Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Kinks - 1975-06-14 - London - A Soap Opera-Live

The Kinks
New Victoria Theatre, London, UK

FM Broadcast recording, very good quality
mp3 @ 320 kbps

While we're covering The Kinks Musical Theater days, here is their other theatrical stage show from that Mid-70's period, A Soap Opera. However, unlike most of their other concept musicals, which told their story exclusively through the music, as a sort-of rock opera, this show is more of a direct Musical Theater Stage show, in that in addition to the songs there is also quite a bit of story and dialogue, like an actual musical play. Not surprisingly, this was not received well by The Kinks more rock-oriented fans. However, as musicals go, this was actually quite a good story that worked very well. And musically, although not as rockin' as most would like to see, it still had some excellent songs, including the Bonafide Kinks classics 'Everybody's A Star', 'Face in the Crowd', and 'You Can't Stop The Music. And again, few recordings are available from this period, and many of the available recordings of shows from this tour only include the songs and eliminate much of the between song story and dialogue. I have tried to get the most complete version of the show I could find, to get the full experience, and this one is nearly complete as far as I can tell (it may be missing one more dialogue section between 'You Make It All Worthwhile' and 'Ducks on the Wall'), and chronicles the whole show (Note: Apparently 'Holiday Romance', which was included on the studio album, was not included in the live production, as it didn't really fit in with the story). By the way, video footage of the whole show, from a Granada TV special they recorded around this time, is available and can be seen on youtube, or downloaded from some video sites, in case you want to 'see' the show (and Ray's acting job), too. But anyway, here is the last piece of the The Kinks days as Music Hall performers in the Mid-70's, before they went fully back to rock mode in 1977 and beyond. Worth checking out. 

1. Everybody's A Star (Starmaker)
2. Everybody's A Star (Suite)
3. Dialogue
4. Ordinary People
5. Rush Hour Blues
6. Nine To Five
7. When Work Is Over
8. Have Another Drink
9. Underneath The Neon Sign
10. You Make It All Worthwhile
11. Ducks On the Wall
12. (A)Face In The Crowd
13. You Can't Stop The Music


Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Kinks - 1976-02-20 - Tulane U., New Orleans, LA

The Kinks
Mc Allister Auditorium, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

Audience recording, pretty good quality
mp3 @ 320 kbps

Here's some more Kinks, and, once again, I feature a tour or period that I haven't covered yet. This is from 1976, the Schoolboys in Disgrace tour, from which there are very few available recordings. As fans know, the mid-70's were what has become known as the musical theater years for the Kinks, as they expanded the band by adding horns and whatnot, and put all their efforts into elaborate concept theater pieces or 'rock operas'. These included Preservation (Acts 1&2, 1973-74), A Soap Opera (1975), and their final theater production, Schoolboys in Disgrace (1976). Interestingly, Schoolboys was actually a sort of prequel to the preservation story, as it followed the early days of the villain from Preservation, Mr Flash, and how his Schooldays experiences shaped him into the villain he became. Not surprisingly, though, this was the Kinks least popular period with fans, as the theatrical styles, stories, and production, left most of their 'rock' fans just shaking their heads in dismay. And although the albums did not do well during this period, their live shows were always great and something to see. In retrospect, however, all these shows and musical productions show immense creativity, imagination, and musical diversity, and really are impressive achievements that have begun to be better appreciated in more recent years. And Schoolboys, in particular, has remained a favorite of many from this period, as it was something of a transition from the Music Hall productions back to their rock roots. Schoolboys contained a number of quality rockers that seemed to signal their return to a more straight-forward rock style, most notably, 'The Hard Way', and one of my all-time favorite Kinks songs, the vastly under-appreciated classic 'No More Looking Back'. Plus, since Schoolboys was only a single album (as opposed to the epic Preservation, which was 3 discs in length), they could do the entire Schoolboys show, plus leave plenty of time to cover many of their classic songs in concert. So, the Schoolboys tour was in many ways a return to form for them. However, as most know, The Kinks were dropped by their label, RCA, after Schoolboys, and were signed by Arista Records, who strongly encouraged the group to go back to a more stripped-down band and stronger rock sound, which they did, and lead to a rejuvenation of the group and a return to prominence and commercial success, as well as a string of great albums, lead by Sleepwalker (1977), one of their very best. This show, from Tulane University in New Orleans, starts off with a rousing selection of previous hits before they get into the Schoolboys saga, which they play in its entirety. The recording, unfortunately, is not that great, but it is the best I have heard from this tour. So, here, once again, is the Kinks, with their production of Schoolboys in Disgrace.
1. Everybody's A Star (Starmaker)
2. Rush Hour Blues
3. Lola
4. Waterloo Sunset
5. You Really Got Me
6. All Day and All of the Night
7. Alcohol
8. Celluloid Heroes
9. Schooldays
10. Schooldays Overture
11. Announcement-Narration
12. Jack The Idiot Dunce
13. Education
14. The First Time We Fall In Love
15. I'm In Disgrace
16. Headmaster
17. The First Time We Fall In Love (Reprise)
18. The Hard Way
19. The Last Assembly
20. No More Looking Back
21. Introductions-Finale
22. Money Talks


