Saturday, February 27, 2010

1089 - Mojo 102. Traffic - Mr. Fantasy (1967)

















Track Listing

1. Heaven Is In Your Mind
2. Berkshire Poppies
3. House For Everyone
4. No Face, No Name, No Number
5. Dear Mr. Fantasy
6. Dealer
7. Utterly Simple
8. Coloured Rain
9. Hope I Never Find Me There
10. Giving To You

Review

Well this isn't as good as John Barleycorn Must Die and not as bad as Steve Winwood's solo career. Actually it is more on the side of the greatness of Barleycorn than the shittiness of Winwood's career.

It is a pretty much hit and miss album, some of the tracks are really nifty, such as the title track, while others sound like sub-par hippie psych, Utterly Simple being an example of this.

Overall, however, it is a pretty solid album, but one which will hardly Wow any new listeners. The essential Traffic album is still John Barleycorn Must Die, and it will always be that one. Close but no cigar.

Track Highlights

1. Dear Mr. Fantasy
2. No Face, No Name, No Number
3. Heaven Is In Your Mind
4. House For Everyone

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Considered by far the strangest and most art rock style album that Traffic released, Mr. Fantasy didn't gain much more than a cult following for Traffic at the time. Critics seemed to like the album, though, and most said it was clear that Steve Winwood and Traffic were good at putting together semi-mainstream psychedelic rock, except this album was not quite mainstream enough. By their next release, the eponymous Traffic, the band was said to have worked through that.

Dear Mr. Fantasy, live 1972:

Friday, February 26, 2010

1088 - Mojo 101. Jefferson Airplane - After Bathing at Baxter's (1967)

















Track Listing

1. Streetmasse
2. The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil
3. A Small Package of Value Will Come To You Shortly
4. Young Girl Sunday Blues
5. The War Is Over
6. Martha
7. Wild Tyme
8. Hymn to an Older Generation
9. The Last Wall of the Castle
10. Rejoyce
11. How Suite It Is
12. Watch Her Ride
13. Spare Chaynge
14. Shizoforest Love Suite
15. Two Heads
16. Won’t You Try Saturday Afternoon

Review

The track listing above can be seen in several editions in several different ways, at times being grouped into suites and sometimes broken up like this. Anyway, the end result is the same, and it is a piece of crazy experimentalist psych.

As Psych goes Jefferson Airplane always seemed to me like a perfectly good band, but one which was extremely successful because it wasn't really that interesting. So then you get an album which wasn't very successful and that is where you can see them experimenting.

While this is a good thing it also gives us moments of complete wierdness, such as A Small Package of Value Will Come To You Shortly. However together with this they also manage to produce some of the best moments of their career with really confident psych music coming to the fore in most other tracks. Great stuff.

Track Highlights

1. The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil
2. Rejoyce
3. Young Girl Sunday Blues
4. Won’t You Try Saturday Afternoon

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Divided into "suites," this musical shift is typified by longer and more experimental compositions such as the nine-minute instrumental "Spare Chaynge" and Grace Slick's mammoth and unusual "rejoyce," an homage to James Joyce's novel Ulysses, with its quirky arrangement and Jack Casady's stentorian bass line. Many of the album tracks reflect the band's heavy use of the drug LSD. The cover art is by artist Ron Cobb.

The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil:


Mojo 100. Jimi Hendrix Experience - Axis: Bold as Love (1967)

See Review


Thursday, February 25, 2010

1087 - Mojo 99. The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed (1967)

















Track Listing

1. The Day Begins
2. Dawn: Dawn Is A Feeling
3. The Morning: Another Morning
4. Lunch Break: Peak Hour
5. The Afternoon
6. Evening
7. Nights In White Satin (The Night)




Review

Well this is a strange little album coming along in 1967. Of course everyone will know Nights in White Satin, but the album it is included in is without a doubt the direct predecessor of prog.

As such it is an album full of excesses, with a full orchestra doing orchestral interludes throughout in the style of Gershwinesque suites, among these are what sounds like fully formed prog tracks.

This is a concept album turning around a day in the life of Moody Blue, there was nothing like this around, the sounds are completely 70s. However, it is as pretentious as you would assume any prog album to be, but as such it is also a load of kitsch fun that I can't help but love.

