portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The fan produced history of the Incredible String Band continues from Big O again this morning and whilst it is definitely getting rather mixed quality it is still well worth checking out for the avid fan as indeed I am.

We are up to volumes 13/14 and the last two volumes we are promised for tomorrow. 

Now as I mentioned on the weblog there are some tracks that have been omitted here for having previously being made available elsewhere and some of these have had their intros (and outros) left in when introduced by radio disc jockeys which makes for a weird listen but if one were to have the original recordings sourced you could, in theory, make it up to listen as a more consecutive sensible listening. As is, it is odd. Now we are down to supposed soundboards from the period which in the case of the one from Tampa Florida in 1973 is really quite poor but I am spoilt these days  by what are referred to as soundboards. It is still listenable but not as good as previous discs


For your Halloween entertainment . . . . . we don't or didn't really do Halloween over here and I always feel that we adopted it because of our American cousins who go ape over it. However it is really ancient and based around Samhain a pre-Christian European celebration of the time of the seasons changing and has really very little to do with America per se.
So here's a spooky song for ya!

Donovan – Season of The Witch

live on tele

I first came across this song by the supergroup Al Kooper, Steve Stills and Mike Bloomfield

and didn't even know it had been written by Donovan . . . . I also like to play it on the guitar too!


But of course we bought this when it came out . . . . . I think I have said earlier but I was introduced to PULP by bookseller par excellence and general Queen of Everything, the wonderment that is Sharon Murray, who turned me on to quite a bit of music I hadn't then heard (The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon for example) but no-one quite captured my imagination like Pulp and this was of course their biggest hit and to make it big with this and Disco 2000 but I have remained a fan of Jarvis and all he does since and have everything official from PULP too

On this day in music history: October 30, 1995 - “Different Class”, the fifth album by Pulp is released (US release is on February 27, 1996). Produced by Chris Thomas, it is recorded at Townhouse Studios in London from Late 1994 - Mid 1995. Having endured numerous ups and downs and several line up changes since forming in their native Sheffield, UK in 1978, the Britpop band led by charismatic front man Jarvis Cocker hits their stride by the early 90’s. Pulp makes their through in the UK charts with the album “His ‘n’ Hers” in 1994 after signing with Island Records. Radio play on Modern Rock stations in the US also earn them a cult following in the US. For the follow up, the band work with veteran producer Chris Thomas, best known for his work with The Pretenders, The Sex Pistols, INXS and Elton John. The albums’ title is inspired while Cocker is hanging out one night in a London night club, making a dual commentary on Britain’s social class system and categorizing Pulp’s music as being “in a class of its own”. The albums’ release is proceeded by the first single “Common People” (#2 UK), which is an instant smash in their home country and across Europe, priming audiences for the full album which is enthusiastically received and enters the UK album chart at #1, selling over 1.2 million copies in Britain alone. The albums’ cover photo features life sized cut outs of the individual band members posed with an actual wedding party. The initial release of the album in the UK features six double sided interchangeable inserts, allowing fans to “choose your own cover”. Standard releases feature the wedding photo as front of the CD booklet. Regarded as one of the quintessential albums’ of the Britpop movement, it is Pulp’s most successful album on a worldwide basis. The Japanese and German releases of “Different Class” feature a limited bonus disc with ten additional bonus tracks, including non-album B-sides, single mixes and two tracks from their 1994 “Sisters” EP release. When the album is remastered and reissued in 2006, it includes a second disc with eleven additional bonus tracks. “Different Class” spends two weeks at number one on the UK album chart and is certified 4x Platinum, peaking at number thirty four on the Billboard Heatseekers chart in the US.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Grace - Starship Smile
Born on this day: October 30, 1939 - Former Jefferson Airplane/Starship lead vocalist, songwriter and artist Grace Slick (born Grace Barnett Wing in Highland Park, IL). Happy 79th Birthday, Grace!!!

21stC malaise . . . . . the cellphone hell!

