Leslie West – Dreams of Milk and Honey

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Leslie West

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Listen – Leslie West – Dreams of Milk and Honey – MP3

Greetings all.
I promised I’d return with something heavy, and since lies make little baby Jesus cry (according to either Rod or Todd Flanders), I have.
I can’t recall exactly the first time I heard Mountain, but my tattered memory is suggesting it may have been on the soundtrack of a late night viewing of the movie ‘Vanishing Point’ sometime in the mid-70s. I suspect that my love for the band’s brand of heavyosity was cemented shortly after that when I started listening to NY rock radio in earnest, wherein ‘Mississippi Queen’ was in regular rotation.
It wasn’t long after that, when I and some equally untalented friends attempted to hammer out that very song in someone’s garage, and we learned that even though the blueprints of ‘Mississippi Queen’ didn’t reveal much in the way of complexity, we were not up to the task (cowbell or no).
This mattered not, since this was at an age where I was just as happy to lock myself in my bedroom, slap on the headphones and let Leslie West stomp all over my ears.
The first Mountain album I actually owned was the live LP ‘Flowers of Evil’ (a Rimbaud reference that I was too young to pick up on), which came – and this is a delicious but of detail – with a little mylar card in the sleeve instructing the listener (me) to increase the volume for full enjoyment of the record. At the time I thought this was a particularly rebellious, “rocked out” thing to do, and it made me like the motley looking band all the more. Years later, when I had a somewhat firmer grasp on vinyl technology I realized that Mountain had exceeded the recommended side-length on ‘Flowers of Evil’ and the request for a volume increase was to make up for the decreased fidelity that excess caused.
Anyway, ‘Flowers of Evil’ consisted of one side of studio recordings, and one live side recorded at the Fillmore East in 1971. I don’t remember digging the studio side all that much, but the live side went into heavy rotation, specifically the ‘Dream Sequence’ which was along medley that included a version of today’s selection ‘Dreams of Milk and Honey’.
Years later, I was out digging and turned up the LP “Leslie West: Mountain’ which included the studio version of ‘Dreams of Milk and Honey’ as well as West’s version of ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’. Though the LP was credited to West, it was for all intents and purposes the first Mountain LP. The personnel on the record was West, bassist/vocalist/producer Felix Pappalardi (who had also produced Cream) and drummer ND Smart who had played with the Remains.
‘Dreams of Milk and Honey’ is a great feature for West and Pappilardi’s fuzzed out guitar/bass team, and West’s raw vocal, and is a perfect example of how things were starting to get heavy in 1969. In fact, it wasn’t long after releasing this album that Mountain took the stage at a muddy little gig called Woodstock.
I hope you the tune, and I’ll be back on Monday.
Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a weeklong Hammond Organ 45 Fest!

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has actually been updated!

Everly Brothers – Man With Money

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Phil & Don…

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Listen/Download – The Everly Brothers – Man With Money

Greetings all.
I hope all is well on your end and that you’re ready for something unusual from late in the career of the Everly Brothers.
I was first introduced to the song ‘Man With Money’ via a tape comp from my friend Mr. Luther, which included a version of the tune (which I was unaware was a cover) by a group called the Wild Uncertainty (on Planet records, home also to the Creation and Thoughts). I thought the tune was groovy, and when I inquired about it I was informed that it had originally been done by the Everly Brothers.
I was surprised.
I was certainly familiar with the Everlys, major movers and shakers in early American rock’n’roll, but I had no idea that they had still been active in the mid-60s.
It wasn’t long before I was prowling around at some record show or other and happened upon a copy of the Everly Brothers LP ‘Beat and Soul’, which included the original version of ‘Man With Money’.
Recorded in 1965, ‘Beat and Soul’ was composed almost entirely of covers ‘Man With Money’ being the only original) of older rock and soul material, including versions of songs by the Impressions, Rufus Thomas, Mickey & Sylvia, Ivory Joe Hunter and others. Despite my assumptions about the Everly Brothers being dated by mid-decade, they actually sound pretty current, especially on ‘Man With Money’ which has a big, ambitious sound. Listening to it, it’s not at all surprising that it had appeal for groups in the UK (in addition to the Wild Uncertainty, the song was covered by the Eyes (I’m Rowed Out’/’When the Night Falls’) and the Who (in an unreleased version).
I hope you dig the tune, and that you seek out the cover versions which are all excellent.
I’ll be back later in the week with something heavy.
Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a weeklong Hammond Organ 45 Fest!

 

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has actually been updated!

Nino Rota – Cadillac (x2) + Cimitero =?

