Wait and See has a sort of darker mood to it with a steady drum and bass and focus to start on the keyboard lines with the guitar coming in after a couple of minutes but mainly playing accents to the keys. Around 4mins the mellotron like keyboard comes in and the drums stop for 20 seconds and then it comes back a bit more intense with the first real rocking guitar solo of the LP so far. The title track is next and starts very spacey and floating, a good contrast to the mood of the previous track. After a bit more than a minute the melodic guitar line kicks in (perhaps Michael?). This is a beautiful track. Éinstúrzende Plattenbauten changes the vibe completely and is more experimental psychedelic, especially at the start and then the drums fade up and off we go. Kraut like rhythm and then the guitar and layers of synths help you to disappear into the piece. Just too short though as I was totally into it and it ends before 4 mins. The album ends with the long track called Vast and for me this was the highlight of the album. A true musical masterpiece. Great work Nick… loved it!!! Check out the great interview with Nick to learn more about this project.
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Fruits is back with another monster compilation record (triple LP and bonus CD set). This follows the Krautrock path that the 2012 compilation called Head Music started. It features some of labels fave artists like Jay Tausing, Moon Goose, Icarus Peel, but mostly it is a lot of new artists, which is cool. Including my friend Vince Corey (has both a solo track and one with his group Sonic Trip Project. CD1 starts with Giacomo & Carolina and a track called Sunrise, part 7. It has some deep bass and a melodic synth line and drums. This plays a repeated riff and then starts to diversify. Happy music. Silver Vials kick the energy up a bit with Follow the Sun. Neu like. The vocal is quite spacey. Nice track. Das Blaue Palais, also go for a Neu like groove with their track Zeitfeld. Spacey synths, some nice pause sections and then off we go again. Some guitar becomes more dominant later, which was great.. The Love Explosion perform one of the shorter tracks (4mins) called Anarchy! It starts with acoustic guitar and is pretty melodic. David Oakes (the Sahara) is a slow synth and drum machine track. Slowly more layers are added and it maintains a sort of dark feeling to it. This track becomes really cool later on with a sort of desert feeling when the guitar takes the lead. Sonic Trip Project do a long track called Getaway, which also has this same Neu drum groove that is very popular. The track focuses on the synth to start and then Vince comes in with his guitar but no solos on this track, which is just riff city for 10mins! Spacey end. Moon Goose lay down a track called Shiny Man. This has a strange highly effected voice and is quite rocking for the first 2.5 mins and then it spaces out and returns to the rock! Oslo Tapes starts with a kick drum and then the synth drone kicks in and vocoder voice speaks… Obsession is the Mother of it All. The beat becomes more techno like as the drone starts to really pulsate and some bells are thrown in to fuck with your head as they repeat the same words over and over. Drums get more complex after 1.5 mins. I got pretty sucked into this one. Jay Tausig ends the CD with Ecstatic Engines. Lovely lead synth playing on this one and sounds like real drums and not programmed. Jay is a musical genius. So creative. Great of course.
CD2 (Sides 4-6) features longer tracks and starts off with Sons of Ohm. Telefunken Baby, has some analog synth bubbles as the guitar line slowly fades up and off we go. While the guitar line remains much the same, the synths lead the way with bubbles and smooth pads, and solos. Alber Jupiter starts off with a bass line and then the Neu drums kick in. This one is super repetitive with the drums and bass. Guitars are quite nice after a bit. Just go with the flow… The Lost Stoned Pandas created a track that starts with a sample called Motorik Wah Nine, and yes.. features a lot of wah guitar. The drums are thin and weak in the sound, which is a pity as this track could have had some balls. It is all about the wah guitar on this one!! Great track and I got totally sucked into the groove. Motorik are next with a track called Tyrants! Very repetitive groove so focus on the guitar or you go crazy. Some nice heavier guitars mix things up about 4mins in. This sort of Neu groove is very popular on this compilation. Culto al Qondor from Peru stat off spacey, then the bass line starts, then the kick drum and delay guitar and off we go with a very long repeated section before a lot starts to change very subtly. Slowly a spaced out voice is used to create some psychedelic atmospheres as you get drawn into the madness. The rhythm and beat is quite the same for a very long time but then drums start to throw in little fills here and there to mix it up. Cool stuff. Psychic Lemon close out side 6 or CD2 with one called Jam 7. The Neu rhythm is running in the background under a slowly developing flange guitar line. Quite hypnotic..