One of the recent developments in social behaviour I struggle with is the talking and chatting through concerts these days and there are many ROIO's were this is the case. I have been to concerts like Bob Dylan at The Roundhouse where somewhat unexpectedly we were threatened with violence by drunks (why would you go to a Dylan concert to get pissed?) and yes he threatened to bite our faces off as he pushed past us! This seems to me to be a new attitude to modern music concerts and post punk I get it but seriously you can hear folks opening their hampers and clinking glasses and talking THROUGHOUT a concert all over the planet. I admired Ravi Shankar in the Concert for Bangladesh asking the audience to refrain from smoking  . . . . never mind talking! As Joni Mitchell liked to point out no-one ever harangued Vincent Van Gogh and shouted at him "Hey Vince, paint Starry Night again Maaahn!"

Failing to turn your phone off when you go to a music concert? 
I don't get it . . . . . .

so this is possibly one of the most depressing clips I have ever seen!

I despair . . . . . . . .


I quite forgot to mention in all the plethora of postings yesterday that Aquarium Drunkard also posted a truly informative piece about the passing of Tony Joe White. Accompanied by some great track selections from YouTube too, Now if like many you assumed he was a one hit wonder and possibly not even that but 'that guy that wrote that Elvis song' then they set us right here

This is swamp rock and like Delbert McClinton and that kind, these guys didn't really travel well outside the States but boy they could play . . . . and sing and fonk it right up!

Dr John would understand what this was singing about . . . . .the crocodiles on the Louisiana swamps understand this music! Ha ha ha ha . . . . . . . a unique talent and he will he WILL be missed

J.J. Cale knew what this music was all about and it maybe needed an Eric Clapton to push Tony Joe into the limelight and he would've made it higher IMHO. Elvis wasn't gonna help . . . he didn't even come to the UK!

He had a gentle side too check this and play it on a Sunday afternoon

and somehow we missed him despite him appearing at the Isle of Wight festival . . . . . . perhaps we didn't get it?

 the gators got your granny!

Monday, October 29, 2018

B ★ ★  I  E  

Someone else in overdrive this morning was the uniformly excellent 'Voodoo Wagon' who has gone on a frankly explosive posting of David Bowie ROIOs starting with my favourite Bowie album Low LIVE!

But check out the rest of these too or you'll have missed out!

The six album [count 'em!] GODFATHER collection


There has been a plethora of postings today for some reason and what with Aquarium Drunkard excellent newsletter mentioning Bob Dylan's 'More Blood, More Tracks' with links to the site and streaming plus a rare interview with Dave Crosby, here we have another treat but this one from BB Chronicles of Mike Oldfield's live Tubular Bells at the Queen Elizabeth Hall way back in 1973

This is a highly listenable and great quality ROIO and well worth checking out

BBC4 - Mike Oldfield - The making of Tubular Bells

Previously mentioned in despatches 
Tubular Bells on YouTube plus
an occasional series


Perhaps our greatest modern painter

"I should have been, I don’t know, a con-man, a robber or a prostitute. But it was vanity that made me choose painting, vanity and chance."

Francis Bacon Self-Portrait. 1969. 28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992

the Newsletter is in . . . . . . 

Bob Dylan: More Blood, More Tracks

Like previous installments of the Bootleg Series, "More Blood, More Tracks" unravels – and somehow deepens – the mystery and magic behind Bob Dylan's storied career. Now at AD, resident Dylanologist Tyler Wilcox dives into the newly released set

David Crosby: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

"Good musicians know the value of space, the value of quiet, the value of moments of silence — good musicians are the only ones I want to work with anyway, so there you go."

Lou Reed STOCKHOLM 1974 (upgrade)

Some lovely disrespectful Rock 'n' Roll for a Monday morning?