Track Highlights

1. Nights in White Satin
2. The Day Begins
3. Dawn: Dawn is a Feeling
4. The Afternoon

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The project was almost doomed to failure as executives at Deram Records felt that combining rock and symphonic music would both alienate rock fans and enrage symphonic fans. The album's subsequent success led to other criticism about implied drug use, especially with such lines as "the smell of grass just makes you pass into a dream" and "those gentle voices I hear explain it all with a sigh." Despite such early criticism, Days of Future Passed paved the way for progressive offerings from other bands and remains one of the Moody Blues' most popular releases ever.


Nights in White Satin:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

1086 - Mojo Special 16. U-Roy - Your Ace From Space (1969-70)

















Track Listing

1. Tide Is High - The Paragons, , U-Roy,
2. On the Beach - The Paragons, , U-Roy,
3. Flashing My Whip - The Paragons, , U-Roy,
4. Wear You to the Ball - The Paragons, , U-Roy,
5. Happy Go Lucky Girl - The Paragons, , U-Roy,
6. Same Song - The Paragons, , U-Roy,
7. Merry Go Round - John Holt, U-Roy,
8. Drive Her Home - Hopeton Lewis, , U-Roy,
9. Tom Drunk - Hopeton Lewis, , U-Roy,
10. Rock Away - The Melodians, , U-Roy,
11. Super Boss - The Melodians, , U-Roy,
12. Everybody Bawlin' - The Melodians, , U-Roy,
13. Version Galore - The Melodians, , U-Roy,
14. Words of Wisdom - U-Roy,
15. My Girl - The Techniques, The Techniques, U-Roy,
16. Rule of the Nation - U-Roy,
17. Ain't That Loving You - Alton Ellis, , U-Roy,
18. Wake the Town - U-Roy,
19. Hot Pot - U-Roy,
20. Peace and Love in the Ghetto - The Jamaicans, , U-Roy,
21. Things You Say You Love - The Jamaicans, , U-Roy,
22. Treasure Isle Skank - U-Roy,
23. True Confessions - The Silvertones, U-Roy,
24. Do It Right - The Three Tops, U-Roy,
25. True True - Ken Parker, , U-Roy,
26. Big Boy and Teacher - U-Roy,
27. Behold - U-Roy,
28. Don't Stay Away - Phyllis Dillon, , U-Roy,
29. Honey Come Forward - U-Roy,
30. Your Ace from Space - U-Roy,

Review

So U-Roy is here prefiguring much of the music that would come to be in the Anglo-Saxon world much later in the late 80s and up until now. So U-Roy takes a previuosly recorded Rock Steady track and talks/sings his way over it.

Whether you like it or not, here would hardly be a Puff Daddy today if it wasn't for the success of U-Roy's style of MCing, called toasting. That being said, while it might work in the context of a party it is sometimes slightly boring and repetitive.

Throughout the three days I listened to this album I went around the house saying "Yeah Yeah" in the very particular way U-Roy does it about 500 times in the album. It was fun, but I am actually quite glad this album is going on its merry way.

Track Highlights

1. Tide Is High
2. Your Ace From Space
3. Rock Away
4. Wake The Town

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Calling himself, “your ace from outer space”, U-Roy revolutionized the musical style of reggae in 1969. Even though U-Roy was not the first microphone artist, he was the first to gain recognition through recording this style. U-Roy popularized and gained a wider audience for “toasting”; rapping over “versions” of popular songs remixed by dub music pioneer King Tubby. This style of vocals was a major influence on the early rap scene (Disco/Electro/Break Beat) and the later American hip-hop movement. Considered one of Jamaica's first Deejay stars, "U-Roy raised the art of toasting to new heights. He didn't just spit a few phrases here and there, he rode the riddim from the starting gate to the last furlong". U-Roy working with Duke Reid created a "version" of the Paragon’s “Wear You to the Ball” which became the first "toast" record to make an impact in 1969.

Rock Away:


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

1085 - Mojo 98. Kaleidoscope - Tangerine Dream (1967)


















Track Listing

1. Kaleidoscope
2. Please Excuse My Face
3. Dive Into Yesterday
4. Mr Small
5. Flight From Ashiya
6. Murder Of Lewis Tollani
7. Further Reflections In The Room Of Percussion
8. Dear Nellie Goodrich
9. Holiday Maker
10. Lesson Perhaps
11. Sky Children

Review

More Psychedelia on the list, this time a British band. The British were, interestingly, never as good on pure Psychedelia as the Americans, although their pop was brilliantly infused with it.

As such Kaleidoscope is a poppier psych than what you might be used to, but it is still good stuff, even if it is not as edgy as some American bands we've had here before. There are however amazingly beautiful moments here.

