Monday, December 24, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bye! Fela Kuti - Part 1

Dear friends! Soon I am going to Africa and will spend at least couple of years there. Therefore I will not be in position to update this blog. It was my pleasure to share some of my favorite music with you and I am feeling sad but at the same time happy cose I will soon be at the place where everything once began. I will keep the blog alive and for the last post here is the 2 part video by my favorite african musician - late Fela Kuti. God bless you all!!!

Fela Kuti - Part 2

Friday, July 13, 2007

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Counter @ the bottom of the page said...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Rock`n`Bikers Festival Time Off...

Sorry people but I won`t be arround for at least 20 days. If I find some time I will put some pictures from the festival. CU soon...

Saturday, June 30, 2007

by request: AQUARELLE - Aquarelle (aka Sous Un Arbre)

In the second part of the 70's, Quebec was going wild in terms of progressive rock undergoing a sort of cultural revolution/emancipation (Quebec was busy considering flying on its own) and a flurry of bands were seeing the light of day, a good deal of those not really caring about being commercial. Aquarelle is Pierre Lescaut's project; he was the main composer, but everyone in the group had interesting and challenging role in the group, not least Bournaki's violin work.
If you are like me, and have heard a few hundred Jazz-rock/fusion album, chances are that Aquarelle will not sound incredibly inventive or particularly original. What we have here is a very honest and professional album, which fits the mould of what was being released at the time. Sounding close to Ponty's albums of that same era, or many other groups, Aquarelle did not really manage to make a real dent in the market mostly because of the competitive market and the sheer amount of similar music being released, some group were bound to remain in obscurity. Sadly so, because Aquarelle were a very endearing unit that produced a very pleasant JR/F on their two albums, but it was not flawless. One of the more puzzling characteristics about their music is Courtemanche's wordless high-strung vocals (which are often under-mixed) that add some unexpected flavour to the music, but they are rather unusual and can be irritating. Highlights of this album include the (unofficial) title track with the heavy piano work, and the three part eponymous track Aquarelle, where the group does not miss to introduce their wide scoped musical abilities.

- Anne-Marie Courtemanche / vocals
- Pierre Lescaut / keyboards
- Stéphane Morency / guitar
- Pierre Bournaki / violin
- Jean-Philippe Gélinas / saxophone, flute
- Michel De Lisle / bass
- André Leclerc / drums

1. Aquarelle
2. Aquarelle pt2
3. Aquarelle pt3
4. Bridge
5. Esperanto
6. Francoise
7. Magic Of Sounds
8. Under A Tree
9. Volupté

Album downloaded from SLSK @192 as 2 tracks (side one & two)


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Friday, June 29, 2007

Forgotten pearl No. 15

ALCATRAZ - Vampire State Building

No, not the '80s metal band, featuring Yngwie -- that Alcatrazz had two zz's in their name. This Alcatraz was a krautrock outfit from Hamburg, who released this album, their debut, in 1972. At last it gets a cd reissue -- we've always been curious about 'em 'cause the striking/silly LP cover painting (the lips and teeth of a vampire, with the bloody fangs being two inverted Empire State Buildings) always shows up in books of krautrock lore like Cosmic Dreams At Play and The Crack In The Cosmic Egg. AND, they're one of those Nurse With Wound list bands too! In fact, Nurse With Wound and Stereolab 'covered' this album's brilliant lead-off track "Simple Headphone Mind" on a collaborative ep some years back.Alcatraz prove to be one of those wildly jamming, kinda-heavy bands, with some bluesy Zeppelin-esque riffing and powerful, fuzz-psych lead guitar (love that tone!) cutting through their fusionoid, jazzily-rockin' songs, which also feature sax, flute, piano, drums, bongos, and (on two tracks only) vocals. Reminds us of some way-out Traffic or Santana type of thing. Really, the mostly instrumental songs on here don't really sound like 'songs', just a lot of improv parts and crazy playing, which is of course cool by us. It totally makes sense that they started out playing covers of stuff by the likes of Savoy Brown, Vanilla Fudge, Black Sabbath, and Uriah Heep before getting into Soft Machine and Tony William's Lifetime -- the liner notes mention 'em blending Cannonball Adderly and Deep Purple! While by no means a newly unearthed krautrock classic of Can or Faust proportions (though it was recorded at Faust's Wumme studio, during a police raid on suspected terrorists no less), this is a cool album of eccentric, sometimes epic, hippy jazz-rock.

- Rüdiger Berghan / piano, vocal
- Klaus Holst / guitar
- Klaus Nagurski / flute, Tenor saxophone
- Ronald Wilson / bass
- Jan Rieck / drums, percussion

1. Simple Headphone Mind (10:00)
2. Your Chance of a Lifetime (5:06)
3. Where the Wild Things Are (3:03)
4. Vampire State Building (13:10)
5. Piss Off (3:18)
6. Change will come (6:08)


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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Forgotten pearl No. 14

ACHE - Green Man

Ache started in 1968 heaving their roots in the hippie subculture of Copenhagen. They played a mixture of beat, symphonic-rock and classical-rock with strong organ and guitar interplays. Ache was said to be Danish equivalent of Procol Harum but its music was also under influence of Van der Graaf Generator and The Nice (great combination anyway!). The first album The Homine Urbano includes only two compositions. On side A there is a title track composed for ballet (performed in e.g. Copenhagen and Moscow). On Little Things (that covers the whole side B) the musicians started working in 1968 and since then they developed it piece by piece. According to them the composition is about little things that exist around us. It is slightly better developed than The Homine Urbano and must-have not only for symphonic-rock proggers.
Ache were planning to create Ache Rock Theatre an artistic event. This idea, unfortunately, failed due to lack of money, but music on their second album Green Man(except track Acheron) comes from that show. Compositions on this record are shorter (none exceeds 9 minutes) which enabled musicians to present more diverse material. Some tracks remind of the previous album (Equatorial Rain, The Invasion, Acheron), some are more like hits e.g. beautiful Shadow Of A Gipsy or titled Green Man. The last composition is Ache-ish cover of The Beatles' We Can Work It Out.
Torsten Olafsson said in 1971 about their music: When listening to music you may sometime imagine sceneries on situations appearing from far away, from sub consciousness, and when experiencing sceneries or happenings you may as well put sounds or music to them; and in both ways picture and sound will be linked together, and you will always believe them to belong to each other".Ache soon disbanded but in 1976 reformed in different line-up and recorded two albums. The first rock opera Pictures From Cyclus 7 is said to be a better one.

- Torsten Olafsson / vocals, bass, spinet
- Peter Mellin / Hammond organ, vibraphone, vocals
- Finn Olafsson / guitars, vocals, percussion
- Glenn Fischer / drums, percussion
- Johnny Reimar / backing vocals

1. Equatorial rain (6:59)
2. Sweet Jolly Joyce (3:47)
3. The Invasion (5:58)
4. Shadow Of A Gypsy (4:38)
5. Green Man (4:38)
6. Accheron (4:47)
7. We Can Work It Out (8:43)


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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

by request: PETE BROWN & HIS BATTERED ORNAMENTS - A Meal You Can ....

Album Title - A Meal You Can Shake Hands With In The Dark

Pete Brown's debut album may not have been as accessible as those of Cream (for whom he often helped write material) or even the early Jack Bruce (for whom he continued to collaborate as a songwriter). There are similarities, however, though more to Bruce's solo work than to Cream. For one thing, there are those lyrics, which are of a far higher standard than heard on most rock songs, ranging from ominous impressionism to take-out-the-piss political satire. Then there's Brown's voice, which rather resembles a gruff Jack Bruce, and is effective though certainly not as smoothly melodic as Bruce's vocals. And then there's the music, which grew out of the same jazz-blues-rock community that gave birth to the Graham Bond Organisation, Cream, and Colosseum. In fact, two other alumni of that scene, Bond (on organ) and Dick Heckstall-Smith (on saxophone), are among the supporting players, as is a young Chris Spedding. There are also unusual psychedelic and Middle Eastern accents here and there in the arrangements, though tasteful and subdued. Because there aren't the pop hooks of the songs Brown had a hand with in Cream, and because Brown's voice is not that of your average rock frontman, it's not something that ever got a wide audience. But it has its rewards for those looking for something a little more avant-garde and intellectual than much late-'60s psychedelic-prog rock, including the fairly grooving "Dark Lady" (which musically resembles Graham Bond's work), "Station Song" (where the likeness to some of Jack Bruce's more mysterious tracks is highest), and the beguiling downward-spiral melody of "Rainy Taxi Girl." Some of the bluesy tunes are more functional, but the 12-minute "The Politician" — not the same as the Cream classic "Politician" penned by Brown and Bruce, though there are similarities — is a highlight, as a very witty and scathing anti-establishment spoken word poem segueing into an off-kilter blues-rocker that exposes the "politician" for the lecherously hypocritical geezer he is.

