Holger Czukay “Music Is A Miracle” LP

I learn new things about record collecting all the time.  I do not always know when something is a bootleg or not.  I found an LP in Portland, OR that could be a bootleg, but perhaps it isn’t.

HOLGER CZUKAY “Music Is A Mracle” (2011) is the LP in question today.  The cover says it’s limited to 777 copies (of which I found copy #720).  The label says it’s Claremont 56 Records.  It has a very nice inner-sleeve, too.  “At the age of 43 Holger Czukay was working on a message for his fans.  He kept it unreleased for 30 years.” – it sounds like a side-long LP made for the “On The Way To The Peak Of Normal” LP, telling you exactly what is on this LP.

I went to Germany around this time, and I knew nothing about this!  But is it a bootleg?  Or did Mr. Czukay license it to Claremont 56 Records all these years later?  No matter – it is an amusing LP!  And it would be like Mr. Czukay to make such an LP.  Perhaps EMI Germany did not want to press this LP at the time?

The B-Side of this LP is “Ode To Perfume Part 2”.  I listened to it – and it’s definitely not what is on “On The Way To The Peak Of Normal”!  It’s after “Ode To Perfume”, and it definitely sounds ‘made from tapes’.

As with most of Mr. Czukay’s stuff, I wish there was more information, but that’s about it.

Ash Ra (Manuel Gottsching)

Happy birthday Phil Ochs (1940), Zal Yanovsky (1944), drummer Lenny White (1949), guitarist Alvin Lee (1944) and Maurice White (EW&F) (1941).

ASH RA (Manuel Gottsching)

CD                BELLE ALLIANCE                                   VIRGIN UK             CDV 2163              1980

1990? 8 TRKS stereo CD

LP                 BELLE ALLIANCE                                   VIRGIN DE             202 284                 1980

1980 8 TRKS stereo LP

SHM-CD       BELLE ALLIANCE (2CD)                        BELLE ANT JPN      BELLE 121914/5   1980

2012 11 TRKS stereo SHM-CD 2CD set


CD                BEST OF THE PRIVATE TAPES, THE    PURPLE PYR US     CLP 0299               1998

1998 19 TRKS stereo 2CD


CD                BLACKOUTS                                         ARCANGELO JPN   ARC-7192              1977

2008 6 TRKS stereo CD Kami sleeve

LP                 BLACKOUTS                                         VIRGIN DE             25686 XOT            1978

1978 6 TRKS stereo LP


CD                CORRELATIONS                                   VIRGIN UK             CDV 2117              1979

1990? 7 TRKS stereo CD

LP                 CORRELATIONS                                   VIRGIN DE             200 431                 1979

1979 7 TRKS stereo LP


CD                NEW AGE OF EARTH                           VIRGIN UK             CDV 2080              1977

1990? 4 TRKS stereo CD

LP                 NEW AGE OF EARTH (FR)                   ISADORA FR          ISA 9003                1976

1976 4 TRKS stereo LP

LP                 NEW AGE OF EARTH (UK)                  VIRGIN UK             V 2080                   1977

1977 4 TRKS stereo LP


CD                SCHWINGUNGEN                                PURPLE PYR US     1269.2                   1972

1972 3 TRKS Stereo CD US paper sleeve


CD                SUNRAIN                                              CAROLINE US        1109.2                   1997

1997 13 TRKS stereo CD collection


CD                TROPICAL HEAT                                   NAVIGATOR DE     8909.2                   1991

1991 6 TRKS stereo CD

Klaus Schulze

Happy birthday Ric Lee (of Ten Years After)!  In 1962, “The Monster Mash” was a big hit for Bobby “Boris” Pickett.

Klaus Schulze

I was about 14 when I first heard Klaus Schulze, way back in 1972 or so.  I was very impressed by “Irrlicht”, his debut solo album, as was my friend, Cameron Hand.  Was it classical music?  Or just “electronics”?  We did not know what it was – it sounded like it came from another planet!

FMT    TITLE                                              LABEL                    NUMBER            YR         EDITION

LP       ANGST (O.S.T.)                              INTEAM DE               ID 20.003               1984     1984 5 TRKS stereo LP


LP       BLACK DANCE                               BRAIN DE                  BRAIN 1051           1974     1974 3 TRKS stereo LP original

CD      BLACK DANCE                               VIRGIN UK                 CDCA 2003            1974     1990? 3 TRKS stereo CD


CD      BODY LOVE                                    SPV DE                      SPV 78852             1977     2007 4 TRKS stereo CD


LP       BODY LOVE Vol. 1                         METRONOME DE     60.047                    1977     1977 3 TRKS stereo LP


LP       BODY LOVE Vol. 2                         BRAIN DE                  60.097                    1977     1977 3 TRKS stereo LP


LP       CYBORG                                         KOSMISCHES DE      KM 2/58.005         1973     1973 4 TRKS stereo 2LP original

CD      CYBORG                                         AVI FR                       2CD 2002               1973     1986 4 TRKS stereo 2CD


CD      DIG IT                                              BRAIN DE                  811632.2               1980     1985? 4 TRKS stereo CD


LP       DREAMS                                         THUNDERBOLT UK   THBL 039                1986     1986 4 TRKS stereo LP


LP       DRIVE INN                                      INTEAM DE               ID 20.002               1984     1984 7 TRKS stereo LP insert


LP       DUNE                                              BRAIN DE                  60.225                    1979     1979 2 TRKS stereo LP

LP       DUNE (US)                                      GRAMAVISION US   18-7022.1              1979     1980 2 TRKS stereo LP


CD      ESSENTIAL, THE – ’72 – ’93           CAROLINE US           1896.2                    1994     1994 14 TRKS stereo 2CD


CD      IRRLICHT                                         ARCANGELO JPN     ARC-7263              1972     2006 4 TRKS stereo CD kami sleeve, 2 x bonus tracks

LP       IRRLICHT                                         OHR DE                     556.022                 1972     1972 3 TRKS stereo LP insert, original


12″     MACKSY                                         METRONOME DE     881812.1               1985     1985 2 TRKS stereo 12″ with pic sleeve


LP       MINDPHASER                                GRAMAVISION US   18-7023.1              1980     1980 4 TRKS stereo LP collection


CD      MIRAGE                                          SPV DE                      SPV 085-304032  1977     2005 3 TRKS stereo CD

LP       MIRAGE                                          BRAIN DE                  60.04                      1977     1977 2 TRKS stereo LP


LP       MOONDAWN                                BRAIN DE                  1088                       1976     1976 2 TRKS stereo LP

CD      MOONDAWN                                MAGNUM US           MACD 067             1976     1996 2 TRKS stereo CD


CD      PICTURE MUSIC                             SPV DE                      SPV 085-304072  1975     2005 3 TRKS stereo CD

LP       PICTURE MUSIC                             BRAIN DE                  BRAIN 1067           1974     1974 2 TRKS stereo LP original


LP       TIMEWIND                                     BRAIN DE                  BRAIN 1075           1975     1975 2 TRKS stereo LP original

CD      TIMEWIND                                     VIRGIN UK                 CDCA 2006            1975     1990? 2 TRKS stereo CD


LP       TRANCEFER                                    GRAMAVISION US   18-7025.1              1984     1984 2 TRKS stereo LP


CD      X                                                      BRAIN DE                  833627.2               1978     1990? 6 TRKS stereo 2CD

LP       X                                                      BRAIN DE                  80.023                    1978     1978 6 TRKS stereo 2LP collection, large booklet

Ash Ra “Belle Alliance” 2CD re-issue

Jimmy McCulloch died today in London, England (1979).  I was in London when he died.

ASH RA – Belle Alliance (Belle Antique SHM 2CD) recorded 1979, released 1980

Probably one of the German artist CD’s that David Bowie heard, in 1980; it is reasonably contemporary to 1980; certainly decent sound and this recent Japanese pressing 2CD set is not an exception to that rule.  Disc 2 is 37 minutes (plus) of previously unreleased material.  At this point, Mr. Gottsching was still working with Harald Grosskopf, Ash Ra’s original drummer.  The other person present on this 2CD is Lutz Ulbrich, playing guitars etc.

Disc 1







Code Blue



Disc 2

Flying Turtles

Voices of Heddernheim


Birth Control – “Plastic People”

Happy birthday Keith Moon (1947)!

