Bright Side Of The Moon

Un sitio como otro cualquiera, sencillo, musical y algo paranoide... lo normal.

miércoles, abril 30, 2008

John Lennon - Mind Games (Remixed & Remastered)

John Lennon
Mind Games

(Remixed & Remastered 2002)

La influencia de Yoko Ono en Lennon no fue nunca positiva para su creatividad. En 1973, John y Yoko se dieron un tiempo de reflexion, y Lennon compuso en ese verano las canciones de su cuarto album, sin contar el disco en vivo junto a Clapton, y los delirios junto a Yoko de 1969. El activismo politico disminuyo un tanto, y Lennon se volco en su musica para hacer un disco a medias entre la nostalgia hacia Yoko y divertimentos rockeros. Este disco era mi compañia en los largos viajes por las carreteras del pais, junto al "Thick is a brick", y claro, ese recuerdo es imborrable. Los temas de "Mind Games" son mas alegres y se disfrutan mas que los de "Imagine", un disco algo triste, aunque quizas el mas genial de Lennon. Las canciones dedicadas a Yoko son mayoria,"Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)", "One Day at a Time", "Out The Blue" y "You Are Here" destilan amargura y esperanza. "Mind Games" fue el precursor de "Walls & Bridges", otro magnifico trabajo, algo mas consistente y trabajado que este. En esta edicion remasterizada se incluyen tres tomas en el estudio casero de John.

21st October 2002 the C.D. is re-issued in a new re-mastered edition running to 48:02 as it has three bonus tracks.
The remixing was performed at Abbey Road in 2002 with a project co-ordinator of Allan Rouse.
On this release, "Mind Games" is on E.M.I. Records with a catalogue number of 542 4252 (International number 7243 5 42425 2 6)
It includes a 32-page booklet which has nine rare Lennon drawings (one shown above), three photographs and eight items of memorabilia.
The front cover is just like the album, and the rear is the same as the album rear but obviously with more text upon it, so I haven`t bothered showing them again.

After the hostile reaction to the politically charged Sometime in New York City, John Lennon moved away from explicit protest songs and returned to introspective songwriting with Mind Games. Lennon didn't leave politics behind -- he just tempered his opinions with humor on songs like "Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple)," which happened to undercut the intention of the song. It also indicated the confusion that lies at the heart of the album. Lennon doesn't know which way to go, so he tries everything. There are lovely ballads like "Out of the Blue" and "One Day (At a Time)," forced, ham-fisted rockers like "Meat City" and "Tight As," sweeping Spectoresque pop on "Mind Games," and many mid-tempo, indistinguishable pop/rockers. While the best numbers are among Lennon's finest, there's only a handful of them, and the remainder of the record is simply pleasant. But compared to Sometime in New York City, as well as the subsequent Walls and Bridges, Mind Games sounded like a return to form. [The edition reissued in 2002 appended three extra tracks, the "home versions" of "Aisumasen," "Bring on the Lucie," and "Meat City."]

01. "Mind Games " - 4:13
02. "Tight A$" - 3:37
03. "Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)" - 4:44
04. "One Day (at a Time)" - 3:09
05. "Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple)" - 4:12
06. "Nutopian International Anthem" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) - 0:03
* Himno simbólico de Nutopia
07. "Intuition" - 3:08
08. "Out the Blue" - 3:23
09. "Only People" - 3:23
10. "I Know (I Know)" - 3:49
11. "You Are Here" - 4:08
12. "Meat City" - 2:45

Temas extra

13. "Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)" - 3:36
14. "Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple)" - 1:02
15. "Meat City" - 2:37

Mind Games

We're playing those mind games together
Pushing the barriers planting seeds
Playing the mind guerrilla
Chanting the Mantra peace on earth
We all been playing those mind games forever
Some kinda druid dudes lifting the veil
Doing the mind guerrilla
Some call it magic the search for the grail

Love is the answer and you know that for sure
Love is a flower you got to let it grow

So keep on playing those mind games together
Faith in the future out of the now
You just can't beat on those mind guerrillas
Absolute elsewhere in the stones of your mind
Yeah we're playing those mind games together
Projecting our images in space and in time

Yes is the answer and you know that for sure
Yes is surrender you got to let it go

