Friday, April 29, 2016

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer - 1974-02-02 - Anaheim (FM Broadcast)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA

FM Broadcast Recording (combined from KBFH 1974 original and 1996 re-broadcast), very good quality
Mp3 @ 320 kbps

Continuing with ELP: Coinciding with the release of their 5th album, Brain Salad Surgery in November 1973, ELP set out on their biggest, most ambitious, and most outrageous shows and tour yet in support of the album, which included a massive stage set-up (including Keith's spinning piano and Carl's rotating drum platform, and a total of 40 tons of equipment). The album and tour were a phenomenal success, and resulted in the triple LP live album, Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends...Ladies and Gentleman, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, released in August 1974. And yet the tour continued on through October 1974. The shows were epic and featured songs from throughout their catalog, but the centerpiece was the full-length 'Karn Evil #9' from BSS. I saw them early on this tour (in Chicago, 12/73), and the show was truly memorable. This very good quality recording (unfortunately of just a fraction of the full show) comes from 2 separate King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcasts. The first broadcast, in 1974, edited the show down to about 50 min. for broadcast (eliminating several songs - indicated below), but included the full-length 'Karn Evil #9' (over 30 min.). In a later re-broadcast of the show in 1996, 'Karn Evil #9' was edited down to a 14 min. 'excerpt', and the 'Piano Improv' piece was removed, but, inexplicably, three songs from a much later unidentified show (probably from the 1977-78 Works Tour), were added, as well as a rather curious (butchered) edit of 'Tarkus' (excerpt) from the 1974 show was also added. Unfortunately, the entire re-broadcast show was still billed as being from Anaheim 1974, which has resulted in some setlists for the show incorrectly including the added 1977 songs as being played in 1974, which they definitely were not (No 'Tiger...', 'C'est La Vie', or 'Fanfare...' were ever played in '74, as they had not been written or recorded yet). So, anyway, I have combined the broadcasts into one show featuring the unique full-length songs from both shows. Since the 1996 re-broadcast recording was somewhat better quality, I have used this recording for the songs included in both shows, and the 1974 recording only for those that were edited or cut in the 1996 broadcast.  The result is a more complete, albeit unrepresentative, show (due to the newer 1977 songs included). But this is an ELP radio show in fine quality, so enjoy.
2. Tiger in a Spotlight (Added song [unknown date]- 1996 Re-broadcast)
3. C'Est La'Vie (Added song [unknown date]- 1996 Re-broadcast)
4. Still You Turn Me On
5. Lucky Man
6. Piano Improvisations
7. Tarkus (excerpt)
8  Karn Evil #9 First Impression part 1 >
9. Karn Evil #9 First Impression part 2 >
10. Drum Solo >
11. Karn Evil # 9 First Impression part 2 (reprise) >
12. Karn Evil # 9 Second Impression part 1) >
13. Karn Evil # 9 Second Impression part 2) >
14. Karn Evil # 9 Third Impression
15.  Fanfare for the Common Man (Added song [unknown date]- 1996 Re-broadcast)

Note: Songs known to have been played at the 1974 concert, but not included in the broadcast included 'Jerusalem', 'Toccata', 'Tarkus' (full version - 27 min), and 'Take a Pebble', as well as some combination of 'Benny the Bouncer/Jeremy Bender/The Sheriff', and possibly an encore of 'Pictures at an Exhibition' (played at some but not all shows).


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Emerson, Lake and Palmer - 1971-06-13 - Dusseldorf, Germany

Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Philipshalle, Düsseldorf, Germany

TV Broadcast recording ("Supergroups in Concert"), good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Wow, as I was preparing this (and a few other) ELP shows in tribute to (the recently deceased) Keith Emerson this week, got word of still more tragic and unexpected deaths of memorable rock artists and musicians. Of course, everyone is talking about the loss of Prince, but there were others this week, too, including legendary blues-rock guitarist Lonnie Mack (whose pioneering virtuoso lead guitar soloing style was a major influence on Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and virtually every rock guitarist after), and multi-instrumentalist Pete Zorn (long-time member of Richard Thompson's Band, as well as stints with Gerry Rafferty and Steeleye Span). But the most shocking, unexpected, and devastating to fans was the death of Prince at 57, as he seemed to be in fine health and still very productive. Now, to be honest, I was never much of a fan of his music, overall (just not my style), but it is impossible not to recognize his vast talent, creativity, and artistry as a totally unique and dynamic artist and performer. There is no one else like him and his presence will be missed in the music world.

