torsdag 23 juni 2022

HONEYBUS/STORY DML 1056 (-70) UK MONO


  Have to post a reminder of this great but today almost fogotten album, with added music. Group started 1967 by songwriter and session musician Pete Dello. His compositions earned them success with the singles "Do I Still Figure In Your Life" and the UK top ten hit "I Can't Let Maggie Go".  The former has been covered by a number of artists, among them Joe Cocker on his debute album  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2012/04/joe-cockerwith-little-help-from-my.html  .  Dello didn't like playing live or touring so he left in August -68. In spite of couple ok selling 45:s the group never recovered and disbanded at the end of 1969. This album had been recorded by then and was released posthumously 1970. Skillfully produced by Ivor Raymonde (who earlier worked with Dusty Springfield, Alan Price and Walker Brothers among others) it should have been a hit, but since there were no band, no one was there to promote it and it quickly disappeared from the shops. Very sad cause it is a lovely piece of work - intelligent pop with baroque and psych turns and every track is a winner (just listen below). If I have to pick a favorite - "Under the Silent Tree". This mono is with all certainty a fold, but it sounds great so from a good compatible. Also released on vinyl in Australia (Deram SMLA 1056). UK 2008 CD on Rev-Ola (CR REV 249) came with eleven bonus tracks. Premiere UK mono had label as shown here in a laminated cover with mono/stereo die-cut hole on rear and red rim inner.  (UKÖ*) (YMÖ*) (DÄRR*)

                                                                                  
                                                                                   
                                                                          

                                                                                  

                                                                              

                                                                                    

                                                                                



 



måndag 20 juni 2022

TOE FAT/TWO SLRZ 1015 (-70) UK


  For background check post on the band's debute  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2013/04/toe-fat-2c-062-04374-70-french.html . After that Ken Hensley quit to form Uriah Heep and Lee Kerslake first went to National Head Band before joining Uriah Heep 1971. They were replaced by drummer Brian Glascock (later in Carmen and Captian Beyond) and guitarist Alan Kendall (later with BeeGees) for this second and last album as Toe Fat. "John Konas" credited as bassist in The Gods and Toe Fat was in fact Brian Glascock's brother John Glascock (later in Carmen, Chicken Shack and Jethro Tull).  Though one can hear here some connection with the band's earlier phases as The Gods and the first Toe Fat setting this comes out surprisingly different. I get a bluesy number in "There'll Be Changes" and a dreamy "Indian Summer", but the rest stone hard rock. All numbers penned by the band. Top performance with spendid guitars and Cliff Bennett doing apt hard rock vocals very far from his original Rebel Rousers  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2013/03/cliff-bennett-and-rebel-rousers-pmc.html . Maybe not all pioneer though there are parts that lifts it above prosaic. Like the ukulele intro to "Stick Heat" or the tempo changes in "Midnight Sun".  But to me the most remarkable is that Peter Green himself took part in the recordings (uncredited) and plays lead guitar on one track - "A New Way" - which starts cool and Albatross-like and then moves over to harder stuff. So even if not an absolute top-of-the-line rock album there are enough goodies to make it more than just something for label and genre collectors. Early seventies vinyl also in US (Rare Earth RS 525), Italy and France.  1995 UK 2xCD on BGO (BGOCD 278) as "Toe Fat I & II" came with the band's both albums. Premiere UK had label as shown here in a laminated flip/back cover.   (RÄZ*)  (ÖRHÄ*)

                                                                              
                                                                                
                                                                            
                                                                             
                  
                                                                               

                                                                               





 


