Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mott The Hoople - Fairfield Halls Live 1970
"2007 archive release featuring a previously unreleased live performance from Ian Hunter and his Mottley crew. On September 13th 1970 the first ever attempt was made to capture Mott's feral stage act on tape at The Fairfield Halls, Croydon, England and for over 30 years the tapes of the gig were confined to the tape vaults of bassist Overend Watts. To the legions of Mott The Hoolpe fans around the world, these recordings are the 'Holy Grail' of unheard live Mott The Hoople tracks. Recorded on The Who's then state-of-the-art portable eight track machine, they have long become legendary not just for recording the night the band blew the headline act Free off stage but also for the way the band engaged with the crowd, cajoling them and challenging them. Apathy would not be tolerated: a reaction, either good or bad was demanded."

The Release of the Croydon, Fairfield Halls Show of 13 September 1970 is a full concert by Mott The Hoople in all their original fury. Two Sunday evening Shows supporting Free, then at the top with: "Alright Now" a big hit in England & the USA.

Word had spread about Mott The Hoople's live concerts and this band was on it's way to becoming England's most popular group. Quite different from their records was the 'In Your Face' sonic assault of the early concerts that they performed, and here at last is the proof!

Neil Young's "Ohio" was the show opener and the crowd is there for them at the start, and like a panzer division, the band advances and there is no escape. This is raw and brash, recording levels peaking in the red...and staying there! Ian stays close to his electric piano, Mick & Verden provide the "Wall-Of-Rock" blast and Overend & Buffin are more of the might & rhythm deluxe that are felt...as well as heard.

It's then; "No Wheels To Ride", a 'new' song at the time of this show, and compared to the "Mad Shadows" version, 'Wheels' has become larger, you can't hide from this music, as it is coming for you! "Rock 'N' Roll Queen" was the band's most popular early number, and on this night it's on target as well. A good "Thunderbuck Ram" is next and a gentle "When My Mind's Gone" recieves respectful attention from the crowd. To close: "Keep a Knockin" the 50's rocker that sounds so outta place at the end of the third LP: 'Wildlife". The encore is an instrumental explosion of: "You Really Got Me".

The sound quality is better than I thought (as compared to The Filmore West tapes). This is indeed quite a look into why Mott The Hoople created rabid fans and held onto them.

Because they were the support act to Free, Mott The Hoople's time on stage is short (7 Songs - 47 Minutes). Five more tracks have been added from the already released Sweden Show recorded for Swedish Radio and already released as "From Stockholm to Philadelphia ~ Live 71/72" in 1999. When you compare Stockholm to Croydon the band sounds downright tame. But, the Sweden Show does contain "Laugh At Me" (Seldom heard Live) and a better "Thunderbuck Ram" than on the 1970 edition.

This CD is an import from Angel Air Records. It is expensive, but it is a mighty nice package including a 24 page booklet giving all the details about this legendary show, with lot's of photo's of Mott-In-Jeans ~ Pre-Glam, Pre-Glitter, No Gimmicks, No Platform Shoes...ALL ROCK.

This ain't "The Holy Grail" but it does paint the picture of my favorite early 70's band as what they REALLY WERE. The records from their first through "Brain Capers" gave us the blueprint and now "Live at Fairfield Halls, 1970" goes on to explain the riot." (Philip S. Wolf amazon.com)

1. Ohio
2. No Wheels to Ride
3. Rock 'N' Roll Queen
4. Thunderbuck Ram
5. When My Mind's Gone
6. Keep 'A' Knockin
7. You Really Got Me
Bonus Tracks Konserthuset 2-16-71
8. Long Red
9. Original Mixed-Up Kid
10. Walking with a Mountain
11. Laugh at Me
12. Thunderbuck Ram

Mick Ralphs - Vocals, Guitar
Ian Hunter - Vocals, Piano
Verden Allen - Vocals, Organ
Overend Watts - Vocals, Bass Guitar
Dale Griffin - Vocals, Drums


Part 1__Part 2__Part 3


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Quiet Sun - Mainstream (1975)
"This sole album is one one those UFDisc that make the proghead so happy in his ever-ending search for 70's gems. Phil Manzanera reformed Quiet Sun as a way of letting off steam from the Keyboard-dominated Roxy Music. Although the album has divided credits and all Quiet Sun members shine , clearly the star here is Manzanera : his searing fuzzy guitars soars above the rest of the album.

