Thursday, September 30, 2010
Well, only one of my ALL-TIME favorite Beatle albums!! “Yesterday And Today” was a hodge-podge of stray 1965-1966 songs that was introduced to the LP market in the U.S. by Capitol Records just before Parlophone Records in the UK released the 14-song strong “Revolver” album (as the Beatles intended it to be). Not only was America treated to the “Butcher Cover” sleeve for a few weeks, the “Yesterday And Today” album was filled with overlooked treats from the UK versions of “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” like “Yesterday,” “Drive My Car,” “If I Needed Someone,” mixed up with non-LP hit singles like “Day Tripper” and “We Can Work It Out.”
American Beatle fans got to hear three amazing John Lennon lead vocals that later showed up on the UK “Revolver” album (“I’m Only Sleeping,” “Doctor Robert” and the masterful “And Your Bird Can Sing”) and Ringo is at his best delivering two country & western flavored charmers covering top act Buck Owens’ “Act Naturally” along with a song co-written with John and Paul, “What Goes On.”
GREAT ALBUM! And so far, “Yesterday And Today” has never been officially released on CD.
YESTERDAY AND TODAY Mono LP
YESTERDAY AND TODAY Stereo LP
A few months later, “Revolver” is released in the UK with 14 tracks including the three Lennon songs that I just mentioned. Capitol Records, who had already issued abridged LPs with “Help!” and “Rubber Soul,” had no problem QUICKLY releasing the U.S. version of “Revolver” late that summer featuring ONLY the 11 remaining songs!! Here in the U.S., this was accepted as “REVOLVER” although it was only “Revolver” to anyone who knew the real story. And to those who didn’t know thought the UK version was WEIRD when they heard it.
Anyway, 11 AMAZING songs with an AMAZING cover is just as good as 14 AMAZING songs with an AMAZING cover. “Revolver” is a masterpiece and the shortened U.S. version brings back incredible memories in the 20 plus minutes it takes to play it.
REVOLVER Mono LP
REVOLVER Stereo LP
My first copy of “Yesterday And Today” was bought at a flea market for a dollar and was an original mono but a bit scratchy. No skips though. And not a “Butcher” cover although I do have a very nice one now, thank you very much. I treasured that first copy though and marveled at their hair and clothes on that front trunk shot. I thought it was just as good as “Abbey Road” or “London Town,” which was Paul’s latest and my absolute favorite at the time.
My first copy of “Revolver” was an Apple label reissue bought new in a department store called “Gaylords” in Newark, Delaware. At the time, I thought John’s two songs out of the eleven (“She Said, She Said” and “Tomorrow Never Knows”) were so good that he must’ve just let the other guys split up the other nine out of pity.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Broadcast on KMOJ in Minneapolis on December 9, 1989, this is a special radio program featuring Prince and a few of his purple friends. With an interesting choice of other artists' music as well as some of his own (released and unreleased-some you know, some you don't), Prince uses his 'Bob George' voice for the DJ and reveals a surprise SENSE OF HUMOR. I miss free-form radio and I also miss the genius of Prince. Here's 2 hours of both.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
And as a special treat...here's a white label promo LP in MONO by Jack called "Chopin '66" on Reprise Records.
CHOPIN '66 MONO MIX:
I've been collecting 45s my whole life. Specialty Records produced some of the greatest rhythm & blues ever and I'm here to prove it. These are all ORIGINAL 45 singles on the Specialty label from my collection featuring Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Larry Williams, Art Neville and more. Turn it up and dance.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
ROCK & ROLL IS HERE TO STAY (Kama Sutra 1969)
The debut SHA NA NA album was released in 1969 after their appearance at the Woodstock Festival. It is a very different band to the famous TV show lineup with only four members, Donald York, Scott Powell, Jocko Marcellino and Denny Greene, on this LP that made it to the hit syndicated television series a few years later.
"Rock & Roll Is Here To Stay" features the original 12 member lineup with musical director/rhythm guitarist Elliot Cahn (who later went on to manage Green Day) and lead guitarist Henry Gross, who in 1976 had a huge radio hit with the Beach Boys-inspired "Shannon." Sparing no expense with a deluxe gatefold cover and fold-out with reprints, photos and even song lyrics, it seems Kama Sutra Records co-founder and producer Artie Ripp had big plans for Sha Na Na's debut album. Musically, the album has a primitive sound not unlike the rock & roll records that the band are imitating (all tracks are arranged and performed by Sha Na Na). It plays like a low budget oldies compilation and even has a spoken message from Alan Freed. Every member gets a chance at their best suited lead vocal. Standouts for me are Donny's "Book Of Love" and the debut of Scott "Santini" Powell's heavy reverb'd Elvis-ish voice on "Heartbreak Hotel". Reissued in 1973 with completely different cover artwork (with a photo featuring later members Johnny, Lennie and even Bowzer's arm!), "Rock & Roll Is Here To Stay" is just a glimpse of the Sha Na Na vision and success to come.
