Yes, it’s been a bit quiet, and I feel I should have posted a bit more, but I’ve bern sort of hunkering down with what I have already got in my collection lately.
But I have purchased a few fun items, mostly on vinyl though…
Reissues of Gentle Giant that I think were done by a member of the band. They sound very nice.
I also got the collected albums of the UK Nirvana, called Songlife that I’m really looking forward to hearing. It has all the albums from the Island years, through Vertigo and beyond, including an unreleased album. I’m happy it’s on vinyl, but it would be nice to have it on CD as well. I’m not sure why it’s only vinyl at this point. I think my favorite album by them may be Dedicated to Markos III but I’m excited to hear Local Anesthetic, as I’ve never heard that one.
I finally found a nice vinyl copy of Jason Paul’s 1969 single on Pye “Shine A Little Light In To My Room.” Some of you may know that song from the Grapefruit comp “Try A Little Sunshine.” Jason Paul was one half of the duo Svensk, who did “Dream Magazine” on Page One records.
It turns out the original version of the song is by a group from my neck of the woods (Massachusetts) called Teddy and the Pandas. I think I like the Jason Paul version more, but it’s interesting to compare the two versions (They’re both on Youtube).
Other than that I have been listening to my stand-by favorites, like Patto, the Beach Boys, the Kinks. Nothing to really report there, but I hope everyone is surviving the winter, and if you have a turntable, you may want to investigate Songlife by Nirvana which is on Madfish records…
Joe i'm very curious to know what that unreleased LP is like? The quality of their 70's output seemed to dip heavily to my ears and I get the impression they were really struggling for record deals throughout the decade. I'm assuming it's a lo-fi demo for a failed musical and it falls into "completists only" territory. (...unfortunately that's where I'm at)
Funny you should ask, as I just listened to it for the first time last night.
I liked it more than I expected. One or two songs sound like they’re intentionally parodying a musical along the lines of Jesus Christ Superstar, with choral singing and enthusiastic piano. The “closer” is perhaps the least successful example of that style, as it is a finale called “Freedom Chaser” that sounds like a high school musical reworking of Rainbow Chaser.
But most of the record is pretty good sounding pop songs like stuff on Dedicated To Markos III.
I sort of ignore the “concept” which seems pretty undeveloped anyway, but as a collection of songs, Secrets is pretty good. It’s similar to Songs of Love and Praise in that it has some good melodic numbers (Bingo Boy might be my favorite on first listen), and it has a forgettable version of Rainbow Chaser. I think it’s s bit more unusual than Songs of Love and Praise though, as it flows from incidental music to songs. It also has a reprise of the title track. And most interestingly, the lead vocals sometimes go from a female singer and to a certain Pete Kirchner, who I want to believe is the drummer from Honeybus, but probably is a different Pete Kirchner. The first song he sings on the record is about as hard rocking as Nirvana got. The song “I Don’t Care” is pretty rocking. The familiar voices of Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex S. are all over the place, but the different guest appearances are great, too.
In summation, it has a bit of a “A Quick One” feel (the Who album) in that you can hear the band trying to tell a story in a kind of song cycle. Such things usually don’t work out so great, but I think the songs are at least as enjoyable as the better parts of Local Anesthetic or Songs of Love and Praise. So I am not thinking it’s a thing they should have left off the set. Sure, it’s a bit disconnected, but it sounds better than demos to me.
On the other hand, my favorite album in the set is probably still Dedicated to Markos III, and there is nothing on Secrets that pleases me quite as much as my two favorite Nirvana songs “Oh! What s Performance” and “I Believe in Magic.” But those are both singles, and including an lp of non-lp singles probably would have made this set too expensive. Am I happy with how they presented the lps? Very much! It’s a very nice set, and Secrets is a fine addition to the Nirvana canon. Maybe in the end owning this set depends in how much you like the UK Nirvana. They have always been a bit hit and miss to me, but even though I am not obsessed with all things Nirvana, I am very happy to have this set. The sound and packaging are both great, and Nirvana have enough music I like to make this worth it. I’ll still spin the Alan Bown version of “We Can Help You” as well as those two singles I mentioned that are crucial to hear and aren’t part of this set. But when it comes to the albums, this is amazingly well done.
Oh…and speaking of great singles. A repro of the Hat and Tie 45 “Finding it Rough” would have also been great, but the boxed set is a Nirvana boxed set, so I guess I can’t fault it for not having a proto-Nirvana 45 included. Judging on what is included…great vinyl, remastered sound, a fine book, a bonus unreleased album. All that adds up to a very nice set, indeed.