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Nino Rota

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Federico Fellini

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Listen – Nino Rota – Cadillac (from La Dolce Vita OST) – MP3

Listen – Nino Rota – Cadillac (from 8 1/2 OST) – MP3

Listen – Nino Rota – Cimitero (from 8 1/2 OST) – MP3

Greetings all.
When I left you at the beginning of the week, I promised that I would return with something unusual. I don’t like to disappoint, so here we go.
Is there anyone among us who doesn’t know the name Federico Fellini? The man was one of the greatest directors of the second half of the 20th century, and thanks to his wild vision his last name has become a far reaching adjective (Fellini-esque) used to describe all things surreal. The music I bring you today was written by someone who’s name is likely unknown to most, yet without his contributions Fellini’s cinematic vision might not be as well regarded.
During his 40 year career, the master wrote and directed several films rightly remembered as classics, and for most of that time the soundtrack for those films – absolutely crucial to their artistic success – was provided by Nino Rota.
Rota’s unique melodic palette, mixing classical music, pop, jazz and the sounds of the circus has become by and large inseparable from Fellini’s larger reputation, existing as a kind of invisible character in his films.
Oddly enough, as much as many of Rota’s Fellini themes have entered the larger consciousness, he is best remembered for his theme to ‘The Godfather’.
I first watched Fellini’s films as a pretentious adolescent, convinced that they would lend me a veneer of hipness. That I found the movies at first confusing and largely impenetrable failed to deter me. I’m pretty sure that I assumed that this was how it would always be, convinced that it was enough to have watched the movies, allowing me to drop the name ‘Fellini’ with impunity.
Some years on, when I actually began to “get” movies like ‘8 ½’ and ‘La Dolce Vita’. Finally discovering that they weren’t nearly as dense or confusing as I first thought, what I really fell in love with was the music.
Nino Rota was capable of composing themes that were romantic and mysterious, infusing the images on the screen with extra layers of depth and meaning. One need only watch ‘La Strada’, and listen to the music to realize how perfectly Fellini and Rota worked together.
The tunes I bring you today hail from the soundtracks to ‘La Dolce Vita’ (1960) and ‘8 ½’ (1963). Ironically, though I’d seen both of these films before, the theme of ‘Cadillac’ didn’t jump out at me until I heard it covered by Combustible Edison in the early 90s.
I spent the next few years scouring the “soundtrack” bins of record stores for Rota’s Fellini scores, at first settling for a couple of CD compilations, and eventually finding copies of many of the albums.
Rota was well known for recurring themes in his scores (he was denied an Oscar nomination because it was discovered that the ‘Godfather’ theme recycled an earlier tune), and it’s interesting to hear the two different versions of ‘Cadillac’.
The first, from ‘La Dolce Vita’ is a livelier snapshot of swinging Rome with hints of rock’n’roll, rhumba and jazz. The mellower take on the theme from ‘8 ½’ reflects the change from chaotic nightlife to the reflective, autobiographical world of the latter film.
The third piece of music is one of my favorite parts of the ‘8 ½’ soundtrack. The theme ‘Cimitero’ is haunting and almost ambient. It’s a fantastic example of how Fellini used Rota’s music to give a spooky edge to a seemingly normal scene.
Sadly, many of Rota’s full scores for the Fellini movies are still only available as imports. Most of the soundtracks were released domestically in their day, and though they don’t turn up all that often, when they do they aren’t very expensive.
I hope you dig these sounds, and that you have a great weekend.
See you on Monday.

Peace

Larry

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Dudley Moore – The Real Stuff (+1)

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Dudley Moore

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Listen – Dudley Moore – The Real Stuff – MP3

Listen – Dudley Moore Trio – Unknown Tune from ’30 Is a Dangerous Age Cynthia’ – MP3