BIRTH CONTROL – “Plastic People” (CBS Germany, 1975)

Initially, I was not too enthusiastic about the German progressive band BIRTH CONTROL.  I did keep the debut album (on Charisma UK LP), but they were soon off my radar.  My thought now as to why I didn’t assign them a higher placing is that they were “a rock band”, and not like CLUSTER or NEU! – ‘motorik musik’.  The CD I have is remastered by Eroc, another German musician.

Somehow, I heard them in 1975, when “Plastic People” came out – perhaps it was the tale end of my late brother sending me airchecked tapes of progressive radio shows?  That seems likely, as nobody here would dare play German bands in 1974/5/6!

“Plastic People” sounded a lot more like what I liked about European music, in general.  The writing / playing was competent, and the songs were good.  The album was recorded at Dieter Dierks studio in Koln, Germany.

If I had to take this album with me, when I croak, I would take only the song “Rockin’ Rollin’ Roller”, a fairly straightforward rock song.  Most everything on this LP is co-written by Zeus B. Held, a famous German keyboard player.  I also like the track “Tiny Flashlights” (guests: Eddie Jobson, then of Roxy Music and Morgan Fisher from Mott The Hoople!  (They also thank Genesis P. Orridge “for breaking his fingernails”.)  Liner notes says it’s their 6th album.

I remember really liking this LP, when it came out.  And it took ages for it to arrive on CD – more than 25 years!

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!

MIDEM conventions

Happy birthday to drummer Ed Cassidy (Spirit) (1931) and to guitarist Zal Cleminson (S.A.H.B.) (1949).

MIDEM Convention

I wonder when they started having the MIDEM convention in France?  As early as 1967, John Phillips & Lou Adler bought a Michel Polnareff song for Scott McKenzie to sing on his debut album; and they probably bought it at the MIDEM convention.


Says 1967 is the first MIDEM – So by 1969, Dunhill Records (Lou Adler) was signing Vertigo Records act Colosseum – he released 3 of those albums on Dunhill (for the US market).  Philips / Phonogram eventually started keeping Vertigo acts for themselves for the U.S. market – Ian Matthews!  So, how did May Blitz get signed to Paramount Records?  And Uriah Heep stayed with Mercury Records?  But they didn’t remain on Vertigo Records?

Capitol Records would’ve had first right of refusal for all EMI acts; they did a lot of Harvest Records acts for the U.S., intelligently keeping Pink Floyd – but what about The Panama Limited Jug BandKevin Ayers?  And why did Capitol license Gracious! for the U.S. market from Vertigo Records?  They even went all the way to totally repackaging the LP with an unsavory cover!

Buddah Records got many of the Charisma Records LP’s for the U.S. – artists like Genesis and Monty Python and lesser-known band like Spreadeagle and Capability Brown languished on Buddah Records.  All of those bands must’ve been bought for the U.S. market with Lovin’ Spoonful money?  Another MIDEM deal?  However, UK act Lindisfarne got A&R’d for Elektra Records for the U.S. and Rare Bird to ABC / Probe / Dunhill Records.

By the mid-70’s few British artists were being sourced outside of their home labels, for the U.S. market; no big contracts to be signed, many titles got signed up for a single LP to be released.  No idea how many of those “one and done” deals were made, but you can bet some of them came out of MIDEM.

Neu ’75


Happy birthday to singer Sheena Easton (1959)!

Neu ‘75

“Neu ‘75” doesn’t seem to deviate from the ‘usual’ Neu formula.  It sounds like Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger were only on their way to being bored with the band.  I never read why they called it a day after this LP.  Maybe Dinger got pissed at Rother because of Harmonia?

There is plenty of “motorik” bear here; the 45 here is “Isi” b/w After Eight”, but a lot of the rest of the album merely sounds like they were heading towards an even more ‘minimal’ sound.

Yet this LP doesn’t particularly sound like Rother’s debut solo LP, ‘Flammende Herzen”.

So, there is plenty here for the individual interested in German ‘musik’.

All 3 Neu albums came out in the UK; my copy of “Neu ‘75” is from Japan (with a gorgeous yellow label) – Capitol released the LP in the U.S. (for some reason).  It’s not like people were crying out to hear it.

And, of course, they never played here, that I am aware of.  I would’ve been all over that!  And I would’ve been almost old enough!

There will be those who will say “Hero” and “After Eight” influenced UK punk rock, but I really doubt it.  Punks (in England anyway) come from “pub rock”, not “Prog rock”, which I believe “Neu ‘75” to be.

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.