Take Dive Into Yesterday for example which starts just like Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and goes on to be a beautiful psych song, or Kaleidoscope, also a great track. Unfortunately there seems to be some filler here, all of it good but not all of it great.

Track Highlights

1. Dive Into Yesterday
2. Kaleidoscope
3. Holiday Maker
4. Sky Children

Final Grade


8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Though not as popular as the U.S. Kaleidoscope, this British band was also a band from the psychedelic movement with moderate domestic success, and just enough international exposure to have this album recognized in the genre's catalogue and regarded as one of the best in the same.

Now sought by collectors and highly acclaimed by critics and fans this album has been musically compared to Nirvana's "Story of Simon Simopath" and Pink Floyd's "Piper at the Gates of Dawn".

Peter Daltrey, lead singer of the band was asked about the lyrics and the music of the album, and he wrote the following statement in the album's sleeve notes:

"The collective subject of our songs is simple, life and people. We have written our songs about you. Happy people, sad people, lovely people and a few confused people. We have written of the children, of the king and his queen, and we have also included a few words about ourselves, about our lives, about our loves and about our dreams".

Dive Into Yesterday:

Mojo 97. Cream - Disraeli Gears (1967)

See Review

Monday, February 22, 2010

1084 - Mojo 96. Country Joe and the Fish - I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die (1967)


















Track Listing

1. Fish Cheer And I Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag
2. Who Am I
3. Pat's Song
4. Rock Coast Blues
5. Magoo
6. Thought Dream
7. Thursday
8. Eastern Jam
9. Colors For Susan

Review

Country Joe and the Fish are definitely one of my favourite Psych bands, together with the 13th Floor Elevators. Of course it has its not so great bits, but it is generally an amazing album.

The song that they are most famous for is the first one here, but it is really not representative of their style, it works as a novelty track parodying the redneck ra-ra-ra attitude to war and it is a pretty great country pastiche. The songs more representative of their style in the rest of the album have a very particular sound.

What stands out most about their style is their very unique guitar sound which punctuates the music in amazingly beautiful ways, as in the amazing Thought Dream. The 9 tracks in the album actually feel like more because most tracks have a suite structure where they change completely in sonority within each track. This also makes it hard to choose particular favourites. Still an amazing album throughout.

Track Highlight

1. Thought Dream
2. Pat's Song
3. Colors for Susan
4. Fish Cheer And I Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The title track remains one of the most popular Vietnam protest songs from the 1960s and originally appeared in a 1965 7" EP titled Rag Baby: Songs of Opposition. On the album version however, "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" appears alongside "The Fish Cheer," which at concerts, became a Country Joe standard. At Woodstock, however, Joe had the crowd yell F-U-C-K instead of F-I-S-H. The title song faced a legal challenge from the estate of New Orleans jazz trombone pioneer Edward "Kid" Ory, whose daughter Babette claimed that McDonald appropriated the melody for his song from Ory's classic "Muskrat Ramble," as recorded by Louis Armstrong & his Hot Five in 1926. A 2005 judgment upheld McDonald's copyright on the song, claiming that Ory waited too long to make the claim.

Thought Dream:

Mojo 95. Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield Again (1967)

See Review

Mojo 94. Tim Buckley - Goodbye and Hello (1967)

See Review

Mojo 93. Frank Sinatra - Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967)

See Review

Sunday, February 21, 2010

1083 - Mojo 92. The Hollies - Butterfly (1967)


















Track Listing

1. Dear Eloise
2. Away Away Away
3. Maker
4. Pegasus
5. Would You Believe
6. Wishyouawish
7. Postcard
8. Charlie And Fred
9. Try It
10. Elevated Observations
11. Step Inside
12. Butterfly

Review

The Hollies show up with what is clearly a lighter touch to the whole psych movement. The Hollies are of course a pop band, but here there is truly a feel that they could have been much more, particularly if they had let Nash run free.

Well Nash would go on to great things and the Hollies would go on to be immensely popular with the obligatory inverse proportionality of quality and success. As it stands this album is a nice slice of psych.

The problem with the album might be that it is just too nice, with Pegasus, Butterfly etc. etc. you can see the hippie fairy territory we are dealing with. However, not just in theme but also sound, there is deep potential for twee hipster rehab of this album. Look into it if you are one of those annoying types.

