Eric Von Schmidt, "Spider" John Koerner, Geoff Muldaur and Dave Von Ronk. None other than Bob Dylan hides behind the moniker of Bob Landy as he enters a piano duet with Eric Von Schmidt on "Downtown Blues" (the song also features John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful on harmonica). Brilliant stuff. "The Blues Project" is the kind of CD that gives Americana a good name and will be a huge draw for enthusiasts.

"I must have killed a million they want me back again..." – Phil Ochs sings on the brilliant "I Ain't Marching Anymore" where he documents with just his voice, his guitar and his acidic words the senseless waste of war, the US military and the hated draft in a fractured Sixties America. Every track is simple and while he doesn't possess the most powerful of voices – his conviction and wit hammers through each tale of disillusioned youth riling against the man.

I can’t be rational about Fred Neil (who can) – his "Bleecker & MacDougal" album is a masterpiece and the remaster on tracks like "Gone Again", "Handful Of Gimme" and "Travellin' Shoes" is just stupendous (each features John Sebastian on Harmonica and Felix Pappalardi of Mountain and Joe Walsh’s Barnstorm on Bass). His cover of the Traditional "The Water Is Wide" is about as lovely as Sixties US Folk gets - again with Sebastian warbling so beautifully in the background on his Harmonica lending the song a genuine beauty.

The politically loaded Tom Paxton album tells us about "...people opening up their eyes..." as the US President sends him a letter telling him it's "...time to put your khaki trousers on...we are sending you to Vietnam..." Relationships come into play on the lovely "Hold On To Me Babe" and the pure Folk of "Ev'ry Time (When We Are Gone)" both sounding like early Leonard Cohen. He ends it with the banjo dance of "I'm The Man That Builds Bridges" where he talks of the men who cut timber, laid track and built America – a proud song that counters the hurt of the anti-war songs that preceded it.

"...I'll never get out of these blues alive..." Fred Neil sang in 1965 - and he wasn’t just singing about a state of mind but the State of the USA – as each of these superb snippets of Americana inform. A fantastic addition to an increasingly impressive it and I envy you the journey...

Cut a Long Story Short...
Cut a Long Story Short...
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4.0 out of 5 stars "...His Own Heart’s Desire..." – Cut A Long Story Short... by SEAN DONNELLY (2012 Spring Records CD), April 24, 2015
SEAN DONNELLY hails out of Omagh in Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland (now resident in Newcastle in Co. Down) – and in his sprightly 60’s – he’s a man steeped in a lifetime of Traditional Irish song and storytelling. His voice is soft and even frail at times – but that Six Counties accent gives his singing the warmth and melancholy of say Christy Moore or Andy Irvine (who have sung his praises over the years).

Donnelly's had a steady stream of CD releases (see list below) and "Cut A Long Story Short..." is his sixth album on the self-published Spring Records Label SPRING 2012 (40:46 minutes). Donnelly plays Acoustic Guitar, Mandola, Harmonica and Mandolin - and is accompanied by Brendan Monaghan on Whistles, Uilleann Pipes, Bones and Bodhran with James Patience on Concertina. Every song is predominately quiet – an Irish ballad feel.

"Evangeline" is a Robbie MacNeill song about a lady in the audience at a slow gig - and you’re immediately hit with two things – the gentle acoustic strum and Donnelly’s distinctive accented vocals filled with years of Traditional Music and a wee sparkle in the eye. It’s followed by one of two originals "Cut A Long Story Short" and "Last Year’s Hiring Fair" and I’m amazed at how good both are – filled with wit and humanity - "...while there’s many’s the man who starts with a gain his own heart’s win the fair maiden who has his head turned...while his ardour burns like fire..."

Charles Kickham gave us the ache of "She Lived Beside The Anner" – a ballad about longing for a lass on a Sunday (a lovely air) - while the Traditionals arranged by Donnelly - "Sweet Jane In Tyrone", "The Lamb On The Green Hills" and "Carrickfergus" fill out the rest of the disc (Monaghan plays gorgeous Low Whistle on "The Lambs On The Green Hills").

