Tuesday, May 25, 2010

1112 - Mojo 132. David Ackles - David Ackles (1968)




















Track Listing

1. The Road To Cairo
2. When Love Is Gone
3. Sonny Come Home
4. Blue Ribbons
5. What A Happy Day
6. Down River
7. Laissez-Faire
8. Lotus Man
9. His Name Is Andrew
10. Be My Friend

Review

Many moons ago I reviewed Ackles' third album, American Gothic, which was, frankly one of the greatest discoveries of this whole list. Now with the Mojo list I come to Ackles' self-titled d├ębut and it did not disappoint in the list.

As an album it is markedly more minimalist than American Gothic, mainly voice guitar and organ, it doesn't have the grandiose arrangement of his later work. I would not say that it makes it better, but it makes it different and quite interesting. What it also shows is that Ackles really doesn't need that much to make strong, affecting songs.

Pretty much every track here is amazing, and while Ackles follows a more pop structure here than in his later career, he still manages to develop his tracks to amazingly epic levels. Criticised at the time for not having "enough melody" it sounds surprisingly modern exactly because of its epic minimalism... which seems like a paradox but really isn't, not for Ackles.

Track Highlights

1. His Name is Andrew
2. Blue Ribbons
3. Laissez-Faire
4. Be My Friend

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Ackles' debut, described by music historian Richie Unterberger as Ackles' "most rock-oriented record", garnered faint praise from Rolling Stone critic Arthur Schmidt, who complained of thin melodies but who nevertheless described Ackles as "one of the best singers I've ever heard". The album's general mood is dark, unveiling what Piero Scaruffi described as Ackles' "eclectic and depressed talent".

His name is Andrew, sorry for the crackling vinyl but it was all I could find:


Monday, May 24, 2010

1111 - Mojo Special 23. Chuck Berry - The Great 28 Hits (1985)






















Track Listing

1. Maybellene
2. Thirty Days
3. You Can't Catch Me
4. Too Much Monkey Business
5. Brown Eyed Handsome Man
6. Roll Over Beethoven
7. Havana Moon
8. School Days
9. Rock 'n' Roll Music
10. Oh Baby Doll
11. Reelin' And Rockin'
12. Sweet Little Sixteen
13. Johnny B Goode
14. Around And Around
15. Carol
16. Beautiful Delilah
17. Memphis Tennessee
18. Sweet Little Rock And Roller
19. Little Queenie
20. Almost Grown
21. Back In The USA
22. Let It Rock
23. Bye Bye Johnny
24. I'm Talking About You
25. Ome On
26. Nadine
27. No Particular Place To Go
28. I Want To Be Your Driver

Review

When you talk about influential early rock and rollers this collection is all the evidence you need to claim Chuck Berry as the most influential of them all. Elvis completely pales in comparison, you can hear echoes of The Beatles, Beach Boys or even T-Rex here that you can't get in any other of his contemporaries.

This is a pretty amazing collection of hits from the mid-50s to the mid-60s, while none of them were number ones, they are doubtlessly some of the best rock of their time. John Lennon said that if you were to rename Rock 'n' Roll to any other name that name should be Chuck Berry, and he wasn't far off.

Chuck Berry is also an interesting author in the way that there is a clear universe to his music, populated with characters like Maybellene or Johnny B. Goode, who re-appear in track after track. And, most importantly, it rocks!

Track Highlights

1. Johnny B. Goode
2. Little Queenie
3. Memphis Tennessee
4. You Can't Catch Me

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

In 2003, the album was ranked number 21 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the second highest ranking compilation on the list, after Elvis Presley's The Sun Sessions.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

1110 - Mojo 131. Nilsson - Aerial Ballet (1968)






















Track Listing

1. Daddy's Song
2. Good Old Desk
3. Don't Leave Me
4. Mr. Richland's Favorite Song
5. Little Cowboy
6. Together
7. Everybody's Talkin'
8. I Said Goodbye to Me
9. Little Cowboy
10. Mr. Tinker
11. One
12. Wailing of the Willow
13. Bath

Review

I have previously reviewed a later album by Nilsson (Nilsson Schmilsson, 1971), back in March 2007. And I deeply disliked that album, tracks like Without You or Coconut Song did not make it any favours. I was, therefore, pleasantly surprised to have liked this album as much as I did.

There are some pretty phenomenal songs here, and not just the cover of Fred Neil's Everybody's Talking, which really made Nilsson's name. Tracks like One have become almost as well known in more recent times, and deservedly so. If I previously doubted Nilsson's writing chops based on Nilsson Schmilsson, this album makes me rethink it.