Sol Caliente is a real classy track and augurs most of the rest of the album , excellent Canterbury fusion but with a definite rock edge. Bargain Classics has typical Canterbury keyboard with spacey guitars: a must hear. The Mummy track is the highlight with a flying guitar solo followed by a superb Jarrett KB solo that is leaning towards his more famous jazz namesake. The only down remark is the last track (unfortunately also the longest) : it is the only sung track (and not really well either, IMHO) but also is rather tedious and over- long.

Too bad because this last track is the sole reason for not getting that fifth star. To some extent , this is the most accomplished album that Manzanera ever played on , and certainly the one where he shows most his abilities at guitar histrionics. His 801 venture is not quite up to par with this gem. A real must for for everyone. " (Sean Trane progarchives.com)

1. Sol Caliente (7:35)
2. Trumpet With Motherhood (1:47)
3. Bargain Classics (5:49)
4. R. F. D. (3:22)
5. Mummy Was An Asteroid..... (6:01)
6. Trot (5:14)
7. Rongwrong (9:29)

Charles Hayward / drums, percussion, keyboards & voices
Dave Jarrett / keyboards
Phil Manzanera / guitars, keyboards
Bill MacCormick / bass & voices
Brian Eno / synthesizers, treatments and oblique strategies


Part 1__Part 2


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mon Dyh - Am Galgen (1982)
Am Galgen is the third and final album from this great band from Germany, who only recorded three albums in the early eighties, it is also the only one with German vocals. I released on this blog their first album, Murderer, back in December last year, and their second album Confused Mind in April of this year.. I still haven't found any reviews or much information on these guys, but internet friend L1K3D33L3R was kind enough to provide a translation of the liner notes from Murderer. More of a fan rave than anything but hey - it's all I have :

"If there is one thing Mon Dyh (MD) were never interested in, it was the zeitgeist.

MD began to play blues rock when that music was cash point poison anywhere in the world. During the mid-seventies nobody wanted hand-made, old-fashioned guitar music, the great acts of the sixties had disbanded or were but a shadow of their former selves, the gods of blues struggled with personal and/or musical problems (or were beyond problems altogether), promising new groups gave up due to commercial failure.

When, in the course of the German New Wave, noncommittal form and content got the upper hand, MD was one of the most active bands in Berlin's "Rock against the Right Wing". They unflinchingly played sophisticated blues rock and left no lyrical doubt about their background, point of view and perspectives.

At a time when in (West) Berlin virtually everyone who could sing three notes or hold a guitar was a promising talent and chased recording contracts, MD were slogging away in (West German) clubs and youth centres, played at noncommercial festivals, charity events and self-organised concerts.

From that time originates the first LP "Murderer", made in a little studio, without "help" of a producer or support by a record company, but with time for experiments and new experiences. Not that it hadn't been tried - you could have papered several studios with the rejection letters of established music businesses - but of necessity became a virtue swiftly: if you have to do everything yourself you have a less alienated relation to the product, and with complete control of that product, up to the point of marketing, freedom prospers - with the exception of freedom from your own pretensions.

However, there were a multitude of people who bought the record although it wasn't available in "normal" record stores. Because of that, the experiment became so successful that production and preproduction costs for the second LP "Confused mind" could be covered just one year later. This time, production took place in a slightly better-equipped studio, but again - and this time with purpose - without producer and with more time than usual.

Zeitgeist advanced without mercy, and eventually, when the demise of the overpraised German New Wave became apparent, when German lyrics no longer guaranteed, albeit short-lived, success, and when not even chauvinists asserted any longer that German language and rock music were a mandatory combination, MD published a record with German lyrics, in a terrific combination of commercial masochism and defiance.

Consequently, "Am Galgen" was distributed with the help of a - small - record company, which turned out to be the main reason for the total commercial failure of the album. Nevertheless, MD's breakup after their third LP cannot be reduced to this flop. "Am Galgen" was, in many respects, already a product of insecurity and angst of stagnation, and neither the unfortunate marketing nor the attempts at a piecemeal or even radical change of the band's live presentation resulted helpful in solving that basic problem.

The reason why MD, over the six years of their existence, stuck together and - within a certain scope - were so successful, is difficult to sum up. Certainly it has to do with the undeviating steadfastness that allowed the band to make the kind of music they thought to be important and appropriate. But that steadfastness would not have been possible to keep up without an audience who very accurately sensed how strongly the musicians felt about their music, and how faithful they were to their fans.

