Friday, May 29, 2009

Jackson Browne - 1970 - the Criterion Demos


Jackson Browne
The Criterion Demos
Recorded April 6, 1970
Hollywood, CA
Very Good Soundboard recordings
New Upgraded Sound quality!
Now Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and mp3 (320 kbps) versions
Artwork Included

Wow! Here is a real find, and I am very happy to finally be able to present it here. This something I have been looking for ever since I heard about it years ago, the legendary Criterion Demos made by Jackson Browne in 1970. It includes early demo versions of most of the songs from his first official album, but more importantly, about half of the 19 tracks are never-released songs by Jackson. Some of these unknown songs are startlingly good, but were surprisingly never developed any further for future release. Unlike the much earlier Nina Demos (made in 1967), which contained mainly undistinguished, forgettable, or uncharacteristic-sounding songs (but still historically interesting), this is the Jackson Browne that we know and love, just in the early stages. Thus, this is a treasure trove for fans, but has been very difficult to find for even dedicated Jackson Browne fans. No more. Here it is. 

Background: Jackson signed a co-publishing agreement with Hollywood's Criterion Music in the fall of 1969. These demo tracks were recorded in early 1970, prior to his hooking up with David Geffen, which took place later in 1970 and the recording of his first album which took place in 1971. In fact, it was this demo version of "Jamaica Say You Will" from the recording session at Criterion Studios -- which Jackson sent to David Geffen -- that attracted Geffen's attention. The track included backing by J.D. Souther (on drums?), Glenn Frey, and Ned Doheny. This was not an official album, nor was it ever intended as an official release. It was merely Jackson Browne making some demo recordings in his role as a staff writer for Criterion Music. These recordings were intended to be used to promote Jackson's songs to other artists for recording.

01. Last Time I Was Home (2:57)
02. Jamaica Say You Will (3:45)
03. Song For Adam (5:18)
04. Doctor My Eyes (3:49)
05. Low Road (3:04)
06. Door Into The Morning (2:40)
07. Another Place (2:33)
08. The Birds Of St Marks (3:39)
09. Mae Jean Goes To Hollywood (2:56)
10. Gone To Sorrow (3:04)
11. Hot Like Today (2:49)
12. A Child In These Hills (3:45)
13. The Top (3:53)
14. My Opening Farewell (4:35)
15. The Times You've Come (3:26)
16. From The Silver Lake (4:39)
17. There Came A Question (3:23)
18. Rock Me On The Water (3:50)
19. Nightingale (4:06)

All songs written and performed by Jackson Browne

New Upgraded Links! (Updated 07/20/13)
mp3 -Jackson Browne_1970_Criterion Demos_mp3.rar

FLAC - Jackson Browne_1970_Criterion Demos_FLAC

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Neil Young 1973-03-11 Bakersfield, CA 'Last Album' boot

Neil Young
Civic Auditorium, Bakersfield, CA
(plus songs from 02-03 and 1-14 dates)
Reconstruction of the 'Last Album' bootleg
Audience recordings, good quality

New! Now available in Lossless (FLAC) and upgraded (320 kbps) mp3 versions (previously was available as 192 kbps mp3 only)
Artwork Included

OK, just one more 'Neil' show, before I move on to other stuff. So, here's another 'oldie' from Neil. This one captures a rather dark and rough period for Neil (but musically rich). This comes from the Time Fades Away tour, which was during the time Neil was dealing with the death of former guitarist Danny Whitten, among other things (while rehearsing for this 1973 tour, Young dismissed his friend and guitarist Danny Whitten (as he was strung-out and not capable of performing properly) with a plane ticket and $50 cash. The next night Whitten was dead from $50 worth of raw heroin). From 1973-1975 Neil released Time Fades Away, On The Beach, and Tonight's The Night, all made within months of each other and sharing the same source of guilt, self-doubt and regret. That's a lot of pain to pour out onto three albums over three years after hitting the ceiling with Harvest and the million selling single, 'Heart Of Gold', in 1972. Those were chaotic days. Last Album is a two-CD set that offers the complete Civic Auditorium show in Bakersfield on March 11, 1973, plus several songs from a couple other early dates on the tour (at New York and Florida) that featured several different songs. It starkly captures Young's mood at the time. Nostalgic and pained.

Disc 1
01 Sugar Mountain
02 Tell Me Why
03 Sweet Joni
04 Old Man
05 Heart Of Gold
06 Loner
07 Look Out Joe
08 Time Fades Away
09 Don't Be Denied
10 Alabama*
11 New Mama*
12 Last Dance*
13 Southern Man*
14 Cinnamon Girl*
15 Are You Ready For The Country*
Bonus tracks
16 On The Way Home
17 Here We Are In The Years
18 After The Gold Rush
19 Out On The Weekend
20 Harvest
21 Dance Dance Dance
22 LA
23 Journey Thru The Past
24 Borrowed Tune
25 Lonely Weekend
26 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Neil Young - vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica
Ben Keith - pedal steel guitar, vocals
Jack Nitzsche - keyboards
Tim Drummond - bass
Johnny Barbata - drums (tracks 1-15, 21-26)
Kenny Buttrey - drums (tracks 16-20)
* w/ Graham Nash and David Crosby (vocals, guitar) (tracks 10-15)

Tracks 1-15, complete show from Bakersfield, CA, 1973-03-11
Tracks 16-20, Bayfront Center, St. Petersburg, FL., 1973-02-03
Tracks 21-26, War Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY, 1973-01-14

Note, this compilation was was constructed from separate full-show recordings to replicate the tracklist of the older CD bootleg titled 'Last Album', but was not actually taken from that original bootleg issue.
The full show recordings (in FLAC) for the 2/3 and 1/14 dates are currently available at Plumdusty's Page, as well as many other fine lossless boots.

New Links! Now available in upgraded quality (Lossless and 320 kbps mp3) (Updated 05/20/15)

mp3-320: Neil Young_1973-3-11_Bakersfield_plus_Last Album_mp3.part1.rarar

Monday, May 18, 2009

Neil Young - 1971-02-27 - Royal Festival Hall, London

Neil Young
Royal Festival Hall, London, UK
February 27, 1971
Audience recording, Excellent quality

New upgraded files! Now available in Lossless (FLAC) and upgraded (320 kbps) mp3  files
Artwork Included

OK, in anticipation of Neil's oft-delayed, hopefully soon-to-be-released Archives Vol. 1, here is some vintage Neil from his Solo Tour of 1971 [Ed. note: Neil's Archives Vol.1 was finally released in 2009, covering from 1965-1972]. This high quality recording captures an excellent performance featuring early versions of many new songs (soon to become classics) that would be on the upcoming Harvest album (but which would not be released for more than a year after this show), as well as some Buffalo Springfield songs. All in all, a great solo show. This version is speed corrected from the original bootleg CD (Silver Shadow silver disc), and the final song was added from a different source, to provide the complete show.

1. On the Way Home
2. Tell Me Why
3. Old Man
4. Journey Through the Past
5. Cowgirl in the Sand
6. The Bridge
7. The Loner
8. Don't Let it Bring You Down
9. See the Sky About to Rain
10. Out on the Weekend
11. I am a Child
12. Ohio
13. Love in Mind
14. Only Love Can Break Your Heart
15. Heart of Gold
16. A Man Needs a Maid
17. Harvest
18. The Needle and the Damage Done
19. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing
20. Dance Dance Dance
21. Expecting to Fly*

* from 1970-71 Solo Tour disc 2 (Viglione compilation)

Neil Young: vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica

Monday, May 11, 2009

Neil Young - 2005-08-18 - Nashville, TN - Prairie Wind Live

Neil Young with The Prairie Wind Band
Prairie Wind Live
Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Mp3 @ 192 kbps
Very Good Audience Recording
No Artwork

This was the triumphant live debut concert of the full Prairie Wind album, prior to the album's release. The first half of the show is the complete Prairie Wind album, and the second half consists of a great acoustic set of classic Neil tracks. A great show. These two shows at the Ryman (Aug. 18 & 19) were filmed by Jonathan Demme and ultimately released as the concert film, Heart of Gold. This is not a DVDrip, however, but a very good audience recording of the first night show.

01 The Painter
02 No Wonder
03 Falling Off The Face Of The Earth
04 Far From Home
05 It's A Dream
06 Prairie Wind
07 Here For You
08 This Old Guitar
09 He Was The King
10 When God Made Me

11 I Am A Child
12 Heart Of Gold
13 Old Man
14 The Needle And The Damage Done
15 Comes A Time
16 Band Intros
17 Four Strong Winds
18 Old King
19 Harvest Moon
20 One Of These Days

Band :
Neil Young - guitar, grand piano, vocals
Ben Keith - pedal steel, lap steel, background vocals
Spooner Oldham - keyboards, marimba
Rick Rosas - bass
Chad Cromwell - drums
Karl Himmel - drums, percussion
Emmylou Harris - background vocals, guitar
Grant Boatwright - guitar
Anthony Crawford - fiddle, guitar, background vocals
Clinton Gregory - fiddle
Larry Cragg - banjo, broom
Diana DeWitt - background vocals, guitar, autoharp
Gary Pigg - background vocals, guitar
Pegi Young - background vocals, guitar
Wayne Jackson - trumpet
Tom McGinley - sax
Jimmy Sharp - trombone
The Fisk University Jubilee Singers - background vocals
The Nashville String Machine - strings