So this is an album which is not lost in eclecticism like his later work, although it goes through some different styles. In fact this is a pretty tight album, well produced and arranged without ever going over the top and really making justice to some pretty great lyrics.

Track Highlights

1. One
2. Together
3. Everybody's Talking
4. Mr. Tinker

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:




Thursday, May 20, 2010

1109 - Mojo 130. Blue Cheer - Outsideinside (1968)


























Track Listing

1. Feathers from Your Tree
2. Sun Cycle
3. Just a Little Bit
4. Gypsy Ball
5. Come and Get It
6. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
7. Hunter
8. Magnolia Caboose Babyfinger
9. Babylon

Review

Blue Cheer move into heavier metal with this, their second album. The move a bit further from the Blues-Rock idiom into a proper Heavy Metal sound. OF course we are talking here more of a proto-metal scene. Blue Cheer are not Black Sabbath, however.

Cheer's music is much sunnier and hence more akin to Zeppelin in feel, however the agressiveness with which the music is played points to later acts like Sabbath or the chronologically closer MC5. This is a simple compensation for not being the most proficient players in the world.

This album is better than their first effort, however, and the playing sounds much tighter as does the vision behind the music, perfectly encapsulated in the double-speed version of the Stones' (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.


Track Highlights

1. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
2. Sun Cycle
3. Babylon
4. Hunter


Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

They had to record some songs at Pier 57 as the studio kicked them out for being too loud. When they were recording songs at Pier 57, they were so loud that people on boats complained they could hear the sound at 9 miles (14km) away. Because they recorded songs both outside and inside, they named their 2nd album "Outsideinside"

Sun Cycle:

Mojo 129. The Band - Music from Big Pink (1968)



Monday, May 17, 2010

1108 - Mojo 128. The Millennium - Begin (1968)




















Track Listing


1. Prelude
2. To Claudia on Thursday
3. I Just Want to Be Your Friend
4. 5 A.M.
5. I'm With You
6. Island
7. Sing to Me
8. It's You
9. Some Sunny Day
10. It Won't Always Be the Same
11. Know It All
12. Karmic Dream Sequence, No. 1
13. There Is Nothing More to Say
14. Anthem (Begin)
15. Just About the Same
16. Blight

Review

A really good album here, this is a bit of a hodgepodge of styles while still being generally within the sunshine pop idiom. That being said it is prefiguring the sound of later Fleetwood Mac, of the Rumours or even Tusk era, while retaining many late 60s elements to the music.

Using the new 16-track technology to great effect the album sounds never less than full, but fortunately never muddled. It sounds pretty amazing actually and has stood the test of time remarkably well.

It owes quite a bit to the Beach Boys and Jefferson Airplane among others but it sounds particularly distinct for its time, it sounds new both for 1968 and now. Has happened with most albums which did that, it never hit it big, but now there's blogs like this to give it its just deserts.

Track Listing

1. Island
2. Anthem (Begin)
3. Just About the Same
4. Prelude

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Begin has gained notoriety throughout the years as being the most expensive album that Columbia Records had released by that time, though critics generally agree that the money was well spent. It is now generally considered to be a classic of sunshine pop.

Island:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

1107 - Mojo Special 22. Johnny Green - Raintree County OST (1957)





















Track Listing

1. Overture
2. Lion/The Song of Raintree County (Main Title)(Vocal by Nat King Cole)
3. Nell and Johnny
4. There's Another Tree
5. The Swamp
6. Nell and Gar/Freehaven/Prelude Segue/Meet Flash and Susanna
7. Johnny's Crown/Look at the Birdie/First Meeting
8. First Meeting (film ending)/Nell's Huff/Pursuit of Happiness/July Swim/Tell Me About the Raintree/Nell Insert/Your Exact Location
9. Going Home/Train From the South/I Had to Come Back/Fare Thee Well/River Wedding Night
10. Burned Mansion/Susanna's Obsession/Lament for Henrietta
11. Cousin Bob's Plantation
12. I Lied/Country Road/Johnny's Book/Best Friend
13. You Hate Me/What Did I Do Wrong?/Where Is Susanna?/Where Is That Doll?/It's Happened
14. Be a Pig's Eye/It's a Boy/Back in Freehaven
15. Dearest Thing/It's the House/What About the Fire?/I Don't Know/They Can't Follow Me
16. Judby/She Was Going Home
17. First Act Finale (Roadshow)