From 1979 to 1983 I witnessed almost every gig of MD, and the enthusiasm and loyalty not only of declared MD fans but of the most diverse audiences have, time and again, surprised and affected me." (Till Schumann)

01. Salvador 6:24
02. Nichts wird so sein 4:58
03. Mehr als nur spielen 3:58
04. Der Captain 3:47
05. Der Galgen 5:13
06. Geh zu Mary 4:25
07. Show Biz Blues 3:17
08. Jeder muß sein Bild malen 3.56
09. Geh icheben nach New Orleans 2:20
10. Elaika Hiwako 2:53
11. Salvador 3:53
12. 11101 (Kitchen) 4:42
13. Diese Liebe ist umsonst 6:35
14. Blues beten 3:43

Markus Worbs - Drums
Harald Künemund - Acoustic Guitar
Andreas Pröhl - Electric Guitar, Vocals
Harald Frohloff - Bass


Part 1__Part 2__Part 3


Monday, August 03, 2009

Tempest - Under The Blossom: The Anthology
"Tempest was an excellent band formed by jazz-rock drummer Jon Hiseman after the demise of his earlier band Colosseum in 1971, which happens to be one of my favorite drummers who I think is extremely underrated! Completing the group's first line-up was guitarist Allan Holdsworth, bass player/singer Mark Clarke, and Paul Williams on lead vocals. After the recording of their self-titled debut, both Williams and Holdsworth left reducing the band to a trio consisting of Ollie Halsall (guitar/keyboards/vocals), Mark Clarke (bass/vocals), and of course Jon Hiseman (drums). This is the line-up that recorded the second album "Living In Fear".

In this compilation "Under The Blossom", are included the band's two albums ("Tempest" 1973, "Living In Fear" 1974), a previously unreleased BBC live recording, and two excellent outtakes from an aborted third album the band was working on, when they decided to call it quits.

The self-titled debut from 1973 is an awesome collection of blues-rock, jazz-fusion, and prog-rock. All the eight songs have something memorable about them and what really got my attention aside from the drumming of Jon Hiseman, was Holdsworth's distinctive chord voicings and great soloing technique. Highlights include "Up And On" featuring some great riffs and melodies, the ballad "Grey And Black", and the somewhat dark sounding "Brothers" with a notable vocal performance by Williams.

The arrival of Halsall on guitar and keyboards brought a slight change of direction on the 1974 released second album "Living In Fear". The results are nothing short of excellent though! Here, the band goes for a more hard-rock and pop approach. Note how Hiseman also alters his drumming style for the new sound. His playing is less busy and leans more toward straight beats proving how underrated as a drummer he is. Stand out tracks include the unexpected Beatles cover "Paperback Writer", the awesome album opener "Funeral Empire", the poppy "Yeah Yeah Yeah", the seven-minute epic "Dance To My Tune" that features a stunning guitar solo by Halsall, and the acoustic number "Waiting For A Miracle" which is sung by bass player Clarke.

The live BBC session is an incredible listening experience that it's made even better by the fact that both guitarists Allan Holdsworth and Ollie Halsall get to play together here! As a result the band stretches out with the arrangements to include excellent jams that showcase the interplay between the two players perfectly. Drummer Hiseman gets to play a seven minute drum solo as well. Too bad the set list only includes songs from the first album though... But that's only a minor complain.

Even the two outtakes are well worth hearing. "You And Your Love" is a charged rocker with funny lyrics but "Dream Train" is truly a pop gem! This is one of the best songs on the album! An unforgettable vocal duet between Halsall and Clarke is included, very catchy melodies, plus a melodic solo at the end too!

So this band called Tempest is essential listening not only if you like hard rock, prog rock, or jazz fusion, but also because of underrated drummer Hiseman and the fact that both guitar players Holdsworth and Halsall became hugely influential for later guitarists like, for example, Van Halen! " (chappa, amazon.com)

Disc 1
1. Gorgon
2. Foyers Of Fun
3. Dark House
4. Brothers
5. Up And On
6. Grey And Black
7. Strangeher
8. Upon Tomorrow
9. Funeral Empire
10. Paperback Writer
11. Stargazer
12. Dance To My Tune
13. Living In Fear
14. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
15. Waiting For A Miracle
16. Turn Around

Disc 2
1. You And Your Love (Unreleased)
2. Dream Train (Unreleased)
3. Foyers Of Fun (BBC session)
4. Gorgon (BBC session)
5. Up And On (BBC session)
6. Grey And Black (BBC session)
7. Brothers (BBC session)
8. Drums Away (BBC Session)
9. Strangeher (BBC session)

Ollie Halsall - Guitars
Allan Holdsworth - Guitars & Violin
Jon Hiseman - Drums
Mark Clark - Bass, Vocals
Paul Williams - Lead Vocals


Part 1__Part 2__Part 3__Part 4__Part 5