But today, I am still honoring the life and music of an important death from last month, keyboard virtuoso and progressive rock icon, Keith Emerson. Although today, the progressive rock movement of the (late 60's and) early 1970's often gets dismissed as trivial or some quaint musical oddity, let me tell you, it was (and is) a very big deal, and quite important in the continuing development of Rock. This time period corresponded to my high school years, and progressive rock was my favorite music, and very important in my own musical development. Progressive rock sought to move rock away from short, dance-beat singles to greater artistic and technical sophistication through use of experimental instrumentation, compositional structure, harmony and rhythms, through incorporation of instrumental virtuosity,  long-form compositions, and techniques and styles from jazz and classical music. Progressive rock is a mainstay of my musical background, but (other than Genesis), I have not featured it very much here on the blog. So, honoring Keith gives me a chance to present some more here now. At the time, progressive rock was very popular (Pink Floyd, Yes, Jethro Tull, Genesis, King Crimson, Moody Blues all at their peak), but for a time, ELP were the undisputed kings of the genre.
     Keith Emerson first earned acclaim and notoriety for his performances and antics on the Hammond organ with the group The Nice in the late 60's, where he first featured his 'symphonic rock' versions of classical pieces done as epic rock songs. By 1970, when he teamed with members of other  progressive rock groups, vocalist/bassist Greg Lake (from King Crimson) and drummer Carl Palmer (Atomic Rooster) to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer, they were already considered a 'Supergroup' (and received a record deal) before ever performing together. Their premier public performance (which coincided with the release of their self-titled 1st album) was at the Isle of Wight Festival in late 1970, where they made a big impression, and became very popular very quickly thereafter. With ELP, Emerson became one of the most prodigious and prolific users of the (relatively recently developed) Moog synthesizer, which permeated the band's sound. The band and their music continued to grow and develop through multiple hit albums throughout the 1970's, such as Tarkus (1971), Trilogy (1972), and Brain Salad Surgery (1973), with Emerson's reputation as a keyboard virtuoso and master showman growing throughout (was sometimes referred to as "the Jimi Hendrix of keyboards").
   Here is a show from very early in their career, in support of their first album. Like many other acts from this period, there are many recordings of shows from this period available, but very few of very high quality. This is one of the better quality recordings, as it comes from a TV broadcast, and features all the varied aspects of their live shows from that time, from Jazz, blues, and classical piano to folk-rock, to prog rock weirdness (and extended drum solos) to madcap classical rock ('Nutrocker'). Here's ELP in their earliest form.

01. Take a Pebble
02. Knife Edge (First 2:00 are a little warbled)
03. Blues Jam
04. The Barbarian
05. Rondo (w/ drums)
06. Nutrocker
Bonus track
07. Knife Edge // fade - Beat club 1970-11

Keith Emerson - Keyboard and Synthesizer Wizardry
Greg Lake - 'The Voice', bass, guitars
Carl Palmer - Percussion Extraordinaire

mp3 - ELP_1971-06-13_Dusseldorf_TV_mp3.rar

FLAC - ELP_1971-06-13_Dusseldorf_TV_FLAC.rar

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Great 8 Years

BB's 8th Anniversary

Hey now, what do you know? Another year has come around and its a blog birthday of 8 years now. It just sorta snuck up on me, and I didn't even realize that the anniversary was coming around, but here it is, 8 years of BB Chronicles. OK, so it's not a big deal, no big celebration or anything special to commemorate the event (after all I only post something about once a week), but still, 8 years is quite awhile in the land of music blogs. So many others have come and gone in that time. So, it is something. 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 the last 8 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. I also take pride that most of the music that has ever been posted here, is still available for download, even multiple years after first posting. I try to keep the links up to date as much as possible, so that the music will continue to be available for all to sample.