1 Dark Lady 5:21
2 Old Man 5:26
3 Station Song 3:22
4 The Politician 12:14
5 Rainy Taxi Girl 4:46
6 Morning Call 2:48
7 Sand Castle 9:22
8 Travelling Blues 12:07
9 High Sorrow 3:24
10 Raining Pins and Needles 3:35


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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Forgotten pearl No. 13


One of the early and by many considered to be one of Norways definitely best prog bands. Their music is a mix of heavy hard-rocking tunes, combined with clear influences from the symphonic genre. The more symphonic sound however didn't appeared until their third, and last studio album, "Janus". A great concept-album to start with. If you want the more thundering sounds coming from AUNT MARY, look for 1972s "Loaded", but this is their first baby and the one I like most (I am sure not many of you will agree). High-skilled musicians combined with good, creative melodies makes AUNT MARY a important Norwegian band to become acquainted with.

Bjoern Christiansen - guitar, vocals
Per Ivar Fure - flute, harmonica, saxophone
Jan Groth - keyboards, vocals
Svein Gundersen - bass
Kjetil Stensvik - drums

1. Whispering farewell (4:00)
2. Did you notice (3:18)
3. Theres a lot of fish in the sea (3:51)
4. I do and I did (4:52)
5. 47 steps (4:39)
6. Rome wasn't built in one day (2:59)
7. Come in (3:29)
8. Why don't you try yourself (2:28)
9. The ball (3:33)
10. All my sympathy for Lily (3:21)
11. Yes, by now Ive reached the end (2:51)


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Monday, June 25, 2007

Forgotten pearl No. 12


A progressive rock trio from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The album was recorded at Round Sound, Edmonton, Alberta. The band took care of the arrangements, words and music themselves. Most of the tracks - "Early Morning", "Life's OK", "Rub-A-Dub-Dub Troyka In A Tub", "Dear Margaret (Malgasia)" and "Troyka Finale" are progressive rock style instrumentals. Another "Rolling Down The Back Road "has a sorta guitar freakout and "Go East Young Man Beautiful Pink Eyes "culminates in a sorta guitar jam. Certainly not for everyone but if guitar-driven instrumentation is your scene this could be for you. Certainly an unusual album. Often compared to Gun and Warpig.

1 Introduction :37
2 Natural 2:47
3 Early Morning 3:52
4 Life's O.K. 4:03
5 Burning of the Witch 2:54
6 Rub-A-Dub-Dub Troyka in a Tub 2:19
7 Troyka Lament :33
8 Troyka Solo :37
9 Rolling Down the Back Road 4:04
10 Berry Picking 2:48
11 Dear Margaret (Malgosia) 2:33
12 Go East Young Man/Beautiful Pink Eyes 6:12
13 Troyka Finale :30


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Sunday, June 24, 2007

by request: QUINTESSENCE - Dive Deep

What a welcome release this has been. Never previously released on CD, this reissue comes sounding a whole lot better than the album ever did but without any additional tracks.
This is the last of the "holy trinity" of Qunitessence albums, the remaining two being somewhat lower down the list of must have albums.
Unlike the self titled Quintessence this album marks somewhat of a change in direction by the band whilst at the same time remaining true to form. Whereas the second album was a fusion of studio and live performances, these are primarily studio recordings but with a live feel. During the time that this album was made Quintessence continued their touring and left no-one in any doubt over the power and reach of the band live. While most of the songs led to the improvised playing which had some dancers almost in ecstasy the studio recordings eschewed that aspect and as a result are considerably diminished in my view as a result. The reputation of Quintessence as a powerful live act was maintained by this album although, unlike their west coast cousins without religion the Grateful Dead, they were able to produce a decent album bouyed by the live act. The strains are beginning to emerge within the band characterised by a poorer quality of the songwriting and a more self-indulgent approach as typified by the mere six relatively lengthy tracks.
The first of these, Dive Deep treads no new ground, preferring the obvious safety of the blistering guitar solo which bears much similarity to St. Pancras on the second album but without the range. On Dance for the one, Raja Ram's flute again goes over the same ground as on the earlier albums. Brahman and the Seer are the weakest songs in my estimation although in performance the improvisation is the saving grace but which is denied the listener here. Epitaph for tomorrow and the Sri Ram chant are the remaining tracks and are strong in their own way but the latter in particular is a little lengthier than it perhaps ought to be.
The sleeve notes record the emergence of tensions within the group which led to their most unfortunate demise following this album.
It may not be the strongest of the Holy Trinity but it does represent the band just after their peak whilst they were still a great draw as anyone witnessing their performances will bear out. I would certainly recommend this album although I do mourn particularly the lack of unreleased live tracks which would raise this album to the heights for which it was intended.

1. Dive Deep
2. Dance For The One
3. Brahman
4. Seer
5. Epitaph For Tomorrow
6. Sri Ram Chant

LINK: @192

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Forgotten pearl No. 11

TOAD - Same

Toad's self-titled debut album may have, single-handedly, kicked off the entire Swiss hard rock movement in the '70s. Their first single, "Stay." made a great deal of headway on the Swiss charts — a feat that no other hard rock band had ever accomplished in that country. Essentially a power trio consisting of Vittorio "Vic" Vergeat (guitar/vocals), Werner Frohlich (bass) and Cosimo Lampis (drums), Toad enlisted the help of vocalist Bens Jaeger for this (and only this) album. Heavily blues-based rock (à la Cream/Black Sabbath) was the major force behind Toad's hard driving sound, with bassist Frohlich providing a mean (and meanderingly gutsy) counterpoint to Vergeat's loose and greasy guitar licks. The record also has moments of Deep Purple-like propulsion, no doubt thanks to that band's engineer Martin Birch, who manned the controls on this one as well. Like most of the B-list (sometimes C-list) rock groups that Italian imprint Akarma has reissued throughout the early 2000s, Toad's debut was mainly a collector's object in its LP form. There were better bands out there, doing the same sort of thing, but, chances are, those records were already on the shelves of most die-hard collectors. Albums like Toad may have enjoyed regional success in their time, but were largely forgotten or relegated to "closet classic" status (if they were remembered at all). These types of records have been fetching higher and higher prices over the years and it's darn good to see a reissue label dipping into this pool of underappreciated groups.
[Originally released in 1972, Toad was reissued in 2007.]

1 Cottonwood Hill
2 A Life That Ain't Worth Living
3 Tank
4 They Say I'm Made
5 Life Goes On
6 Pig's Walk
7 The One I Mean


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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Forgotten pearl No. 10

BLACK CAT BONES - Barbed Wire Sandwich

BLACK CAT BONES were a typical British blues rock band playing late 60's raw progressive blues in the same vein as CHICKEN SHACK and TEN YEARS AFTER. Two of its original members, guitarist Paul Kossoff and drummer Simon Kirke, would later form their own band (FREE). When they felt they had taken BLACK CAT BONES as far as it could go, they both left before the band even cut their album in 1969 (entitled "Barbed Wire Sandwich"). The album features Rod Price on vocals (FOGHAT's future vocalist), Phil Lenoir on drums, Stu Brooks on bass guitar, Brian Short on additional vocals and Derek Brooks on rhythm guitar.
"Barbed Wire Sandwich" was originally released on Decca as a mid-priced album noted for its (then fashionable) gruesome cover. The cd re-edition is an excellent testimony to some of the best heavy blues rock of its time, a hidden gem full of soul and raw energy.
Recommended for lovers of late 60's British blues boom.

1. Chauffeur (5:15)
2. Death Valley Blues (3:52)
3. Feelin' Good (4:58)
4. Please Tell Me Baby (3:10)
5. Coming Back (2:32)
6. Save My Love (4:50)
7. Four Women (5:09)
8. Sylvesters' Blues (3:45)
9. Good Lookin' Woman (7:16)


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Forgotten pearl No. 9

The Norman Haines Band - Den of Iniquity

Reissue of 1971 classic Birmingham UK heavy prog rock album from Norman Haines Band (post Locomotive and formerly Sacrifice). The sound is much like a heavy brew of Locomotive, Arzachel and The Beatles! Featuring Neil Clark on guitar, Andy Hughes on bass & vocals, Jimmy Skidmore on drums and Mr Haines himself on keyboards & vocals.

