viernes, 5 de febrero de 2016

DWIGHT TWILLEY - On Fire - The Best Of 1975-1984

Dwight Twilley was one of the best and most influential figures on the Southern power pop scene, and unlike Big Star, the Scruffs, or the Sneakers, he achieved that most cherished pop music accolade, a hit single, and not once but twice ("I'm on Fire" rose to number 16 in 1975, and "Girls" managed the same feat in 1984). However, Twilley was just successful enough to end up having record company problems, and his best work has been scattered over several albums for different labels. The fine Australian reissue label Raven Records has pulled together the highlights from his albums for Shelter, Arista, and EMI-America, and On Fire! The Best of 1975-84 is a superb collection of his beautifully crafted Beatlesque pop tunes. Unlike many Southern power poppers, Twilley clearly loved the British Invasion style while revealing equal comfort with the sounds of his home territories, and the rockabilly accents of "TV," the subtle but swaggering "I'm on Fire," and the funky beats of "Feeling in the Dark" made clear out of the box that this wasn't another guy aping the Fab Four, and when he did write straightforward pop tunes, he did so with smarts and imagination, and he was a very impressive rock & roll singer, too. The first 13 tracks of On Fire! are drawn from Twilley's recordings with early collaborator Phil Seymour, with plenty of representative cuts from their albums Sincerely and Twilley Don't Mind, as well as the long-unreleased track "Shark (In the Dark)" and the single "Somebody to Love," drawn from sessions for an unreleased album with Jack Nitzsche. The rest of the album is taken from Twilley's first three solo efforts (Twilley, Scuba Divers, and Jungle), and if his occasional reliance on synthesizers and drum machines dates the production (Roger Linn, who invented the Linn Drum Computer, played in Twilley's band), the songs are as savvy and satisfying as ever, and while "Girls" was a hit single, by all rights "I'm Back Again," "Alone in My Room," and "Don't You Love Her" should have enjoyed the same success. With the fine career overview XXI out of print, On Fire! is arguably the best introduction to Dwight Twilley's classic pop music you can buy, and it's 77 minutes of pop and rock bliss that anyone with a taste for a great hook and a good lyric will love.

LIGHTDREAMS - Islands in Space [CAN psychedelic 1981] 2015 edition

LightDreams was a studio band created in 1981 during the time of the recording and limited edition, vinyl release of Paul Marcano's album Islands in Space. The album featured all original songs along with contributions by composers Andre Martin and Cory Rhyon as well as player contributions by John Walker on lead, Tim Moore on Sax and Art Lowe on bass.

The music of LightDreams has been characterized as 'alternative psychedelic, electronic folk music' with a delicate blend of acoustic, symphonic and electronica elements. 


miércoles, 20 de enero de 2016

ALBERT LEE - Black Claw & Country Fever [UK rural country rock 1991] Line Records

These recordings all in fact emanate from the sesions produced by Derek Lawrence back in 1968-70 which yielded the handful of hugely enjoyable (and nowadays highly collectable) Bell singles which appeared at the time, and the promise of albums to come - which until now have languished unheard/unreleased/neglected in the vaults of De Lane Lea's studios in Wembley. These sessions have, of course, achieved something approaching legendary status over the ensuing twenty-odd years: much coveted by both Albert and Chas afficianados, a few dodgy tapes have circulated, and the records themselves have gradually become massively overpriced collectors' items. Five singles appeared: "That's All Right"/"Best I Can"; credited to Albert Lee; "Tears Of Rage"/"Too Much Of Nothing" credited to Country Fever; "Accross The Gread Divide"/"Sally" credited to Black Claw (although "Good Times" appeared as the A-side in the US, on Lawrence's own Revolver label); "I'm A Preacher"/"In Our Sweet Time" by the Derek Lawrence Statement; and "Baby I Love Love You"/"Come Back To My Lonely World" by Tony Wilson. Rumours as to the identity of the remaining tracks have long circulated - and at long last, here they are. 

L e e

martes, 19 de enero de 2016

Bare Sole - Flash [Uk 1969]

Previously unreleased demo album from 1969, UK.

The loudest band from Hull in the 60s, Bare Sole played raw, in- your- face psychedelic hard rock and heavy blues.

