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Old 04-08-2009, 03:27 AM   #81 (permalink)
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The Doors - Waiting For The Sun
(1968)



Tracks

1 Hello, I Love You 2:22
2 Love Street 3:06
3 Not to Touch the Earth 3:54
4 Summer's Almost Gone 3:20
5 Wintertime Love 1:52
6 The Unknown Soldier 3:10
7 Spanish Caravan 2:58
8 My Wild Love 2:50
9 We Could Be So Good Together 2:20
10 Yes, the River Knows 2:35
11 Five to One 4:22


Los Angeles' finest The Doors released their third album on the back of breaking the UK market with a new catchy song, only to find themselves caught between being far too underground for mass consumption and all the while being a tad too overly commercial for their hardcore audience.

Waiting for The Sun was released in the summer of 1968 on Elektra Records, it saw The Doors release material of a much more laid back nature than their previous two efforts, with it having mixed results on the buying public. Much has been made of the inclusion of their big UK smash Hello I Love You, a song previously recorded on a 1965 demo tape, here it is the opening track on this album three years later, aside from the criticism surrounding its inclusion, on its own it remains an excellent song.

Track two on the album is much more in line with the general mood of the album; Love Street is the classic Doors meets ballad, giving Morrison free range to be as beautiful as ever creating laid back gold. This actually occurs throughout the album, Summer's Almost Gone, Wintertime Love and Yes The River Knows are songs which I can only describe as lovely, with Robby Krieger on guitar and Ray Manzarek on keys creating the backdrop needed for their charismatic front man to deliver.



It should also be said that there are some classic oddball Doors' tunes to be had on this album too, noticeably with Track 3, the brilliant Not To Touch The Earth and the antiwar song The Unknown Soldier, both of which are a fine listen. Incidentally track 3 was to play a bigger part in the album than it actually did in the end. This song is actually just a section of a much larger song enitled Celebration of The Lizard, which actually featured in full on a later live album.

The criticisms of this album are not unknown to other bands from throughout history. This third album was trying to be all things to all men, but in the end it found itself in no mans land, not driving home the bands new found international fame after Hello I Love You with mainstream audiences, and dividing hardcore Doors fans who just wanted another 1967 album, or at least an album with the full version of Celebration of The Lizard on it.

But enough of this negativity, that was then and this is now, with hindsight what we have here is actually The Doors maturing somewhat and generally creating a more refined sound. In 2 years time the band would release the much-celebrated Morrison Hotel, I would argue that without this third album, The Doors wouldn't be able to have done such work in 1970. This album at the end of the day has a hit, spookiness, gorgeousness, is rich and all the while maintains an edgy quality, that's surely all you can ask for from a Doors record really.

So not as bad as has been said by critics in the past and as with all Doors' albums, turn the lights off and listen to it in the dark, Marvellous.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:42 AM   #82 (permalink)
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John Mayall - The Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
(1966)



Tracks

1. All Your Love 3:36
2. Hideaway 3:17
3. Little Girl 2:37
4. Another Man 1:45
5. Double Crossing Time 3:04
6. What'd I Say 4:29
7. Key to Love 2:09
8. Parchman Farm 2:24
9. Have You Heard 5:56
10. Ramblin' on My Mind 3:10
11. Steppin' Out 2:30
12. It Ain't Right 2:42


John Mayall was the Macclesfield lad who would become the elder statesman of the British Blues. He was the founder and leader of a band with the ultimate revolving door policy for its members, they were known as The Blues Breakers. Much has been written about some of the band members who have cut their cloth under Mayall, to this very day fans are still arguing as to who was the greatest guitarist to play with The Blues Breakers.

After successfully recording his debut with his live LP, John Mayall Plays John Mayall released in 1965, Mayall embarked on a studio album. John McVie on Bass and Hughie Flint on drums maintained their roles from that first LP, however a new guitarist was enlisted to replace the departing Roger Dean. Disenfranchised with the pop direction his band was going in, Eric Clapton left The Yardbirds and found a Blues haven under the wings of John Mayall, joining the band in 1965 to become one of the many greats to play in The Blues Breakers line-up

In 1966, The Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton was released on the Decca Record Label. And to be honest, everything you think this album should be, it truly is. Contained within are some of the finest original and covered Blues numbers ever to be produced from Britain. But one thing is for sure, Clapton, or "God" as he was known at this time in history, most definitely imposed his style all over this record to wonderous effects.



The genius though of this record is it simplicity and the lack of over production. On listening to this record, you are instantly taken to a smoky London basement where this band is performing these numbers on a stage just for you. Credit must go to the producer Mike Vernon for the natural feel of this record.

Clapton a couple of months after this release would leave The Blues Breakers, and Mayall would get his hands on yet another guitar wonder kid, Peter Green. But that year spent playing the clubs with Mayall, left Clapton with the impotence to achieve anything he wanted, and that he certainly did do with Cream.

Originally twelve tracks, subsequent reissues have now stretched this record to twenty-four songs, all of which presents an absolute feast of British Blues from a group of musicians at the top of their game. There is really no danger of you playing this record and feeling disappointed, a proper treat.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:38 AM   #83 (permalink)
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^^^

Brilliant album. Apparently Clapton was a nightmare on the recording of this album due to him constantly having his amp louder than the rest of the band but paradoxically was essential to the sound he got on the album. I think it's the best thing he's ever done by far.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:33 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCellarTapes View Post
I was nuts about the Doors when I was a kid. Not so much these days, but I still like them a lot. Oddly enough, this was the album I never actually bothered to get on CD (those were days!). I'll be checking this one out soonish.

Another great review btw.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:49 AM   #85 (permalink)
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The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground LP
(1969)



Tracks

1 Candy Says 4:04
2 What Goes On 4:55
3 Some Kinda Love 4:03
4 Pale Blue Eyes 5:41
5 Jesus 3:24
6 Beginning to See the Light 4:41
7 I'm Set Free 4:04
8 That's the Story of My Life 2:04
9 The Murder Mystery 8:56
10 After Hours 2:07



The Velvet Underground’s self titled third album marked a directional change for the band who had already demonstrated a knack for producing raw and avant-garde material of an exceptional nature. In 1968 on the eve of recording this album, The Velvets lost a key member of the band in Welsh bassist, John Cale, but with Reed still in place and in the prime of his life artistically, there really was no danger of this album being anything other than marvellous.

Recorded in Hollywood, California in 1968 and released on The Verve record label in 1969, The Velvet Underground LP saw the band move to a more controlled and relaxed vibe than was apparent on their first two outings. Gone are the distortions, the sporadic pulsating Tucker drums, and the whaling violin. In their place is a sparse and sensitive sound, but still with the very simplistic production style truly unique to The Velvet Underground.

The album begins with the strikingly beautiful Candy Says, a haunting song which is so simple it is untrue, as a song it is very reminiscent of Sunday Morning from the bands first album, but I tend to think Candy Says is the better of the two songs due to it not even trying to be gorgeous but simply because it naturally is.

The album then moves forward with What Goes On, this song is more in line with previous Velvet Underground albums, but again is missing touches that would have no doubt gone into the song if recorded in 1967 and with input from Cale. Far from this being a negative point, I feel the lack of avant-garde moments here as a natural progression for the band. Indeed What Goes On really is no bad song; in fact it’s a pretty belting number.



By now you should realise that this album is no White Light/White Heat or indeed a Velvet Underground and Nico, it is however just as exceptional. With Pale Blue Eyes, Jesus and Some Kind of Love, again The Velvet Underground demonstrate their new style for the relaxed and elegant which oozes throughout this record.

There is one more classic Velvet Underground moment with track 6; Beginning To See The Light, like What Goes On, it has all the basics which would have been invaded by fuzz, pounding drums and a whaling violin a couple of years previous, but here on this 1969 outing, this song is stripped down and instead of relying on the avant garde it focuses instead on the performance of Lou Reed, which it should be said on this song is one of his best vocals to date.

My favourite Velvet Underground song can also be found on this record on Track 7; I’m Set Free is a special song, like the rest of the album it is understated, but the lyrics combined with the vocals from Reed, backed with the basic drums of Tucker, you can feel this song getting more and more captivating as it progresses and marches forward, brilliant stuff.

The album finishes with the pretty After Hours, with the innocent and sweet vocals of drummer Maureen Tucker. This song rounds off this album nicely. 43 minutes of sheer warmth and glow which most mainstream and hardcore audiences probably never knew the band had in them. This is Reed's moment in the sun and he does not disappoint, committing to vinyl one of the most innocent, sincere and beautiful albums ever recorded.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:53 AM   #86 (permalink)
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Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde
(1966)



Tracks

1 Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 4:36
2 Pledging My Time 3:50
3 Visions of Johanna 7:33
4 One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later) 4:54
5 I Want You 3:07
6 Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again 7:05
7 Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat 3:58
8 Just Like a Woman 4:52
9 Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine) 3:30
10 Temporary Like Achilles 5:02
11 Absolutely Sweet Marie 4:57
12 4th Time Around 4:35
13 Obviously 5 Believers 3:35
14 Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands 11:20


The first album that The Cellar Tapes radio show ever featured; Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan, released in 1966 on Columbia, marked the end of Bob Dylan’s creative spell for the mid sixties, concluding the holy trinity of Dylan masterpieces with yet another exceptional release.

One of the first double vinyl releases; Blonde on Blonde was the follow up to 1965’s Highway 61 Revisited. It marked a transition from the garage blues sound found on his previous two releases, towards a more rounded and defined sound incorporating melody with a more folk rock finish. Produced once again by Bob Johnston in Nashville, it is arguably Dylan’s finest moment taking his output to a more mature and controlled level.

The album begins in bizarre fashion, with the rousing brass number, Rainy Day Women Nos. 12&35, the lyrical content, is shall we say, “controversial”, but its difficult to find a song where Dylan is this jovial. This opener is in stark contrast to the lovingly handsome songs which follow; Pledging My Time and Visions of Johanna feel more akin to Another Side of Bob Dylan or The Freewheelin’ than the electric Dylan, but saying that they still feel quite at home on this album. Later in this immense work he continues this vibe with the elegant Just Like a Woman, a lovely song.

Track four takes us to One of Us Must Know which it must be said is classic bitchy Dylan, but with a twist, believe it or not in this song there’s a touch of remorse to the vocals and lyrics, again providing yet further evidence that Dylan with this release was well and truly on the top of his game.



This song is followed with probably one of Dylan’s most poppiest moments to date; I Want You is an upbeat song which is rather pleasant even for you reluctant Bob Dylan listeners out there. As with the previous two albums, there are some moments for The Band to shine also, particular with Leopard-Skin Pill-box Hat and Obviously 5 Believers.

And not forgetting the unbelievably marvellous Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine),which brings the brass section back into the studio, this song for me combines everything that is good about Dylan, my favourite song on this record. The album finishes with the 11 minute 20 Sad Eyed Lady of The Lowlands, which on paper appears long having side four all to itself, but when caught in the mood of the album it may actually be a tad short.

Containing filthy blues, gentle beauty, biting lyrics, soft vocals and classic Dylan imagery; this album is the sum of all the best bits from the previous six albums. My view is that of all his albums it is probably the best record to get introduced to the man’s legendary yet diverse styles. From here there was yet more and more layers added to the Bob Dylan repertoire for delivery, but for me, although coming close in previous and later years, he will never top this moment in 1966.
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:55 PM   #87 (permalink)
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The Pretty Things - Get The Picture?
(1965)



Tracks

1 You Don't Believe Me 2:23
2 Buzz the Jerk 1:54
3 Get the Picture? 1:55
4 Can't Stand the Pain 2:41
5 Rainin' in My Heart 2:30
6 We'll Play House 2:33
7 You'll Never Do It Baby 2:26
8 I Had a Dream 2:58
9 I Want Your Love 2:16
10 London Town 2:26
11 Cry to Me 2:51
12 Gonna Find a Substitute 2:57
13 Get a Buzz 4:01
14 Sittin' All Alone 2:47
15 Midnight to Six Man 2:19
16 Me Needing You 1:58
17 Come See Me 2:38
18 L.S.D. 4:58


Standing, or collapsing in some cases, seamlessly more primal and dirtier than The Rolling Stones, The Pretty Things in the mid sixties were the ultimate band for scaring not just the parents, but also shocking the entire fabric of British society. In later weeks, we will of course be visiting The Pretty Things self-titled debut in 1965, but today it is to the follow up, Get The Picture? released on Fontana Records in December 1965.

The Pretty Things had already established themselves at Fontana for being totally uncontrollable and mercilessly unapproachable in the recording studio, The Pretties therefore found themselves having the freedom to sound pretty much as they saw fit, a luxury that many of their peers at the time could only dream of.

The Pretty Things’ self-titled debut in 1965 was an extremely raw outing, the musical equivalent of carpet-bombing. With Get The Picture? we begin to see a real development of the band towards control and using their arsenal for to-the-bone R&B in a more humane way, if such a thing could ever exist.

The album begins with the soft and gentle-ish You Don’t Believe Me, which is actually quite timid for this band but with the snarling vocals of Phil May, its unquestionably a Pretty Things attempt to try and at least be tender, but by Track Two the true nature of the beast is unveiled with Buzz The Jerk with its dirty bass riff, the filthy guitar of Taylor and almost sinister vocals, proper!



The title track then follows in a similar vein, and should set you up nicely for what else is contained within the vast majority of this album. We’ll Play House, Rainin’ In My Heart and LSD (That’s right, in 1965) all have that hard edged aggresive approach not matched by many British bands at the time.

Other highlights include Cant Stand The Pain, which undoubtedly shows hints of the promise that this band will fulfil in later releases. This is further exemplified with London Town, with the vocal style of May definitely having an impact on Peter Doherty of Libertines fame in later life.

As is the way, in later years there have been extended reissues of this album to include the glorious singles and rarities The Pretty Things were also recording at the time this album was made, the best of which is the pure filth of Come See Me, this really is an outstanding version.

I don’t think I am alone, but since my first listen, I have always loved the way The Pretty Things produced their early stuff, particularly here with this album, there is no over production if any, there is no thrills, no tricks and no conning of the audience, its just proper Rhythm and Blues in its purest form, and for me, that’s all you can ask for really.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:17 PM   #88 (permalink)
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The Kaleidoscope - Tangerine Dream
(1967)



Tracks

1 Kaleidoscope
2 Please Excuse My Face
3 Dive into Yesterday
4 Mr. Small, The Watch Repairer Man
5 Flight from Ashiya
6 The Murder of Lewis Tollani
7 (Further Reflections) in the Room of Percussion
8 Dear Nellie Goodrich
9 Holiday Maker
10 A Lesson Perhaps
11 The Sky Children
12 Flight from Ashiya
13 Holiday Maker
14 A Dream for Julie
15 Please Excuse My Face
16 Jenny Artichoke
17 Just How Much You Are

Coming out of Acton in West London, The Kaleidoscope were initially signed to Fontana for 12 months in 1967. The story is that on listening to the band’s first set of sessions, Leslie Gould (MD of Fontana’s parent, Philips) was dismayed by the laxness of the label and demanded that The Kaleidoscope’s contract be extended for a further four years.

The Kaleidoscope on being signed got to work on their debut album, staying long into the night perfecting the sound and at the same time earning the reputation for being the hardest working band at Fontana. Despite the shaky start with the label, it became very apparent that the entire company had become slightly obsessed with The Kaleidoscope, indeed championing them as the sound of tomorrow.

Despite a couple of initial singles doing nothing in the charts, the label pushed ahead and quite rightly released The Kaleidoscope’s debut album in November 1967; Tangerine Dream was and still is nothing short of brilliant. The band was rightfully delighted with the record, the label was smitten with it and disc jockeys couldn’t get enough of it. Yet like so many bands on The Cellar Tapes, the album is now largely forgotten and cast to the crates for the collectors.



So what does the sound of tomorrow sound like in 1967, a year which afterall gave us Piper at The Gates and Sgt Pepper? Well Tangerine Dream is certainly just as special and due to its whimsical and fairytale like nature, it does stand away from these two other seminal releases from that year.

When you listen to the truly beautiful Sky Children and the equally lovely Dear Nellie Goodrich, you cannot help but sit there in a cold sweat mulling over why this band is not held in the same esteem as some of their more illustrious peers.

This album in my eyes is the standard for what people consider to be British Psychedelia, its nonsense that hardly anyone knows this fact. All the songs are lovingly produced with excellent orchestral arrangements, whimsical lyrics, gorgeous harmonies and easily accessible music experimentation. From Dive into Yesterday, Flight from Ashiya and Dream for Julie, the material here really does stand the test of time.

After the release The Kaleidoscope toured and toured and toured, crisscrossing Europe, all the while receiving the staunch backing of the label and critics alike, but still sales were low. It was at this point that the label suggested maybe a single should be written and released quick, and despite the band not necessarily being tuned to that style of writing, a belting single was indeed released Jenny Artichoke. The stations once again lapped it up, but yet again it failed to sell.......WHY???

But thankfully this failure stopped with the public, Fontana sanctioned a second LP, the equally brilliant Faintly Blowing. As I said in the review for that album, as music lovers we do have the power to readdress these crimes of history; it is no exaggeration to say that The Kaleidoscope has proven with this debut and their follow up, that they no doubt deserve your attention at the next possible opportunity, spread the word.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:22 PM   #89 (permalink)
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'the musical equivalent of carpet-bombing' haha. I am aware of their early material's reputation, but the earliest album I have by them is the tame, mostly terrible label-compromise album 'Emotions' from '67. I got it just cause the cover looked cool, but when you hear it you realise that was probably picked by the label too because it was 'groovy'.
Just take away the raucousness of that early stuff and the bleak and experimental album that we all know, force a string section and a brass section and some horrible lyrics on them and you have that album.
So yeah it's nice to read about the good stuff!
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:50 AM   #90 (permalink)
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Now I don’t tend to media whore that much on this forum (if you excuse the signature obviously), but something very much related to this journal is occurring this Monday.

On the 4th of May it’s going to be the last ever Cellar Tapes radio show for a Monday night, but don’t despair……it will be going all Prime Time on a Saturday night from the 9th of May, oh yes!

So to celebrate a fabulous year of playing the weird and wonderful from the 1960’s, this Mondays show is a Cellar Dwellers Special, as I count down the top nine most underrated bands from the 1960’s and try to be as informative as is possible.

It really is something not to be missed!

The Cellar Dwellers Special
Monday 4th May

2pm - Los Angeles
5pm - New York
10pm - UK
11pm - Europe

Live Stream
http://www.pureradio.org.uk/silo/fil...-streaming.m3u


Thanks MB as always
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