Greetings all.
I hope the beginning of a new week finds you all well.
This week is the beginning of something major for yours truly (stop by Funky16Corners for the whole story), that will in all likelihood lead to a less stressful life (which can only be good for the blogging and the creativity and what not).
All of this turmoil makes me want to start the week with something unusual, so, here we go.
Though I suspect that very few of you have never heard of Dudley Moore, I’m pretty sure that a lot of you have no idea that alongside his career as an actor and comedian, he was also a successful musician and composer.
Moore was an accomplished jazz pianist (he recorded in that capacity for several labels) and wrote and performed music for a number of his movies.
The tune(s) I bring you today hail from the soundtrack of the 1967 film ’30 Is a Dangerous Age Cynthia’ in which Moore starred with his future wife Suzy Kendall. Oddly enough, roundabout 20 years ago, when I had my first apartment, this movie was a fixture on Cinemax and I remember watching it several time, and digging the soundtrack. There was one tune in particular that I fell in love with.
It was only recently that I managed to grab a copy of the soundtrack album (after winning the 45 of two of the songs, and having it disappear in the mail). So, the album pops through the mail slot, makes it onto the turntable, and lo and behold the song I was looking for turns out not to have been included on the soundtrack!
There are some cool tunes – including the groovy ‘The Real Stuff’ which I’m posting today – but the instrumental I remembered was nowhere to be found.
So, I set out on the interwebs, and without to long a search happened upon a clip of this very song on Youtube. I put my considerable digi-ma-tization talents to work and created an MP3 (thanks to whoever posted the film clip, which had fairly decent fidelity), and I’m posting it today.
Unfortunately, no one seems to know what the song is called. As I said it’s not on the soundtrack LP, and as far as I can tell isn’t listed in the credits to the film. It may very well be something the Dudley Moore Trio recorded on a studio album, but if that’s the case, I don’t have it.
If anyone knows what it is I’d love to know. Until then, it remains the “unknown song” from ’30 Is a Dangerous Age Cynthia’.
The “known” commodity in today’s post, is the aforementioned ‘Real Stuff’. Moore starts things off in a comedy style, with a tip of the hat to 1920s English pop, taking a sharp left turn into New Orlean-style piano and wild vocals.

I hope you dig both tunes, and I’ll be back later in the week with something even more unsual.
Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for something spiritual from Louis Armstrong (Yes, Louis Armstrong…)

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Guess Who – Shakin’ All Over

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Chad Allan & The Expressions aka Guess Who

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Listen – Guess Who – Shakin’ All Over – MP3

Greetings all.
I hope everyone has had a most excellent week.
Things hereabouts have been somewhat stressful but the wave looks to be breaking and making way for something positive.
The tune I bring you today is a longtime fave of mine; the song itself, and expecially this version.
Back in the day, when I was assaulting the drums and wailing for the Phantom Five, it was not unheard of for the band, once drenched in sweat, ears ringing, eyes popping, to whip a little ‘Shakin’ All Over’ on the assembled multitude (as it was), during which there was much caterwauling, feedback, flash, crash and thunder, as well as the occasional medley/segue into some Bo Diddley, on into even more volume and sometimes, if the proper crescendo had been reached the drums might even have been kicked over as my eyes rolled back into my head.
It was a thing of beauty (at least from my vantage point).
I can’t say for sure if the late, great Johnny Kidd (with the help of his Pirates) had any idea how powerful an instrument he forged upon his anvil, but if you can listen to the opening riff – faithfully recreated in most cover versions – without getting (in the words of the mighty Kidd) quivers down your backbone, you mon frere are asleep at the sensory wheel. This song is perhaps the first great English rock song, and as solid in its 48 year old original version as it was when retooled by countless artists in the ensuing decades.
My all-time favorite cover of ‘Shakin’ All Over’ comes to us courtesy of the group originally known as Chad Allan and the Expressions, who, when they dropped this record were billed on the label as ‘Guess Who?’, the name (after losing the question mark) they would carry with them to years of major chart success.
The Guess Who version of ‘Shakin’ takes the stark vibe of the original and wraps it up in a rolling, reverb soaked overcoat, with a thundering bass and an odd (but likable) tinkling piano.
I’ve always dug how our brethren up north in Canada were – thanks to the BBC – digging on Johnny Kidd and the Shadows and producing their own take on rock and roll. Everyone on the North American continent was digging Chuck Berry, but the folks in the great white north were seasoning their gee-tar twang with a dash of Hank Marvin.
Though I burned up a portion of my high-frequency hearing with the Who’s powerful rendering of this song on ‘Live at Leeds’, once I heard the Guess Who version, it was all over.
You made me shake and I liked it baby.
See you on Monday.
Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some more Latin soul

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has actually been updated!

The Twilighters – Knock On Wood

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Listen – The Twilighters – Knock On Wood – MP3

Greetings all.
I hope everyone had a satisfactory weekend.
It’s cold and gray here in NJ and everyone is in the depths of the post-Holiday doldrums, waiting for the clouds to part, the air to lose its bite and the warmth – both literal and figurative – to return to life.
The tune I bring you today arrives via a 45 I picked up at the Allentown show some years ago (pre portable). It looked interesting, small obscure label, soul cover etc, and was quite inexpensive, so I forked over the dough, added it to my stack and returned to the car for the long, boring ride back to the Jersey Shore.
When I got home I slapped it on the turntable and was both surprised and satisfied that what I had picked up was not obscure soul, but rather a nice, spirited garagey cover of Eddie Floyd’s ‘Knock On Wood’.
In the years since I haven’t been able to track down any info on the Twilighters, nor have I seen anything else on the Peb label.
I have a vague recollection of someone telling me that Peb was a Northeast Pennsylvania label, and that the Twilighters were local to the region, but I haven’t been able to confirm it. I suspect it may be true, and that someone got their hands on a box of these 45s (disseminating them at record shows) because I’ve seen several of them for sale and the price never runs very high.
I like the sound of the record. If the drums are a touch sedate, the combo organ is wailing, the vocal is fairly good, and the production is very clean as these things go.
If anyone has the scoop on the Twilighters, drop us a line.
I’ll be back later in the week with a fave.
Until then.
Peace
Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some Latin soul


PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has actually been updated!

Bobby Callender – I’m Just High On Life

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Bobby Callender

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Listen – Bobby Callender – I’m Just High On Life – MP3

Greetings all.
I’ve decided to close out the week with something supremely far-out, so much so that it ends up sounding like something some Hollywood hack would have extracted from his ass for the soundtrack of an exploitation film.
I don’t remember when I dug up Bobby Callender’s ‘Rainbow’ album, but I do know that it was in the pre-portable days. How any self respecting aficionado of psychedelic music could pass up an album like this (especially for a buck or two), I do not know. One need only take a cursory glance at the cover, with Bobby looking all beatific in his caftan, gazing off into what was probably a cloud composed of equal parts hash smoke, incense and delusion, then glance at the song titles, to know that this particular album was most certainly a relic of a very specific era.
All of these suspicions were of course confirmed as soon as the LP slipped under the stylus and it’s treasures unfolded lotus-like through the speakers of my stereo. I’ve never been able to track down much in the way of hard info on Callender. He recorded a number of 45s in a vocal group/soul style (for Roulette, Coral and Bamboo) in the earlier part of the 60s, and at some point took a hard left turn into hippie-dom. He recorded two albums (in 1968 and 1970) under the aegis of producer Alan Lorber, and with instrumental assistance from Colin Walcott of the group Oregon and NYC session hands like Bernard Purdie and Eric Gale.
The tune I bring you today, ‘I’m Just High On Life’ is a real trip, with Callender vocalizing (often with an odd affect) over sitar and tamboura, with a sound that would seem to indicate that he may have actually been high on several things other than life. Though Callender’s vocals have a tendency to get a little precious at times, ‘I’m Just High On Life’ and the rest of ‘Rainbow’ are a great artifact of their time.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Monday.
Peace
Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a hot Sam & Dave cover


PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has actually been updated!

The Gentrys – Stroll On

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A Long Lost Relative of the Crimson King?

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Listen – The Gentrys – Stroll On – MP3

Greetings all.

I hope the beginning of a New Year finds you well.
The tune I bring you today is something that’s been chilling in my crates for years, and was something of a surprise (and initially disappointment) when I found it.
Back in my garage punk days, the Gentrys loomed semi-large as the group that laid down ‘Keep On Dancing’. Though that record is hardly garage punk, it got lumped into the wider Nuggets-related category due to its chart success. I always dug the tune, and was psyched when I turned up the ‘Keep On Dancing’ LP which did in fact contain some punkish material.
It was during that same period that I turned up the group’s self-titled 1970 LP, from which today’s selection originates. At first glance I figured I had happened upon some psyched-out rarity, and the fact that it was a later rock LP on the Sun label was also intriguing.
Of course, when I got it home (these were after all the pre-portable days) and put needle to wax I discovered that that what I had was in fact fairly standard 1970 hard rock. I was still somewhat pleased with myself for turning up what appeared to be a rarity, but the decided lack of fuzz made me resleeve the disc and put it away.
Silly me, because as the years went on, my hair got longer and my taste for Grand Funk-ery grew, the Festival Circuit sounds of this particular LP got more attractive.
It includes some interesting covers, including Neil Young’s ‘Cinnamon Girl’, Mountain’s ‘South Bound Train’ and today’s selection, the Yardbirds’ ‘Stroll On’.
A cursory listen to the tune will reveal that ‘Stroll On’ is in fact yet another iteration of Tiny Bradshaw’s ‘Train Kept a Rolling’, retitled ‘Stroll On’ when the Yardbirds performed it in Michelangelo Antonioni’s ‘Blow Up’.
The Gentrys give the tune plenty of kick, with a nice bit of unison lead guitar. The production by Sam Phillips’ son Knox has a nice, hard edge to it.
I hope you dig it, and I’llbe back later in the week with something cool.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a couple of soulful Cream covers

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has actually been updated!

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