Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Ventures Collection 2

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Clash - The Clash [US]

The Clash - 1977 - The Clash (USA version+bonus)

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Never Mind the Bollocks may have appeared revolutionary, but the Clash's eponymous debut album was pure, unadulterated rage and fury, fueled by passion for both rock & roll and revolution. Though the cliché about punk rock was that the bands couldn't play, the key to the Clash is that although they gave that illusion, they really could play — hard. The charging, relentless rhythms, primitive three-chord rockers, and the poor sound quality give the album a nervy, vital energy. Joe Strummer's slurred wails perfectly compliment the edgy rock, while Mick Jones' clearer singing and charged guitar breaks make his numbers righteously anthemic. Even at this early stage, the Clash were experimenting with reggae, most notably on the Junior Murvin cover "Police & Thieves" and the extraordinary "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais," which was one of five tracks added to the American edition of The Clash. "Deny," "Protex Blue," "Cheat," and "48 Hours" were removed from the British edition and replaced for the U.S. release with the British-only singles "Complete Control," "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais," "Clash City Rockers," "I Fought the Law," and "Jail Guitar Doors," all of which were stronger than the items they replaced. Though the sequencing and selection were slightly different, the core of the album remained the same, and each song retained its power individually. In 2000, Columbia/Legacy reissued and remastered the album to include the U.K. songs. Few punk songs expressed anger quite as bracingly as "White Riot," "I'm So Bored With the U.S.A.," "Career Opportunities," and "London's Burning," and their power is all the more incredible today. Rock & roll is rarely as edgy, invigorating, and sonically revolutionary as The Clash.

1 Clash City Rockers Jones, Strummer 3:49
2 I'm So Bored with the U.S.A. Jones, Strummer 2:24
3 Remote Control Jones, Strummer 3:01
4 Complete Control Jones, Strummer 3:14
5 White Riot Jones, Strummer 1:59
6 (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais Jones, Strummer 4:00
7 London's Burning Jones, Strummer 2:10
8 I Fought the Law Curtis 2:41
9 Janie Jones Jones, Strummer 2:06
10 Career Opportunities Jones, Strummer 1:52
11 What's My Name Jones, Levene, Strummer 1:41
12 Hate & War Jones, Strummer 2:05
13 Police & Thieves Murvin, Perry 6:01
14 Jail Guitar Doors Jones, Strummer 3:05
15 Garageland Jones, Strummer 3:12


The Ukrainians "Respublika" 2002

Review by Chris Nickson

Are the Ukrainians a force of nature? The band, originally formed as a side project by Wedding Present member Pete Solowka, has become something to be reckoned with over the years. Their presentation of traditional Ukrainian songs is both harder and more tempered on Respublika. Gone is the relentless speeding up during a song that had been one of their trademarks, replaced by more considered arrangements, like "The Pine Tree Was Burning," with its reference to the Cure's "10:15 on a Saturday Night." But there's also more power in their music, a deeper, harder bass pulse and thicker beat. It's all post-punk, very electric folk, like the mandolin solo on "The Maple Tree Stood at the Water's Edge," which has the edge of Joy Division in its fire, or the spiky "On the Hill." The band brings a lot to this old material, the feel of rock that ignites these songs to the stratosphere, whether it's the drums thundering under everything, or simply unaccompanied voices. For all that the folk material is wonderful, the two tracks that will gain attention here are the Sex Pistols covers, a fiery "Anarchy in the U.K." and a slightly goofy "Pretty Vacant." They're novelties, as their earlier Smiths covers were (although the maudlin Smiths songs fit wonderfully in a Ukrainian framework), but a great deal of fun. It would be a shame if they put the rest of the record in the shade, because overall it's the best work this band has done, mature but thrilling.

*Bonus archive contains Ukrainians's versions of Sex Pistol's God Save The Queen, Anarchy in UK (acoustic) and Tornadoes's "Telstar".