Track Highlights

1. Pegasus
2. Dear Eloise
3. Butterfly
4. Would You Believe

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Butterfly is the second of two 1967 albums by The Hollies. It was also the last new Hollies album to feature Graham Nash until 1983's What Goes Around. This, like its predecessors For Certain Because and Evolution, featured songs written solely by Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks.

Pegasus:

Mojo 91. Country Joe and the Fish - Electric Music for the Mind and Body (1967)


Saturday, February 20, 2010

1082 - Mojo Special 15. Various Artists - Sentimental Journey: Pop Vocal Classics Vol. 4 (1954-59)


















Track Listing

1. Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin, Richard Wess
2. Fever - Peggy Lee, Jack Marshall
3. Tammy - Joseph Gershenson & Orchestra, Debbie Reynolds
4. Let Me Go Lover - Jimmy Caroll Orchestra with Strings, Joan Weber
5. What a Diff'rence a Day Made - Dinah Washington
6. On the Street Where You Live - Vic Damone, Percy Faith & His Orchestra
7. Singing the Blues - Ray Conniff & His Orchestra, Guy Mitchell
8. Chances Are - Ray Conniff & His Orchestra, Johnny Mathis
9. Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) - Doris Day, Frank DeVol & His Orchestra
10. Wayward Wind - Buddy Bregman & Orchestra, Gogi Grant
11. Memories Are Made of This - Dean Martin, Dick Stabile
12. Old Cape Cod - Patti Page, Vic Schoen
13. Man That Got Away - Judy Garland, Ray Heindorf & Orchestra
14. Fascination - Jan Morgan, Jane Morgan, Troubadors
15. I Could Have Danced All Night - Jack Pleis, Sylvia Syms, Orchestra
16. Just in Time - Tony Bennett, Percy Faith & His Orchestra
17. That Old Black Magic - Sammy Davis, Jr., Mort Stevens

Review

First things first, the track listing may very depending on where you see the album on sale or listed. The track listing above is that which is on Amazon but different from the one on the mojo list... the songs are the same, the only difference is in the order of the tracks, so it is pretty much the same as the tracks are unrelated.

Again this is a pretty interesting collection of pre-rock music. In fact it is a better collection than Vol.3 which we've had here before, if for no other reason because most of the tracks are more familiar to the listener.

In fact I don't think there is a single track in this collection which I didn't know before. This has advantages and disadvantages, it doesn't give you anything new and exciting to listen to, but it does let you sing along to it. Big bands, big singing and fun.

Track Highlights


1. Fever
2. What a Diff'rence a Day Made
3. Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)
4. Mack The Knife

Final Grade


8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Fever" published in 1956 and originally recorded by Little Willie John, as a double sided hit, along with the number ten, R&B single, "Letter From My Darling". Little Willie John's version of "Fever" was a number one hit, for three weeks, on the R&B Best Sellers chart, which also made the popular charts as an early Rock'n'Roll song peaking at number twenty-four. In 1958, Peggy Lee's cover version was even more popular, peaking at number eight on the US pop charts. The song became a signature song for Peggy Lee.

Peggy Lee, Fever:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

1081 - Mojo 90. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - Gorilla (1967)

















Track Listing

1. Cool Britannia
2. Equestrian Statue
3. Jollity Farm
4. I Left My Heart In San Francisco
5. Look Out There's A Monster Coming
6. Jazz Delicious Hot Disgusting Cold
7. Death Cab For Cutie
8. Narcissus
9. Intro And The Outro
10. Mickey's Son And Daughter
11. Big Shot
12. Music For Head Ballet
13. Piggy Bank Love
14. I'm Bored
15. Sound Of Music

Review

The UK has a long and mostly unfortunate history of novelty music, if you look through the UK charts from the 60s up until now you will of course have plenty of the things that made the UK one of the biggest musical superpowers in the world, clearly beating the US in sheer production of excellent music per capita. But you will also get loads of stuff you never heard about, be it the cheeky girls or Agadoo.

Of course the US has the same phenomena... like Who Let The Dogs Outor Because I Got High just to mention two classics of the genre. The difference is that usually these novelty tracks in the UK are of such low production values that it is clear they are never actually seen as anything but crap music people will listen to in the south of Spain during the summer.

So what about this album? It is essentially extremely high quality novelty music. The band has both writing and musical chops, but it is used for a mix of vaudeville/music hall/calypso/puns. And yes, it manages to be fun, because it is smartly done, and it can be extremely amusing at times. Of course it loses its novelty after a while and after you know all the jokes it loses much of its purpose... but it is excellent for what it is. This is also the album which gave us the expression Cool Brittania and Death Cab for Cutie.