So keep on playing those mind games together
Doing the ritual dance in the sun
Millions of mind guerrillas
Putting their soul power to the karmic wheel
Keep on playing those mind games together
Raising the spirit of peace and love
(I want you to make love, not war
I know you've heard it before)


viernes, abril 25, 2008

Bob Seger - The Distance

Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
The Distance


The Distance was hailed as a return to form upon the time of its release and, in many ways, might be a little stronger, a little more consistent than its predecessor, Against the Wind. Still, this album has the slickest production Bob Seger had yet granted, and the biggest hit single on The Distance wasn't written by him, it was a cover of Rodney Crowell's "Shame on the Moon." Now, this wasn't entirely unusual, since Seger had been an excellent interpreter of songs for years, but this, combined with the glossy sound, signaled that Seger may have been more concerned with his status as a popular, blue-collar rocker than his music. Not that there's much to fault with the music, since "Even Now" and "Roll Me Away" are easily two of his classics, and he turns out craftsmanlike rockers like "Makin' Thunderbirds" and "Boomtown Blues" with aplomb. For all its attributes, it feels like a mirror image of Against the Wind, an album where the rockers, on the whole, wind up being more convincing than the ballads. Now, that doesn't mean The Distance is a bad record, since it isn't -- it's filled with first-rate heartland rockers -- but Seger at his best could balance rockers with ballads, or if he concentrated on rockers, it would be more ferocious than this. This album is simply solid, a nice addition to his catalog, but not a knockout.

1. "Even Now" – 4:31
2. "Makin' Thunderbirds" – 2:58
3. "Boomtown Blues" – 3:38
4. "Shame on the Moon" (Rodney Crowell) – 4:55
5. "Love's the Last to Know" – 4:26
6. "Roll Me Away" – 4:39
7. "House Behind a House" – 4:00
8. "Comin' Home" – 6:06
9. "Little Victories" – 5:52

Seguimos con la discografia del gran Seger, y con este disco que marco el final de su época dorada. Enormes temas de gran fuerza y delicadas composiciones tipo balada, un estilo que cultiva como nadie.


sábado, abril 19, 2008

Bob Seger - Against The Wind

Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
Against the Wind

De entre todos los discos a los que tengo un especial cariño, este se lleva la palma. Sera porque en su momento me marco tanto como el "Born to run", "Transformer" o el "Ziggy" de Bowie. Me preguntaba un amigo porque Springsteen habia triunfado tanto en Europa, y Seger no, cuando a los dos nos gustaba mas este...sera cosa del marketing, pero realmente, aunque la carrera de Seger no haya sido tan fructifera en exitos, su musica es de lo mejor de los 70, y en este disco lo demuestra. Imprescindible como casi todo lo del americano.

Though there are still some traces of the confessionals that underpinned Beautiful Loser through Stranger in Town, Against the Wind finds Bob Seger turning toward craft. Perhaps he had to, since Against the Wind arrived after three blockbuster albums and never-ending tours. Even so, this record winds up not feeling as immediate or soulful as its predecessors, especially since it begins with a tossed-off rocker called "The Horizontal Bop," possibly his most careless tune since "Noah." It's fun, but once it's done, the record really starts to kick into high gear with "You'll Accomp'ny Me," a ballad the equal of anything on its two predecessors. Throughout Against the Wind, Seger winds up performing better on the ballads than the rockers, which, while good, tend to sound a little formulaic. Still, Seger's formula is good and if "Her Strut" and "Betty Lou's Gettin' out Tonight" would have been second stringers on Stranger in Town, they offer a nice balance here, and the rest of the record alternates between similarly well-constructed rockers and introspective ballads like "Against the Wind" and "Fire Lake." Compared to its predecessors, this does feel a little weak, but compared with its peers, it's a strong, varied heartland rock album that finds Seger at a nearpeak.

01. The Horizontal Bop [0:04:02.43]
02. You'll Accompany Me [0:03:59.32]
03. Her Strut [0:03:53.15]
04. No Man's Land [0:03:43.03]
05. Long Twin Silver Line [0:04:15.57]
06. Against The Wind [0:05:33.48]
07. Good For Me [0:04:03.25]
08. Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight [0:02:52.05]
09. Fire Lake [0:03:32.50]
10. Shinin' Brightly [0:04:24.45]


jueves, abril 17, 2008

Billy Joel - Storm Front

Billy Joel - Storm Front (1989)
Japan Cardboard Sleeve MHCP-550 (2008)

Penultimo disco de Joel, antes del postumo "River of Dreams". Aun sin ser el mejor de su discografia, y sera por amor secular a su musica, "Storm Front" sigue la trayectoria de gran calidad que siempre a caracterizado su carrera. Realmente me gusta su forma de componer y cantar. La comprometida "We Didn´t Start The Fire", la soberbia "I Go To Extremes" o la lirica "Leningrad", sin contar la inspirada "State Of Grace". Un gran disco de Billy, que dejo la musica hace ya demasiado tiempo.