SHA NA NA (Kama Sutra 1971)
The second album is simply titled "SHA NA NA" and Eddie Kramer (of Hendrix and Kiss fame) produces. The band's lineup features new and improved members like bass singer Jon "Bowzer" Bauman, tenor Johnny Contardo (his "Tell Laura I Love Her" was a showstopper), sax giant Lennie Baker and the great Screamin' Scott Simon on piano, who writes five of the six original songs on side two. Side one is recorded LIVE at Columbia University in New York on March 1, 1971 and the band plays tight with a punk attitude. The background vocals shine and Lennie's sax sounds strong and gives the band an authentic sound. The studio side (recorded at Electric Lady Studios in May 1971) is musically genuine and interesting but these soulful pop A.M. ready rockers have more in common with Three Dog Night and The Jaggerz than they do with 50's oldies.
FROM THE STREETS OF NEW YORK (Kama Sutra 1973)
Following 1972's all-original "The Night Is Still Young" (produced by Jeff Barry) and "The Golden Age Of Rock 'N' Roll," the double live 'oldies' album spectacular from 1973 (both LPs can be found elsewhere on this blog), Kama Sutra released another Sha Na Na live set entitled "From The Streets Of New York." Though the cover says it was recorded in Central Park in August 1973, some of the segues and intros do sound "live" (as does the 'Dance Contest'), but the songs sound like STUDIO creations to these ears. Highlights include "Tossing And Turning" and "Earth Angel" as well as versions of "Get A Job" and "Goodnight Sweetheart" which became signatures tunes on their TV program. And Johnny even gets to do his Johnny Mathis. Featuring most of the well-known TV series personnel (the only exception being the excellent lead guitarist Vinnie Taylor, who overdosed in a Holiday Inn hotel room in Virginia in 1974 and was replaced by Dirty Dan), this is a strong and confident album and arguably the strongest lineup of Sha Na Na if anyone cares enough to argue.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
This is a cool LP for all the rockers out there featuring the King of Rock & Roll himself, Alan Freed. Freed was a great New York DJ who first coined the phrase "rock and roll" for radio, using it to describe the new R&B dance music he was playing and promoting on his Cleveland and New York radio shows.
This LP features one of Alan Freed's 'Dance Party' radio shows with LIVE music (alternate versions) of early rock & roll by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, The Drifters, Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, LaVern Baker, The Cadillacs, The Platters, The Penguins and Bill Haley & The Comets close the festivities!Alan Freed died at 43 in 1965 from alcohol related health problems. Long live Alan Freed!!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Original TAKRL Vinyl 70’s Underground LP
This rarity showed up on the market in 1975, giving it the distinction of being the first Queen "import" ever released. The sound is a pretty good stereo recording albeit a little tinny and a bit squealy (and there is some LP static due to cheaply pressed faulty vinyl during Brian’s guitar solo on “Son And Daughter”). But you’ll thrill to classic versions of “Ogre Battle” and “Modern Times Rock & Roll” with Freddie & Roger’s dueling lead vocals. Heavy music played by a very dangerous rock and roll band at the top of their game in 1974. Strangely, the last track of side two is inexplicably Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” but I left it on because that’s how it originally came out.
Freddie Mercury with MJ "Never Released" *If there is a heaven, Freddie & Michael are recording a new album as I write...
Radio Ga-Ga (12" Single Instrumental...crank up your woofers!)
ULTRA RARE BONUS for QUEEN 'Super Fans' Only:
October 18, 2002 Hollywood Boulevard field recording from my mini-disc recorder watching Brian May & Roger Taylor receive a star for QUEEN on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Classic vinyl release capturing This LP was recorded March 14, 1977 at Seattle Arena and the cover insert declares this “The Last Night of the ’77 U.S. Tour.” This decent quality recording features a jaw-dropping 11 and 1/2 minute version of "Brighton Rock" and a blistering "White Man" straight into "The Prophet's Song." My biggest regret is never getting to see this band perform live.
A Human Body (1980 b-side rarely heard Roger vocal gem)
Soul Brother (1981 b-side soulful Queen full of song title references)
STAR FLEET 12" 3 song EP (Brian May with Eddie Van Halen and others recorded in April 1983)
QUEEN MANIA Plus:
HISTORICAL SIDE PIPE NOTE:
Around the turn of the century, Marcus and I ran into Brian May by Mann's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard and we HAD TO say hello. We told him we were playing music with Henry and he quickly told us that his son was a big Rollins fan. He turned and yelled over to his son who was checking out the celebrity autographs and footprints, “Jimmy, come meet the Rollins Band!” and we couldn’t believe what was happening. He was ultra nice and told us he loves to come to Hollywood for sight seeing. As I recall, it was quite a happy evening.
p.s. i love this album