Disc 2

1. Entr'Acte
2. Brand New Pants
3. Battle Montage/War Commentary
4. Fairweather/I Don't Believe It/Night Ambush/Flash Dies
5. Johnny's Escape/War's End/I'd Like to Try/Lincoln's Funeral Train
6. I Still Love Him/You're Not Sick/Surprise for Daddy/Ask Daddy/Search
7. Susanna's Death/Jeemie's Raintree/The Song of Raintree County (End Title)
(Vocal by Nat King Cole)
8. The Song of Raintree County (Main Title)(chorus version)
9. Freehaven (film version)
10. Freehaven (alternate)
11. First Meeting Part 1 (alternate)
12. First Meeting (song version)(Vocal by Carlos Noble)
13. Pursuit of Happiness/July Swim/Tell Me About the Raintree (alt. ending)
14. Going Home (alternate)
15. Polka at the Party (Bronislau Kaper)
16. Why No One to Love -- Party (Stephen Foster)
17. Why No One to Love (Stephen Foster)
18. Cousin's Bob Plantation (alternate)
19. Best Friend (alternate)
20. Best Friend (film version)
21. First Act Finale (Day Date)
22. Jeemie's Raintree/The Song of Raintree County (End Title) (chorus version)
23. The Song of Raintree County (instrumental)
24. The Song of Raintree County (Vocal by Bill Lee)
25. Jeemie's Raintree/The Song of Raintree County (End Title) (film version with chorus)

Review

A really long soundtrack... also a very good one. Unfortunately, like most soundtracks it gets quite repetitive, particularly taking into account the fact that it spreads through 2 CDs each counting over 70 minutes of music. With the same themes recurring over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... you catch my drift.

So there are plenty of highlights here, particularly the theme song sung by Nat King Cole, which is always a delight. The main theme is quite an effective one and the music can be quite stirring and sweeping and everything a soundtrack for a costume epic with Ms. Taylor and Mr. Hudson should be.

Now I need to apologize to you, dear reader. I have been lately hanging out with musicians and other undesirables (met some journalists yesterday,) which means I've been arriving home too late to properly update this thing. I need to get back to a daily routine, maybe I'll start doing this in the morning (or early afternoon) in order to keep YOU (and me) in fresh albums each and everyday.

Track Highlights

1. Lion/The Song of Raintree County
2. Jeemie's Raintree/The Song of Raintree County (End Title) (chorus version)
3. The Song of Raintree County (instrumental)
4. Battle Montage/War Commentary

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Elizabeth Taylor was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film was also nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (William A. Horning, Urie McCleary, Edwin B. Willis, Hugh Hunt), Best Costume Design and Best Music, Scoring. The film was shot in a 65 millimeter widescreen process called MGM Camera 65, which was also used for MGM's 1959 version of Ben Hur.

Raintree County Song:


Saturday, May 08, 2010

1106 - Mojo 127. J.K. & Co. - Suddenly One summer (1968)





















Track Listing

1. Break of Dawn
2. Fly
3. Little Children
4. Christine
5. Speed
6. Crystal Ball
7. Nobody
8. O.D.
9. Land of Sensations and Delights
10. Time
11. Magical Fingers of Minerva
12. Dead

Review

In 1968 a 15 year old makes a track which could easily be mistaken for Radiohead... really? Yes, really. Although most of the album is pretty good psych, one track, Fly, puts this album above and beyond just good. Fly by itself makes this album an essential one to have.

The album itself is a conceptual "life of X" type thing, not particularly original by now, but the music often comes completely from left-field, there's a lot here which is common to the late 60s psychedelia but plenty which just sounds completely new.

That the album was a failure it isn't surprising, having released the 30 second instrumental first track as the single cannot have helped, and most of the album is too different from what was around to really be a commercial prospect, but now it is essential listening. Get it.

Track Highlights

1. Fly
2. Dead
3. Little Children
4. Christine

Final Grade


9/10

Trivia

From
Aquarium Drunkard:

Recorded in 1968, leader Jay Kaye was only 15 at the time, and for someone so inexperienced in the studio, the lyrics, vocals and musicianship are remarkably advanced. Traveling from his home of Las Vegas to Vancouver, Kaye worked with some of the areas top session players (including members of the popular local outfit, Mother Truckers Yellow Duck). Inspired by the Beatles recent psychedelic landmarks, and LSD itself, the album is lush with orchestral flair with a spiritual slant. Robert Buckley, himself a teenager, assisted Kaye with many of the albums arrangements and psychedelic effects. It was Buckley who created the decaying, backward effects that punctuate the masterful “Fly” – a track which sounds well of its time, familiar in feel to prime-era Radiohead.

