Herb Alpert / Thijs Van Leer

Happy Birthday, Herb Alpert! (1935); Thijs van Leer of Focus (1948). I have LP’s & CD’s by both artistes.

 

Sure would like to find one (or two) Herb Alpert CD’s – uh, which ones? I also like Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass 45’s, preferably with picture sleeves. He’s the “A” in A&M Records, folks.

 

Focus has been a favorite band for well over 40 years! “Moving Waves” hit me & my childhood friends like the proverbial ton o’ bricks! “Hocus Pocus”, indeed! I understand that “Moving Waves” sold over a million LP’s. Publishing money!

 

There are a few Jan Akkerman LP’s that I really enjoy, including his self-titled LP from 1977 or so (the one with the cover that’s a woman / guitar hybrid tapping him on the shoulder). I believe I have 3 or 4 LP’s by Thijs van Leer, some of which aren’t even classical LP’s. His “O My Love” LP on Philips NL is absolutely amazing, and not on CD, as of recently.

 

I have quite a few Japanese paper sleeve CD’s by Focus, and all of their regular LP’s – and many 45’s.

Moody Blues / Eric Clapton

It was rather strange to go back to my “ex’s” house and pick-up many CD’s and LP’s, per her request. I guess she knew they had some value, and knew I would know what to do with them. Drop me a line if you are interested in my recent history, I may have some stuff for you. Probably – at least with the CD’s, I’ll just trade them in at Amoeba S.F. next time I’m up there.

 

= = =

 

Happy birthday Graeme Edge, drummer for the Moody Blues (1944); British guitarist Eric Clapton also has a birthday today (1945). Cream! Derek & The Dominos! Not exactly my favorite style guitarist, but he can play OK.

 

Lots of the Moody Blues albums were available as 5.1 SA-CD’s; guess they’re all out of print now. My favorite, “In Search Of The Lost Chord”, was a stereo-only SA-CD. Got to see Justin Hayward perform live, a few years back.

 

I am a fan of the John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers LP, and big Cream fan. There are Cream songs I like that aren’t written by Jack Bruce with Pete Brown. Derek & The Dominos are good, but it took ages to find the short version of “Layla” on an LP / CD. In 2015, I can listen to the studio 2LP set by D&TD on a 5.1 SA-CD (alas, out of print).

 

Pretty much all of Cream’s albums are available from Japan as stereo-only SA-CD’s, these days. I’ve got “Wheels Of Fire” and “Goodbye Cream” as stereo-only SA-CD’s, with “Fresh Cream” to join those 2 shortly. My 2CD deluxe version of “Disraeli Gears” will suffice, for me.

 

I have been lucky enough to have become friendly with Pete Brown, the man who wrote a lot of lyrics for Cream; always particularly fond of “Doing That Scrapyard Thing” (from “Goodbye Cream”).

Split Enz

Happy birthday to R&B singer / songwriter Rufus Thomas (1917); R&B singer Diana Ross (1944)! I believe I own CD’s by both Diana Ross and Rufus Thomas, but…

Recently while trawling through my New Zealand LP’s, I noticed what an astonishing Split Enz collection I amassed. Thanks to the help of friends, I have many oddball pressing, cover variants, label variants, autographs etc. My ‘new list’ includes information of this very nature. So now, Australia and New Zealand are “in” my list!

 

Do you recall the “frustration” of discovering that there are 2 completely different LP’s called “Mental Notes” by Split Enz? I certainly do. I remember the day the light bulb came on: “Second Thoughts” is the Australiasian version of the Phil Manzanera version of “Mental Notes”, which is a re-recording of the original 1975 Australian recorded masterpiece album. Got it?

 

The speed with which my young life evaporated was amazing. Working in a hippie record store, I was given free tickets to see Split Enz at The Golden Bear, a nightclub in Huntington Beach, CA. A mellotron on a stage! Singing and dancing! Free drinks!!

 

Circumstance found me visiting New Zealand 7 times between 1980 and 1987. I walked down the road hedged with roses in Te Awamutu, as one presumes Finn & Judd did. I met Mike Chunn in Auckland, and he was absolutely “super professional” and amazing towards me, giving me NZ music videos etc. It took the entire electrically recorded output of New Zealand on vinyl to re-assure me that “Mental Notes” wasn’t just a ‘fluke’ good album.

