lördag 28 mars 2020


Ian Hunters seventh studio solo album, this time sharing the billing with his old time collaborator Mick Ronson (1946-93). Recorded six years after his latest "All Of The Good Ones Are Taken" and meant as a kind of come back. But it didn't sell as expected and the label dropped him soon after, making this his last original album before the 1996 "Dirty Laundry". For me who early on got hooked on Mott The Hoople and dig most of his previous solo LP:s this is good listening. Maybe a little more towards hard rock than before, but still garnished with that special and familiar voice and tons of exquisite guitars from Ronson. "Big Time" is classic rock'n'roll, "Livin' In A Heart" a gripping ballad and "Sweet Dreamer" a sentimental guitar instrumental. Favorite track - "American Music" where the combination of sincere lyrics, top vocals and great guitars to a catchy melody lead to something so fine I can't get enough - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X67Scbwrdn4 . Issued on LP, CD or cassette all over the world at the time. To my knowledge not released on vinyl in UK. US, Australian and South African LP:s on Mercury. UK 2003 CD on Lemon Recordings (CD LEM 6) came with two bonus tracks. Premiere Dutch vinyl had label as shown here in a fully laminated cover with picture/credit/lyric inner. (MÖHÖ*) (HÖLX*)

fredag 27 mars 2020


The band's eighth album, last before breakup and a fifteen year hiatus ending with the 1989 "About Time" (see earlier post). Consensus among critics and some fans seems to be it lacks energy and all they do here is repeat old tricks. That may in a way be true, but for old fans like me it still offers good stuff and not least a bunch of pleasing rock'n'rollers. The uptempo "Going Back To Birmingham", "You're Driving Me Crazy" and "I Wanted To Boogie" played in a way that makes it hard to sit still while listening. The long "Look Me Straight Into The Eyes" inventive enough with tempo changes and warped vocals and "Nowhere To Run" so signature TYA it's impossible for me to resist. I also get Alvin Lee's familiar vocals and lots of great guitars. Won't go to history as any of their best, but still very much worth having and enjoying, especially for the already TYA accustomed. Issued and reissued on vinyl and CD over the world through the years, also 8-track, cassette and FLAC download. Premiere UK on Chrysalis (CHR 1060). EU 2014 CD on Chrysalis (CHRX 1060) came with seven live tracks as bonus. Early US had label as shown here and glossy cover. (YZÄ*) (XYÄ*)

torsdag 26 mars 2020


Then by far his most popular album. Loved by fans and crtics alike, topping lists all over the world, earning 3x platinum in UK and 5x platinum in US. And the no less than five spawned 45:s did very well too. Amazing as all that was back in the mid-eighties it was a different time, the world has changed a lot since and we with it. Question is - is is still that good in this new time and age and does it still give me goosebumps? After giving it my first profound hearing in a decade or so I'm happy to say - it is and it does. I'm not turned on by "Sledgehammer" anymore, but the rest is just awesome. The duet with Kate Bush in "Don't Give Up" has a timeless beauty that no changing zeitgeists can conquer. "In Your Eyes" an intriguing piece of world music, managing to be serious and seductive at the same time. "Red Rain" and "Mercy Street" deep and commited, yet very catchy. There were many big sellers released around that time, but not many have survived this well. I'm still touched. Issued and reissued on every possible format, with or without bonus tracks, all over the world through the years. First US on Geffen (GHS 24088). Premiere UK had label as shown here in a thin fully laminated cover with laminated lyric/credit inner. (GYÄ*) (CÄX*)

tisdag 24 mars 2020


I usually don't buy bootlegs or counterfeits, but sometimes issues appear that are just too good to pass. Here a French, limited edition (?), compilation of very rare US late fifties and sixties garage. All originally A or B-sides of non-selling 45:s, larger part one-offs recorded by then neglected outfits for small obscure labels. Most of the originals impossible to find today at even close to decent price, so for me it's lovely to get them all on one place for a fraction of the sum you'd pay for just one of them. Counting seventeen cuts from bands I know very little about it's hard to go into detail with any of them, but either the songs can be tagged early hard rock, soul or psych they all have about the same ambience. Up-tempo mostly carried by organ, tinny or fuzzy guitars, hard working drums and outbursting vocals. Recordings sound direct live-in-the-studio, unproduced and/or unembellished. Genuine and down to earth with flaws still in...heaven for the garage lover. Got many favorites here, but to pick a few from one-off 45:s - Gin Gillette "Train To Satanville" 1961 flip side bringing hard-core soul with female vocals, Mad Mike & The Maniacs "The Hunch" outrageously wild A-side of a 1961 45, The Motivations "The Birds" 1963 instrumental psych A-side slightly reminding of the Batman theme, The Crusade "Psychedelic Woman" fuzz-embedded A-side from 1967. Audio shifts a little depending on origin, but most of it surprisingly good. It came with blank labels as shown here and sleeve as simple as it gets - hard inner surrounded by two printed sheets. Rear sheet say this issue was limited to 500 copies and this has no. 238 hand written, but as it is a bootleg impossible to say if any of that is correct. (ÖRJ*) (ÖGÄ*) (MFÄX*)

måndag 23 mars 2020


An in its way quite remarkable compilation. Not posing as any kind of "Greatest Hits..." or "Best Of...", instead named after their most unutterable song title. And apart from "Badge", which did OK in UK but not so much in the rest of the world, and "Strange Brew", the tracking is more about their less hit oriented stuff. I find the sleeve design, where the members are buried in some kind of tubed paste, very bracing, but it was hardly inviting enough to attract a larger public. Top that with two of the songs comes misspelled - "World Of Paine" and "Cat's Squirrl" - and it can be seen as a lemon in the Cream discography. But it does give an opportunity for those not familiar with the band already to dig a little deeper in the songbook and maybe enjoy some of their less crowd-pleasing moments. All cuts are the original stereo mixes and the audio very good. Naturally a must for any Cream collector worth the name, but also fitting for the beginner who want a deeper knowledge. As I understand originally a German compilation, also issued on vinyl in France and Downunder. First Scandinavian had label as shown here in a thin fully laminated cover. (CCÖ*) (CÄRÄ*)

lördag 21 mars 2020


The Who was one of the bands who's albums I spent a lot of time with in the sixties. Then just part of my everyday life, but looking back I understand why they were so important for the still growing teen. There was a tough surface well fitting the often unsecure guy, but also good catchy melodies to cling to and it all came innovative, not seldom with some kind of vision. For me that went on till "Who By Numbers", which to my taste was their last great album. After that it seems band members fatigue and bad health in combination with changing studio surroundings caused a change of direction. I still bought their albums back then, but as they didn't sound exactly like the band I knew and loved I started to lose interest. On this their ninth studio album, released after Keith Moon passed away and being replaced by former Small Faces/Faces drummer Kenny Jones, I hear an ageing band. Songwriting still top-of -the -line, but presentation rather uneven. A couple of the songs work for me - like "You Better, You Bet", "Another Tricky Day" and "Daily Records" - but as a whole it doesn't embrace or floor me the same way as many of their earlier albums. However it did very well, reaching #1 in Canada, #2 in UK and #4 on Billboard, eventually selling millions and earning platinum status in US. Audio on this US press is very good. As it has "GUARANTEED BRAND SPANKING WHO" etched on side one matrix and "WHO IS JOE SUIT" on side two, I guess they were originally UK made (right me if I'm wrong). Issued and reissued on every possible format through the years. Premiere UK on Polydor (WHOD 5037). Japan 1999 CD on Polydor (POCP 9207) came with five bonus tracks, 48 page booklet, mini poster and obi. First US vinyl had label as shown here in a fully laminated cover with lyric/credit inner and large "face" poster. (YZÄ*) (WÖH*)

fredag 20 mars 2020


According to label a "november in-door sampler program". In this case to promote the Warner/Reprise "Loss Leaders" sampler serie sold by mail order for a couple of bucks each, which in its turn was to promote the labels regular stock program. So a kind of promo-promo. To me it seems a little odd making an "in-door" promo for records exclusively sold by mail, but maybe I don't get that concept right or there was more to it. The whole thing sounds like fit for radio so that might have been the main aim. Only cuts where I can compare against the originals are Ron Wood "I Can Feel The Fire" and "Take A Look At The Guy" which both are edited as mono here. The rest mix-wise a mish-mash of stereo, mono and monoish. All succeeding perfectly with connected channels, but here and there getting somewhat wider and/or having stereo effects when played as such. However it is a fine sampler with many good tracks if you're into that period. Audio not the most dynamic, but soft and even making it very good listening for idle moments. I guess this was the only issue. It came with label as shown here, glossy stickered cover with "Loss Leader" insert and inner with order form (unfortunately my own insert has been lost, so I borrowed that pic from the net). (YZÄ*) (SÄM*) (ÖRJ*) (ÖXCÅ*) (LÖZZ*)

torsdag 19 mars 2020


Soundtrack to a movie I haven't seen yet or know much about. Apparently a semi-ducumentary dealing with youth life style in parts of the American society, airing pro-drug and ani-war views contradictory to then predominant US beliefs, hence the title. Ergo quite typical for its time and, judging from this LP, filled with good music. Usually when listening to soundtracks you have to deal with instrumental pieces only relating to scenes in the film and therefore in in a sense meaningless when detached. This is different, counting eight regular songs from three groups it could as well be seen as a sampler and then one carrying rare early recordings from now very collectible outfits. To me it's good listening all through, but if to only mention a few - Quicksilver Messenger Service "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" well up there with the songs from their debute LP, emotional rock with lots of signature Cippolina guitar. Steve Miller Band "Your Old Lady" and "Mercury Blues" both wildish rock with tons of good guitars. Mother Earth "Stranger In My Own Home Town" cool brass driven R&B. A very enjoyable collection of tracks, soundtrack or not. First issued on vinyl in US (also as mono UAL 4185), Canada (same no. as US) and UK (ULP/SULP 1226). EU 2013 mono CD on Gonzo (GZO103CD). Premiere US had label as shown here on thick vinyl in a laminated cover. (ZÖNT*) (SÄM*)

tisdag 17 mars 2020


An intriguing piece of work I can't get any info about other than what's stated on the issue itself. If anyone reading this has more to offer, don't hesitate to tell. British music theater group who themselves, with some support by The Arts Council Of Britain, defrayed a private recording of the songs to their "England Expects..." show. Don't believe it was ever issued in England, but after performing at a couple of places in Sweden they got a contract with the independent MNW label who released the recordings as they were. Plot is about an Irish girl who moves to England and there becomes aware of a harsh capitalist system and what that does to people. Among her adventures are going to mass meetings, participating in strikes and getting arrested for shop-lifting. Musically an amalgamation of rock, folk and prog, partly with female vocals. It's clear some of the melodies are there just to push the story forwards, but a couple stand out as memorable. Favorite track - "Money" folky prog with some really good rock guitar towards the end https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC2AP18kaLM . Not sure how to tag the album as such, but "political rock opera" could fit. To my knowledge only issued in Sweden and never reissued in any shape. As it seems the record with label, fully laminated cover and yellow lyric insert were made in England and original, but I'm not sure if the printed 28 page lyric/ credit/picture booklet included with this copy was meant as an insert or just a programme handed out for the live performance that some previous owner decided to put in. In any case it's a full decription of the play with the English lyrics and plot partly translated to Swedish and thus in some way belong. (NÅY*) (CCÖ*) (FÄV*) (BRBÄ*) (RÖKÖ*) (ÖRJ*)