Thought so! . . . . . . . . Big O posted this late last night and it is a stormer of a set, with really interesting side notes as by this stage Steve Hunter and Dick Wagoner flee the scene before this but John Prakash, Penti Glan and Danny Weis and Michael Fonfara on keyboards  more than cope and the sound here is EXCELLENT
 Really cool Uncle Lou for a Monday morning . . . .Turn it all the way up to 11
 . . . . . . .we miss you Lou!  . . . . . . . we do love a fellow curmudgeon!

Lou Reed passed away on October 27, 2013 from liver disease. He was 71.

I didn't really like the cover for the version called 'Waiting For Lou' with it's dreadful artwork so here's an alternative, you know for all your avid visitors who download everything and print off CD covers an all (who ARE you talking to? You know there's nobody there don't you? - ED)

I don't have anything to say . . . . . . 

Sunday, October 28, 2018



Back on form again . . . . . .after the God bothering crap of the previous three albums or so and the hectoring preachy tone (I don't have to serve anyone Bob! it's self service you know . . . . .) it came as a welcome return for this fan to buying the next three albums without having heard them 'Empire Burlesque', 'Infidels' and 'Knocked Out Loaded' excited me beyond expectation and whilst some knock certain aspects of this triumvirate, I dug all of them and each has at least several songs on that mean a great deal to me. 

On this day in music history: October 27, 1983 - “Infidels”, the twenty second album by Bob Dylan is released. Produced by Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler, it is recorded at The Power Station in New York City from April - May 1983. The album marks Dylan’s return to secular music after his conversion to Christianity at the end of the 70’s. The material on his three previous records heavily reflected his then newly found spiritual beliefs. With many of the songs focusing on love and loss as well as environmental concerns, it is his best received album in many years both by fans and critics. The album features guest musicians such as former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor and Robbie Shakespeare and Sly Dunbar. It is also Dylan’s first album to be recorded on digital recording equipment. It spins off two singles including “Sweetheart Like You” and “Jokerman”. Originally released on CD simultaneously with the vinyl LP and cassette configurations, it is remastered and reissued in 2003 as a hybrid SACD. The high resolution disc is replaced with the standard redbook CD release in 2004. “Infidels” peaks at number twenty on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. 

thanks to Jeff Harris' blog Behind The Grooves


Probably the only time I went out and purchased a Prince album (does the 'Black' album count I guess it does. . . . ) but '1999' I really paid attention to after feeling that I didn't quite 'get' him. As a guitarist I felt he hid is light under a bushel as t'were (!?) but once it was out of the bag I really enjoyed this  . . . . . TURN IT UP and dance around in your pants!

On this day in music history: October 27, 1982 - “1999”, the fifth album by Prince is released. Produced by Prince, it is recorded at Kiowa Trail Home Studio in Chanhassen, MN and Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA from January - August 1982. Even before the tour for his fourth album “Controversy” wraps, Prince’s restless creativity sends him back into the studio in January of 1982. More ambitious than ever, the musician looks to push the boundaries of what he has done previously, but also reach a wider audience without any artistic compromise. Ironically enough, the first song recorded for the new album is the one that will be its closing track (“International Lover”), and its opening track (“1999”) is the last one completed. By the time recording wraps, Prince realizes he has more material than can fit on a single LP. When he suggests to his label Warner Bros. that he wants the album to be a two LP set, they are initially hesitant. A compromise is reached, releasing it as Prince intends, but issuing it with a lower $10.98 list price, rather than normal list price of $13.98 or $14.98 for a two album set. “1999” is the first to be credited to “Prince And The Revolution” (the latter written in reverse on the front cover), is his breakthrough to a wide mainstream audience. It spins off four singles including “Little Red Corvette” (#6 Pop, #15 R&B), “Delirious” (#8 Pop, #18 R&B) and the title track (#1 Dance, #4 R&B, initially peaked at #44, re-charted in 1983 peaked at #12 Pop). Prince supports the project with the now legendary “Triple Threat Tour” featuring The Time and Vanity 6 as the opening acts. “1999” spends over three years on the pop album charts and nearly two years on the R&B chart, including almost three consecutive months in the top ten on the pop chart, and over eight months in the R&B album top ten. Prince also receives his first Grammy nominations for Best R&B Vocal Performance (“International Lover”) and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male (“1999”) in 1984 (losing to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Thriller”). When the album is first released on CD, it omits the track “DMSR” since it would breach the seventy minute time limit placed on a single disc at the time. The track is restored to the album in 1992 when the CD is reissued. “1999” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2008, making it Prince’s first album to receive that acknowledgement. The album is reissued on vinyl in 2011 by Warner Bros’ Rhino Records reissue division, replicating all of the original cover artwork, inner sleeves and the custom “eye” labels used on the original pressings. After Prince’s untimely passing in April of 2016, “1999” re-enters the Billboard Top 200, peaking at number seven, surpassing its original chart peak of number nine on May 28, 1983. “1999” peaks at number four on the Billboard R&B album chart, number seven on the Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