New Link! (Updated 07/25/19)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Neil Young - 2007 American Tour Compilation (4-CD Rustbucket)

Neil Young
2007 Chrome Dreams II
American Tour Compilation (Rustbucket Edition)
Oct. to Dec. 2007
Mp3 @ 320 kbps
Various recordings, Sound Quality - Very Good to Excellent

Ok, continuing with the theme of great Canadian rockers, here is some more Neil Young. Previously, I have posted the 2008 Winter and Summer Tour Compilations. So, by request, here is the 2007 American Tour Compilation (Rustbucket Edition). It fits on 4 CDs (2 from the acoustic sets and 2 from the electric sets) and includes the best available version of every song played on this leg of the tour (October to December 2007). This is a great alternative to getting many different shows from different dates on the tour, as this contains the best-sounding recordings from all the shows. According to the compiler's notes "Most of the acoustic songs I've selected are from Boston Dec 3 and Upper Darby Dec 9. I've included both the piano and synth versions of 'A Man Needs A Maid'. Also included are two versions of 'Mellow My Mind', including the first night from Boise with the mouth harp intro. I've put all the piano songs together onto Disc 2, so I've subtitled Disc 2 'Piano Songs', albeit a rather short disc so I've also included from the BSB October 28th 'The Way' and though not a piano song, the acoustic band version of 'No Hidden Path'. Most of the electric songs are from Upper Darby Dec 10. To my ears this show was the most clear and dynamic for the loud electric songs. The only fades here are the long loud audience applause at the end of each track. I've then used WavTrim to get songs on each set to play at the same volumes. Then Goldwave to cross-fade the end of one track into the start of the next for each disc. No gaps. -Dave A Rustbucket production!" So, thanks again to Rustbucket (and all the tapers) for making this possible.

Disc 1 (63:57)
101 From Hank to Hendrix 2007-12-09 Upper Darby PA
102 Ambulance Blues 2007-10-20 Spokane WA
103 Sad Movies 2007-12-03 Boston MA104 Kansas 2007-12-03 Boston MA
105 Harvest 2007-12-03 Boston MA
106 Mellow My Mind (harp intro) 2007-10-18 Boise ID
107 Mellow My Mind 2007-12-03 Boston MA
108 Campaigner 2007-12-09 Upper Darby PA
109 Love Art Blues 2007-12-16 New York NY
110 Old King 2007-12-16 New York NY
111 Love is a Rose 2007-12-03 Boston MA
112 Old Man 2007-12-12 New York NY
113 Cowgirl In the Sand 2007-12-03 Boston MA
114 Heart of Gold 2007-10-20 Spokane WA
115 Out on the Weekend 2007-12-19 New York NY
116 Don't Let it Bring You Down 2007-12-16 New York NY

Disc 2 - Piano Songs (50:36)
201 A Man Needs A Maid (piano) 2007-12-09 Upper Darby PA
202 A Man Needs a Maid (synth) 2007-12-03 Boston MA
203 No one Seems to Know 2007-12-09 Upper Darby PA
204 Mexico 2007-12-09 Upper Darby PA
205 Try 2007-12-16 New York NY
206 On the Way Home 2007-12-03 Boston MA
207 Love In Mind 2007-11-02 Los Angeles CA
208 Journey Through the Past 2007-12-03 Boston MA
209 After the Gold Rush 2007-12-10 Upper Darby PA
210 The Way 2007-10-28 Mountain View CA
211 No Hidden Path (acoustic) 2007-10-28 Mountain View CA

Disc 3 The Electric Set (54:46)
301 The Loner 2007-12-10 Upper Darby PA
302 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere 2007-12-10 Upper Darby PA
303 Dirty Old Man 2007-12-10 Upper Darby PA
304 Spirit Road 2007-12-10 Upper Darby PA
305 Bad Fog of Loneliness 2007-12-10 Upper Darby PA
306 Winterlong 2007-12-10 Upper Darby PA
307 Oh, Lonesome Me 2007-12-03 Boston MA
308 The Believer 2007-12-03 Boston MA
309 No Hidden Path 2007-12-10 Upper Darby PA

Disc 4 The Encores (45:06)
401 Cinnamon Girl 2007-12-10 Upper Darby PA
402 Don't Cry No Tears 2007-12-12 New York NY
403 Mr Soul 2007-12-16 New York NY
404 Tonights the Night 2007-10-20 Spokane WA
405 Cortez 2007-12-19 New York NY
406 Hurricane 2007-12-10 Upper Darby PA
407 The Sultan 2007-12-10 Upper Darby PA

New Links! (Updated 11/17/19)
disc 1: Neil_Young_-_2007_American_Tour_Compilation_d1.rar

Burton Cummings - Rock's Greatest Vocalist?