 

torsdag 16 juni 2022

ELMER GANTRY'S VELVET OPERA S8-63300 (-68) UK


 Band started out as a the blues/soul outfit Five Proud Walkers, but after supporting Pink Floyd at a tour they were inclined towards a more psych agenda.  First renamed simply Velvet Opera, the Elmer Gantry addition came after singer Dave Terry took the persona of the title character from a Sinclair Lewis novel.  This was the only LP recorded by this setting. It didn't sell and soon after both Dave Terry and guitarist Colin Firster quit. Following a second album - "Ride A Hustlers Dream" as Velvet Opera - with a partly new setting,  bassist John Ford and drummer Richard Hudson left to become the new rhythm section in Strawbs - and that was it.  Listening today it is very hard to understand why this album didn't hit. Maybe they were too much ahead of their time and/or too much to handle for the average listener. I hear a smorgasbord of different styles - psych, prog, r&b and rockabilly - skillfully performed with power and lots of catchy moments.  To may taste every track is a winner, but if I have to pick favorites it'd be the more psychedelic ones, certainly odd yet inviting enough to stick - "What's The Point Of Leaving", "Dream Starts", "Intro/Mother Writes" and the strange semi-baroque instrumental  "I Was Cool".  The audio on this press is tophole - loud and clear with often prominent bass and drums.  Early vinyl issues also in US and Canada (BN 26415). UK 2013 CD on Grapefruit Records (SRSEG 026) came with eleven bonus tracks, including single and Demo versions. Premiere UK had (also as mono (8-63300) had label as shown here in a laminated cover.   (DÄJ*)

                                                                                   
                                                                                 
                                                                                    
                                                                     

                                                                               

                                                                                

                                                                                 





 

onsdag 15 juni 2022

MANFRED MANN/THE MIGHTY QUINN SR 61168 (-68) US

 


Often presented  a US eleven track version of the UK fourteen track Mighty Garvey album (Fontana TL/STL 5470), but it could also be seen as an exclusive.  Apart from a totally different sleeve design this omitts the three "Happy Families" tracks, and "Harry The One-Man Band", instead adding "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James" - a 1966 45 A-side.  While the UK was a kind of theme album built around the made-up person "Mighty Garvey", all traces of that was expunged here and instead you get a pop/psych LP with no concept attached.  It feels good to have the three top singels "The Mighty Quinn", "Ha Ha Said The Clown" and "Semi-Detached Surburban Mr. James" on the same plate, together with other highlights as the catchy "Each And Every Day" plus psych numbers like "Every Day Another Hair Turns Grey" and "It's So Easy Falling". My only reservation would be the audio on this press. Bass low in the mix most of the time, making it sound very sharp. A little more warmth would have made it a lot better.  Title song is mono and comes out great, while  HHSTC sounds like some kind of fake stereo.  The rest true stereo.  In any case special enough to earn its own safe  place on the shelf.  Vinyl issues also in Canada and Downunder.  Premiere US had label as shown here in a glossy sleeve.   (MÄNÄ*)  (YZÄ*)

                                                                                  
                                                                             

                                                                               

                                                                            
          
                                                                               




 

måndag 13 juni 2022

URIAH HEEP/VERY 'EAVY, VERY 'UMBLE 6360 006 (-70) GERMANY

                                                                                  

For me Uriah Heep was and has remained one of the most important rock bands of the seventies. It's interesting to follow their journey from sixties psych/prog band The Gods https://monolover.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-godsgenesis-sx-6286-68-uk-mono.html , over the a bit more r&b based Toe Fat https://monolover.blogspot.com/2013/04/toe-fat-2c-062-04374-70-french.html , to this hard rock/prog outfit. First Toe Fat singer Cliff Bennett was asked to join the new setting, but he declined and instead wanted to continue with the old band. In lieu they hired vocalist David Byron (born David Garrick 1947-85), who earlier had been in the band Spice with guitarist Mick Box 1967-69.  As I see it that was the lucky break they needed. The feeling, skill and creativity was already there and Byron's schooled voice became the icing on the cake - controlled with a very wide register allowing him to change between raw and fine tuned operatic in a second. In my world their finest time was from the second album Salisbury  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2015/02/uriah-heepsalisbury-6360-028-71-uk.html  up to The Magician's Birthday  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2015/01/uriah-heepthe-magicians-birthday-ilps.html . The rest with Byron is good too, just a little more uneven.  On this debute it's like they're testing different approaches trying to find their own special sound. You could call it "trial and error", but luckily almost without error. "Gypsy" is a classic killer with tons of evil organ and mean guitars to Byron's versed vocals.  "Real Turned On" ear-grabbing with tons of good Mick Box guitars. "Walking In Your Shadow" and "Dreammare" showing that even very hard rock can be truly catchy. Have to admit neither the ballad "Come Away Melinda" nor the blues trial "Lucy's Blues" does anything for me, but the rest certainly good enough to make it a must. Issued and reissued all over the world on all possible formats through the years. First US as "Uriah Heep" on Mercury (SR-61294) came with different sleeve design, omitting "Lucy's Blues" and instead adding an early recording of "Bird Of Prey", different from the one appearing on the UK "Salisbury".  2016 EU CD on Sanctuary Midline (SMRCD 048) came with eight bonus tracks.  First German had labels as shown here in a laminated fold/out cover.   (WLÖ*)  (ÖRHÄ*)

