Friday, December 14, 2018

BB's Christmas Collection-2018 - A BB Chronicles Christmas Compilation

BB's Christmas Collection 2018
A BB Chronicles Christmas Compilation
Various Artists & Recordings

Mp3 @ mostly 320 kbps (a few @ 192)

Taking a short Holiday break from the Progressive Rock features: It's the Christmas season and time for another of my biennial Christmas compilations (because every year is just a bit too much for this type of thing, every other year just about right). This year I've got a another wonderful overstuffed hodgepodge of eclectic selections for your seasonal enjoyment. This 2018 edition highlights cuts from several new holiday releases (2017-2018) from popular artists, including Eric Clapton, Michael McDonald, The Mavericks, Ingrid Michaelson, and Cheap Trick, as well some oldies, classics, and a healthy dose of power pop. A few of the traditional Christmas songs are included, but (as usual), the bulk are non-traditional. One mini-theme this year embraces some attempts to raise previous novelty songs to full-fledged serious Christmas fare, as with The Chipmunks' 'Christmas Don't be Late' (done as a ballad by She & Him), SNL's cheesy 'I Wish It Was Christmas Today' (with full rock treatment by Cheap Trick), The Beatles fragment 'Christmas Time is Here Again' (fleshed out as a mashup with 'Flying' and "Baby You're A Rich Man' by The Weeklings), and Slade's 'Merry Xmas Everybody' (polished up into a power pop beauty by Sloan). Also included is a nod to my recent progressive rock features, with a couple holiday tracks from Yes veterans Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, as well as a holiday remembrance to the departed Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Also, I have to give a special Thank You (and apology?) to Angelo from the Power Pop Criminals blog, because I leaned heavily on (stole?) several tracks from his own 2017 Power Pop Christmas Compilation (Very Merry Christmas), as he really knows Power Pop and does these things so very well (with inclusion of great songs by bands I never would have known), so great job there (and check his blog for all the previous years of great compilations and other stuff). Being pressed for time, I put this together really quickly, but I think it turned out great (at least I am really enjoying it). Anyway, hope you all check this out and enjoy it. Merry Christmas to all and wishes for a very Happy Holiday season!

Tracklist [# title-artist(album-yr)]:
01. At Christmas Time - Dan Fogelberg (The First Christmas Morning-1999)
02. Christmas Time Is (Coming 'Round Again) - The Mavericks (Hey! Merry Christmas!-2018)
03. Christmas Time - Jeremy (Very Merry Christmas-PPC Compilation-2017)
04. Christmas Time is Here Again - The Weeklings (Very Merry Christmas-PPC Compilation-2017)
05. It's Christmas - Eric Clapton (Happy Xmas-2018)
06. What Christmas Means To Me - Stevie Wonder (Someday at Christmas-1967)
07. Merry Christmas Time - Somerdale (Very Merry Christmas-PPC Compilation-2017)
08. Happy, Happy Christmas - Ingrid Michaelson (Songs for the Season-2018)
09. Something Bout This Time Of Year - Mike Daly (Very Merry Christmas-PPC Compilation-2017)
10. Christmas Dream - The Grip Weeds (Very Merry Christmas-PPC Compilation-2017)
11. Merry Xmas Everybody - Sloan (Very Merry Christmas-PPC Compilation-2017)
12. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Crash Test Dummies (Jingle All The Way-2002)
13. Joy to the World - Aretha Franklin (Joy to the World (2006)
14. Riu Chiu - The Monkees (The Christmas Album-2007)
15. Christmas Christmas - Cheap Trick (Christmas Christmas-2017)
16. Remember (Christmas) - Harry Nilsson (Son of Schmilsson-1972)
17. The Christmas Dance - Ringo Starr (I Wanna Be Santa Claus-1999)
18. The Flower Carol (Good King Wenceslas) - David Grisman Acoustic Christmas-1983)
19. White Christmas - Eric Clapton (Happy Xmas-2018)
20. Christmas Don't Be Late - She & Him (Christmas Party-2016)
21. I Wish It Was Christmas Today - Cheap Trick (Christmas Christmas-2017)
22. Ding Dong Merrily On High - Jon Anderson (3 Ships-1985)
23. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Michael McDonald (Season of Peace:The Christmas Collection-2018)
24. A Very Merry Christmas - The Beatphonics (Very Merry Christmas-PPC Compilation-2017)
25. Day Of Days - Jon Anderson (3 Ships-1985)
26. Run With the Fox - Chris Squire (Chris Squire's Swiss Choir-2007)
27. Winter Wonderland (feat. Jake Shimabukuro) - Michael McDonald (Season of Peace:The Christmas Collection-2018)
28. Hey! Merry Christmas! - The Mavericks (Hey! Merry Christmas!-2018)

One other note: I've always thought Stevie Wonder's 'What Christmas Means to Me' was a great contemporary Christmas song that has been underappreciated and underutilized (few covers). So, I was delighted to see it get some respect and inclusion in multiple new Christmas releases this year, including new versions done by Pentatonix, John Legend, and Michael McDonald, and intended on including the best of these new versions on my new compilation. However, after hearing them, none quite captured the essence and spirit (or coolness) of the original version, so I (of course) went back and included the original 1967 Stevie Wonder version instead. Sometimes you just can't improve on the original.

New Link! Updated 12/11/20
BB's Christmas Collection-2018.rar


Reminder of all the previous Christmas & Holiday music here

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Check out the new Christmas offerings for this year. But don't forget about all my previous Christmas-related collections and posts! There are plenty of Christmas, Winter, Holiday-related posts and downloads available here. So, if you haven't previously checked out my delightful and eclectic Christmas collections, I invite you to do so now (links to those pages below). In addition, there are several other Christmas-related shows and compilations that have been posted previously. To see all the Christmas-related posts check here. As I've said before, personally, I love Christmas music of all types, classical, rock, pop, jazz, etc., from the traditional to the outrageous, the serious to the silly, the classics to the newest ditties, and these compilations contain some of my favorites. Enjoy the season while it lasts. 

BB's Christmas Collection 2018 - New, Old, and Revived

BB's Chronicles Christmas Collections 2016 (featuring 2 full collections - Bright and Blue)

BB's Christmas Chronicle 2014 - Tiny Tree Christmas

BB Chronicles Holiday Sampler 2012 - No Rest for Ye Merry Gentlemen

BB Chronicles Echlectic Christmas Chollection 2010

Other Christmas posts:

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo Christmas Shows: 2014 - Boston ; 2015 - Boston

Bruce Springsteen Live Christmas compilations

Chicago - 1998 Christmas show

Bill Kirchen's Honky Tonk Holiday Party - 2010 - Northampton, MA 

All links recently updated! Enjoy!.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Steve Hackett - 1981-10-20 -The Agora, Clevelend OH

Steve Hackett
The Agora, Cleveland, OH, USA
Cured Tour 

Soundboard recording (Remastered SHRP-08), very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions
Continuing with virtuoso progressive guitarist Steve Hackett: After the success of Spectral Mornings (1979) and its subsequent tour, Steve followed up with Defector (1980), which became his highest charting album in the UK. After that he followed with somewhat of a change of pace, with Cured (1981). First, for Cured, Steve changed his backing band, keeping only keyboardist Nick Magnus (and his brother John) from the previous group, and used mostly programmed drum tracks throughout (It was essentially a multi-layered duo of Hackett and Magnus on most songs). In addition, although previously Steve had mostly relied on other vocalists to sing lead, he did all the lead vocals himself this time. And although Cured still displayed plenty of progressive rock, it also featured shorter songs and a more upbeat pop-rock style. The result was a refreshing change of pace providing many new songs and more emphasis on vocals. For the Cured tour, Steve added a new bass player and drummer, and hit the road. The show featured here is a great soundboard recording from his 1981 American tour, and in addition to popular songs from the earlier albums, Steve added 4-5 new songs from each of The Defector and Cured albums, resulting in a great show and great song selection. I added an additional Cured song from another show on the tour as a bonus track, as this song was only played at a limited number of shows.

01. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare 05:32
02. Jacuzzi    05:45
03. Funny Feeling 05:12
04. Ace Of Wands 08:16
05. Picture Postcard 08:16
06. The Steppes 06:54
07. Every Day 07:01
08. The Red Flower Of Tachai / Tigermoth 06:24
09. Horizons 02:43
10. Kim 02:20
11. Overnight Sleeper 04:30
12. Slogans    06:30
13. A Tower Struck Down 03:18
14. Spectral Mornings 08:15
15. Land Of A Thousand Autumns / Please Don't Touch 09:19
16. Band Intro 00:42
17. The Show 04:42
18. Clocks 06:58
Bonus Track
1981-12-07 - Vancouver, B.C. (FM Broadcast)
19. Hope I Don't Wake

Steve Hackett - Guitars / Vocals
Nick Magnus - Keyboards
Chas Cronk - Bass
Ian Mosley - Drums
John Hackett - Flute / Bass pedals

FLAC - Steve Hackett_1981-10-20_Cleveland_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Steve Hackett_1981-10-20_Cleveland_mp3.rar

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Steve Hackett - 1979-08-25 - Reading Festival, reading, UK (Plus Bonus Tracks)

Steve Hackett
Reading Festival, Reading, UK
(Plus Bonus tracks 1978-79)

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

Moving on from Mike Oldfield, here we have another exceptional and innovative progressive rock guitarist who had his own unique outlook, vision, and direction for his music throughout his career. Steve Hackett, best known as guitarist (and songwriter) for Genesis from 1970-1977 (their golden years), also has had a stellar subsequent solo and collaborative musical career, pursuing many musical styles and directions, from progressive and straight-forward rock to classical, jazz, blues, and everything in between. Steve was a major part of the classic period of Genesis, writing and performing on all the albums from Nursery Cryme (1971) through the Seconds Out Live Album (1977). After recording and releasing his own solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte (1975) while still a member of Genesis, and enjoying the freedom and creative development it provided, he started to feel constrained by his more restricted role in the band. Wanting to explore more and varied musical styles and feeling frustrated with the band not incorporating and using enough of his ideas and songs, he left near the end of 1977 (and although many Genesis fans point to the loss of Peter Gabriel in 1975 as the critical change for the progressive status of the band, I would argue that the band weathered that change fairly well, and that it was the loss of Steve Hackett in 1977 that radically changed the direction of the band to a more pop-oriented style). Steve's first album after leaving Genesis was Please Don't Touch (1978), which was recorded in the U.S. and featured various guest artists and session musicians, including vocalists Steve Walsh (Kansas), Richie Havens, and Randy Crawford, as well as drummers Phil Ehart (Kansas), Tom Fowler, and Chester Thompson, and violinist Graham Smith (Van der Graaf Generator). However, for his first solo tour (1978) to support the album, he needed to put together a touring band, which consisted of his brother John Hackett (flute), Dik Cadbury (bass), Nicj Magnus (keyboards), John Shearer (drums), and Pete Hicks (lead vocals). This core group of musicians went on to be his recording band for his next two albums, Spectral Mornings (1979) and Defector (1980), as well as his touring band. Spectral Mornings, in particular, is an excellent album, and one of his most popular, with a variety of eclectic and progressive songs and styles. Featured here are some performances from the Spectral Mornings tour (1979). The FM broadcast from the Reading Festival performance is very good, but unfortunately pretty short (around 45 min), so I have supplemented that with some bonus tracks from the same period, from the FM broadcast of the Drury Lane London show, and a couple tracks from a 1978 Paris show, to round out the concert to a full CD length.   

01. Please Don't Touch
02. Tigermoth
03. Every Day
04. Optigan - A Tower Struck Down
05. Spectral Mornings   
06. Clocks
07. I Know What I Like
Bonus Tracks
1979-11-11 - Drury Lane Theater, London (FM)

08. Ace of Wands
09. The Red Flower Of Tachai
10. Bood On The Rooftops / Horizons / Kim
1978-10-16 - Olympia Theatre, Paris
11. Narnia
12. Star of Sirius

Note: For some reason, the original bootleg of the Reading show (titled 'I Know What I Like') was terribly tracked, with the songs 'Every Day', 'Tower Struck Down', and 'Spectral Mornings' split and broken up into incoherent pieces. An additional track, 'Octagon' was also indicated between 'Every Day' and 'Tower', but this was actually just the ending part of 'Every Day', whereas it should have been 'Optigan' (named after the Optigan rudimentary synthesizer used), which was briefly played at the beginning of 'A Tower Struck Down'. I found these tracking discrepancies very annoying, so I have fixed the tracking and put the songs back together properly, which resulted in there now being 7 songs instead of 8 (but the entire show is included).
FLAC - Steve Hackett_1979-08-25_Reading_Plus_FLAC.rar

Mp3 - Steve Hackett_1979-08-25_Reading_Plus_Mp3.rar

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Mike Oldfield - 1999-07-25 - Katowice, Poland

Mike Oldfield
Spodek Hall, Katowice, Poland
Then & Now Tour 1999

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

To wrap up this brief look at Mike Oldfield's career: As the eighties wore on, and with relentless pressure from his record company to make more commercial music, Mike did what he could to balance his musical and artistic goals with pop song limitations, but harbored increasing bitterness, resentment, and feuds with Virgin regarding his music. The success of the pop aspects of Crises (1983) and Discovery (1984) only made things worse as Virgin pushed even harder for more pop/rock songs with 'hit potential'. This resulted in even less room on Mike's subsequent albums for his trademark extended instrumentals, culminating in Earth Moving (1989), which consisted entirely of  short pop songs and no instrumentals. Not surprisingly, this album is generally considered the lowpoint of Mike's career. Fed up by the label's interference in his music, Mike rebelled and just wanted out of his contract, and for his next album, Amarok (1990), Mike purposely made an album that Virgin (and owner Richard Branson) would hate. He went back to his full album long-form instrumental, but in this case also made it more disjointed and experimental and impossible to subdivide into 'singles' (He even included a literal F-U to his record company, as an embedded morse code message of 'Fuck you RB' referring to Richard Branson. The album was released and progressive fans hailed it as a return to form for Mike and one of his greatest works. Virgin was less impressed, and if Mike was going to do an instrumental album, they wanted a sequel to Tubular Bells, but Mike refused. He finished out his his contract with Virgin with a hastily put together mixed bag album of different pop/rock songs and styles (Heaven's Open (1991), and then he was free again to do the music he wanted. His first album with his new label (Warner Bros.) was the long-awaited sequel to Tubular Bells, Tubular Bells II (1992), just to rub it in to his former label. It was a remarkable re-imagining of the original, taking the same themes and structure and doing different variations and extrapolations on them. In subsequent Warner albums, he explored new and varied musical styles, from a softer new age sound on a concept album based on an Arthur C. Clarke novel (Songs of Distant Earth-1994) to Celtic themes (Voyager (1996) to an all-guitar album (Guitars-1999). He also did another sequel to Tubular Bells with Tubular Bells III (1998). His career has continued to explore varied musical styles but he always also returns to the ethereal long-form instrumentals of his early albums. Most recently, Mike released a long-awaited sequel to Ommadawn, Return to Ommadawn (2017), which has received much praise and acclaim. The show featured here is from 1999 and consisted primarily of sections from his recent albums Songs of Distant Earth, Guitars, and a nearly complete Tubular Bells III, in addition to a couple of his singles and 'Ommadawn'. A very nice show to highlight his 1990's work, and to cap this look at the fantastic and innovative musician that is  Mike Oldfield.

01. In The Beginning
02. Let There Be Light
03. Supernova
04. Crystal Clear
05. Shadow On The Wall
06. Ommadawn Part 1
07. Band Intro
08. Cochise
09. Embers
10. Summit Day
11. Muse
12. The Source Of Secrets
13. The Watchful Eye
14. Jewel In The Crown
15. Outcast
16. Serpent Dream
17. The Inner Child
18. Secrets
19. Far Above The Clouds
20. Moonlight Shadow
21. Family Man
22. Far Above The Clouds Encore

Time.: 02:25:32
FLAC - Mike Oldfield_1999-07-25_Katowice,Poland_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Mike Oldfield_1999-07-25_Katowice,Poland_mp3.rar

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mike Oldfield - 1984-09-10 - Milan, Italy

Mike Oldfield
September 10, 1984
Teatro Tenda Lampugnano, Milano, Italy

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

Following his successful 1981 European tour, Mike Oldfield returned to the studio to work out how to better juxtapose his favored extended instrumentals along with some more pop-friendly songs and vocals. And with his next album, Five Miles Out (1982), Mike achieved more of a balance between these opposing forces, fashioned some genuine rock songs (as well as a bit more progressive rock), and released his best album of this period, and even sang some lead vocals himself for the first time. The album cracked the British top ten for the first time since Ommadawn, and even had some singles success with 'Five Miles Out' and 'Family Man' (which would later be a hit for Hall and Oates), with Maggie Reilly again contributing some stellar vocals. Following a similar format (Side one - single extended instrumental, side two - shorter pop-rock songs), Crises (1983) was even more successful, climbing to #6 in the UK and near the top of the charts throughout Europe and Scandanavia, due to the success of the singles 'Moonlight Shadow' and 'Shadow on the Wall'. The album again featured vocals by Maggie Reilly, as well as additional guest vocals from Jon Anderson (Yes) and Roger Chapman (Family). 'Moonlight Shadow' (vocals by Maggie Reilly) became the biggest hit (single) of Mike's career. However, rather than being pleased with this success, Oldfield's record label (Virgin) used this only to increase the pressure on Mike to write more 'pop hits', rather than his preferred instrumentals. Thus, on Discovery (1984). more shorter pop songs were included and only a single (shorter) instrumental. Barry Palmer (formerly of Triumvirat) sang vocals on some tracks, as well as Maggie Reilly again. Although containing some good songs, overall a less impressive and less successful album than either Crises or Five Miles Out indicating diminishing returns with too many of the 'pop' style songs. Here is a fine concert from this period, from the Discovery Tour, which features the complete albums of both Crises and Discovery, as well as several songs from previous albums Five Miles Out and QE2, but only a shortened 'Tubular Bells Part 2' to represent his earlier work. 