 

In 2015, it is somewhat obvious what Phil Manzanera saw in them, with his offer to produce Split Enz, in England. “Get this recorded properly!” was likely his edict. And “Second Thoughts” sounds amazing, guys; and “Sweet Dreams” hadn’t been on “Mental Notes” – though it certainly could’ve been.

 

Kiwiana 101: “Mental Notes” 1975 version (recorded in Australia) by Split Enz is one of the first GREAT albums recorded by a New Zealand band. World class stuff! And “Second Thoughts” is a spit-polished version of approx. that material, recorded in England, properly.

 

How about a DVD-A or SA-CD of the original “Mental Notes” together with “Second Thoughts”, not changed or tinkered with – but certainly those album have more people to charm! Is “audiophile” the route? WSM Australia re-released those albums with a better mastering, a few years back. But they still don’t beat the original LP’s, IMHO.

Nick Lowe

Happy birthday to UK singer / songwriter Nick Lowe (1949)!

 

Nick Lowe used to bridge a gap between punk rockers and old straight-ish music business people. He produced the first album by The Damned, and his first two solo albums had a decent sense of humor about them. He was funny, knew he was funny and knew how to make fun and not necessarily have to swear.

 

I still snicker at the thought of Columbia Records having to re-name “The Jesus of Cool” LP “Pure Pop For Now People”. In 1978, nobody was as washed-up as Nick Lowe. His appearances with Brinsley Schwarz were already forgotten. Hippies couldn’t remember, on account of how much entertainment they’d ingested; punks just didn’t give a stuff about anybody over 30; and Nick Lowe was approx. 29 years old.

 

Oddly, he also produced the first 5 or so LP’s by singer / songwriter Elvis Costello. I am not a fan of Mr. Costello; indeed the sole piece in my collection is a 5.1 SA-CD of “North”, an album few Costello fans seem to care about.

 

I wonder how Nick Lowe met Dave Edmunds? Many believe his association with Dave Edmunds constitutes the best work of Lowe’s early years as a solo artist; the group was Rockpile.

 

And, yes – Nick Lowe does seem to have a career in 2015. Alas, I see that he has recorded (and released) a Christmas album – a certain kiss of non-career for many artists!

 

We wish Nick Lowe well. Remember when United Artists UK released a “Best Of” for Brinsley Schwarz, a band they would more than likely have wanted to forget. But once Nick Lowe’s iron got hot, they jumped on the “Ooh-we-own-something-by-the-new-guy” bandwagon and out it came.

Monte Video

Happy birthday to Danish harmonica player Lee Oskar (of War) (1948); UK drummer Mike Kellie (of Spooky Tooth) (1947).

 

As I have been working on my New Zealand artists lately, I am thinking about records, people etc. that I haven’t thought about in years.

 

Long time friends know I went to New Zealand 7 times between 1980 and 1987. I met a lot of different people, some remain friends, some are lost to the mists of time.

 

Who remembers Monte Video? He is New Zealand comedian / musician Murray Grindlay, who used to be in the 60’s / 70’s NZ band The Underdogs. No idea how he got signed to Geffen Records for the rest of the world, but that’s what happened. Even the rude B-Side, “Don’t Mention My Name” got issued north of the equator! (Thank you, Geffen NL!).

 

I seriously doubt there’s a CD of the entire exploits of Monte Video, but I bet “Shoop-Shoop, Diddy-Wop, Cumma Cumma, Wang Dang” ended up on a CD or two of Kiwiana, in NZ.

 

I recently looked ‘Monte Video’ up, and there was a surprising amount of information regarding “Shoop-Shoop…”! I even read that someone thought it was an Eric Idle record – c’mon, just listen to the glistening Kiwi accent, mate. It ain’t British!

 

Exactly why Murray Grindlay created Monte Video is not widely acknowledged. The video clip is great for “Sheba (She Sha She Shoo)” – ever seen it? I remember having MTV discussions in the 80’s as to what my assorted associates saw on MTV at 4:35am on a Thursday (a Rupert Hine video, if you must know), and I do know people who saw the “Shoop-Shoop…” video on MTV!

 

I presume Murray Grindlay is still alive and well. Monte, if you’re ever searching on yourself, give us a shout. I’d love to “interview” you in either of your personalities.

