Saturday, 14 April 2018

Elvin Bishop - Juke Joint Jump (US 1975)

Size: 100MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster

Elvin Richard Bishopnal member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of that group in 2015 and the Blues Hall of Fame in his own right in 2016.

Bishop was born in Glendale, California, the son of Mylda (Kleege) and Elvin Bishop, Sr. He grew up on a farm near Elliott, Iowa. His family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma when he was 10. There he attended Will Rogers High School, winning a full scholarship to the University of Chicago as a National Merit Scholar. He moved to Chicago in 1960 to attend the university, where he majored in physics.

Elvin Bishop Poster US 1969
In 1963 Bishop met harmonica player Paul Butterfield in the neighborhood of Hyde Park and joined Butterfield's blues band, and remained with them for five years. Bishop was originally Butterfield's only guitarist, but was later joined by Mike Bloomfield, who largely took over the lead guitar role for the band's classic first two albums. After Bloomfield departed, the Butterfield Band's third album, The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw, took its name from Bishop's nickname and his renewed role as lead guitarist. Bishop recorded a fourth album with Butterfield, his last with the band, in 1968.

During his time with the Butterfield Blues Band, Bishop met blues guitarist Louis Meyers at a show. Bishop persuaded Meyers to trade his Gibson ES-345 for Bishop's Telecaster. Bishop liked the Gibson so much he never gave it back and has used it throughout his career. Bishop has nicknamed his Gibson ES-345 "Red Dog," a name he got from a roadie for the Allman Brothers Band.

In 1968 he went solo and formed the Elvin Bishop Group, also performing with Bloomfield and Al Kooper on their album titled The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper. The group signed with Fillmore Records, which was owned by Bill Graham, who also owned the Fillmore music venues.

Bishop sat in with the Grateful Dead on June 8, 1969, at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. He opened the second set with the lengthy blues jam "Turn on Your Lovelight" without Pigpen or Jerry. He played two more songs with the Dead, "The Things I Used to Do" and "Who's Lovin' You Tonight".

In March 1971, The Elvin Bishop Group and The Allman Brothers Band co-billed a series of concerts at the Fillmore East. Bishop joined The Allman Brothers Band onstage for a rendition of his own song, "Drunken-Hearted Boy." Over the years, Bishop has recorded with many other blues artists, such as John Lee Hooker, and with Zydeco artist Clifton Chenier. In late 1975, he played guitar for a couple of tracks on Bo Diddley's The 20th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll album and, in 1995, he toured with B.B. King.

Bishop made an impression on album-oriented rock FM radio stations with "Travelin' Shoes" in 1975 but, a year later, in 1976, Bishop released his most memorable single, "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," which peaked at #3 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart (and #34 in the UK charts). The recording featured vocalist Mickey Thomas and drummer Donny Baldwin who both later joined Jefferson Starship.

Bishop feels that the limitations of his voice have helped his songwriting.

During the 1960s and 1970s he recorded for the Fillmore, Epic and Capricorn labels.

01. Juke Joint Jump 5:32
02. Calling All Cows 4:30
03. Rollin' Home 4:57
04. Wide River 5:54
05. Sure Feels Good 2:48
06. Arkansas Line 3:22
07. Hold On 3:42
08. Crawling King Snake 3:51
09. Do Nobody Wrong 4:50

1. Elvin Bishop
2. Elvin Bishop
3. Elvin Bishop

The Butterfield Blues Band at the Fillmore January 1967.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Various Artist - Vertigo Annual Album UK 1970 (Vertigo Label Bands)

Size: 248 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster

The title of this double label sampler leads one to believe that there were plans for an annual release, but Vertigo never got any further than 1970. Contrary to the 'Heads together' sampler, this one contains previously released material only and so serves quite succeedingly as an introduction to Vertigo's miracles. 

The contents are chosen with taste: almost every track is among the best from the respective album and therefore this sampler comes recommended for anyone who wants to start to explore what the fuzz is all about.

Red foliage surely is a favourite of Keef the album designer. This time a naked lady on a dotted hobby-horse fronts the landscape. A small boy dressed in parade uniform plays the drum and looks at her. Quite striking.

