Tag Archives: 1970s

Welcome Back My Friends……

So in the real world I haven’t been able to get into my actual refuge for the last couple of months due to house redecorating ‘stuff’ going on. That all changed this weekend….

So Emerson, Lake and Palmer are now down to just my namesake, a sad state of affairs – all virtuosos in their own right who became pompous and overblown when together and playing at their best. Excellent stuff.

I remember exactly where I was when I heard a voice intoning “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, We’re so glad you could attend, Come inside, Come inside” (aka the start of ‘Karn Evil 9 – 1st Impression, Part 2’) for the first time. It was a Saturday afternoon, my dad was driving me into Maidenhead (in a brown Ford Cortina – WRD 634J – motoring fact fans) and we were listening to Alan “Fluff” Freeman, when those words emerged from the speakers. I didn’t know who it was but decided I had to find out.

I eventually got the LP, Brain Salad Surgery, some years later from Notting Hill Record and Tape Exchange and it’s remained with me ever since. A couple of the tracks I could do without (“Jerusalem” is too plain and “Benny the Bouncer” too throwaway) but if I’m ever famous enough to go onto Desert Island Discs I’ll try to get the Karn Evil 9 suite classed as one ‘song’ and take it with me.

and they could hit the same thing live (albeit with a prolonged drum solo in the middle)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery (1973) – Vinyl

  • Jerusalem
  • Toccata
  • Still….You Turn Me On
  • Benny the Bouncer
  • Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression – Part 1
  • Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression – Part 2
  • Karn Evil 9: 2nd Impression
  • Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression

Rate – 4/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 37, Vinyl Singles – 17, LPs – 22, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 866, Time: 64h 28m 49s 

He Leans On The Hood Telling Racin’ Stories

One of the mysteries of having a record collection for a number of years is where do some of the records disappear to???

I bought this on vinyl in the early 80s (shortly after discovering Springsteen thanks to “The River”) and immediately fell in love with the story telling in his lyrics – here they were so much more expansive than in his (then) later work.

So what happened to the vinyl?

Well it disappeared somewhere and recently I reintroduced this into my collection, this time on CD. The tracks all still work for me and, on a personal level, remind me of my late teens when the only real worry I had was ‘do I have enough beer money?’


Bruce Springsteen – Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (1973) – CD

  • Blinded by the Light
  • Growin’ Up
  • Mary Queen of Arkansas
  • Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
  • Lost in the Flood
  • The Angel
  • For You
  • Spirit in the Night
  • It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City

Rate – 4/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 37, Vinyl Singles – 17, LPs – 20, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 855, Time: 62h 57m 38s 

I’m Just Digging a Chinese Ditch

So you go into work and all of a sudden three months have disappeared…..Thank God for annual leave.

Whilst fun, the New York Dolls to me always sounded safer than their image promised – I listened to them, they had their moment on the turntable and then I moved on. But when Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan formed The Heartbreakers they produced something more down and dirty, something I liked…….

Now it would be fair to say that, thanks to the drug habit, Johnny wasn’t the nicest, or most reliable, of guys but when he was on form he could drive that guitar with the best of them.

The one studio album they managed to make was initially drowned in a mix of sludge but now after a number of ‘finds’ and releases there is the definitive edition which on vinyl is spread across three LPs. Here we have –

  • LAMF – Restored from the Track LP (no album master exists – it’s a long story)
  • LAMF – Demo Sessions and Alternative Mixes
  • LAMF – Alternative Mixes

To be honest a bit too much overkill for me on the alternate mixes but sometimes you have to have something just because someone’s labelled it a ‘definitive edition’ – yes, I’m a marketing man’s dream.

Excellent music and memories – now where’s my guitar……….??

Heartbreakers – L.A.M.F. (1977) – Definitive Edition Triple Vinyl – 2013 Release

  • ….L.A.M.F. Restored….
  • A1 – Born To Lose
  • A2 – Baby Talk
  • A3 – All By Myself
  • A4 – I Wanna Be Loved
  • A5 – It’s Not Enough
  • A6 – Chinese Rocks
  • B1 – Get Off The Phone
  • B2 – Pirate Love
  • B3 – One Track Mind
  • B4 – I Love You
  • B5 – Goin’ Steady
  • B6 – Let Go
  • ….Demo Sessions and Alternative Mixes
  • C1 – I Wanna Be Loved
  • C2 – Pirate Love
  • C3 – Goin’ Steady
  • C4 – Flight
  • C5 – Born To Lose
  • C6 – Can’t Keep My Eyes On You
  • C7 – It’s Not Enough
  • C8 – I Love You
  • D1 – Take A Chance
  • D2 – Do You Love Me
  • D3 – Let Go
  • D4 – Chinese Rocks
  • D5 – Born To Lose
  • D6 – Born To Lose
  • D7 – Born To Lose
  • D8 – Baby Talk
  • D9 – Baby Talk
  • ….Alternative Mixes
  • E1 – All By Myself
  • E2 – All By Myself
  • E3 – It’s Not Enough
  • E4 – It’s Not Enough
  • E5 – Chinese Rocks
  • E6 – Get Off The Phone
  • E7 – Pirate Love
  • E8 – Pirate Love
  • F1 – One Track Mind
  • F2 – One Track Mind
  • F3 – I Love You
  • F4 – Goin’ Steady
  • F5 – Goin’ Steady
  • F6 – Let Go
  • F7 – Let Go
  • F8 – Can’t Keep My Eyes On You
  • F9 – Do You Love Me

