söndag 28 november 2021



 When it comes to The Beatles I can't resist any affordable original variation, no matter how many already sharing space with their likes on the shelf. This is my fourth "Hey Jude", after the Brazil mono, the UK Apple export and the US "Beatles Again" (see earlier posts). A New Zealand press on Apple/HMV which seems to be some kind of export hybrid. The label, sleeve and dark brown inner is NZ, while the CPCS 106 record number and the stamped matrix numbers -  YEEX 150-1/YEEX 151-1 - indicate a UK export. Also notice "Paperback Writer" is spelled "Paper Back Writer" on label. The audio is smashing - big, wide and very ear pleasing. But what really turns me on is the laminated sleeve, having rear with green background surrounded by a black three-flap flip-back.  The most aesthetic HJ package I've seen so far.  I didn't even know the variation existed before I picked this copy from a bin a while ago, so maybe there are many more tickling varieties out there waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. And if any such should show up in the future and economy allows it will probably be a must have too.   (ÄPLÄ*)  (BÄ*)  (LGÅ*)  (DÖW*)  (ÖXÄP*)






lördag 27 november 2021



 For background on band and listening to a couple of the tracks check post on the UK mono  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2021/07/ashkanin-from-cold-dnr-1-69-uk-mono.html .  I've always been very pleased with that. Even if with all certainty a fold it comes through both suitably raw and well balanced. Never heard an original UK stereo so can't make a proper comparison, but this French was an ear opener. Seemingly pressed without much muffling the audio comes wide, strong and very natural.  Connecting the channels it sounds almost the same as the UK mono, just a tiny bit rougher and more open. So I guess the same stereo tapes were used and then maybe undergoing some different handling during pressing. But whatever format one may prefer it is a great album for all us who like hard rock to hit simple and dirty instead of the overproduced versions we've often been caressed by later years. Doesn't matter how ferocious your voice sound or how evil your guitars are if the recording machinery drape the whole thing in cotton candy. And there's no such sweetness here, just direct four-channel takes reeking of beer, sweat and unwashed laundry. And that is how hard rock should smell...isn't it? First French  had label as shown here on thick unflexible vinyl in a stickered laminated cover.   (MFÄX*)


söndag 21 november 2021



 One-off LP from a US psych band formed 1963 in Burbank, California, who prior to this had released two 45:s on two different labels. Neither the singles or the album seems to have made any impression back then and the band was soon forgotten by most. Listening today that seems a bit unfair. I get a good chunk of all self-written melodic psych with lots of organ and quite a few good guitar parts.  There's nothing really outstanding about it but the tracks fits the zeitgeist well and for an old sixties buff like me it's a quite rewarding journey all the way. Guess it would be a good catch in any serious psych collection. Hard to pick out absolute favorites, but why not both sides of the spawned 45 - "I'm Telling You"/"Free Service". Not 100% sure how this mono promo relates to the stock stereo. It doesn't sound like a regular radio promo, more then like an original mono mix - loud and pushy. So maybe a mono was made for stock purposes, but held back from the shops as the format was on the brink in US and instead just used as a promo.  Originally issued in US only (stereo FLS 45,000). EU 2021 vinyl reissue on Endless Happiness (HE 68001). No legal CD releases seems to exist, but two unofficial - the 2006 Scandinavian on Mason Records (MR56448) and the 2010 Russian on Dogtoire (DGCD 100011). Premiere US had label as shown here in a fully laminated cover.  (YZÄ*)  (ÖXCÅ*)  (ÖRJ*)




 Ayers third solo album after leaving Soft Machine  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-soft-machine-cplp-4500-68-us.html and by most critics and fans considered his absolutely best. Recorded at Abbey Road studios 1971 with help from Mike Oldfield, old Soft Machine buddy Robert Wyatt plus Gong men Didier Malherbe and Gerry Field among others.  Orchestral arrangements by music master David Bedford and co-produced by Ayers and Andrew King. I like this a lot for the quality and the adventure.  A well harmonized trip offering enough memorable moments to please any intrepid listener. For exemple the side one orchestral intro "There Is Love" is both adventuros and gripping, "Song From The Bottom Of A Well" fiercely dark with very scary guitars, "Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes" with a creamy guitar lick that's instantly gripping.  All that said - my Kevin Ayers favorite has always been the Island album "The Confessions Of Dr. Dream", where he's guested by the lovely Nico  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2012/08/kevin-ayersthe-confessions-of-dr-dream.html , but this is not far behind.  Originally issued on vinyl all over Europe and in Japan. EU 2003 CD on Harvest (07243 584354 29) came with four bonus tracks.  Very first UK copies came without EMI logo on label, but as this, with the logo, has the first A-1/B-1 matrixes and 1/O 1/O mother/stampers in the original fully structured cover it could be counted as original.  (HÄVL*)





torsdag 18 november 2021



 Another of those "World of..." monos I rate very high. A compilation containing album cuts from "Angry Young Them" and "Them Again" coupled with non-LP 45:s.  And as issued so close to the fact it could be desirable for fans if only the mono versions here were true and to my ears at least some of them sound legit.  At time for release seven of the twelve tracks only existed in mono, so the corresponding stereo version had all these as rechanneled stereo. That would mean - if this mono is a direct fold it'd be from five true stereos and seven fakes and I don't hear that.  I've compared with the common tracks on my "Them Again" copy and they come out very much alike. Differences are the ones on "World Of..." has a tiny bit more prominent base with somewhat smoother edges. And I've never heard a better "Here Comes The Night" - wide with perfect balance and separation. Still not 100% sure what was done, but whatever the truth is behind the versions here I do hear and enjoy them as ear pleasing  mono takes from a great band and that's good enough for me. If the sausage is tasty enough you don't always need to know how it's made. Issued on vinyl all over Europe, Downunder and Canada through the years, also UK cassette, but to my knowledge this was the only mono.  It came with label as shown here in a laminated cover with red rim mono inner.  (VMÖ*)  (WÖF*)  (UKÖ*)  (YMÖ*)




lördag 13 november 2021



 Martha Carmen Josephine Hernandez Rosario de Velez, born 1945 in New York, has to be the most highly educated blues singer that ever hit the market. Apart from being a schooled mezzo-soprano she also holds a masters degree in Clinical Psychology and PHD:s in Cultural Mythology and Depth Psychology.  You should think all that cultivation to some degree would hamper any true blues expression, but absolutely not on this solo debute. She sings like a tainted angel - raw yet sweet with lots of emotion carried out and instrumental backing is probably one of the most impressive you could get in Britain back then.  Among others including Eric Clapton, Paul Kossoff and Stan Webb on guitar, Jack Bruce on bass, Mitch Mitchell and Jim Capaldi on drums, Christine McVie on keyboards, Brian Auger on organ, Duster Bennet on harmonica plus Johnny Almond and Chris Mercer on saxophone. Then handeled by UK:s formost blues producer Mike Vernon.  And every one deliver to make it one of the better white blues efforts of its time. Blending heavy and tender to an organic whole, all through supported by excellent guitars. Hard to say exactly who twangs what, but you do recognize some typical Clapton licks.  So apart from appealing to fans of female vocals it could also do it for lovers of tophole blues guitars and why not die-hard collectors of the bands the backing belonged to - Cream, Traffic, Chicken Shack and Free. Issued on vinyl in US (Sire SES 97008), all over Europe and Downunder on London and in Japan on Epic (EPIA 53013). UK 1970 reissue on Blue Horizon (S7-63867). US 2008 CD on Wounded Bird Records (WOU 8395). Premiere UK (also as mono HA-K 8395) had label as shown here in a laminated cover with die-cut hole on rear and blue or red rim inner.   (FÄV*)



torsdag 11 november 2021



 This is the third "Please Please Me" I'm posting, after the fourth UK label variation  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-beatlesplease-please-me-pmc-1202-63.html  and first German on HörZu  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2013/12/die-beatles-hze-117-64-mono-germany.html . The stamped matrix numbers shows it was made from the same 1N/1N plates as the earliest UK and they sound about identical. The sleeve is an imported UK and it's pressed on thick unflexible vinyl. Reason I picked it was the label. This old design was still used in Denmark 1963 either as gold or silver, then from 1964 and on changed to the more common black/silver.  As many other Beatles collectors with limited founds I'm dreaming of finding a UK gold fitting the wallet, but for me the chances of that happening is so slim I'm very pleased with this for now.  I get the older label design with original UK matrixes in a UK sleeve so...close enough.  (BÄ*)  (PÖX*)  (GCÖ*) (CCÖ*)  (LGÅ*)



lördag 6 november 2021




 Ever since I picked up the UK mono I've been curious to know if that had any different mixes, or just was a stone cold fold.  Apparently the US mono has at least two cuts that was mixed in mono - "Yes The River Knows" and "Wintertime Love". For a long time I've tried to find a US mono or original UK stereo fitting my wallet for comparison, but it's been impossible. So now I'm doing it with an original (Allentown press) US stereo instead,  connecting the channels with a mono button to mimick a fold. And sadly I can't hear even the slightest difference between the "folded" stereo and the UK mono on those two tracks, which has to mean the UK is an all fold.  But I do cheer up when listening to the US stereo.  Loud, wide and clear and even if I like the mono a lot this takes me even further. Top quality mix and audio.  Still dreaming to find a decent US mono I could afford, but guess the chances are slim.   (YZÄ*)  (MÅW*)  (CPYC*)  (DÖÖW*)


fredag 5 november 2021



 One-off solo album from Boston guitarist Steve Cataldo, then just out of psych band Front Page Review.  Though often put down by critics over the years it's still sought after and held high by many psych lovers and collectors.  Have to admit I don't get the division between side one "Over The Hill" and side two "The Bastich", but guess "The Bastich" (a combo of the words bastard and bitch) could be a reference to the biblical monster Leviathan. That would explain the Doré image on front sleeve, here  with a picture of Cataldo covering the original God figure on top. Rear sleeve is also Doréic with images of the band woven in.  So the package shows on a scriptural postulate - good vs. evil with him as Saint representing the benign. That's taking on a lot and I'm not entirely sure how the music relates. A blend of pop and hard rock spiced with assorted sound effects, obviously following some kind of plan that at least I'm having a hard time to follow. Still when I put the religious position aside and just listen to it as a regular psych effort I hear a very good album. Maybe not overly psychedelic but with well written and performed songs including a couple of really good guitar drenched rockers. So even if I don't fully understand the trip (you didn't always back then) it's an entertaining journey with enough catchy stops to make you wanna continue all the way.  1969  US and Canadian vinyl issues on Probe (CPLP 4506). Also released on CD in Germany (Buy Or Die Records BOD 102) and UK (Eclectic Discs ECLCD 1031).  First UK had labels as shown here in a laminated flip/back cover.  (CÖLÖ*)



tisdag 2 november 2021



 German compilation consisting of tracks recorded in Hamburg 1961, produced by Bert Kaempfert (for more background check Tony Sheridan's liner notes below).  Some had shown up on the 1962 Tony Sheridan And The Beat Brothers LP "My Bonnie", some had been released on singles and a couple then previously unreleased. So not a reissue per se, but the first album collecting a large part of The Beatles premiere recordings and as such I guess important for any Beatles collector. At the time the band included Pete Best on drums and I've also seen claims that Stuart Sutcliffe participated on some tracks, but need more facts on that. Even if Tony Sheridan was a good singer and the track choice very ok for its time it's ineluctable not to concentrate more on Beatles efforts here. The record takes off with two pure Beatles cuts - "Ain't She Sweet" with vocals by John Lennon and the instrumental "Cry For A Shadow", the rest is their instrumental backing to each song together with occational background quires.  So in a way more a Tony Sheridan record than a Beatle one, but for a Fab Four fan like me still very enjoyable and a must-have. Apart from the enhanced mono "Cry For A Shadow" all cuts here are true stereo and the audio tophole - loud and clear. Issued and reissued on every possible format all over the world through the years with differing sleeve designs, with or without bonus tracks. I can't count them all. 1964 releases also in Italy, Spain, Japan and Downunder. First UK 1967 on Polydor (236201). First US 1970 on Polydor (24-4504) as "The Beatles Featuring Tony Sheridan - In The Beginning (circa 1960)". Premiere German had label as shown here in a fully laminated cover.  (GÖXÄ*)  (BÄ*)  (LGÅ*)





lördag 30 oktober 2021

BADFINGER/ASS 2C066-95191 (-74) FRANCE


 Their fourth album as "Badfinger" and the last on Apple. As with the former "Straight Up"   https://monolover.blogspot.com/2021/10/badfingerstraight-up-apcor-19-72-uk.html   there were lots of trouble to get it ready and out. Recordings started 1972, but release was delayed to the shift 1973/74. First producer Todd Rundgren left after just doing two tracks, then a first version of the album was ditched by the label, after which engineer Chris Thomas was brought in and together with the band made improvements and some different track selections. The project was then stalled by dissents over copywright issues. When finally released it wasn't a big seller, didn't chart in UK and only reached #122 in US. Considering all that this comes out surprisingly good to me. I get a couple of  quality rockers -  "Get Away", "The Winner" and "Constitution" - embellished by sweet guitars. There are also a couple of nice ballads and then especially "The Apple Of My Eye", about parting from the label, a very spesh song about lost love. To my taste not their best, yet well worth to be spun and enjoyed. Issued and reissued all over the world on vinyl and/or CD through the years, also US 8-track and cassette. Premiere Apple UK (SAPCOR 27) and US (SW-3411). EU 2010 CD on Apple (5099964243924) came with five bonus tracks.  First French had label as shown here in a matt fold/out cover.  (PÄY*)   (MFÄX*)  (ÄPLÄ*)