1. Den Of Iniquity (4:34)
2. Finding My Way Home (3:25)
3. Everything You See (Mr. Armag (4:37)
4. When I Come Down (3:58)
5. Bourgeois (3:01)
6. Rabbits (13:05)
7. Life Is So Unkind (8:06)
8. Elaine (4:36)
9. I Really Need A Friend (3:43)
10. Daffodil (3:52)
11. Autumn Mobile (3:33)
12. Give To You Girl (2:53)


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Friday, June 22, 2007

Forgotten pearl No. 8


Cressida were an excellent band of early British symphonic progressive scene. Their sound is mostly dominated by the most beautiful and symphonic Hammond organ (dirty, and mellow), piano, bass, guitar, and drums. The instrumental sections are equally good, and tend to be typical of early 70s English prog rock. Thanks to the captivating atmospheres and the technical ability of the musicians. Similar bands include FANTASY, BEGGARS' OPERA, CIRKUS, GRACIOUS, and SPRING.
Their self-titled debut is an early seventies forgottonclassic with delicate vocals, gobs of organ and acoustic guitar. DEFINITELY A CLASSIC!

- Angus Cullen / vocals
- John Heyworth / guitar, lead vocals on track 5
- Peter Jennings / harpsichord, organ, piano
- Kevin McCarthy / bass
- Iain Clark / drums

1. To Play Your Little Game (3:15)
2. Winter is Coming Again (4:42)
3. Time For Bed (2:18)
4. Cressida (3:57)
5. Home And Where I Long To Be (4:04)
6. Depression (5:02)
7. One Of A Group (3:35)
8. Lights In My Mind (2:45)
9. The Only Earthman In Town (3:32)
10. Spring '69 (2:14)
11. Down Down (4:15)
12. Tomorrow Is A Whole New Day (5:19)


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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Forgotten pearl No. 7

COSMIC TRAVELERS - Live! At The Spring Crater Celebration-Diamond Head, Hawaii

The Cosmic Travelers were a group of veteran studio musicians that decided to get together to join the seventh major festival that was held over a four-year period (at the time) in the Diamond Head crater in Hawaii. Live! At The Spring Crater Celebration was recorded originally in 1972, during the advent of a major shift to heavy metal with groups like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.
Drake Levin (guitar), Jimmy McGhee (guitar), Joel Christie (bass), and Dale "Mule" Layola (drums) cranked out some high-octane psych-blues.
This entire recording is live and uncut with the exception of two minutes when the tape was turned over at the original recording. What we would consider today as an archaic method of recording a live gig becomes quite good under the careful eyes and ears of experienced engineers and producers. With the help of technological advancements and Akarma Records' precise care with the remastering process, and the colorful informative packaging, what you get is history given a chance to become reborn and relived.
This was a good album when it was recorded, and it stands as an above average album now due to the previously mentioned enhancements. The last two songs "Soul" and "Soul Reprise" are real kickers. There are only six tracks, but keep in mind the first track "Farther Up The Road," a blues classic, runs for more than nine minutes and Dave Mason's "Look At You Look At Me" for more than ten minutes. So you get more than your share of quantity, quality and consistency on this release.
Take a rock and roll revival trip to Hawaii for a day, be a hippie and enjoy the tunes.

1. Farther On Up The Road
2. Move Your Hands
3. Jungle Juice
4. Look At You Look At Me
5. Soul
6. Soul Reprise


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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Forgotten pearl No. 6

TWENTY SIXTY SIX & THEN - Reflections!

The name '2066 & THEN' comes from adding an extra thousand to the number 1066, year of the historical battle of Hastings. Their heavy progressive style has been compared to that of DEEP PURPLE, VANILLA FUDGE and IRON BUTTERFLY. After releasing their first album, individual members got involved in different projects that never really stood the test of time, so 'Reflections on the Future' is their only legacy, and a fine one at that.
Their dramatic organ-drenched, complex music sometimes dons symphonic elements, but the band isn't afraid to dive into some heavy guitar/organ jamming either, featuring elements of jazz, some high-octane rhythmic parts and quick changes, mixed with weird psychedelic electronic effects - the hoarse vocals, however, perhaps better suited to conventional hard rock, may take some getting used to.
Their record company (Second Battle) re-released the album in 1991 under the name 'Reflections on the Past'. Considered a collectors item, it also contains unreleased masters and some bonus practice sessions from an early rehearsal session in 1991. In 1994, the cd 'Reflections!' came out, compiling tracks from both, plus some which had been considered for a second album that never materialized. A combination of poor sales and a ruined German economy at the time sadly forced the premature death of this fine German band, only months after the release of their first album.
If you enjoy ELP, The NICE and JETHRO TULL or some of the bands mentioned above, do check out this Germanic prog band. Some killer material awaits you.

- Geff Harrison (England) / lead vocals & lyrics
- Gagey Mrozeck / guitars
- Veit Marvos / keyboards
- Dieter Bauer / bass
- Steve Robinson / keyboards
- Konstatin Bommarius / drums
- Wolfgang Schönbrot / flute
- Curt Cress / drums

1. At my Home (7:57)
2. Autumn(9:06)
3. Butterking (7:17)
4. Reflections on the Future (15:48)
5. The way that I feel today (11:11)
6. Spring (13:02)
7. I wanna stay (3:59)
8. Time can't take It Away (4:40)


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Forgotten pearl No. 5

Mr. ALBERT SHOW - Warm Motor

The rock group Mr Albert Show from Eindhoven was formed in 1969 by Bertus Borgers (saxophone, flute and vocals), Roeland Boogaart (on drums), Tom Fautubun (on bass guitar), guitarist Eric Lintermans and Bonki Bongaerts (organ). The band was named after a roadie. In 1970 their first single, Wild sensation / King of galaxy is released. The vocals on this track are by Floortje Klomp. This is followed by their selftitled debut album. The sound of this album is a sort of jazzy progressive music with the focus on the saxophone and the organ. A year later they release a second album, Warm Motor. To promote this album, the non-album track Show me your tongue is released as a second single. In 1973 Bonki Bongaerts leaves the band, and this means the end the Mr Albert Show. Bertus Borgers starts a new band Sweet d'Buster, together with Robert Jan Stips of Supersister and is very active as a studio musician.

The second album of the Dutch band Mr. Albert Show from 1971 Warm Motor was a worldwide release. The US-Version had a different cover and was named Dutch Treat. This album is more on the trippy side than the first one, spheric organ, flute/sax, and great guitar work . The 6 tracks show the bands outstanding talent for progressive rock music with trippy jazz elements but also straight Hardrock. Music ranges from Golden Earring, King Crimson, Colosseum style over to several Krautrock bands. Also included 5 great non-album 45´ tracks and outtakes

1. Did You Really Find Somebody (9:58)
2. I´m Not More Than A Sign (3:55)
3. Electronic Baby (6:48)
4. Let It All Hang Out (4:42)
5. Bantal (3:52)
6. Woman (11:29)
7. I Can´t Help It - Bonus (2:33)
8. Show Me Your Tongue - Bonus (3:36)
9. Can´t Find My Way Home - Bonu (5:03)
10. Hooked On You - Bonus (4:03)
11. Picking Up Your Page - Bonus (3:26)


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Forgotten pearl No. 4


Maybe I am crazy but this is a great album!!!

Onetime members from a group called Rhinoceros came back together in 1972 to form a new rock band, the Blackstone Rangers. Because of circumstances, the guys soon shortened their name to the one-word title Blackstone. The lineup started out with lead singer John Finley, guitarists Danny Weis and Larry Leishman, pianist Michael Fonfara, and bassist Peter Hodgson. A short time later, drummer Richard Steinberg and musician Frank "Zeke" Sheppard were added to the roster.
Blackstone recorded its debut album in 1973, On the Line. The music critics (read ASSHOLES) found the first album less than pleasing, and soon group members Finley, Leishman, Hodgson, Sheppard, and Steinberg were all moving on to more lucrative projects. Weis and Fonfara tried to hang in there for a while longer with Blackstone, brining in some new blood to the group, like bassist John Prakash, singer Mike Stull, and drummer Penti "Whitey" Glan. The official end came in 1973, only a year after the band's creation.

