Heldon 45 re-issues

HELDON 45 re-issues

Also when I was in Portland, OR recently, I found 2 x Heldon 45 re-issues.  I never knew about the original issues!  These would’ve been right up my alley!

Heldon “Soutien a la RAF” 45 Disjuncta 101 (Souffle Continu / FFL Records) red vinyl, insert

‘Soutien a la fraction armee rouge’, originally released 1975

  1. Baader-Meinhof Blues
  2. D.B.

Heldon “Perspectives” 45 Urus Records 102 (Souffle Continu / FFL Records) orange vinyl

Originally released 1976

  1. Perspectives 1 Bis Complement
  2. Perspectives 4 Bis

No time to listen to these, as yet – so I don’t know if they’re Heldon’s usual “Fripp & Eno” sound.  But I will listen to them soon!

Progressive Rock Part 2

Happy birthday to songwriter Burt Bacharach (1929); comedian George Carlin (1938); singer Ian Dury (1942); Ian McLagan (Faces) (1945) and keyboardist / singer Steve Winwood (1948).

Part 2 – 70’s Progressive Rock

WISHBONE ASH “Argus” (MCA Japan UICY 20115)

I do own this one, but I found an old CD of it.  There is a Japanese SA-CD of it, but I never went for it.  I did not do this album when it got released; more like it kept cropping up, again and again.

YES “Close To The Edge” (Atlantic Japan WPCR 80307)

Not my favorite Yes album; I haven’t even bought the 5.1 mix BD of it yet!  In 1972, it was sort of where I stopped, as more interesting European LP’s came into view.

GENESIS “Selling England By The Pound” (Charisma Japan UICY 76718)

Always amazed that this one gets picked over “Foxtrot”, but I guess it happens.  I got an SA-CD of it, back when the British did ‘em (in the green box); I like this LP better than what came later.

STEVE HACKETT “Voyage Of The Acolyte” (Charisma Japan UICY 25537)

The first LP on this list that does not have an SA-CD or DVD-A of it – thus far!  Quite a good LP, actually.  I got on this one as a new release, and even bought what came after it!

PINK FLOYD “Dark Side Of The Moon” (Harvest Japan WPCR 80127)

I got both a European and a Japanese version of this SA-CD.  And I have a nice 1973 LP of it; having worked in a record store in the 70’s, I can attest to the fact that the posters in this album freaked some people out, and they duly got returned as “warped”.  The Japanese did a nice audiophile LP of it, too.

GRYPHON “Red Queen To Gryphon Three” (Talking Elephant TECD 313)

A great album, and no audiophile version?  And no Japanese pressing?  This band didn’t sound like ANYBODY else at the time, it came out in the US and promptly got people to ask if there were non-US copies.

Progressive Rock Part 1

Happy birthday to singer Eric Burdon (1941); comedian Mort Sahl (1927) and keyboardist Carla Bley (1938).

In Japan, the normally straight “Record Collector’s Magazine” has done a “70’s best progressive rock” story, showing LP covers.  Over the next few days, I will try to address some of these.  I wish I had a scanner, so you could see the collage for the cover of this magazine!  It’s the May 2016 issue.

Top of the list: Part 1

THE MOODY BLUES “Days Of Future Passed” (Deram Japan UICY 25554)

An LP that has been issued a lot!  But, justifiably so!  The beginning of ‘progressive rock” – perhaps?  Certainly a nice cover for 1967.  I remember when this was originally issued on CD, the sound was no good; thankfully, they got their act together for the SA-CD (2CD) issue!

KING CRIMSON “In The Court Of The Crimson King” (Wowow Japan IECP 30001)

In 1969, where were you?  Most of us were still under the spell of The Beatles (or The Rolling Stones), when this one rolled down the pike.  Thankfully, it never ever went away and I got to discover it in 1970 or so.  The cover describes the music, and that certainly hasn’t changed over the years.  Nice 5.1 version on the DVD-A version!

EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER “Emerson, Lake & Palmer” (JVC Japan VICP 78001)

Another good debut album!  The DVD-A isn’t quite the full album in 5.1, but they do at least try!  Started walking with this one in 1970, with a nice Island UK copy – that I own to this day!

VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR “Pawn Hearts” (Charisma Japan UICY-25581)

Their 4th LP, but really quite good.  This version of the album has “Theme One” included.  Quite a good record, in fact – it drove the Italians nuts!  But I guess they went there and played it a LOT.

JETHRO TULL “Thick As A Brick” (Warner Japan WPCR-16473)

I like pretty much all of their early albums, and I don’t feel that any of them have been improved by remixing.  This one sounded pretty good, anyway!  The DVD-A mix is clear and STRONG!

Part 2 tomorrow!

Pulsar

Happy birthday Corky Laing (Mountain) (1948).

Pulsar

I first became aware of Pulsar about 1976 or so. I worked at a hippie record store, and that’s how / why I heard them. Their debut LP is called “Pollen”. In 2016, I have a nice Japanese LP re-issue of it in my collection. Odd, the Japan LP looks to be based upon the British pressing of this French band’s LP! My CD of it looks to be a French CD in a Japanese paper sleeve.

