tisdag 27 juni 2017

AMEN CORNER/THE NATIONAL WELSH COAST LIVE EXPLOSION COMPANY IMSP 023 (-69) UK

A seldom rewieved live album, as I understand mostly sought after not for its quality but by Immediate completists to fill a hole in the label catalogue. To be honest that was the reason I bought it in the first place, but when I gave it a more or less dutiful spin home from the shop I realised it was more than just a filler. Recorded by an enthusiastic band before a loving and parttaking audience. Audio isn't the absolutely best I've heard from a period live LP, but good enough to let through some connection and giving a being there feeling most of the time. Not like the carefully adjusted and re-worked arena live albums released today...though if you ever visited a concert back then you'll get it. I like it mostly for the all over positive aura, well performed happy rock from a hard working combo. Of course it's never wrong to get a "Penny Lane" cover direct from the stage, or a well performed fast version of "Our Love Is In The Pocket", but it's mainly the atmosphere that saves it for me. Originally also issued in a couple of other European countries, downunder and South America. Japan "limited edition" 2009 CD (Immediate VICP 70115) came in paper sleeve with seven bonus tracks. Premiere UK had label as shown here and glossy fold/out cover. (YDÄ*) (LYBÖ*)

söndag 25 juni 2017

THE ROLLING STONES/EMOTIONAL RESCUE CUN 39111 (-80) UK

To my taste the last really great Stones album was "Goats Head Soup" (see earlier post). Not that I think all after that is bad, but as their songbook started to include more ballads and disco and the audio went increasingly cleaner the dirty old rock band I loved wasn't there anymore. My first real disappointment was "Some Girls", one I'm still not all in with. After that I didn't expect much from this follow-up two years later, but it took me by surprise then and remains an album I spin and enjoy. Audio still a little too pure, but if I skip the mock disco and ballads there are a couple of really good catchy rock songs to enjoy with a fair share of filth attached. "Summer Romance", "Let Me Go", "Where The Boys Go" and She's So Cold" come out like melodic punk rock. "Send It To Me" a messy enough raggae and even if "Dance" has some terrible octave bass and may be called disco it's made with a let-go attitude making it more Stones rock than glittery dance floor support. Maybe not up there with their old masterpieces, but in my head still one of the better albums from the period. Issued and reissued on about every format through the years all over the world. Premiere UK had label as shown here and thin matt cover with huge "thermo pic" poster. (RÅ*)

fredag 23 juni 2017

THE PEDDLERS/BIRTHDAY S 63682 (-69) UK

For combo background check post on their previous album "Three In A Cell". That was so cool and snug you just wanted to take it to bed. Soft lounge tunes carried by a prominent yet caressing organ. This comes with a partly wider intent. For exemple the cover of "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" starts like free form jazz but soon slides over to melodic carried by vocals and classic guitar only, the 10.45 "Lockshen Pudding" an uptempo jazz instrumental building on diverse solo accomplishments and "Birth" with a calm almost sacral stillness conveyed by piano and bass/drum backing. Though the rest of the cuts share a lot with TIAC as organ driven in a rather dark atmosphere this sounds more mature. The feeling is jazzier, the vocals further naked and the set-up more eclectic. Mixing is tophole and audio of outmost audiophlie quality giving a close connection. Still very cool though this time slightly more offensive than cozy. Good for close listening or late parties, but less soothing at bedtime. Originally issued in a couple of European countries, downunder and US (Epic BN 26529). Japan 2008 CD (Air Mail Archive AIRAC-1476) came with three bonus tracks. Premiere UK had label as shown here and matt fold/out cover.

torsdag 22 juni 2017

ENGLAND'S GREATEST HIT MAKERS LL 3430 (-65) US MONO

US issue made with same tracking and sleeve design as the UK "14 Great Artists" Decca sampler (see earlier post). Reason I bought this too is I've heard the US version has the in England rapidly withdrawn variation where Van Morrison uses the f''ck word at the end of Them's "Little Girl" (the UK uncensored having matrix "2K" on side one). That may be true for the earliest UK export "FFRR" release, but sadly not on this later US press which has the same version as the UK censored one. A disappointment, but one that made me a little wiser and that's gotta be worth something. And it could be a keeper after all. To my ears the audio on this is a little more soothing than on the Decca one - not much, but I hear it somewhat bigger and softer with less sharp edges. Good listening to great tracks is never wasted...so...why not? (SÄM*) (YZÄ*) (ÖXCÄ*)

tisdag 20 juni 2017

CONTACT/HON KOM ÖVER MON MNW 17-P (-71) SWEDEN

Their second LP (eng. "She Came Across The Moor"). While the first - "Nobody Wants To Be Sixteen" - can be described as odd garage pop/rock with English lyrics (see earlier post), this is more or less a folk rock album partly building on Swedish traditional themes with psych and jazz interludes. The garage feeling is still there, but this time somewhat more elaborated and cohesive. All cuts self-produced and self-penned. Played by a seven-piece consisting of bass, drums, guitar, keyboard, fiddles and horn. Lyrics all Swedish with a mix between folky and left-wing. Got many favorites here - "Grannlåt" (Neighbour Song") is good folk rock carried by a simple but soothing saxophone-violin loop. "Vargarnas Natt" ("Night Of The Wolves") soft psych with prominent guitars. "Jass" instrumental folk-jazz and title track dark and repetitive with bass/drum/violin support and a beautiful alto sax solo. Audio is open and direct, allwoing flaws but also true feeling to get through. All together more laid-back than eager, partly very catchy and to my ears still today very good listening. Originally released in Sweden only. Seventies re-issue on bright blue label. 2009 2xCD issue (MNWCDJ 17) together with the "Nobody Wants To Be Sixteen" album plus three bonus tracks. Russian CD on Special Limited Edition came with four bonus tracks picked from the band's third LP "Utmarker". Premiere press had label as shown here, thick vinyl and thin fold/out cover made of recycled structured paper with record pocket inside. (SCÄ*) (CCÖ*) (NÅY*)

söndag 18 juni 2017

THE BEATLES/1967-1970 PCSP 718 (-73) UK

I sometimes meet people at work or in record shops who never got into or learned about Beatles, but would like to and don't know where to start. I think this is a good advice. A collection of twentyeight tracks, most previously on big selling 45:s. Even if not the absolutely best to everyones taste it's still so overwhelming all together it'll leave very few untouched. Back then it also brought a couple of goodies for the already accustomed fan. The single edits of "Get Back" and "Let It Be" here for the first time on LP. And on this UK version you get George Martin's 1971 stereo re-mixes of "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane", same as first used on the A1/B3 matrix issue of the German Magical Mystery Tour album (see earlier post). The new SFF mix can easily be distinguished by having "Cranberry Sauce" twice at the end - which this has...well actually just "Cranberry..." second time, but again the same as on the German. Haven't had a US 1st press for ages, though as I remember that had "Penny Lane" in mono and the 1966 SFF stereo mix. Anyway it is a compilation of tophole tracks by one of the greatest bands ever, carried by excellent production and great audio. So whoever, whatever or wherever you are, if you're new to all this and wanna get in - go fetch! (BÄ*) (ÄPLÄ*) (PÖP*)

fredag 16 juni 2017

GENESIS/ABACAB CBR 102 (-81) UK

I usually only post stuff if I have something nice to say, but it is hard to muster any positive thoughts here while trying to save myself from drowning in a sea of squishy squashy synths. The album was a huge success then, reaching #1 in UK, #7 in US and eventually certified double platinum by RIAA. At first impact this old-timer don't get that at all. I understand when synths constitutes art music or are used as effects or slight enhancements, but have never been able to appreciate the electronic substitutes for real instruments in pop and rock. And as this is full of it almost impossible for me to pick out any enjoyable stuff. I do like Phil Collins vocals and "Dodo/Lurker" reminds of good early post-Gabriel Genesis, just on a less solid ground. There are a couple of other parts I would have liked if played by real instruments, but can't get past the squishy squashy. Issued all over the world on all possible medias through the years. Vinyl releases came with different color settings on sleeve, not sure if any of those are considered earlier or more valuable. Important for distinguishing an early UK press is if label, back cover and inner have Charisma logos only, later would have a Virgin logo added. This seems to have been one of the earliest (stamped matrixes CBR A/B 1U-1-1). It came with label as shown here and thin matt cover with glossy pic/credit inner. (GYÄ*) (CÄX*)

torsdag 15 juni 2017

ELKE SOMMER/LOVE IN ANY LANGUAGE E 4321 (-65) US MONO

An album well worth mentioning, unique as a commercially issued love song compilation sung by one artist in five different languages - English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. Elke Sommer (born Elke Baronesse von Schletz in Germany 1940) has been one of the busiest female figures in entertainment from the late fifties up to this millenium - as serious actress in hundreds of movies and TV-series, painter, sex symbol, many times Playboy centerfold, comedienne and singer. Carreer and background way too much to get into here, just check the rear sleeve notes below. This seems to have been her only sixties album and first of just three original ones in total. She clearly had both brains and looks and judging from this LP also a very nice voice - never fawning, but sexy in a smart and secure mode. Album consists of soft schlagers produced as lounge music, well arranged and good to the ears. You don't have to be a polyglot to enjoy. It will work well also for wordless love meetings and late night monolingual listening alone. Released this way in US and Canada, also as stereo (SE-4321). Geman 1965 issue "Ich Liebe Dich" (Polydor SLPHM 237454) had seven tracks in common. To my knowledge never released on CD. Early US had label as shown here and glossy cover with MGM logo inner. (FÄV*) (YZÄ*) (ÖXCÅ*)

tisdag 13 juni 2017

FAMILY/FEARLESS K 54003 (-71) UK

A band behind two all time classic LP:s - "Music In A Doll's House" 1968 and "Bandstand" 1972 (see earlier posts). Both having that perfect blend of experimental and catchy, filled with memorable melodies as well as structural rethinking, not exactly fitting the "psych" or "prog" concepts but somewhere inbetween. To my taste non of their other albums hit the nail that hard or accurate. In comparison to those masterpieces some are partly bland and a couple just too weird to be called "classics". Don't get me wrong - I like weird stuff, but since larger part of the common public don't such records will never be rated high in the normal world or put on any kind of pedestal. Like this one. Uneven, partly unintelligible and about as far from relaxed or easy listening as you can get. But if you're willing to accept the odd and unexpected there may be some memorable moments. Mine are - ""Blind" where a waltz melody to a psych background is performed by some of the roughest vocals ever, "Save Some For Thee" very catchy song in a slighly twisted context and "Larf And Sing" which can be described as folky funk with high pitch vocals. All toghether a record worth both love and respect...at least from us with a taste for the bizarre. Orignally also issued in US and Canada (United Artists UAS-5562), downunder and a couple of European countries. UK 2014 CD (Madfish SMACD 995) came with two bonus tracks. Premiere UK had label as shown here, five layer fold/out cover and lyric insert. (FÄXI*)