Track Highlights

1. Look Out There's a Monster Coming
2. Intro and the Outro
3. Equestrian Statue
4. Piggy Bank Love

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Sleeve Notes:

"Dedicated to Kong who must have been a great bloke"

Look Out There's a Monster Coming:


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

1080 - Mojo 89. The Thirteenth Floor Elevators - Easter Everywhere (1967)


















Track Listing

1. Slip Inside This House
2. Slide Machine
3. She Lives (In a Time of Her Own)
4. Nobody to Love
5. It's All over Now, Baby Blue
6. Earthquake
7. Dust
8. I've Got Levitation
9. I Had to Tell You
10. Pictures (Leave Your Body Behind)


Review

One of the great discoveries of the 1001 albums list was precisely this band, with their previous album The Psychedelic Sounds of... This album, although not as earth-shattering as their previous effort, clearly builds on a very solid base into a more polished and professional sounding album.

This quality of sound here makes it more accessible and actually more beautiful, but does make it lose some of its great charm. Now, interestingly this kind of evens out the album. The thing is full of pretty brilliant tracks some of which sound amazingly before their time as is the case of Dust, which wouldn't be out of place on some 90's underground act.

Other highlight include the gargantuan first track and the beautiful cover of It's All Over Now Baby Blue or Nobody to Love, in fact none of the tracks on the album is anything less than essential. The whole album is still suffused with the weird sounds of the electric jug which makes the Elevator's sound so instantly recognisable, and at the same time so fascinating. Another masterpiece.

Track Highlights

1. Dust
2. Slip Inside This House
3. It's All Over Now Baby Blue
4. Nobody to Love

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

In 2009, the original mono version and a new, alternate stereo version were released as part of the "Sign of the 3-Eyed Men" box set. Both versions featured different bonus tracks, some that were previously unreleased. The mono version contains missing electric jug overdubs on some tracks that the stereo mix does not have.

Dust:

Mojo 88. Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow (1967)

See Review


Mojo 87. Pink Floyd - Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)

See Review

Sunday, February 14, 2010

1079 - Mojo 86. Etta James - Tell Mama (1967)



















Track Listing


1. Tell Mama
2. I'd Rather Go Blind
3. Watch Dog
4. Love Of My Man
5. I'm Gonna Take What He's Got
6. Same Rope
7. Security
8. Steal Away
9. My Mother In Law
10. Don't Lose Your Good Thing
11. It Hurts Me So Much
12. Just A Little Bit

Review

Well this is a pretty good album, but it does sound slightly outside of its time. While this is often a good thing in this case it sounds slightly behind the times, actually you could even say it sounds slightly autistic.

There are moments of brilliance here, and Etta's voice is truly great. It feels like a classical album but not an amazing album. Etta is clearly feeling these songs deeply. She puts a lot of her soul into it.

There are other particularly good moments when the album seems to be a bit more "hip", some of the guitars used throughout sound pretty great and give a little hint to the fact that rock is happening elsewhere, particularly psychedelic rock. So good, but not great.

Track Highlights


1. Watch Dog
2. Tell Mama
3. My Mother in Law
4. It Hurts Me So Much

Final Grade


7/10


Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Tell Mama was James's first album since 1963 to enter the Billboard 200 albums chart and contained her first Top 10 and 20 hits since 1964. It was also her second release for the Cadet record label.

Tell Mama:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

1078 - Mojo Special 14. Elmer Bernstein - Man With the Golden Arm (1956)

















Track Listing

1. Clarke Street
2. Zosh
3. Frankie Machine
4. The Fix
5. Molly
6. Breakup
7. Sunday Morning
8. Desperation
9. Audition
10. The Cure
11. Finale

Review

The first soundtrack composed fully for a film on this list, this is a great soundtrack indeed. Elmer Bernstein really let himself go with a jazz themed soundtrack inter-spreading some more orchestral emotional moments.

The main theme, which is repeated throughout the soundtrack always sounds great and always pack a pretty great punch. A film soundtrack should be a mood enhancer more than anything when you are watching the film, but when listening to it on its own it should evoke feelings similar to those on the film, and that works pretty well here.

So a pretty evocative soundtrack which works perfectly on its own. This kind of considerations is particularly important than in ones where the music is just used for a film, but these are usually also more satisfying.