On 'Storm Front,' his first studio album since The Bridge in 1986, Billy Joel throws off pop complacency for an angry, committed – and often moving – exploration of life in modern America. Defining the album's theme of lost innocence is a core of songs that evokes the desperate disorientation that has suffused American consciousness over the past decade. Storm Front's aggressive tone is immediately established by the surging slide guitar and growling blues harp that kick off "That's Not Her Style," the record's opening track. But the album gets down to business with its second cut, "We Didn't Start the Fire."

Storm Front's propulsive first single, "We Didn't Start the Fire," sounds the alarm on a society that has lost its moral center and is spinning out of control. Telescoping forty years of history into a feverish, chronological roll call of political leaders, pop icons and world events, Joel charts the steady erosion of our national spirit since 1949 – incidentally, the year of his birth. The singer captures the carefree mood of '49 in the first of a series of musical time capsules: "Harry Truman, Doris Day, red China, Johnnie Ray/South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio." But as the song rushes toward the present, it catalogs the crises that have compromised our dreams. Ending with a spirit-crushing litany of contemporary social horrors – "Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz/Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law" – Joel shouts, "I can't take it anymore!"

The broad cultural sweep of "We Didn't Start the Fire" finds a personal focus in the record's next track, "The Downeaster 'Alexa'." The song tells a haunting tale about a Long Island fisherman who cannot provide for his family because government regulations have crippled his livelihood. With its slow, martial beat and plaintive, gull-like violin squalls, "Alexa" casts a dreamlike image of a wrecked man "trolling Atlantis," navigating a lost world. The song reaches an aching climax when, stirred by the memory of his fisherman father, the man cries aloud, lamenting the death of his family legacy. That Joel's daughter is named Alexa Ray only heightens the song's resonance.

Joel's other protagonists experience vague frustrations and longings. The character in the hard-driving "I Go to Extremes" futilely tries to account to his girlfriend for his inconsistent moods and wavering confidence. The lover in "Shameless" sings with perverse pride about his enslavement to his woman's affections, while his swaggering alter ego in "Storm Front" disowns domestic bliss and sets sail on a sea of temptation.

Not all of the weather on Storm Front is so heavy, however. Joel offers heartening assurances on "When in Rome," an uplifting, R&B-inflected anthem about love's survival. And on the stately "Leningrad," Joel chronicles how his 1987 visit to the Soviet Union melted his cold-war fears.

Musically, Storm Front struts with insistent rock & roll authority. Foreigner's Mick Jones, who coproduced the album with Joel, replaces Joel's longtime collaborator Phil Ramone; as a result, the record boasts a muscular drum sound, gritty guitar work and some rousing blues-rock whomp. The producers steer clear of the Joel-Ramone penchant for epic suites and stylistic pastiche in service to Storm Front's sturdy rock & roll heart.

In dramatic fashion, Joel provides the otherwise tempestuous Storm Front with a coda of exquisite grace. The hymnlike "And So It Goes" takes the record's turbulent emotions and stills them in a moment of quiet revelation. Accompanied only by a piano and a discreet synthesizer, Joel proposes emotional vulnerability and reconciliation to life's uncertainties as a route to secular redemption. It is a note of startling maturity, at once mournful and bracing. And as the final word on an album that takes a serious look at a troubled world, it reflects the hard-earned wisdom of a no longer innocent man. (RS 566) Rolling Stone

  1. "That's Not Her Style" – 5:10
  2. "We Didn't Start the Fire" – 4:50
  3. "The Downeaster "Alexa"" – 3:44
  4. "I Go to Extremes" – 4:23
  5. "Shameless" – 4:26
  6. "Storm Front" – 5:17
  7. "Leningrad" – 4:06
  8. "State of Grace" – 4:30
  9. "When In Rome" – 4:50
  10. "And So It Goes" – 3:38


miércoles, abril 09, 2008

World Of Oz

World of Oz
Psychedelia/Baroque Pop
Repertoire REPUK 1070, 2006 (2000 units Limited Edition)

Cuarteto formado en 1967 en Birmingham y compuesto por la voz y la guitarra de Christopher Robin, el bajista Tony Clarkson, el teclista y guitarra David "Kubee" Kubinec y el batería David Reay. En plena efervescencia de pop rock psicodelico, los "World of Oz" comenzaron en su ciudad natal a actuar hasta que pudieron grabar su primer single "The Muffin Man/Peter's Birthday" con ventas realmente pauperrimas, al igual que su unico LP. El estilo de "Oz" recuerda a los primeros Bee Gees y Hollies, con cuidadas composiciones y arreglos de viento y cuerda, temas realmente frescos y de gran plasticidad. Fue una pena que se separaran a los dos años, podrian haber hecho una serie de discos fantasticos. Me gusto la primera vez que los escuche, y ahora con este cd estoy disfrutando de lo lindo, y redescubriendo una serie de canciones de mucha altura. CD digipack de edición limitada con salida de 2000 unidades únicamente.