Time Machine

Happy birthday singer / songwriter / producer Keith Relf (of The Yardbirds) (1943)! I love The Yardbirds!

 

Strange Days magazine’s editor, Quoichiro Iwamoto, changes the game!

 

Today features albums from the first 6 months of 1975. I would rather they take it month by month, but not so. At least it looks to improve the quality of releases.

 

From 1975, the first 6 months:

 

John Lennon “Rock ‘n’ Roll” (Apple UK LP PCS 7169), Led Zeppelin “Physical Graffiti” (Swan Song UK 2LP), David Bowie “Young Americans” (RCA UK LP RS 1006), Jeff Beck “Blow By Blow” (Epic UK LP EPC 69117). 10cc “The Original Soundtrack” (Mercury UK LP 6310 500), Hatfield & The North “The Rotter’s Club” (Virgin UK LP V 2030), Camel “The Snow Goose” (Deram UK LP SKL-R 5207), Rick Wakeman “The Myths and Legends of King Arthur” (A&M UK LP AMLH 64515), Hawkwind “Warrior On The Edge Of Time” (United Artists UK LP UAG 29766), The Kinks “Soap Opera” (RCA UK LP SF 8411), Elton John “Captain Fantastic” (DJM UK LP DJLPX 1), and Paul McCartney / Wings “Venus and Mars” (Capitol UK LP PCTC 254). Honorable mention: Slapp Happy “Desperate Straights” (Virgin UK LP V 2024).

 

Didn’t care about John Lennon anymore by 1975. “Plastic Ono Band” and “Imagine” were great albums, but now, what was he doing? I didn’t care for Led Zeppelin by 1975, I’d had enough. While “Ziggy Stardust” and “Aladdin Sane” were great albums, by 1975, other things were interesting to me. Jeff Beck made great albums with Rod Stewart, but by 1975, I’d lost interest. I now enjoy “Blow By Blow” as a 5.1 title on SA-CD!

 

10cc were less interesting to me in 1975 than they are now. These days, I can appreciate how intricate their albums were. Tom Recchion warned me off of Hatfield & The North, but now I like it just fine. Camel is as Camel does. This isn’t my favorite Rick Wakeman LP, but it’ll do. Great Hawkwind LP, go Lemmy! Any post-Pye Kinks isn’t for me, as previously noted. An OK Elton John LP, with it’s posters etc. These days I have it as a 5.1 SA-CD!

 

My primary interest in Paul McCartney was well before 1975. “Venus and Mars” was a good LP, and single. But my interests were elsewhere, by then.

 

I suppose the next “Time Machine” will be July – December 1975 releases.

P.F.M.

On 3/20 Happy birthday to C&W guy Jerry Reed (1937)!

 

On 3/21 Happy birthday to UK singer / songwriter Roger Hodgson (of Supertramp) (1950) and Franco Mussida (of P.F.M.) (1947).

 

Really only like Supertramp’s A&M UK 45 “Land Ho”. I have a lot of Jerry Reed LP’s and 45’s. But Franco Mussida is a very impressive guitarist. I had the good fortune to see them play live right around the time of “Jet Lag”, and Mr. Mussida was indeed amazing.

 

P.F.M. were the first Italian band that many people ever heard! “Celebration” was an FM radio hit, and the band is truly impressive on a stage. At the time, Manticore Records went via Atlantic Records for “Photos of Ghosts” and “The World Became The World”, but “Chocolate Kings” and “Jet Lag” were on Elektra, via WEA. Recently, I noticed that my Japanese LP of “Jet Lag” was on Manticore in Japan.

 

And the above 4 titles by P.F.M. were all issues last year in 7” packaging in Japan, and newly re-mastered, this time with bonus tracks.

 

I will forever be indebted to Mr. Tony Harrington, a generous late English gentleman who I knew well. He worked professionally with P.F.M., and you can see his photo in the booklet that comes with the non-US copies of “Cook”, their wonderful live album.

 

Did you notice the 2CD + DVD live album by P.F.M. last year? It purports to be all of their BBC recordings, both audio and video. I highly recommend it. It’s the best quality video, and I don’t really know of all that much video on them.

Bill Bruford

Happy birthday to drummer Bill Bruford (of Yes and King Crimson) (1948); B. J. Wilson (drummer of Procol Harum) (1947)!