01 Platinum (excerpts)
02 Tubular Bells Part 2
03 In High Places
04 Foreign Affair - Mount Teide
05 Taurus 1 & 2
06 The Lake
07 Five Miles Out
08 Crises
09 To France
10 Poison Arrows
11 Crystal Gazing
12 Tricks Of The Light
13 Discovery
14 Talk About Your Life
15 Saved By A Bell
16 Moonlight Shadow
17 Shadow on the Wall
18 Taurus III

Mike Oldfield - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Harold Zuschrader - fairlight synthesiser
Mickey Simmonds - keyboards
Barry Palmer - vocals
Maggie Reilly - vocals
Phil Spalding - bass and guitar
Simon Phillips - drums, percussion

FLAC -  Mike Oldfield_1984-09-10_Milan_FLAC.rar
mp3 - Mike Oldfield_1984-09-10_Milan_FLAC.rar

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Mike Oldfield - 1981-04-02 - Eilenreidhalle, Hannover, Germany

Mike Oldfield
April 2, 1981
Eilenriedhalle, Hannover, DE
'Adventure In Hannover' Live 1981

Soundboard recording, excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

More from Mike Oldfield! Despite his early phenomenal success, by the end of the '70's, as the popularity of progressive rock among the general public was declining, Oldfield's albums also saw declining sales. And his last album, the double album Incantations (1978), which consisted of a single 72 minute song broken into 4 sidelong parts and took 3 years to release, was his weakest and least warmly received (even many Oldfield fans thought it a bit too dull and repetitive). Thus, Oldfield was under increasing pressure from his record company to deliver more popular music and move up the charts. Thus, on his next several albums Oldfield mixed his longer instrumental-oriented tracks with a series of shorter, more pop-friendly tracks, as well as including cover songs and more traditional vocals (with lyrics). The first of these albums was Platinum (1979), with side one a long-form instrumental (but broken into 4 separate parts), and side two containing shorter songs, some with vocals (by Wendy Roberts). However, there was another change that also occurred around this time. During the recording of Incantations, Mike began undergoing assertiveness training, which helped him with his confidence, personal interactions, and anxieties about performing live. Thus emboldened, in 1979 Mike went on his first full-fledged tour to support his albums. The next album, QE2 (1980) followed a similar format, and marked the first time Mike worked with vocalist Maggie Reilly, and the beginning of a successful partnership. But this change in style for Mike was not initially very well-received, with the more progressive fans feeling somewhat betrayed and accusing Mike of selling out, and pop audiences just were not really embracing his quirky songs and style. However, the extensive 1981 European tour that followed was very successful and helped expand his audience, and several excellent recordings exist from this tour.
    Here is a wonderful show from Mike's 1981 European Adventure Tour, a superb soundboard recording featuring some unique arrangements of Oldfield's signature long-form tracks as well as some of the newer shorter tracks from recent albums, and featuring a crack supporting band and vocals from Maggie Reilly.

CD 1
1. Welcome  0:39.67
2. Taurus I  11:10.66
3. Sheba  3:34.49
4. Mirage  5:07.73
5. Introducing  1:16.27
6. Platinum 1-4  15:09.14
7. Tubular Bells Part 2  7:19.17
8. Sailor's Hornpipe  2:34.03
9. Conflict  5:27.64
Total Disc Time: 52:20.05

CD 2
1. Ommadawn  20:54.70
2. Tubular Bells Part I  17:29.17
3. QE2 / Portsmouth  7:46.48
4. Punkadiddle  6:35.35
Total Disc Time: 52:46.20

Mike Oldfield - Guitar, vocals
Maggie Reilly - Vocals
Morris Pert - Percussion
Tim Cross - Keyboards
Rick Fenn - Bass, guitar
Mike Frye - Percussion

FLAC - Mike Oldfield_1981-04-02_HannoverDE_FLAC.rar

Mp3 - Mike Oldfield_1981-04-02_HannoverDE_Mp3.rar

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Mike Oldfield (& Friends) - 1973-06-25 - London - Tubular Bells Live Premiere Concert

Mike Oldfield (& Friends)
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, UK
Tubular Bells Live Premiere Concert

 Pre-FM Broadcast recording, excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

And now, we come to perhaps the most surprising and unlikely pioneer, architect, and icon of  Progressive Rock, the shy, reclusive master guitarist-composer-multi-instrumentalist, Mike Oldfield. Born in Reading, UK in 1953, Mike taught himself to play guitar while still a child, and by 13 was writing extended compositions and playing at folk clubs as well as part of a beat group. He formed a folk duo with his sister Sally (The Sallyangie), got a record deal and released a folk album at 15. Following that, he was in a rock band, Barefoot, with his older brother Terry. In 1970, he joined Kevin Ayer's backing band, The Whole World, which also featured keyboardist David Bedford, as well as playing guitar in the musical Hair and also playing with Alex Harvey around this time. By 1971 (and still a teenager), he had also made a series of solo home demo tapes featuring extended instrumental compositions and multiple overdubbed parts (the beginnings of 'Tubular Bells') that he tried to shop around to any record label that would take on the project, but he was rejected by them all. That is, until September 1971, when playing as a session musician at a recording session at Manor Studios, he played some of his tapes for engineers Tom Newman and Simon Heyworth, who liked them and brought them to young entrepreneur Richard Branson, who owned the studio (and was also interested in starting his own record company). Branson was impressed enough with the tapes to give Oldfield one week's worth of recording time at the studio to record his work.
          At the end of that week, Oldfield had completed what he then called 'Opus One' (which later became 'Part One' of  'Tubular Bells'), a 25+ minute instrumental composition in which Oldfield played all the parts himself (over twenty different instruments) in numerous overdubs, and that defied all categorization, as it combined elements of folk, rock, classical, etc., into a seamless meandering tone poem that introduced main themes and variations before moving on to other themes and variations, and presented with new and different sounds and styles throughout. However, the second part ('Part Two') took much longer to complete because now Mike had to record in the studio off-hours and when it wasn't booked by others. By early 1973, the complete work was finished (Mike still only 19), and by this time it was decided that Tubular Bells would be the first release of Branson's new record company, Virgin Records. It was released on May 25, 1973, and was a truly groundbreaking release, re-defining what 'progressive rock' could be, and unlike any album previous released within the pop-rock world. Although it received near-unanimous praise, it still did not quite fit in anywhere, and rock critics in particular were more subdued in their reception because they did not consider it 'rock' at all. Following the album release, Branson planned a live concert event to promote the album, but Oldfield was reluctant to perform, and tried to back out right up until the concert date (It's been told that Branson gave Oldfield his Bentley on the trip down to the concert in London to keep Oldfield from backing out)  That show, a live concert performance of the entire album, with Oldfield and numerous guest musicians and session players, including other 'progressive' artists such as Kevin Ayers, Steve Hillage, Pierre Moerlen, David Bedford, as well as Mick Taylor of The Rolling Stones, was performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on June 25, 1973 and broadcast live on the BBC (and that is the performance that is presented here). By most accounts the performance was a success, but Oldfield himself was not happy with it and only performed live a few times over the next several years.

     The album became quite popular in England, but was too eclectic for the U.S. and did not attract much attention until much later in 1973, when, quite by accident, the opening theme of the album was used in the the most talked about film of the year, William Friedkin's The Exorcist. After the exposure from the film, the album became a huge International hit, (selling over 15 million copies worldwide). This was also a groundbreaking and world-changing album for me personally (and BTW, I heard and bought the album long before The Exorcist film came out), shaping my musical world and the possibilities of where progressive rock could take you. Just magical. Oldfield followed this masterpiece with a couple more albums that, although not receiving the same level of success or popularity, were just as wonderful, accomplished, evocative, and inspiring (and some would say even better than TB, although different in their own ways), in Hergest Ridge (1974) and Ommadawn (1975), and these three albums solidified his early, impressive career. So, here now, is that first live concert premiering Tubular Bells to the World, as it was presented back in 1973.  