Rate – 5/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 36, Vinyl Singles – 17, LPs – 20, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 846, Time: 62h 20m 27s 


Busy, busy, busy time at work means that I’ve been away from the keyboard…….but today I’ve found a brief period of time (in-between getting the house Christmas ready and prepping for work tomorrow) to chuck a few words down.

So (besides work) what have I been up to?

  • Saw Caro Emerald in concert…..more of that in a future post
  • Learnt that I’m marvellous at karaoke in my mind but that video seems to tell a different story. I’m certain that my singing “In The Ghetto” with the Divine Ms W, or my contribution to “Spice Up Your Life” with the Vivacious Ms N and Crazy Mr A were much better than the evidence suggests……….
  • Numerous meals out, discovered a number of new bands to add to my ‘must see’ list (have I talked about Brunt before? Don’t think so, I’ll rectify soon) and decided that I really must make the trek to Café Oto at some point to check the place out.

Interestingly it was talking about Café Oto (whist waiting for the damn work printer to do its thing) that reminded me that I needed to write about this CD as the Regal Ms H mentioned that she was looking to get into Jazz.

I’m not certain about Jazz, it seems to be a genre that doesn’t invite newcomers, you need to know the secret and ‘get it’ before you’re welcome in. I’ve tried listening before and, whilst I might enjoy the spectacle of it live, I can’t get a handle on all the aural noodling around that flows from the speakers.

So with this in mind at the start of November I decided to try a backdoor into the world of Jazz through Miles Davis. I knew his reputation and I knew that on “Bitches Brew” he had redefined aspects of it by using instruments more readily associated with rock music (e.g.  electric keyboards and guitar). Maybe, just maybe, this would help me ‘get it’….

And to a certain extent it worked. This is no rock album by anyone’s definition, the improvisation, changes in tempo and the sound of different instruments playing off of each other can only be Jazz, but it has given me the way in.

Some of it I don’t get –

  • “Pharaoh’s Dance” is a lot (and I do mean a lot, it’s 20 minutes long) of noodling to my ears

But most of it I do, my standout tracks –

  • “Bitches Brew” 27 minutes long but there’s a theme running through it that my unjazzified mind needs and appreciates hearing
  • “Spanish Key” for me the most accessible piece – probably because it’s the closest thing to a structured rock track on the album

I know that I’ve a long way to go, as I try to understand what the hell is going on, but at least this shows me that there is a way through and hopefully, one day all will become clear…….

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew (1970) – CD

  • Pharaoh’s Dance
  • Bitches Brew
  • Spanish Key
  • John McLaughlin
  • Miles Runs The Voodoo Down
  • Sanctuary
  • Feio (Bonus Track)

Rate – 4/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 30, Vinyl Singles – 16, LPs – 19, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 692, Time: 52h 35m 14s

A Consciousness Explosion

I have a dim memory of ‘Judy Teen’ being played on Radio 1 from my pre-teenage years – the hit written by Harley to shut up EMI after ‘The Human Menagerie’ was released – but I only discovered this album in my mid-teens. And as I listened to it, it spoke to me in the way that only music can when you’re in the middle of growing up and don’t know what you want to be or even what the options are……..

It’s overblown, clever (in a sixth form/art college type of way), the vocals are full of affectations and the lyrics are all over the place. – all exactly what I wanted to hear when I was trying to write music reviews for the school’s student magazine.

Rediscovering this in a charity store a few weeks ago I did wonder what I would think of it now – would my memories of over 30 years ago match up to the cynical ear of 2015? In all honesty it fared well, the stand out tracks for me used to be “Sebastian” and “Death Trip” and listening once more they’re still as ridiculous (in a good way) as they always were.

A welcome return to the vinyl fold for an album lost too many years ago………..

Cockney Rebel – The Human Menagerie (1973) – Vinyl

  • Hideaway
  • What Ruthy Said
  • Loretta’s Tale
  • Crazy Raver
  • Sebastian
  • Mirror Freak
  • My Only Vice
  • Muriel the Actor
  • Chameleon
  • Death Trip

Rate – 4/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 27, Vinyl Singles – 16, LPs – 19, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 646, Time: 48h 37m 52s