Track Highlights

1. Clark Street
2. Finale
3. Desperation
4. Frankie Machine

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The film's soundtrack was a landmark in film history, being hitherto one of the most creative and inventive jazz scores heard in a major motion picture; it followed on somewhat from the score provided by Alex North for A Streetcar Named Desire.

Opening Titles and theme:

Friday, February 12, 2010

1077 - Mojo 85. The Electric Prunes - Underground (1967)



















Track Listing

1. The Great Banana Hoax
2. Children Of Rain
3. Wind-Up Toys
4. Antique Doll
5. It's Not Fair
6. I Happen To Love You
7. Dr. Do-Good
8. I
9. Hideaway
10. Big City
11. Captain Glory
12. Long Day's Flight

Review

So another interesting psych album on the list and even if it is not the best thing to ever have happened to the genre it is a quite competent outing with a couple of truly great tracks.

In comparison to the other album of them I know, which was previously on the list a long, long time ago, Had Too Much To Dream Last Night, this sounds overall like an improvement, while that album did not have much going for it except the title track, this is an overall good album.

Weirder than their previous album it is also more interesting without falling too much on the worse excesses of psych. The great highlight of the album is the first track, with a great guitar solo transmuting from an organ chord.

Track Highlights


1. The Great Banana Hoax
2. Antique Doll
3. Hideaway
4. It's Not Fair

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

This is the second of three albums they had out in 1967!

Still alive! Playing the Great Banana Hoax in 2008:


Thursday, February 11, 2010

1076 - Mojo 84. West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Part One (1967)



















Track Listing

1. Shifting Sands
2. I Won't Hurt You
3. 1906
4. Help, I'm A Rock
5. Will You Walk With Me
6. Transparent Day
7. Leiyla
8. Here's Where You Belong
9. If You Want This Love
10. 'Scuse Me Miss Rose
11. High Goin'

Review

So an eccentric rich man wants in on the groupie-action, so he proceeds to found a band so he can play the tambourine on stage, and to bank on the druggie hippie/freak pussy he decides to make it a psych band.

And the results are interesting despite all of this. Somewhere between Country Joe and the Fish and Zappa it is good music which, nonetheless sounds slightly fake. It would never be a band that would last for a long time, and it didn't, but there are some fun moments to have here.

Interestingly they are at their best not in their strangest moments but actually in their prettiest moments like Transparent Day, their version of Help I'm a Rock falls short of the original and a lot of it is just gratuitously weird, but there are really beautiful moments here which make listening to this a worthwhile experience.

Track Highlights

1. Transparent Day
2. High Goin'
3. I Won't Hurt You
4. Will You Walk With Me

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Their first "proper" album, "Part One", ranged from anthemic pop songs and acoustic ballads to harder-edged psychedelic numbers. It reflected the tensions between the band’s musicians and Markley, who effectively controlled the band’s output but who was regarded by the others as musically untalented. Markley contributed rambling pseudo-psychedelic lyrics and spoken sections, and the album also included ill-assorted inputs from nominal co-producer Jimmy Bowen, songwriters Baker Knight and P.F. Sloan, drummer Hal Blaine and pianist Van Dyke Parks. Disputes between Markley and Michael Lloyd also led to the inclusion of guitarist Ron Morgan (1945–1989), who over time became a fully fledged member of the band.

I Won't Hurt You:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

1075 - Mojo 83. Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign (1967)























Track Listing

1. Born Under A Bad Sign
2. Crosscut Saw
3. Kansas City
4. Oh Pretty Woman
5. Down Don't Bother Me
6. Hunter
7. When I Lost My Baby I Almost Lost My Mind
8. Personal Manager
9. Laundromat Blues
10. As The Years Go Passing By
11. Very Thought Of You

Review

Born Under a Bad Sign is a blues album by eccentric guitarist and singer Albert King, unfortunately it is not all that spectacular. His guitar playing is excellent and even if his voice is often buried by the instruments it does flourish on a couple of tracks. However it is much too clean.

Blues for me has to be slightly less produced than this, the fact that this is on the Stax label might have something to do with it but there is much too much going on in this album for it to sounds like what the blues should sound... at least to me.

From the blues I want some grittiness and King is very much buried by arrangements here, even if his guitar playing comes to the foreground and it is very good indeed I can't help but feel that there is a kind of violence being made to the Blues in the arrangements... oh well.

