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