US variation of the UK seventeen track "Rarities" that first appeared in the 1978 "The Beatles Collection" box, but from 1979 issued and sold as a single album all over the world (see earlier post). As many of the cuts on that already had been released in US the Americans compiled their own fourteen track with only four in common to the UK release - "Sie Liebt Dich", "Across The Universe", "You Know My Name" and "The Inner Light". For the rest they added a couple of mix variations not yet released or then considered rare in US. As a European and vivid collector of such issues I do perfer the UK for obvious reasons, but can't be without this either. To me the most valuable track here, first time on album anywhere, is the first issued 45 take of "Love Me Do" with Ringo on drums. Don't understand why they created new versions of "I'm The Walrus" by blending US and UK mixes, or "Penny Lane" by clashing the 1971 stereo re-mix with the US promo. Any of those four originals would have done it by themselves. But apart from that approximately historically correct and I guess well fitting the American market at the time. And it's a lovely sleeve design with cover and inner together having close to fifty images of the band, many of them very rare. This Canadian 1st seems to be made from the US matrixes, with exact same label, sleeve and inner design and the audio is tophole. The only difference I can spot is this doesn't have the barcode on rear. (YZÄ*) (BÄ*)
Never been a huge Dylan fan and not a die-hard collector of the man, just a picker of finds from the used bins, so I take what I can get. Whatever you think about his production at large there's no denying this is an all time classic album, the beginning of an era and praised by about every listener, reviewer and music historian from then to now. I do like that it's angry, coming from a what it seems tortured soul not willing to compromise, a rebel who wouldn't waste energy on a fake smile, yet for some reason I don't get caught by his songs as performed by himself, but truly dig many of the cover versions instead. It's not a record I play a lot - more fun to own than listen to. Wont waste any words on the dull stereo mix (to me much of it sounds like some kind of rechanneling), but as there seems to be so many "early" UK variations thought I'd describe this too as one of the first. Matrix numbers (SBPG-62193-1A-1/-2B-1) are stamped above label instead of below, which would show on a Philips press. Label has rough structure and is slightly elevated towards the edge. Vinyl is rather heavy and not very flexible. Sleeve has no number with the CBS logo on front, stereo stamps are black. "SBPG" on rear is printed with large fonts while the label has large "S" and small "BPG". The reference on rear is to the US mono number "CL 1986" though the label referes to the US stereo number "CS 8786". The laminated flip-back cover is without printers credit. That's all. (BÖB*)
Sampler with recordings from late sixties and early seventies, showing some of the base on which the British folk rock boom was built. Two tracks from Shirley Collins, one by Shelagh McDonald and the remaining all related to Steeleye Span, either by band recordings or member's solo efforts. The a-capella cover of "Rave On" originally a 45 only cut, the rest picked from albums. As a fan of the band's rocking years and especially Priors vocals I have to admit that, even if Collins' and McDonald's contributions are good, I'm keeping it as a Steeleye Span record and an interesting exhibit of their beginnings. "Banks Of The Bairn", "Lovely On The Water" and "Marrowbones" still more folk than rock, but clearly showing where they were heading. If you're a Steeleye Span fan, or just interested in general, and don't wanna spend all that time and money to get the originals this comes highly recommended. Audio is tophole throughout and the sleeve, though with a quite cheapish finish, has a couple of nice pics. Release was British only, also reissued on CD 2001 (Edsel EDCD 685) with same tracking. Premiere UK had label as shown here and thin matt cover. (SÖPX*) (FÄV*) (SÄM*)
US blues/prog band existing 1967-69 and including former members of H.P. Lovecraft and Shadows of Knight. This one-off album, just managing Billboard 200, also became their swan song. The combo broke up soon after as keybordist/songwriter "Hawk" Wolinski and guitarist Alan De Carlo went on to form rock/prog outfit Madura. So this album is about the only legacy from Bangor Flying Circus and to my ears an enjoyable one. Nothing immediately crowd pleasing or catchy, but a fine blend of pre-prog and heavy blues, embellished by great guitars and partly prominent organ. I don't hear a lot reminding of the guys' former bands, instead inspiration from Al Kooper and friends - like BS&T "Child Is Father To The Man" or early Supersession. In all an essential exemple of American late sixties rock. Splendid for us who were there, but if you're not into such in the first place you might find it hard to connect. Favorite track - the "Norwegian Wood" cover in a prog mood with lots of flowing organ. Premiere US and Canadian on Dunhill (DS 50069). Also originally issued in France (Stateside 2C062-90904). Japan 2017 remastered CD on Vivid Sound (VSCD 5761). First UK had label as shown here with "Sold In UK..." at bottom and laminated flip-back cover.