The lettering is chosen in accordance to the 'annual' idea and could have been taken from any children's annual of the times.

Inside the horse's head is displayed in a coloured negative photograph and also proudly quotes underground magazine 'it': Vertigo is the least pretentiously and most happily married of the 'progressive' labels to emerge from 'neath the wings of the large record companies. 

One of those indispensable samplers, with so much going for it - label design, musical quality, rare tracks, top audio and alluring cover pics - it has become a collectors item by own merits. One cut each from the sixteen first albums realeased by the label. Most represented here didn't sell a lot back then and the originals can sometimes be hard to find or afford. I haven't had or heard all of those so I can't compare, but get the impression they picked the better or best from each. 

Some compilations have at least one downer regarding track choice or audio. On here I can't find one thing less than marvelous. From the happy-go-luckys Fairfield Parlour "In My Box" and Magna Carta "Going My Way" over the heavy Sabbath, Juicy Lucy and Uriah Heep cuts to the jazzier Nucleus, Colosseum and May Blitz it's all tophole. 

Only bad thing is I can't use it as background music when doing chores at home. The beauty entices me and sooner or later I get stuck in front of the speakers, forgetting everything about cleaning or whatever.

Vertigo Records was the late 60s progressive rock arm of the Philips Records empire. 

It is still in existence today as part of Mercury, but it is the early UK releases with "swirl" or "spiral" labels that are most sought after by collectors. 

Probably the most well known are the first four Black Sabbath LPs, but the list of artists who appeared on this label is long and varied including such diverse acts as Status Quo, Rod Stewart and Kraftwerk.  

01. Colosseum - Elegy  03.10
02. Rod Stewart - Handbags And Gladrags 04.25
03. Jimmy Campbell - Half Baked  04.42
04. May Blitz - I Don't Know  04.50
05. Juicy Lucy - Mississippi Woman  03.49
06. Fairfield Parlour - In My Box  01.59
07. Magna Carta - Goin' My Way (Road Song)  02.55
08. Affinity - Three Sisters  05.00
09. Black Sabbath - Behind The Wall Of Sleep  03.41
10. Gracious - Introduction  05.55
11. Cressida - To Play Your Little Game  03.21
12. Nucleus - Elastic Rock  04.05
13. Manfred Mann Chapter Three - One Way Glass  03.35
14. Bob Downes - No Time Like The Present  03.04
15. Dr. Strangely Strange - Summer Breeze  03.41
16. Uriah Heep - Gypsy  06.56

Bonus Tracks:
17. Catapilla - Changes  12.05
18. Gravy Train - Think Of Life  05.10
19. Jade Warrior - May Queen  05.24
20. Mike Absalom - Frightened Of The Dark  03.25
21. Ramases - Life Child  06.39
22. Patto - Give It All Away  04.10

Part 1: Vertigo Annual 1
Part 2: Vertigo Annual 2
Part 3: Verigo Annual 3
Part 1: Vertigo Annual 1
Part 2: Vertigo Annual 2
Part 3: Vertigo Annual 3
Part 1: Vertigo Annual 1
Part 2: Vertigo Annual 2
Part 3: Vertigo Annual 3

Monday, 2 April 2018

Bullet Proof Lovers - Shot Through The Heart (Power Rock/Punk US 2017)

Size: 88 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

In 2015, singer songwriter and power pop champion Kurt Baker capitalised on his escalating popularity in Europe by teaming up with a bunch of Spanish garage rock and bar band heroes…and LINK: Bullet Proof Lovers was born. Not so much out of necessity, but from fun, and the resulting mini-album (which had a belated US release in 2016) saw Baker tackling some of his punkiest tendencies since his days with The Leftovers.

The Lovers’ proper first album very much picks up where that mini-album left off and there’s no hiding Bullet Proof Lovers’ key interests. “I was born in the gutter…with an electrified fever” spits Baker during the first verse of ‘Ain’t No Joke’, a track that gets across the band’s desire for making their audiences sweat. This fusion of pop-punk and garage rock results in a near-perfect couple of minutes – an ideal up to anything from the previous recording. Baker’s gift for hooks is at the forefront and given the faster backdrop than his solo career so often affords, his performance bristles with life. 