01. Tubular Bells (Part One)
02. Tubular Bells (Part Two)

Musicians for Queen Elizabeth Hall performance:
Mike Oldfield – acoustic and electric guitars, bass, Lowrey organ, mandolin, "prehistoric poem"
Kevin Ayers – bass guitar
David Bedford – grand piano, accordion, organ, choir master, string arrangements
Steve Broughton – drums
Jon Field – flute
Fred Frith – electric guitar, bass guitar
John Greaves – Davoli electric piano, Farfisa organ, tin whistle, Vox organ
Nick Haley – violin
Tim Hodgkinson – Farfisa organ, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Vox organ
Steve Hillage – electric guitar
Simon Ingram Hill – cello, organ
Geoff Leigh (misspelt on the programme as "Jeff Leig") – flute
Ashley Mason – viola
Pierre Moerlen – cymbals, glockenspiel, gongs, tam-tam, tubular bells, timpani
Tom Newman – nasal chorus
Terry Oldfield – flute
Ted Speight – electric guitar
Vivian Stanshall – master of ceremonies
Mick Taylor – electric guitar
Janet Townley – violin
Vulpy – viola
Girlie Chorus: Sarah Greaves, Kathy Williams, Sally Oldfield, Maureen Rossini, Lynette Asquith, Amanda Parsons, Maggie Thomas, Mundy Ellis, Julie Clive, Liz Gluck, Debbie Scott, Hanna Corker.

FLAC - Mike Oldfield_1973-06-25_London_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Mike Oldfield_1973-06-25_London_mp3.rar

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Electric Light Orchestra - 1976-03-16 - Flint, MI

Electric Light Orchestra
I.M.A. Auditorium, Flint, MI

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

Here's more from ELO, from a bit later in their career, early in 1976 on their Face the Music tour, and at what I would consider to be their best period. Coming off the success of El Dorado (and their first top ten hit, 'Can't Get it Out of My Head'), they released Face the Music in late 1975, which quickly resulted in two more hits ('Evil Woman' and 'Strange Magic') by the time of their tour. But more than that, Face the Music was a just a dynamite album, with a great mix between the classical, pop, and rock influences of the band. This was their first major tour as a headliner, and they made the most of it, with a great set of songs from all their albums up to that point. Opening with a powerhouse trio of songs from Face the Music ('Fire on High', 'Poker', and 'Nightrider'), they went through sections featuring songs from each of their previous albums. Thus, this was the last tour to feature many of their earlier songs, which would be replaced as more hits piled up, which is why this was my favorite period, as they still featured the old ELO, but also had the added aspect of their middle period songs and hits, bu just before they would become more and more pop singles and hit-oriented. Another highlight is that, unlike in the previous (1973) show, they play the full version of 'Roll Over Beethoven', with Beethoven's 5th intro (which to me is what really makes their version work - the way the screeching guitar lick comes blasting through the classical refrain). Great stuff, and this is a great recording (especially for an audience - thanks JEMS). I've also added as a bonus track (from the Detroit show), a cover of 'Let's Spend the Night Together' with the final part of 'The End' added, that they played at some of the earlier shows on the tour (but not the Flint show). It's an interesting and different (and lesser-known) addition to the show. Enjoy!  

01. Fire On High
02. Poker
03. Nightrider
04. Ocean Breakup/King Of The Universe
05. Bluebird Is Dead
06. Oh No Not Susan
07. New World Rising/Ocean Breakup Reprise
08. Hugh McDowell's Cello Solo W/Flight Of The Bumble Bee(cut)
09. Showdown
10. Eldorado Overture
11. Can't Get It Out Of My Head
12. Poor Boy(The Greenwood)
13. Illusions In G Major
14. Eldorado
15. Mik Kaminski's Violin Solo/Orange Blossom Special
16  Bev Bevan's Intro
17. Strange Magic
18. 10538 Overture
19. Do Ya
20. Evil Woman
21. Ma-Ma-Ma Belle
22. Roll Over Beethoven
Bonus Track (1976-03-04 - Detroit, MI)
23. Lets Spend the Night Together/The End

Band Members:
Jeff Lynne - Vocals, lead guitar
Bev Bevan - drums, percussion
Richard Tandy - keyboards, moog, mellotron
Kelly Groucutt - bass guitar, backing vocals
Mik Kaminski - violin
Hugh McDowell - cello
Melvyn Gale - cello

FLAC - Electric Light Orchestra_1976-03-16_Flint,MI(JEMS)_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Electric Light Orchestra_1976-03-16_Flint,MI(JEMS)_mp3.rar

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) - 1973-74 - London BBC Recordings

Electric Light Orchestra
1973-1974 - London BBC Recordings
1973-04-19 – Lower Cinema, London
1974-01-25 - Hippodrome, London

"Rockaria Ouverture"
FM Broadcast Recordings (from Italian Bootleg), very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 versions

OK, at last, here I am, back on the scene. And here I continue my featured look at Progressive Rock in the '70's and beyond. I had a few more European bands I wanted to feature before we moved back to Britain, but after that long break between posts, I wanted to come back with something strong (and more popular than more relatively obscure bands). So, here is the Electric Light Orchestra. Now, many may not consider ELO to be Prog at all, what with their string of decidedly pop-style hits of the Seventies and early eighties, but at the beginning, they were definitely a Progressive Rock band. ELO was formed in 1970 by songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne, and drummer Bev Bevan directly from their previous band, The Move, with Bill Hunt (keyboards) and Richard Tandy (bass) and a quartet of string players rounding out the group. In fact, due to contractual obligations, The Move (with Wood, Lynne, and Bevan all still involved) continued even after formation of ELO, and actually, The Move's last album, Message from the Country and ELO's first album, The Electric Light Orchestra were essentially recorded at the same time, and both were released in 1971. ELO was formed from Wood's concept of combining strings and a classical sound and style with hard-driving guitars and rock n roll. Jeff Lynne joined The Move in 1970 precisely because he was interested in pursuing that new musical direction and the creation of ELO. And those early ELO records are definitely 'progressive rock', with long meandering songs with extended instrumental sections and clashes between the classical and rock influences. However, Roy Wood did not stay long, and left during the recording sessions for the 2nd album, ELO 2, in 1972, taking keyboardist Hunt and a cello player with him, to form his next band, Wizzard. In ELO, Richard Tandy moved over to keyboards and Mike de Albuquerque (bass) and some new string players were added for their next album, and On the Third Day was released in late 1973. With Jeff Lynne now in full control of the band, the songs and style moved more towards Beatlesque pop-rock, but the strings and classical influences were also still evident. Although they had received some previous chart success, their next album, the elaborate concept album, Eldorado (subtitled: A Symphony by The Electric Light Orchestra) in 1974 would be their breakthrough. On this album, the small string section of the band was not enough and Lynne brought in a full orchestra for the full and lush arrangements needed for the album. The single 'Can't Get it Out of My Head' became their first top ten hit in the US, and the album also cracked the top 20. More success followed with Face the Music (1975), producing more hits and (one of my favorites) the sensational instrumental 'Fire on High'. Even greater success followed in subsequent albums, but less and less of the classical bravado was evident and more just great pop melodies continued, making them into the pop sensation they became, but not much left of their more progressive origins. Here is a show from their earlier days, one of the only high quality recordings from those early days. Unfortunately, no decent recordings exist from the Roy Wood days with the band. This is the next best thing, a pair of BBC radio shows in 1973 and early 1974, featuring songs primarily from their third album, On The Third Day, and definitely belonging in the category of Progressive Rock. Unfortunately, the version of 'Roll Over Beethoven' played here does not include the classical Beethoven's 5th Intro, but we'll get another shot at that next time (in the next post).        

01. From The Sun To The World
02. Kuiama
03. Roll Over Beethoven
04. Ma Ma Belle
05. King Of The Universe
06. Bluebird Is Dead
07. Oh No, Not Susan
08. New World Rising
09. In The Hall Of The Mountain King
10. Great Balls Of Fire

Tracks 1-3, 1973-04-19, Lower Cinema. London
Tracks 4-10, 1974-01-25, The Hippodrome, London

FLAC - ELO_1973-74_London BBC Recordings_FLAC.rar

mp3 - ELO_1973-74_London BBC Recordings_mp3.rar

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Still not back - try again later

Not back yet

Sorry about the lack of posts in recent weeks. I've just been very busy at work, under a lot of pressure and scrutiny, and have a series of projects with strict deadlines that must be met. So working all day and night recently. Still have 2 more projects to finish this week and next. Should be better after that. So, it'll still be a couple more weeks til things get back to normal, then I will have a break, and get back to the blog (and other things!). So... Sorry for now, but will be back, so...try again later. Thanks for your patience.   

