Πέμπτη, 1 Μαΐου 2008

March 2008 pt.2

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Crystal Mansion - The Crystal Mansion

There is always a little story behind every record posted here, so bear with me!
I bought this album in 1998 at Leeds. I found it in a small shop that had opened very close to my house. The shop was at Brudenell Road, Hyde Park and it used to sell every kind of second hand stuff such as flares and retro gadgets in general, as part of the sixties/seventies revival that had taken over England as a trend in those days. The owners were very polite but they hadn't a clue about rare records!!! The price of this album was 2 quid (we are talking about original pressing gatefold vinyl with lyrics included)!!! I grabbed it immediately (I had been looking for it for a while) and I also bought a couple of other original vinyls at ridiculous prices (Golden Earring's "Moontan" and Amon Duul II's "Dance Of The Lemmings" were among them).

The Crystal Mansion were a band signed to Rare Earth Records (a subsidiary of Motown) and they were one of the numerous "white soul-funk" bands of the label. Their music is kinda anodyne and, to be honest with you, I was a little bit disappointed by the album, since I expected it to be funkier. Nevertheless, it contained some nice tracks such as the real funky "Somebody (Outta Turn Your Head Around)" and "Let Me Get Straight Again". The latter was a funky anti-drug confession of a fucked-up pothead. I used to play that track every day, for quite a while. It was somehow connected to my life and thoughts at the time.

Unfortunately, most tracks are rather prosaic and they lack energy (...mind you, my tastes are a bit eclectic) but I am sure that some of you will consider it an interesting album. It is fairly rare to find (especially on vinyl) but if you dig, you should go and buy the CD reissue.

The Crystal Mansion

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Gay & Terry Woods - The Time Is Right [1976, Vinyl] & Renowned [1976, Vinyl]

The husband-and-wife duo of Gay and Terry Woods got their beginning in 1969, when Terry Woods was still a member of Sweeney's Men. At that point, negotiations were underway for Sweeney's Men plus Gay Woods to join Fairport Convention bassist Ashley Hutchings in a new band, to be called Steeleye Span. When Sweeney's Men members Irvine and Moynihan decided it wasn't what they wanted, another duo, England's Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, went in with Woods and Hutchings. The Woods lasted for just one album before striking out on their own as the Woods Band, releasing an eponymous debut in 1971, where they mixed traditional and original material. After touring extensively throughout Europe, the band fell apart and Gay and Terry returned to Ireland. Settled again, they signed with Polydor, for whom they recorded Backwoods in 1975. Composed mostly of original material just as their subsequent releases would be, they became more experimental on their two 1976 records, The Time Is Right and Renowned. Given their small niche, that proved to be the end of their major-label association and their final album together, Tenderhooks, appeared on the tiny Mulligan label out of Dublin, an Irish folky roots rock swansong (selections from their final two years can be found on Gay and Terry Woods in Concert). At that point, Gay joined prog band Auto Da Fe and Terry Woods briefly revived the Woods Band before abandoning music for a few years. He resurfaced in 1986 as a member of the Pogues, whose music was a direct descendent of his work with Sweeney's Men. Though Gay Woods, too, retired from music, she did emerge into the spotlight again in the late '90s, rejoining Steeleye Span and becoming their sole vocalist after the departure of Maddy Prior. [Allmusic.com]

The Time Is Right [1976, Vinyl]

Track list;
01 - Song For The Gypsies. 3:12
02 - Brown Girl. 5:04
03 - Northwinds. 2:56
04 - When The Time Is Right. 3:43
05 - Back To You. 5:18
06 - Redlake Piper. 3:01
07 - Empty Rooms. 4:11
08 - Under The Yew Tree. 3:25
09 - Stealer Of Dreams. 4:22
10 - Country Girlie. 2:30
11 - Country Girlie Reprise. 0:51

192k @ [RapidShare] or [Sendspace]

Renowned [1976, Vinyl]

Track list;
01 - Love Is Like A Burdon. 3:44
02 - One More Time. 4:09
03 - Radio Man. 3:44
04 - Solace. 5:17
05 - Save The Last Dance For Me. 3:15
06 - I Found You. 2:21
07 - Jameson And Port. 3:29
08 - Country Blues. 2:54
09 - Van Dieman's Land. 8:14

192k @ [RapidShare] or [Sendspace]

Style; Folk

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Arthur Gee - 1971 - Same (Tumbleweed TWS 101)

ARTHUR GEE (Toronto, Canada / CA / Denver, CO)

"The End Is The Beginning" 1969 (Two:Dot) [1-sided]
"In Search Of Arthur" 2004 (RD Records 13, Switzerland) [+bonus tracks; insert]
"Dawn Of Time" 197 (Marcus 2502) [no cover]
"Arthur Gee" 1971 (Tumbleweed TWS 101)
"City Cowboy" 1973 (Tumbleweed TWS 107)

Gee's real debut LP is also the first release on the Tumbleweed label, and a fine start for both. Upscale, intricate production typical of the label with Arthur's atmospheric voice given an appropriate context that involves a full folkrock setting plus bells, violin, even jew's harp. Opens on a strong psych vibe, then goes through various chameleon tricks including outlaw country, Tim Hardin folk, and some obvious Dylan "Blonde On Blonde" moves. It's all quite appealing and held together by the expensive, elaborate arrangements. The LP has obvious 60s remnants and is less singer/songwriter than most Tumbleweeds. Two tracks from the Two:Dot demo LP appear in more elaborate versions, although I prefer the sparser 1969 sound of "Meditations". Easy to find and well worth checking out. Gee's second LP for Tumbleweed ("City Cowboy", 1972) is inferior in a countryrock direction. [PL]

1 Dimensions + Plain Talk
2 Cotton Suede
3 Love Song 451 + A.L.F.A.L.F.A.
4 Country Fable + Waterweight + Love Song 450
5 Confessions + Dawn of Time

All info and photo from acid archives.
Hope i am correct and not confusing this album with dawn of time or city cowboy.


also get the first album here
Thanks Opa-Loka and Freaky lady



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ray Conniff presents Irving Berlin - Dreaming Of Broadway

Ray Conniff. Yes! With this guy, you got it all: massive horn arrangements, space age pop attitude, light 'n dreamy vocals, musical, theatre and jazz, jazz, jazz!
Here is a really nice 45 from the man and his orchestra, with four quality tracks. I ripped it on a bad day but it made me feel better! Simply great music from another time.

I will actually let the liner notes to do the talking (click to enlarge) :

Dreaming Of Broadway

Sunday, March 23, 2008

India National Sitar Ensemble - Sitar Music Of India

Get ready for a real treat. This brilliant vinyl (which I bought quite a few years ago but managed to listen to relatively recently) contains three tracks of original Indian music performed by the ...appropriately named India National Sitar Ensemble. Two of them form a suite that contains numerous different themes (many of them are really complicated and beautifully arranged) and the third one is a great Meditational Raga, ready to transport you to another planet! All thanks to the obscure Everest Records (can any of you provide any information on this label?) who presented us with this extraordinary album.

The vinyl is Out Of Print and I am pretty sure that there has been no reissue of it on CD. Anyway, we are talking about great music here, people. Don't miss it and don't be intimidated by the style of the recording (it's quite old, you see). And, if you stumble upon the original vinyl, do yourself a favour and buy it.

Kick Off
[320kbps (click & pop elimination) + artwork]

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