Track Highlights

1. Crosscut Saw
2. Born Under a Bad Sign
3. Very Though of You
4. Kansas City

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

King played a Gibson Flying V through a solid-state Acoustic amplifier; his tone on the second song, "Crosscut Saw," was hailed in 2004 by Guitar Player as one of the "50 Greatest Tones of All Time."

Crosscut Saw:

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

1074 - Mojo Special 13. Duke Reid's Treasure Chest: Treasure Isle Rock Steady (1964-1970)


















Track Listing

Disc: 1

1. We Are in the Mood [Take 2] - Royals
2. Come on Little Girl [Take Two] - The Melodians
3. Things You Say You Love - The Jamaicans
4. Tide Is High - The Paragons
5. You Don't Need Me - The Melodians
6. Rock Steady - Phyllis Dillon
7. Soul Style - Duke Reid's Group
8. Can't Stand It - Alton Ellis, Lloyd Williams
9. Queen Majesty - The Techniques
10. Heartaches - Vic Taylor
11. Midnight Hour - The Silvertones
12. Midnight Hour - U-Roy
13. My Best Girl - The Paragons
14. Loving Pauper - Dobby Dobson
15. I'll Get Along Without You - The Melodians
16. I'll Never Fall in Love - The Sensations
17. Traveling Man - The Techniques
18. Don't Stay Away - Phyllis Dillon
19. La-La (Means I Love You) - Alton Ellis
20. Hey Leroy, Your Mama's Callin' You - Honey Boy Martin

Disc: 2

1. No Good Rudie [Take Three] - Justin Hinds & Dominoes
2. Everybody Bawling - U-Roy
3. Ba Ba Boom - The Jamaicans
4. Cry Tough [Extended Version] - Alton and the Flames
5. You Have Caught Me - The Melodians
6. Perfidia - Phyllis Dillon
7. Those Guys - The Sensations
8. Ranglin on Bond St. - Ernest and Tommy
9. Girl I've Got a Date [Alternate Version] - Alton Ellis
10. How I Wish It Would Rain - The Techniques
11. It's Raining - The Three Tops
12. Love Is a Treasure - Freddie McKay
13. You Done Me Wrong - Tyrone and the Slickers
14. Right Track - Phyllis Dillon, Hopeton Lewis
15. Everyday Is a Holiday - The Sensations
16. Holiday Version - Winston Wright
17. Come Back My Darling [False Start] - Girl Satchmo
18. Come Back My Darling - Girl Satchmo
19. Mother's Tender Care [Take Two] - The Ethiopians
20. My Girl - The Techniques
21. Moonlight Lover - Joya Landis

Review

Now we've moved away from Ska on the Jamaican Music Mojo Specials and into Rock Steady, the more sultry development of Jamaican music, somewhere between Ska and Reggae. This is a pretty nifty collection of tracks.

The album is named after the producer of all these tracks, Duke Reid, who really gives them his own sonority. In fact you can really divide Jamaican music as much by producers as by musicians, as the music often reflects the producer's ethos as much as the musicians.

I particularly like some versions of well known songs in Rock Steady rhythm here, such as La-La (Love You) or Midnight Hour, but then there are plenty of classic originals such as Tide is High, famously covered by Blondie or We Are in the Mood. This is much more dancy music than ska and while it does not have anywhere near the edge of Prince Buster it is pretty good "pop", or an equivalent of pop, which makes the covers particularly adequate. Great Stuff.

Track Highlights

1. La-La (Love You)
2. Tide is High
3. We Are in the Mood
4. Midnight Hour

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

After serving 10 years as a Jamaican Police Officer, Reid left the force to help his wife Lucille run the family business, The Treasure Isle Grocery and Liquor Store.

He made his way into the music business first as a sound system (outdoor mobile discothèque) owner, promoter and disc jockey. He quickly overtook Tom the Great Sebastian and his sound system as the most popular sound system in Jamaica. Soon he was also sponsor and presenter of a radio show, Treasure Isle Time. A jazz and blues man at heart, Duke chose 'My Mother's Eyes' by Tab Smith as his theme tune. Other favourites of his included Fats Domino, a noticeable influence on the early Duke Reid sound.