1 Ty ZH Mene Pidmanula (You Decieved Me) Trad. 2:56
2 Anarchy in the U.K. Cook, Jones, Matlock, Rotten 3:07
3 Chervona Rozha Troyaka (Three Red Roses) Trad. 2:49
4 Horila Sosna (The Pine Tree Was Burning) Trad. 4:22
5 Arkan (The Lasso) Traditional 4:09
6 Oi Vydno Selo (You Can See the Village) Trad. 2:27
7 Srebrncia Liggins, Semenchenko ... 4:16
8 Stoyit Yavir Nad Vodoyu (The Maple Tree Stood at the Water's Edge) Trad. 5:36
9 Oi Na Hori (On the Hill) Trad. 3:03
10 Pretty Vacant Cook, Jones, Matlock, Rotten 4:01
11 Reve Ta Stohne Dnipr Shyrokyy (The Broad River Dnieper Roars and Moans) Trad. 0:54
12 Nalyvaimo Brattya (Let's Fill Out Drinking Cups, Brothers) Trad. 2:57
13 O Ukraino (Oh Ukraine) Trad. 3:33


Manu Chao "Radio Bemba Sound System" 2002

Manu Chao - 2002 - Radio_Bemba

Review by Drago Bonacich
In July 2002, Manu Chao performed a live show in Japan, ending a worldwide tour carried out with his band, Radio Bemba New System, a multicultural group consisting of ten talented musicians from different countries. From Jamaican reggae to Latin alternative pop/rock, including rock en español, hip-hop, flamenco, and French rock, The Live Album delivers a collection of hits from 1998's Clandestino, 2001's Ultima Estacion Esperanza, and Mano Negra's legacy, the Parisian rock outfit named in honor of an Andalusian anarchist group that served as Manu Chao's breakthrough in the music industry. In addition, the 29-track record features the previously unreleased "Bienvenido a Tijuana," "Rumba de Barcelona," and a version of the classic Afro-Caribbean-inflected hit "Blood and Fire." Recorded at Paris' Grande Halle de La Villette in September 2001, The Live Album is a multilingual and experimental live experience featuring the best of Manu Chao.

1 Intro 0:50
2 Bienvenida a Tijuana Chao, Meslouhi 1:55
3 Machine Gun Chao, Negra 2:13
4 Por Done Saldra el Sol? Chao 2:41
5 Peligro Chao, Negra 3:09
6 Welcome to Tijuana Chao, Meslouhi 2:50
7 El Viento Chao 2:41
8 Casa Babylon Chao, Negra 2:34
9 Por el Suelo Chao 3:54
10 Blood and Fire Boswell 2:34
11 Ezln...Para Tod@s Todo... 1:41
12 Mr. Bobby Chao 3:36
13 Bongo Bong Chao 1:04
14 Radio Bemba Chao 0:20
15 Que Pasa Que Paso Chao 0:54
16 Pinocchio Capri 0:45
17 Cahi en la Trampa Capri, Chao 2:09
18 Clandestino Chao 2:59
19 Rumba de Barcelona Chao 3:31
20 La Despedida Chao 4:02
21 Mala Vida Chao 2:26
22 Radio Bemba Chao 0:33
23 Que Paso Que Paso Chao 1:10
24 Pinocchio Capri 0:44
25 La Primavera Chao 3:32
26 The Monkey Bartholomew, Negra 1:59
27 King Kong Five Chao, Negra 2:43
28 Minha Galera Chao 3:16
29 Promiscuity Chao 1:44


Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Ventures Collection

Walk Don't Run 1960

The Colorful Ventures 1961

The Ventures 1961

Going To The Ventures Dance Party 1962

Mashed Potatoes And Gravy 1962

The Ventures Twist Party 1962

Twist With The Ventures 1962

Let's Go 1963

Bobby Vee Meets The Ventures 1963

Surfing 1963

Play The Country Classics 1963

Walk Don't Run Volume II 1964

The Ventures A Go-Go 1965

Knock Me Out 1965

The Fabulous Ventures 1965

Batman Theme 1966

Go With The Ventures 1966

Wild Things 1966

The Guitar Freakout 1967

The Ventures Biography by John Bush
Not the first but definitely the most popular rock instrumental combo, the Ventures scored several hit singles during the 1960s — most notably "Walk-Don't Run" and "Hawaii Five-O" — but made their name in the growing album market, covering hits of the day and organizing thematically linked LPs. Almost 40 Ventures' albums charted, and 17 hit the Top 40. And though the group's popularity in America virtually disappeared by the 1970s, their enormous contribution to pop culture was far from over; the Ventures soon became one of the most popular world-wide groups, with dozens of albums recorded especially for the Japanese and European markets. They toured continually throughout the 1970s and '80s — influencing Japanese pop music of the time more than they had American music during the '60s.
The Ventures' origins lie in a Tacoma, Washington group called the Impacts. Around 1959, construction workers and hobby guitarists Bob Bogle and Don Wilson formed the group, gigging around Washington state and Idaho with various rhythm sections as backup. They recorded a demo tape, but after it was rejected by the Liberty Records subsidiary Dolton, the duo founded their own label, Blue Horizon. They released one vocal single ("Cookies and Coke"), then recruited bassist Nokie Edwards and drummer Skip Moore and decided to instead become an instrumental group.
The Ventures went into the studio in 1959 with an idea for a new single they had first heard on Chet Atkins' Hi Fi in Focus LP. Released on Blue Horizon in
1960, the single "Walk-Don't Run" became a big local hit after being aired as a news lead-in on a Seattle radio station (thanks to a friend with connections). In an ironic twist, Dolton Records came calling and licensed the single for national distribution; by summer 1960, it had risen to number two in the charts, behind only "It's Now or Never" by Elvis Presley. After Howie Johnson replaced Moore on drums, the Ventures began recording their debut album, unsurprisingly titled after their hit single. Two singles, "Perfidia" and "Ram-Bunk-Shush," hit the Top 40 during 1960-61, but the Ventures soon began capitalizing on what became a trademark: releasing LPs which featured songs very loosely arranged around a theme implied in the title. The group's fourth LP, The Colorful Ventures, included "Yellow Jacket," "Red Top," "Orange Fire" and no less than three tracks featuring the word "blue" in the title. The Ventures put their indelible stamp on each style of '60s music they covered, and they covered many — twist, country, pop, spy music, psychedelic, swamp, garage, TV themes. (In the '70s, the band moved on to funk, disco, reggae, soft rock and Latin music.) The Ventures' lineup changed slightly during 1962. Howie Johnson left the band, to be replaced by session man Mel Taylor; also, Nokie Edwards took over lead guitar with Bob Bogle switching to bass.
One of the few LPs not arranged around a theme became their best-selling; 1963's The Ventures Play Telstar, The Lonely Bull featured a cover of the number one instrumental hit by the British studio band the Tornadoes and produced by Joe Meek. Though their cover of "Telstar" didn't even chart, the album hit the Top Ten and became the group's first of three gold records. A re-write of their signature song — entitled "Walk-Don't Run '64" — reached number eight that year. By the mid-'60s however, the Ventures appeared to be losing their touch. Considering the volatility of popular music during the time, it was quite forgivable that the group would lose their heads-up knowledge of current trends in the music industry to forecast which songs should be covered. The television theme "Hawaii Five-O" hit number four in 1969, but the Ventures slipped off the American charts for good in 1972. Instead, the band began looking abroad for attention and — in Japan especially — they found it with gusto. After leaving Dolton/Liberty and founding their own Tridex Records label, the Ventures began recording albums specifically for the Japanese market. The group eventually sold over 40 million records in that country alone, becoming one of the biggest American influences on Japanese pop music ever. Nokie Edwards left the Ventures in 1968 to pursue his interest in horse racing for a time, and was replaced by Gerry McGee; though he returned by 1972, Mel Taylor left the group that year for a solo career, to be replaced by Joe Barile. (Taylor returned also, in 1979.) By the early '80s, the Ventures' core quartet of Wilson, Bogle, Edwards and Taylor could boast of playing together for over 20 years. Though Edwards left the band for good in 1984 (replaced again by Gerry McGee) and Mel Taylor died mid-way through a Japanese tour in 1996 (replaced by his son Leon), the Ventures continued to pack venues around the world.