 

I had hoped that I would have the new Japanese re-mastered CD’s of Bill Bruford by now, but it hasn’t happened yet. Always did like the debut solo album by Mr. Bruford.

 

 

BRUFORD, BILL BBC ROCK GOES TO COLLEGE    WINTERFOLD EU   BBWF 009LP

LP                           1979                                                      2009 8 TRKS stereo LP innersleeve, Live album 3/79

 

BRUFORD, BILL BRUFORD TAPES, THE                    E.G. US                     EEGCD 6

CD                          1979                                                      1999? 9 TRKS stereo CD Live

 

BRUFORD, BILL EARTHWORKS – DIG?                       E.G. UK                     EGED 60

LP                           1989                                                      1989 8 TRKS stereo LP

 

BRUFORD, BILL FEELS GOOD TO ME                        E.G. US                     EGCD 33

CD                          1978                                                      1999? 10 TRKS stereo CD

BRUFORD, BILL FEELS GOOD TO ME                        POLYDOR UK          2302 075

LP                           1977                                                      1977 10 TRKS stereo LP innersleeve

BRUFORD, BILL FEELS GOOD TO ME (re)                 WINTERFOLD EU   BBWF 003LP

LP                           1977                                                      2009 10 TRKS stereo LP re-issue, innersleeve

 

BRUFORD, BILL GRADUALLY GOING TORNADO     E.G. US                     EGCD 44

CD                          1980                                                      1999? 8 TRKS stereo CD

BRUFORD, BILL GRADUALLY GOING TORNADO     POLYDOR US          PD-1-6261

LP                           1980                                                      1980 8 TRKS stereo LP with Dave Stewart

 

BRUFORD, BILL HELL’S BELLS (EP) (PS)                  E.G. US                     EGEP 1

7″                            1980                                                      1980 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

 

BRUFORD, BILL ONE OF A KIND                                  E.G. US                     EGCD 40

CD                          1979                                                      1999? 10 TRKS stereo CD

 

Dave Stewart of Egg appears on quite a few of these, increasing their worth, for the progressive rock fan.

 

Nice Annette Peacock work on “Feels Good To Me”, as well.

Lovin’ Spoonful

Happy birthday singer / songwriter John Sebastian (of Lovin’ Spoonful) (1944)!   The singles are great 60’s singles, and the LP’s hold-up well. I am a fan of the Sundazed re-issue LP’s, as well.

DAYDREAM                                                                                       BUDDHA US                99731.2

CD                                                                                                        1966                              2002 17 TRKS stereo CD

DAYDREAM                                                                                       KAMA SUTRA US        KLPS 8051

LP                                                                                                        1966                              1966 12 TRKS stereo LP

 

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC                                                          BUDDHA US                99730.2

CD                                                                                                        1965                              2002 17 TRKS stereo CD

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC                                                          KAMA SUTRA US        KLPS 8050

LP                                                                                                        1965                              1965 12 TRKS stereo LP

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC (re)                                                   SUNDAZED US           LP 5159

LP                                                                                                        1965                              2002 16 TRKS stereo LP re-issue

 

EVERYTHING PLAYING                                                                  KAMA SUTRA US        KLPS 8061

LP                                                                                                        1968                              1968 11 TRKS stereo LP

 

HUMS OF THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL                                              BUDDHA US                99732.2

CD                                                                                                        1966                              2003 17 TRKS stereo CD

HUMS OF THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL                                              KAMA SUTRA DE        2319 034

LP                                                                                                        1966                              1966 11 TRKS stereo LP DG pressing

HUMS OF THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL                                              KAMA SUTRA US        KLPS 8054

LP                                                                                                        1966                              1966 11 TRKS stereo LP

HUMS OF THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL (re)                                      SUNDAZED US           LP 5166

LP                                                                                                        1966                              2003 15 TRKS stereo LP re-issue

 

REVELATION: REVOLUTION ’69                                                  KAMA SUTRA US        KLPS 8073

LP                                                                                                        1969                              1969 10 TRKS stereo LP

 

YOU’RE A BIG BOY NOW (O.S.T.)                                                 KAMA SUTRA US        KLPS 8058ST

LP                                                                                                        1967                              1967 14 TRKS stereo LP O.S.T.