Fly:

Mojo 126. Dr. John, The Night Tripper - Gris-Gris (1968)

See Review

Saturday, May 01, 2010

1105 - Mojo 125. The Beach Boys - Friends (1968)





















Track Listing

1. Meant For You
2. Friends
3. Wake The World
4. Be Here In The Mornin'
5. When A Man Needs A Woman
6. Passing By
7. Anna Lee, The Healer
8. Little Bird
9. Be Still
10. Busy Doin' Nothin'
11. Diamond Head
12. Transcendental Meditation

Review

Although a great album, it is The Beach Boys after all, this comes as something of a disappointment. I was hoping it would be a discovery on the scale of a Surf's Up, but it really isn't. It's just very good.

It is a notch below the truly great Beach Boys album's we've had on this blog and even Smile. But even the worse of the Beach Boys is great (at least in this phase, the less said about Kokomo the better).

The overall feel of the album is one of happiness and slightly childish enjoyment, there is very little edge or real emotion to it, it is eminently pop, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but keeps it from being mind-blowing.

Track Highlights

1. Passing By
2. Friends
3. Transcendental Meditation
4. When a Man Needs a Woman

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

As work on the album began in February 1968, Mike Love, a recent convert to transcendental meditation (TM), departed on a two week trip to India (alongside The Beatles and Donovan) to study TM further with his new master, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In his absence, the remaining Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson, Al Jardine and, now an official member, Bruce Johnston recorded the bulk of Friends along with selected members of The Wrecking Crew.

Passing By:

Mojo 124. Small Faces - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (1968)

See Review

Mojo 123. Os Mutantes - Os Mutantes (1968)

See Review

Friday, April 30, 2010

1104 - Mojo 122. Ill Wind - Flashes (1968)






















Track Listing

1. Walkin' And Singin'
2. People Of The Night
3. Little Man
4. Dark World
5. LAPD
6. High Flying Bird
7. Hung Up Chick
8. Sleep
9. Full Cycle

Review

Some more psych from the late 60s... this being the mojo list, it is natural that these years are very long, and although I really like this album it feels a little superfluous. It sounds a lot like Jefferson Airplane, and while that is a good thing it doesn't make it particularly original, however they might be better than Jefferson Airplane... yes, you heard that right.

This is another example of great American psych, not much here is mind-blowing or that original and there is plenty of more innovative psych to appear on this list soon. However, it is a consistently good album, with great playing and vocals throughout, which just does a great job at what it sets out to do.

Fortunately this is a musical period (around 68-73) which I really enjoy... possibly only surpassed by the late 70s (77-79) and so I can very easily continue listening to slightly different psych albums one after the other, so heh.

If you like Jefferson Airplane you'll love this.

Track Highlights

1. Dark World
2. Walkin' and Singin'
3. Full Cycle
4. People of the Night

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

No entry

Only track has embed disabled but here's a link:
LINK!
Mojo 121. Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)

See Review

Saturday, April 10, 2010

1103 - Mojo Special 21. Elvis Presley - The Sun Studio Sessions (1954)




















Track Listing


1. That's All Right
2. Blue Moon Of Kentucky
3. Harbor Lights
4. I Love You Because
5. Blue Moon
6. Tomorrow Night
7. I'll Never Let You Go, Little Darlin'
8. Just Because
9. Good Rockin' Tonight
10. I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine
11. Milkcow Blues Boogie
12. You're A Heartbreaker
13. I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone
14. Baby Let's Play House
15. How Do You Think I Feel?
16. I Forgot To Remember To Forget
17. Mystery Train
18. Trying To Get You
19. When It Rains It Really Pours
20. I Love You Because (Alt Take)
21. My Baby's Gone
22. My Happiness (Acetate)
23. That's When The Heartache Begins (Acetate)
24. I'll Never Stand In Your Way (Acetate)
25. It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You (Acetate)


Review

Definitely better than any of the regular studio albums by Elvis, the Sun sessions capture some of the fire and verve of Elvis at the very beginning of his career, it all went downhill from here as far as I'm concerned.

A very interesting thing about this album is just how close to country music Elvis really is, for the most part it sounds like a country album with infused blues, with some more obviously rock tracks like Good Rockin' Tonight. A very strong influence from Doo-Wop is also present, although without the harmonies, obviously, but defining Elvis' beginning as purely rock would be wide of the mark.

As a country artist he is great, as a rock artist not so much... you had better rock artists, with more fire than him, only they were the wrong colour to reach his popularity at the time. We will have them here in the best of section soon, though.

Track Highlights

1. That's All Right
2. Blue Moon
3. Milkcow Blues Boogie
4. Just Because

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The single "That's All Right" did not chart in the United States when released in 1954, and it was never issued as a single in Great Britain during Presley's lifetime. In 2004, the song became the focus attention when it was the subject of a great deal of publicity because of the 50-year anniversary. There was a special ceremony on 6 July 2004 featuring Isaac Hayes, Justin Timberlake, Moore which was beamed live to 1200 radio stations. The song went top 5 in the UK and Canada and also charted in Australia. The Sun Sessions was also re-released in 2004 (in Japan only) to celebrate the anniversary.