He’s almost left in the dust by guitarists Luiyi Costa and Juan Irazu, though, whose two man guitar assault combines sharp riffing with a greasy punk ‘n’ roll solo that really cuts through the main melody. The rather self-explanatory ‘All I Wanna Do’ melds a Spinal Tap theory of having “a good time all the time” to more punky finery, without losing too much of that rock ‘n’ roll spirit, while ‘I’m Your Toy’ delivers more of the same on the surface, though without sounding too much like a retread. 

The power pop feel of Baker’s solo work is a touch more to the fore and perhaps a little more than on those other tracks, gives an indication of how this full-length has just a touch more variety than you’d perhaps expect. In terms of chorus, this is an album highlight, while musically, the band shows off both speed and panache, with a love of The Knack and Johnny Thunders in equal measure. The addition of a rollocking rock ‘n’ roll piano is a huge plus; Kurt’s long-time friend Kris Rodgers plays up a storm…even if his contributions are very low in the mix.

Lead single ‘I Am My Radio’ is both a celebration of a love of music, as well as a demonstration of brilliantly punchy power pop, placing Bullet Proof Lovers a couple of steps closer to the overlooked Lashes. Riff-wise, things are in full force, throwing out melodies that are somewhere between The Breakdowns, Hollywood Teasze and Radio Days. 

If you’re already familiar with Bullet Proof Lovers, you’ll find nothing new here, but the presence of an understated organ and a shredded rock ‘n’ roll solo combined with a killer hook come together to make it prime BPL fare. ‘On Overdrive’, meanwhile, churns out some classic muted riffs, with everyone excelling at a power pop/post punk crossover – the kind that takes its main thrust from the likes of old Undertones tunes and Joe Jackson’s classic ‘Got The Time’. In and out in just over two minutes, there’s no flab…just power and passion. 

Elsewhere, ‘Can’t Let Go’ makes great use of chopping riffs and an excessively fuzzy lead sound that catches the ear straight away, but the inclusion of gang vocals and a huge pre-chorus takes everything to the next level. Throughout the number, there are suggestions that the bass is furiously pumping, but an aggressive drum part and a wall of guitars seem set to leave the strongest impression. This could easily be a leftover from the previous BPL release – the band are sticking to strictly familiar territory – but it’s none the worse for that.

For those looking for something more melodic, the mid-pace of ‘One Last Night‘ should please with influences from bubble gum rock and power pop, as Baker (re)tells a tale of a relationship about to come to an end. With huge chords, a variety of surprisingly melodic soloing and a band steadily working through their own take on influences from The Scruffs, Nerves and Pezband, it’s got a great pedigree…and a chorus so infectious, you’ll be hitting the repeat button fairly swiftly. 

‘Take It Or Leave It’ falls squarely between the two main musical camps, promising hefty rock ‘n’ roll during its opening riff – with yet more piano – before falling away to reveal the kind of hooky melodicism that sat at the heart of most of Baker’s own ‘Play It Cool‘ LP. While there’s an underlying feeling that the guitarists are happiest when tearing through a riff or six at maximum speed, this number has just enough crunch within its retro pop to please the riff junkies, while showing off Baker’s traditional power pop chops. 

Having already shown an “all killer, no filler” aesthetic, ‘Radioactive Love’ closes the record with yet more pop-punk sharpness and a two guitar assault that never lets up from the start. Spiky vocals are bolstered by cheeky harmonies, while the rhythm section of Joseba Arza (drums) and Gonzalo Ibanez lock into one of the album’s fiercest grooves and – for one last time – a retro guitar adds a scorching lead break. Just for once, Bullet Proof Lovers don’t quite hit the mark when it comes to the chorus, but with speed, enthusiasm and sheer guts, they’ve got everything else on their side.

It’s fair to say, if you’ve ever had any interest in either Kurt Baker, classic punk pop or high octane new wave rock, this release has all the bases covered. Twelve songs that buzz past in the blink of an eye, ‘Shot Through The Heart’ is set to pierce through the ears of all lovers of retro, high-speed rock in all corners of the US, Spain and beyond.

