Saturday, April 30, 2011

BAY CITY ROLLERS Dedication U.S. Arista LP

Ultra Rare alternate cover artwork!
April 30th is my birthday. An early rock & roll memory for me was waiting up to watch "Midnight Special" on April 30, 1976 to see the brand new Roller, Ian Mitchell. I think I even thought it was pronounced "Eye-an" at first. I posted the first two BCR U.S. Arista LPs a while ago and just realized that although "Dedication" is now available on CD as an import, it's based on the UK version which didn't include "I Only Want To Be With You" or the quirky "Are You Cuckoo?" (a UK b-side a year later). The UK version had "Money Honey" and "Rock & Roll Love Letter" in their place which may actually be a stronger track lineup overall but the fans in the States already had those tracks thanks to Arista's previously calculated moves. Also, "Money Honey" and "Rock & Roll Love Letter" were older tracks featuring Alan Longmuir on bass and with a different producer altogether. Strangely, Clive and company never even bothered to release a UK hit from 1976, "Love Me Like I Love You," in the U.S. at all.
At this point, Alan quits, Woody switches to bass and young Ian Mitchell (far right) from Ireland is brought in as Alan's replacement and rhythm guitarist. Ian was in a popular Irish band called Young City Stars that Tam Paton managed. Other than the personnel change, scanning the credits on the back cover you immediately notice the difference in songwriting credits. Where's the Faulkner-Wood songs? There were so many politics between Clive Davis and his idea of the Bay City Rollers versus the band's own ideas and identity. Clive usually won the arguments. The Rollers would not get to record an album of all original material again until 1979's "Elevator" after which Clive washed his hands of the band. And they haven't been paid a cent from Arista since! The band has been fighting Arista for a while now and hopefully their overdue royalties will finally be properly distributed to the members. Until then, DOWNLOAD this album for free!
Recorded in Canada (where Rollermania was super intense at the time) with a new producer, Jimmy Ienner, who originally produced Raspberries with Eric Carmen and I'm sure his publishing ties had something to do with "Let's Pretend" being the opening track on the album. Along with the fact that it's a GREAT song and well suited for Leslie's voice.As useless memories go, I can still remember when I first heard "I Only Want To Be With You" on my little A.M. portable radio in my room and couldn't wait to get to the record store and buy the 45. And before you laugh at me, remember I was 6 years old.

Also on side one, we're treated to the only two Eric Faulkner/Stuart Wood songs on the album and they are both highlights not only on the album but as must hear songs for BCR fans. "You're A Woman" is a nice McCartney style ballad for the young female fan base and "Rock 'N Roller" is for the rockers. Leslie, Eric and Woody share the lead vocal and to this day I still can't really understand all the lyrics.

The side closer is Harry Vanda/George Young's "Yesterday's Hero" with added hysteria recorded live at the Rollers' Nathan Square appearance in Toronto. The 45 version that is released later is remixed and has Pat McGlynn on the picture sleeve. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, he was the 3rd Roller in less than 2 years that we had to accept. Tellingly, on the Arista "Greatest Hits" album released later in 1977 after McGlynn split the band, they renamed the song "Yesterday's Heroes." Ouch!

Side two is a bit weaker and starts soft with "My Lisa" before foolishly attempting a cover version of "Don't Worry Baby" and then the goofiness of "Are You Cuckoo?" doesn't help. Another original is next called "Write A Letter" but it's also a super mellow love song (credited to Wood, McKeown and Mitchell). Newbie Ian Mitchell is spotlighted vocally on the title track closer, "Dedication" which has a great arrangement and nice call and response from Les at the end. Within months, Ian Mitchell left the band and Arista released "Dedication" as a single with Leslie's voice replacing Ian's.Finally, as a Roller fan for many years, you can ABSOLUTELY tell that it's the BAY CITY ROLLERS playing their instruments on the albums. Come on, Derek Longmuir is GREAT and Eric Faulkner holds up as a legitimately talented guitarist. Stuart 'Woody' Wood is a multi-instrumentalist, still successful in the music industry (or what's left of it). Before Ian Mitchell's departure in 1976, the Rollers filmed a UK TV special called "Rollercoaster" that features the band filmed at Eden Studios doing rawer, stripped down versions of these songs and it's probably better than the real album!

Friday, April 29, 2011


SQUEEZE in 1981 Top Row L to R CHRIS DIFFORD, GILSON LAVIS, GLENN TILBROOK Seated L to R PAUL CARRACK, JOHN BENTLEY British author Sylvie Simmons introduces this BBC ROCK HOUR radio show brought to you by Penthouse Magazine and featuring SQUEEZE at their peak at Oxford Polytechnic in the UK on May 15, 1981. Re-broadcast in 1983, this LP has excellent sound quality and catches the band live on the same day of release as their masterpiece album, “East Side Story.” New keyboardist Paul Carrack replaces Jools Holland and also takes the lead vocal on “Out Of Touch” (written by Difford & Tilbrook) which wouldn’t be released until the “Sweets From A Stranger” album over a year later, by which time he had left the band. Glenn Tilbrook sings it on the Squeeze album version, however Carrack also did a version on his 1982 solo album, “Suburban Voodoo.” The set list casts a heavy spotlight on 1980’s “Argybargy” album which is a good thing because it’s also an excellent Squeeze platter. It’s great to hear songs like “Heaven” performed by the same guys as the album version. Chris Difford’s vocals are unique and cut like a razor blade. The rarity rocker “Yap Yap Yap” is here also. It ended up on the b-side of “Tempted,” which is strangely absent. Many of the big hits are also heard (“Pulling Mussels,” “Cool For Cats,” “Goodbye Girl,” “Up The Junction”) full of aggression and energy from a young fiery rock band anxious to be heard. Gilson Lavis has always been one of the best drummers in music. He is sorely missed from today’s Squeeze lineup.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

GILDA RADNER Live From New York

Gilda...what can you say? Not only the coolest 'girl' from the original stellar SNL cast but possibly the funniest of THE WHOLE CAST. I mean, she was always there, she never had a bad season and she always made the show stronger and funnier. I've always loved this album and any of my friends who is familiar with Candy Slice is truly meant to be my friend. Does Patti Smith have a song better than "Gimme Mick"?? Of course Roseanne Roseannadanna's here, as is Emily too but it's Gilda, with her natural personality and energy, who's the true star on this LP.

Monday, April 25, 2011

CAPITOL HITS THROUGH THE YEARS Rare Promotional LP This is a 1969 Capitol Records promotional LP released in Mono only and featuring snippets of Capitol's hit records from their beginning to Beatles and beyond... The back cover states... "...we've gathered here Capitol's top hits from the company's inception in 1942 to halfway through 1969, as we go to press." "When you have friends in for cocktails of the right vintage (friends, not the cocktails!), it's fun to play this kind of record and see how many tunes they can identify." Nat King Cole, Glen Campbell, The Beach Boys, Dean Martin, Gene Vincent, Bob Seger, Al Martino, Peter & Gordon and many more...

Friday, April 22, 2011

THE VINYL SHELF Super New Episode

It truly is a GOOD FRIDAY. Ultra rare and complete King Biscuit Flower Hour 1982 broadcast this week only from original radio transcription LP!

Plus, 'Disco Shirley' meets 'Sister Ray'...Coltrane, Esquivel, Glenn Miller, LRB and more...Beautiful VINYL ONLY sounds featuring your host...The Pipe.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

REVOLUTION! Original MONO Columbia LP"Just like a cigarette, thrown away used and yet, grinding it into the ground..." I've raved about this album before. Crank this MONO mix until you agree with me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

THE SPIRIT OF '67 Original MONO Columbia LP in time for summer--let these MONO LP versions blast through your speakers for a quick Raider fix. Lindsay and Melcher in top form and there's some prime Volk on here too. STILL, my favorite American rock band.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A VINYL SHELF Special Presentation--DICK CLARK Countdown America 1984

COUNTDOWN AMERICA starring DICK CLARK October 1988 Top 30 Radio Broadcast LP Rod Stewart is the ‘spotlight’ artist on this short-lived countdown radio program hosted by Dick Clark with a cold. Rain, sleet or snot, Dick always comes through with three hours of the Top 30 hits from October 22/23, 1988.You’ll reminisce, be repulsed (Kenny G.!!!, Bolton plus Amy Grant, Rick Astley, Don Johnson and Barbra Streisand) and relive lots of gated drum beats and synth blips. But there are some quality artists as well like Luther, Aretha, Elton, Sting & Stevie (but no one's in their prime). And by the way, who the hell is PM? Also, how in the world was the "Love Theme" from St. Elmo's Fire a hit? Speaking of themes, Jan Hammer's here too with "Miami Vice" as Dick 'looks back' to the year 1985. Some nice interviews throughout with Rod of course having multiple talking segments and also spoken revelations from Boy Meets Girl, Al Stewart and James' brother, Livingston Taylor. There are also some cool commercials throughout (Dick Cavett, Juicy Fruit, Newhart, and is that Richard Marx singing the Sears commercial? After I thought it kind of sounded like his voice I googled him and it turns out his father was a jingle writer who wrote “Sears-Where America Shops,” “Two Scoops In Kellogg’s Raisin Bran,” and even the Siskel & Ebert theme! Richard's Dad goes by the unfortunate name of Dick Marx...but anyway, it could be him) with jingles that still ring familiar after not hearing them for years. And you all know I'm now on the hunt for the "Moments" LP collection. Anyone who likes to listen to classic radio shows will love it and anyone who doesn’t like the 80’s won’t like it at all. So there. Part One Part Two Part Three
Bigger than Rod--a portrait of our spotlight artist then & now