The Dubliners

The Dubliners 1966-1969 Part1

The Dubliners 1966-1969 Part1

The Dubliners 1989

The Dubliners Biography by Craig Harris
Nearly three decades since they first came together during informal sessions at O'Donoghue's Pub in Dublin, The Dubliners remain one of the most influential
of Ireland's traditional folk bands. Unlike their counterparts, The Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners have never strayed from the raw looseness of the pub
scene. According to Dirty Linen, "Whereas The Clancys were well-scrubbed returned Yanks from rural Tipperary, decked out in matching white Arab sweaters, The Dubliners were hard drinking backstreet Dublin scrappers with unkempt hair and bushy beards, whose gigs seemed to happen by accident in between fistfights". Initially known as The Ronnie Drew Folk group, The Dubliners have gone through several personnel changes since they were formed in 1962. The original group featured Ronnie Drew on vocals and guitar, Luke Kelly on vocals and five string banjo, Barney McKenna on tenor banjo, mandolin, melodeon and vocals and Ciaren Bourke on vocals, guitar, tin whistle and harmonica.The first change occured in 1964 when Kelly left temporarily and Bobby Lynch (vocals and guitar) and John Sheahan (fiddle, tin whistle, mandolin, concertina, guitar and vocals) were added. The following year, Kelly returned and Lynch departed. The Dubliners' earliest recordings included appearances on the multi-artists compilations, The Hoot'nanny Show and Folk Festival — Festival Folk, released in 1964, their first break came when they met Nathan Joseph, owner of Transatlantic Records, at the Edinburgh Festival in 1963. Signing with Joseph's label, the group released their debut full-length album, The Dubliners, later the same year.
In 1967, The Dubliners recorded their breakthrough single, "Seven Drunken Nights", based on Child Ballad number 273. Although its risque lyrics caused it to be banned from officially-sanctioned radio stations, it became a top five hit after being aired by pirate radio station, RTE. With the song's success, the band began touring throughout the world. In the early-1970s, The Dubliners toured in a production of Brendan Behan's "Cork Leg".
A second phase of personnel changes began in 1974 when Bourke suffered a brain hemorrhage during a show. Although he subsequently appeared to have
recuperated and rejoined the group, he collapsed again on the stage and left for good. He died on May 10, 1988 at the age of fifty three. Following Bourke's
first departure, Ronnie Drew left to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Jim McCann. With Drew's return, five years later, McCann departed. The group's problems, however, were not over. In the same year, Kelly collapsed from a brain tumor during a concert and was required to undergo several surgical operations. He died on January 30, 1984, at the age of forty-four.
In 1987, The Dubliners regained their earlier popularity when Eamonn Campbell, who had often been a guest musician on their albums, produced an album, "Celebration", featuring a collaboration with The Pogues on an updated version of the traditional folk song, "The Irish Rover". Released as a single, the
tune reached number seven on the British music charts. Campbell subsequently joined the band as a regular member. In 1990, The Dubliners and The Pogues reunited for a single, "Jack's Heroes"/"Whiskey In The Jar," that celebrated Ireland's winning the world cup. Two years later, The Dubliners joined with Hot House Flowers to record a single, "The Rose," that reached number two on the British music charts. 30 Years A'Greying, released the same year, featured collaborations with Rory Gallagher, Billy Connolly and De Danaan. In December 1995, Drew left the band for the second time and was replaced by Paddy Reilly.
Despite the changes in the band's lineup, they continue to perform and record their gutsy style of Irish music.

Psychobilly Classic

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Shane MacGowan & the Popes First 2 Studio Albums

Shane MacGowan & the Popes - 1995 - The Snake

Shane MacGowan & the Popes - 1997 - Crock of Gold

Biography by Jason Ankeny
A transcendent singer/songwriter and two-fisted gutter poet whose notorious drunken behavior, rotten teeth and drug-fueled excesses often threatened to eclipse his reputation as a performer, Shane MacGowan was born on Christmas Day, 1957 in Kent, England. Within months, his family returned to their native Ireland, where he spent the first several years of his life immersed in the traditional music of the Irish culture. When MacGowan was six, the family moved to London; there his talents as a writer gradually blossomed, and he won a number of poetry contests prior to his expulsion from school at the age of 14 for possession of drugs. In 1976, he attended his first Sex Pistols concert, and quickly became a regular at local punk shows; he soon formed his own band, the Nipple Erectors (renamed the Nips after releasing their 1978 debut single "King of the Bop"). Despite finding a mentor in the Jam's Paul Weller, the Nips were largely unsuccessful, and disbanded in late 1980; MacGowan then took a job in a record store, occasionally filling in with his friend Spider Stacy's band the Millwall Chainsaws. When the Chainsaws soon split as well, MacGowan and Stacy formed the Pogues — originally dubbed Pogue Mahone, Gaelic for "kiss my ass" — along with accordionist James Fearnley, bassist Cait O'Riordan, guitarist Jem Finer, and drummer Andrew Rankin. Hot-wiring traditional Irish music with the energy and passion of punk, the Pogues quickly developed into one of the most respected and colorful bands of their era, scoring a number of U.K. hits including "A Pair of Brown Eyes" and "Fairytale of New York" and recording such superb LPs as 1985's Elvis Costello-produced Rum, Sodomy and the Lash and 1988's If I Should Fall From Grace With God. However, as stories of MacGowan's voracious appetite for alcohol and drugs swelled to mythic proportions, he grew increasingly unreliable, often missing live performances (including a series of 1988 dates opening for Bob Dylan). By the fall of 1991, the other Pogues had finally had enough, and he was dismissed from the band. As MacGowan's drinking problem worsened, many feared for his life; apart from a 1992 duet with Nick Cave on "What a Wonderful World," he was largely silent for several years, making only the occasional drunken concert or television appearance.
In 1994, however, he silenced critics by pulling himself together to form a new band, the Popes; after making a fitting St. Patrick's Day debut performance at a London pub, the group — which also included guitarist Paul McGuinness, bassist Berni France, drummer Danny Pope, tenor banjoist Tom McAnimal, guitarist Kieran 'Mo' O'Hagan and whistle player Colm O'Maonlai — entered the studio to begin recording their first LP, dubbed The Snake. "Haunted," a gorgeous duet with Sinead O'Connor, later became a minor hit; McGowan's follow-up, Lonesome Highway, appeared in 1997.