Hear it…love it.

Bullet Proof Lovers bleed, sweat, and shred big hooks, loud guitars, a thundering rhythm section, and pop sensibility, ravaged with elements of Fred "Sonic" Smith, Primal Scream, The Hellacopters, and The Hives... Bullet Proof Lovers is a throwback to a time when it wasn't a sin to make fun music for people to play loud. Whether it's Cheap Trick influenced rock n' roll, thundering arena pop, or a vintage Kurt Baker power ballad, the hooks keep on coming.

Finally – a band that looks like a band.  I’m not sure about you, dear reader, but I’m slightly peeved at the number of bands that look as if Mommy has forced them into their best clothes to go to Kenny and Britney’s wedding reception.  You can hear the reluctant bassist moaning “ahw Mom…” as he’s forced to wear those lovely beige slacks she picked out for him.  It’s not right, I tell you.  That’s not to say The Bullet Proof Lovers look like they’ve picked up their stage gear from a dumpster behind a goodwill store, but at least they look like they should be toting guitars and not knocking on doors asking people if they’ve heard the good news about Jesus.

They sound like a rock and roll band too.  “Shot Through The Heart” (OK, who played the opening few bars of “You Give Love a Bad Name” in their head when they heard the title?) is a great rock and roll record with its loud pedal pressed down all the way. The tempo drops just once (but not much) on the almost Tom Petty-ish “One Last Night”, other than that, it’s head’s down, no nonsense ramalama from soup to nuts.  Caution – playing this album in your car will result in you driving really fast.

Imagine if the Ramones had stayed in school a bit longer and concentrated harder in music class.  Or if DeeDee was a huge Cheap Trick fan.  Get the picture?  These boys have done their homework, and combined pop smarts with a bit of ye olde punke rocke, but someone grabbed their dad’s Raspberries albums along the way, resulting in a healthy dose of melody to temper those loud, Steve-Jones-Is-God geetars.  If you ever dug the Hives’ tuneful garage rock, you really should check this out.

The band deliver 12 tunes in 36 minutes on “Shot Through the Heart” and as the songs crash into one another (in a most appealing manner) there’s no time for ballads, concepts, or any of that nonsense.  Once you get beyond the rather overdone “radio flipping through channels” opening of “I Am My Radio”, it’s good news all the way. The songs are all too short, too fast and over-caffeinated.  Really over-caffeinated.  But these are good things!  You want big choruses?  They’re happy to oblige – “Take it or Leave It” and “All I Want” will have you tapping your Cuban Heels vigorously before too long.

The Bullet Proof Lovers look like they belong in a barroom and sound like the Runaways’ kid brothers.  A good combination, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Kurt Baker: Vocals 
 Luiyi Costa: Guitars, b. vocals 
 Juan Irazu: Guitars, b. vocals 
 Gonzalo Ibañez: Bass 
 Joseba Arza: Drums 

01. I Am My Radio 03:31
02. Ain't No Joke 02:49
03. Not Your Toy 02:10
04. Heart Of Stone 03:15
05. Knock Down The Door 02:41
06. One Last Night 04:39
07. Drive It Outta Control 03:12
08. Can't Let Go 02:46
09. Take It Or Leave It 03:01
10. On Overdrive 02:16
11. All I Want 03:24
12. Radioactive Love 02:36

1. Bullet Proof Lovers
2. Bullet Proof Lovers
3. Bullet Proof Lovers

Tom Baker and the Snakes - Lookout Tower (Power Rock/Punk US 2017)

Size: 85.5 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

From Massachusetts, a three-prong guitar rock n roll attack 

If you like your rock & roll to worry less about subgenres and more about just getting to the good stuff, Tom Baker is yer man. 

Damn, has Link:  Rum Bar Records ever been serving up the rock this month! You might need to invest in louder speakers! Hot on the heels of that amazing new Bullet Proof Lovers album, Malibu Lou unleashes the eagerly awaited new LP from Tom Baker and the Snakes. Singer/guitarist Baker (Nana, the Dirty Truckers) is a fixture of the Boston garage/rock n' roll scene. 