Back Again

Ok, so I guess I took a decidedly unplanned break from the blog for the past few weeks. I just got really bogged down with other things (work, family, etc.) and just didn't have time to get the blog for quite awhile there. But I'm back now, and will try to get back to more regular posting. Well, this was an especially busy and hectic summer. I did have several projects or special things planned for the blog, but I just never quite got to them. I may still try to post them in the future, but now the timing is off, as they were more of summer kind of things. Oh well, I will carry on, as time permits. Saw several interesting shows over the summer and may provide some items and commentary on them in the near future. But for now, I will return to presenting some classic live shows for all to enjoy. It was great to see how many enjoyed the Jackson Browne shows I posted  last month. Not surprisingly, I have some more great shows from those classic 1970's concerts, from some other favoratie artists coming up, so stay tuned.     

Monday, September 2, 2013

Jackson Browne (and full band) - 1978 - BBC In Concert - London

Jackson Browne (and Full Band)
1978 (unknown date)
BBC In Concert
Shepherd's Bush Theatre, London, UK
FM Broadcast recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Here's one more Jackson Browne show from the '70's to wrap up the summer and the holiday weekend, this one from Jackson's Running On Empty Tour in 1978. For his 5th album, Jackson planned to do a live album, but a live album that was different from any other. Rather than just release live concert versions of his hits, Jackson wanted to do all new material, and what's more, he envisioned not just a live album, but a concept album specifically about Life on the Road for a touring rock band, recorded completely on the road. And that's what he did. Running On Empty consisted of all previously unreleased songs (some original, some covers) that all dealt with some aspect of being on the road, recorded on stage at shows, backstage, in hotel rooms, and even on the tour bus while driving from Maine to New Jersey. It was a brilliant concept, excellently executed, and once again, with great songwriting. At the time it was released in late 1977, (and perhaps because of the inclusion of some cover songs) some didn't quite get it and dismissed it as Jackson's least ambitious album, or Jackson-lite, but it went on to become the biggest album of Jackson's career, and lead by such iconic songs as 'Running On Empty', 'Love Needs a Heart', 'You Love the Thunder', and 'The Load Out'. The song 'Running On Empty', in particular, really hit a nerve and captured a feeling in people, becoming an anthem of our troubled times. In this fine-sounding BBC radio show from the subsequent 1978 tour, the core songs from Running On Empty (7 songs played) provide the bulk of the show, including the album and show finale of 'The Load Out-Stay', with just a few of his earlier classic songs included. So, as the summer winds down, hit the road with Jackson and Running On Empty.

01: The Fuse
02: Here Come Those Tears Again
03: Rock Me On The Water
04: Cocaine
05: Rosie
06: Doctor My Eyes
07: These Days
08: Running On Empty
09: Love Needs A Heart
10: Nothing But Time
11: The Load Out
12: Stay

Band Lineup:
Jackson Browne: Guitar, Piano, Vocals
David Lindley: Guitar, Piddle, Vocals
Craig Doerge: Keyboards
Bob Glaub: Bass
Jim Gordon: Drums     
Rosemary Butler: Vocals
Doug Haywood: Vocals   

mp3 - Jackson_Browne_-_BBC_In_Concert_1978_mp3.rar

FLAC - Jackson_Browne_-_BBC_In_Concert_1978.rar