Camel - First 8 Studio Records

1973 "Camel"

1974 "Mirage"

1975 "The Snow Goose"

1976 "Moonmadness"

1977 "Rain Dances"

1978 "Breathless"

1979 "I Can See Your House from Here"

1981 "Nude"

Camel Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Camel never achieved the mass popularity of fellow British progressive rock bands like the Alan Parsons Project, but they cultivated a dedicated cult following. Over the course of their career, Camel experienced numerous changes, but throughout the years, Andrew Latimer remained the leader of the band. Formed in 1972 in Surrey, Camel originally consisted of Latimer (guitar, flute, vocals), Andy Ward (drums), Doug Ferguson (bass), and keyboardist Peter Bardens, previously of Them. By the end of 1973, the group signed with MCA and released their eponymous debut. In 1974, the band switched record labels, signing with Decca's Gama subsidiary, and released Mirage. In 1975, Camel released their breakthrough album The Snow Goose, which climbed into the British Top 30. The band's English audience declined with 1976's Moonmadness, but the album was more successful in America, reaching number 118 — the highest chart position the band ever attained in the U.S. Following the release of Moonmadness, Ferguson left the band and was replaced by Richard Sinclair (ex-Caravan); at the same time, the group added saxophonist Mel Collins. Latimer and Bardens conflicted during the recording of 1977's Rain Dances and those tensions would come to a head during the making of 1978's Breathless. After Breathless was completed, Bardens left the band. Before recording their next album, Camel replaced Bardens with two keyboardists — Kit Watkins (Happy the Man) and Jim Schelhaas (Caravan) — and replaced Sinclair with Colin Bass. By the time Camel released their 1979 album, I Can See Your House From Here, rock & roll had been changed by the emergence of punk rock, which resulted in less press coverage for progressive rock, as well as decreased record sales. Camel suffered from this shift in popular taste — I Can See Your House from Here received less attention than any of the band's releases since their debut. Latimer returned to writing concept albums with 1981's Nude. In 1982, drummer Andy Ward was forced to leave the band after suffering a severe hand injury. Camel's 1982 album, The Single Factor, was a slicker, more accessible affair than previous Camel records, but it failed to chart. Stationary Traveller (1984) was another concept album. After the release of the 1984 live album, Pressure Points, Camel entered a long period of hibernation that lasted until the early '90s. In 1985, Decca dropped Camel from its roster. Latimer wasn't able to find a new label because he was embroiled in a difficult legal battle with Camel's former manager Geoff Jukes; Camel eventually won the lawsuit in the late '80s. Throughout this period, Camel produced no new music. In 1988, Latimer sold his home in England and moved to California, where he founded the independent label Camel Productions. By the time Camel recorded their follow-up to Stationary Traveller in the early '90s, the band was, for most intents and purposes, simply Andrew Latimer and a handful of session musicians. Dust and Dreams (1991) was the first release on Camel Productions. In 1993, PolyGram released a double-disc Camel retrospective, Echoes. In early 1996, Camel released Harbour of Tears.