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 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.  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.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Badfinger - 1979-06-15 - Laredo, TX

June 15, 1979
unknown venue, Laredo, TX
'Friday Night in Laredo'

Soundboard recording, good quality
Mp3 @ 192 kbps

Ok, so this is not the 'classic' Badfinger, in that this was after Pete Ham's death, but they were still pretty good. This was the 2nd incarnation of Badfinger, but it does include both of the key remaining singer-songwriters of the group, Tom Evans and Joey Molland, for their last concert tour performing together. After Ham's tragic death in 1975, Badfinger was no more. Molland (who had actually already left the group in late 1974), Evans, drummer Mike Gibbins and latecomer keyboardist Bob Jackson all went their separate ways, joining/forming other bands. Molland formed Natural Gas (released 1 album, 1976), and Evans and Jackson joined The Dodgers (1 album, 1978). However, none of these ventures worked out (Natural Gas fizzled and Evans was actually kicked out of The Dodgers before their album was released, with his vocal and bass parts removed and overdubbed). So, by 1978, they were basically out of music, working various jobs to get by. Joey was then recruited by a couple of American musicians, guitarist Joe Tansin and drummer Kenny Harck, to start a new band, and since they needed a bass, Joey recruited Tom to join as well. At the time there was no intention of having the new band be a re-formation of Badfinger, but as they were rehearsing and shopping demos, it was recommended by a prospective record company that they rename the band Badfinger and bill their new album as their 'comeback'. So, they became Badfinger again, working on a new album that became Airwaves (1979). However, drummer Harck was fired before the album was finished (using other session drummers to finish), and Tansin left shortly after completion of the album (upset that Evans/Molland had taken over, leaving most of his songs and vocals off the album - Tansin only had 2 songs make it on the album, neither with him singing lead). So, for the upcoming tour, Joey Recruited keyboard player Tony Kaye (formerly of Yes) and drummer Peter Clarke (Stealers Wheel) to fill out the band. With this lineup, they toured promoting Airwaves, and then (after adding Glenn Sherba on guitar) made another album, Say No More (1981). However, after Say No More wrapped, Evans and Molland split for good, with each forming their own competing touring versions of Badfinger (and each claiming the other's was not the 'real' Badfinger) from 1981 to 1983. Of the competing bands, Evans' version also featured the return of Mike Gibbins and Bob Jackson, so his band did have more core Badfinger members (with the bands generally referred to as Joey Molland's Badfinger and Tom Evans' Badfinger). This only increased the acrimony between Molland and Evans, in addition to ongoing financial and legal problems and struggles. In February 1983, Evans and Jackson with some new band members recorded some demos for a new album, with the band tentatively called 'Goodfinger' (one of the tracks was a tribute to Pete Ham entitled 'I Won't Forget You'). Evans shopped the tapes around (and continued touring through 1983) trying to get the backing and money to make the album but was not successful. On November 18, following a long, heated phone conversation with Joey Molland regarding Badfinger finances, Tom, who had never gotten over Ham's death,  just gave up and hanged himself at his home.

