Sunday, May 21, 2017

Big Star - 1974-03-31 - Performance Center, Cambridge, MA (early show)

Big Star
March 31, 1974
Performance Center, Cambridge, MA

Early show (opening for Badfinger)
Audience recording (mono), good quality
recorded and transferred by Steve Hopkins

OK, here's a show from probably the most legendary obscure band of all-time, Big Star.  Little-known in their day, and quite short-lived in their original incarnation, they have nonetheless risen in stature to be recognized as one of the greatest of all power pop bands and influenced countless other alternative rock and pop bands that followed. Formed in Memphis, TN in 1971 by Alex Chilton & Chris Bell (guitars & vocals), Andy Hummel (bass), and Jody Stephens (drums), and starting when Chilton, hot off his vocalist success with The Box Tops, joined up with Bell and his previous band, Icewater, to form Big Star. Although their first album, #1 Record (1972), received rave reviews (and is now considered one of the great rock records), poor promotion and distribution, and other record company issues (released on Ardent Studios own label, Ardent Records, in conjunction with Stax Records, which was undergoing serious issues at the time), resulted in dismal sales and popularity. Featuring a mix of musical styles, from folksy acoustic numbers to driving rockers, a sharp-edged guitar sound and wonderful melodies, harmonies, and arrangements, they had a unique sound and style. However, failure of that first album lead to group infighting during attempts at a second album, and Bell quit by the end of 1972.  The rest of the band continued as a trio work on the 2nd album, which became Radio City, released in early 1974. But Hummel also quit the band before the album was even released. Radio City also received excellent reviews, and was expected to catapult the band to fame, but suffered the same poor marketing and distribution issues of its predecessor and promptly sank. Even those that wanted and searched for the album found it unattainable. The band toured briefly in 1974 (with John Lightman replacing Hummel), most notably opening for Badfinger in a series of US shows (which is represented in the opening set presented here). Then they started work on a third album near the end of 1974, with Chilton bringing in an assortment of other musicians to help out, and having a much different sound and style, and finishing in early 1975. However, they could not find a record label interested in the album, as it was not considered commercial enough, so the album was indefinitely shelved, and that was essentially the end of the original Big Star. However, in 1978, the first 2 Big Star albums were released together as a double album in the UK, receiving enthusiastic reviews and interest from fans. With this new support, the lost third album, ultimately titled Third/Sister Lovers, was finally released, both in the US and UK. However, by this time, Chilton had moved on to other things, various solo albums, punk bands, etc., and had virtually renounced his Big Star days. Also, around this time, original member Chris Bell tragically died in a car accident. But the Big Star legend was just beginning to grow, and several 80's and 90's bands emerged citing the excellence and influence of Big Star on their music, including REM, The Replacements, The dB's, The Posies, Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms, and countless others. In 1992, Rykodisc reissued their previous albums as well as a new live set from 1974. With the revived interest, Chilton and Stephens decided to re-form the band in 1993, adding Posies members Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, to do a series of live shows as Big Star. They continued on and off as Big Star over the next several years, even releasing an album of new material (In Space-2005).  Various other live shows, compilations of demos and studio sessions, box sets, and virtually anything the original band ever recorded have been subsequently released over the years, and new generations of Big Star fans continue to find and enjoy the band. Chilton, however, died of a heart attack in 2010. But the band has still lived on in various tributes, all-star assemblages (sometimes billed as Big Star's Third shows), and cover versions.
As stated, this show is their opening set for Badfinger in Cambridge, MA in 1974. It is a good mono audience recording (not great, but overall pretty good) - There are very few decent live Big Star recordings in general, and particularly ones that have not already been commercially released. And this one also illustrates the hard times this band endured in those days. Not only were their records not selling, but as the MC points out at the beginning of the show, Big Star had all their equipment (and their van) stolen shortly before this show, and had to scrounge together some instruments to play for the gig. It's also interesting that Badfinger and Big Star are together on the same bill here. Two of the greatest all-time power pop bands, but also two of the most tragic and hard-luck stories in all of rock and roll (see previous posts for Badfinger's story). But they both made great music. (BTW, I also have posted the full set - for both early and late shows - from Badfinger for this date, available here). So, it's great to now have the full show from both these great bands. Check it out.     