Bare Sole

John Phillips - Pussycat 2008

This is the long-lost album that John Phillips recorded as the first solo artist signed to Rolling Stones Records in 1976. Produced by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the album reunited them in the studio for the first time with ex-Stones member Mick Taylor and also features his replacement, Ron Wood. Pussycat presents for the first time the recently-located original '70s mix of the album, together with newly-discovered outtakes and material from the 1976 sessions for Phillips's soundtrack to the film The Man Who Fell To Earth, starring David Bowie. 


viernes, 23 de octubre de 2015

COMMANDER CODY - Live From Armadillo World Headquarters 1973 and The Capitol Theatre 1975 [USA roots 2007] SPV

There have been many dubious live offerings by the classic Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen over the years. This is not to say that the tapes weren't licensed in some way -- perhaps they put some much needed pocket change in the various ex-members' pockets, which is fine. But this one is an authoritative reissue; one of these two discs has not previously been heard on CD. In some ways, this is the real Grail for those looking for Lost Planet Airmen rarities and shows. Issued on the SPV Blue imprint, disc one in this collection, recorded in 1973 at the Armadillo World Headquarters, contains the editing-room casualties from the band's first live album, Live from Deep in the Heart of Texas. While the released set has the official distinction of being one of Rolling Stone mag's greatest 100 records of all time, hardcore fans knew it was in some ways a hatchet job because it doesn't flow the way a Commander show usually did. What's on this disc is the reason: 13 of these cuts were issued on the Music Avenue label as Texas Roadhouse Favorites in 2006, but this set contains 17. It's the rock and blues set with a few country and trucker faves such as "What Made Milwaukee Famous" and "Truck Driving Man" thrown in. But this is a burning live rock and blues set. The horn section was especially tight on this night, and never sounded better. The second disc was recorded at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY, in 1975, during the band's Warner Bros. period. For those in the know, the Warner recordings (reissued by Wounded Bird on CD, thank God) are vastly underrated and are essential for anyone interested in this band. (This does not include the live We've Got a Live One Here!, an abomination issued to fulfill a contract.) This set is a little dodgier in terms of sound, but the performance is even stronger. With 25 tracks clocking in at 78 minutes, this one is full of old and new tunes, originals, and covers: band standards like "Down to Seeds and Stems Again," "Truck Driving Man," "My Window Faces South," "Hot Rod Lincoln," and "Lookin' at the World Through a Windshield" are all here, but so are readings of "Cajun Rag," "Everybody's Doin' It," "Diggy Diggy Lo," "Keep on Lovin' Her," "Wine Do Your Stuff," "I'm Comin' Home," "Mama Tried," "Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar," and "Don't Let Go." It also includes the return of pedal steel boss Bobby Black to the band's fold after a stint with Barbara Mandrell. The rougher sound of the second volume does nothing to diminish the crackling energy and sheer sophisticated musicality of the performance. This double set -- at a reasonable price -- is a must for any fan of the Commander Cody/Lost Planet Airmen show. 

Commander Cody

viernes, 2 de octubre de 2015

TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS - Cellophane Symphony [USA pop psych 1969]

Cellophane Symphony, credited to Tommy James & the Shondells, came only seven catalog numbers after the Crimson & Clover album, but oddly got a Top Ten hit in between the four hits that the earlier disc spawned. "Sweet Cherry Wine" is as good a pop song as one will ever hear, hitting the Top Ten in April of 1969, five months after "Do Something to Me" and five months before "Sugar on Sunday," both from Crimson & Clover (though it was the Clique who clicked with their version of "Sugar on Sunday"). This beautiful song, "Sweet Cherry Wine," is the epitome of peace, love, and '60s understanding, with a sound that is very much like TJ's own version of "Sugar on Sunday." The radio attention to a single on the highly experimental Cellophane Symphony is equally extraordinary because the album is very much like Tommy James doing his own Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. There are oddities, like side one's closer, "Papa Rolled His Own," which could be "When I'm Sixty Four" meets "You Know My Name, Look up the Number"; two Beatles offbeat ditties; and the almost as wacky "On Behalf of the Entire Staff & Management," which ends side two. In between is some lovely pop music, which one finds after they trip their way through the amazing nine and a half minutes of the title track. The instrumental song "Cellophane Symphony" is early Pink Floyd meets "20,000 Light Years From Home" when the Stones gave Satanic Majesties Request. It is the only title credited to the entire band, followed by two of five Ritchie Cordell/Tommy James co-writes: the poppy and excellent "Makin' Good Time" and the beautiful "Evergreen." Covered in keyboards and acoustic guitar, "Evergreen" is Tommy James being the folky and the pop star, a unique look at this underrated and important artist. It's a perfect setup to "Sweet Cherry Wine," which is the standout track, the subtle intro exploding into a chorus of the best type of anti-war sentiment: "Let's just get along." Pete Lucia writes two songs with James, one being the amazing "Changes," which opens side two, while Mike Vale helps James on "Loved One," making this a very special collection of ten songs wrapped up in a stunning black-and-white psychedelic cover of a hatch shell, empty benches, and cool '60s photography. Though Tommy James is all over the book Bubblegum Music Is the Naked Truth, he is beyond just an artist who hit with that genre. He's an artist whose value is evident on his country album, My Hed, My Bed, and My Red Guitar, as well as other catalog treats, like this disc with its strong compositions "Loved One," "The Love of a Woman," and the Richard Grasso/Tommy James hit that is a true pop classic, "Sweet Cherry Wine."