The Bonus CD features Taras Bulba (ex-Earthiing Society folk) get 2 tracks, Vince Cory (Sonic Trip Project), Audio Cologne Project, Icarus Peel, Psychic Lemon (jam 5) and a long amazing version of Watussi by the Legendary Flower Punk from St. Petersburg! Great stuff.. Highly recommended.
Friday, June 18, 2021
Vostock 1 starts with the bass guitar and bit of delay and then the drums join in slowly but this ends soon and the track gets heavy and features some intense vocals and then wah solos!!! The music is a bit like a more jammed out Stoned Jesus in some ways as well before SJ became a bit too mainstream sounding. Lots of great dynamics and a good melodic thread to this one. Orange October ends this album and starts off quite melodic. The sitar guitar returns about 4mins into the track. This is the most laid back track on the album and a good way to finish. Great job guys.
Fans of Stoned Jesus will dig this album for sure.
1 Nexus 19:44
2 On a Drink With Jim 16:13
3 Vostok 1 19:16
4 Orange October 17:06
My favourite era of GONG is like most people 1971-1974- The Trilogy era and if you have read some other books on GONG, you might already know a lot of the details that are discussed before he goes into depth about each and every track and what key it was played it and many other details that I did not know. In recent years deluxe versions of the many albums have been embellished with extra tracks and he spends quite a bit of text going into details about these extra tracks or outtake versions, etc.. I found that very interesting as I don’t have all these versions.
After Expresso II in 1978, there were no official band releases until the 1992 Shapeshifter album, which would bring together some of the original members (David, Didier, Gilli, Mike as well as folks from the Here and Now band. I got to see them twice in 1995 and it was a great tour with David, Gilli, Mike, Steffi, and Pip.. The next studio record was not until 2000 though. After the discussion of Zero to Infinity, there is a large picture gallery of album covers and rare photos of the band.
I should mention that all the different live albums are not discussed in detail in the book and pretty much only Live etc.. in detail. As mentioned before, Pierre Morlens GONG and Mother GONG get about 5 pages or so each and then a lot but not all the other GONG related records are listed and some discussed in more details than others. Too discuss all of it would make the book twice the size as GONG has had many members and solo projects, etc..
Anyway, I enjoyed the book a lot it made me want to go back and hear some GONG! If you are a fan, you will for sure learn a lot. I did…
This is a sort of strange super group of folks from Pentagram (Bobby), The Stooges (Jimmy Recca), Sonny Vincent (Testers and he wrote nearly all the songs), and two Portuguese guys (Hugo Conim and João Pedro Ventura (Dawnrider). I have to say it is quite a hit and miss LP for me. While I like some of the songs like Over Rover, Caveman Logic and the moody Death of my Soul. A lot of it is pretty generic straight up high energy rock and roll stuff. A bit too polished, perfected and sing along chorus stuff that has all been done much better by others. I had hoped for something a bit more unique… It is a ok album and you can crank it up LOUD and enjoy it but after hearing it 5 times now, I still not really taken but it. Who knows if they will play live this group..
Friday, June 4, 2021
UFO is one of my favourite 70s bands and I loved them in the early 80s when I first got to see them live quite a few times in 1981-1986. I was really looking forward to read this book. It was totally taken by surprise by how much the author (Richard James) hates the first three albums. I really dig them and the playing is great. The fact that Mick Bolton is more blues based and not as complex player as Schenker, puts him in the bottom ranks according to the author. I have a lot of friends who the first 3 UFO albums are the best because they are a bit spacey, psychedelic and raw jamming rock music. Pete Way and Andy Parker are also incredible with some great grooves and killer bass lines. Anyway… if you like the early UFO, you will hate this part of the book. He does not really give them a chance.. all pretty negative stuff.