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Focus - 1973-01-xx - BBC, Paris Theatre, London, UK (PRRP-027)

1973-01-xx (previously thought to be from 1973-12-12)
BBC In Concert, Paris Theatre, London, UK
PRRP-027 - The Sky Will Fall Over London Tonight

Soundboard recording (Remastered), excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Continuing with European progressive rock bands, Focus was a band from The Netherlands, formed in 1969 when guitarist Jan Akkerman joined keyboardist-flautist-vocalist Thijs van Leer's rock trio. They were the pit band for the Dutch production of the Musical Hair, and then released their first album, In and Out of Focus (1970), which received little attention. However, the band hit it big with their 2nd album, Moving Waves (1971), which contained what became the worldwide smash hit single, the surprisingly popular novelty rocker (rock yodeling?), 'Hocus Pocus'. Their unique sound and style, combining driving rock with jazz fusion and bits of classical music, captivated audiences and injected some fresh riffs and enthusiasm into the rock scene at the time. Their success continued with their subsequent albums, Focus 3 (1972) and Hamburger Concerto (1974), but their popularity faded after that, leading to the break-up of the band in 1978. Short-lived reunions featuring both Akkerman and van Leer occurred in 1985 and 1990, with a final performance with them both together in 1993. Van Leer also created several new versions of Focus, with other musicians and without Akkerman over many subsequent years, particularly from 2002 on, releasing several new albums as Focus. But their heyday was definitely in the early-mid-seventies, with Akkerman and van Leer together. Here is a show in great quality from those days when they were first becoming known and popular outside the Netherlands. This a remastered soundboard recording (part of the PRRP (Progressive Rock Remasters Project) from a BBC broadcast show in London (the exact date is unknown, but seems to be from sometime in January 1973 - although the show has been widely distributed as being from 1972-12-12 and the Old Grey Whistle Test show, that has now been shown to be incorrect, and the correct date is sometime after that, probably January 1973). Anyway, check it out.
01. Bob Harris Introduction    00:41
02. Anonymous Two    21:42
03. Band Introductions    01:19
04. Focus 1    03:58
05. Focus 3    03:23
06. Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!    12:09
07. Focus 2    04:46
08. Bob Harris Once More    00:18
09. Hocus Pocus    07:22

Pierre Van Der Linden -    Drums
Thijs Van Leer - Keyboards, Flute & Vocals
Jan Akkerman - Guitar
Bert Ruiter - Bass Guitar

FLAC - Focus_1973-01_BBC_London_FLAC.rar

Mp3 - Focus_1973-01_BBC_London_mp3.rar

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - 1975-11-23 - Tokyo, Japan

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
Shibuya Kokaido, Tokyo, Japan 

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

Here's more from PFM, an Italian prog rock band that made a splash in the '70's, featuring melodic and instrumental richness, sumptuous compositions and arrangements. This show features the band just a little more than a year later than the previous post, and although they play many of the same songs, there is a fundamental difference in the band, as they had now added a new lead vocalist, Bernardo Lanzetti, which brought a more forceful and dynamic presence to their vocals from this point on, and was first featured on their album Chocolate Kings (1975).

1. Celebration
2. Four Holes In The Ground
3. Paper Charms
4. Dove...Quando...
5. Acoustic Guitar Solo
6. Out of Roundabout
7. Mr. 9 'Till 5
8. Alta Loma 5 'Till 9
9. Violin Solo
10. Bass Solo
11. Drum Solo
12. Impression Di Septembre
13. Celebration (reprise)
Bonus Track: 1975-11-29 - Nakano Sun Plaza, Tokyo (Audience)
14. Chocolate Kings

Flavio Premoli - keyboards, accordian, piccolo
Mauro Pagani - flute, violin
Franco Mussida - guitars
Patrick Djivas - bass
Franz Di Cioccio - drums, vocals
Bernardo Lanzetti - Lead vocals, guitar

FLAC - PFM_1975-11-23_Tokyo_FLAC.rar

mp3 - PFM_1975-11-23_Tokyo_mp3.rar

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - 1974-08-27 - Ultrasonic Studios, Hempstead, NY

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
Ultrasonic Studios, Hempstead, NY 

FM Broadcast recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 versions

Progressive rock has often been associated primarily with England and British bands (yes, virtually all of the most famous and successful prog bands are British), but actually there are great progressive rock bands from all over, especially throughout europe. One of the most interesting of the european progressive bands was Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) (translation:Award-winning Marconi Bakery), the most successful prog band from Italy. PFM was formed in 1970 in Milan, when members of the previous band I Queli joined up with violinist-flutist Mauro Pagani. They were the first Italian band to feature a synthesizer. Their first album (released only in Italy) was Storia di minuto (1972), which was an immediate success, quickly followed by Per un Amico (1972) which expanded their influence outside Italy and across europe. Around this time, while on tour in Italy, Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer) heard them, and immediately signed them to their new label, Manticore records. Because of this connection, their next album, Photos of Ghosts (1973) was released worldwide (with mostly re-recorded versions of songs from their previous albums), and for the first time featured lyrics in English (in an attempt to reach a wider audience). Interestingly, instead of just translating their Italian lyrics to English, all new English lyrics were written, by King Crimson-ELP cohort Pete Sinfield. The album charted in countries all around the world, including the US. They followed this success with another Italian album (L'isola di niente) followed by an English version, The World Became the World (1974), and then their first U.S. tour. Concerts recorded from this tour became the basis for a Live album, Cook (1975).  The band also reached their largest US audience when they appeared on the TV show The Midnight Special in early 1975. For their next album, Chocolate Kings (1975), they added a new lead vocalist, Bernardo Lanzetti, and a harder rock sound. Jet Lag (1977) was their last album with English lyrics (as well as last album released in the U.S.) and moved more towards a jazz fusion sound. They continued performing and releasing albums in Italy for many more years, but never achieved International success after that. Because of their association with ELP, some (who never really listened to them) dismissed the band as Italian ELP imitators, but that does not do them or their music any justice. They had their own unique sound and were much more diverse in style and instrumentation. They were both uniquely Italian while developing traditional prog influences, producing a lyrical, romantic and delicate music, with a great melodic and instrumental richness, sumptuous compositions and arrangements. They deserve a place among the  very best of the '70's prog bands. Here is a show from their 1974 U.S. tour, as they established themselves as a progressive force to be reckoned with.

1. Four Holes In The Ground (7:41)
2. Is My Face On Straight? (7:53)
3. Instrumental jam (8:58)
4. Dove...Quando... (4:39)
5. introduction (1:32)
6. Mr. 9 'Till 5 (4:25)
7. Alta Loma 5 'Till 9 (11:06)
8. JC violin jam (2:30) (cut - some issues)
9. classic violin solo (3:25)
10. William Tell Overture (1:51)
11. Celebration (5:34)

Flavio Premoli - keyboards, vocals
Mauro Pagani - flute, violin, vocals
Franco Mussida - guitars, vocals
Patrick Djivas - bass
Franz Di Cioccio - drums, vocals

FLAC - PFM_1974-08-27_Ultrasonic_NY_FLAC.rar

mp3 - PFM_1974-08-27_Ultrasonic_NY_mp3.rar

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Nektar - 1977-10-18 - Hofstra University, New York, NY

Hofstra University, New York, NY

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

Here's more from Nektar, from a couple years later, on their tour promoting their current album, Magic is a Child (1977). However, this was after founding member, guitarist, and lead vocalist, Roye Albrighton, had left the band, and was replaced by Dave Nelson. Because of this, Nektar purists tend to look down on this album and period for the band. This was their first release for Polydor, and it did have a somewhat more slick production, and perhaps a bit more mainstream rock sound (even with bits of power pop thrown in), but still with plenty of progressiveness and eclectic charms, resulting in what I think is just a great rock album. Personally, I think it is one of Nektar's very best, my favorite of theirs, and one of the best of that era. Yes, the sound is a bit different, especially with Nelson instead of Albrighton as lead vocalist, but it is a wonderful album, nonetheless. Naysayers should give it another chance (with open ears). Anyway, So, I was thrilled to find this FM broadcast recording of a show from this tour, featuring many of the songs from Magic is a Child, including 'Spread Your Wings', which is just an all-time great straight-up Rocker. Good sound on this recording, although it seems to run a bit fast (either that or they just played these songs very fast in concert), as they all are faster here than on record. Anyway, great show. Unfortunately, this "new" version of Nektar didn't catch on, and the band split-up in 1978, but with original members Freeman and Albrighton re-forming another "new" version of the band (with new bass and drums) in 1979, although that incarnation was short-lived as well. But then, much later, in 2000, as seems to happen with these progressive rock bands from the Seventies, Freeman and Albrighton re-formed the band yet again, (now with Ray Hardwick on drums), and eventually with Moore returning on bass and Larry Fast also joining in on some subsequent albums and tours. Later, Ron Howden also returned (on drums), and the band continued (with various lineup changes, Albrighton being the only constant throughout) over the next several years, right up until Albrighton's death in 2016. So, Nektar did live on for many years after their '70's heyday. Check out the 1977 version of the band here.