1. qualified (3:23)
2. mountain (3:04)
3. change is gonna come (5:29)
4. back door man (4:52)
5. ain`t gonna let it go (2:40)
6. oopoopadoo (3:07)
7. ain`t nobody`s business (2:54)
8. likakowpi (3:44)
9. sunday`s song (3:17)
10. gonna getcha (4:20)


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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Forgotten pearl No. 3

The Adventures Of Robert Savage Vol. 1

Released by Paramount Records, 1971's "The Adventures of Robert Savage, Volume 1" is one of those albums that initially doesn't seem to have a great deal going for it. The first time I spun it quickly faded into background noise. Luckily I dumped it into an 'also ran' pile that I came back to a couple of months later. Mind you, this set won't change your life in any way, but namesake singer/guitarist Savage, bassist Don Parish and drummer Tommy Richards turned in what is a pretty impressive set of Hendrix-inspired hard rock and white boy blues. Whomever he was, material such as 'Amy (The Insane)' and the instrumental 'Road Apples' demonstrated that Savage was a pretty decent guitarist. On the other hand lyrically tracks such as 'Beaver Baby', ' A Hard One' and 'Seven Days Drunk' weren't exactly Pulitzer Prize noteworthy, though they were goofy enough to be worth hearing (check out 'Amy (The Insane)'). It all comes together in the form of the bizarre 'Save Us from the Cyclops'.

1.) Beaver Baby - 3:05
2.) Milk Run - 3:10
3.) Don't Run and Hide - 4:03
4.) A Hard One - 3:19
5.) Seven Days Drunk - 4:29
6.) Save Us From The Cyclops - 5:46
7.) Amy (The Insane) - 3:55
8.) Lonely World - 3:08
9.) Road Apples - 4:24


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Forgotten pearl No. 2

ZZEBRA - Zzebra

Zzebra in its original incarnation was an amalgamation of two brilliant bands. Terry Smith and Dave Quincey from If and Lasissi (Loughty) Amao from Osibisa. Liam Genockey and John McCoy were brought in on drums and bass, and Gus Yeadon on keyboards and vocals. Ken Burgess produced and Tony Taverner engineered.
Gus Yeadon was not happy in the band and when Ken's old friend and partner, Tommy Eyre, returned from recording in the USA with Mark-Almond, he was invited to see them play at London's Marquee club with a view to joining.
Eyre recalls, "The band was absolutely electric. The combination of jazz, serious heavy rock and Nigerian folk music was incredible. The highlight of the evening though was an unaccompanied guitar section in the middle of "Hungry Horse" Terry Smith attempted an incredibly speedy rising line that ended up in a mis-fretting. He grunted and tried again. Still missed the last couple of notes. As hot as the Marquee club was, Terry was wearing a thick heavy woolen overcoat. He took a huge slug from it, laid it on the ground and then played the line perfectly and at double the speed! That's when I knew I wanted to play with that band!"
Zzebra was a hard-working road band and its improvisational nature coupled with the sheer power of the rhythm section allowed it to constantly experiment without losing the audience. Many new songs were composed this way...

Loughty Amao - percussion, sax, flute, vocals
Liam Genockey - drums, vocals
Dave Quincey - sax
Terry Smith - guitar
Gus Yeadon - piano, guitar, vocals
Steve Byrd - guitar
Tommy Eyre - keyboards, flute, vocals
Alan Marshall - vocals
John McCoy - bass

1 Cobra Woman 6:16
2 Mr J. 4:20
3 Mah Jong 5:13
4 Ife 6:23
5 Spanish Fly 4:21
6 Amuso Fi 5:19
7 Rainbow Train 5:08
8 Hungry Horse 6:46


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Monday, June 18, 2007

Forgotten pearl No. 1

Pete Brown & Piblokto - Things May Come And Things May Go, But The Art School Dance Goes On Forever

Following his shock sacking as leader of The Battered Ornaments on the eve of their prestigious support slot at The Rolling Stones' Hyde Park concert, vocalist and one-time Cream lyricist Pete Brown set about forming a new band, Piblokto! Retaining the services of Battered Ornaments' drummer Rob Tait, he recruited Scottish guitarist Jim Mullen, bassist Roger Bunn and organist Dave Thompson and released the single "Living Life Backwards"/"High Flying Electric Bird" (HAR5008). This was followed in mid-1970 by the LP, "Things May Come And Things May Go But The Art School Dance Goes On Forever", an album that to this day is regarded as one of the finest of the progressive era. A lot more commercial than the LP he made with the Battered Ornaments ("A Meal You Can Shake Hands With In The Dark"), it nonetheless was a varied work containing jazz-tinged rock alongside laid-back folk melodies and all augmented by Brown's witty, questioning and poetic lyrics.
1. Things May Come And Things May Go, But The Art School Dance
2. High Flying Electric Bird
3. Someone Like You
4. I Walk For Charity, Run For Money
5. Then I Must Go And Can I Keep
6. My Love's Gone Far Away
7. Golden Country Kingdom
8. Firesong 9. Country Morning
10.Flying Hero Sandwich (bonus)
11.My Last Band (bonus)


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Next @ RockAnthology - Forgotten pearls

Dear friends,

I am going to be very busy next 30 days organising Rock`n`Bikers Festival 4th Shadow Days but will still find some time to post some forgotten pearls.
Here is the list of future posts:

ALCATRAZ - Vampire State Building
AUDIENCE - House On The Hill
TOAD - Same
ACHE - Green Man
ROBERT SAVAGE - The Adventures Of Robert Savage Vol. 1
PETE BROWN & PIBLOKTO - Things My Come...
BLACK CAT BONES - Barbed Wire Sandwich
Mr. ALBERT SHOW - Warm Motor
2066 & THEN - Reflections Of The Future

Comming soon...

These are MUST HAVE albums so download them and enjoy!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

OTPRILIKE OVAKO - Live @ RockAnthology

This is a 25 min cut from Rock Anthology radio show that I hosted at December 28th, 2002. My guests were dear friends from Otprilike Ovako, a band from Split performing, with some changes in line up, for more than 30 years. This was completly drunk show as it was in between Christmas and New Year and we were all more than "happy".
Download and have fun - last song can be used for your next New Year occasions...


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In my opinion one of the greatest drummers of all times, Peco Petej, in 2002 performed together with a gorup of youngsters under a name Peco Petej & New Blues Power in his hometown Split, Croatia. This concert was broadcasted at Croatian radio 2nd programe and here is that recording. More than 70 minutes of solid blues. This is a real rare stuf and was never published.

Line Up
Petar "Peco" Petej - drums
Darko Madzar - guitar
Branko Dragicevic - guitar
Sinisa Matesic - bass & vocals
+ special guest
Kreso Oremus - harp

1. statesboro blues (3:43)
2. steady rolling man (3:13)
3. travelin riverside blues (5:30)
4. you dont love me (3:36)
5. dirty shame (4:36)
6. walking blues (3:56)
7. one way out (7:08)
8. blow wind blow (4:05)
9. got my mojo working (3:58)
10. spoonful (6:48)
11. rolling man (3:42)
12. this is it (3:06)
13. low down dirty man (4:49)
14. good morning little schoolgir (2:27)
15. empty arms (5:02)
16. full time lover (6:40)
17. shake your money maker (3:27)
18. words of wisdom by Peco (0:22)


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KORNELYANS - Not An Ordinary Life

KORNI GRUPA did it again, this time under the different name: they made excellent record. "Not An Ordinary Life" was aimed for the Western market; all the titles and lyrics are in English, and the band changed it's name (temporarily) from KORNI GRUPA to KORNELYANS. It wasn't huge success, though. However, album do not contain any bad tracks. Overall, band moved towards the symphonic sound, compared to its predecessor, but jazz-fusion influences are still evident, as well as almost funky bass lines. Highlights of this record are synths (used more often then on "Korni Grupa") and excellent guitar work, both electric and acoustic, where electric guitar solos are pushing the boundaries in a same vein as PFM did it in their finest moments. Vocals are more than good, and English pronunciation is...not that bad, at least not for the band from behind the Iron Curtain in early seventies.

Very much recomended to prog fans!!!
(If you like this album and want more go to one of the first posts I did and download their first and even better album)

- Kornelije Kovac / keyboards
- Josip Bocek / guitar
- Bojan Hreljac / bass
- Vladimir Furduj / drums
- Zlatko Pejakovic / lead vocals

1. rising (2:15)
2. not an ordinary life (10:22)
3. generation 1942 (6:56)
4. fall of the land of woman (5:32)
5. temporary parting (4:00)
6. man with a white flag (11:48)

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

GRATEFUL DEAD - The Best Of (1970 - 1978)

This is my sellection from "Workingman`s Dead", "American Beauty", "Wake Of The Flood", "The Mars Hotel","Blues For Allah", "Terrapin Station" & "Sharedown Street" albums by Grateful Dead.
I have to admitt that I have never been a fan of Dead. Actualy I love their first 3 albums but when they started with too much country influenced songs, that wast yust too much for me. Once I took all their albums from my friend "Poor" (by the way, he is Dead`s great fan and even has all their Dick Picks and many more) and compiled this double CD. Hope you will like it.


CD 1
1. high time (5:15)
2. new speedway boogie (4:07)
3. cumberland blues (3:18)
4. black peter (5:44)
5. easy wind (5:00)
6. truckin (5:03)
7. let me sing your blues away (3:18)
8. row jimmy (7:15)
9. stella blue (6:26)
10. here comes sunshine (4:40)
11. eyes of the world (5:21)
12. weather report suite (12:43)
13. china doll (4:10)
14. unbroken chain (6:46)

CD 2
1. scarlet begonians (4:19)
2. money money (4:24)
3. ship of fools (5:30)
4. help on the way - slip knot! (7:21)
5. the music never stopped (4:34)
6. medley: blues for allah (12:32)
7. estimated prophet (5:38)
8. sunrise (4:06)
9. terrapin station part1 (16:19)
10. shakedown street (4:58)
11. serengetti (2:03)
12. i need a miracle (3:36)


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Friday, June 15, 2007

COSMIC DEALER - Crystalizasion

Five musicians formed a band in Dordrecht in1968, called The Floating Fudge Featuring The Cosmic Dealer. The members were: Angelo Santoro (bass guitar), Ad Vos (drums), Frans Poots (vocals, flute, sax), Bas van der Pol (vocals, guitar, ex-Hawks) and Jan Reynders (vocals, guitar, ex-Hawks).
In 1970 they changed their name to Cosmic Dealer. In 1971 they released to singles, The scene/Child of the golden sun and Head in the clouds/Find your way on Negram. Both singles weren't a big success.
The two singles were followed by the release of Cosmic Dealer's debut album, Crystallization. The music is a mixture of psychedelic and progressive music, completed with some hardrock. The album was produced by Eddy Ouwens. The band toured regularly and did a performance in a TV show, but the album didn't sell well. The same year Bas van der Pol left the band (who sadly passed away) and was replaced by Leen Leendertse, with him they recorded a few demo tracks. A little while later Angelo Santoro left the band. Cosmic Dealer struggles along, but a year later it is decided to stop.
In 1973 the band was reformed. This time Frans Poots was replaced by Ed Boender. Leen Leendertse was also no longer a member of the band, but Angelo Santoro had returned. There was also a new vocalist, Kees de Blois. With these members the group started to work on new material and recorded a few demos. But it lasted not for long, because in the spring of 1973 the band had already split up again, and this time for ever.


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Another important group that was musical pioneer of late 60’s when Danish rock became more and more ambitious. This power rock trio (Peer Frost: guitar, Peter Ingemann: bass, Ken Gudman: drums) presents blues-based psychedelic rock coloured with hippie atmosphere of that time.
Their first album Blomsterpistolen [The Flower Pistol] begins with crazy sound Overture that evolves into Take Warning where the musicians (and especially Frost) show their superior talent. Most of the compositions were used for a series of three TV programs for teenagers presenting the story of aliens that landed on the Earth and whose weapon were guns shooting flowers. Two compositions are sung in Danish. There is a cover version of Bob Dylan’s Down Along The Cove and B.B. King’s You Upset Me Baby. The musicians often reach out for poetry of Walt Whitman – on Blomsterpistolen there are 3 compositions with lyrics of this American poet.
Second album was recorded with Niels Skousen (guitar) who later cooperated with Ingemann on several albums. It presents similar excellent music, a bit heavier, mainly due to frequent guitar jamming. The last track Kragerne Vender is a freeform jam session with Maxwells and Steen Claësson from Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe. In 1969 the group composed three compositions for Jens Jørgen Thorsens movie “Quiet Days In Clichy” - Behind The Golden Sun, Menilmontant and Party Beat. The last one you can find on Sonet/Polygram CD reissue.
The musicians remained very active, Frost played in Rainbow Band/Midnight Sun and Savage Rose; Gudman in e.g. Culpeper’s Orchard, Mo-I-Rana, Savage Rose. Ingemann played with Skousen in Musikpatruljen also as a duo and guest musician. He played in No Name (album Fødelandssange - 1972), Dream City, as a session musician with folk-rock singer Sebastian.


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Thursday, June 14, 2007

OSIBISA - Woyaya

The second album from Osibisa picks up where their stunning debut had left it, and goes a step further. Still produced by Tony Visconti and also doned with a stupendous Roger Dean artwork, there are few minor line-up changes but nothing that changed the band’s superb sound.
Thunder and lightning opens up the first side and the track evolves with a superb flutes and slow African chants, before gradually picking up speed via their infectious conga beats. A constant progression leading to ecstasy, this song is real master strike and probably their peak in their lengthy discography. Coming up next is Y Sharp with its infernal rhythms and Fender Rhodes, and great guitars. Spirits Up Above ( a Holand Rasshaan Kirk cover) has a slow divinities invocation chants intro and soon develops into a frenzied and transient fast groove, making you wonder about that voodoo stuff. Survival is where these guys really come loose and let their African influences reeling down your brains before the tracks engage is some killer jazz-rock with spine-chilling chants and superb brass section providing the dramatic impact, breaks, counterpoints and a Coltrane-influenced sax solo. I have yet to meet someone that did not fall for these guys and no proghead should resist. Their joy and enthusiasm is so communicative that even KKK members would love it. Move On is almost explanatory, and hovers between Santana and African jazz. Rabiatu is yet another supeb moment where the flute dominates the speedy rhythms and great chants, interrupted by a percussive break when some whistles announces a great crescendo. Up last is the title track, another one of those signature tracks, which they played throughout their whole career, but it is a sing- along and of a lesser interest to progheads.
Although after this stunning album, Osibisa will change musical direction (but gradually so), they will become more commercial but also more downright African at times and will have an international hit in Sunshine Day in 76, but always retain certain integrity until the end of the decade. If you should want to investigate them further, I cab only advise you to work chronologically.

1 Beautiful Seven 6:45
2 Y Sharp 6:21
3 Spirits Up Above k 7:18
4 Survival h 6:19
5 Move On 4:34
6 Rabiatu 5:07
7 Woyaya 4:27

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Eric Clapton is usually thought of as John Mayall's most important right-hand man, but the case could also be made for his successor, Peter Green. The future Fleetwood Mac founder leaves a strong stamp on his only album with the Bluesbreakers, singing a few tracks and writing a couple, including the devastating instrumental "Supernatural." Green's use of thick sustain on this track clearly pointed the way to his use of this feature on Fleetwood Mac's hits "Albatross" and "Black Magic Woman," as well as providing a blueprint for Carlos Santana's style. Mayall acquits himself fairly well on this mostly original set (with occasional guest horns), though some of the material is fairly mundane. Highlights include the uncharacteristically rambunctious "Leaping Christine" and the cover of Freddie King's "Someday After a While (You'll Be Sorry)."