Tracklist:
01. In The Street
02. Baby Strange
03. Mod Lang
04. Candy Says (Velvet Underground cover)
05. ‘Til the End of the Day (Kinks cover)
06. O My Soul
07. Motel Blues
08. Thirteen
09. Way Out West
10. September Gurls
11. Come On Now (Kinks cover)

Alex Chilton - guitar & vocals
John Lightman - bass & vocals
Jody Stephens - drums & vocals

Big Star - 1974-03-31 - Cambrdge,MA(early).rar

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Lossless (FLAC) upgrades for Guess Who shows


More Guess Who-related news. For those that prefer their music files to be Lossless, I've recently upgraded a couple of previously available Guess Who shows with Lossless (FLAC ) versions to provide enhanced sound quality. The previously available mp3 (320 kbps) versions will also continue to be available. Here are the shows that have recently added Lossless files:

guess-who-1974-05-06-st-louis-mo-fm.html

guess-who-1970-10-10-kansas-state.html 

So, although you should already have these shows (if you don't, get them right away), here they are in full Lossless glory, for those that demand such things.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman - 1978 (unknown date) - PBS Soundstage TV Show, Chicago, IL

Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman
1978 - (Unknown Date)
Soundstage (PBS TV Show), WTTW Studios, Chicago, IL, USA

FM Broadcast Recording (WXRT-93 FM Simulcast), very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Following on the heels of the recent Guess Who post, here's a broadcast recording from the legendary PBS Soundstage concert TV show from 1978 featuring Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman, together again for the first time since they both left The Guess Who. Of course, Randy infamously left The Guess Who in 1970, shortly after the band scored their biggest success with 'American Woman', whereas Burton stayed to guide the band into the rollicking hitmakers and great Rock 'n Roll Band they were throughout the early '70's. By 1975, after several personnel changes and declining record sales, Burton left and folded up the band, to start a solo career. And Burton's solo career was also very successful (and as with the band itself, especially in Canada), releasing the platinum-selling albums, Burton Cummings (1976), My Own Way to Rock (1977), and Dream of a Child (1978) in rapid succession, as well as hit singles such as, 'Stand Tall', 'I'm Scared', and 'Break it to Them Gently'. This show followed the release of Dream of a Child, which became his biggest-selling album. Thus, at this show, he is at the height of his solo career, and it is clear that he is looking forward and not back to his Guess Who days. In fact, the only Guess Who songs included here are shoehorned into an extended medley of early hits combined with interview segments about the early days of the band. So, it's a very interesting show, especially if you are not that familiar with Burton's solo work. As for Randy, after leaving The Guess Who, he formed Brave Belt, which evolved into Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and a slew of hits of his own through the mid-'70'. But Randy left BTO in 1977, thus at this time, both Burton and Randy were solo, and got together for this combined show (at a time when the other remnants of The Guess Who were also re-forming, but without Cummings and Bachman, who were not interested at the time). But this did not lead directly to further reunion shows, as each went back to their solo careers, but several years later they did get back together for brief Guess Who reunions (most notably, 1983, 1999-2003), as well as further teamings together as The Bachman-Cummings Band and/or Bachman & Cummings (2006-2009). Beyond these get-togethers, Burton has also continued to perform as a solo act, and Bachman has been involved in various BTO reunions. But here check out the combined talents of Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, still in their prime, in the late '70's.

Tracklist:
01. Your Back Yard
02. Never Had A Lady Before
03. Guess Who medley (Laughing - These Eyes - Undun - American Woman - No Time)
04. Bachman medley (Let It Ride - Lookin' Out For #1 - Hey You)
05. You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
06. dialogue
07. My Own Way To Rock
08. Framed
09. Stand Tall
10. Charlemagne
11. Takin' Care Of Business

mp3 - Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman_1978_PBS Soundstage_Chicago_mp3.rar

FLAC - Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman_1978_PBS Soundstage_Chicago_mp3.rar

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Guess Who - 1973-11-10 - Ontario Motor Speedway, Ontario, CA