That's All Right:


Friday, April 09, 2010

1102 - Mojo 120. Harper's Bizarre - The Secret Life Of (1968)





















Track Listing

1. Look To The Rainbow
2. Battle Of New Orleans
3. When I Was A Cowboy
4. Sentimental Journey
5. Las Mananitas
6. Bye Bye Bye/Vine Street
7. Me Japanese Boy
8. I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise
9. Green Apple Tree
10. Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat
11. I Love You Mama
12. Funny How Love Can Be
13. Mad
14. Look To The Rainbow
15. Drifter
16. Reprise

Review

Close harmony singing... not usually very edgy but Harper's Bizarre manage to give it a little something special. Particularly when it comes to arrangements which are often pretty unusual and sometimes just screw-ball.

There's a couple of great covers here and some great original material which is slightly weird and slightly endearing all at the same time. They manage somehow to be the cool face of close harmony singing... maybe together with Simon and Garfunkel who were active at about the same time.

While Simon & Garfunkel's influences are mainly in the folk genre, Harper's Bizarre are a lot more in the field of psych, with sound effects and weird musical sampling mixed in. A pretty good album indeed.

Track Highlights

1. Battle Of New Orleans
2. Me Japanese Boy
3. When I Was A Cowboy
4. Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Two bonus tracks were added to the 2001 Sundazed CD reissue of this title. They had previously been the two sides of a single: "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell and "Small Talk" by Bonner/Gordon.

Battle of New Orleans:

Mojo 119. Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends (1968)

See Review

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

1101 - Mojo 118. Billy Nicholls - Would You Believe (1968)





















Track Listing

1. Would You Believe
2. Come Again
3. Life Is Short
4. Feeling Easy
5. Daytime Girl
6. Daytime Girl (2)
7. London Social Degree
8. Portobello Road
9. Question Mark
10. Being Happy
11. Girl From New York
12. It Brings Me Down

Review

A surprising album on this list, sometimes there's still stuff I haven't heard of and that I end up really liking. Billy Nicholls tries to make the UK Pet Sounds... he doesn't quite manage it but is not that far off.

Some of the orchestrations are a bit over the top, but even so it ends up being a terrific album with some of the most beautiful and also heaviest sounds to have shown up on this Mojo list up until now. Girl from New York, has a metaly fuzzy guitar which sounds pretty great and heavy.

Sometimes these long lost pop-rarities show up just to disappoint, but this is certainly not the case. A truly great piece of Psych-pop which we can cherish in a way they didn't in 1968. Great Stuff.

Track Highlights


1. Girl From New York
2. Would You Believe
3. London Social Degree
4. It Brings Me Down

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The Small Faces' Steve Marriott can be heard very prominently on "Would You Believe?", despite Oldham's attempts to drown them out with heavy orchestration. Oldham wanted this to be the British Pet Sounds but financial difficulties with the label caused it to be shelved (it only achieved an initial promotional run of 100 copies, as Immediate IMCP009) before it ever hit the streets.

Girl From New York:

1100 - Mojo 117. Magic Sam - West Side Soul (1968)





















Track Listing

1. That's All I Need
2. I Need You So Bad
3. I Feel So Good (I Wanna Boogie)
4. All Of Your Love
5. I Don't Want No Woman
6. Sweet Home Chicago
7. I Found A New Love
8. Every Night And Every Day
9. Lookin' Good
10. My Love Will Never Die
11. Mama Mama
12. I Don't Want No Woman

Review

Somewhere between Sam Cooke and Muddy Waters we have Magic Sam, who perfectly mixes soul and blues in this great album. If there is one gripe I have with the album is the fact that it sounds quite behind the times, inspired as it is by music that has had its heyday some years earlier.

The album is pretty original however, and the mix between two musical genres is pretty well done. It is also a lot of fun and Magic Sam is nothing if not a great guitar player.

The sheer enjoyment you get form the record neatly brushes away most criticism, it is a great piece of music and something you should listen to if you are at all interested in blues or soul.

Track Highlights

1. That's All I Need
2. Sweet Home Chicago
3. I Feel So Good (I Wanna Boogie)
4. I Don't Want No Woman

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

It is often cited by blues enthusiasts to be one of the greatest electric blues albums of all time.