01. Midnight Lite
02. Train From Nowhere
03. Remember The Future Part 2
04. Remember The Future Part 2 (continued)
05. Away From Asgard
06. King Of Twilight
07. Magic Is A Child
08. Recycled
09. Eerie Lackawanna
10. Oh Willy / Mr. H.
11. On The Run
12. Spread Your Wings

Allan "Taff" Freeman - Keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals
Derek "Mo" Moore - Bass, backing vocals
Ron Howden - Drums, percussion, backing vocals
Dave Nelson - Guitars, lead vocals
Mick Brockett - Special effects

FLAC - Nektar_1977-10-18_New York_FLAC.rar

Mp3 - Nektar_1977-10-18_New York_mp3.rar

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Nektar - 1975-04-02 - Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MO

Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MO

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

Next up on the tour is another under-appreciated progressive rock band, Nektar. Nektar is an English band, but was formed in 1969 in Hamburg, Germany (by musicians playing the German club circuit in different bands) featuring  Roye Albrighton (guitar, vocals), Allan "Taff" Freeman (keyboards),  Derek "Mo" Moore (bass), and Ron Howden (Drums). Initially their sound  followed in the psychedelic/space-rock tradition of Pink Floyd, but with a bit heavier rock style, and influences from the current German scene as well. The visual style and effects of their shows were very much a feature of the band, so much so that their "visual effects" guy was considered an actual member of the band. Each album featured a somewhat different, or developing sound and style, thus "progressing" through their history. Their first album, Journey to the Center of the Eye (1971) was a sci-fi concept album consisting of one continuous song. By their 2nd album, A Tab in the Ocean (1972), their unique progressive rock style was solidifying (less psychedelic,more progressive) into a satisfying blend, and their following was increasing (primarily by word of mouth). The band continued to experiment with a largely improvised double live-in-the-studio third album, Sounds Like This (1973), quickly followed by the elaborate concept album Remember The Future (1973), which featured 2 multi-part songs and a more melodic rock style, and became their breakthrough album (and most critically acclaimed), especially in the US, where it quite surprisingly rose to #19 on the Billboard Charts. In 1974, they released Down to Earth, another concept album with a circus theme that also did well (with their only charting single, "Astral Man". Their next album, Recycled (1975) featured an environmental concept theme, and also featured the addition of heavier synthesizer work from emerging electronic music whiz Larry Fast (Synergy) for additional layers to their sound. However, by the end of 1976, guitarist Albrighton left the band, to be replaced by Dave Nelson, and their next album, Magic is A Child (1977), featured a slicker, melodic (more commercial?) rock sound (but still with plenty of progressive sparks and twists). But by 1978, the band split, only for Albrighton and Freeman to re-form the band in 1979 (with different bass and drummer) for the release of Man in the Moon (1980), before dissolving again in 1982. I really like Nektar and their ever-changing progressive styles (even as they became more mainstream), and they certainly deserve a revered place in Progressive rock history, but they seem little remembered these days. Unfortunately, there are not many good quality live recordings available from the prime years of Nektar (and most of the really good ones have been commercially released). But here is a great-sounding show from early 1975 (unfortunately woefully incomplete, cuts out after ~45 min), that mostly features previews (early versions) of some new songs from their still yet to be recorded 1975 album, Recycled, and their recent album, Down to Earth, but doesn't include anything from Remember the Future. Thus, I have added as bonus tracks some pieces of Remember The Future (as well as "Good Day" from Sounds Like This), from a 1974 show (but unfortunately, I only have these bonus tracks in lower-res mp3, no FLAC. note - If anybody has this show in FLAC, would love to get it). Anyway, check out the prog-rock classic Nektar. 

01. Astral Man
02. Recycled
03. A Day In The Life Of A Preacher
04. Show Me The Way
05. Marvelous Moses (Cut-Fades out)

Bonus Tracks:
1974-05-30 - Musikhalle, Minden, Germany
(Audience recording, very good quality - only available as mp3 [240 kbps])
06. Remember The Future (Part1)
07. Good Day
08. Remember The Future (Part2)

Roye Albrighton - Guitars, lead vocals
Allan "Taff" Freeman - Keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals
Derek "Mo" Moore - Bass, backing vocals
Ron Howden - Drums, percussion, backing vocals
Mick Brockett - Special effects

FLAC - Nektar_1975-04-02_St.Louis_FLAC.rar
link updated (11/13/2019)

mp3 - Nektar_1975-04-02_St.Louis_mp3.rar

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Camel - 1979-09-22 - Golders Green Hippodrome, London, UK

Golders Green Hippodrome, London, UK
"Moon Dance"

FM Broadcast (BBC Sight and Sound) recording, excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Here's more from Camel, from a couple years later, following their albums Moonmadness (1976) and Rain Dances (1977). Thus, this show reflects the lineup change after Moonmadness, with Richard Sinclair (of Caravan) replacing Doug Ferguson on bass, and Mel Collins (King Crimson, Kokomo) on sax and winds, and marked the beginning of a bit jazzier direction for the band. A fine show, primarily featuring songs from Rain Dances, in very good quality from a BBC broadcast. The version I received of this show contained a couple of bonus tracks from a later date, si I included these as well. These are from a 1980 show in Japan, by which time there were additional lineup changes and a move toward a more commercial sound

1. First Light            5:01
2. Metrognome        4:56
3. Uneven Song        5:56
4. Rhyader-Rhyader Goes to Town 7:20
5. Skylines               5:22
6. Highways of the Sun 5:15
7. Lunar Sea            8:53
8. Rain Dances-Never Let Go 6:33
9. One of These Days I'll Have an Easy Night 7:01

Bonus Tracks (Tokyo - 1980-01-27)
10. Echoes        7:24
11. Nobody Knows    6:22

Andrew Latimer - guitar, vocals
Andy Ward - drums, perscussion
Peter Bardens - keyboards
Richard Sinclair - bass, vocals
Mel Collins - sax, clarinet, flute
(except bonus tracks - Dave Sinclair, Jan Schelhaus-keyboards, Richard Schelhaus - bass)

FLAC - Camel_1977-09-22_London_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Camel_1977-09-22_London_mp3.rar

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Camel - 1975-12-18 - Reading, UK - PRRP-051 - "The Last Flight"

December 18, 1975
Reading Town Hall, Reading, UK
PRRP-051 - "The Last Flight"

Remastered audience recording (PRRP-051), very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Moving on with my featured Progressive Rock bands, next up is Camel. Camel plays a form of progressive rock that incorporates many influences, from jazz, classical, Baroque, blues, and electronic music. Their sound has been favorably compared with bands such as Genesis and King Crimson, however, their style tends to be calmer, more atmospheric and melodic than most other progressive bands. Although they never quite achieved more than a dedicated cult following, most progressive fans now consider their first four albums to be essential prog listening and among the classics of the era. Camel was formed in 1971 in the Guildford, Surrey region of England, featuring Andy Latimer (guitar), Andy Ward (drums), Doug Ferguson (bass), and Pete Bardens (keyboards). Their debut LP, Camel (1973), however, garnered little attention, and they were dropped by MCA. Switching over to Deram, their 2nd album, Mirage (1974), garnered much critical acclaim, but still only limited sales and recognition, although it was initially more appreciated in the U.S. than England (it now is listed among the Top 25 Progressive Rock Albums of all-time, according to rankings by Rolling Stone Magazine). Their next album, an orchestrated all-instrumental concept album, The Snow Goose (1975), was the breakthrough album that brought them somewhat wider attention and success. They followed that with Moonmadness (1976), also acclaimed, but which was their last album to feature their original lineup, as bassist Doug Ferguson left and was replaced with ex-Caravan bassist Richard Sinclair, and Mel Collins (ex-King Crimson, Kokomo) was added on saxophone. The first album to feature this new line-up was Rain Dances (1977) which introduced a somewhat different sound and overall style to their music. After another album (Breathless-1978), keyboardist Bardens also left, but the band continued through the early 80's before breaking up, but then re-forming in the '90's and continuing on from there. However, most agree that those first 4 albums were by far the best of the band. Here is a show from 1975, which features the full Snow Goose show bookended by a few songs from earlier albums, for a wonderful show. This is the PRRP (Progressive Rock Remasters Project) remaster and has very good sound. This was also billed as the very last performance of the full Snow Goose show (Thus titled "The Last Flight").