thanks to Jeff Harris' wonderful blog


"Dear God"

Seems apt here on a windy Sunday where we've put the clocks back for winter . . . . . . I think I have said I have pretty much everything official from XTC and various off shoot projects (Dukes of Stratosphear anyone?) and this hit me for six as it articulated much of what I felt at the time . . . . . . I bought the single and the album one of those rare occasions where both seemed viable to do! (?) 

On this day in music history: October 27, 1986 - “Skylarking”, the eighth album by XTC is released. Produced by Todd Rundgren, it is recorded at Utopia Sound Studios in Woodstock, NY and at Cavum Soni (Sound Hole) in San Francisco, CA in Early - Mid 1986. Having recorded their previous album “The Big Express” with David Lord (Peter Gabriel), and the side project EP “25 O'Clock” under the name the Dukes of Stratosphear, XTC come to the US in 1986 to record their next album. The band work with musician Todd Rundgren, best known his own diverse and eclectic work also a solo artist and with the band’s Nazz and Utopia, as well as producing Meat Loaf, Hall & Oates and Grand Funk. Coming to the studio armed only with a clutch of guitars, XTC soon finds out that Rundgren has different musical ideas in mind. Interested in utilizing current technology including synthesizers, sampling keyboards and a drum machine, do not always suit the band’s fancy. The recording sessions are tense, with Andy Partridge and Rundgren often not seeing eye to eye creatively during the recording process. They argue frequently throughout the sessions, over arrangements, instrumentation and even the speed the recordings are tracked at. Eventually, the pre-programmed drums used during the tracking sessions are replaced with live drums played by Prairie Prince (of The Tubes). Rundgren eventually quits the project after mixing the entire album three separate times, but none are to XTC’s satisfaction. One set of mixes are chosen, and the deficiencies are corrected during the mastering process. The initial pressing of the LP is released without the song “Dear God”, which is first issued as the non-LP B-side of the UK only single “Grass”. It finds favor with US radio stations who begin playing it. This forces the band’s US label Geffen Records to quickly reissue the album with the song added on (cutting “Mermaid Smiled” from the reissued edition). “Dear God” peaks at #37 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, subsequently becoming one of their best known and most popular songs. In 2010, the album is remastered and reissued on vinyl with the full track listing, on Andy Partridge’s own Ape House Records label, having regained the rights to XTC’s masters from Virgin and Geffen Records. It also restores the original cover artwork, which had been replaced on the US release. It is also reissued on CD in 2014, correcting the previous CD release which had the stereo channels reversed by mistake. The album is also remastered and reissued on vinyl in September of 2018. “Skylarking” peaks at number ninety on the UK album chart and number seventy on the Billboard Top 200.

