Sunday, 30 September 2018

70s Baroque Pop, Blue Eyed Soul: Ian Lloyd & Stories - Traveling Underground 1973 (1992 Buddha, Unidisc, Canada)



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



The album can convince despite the departure of Brown. The band shows their love for Blue Eyed Soul and of course for the baroque pop songs. A little art rock sound has been added, but it was well integrated into the album. A very successful pop album and also fans of the first two albums should listen in here. (Frank)
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Sutherland Brothers And Quiver - The Very Best Of 1971-79 (2002 Sony)




Folk rockers the Sutherland Brothers formed originally in London during 1970, but it wasn't until a few years later (when the group fused together with another band) that they enjoyed their greatest chart success. Brothers Ian (vocals, guitar) and Gavin (bass, vocals) first went by the name of A New Generation (at the insistence of their manager at the time) before the duo changed their name to the Sutherland Brothers and recorded a demo. The tape caught the ear of former Traffic bassist Muff Winwood, who helped sign the duo to Island Records, a label that Winwood served as an A&R man for at the time. A pair of largely folk-based recordings were issued in 1972, a self-titled debut and Lifeboat, the latter of which scored the group their first bona fide hit, "(I Don't Want to Love You But) You Got Me Anyway," as well as an original composition that would later be covered by Rod Stewart, "Sailing."

 By the dawn of 1973, the Sutherland Brothers decided to augment their group (they were unhappy with their live sound at the time) by teaming up with an obscure rock act named Quiver (who had issued a pair of underappreciated albums on their own -- 1971's self-titled release and 1972's Gone in the Morning) -- as the new group went by the name of the Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, or SBQ. The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver remained intact for much of the '70s and Stewart's aforementioned cover of "Sailing" hit the number one spot in the U.K. and during 1975, the group scored another sizeable hit on their own with "The Arms of Mary" (peaking at number five in the U.K.).





  The group steadily toured both the United States and Europe, issuing such further releases as 1973's Dream Kid and 1974's Beat of the Street before leaving Island for Columbia Records and releasing 1975's Reach for the Sky, 1976's Slipstream, 1977's Down to Earth, and 1979's When the Night Comes Down. But by the dawn of the '80s, the hits had dried up and SBQ decided to call it a day.


Both of the Sutherland brothers attempted to launch solo careers on their own during the early '80s, but both failed to retain the audience of their previous band.



 This is a wonderful collection of the music by SB & Q have created in the seventies. Really great.(Frank)
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Solo work by 60s Pop Producer Terry Melcher: Terry Melcher - Terry Melcher 1974 (2005 Reprise WPCR-2321, Japan)



Although he'd been a fixture in the West Coast rock & roll scene since his teens, Terry Melcher only issued two solo long-players. His 1974 self-titled outing indeed reflects the unique tastes of one-time 'Golden Penetrator,' -- an elite group of Los Angeles scene-makers consisting of Melcher, Beach Boy Dennis Wilson and Gregg Jackobson. Melcher calls on a notable cast of support from his days as a staff producer for Columbia Records in the early- to mid-'60s, where he worked with the Byrds as well as Paul Revere & the Raiders. Chief among the luminaries is singer/songwriter Bruce Johnston, with whom Melcher had previously collaborated in the short-lived surf-rock combo Bruce & Terry, which evolved into the Rip Chords. The latter aggregate is best remembered for the Top 40 entry "Hey, Little Cobra." Johnston co-produces and provides the occasional vocal alongside Spanky & Our Gang's Spanky MacFarlane and Melcher's mother Doris Day (yes, that Doris Day). The project is split between the artist's compositions and eclectic reworkings of familiar tunes, such as the rural rock reading of "Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms," recalling latter-era Byrds-meets-Tower of Power horns. Conductor/arranger Jimmie Haskell's refined string score accompanying the cover of Jackson Browne's "These Days" gently unfurls with an added hue of wistful nostalgia. "Dr. Horowitz" -- co-penned by Johnston -- is a derisive observation of 'cure-all' psychic physicians and the intentionally schmaltzy melody is assuredly a sonic send-up, matching the tongue-in-cheek lyrical content perfectly. The dubious down-home lamentation "Beverly Hills" is given an incongruously twangy rural feel and the opening line "Beverly Hills is funky/Just plain folks, livin' close out there" is equally surreal and perhaps depicts Melcher's point of view better than any documentary or bio ever could. Granted, Melcher's interpretation of "Arkansas" doesn't bear the same authenticity as the Osborne Brothers or the Wilburn Brothers respective renditions, yet it remains a standout, mirroring a Randy Newman-like introspection with Melcher's expressive leads. The countrified waltz infused into the remake of Bob Dylan' s "4th Time Around" is a recommended spin, as is the medley containing Melcher's own "Halls of Justice" and the Dylan titles "Positively 4th Street" and "Like a Rolling Stone." (Lindsay Planer)