Their masterpiece is called “The Strands Of The Future”; I have both a Japanese LP of it (original issue) and a British Decca LP of it, too. The Japanese LP is an original issue and has some lovely Leiji Matsumoto artwork contained therein. Released in 1977, it really has the hallmark sound of decent French progressive rock. You can almost smell it! My CD of it is an SHM-CD, state of the art for Japan.

For their 3rd LP, they changed labels to CBS France, though still dated 1977, the sound of this LP (“Halloween”) was decent, then. And for a long while, I thought that was that, for Pulsar. Nothing came out for over a decade!

Then along came an LP in 1989, “Gorlitz”. Looks to be the same folks. My original LP is on a time honored French re-issue label, Musea Records. It’s either 1988 or 1989 (both dates are on the LP). Despite it’s late 80’s release date, it sounds like the 1970’s! Never seen a CD on this title, either.

No, I didn’t find “Gorlitz” at the end of the 80’s, I only found this LP a few short years ago, languishing in a used LP bin for a good price, in the US (California, actually). I knew it existed, but had never seen a copy of it before!

Gong re-issues

I was recently rather disturbed by the statement from Steve Hillage, regarding who owns the Gong LP’s. He says Virgin / EMI / Universal owns them. They have been licensed to Japan by “Charly Licensing ApS” and issued in some very nice packaging.

 

“Camembert Electrique” is not mentioned in Hillage’s statement, so we will disregard that for the time being. I have a King Japan LP, a Byg “original” and a licensed by “Charly Licensing ApS” SHM-CD of it, for the record. Somehow I missed out on the Caroline LP that Virgin UK issued a while back.

 

I did not miss the Caroline issue of “Banana Moon”, however. I have Byg original issue LP’s and the glorious Caroline LP issue. Alas the CD for this title is licensed by “Charly Licensing ApS”.

 

“Flying Teapot” is a bit stickier. I have a licensed by “Charly Licensing ApS” CD from Japan (an older one, not a SHM-CD), and a Byg original LP, with a different cover to the UK edition. So looks like for Vol. 1 of Gong’s trilogy, I do not have a desirable copy, but I do have a rare copy, with a French Byg LP.

 

“Angel’s Egg” is a bit better for me. I have a Japanese CD licensed by “Charly Licensing ApS”, a British Virgin CD (with a bonus track), and a British Virgin LP without a fold-out cover.

 

For “You”, I have a Virgin Japan LP and a Virgin England CD re-issue, with a bonus track. Never my favorite of the trilogy, actually. But still a neat LP / CD.

 

So, looks like I own 2 of the 3 in the trilogy in preferable pressings, on LP. Mr. Hillage does not address titles outside of the trilogy.

 

I bought the SHM-CD’s from Japan, because I knew the packaging was going to be correct, which it is. They sound pretty good, too. But I can see that they might not be the ‘correct’ master. And now that Daevid Allen is up with the octave doctors, nobody argues much about Gong, apart from maybe their guitarist, Steve Hillage.

 

I rather like the idea of a new boxed set of the trilogy, apart from the obvious expensive. Universal England will have a field day, addressing the differing artwork etc. None of my Gong LP’s are re-issues, so bring on the UK re-issues!

G O N G

From: Steve Hillage
London, United Kingdom

OFFICIAL GONG BAND MEMBERS STATEMENT

We, the surviving members of Gong, do not support BYG/Charly Records upcoming reissue of the Radio Gnome trilogy.

None of the surviving members of the lineups that created those recordings were ever signed to BYG or Charly Records.

The truth is that immediately before the making of Flying Teapot in January 1973, the band learned that Daevid Allen’s once record company – BYG Records (also known as Promodisc) – had gone bust, it’s Paris office stripped bare, no phones working. The band was abandoned at the Manor Studios at the start of recording the album. Virgin – at the time just a chain of record stores and The Manor studios – was about to launch their record label.

Faced with an unpaid recording bill, they decided to cut their losses and release Flying Teapot as the second release on the new Virgin Records label. That’s the true story.

The booklet advertised as accompanying the Charly/BYG Release is full of untruths, lies and falsehoods claiming to represent Charly and BYG Records as some sort of poor victim of Virgin’s wickedness. The truth is that none of the musicians on those recordings has ever received a penny of royalty payments for the Charly/BYG releases, or even a statement. This is understandable because we NEVER signed to BYG or Charly Records as Gong.

Meanwhile, forty years later, we still receive statements from Virgin and, for those of us who cleared our advances, royalty payments, even though Virgin has since been sold to EMI and now is owned by Universal Records.

We know and can confirm as 100% corroborated fact that the Original Masters of these albums reside in the Virgin Records Archive, and that Charly has never at any time been given access to them, so Charly’s claim to have used the Original Masters is false.

Charly has been brazenly abusing our rights as artists for decades. None of us are rich or powerful enough to sue them. All we can do is to let you, our lovely Gong fans, know that we do not support this release. We will be supporting a new boxed set to be released by Universal in a few months with our full collaboration.