Now, regarding the re-formed Badfinger and their albums Airwaves and Say No More, generally critics and fans have not been very supportive, but actually there are some very good songs there. Of course, Ham's songwriting and vocal talents are sorely missing, but both Evans and Molland are fine songwriters and performers on their own, and the results are pretty good overall (just not quite classic Badfinger). The biggest complaint about the albums is that they suffer from an overly slick ('West Coast') pop production and style (the beginnings of that '80's pop slickness creeping in) and just don't have that Badfinger sound. However, that is not a problem in the live shows from the subsequent 1979 tour, where they maintain their rockin' edge (Joey and Tom were always harder rockers than Pete was anyway). Thus, this tour is very interesting, and the show presented here is very good. The setlist starts right out with 5 straight songs from Airwaves (which the tour was promoting), but after that it is all classic Badfinger songs (with the exception of 1 song from Joey's previous Natural Gas band and a Chuck Berry closer). Not surprisingly, they stick primarily with their own (Evans and Molland) songs, with just a couple of Ham's well-known hits thrown in. But there are plenty of great Evans/Molland songs (although I can't believe they did not do 'Sometimes', which was Joey's best-ever rocker) to go around. This is also interesting in that it features far more keyboards than ever before for Badfinger (only tour having only one guitar, with Tony Kaye's keyboards filling in much of the sound) providing a somewhat different sound and feel on many of the songs. The recording itself is a soundboard, but not of great quality, as it is apparent that the tape comes from a somewhat worn cassette, with inherent wobble and volume/clarity fluctuations throughout. Still, it is pretty good overall (and best I've heard from this tour). So, anyway, check it out, the last tour of Badfinger featuring both Tom Evans and Joey Molland.
1 Look Out California (fades in)
2 The Winner
3 Lost Inside Your Love
4 Love Is Gonna Come At Last
5 Come Down Hard
6 Suitcase
7 Get Away
8 Blind Owl
9 Without You
10 Give It Up
11 Come And Get It
12 Baby Blue
13 I've Been Waiting
14 Andy Norris
15 Rock Of Ages
16 Better Days
17 Johnny B. Goode

Joey Molland - guitar, vocals
Tom Evans - bass, vocals
Tony Kaye - keyboards
Peter Clarke - drums

Note: First song of set reported to be 'Rock 'n Roll Contract' apparently was not recorded and not included on this source tape.

Link updated (02/27/2019)
Badfinger - 1979-06-15 - Laredo, TX

Addendum: As you may be able to tell, I have been on a Badfinger kick lately. They really were a great band. Although I have always known about the brilliance of No Dice and Straight Up, I have only recently discovered the joys of the rest of their catalog. I had always been under the impression that their Warners albums and subsequent work was not that good, but had never really listened to it all myself. And I was not even aware until recently of the 'lost' album, Head First, which was recorded in 1974, but not released (in rough form and on an obscure label) until 2000. And that is not even mentioning multiple CDs full of home demo recordings by Pete Ham that have also been made available in the subsequent years. Well, I have been immersing myself in all of it recently, and I have to say, I had no idea that Badfinger's catalog (and legacy) was this impressive and large.
Although the first Warners album (Badfinger) is a bit of a disappointment relative to the others, it is still overall a quite good album. But Wish You Were Here is an absolutely great album, and the real shocker is that Head First, so long buried, is also, for the most part, a great album as well, certainly a worthy successor to Wish You Were Here, and continues right where that album leaves off. It's just a shame that the version we have of Head First is not of top sound quality (made from cassette recording of original rough mixes, as master tapes were apparently lost) and has not received a decent release or the subsequent acclaim it deserves. Thus, in addition to Straight Up (which everyone should already own - get the 2010 remaster version, which has improved sound and excellent bonus tracks), I highly recommend getting Wish You Were Here and Head First (if you can find them). The Evans/Molland re-formed Badfinger albums (Airwaves/Say No More) are also worth checking out, but not essential.
I have also been trying to track down the releases of Pete Ham's home demo recordings, 7 Park Avenue (1997), Golders Green (1999) and Keyhole Street (2013), as well as Tom Evans' last recordings Over You (The Final Tracks) (1993). I've only been able to find some, parts of, but not all of these recordings (as they are very difficult to locate). But what I have heard from these are also quite amazing. These make it clear just what an immense talent Pete Ham was, and that if he would have lived, could have emerged as one of the great songwriters of our time. Although the demos are very rough recordings, most of them just Ham playing guitar and singing into a recorder, the extent, melodies, and breadth of his songs are astounding, as well as the shear number of song ideas, in various states of completion. Of course, included here are early demos for most of his Badfinger songs, but in addition, dozens and dozens of others, many just as good as any of his best songs. It is just amazing to hear this extremely talented young man just play into his recorder, primarily just for his own amusement. So, if you can track these down, I also highly recommend giving them a listen as well.