The Schenker era is covered most thoroughly, as would be expected. It was nice to see the extra tracks from the deluxe editions discussed in details. Despite owning all the UFO LPS or CDs, I don’t have these remasters with the extra tracks so I have never heard some of the rare tracks like (Give her the Gun, Sweet Little Thing, 16 from Phenomenon era (2 of these were released on a 7”), A million Miles (Force It). See the video below.
NO Heavy Petting is one of my favourite UFO albums and I was surprised that there were 5 unreleased tracks from this recording session, the only one with keyboard player Danny Peyronel. All Or Nothing’ (Marriot/Lane- Small Faces), Have You Seen Me Lately Joan’ (Frankie Miller), French Kisses’ (UFO), Do It If You Can’ (UFO), All The Strings (Peyronel). There were no extra tracks from Lights Out or Obsession.
The Strangers in the Night section is very interesting as well as the recent large box set with all shows was released. The details about how Mother Mary and This Kids were actually completely recorded in the studio with dubbed audience was interesting to find more about. I was surprised that it was not discussed what Pete Way said in his book, as he claims that he redid almost all of this bass and Schenker did many lead overdubs and most of the vocals were redone in the studio as well. I know this is considered one of the best live albums ever like Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous but neither are totally live albums since so much of it was redone in the studio. Anyway, Richard goes through all 8 concerts and gives some details about what is different from each show, very little actually.
As you head into the 80s there is a section with a lot of the album covers and some nice pictures of different eras of the band as well. This was when I saw the band quite a bit (1981-1982- 4x). I loved Mechanix and a lot of Wild Willing and the Innocent! From 1983 (Making Contact) through most of the 80s was a tough time for UFO, as it was all down hill. Headline act in 10,000 people arenas to playing in bars and clubs again but 1985-86. The studio albums were very patchy as well. By Misdemeanour in 1985, Phil Moog was the only original member left in the band!!
Schenker actually came back and made 3 more records with the band with Walk on Water being my favourite one. These are described well. The next era is one of a lot more stability with Vinnie Moore, who has been a constant in the band for nearly 20 years now. A lot of good hard rocking albums have been made and each tour, a few of these songs are showcased but sadly, the band for the last 40 years has mostly played the same concert every night with a few token tracks from whatever was the latest record and then just selections from Strangers in the Night, with only a few exceptions.
Richard, is pretty critical and not as kind or fair as many of the authors of these books and injects a lot of his own personal less objective opinions. Some people might not like this but otherwise, this is a very informative book about one of the best hard rock bands of the 70s!! Enjoy.. Fun book.
It took me a while to read this one but damn, this is a pretty interesting book and if you are a fan of CSN, I would be very surprised if you did not learn a lot!! There is a huge amount of new information and details I had never read anywhere else and I own almost all their albums and most of their solo albums as well!! The author, Andrew Wild, has done an impressive amount of research.
The book starts with a timeline of what the members were up to pre-CSN. July 1968 at either Mama Cass or Joni´s house, was the first time they ever sang together!! As the band did multiple takes and recorded many songs not included on the albums for each session, these are also described in detail. Many were released on later reissues but some have remained totally unreleased to this day. I would love to hear the instrumental version of Cinnamon Girl that they recorded but has never been released! The section called Other live tracks: 1969-1970, is very interesting as it mentions a lot of live recordings that exist of the band from this time period and some material that is on you tube!!
The intros to each of the following albums (1977, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1990 (live), 1994, 2004) has a lot of new information as well. At the end, there is a list of unreleased material from the different albums and era, compilations, a song list of 300 and then a few words from Nash and Crosby why they will never ever play together again.. enjoy the music they made. Amazing..