He's backed by a formidable unit of veteran players including John Brookhouse (Worshipper, The Dirty Truckers) on lead guitar, Charles Hansen (Rock Bottom) on guitar, John Sheeran (Spitzz, Township) on bass, and Johnny Blout (Watts) on drums. Do the math, and you realize that's three guitars in this band. And none of 'em go to waste! Lookout Tower is the new album, and it delivers 11 shots of Stones/Faces inspired rock n' roll with a palpable heartland of America feel. 

The album imbues '70s arena rock wallop with the ragged underdog spirit of bands like The Replacements. That Westerberg/Stinson worship really shows through on signature tunes like the rough-around-the-edges pop gem "Doll Eyes" and the late night dive-bar banger "High n' Tight". Both were standout tracks on the band's digital-only 4 Stars EP from last year, and it would have been criminal to have kept them off the album. 

But there's plenty more to like here, from the meat & potatoes rocker "Gotta Find Her" to the '90s college radio jangle of "Needle in the Red" to the rootsy ballad "Say Goodbye" (which sounds like something Soul Asylum could have done in its prime). "Bad Change" hovers at the intersection of big hook power pop and boozy rock n' roll - an especially sweet spot for this band. And "Satisfied Fool" takes me straight back to the late '80s of my youth when I was seemingly listening to album-oriented rock radio 24/7. 

Tom Baker and the Snakes are a perfect fit on the Rum Bar roster- filling the space between the '70s FM thunder of Watts and the earnest blue collar rock n' roll of Nato Coles. If you like a whole lot of guitar in your rock n' roll (and really, who doesn't?!), Lookout Tower will have you in rock-out heaven. Beyond that, the quality and depth of Baker's songwriting is not to be overlooked. Arriving at the beginning of spring, Lookout Tower is for sure an album you'll want to crank loud as you relax on the porch and enjoy a cold beverage straight from the can. This, my friends, is real deal Boston rock n' roll!  

There was an afternoon once when you were laying on your bed staring at the Creem and Hit Parader rock star posters on your wall. You were listening to your new favorite record; the one you’d picked up at Crazy Eddie and then ran home to play on your Dad’s old turntable that you’ve snagged for your own. Maybe it’s Saturday, and you’re heading out with friends in an hour or so. 

You can’t quite place the band in this memory, but there were elements of the Stones in there; echoes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It had the snarl and the slide of the Replacements; but then again, raised a pint to Steve Marriott. It reminded you of college -- were you in college yet?

Tom Baker - vox, guitars 
 John Brookhouse - guitars, vox 
 Charles Hansen - guitars 
 John Sheeran - bass 
 John Blout - drums, percussion 

01. Gotta Find Her 02:21
02. Run It Out 03:31
03. Make It Hurt 03:29
04. Doll Eyes 02:42
05. High n' Tight 03:50
06. Waitin for Nothing 02:09
07. Bad Change 03:03
08. Needle in the Red 02:39
09. Satisfied Fool 03:43
10. Maybe Come Back to Me 02:47
11. Say Goodbye 03:11

1. Tom Baker
2. Tom Baker
3. Tom Baker

Sunday, 25 March 2018

A.B. Skhy - A.B. Skhy (1st Album US 1969)

Size: 93.1 MB
Bitrate: @320
Found in DC++ World
Artwork Included

The group, with a sad history, founded in Milwaukee in Wisconsin,little known exponents of the late-1960s psychedelic-blues genre. Originally known as The New Blues, drummer Terry Andersen, guitarist Dennis Geyer, bassist Jim Marcotte and keyboard player Howard Wales had the common sense to move themselves to San Francisco. 

Working in a psych-blues vein, the quartet found a ready audience and steady work on the city's club circuit. Recorded two albums, the first was called 'AB Skhy' and left in the same 1969, and the second 'Rumblin On' was born in 1970, after which the group disbanded. Signed by MGM, the quartet's 1969 self-titled debut teamed them with producer Richard Delvy. Unlike the majority of their San Francisco brethren, "A.B. Skhy" found the band focusing on a mixture of Blood, Sweat and Tears-styled horn rock. 