That's All I Need:

Monday, March 29, 2010

1099 - Mojo Special 20. Various Artists - The Girl Can't Help It OST (1956)






















Track Listing

1. The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
2. Tempo's Tempo - Nino Tempo
3. My Idea Of Love - Johnny Olenn
4. I Ain't Gonna Cry No More - Johnny Olenn
5. Ready Teddy - Little Richard
6. She's Got It! - Little Richard
7. Cool It Baby! - Eddie Fontaine
8. Cinnamon Sinner - The Chuckles
9. Spread The Word, Spread The Gospel - Abbey Lincoln
10. Cry Me A River - Julie London
11. Be-Bop-A-Lula - Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps
12. 20 Flight Rock - Eddie Cochran
13. Rock Around The Rock Pile - Fats Murdoch
14. Rockin' Is Our Bizness - The Treniers
15. Blue Monday - Fats Domino
16. You'll Never, Never Know - The Platters
17. Ev'rytime (feat. Ray Anthony) - Eileen Wilson, Ray Anthony Orchestra
18. Big Band Boogie - Ray Anthony Orchestra
19. The Girl Can't Help It (end credits) - Ray Anthony Orchestra

Review


A good soundtrack which is unfortunately composed of a lot of tracks I already own in other formats, actually some of the best tracks like Julie London's, Fats Domino's and Little Richard's have already been on this blog before in their own recordings. Still there are good things here like Gene Vincent's Be-Bop-A-Lula which we have not heard here before but surely have listened to plenty throughout our lives.

The extra material is not that impressive, there is a lot of big band music which somehow passed as rock in the 50s but is clearly out of place in such a rocky context. It is however an important historical soundtrack in its use of pretty good rock music during the 50s.

Fats and Little Richard sound way ahead of the game, Richard's flamboyant aggressiveness is extremely revolutionary here, breaking with the other music much more radically than anyone else. So some great tracks which can be gotten better in other media... oh well.

Track Highlights


1. Ready Teddy
2. She's Got It
3. Blue Monday
4. Be-Bop-A-Lula

oh and I need to include:

5. Cry Me a River

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The movie’s influence on rock music is significant. The film reached Liverpool, England in the early summer of 1957. The featured cameo performances of early rock ‘n’ roll stars such as Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, and Gene Vincent and His Bluecaps, fascinated a 16-year-old John Lennon by showing him, for the first time, his "worshipped" American rock ‘n’ roll stars as living humans and thus further inspiring him to pursue his own rock and roll dream.

Ready Teddy:

1098. Mojo Special 19. Various - Jumping with Mr. Lee 1967-1968

Can't find this one. Anyone knows where to find it, let me know!

Friday, March 19, 2010

1097 - Mojo 116. Flat Earth Society - Waleeco (1968)


















Track Listing


1. Feelin' Much Better
2. Midnight Hour
3. I'm So Happy
4. When You're There
5. Four & Twenty Miles
6. Prelude for the Town Monk
7. Shadows
8. Dark Street Downtown
9. Portrait in Grey
10. In My Window
11. Satori

Review

Well, current news first: Alex Chilton died recently which is a real shame, and has also made me think that I should really retrospectively raise the grade I gave to Big Star's #1 Record from 8 to 9, still not as great as Third but definitely above the water mark of 8 (which is where things don't go into my iPod).

Back to today's album then, more psych, and despite some interesting elements it isn't really that amazingly original or new. What I would take as particularly innovative or different here is a prevading eastern influence which instead of deriving from Indian sources as is the case in so much psych, derives from Japanese music.

That is not enough to carry the album through, however, and while it is all prefectly good it never amazes, really. So yeah, an enjoyable listen but not really essential listening for anyone... although I really like the Mojo list they are a bit snobbish in the way they sometimes care more for musical rarity than actual greatness... it leads to great discoveries and some slightly disappointing listens.

Track Highlights

1. When You're There
2. Satori
3. Portrait in Grey
4. Feelin' Much Better

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

No info on Wikipedia... oh well.

Midnight hour:


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mojo 115. Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968)

See Review

Mojo 114. The Zombies - Odyssey and Oracle

See Review

Mojo 113. The Byrds - The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968)

See Review

Mojo 112. The United States of America - The United States of America (1968)

See Review


1096 - Mojo 111. Tom Rush - The Circle Game (1968)


















Track Listing

1. Tin Angel
2. Something In The Way She Moves
3. Urge For Going
4. Sunshine Sunshine
5. The Glory Of Love
6. Shadow Dream Song
7. The Circle Game
8. So Long
9. Rockport Sunday
10. No Regrets

Review

This album is actually more important for the great songwriters it introduced the world to than as an album itself. Here we can see the first album examples of songs by Jackson Browne, James Taylor and even Joni Mitchell. If only for this the album more than deserves its place in history.