1 A Hard Road 3:12
2 It's Over 2:51
3 You Don't Love Me s 2:50
4 The Stumble 2:54
5 Another Kinda Love l 3:06
6 Hit the Highway 2:17
7 Leaping Christine 2:25
8 Dust My Blues 2:50
9 There's Always Work 1:38
10 The Same Way 2:11
11 The Supernatural 2:57
12 Top of the Hill 2:40
13 Someday After a While (You'll Be Sorry) 3:02
14 Living Alone 2:23

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007


If Jade Warrior's second album has any overwhelming flaw, it is that its predecessor traveled so far off the conventional beaten tracks of early-'70s prog that anything less than absolute reinvention could only be regarded as a rerun of past glories. To write off Released as little more than a slapdash shadow of Jade Warrior, however, is to overlook the leaps and bounds that the band did make. The opening "Eyes On You" journeys in on a positively spiky guitar and horn duel, while Glyn Havard's vocals have taken on tones that are far-removed from the Jethro Tull-shaped nuances with which they were once most readily compared. Staggering, too, are the almost bluesy guitar work-outs that leap unexpectedly in and out of the mix, overwhelming all but the most ferocious elements elsewhere in the arsenal — judging only by the crescendo that closes it, "Three Horned Dragon King" could not have been better named. Similarly, "Water Curtain Cave" is as much a melting of souls as it is a gentle song, while other numbers tackle light jazz and classical prog without once vacating the band's accustomed framework of brilliance. Again, there is little here that Jade Warrior itself did not predict, but the unerring delivery of those predictions is a marvel in itself.

1 Three Horned Dragon King
2 Eyes on You
3 Bride of Summer
4 Water Curtain Cave
5 Minnamoto's Dream
6 (We Have) Reason to Believe
7 Barazinbar 8 Yellow Eyes
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AFTER TEA - Joint House Blues

After Tea was founded in 1967 by Hans van Eyck and Polle Eduard, both ex-members of the Tee Set. The group produced three moderate hits in 1967-1968: "Not Just A Flower In Your Hair", "We Will Be There After Tea" and "Snowflakes on Amsterdam". The most important composer Hans van Eyck left shortly after the recordings of the first LP, "National Disaster" and subsequently rejoined the Tee Set.
Martin Hage was next to leave, replaced firstly by Pierre van der Linden (later to Focus, Trace), and later by Ilja Gort. In 1969, German keyboard player Uly Grun joined the group. That same year, Ray Fenwick departed for a solo career. He later returned to England to rejoin his 60s bandmates the Spencer Davis Group. He was replaced by ex-Baroques guitarist Ferry Lever. In 1971, the group finally split up. However, just four years later, Polle Eduard, Ferry Lever and Ilja Gort reunited once again to record the single, "Mexico", under the After Tea monicker. Polle Eduard continued his career as songwriter by penning a few for Nico Haak, and subsequently recorded an album of Dutch songs one year later, in 1976. Ilja Gort worked as a producer for Basart.

National Disaster Decca 1968
After Tea Decca 1969
After Tea Negram 1970
Joint House Blues Negram 1971


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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

EELA CRAIG - One Niter

It took EELA CRAIG five years between full blown LPs. They did release a single in 1974 ("Stories"/"Cheese") that totally turned away from the bluesy/jazzy psych and prog of their debut, and was to define their symphonic prog sound of the late '70s (specifically "Hats of Glass" as both were re-recorded for that album). By 1976, they were finally recording for Vertigo Records in Germany, giving them exposure outside of Austria. The band now started going hog-wild on all sorts of equipment. The original LP shows the band members with all their gear on the back cover (an analog keyboard lover's dream come true). There's vocalist/keyboardist Hubert Bognermayr (hard to miss him since he was partially bald, although he was always like that, and he was still in his 20s when "One Niter" came out) with a Hammond organ, two VCS-3 synthesizers, a Wurlitzer electric piano, and a couple keyboards I can't recognize (looks like I see an RMI electric piano, but can't be sure). Bassist Gerhard Englisch is standing next to an amplifier, and two bass guitars are standing by it (including a Rickenbacker). Frank Hueber is seen playing his drum set. Vocalist and guitarist Fritz Riedelberger is seen holding a Gibson "The Les Paul", keyboardist/flautist Hubert Schnauer is seen standing next to a vibraphone, and a custom made Mellotron 400 courtesy of EMI, with a black top, and Harald Zuschrader is seen playing his Mini Moog, and although hard to see, I think it's a Hohner D-6 clavinet (as plent is used throughout the album). This photo is taken in some place in the countryside (I wouldn't mind living), with some overgrown vegetation, and some small valley down below. Love the picture of giant sculpture of a telephone, makes me wonder where that is, and if it's still there?
Well, not only was the band going hog-wild on their equipment, it also shows they now had three guys handling keyboard duty as well as the usual other prog rock gear. They were going for a more funky-brand of prog rock, often dominated by the clavinet. "Circles" is a four movement suite that starts off with some really loud and startling Mellotron brass, before things quiet down with some synthesizer and very pleasant flute. Then they go in to a killer jam dominated by clavinet and Moog. Then they go in to a gentle ballad. This is where the vocals first appear, courtesy of guitarist Fritz Riedelberger. Then they go back to the Mellotron and pick up speed. "Loner's Rhyme" is the track Hubert Bognermayer handles the vocal duties. The band goes in to an extended solo, including some great Moog solos and funky clavinet, as well as Hammond organ. "One Niter Medley" is a five movement suite, starts off with synthesizer and Mellotron, before you hear a short song from Bach with an experiment in phasing. After that the band goes in to funky jam, before mellowing out with string synths. "Venezuela" is a nice acoustic song with Fritz Riedelberger handling vocals. "Way Down" starts off with some really nice flute and some droning keyboard in the background. Once again they go in to a funky jam before mellowing out and the vocals kick in.
A totally wonderful album to have in your collection.

1. Circles: (13:59)
2. Loner's rhyme (9:23)
3. One niter medley: (11:03)
4. Venezuela (3:30)
5. Way Down (7:16)


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The Tripsichord Music Box was one of the many San Francisco bands managed and produced by self-styled psychedelic svengali Matthew Katz — despite a slim body of recorded work that stands among the most atmospheric and cosmic to emerge from the Bay Area scene in the post-Summer of Love era, they are sadly best-known as one of the so-called "fake Grape" units unleashed on unsuspecting audiences after Katz lost control of his former protégés, the legendary Moby Grape. Originally dubbed the Ban, Tripsichord Music Box formed in Lompoc, California in 1963 — the group was founded by singer/guitarist Tony McGuire, bassist Frank Straight, keyboardist Oliver McKinney, and drummer Randy Guzman (sometimes credited as Randy Gordon to avoid conflict due to his parents' management of the act). According to the book Acid, Fuzz & Flowers, the Ban signed to the Brent label to release their lone single, the garage rock stomper "Bye-Bye," splitting soon after when McGuire was drafted to serve in Vietnam; the remaining threesome then recruited singer/bassist David Zandonatti, with Straight moving to lead guitar. Rechristening themselves the Now, they relocated to Los Angeles, sharing Sunset Strip stages with local acts including the Seeds and the Strawberry Alarm Clock before signing to Milton Berle's Embassy label for the 1967 effort "I Want." The single attracted little attention, however, and the Now relocated to San Francisco. There they connected with Katz, who essentially discovered Jefferson Airplane along with Moby Grape — Katz soon signed the band to his San Francisco Sound label, rechristening them the Tripsichord Music Box. In late 1967 the group recorded three tracks — "You're the Woman," "It's No Good" and "The Family Song" — later included on the Fifth Pipedream: The San Francisco Sound, Vol. 1 compilation. When Moby Grape severed ties to Katz, he laid claim to their name, forcing Tripsichord Music Box to play a series of live dates under the Moby Grape aegis — the deception ultimately prompted McKinney to quit the band in 1969, with guitarist Bill Carr signing on in his place. Around this same time, Zandonatti's high school friend Ron McNeeley also began sitting in on vocals, and after a 1969 single, "Times and Seasons," Tripsichord dropped the "Music Box" from their name in time to cut their sole full-length, a self-titled cult classic issued in 1970. Their dark yet ethereal music found few takers, however, and the band relocated to Utah, splitting when Zandonatti and McNeely joined the Sons of Mosiah, a Mormon musical troupe managed by future U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch. Ironically, Guzman later played drums in a legitimate incarnation of Moby Grape.

1 On the Last Ride 4:42
2 We Have Passed Away 2:45
3 Black Door 2:55
4 The New Word i 4:40
5 Son of the Morning 5:34
6 Short Order Steward 5:04
7 The Narrow Gate i 3:35
8 Fly Baby r 6:26
9 Everlasting Joy 4:19
10 You're the Woman / It's Not Good 6:45
11 Family Song 8:26
12 Times and Seasons 3:23
13 Sunday the Third 3:18


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Monday, June 11, 2007

RUSH - Permanent Waves

Since Neil Peart joined the band in time for 1975's Fly by Night, Rush had been experimenting and growing musically with each successive release. By 1980's Permanent Waves, the modern sounds of new wave (the Police, Peter Gabriel, etc.) began to creep into Rush's sound, but the trio still kept their hard rock roots intact. The new approach paid off — two of their most popular songs, the "make a difference" anthem "Freewill," and a tribute to the Toronto radio station CFNY, "The Spirit of Radio" (the latter a U.K. Top 15 hit), are spectacular highlights. Also included were two "epics," the stormy "Jacob's Ladder" and the album-closing "Natural Science," which contains a middle section that contains elements of reggae. Geddy Lee also began singing in a slightly lower register around this time, which made their music more accessible to fans outside of the heavy prog rock circle. The album proved to be the final breakthrough Rush needed to become an arena headliner throughout the world, beginning a string of albums that would reach inside the Top Five of the U.S. Billboard album charts. Permanent Waves is an undisputed hard rock classic, but Rush would outdo themselves with their next release.

1 The Spirit of Radio 4:59
2 Freewill 5:24
3 Jacob's Ladder 7:28
4 Entre Nous 4:37
5 Different Strings 3:50
6 Natural Science 9:17


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MANO NEGRA - Casa Babylon

Manu Chao's road to Clandestino and Proxima Estación: Esperanza begins here with Mano Negra's swan song album. Conceptually, it marks the first use of radio and TV broadcast samples to create sound collages between tracks so the songs emerge like they would if you were station surfing on the car radio. Lyrically, it's the birth of the internationalist Manu Chao, as overt political messages largely replace the previous rebel rocker sentiments. Musically, Mano Negra returns to the manic rhythmic drive of Puta's Fever and ups the reggae, ska, and Latin ante after testing more mainstream rock waters on King of Bongo. But Casa Babylon goes one step beyond Puta's Fever by crashing together different styles and even lyrics in different languages within the songs. So the racehorse title track blends a Latin feel with motor-mouth rapping and blowsy trombone, while "Senor Ma Tanza" starts fast and furious before settling into funky dub at the end. "El Alkaran" slyly drops lyrics from "La Bamba" into its ecological complaint alongside ragga DJing, while "Hamburger Fields" is surreal pop laced with a bop-bopping vocal hook. Mano Negra doesn't entirely turns it back on rock — "The Monkey Speaks His Mind," "Sant a Maradona" (a tribute to Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona), and "Love and Hate" more than adequately fill the high decibel and hard guitar quotient. But Manu Chao definitely turned a corner here, one that set the stage for his success even as it marked the end of a group that exerted an enormous formative influence on the Latin alternative scene.

1 Viva Zapata 2:02
2 Casa Babylon 2:01
3 The Monkey 2:47
4 Señor Matanza 4:06
5 Santa Maradona [Larchuma Football Club] 3:27
6 Super Chango 2:53
7 Bala Perdida 2:13
8 Machine Gun 4:25
9 El Alakran (La Mar Esta Podrida) 3:50
10 Mama Perfecta 1:54
11 Love and Hate 2:28
12 Drives Me Crazy 3:38
13 Hamburger Fields 3:14
14 La Vida (La Vida Me da Palo) 2:41
15 Sueno de Solentiname 2:54
16 This Is My World 4:48


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QUINTESSENCE - In Blissful Company

Quintessence was among the first true progressive rock outfits signed by Island Records. Led by Australian-born Shiva Shankar Jones (keyboards, vocals) and Raja Ram (flute, violin, percussion), the group also included Alan Mostert (lead guitar), Sambhu Babaji (bass), Maha Dev (guitar), and Jake Milton (drums), all of whom, in addition to a common interest in Indian music, also shared the Hindu faith. The group's roots lay in the hippie community in the Notting Hill area, which was to London roughly what Haight-Ashbury was to San Francisco. Their breakthrough performance took place at a festival called Implosion, where they put on a good enough show to get noticed by Island Records, which signed them and got their debut LP, an elaborately packaged concept album entitled In Blissful Company, out before the end of the year. Its mix of rock, jazz, and Indian elements was popular enough at the time with their core audience, especially one track entitled "Notting Hill Gate," a tribute to the hippie community, which found a slightly wider audience; the band subsequently recut the song in a more pop-oriented rendition as a single. The group had a strong reputation from their live work, and their early recordings seemed to build from this base. Quintessence's career reached its commercial peak with their self-titled second album, which got to number 22 on the U.K. charts. They did one more album for Island and then jumped to RCA's new British progressive rock Neon imprint for two LPs in the early '70s. Jones departed soon after the release of the group's second album for the new label, and they split up not long after that. In 1973, Jones became part of the big-band progressive outfit Kala, which recorded one album for the Bradley's label, and in subsequent decades he restarted his own version of Quintessence.

1 Giants 4:37
2 Manco Capac 5:17
3 Body 3:34
4 Gange Mai 4:00
5 Chant 3:02
6 Pearl and Bird 3:57
7 Notting Hill Gate 4:38
8 Midnight Mode 9:15
9 Notting Hill Gate [bonus] 2:31
10 Move into the Light [bonus] 3:26

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

GREENSLADE - First 2 Albums

Dave Greenslade (keys) and Tony Reeves (bass) formed Greenslade in 1972. The two had previously played together in Colosseum and they recruited Dave Lawson (Episode Six) as vocalist. For a drummer the group added Andrew McCulloch (King Crimson, Crazy World of Arthur Brown) and their Greenslade album was released the following year. A considerably prolific band, they released two more albums in 1973, the first of which was Bedside Manners Are Extra. By the time they recorded a third album, Spyglass Guest, they had added Dave Clempson (Humble Pie) on guitar and Graham Smith on fiddle. The next year Reeves left the band, being replaced by Martin Briley. After releasing Time And Tide in 1975, they broke up in early 1976. A different lineup of the band made a brief attempt at it in 1977, but it just didn't work, however 23 years later in the year 2000, the group re-formed to begin another journey through their style of progressive rock. They released Large Afternoon that year and an album of live recordings from the classic days of the band was also released in 2000.

1 Feathered Friends 6:43
2 An English Western 3:26
3 Drowning Man 5:49
4 Temple Song 3:34
5 Melange 7:26
6 What Are You Doin' to Me? 4:40
7 Sundance 8:43

Bedside Manners Are Extra
1 Bedside Manners Are Extra 6:22
2 Pilgrims Progress 7:03
3 Time to Dream 4:49
4 Drum Folk 8:51
5 Sun Kissed You're Not 6:34
6 Chalk Hill 5:25

Bedside Manners Are Extra

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Posts in June

Please remember that all the posts in June are requested by Gordon & Pat so all the comments are also directed to them. Hope you are satisfied with their choice and more is still to come. Please find some time to comment the music you download.

LOREENA McKENNITT - Live in Paris & Toronto

Loreena McKennitt is in her element in front of an audience, telling interesting stories about the songs and assembling a topnotch backing band. This is her first live release available to the public, and uses material from three concerts (one from Paris and two from Toronto) to put together a complete show. As with The Book of Secrets tour, the first half is The Book of Secrets in its entirety, arranged in the same order as the studio CD. This material is covered on the first CD, and it has never sounded better. The live performance seems to breathe new life into the tracks and some songs, such as "Dante's Prayer" and "Skellig," sound better than the studio recordings. The second CD is more of an overview of her career, featuring songs from her back catalog. Again, the tracks seem to benefit when played in front of an audience; in particular, "The Lady of Shalott" and "All Souls Night" are brilliant. The musicianship on this live CD is excellent, and her band is very tight, as though they had been playing together for years. The sound of the CD is amazing; while maintaining the warmth of a live performance, McKennitt is still able to present a crisp, clean recording — a remarkable feat. Also worth noting is the packaging, which includes notes by McKennitt, wonderful photos, and details of how the whole package was put together. This CD is ideal for fans and is actually a good place for newcomers to start.


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Saturday, June 9, 2007

MARILLION - Script For a Jester`s Tear

At the time, Marillion's remarkable, full-fledged 1983 debut Script for a Jester's Tear was considered an odd bird: replete with Peter Gabriel face paint and lengthy, technical compositions, Marillion ushered in a new generation of prog rock that bound them forever to the heroics of early day Genesis. Intricate, complex, and theatrical almost to a fault, Script for a Jester's Tear remains the band's best and sets the bar for their later work. Filled with extraordinary songs that remained staples in the band's live gigs, the album begins with the poignant title track, on which Fish leads his band of merry men on a brokenhearted tour de force that culminates with the singer decrying that "…the game is over." "He Knows You Know,," a song sprinkled with drug paranoia and guilt; as the song veers to its chorus, Fish announces, "Fast feed, crystal fever, swarming through a fractured mind." If "The Web" hints at a grain of commercialism, "Garden Party" is a joyous anthem that showcases Marillion at the peak of its powers. Bogged down by some hilariously over-the-top British poetry, "Chelsea Monday" may be one of the album's lesser moments (if there are any), but the magical "Forgotten Sons" concludes the opus magnificently. A vital piece for any Marillion head and an essential work for any self-respecting first- or second-generation prog rock fan.

1 Script for a Jester's Tear 8:42
2 He Knows You Know 5:07
3 The Web 9:10
4 Garden Party 7:17
5 Chelsea Monday 8:17
6 Forgotten Sons 8:22


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OMEGA - Time Robber

The most successful Hungarian rock band in history, Omega was formed in 1962 in Budapest by a group of friends. The lineup changed several times during Omega's early years and there was no consistent music style to speak of. Like with many other rock groups of the early '60s, the band's repertory largely consisted of songs by popular British bands of the period. Only in 1967, when they were joined by Gábor Presser (keyboards, vocals), did they began recording their own songs and issue a few singles. Presser's mixture of rock with elements of jazz and folk proved to be a winning formula. In 1968, John Martin, the manager of the Spencer Davis Group, invited them for a tour in Great Britain, where they recorded the album Omega: Red Star From Hungary for the Decca label. Later that year, they issued their first Hungarian LP Trombitás Frédi és a Rettenetes Emberek (Trumpeter Freddy and the Terrible People) that became their first golden album. The band sealed their success with two subsequent LPs: 10,000 Lépés (10,000 Steps) (1969) and Éjszakai Országút (On the Highway at Night) (1970). Their 1969 song "Gyöngyhajú lány" (The Girl With Pearls in Her Hair) became their first international hit and it was reworked by the Scorpions into "White Dove" in the mid-'90s.
In 1971, keyboardist Gábor Presser and drummer József Laux left the band to form another group, Locomotiv GT. Presser was an especially sensible loss since he authored most Omega compositions at the time. Also, lyricist Anna Adamis followed her husband Laux to his new band. The breakup issue was later reflected in Omega's 1971 song "Hütlen Barátok" (Unfaithful Friends). With László Benkö, who was the band's original keyboardist and then played trumpet and flute, reassuming his initial position and Ferenc Debreceni becoming the new drummer, Omega reached its final lineup: János Kóbor (vocals), Tamás Mihály (bass, vocals), Ferenc Debreceni (drums), György Molnár (guitars), and László Benkö (keyboards, vocals). While under Presser, the band's sound tended to be somewhat psychedelic and fuzzy; with the new leadership, Benkö's classically influenced keyboards and Molnár's guitar assumed a much greater focus.
Omega's fourth album, 200 évvel Az Utolsó Háború Után (200 Years After the Last War) (1972), was not released due to censorship problems. However, the band featured some songs from that forbidden album on Elö Omega, an LP recorded with some very basic equipment during a concert tour. The group became a frequent guest in East Germany and even recorded some songs in German. In 1973, producer Peter Hauke arranged a three-year contract for them with the West German label Bacillus. To expand its potential audience, Omega began to produce albums in two separate versions: English and Hungarian. Beginning with Time Robber (1976) and its Hungarian counterpart, Idörabló, released a year later, the band shifted toward progressive rock, with lengthy instrumental interludes, surging organ solos, and various electronic "space sounds." More albums in the similar style followed: Skyrover (and its Hungarian version Csillagok útján [1978]), Gammapolis/Gammapolisz (separate English and Hungarian versions, 1979), and Working (1980) (released in Hungary as Az Arc [The Face] [1981]). However, the band's 1980s albums began to show the obvious signs of creative stagnation. Soon after its 13th album, Babylon (1987), and a great concert on the occasion of the group's 25th anniversary, Omega disbanded.
The early '90s saw the resurgence of interest in Omega. All of its albums and even previously unreleased recordings were issued on CD. In 1994, the band reunited for a big concert at the Budapest Népstadion with ex-Omega members Gábor Presser and Tamás Somló, as well as Rudolf Schenker and Klaus Meine from the Scorpions performing as guest stars. The concert was tremendously successful despite the pouring rain and it was later released on two CDs as Omegakoncert — Népstadion 1994. Inspired by the enthusiastic reception, the musicians went on to produce a new album in 1995, Trans and Dance, and its shortened English version Transcendent (1996). The record that marked a return to Omega's hard rock roots featured contributions from Gábor Presser and guitarist Tamás Szekeres. In 1998, Omega recorded another album, Egy életre Szól. The same year, the bandmembers were distinguished with the Hungarian National Award. On September 4, 1999, Omega gave another big concert at the Népstadion that was issued on the double CD Omega Koncert Népstadion 1999.

1 House of Cards, Pt. 1
2 Time Robber
3 House of Cards, Pt. 2
4 Invitation
5 Don't Keep Me Waiting
6 An Accountant's Dream
7 Late Night Show


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Friday, June 8, 2007

MILES DAVIS - In a Silent Way

Listening to Miles Davis' originally released version of In a Silent Way in light of the complete sessions released by Sony in 2001 (Columbia Legacy 65362) reveals just how strategic and dramatic a studio construction it was. If one listens to Joe Zawinul's original version of "In a Silent Way," it comes across as almost a folk song with a very pronounced melody. The version Miles Davis and Teo Macero assembled from the recording session in July of 1968 is anything but. There is no melody, not even a melodic frame. There are only vamps and solos, grooves layered on top of other grooves spiraling toward space but ending in silence. But even these don't begin until almost ten minutes into the piece. It's Miles and McLaughlin, sparely breathing and wending their way through a series of seemingly disconnected phrases until the groove monster kicks in. The solos are extended, digging deep into the heart of the ethereal groove, which was dark, smoky, and ashen. McLaughlin and Hancock are particularly brilliant, but Corea's solo on the Fender Rhodes is one of his most articulate and spiraling on the instrument ever. The A-side of the album, "Shhh/Peaceful," is even more so. With Tony Williams shimmering away on the cymbals in double time, Miles comes out slippery and slowly, playing over the top of the vamp, playing ostinato and moving off into more mysterious territory a moment at a time. With Zawinul's organ in the background offering the occasional swell of darkness and dimension, Miles could continue indefinitely. But McLaughlin is hovering, easing in, moving up against the organ and the trills by Hancock and Corea; Wayne Shorter hesitantly winds in and out of the mix on his soprano, filling space until it's his turn to solo. But John McLaughlin, playing solos and fills throughout (the piece is like one long dreamy solo for the guitarist), is what gives it its open quality, like a piece of music with no borders as he turns in and through the commingling keyboards as Holland paces everything along. When the first round of solos ends, Zawinul and McLaughlin and Williams usher it back in with painterly decoration and illumination from Corea and Hancock. Miles picks up on another riff created by Corea and slips in to bring back the ostinato "theme" of the work. He plays glissando right near the very end, which is the only place where the band swells and the tune moves above a whisper before Zawinul's organ fades it into silence. This disc holds up, and perhaps is even stronger because of the issue of the complete sessions. It is, along with Jack Johnson and Bitches Brew, a signature Miles Davis session from the electric era.

1 Shhh/Peaceful 18:16
2 In a Silent Way/It's About That Time: In a Silent Way/It's About ... 19:52


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AL DI MEOLA - Land oOf The Midnight Sun

One of the guitar heroes of fusion, Al di Meola was just 22-years-old at the time of his debut as a leader but already a veteran of Chick Corea's Return to Forever. The complex pieces (which include the three-part "Suite-Golden Dawn," an acoustic duet with Corea on "Short Tales of the Black Forest," and a brief Bach violin sonata show di Meola's range even at this early stage. With assistance from such top players as bassists Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke, keyboardist Barry Miles, and drummers Lenny White and Steve Gadd, this was a very impressive beginning to di Meola's solo career.

1 The Wizard 6:46
2 Land of the Midnight Sun 9:10
3 Sarabande from Violin Sonata in B Minor 1:20
4 Love Theme from "Pictures of the Sea" 2:25
5 Suite-Golden Dawn: Morning Fire/Calmer of the Tempests/From Ocean ... 9:49
6 Short Tales of the Black Forest 5:41


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