Monday, March 31, 2014

world shut your mouth

Julian Cope emerged from his sunshine playroom with the introspective elegant chaos of this sinewy psychedelic pop.  With the implosion of the Teardrop Explodes after two albums ('Kilimanjaro' and 'Wilder') and a scraped third ('Everybody Wants to Shag...'), Cope went to to the village of Drayton Bassett near his childhood home of Tamworth to immerse himself in hallucinogenics and his collection of toy cars.  Cope reveals:     "I left Liverpool because I was really kind of, uh, too weirded out. Too close. Yeah, just blew my mind ... My toys are all utterly meaningless to me nowadays. They signify a time when my head was buried in the sand/up my own ass...For all its negative effects, LSD opened my eyes to things which I could not have contemplated without that drug. I never advocated LSD for everyone; that's just stupid. However, I did advocate its use for myself. I still conclude that I was right."  

In October of 1982, Cope ran into his childhood friend Steve Lovell, who was busking in London's Bond Street tube station.  After taking a year off, Mercury pressured Cope to make an album. He and Lovell began working on his first solo album during November of 1983, recording nine songs in nine days and then finishing up after Christmas.  The sessions for 'World Shut Your Mouth' featured Julian Cope on vocals, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, organ, and drum machine;  Steve Lovell on lead guitar and sitar;  and Gary Dwyer on drums;   with Kate St. John on oboe;  Ronnie Fran├žois on bass on "Sunshine Playroom" & "Pussyface";  Stephen Creese on drums on "Sunshine Playroom"; and Andrew Edge on drums on "Lunatic and Fire Pistol".  Two songs from the aborted Teardrop Explodes album were rerecorded for 'World Shut Your Mouth'.  

The album only made it to number forty on the UK album chart.  During a show at Hammersmith Palais for the promotional tour, Cope shocked the audience when he broke a microphone stand and cut himself with the jagged edge.  The incident went a long way towards reinforcing the public perception of him as an acid casualty.  'World Shut Your Mouth' would also become the title of a hit single for Cope two years later as well as the name of a hidden camera show on BBC starring Dom Joly in 2005.

"The Greatness and Perfection of Love" went to number fifty-two in the UK.

       "An Elegant Chaos"

      "Sunshine Playroom"  had a video directed by David Bailey that was so disturbing it was banned.

 'World Shut Your Mouth'
full album:  

1. "Bandy's First Jump"   2:50
2. "Metranil Vavin"   3:00
3. "Strasbourg"   2:25
4. "An Elegant Chaos"   4:03
5. "Quizmaster"   2:56
6. "Kolly Kibber's Birthday"   5:14
7. "Sunshine Playroom"   2:55
8. "Head Hang Low"   5:04
9. "Pussyface"   4:11
10. "The Greatness and Perfection of Love"   3:16
11. "Lunatic and Fire-Pistol"   4:30

 reissue bonus tracks
12. "Wreck My Car"   2:31

13. "High Class Butcher"   3:56

14. "Eat the Poor"   4:25

Sunday, March 30, 2014

breakfast in america

Supertramp turned the tables on questions that run too deep and found their paradise in this rarefied pop regalement.   The group had found some success with their albums 'Crime of the Century' and 'Even in the Quietest Moments...' 
and decided to move to the United States to record their next album.  They produced the album with Peter Henderson at the Village Recorder in Los Angeles.  The sessions featured Rick Davies on keyboards, vocals, and harmonica;  John Helliwell on saxophones, vocals, and woodwinds;  Roger Hodgson on guitars, keyboards, and vocals;  Bob Siebenberg on drums;  Dougie Thomson on bass;  and Slyde Hyde on trombone and tuba.  

The album took eight months to record, which Davies considers “a ridiculous amount of time, really...There’s no real powerhouse musician in the band.  Because of that, I think that we need to be fussy in the production...If I ever did a solo album, I’d just get the best producer I could think of and leave it to him. I skived a lot when we did 'Breakfast In America'. It just gets boring, beyond being any fun at all. You’ll walk in and they’re playing a certain section and five hours later, they’re still on it… but I’m certainly grateful for the results. I would just add to the confusion if I hung about...That title almost allows for pop songs. The actual song, Breakfast In America, doesn’t mean much. Neither do Oh Darling or Goodbye Stranger, so I saw a shape and it fitted...The pop side has always been a part of the group’s character. Maybe it’s been swamped a bit by the Genesis comparison, but it’s always been there. In a way, it’s easier to write minor-key opuses than a really good catchy pop song. That’s not easy at all. Roger has a stack of them a mile high, you know.”

Hodgson opines:     “It’s just a collection of songs. We chose the title because it was a fun title. It suited the fun feeling of the album...We have a reputation now for high quality, so we can’t release bad sound-quality. It’s worthwhile, but if you left me to my own devices, I’d go home with my eight-track stereo recorder and probably put an album out on that...That [sic] albums that I like aren’t of very high recording quality. If you listen to all the Beatles’ stuff, it’s terrible. It was recorded abominably but, because the vibe in it is so nice, you don’t even think about it. We’re doing that slowly. There’s more of a band vibe on 'Breakfast In America' than ever before. In a way that’s what took us so long. We almost lost that, and we spent three months finding it again...I always knew it was going to be a huge album. I knew our time had come and if it hadn’t happened, the big man in the sky was playing a trick on us. I felt that it had to happen, the mere fact that we had to struggle so long for it...The songs on this album were chosen because we really wanted to get a feeling of fun and warmth across. I think we felt that we had done three pretty serious albums...and it was about time we showed the lighter side of ourselves."

'Breakfast in America' became a blockbuster success, going to number three in Italy and the UK; two in Japan and Sweden; and number one in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and the US.  The iconic album cover was designed by Mike Doud and Mick Haggerty and won the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package.  The album also won Best Engineered Album and was nominated for Album of the Year.   'Breakfast in America' has sold more than twenty million copies worldwide.

"The Logical Song" 

When I was young,
It seemed that life was so wonderful,
A miracle, it was beautiful, magical
And all the birds in the trees,
Well they'd be singing so happily,
Joyfully, playfully, watching me
But then they send me away
To teach me how to be sensible,
Logical, responsible, practical
And they showed me a world
Where I could be so dependable,
Clinical, intellectual, cynical
There are times when all the world's asleep
The questions run too deep for such a simple man
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd but please tell me who I am
I said now, watch what you say,
Now we're calling you a radical,
A liberal, fanatical, criminal
Won't you sign up your name,
We'd like to feel you're acceptable,
Respectable, presentable, a vegetable
But at night, when all the world's asleep
The questions run so deep for such a simple man
Won't you please (Won't you tell me),
(You can tell me what) please tell me what we've learned
(Can you hear me?) I know it sounds absurd,
(Won't you help me) please tell me who I am, who I am, who I am, who I am
But I'm thinking so logical
Did you call, one two three four
It's getting unbelievable

"Goodbye Stranger"  

It was an early morning yesterday
I was up before the dawn
And I really have enjoyed my stay
But I must be moving on
Like a king without a castle
Like a queen without a throne
I'm an early morning lover
And I must be moving on, yeah, yeah
Now I believe in what you say
Is the undisputed truth
But I have to have things my own way
To keep me in my youth
Like a ship without an anchor
Like a slave without a chain
Just the thought of those sweet ladies
Sends a shiver through my veins
And I will go on shining
Shining like brand new
I'll never look behind me
My troubles will be few
Goodbye, stranger, it's been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true
Goodbye, Mary, goodbye, Jane
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain
Sweet devotion (Goodbye, Mary)
It's not for me (Goodbye, Jane)
Just give me motion (Will we ever)
To set me free (Meet again?)
In the land and the ocean (Feel no sorrow)
Far away (Feel no shame)
It's the life I've chosen (Come tomorrow)
Every day (Feel no pain)
So goodbye, Mary (Goodbye, Mary)
Goodbye, Jane (Goodbye, Jane)
Will we ever (Will we ever)
Meet again? (Meet again?)
Now some they do and some they don't
And some you just can't tell
And some they will and some they won't
With some it's just as well
You can laugh at my behaviour
And that'll never bother me
Say the devil is my saviour
But I don't pay no heed
And I will go on shining
Shining like brand new
I'll never look behind me
My troubles will be few
Goodbye, stranger, it's been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true
Goodbye, Mary, goodbye, Jane
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain
Sweet devotion (Goodbye, Mary)
It's not for me (Goodbye, Jane)
Just give me motion (Will we ever)
To set me free (Meet again?)
In the land and the ocean (Feel no sorrow)
Far away (Feel no shame)
It's the life I've chosen (Come tomorrow)
Every day (Feel no pain)
So now I'm leaving (Goodbye, Mary)
Got to go (Goodbye, Jane)
Hit the road (Will we ever)
I'll say it once again (Meet again?)
Oh, yes, I'm leaving (Feel so sorrow)
Got to go (Feel no shame)
Got to go (Come tomorrow)
I'm sorry, I must dash (Feel no pain)
So goodbye, Mary (Goodbye, Mary)
Goodbye, Jane (Goodbye, Jane)
Will we ever (Will we ever)
Meet again? (Meet again?)
Oh, I'm leaving
I've got to go

Breakfast in America
full album:

Side one

1. "Gone Hollywood" Rick Davies Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson 5:19
2. "The Logical Song" Roger Hodgson Hodgson 4:07
3. "Goodbye Stranger" Davies Davies 5:46
4. "Breakfast in America" Hodgson Hodgson 2:37
5. "Oh Darling" Davies Davies 3:43
Side two
6. "Take the Long Way Home" Hodgson Hodgson 5:08
7. "Lord Is It Mine" Hodgson Hodgson 4:08
8. "Just Another Nervous Wreck" Davies Davies 4:22
9. "Casual Conversations" Davies Davies 2:56
10. "Child of Vision" Hodgson Hodgson, Davies and John Helliwell 7:24

deluxe edition
Disc 2
1. "The Logical Song (Live at Pavillon de Paris)" Roger Hodgson Hodgson 4:06
2. "Goodbye Stranger (Live at Pavillon de Paris)" Davies Davies 6:11
3. "Breakfast in America (Live at Wembley)" Hodgson Hodgson 3:05
4. "Oh Darling (Live in Miami)" Davies Davies 4:21
5. "Take the Long Way Home (Live at Wembley)" Hodgson Hodgson 4:48
6. "Another Man's Woman (Live at Pavillon de Paris)" Davies Davies 7:32
7. "Even in the Quietest Moments (Live at Pavillon de Paris)" Hodgson Hodgson 5:36
8. "Rudy (Live at Wembley)" Davies Davies and Hodgson 7:29
9. "Downstream (Live at Pavillon de Paris)" Davies Davies 3:28
10. "Give a Little Bit (Live at Pavillon de Paris)" Hodgson Hodgson 4:03
11. "From Now On (Live at Wembley)" Davies Davies 6:53

12. "Child of Vision (Live at Pavillon de Paris)" Hodgson Hodgson, Davies and Helliwell 7:32

Saturday, March 29, 2014

the progressive blues experiment

Johnny Winter's first album of raw and ragged Texas blues was finally released just weeks before his major label debut.  Johnny and his younger brother Edgar were exposed to music at a very young age and encouraged with instruments.  Winter remembers:     “That would have been my Mother, who played piano at Church and the social gatherings around our town; she had a special touch that I’ve never heard since and when I was very young I acquired a clarinet that I struggled to get a tune out of; and then received a ukulele for my 9th birthday and when I was 12 I got a guitar and that changed my life. I would buy a new record every weekend from the 5 and Dime and spend hours trying to copy the players on the discs...It wasn’t long before I got my first electric guitar and a tiny speaker and began forming bands at school. We didn’t get to see many live acts but I do remember seeing Ray Charles and later Fats Domino who were both great; but the most memorable night was when BB King came to a club called the Raven when I was 17. Arrogantly I kept asking if I could join him on stage for a jam; eventually he asked if I had a Union card; when I produced one from my pocket he graciously allowed me on stage. I only played one number but I got a standing ovation!...It still took a few years of playing every club around but we finally got a recording contract and released 'The Progressive Blues Experiment' in 67 and then signed for Columbia and recorded the 'Johnny Winter' album in early 1969."

Winter was discovered by  Bill Josey Sr., co-founder of Austin-based Sonobeat Records, while playing at the Vulcan Gas Company on Congress Avenue.  It was at the Vulcan that they decided to record  'The Progressive Blues Experiment' during the day when there was no audience.  They recorded live with the trio of Johnny Winter on guitars (acoustic, electric and slide), harmonica, mandolin, and vocals;  Uncle John Turner on drums and percussion;  and Tommy Shannon on bass guitar.  Two acoustic tracks were recorded on a brand new four track at the Josey residence on Western Hills Drive in Northwest Austin with Johnny solo on National steel standard guitar, mandolin, mouth harp, and vocals.  Winter took an advance pressing of the album with him on a UK tour where he met Blue Horizon Records owners Mike and Richard Vernon who wanted to distribute the album outside of the US; but, before that could happen, Winter signed a lucrative deal with Columbia Records.  While he was recording a new album for Columbia in Nashville, Sonobeat sold rights to  'The Progressive Blues Experiment'  to Liberty Records who released it on its Imperial label at the end of March 1969.  The album made it to number forty on the US album chart. 

 'The Progressive Blues Experiment' 
full album:

1. Rollin' And Tumblin' (McKinley Morganfield) 

2. Tribute To Muddy (Johnny Winter) 
3. I Got Love If You Want It (J. Moore) 
4. Bad Luck And Trouble (Johnny Winter) 
5. Help Me (R. Bass/S. Williamson ) 
6. Mean Town Blues (Johnny Winter)
7. Broke Down Engine (Arr. & Adapted by Johnny Winter) 
8. Black Cat Bone (Johnny Winter) 
9. It's My Own Fault (King /Taub)
10. Forty-Four (C. Burnett) 
bonus tracks: 
11. Mean Town Blues (single version) 
12. Black Cat Bone (single version)

at Woodstock

Friday, March 28, 2014

starless and bible black

King Crimson explored the darkness with the chaotic free jazz noise, delicate atonal ambience, and heavy fractured funk of these (mostly) extemporized virtuoso performances.  During the tour for their mystical masterpiece 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic', the group recorded improvised pieces that would form the basis of 'Starless and Bible Black'.  The album features the lineup of Robert Fripp on guitar, mellotron, electric piano, and other "devices";  John Wetton on bass and vocals;  Bill Bruford on drums and percussion;  and David Cross on violin, viola, mellotron, and electric piano.   Most of the live tracks were recorded in November 1973 at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam with studio tracks and overdubs done at AIR Studios in London.  

Fripp expressed at the time:     "What we do live is maybe just say, 'Bill, you just start playing, and we'll follow you.' But since this band isn't very sensitive or interested in listening to everyone playing, the improvisation in the band at the moment is extremely limited and more concerned with individuals showing off than in developing any kind of community improvisation ... If you listen to King Crimson's records you realize that the guitar playing has always been one of the smallest things that the band does. One of the reasons for that is I've always been more happy in developing the other musicians; developing them as players. So I guess my function has been more of a general organizer of the situation. However, at the moment I'm more interested in playing guitar, and I find it most frustrating that I can't make the other players in the band take as much interest in my playing as I do in theirs." 

During the ensuing tour, Cross would leave the group in frustration as he was drowned out by the thunderous rhythm section:   "I had quite different perspectives on music than Bill or John and felt very much in tune with Robert’s rhythmic and tonal ideas. Bill particularly went to great lengths to help me understand what he was doing. Socially, Robert didn’t drink and kept himself to himself so I probably spent more down time with Bill and John, particularly John, who enjoyed a party ... There was less and less room for musical doubt, ambiguity, vulnerability; the more sensitive expressions that had been sustainable at the beginning of the band were not there at the end. There was also less humour. On the other hand Bill and John achieved an incredibly powerful and imaginative coalition; they couldn’t understand why their front line didn’t want to constantly wail over the top it."

"The Great Deceiver"  


King Crimson - Lament from Leo Lopes 108 on Vimeo.

"The Mincer" 


King Crimson - Fracture by perostoppogno

'Starless and Bible Black'
full album:

Side A
1. "The Great Deceiver" John Wetton, Robert Fripp, Richard Palmer-James 4:02
2. "Lament" Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 4:00
3. "We'll Let You Know" (instrumental) David Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bill Bruford 3:46
4. "The Night Watch" Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 4:37
5. "Trio" (instrumental) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford 5:41
6. "The Mincer" Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Palmer-James 4:10
Side B
7. "Starless and Bible Black" (instrumental)Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford 9:11
8. "Fracture" (instrumental) Fripp 11:14

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Run–D.M.C. ushered in the new school of hip hop with hard beats and hard rhymes for hard times.  The trio of  Joseph "Run" Simmons, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, and Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell grew up together in Hollis, Queens.  With the help of Joseph's older brother hip hop promoter Russell Simmons, the group secured a contract with Profile Records and released their first single 'It's Like That'/'Sucker MC's', which revolutionized rap with its hardcore streetwise sound and embrace of rock.  Likewise, their adoption of street fashion helped to define hip hop style for decades.  Simmons considers:  "There were guys that wore hats like those and sneakers with no shoestrings. It was a very street thing to wear, extremely rough. They couldn’t wear shoelaces in jail and we took it as a fashion statement. The reason they couldn’t have shoelaces in jail was because they might hang themselves."

Their self titled debut album was recorded at Greene Street Recording in New York with Russell Simmons and Larry Smith co-producing with engineer Rod Hui.   'Run–D.M.C.' features Jam Master Jay on percussion and keyboards,  Darryl McDaniels "D.M.C." on vocals,  Joseph Simmons "Run" on vocals,  and Eddie Martinez on guitar.   

'Run–D.M.C.' went to number fifty-three on the US album chart and twelve on the US R&B chart.  It became the first rap album to be certified gold and was a huge influence on the next wave of hip hop.  McDaniels waxes:     "It's important to remember: when Run DMC came along, we kicked the door wide open, and we left it open. We weren’t one of those groups that said: 'Yo, Russell,  since we’re here, man, don’t sign that person, or don’t follow that person!' When we went to Long Island and saw Chuck D with this incredible voice, me and Jay was like, 'God has come to us from heaven to rock the mic.' And then we see this other cat over there, sitting there with a clock on his neck answering the telephone. We said: 'Yo, sign him.' What I’m trying to say is this: when Run DMC obtained the dynasty that nobody could touch, we still were all inclusive. Hip-hop is supposed to be all inclusive – not this bulls**t that these stupid ass labels say. Think about it like this: Run DMC, LL Cool J, Tribe Called Quest, and Public Enemy, we all lived about five blocks from each other, but we all were completely different. So many labels are out here claiming to have the number-one clique and signing people attached to a particular artist. That really messes up the game!  I remember I sat down with Suge Knight. And Suge Knight said: 'Man, you know what is the most powerful thing about seeing you cats come over to the West Coast? Seeing all of us rolling together. It wasn’t done on a separatist thing and that was dope.' That’s why hip-hop did what it did, because it was all inclusive."

'It's Like That' went to number fifteen on the US R&B singles chart.

Sucker M.C.'s

Rock Box
DMC:  "The first rock rap record was “Rock Box” which was the first rap video to be aired on MTV. We didn’t even have MTV in Hollis. But everybody was like this is a phenomenal thing. Run DMC, you know, Russell and the label and everybody was jumping around. I mean, it was like, 'So? Can we just rock?'"

full album:

01.Hard Times 
02.Rock Box 
03.Jam-Master Jay
04.Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)
05. Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1)
06. It's Like That 
07. Wake Up 
08. 30 Days 
09. Jay's Game 
10. Rock Box (B-Boy Mix) 
11. Here We Go (Live At The Funhouse) 
12. Sucker M.C.'s (Live)
13. Russell & Larry Running At The Mouth 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

happy trails

Quicksilver Messenger Service corralled their improvisational acid rock rodeo show for this legendary psychedelic guitar shootout.  The band had established themselves in the San Francisco music scene early on in 1965; but didn't get a record deal for years.  Their self titled debut came out in 1968; but failed to capture the intensity of their live performances.  

'Happy Trails' was taken from live performances at Fillmore East in New York and Fillmore West in San Francisco and features John Cipollina on guitar and vocals;  Gary Duncan on guitar and vocals;  Greg Elmore on drums, percussion, and vocals;  and David Freiberg on bass, piano, and vocals.  Cipollina would reveal:   "We recorded two concerts in New York and two concerts in San Francisco.  Most of that album was taken from one of the New York concerts."

Duncan looks back:   "What we were doing in the Sixties with Quicksilver—I don’t know about any of the other groups because I wasn’t in them—was improvising on all of the tunes that we did. We would find a tune that we liked the beat to or the chord changes to and we would play it and we would improvise on it. So we were essentially playing jazz, that’s what jazz is : improvised music. You find a piece, you play it as it is so the audience can hear the way it goes and then you improvise on it, take them over here, and then you come back to the melody again so they can say “well that was a nice place to go to.” You continually experiment with different ways to go outside : harmonic devices, that’s what John Coltrane called them. There’s a lot of other melodic places to go besides the standard, right-up-the-middle ones.   In Quicksilver we played a lot of old blues and folk tunes and improvised. We had our own arrangements and had open places where we would just wail. ‘Cause we were so stoned all the time anyway, on acid and everything else, that sitting down and just playing one tune for three or four hours was nothin’. That was no big deal whatsoever. At rehearsals we’d sit there and play for seven, eight hours straight, ten hours. We’d play ‘til we’d just fall over and the hands were bleeding. I’d go in the rehearsal place and take a bunch of amphetamine and some LSD and just play for like a day and a half. And end up in the weirdest fucking places, not knowing whether or not if it was actually any good or not, but being there. In those days they didn’t have all the equipment that they’ve got now for guitars. We had to come up with ways to make sounds that now you can just push a button. We came up with feedback sounds and ways to hit the body to get the guitar to do stuff."   

'Happy Trails' peaked at number twenty-seven on the US album chart and seemed to answer the questions of who, when, where, how, and which do you love; posed in the extended jam based on Bo Diddley's 'Who Do You Love?' that comprises all of side one; with 'Mona', another Diddley tune that melts into 'Maiden of the Cancer Moon' and then 'Calvary'.  The Dale Evans cover that gives the album its title whistles and winks at the end of a very good trip.

01. Who Do You Love, Pt. 1 0:00  (Ellas McDaniel)
02. When You Love 3:32 (Gary Duncan)
03. Where You Love 8:47 (John Cipollina, Duncan, Greg Elmore, David Freiberg)
04. How You Love 14:54 (Cipollina)
05. Which Do You Love 17:40 (Freiberg)
06. Who Do You Love, Pt. 2 22:19 (McDaniel)
07. Mona 28: 10 (McDaniel)
08. Maiden of the Cancer Moon 35:11 (Duncan)
09. Calvary 38:03 (Duncan)
10. Happy Trails 51:37  (Dale Evans)