The original 12-song LP has been expanded to 20 tracks for this CD. The original material comprised a very pleasant and diverting psychedelic pop release, strongly reminiscent at times of the early Bee Gees from Horizontal, interspersed with some heavier-sounding tracks that were closer to the World of Oz's actual sound on-stage. The bonus cuts are single edits and mixes of tracks that were already represented on the album, so there's nothing new to hear except for a punchier, more compressed sound on some of the better songs. The sound quality is most impressive, however, and given the sheer rarity of the original LP, the chances of anyone having the latter already lying around to be heard are next to non-existent -- so this CD ends up being essential listening for almost anyone fascinated by the commercial side of British psychedelia.

The World of Oz were a British psychedelic pop band that enjoyed a short string of successful singles in Europe. Between those major charting records in Holland and a lot of good press at home, the release of an album was planned -- yet they managed to throw it all away with an unexplained split. All four original members -- Tony Clarkson (bass, vocals), David "Kubie" Kubinec (organ), Christopher Robin (guitar, piano, vocals), and David Reay (drums) -- hailed from Birmingham, and had been parts of that city's burgeoning pop/rock culture for varying amounts of time. Clarkson had several years' experience playing in various bands, and had also performed on the European continent. Kubinec had spent two years working mostly in Germany as a member of the Pieces of Mind, doing a mixture of R&B and soul. Reay and Robin (real name Christopher Evans) had played in a band called the Mayfair Set, working in Germany for a year before returning to Birmingham late in 1967, where they broke up. The pair decided to form a new band, and Kubinec and Clarkson were recruited through advertisements in musician magazines. In January of 1968 they formed the group, the "Oz" name and imagery fitting in with the trippy ambience of the late '60s.

They decided that while Birmingham's club scene could provide work, it didn't offer the kind of prospects for a recording career that they had in mind, and so they headed to London. Their songwriting ability got them snatched up by Sparta Music. And for a manager, they had no less a figure than Barry Class, who was best known for his most successful client, the Foundations (of "Build Me Up Buttercup" fame). Class lived up to his last name by setting the group up in a luxury apartment on Park Lane, in London's exclusive Mayfair district, long a fashionable locale for movie stars and theater performers seeking to put on a big front in their lives. It made for a fair amount of press access and good press, as well as impressing various record company executives, accustomed to dealing with up-and-coming bands living in near squalor. Between the quality of their songs, played at impromptu auditions or the gigs Class was able to get them, and the gimmick of their high-profile digs, the band received serious overtures from several record companies, including Pye. But in the spring of 1968 they signed with Deram Records, the progressive pop imprint of English Decca. Wayne Bickerton, who headed Deram, thought enough of them to personally produce this new act, and his enthusiasm was more than enough to seal the deal. He even approved and budgeted the use of a 33-piece orchestra accompanying them on one of Kubinec's songs, "Muffin Man," at their first recording session.

"Muffin Man" was issued as a single in England and on the Continent in May of 1968 (and a little later in the United States). A catchy tune with great hooks, instrumental as well as vocal, and a trippy, nursery-rhyme-like ambience, it somehow managed never to chart in England. According to Kubinec in an interview on the psychedelic site Marmalade Skies, things began coming apart when Class accompanied the Foundations on a tour of America and left the World of Oz in the hands of a deputy who immediately cut back on the promotion budget for the group and the single. In trying to save a few shillings, he cost them the momentum they'd been working for months to build up, and the single just lay there. The key moment, in his view, was missing a chance to do the single on Top of the Pops. However, the record did reach the Top Ten in Holland, sold reasonably well across Western Europe, and also managed to get some positive response in the form of radio play in the United States. Three months later came their second single, "King Croesus," which also made the Top Ten in Holland, and got to number 126 in the Cashbox charts late that fall in America. Additionally, despite the fact that they hadn't charted a single in England, the group's sound -- a light, harmony-based psychedelia similar to the Bee Gees and records like "Barker of the UFO" -- and Class' clout got them as much work as they could handle and more. The band lasted through two more rounds of recording sessions in 1968, through November of that year, and even got a third U.S. release, for "The Hum-Gum Tree" b/w "Mandy-Ann."

An album seemed a next easy step, but things weren't right within the band, and Kubinec and Reay were already gone -- for reasons no one has ever explained -- by that last set of recording sessions, replaced by Geoff Nicholls (guitar, organ) and Bob Moore (drums), respectively. The group soldiered on, under a rather awkward shadow -- Deram Records already had a finished album in the can and a February release date, and that record was coming out, despite the fact that it featured two key members who were already gone from the lineup. Meanwhile, the World of Oz had another modest hit in Holland, "Willow's Harp" b/w "Like a Tear," early in 1969. The new lineup made it as far as appearing on the televised rock & roll showcase Beat Club in Germany and other, similar programs in Holland, and on the cover of pop magazines in the Netherlands. Finally, another U.K. single, of "The Hum-Gum Tree," was due out, but then was canceled. That, apparently, was the final straw for the reconstituted band, which broke up in May of 1969, a year after the group's recording career had begun.

The World of Oz LP was released on schedule and disappeared without creating a ripple on the charts, on either side of the Atlantic. The album cover was a very strange one -- it featured visual representations of the last lineup of the group, which was understandable but also strange, as they were hardly heard on the record inside. The cover design was an especially ornate affair, utilizing characters from L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz universe, which, according to Kubinec, also included representations of their manager, and even annotator Jonathan King, while the back cover had images of Bickerton and arranger Mike Vickers. As a psychedelic artifact, musical and visual, that LP and the cover were serious collectors' items for many years. It was bootlegged on CD sometime in the late '90s, before a legitimate re-release from Repertoire Records showed up in 2007, concurrent with a mini-LP-packaged CD in Japan.

Given relatively easy availability at last, the album reveals a prodigiously talented pop/rock band, nothing earth-shattering given what they and Class and Bickerton were aiming at, but with a lot of unrealized potential residing in those songs. And the singles "Muffin Man" and, better still, "Like a Tear" reflect a tuneful, trippy psychedelic pop sensibility, somewhat similar to the early Bee Gees -- in addition to appearing on The World of Oz, they have been anthologized on various psychedelic collections. In the years following the World of Oz's demise, David Kubinec did a solo album on A&M Records about a decade after the original group's signing, while Reay became a recording executive. Both Kubinec and Clarkson have since enjoyed long careers in music, right up to the present day. Nicholls, though a later member of the group, did rather better in music than any of the others in the band, however; after a stint with Quartz, he joined Black Sabbath for a long stint as their keyboard player.

01.: Muffin Man
02.: Bring The Ring
03.: Jackie
04.: Beside The Fire
05.: Hum Gum Tree
06.: With A Little Help
07.: We've All Seen The Queen
08.: King Croesus
09.: Mandy Ann
10.: Jack
11.: Like A Tear
12.: Willow's Harp
13.: Muffin Man (mono single version/bonus track)
14.: Peter's Birthday (previously unreleased/bonus track)
15.: King Croesus (mono single version/bonus track)
16.: Jack (mono single version/bonus track)
17.: Hum Gum Tree (mono single version/bonus track)
18.: Beside The Fire (mono single version/bonus track)
19.: Willow's Harp (mono single version/bonus track)
20.: Like A Tear (mono single version/bonus track)

Tony Clarkson - Bass
Rob Moore - Drums
Geoff Nicholls - Guitar, Organ
Christopher Robin - Guitar, Piano, Vocals
David Kubinec - Guitar, Organ
David Rea - Drums

World of Oz

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lunes, abril 07, 2008

Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow - Japan Mini LP Replica

Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow
Japan Carboard Sleeve BVCM - 37625
Mini LP Replica

Esto si que es un autentico lujo. El mejor disco de la Jefferson en una edición que suena como los angeles y con unos bonus muy interesantes, incluida una toma de "Go To Her" una cancion puro Airplane psicodelico.

Surrealistic Pillow is an album by American psychedelic band Jefferson Airplane, released in February of 1967. Original drummer Alexander ‘Skip’ Spence had left the band in mid-1966, replaced by a jazz drummer from Los Angeles, Spencer Dryden. Singer Signe Toly Anderson departed soon after, and by the Fall of 1966 the group hired new singer Grace Slick, who brought from her previous band The Great Society the two songs that would become the Airplane’s biggest Top 40 hits, “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love,” the latter composed by her then-brother-in-law. Both Slick and Dryden debuted with the band on records with this album and its attendant singles, thus completing the best-known line-up of the group, which would remain stable until Dryden’s departure in 1970. It’s also considered to be one of the quintessential albums of the counterculture movement/social revolution.