thanks to Jeff Harris blog Behind The Grooves

Saturday, October 27, 2018


Still have the album from when it came out and the single it came with . . . . . I really rate this album and the Steve Jones & Paul Cook driving rhythm section pile drives the whole album. I think Jones especially was hugely underrated and Glen Matlock on bass too if it comes to that. Sid not so much although a novelty figure of fun in his self destructive character proved telling and tragi-comic merely,  the album stands as a tour de force of a John Lydon vehicle for someone trying to say something different however angrily and I stuck with him through to Metal Box from P.I.L. too. I confess to feeling threatened by much of punk rock; I found The Clash hugely pretentious and fashion conscious poseurs, who like much of Punk couldn't play their instruments and couldn't sing a note, I dug the Jam but thought of them as second gen Mods mainly. Bands like the protopunks UK Subs, X-Ray Spex were shrill and painful, Howard Devoto's Buzzcocks dreadfully out of tune and no talent no marks, The Damned - beer swilling party boys, Sham 69 I enjoyed sort of as comic characters go and Wire were up there too but more interesting than fellow fashionistas the Clash somehow. I liked Souxie and The Banshees and yet bands like Eddie The Hot Rods were a pub rock band only it seemed to me. The Pistols for me were saying something that even sounded radically different. Cook and Jones could really play and Lydon was rethinking what it meant to vocalise hurt, disenchantment, angst and anger of the time

On this day in music history: October 27, 1977 - “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols”, the debut album by The Sex Pistols is released. Produced by Chris Thomas and Bill Price, it is recorded at Wessex Sound Studios in London from March - June 1977. The Pistols begin recording their only album, after being dropped by A&M Records. New bassist Sid Vicious is added after Glen Matlock departs, but can barely play. Guitarist Steve Jones does double duty, playing bass as well when Matlock isn’t paid in advance to play. Still without a record deal as the sessions progress, manager Malcolm McLaren negotiates with Virgin Records who release “God Save The Queen” (#2 UK), after A&M cancels its release and sign the band. The album creates an immediate sensation in the UK, entering the charts at #1, in spite of several major distributors banning and refusing to handle it. Warner Bros. Records picks up the album for release in the US. The album is also the subject of an obscenity case when a Virgin Record store manager in Nottingham is arrested for displaying the album cover in a shop window, citing that the word “bollocks” is obscene. The case is heard in court on November 24, 1977 and is thrown out when the court finds that the word is not obscene. In time, the album is regarded as one the greatest and most influential punk recordings of all time. It is initially released with eleven songs, omitting the track “Sub-Mission”. The running order is quickly shifted, adding it back into the track listing, and are in UK record stores by early November. As a result of the late addition, the first two pressings of the album do not feature a track listing on the back of the LP sleeve. There is similar confusion in the US when Warner Bros releases album, with “Sub-Mission” not listed on the sleeve back. The label hastily prints a sticker with the song title which is affixed to the back. The album is remastered and reissued in the UK for its thirtieth anniversary in 2007, as a three CD box set + DVD and bonus 7" of “God Save The Queen” b/w “No Feelings”. It is also issued separately as a 180 gram LP with a poster and a bonus 7" of “Sub-Mission” b/w “Pretty Vacant”. Another limited edition double LP set issued on color vinyl (one yellow and one pink). The second LP features a live concert recorded in Stockholm, Sweden in July of 1977, with the Pistols performing “Bollocks” in its entirety. It is also reissued in the US on 180 gram vinyl by Rhino Records in 2008, even replicating the original copies with the “Sub-Mission” sticker on the back. “Never Mind The Bollocks” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2015. “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols” spends two weeks at number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number one hundred six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

thanks to Jeff Harris' blog Behind The Groove

'Sam Beam'

Live in February 2018 

I forgot to post about this but Big O (again!) had this concert ROIO the other day and I have been listing to it today and it is truly lovely,  a great set of recordings from this year from Switzerland and Manchester in the UK


Interesting piece on the early seventies singer songwriter Lesley Duncan who is largely forgotten now but associated with Elton John and others over at Plain & Fancy. She never garnered the success she deserved and perhaps too passively laid back to make it bigger they discuss this over her debut album 'Sing Children Sing'. That she had a lovely voice is a given and the songs were more than many produced at the time although perhaps it was the untimely Christianity or gospel rock influences and apparent references to make it bigger but she was never to make it big

Here with Elton and he clearly did all he could to push Lesley's profile into the mainstream bit to no avail. She seems to have not desired the spotlight and was known to suffer from crippling stage fright. Lesley died in 2010 from cerebrovascular disease. She was 66

Friday, October 26, 2018

Pink Floyd

Piper at The Gates of Dawn

Here it is - the peak of Pink Floyd albums in my view and a favourite album regularly in my top ten Bought when it came out I adored this album and still do. It had a profound affect upon my and all of my then burgeoning youthful creativity, I hankered to be one of this band and identified with all of them especially Syd. The glorious centre piece to all of psychedelia so that nothing else quite touches these dizzy heights

On this day in music history: October 26, 1967 - “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn”, the debut album by Pink Floyd is released. Produced by Norman Smith, it is recorded at EMI Abbey Road Studios in London from February 21 - May 21, 1967. Formed by Roger Waters (bass) and Nick Mason (drums) and Richard Wright (keyboards, guitar), they are joined by Syd Barrett (vocals, guitar) in mid 1965. It is Barrett that comes up with the name Pink Floyd, after blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Originally playing more R&B influenced music, their sound begins to evolve. They become the talk of London’s underground music scene, with record labels courting the band. They’re signed to EMI Records’ Columbia label by former Abbey Road engineer Norman Smith. They record their first single “Arnold Layne” b/w “Candy And A Currant Bun” (#20 UK) during January and February, and is issued in March of 1967. Prior to its release, the band record their debut album with Syd Barrett as the driving creative force. The tracks include “Interstellar Overdrive”, an early staple of Pink Floyd’s live shows along with “Astronomy Domine”. The now iconic “kaleidoscopic” cover photo is taken by photographer Vic Singh. Released in the UK first in early August of 1967 (mono mix, followed by the stereo version in September), “Piper” quickly establishes them as leaders of the British psychedelic rock movement. Soon after, Syd Barrett’s mental state deteriorates, fueled his increasing intake of LSD. Held back in the US until October to coincide with their first tour, it is released on Capitol’s Tower Records imprint. The US version contains nine songs instead of eleven, dropping “Domine”, “Bike” and “Flaming”, adding the single “See Emily Play”. Shortly after making their US debut at the Winterland Ballroom on November 4, 1967, the tour is aborted when Barrett’s condition worsens. Making a now infamous appearance on singer Pat Boone’s TV show, Syd stares blankly into the camera instead of lip synching to the song “Apples And Oranges”. The band return home, and guitarist David Gilmour is added as a back up for Barrett. It marks the beginning of the end of Syd Barrett’s tenure in the band, leaving in mid 1968. Reissued many times including a three CD set, it is most recently remastered and reissued on CD in 2011. A 180 gram vinyl LP (stereo mix) is released in 2016. The original mono mix, is reissued as a limited edition 180 gram LP for Record Store Day in April Of 2018. It comes housed in a psychedelic, gold embossed outer sleeve and is packaged with a poster. The LP sleeve replicates the original UK tab back cover. Other than a brief European reissue in 1997, it marks the first time the mono mix has been available since 1968. “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn” peaks at number six on the UK album chart, number one hundred thirty one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

thanks to Jeff Harris' wonderful blog Behind The Grooves

It's the early BIRD  . . . . . . 