However, and there is an however, the album is not as amazing as it could have been. All of the songwriters mentioned above would eventually do better things with their own songs. It really shines, however in Rush's own tracks, and it shows a really discerning eye to have picked up all of these amazing writers.

So it isn't really the best album in the world, but it is definitely one which is of great historical importance for the music of the late 20th century. As such it is an essential addition to any musical library.

Track Highlights

1. Something in the Way She Moves
2. Circle Game
3. Shadow Dream Song
4. No Regrets

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The songs follow the cycle of a relationship from its beginning to an end, according to the lyric content and sequencing of songs. Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game," recorded prior to her own release of the song, can be read as the turning point of the relationship while "Rockport Sunday" ends the romance using an instrumental piece, followed by the coda "No Regrets." Supporting this concept is the cover shot, which pictures then girlfriend Jill Lumpkin behind Tom Rush as photographed by Linda Eastman.

Circle Game:


Mojo 110. The Incredible String Band - The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (1968)

See Review


Monday, March 15, 2010

1095 - Mojo 109. Bobbie Gentry - The Delta Sweete (1968)




















Track Listing


1. Okolona River Bottom Band
2. Big Boss Man
3. Reunion
4. Parchman Farm
5. Mornin' Glory
6. Sermon
7. Tobacco Road
8. Penduli Pendulum
9. Jessye' Lisabeth
10. Refractions
11. Louisiana Man
12. Courtyard

Review

The missing link between country music and Laura Nyro, this truly great album by Bobbie Gentry is one of those unsung rarities that only show up once in a while but which are a real thrill to listen to.

This fully orchestrated folk/country suite-like album showcases Gentry's amazing voice but also her great gifts as a songwriter and the great expressiveness of her music. Gentry can use a simple twist of her voice to emote any possible variation of emotion throughout.

This is a really strange album to come out of Nashville at this period in time and it seems a lot more like something which could be coming from the West Coast, but its country roots are very definitely there, even if on a first listen through you might be hard pressed to call this a "country" album. Great stuff.

Track Highlights

1. Mornin' Glory
2. Reunion
3. Courtyard
4. Okolona River Bottom Band

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Delta Sweete was a concept album based on modern life in the Deep South. Gentry wrote eight of the album's 12 tracks, which detailed her Mississippi childhood and included vignettes of home and church life ("Reunion," "Sermon"), as well as recollections of blues and country hits she heard as a youngster ("Big Boss Man", "Tobacco Road"). The song "Okolona River Bottom Band", accented by a sophisticated horn chart and breathy strings, used the same basic cadence as "Ode to Billie Joe".

Mornin' Glory:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

1094 - Mojo Special 18. The Doo Wop Box (1993)


















Track Listing

Disc: 1

1. It's Too Soon to Know - The Orioles
2. Count Every Star - The Ravens
3. Glory of Love - The Five Keys
4. Gee - The Crows
5. Crying in the Chapel - The Orioles
6. Money Honey - The Drifters, Clyde McPhatter, Clyde McPhatter
7. Golden Teardrops - The Flamingos
8. Sunday Kind of Love - The Harptones, Willie Winfield Listen
9. I - The Velvets
10. Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite - The Spaniels
11. Sh-Boom - Chords, The Chords
12. Gloria - The Cadillacs, Jesse Powell Orchestra
13. Hearts of Stone - The Jewels
14. Earth Angel - The Penguins
15. Sincerely - The Moonglows, The Moonglows
16. Mary Lee - The Rainbows
17. Close Your Eyes - The Five Keys
18. (Will You) Come Back My Love - The Wrens
19. Story Untold - The Nutmegs
20. Only You (And You Alone) - The Platters
21. Why Don't You Write Me - The Jacks
22. When You Dance - The Turbans
23. At My Front Door (Crazy Little Mama) - The El Dorados
24. Great Pretender - The Platters
25. Lily Maebelle - The Valentines, The Valentines

Disc: 2

1. Speedoo - The Cadillacs, Jesse Powell Orchestra
2. Why Do Fools Fall in Love? - Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers
3. I'll Be Home - The Flamingos
4. Devil or Angel - The Clovers
5. Church Bells May Ring - The Willows
6. Little Girl of Mine - The Cleftones, Jimmy Wright
7. I Want You to Be My Girl - Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, Jimmy Wright
8. In the Still of the Night - The Five Satins
9. Closer You Are - The Channels
10. Oh, What a Night - The Dells
11. Thousand Miles Away - The Heartbeats
12. Please Say You Want Me - Leroy Kirkland Orchestra, The Schoolboys
13. Come Go with Me - The Del Vikings
14. I'm So Happy (Tra-La-La-La-La-La) - Louie Lymon & the Teenchords
15. Walking Along - The Solitaires
16. Little Darlin' - The Gladiolas
17. Don't Ask Me to Be Lonely - The Dubs
18. Florence - The Paragons
19. Deserie - The Charts
20. Whispering Bells - The Del Vikings, Corinthian "Kripp" Johnson
21. Tonite, Tonite - The Mello-Kings
22. Long Lonely Nights - Lee Andrews & the Hearts
23. Baby Oh Baby - The Shells
24. Tell Me Why - Norman Fox & The Rob Roys, The Rob Roys
25. Buzz Buzz Buzz - Hollywood Flames
26. Teardrops - Lee Andrews & the Hearts