                                                                               
                                                                                   
                                                                           
                                                                             

                                                                                 

                                                                               

                                                                                   

 

                                                                         



 

torsdag 9 juni 2022

FAIRPORT CONVENTION SP4185 (-69) US


  US variation of the UK "What We Did On Our Holidays"  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2017/01/fairport-conventionwhat-we-did-on-our.html . The bands second LP, first with Sandy Denny and the first of three by the outfit that would help to set a pattern for much of the UK folk rock that flourished in the seventies. For more on the album itself please check the link above, here I'm more interested in what differ the both issues. While the UK sleeve has a kind of arty doodle front with a live pic on rear the front here has an exclusive and very lovely group image where Denny looks so adorably huggable while the rear shows a rather dull medieval drawing of a city. It's the same tracking though the audio differs. The US is cut louder and gives a wider impression throughout while the UK is more down to earth with a bit more clarity.  Both come good in their own ways so I guess what one perfer is down to personality ...or just mood. And cause the one I'm in now needs a bigger hug I go for the US.  Apart from UK and US also issued in South Africa (Fontana STL 233). Australian release in both mono and stereo (Festival FL 33356/SFL 93356). Japan 2003 CD (Island UICY-20056) came with three bonus tracks. First US had label as shown here is a glossy cover.   (FÄHZ*)  (YZÄ*)  (FÄV*) 

                                                                                
                                                                                

                                                                             

                                                                                


måndag 6 juni 2022

JAMES TAYLOR UK STEREO SAPCOR 3 VS. UK MONO APCOR 3

                                                                                 


 Listening to this mono I always took for granted it was legit because of the top audio and perfect balance  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2022/04/james-taylor-apcor-3-68-uk-mono.html   . But as I also have seen claims on the net that it's a fold thought I'd settle the matter once and for all. And no doubt it's a separate mix. The fadeouts almost coincide though there are a couple of small differences - e.g. The "Carolina In My Mind" stereo is four seconds longer and the "Knocking Around The Zoo" mono fades two seconds later. But you only have to compare connecting the channels on the stereo with the real thing to be sure. Mono has a very natural balance while mimicking a fold alters that in a not so good way. For exemple - on the CIMM mono the drums are quite loud setting a clear pace, yet folded they don't appear that prominent which makes the song less dynamic. There may be other differences, but for me all the above is enough to certify - this mono is a separate mix. The stereo in itself sounds great too - big and strong with lots of overlapping. In fact they both come out so good it's hard to choose sides, but if I have to - mono it is!  (BÄ*)  (ÄPLÄ*)  (MÅW*)  (CPYC*)

                                                                                 
                                                                                    