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

OLD SCHOOL COUNTRY Premieres June 5th--a new vinyl program hosted by The Pipe

Starting Sunday, June 5th, the VINYL SHELF goes strictly C&W for a brand new weekly hour-long internet radio show called OLD SCHOOL COUNTRY featuring hillbilly music from the 50's, 60's and 70's--back when country WAS cool. Each Sunday for six weeks I'll delve into my country collection and play some classics that country lovers may not have heard in a while and OPEN MINDED FOLKS will discover for the first time. Sometimes I'll play big country hits from the 30's, 40's and maybe even something from the 80's, but no "ELVIRA" I promise!!!! It's the best of the real deal CLASSIC COUNTRY from 45s, LPs and even 78s...
And YES, there will STILL be country music featured on the regular VINYL SHELF shows (still on Fridays) but this will be a new way to introduce y'all to some great singers like RAY PRICE, FARON YOUNG, SUSAN RAYE, MEL TILLIS, MARTY ROBBINS and many more...and of course there's all your favorites like CONWAY, MERLE, LORETTA, LEFTY, BUCK, DOLLY, HANK and every week we guarantee one track by The Possum, GEORGE JONES...

Coming JUNE 5th to this blog!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

JIMMY PAGE Death Wish II Soundtrack SWAN SONG LP 1982

Hot guitar licks blast in and out of this soundtrack for Charles Bronson's "DEATH WISH II" courtesy of Jimmy Page, who wrote all the music and also plays synthesizers. Released on the Swan Song label in 1982, this LP is hard to come by (and a very rare CD) and although not a masterpiece, it's a MUST HEAR for Zeppelin freaks. This was Jimmy's first post-Zep project and his only release on Swan Song. The opening and closing tracks are sung soulfully by Immediate star Chris Farlowe (a few years later he would sing on Jimmy's first proper solo album, "Outrider") with Pilot/Elton John bassist Dave Paton and legendary Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks filling out Jimmy's main band for the album. "Who's To Blame" definitely would have been a nice Zep track and has an "In Thru The Out Door" vibe. "The Chase" is a cool instrumental with lots of different guitar sounds including what sounds like a B-Bender and also 'guitar synthesizer' effects alongside a string section. Another standout is "Jam Sandwich" which is mostly an Isley riff ripoff but again it's also very Zeppelin (who are no strangers to riff ripoffs!) and Page shreds throughout.Jimmy, healthy as ever, plays pool in 1982

The guitar becomes more scarce on side two but the music is always ominous and creepy. "Prelude" is a slow blues that sounds like Gainsbourg's "Jane B" and "Big Band, Sax, and Violence" has a Zep-like riff but with bad synthesised brass sounds. Another heavy Zep rocker called "Hynotizing Ways (Oh Mamma)" closes the album. Considering it could've been just a bland all-instrumental record, this soundtrack holds up as a rock classic.

Monday, April 11, 2011

PAUL McCARTNEY Original Soundtrack LP THE FAMILY WAY (1967) plus MICK JAGGER is NED KELLY featuring Waylon & Kris (1970)

In some ways it's the first Beatles solo album. A few nice instrumental melodies from the master McCartney and a very hard LP to find. He gets by (but not high) with a little help from George Martin. This was released on CD years ago but it's hard to find a copy without re-recorded versions. This is a clean Stereo LP with just the January 1967 music.

Man, I've tried to sit through this Jagger western a few times but I always end up waking up to the credits rolling. Mick's accent drives me up the wall. The LP, however, is very cool and features singing from Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson and original songs by Shel Silverstein. Mick even 'sings' one cut ("The Wild Colonial Boy") which makes it a must for Stones lovers.

Friday, April 8, 2011

All New! The VINYL SHELF with The Pipe "(Si Si) Je Suis Un Rock Star" Mix

Bill Wyman's 12" mix (OF COURSE) kicks our rocks off with solo Stones as an appetizer (Mick T. and Ronnie Wood too--listen for Mick on background vocals) and some meat & potatoes rock & roll by TDN, Faces, Striker, Starz, Free, Love and even a PROMO-ONLY Beatles interview 45 for afters...whaddya waitin' for!?!? TURN IT UP LOUD AND HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!
The Pipe says THANKS to everyone for listening...the last VINYL SHELF episode was my most downloaded episode so far!! YOU are awesome. WE are awesome.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2 CRUISIN' LPs--Detroit 1956 & L.A. 1965

I had this 8 Track when I was a kid featuring Detroit rock & roll radio. This one features Robert W. Morgan as the DJ for KHJ in Los Angeles in 1965. See Cap'n Billy's quotes below for more info about why this LP was considered the "best of the series."

These CRUISIN' LPs were re-creations of U.S. rock and roll radio broadcasts from the 1950's and 1960's featuring the original DJs from the various radio stations around the U.S. and the original hit songs by various artists. Pieced together in the early 70's (at the same studio that Casey Kasem was recording "American Top 40"), Bill "Cap'n Billy" Hergonson put many of the original LPs together. These quotes are from Lee Michael Withers excellent CRUISIN' site that you should check out for more info.

I've always enjoyed these LPs but beware, there are later pressing from the 80's that are edited down with less songs than the originals.

Cap'n Billy says: The toughest part of Cruisin' series was getting the old COMMERCIALS and JINGLES. ALL of the Cruisin' albums are recreations...however, there are some portions that are actual airchecks. I can only speak for the ones I recorded, but on Cruisin' 1965, Robert W. Morgan, KHJ, which I recorded (and we considered the best of the series, because it was the original DJ, PD and 15ips TAPE MASTERS of the Johnny Mann a cappella "Boss" jingles), there is a portion near the end that features "The Real Don Steele" calling in regarding the "Boss Mustang" and THAT is a snip of real, 1965 aircheck. The FIRST series - 1956, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62 - were recorded sometime in either late 1969 or early 1970 before I worked at Watermark. Any errors in jingle packages from that early are probably due to the absolute lack of original material. If you've ever spent any time in a radio station, you KNOW that the chances of a master tape of jingles surviving is miniscule. The early Cruisin' series from this FIRST round of releases were mastered so that the track change on an 8-track player would hit at the end of a segment and then start the next segment on the next track. This is because Jacobs saw people actually CRUISIN' to these on 8-track (this is BC...before cassette) in their cars and wanted to maximize the experience. The series I worked on the only consideration was side 1 and side 2 of an LP.

Monday, April 4, 2011

THE BEATLES Original U.S. Interview LPs including HEAR THE BEATLES TELL ALL Sealed!

"HEAR THE BEATLES TELL ALL" is a 1964 cash-in from VJ Records that resurfaced in the late 70's with "STEREO" covers although all of the LPs were MONO. This copy was sealed and I opened it for a fresh listen. Short but sweet, this classic interview album still holds up! 1964 Beatles rule!!
And check out those credits! HAL BLAINE on percussion (doing a GREAT Ringo) and LOU ADLER edited and scored!

My ED RUDY vinyl is a little beat up but maybe that will help cover up his obnoxious voice as he stalks the boys on their '64 American tour.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Vinyl Shelf Special Presentation--BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS BBC Rock Hour

Catch a fire and then give this a listen. Recorded in London on May 24, 1973 at the Paris Theatre, this is the REAL Wailers with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer and one of the best bands ever assembled (when your rhythm section is the Barrett brothers, you are totally happening). This LP is a re-broadcast from 1983 but the quality is spectacular and that's how you will be feeling after you play this one MON...

Bob Marley, vocals, rhythm guitar
Peter Tosh, vocals, lead guitar
Bunny Wailer, vocals, percussion
Aston Barrett, bass
Carlton Barrett, drums
Earl Lindo, keyboards

WASP--The Greatest Album Of All-Time?

Pet Sounds? Pepper? Key Of Life? No way, gimme WASP. There have been many "break the image" albums made over the years. "Elevator" comes to mind. Maybe The Monkees "Head" movie is the best example. But in 1980, the new decade found our Shaun trying to prove that dammit, he WAS a real musician and not just sub-partridge Keith. How could he finally express once and for all that he's more than just Shirley's son or Parker's TV brother? Well, WHO is the king of credibility that may be able to save a falling teen idol? Todd Rundgren, a wizard and true savior, that's who. We'll get Utopia to play the backing tracks so they can bring fresh new life to oldies by The Animals and Four Tops. But Shaun is cutting edge and digs the latest sounds too so he covers Talking Heads, Bowie, The Who, Ian Hunter and Todd even writes a few new ones for him ("Cool Fire" has the classic Utopia sound and "Pretending" has some parts later reused by Todd). Dare I say that this is Shaun's "Pinups" or "Run Devil Run" or maybe his "Imperial Bedroom" and MOJO Magazine needs to do a full reassessment of this masterpiece that for some reason has never been released on compact disc? April Fool's, suckers...