This is not a bad album but i think Terry Melcher was a better pop producer in the sixties. I like his voice and the album is a good production. Also the songs are good, ''These Days'' is a very fine ballad i.e. . And you could also say that about some other songs. When I hear one or two songs from the album it works great, but when I listen to the whole album it gets sometimes boring. But that's just my opinion, which often changes with this album. And that since 1974, lol. My favourites are definitely the ballads and his version of ''Stagger Lee''. Enjoy.(Frank)

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Stamford Bridge - Come Up and See Us Sometime - The First Day of Your Life (1997 See For Miles) 2on1




Stamford Bridge was another project of John Carter, who wrote countless successful pop songs in the 60s and 70s and was successful with various pseudonyms. Often involved was Ken Lewis, for example, who was often responsible for the lyrics but was also involved in the recording of the songs as a musician.



The third main actor in the Stamford Bridge project was Peter Barnfather. These are the two albums that were produced under the name Stamford Bridge. Afterwards John Carter turned to other projects. Among others ''First Class'' and ''Kincade''. Both were the most successful works of John Carter in the seventies.Enjoy.(Frank)


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Starry Eyed & Laughing - All Their Best (2009 Broadside Records)




Starry Eyed and Laughing's devotion to Bob Dylan is apparent in their "Chimes of Freedom"-quoting name but the band's sound evoked another chime -- that of the Byrds, whose crystalline jangle could be heard all over the band's two albums, 1974's Starry Eyed and Laughing and 1975's Thought Talk. This influence may have been apparent but Starry Eyed and Laughing didn't merely copy the Byrds, sounding like a '60s covers band. They were creatures of their time, products of the British pub rock movement of the mid-'70s, so they were capable of spirited country-rock and sweet power pop, with their debut leaning toward the former and Thought Talk the latter, partially due to the smooth production from Flo & Eddie. These are the differences between the group's two albums but they're subtle, so when highlights are paired together as they are on BroadSide's 2009 All Their Best..., they flow together as if they're from one album, particularly because there was no dip in quality between the two records (although pub purists might not like the shimmering soft rock gloss on later singles like "Song on the Radio"). This makes All Their Best... a great listen and a good summation of the band's career, which does make it welcome, but listeners should keep in mind that Starry Eyed and Laughing's two albums were reissued in their entirety as Aurora's 2002 double-disc That Was Now and This Is Then, along with many of the non-LP cuts that also appear here. For those dedicated fans, All Their Best... is notable for the presence of three previously unreleased Dylan covers: a different version of "Chimes of Freedom" plus "He Was a Friend of Mine" and "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," both recorded at a radio session. These aren't major items but they're very good -- and for fanatics, they're worth the time.(Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic)



This are definitely the best works by the band. I love more the earlier, Byrds kind of stuff. The later songs were good but maybe a little to ''sweet''. Enjoy.(Frank)

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Good morning, go for a walk, banks of the river, crazy, funny, beautiful people...



Good morning to all readers of my not so new blog. I hope all of you have a nice weekend. Here in my hometown Köln (Cologne, Germany) we have wonderful late summer sunshine days. I enjoy to take a walk at the river bank of the Rhein (Rhine) in these days. There is so much to see, of course boats on the river, lol, a lot of different people, crazy, funny, beautiful, and also not so beautiful people. All kind of people. Of course. I love to watch people and let my mind fly. I think most of you know what i mean. I love days like this. Okay but that's not the main reason why i write this post.


I have received some comments and questions regarding the blog in the last few days and would like to say a few words.
It's generally possible to get links to any album presented here. In most older album postings there are often no links to be found. This is because the blog was in the past more or less private.
For some albums there is a note where I point out that you can request the link. But this is not the case with all albums. And this led to confusion. As I mentioned above, you can request the links for all albums. Best always in the respective comment section. That makes it easier for me. A reader of the blog told me that there is no possibility to post comments for some albums. I don't know why this is so either. In this case you can of course also ask for the respective album via other comments. I hope this helps to eliminate the confusion. And please have a lttle patience in case i need a little more time to upload your requests. I am very busy at the moment with work and personal things. But of course i will fulfil all your requests as fast as i can.