Jefferson Airplane’s fusion of folk rock and psychedelia was original at the time, in line with musical developments pioneered by The Byrds, The Mamas & the Papas, and Bob Dylan. Surrealistic Pillow was the first blockbuster psychedelic album by a band from San Francisco, announcing to the world the active bohemian scene that had developed there starting with The Beats during the 1950s, extending and changing through the 1960s into the Haight-Ashbury counterculture. Subsequently, the exposure generated by the Airplane and others wrought great changes to that counterculture, and by 1968 the ensuing national media attention had precipitated a very different San Francisco scene than had existed in 1966. San Francisco photographer, Herb Greene photographed the band for the album’s cover art.

Some controversy exists as to the role of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia in the making of the album. His reputed presence on several tracks is not corroborated by RCA paperwork and is denied by producer Rick Jarrard. But when performing Comin’ Back to Me live with Jefferson Starship, Marty Balin almost always introduced the song with a reference to the Surrealistic Pillow sessions, mentioning Garcia as playing the guitar parts on the original studio version.

Surrealistic Pillow was originally released as RCA Victor LPM/LSP 3766, and peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart, driven by “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love,” which peaked at #8 and #5 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album was mixed in both mono and stereo, and both mixes are available on a November 2001 reissue, initially as part of the Ignition box set; another stereo reissue appeared on August 19, 2003, with seven bonus tracks, including the mono A-sides of “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.” The 2003 reissue was produced by Bob Irwin.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 146 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Wikipedia

The second album by Jefferson Airplane, Surrealistic Pillow was a groundbreaking piece of folk-rock-based psychedelia, and it hit — literally — like a shot heard round the world; where the later efforts from bands like the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and especially, the Charlatans, were initially not too much more than cult successes, Surrealistic Pillow rode the pop charts for most of 1967, soaring into that rarefied Top Five region occupied by the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and so on, to which few American rock acts apart from the Byrds had been able to lay claim since 1964. And decades later the album still comes off as strong as any of those artists’ best work. From the Top Ten singles “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love” to the sublime “Embryonic Journey,” the sensibilities are fierce, the material manages to be both melodic and complex (and it rocks, too), and the performances, sparked by new member Grace Slick on most of the lead vocals, are inspired, helped along by Jerry Garcia (serving as spiritual and musical advisor and sometimes guitarist). Every song is a perfectly cut diamond, too perfect in the eyes of the bandmembers, who felt that following the direction of producer Rick Jarrard and working within three- and four-minute running times, and delivering carefully sung accompaniments and succinct solos, resulted in a record that didn’t represent their real sound. Regardless, they did wonderful things with the music within that framework, and the only pity is that RCA didn’t record for official release any of the group’s shows from the same era, when this material made up the bulk of their repertory. That way the live versions, with the band’s creativity unrestricted, could be compared and contrasted with the record. The songwriting was spread around between Marty Balin, Slick, Paul Kantner, and Jorma Kaukonen, and Slick and Balin (who never had a prettier song than “Today,” which he’d actually written for Tony Bennett) shared the vocals; the whole album was resplendent in a happy balance of all of these creative elements, before excessive experimentation (musical and chemical) began affecting the band’s ability to do a straightforward song. The group never made a better album, and few artists from the era ever did.

[Surrealistic Pillow on CD has been problematic — actually, make that a real pain in the ass. It’s been reissued numerous times on compact disc, in distinctly different editions — a plain 11-song disc from the 1980s that sounded wretched and was an embarrassment; a high-priced RCA-BMG gold-disc upgrade, with significantly better sound from the mid-’90s that encompassed the stereo and mono mixes of the album; a European version from 2000/2001 (with four bonus tracks but no mono mix or liner notes) that got into the U.S. as an import; a U.S.-issued 2001 upgrade, initially available in the bizarre four-CD box Ignition, which encompassed the stereo and mono mixes in a brighter, sharper, louder remastering than the 1996 version, but still — in some listeners’ eyes — lacking the presence and the soaring sound of the original LP; and a 2003 reissue (on the BMG Heritage label), mastered by renowned reissue producer Bob Irwin (of Sundazed Records fame), including the mono single versions of “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love,” along with the related bonus tracks “Come Back Baby,” “In the Morning,” “J.P.P. McStep B. Blues,” and “Go to Her,” which have previously been scattered around various anthologies and other expanded editions. Those tracks generally push Kaukonen even more to the fore and give the balance of the material a bluesier feel. And there’s an uncredited “hidden” bonus cut, an instrumental of “D.C.B.A. - 25.”] AllMusicGuide