Thanks for the info. I'll track it down one day. Probably the same day they finally find the Markos III masters. A pristine "Black Flower" is probably the very top of my wants list.
Ps - there is a long clip out there somewhere of the famous Paris tv show they did with Salvador Dali. It seems to have disappeared for now other than the short clip below where he walks pasts them with Amanda Lear. Blink and you miss it. In the long clip Dali paints during a Nirvana playback - but they're not featured much...
Very cool. Yeah, Matt…the liner notes mention the Salvador Dali connection.
I know I’ve been talking up the vinyl set, but if any good folk here are wondering "what's the best Nirvana on CD?" the answer is unequivocally "Rainbow Chasers: The 60's Island Years."
It has the first two albums, singles, and the unreleased songs, which are very good. "Goodbye Baby Bunting" could have been a single. Their song "Oh What a Performance" appears in three different forms, all with Spooky Tooth as the musicians. Which means we're talking Gary Wright!! I think I have raved in previous posts about the first three Gary Wright albums: “Extraction,” “Footprint” and “Ring of Changes”. I love all three of these albums. but maybe “Extraction” most of all. “Ring of Changes” is a close second followed by the very good “Footprint.” These records are so much better than the Spooky Tooth that I’ve heard that it makes me wonder why they have slipped into obscurity. Maybe people expect “Dream Weaver” and can’t accept an actual band with great bass by Klaus Voorman, guitar by State if Micky and Tommy’s Mick Jones, and even a bit of slide by Mr. George Harrisong himself! The songs are super catchy and well recorded. And the first two albums are on a BGO two albums on 1 CD collection! I just wish Ring of Changes had a vinyl issue, but so far it’s CD only😢
The only problem with the BGO CD of the first two Gary Wright albums is the picture of Mr. Wright looks like a police sketch of a suspect in a series of nefarious crimes.😂
Not the greatest packaging overall, but you do get two good albums on one CD, kind of like the See for Miles Bill Fay collection.
Agree about the Gary Wright albums, but the first two Spooky Tooth albums when he was a member, in It's All About and Spooky Two are excellent imo.
I have to give the first album a chance. I’m not sure I have thst one actually. But Spooky Two sounded like a Gary Wright album minus the good songwriting to me. I haven’t been able to get a kick out of Spooky Two…😀
I’m listening to “Ring of Changes” at the moment. Not a bad tune on it. And it rocks pretty hard in places, too. The song “Ring of Changes” has a real “All Things Must Pass” (the album) ferl to me. I guess that song and “Somebody” made it out on a vinyl single in the ‘70’s. But the album didn’t get a release until fairly recently on CD…
Hello Joe, hope you're keeping well,and doing well!!
Long time no speak,i can't believe i missed this thread of posts,as its very interesting,from Nirvana to Gary Wright and Spooky Tooth.........what's not to like?
First off to have me intrigued with the "unreleased"Nirvana(concept)album,Secrets,does it have the recording dates for this on that vinyl box set Joe?As i'm trying to get my head around the timeline of this project,a i thought Patrick Campbell Lyons basically went on his own using the Nirvana name for albums like Local Anaesthetic and Songs of Love and Praise...which are totally opposites in vibe and sound to my ears,as after Dedicated to Markos lll(aka Black Flower)the duo split after the debacle of getting this album released when Chris Blackwell at Island Records,basically rejected it,so 1969/70 im guessing they parted ways,as Patrick Campbell Lyons went onto work for Vertigo Records,in various roles,hence Local Anaesthetic was released on Vertigo! In truth i don't know very much that Alex Spyropoulos did after this........but you mention in your description that Patrick and Alex are all over the unreleased "Secrets" album,so take it this was recorded pre 1970?
I also totally agree in your assesment that the double cd set "Rainbow Chasers-The 60s Recordings"(2018)is the best collecton out there for the early Nirvana recordings,with both Story of Simon Simopath and All of Us albums being included,but also including single sides,alternate takes,and unreleased recordings.....in fact its a topper of a collection.Unfortunately i DON'T think there has been a fully succesful cd box set covering all Nirvana recordings,or releases under the Nirvana name,i do have "Chemistry"a largely underwhelming 3 cd package from Edsel in 1999,with vey little track information,no years,no mention of players,no real history of the group,or history of the songs,all it states is 1969-1999......so no earlier material.......even now i dont get who this box set was aimed at,as it is bare of information on anyything,and only features a story by Patrick Campbell Lyons about his going ons at the time...even much of the music found underwhelming as there is NO context at all....theres even a cover of Cobains grunge group Nirvanas "Lithium".......really?C'mon,what 60s Nirvana fan woulld want that in their collection?I'm sure Patrick Campbell Lyons had a say in the contents of this box set,so sometimes it does show,that the artist does not know best when it comes to what their fans want,it even has a sticker the original british 60s Nirvana.......but i'm sure much off this set has 80s and possibly 90s recordings......ooofffttt!!I remember buying this ,all excited to get it home and play it...i remember thinking what the f- - k..........in truth ive very rarely played it since in all these years.......maybe i should reaccquaint myself with it.........