Later today i will post some things mainly of the seventies and i hope you will enjoy it. :-)





I wish you all a nice Sunday. Enjoy life and music. In this sense
Frank



Friday, 28 September 2018

Tucky Buzzard - Coming On Again 1971 (2011 Flawed Gems)



In contrast to almost all sources it's very likely that this amazing, spanish only album was the first Tucky Buzzard album ever, even than official, self titled US Capitol album debut from May 1971. Most probably this forgotten hard progressive classic was taped in Madrid in late '70 (still with first drummer Paul Francis who soon after went to Fuzzy Duck) and than released somewhere in 1971 by Hispavox label.
It's worth noting that some parts of album were recorded with some little help of Madrid Philharmonic Orchestra - especially 14 minutes long title suite which is fascinating and truly awesome full of rich melodies and shifting rhythms. Undoubtedly this very impressive and fresh sounding mixture of pure heavy rock and orchestral sounds is the best Tucky Buzzard LP ever recorded.(words from back cover)

I second that this is the best album Tucky Buzzard ever recorded. Full of great pop melodies with hard rock sounds who sometimes sound  a little bit like Deep Purple or Led Zep. But it sound always of Tucky Buzzard with the great mix of hard rock, pop and orchestral parts. I remember how surprised i was as i heard the album for the first time. It's a pity the band don't got more attention. Enjoy.(Frank)
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Thursday, 27 September 2018

Pop/Rock: Terence - An Eye For An Ear 1969 (2008 Fallout)



You would never guess that the shirtless, moustachioed gunslinger on the cover of this record was once set to star alongside Elvis in a Hollywood feature. Back in the mid-’60s, Terry Black (aka Terence) was poised to be North Vancouver’s answer to Fabian. By the time Black recorded An Eye for an Ear, he had already made the Canadian top 40 charts six times.
Whether this record would have scaled the charts is questionable. An Eye for an Ear is a weird mishmash of fuzzy blues, blue-eyed soul and psych rock as seen by someone who doesn’t quite seem qualified to perform any of them. Black’s voice is part crooner, part wailer, meaning his eclectic take on R&B is always a little awkward. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. At the very least, the record is an interesting artefact — Terence took the road less travelled by ambitious teen idols.
At most, it’s got some neat tunes. Black’s genre dabbling can be impressive — "Priscilla” is equal parts bubblegum pop, soul and prog, if you can imagine that. His attempts at genre specific performance seem unnatural much of the time but there are moments of greatness mixed into the odd stylistic hodgepodge. An interesting listen, if just for the history.(Alex Molotkow, exclaim.ca)



The album deliver some different styles of music but all have pop inside. Nice work.(Frank)
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The 5th Dimension - Portrait 1970 & Love's Lines, Angels And Rhymes 1971 (2007Collectors Choice)



The purveyors of the past at Collectors' Choice Music deserve major props for their top-shelf restoration of the 5th Dimension's Soul City and Bell Records catalogs. Contained on this CD are the vocal quintet's fifth and six studio titles, 1970's Portrait and 1971's Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes. These projects find the 5D boasting the considerable talents of Lamonte McLemore, Ron Townson, Billy Davis, Jr., Marilyn McCoo, and Florence Larue at the peak of their prowess, building upon a streak of pop hits that had already yielded such timeless entries as "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Wedding Bell Blues," and the definitive '60s anthem "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures).
" Portrait marked the beginning of the combo's professional relationship with Bell Records after their former imprint -- the Johnny Rivers-owned Soul City -- went belly-up. Listeners would have been hard-pressed to detect those changes, as the 5D returned with their proven behind-the-scenes production posse intact. That coterie was headed up by the inimitable team of Bones Howe (producer) and Bob Alcivar (vocal arrangements). They also realigned themselves with several key compositional contributors from their past, most notably Jimmy Webb ("This Is Your Life") and Laura Nyro ("Save the Country") -- both of whom were featured on the band's charting 45s.
Speaking of which, the 5D turned in a funky reading of the Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield-penned "Puppet Man," which became a sizable hit on both the Top 40 Pop and Adult Contemporary charts. However, it was Burt Bacharach and Hal David's affective ballad "One Less Bell to Answer" that would become the LP's signature side, reaffirming their remarkable staying power and crossover appeal. By comparison, Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes seems slightly less dated.
Among the standouts on the platter are another pair of Laura Nyro covers -- "Time and Love" as well as the yearning "He's a Runner." The title track, "Love's Lines, Angles, and Rhymes," was the sole single to make much of an impact, landing in the Top 20 Pop survey. Deeper album cuts worth spinning are the remakes of Junior Walker's "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)?," "Light Sings," and a spirited update of Nilsson's "The Rainmaker" that offers Townson a chance to step out.
Last but far from least is their take on Paul McCartney's "Every Night." Added as a bonus is the Portrait-era song "On the Beach (In the Summertime)," which had been released as a single b/w Jimmy Webb's "This Is Your Life," and can be found tacked between the two LPs. (Lindsay Planer, allmusic.com)

Both albums are fine pop music and the band had a good hand for outside songwriters. The vocal work of the band is as always great. Recommended.(Frank)
Flac 

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

The Everly Brothers - Sings Great Country Hits + Gone Gone Gone 1963 & 1965 (2005 Warner) 2on1 disc




After scoring 24 Top 40 hits between 1957 and 1962, the Everly Brothers went cold in 1963, failing to reach the Billboard Hot 100 even once. They made a slight recovery in 1964, placing two songs in the chart, one of which, "Gone, Gone, Gone," made the Top 40. But in essence, their commercial run was over, though, of course, they didn't know it yet. This two-fer CD includes the contents of two LPs from the era and other recordings, most of them made in 1963 and 1964. The only coherent album collection is the initial 12 tracks making up Sing Great Country Hits, recorded in June 1963 and released in October.


Here, the Everlys, as the title indicates, provide their renditions of songs that were hits in the country charts for the likes of Don Gibson, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams, among others. There are ringers in the selection. "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" did make the country Top 20, but it came from the Springfields, the British folk trio that produced Dusty Springfield, and was more of a pop song; "Lonely Street" was the Andy Williams pop hit that, as Andrew Sandoval reveals in his liner notes, Don Everly felt was stolen from the brothers when both acts recorded for Cadence Records in the '50s. Recording in Hollywood, the Everlys are backed by an A-list of session musicians including guitarist Glen Campbell and pianist Leon Russell, who does his best to imitate Nashville's Floyd Cramer on the tracks.

In the fall of 1964, when the Everly Brothers returned to the Top 40 with their self-written "Gone, Gone, Gone," Warner Bros. Records, hastily cobbled together an album of the same name to tie in with the hit, using some recently recorded material, other tracks that had appeared on recent singles, and even some songs that dated back to 1960 when the duo began at the label. For all that, it wasn't such a bad album, dominated by songs written by Felice & Boudleaux Bryant, who had penned many of the brothers' hits; John D. Loudermilk; and the Everlys themselves. The compilation adds another 11 tracks recorded in 1963-1964, among them the previously unreleased "I Think of Me" and "Girls, Girls, Girls (What a Headache)," and a previously unreleased alternate take of "Trouble." Again, these are songs written by the Everlys, the Bryants, and the Brill Building team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for the most part, so this is good material, performed in the Everly Brothers' familiar style. It just so happens that they were not as popular (if they were even released at the time) as the hits the Everlys had scored earlier in their career.(William Ruhlmann, allmuic.com)

Enjoy.(Frank)
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The McCoys - Hang On Sloopy / You Make Me Feel So Good (Their first two albums)



This Indiana group was still in high school when they were tapped by the Strangeloves production team of Feldman-Goldstein-Gottehrer as a vehicle for their material in 1965. Their first effort, "Hang on Sloopy," was a monster number one smash, built around a riff and chorus that ranks with "Louie Louie" and "La Bamba" as a garage band perennial with its compelling, elemental simplicity. Featuring the lead vocals and lead guitar of a young Rick Derringer, they went on to cut a lot of similar chunky, innocuous pop/rock over the next couple years with fair success. The "Hang on Sloopy" sound-alike "Fever" was their only other Top Ten entry, and the Ritchie Valens cover "C'Mon Let's Go" their only other Top 40 hit.

The McCoys recorded very little original material during their early years at Bang Records; most of it was supplied by the Feldman-Goldstein-Gottehrer production team, much of which consisted of unexceptional derivations of the "Hang on Sloopy" prototype. Notable exceptions were the folky "Sorrow," covered for a Top Ten hit by the Merseys in Great Britain (and covered by David Bowie on Pin Ups a decade later), and the adventurous Middle Eastern-tinged garage psychedelia of "Don't Worry Mother," their best cut besides "Hang on Sloopy." The McCoys proved unusually durable after their career as a teen pop band; in the late '60s, they broke from their Bang producers to record psychedelic and progressive rock for Mercury. Most of the group joined Johnny Winter's backup band in the early '70s, and in 1973 Rick Derringer joined the Edgar Winter group as lead guitarist and vocalist, after which he had a successful hard rock solo career.

The McCoys' first two albums, Hang on Sloopy and You Make Me Feel So Good, were combined on one CD by Immediate in the early '90s. Both records are pretty uneven -- any casual fan will be satisfied with a hits collection -- but they have their moments.(R. Unterberger & S.T. Erlewine, allmusic.com)

Flac

Monday, 24 September 2018

The Ventures - Superpsychedelics + $1,000,000 Weekend (1996 One Way Records)



One Way reissued two albums the Ventures cut in 1967, Super Psychedelics (Changing Times) and $1,000,000.00 Weekend, on a single disc in 1996. On both records, the Ventures try to keep pace with the "changing times," which means
that Super Psychedelics finds the band tackling such psychedelic pop hits as "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Reflections," "Happy Together," "Western Union" and "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You." Some of those songs are only vaguely psychedelic, but they're more psychedelic than most of the songs the Ventures record,
as are the originals and filler that are scattered throughout the record. Try as they may, the band can never really be a psychedelic band -- their Go to Space record is trippier than this -- but some may find it interesting to hear them try. $1,000,000.00 Weekend isn't as ambitious as Super Psychedelics, but it's ultimately more successful.
They never quite get a groove going on "Respect" or "Uptight (Everything's Alright)," but they're professional, entertaining versions, as are the covers of "What Now My Love," "Georgy Girl," "Ode to Billie Joe," "Sunny," "To Sir, With Love," "Music to Watch Girls By," "Groovin'," "Windy," "Sealed with a Kiss" and "Yesterday."
Ultimately, the album doesn't add up to much, but it will be appealing to anyone infatuated with the Ventures sound. One Way could have spent a little more time on the packaging and remastering on this set, but the end product remains worthwhile for the dedicated. (S.T. Erlewine, allmusic.com)

Of course not very trippy but both albums make a lot fun and that's fine.(Frank) (Thanks Christian :-) )
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Sunday, 23 September 2018

The Everly Brothers - In Our Image 1966 (2005 Collectors' Choice)



The Everly Brothers were still in the game in 1966, and still capable of producing good tracks that didn't sound like anachronistic 1950s throwbacks. At the same time they were erratic, and their material wasn't nearly as consistent as what they procured in their heyday. This album very much reflects the Everlys' strengths and problems in the era. Overall, it's decent, yet it lacks anything on the killer level of their best vintage hits, with the arguable exception of "The Price of Love" (which was a big hit in Britain). The production is for the most part good, managing to incorporate the jangly full electric guitars coming to the forefront all over rock in the mid-'60s without diluting the Everlys' strongest assets: their harmonies. There was also access to some fine outside songwriters, such as Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who as a team contributed one of the best tracks, "Glitter and Gold." Still, the songs were just kinda good, not excellent, and occasionally they were below average or inappropriately cute, as in "Lovey Kravezit" especially. Still, all things considered, it's one of their better 1960s LPs, one worth finding by Everly Brothers fans, especially as most of the tracks have not been reissued on CD. Incidentally, Don Everly's ballad "It's All Over" would be covered for a Top Ten British hit the following year by Cliff Richard. (R. Unterberger, allmusic.com)

Everly Brothers? Ah yes the Everly Brothers... no doubt who loves the Everly Brothers love all they've done. I am just kidding. Of course their heydays with great hits were gone in 1966 but nevertheless they have done good music. And this album is really a good one. Maybe you will enjoy the ''Sixties Everlys'' like i do. Enjoy.(Frank)

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                           Vielen Dank, Christian!