Tide is High by the Paragons:

Monday, February 08, 2010

1073 - Mojo 82. Small Faces - Small Faces (1967)

















Track Listing

1. (Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me
2. Something I Want To Tell You
3. Feeling Lonely
4. Happy Boys Happy
5. Things Are Going to Get Better
6. My Way Of Giving
7. Green Circles
8. Become Like You
9. Get Yourself Together
10. All Our Yesterdays
11. Talk To You
12. Show Me The Way
13. Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire
14. Eddie's Dreaming

Review

First things first, when looking for this album do not mistake it for the other self-titled Small Faces album from 1966, this is the 1967 one and it is a much better one. You will have to look for it by track listing rather than by the title.

You really get the feeling that the Small Faces are quite a bit ahead of the game here, more so than in their more popular albums like Ogden's Nut Gone Flake. At moments throughout this they seem to be prefiguring Glam by a handful of years, listen to the second or third track and you can see Bowie coming a mile away.

Another interesting thing about this album is the way in which songs are surprisingly short, in fact many are below the 2 minute mark and many scarcely go over it. There is an almost Ramones-like impatience to the music, they have a new idea to show you next and so they just move on. All of this together with some great tracks like MY Way of Giving makes this album essential.

Track Highlights

1. My Way of Giving
2. Green Circles
3. Feeling Lonely
4. Something I Want to Tell You

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

At the time of the release of this album, an unofficial second album From the Beginning was released by Decca. Small Faces had transferred to the Immediate label headed by Andrew Loog Oldham.

My Way Of Giving:

Saturday, February 06, 2010

1072 - Mojo 81. Pearls Before Swine - One Nation Underground (1967)





















Track Listing

1. Another Time
2. Playmate
3. Ballad To An Amber Lady
4. (Oh Dear) Miss Morse
5. Drop Out!
6. Morning Song
7. Regions of May
8. Uncle John
9. I Shall Not Care
10. The Surrealist Waltz

Review

Some more folk rock on the list, and while it is quite good and it does have quite a bit of variety to it, it never quite dazzles the way it might. There is one particular detail that makes it less than appealing and that is the fact that Tom Rapp has a bit of a lisp.

However you soon start to be able to live with the speech impediment and learn to enjoy the album. As I said there is quite a bit of variety here from the ballady first track to the aggressive Uncle John. However this is sometimes too much variety for one album and it seems a bit haphazard at times.

There is a very clear Bob Dylan influence to all this, particularly on the second track where even Rapp's voice seems to emulate Dylan. However he is never as consummate as Bob and so the comparisons become unfair to him... but he is the one which identifies with Dylan.

Track Highlights

1. The Surrealist Waltz
2. Another Time
3. Playmate
4. (Oh Dear) Miss Morse

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

"Another Time" is an acoustic song, the first that Rapp ever wrote, based on his experience in a car crash where he walked away unscathed, and, with "Morning Song", represents the most characteristic example of Rapp's later writing style. In contrast, "Drop Out !" and "Uncle John" are youthful protest songs. "(Oh Dear) Miss Morse" spells out in Morse code the word F-U-C-K, accompanied by banjo and organ.

Another Time:

Friday, February 05, 2010

Mojo 80. The Monkees - Headquarters (1967)

See Review

Mojo 79. Donovan - Sunshine Superman (1967)

See Review

Mojo 78. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band (1967)

See Review
1071. Mojo 77. Tim Hardin - Tim Hardin 2 (1967)

















Track Listing

1. If I Were a Carpenter
2. Red Balloon
3. Black Sheep Boy
4. Lady Came from Baltimore
5. Baby Close Its Eyes
6. You Upset the Grace of Living When You Lie
7. Speak Like a Child
8. See Where You Are and Get Out
9. It's Hard to Believe in Love for Long
10. Tribute to Hank Williams

Review

So we revisit some songs that Bobby Daring was singing on this list not that long ago, but now we do it with the original songwriter doing it. This usually makes things better, and this album is no exception.

The only exception here is Black Sheep Boy, there is a version by Scott Walker which is just as good if not better, but then you can't really compete with Scott Walker, can you?

If I Were a Carpenter sounds more heartfelt here, particularly because Hardin has much more fragile voice, which makes it all the more touching. It also needs to be said that Hardin is a pretty great guitarist and his use of acoustic guitar throughout is pretty great, so he beats Bobby Darin hands down. Hardin's lyrics are great, as is his singing and playing... what else do you need?

Track Highlights

1. If I Were a Carpenter
2. Black Sheep Boy
3. Red Balloon
4. Tribute to Hank Williams

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Allmusic stated "Tim Hardin 2 is probably his best single album, on which he eschewed blues nearly entirely and forged a distinctive folk-rock voice..."

If I Were a Carpenter: