Monday, March 30, 2015


Genesis found a collaborative balance with the loose conceptual art rock explorations of this progressive pop purification.    After the tour for ...And Then There Were Three... the trio went their separate ways as Phil Collins moved to Vancouver, Canada to work on his marriage with Andrea Bertorelli.  In the meantime, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford began working on their respective solo releases, A Curious Feeling and Smallcreep's Day, . With his marriage in shambles, Collins returned to his home in Shalford, Surrey; reunited with jazz fusion band Brand X; and started work on demos for his first solo album Face Value.

Banks and Rutherford joined Collins at Shalford where they began writing music together for their next album 'Duke'.   The sessions took place during late 1979.  They were produced by David Hentschel  and Genesis at Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden and featured  Tony Banks on keyboards, 12-string guitar, and background vocals;   Phil Collins on drums, percussion, lead and backing vocals, and drum machine;   and   Mike Rutherford on guitars, bass guitar, bass pedals, and background vocals.  with  David Hentschel on backing vocals, production, audio engineering.

 'Duke' traveled to number twenty-two in Australia, fourteen in Austria, twelve in the Netherlands; eleven in the US, nine in Sweden, four in France and Norway, three in Switzerland, two in Germany, and number one in the UK.

"Turn It On Again" was a top ten hit in the UK.  

"Misunderstanding" became a top twenty breakthrough hit for the band in the US, peaking at number fourteen.  In Canada it went to the top of the pop chart.

Genesis - Misunderstanding by Salut-les-copains

"Duke Suite"

full album:

Side one
00:00 "Behind the Lines"   Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford 5:31
05:31 "Duchess"   Banks, Collins, Rutherford 6:40
12:08 "Guide Vocal"   Banks 1:18
13:29 "Man of Our Times"   Rutherford 5:35
19:04 "Misunderstanding"   Collins 3:11
22:19 "Heathaze"   Banks 5:00
Side two
27:19 "Turn It On Again"   Banks, Collins, Rutherford 3:50
31:11 "Alone Tonight"   Rutherford 3:54
35:08 "Cul-de-sac"   Banks 5:02
40:13 "Please Don't Ask"   Collins 4:00
44:15 "Duke's Travels"   Banks, Collins, Rutherford 8:41
52:53 "Duke's End"   Banks, Collins, Rutherford 2:04


live at the Lyceum 1980

Deep In The Motherlode 5'36"
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight (Excerpt) 1'53"
Carpet Crawlers 5'25"
Squonk 7'37"
One For The Vine 15'26"
Behind The Lines 5'23"
Duchess 7'01"
Guide Vocal 1'26"
Turn It On Again 4'49"
Duke's Travels 7'14"
Duke's End 4'52"
Say It's Alright Joe 10'54"
The Lady Lies 6'15"
Ripples (Pt. 2) 5'19"
In The Cage 7'32"
Slippermen 1'05"
Afterglow 4'39"
Follow You Follow Me 4'27"
Dance On A Volcano 5'31"
Los Endos 7'18"
I Know What I Like 9'49"

Sunday, March 29, 2015

katy lied

Steely Dan went searching for the song in hot licks and rhetoric and almost dug themselves a hole with this slick and sophisticated stridulating jazz pop excavation.   The band had seen numerous lineup changes with each of their first three albums (Can't Buy a Thrill in 1972,  Countdown to Ecstasy in 1973,  and  Pretzel Logic in 1974) with songwriters Walter Becker and Donald Fagen remaining the only full time members remaining for the recording of 'Katy Lied'.  The sessions took place at ABC Recording Studios in Los Angeles and featured    Donald Fagen on vocals, piano, keyboards, and saxophone;   Walter Becker on bass and guitar (solo on "Black Friday", "Bad Sneakers");   Jeff Porcaro on drums on all songs except "Any World (That I'm Welcome To)";   Michael Omartian and David Paich on pianos and keyboards;   Wilton Felder and Chuck Rainey on bass guitars;   Victor Feldman on percussion;  Hugh McCracken on guitar;   Denny Dias on guitar (solo on "Your Gold Teeth II");   Rick Derringer on guitar (solo on "Chain Lightning");   Dean Parks on guitar (solo on "Rose Darling");   Elliott Randall on guitar (solo on "Throw Back the Little Ones");   Larry Carlton on guitar on "Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More";   Jimmie Haskell on horn & horn arrangement on "Throw Back the Little Ones";   Bill Perkins on horn on "Throw Back the Little Ones";   Phil Woods on alto saxophone solo on "Doctor Wu";   Hal Blaine on drums on "Any World (That I'm Welcome To)";   Michael McDonald on background vocals;   and  Myrna Matthews, Sherlie Matthews, and Carolyn Willis on background vocals on "Everyone's Gone to the Movies".  'Katy Lied' was produced by Gary Katz;   engineered by Roger Nichols;   mastered by Rick Collins; and arranged by Jimmie Haskell;   with sound consultant Dinky Dawson; and consultant Daniel Levitin.  

Fagan fumes:  "We had a problem with Katy Lied from a technical standpoint. We went through a noise-reduction system which had just come out on the market and it ruined our record; it broke our record and as Walter says, the moral is don't be so hasty to use the latest and the greatest piece of equipment."

Katz gripes:   “We had to decide whether we were just going to scrap the album or put it out.  It was suffered 85 percent.  I can’t listen to it.  I hate to hear an album that we’re involved in that’s not up to our standards. It was the best-sounding thing I ever heard before it was ruined...The ABC studio is a mess."  

Dias reveals:   "Records that are re-released with the indication "direct from the master tape" are generally disappointing because here is the last chance for the people who made the record to correct any mistakes made during mixing. A little adjusting here and there can really make a record sparkle. "Katy Lied" needed more than a little adjustment...The mastering process now became a desperate attempt to produce a vinyl disk that could be played on an average phonograph...Walter stepped in to produce the final release version. It was still disappointing, but it sounded better on more sound systems so it was the better choice." 

Becker says:   “If you heard that album the way it originally went down on tape, you would have heard something else ... The information about equipment] was an attempt at humor more than anything else. The design and notes were a parody of a 50’s Atlantic jazz LP."

'Katy Lied' went to number twenty-eight in Australia, thirteen in the UK and the US, twelve in Canada, and number ten in New Zealand.  The album cover is a photograph of a katydid by Dorothy White.

"Black Friday" peaked at number thirty-seven on the US pop chart.

"Doctor Wu" gives the album its title.

'Katy Lied'
full album:

All songs written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.

Side one
"Black Friday" – 3:33
"Bad Sneakers" – 3:16
"Rose Darling" – 2:59
"Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More" – 3:12
"Doctor Wu" – 3:59
Side two
"Everyone's Gone to the Movies" – 3:41
"Your Gold Teeth II" – 4:12
"Chain Lightning" – 2:57
"Any World (That I'm Welcome To)" – 3:56
"Throw Back the Little Ones" – 3:11

liner notes:

Original liner notes from the 1975 LP

This is a hi-fidelity recording. Steely Dan uses a specially constructed 24-channel tape recorder, a "State-of-the-Art" 36-input computerized mixdown console, and some very expensive German microphones. Individual microphone equalization is frowned upon. The sound created by musicians and singers is reproduced as faithfully as possible, and special care is taken to preserve the band-width and transient response of each performance. Transfer from master tapes to master lacquers is done on a Neumann VMS 70 computerized lathe equipped with a variable pitch, variable depth helium cooled cutting head. The computerized logic circuits of the VMS 70 widen and narrow the grooves on the disc in accordance with its own bizarre electronic mentation for reasons known only to its designers; this accounts for the lovely light and dark patterns that can be seen on the surface of the pressing. Vinylite compound is used. For best results observe the R.I.A.A. curve.

Liner notes from the 1999 MCA re-issue

"Peachy went south for the week."- Michael Caine , in a movie 

What to call this latest instalment in the saga? "Too Little, Too Late"? "Almost Good"? "And Then There Were Three"? "The Rape of the Domini"? (Forget it, we're saving that one for later.) In any case, by the end of 1974 we had learned a number of important life lessons, to wit:

1. There is indeed no business like show business.

2. Background singers, when on the road and deciding whom to fuck first, will start with the roadies and move up from there, without necessarily ever getting to the stewards of the actual intellectual property upon which the success of the enterprise depends.

3. Valium - one blue equals two yellows equals five whites. The purple ones are for veterinary use only.

4. When in London, don't neglect to visit a certain Dr. Bell.

5. Powerful antibiotics should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

6. Against all odds, an inebriated teamster (with or without underage girl in tow) may be the most excellent and inspiring of M.C.'s.

7. Two drummers are much better than one, sometimes. 

8. Men are beasts. 

Which is why, by summer of that self-same year, we found ourselves back in Los Angeles with no band, no manager, no plans to tour, no money, some minor albeit possibly irreversible brain damage, and, thanks to Gary Katz, the keys to a certain unused office on the ground floor of the ABC/Dunhill Records complex. It was there that we repaired on an autumn evening to lick our wounds and hopefully, begin work on a new suite of songs which would someday adorn the greatest Steely Dan album ever. 

Even a cursory perusal of the previous paragraph convinces the authors that they have raised more questions than they have answered. To wit: 

1. What happened to the band? 

When we came off the road after the long gruelling "Pretzel Logic" tour - penniless, infirm, disillusioned - we had long since come to the conclusion that certain individuals were not suited by temperament or constitution to the rigors of long road trips in the company of superannuated prep school hooligans, especially if the goal of said trips - crisp and stirring recitals of the latest cutting-edge jazz-pop ditties for appreciative audiences in near-ideal acoustical environments - were impossible to achieve, or very nearly so. whereas certain of our bandmates had come to a very different and completely incompatible conclusion, namely, that we should get back out on the road as soon as possible and stay there until our very dicks turned green and fell off. So it was with some regret that we concluded that a parting of the ways was inevitable, and that there was no time like the present to clean house and say our goodbyes, and, in the words of Robert Heinlein, "no time like the future to get things done."

2. What happened to the manager? 

A band with no plans to tour, now or ever, has no need of a manager. 'Nuff said.

3. What happened to the money? 

Don't ask. 

But three things we still had - Gary Katz, guitarist Denny Dias, and the benediction of the great Jay Lasker, president and absolute ruler of ABC/Dunhill Records. Although somewhat skeptical about our contention that our careers would survive and in fact rhrive now that we were no longer a touring band, Jay was still in the marketplace from which to hawk their wares, that is, we still had a record deal and a budget, at least for the time being. 

By now well-acclimated to the bland vagaries of the L.A. scene, for a time that fall we drove each evening from Studio City across Laurel Canyon to Beverly Boulevard, where we had the empty ABC/Dunhill offices all to ourselves. In our little room, equipped with a leather couch, a piano, a lamp, and nothing else, we worked away on our sad little tunes. When we needed a break, we could always go upstairs and make trunk calls on Dennis Lavinthal's WATS line, or sit for a spell in Marv Helfer's big leather chair. If we were inclined to investigate in any way the workstations of the beautiful and nubile secretaries whom we perhaps worshipped from afar, we wouldn't tell you about it anyway, especially now. Even the incredible discovery we made one night while rifling Judy's bottom drawer - even that, we are saving for another occasion. 

In the last days of our final '70s touring band, which on one or two magical evenings may have sounded almost good, we had stumbled onto a configuration of players which featured the considerable talents of drummer Jeff Porcaro and keyboardist / vocalist Mike McDonald. Porcaro, at the tender age of 21, was already a veteran of the "Sonny And Cher Show" studio band; in fact, on the very first tracking date for the new album, he arrived hours late and somewhat the worse for wear after having spent the night partying at Cher's Malibu digs. This was in sharp contrast to New York studio ace Hugh McCracken, who had arrived in town a day early, although without a guitar. 

The first order of business was to go and pick up a Stratocaster that had been left off at a repair shop on a previous visit some months or years earlier. What can we say about those long-ago sessions that has not been previously said or else rejected as unworthy of mention? Here is what we know for sure: 

1. Because Jeff Porcaro was late and because he had slightly injured his hand the night before, no recording was done on the first scheduled tracking day.

2. On the evening of that day, Chuck Rainey and Hugh McCracken went bowling.

3. The little studio at ABC/Dunhill was very nicely tricked out with a brand new Bosendorfer piano, our splendid double Magn- eplanar monitor system, and a newly acquired and fabulously expensive set of Audio Research D-76 tube power amps to go with the Maggies. You should have been there.

4. Denny arrived at the tracking session and made the announcement that "Dolores was back in town." Having said that, we turn to the trusty studio library with the aim of consulting Mr. Brian Sweet's controversial critical biography of your unworthy narrators - only to discover that they only have the Japanese edition in stock at this time. A replaying of the Katy Lied album proper, for the purposes of refreshing our failing memories, is out of the question.

5. The shiny new rack of DBX noise reduction units - did we mention those?

6. What about maintenance man Bob "Love Machine" DeAvila, he of the splendid Real Time Analysis unit, which we used to sweep the control room clean of real or imagined sonic cooties, on a thrice-monthly basis - did that guy think we were nuts, or what? O, the things we've seen and heard! - an Arp synthesizer burning in the courtyard of a West Hollywood sound stage - the thunder of a DeTomaso Pantera parked beneath the echo chambers of Studio C - the mighty room-service bill from the Beverly Wilshire hotel, reflecting the cost of the joyful reunion of Mr. Phil Woods and 200 of his closest L.A. studio/jazz-musician pallies - the world's first and last DBX noise reduction unit with factory installed wings, and a Bosendorfer piano that actually got louder after being struck - all things considered, the Katy Lied experience poses, we think, nothing so much as the musical analog of Richard Burton's famous query, in the sword and sandal epic "The Robe" - "were you...out there?" Yes, we were. 
To be continued.... 

Donald Fagen & Walter Becker

blow by blow

Jeff Beck went solo with the fun filled fusion of this innovative improvisational instrumental inspiration.   After his stint in the Yardbirds, Beck had formed The Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood and a series of drummers, recording two albums (Truth in 1968 and Beck-Ola in 1969) before looking to form a new group with the rhythm section of Vanilla Fudge, Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice.  A car accident sidelined that plan for several years, during which time Beck assembled a new Jeff Beck Group with Bobby Tench, Max Middleton, Clive Chaman, and Cozy Powell.  They recorded two albums together (Rough and Ready in 1971 and Jeff Beck Group in 1972) until Beck could reunite with Bogart and Appice (who had formed Cactus in the meantime) to record Beck, Bogert, and Appice in 1973.  It would be the only album they would record together.  

Beck left the trio suddenly and took several months off before starting his next venture with producer George Martin:    “I know that Carmen [Appice] and Tim [Bogert] were frustrated guys, and they wanted me to lead them to new pastures. But we were existing in the wake of bands like Cream and Jimi Hendrix, which made it difficult to find those pastures. We overextended ourselves – we were the answer to the question, ‘What kind of music would these crazed guys make without any chastisement?’...When Led Zeppelin started doing huge concerts, I was just sitting in my garage listening to the radio. I was like, ‘What’s going on? I started this shit and look at me!’ ... I wanted to go directly onto an instrumental guitar album,..I realized another vocal album would be out of the question because there weren’t any vocalists available that I liked...It was nice to work with somebody that knows a Gb from an Am. George [Martin] was a very good, objective person to have around. He put the album into perspective and that’s what I think a producer should do. He controlled it, and any wild ideas that we had, he just pushed them out the window. I wouldn’t say he completely comprehended what I was doing, but then I didn’t either [laughs].  I enjoyed making the Blow By Blow album with George because there was an air of importance about the project. But it wasn’t like, ‘C’mon, you bastard! We’ve been waiting two years for that!’ I think it’s the best guitar playing I’ve done since Truth ... Blow By Blow was a major change in my life, really, but that was an accident. The album was sort of put together naturally."

The sessions for 'Blow by Blow' took place at AIR Studios in London with  engineers Denim Bridges and Steven Saper.    The recordings feature Jeff Beck on electric guitars and bass;   Max Middleton playing keyboards;  Phil Chen on bass;  and Richard Bailey on drums and percussion;    with    Stevie Wonder hitting the clavinet on "Thelonius" ; and   George Martin doing the arrangements on "Scatterbrain" and "Diamond Dust".   

Martin would admit:  "I guess the surprising thing for me was that Jeff sort of put up with everything I had to say; there were no arguments at all. He accepted direction extremely well. The idea of putting strings behind his playing was a fairly radical one [on “Scatterbrain” and “Diamond Dust”] and I thought he’ll probably blow his top when he hears it. But he sort of smiled and said, “Well, if you say so, it should be alright.” And when I finished the stuff, he was knocked out with it; he was really thrilled.  So I was quite chuffed about that...He’s an extraordinary person because he seems to have an awful contempt for his guitars. His greatest hobby in life is cars and in particular sort of hot rod cars and he’s got quite a few of them in his large house down in Kent. And there’s nothing he likes better than to get under the front of his car and change the oil and get himself all greasy.  He loves playing about with mechanics and things. And he tends to look upon his guitars like a lump of old iron. It’s amazing to me how these instruments …  he brings a battered old Fender in and says, 'This bloody thing is no good.' And I say, ‘Well, haven’t you got another one?' And he said, 'No, it’s all I’ve got.' And then he proceeds to pick it up and make the most incredible, beautiful, heavenly sounds imaginable."

 'Blow by Blow' became the first instrumental album to break into the top ten, peaking at number four in the US and going platinum.  

"You Know What I Mean"   / "She's a Woman"  / "Constipated Duck" 

'Blow by Blow' 
full album:

Side one
1. "You Know What I Mean"   Jeff Beck, Max Middleton 4:05
2. "She's a Woman"   John Lennon and Paul McCartney 4:31
3. "Constipated Duck"   Jeff Beck 2:48
4. "Air Blower"   Jeff Beck, Max Middleton, Phil Chen, Richard Bailey 5:10
5. "Scatterbrain"   Jeff Beck, Max Middleton 5:39
Side two
1. "Cause We've Ended as Lovers"   Stevie Wonder 5:42
2. "Thelonius"   Stevie Wonder 3:16
3. "Freeway Jam"   Max Middleton 4:58
4. "Diamond Dust"   Bernie Holland 8:26

live in 1975

00:00 Constipated Duck 4:58
04:58 She's A Woman 5:44
10:42 Freeway Jam 6:17
16:59 Definitely Maybe 7:40
24:39 Superstitious 4:07
28:46 Cause We've Ended As Lovers 8:10
36:56 Air Blower 5:11
42:07 Got The Feeling 4:33
46:40 Diamond Dust 2:53
49:33 Power 5:41 (Guest: John McLaughlin)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

like water for chocolate

Common hit the big time with the perseverance of a rebel in the sublime socially conscious soulquarian spirituality of this cool jazz hip hop hybrid.  Born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, he adopted the pseudonym Common Sense for the release of his first album Can I Borrow a Dollar?  in 1992.  Resurrection in 1994 fueled an East Coast - West Coast rivalry with his critical assessement of the misogyny of gangsa rap.  He also shortened his name to Common after being sued by a California reggae band. Three years later One Day It'll All Make Sense saw collaborations with Lauryn Hill, De La Soul, Q-Tip, Black Thought, and Questlove and led to a major label deal with MCA Records.  

Common became a father after the release of the album and relocated to New York City where he become involved with the Soulquarian musical collective with executive producer Questlove.  'Like Water for Chocolate' also includes production by Jay Dee, James Poyser, DJ Premier, D'Angelo, Karriem Riggins.  The sessions took place at Electric Lady Studios in New York City and Studio A in Dearborn Heights, Michigan and featured contributions from Vinia Mojica, Roy Hargrove, Femi Kuti, Bilal, Jill Scott, Mos Def, MC Lyte, Slum Village, D'Angelo, Cee-Lo Green, Macy Gray, and Lonnie "Pops" Lynn. 

The title comes from the novel by  Laura Esquivel.  Common would consider:   "In that statement the water was representing the water sign of me: the emotion within the music. And the chocolate is representing the Soul: the Blackness in this music. And in that film, this woman was a very good cook. And she was in love, but because of the tradition of her family she couldn't marry. So within the love that she had for this guy and being in love, she could only express it through meals. And each meal that she cooked; however she felt at the time is what the people who ate the meal felt. Meaning when she cried, the people who ate the meal started crying. It was symbolic in a way. I use that as a metaphor to represent what I strive for my songs to do. If I'm feeling angry, I want the people who listening to feel mad. Or if I'm feeling like, 'Yo Man, this is the struggle we goin' thru. Man we gotta fight, we gotta uplift', I want them to feel that. So it was symbolic to the meals. We all cooks in this game anyway, just tryin' to put together the right thing. The face meaning is about the water sign and the chocolate to Soul. These songs are like meals for the Soul."

'Like Water for Chocolate' became his first album to chart in the UK at number one hundred and sixty-five; and hit number twenty-four in Canada, sixteen on the US Billboard 200, number five on the US R&B album chart. 

"The Light"

"The 6th Sense"

'Like Water for Chocolate'
full album:

1.Time Travelin' (A Tribute to Fela) 0:00
2.Heat 6:38
3.Cold Blooded 10:19
4.Dooinit 15:18
5.The Light 18:57
6.Funky for You 23:17
7.The Questions 29:13
8.Time Travelin Reprise 33:22
9.The 6th Sense 34:55
10.A Film Called (Pimp) 40:15
11.Nag Champa (Afrodisiac for the World) 46:20
12.Thelonius 51:31
13.Payback is a Grandmother 56:12
14.Geto Heaven Pt.2 1:00:44
15.A Song for Assata 1:06:02
16.Pops Rap III...All My Children 1:12:50