01 The White Rider
02 Supertwister
03 Introduction to the Snow Goose
04 The Great Marsh
05 Rhayader
06 Rhayader Goes to Town
07 Sanctuary
08 Fritha
09 The Snow Goose
10 Migration
11 Rhayader Alone
12 Flight of the Snow Goose
13 Preparation
14 Dunkirk
15 Epitaph
16 Fritha Alone
17 La Princesse Purdue
18 The Great Marsh (reprise)
19 Homage to the God of Light
20 Lady Fantasy

Pete Bardens - keyboards
Doug Ferguson - bass
Andy Latimer - guitars, flute & vocals
Andy Ward - drums, percussion

FLAC - Camel_1975-12-18_Reading_PRRP051_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Camel_1975-12-18_Reading_PRRP051_mp3.rar

Monday, June 11, 2018

National Health - 1978-03-10 - Bordeaux, France

National Health
March 10th, 1978
BĂ©ret Cosmique, 
Bordeaux, France

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

Here's more from National Health, a couple years later, at a 1978 show, featuring songs from their 2nd album, Of Queues and Cures (1978), and more of their whimsically eclectic jazz/rock, with Phil Miller and Dave Stewart still there, but with Alan Gowen now gone (temporarily) and Pip Pyle on drums. Gowen would return after this tour (but then Stewart left) and continue until 1981, when Gowen died. After that, Stewart returned to do a final album with the band, D.S. Al Coda (1982), which featured primarily previously unreleased songs written by Gowen, as a tribute and finale for the band.  

1-1. Also Sprach Zarathustra/The Bryden 2-Step (18:12)
1-2. The Lethargy Shuffle (11:40)
1-3. A Legend In His Own Lunchtime (12:02)
1-4. DS Improv/ The Collapso (7:21)
2-1. Dreams Wide Awake (12:33)
2-2. Mostly Twins and Trios (12:16)
2-3. Tenemos Roads (12:31)
2-4. Improv/ Elephants (18:50)
Total time : 01:46:38

Phil Miller - Guitar & Backing Vocals
Dave Stewart - Keyboards
John Greaves - Bass & Lead Vocals
Pip Pyle - Drums

FLAC - National Health_1978-03-10_Bordeaix_FLAC.rar

mp3 - National Health_1978-03-10_Bordeaix_mp3.rar

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

National Health - 1976-02-22 - Dundee, UK

National Health
February 22nd, 1976
Dundee, University of Dundee, UK

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

Continuing with progressive rock bands associated with the Canterbury Scene in the '70's: In 1972, upon leaving Matching Mole, keyboardist Dave Sinclair and guitarist Phil Miller joined up with cousin Richard Sinclair again (who had also left Caravan by this time), along with Pip Pyle on drums to form the Canterbury jazz/rock band Hatfield and The North. However, Dave didn't stay long (returning to Caravan in 1973), and Dave Sinclair was replaced by keyboardist Dave Stewart. Hatfield and The North recorded 2 albums for Virgin (Hatfield & The North-1974, Rotter's Club-1975) before they split, with members Dave Stewart and Phil Miller, along with keyboardist Alan Gowen (from Gilgamesh), and drummer Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson) forming National Health in 1975. Bruford didn't stay long (as he was touring with both Genesis and Brand X around this time), and was replaced with Hatfield drummer Pip Pyle. Although the lineup shifted regularly (with a string of bass players and Stewart and Gowen alternately leaving and returning periodically), they recorded 2 albums in 1978 (National Health and Of Queues and Cures) and remained as a band until 1981 and the death of Gowen. A progressive, spacey, jazz/rock band that played lengthy, mostly instrumental compositions in the Canterbury groove, here's National Health in a show from 1976, while Bill Bruford was still with them.

1. Tenemos Roads
2. Paracelsus
3. Trident Asleep
4. Clocks And Clouds
5. The Lethargy Shuffle
6. Agrippa
7. Elephants

Alan Gowen: Keyboards
Dave Stewart: Keyboards
Phil Miller: Guitar
Mont Campbell: Bass
Amanda Parsons: vocals
Bill Bruford: Drums

FLAC - National Health_1976-02-22_Dundee_FLAC.rar

mp3 - National Health_1976-02-22_Dundee_mp3.rar

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Caravan - 1975-03-21 - Paris Theatre, London

Paris Theatre, London, UK

FM Broadcast Recording (BBC), excellent quality
Mp3 @ 320 kbps

Here's more Caravan, this one from an excellent 1975 radio show. Although more than half the show (2 songs) are songs already included in the previous 1974 show ('The Love in Your Eye' and 'For Richard'), these are excellent extended versions, and this show does feature 2 different songs ('The Dab Song Conshirtoe' from Cunning Stunts-1975, and the rousing audience participation fave 'Hoedown'). More great stuff from Caravan.

1. Intro
2. The Love In Your Eye
3. For Richard
4. The Dab Song Conshirtoe
5. Hoedown
Total Time: 56:30

- Mike Wedgewood / bass
- Richard Coughtan / drums
- Geoff Richardson / violin, guitar
- Pye Hastings / guitar, vocals
- David Sinclair / keyboards

Caravan_1975-03-21_Paris Theatre_London.rar

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Caravan - 1974-11-10 - Record Plant, Sausalito, CA

Record Plant, Sausalito, CA

FM broadcast recording, excellent qualty
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Staying with progressive rock bands associated with the Canterbury Scene, here is Caravan, a band that featured a wonderful mix of rock, jazz, and folk, and deserved much more success and acclaim than they received. Caravan was formed in 1968 from the remnants of an earlier band, Wilde Flowers, after Robert Wyatt and Hugh Hopper had left to join The Soft Machine. The original lineup consisted of cousins David and Richard Sinclair (keyboards and bass/vocals, respectively), Pye Hastings (guitars/vocals), and Richard Coghlan (drums). In their first album, Caravan (1969), they were still finding their identity within the emerging progressive rock scene, but by their second album (and first on the Decca label), If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (1970), they had settled into their signature sound and style, an intriguing mix of pop, gentle English folk, rock jams, jazz explorations, and eccentric and humorous tales. Their next album, In the Land of Grey and Pink (1971) became their most critically acclaimed, but struggled to find an audience. Frustrated by their lack of success, Dave Sinclair left the band to join Robert Wyatt in his new band, Matching Mole. Caravan added new keyboardist Steve Miller for their next album, Waterloo Lily (1972), which took them in a bluesier direction. But Miller's more straight jazz/blues style clashed with the rest of the band, and he was soon out. By 1973, Dave Sinclair returned to the band (Matching Mole didn't last long, followed by a short stint with Hatfield and The North), which had now also added Geoffrey Richardson on viola and flute (but Richard Sinclair was now gone, joining Hatfield and The North) for their next album, For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night (1973), which was another highlight for the band, followed by a Live album with orchestra, Caravan and the New Symphonia (1974). Although gaining a dedicated following, the band could never quite break through to popular success. In 1974, and their first U.S. tour (now with Mike Wedgewood on bass), they attempted to make it in America, and following a successful tour, their next album Cunning Stunts (1975) did finally crack the charts in both the UK and U.S., but just barely. Sinclair left after that, and subsequent more mainstream albums Blind Dog at St Dunstans (1976) and Better By Far (1977) failed to expand their fanbase, resulting in the band calling it quits after that. An eighties revival of the band resulted in a couple of subsequent albums, but could not match the earlier band's ouput. But as seems to be the pattern, the original lineup reunited for an event in 1990, which re-ignited interest, and resulted in re-forming and touring shortly after, and various forms of the band has continued to play right up to the present.
Here we have the band in their first U.S. Tour in 1974, in an excellent radio broadcast recording featuring the band plying songs primarily from their excellent For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night Album, along with some earlier favorites. A fine show from a wonderful band that never quite got their due.     

1. Announcement by radio dj
2. Memory Lain, Hugh
3. Headloss
4. For Richard
5. Band introduction / Virgin On The Ridiculous
6. Be All Right
7. Chance Of A Lifetime
8. The Love In Your Eye

Total time 1:05:40

Pye Hastings - Guitar & Vocal
Geoffrey Richardson - Viola, Guitar, Flute
Dave Sinclair - Keyboards
Mike Wedgwood - Bass & Vocal
Richard Coghlan - Drums

FLAC - Caravan_1974-11-10_Record Plant_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Caravan_1974-11-10_Record Plant_mp3.rar

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

(Pierre Moerlen's) Gong - 1976-10-25 - Tomblaine, France

(Pierre Moerlen's) Gong
Nancy (Tomblaine), France
'Live Express!'