1. “She Has Funny Cars” (Marty Balin / Jorma Kaukonen) – 3:12
2. “Somebody to Love” (Darby Slick / Grace Slick) – 2:58
3. “My Best Friend” (Skip Spence) – 3:01
4. “Today” (Marty Balin / Paul Kantner) – 2:59
5. “Comin’ Back to Me” (Marty Balin) – 5:18
6. “3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds” (Marty Balin) – 3:41
7. “D.C.B.A. -25″ (Paul Kantner) – 2:37
8. “How Do You Feel” (Tom Mastin) – 3:31
9. “Embryonic Journey” (Jorma Kaukonen) – 1:53
10. “White Rabbit” (Grace Slick) – 2:30
11. “Plastic Fantastic Lover” (Marty Balin) – 2:37
12. “In the Morning” (Kaukonen) – 6:21
13. “J.P.P. McStep B. Blues” (Spence) – 2:37
14. “Go To Her (version two)” (Kantner, Irving Estes) – 4:02
15. “Come Back Baby” (trad. arranged Kaukonen) – 2:56
16. “Somebody to Love” (mono Single mix) (D. Slick) – 2:58
17. “White Rabbit” (mono Single mix) (G. Slick) – 2:31
18. “D.C.B.A. -25″ (Kantner) (instrumental - hidden track) – 2:39

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domingo, abril 06, 2008

The Kinks in Concert 1973

The Kinks in Concert 1973
Mpg. 602 Mg. Audio 256 Kbps

Los Kinks en su mejor epoca. Ante un publico entregado, desgranan algunos de sus mejores temas, "You Really Got Me" "Dedicaded Followed
Of Fashion" "Lola"... Este concierto anda por la red, aqui esta por si lo quereis bajar por la mula, y para evitar que desaparezca. Lastima de su corta duracion, apenas 30 minutos, aunque vale la pena, muy buena imagen y sonido bastante correcto.

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sábado, abril 05, 2008

Bob Seger - Beautiful Loser

Bob Seger - Beautiful Loser
1975 (1978 Capitol records)

"Beautiful Loser" was the last album Bob Seger recorded before hooking up with the Silver Bullet Band and finally breaking through to mass popularity after spending the better part of a decade laboring as a relative unknown. Five songs from this 1975 release would appear on "Live Bullet" a year later, the album that was the springboard from Seger's leap to the big time.

The backing band is credited as the "Muscle Shoals Rythm Section," and they give Seger strong backing for his excellent voice on what is mostly a batch of mid-tempo rock numbers. The highlights include "Katmandu," which sounds like it should have been a classic rockabilly number from the late 50s, the ballads "Jody Girl" and "Fine Memory," as well as "Travelin' Man" and "Beautiful Loser," recorded as seperate tracks here but which would be combined so memorably on the live album. Only a couple of obvious filler songs and the album's brief length (9 tunes, just over 30 minutes) keep it out of 5 star territory.

Overall, a strong set of songs from a vetrean journeyman rocker who was on the cusp of stardom when it was released.

Personnel: Bob Seger (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano); Kenny Bell, Pete Carr, Jimmy Johnson, Drew Abbott, Paul Kingery (guitar); Tom Cartmell (saxophone); Harvey Thompson (tenor saxophone); Ron Eades (baritone saxophone); Harrison Calloway (trumpet); Chales Rose (trombone); Barry Beckett (piano, organ, synthesizer); Spooner Oldham (piano, organ); Robin Robbins (organ, mellotron); David Hood, Chris Campbell (bass); Roger Hawkins (drums, percussion); Charlie Martin (drums); Stoney, Rocky (background vocals).

Producers: Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Punch Andrews, Bob Seger.

Recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, Sheffield, Alabama.

Bob Seger's 1975 release, BEAUTIFUL LOSER, proved to be his best-received disc thus far, and would set the stage perfectly for the breakthrough success of his next release a year later, LIVE BULLET. The last Seger studio album released before he formed his famed backing group, the Silver Bullet Band, BEAUTIFUL LOSER includes several Seger standards.

Highlights are the fast-paced rocker "Katmandu," the ballad "Jody Girl," and the album-opening title track. While some of the songs would have been stronger with the Silver Bullet Band's presence (the blaring sax parts that would grace Bob's future albums are notably absent), BEAUTIFUL LOSER remains one of Seger's best pre-LIVE BULLET releases.