The common knowledge is both formats were made from the same tapes and the mono a fold down from an original stereo. Therefore I could just confirm that and be done with it. But it's not that simple. This is a mystery to me. If it'd been a UK recording I would have said at least partly separate mixes since most tracks on the mono issue sounds a lot better than when you connect the channels on the stereo - coming through loud, clear and well separated while a fold gets muddier and damper. Fades seems to coincide all the way with if some then only miniscule differences. If just focusing on the audio connecting the channels sounds like an almost ok fold while the mono actually appears true all the way. But as it is a US recording I can't explain. Obviously made from the same ground, but something must have been done along the way to assure good mono listening. So even if a fold, not a stone cold one but adjusted to the better. Apart from the rechanneled "Do It Again" the stereo mix has its pros as centered and cohesive thus giving a natural flow and enjoyable listening. Even so if I had to choose it'd be the mono for the dynamics and impact. (BÅB*) (YMÖ*) (MÅW*) (CPYC*)
His forth original album, first released in UK on the date of his 21st birthday - October 14, 1961. It delivers the same mix of uptempo rock and ballads as on the predecessors, partly backed by The Shadows and party by producer Norrie Paramor's own orchestra. Not counting the opening "Happy Birthday To You", which is mostly a talkie I guess meant to mimick a birthday party, I get fifteen tracks - some rock'n'roll, some slow-movers and the rest contemporary common pop. All neatly produced and performed with top audio - warm and natural. I can dig the proficient arrangements and trimmed vocals of the calmer tracks as you'd appreciate any well-done work though it's the Shadows-backed rockers that get most of my attention. Not many here, but I can dig him getting at least a little less prudent in cuts like "Forty Days", "Tough Enough" and "Without You". There are no surprises here and nothing even remotely stirring, instead very comfy listening. Not a knock-out record, then more of a soft hug, but sometimes that is all you need. 1961 releases in Europe, South Africa, Israel and downunder, but to my knowledge never issued in US. 1998 EU CD on EMI (7243 4 95442 2 2). In UK originally also released as stereo (SCX 3409). Premiere UK mono had label as shown here and laminated flip-back cover. (CXÄ*)
Initially an independent label founded 1968 in Beverly Hills, California, by former main label executives Bob Krasnow (Kama Sutra), Tommy LiPuma and Don Graham (both A&M). Up to 1970 handeling their own distribution, but after that using a number of bigger companies for the task. Checking the label's original discography today you do get the impression of a typically independent edition. Early, then not yet in US publically embraced, trials from Captain Beefheart, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Aynsley Dunbar together with late stuff by Ike & Tina Turner, Love, Cass Elliot and John Mayall, but also comedy and odd black blues. I guess collectors of the label sit on a vast variety of rare tracks, where of many exist only on one particular album. I'm not one of those, so for me this sampler is so far the only taster of its range. Most of all I hear a blues record, divided between black and white, a couple of the tracks - as from Fred McDowell and Nathan Beauregard - traditional and down-to-earth. But also good and/or odd pop/rock from Love, Ike & Tina Turner and others, all concluded by Bossa Rio's latin cover of Beatles "Blackbird". Audio shifts a little, but most of it a-ok. My only demour would be the compiling is so variated it's impossible to listen through in a coherent mood, but taking each track by iself it's almost all good. And maybe it's just me, but I find the semi-nude thumbsucker on sleeve quite sexy. 1995 2xCD compilation "All Day Thumbsucker Revisited - The History Of Blue Thumb Records" (BTD-2-7002) came with thirtytwo tracks, also issued as a 3xLP set (BT-3-7002). Premiere US vinyl had label as shown here, glossy cover with band presentations on rear and picture inner with further notes. (YZÄ*) (SÄM*)
For artist background check post on his first solo album "Ramadan". As this his forth was recorded almost three years later with a partly different crew and titled "Boogie Woogie" you'd expect something very different, but it's not. Only boogieish I can hear is a small part of "Jayson's Boogie Woogie", most of the rest comes out very similar to the debute. Jazzy prog with an eastern feel - part with advanced twists and turns, part soothing lounge music. Three of the tracks have tiny wordless vocal parts, the rest purely instrumental. It's one of those where you're taken for a truly adventurous ride though always totally safe as cared for by top musicians. It may seem redundant to mention that he was one of the best jazz flutists back then and his work still highly regarded, but it really shows here all the time - both by brilliant licks and emotional solos. So there's not much boogie, blues or rock going on here, but for the jazz prog freak or more multi-genre listener a trip well worth taking. Also released 1975 in US as "Second Carneval" with different sleeve design and track sequence. Dutch on Metronome (MLP 115.574) and Spanish on Zafiro (ZL 157). Issued on CD 1994 by WEA (9031-71222-2). Premiere Swedish had label as shown here and laminated fold-out cover. (SCÄ*) (CCÖ*)
You'd think that after being a blues/rock/prog/pop/psych collector for almost fifty years I must have heard or at least heard of any period acts within those genres. But no - I still find interesting stuff that for some reason escaped me through the decades. Like this white blues effort. Apparently, though billed as "King Bisquit Boy", it was a joint achievement by his then band "Crowbar", which he left after these recordings for a solo carreer. As new to the band I got nothing except what I can find when reading about them on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Biscuit_Boy . Recommended reading. What immediately caught me with this album was the dirt and the down-to-earth feeling so rare among white blues bands at the time. If you aren't aquainted already - it sounds about like a Canned Heath consisting of experienced black blues musicians. Seemingly live in the studio, loud and violent with tons of authentic feeling. So glad I found it, albeit very late but better late than never. Premiere Canadian on Daffodil Records (DS 1,000,001), US on Paramount (PAS 5030), Spanish on Hispavox (HSX 001-22). Canadian 1995 CD on Stony Plain Records (SPCD 1220). First UK had label as shown here and laminated flip/back cover.