The Guess Who
1973-11-10
Ontario Motor Speedway, Ontario, CA

Audience recording, good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Here's another great old Guess Who show that I've only recently acquired in good quality. This was from still in their prime, 1973, while guitarists Kurt Winter and Donnie MacDougall were still with the band, on the tour supporting their 1973 albums (Artificial Paradise and #10), but also featuring a couple new songs that would appear on their subsequent (Road Food-1974) album. By this time, the band was no longer churning out hit singles, but still had solid albums, and their live shows were consistently great, with songs from throughout their career, and featuring the greatest rock vocalist of all time, Burton Cummings, in all his glory.
As I've said before, any decent quality recording of this great band (and there aren't very many) is worth having, sharing, and celebrating, and this one includes a couple songs not heard in many other shows.  Although certainly not a great recording, it's actually pretty good for an audience recording of that time, and certainly very listenable, and the band's performance is a joy. 

Tracklist:
01 - Just Let Me Sing
02 - Bus Rider
03 - Albert Flasher
04 - Undun
05 - Bye Bye Babe
06 - Glamour Boy
07 - Straighten Out
08 - Orly
09 - These Eyes
10 - Star Baby
11 - American Woman
12 - Truckin' Off Across The Sky I
13 - No Sugar Tonight
14 - Truckin' Off Across The Sky II

Burton Cummings - vocals, piano
Kurt Winter - lead guitar
Bill Wallace - bass guitar, vocals
Garry Peterson - drums
Donnie McDougall - guitar, vocals

FLAC - The Guess Who_1973-11-10_Ontario CA_FLAC.rar

mp3 - The Guess Who_1973-11-10_Ontario CA_mp3.rar

Friday, April 14, 2017

Nine Years? Really?



Number 9, Number 9, Number 9....

Well well well, here we are, all the way to year number 9. That's right, it's the 9th anniversary of this little old blog. Another year has come around and its a blog birthday of 9 years now (and counting) for the BB Chronicles. It may not be much, but it is something, and it is mine, and it has survived long after many others have come and gone. OK, so yes, I have slacked off lately and don't post as much or as often as in previous years, but hey, I'm still going, and it's all (most of it anyway) still here available to all. So, after 9 years, several hundred music posts, hundreds of thousands of downloads, and several million pageviews, I'm still here. And what I have put out here is some really quality stuff, all music and artists that I personally enjoy very much, and many of these shows are (or at least were) not readily available elsewhere. I try to provide some background and context to the music and artists, as well as my own commentary, rather than just unadorned music files, to give those new to these artists some perspective and history, to explore the music further. And in that sense I hope that what I have provided here has been useful and worthwhile, as well as musically satisfying. And so, I am somewhat proud of what I have assembled here over these past 9 years, and I hope it has been something that you come back to often and have been introduced to some new music here that you really enjoy, to expand your musical horizons and enjoyment in addition to your music collection.

And once again, as I have each year at this time, I also want to take this time to thank and celebrate all the others out there who have made so much of this great music, which is not available for purchase anywhere, freely available to all who wish to download and enjoy it. I am only able to offer these downloads because others before me have made them available. So, to all the other bloggers, tapers, forum posters, and music fans that have collected these recordings and made them available over the internet, as well as to all the great artists and musicians out there that allow these recordings to be freely exchanged, I offer a huge and heartfelt Thank You. And again, I implore everyone to purchase all the official releases of your favorite artists. The music here serves to supplement, not replace, all of their officially released music. They are supported by fans like us.

I hope to be able to continue this endeavor, albeit primarily in the same sporadic way it has been up to now, for some time to come, but you never know what the future brings. I've made it through some rough patches and am still going, so, should be able to continue a while longer. I very much enjoy doing it, but just have a very limited time I can devote to it. But I will always strive to provide new and interesting content that is generally not readily available from most of the the other music blogs. I do have some pretty interesting stuff planned for the upcoming weeks (new old stuff from fresh artists and blog favorites, and more upgrades of previously posted stuff), so if you've liked some of what I've posted so far, stick around for some more great stuff. As I've said previously, I do wish I could get more comments, feedback, and discussion from you, the readers of this blog. Please, let me know what you think of what is here, provide your own insight and perspective, and some real discussion of some of this great music. I would love to hear and see more from you, if possible. So, for know, I'll just keep things going as they are, and I hope you will stop by occasionally, check it out, and and join me on this journey. Thanks to all.





Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Last Waltz 40 Tour - Warren Haynes, Michael McDonald, Don Was, and Friends - 2017-01-24 - Atlanta, GA

The Last Waltz 40 Tour
(Warren Haynes, Michael McDonald, Don Was, and Friends)
January 24, 2017

Symphony Hall at Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA

Audience recording, good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Here's something I've been meaning to post for awhile now, just haven't gotten to it (sorry for the lack of posts recent weeks). It's Warren Haynes and Friends tribute to the Last Waltz, and their Last Waltz 40 Tour. This began as a one-time tribute show last year, and was so successful they announced a tour scheduled for select cities in January and February, 2017. Well those were also a success, so more recently they announced a second leg of the tour, which is currently playing now in selected US cities throughout April and May. And as part of this current leg of the the tour, original Band member Garth Hudson will be joining in for some of the shows. But this is from the first leg, in January (if any shows from the current leg with Garth become available, I'll try to post that as well). Of course, I've previously presented much from the Band (including the full Last Waltz show here), and another 40-year tribute show from last year (Midnight Ramble Band available here), so here now is Warren's assemblage of friends and musicians honoring the legacy of the Band and that iconic show from 1976 with a whole new interpretation with current talented musicians, but still featuring the classic style and sound of the original Band. Check it out, and if the tour stops near where you live, may be worth checking out live.

Set I
01 Up On Cripple Creek
02 Shape I’m In
03 Stage Fright
04 Georgia On My Mind
05 Life Is A Carnival
06 It Makes No Difference
07 South In New Orleans
08 Wheels On Fire
09 Who Do You Love*
10 King Harvest
11 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Set II
01 Chest Fever
02 Ophelia >
03 Caravan
04 Helpless
05 Mystery Train
06 Rag Mama Rag*
07 Mannish Boy
08 Caledonia Mission**
09 Forever Young**
10 The Weight
11 I Shall Be Released
-encore-
12 Such A Night
13 Don’t Do It

Warren Haynes - guitar, vocals
Michael McDonald - keys, vocals
Jamey Johnson - guitar, vocals
John Medeski - organ, keys
Don Was - bass
Terrence Higgins - drums
Mark Mullins and The Levee Horns
with
Dave Malone - guitar, vocals * (s1t08-09, s2t06)
Bob Margolin - guitar, vocals ** (s2t08-09)

FLAC - Last Waltz 40 Tour_2017-01-24_Atlanta_FLAC.part1.rar
            Last Waltz 40 Tour_2017-01-24_Atlanta_FLAC.part2.rar

mp3 - Last Waltz 40 Tour_2017-01-24_Atlanta_mp3.part1.rar
          Last Waltz 40 Tour_2017-01-24_Atlanta_mp3.part2.rar


Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Head and The Heart - 2014-08-10 - Hollywood Bowl, Los Anfeles, CA

The Head and The Heart
August 10, 2014
Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA

Audience recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Here's more from The Head and The Heart. This one from a couple years later, and after release of their 2nd album, Let's Be Still (2013). So, this features some of the new songs from that album, in addition to those from their first. Great folk-rock sound from the band and a very nice show. Also included are a couple bonus tracks from their acoustic set at the Mountain Stage Festival in Charleston, WV earlier that same year. Enjoy.

Tracklist:
01 Intro
02 Coeur D’Alene
03 Homecoming Heroes
04 Ghosts
05 Another Story
06 Honey Come Home
07 Let’s Be Still
08 Winter Song
09 Lost In My Mind
10 Shake
11 10,000 Weight In Gold
12 Sounds Like Hallelujah
13 Down in the Valley
14 Rivers and Roads
Bonus tracks:
2014-06-01 - Mountain Stage, Charleston, WV (acoustic set). FM broadcast recording
B01. No One to Let You Down
B02. Fire/Fear


FLAC - Head and The Heart_2014-08-10_HollywoodBowl_FLAC.rar
 
mp3 - Head and The Heart_2014-08-10_HollywoodBowl_mp3.rar