We loved The Byrds. As soon as we heard that jingle jangle morning music and the covers of Uncle Bobby we knew something was happening . . . . . . .songs like 'Hey Mr Tambourine Man' almost before we hard Bobby's 'version', then 'So You Wanna Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star' mesmerised us. We loved Chris, Gene and Jim then Gram & Clarence and early on we hardly even noticed the departure of some funny looking little guy called David Crosby in '67 we DUG them. 'My Back Pages' shone like another beacon and we wondered if Bobby liked these covers. . . . . . . heck I adored and still rate 'Hickory Wind' by Gram Parson as one of favourite all time songs, we stuck with them until the legendary heavy duty double album 'untitled' superb stuff 

The Rockasteria has a really interesting article here about the early band around the time of 'Younger Than Yesterday' really worth a read its by John Kruth back in  02/06/17 

Plain and Fancy article on the Byrds

I think this is when the doubt started to creep in that the songwriting from the Floyd was not going to live up to Syd Barrat's earlier promise. The notion of 'Careful With That Axe' Eugene' and it's schoolboy one-liner humour guaranteed to freak anyone playful with LSD might be rocked swirling into a paranoia similar to that which did for their erstwhile lead singer. This I reckon is Roger's influence and whilst early on I adored the bass player backing the frontmen of Gilmour and Barrett, the taking of the reigns was the worst idea for this listener. Waters' crass simplistic ideas were never what I expected and largely made me cringe . . . 

By this time I had already begun to only enjoy the piece without the dire songwriting skills of 'We don't need no education' . . . . . . . money it's a gas . . . .self indulgence it's a bore

On this day in music history: October 25, 1969 - “Ummagumma”, the fourth album by Pink Floyd is released (US release is on November 10, 1969). Produced by Pink Floyd and Norman Smith, it is recorded at the Mothers Club in Birmingham, UK on April 27, 1969, Manchester College of Commerce in Manchester, UK on May 2, 1969 (live tracks), and Abbey Road Studios in London in June 1969. The nine track double album by the UK progressive rock band consists of four tracks from their then current live set list and five newly recorded tracks in the studio. The albums’ title comes from a Pink Floyd roadie who describes it as a euphemism for “sex”. Though the album is well received by fans and critics, though the band themselves later admit to not being fond of it, feeling it to be to be “excessive” and “a failed experiment”, especially the studio half. The original LP cover art features a photo of the band with a picture hanging on a wall of them in the same pose but with everyone in a different place. The photo is also notable as it shows a copy of the “Gigi” soundtrack album on the floor next to guitarist David Gilmour. The US and Canadian covers is airbrushed white on subsequent re-pressings (over copyright concerns). The cover art is eventually restored when it is reissued on CD. Reissued numerous times over the years, the album is most recently remastered and reissued on CD in 2011. It is also reissued as a double vinyl 180 gram LP set in 2016, replicating the original UK album packaging. “Ummagumma” peaks at number five on the UK album chart, number seventy four on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
No 369 in the classic pop songs of all time . . . . . 

No I didn't buy this when it came out but it has become a favourite song and has achieved legendary public domain type fame from being such a classic pop song. Affirmative and self confidence boosting the empowerment of the individual it is a great song well delivered by the ever fascinating if somewhat eccentric Cyndi

On this day in music history: October 25, 1986 - “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, it is the second chart topping single for the pop superstar from Queens, NY. Following the huge success of her solo debut “She’s So Unusual”, Cyndi Lauper begins work on her sophomore release in late 1985. This time around, Lauper handles the production duties herself along with co-producer Lennie Petze. Best known for writing pop classics including “Like A Virgin”, “Eternal Flame”, “So Emotional” and “I’ll Stand By You”, songwriters Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg pen the ballad in 1985. Steinberg takes inspiration from his mother while writing the song, with Kelly helping finish it. Initially, the song is pitched to legendary producer George Martin for Kenny Rogers’ album “The Heart Of The Matter”. Martin loves the song, but Rogers passes on recording it. Kelly and Steinberg send their demo to Capitol Records’ A&R department, who in turn submit it to Anne Murray for consideration. She too declines to do the song. Finally, their manager sends a copy of the demo to Epic Records A&R exec Lennie Petze who plays it for Cyndi Lauper, who immediately agrees to record the song. When it is originally written, Kelly and Steinberg give “True Colors” a piano based gospel arrangement in a similar vein to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Lauper and Petze gives the song a poignant and stark revamping that personalizes it for the singer. The title track and first single from Cyndi’s second album, it is released in August of 1986, and is an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #63 on August 30, 1986, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. After its chart success, “True Colors” is used in an ad campaign for Kodak film, and is later adapted as an anthem by the LGBTQ community, expressing diversity and acceptance. Cyndi Lauper later establishes the “True Colors Fund”, a non-profit organization to help homeless LGBTQ youth. The success of “True Colors” drives the accompanying album to Platinum status in the US.


Singer, songwriter and Swamp Rock American music legend Tony Joe White 

- July 23, 1943 - October 24, 2018, RIP 

Born in Louisiana on a cotton farm White's down home swamp rock didn't travel well abroad from the 'hokey' homespun kind of American feel to his stuff and apart from Elvis covering his 'Polk Slad Annie' I doubt many over here would have heard of him. This is a shame as he was a good songwriter {'Rainy Night in Georgia' anyone?, he also wrote several of the songs for 'Catch My Soul' the gospel rock opera which he appeared in} and he was a fine guitarist too and his distinctive gravely voice would have been more accepted these days I feel. 

I posted this last note by sheer coincidence

Classic Songs re-visited - Tony Joe White

update - Big O posted this compilation of live Radio broadcasts of missed quality to be honest and all a bit hot for me . . . . . . but anyhoo
(it's polk salad green)
Big O Tony Joe White 

Track 109. Polk Salad Annie 4:14

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Big fan of the Wainwright clan and perhaps prefer the extraordinary work of Martha but have quite a lot of Rufus too. Their dad has written a memoir biog book which should make a good read [came out last year so needs another plug I reckon] and has compiled a new collection of songs too check it all out here:

Loudon Wainwright Aquarium Drunkard interview

Loudon Wainwright III - Liner Notes etc available here


'Black Magic Woman'

On this day in music history: October 24, 1970 - “Abraxas”, the second album by Santana hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 6 weeks (non-consecutive). Produced by Fred Catero and Carlos Santana, it is recorded at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco, CA from April 17 - May 2, 1970. Recorded in only two weeks and released just thirteen months after their self-titled debut, it is an even greater success for the San Francisco based rock band. The album takes its title from a line in German author and poet Herman Hesse’s (“Steppenwolf”, “Siddhartha”) book “Demian”, which is quoted on the back of the original LP jacket. The albums’ now iconic cover art features a painting by artist Mati Klarwein (“Bitches Brew”, “Live-Evil”) titled “Annunciation”, painted in 1961. A major critical and commercial success upon its release, it spins off three singles including covers of the Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) penned “Black Magic Woman” (#4 Pop) and the Tito Puente latin jazz classic “Oye Como Va” (#13 Pop), both becoming FM rock radio staples as well as major pop hits. Sony Music issues a remastered CD of “Abraxas” in 1998 featuring three live bonus tracks. Long a favorite of audiophiles, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab releases of a limited edition double vinyl LP mastered at 45 RPM in October of 2016, pressed with MFSL’s “one step” pressing method for unsurpassed sound quality. “Abraxas” is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.

Of course bought when it came out and I think the first two albums (at least) mark a period of discovery for many British listeners as they were transported by Carlos' wonderful playing and the Latin American beat introduced to a wider audience that may not have understood anything past say Tito Puente in the fifties but Santana broke new ground for sure and this is them at the very peak. It has to go with a mention to the author of 'Black Magic Woman' and us Brits were astonished at Carlos nod of acknowledgement toward one of our own great guitar heroes who we felt we had lost by then but the Fleetwood Mac we adored was both with Peter and Danny to whom I dedicated this entry

Turn it up . . . it deserves to rattle your windows . . . . . . . 

Source: Live at The Boston Tea Party 1970