Disc: 3

1. Been So Long - The Pastels, The Pastels
2. Get a Job - The Silhouettes
3. Book of Love - The Monotones
4. Maybe - The Chantels
5. I Wonder Why - Dion, Dion & the Belmonts
6. One Summer Night - The Danleers
7. For Your Precious Love - Jerry Butler & the Impressions
8. You Cheated - The Shields
9. I'm So Young - The Students
10. Every Day of the Week - The Students
11. Little Star - The Elegants
12. Tears on My Pillow - Little Anthony & the Imperials
13. Trickle Trickle - The Videos
14. Ten Commandments of Love - Harvey & The Moonglows, The Moonglows
15. Sixteen Candles - The Crests
16. So Fine - The Fiestas
17. Lovers Never Say Goodbye - The Flamingos
18. Since I Don't Have You - Lenny Martin & the Orchestra, The Skyliners
19. Pizza Pie - Sid Bass, Norman Fox & The Rob Roys, The Rob Roys
20. Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home) - Leroy Holmes & His Orchestra, The Impalas
21. Teenager in Love - Dion & the Belmonts
22. Who's That Knocking - The Genies
23. I Only Have Eyes for You - The Flamingos
24. Hushabye - The Mystics
25. Rockin' in the Jungle - The Eternals

Disc: 4

1. Mope-Itty Mope - The Boss-Tones
2. Oh Rosemarie - The Fascinators, Jesse Stone Orchestra
3. Just to Be With You - The Passions
4. Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop - Little Anthony & the Imperials
5. Wind - The Jesters
6. Stay - Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs
7. There's a Moon Out Tonight - The Capris
8. Blue Moon - The Marcels
9. Tonight I Fell in Love - Fields-Madera Orchestra, The Tokens
10. Daddy's Home - The Limeliters, Shep & the Limelites
11. Barbara Ann - The Regents
12. Rama Lama Ding Dong - The Edsels
13. Tonight (Could Be the Night) - Virgil Johnson, The Velvets
14. My True Story - The Jive Five, Joe Rene & Orchestra
15. Nag - The Halos
16. Lookin' for My Baby - The Earls
17. Imagination - The Quotations
18. Coney Island Baby - The Excellents
19. Remember Then - The Earls
20. Never Let You Go - The Five Discs
21. Denise - The Rainbows, , Randy & the Rainbow
22. Unchained Melody - The Salutations, Vito
23. I Do - The Marvelows
24. Morse Code of Love - The Capris
25. My Juanita [Live] - Brooklyn Bridge, Johnny Maestro

Review

This best of box set is a truly essential addition to anyone's library for anyone interested in the development of modern music. The tracks are organised in a loosely chronological way and throughout you can hear doo-wop going from the origins to some really refined music.

There are so many tracks and so many bands here that it would be impossible not to have some misses, however it surprisingly manages to have very few misses indeed. In fact the whole collection is made of win. Even if I am partial to the more modern doo-wop of the third and fourth disc, there is just too much to love in the other two discs.

You probably will not need any other collection of doo-wop music after having this, but it will make you discover artists who you might want to listen to more, as a sampler of the best of Doo-Wop this is a really lovely collection, clearly made by people with a great love for the style. Get it.

Track Highlights

1. Stay - Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs
2. Teenager in Love - Dion & the Belmonts
3. Only You (And You Alone) - The Platters
4. Blue Moon - The Marcels

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

In the beginning and during its heyday, this type of music did not have a specific name; the term "doo-wop" was not used.

In the 1950s, this type of harmonized group sound was referred to (broadly) as "rock and roll," but more narrowly as "R&B." However, R&B was still too general a term, since R&B included single artists, instrumentalists, and jump blues bands, as well as vocal groups. At the time, the best and most accurate term used was probably "vocal group harmony," but the style still did not have an official name, despite the fact that it dominated the charts in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The term "doo-wop" first appeared in print in 1961, notably in the Chicago Defender, when fans of the music coined the term during the height of a vocal harmony resurgence.

And now, just for my friend Sara: