onsdag 22 mars 2023



Part one of a Decca LP sampler serie containing cuts recorded for the company in the sixties. For me it's too much to include all in one post so I'll handle them separately. On this first I get originals from the period 1960-64, all carried by pristine mixes - Dave Berry "The Crying Game" stereo, the rest mono.  Audio all over very powerful making the songs come out pretty much in their original shape. Rear sleeve has photos, info on every song and artist plus a list with highest chart positions in UK. For me who was a kid back then and just had started to embrace pop and rock the songs here bring so many memories - e.g. The Tornados "Telstar", Little Eva "The Loco-Motion", Heinz "Just Like Eddie", Applejacks "Tell Me When", Dave Berry "The Crying Game" and the Carol King 1962 classic "It Might As Well Rain Until September". I also get ones I didn't know before - like stuff by Eden Kane, Jet Harris & Tony Meehan and Bern Elliot & The Fenmen. So even if released around twenty years after the fact this certainly has things going for it, at least for a sixties lover like me who wants it all on LP, just as it was. Also released like this 1982 in Germany, Holland and Downunder. I don't know of any other issues. Premiere UK had label as shown here in a thin fully laminated cover.  (SÄM*)








måndag 20 mars 2023

GOING HOME WS 1874 (-70) UK



 Another compilation I think has a lot going for it. A Warner Brothers sampler offering picks from LP:s issued 1969-70, mixing cuts from legendary acts - like Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Grateful Dead, Faces and Mothers Of Invention - with today publicly less known ones - as Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band, Savage Grace and Dion. No doubt then a decoy to make people buy more of those albums, still today serving as a snap shot from the music scene at the turn of the decade. It's good to get samples of the more famous acts from back then, but for me more interesting to get the tracks I didn't know before. Like The Watts 103rd heartly "Love Land", Savage Grace's power ballad "Come On Down" and Dion's introspective "Your Own Back Yard" (which also was meritoriously covered by Mott The Hoople on their 1971 Braincapers album  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2022/02/mott-hoople-braincapers-ilps-9178-71-uk.html ). As with most of these decoy albums the tracking contains some of the best from each LP, so whatever the aim was then it is a good spin today. 1970 vinyl releases also in Italy as "Let's Go To Wight" and in Germany, Greece and Downunder as "The Now Sound - 14 Hits From The Underground". Dont know of any other issues. Premiere UK, with green label on side one and yellow steamboat on side two, in a matt fold/out cover with outside picturing people going home from Woodstock and inside with artist pics and info on each album.  (SÄM*)




onsdag 15 mars 2023


   Bought my first copy of this at release, but it didn't work for me then so I lost it. Though now after finding another copy over fifty years later I'm really starting to warm up and enjoy. UK progressive band formed 1967 as "Pictures Of Dorian Grey". After a number of member changes and releasing one 45 plus appearing in a movie they got a contract with Deram and recorded their debute album - the mostly psychedelic "Mercator Projected". That didn't sell accordingly and was followed by more member changes ( for more on the band check https://monolover.blogspot.com/2018/05/east-of-edenthe-world-of-east-of-eden.html ) . On this follow-up the new setting made an album that was different from the first, offering more of jazzy fusion and art music. In some ways reminding of Gentle Giant, but at least to my taste coming out a lot more playful. While GG a lot of the time require serious listening, this can be caught relaxed with a big smile. Mostly instrumental with occational voices as ornaments makes it easier to concentrate on melodies and performance. Like in the tumultous and jazzy "Xhorkom", the eastern influenced "Gum Arabic/Confusius" or the cool repetetive "Have to Wack It Up". Full album below. This sold better that Mercator Projected, reaching top 30 in UK, and a non-LP single recorded at the same time - "Jig-a-Jig" - climbed to #7 (see link above). So the seventeen year old me probably wasn't mature enough to appreciate what was going on here, but at almost seventy I sure am and it's good. Released on vinyl 1970 in US, Canada, Israel, South Africa, Downunder and all over Europe. Japan 2007 limited ed. CD in paper sleeve (UICY-93370) came with Jig-a-Jig as bonus track. This UK was also issued as a folded mono (DML 1050). Premiere stereo had label as shown here in a laminated cover with die-cut hole on rear and blue rim inner. 





Already have a large number of Stones compilations, so when I saw this in a bin a couple of days ago i asked myself - do I really need one more? But of course I did, so I picked and payed. As a big fan of the band I may not need every single album, though when they come on tounge label with either "COC" or "CUN" prefix I can't resist. Also this one has three of their most loved ballads - "Angie", Time Waits For No One" and "Fool To Cry" - coupled with some dynamite rockers. I especially like that they included "All Down The Line" from Exile On Main Street and "Dancing With Mr. D." from Goats Head Soup - two of my favorites on those albums and two that I didn't expect to show up on any kind of band collection. Good choice. Even if I can be without the live take - "If You Can't Rock Me/Get Off My Cloud" - from Love You Live, the rest is Stones as I want them. And the audio is just fine. Some of he cuts differ in volume, but they all come out good to the ears. So no regrets for adding yet another Stones compilation to my collection. I can absolutely live with this. Issued on vinyl in Japan, Downunder, South Africa, Mexico and all over Europe. Japan 2019 limited ed. CD in paper sleeve on R.S. Records (UICY-78939) . This press seems to be a German one exported to Scandinavia. It came with label as shown here in a thin glossy cover and tounge inner with track credit.  (RÅ*)  (GÖXÄ*)






torsdag 9 mars 2023


 I really like compilations and then particularly ones that contain rare cuts, takes and/or mixes. And this is a cornucopia of such. Released in a number of European countries and Australia. It seems most of those differ in tracking - this is about the UK pink label issue only. It was also re-issued in UK 1971 on the palm tree label having more "common" mixes or versions for some of the tracks. As it shows it wasn't 100% planned in detail at first. Inside of f/o cover names the albums related to each song, but the Jimmy Cliff LP wasn't released at all and the Bronco one got a different name and number than shown here. Also the Dave Mason cut "Little Woman" (where he's backed by Family) was a 45 B-side only. Many of the albums mentioned was scheduled for release in 1970 and this has many early takes and versions that didn't make it all the way. Following are a few exemples. Mott The Hoople "Thunderback Ram" is an alternate take, which also showed up on the 1980 "Two Miles From Heaven" compilation  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2013/05/mott-hoopletwo-miles-from-heaven-irsp-8.html   . King Crimson "Cadence And Cascade" has a 3.30 edit, about a minute shorter than on "In The Wake Of Poseidon" album. Quintessence "Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Gauranga" is not the LP studio version stated here, but a random live take. Spooky Tooth "I Am The Walrus" sounds different from the album version with alternate guitars. Free "Oh I Wept" comes with another vocal take than on the "Fire And Water" album. On Nick Drake "Hazey Jane" the stereo mix differs from the LP version and Bloodwyn Pig "Send Your Son To Die" is cut at a slower speed. Overall the sound is loud and clear, typical for earlier Island issues, while the later from -71 sounds somewhat more soft and damp. Even if all versions had been ordinary it would still have been a top notch compilation with high quality prog. There's just tons of icing on this first baked cake. Fav track - Spooky Tooth "I Am The Walrus" (Couldn't find the alternate version on YouTube, so the one below is the LP one) . Premiere UK had pink "i" structured label as shown here and thick matt f/o cover with a "29'11 Double Album" sticker. (SÄM*) (ÖSÄP*) (MÖHÖ*) (FÄHZ*) 





onsdag 8 mars 2023


 When checking this blog you've probably noticed I have a soft spot for today almost forgotten one-off LP:s from shortlived bands. Especially those that offer some of my favorite dishes - like the psych rock one here. Can't find much facts about the group itself. Apparently a Seattle combo existing between 1968-70. Vocalist Danny O'Keefe is today more known as a solo singer/songwriter with a carreer including release of sixteen albums 1966-2020. Guitarist Clyde Heaton came from Seattle garage rock band Dimensions while guitarist Paul Goldsmith had a background in Seattle bands The Nitesounds and Emergency Exit. No sure what happened to them later, but drummer John Simpson went on to today celebrated acid rock band Cristopher. Here I get a mix of self penned and covers, produced by Lewis Merenstein (who also worked with Van Morrison, Spencer Davies, Mamas & Papas and John Cale among others). Don't know how smart it was to handle already iconic stuff by Mamas & Papas, Dylan and Elvis, but to my taste they do just fine - especially the slow semi-psych "Hound Dog" version. My favorite tracks are "Hello Hello" with its killer guitars to sweeping organ and the art psych "Atlas", which might take some time to get into. Maybe not the best psych rock effort ever, but certaily worth to be spun more than once if you're into that genre. Full album below. Also issued on vinyl in UK (Buddah 203016). Spanish 2008 CD on Retro Disc International (RDI 33025). Premiere US had label as shown here in a glossy cover.  (YZÄ*)




söndag 5 mars 2023


  When it comes to demand and value the UK original version of this all time rock classic has always been rated higher  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-whomy-generation-lat-8616-65-uk-mono.html . But for this Swedish guy who back in the sixties saw many different issues with similar trackings and sleeve designs as the UK, this US mono was so odd it came as a revelation. Not only did it carry the 45 edit of "The Kids Are All Right" and replaced "Im A Man" with an alternate take of "Circles" - called "Instant Party" - in a totally different sleeve design, the audio here is also clearer than on the UK with better separation. As the UK was released four months earlier that is always considered an earlier variation of this, but to me the differences are so big I'd rather see it as a separate issue. Full album below. Also released in Canada and a couple of South American countries.  US 1988 CD on MCA (MCAD-31330) came with all original mono takes straight on. Premiere US, also as fake stereo  (DL 74664), had label as shown here in a laminated cover.   (WÖH*) (YZÄ*) (ÖXCÅ*)




fredag 3 mars 2023



A man with many faces. Part of vocal duo The Truth as "Steve Gold" mid sixties, member of northern soul band The Javells as "Nosmo King" in the seventies and today doing stand-up comedy as "Sol Bernstein". This however was the the only album released under his own name. Recorded at George Martin's Air Studios in London. Self-produced with songs co-written by him and Marshall Doctors with string arrangements by Gerry Butler. Style sometimes reminding of early Elton John and sometimes of Gilbert O'Sullivan. He's not copying, but the well written songs, with a blend of slow and up-tempo, the vocals and pleasant string arrangements conveyed by top audio do create some of the same atmosphere. This is very good listening all through, not challenging in any way, but sweet and soothing enough. Playlist below. To my knowledge this UK vinyl was the only issue. It came with label as shown here in matt fold/out cover with lyrics and credits inside.  (DÖNL*)





måndag 27 februari 2023


 When Jeff Lynne left Idle Race ( https://monolover.blogspot.com/2021/04/idle-racethe-birthday-party-lbl-83132.html ) to work with his old friend Roy Wood in The Move there were already plans to kill the group and start a new one with emphasis on string infested rock. Both were fans of the Beatles songs "Strawberry Flields" and "I'm the Walrus" and wanted the same kind of heavy agenda. Those plans would later evolve into Electric Light Orchestra, but first they had to ride out The Move contract with two more LP:s (which would be this and "Message from the Country"  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-movemessage-from-country-shsp-4013.html  and a number of singles (the late non-LP ones are best caught here   https://monolover.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-movecalifornia-man-shsp-4035-74.html ). On this it's very clear the aim is experimenting, both in songwriting and producing. With five of the tracks they're just trying to be as raw and heavy as they can, creating a very dark atmosphere. The two remaining are among the most complicated Lynne compositions ever, filled with ideas that partly would be re-used later on with ELO. During the sessions they also recorded "10538 Overture", originally intended for a Move B-side, but decided to save it for later and it became a massive UK hit for ELO 1972. The "Brontosaurus" track from the album was recorded previous to the LP and released as single on Regal Zonophone. It went top 10 in UK, but didn't do well in US. "When Alice Comes Back From the Farm" was the groups least commecial '45 and didn't chart at all. I'm very found of this album and think most of its charm comes from the obvious lack of commercial interest. The guys are trying out stuff here with the final goal still set two years ahead, yet there is so much talent and skill involved it never gets boring or introvert. A remain from a musical era when everything was possible. Full album below. Also issued on vinyl in Canada and USA (Capitol ST-658), Germany, Italy and Downunder. Japan 2001 CD on Cube (VICP-61315) came with ten bonus tracks. Premiere UK had label as shown here in a fully laminated cover. (RÖWS*) (FXÖ*)




söndag 26 februari 2023


 This is a sibling to the "Electric Rock"  https://monolover.blogspot.com/2015/01/electric-rock-idee-2000-lbs-8337273x-70.html  and "Electric Rock ´71" https://monolover.blogspot.com/2014/12/electric-rock-71-idee-2000-lbs-8349192x.html  samplers I endorsed earlier. Another of those albums that can work as a very pleasing substitute for all us vinyl lovers who lack the means to get every interesting original pressing. A well packaged 2-LP set containing a mix of recordings from today semi-common acts - as Canned Heath, Ansley Dunbar, Johnny Winter and Groundhogs - with really odd ones - like the one-off 45 from shortlived UK band "Big Bertha" (then with members Cozy Powell and Peter French), the late sixties Miami combo "Fantasy", the Seattle rock band "Floting Bridge", the German psych fusion band "Motherhood" or the Swiss rockers "Krokodil". At least for me, who's always trying to find rare cuts on LP as close to the fact as possible, it's a true gem. Hopefully there are other compilation loving collectors out that that do agree. Cuts added below. To my knowledge this was the only issue. It came with label as shown here in a laminated fold/out cover. (SÄM*)  (GÖXÄ*)







onsdag 22 februari 2023


 A follow-up to the duo's 1968 "Folk Songs Of Olde England" Vol.1 and Vol.2 albums, recorded after they'd joined Steeleye Span and issued about the same time as the band's "Ten Man Mop..." LP - https://monolover.blogspot.com/2014/11/steeleye-spanten-man-mop-or-mr.html . Far from the folky rock that would lead to further fame and bigger sales later on, this is a lot softer with sparse or non backing to the voices. "Dancing At Whitsun" comes with string arrangements by Robert Kirby (who also has worked with Nick Drake, Elton John, Strawbs and Elvis Costello among others), but the rest sounds close to traditional. I had a change of mind on British folk some time ago. Earlier I almost always went for the rock interprets, carried by sturdy drums and bass, though now I can feel a lot more at home with these sparser and softer versions. As arranged and performed here they offer calm and comfort to a ragged soul and put me in a state of mind where I can almost forget the ugly present. Whole album below for your pleasure. Also originally issued on vinyl in Holland and Downunder. US 1984 LP (79046) and cassette (5SHAN-79046) on Sanachie. Japan 2006 remastered CD in paper sleeve on Strange Days Records (POCE 1017). UK 1976 repress on Mooncrest (Crest 12). Premiere UK had label as shown here in a glossy fold/out cover.  (FÄV*)  (BRYF*) (FÄHZ*)