1973 Twice Removed from Yesterday/1974 Bridge of Sighs

1975 For Earth Below/1976 Robin Trower Live!
1976 Long Misty Days/1977 In City Dreams

Ex Procol Harum Guitar Robin Trower First 8 Records

Robin Trower Biography by Greg Prato
Throughout his long and winding solo career, guitarist Robin Trower has had to endure countless comparisons to Jimi Hendrix, due to his uncanny ability to channel Hendrix's bluesy/psychedelic, Fender Strat-fueled playing style. Born on March 9, 1945, in Catford, England, Trower spent the early '60s playing guitar in various London based outfits; the most successful one being the R&B group the Paramounts, who specialized mostly in covers, but managed to issue several singles between 1963 and 1965. It wasn't until 1967 that Trower received his big break however, when he joined Procol Harum. The group had just scored a worldwide smash hit with "A Whiter Shade of Pale," but the only problem was that the band's leader, singer/pianist Gary Brooker, didn't have a proper band to back him. Brooker was previously a bandmate of Trower's in the Paramounts, and offered the guitar slot in his new fast-rising project to his old friend. As a result, Trower appeared on such Procol Harum classics as 1967's Procol Harum, 1968's Shine on Brightly, 1969's A Salty Dog, 1970's Home (which spawned the popular Trower tune "Whiskey Train"), and 1971's Broken Barricades. While Procol Harum helped launch Trower's career, the guitarist realized there was limited space for his guitar work, and eventually left for a solo career. Enlisting singer/bassist James Dewar and drummer Reg Isidore (who was soon replaced by Bill Lordan) as a backing band, Trower issued his solo debut, Twice Removed From Yesterday, in 1973. The album barely left a dent in the U.S. charts, but that would change soon enough with his next release, 1974's Bridge of Sighs. With rock fans still reeling from Hendrix's death a few years earlier, the album sounded eerily similar to the late guitarist's work with the Jimi Hendrix Experience (especially his 1968 release, Electric Ladyland), and as a result, the album sky rocketed into the U.S. Top Ten, peaking at number seven. Although Bridge of Sighs was to be his most popular solo release, Trower's stock continued to rise throughout the mid-'70s, as he became an arena headliner on the strength of such hit albums as 1975's For Earth Below, 1976's Robin Trower Live!, and Long Misty Days, plus 1977's In City Dreams. Further releases followed, yet by the dawn of the '80s, it became quite obvious that Trower's star was rapidly fading, as each album sold less than its predecessor. A brief union with ex-Cream bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce spawned a pair of releases, 1981's B.L.T. and 1982's Truce, before Trower returned back to his solo career. The '80s saw Trower try and expand his audience with several releases that attempted to update his blues-rock style (such as 1987's slick produced Passion), but none returned the guitarist back to the top of the charts. During the early '90s, Trower returned back to Procol Harum for a brief reunion (1991's Prodigal Stranger), before backing ex-Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry on a few releases (1993's Taxi and 1994's Mamouna, the latter of which Trower earned a co-producer credit for). Trower continued to issue solo albums in the 21st century (2000's Go My Way), while a steady stream of live sets and compilations appeared. Trower returned to work with Ferry once more on 2002's Frantic, again earning a production credit. Reassembling most of his late-'80s band, Trower released Living Out of Time in 2004 and returned with Another Days Blues in late 2005.
Colosseum "Valentyne Suite" 1969

Review by Chris Nickson
One of England's prime jazz-rock — or, more accurately, rock-jazz — outfits, most of the members of Colossuem had apprenticed in blues bands, and it shows very strongly on some of the material here. Both "The Kettle" and "Butty's Blues" are essentially tarted-up 12-bar blues, although they work well in a grander context; in the latter case much grander, as a brass ensemble enters for the last part, drowning out everything but the guitar, an indication that this recording is in dire need of remastering. "Elegy" is a fast-paced, minor-key blues that stretches guitarist James Litherland's vocal abilities. Things do get far more interesting with "The Machine Demands a Sacrifice," which offers solo opportunities to organist Dave Greenslade and sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith before re-emerging in what can only be called a proto-industrial style, all heavily treated clattering percussion. The album's real joy comes with "The Valentyne Suite," which takes the band out of their bluesy comfort zone into something closer to prog rock. Bandleader Jon Hiseman is a stalwart throughout, his busy drumming and fills owing far more to jazz than the studied backbeat of rock. Greenslade proves to be a largely unsung hero, his only real solo in the suite something to offer a challenge to vintage Keith Emerson, but with swing. As to criticism, bassist Tony Reeves has very little flow to his playing, which severely hampers a rhythm section that needs to be loose-limbed, and Litherland's guitar playing is formulaic, which can be fine for rock, but once outside the most straightforward parameters, he seems lost. In retrospect this might not quite the classic it seemed at the time, but it remains listenable, and for much of the time, extremely enjoyable.