Originally a hard-driving rocker in the vein of fellow Michigan garage rockers the Rationals and Mitch Ryder, Bob Seger developed into one of the most popular heartland rockers over the course of the '70s. Combining the driving charge of Ryder's Detroit Wheels with Stonesy garage rock and devotion to hard-edged soul and R&B, he crafted a distinctively American sound. While he never attained the critical respect of his contemporary Bruce Springsteen, Seger did develop a dedicated following through constant touring with his Silver Bullet Band. Following several years of missed chances and lost opportunities, Seger finally achieved a national audience in 1976 with the back-to-back release of Live Bullet and Night Moves. After the platinum success of those albums, Seger retained his popularity for the next two decades, releasing seven Top Ten, platinum-selling albums in a row.

Seger began playing music in 1961 as the leader of the Detroit-based trio the Decibels; his future manager, Eddie "Punch" Andrews was also a member of the band. Moving to Ann Arbor, he played with the Town Criers before he became the keyboardist and vocalist for Doug Brown & the Omens. Billing themselves as the Beach Bums, the band released "The Ballad of the Yellow Beret," a parody of the Sgt. Barry Sadler song "The Ballad of the Green Beret." The single was withdrawn shortly after its release after Sadler threatened a lawsuit. In 1966, Seger released his first solo single, "East Side Story," which became a regional hit. Several other local hit singles followed on Cameo Records, including "Persecution Smith" and "Heavy Music," before his label folded. In 1968, he formed the Bob Seger System and signed with Capitol Records, releasing his debut album, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, in the spring of that year. The title track became a national hit, climbing to number 17, but the group's follow-up, Noah, stiffed and Seger decided to quit the music business at the end of 1969 to attend college.

By the end of the summer, Seger had returned to rock & roll with a new backing band, releasing Mongrel at the end of the year. For 1971's Brand New Morning, he disbanded his group and recorded a singer/songwriter effort. Following its release, he began performing with the duo Dave Teegarden and Skip "Van Winkle" Knape, and the duo provided support on 1972's Smokin' O.P.'s, which was the first release on Palladium Records, a label he formed with Andrews. The album failed to sell, as did Back in '72 (1973) and Seven (1974), and he moved back to Capitol Records for 1975's Beautiful Loser. For the recording of Beautiful Loser, Seger formed the Silver Bullet Band, which consisted of guitarist Drew Abbott, bassist Chris Campbell, keyboardist Robyn Robbins, saxophonist Alto Reed, and drummer Charlie Allen Martin. Seger supported Beautiful Loser with an extensive tour with the Silver Bullet Band, and while it didn't make the album a hit, it provided a widespread grassroots following across the country. The touring paid off in 1976, when Live Bullet, a double album recorded in Detroit, became a hit, spending over three years on the U.S. charts and going gold; the album would eventually go quadruple platinum.

The groundswell behind Live Bullet sent Seger's next studio album, Night Moves (1976), into the Top Ten early in 1977. Night Moves became a blockbuster, generating the hit singles "Night Moves," "Mainstreet," and "Rock & Roll Never Forgets." Stranger in Town, released in the summer 1978, was just as successful, featuring the hits "Still the Same," "Hollywood Nights," "We've Got Tonite," and "Old Time Rock & Roll." Stranger in Town confirming his status as one America's most popular rockers. Seger's next album, 1980's Against the Wind, became his first number one album and all of its big hits -- "Fire Lake," "Against the Wind," "You'll Accomp'ny Me" -- were ballads. The live album Nine Tonight continued his multi-platinum success in 1981, selling three million copies and peaking at number three.

Seger returned with The Distance in 1982. The Distance was the first album since Seven to be recorded with the addition of session musicians, which caused guitarist Abbott to quit the band in frustration. Over the course of the next decade, the membership of the Silver Bullet Band shifted constantly. While The Distance featured "Shame on the Moon," his biggest hit single to date, its sales plateaued at a million copies, suggesting that his popularity was beginning to level off. Seger also began to drastically reduce his recording and touring schedules -- he only released one other album, 1986's Like a Rock, during the '80s. Like a Rock and its supporting tour were both successes, paving the way for "Shakedown," a song taken from the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop II, to become Seger's lone number one hit in 1987. Four years after its release, he returned with The Fire Inside. Although the album went platinum and reached the Top Ten, it only appealed to Seger's devoted following, as did 1995's It's a Mystery, which became his first album since Live Bullet to fail to go platinum, leveling off at gold status. In 2006, after an 11-year hiatus, Seger released Face the Promise.

Bob Seger - Still The Same 1978

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