"Waiting In Your Heart" is a Mike Silver love song offering comfort to his lady " the darkness of your night..." while "Aura Lea" (aka "Aura Lee") is a William Fosdick/George Poulton song about the American Civil War that dates back to 1861 and is filled with hurt and longing and the weariness of senseless battle.

Beautifully recorded and easy on the troubled mind - there’s a gentleness and calm to this man’s delivery as each song slides by – warm and friendly like a fire in a pub on a winter’s night. Lovely stuff...

His catalogue of CDS available online at Sean Donnelly Folk Music are:
1. Erins Lovely Home (1996)
2. Like A Morning Star Fading (2005)
3. On Breezes Fresh And Fair (2006)
4. Beyond The Open Door (2008)
5. The Winding Banks Of Erne (2009)
6. Cut A Long Story Short... (2012)
7. And Our Time Together (2014)

You Only Live Twice (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
You Only Live Twice (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
11 used & new from $34.00

5.0 out of 5 stars "...Improper Advances..." – You Only Live Twice O.S.T. by JOHN BARRY (2003 EMI/Capitol CD – Dough Schwartz Remasters), April 22, 2015
When the entire James Bond musical catalogue turned up on remastered CD in 2003 - many fans got excited under their immaculately groomed tuxedos - quietly pawing their wallets in Soundtrack glee. I was one of those nerds and was/still am - giddily proud of it. I immediately ran out and purchased 1964's "Goldfinger" and 1971's "Diamonds Are Forever" on 2003 CDs - and this - for me the big daddy of them all - 1967's "You Only Live Twice" - so brilliantly scored by the mighty JOHN BARRY.

Dugout volcanic lairs, cars being dropped into the ocean from helicopter magnets, capsules being gobbled up in space by a man with a dodgy eye and a purring cat, the self-assembly gyrocopter Little Nellie in four suitcases and Japanese babes Kung-Fu-ing their way through a dozen ugly bad guys before their lentil breakfast. What's not to love? "You Only Live Twice" began the template for Bond that we've known and loved for more than 40 years and its music hasn't aged - only grown in stature.

Not only that - but there's also a huge haul of primo previously unreleased material made available for the first time here (most of it better than what was released). And like the other titles in this massive catalogue reissue series - DOUG SCHWARTZ has remastered the original master tapes for "You Only Live Twice" with real skill. Everything about the stunning Audio Quality on this CD rocks. Here are the Bond Sab details...

UK released March 2003 (February 2003 in the USA) - "You Only Live Twice (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)" on EMI Capitol 72435-41418-2-9 (Barcode 724354141829) breaks down as follows (72:45 minutes):

1. You Only Live Twice (Title Song) - Sung by Nancy Sinatra
2. Capsule In Space
3. Fight At Kobi Dock - Helga
4. Tanaka's World
5. A Drop In The Ocean
6. The Death Of Aki
7. Mountains And Sunsets [Side 2]
8. The Wedding
9. James Bond - Astronaut?
10. Countdown For Blofeld
11. Bond Averts World War Three
12. You Only Live Twice (End Title) - Vocal Sung by Nancy Sinatra
Tracks 1 to 12 are the album "You Only Live Twice: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" - released July 1967 in the UK on United Artists ULP 1171 (Mono) and SULP 1171 (Stereo) and in the USA on United Artists UAL 4155 (mono) and UAS 5155 (Stereo). The Stereo mix is used throughout.

13. James Bond In Japan
14. Aki, Tiger and Osato
15. Little Nellie
16. Soviet Capsule
17. Spectre And Village
18. James Bond - Ninja
19. Twice Is The Only Way

The 10-page booklet has affectionate, witty and informative liner notes from JEFF BOND (no relation) with Page 5 being a double foldout sporting an array of colour stills from the movie (Donald Pleasance as Blofeld, the Toyota 2000GT, Connery in Little Nellie etc).