1 The Kettle (Brown, Colosseum) 4:28
2 Elegy (Brown, Colosseum) 3:13
3 Butty's Blues (Brown, Colosseum) 6:45
4 The Machine Demands a Sacrifice (Brown, Colosseum) 3:54
5 The Valentyne Suite: Theme One - January's Search (Brown, Colosseum) 6:20
6 The Valentyne Suite: Theme Two - February's Valentine (Brown, Colosseum) 3:36
7 The Valentyne Suite: Theme Three - The Grass Is Always Greener (Brown, Colosseum) 6:57
WMA 192 kBpS

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Residents "Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats?/The Census Taker" 1984

Review by Jason Ankeny
Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats is the eerie soundtrack to the first volume in the Residents' film and video series, a short film begun in 1972 but not completed until a dozen years later; the atmospheric Census Taker, also on this two-fer, is another soundtrack, this one to a rather unspectacular Garrett Morris comedy.

1 What Ever Happend to Vileness Fats? 4:09
2 Atomic Shopping Carts 2:05
3 Adventures of a Troubled Heart 3:12
4 Search for the Short Man 1:23
5 The Importance of Evergreen 6:10
6 Broccoli and Saxophone 2:21
7 Eloise 1:16
8 Disguised as Meat 3:02
9 Thoughts Busily Betraying 1:49
10 Lord, It's Lonley 1:31
11 The Knife Fight 8:59
12 Creeping Dread 1:48
13 The Census Taker 2:12
14 Talk :38
15 Hellno 2:24
16 Where Is She? 1:01
17 Innocence Decayed 3:00
18 Romainian 1:10
19 Passing the Bottle 2:20
20 The Census Taker Returns :47

WMA 192 kBpS

The Weirdest Group from Planet Earth

The Residents "Cube E: Live in Holland (The History of American Music in 3 EZ Pieces)" 1990
Recording Date: Mar 6, 1990-Mar 29, 1990
Review by Ted Mills
In 1990, the Residents took their grand examination of rock & roll on the road, touring the world with the Cube E tour. The first half found the group
reciting cowboy poems to a soundtrack influenced more by Copland and Orff than country & western, then followed with a group of blues, field hollers, and
warped jazz that represented the African-American experience. By intermission, the two had combined into rock music, which in the second half was disseminated by an aging Elvis impersonator tearing through Presley covers (essentially a live version of their 1989 album The King and Eye). The staging, costumes, lights, and general performance were not to be missed, and earned justifiable rave reviews. The tour document, an intelligent 70-minute compression of the 90-plus minute show (gone are most of the between song chats with two ventriloquist dummies in the Elvis section, as well as some of the songs) suffers from rather tinny and normalized sound, from what was a very dynamic performance. There are some better versions of the live Elvis material scattered on various CDs (Stranger Than Supper and the out of print Daydream B-Liver), but if this is the version listeners have to keep, then so be it. "Black Barry" is one of the group's best compositions, and it's here in its entirety: that should be enough to recommend it.

1 From the Plains to Mexico Residents
2 Theme from Buckaroo Blues Residents
3 The Stampede Residents
4 The Trail Dance Residents
5 Bury Me Not Residents
6 Cowboy Waltz Residents
7 Saddle Sores Residents
8 Theme from Buckaroo Blues (Reprise) Residents
9 The Gospel Truth Residents
10 Shortnin' Bread Residents
11 Black Barry Residents
12 Fourty-Four Residents
13 Engine 44 Residents
14 New Orleans Residents
15 Voodoo Queen Residents
16 What Am I Gonna Do? Residents
17 Organism Residents
18 Ober Residents
19 The Baby King, Pt. 1 Residents
20 Don't Be Cruel Residents
21 Devil in Disguise Giant
22 Burning Love Linde, Residents
23 (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear Lowe, Mann
24 Love Me Tender Residents
25 The Baby King 11 Residents
26 Hound Dog/Out Residents

WMA 192 kBpS
  • The Residents "Cube E: Live in Holland (The History of American Music in 3 EZ Pieces)" 1990

  • If You have more Residents in Your collection - share with others:)

    Pogues Complete Studio Discography

    Totally Fuzzy