Previously, (in the Guess Who posts) I stated that I believe Burton Cummings was the greatest rock vocalist of all time. How can I say that? Well, that’s just how I see (hear?) it. Remember, this is greatest vocalist, not most successful, most popular, or in the best band, etc., but the best rock singer. For me, there are 3 essential criteria that must be evaluated to even be considered as the greatest:

# 1) They must have a great voice, not just a passable voice. Now, with rock singers, there really are very few that have what could be called great voices. That is, not just a good voice for rock n roll, but a great singing voice. Now, I know that you can be a great rock vocalist without having a great voice (such as many of the legends, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Robert Plant, etc.), but to be considered the BEST, well you just have to have a GREAT voice. I will accept no arguments on this point. So, this in itself narrows the field considerably.
# 2), the vocalist must be equally strong on hard-rockin, raucous, screamin’ tracks as they are on soft, melodic, or soaring ballads (again, this eliminates most of the hard-rock acts, they just can’t cut it on ‘sweet’ songs).
# 3), they must have their own particular style, quirkiness, coolness that makes the songs uniquely theirs and nobody else’s (Now, I admit that there are many that qualify here). This shows that it is not enough to just have a great voice, they must really know how to use it most effectively.

Using these criteria, Burton was just the best. No one had a better voice, was as strong on growling rockers and tender love songs alike, and always brought his unique vocal style (loved his scatting and ad libs during the extended versions and fade outs of songs). There just was no one else like him. He could be surly and mean one minute, and graceful and soaring another (very often within the same song). Check out his hard-rockin style on tracks such as Bus Rider, Hang On To Your Life, Heartbroken Bopper, Guns Guns Guns, and, of course, American Woman, then listen to the sweet beautiful vocals of These Eyes, Undun, Share The Land, Do You Miss Me Darlin?, Sour Suite, Smoke Big Factory, and countless others. Mostly, though, he alternates between silky smooth and rockin’ within the same track (such as on Laughing, No Time, Hand Me Down World, Albert Flasher, Runnin Back To Saskatoon, Show Biz Shoes, Orly, etc.).

Now, I say was, because, unfortunately the years have not been kind to Burton’s voice. After leaving the Guess Who, his solo career went much more in the direction of soft-rock and ballads than rock n roll, and although he still produced some great pop-rock songs (check out his 2-Cd solo compilation, The Burton Cummings Collection (1994), he denied us of further expressions of his gutsy, harder-rockin vocals in subsequent years (Unfortunately, there aren’t any bootlegs available from his prime solo years). I saw him live with Ringo’s All-Starr Band in 1992, and he still had his great voice then. But, by the time of the extended Guess Who Reunion Tour in 2000-2001, his voice had changed dramatically. Although he still had the same inimitable vocal style, his voice was much more shrill and thin, not having the full rich sound of previous years (for proof, check out ‘Runnin’ Back Through Canada (2001), the live album from the 2000 tour), and, to me, was almost unlistenable in comparison to his prime years. However, in his most recent solo album, Above the Ground (2008, his first solo album in 18 years), his voice is stronger than it has been in years (and a very strong album). He also still performs and tours with the Bachman-Cummings Band (w/Randy Bachman, doing many of the old Guess Who songs). So, it’s good to hear that Burton is still going strong today.

OK, so Burton was the best. But who else ranks high on my list? After Burton, I would probably say Roger Daltrey and Paul Rodgers rank the next highest (both have great, strong rock voices). After that would probably be Paul McCartney (Paul has more of a pop voice than a rock voice, but he’s still up there). Also in the top ten or so would probably be people like Freddie Mercury, Gary Brooker (Procol Harum), Peter Gabriel, Sting, Van Morrison, Greg Lake, Elvis Costello, and, yes, maybe even that other Elvis guy. But who is definitely NOT up there? Robert Plant, Ozzie Ozborne, Mick Jagger, Bon Scott, Axl Rose, Steven Tyler, etc. They may be popular, they may be effective for the music they sing, but they are not great singers. Disagree? Who do you think is the greatest rock vocalist?

Disclaimer: I hereby state that I am not from Canada, have never lived in Canada, and that my high regard for The Guess Who and Burton Cummings is not biased by any Canadian nationalistic pride, influence, or any such nonsense. They are just damn good.