Aaaahhh...as for the Salvador Dali footage,i've been lucky enough to have been able to see that,as it was on youtube for a limited time,but maybe because of copyright as Salvador Dali and his works seem to still garner much interest all those years later,so possibly it was removed?
GARY WRIGHT AND SPOOKY TOOTH
First off Spooky Tooth,i do enjoy their first 2 albums,but i MUCH prefer the ART album"Supernatural Fairy tales"(Dec 67)which is available on an expanded cd,BUT this was pre Gary Wright,he joined AFTER this album.I just wanted to make that point,the debut Spooky Tooth album"Its all About"(may 68) still has some vestiges of psychedelia,but was certainly sounding more bombastic veering into what would become known as progressive,plus American Gary Wright on keyboards and vocals,did give this group a very different sound and vibe.Their second album "Spooky two"(mar 69)certainly pointed in a different direction,and for my ears was their last consistent album,as this line up split up after"Ceremony"(jan 70) their third album with Pierre Henry,which in my opinion is not as bad as ive read many times elsewhere,but it was a total disaster to the group,and totally alienated their fans.
Gary Wright did take part in other recordings like,the Steve Gibbons debut album"Short Stories"which to my ears is a mixed listen,but DOES feature some marvellous material.Anyway Gary Wright released his debut album"Extraction"(apr 71),funnily enough Joe you mention the artwork,which was done by Klaus Voorman,of Beatles Revolver artwork,but also a musician too,who was in Manfred Man and features on"Extraction",i do like this album,but in all honesty its not been spun a lot,neither has his second album"Footprint",which my memory now cant remember much off,even though it features my fave ex Beatle George Harrison, so i'd be ingenuine if i made a critical decision on it,even though i have the twofer BGO twofer cd........what i find utterly bewildering was the shelving of the Wonderwheel album"Ring Of Changes"as it has George Harrison amongst many other respected and well known players,plus it was recorded at Apple Studios in 72.....but most important of all,it has some absolutely terrific music on it...but A&M refused to release it,imagine funding a project,as good as this,then not doing anything with it.....just shows you how much record execs know!!It's a fine album with a mix of sounds,from heavier type material,to some lovely gentler harmonised material which eventually saw release in 2016 on cd by Esoteric. So AGAIN,i agree with you Joe,on your assesment of Wonderwheel..........
STATE OF MICKY AND TOMMY(Mick Jones & Tommy Brown)
Obviously after the frustration of this,Gary Wright rejoined Spooky Tooth ,along with Mick Jones formerly of swinging 60s State of Micky and Tommy,and who spent time in France recording with French superstar Johnny Halliday,amongst others.Their material from this time is superb,Julian Waites,With Love From 1-5,Nobody Knows Where Youve Been,Alice,they also released stuff as The Blackburds,Nimrod,The J.& B.
The material they wrote for Johnny Hallyday,again is top notch,in particular when Johnny was going through a swinging london vibe and onto psychedelia,Jones and Brown where a big part off that,even The Small Faces took part,when Johnny Hallyday recorded a few off their songs,in particular the trippy"That Man",but the duo where heavily involved in the Hallyday albums"La Generation Perdue"(oct 66?)which features The Blackburds,and include 2 of their songs,in this year,Hallyday also issued 3 jones/Brown compositions on singles, including Absolument Hyde Park,all included on the deluxe cd issue of the album.Also the album"Johnny"(july67?)which is an album of mainly covers,but feature 2 off their songs,including Julian Waites,at this time their band The Blackburds still supported Johnny Hallyday too.Also the albums Jeune Homme,Reve Et Amour,Johnny Hallyday feature heavy involvement from both Jones and Brown.But im planning on doing a post here on this period of Jones and Brown,so i'll not say much else this moment.
Cheers Joe for giving me the urge to actually write something........but as usual i go on just a bit too long.