DO NOT BUY THIS RELEASE

The Ron Kane Files #1

By 1976, I was busily chasing European music, trying to “fill in” my collection with Can LP’s etc.  I was particularly fond of French music, notably Lard Free.  We were also trying to figure out who to get to be in our band (our first LP was released in 1978).

Summer of 1976 brought my first record store job – Bellflower, CA.  I was regularly going to record collector swap meets and as many record stores as I could find!  I had yet to develop my theory of “There are records anywhere there are lots of people” – in 1976, it was “go wherever there are colleges, and there will be record stores”, which was true back then.  That theory worked for some California locations, such as Berkeley, CA, Orange, CA – there were so many record stores in California!

Truth is, once I started working full-time, I could only go to record stores when I wasn’t working.  I was always in search of “imported” LP’s, which were not absolutely everywhere.

After a few years of working in a record store, it became obvious that I needed to go to Europe, in search of further European music.  So, in the fall of 1979, with some advice from record collector friends, I went to London, England without a hotel reservation.

Very intoxicating for a 21 year old record collector to go to the U.K. for the first time!  Who could be bothered with reservations?  The first place I went to didn’t have anyplace for me, but – they kindly directed me to somewhere that did have a reasonable place to stay, Goldhawk Road area.  I knew absolutely nothing about the size / scope of London.  I only knew Los Angeles and San Francisco!

I easily figured out the tube / trains; I picked up my mail at the American Express office in the Haymarket!  I didn’t care much for the food / drink in London.  I got to France easily, and the food improved!

Arriving in Paris, I looked up as many musician’s names as I could in the phone book, mostly leaving messages; some had to be called a few times.  I did successfully reach a few people:  Gilles Yepremian and Roland Bocquet!  Gilles Y managed Lard Free / Urban Sax – Lard Free had been my favorite band for several years.  Roland Bocquet had been in the band Catharsis and I loved his recent album, “Paradia”.

When I went to Germany, I looked up Holger Czukay of Can – in the phone book.  He picked me up at the Koln train station in his Volkswagen!

Sweden and Finland were a bit more problematic, as I couldn’t find any names I knew in the telephone books I could find.  What do they even call record stores in Sweden?  How do I look it up?

I caught the boat to Helsinki in Stockholm, and stayed at a glorious hotel that I spotted, “Hotel Helsinki” in that fall of 1979.

Venice, Italy!  I had an intro to Aldo Tagliapietra of Le Orme and he directed me to a tiny place in Mestre, just outside of Venice.  He was super nice to me and spoke perfect English.  He put me onto Ronnie Thorpe, in Milan.

France

Happy birthday to Texan guitarist / singer / songwriter Johnny “Guitar” Watson (1935), Dave Davies (of The Kinks, 1947) and singer Melanie (1947). This is also “the day the music died” – Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens all go offshore, permanently.

France

My first exposure to France’s pop culture was in the 70’s – I got the debut LP by Michel Berger, the on one WEA with the heart on the cover. It was recorded at Chateau D’Herouville, like some really good Elton John LP’s had been. It’s pleasant enough pop music, and he passed away in the early 90’s of a heart attack.

 

Next blip on the musicology radar was when I got the debut LP by Lard Free, on Vamp. Lard Free = L’Art Frit = Free Art, but a slight perversion of that translation. It was like nothing else I had ever heard, and I had no trouble believing in it. In 1979, when I first went to Paris, I met Gilles Yepremian, Lard Free’s manager – he lived in Pigalle, then. I also met Roland Bocquet, the keyboard player who made a great not-on-CD album called “Paradia” on Cobra Records. Roland had been the keyboard player for a band called Catharsis.

 

There used to be a company up in Portland, OR called Intergalactic Trading Company. I dealt with a guy called Archie Patterson. He sold me all kinds of oddball French pop (and not-so-pop) musique.

 

In Paris, I particularly liked Crocodisc, on the rue des Ecoles, left bank. I also frequented FNAC, the large co-op record store. I succeeded in seeing Jacques Higelin; I did not succeed in seeing L’Affaire Louis’ Trio – their show had been cancelled and moved to a much later date (Pre-internet world! N’existe pas maintenant!).

 

Then there is the post-CD world of French pop musique, with all those wonderful clips on Boulevard Des Clips. Thrill to Les Rita Mitsouko (saw ‘em in L.A.!), Niagara, Charlelie Couture (saw ‘em in Malakoff, in Paris), Etienne Daho, Les Drellas, Jay Alanski (he wrote back to me!). And so many others! Peter & The Electro Kitsch keyboard player Igor Bolender was actually in my car, a few times. His wife Yael moved to Los Angeles, to be closer to the spirits of Jim Morrison and Mark Hollis, the Talk Talk singer. Here’s her store, where I DJ almost monthly: http://www.cuculapraline-frenchic.com/

 

And the food is really good in France! I love having dinner at La Coupole, in Montparnasse. When I die that’s where you should have my wake. And order something really good! And go downstairs and look at the decorative stuff by the restrooms. I think it used to be a dancehall, in the 30’s. Haven’t been there lately, so my info might be old hat now.