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

As noted in the previous post, following Daevid Allen's and then Steve Hillage's departure from Gong in 1975-1976, percussionist Pierre Moerlen took control of the band, moved the band more in a direction of percussion-oriented jazz-rock, bringing in brother Benoit Moerlen and Mireille Bauer on vibes and mallet percussion and additional percussionist Mino Cinelli. But also bringing in journeyman progressive rocker guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Because Gong was still under contract to Virgin for 2 more albums, this new lineup continued under the name Gong, but this was a decidedly different band from the Daevid Allen days. Following those next 2 albums (Gazeuse!-1976 and Expresso II-1978), the band's name was officailly changed to Pierre Moerlen's Gong. By 1979, Holdsworth was gone, and Mike Oldfield came in to play guitar on their next album, Downwind (1979), as lineups continued to change each year. By 1980 and the album Time is the Key, the band brought in jazz keyboardist Peter Lemer (as well as Holdsworth on a couple tracks) and featured an even more mallet percussion-based progressive jazz-rock style, to stunning effect. That is actually my very favorite album from any incarnation of Gong, as it is wholly unique in sound and style, and consisting of an almost percussion ensemble instrumentation and a cool progressive jazz-rock vibe, a beautiful album. After a live album (Pierre Moerlen's Gong Live-1980) and another studio album (Leave it Open-1981), the band's output became more sporadic, with albums in 1986 (Breakthrough) and 1988 (Second Wind), before breaking up. However, a Gong band never really goes away, former PMG members Hansford Rowe (bass), Bon Lozaga (guitar), and Benoit Moerlen (percusssion) formed Gongzilla in 1991, and eventually, Pierre started up a new assemblage of musicians under the PMG name, releasing Pentanine in 2004. Moerlen began working on another new album in 2005 with a group of French musicians, but then died suddenly and unexpectedly. The rest of the band eventually finished the album and released it as Tribute in 2010.
Here we have a show from the early stages of Pierre Moerlen's Gong, in 1976, following the release of Gazeuse! (Expresso in North America). Would have liked to post something from the Time is the Key stage of the band, but unfortunately, no available recordings exist. But this is still good, too.

01. Expresso
02. Wish
03. Mandrake
04. Esnuria
05. Night Illusion
06. Flute & Percussion Duet
07. Percolations
08. Shadows Of
09. Expresso Reprise
10. Gattox

Didier Malherbe - Sax, flutes
Allan Holdsworth - guitar
Francis Moze - bass
Pierre Moerlen - drums, percussion
Benoit Moerlen - vibraphone
Mireille Bauer - vibraphone, marimba
Mino Cinelli - percussion

FLAC - Gong_1976-10-25_France_FLAC.rar

Mp3 - Gong_1976-10-25_France_mp3.rar

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Gong - 1974-11-04 - Postaula, Bremen, Germany

Postaula, Bremen, Germany

Pre-FM Recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Going back to the early days of Soft Machine, when singer-guitarist Daevid Allen was denied re-entry into the UK following a French tour (1967), he settled in Paris, and along with his partner, vocalist Gilli Smyth, formed a new band, called Gong. Although both the personnel and style of the band shifted regularly through the early years and their first album (Magick Brother, 1970), by their 2nd album, Camembert Electrique (1971), they had established the sort of hippie, progressive, psychedelic/space-rock they became known for. Their next three albums (Flying Teapot-1972, Angel's Egg-1973, and You-1974) comprise the continuing story of their Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, which chronicles the adventures of Zero the Hero, the Good Witch Yoni and the Pot Head Pixies from the Planet Gong (yes, it's that kind of band), and is generally considered the prime period of Gong. Although lineups still fluctuated regularly, this period featured the classic lineup of Daevid Allen (vovals, guitar), joined by Steve Hillage (guitar), Mike Howlett (bass), Didier Malherbe (saxes, flute), Tim Blake (synthesizers), Pierre Moerlen (drums, percussion), Mirelle Bauer (percussion), and Gilli Smyth (vocal improvisations). Most of this form of the band also participated in recording Steve Hillage's first solo album, Fish Rising, around this time. However, this stage of the band came to an end when in 1975, Daevid Allen suddenly refused to go on stage citing a "wall of force" preventing him doing so, and abruptly quit the band. Gong continued without him (and Tim Blake, who had quit earlier) but Steve Hillage was increasingly uncomfortable in the band without Allen, and left during the recording of their next album, Shamal (1976). At that time, the band was split into 2 factions, with Howlett wanting to continue with vocals, and Moerlen and his cohorts pushing for an all instrumental, more jazz fusion-focused band. Moerlen won out and began shaping the band into a mallet percussion-based progressive jazz-rock band. The first album under this new direction was Gazeuse! (1976, re-titled Expresso in North America). Although the band retained the name Gong for an additional album, Expresso II (1978), due to contractual reasons, this band had little in common with the original Gong, and subsequently changed it's name to Pierre Moerlen's Gong for all subsequent albums (more on them later). But Daevid Allen was not quite finished with Gong-related bands either, and would form and/or encourage several other incarnations in subsequent years, forming Planet Gong from Here & Now in 1977 and New York Gong in 1979, and Gilli Smyth (with Allen's approval) also formed Mother Gong around this time, all keeping the Gong sound going. In later years, Allen started Gongmaison in 1989, which eventually went back to just being Gong permanently in 1992, and has continued on in various forms since then, even after the deaths of Daevid Allen (2015) and Gilli Smyth (2016).
Here we have a great Pre-FM recording from the tale end of the classic period of the band, in late 1974 touring to support You, and featuring a variety of pieces from their Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy, and various weirdness    

01. Magick Mother Invocation / Master Builder
02. Perfect Mystery
03. Tropical Fish
04. I Never Glid Before
05. Sun Song (I Love It's Holy Mystery)
06. Flute Salad
07. Oily Way
08. Outer Temple Gliss
09. Inner Temple Gliss
    Gliss Gliss (Flying Teapot)
    A Sprinkling Of Clouds
10. You Can't Kill Me
11. On The Isle Of Everywhere
12. Get It Inner
13. Ya Never Blow Your Trip Forever
14. Why Don't You Try

Daevid Allen (guitar,voc)
Steve Hillage (guitar,voc)
Mike Howlett (guitar, bass)
Didier Malherbe (sax,flute)
Tim Blake (synth)
Laurie Allen (drums)
Miquette Giraudy (voc,dance)
Lisa Bois (percussion)
Venus Deluxe (Sound mixing)

FLAC - Gong_1974-11-04_Bremen_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Gong_1974-11-04_Bremen_mp3.rar

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Soft Machine - 1975-01-10 - Enschede, The Netherlands

Soft Machine
Vrijhof Cultuurcentrum, Universiteit Twente
Enschede, The Netherlands

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

Continuing with Soft Machine and the Canterbury Scene in the '70's: With original drummer Robert Wyatt's departure in late 1971 (and the formation of his new band, Matching Mole), followed by the loss of reeds man Elton Dean, Mike Ratledge was the last original member of the band left to carry on. So, in came John Marshall (drums) and Karl Jenkins (reeds, keyboards) for the recording of their sixth album (Six, 1973), and a further progression into jazz fusion. Bassist Hugh Hopper was then replaced by Roy Babbington for Seven (1973) as Jenkins took over the role of leader and primary composer. In 1975, another major change took place with the addition of fusion guitarist Alan Holdsworth, marking the debut of guitar as a prominent melody instrument to the band's sound, and the release of Bundles (1975). Although Holdsworth didn't stay long, guitar remained a prominent sound on their subsequent album Softs (1976), with John Etheridge replacing Holdsworth. But this was essentially the end of Soft Machine (for the time being), as original member Ratledge left during the recording of that album. However, the band did continue to tour into 1978. In the '80's, various members put together short-lived variations on the band, and later ('90's, '00's), various combinations and reunions of sorts formed under such band names as Soft Ware, Soft Works, and Soft Machine Legacy. Soft Machine Legacy was the longest-lasting of these (with John Etheridge, Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, and John Marshall) releasing several albums through the mid-2000's, and continuing on even after further member losses (Dean died in 2006, replaced by Theo Travis; Hopper died in 2009, replaced by Roy Babbington), all the way to 2015. In 2015, the remaining band (Etheridge, Travis, Babbington, Marshall) went back to the original name, Soft Machine, and continues right up to the present day. The music featured here today is from the 1975 lineup that featured Alan Holdsworth and Karl Jenkins.
CD 1
1. The Floating World
2. Bundles
3. Land Of The Bag Snake
4. Ealing Comedy
5. The Man Who Waved At Trains
6. Peff
7. North Point
8. Hazard Profile Pt. 1
9. Hazard Profile Pt. 2
10. Hazard Profile Pt. 3
11. Hazard Profile Pt. 4
12. Hazard Profile Pt. 5
CD 2
1. Four Gongs Two Drums
2. Improv 1
3. audience
4. Song Of Aeolus
5. Improv 2
6. Dave DiMartino interview with Mike Ratledge & Allan Holdsworth
   (East Lansing, Michigan, 3 November 1974)

Allan Holdsworth - guitar
Mike Ratledge - organ, synth
Karl Jenkins - oboe, sax, recorder, piano
Roy Babbington - bass
John Marshall - drums

FLAC - Soft Machine_1975-01-10_Enschede_Netherlands_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Soft Machine_1975-01-10_Enschede_Netherlands_mp3.rar