But the big news here is the SOUND - this CD sounds utterly glorious. It opens with the ominous creep of "Capsule In Space" where Barry builds the music to a swirling climax - strings, wind instruments, the kettle drums - it all comes at you with such power and majesty as to be positively off-putting. It's followed by the wicked "Fight At Kobe Docks - Helga" where Bond encounters baddies on the ground and rooftops of warehouses. It starts out warm but then the bass and keys kick in and that brass refrain as Connery punches his way out of trouble (unbelievable clarity). "The Death Of Aki" is merely the theme music played in a Japanese style and again there's incredible depth in both the music and the transfer. Then you're clobbered with true cinematic genius - Barry's instrumental "Mountains And Sunsets" which literally conjures up the magic and glamour of Bond in your living room. Pure 007 comes in with "Bond Averts World War III" where all the themes we know and love about James come together in one climatic piece. Utterly brilliant...

As if the Soundtrack itself isn't the Georgie Best - you're hit with a wad of Previously Unreleased material from the original film that's been in the can for 40 years too long. "James Bond And Japan" lasts a fulsome 10:41 minutes and brings together all the best incidental music the movie has in a sort of mini Bond fest - menace and intrigue - warmth and beauty - danger looming - back to triumph - its just brilliant. But thrill of thrills is the brilliant 3:45 minutes of "Little Nellie" which will surely reduce most Bond devotees to a quivering wreck of nostalgia. As those plucked strings leads to big brass - it slinks along until you can see our Gyrocopter hurtling through the air being attacked - then you're hit with the "007" theme which is too brill for mere words - wow is the only response...

BLOFELD: "We are now impregnable!
Goodbye Mister Bond!"

Well he wasn't impregnable and James didn't go bye-byes. Open your heart to your inner 007 and get this Ernst Stavro of a CD into your Little Nellie. 'Improper advances' indeed...

Diamonds Are Forever
Diamonds Are Forever
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5.0 out of 5 stars "...Bitten By The Bug..." - Diamonds Are Forever O.S.T. by JOHN BARRY (2003 EMI/Capitol CD - Dough Schwartz Remasters), April 22, 2015
This review is from: Diamonds Are Forever (Audio CD)
When the entire Bond catalogue turned up on remastered CD in 2003 - many JOHN BARRY fans got fidgety - quietly pawing their wallets in Soundtrack glee (from 1962's "Dr. No" through to "Diamonds Are Forever" in 1972 and beyond). And having mitched from school six times in 1971 to see "Diamonds Are Forever" at Dublin's Savoy Cinema on O'Connell Street (which I thought was the coolest thing in the world) - this little beauty was always going to be my first port of call when it reappeared in decent remastered form. And what a winner it is...

Not only is there a huge haul of previously unreleased material made available for the first time here (most of it better than what was released) - it's tastefully presented and has been remastered with pure love from the original master tapes by top Engineer DOUG SCHWARTZ (assisted and remixed by Michael McDonald) to truly spectacular effect - much like the films would be with the Lowry Process a few years later (frame-by-frame restoration). Here is the Dastardly Blofeld and comely Tiffany Case details...

UK and USA released March 2003 - "Diamonds Are Forever (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)" on EMI Capitol 72435-41420-2-4 (Barcode 724354142024) breaks down as follows (75:48 minutes):

1. Diamonds Are Forever (Main Title) - Sung by Shirley Bassey
2. Bond Meets Bambi And Thumper
3. Moon Buggy Ride
4. Circus, Circus
5. Death At The Whyte House
6. Diamonds Are Forever (Source Instrumental)
7. Diamonds Are Forever (Bond and Tiffany)
8. Bond Smells A Rat
9. Tiffany Case
10. 007 And Counting
11. Q's Trick
12. To Hell With Blofeld
Tracks 1 to 12 are the album "Diamonds Are Forever: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" - released December 1971 in the UK on United Artists UAS 29216 and in the USA on United Artists UAS 5220.

13. Gunbarrel And Manhunt
14. Mr. Wint And Mr. Kidd/Bond To Holland
15. Peter Franks
16. Airport Source/On The Road
17. Slumber, Inc
18. The Whyte House
19. Plenty, Then Tiffany
20. Following The Diamonds
21. Additional And Alternate Cues

The 10-page booklet has witty and informative liner notes from JEFF BOND (no relation) with Page 5 being a double foldout sporting an array of colour stills from the movie - Sean Connery as James Bond swinging from pulleys outside the penthouse apartment of Willard Whyte's Vegas skyscaper, Jill St. John as Tiffany Case in a bath washing 007's hairy chest (I'm glad someone is), Charles Grey as Blofeld posing with a sword and a menacing look, Lana Wood as Plenty O'Toole at the crap tables and a brief glimpse of the wonderfully camp killer couple Putter Smith and Bruce Glover (as Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd) trying to dispense with our James via a Bomba Supreme and some flaming kebab skewers (nice). Alas there are no photos of Lola Larson and Trina Parks as the acrobatic Bambi and Thumper kicking the crap out of 007 like he deserved it. The last page has reissue credits and some discography info (United Artists released the theme song as a 7" single in the UK and USA where it charted at 38 and 57 respectively).

But the big news here is the SOUND - this CD sounds utterly glorious. Recorded in October 1971 by Barry at CTS Studios in London (Engineered by John Richards) - it was afforded all the luxury of modern recording facilities - and man does it show. The moment the brass of "Diamonds Are Forever" hits you followed by Bassey's superb vocal - you know you're in for a thrill. The brilliantly scored "Moon Buggy Ride" is pure Bond - all blasting brass and strings building until it goes into that strings only centrepiece - the audio is truly fabulous. The slinky lounge piano of "Source Material" is gorgeous too but the absolute bees knees is surely "007 And Counting" where Bond is wrestling to stop the laser satellite from space starting World War III - it's just magisterial - beautifully recorded and transferred.

As if the Soundtrack itself isn't the Georgie Best - you're hit with a wad of Previously Unreleased material from the original film that's been in the can for 40 years too long. "Gunbarrel And Manhunt" is like a mini Bond fest all rolled up into one - first you get the Sixties 007 theme we know and love - then blasting brass - then smooching strings - then menace and intrigue - back to triumph - its just brilliant. But thrill of thrills is the brilliant 4 minutes of "Mr. Wint And Mr. Kidd/Bond To Holland" where the "bitten by the bug" duo of scorpion killers are gingerly dispensing with anyone who gave them diamonds. It's masterful John Barry - slinking along - adding so much to the film (you see the thing in your mind's eye).

"If God had wanted man to fly Mister Wint...
He would have given him wings Mister Kidd!"

Well now the dapper chap has been given wings. Open your heart to your inner 007 and get this fabulous CD in your Bath-O-Sub. 'La Bomba Supreme' indeed...

Orignal Album Series
Orignal Album Series
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $23.81
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Mighty..." - Original Album Series by GROUNDHOGS (2015 Parlophone/Warners Music Group 5CD Mini CD Box Set Remasters), April 21, 2015
This review is from: Orignal Album Series (Audio CD)
When the "Original Album Series" first appeared in 2010 it was entirely WEA artists and albums. But with the EMI umbrella of labels now in the fold - we're suddenly getting fresh blood - a whole flurry of associated labels and artists in this massive and popular 5CD mini box set series. So far we've had Robin Trower, Edgar Broughton Band, Kiki Dee, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull - and in amongst them is of course England's very own grunge-before-there-was-grunge rockers - The Groundhogs (fronted by ace guitarist Tony McPhee).

This 2015 instalment in the "Original Album Series" misses out their uber-rare debut album "Scratching The Surface" from 1968 on Liberty and gives us the five studio efforts that followed (all now rare and expensive on original British vinyl). And at a tad above two quid a CD - this 5CD set is properly great value for money.

Each of these albums has received a quality CD remaster in the last two decades (many in 2003) - each fitted out with bonus tracks and comprehensive booklets. As it is with most "Original Album Classics" - the bonuses have been stripped away and each album placed in a dinky 5" card repro sleeve with just the front and rear artwork reproduced. But as fans will know Discs 2, 3, 4 and 5 listed below came with tremendous original artwork when first released on vinyl all those years ago (gatefolds, cartoon sleeves, die-cut holes etc) and that's completely lost here which is a damn shame really. But the good news is that there's been no compromise on the Audio front - they've simply used the PETER MEW Abbey Road Remasters (mostly from 2003) and each is ballsy, clear and full of presence. Here are the world saving details...

UK released February 2015 - "Original Album Series" by GROUNDHOGS is a 5CD Mini Box Set (with 5 x 5" Repro Card Sleeves) on Parlophone/Warners Music Group 0825646179732 (Barcode the same) and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (33:55 minutes):
1. B.D.D.
2. Daze Of The Weak
3. Times
4. Mistreated
5. Express Man [Side 2]
6. Natchez Burning
7. Light Way The Day
Tracks 1 to 7 are their 2nd studio album "Blues Obituary" - released September 1969 in the UK on Liberty Records LBS 83253 and in the USA on Imperial LP 12452. The 1996 CD Remaster is used.

Disc 2 (41:14 minutes):
1. Strange Town
2. Darkness Is No Friend
3. Soldier
4. Thank Christ For The Bomb
5. Ship On The Ocean [Side 2]
6. Garden
7. Status People
8. Rich Man, Poor Man
9. Eccentric Man
Tracks 1 to 9 are their 3rd studio album "Thank Christ For The Bomb" - released June 1970 in the UK on Liberty Records LBS 83295 and in the USA on Liberty LST 7644. The 2003 CD Remaster is used.

Disc 3 (39:49 minutes):
1. Split - Part One
2. Split - Part Two
3. Split - Part Three
4. Split - Part Four
5. Cherry Red [Side 2]
6. A Year In The Life
7. Junkman
8. Groundhog
Tracks 1 to 8 are their 4th studio album "Split" - released March 1971 in the UK on Liberty Records LBG 83401 and in the USA on United Artists UAS 5513 (with different artwork). The 2003 CD Remaster is used.

Disc 4 (36:32 minutes):
1. Earth is Not Room Enough
2. Wages of Peace
3. Body In Mind
4. Music Is The Food Of Thought
5. Bog Roll Blues [Side 2]
6. Death Of The Sun
7. Amazing Grace [Traditional Song cover]
8. The Grey Maze
Tracks 1 to 8 are their 5th studio album "Who Will Save The World? The Mighty Groundhogs!" - released March 1972 in the UK on United Artists UAG 29347 and in the USA on United Artists UAS 5570. The 2003 CD Remaster is used.

Disc 5 (39:21 minutes):
1. I Love Miss Ogyny
2. You Had A Lesson
3. The Ringmaster
4. 3744 James Road
5. Sad Is The Hunter [Side 2]
6. S'one Song
7. Earth Shanty
8. Mr. Hooker, Sir John
Tracks 1 to 8 are their 6th studio album "Hogwash" - released November 1972 in the UK on United Artists UAG 29419 and in the USA on United Artists UA-LA008-F. The 2013 CD Remaster is used.

Proceedings open with "B.D.D." (Blind, Deaf & Dumb) which clearly lays out the bands Rocking Blues credentials (all songs on the "Blues Obituary" album are by McPhee). But as well as (Reverend as he's known on the sleeve) McPhee's frantic axe playing - you also get his not-so-great monotone voice and the very basic production values he gave everything. This is down and dirty stuff as evidenced by the wicked Blues of "Daze Of The Weak" - a standout on the record. The Bass of Peter Cruickshank and Ken Pustelnik's Drums on "Time" and "Mistreated" are now clear in the remaster transfer and give the track a very Juicy Lucy swagger.

For most people 1970's "Thank Christ For The Bomb" and its illustrious 1971 follow
Up "Split" are probably their first introduction to the band's particular brand of Rock with a Blues and even Prog twist. "Shafts of moonlight light up the floor..." McPhee tells on "Darkness Is No Friend". In April 1970 Liberty Records UK tried a 45 on LBF 15346 by coupling the unlikely duo of "Eccentric Man" and the slow plod of "Status People" on the B-side - but it raised little interest. There are times when "Ship On The Ocean" sounds like doom-laden Black Sabbath on a jangly guitar tip. The four-parts of "Split" are probably fan's fave while the hard-rocking "Cherry Red" takes no prisoners chugging along in its rough 'n' ready path. The near six-minute "Groundhog" has McPhee going solo - sat on a chair with his amped up slide guitar - stomping his foot like John Lee Hooker meets ZZ Top meets Rory Gallagher as he whizzes up and down those strings like he owned the Blues. What a winner and it ends the album on a real high (the remaster is fabulous).

1972 was a busy time for The Hogs - two albums in one year. For March's "Who Will Save The World? The Mighty Groundhogs!" - McPhee seemed to have discovered Funk or at least his guitar-strumming version of it. The opening three tracks are all almost Jonathan Richmond in their frantic jagged pace and I love them. There's also a warmth and mellowness to his Side 1 finisher "Music Is The Food Of Thought" where he increasingly sounds like a concerned Michael Chapman. The Audio Remaster on this album is superb by the way - cymbals, flute and bass - all the backing-instruments so clear. The crudely recorded and doom-treated guitars return with Side Two's "Bog Roll Blues" which again swings in a strange Groundhogs kind of way. The fantastically played Acoustic Guitars on "Death Of The Sun" are superb but again the song is undone by his deadpan vocals treated with some echo in the mix. There's a Soulful church organ and guitar version of the Traditional "Amazing Grace" which is ruined by fuzzed excess and the album finishes on the ten-minute Ten Years After boogie of "The Grey Maze" sounding like a throwback to the best stuff on "Split".

By the time "Hogwash" arrived in late 1972 - the public wasn't really listening and as a result it's hard to find an original vinyl copy - so its CD presence here is welcome. Stuff like "I Love Miss Ogyny" just don't have a tune - better is the jagged Prog rhythms of "You Had A Lesson". But again his vocals grate. The live-in-the-studio "3744 James Road" is preceded by a "1, 2, 3 4!" count in and is probably the best track on the album where the band sound like Alvin Lee's Ten Years After in 1972 with McPhee letting rip on some truly impressive and wild guitar playing. "Hogwash" was another McPhee Self-Production - but this time the audio quality was on the up and you can really hear it in the power of the remaster where both Cruickshank's Bass and the Drums of Clive Brooks leap out of the speakers at you.

It's not all genius by any means and with that deadpan set of pipes of his - I've always felt that The Groundhogs were an acquired taste. But if you've any affection for them - then this latest addition to the impressive "Original Album Classics" is a must own...

Tightrope / Blue Man / Arrows
Tightrope / Blue Man / Arrows
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4.0 out of 5 stars "...Candles..." - Tightrope/The Blue Man/Arrows by STEVE KHAN (2015 Beat Goes On 2CD Remasters), April 21, 2015
Jazz-Fusion virtuoso Guitarist STEVE KHAN sees his first three Solo albums from the late Seventies reissued by Beats Goes On (BGO) of the UK in proper style. If you're a Jazz-Funk fan like me - there's a lot on here to get your knickers in a knot about (despite a shaky start). Here are the elastic expanded details...

UK released 20 April 2015 (delayed from March 2015) - "Tightrope/The Blue Man/Arrows" by STEVE KHAN on Beat Goes On BGOCD 1178 (Barcode 5017261211781) features 3LPs on 2CDs and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (37:57 minutes):
1. Some Punk Funk
2. Darlin' Darlin' Baby (Sweet, Tender, Love)
3. Tightrope (For Folon)
4. The Big Ones [Side 2]
5. Star Chamber
6. Soft Summer Breeze
7. Where Shadows Meet
Tracks 1 to 7 are his Debut LP "Tightrope" - released January 1978 in the USA on Columbia/Tappan Zee Records JC 34857 and April 1978 in the UK on CBS Records 82230

Disc 2 (75:52 minutes):
1. Daily Bulls
2. The Blue Man
3. Some Down Time
4. The Little Ones [Side 2]
5. Daily Valley
6. An Eye Over Autumn - For Folon
Tracks 1 to 6 are his 2nd album "The Blue Man" - released 1978 in the USA on Columbia Records JC 35539 and in the UK on CBS Records S CBS 83146

7. City Suite - Part 1: City Monsters/Part II: Dream City
8. Candles
9. Daily Village [Side 2]
10. Some Arrows
11. Calling
Tracks 7 to 11 are his 3rd album "Arrows" - released 1979 in the USA on Columbia Records JC 36129 (No UK release)

The packed 24-page booklet repro's all artwork and track-by-track musician credits along with indepth liner notes from noted Musicologist CHARLES WARING (a regular contributor to Mojo). The outer card wrap that now accompanies all BGO CD releases gives the whole shebang a classy feel and there's 2015 remasters by ANDREW THOMPSON that let all that musical expertise shine through. Both CDs sound lovely.

Brought to Columbia Records by the Blood, Sweat & Tears Drummer Bobby Colomby and Keyboard Wizard Bob James (James Produces and provides the liner notes for his debut album) - "Tightrope" features four Steve Khan originals augmented by three covers - the Gamble & Huff O'Jays hit "Darlin' Darlin' Baby (Sweet, Tender, Love)", Randy Brecker's "The Big Ones" and an old Eddie Heywood favourite called "Soft Summer Breeze". The debut album features a stellar cast - Mike Brecker on Tenor Saxophone, Bob James on Keyboards, Steve Gadd and Ralph McDonald on Drums and Percussion respectively - while session all-stars like David Sanborn plays the Alto Sax solo on "The Big Ones". Khan provides Lead Guitar of course with back up from class players like Jeff Mironov and David Spinozza. All songs are Jazz Fusion instrumentals firmly in the groove of Funky - stuff like "Soft Summer Breeze" feels like George Benson's "Love Ballad" from his superb 2LP set "Livin' Inside Your Love" minus the vocals with a few more Rock Fusion breaks thrown in for good measure. The worst you can say about this album is that despite all that world-class musicianship and technical flash - too many of the tunes fail to ignite into anything genuinely special. They're busy and beautifully produced and all - but only on stuff

For his 2nd effort "The Blue Man" Khan took over Production and provided five of the six tracks with "The Little Ones" being a Randy Brecker contribution. And what a difference! "The Blue Man" LP feels far more grown-up than its predecessor with the title track in particular impressing - a wonderful swirling fusion instrumental with Don Grolnick providing Fender Rhodes and ARP Pro solos to gorgeous effect while Khan finishes off the six-minute piece with some of his most fluid playing. Things take a slappy-bass Funk turn with "Some Down Time" where the band clearly goes after that 12" dancefloor market. With it's Brecker and Sanborn Trumpet and Saxophone breaks and slinky guitar flicks and driving groove - it feels like Steely Dan circa "Aja" going for the Funk for 5:28 minutes (its superb). David Sanborn provides the Alto Saxophone solo in "The Little Ones" which is again wickedly funky in ways the first album never got near (Khan playing a blinding Solo half way through both Becker and Fagen would have said yes to). And on it goes to the near mine-minute finisher "An Eye Over Autumn" which actually goes "Aja" in a big way allowing both Michael Brecker and Steve Gadd solo spots on the Tenor Sax and Drums (respectively) - a great way to end a great album.

Album Number 3 "Arrows" features liner notes from none other than Donald Fagen of some Seventies Group I worship (can't remember their steam-powered dildo name). It opens with the two-part twelve-minute "City Suite" which comes on like Todd Rundgren's Utopia just finding their Funky Nirvana on the bedside table beside their copy of the Kama Sutra. It funks and chunks and twists around guitars and Saxophones until about five and half minutes in - the tune goes into a Piano/Drums battle that is followed by a groovy guitar passage. We get laid back with the pretty "Candles" which sports cleverly echoed Lead Guitar and Saxophones. Despite being surprisingly hissy in the transfer - his playing is superb on it and probably Khan's best work across the three albums. Michael Brecker provides Soprano Saxophone on the slinky "Daily Village" where Don Grolnick's work on the ARP and Fender Rhodes gives the tune a West Coast funky polish. But my fave on the album is the beautifully crafted finisher "Calling" - a mid-tempo shuffler where Errol "Crusher" Bennett gives it some fabulous Percussion throughout (also features Sax Solo by David Sanborn).

It's not all genius for sure and I can't help feel that even with those nuggets on "Arrows" and the debut "Tightrope" - "The Blue Man" album is the cream of the crop. Fans will love the presentation and audio and should dive right in...

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