 


torsdag 2 juni 2022

GLAD/FEELIN' GLAD ABCS 655 ( -68) US


 Band started as surf rocking The New Breed 1963. After getting local attention and releasing a couple of ok selling singles they changed musical direction 1967 towards the then more popular psych pop scene and their name to Glad. But the transition failed saleswise and soon after this recording they changed path again, this time towards country rock and their name to Redwing, releasing a couple of albums that was well recieved by both public and critics. Also worth noticing is the bass player here - Timothy B. Schmit - left the band 1970 and went on to bigger fame with Poco, Eagles and Ringo Starr's All Star Band. So even if this album almost sank without a trace back in the days and has stayed forgotten by most it is a notable part of American rock history and thus well worth to be recognized. And listening today it remains a good exemple of sixties sunshine psych. I can't help hearing similarities with then more popular outfits like Association or Mamas & Papas, though with enough peculiarities to make at least some of it special. The tracks that hit me hardest are the very mighty "A New Tomorrow", the uptempo "Pickin' Up The Pieces" and the baroque pop "Love Needs The World" with beautiful string arrangements by Eirik Wangberg. As a whole maybe a bit uneven, but with enough good pieces to pick up for any lover of late sixties American pop and rock.  To my knowledge this US was the only vinyl issue. Japan 2022 CD on Vivid Sound (VSCD 5994) in paper sleeve. First (only?) US had label as shown here in a glossy cover with "ABC" ad inner.  (YZÄ*)

                                                                                 
                                                                                 
                                                                                   




 

fredag 27 maj 2022

OTIS REDDING/COMPLETE & UNBELIEVABLE : THE OTIS REDDING DICTIONARY OF SOUL S 415 (-66) US STEREO


 The eighth Otis Redding LP I'm posting here ( https://monolover.blogspot.com/search?q=(%C3%96R%C3%96*)&max-results=20&by-date=true ). It was his fifth studio album and last solo one before his tragic death in a plane crash December 10, 1967, (not counting the duet one he recorded with Carla Tomas - "King & Queen" - a couple of months after this).  There may be debates who's the best male soul singer of all times, but to my taste no other had such a magnetic blend of power and sentiment. He was also a very good songwriter and top live performer.  This album shows him at his best. A blend of covers and self-penned, more or less direct recorded with very adaptive backing by Booker T. & the M.G.'s. No matter if he's doing his own tunes or cover versions, he owns them all. Just listen to how he treats Beatles "Day Tripper"...so intense and so different from the original. The spawned "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)" has become a soul classic and the rest as good. I'm picking a few favorites below. The audio on this US is exactly to my taste - direct and very natural - and the stereo mix totally ok for mid-sixties four-channel recording.  Good listening all the way.  Issued and reissued all over the world on vinyl CD, 8-track, cassette and 12xFile. First UK on Atlantic (587/588050). Japan2016 CD on ATCO (WPCR 17533) came with both mono and stereo versions plus bonus tracks.  Premiere US (also as mono - Volt 415) had label as shown here in a cover with laminated front.  (YZÄ*)  (TÄX*)  (ÖRÖ*)

                                                                             
                                                                              
                                                                                  
                                                                                  


                                                                                   

                                                                             

                                                                                




 

söndag 22 maj 2022

GINGER BAKER/AT HIS BEST PD-3504 (-72) US


  Compilation that sold nicely back then, but today can be found in the cheaper bins. In my world well worth the dough if you can pick a top copy for a buck or two. Three of the cuts are from the Blind Faith one-off album https://monolover.blogspot.com/2012/06/blind-faith-583-059-69.html  , the remaining six from his two Air Force ones. Hard to avoid a couple of rather long drum solos from the man, but even if you're not into such there are quite a few good moments to enjoy. And of course an amazing list of partakers. The Blind Faith gang including Eric Clapton and Stevie Winwood, plus Graham Bond doing organ and lead vocals on one cut. There's also Jeanette Jacobs, from the odd and enchanting US girl group Cake https://monolover.blogspot.com/2022/03/the-cakea-slice-of-cake-mup-390-69-uk.html , singing on a couple. The audio on this US is top notch. Lots of good music to be enjoyed and highly recommended to fans that for some reason can't get the original albums or more modern music lovers who wanna know what was happening back then. Favorite tracks - the Graham Bond "Let Me Ride" plus the two Blind Faith "Had To Cry Today" and "Well All Right".  1972 releases on Polydor in US and Canada only, also US 8-track. 1973 issues on RSO in Japan, Downunder and a couple of European countries. To my knowledge never like this on CD. Premiere US had label as shown here in a top fold cover.  (CÄRÄ*)  (YZÄ*)

                                                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               


                                                                                

                                                                               




 


 

lördag 21 maj 2022

MARY HOPKIN/POSTCARD ST-3351 (-69) US


 This has always been one of my favorite female vocal albums. The blend of old time classic songs and more modern pop sung by her bright and very sensitive voice always does it for me. Here she was in very good company. Produced by Paul McCartney with some help from Beatle engineer Geoff Emerick (1945-2018). Paul also contributed guitars and bass, Donovan did some of the guitars and George Martin (1926-2016) penned one of the tracks and pitched in on piano. I've already made a comparison between the UK mono and stereo, showing they were separate mixes https://monolover.blogspot.com/2016/03/mary-hopkinpostcard-sapcor-5-apcor-5-uk.html . This US was stereo only though with enough differences to the UK to make it worth a separate post. Here "Someone To Watch Over Me" was omitted and replaced with her first and biggest hit "Those Were The Days" (in mono).  I do like her version of STWOM, yet have to admit that small change of tracking makes it a little better listening . The audio on both UK formats was immaculate and this isn't far behind. It comes somewhat softer and a tiny bit less clear, but very wide and embracing and sweeet to the ears. Issued and reissued on all possible formats all over the world through the years. First US had label as shown here in a fully laminated cover.  (ÄPLÄ*)  (FÄV*)  (YZÄ*)

                                                                                 
                                                                                  
                                                                                 

                                                                              

                                                                              
                  
                                                                                 





 

onsdag 18 maj 2022

HELL PREACHERS INC./SUPREME PSYCHEDELIC UNDERGROUND MALS 1169 (-69) UK


 Already posted the German 1968 budget label original of this oddity a couple of years ago   https://monolover.blogspot.com/search?q=HELL+PREACHERS . Now it's time for an update with the UK version and added music. A well played hard rock psych album that gathered fans in Europe at the time and soon became surrounded by a rumour that it actually was a Deep Purple side project, or at least included Richie Blackmoore on guitar. As it turned out non of that was true. Instead it seems to have been recorded by an early setting of the band that later became Lucifer's Friend. However that may be it still stands as a good exemple of sixties psych. You get a couple of shameful rip-offs - "Time Race" is more or less a cover version of Deep Purple's "Wring That Neck" from Book Of Taliesyn and "Let Me Shoot You" very close to the Jeff Beck version of "Let Me Love You" that showed up on his Truth LP - but if you can live with those there's a lot further to take in for the lover of howling guitars, swirling organ and odd song structures. And it never turns humdrum, instead there are healthy variations. "Shalom" comes with an eastern flavour, "We Love The White Man" has chanting and mumbling to drums, "Turn Turn" like a raw hard rock Bo Diddley, "Spy In Space" stumbling spaced out with warped vocals, "Nirwana" filled with seemingly mindless shouting and organ. I understand why some thought it'd be Deep Purple. The organ and guitars are there and though this is more psychedelic and the vocals  far from contemporary Rod Evans it's about the same feeling. Issued on vinyl all over Europe and downunder at the time. US 2013 CD on Gear Fab Records (GF 254) combined it with a one-off 1970 album by the UK band "Ugly Custard". Premiere German on red/white Europa label in a thin glossy cover. This UK seems to be the most favoured version by collectors. I guess for the exclusive front sleeve pic and that it is the rarest. Happy to have it, but when it comes to listening I prefer the German as that appears somewhat clearer with better separation. Premiere UK had label as shown here in a laminated flip/back cover.  (PÖY*)