Both of album were written in the style of blues-rock with great influence of jazz, which is reflected in the construction of tracks and sound - a large part of the track is playing a horn section. The horns are this album were arranged by Dave Roberts, and it's evident that he knows what he's doing. 

From the first blast, until the last note, they hit you and hold you. Jim Marcotte's walking bass underlies some brass riffs that'll knock your socks off. Dennis Geyer's guitar makes you want to get up an dance. Terry Anderson's drum work is solid and lays a great foundation for the rest of the band. Howard Wales makes the Hammond sing, and combines with the rest of the group to make you wish every song was longer,and it belongs in the collection of every fan of good jazz, blues  or rock. 

Best of the lot were the bluesy "Understand" and the pseudo-jazzy "Of All Sad Words." Not bad performed a cover BB KING'a , completely jazz sounds which opens the album, 'You Upset Me Baby' . In the middle of a powerful sounds great jazz-rock instrumental "Camel Back",on the track even attended Dave Roberts with his copper pipes, as well as the beautiful ballad "Of All Sad Words" with a flute. 

In the past, when I was much younger, I was prejudiced against wind instruments, believed that the more "horns" - the worse. Now, I realize that, it was the strongest wind instruments, that touches the heart of each man. 

A.B. Skhy (originally New Blues) was an American electric blues band from Milwaukee formed in 1968. They recorded two albums before splitting up in the early 1970s.

Formed in Milwaukee in the late 1960s as New Blues, the band comprised Dennis Geyer (guitar, vocals), Jim Marcotte (bass guitar), Terry Anderson (drums), and Howard Wales (keyboards). Wales had previously played with artists such as James Brown and Freddie King. They relocated to San Francisco and changed the band name to A.B. Skhy, building a following with live performances. They were signed by MGM Records and worked with producer Richard Delvy on their self-titled debut album, released in 1969.[1] The album featured contributions from guitarist Russell DaShiell, harmonica player Jim Liban, and flautist Otis Hale and spawned the single "Camel Back", which reached number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The group then split, with Andersen and Wales leaving, the latter going on to play with Harvey Mandel, Jerry Garcia, and The Grateful Dead. Geyer and Marcotte recruited drummer Rick Jaeger and guitarist James "Curley" Cooke (formerly of The Versitones and The Steve Miller Band), and the new lineup recorded a second album, Ramblin' On, in March 1970 with Kim Fowley and Michael Lloyd producing. The album included a mixture of cover versions and original songs by Cooke.

A third album was started but the band split up before it was completed. Cooke went on to play in Cat and the Fiddle and with Boz Scaggs and Ben Sidran (who had played harpsichord on Ramblin' On), and released the solo album Gingerman in 1980. Jaeger joined DaShiell in Crowfoot and recorded with several artists as a session player.

A.B. Skhy was a blues-rock quartet from San Francisco consisting of guitarist Dennis Geyer, keyboard player Howard Wales, bass player Jim Marcotte, and drummer Terry Andersen. This lineup made the group's debut album, A.B. Skhy, in 1969, with a seven-piece horn section. 

The album failed to chart, but the instrumental "Camel Back" hit number 100 on the Hot 100 for one week in December. Andersen and Wales then left and were replaced by guitarist James "Curley" Cooke and drummer Rick Jaeger for the group's second album, Ramblin' On (1970), which was produced by Kim Fowley. They broke up during the recording of their third album.

* Dennis Geyer - Guitar, Vocals
* Jim Marcotte - Bass
* Terry Anderson - Drums, Vocals
* Howard Wales - Keyboards

01. You Upset Me Baby - 7:10
02. Just What I Need - 3:30 
03. It's Love Baby, 24 Hours A Day - 2:31
04. Camel Back - 5:05
05. Understand - 5:37 
06. Love Isn't - 4:10 
07. Of All Sad Words - 3:10
08. Love May Cure That - 5:10

1. A.B. Skhy
2. A.B. Skhy
3. A.B. Skhy

Monday, 19 March 2018

Black Sabbath - The End EP (Unreleased Promo only 2016)

Size: 210 MB
Bitrate: 320
Rippd by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Promo Only Release

CD BS Productions Limited ‎(January 20th, 2016, available only on concerts of 'The End' Tour 2016).
"The End" is an EP release by UK heavy/doom metal act Black Sabbath. The EP was released through Vertigo Records in January 2016. 

"The End" features 4 unreleased studio tracks, recorded during the sessions for "13 (2013)", and 4 live tracks recorded on the tour ("The Reunion Tour") supporting the album (recorded between April 2013 and April 2014). So while the EP was released to coincide with Black Sabbath final farewell tour ("The END Tour"), and was only available for purchase at shows on that tour, it actually doesn´t feature material recorded live from said tour.

Stylistically the studio tracks pretty much follow the same heavy/doom metal formula as the band also played on "13 (2013)". Quality wise it´s not necessarily obvious why these four tracks were left off "13 (2013)", as they are generally as memorable and powerful as the material featured on the album. 

Especially "Season of the Dead" is quite a brilliant track. The sound production resembles the one on "13 (2013)", which is again natural as these tracks were recorded during the same sessions as the material on "13 (2013)". The sound production is powerful, dark, and organic, although the drums could have prospered from a more organic tone.

The live recordings feature a professional sound quality, and the instrumental part of the performances is of high quality throughout. Ozzy Osbourne´s performances are a bit more up and down. 

He for example sounds great on "Under the Sun" (from "Vol 4 (1972)"), while his performances on the three tracks off "13 (2013)" ("God is Dead?", "End of the Beginning", and "Age of Reason"), vary a bit more in quality. 

He generally sounds alright when he sings loud anthemic parts, but he has a hard time hitting the right notes when he sings more mellow, and occassionally it even borders the embarresing. Overall the live tracks are pretty great though.

Everything about The End is an anomaly. It's a CD-only collection of four previously unreleased castaways from the sessions for Black Sabbath's stellar comeback LP, 2013's 13, along with a handful of live recordings; and it was only available to concertgoers who attended their farewell tour. 

Most surprising, though, is that it's excellent: Any of these songs could have – and should have – come out years ago. Opener "Season of the Dead" contains one of Tony Iommi's doomiest riffs in decades, and its middle section fuses the fantastical grooves of the band's late Seventies recordings with the locomotive riffing of their Eighties Dio years. 

The grim "Cry All Night" contains a brilliant, bluesy guitar solo; "Take Me Home" pairs Flamenco guitar with guttural, distorted riffing; and "Isolated Man" approximates Beatles psychedelia through the band's dark filter. It's Black Sabbath saying goodbye while twisting the knife – from the sound of these songs, they ought to record more.

♦♦ Ozzy Osbourne - vocals
♦♦ Tony Iommi - guitars
♦♦ Geezer Butler - bass

Guest musician:
♦♦ Brad Wilk - drums (1 - 4)
♦♦ Tommy Clufetos - drums (5 - 8)
♦♦ Adam Wakeman - keyboards (5 - 8), guitar (5 - 8)

01. Season Of The Dead  07.21
02. Cry All Night  06.58
03. Take Me Home  04.57
04. Isolated Man  05.31
05. God Is Dead? (Live Sydney, Australia 4/27/13)  09.48
06. Under The Sun (Live Auckland, New Zealand 4/20/13)  04.36
07. End Of The Beginning (Live Hamilton, ON Canada 4/11/14)  09.09
08. Age Of Reason (Live Hamilton, ON Canada 4/11/14)  07.45

Bonus Tracks:
09. Loner - 05.56 [Live Bonus 2016]
10. Dirty Woman - 07.24 [Live Bonus 2016]
11. Methademic - 05.21 [Live Bonus 2016]

Part 1: The End
Part 2: The End
Part 1: The End
Part 2: The End
Part 1: The End
Part 2: The End

Friday, 9 March 2018

Faces - First Step (Wrong Name - "Small Faces" in The US 1970)

Size: 230 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Source: SHM-CD Limited Remaster
Artwork Included

First Step was the first album by the British group Faces, released in early 1970. The album was released only a few months after the Faces had formed from the ashes of the Small Faces (from which Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan hailed) and The Jeff Beck Group (from which Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood hailed.) The album is credited to the Small Faces on all North American issues and reissues, while record labels for initial vinyl printings give the title as The First Step.

The album cover shows Ronnie Wood holding a copy of Geoffrey Sisley's seminal guitar tutorial First Step: How to Play the Guitar Plectrum Style.

The album was recorded at De Lane Lea Studios in London very soon after the group's official formation (although the band members had been performing together in various combinations since April 1969). At 47:13 it is the band's lengthiest original release and many critics regard it as promising, but sprawling and unfocused - their least cohesive and most undisciplined offering. Accordingly the album reached no higher than #119 on the Billboard charts. 

It is perhaps the most democratic of the Faces releases, affording as it does each member of the group at least one composer credit. Highlights include Ronnie Lane's folksy "Stone", the hard-rocking "Shake, Shudder, Shiver", "Three Button Hand Me Down" (on which both Lane and Wood play the bassline, affording the track a unique sonic quality in the Faces catalogue), and the soulful "Flying".

The notorious sloppiness of the Faces was apparent on their debut, almost moreso on the cover than on the music, as the group was stilled billed as the Small Faces on this 1970 debut although without Steve Marriott in front, and with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood in tow, they were no longer Small. They were now larger than life, or at least mythic, because it's hard to call an album that concludes with a riotous ode to a hand-me-down suit as larger than life. That was the charm of the Faces, a group who always seemed like the boys next door made good, no matter where next door was. 

Part of the reason they seemed so relatable was that legendary messiness -- after all, it's hard not to love somebody if they so openly displayed their flaws -- but on their debut, it was hard not to see the messiness as merely the result of the old Faces getting accustomed to the new guys. 

Fresh from their seminal work with Jeff Beck, Rod and Ron bring a healthy dose of Beck's powerful bastardized blues, bracingly heard on the opening cover of "Wicked Messenger," but there's a key difference here; without Beck's guitar genius, this roar doesn't sound quite so titanic, it hits in the gut. 

That can also be heard and Rod and Woody's "Around the Plynth," or "Three Button Hand Me Down," which is ragged rocking at its finest. 

Combine that with Ronnie Lane and Ian McLagan finding their ways as songwriters in the wake of the Small Faces' mod implosion, and this goes in even more directions. Lane unveils his gentle, folky side on "Stone," McLagan kicks in "Looking Out the Window" and "Three Button Hand Me Down." 

All these are moments that are good, often great, but the record doesn't quite gel, yet that doesn't quite matter. 

The Faces is a band that proves that sometimes loose ends are as great as tidiness, that living in the moment is what's necessary, and this First Step is a record filled with individual moments, each one to be savored.

The Album US 1970:
01. Wicked Messenger - 04.07
02. Devotion - 04.56
03. Shake, Shudder, Shiver - 03.14
04. Stone - 05.38
05. Around the Plynth - 05.51
06. Flying - 04.17
07. Pineapple and the Monkey - 04.24
08. Nobody Knows - 04.05
09. Looking Out the Window - 05.01
10. Three Button Hand Me Down - 05.48

Bonus Tracks:
11. Behind the Sun (Outtake) - 05.29
12. Mona - The Blues (Outtake) - 05.05
13. Shake, Shudder, Shiver (BBC Session) - 02.46
14. Flying (Take 3) - 04.41
15. Nobody Knows (Take 2) - 04.42

Rod Stewart Bonus Tracks:
16. Rod Stewart - Good Morning Little Schoolgirl [UK 1964] - 02.09
17. Rod Stewart - I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town [UK 1964] - 02.54
18. Rod Stewart - The Day Will Come [UK 1965] - 02.45
19. Rod Stewart - Why Does It Go On [UK 1965] - 02.47
20. Rod Stewart - Shake [UK 1966] - 02.50
21. Rod Stewart - I Just Got Some [UK 1966] - 03.40
22. Rod Stewart - Little Miss Understood [UK 1968] - 03.38
23. Rod Stewart - So Much To Say [UK 1968] - 03.14

Part 1: Faces
Part 2: Faces
Part 1: Faces
Part 2: Faces
Part 1: Faces
Part 2: Faces