Wednesday, 11 May 2016

B.B. King - My Kind of Blues (Great Album US 1960)


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Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster



My Kind of Blues is the sixth studio album released by B. B. King in 1960 A remastered and expanded edition was released in Japan 2006.

According to his biographer, Charles Sawyer, this is King's personal favorite among his recordings. Unlike most of his albums from this period (which are mostly collections of singles), this was recorded in one session and takes him out of his usual big-band setting, using only bass, drums, and piano for accompaniment. 


The result is a masterpiece: a sparse, uncluttered sound with nothing to mask King's beautiful guitar and voice. "You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now" (its unaccompanied guitar intro is a pure distillation of his style), "Mr. Pawn Broker," "Someday Baby" (R&B Top Ten, 1961), "Walkin' Dr. Bill," and a great version of "Drivin' Wheel" are highlights.

Released around August, 1960 as B.B.'s seventh Crown album. It apparently emanated from a single session about 3 March 1960 with legendary pianist Lloyd Glenn, probably Ralph Hamilton on bass and drummer Jesse Sailes providing spare but sympathetic backing. Glenn was a key to some of the best small group recordings by T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson and B.B., and this album remains a highlight. Although B.B. has taken at best an "aw shucks" approach towards other highly regarded later albums such as LIVE AT THE REGAL and BLUES IS KING, he has named MY KIND OF BLUES as a personal favorite. It shows in the music. 


The minimalist backdrop and Glenn's empathy as the primary foil gives B.B. free rein as he soars from the elaborate solo introduction to You Done 


Lost Your Good Thing Now through an update of My Own Fault covered closely by Otis Rush for Vanguard, the shuffle Mr Pawn Broker which epitomizes the status of this LP as a basic template for the sound of Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets, and a programme of mostly classic blues by Doctor Clayton (one of B.B.'s biggest influences on his vocals and repertoire), Cecil Gant, Roosevelt Sykes, Memphis Minnie and others.



Sawyer, this is King's personal favorite among his recordings. 

Unlike most of his albums from this period (which are mostly collections of singles), this was recorded in one session and takes him out of his usual big-band setting, using only bass, drums, and piano for accompaniment. 

The result is a masterpiece: a sparse, uncluttered sound with nothing to mask King's beautiful guitar and voice. "You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now" (its unaccompanied guitar intro is a pure distillation of his style), 

"Mr. Pawn Broker," "Someday Baby" (R&B Top Ten, 1961), "Walkin' Dr. Bill," and a great version of "Drivin' Wheel" are highlights. 





01. "You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now" (B. B. King, Joe Josea) - 05:15
02. "Mr. Pawnbroker" (King, Jule0s Taub) - 03:16
03. "Understand" (Cecil Gant) - 2:39
04. "Someday Baby" (Lightnin' Hopkins) - 02:54
05. "Driving Wheel" (Roosevelt Sykes) - 02:52
06. "Walking Dr. Bill" (Doctor Clayton) - 03:41
07. "My Own Fault" (King) - 03:34
08. "Fishin' After Me" (Robert Petway) - 02:29
09. "Hold That Train" (Clayton) - 03:58
10. "Please Set the Date" (Minnie McCoy) - 02:49

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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Black Sabbath - Sabotage (Classic Album UK 1975, Highly Rated)


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Sabotage is the sixth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in July 1975. It was recorded in the midst of litigation with their former manager Patrick Meehan and the stress that resulted from the band's ongoing legal woes infiltrated the recording process, inspiring the album's title. It was co-produced by guitarist Tony Iommi and Mike Butcher.

Black Sabbath began work on their sixth album in February 1975, again in England at Morgan Studios in Willesden, London. The title Sabotage was chosen because the band were at the time being sued by their former management and felt they were being "sabotaged all the way along the line and getting punched from all sides", according to Iommi. Iommi credits those legal troubles for the album's angry, heavier sound. 



In 2001, bassist Geezer Butler explained to Dan Epstein, "Around the time of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, we found out that we were being ripped off by our management and our record company. So, much of the time, when we weren't onstage or in the studio, we were in lawyer's offices trying to get out of all our contracts. 

We were literally in the studio, trying to record, and we'd be signing all these affidavits and everything. That's why it's called Sabotage – because we felt that the whole process was just being totally sabotaged by all these people ripping us off." In his autobiography I Am Ozzy, singer Ozzy Osbourne confirms that "writs were being delivered to us at the mixing desk" and that drummer Bill Ward "was manning the phones." In the liner notes to the 1998 live album Reunion, Butler claimed the band suffered through 10 months of legal cases and admitted, "music became irrelevant to me. It was a relief just to write a song."



Tony Iommi later reflected, "We could've continued and gone on and on, getting more technical, using orchestras and everything else which we didn't particularly want to. We took a look at ourselves, and we wanted to do a rock album – Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath wasn't a rock album, really." According to the book How Black Was Our Sabbath, "The recording sessions would usually carry on into the middle of the night. Tony Iommi was working really hard on the production side of things with the band's co-producer Mike Butcher, and he was spending a lot of time working out his guitar sounds. Bill, too, was experimenting with the drums, especially favouring the 'backwards cymbal' effect." Osbourne, however, was growing more frustrated with how long Sabbath albums were now taking to record, writing in his autobiography that "Sabotage took about four thousand years."



Sabotage is a mix of heavy, powerful songs and softer experimental tunes, such as "Supertzar" and "Am I Going Insane (Radio)". In 2013 Mojo observed, "Opener 'Hole in the Sky' and the crunching 'Symptom of the Universe' illustrate that, for all their problems, Sabbath's power remained undimmed on what was what many consider one of their finest offerings." In the article "Thrash Metal - An Introduction" in University Times Magazine, Vladimir Rakhmanin cites "Symptom of the Universe" as one of the earliest examples of thrash metal, a heavy metal subgenre which emerged in the early 1980s. 

Tony Iommi describes the song's dynamics in his autobiography Iron Man: "It starts with an acoustic bit. Then it goes into the up-tempo stuff to give it that dynamic, and it does have a lot of changes to it, including the jam at the end." The final part of "Symptom of the Universe" evolved from an in-studio improvisation, created very spontaneously in a single day and the decision was made to use it in that song. 



The London Philharmonic Choir was brought in to perform on the song "Supertzar". When vocalist Ozzy Osbourne arrived at the studio and saw them, he thought he was in the wrong studio and left. The title of the pop-leaning "Am I Going Insane (Radio)" caused some confusion due to the "(Radio)" part, which led people to believe the song was a radio cut or radio version. However, this is the only version of the song: the term "radio-rental" is rhyming slang for "mental".



"The Writ" is one of only a handful of Black Sabbath songs to feature lyrics composed by vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, who typically relied on bassist Geezer Butler for lyrics. The song was inspired by the frustrations Osbourne felt at the time, as Black Sabbath's former manager Patrick Meehan was suing the band after having been fired. The song viciously attacks the music business in general and is a savage diatribe directed towards Meehan specifically ("Are you Satan? Are you a man?"), with Osbourne revealing in his memoir, "I wrote most of the lyrics myself, which felt a bit like seeing a shrink. All the anger I felt towards Meehan came pouring out." During this period, the band began to question if there was any point to recording albums and touring endlessly "just to pay the lawyers".

The brief instrumental "Don't Start (Too Late)" is an acoustic guitar showpiece for Iommi, titled for tape operator David Harris who often despaired at Sabbath being prone to start playing before he was ready.


Sabotage was released on 27 June 1975 and peaked at number 7 in the United Kingdom and at number 28 in the United States. It was certified Silver (60,000 units sold) in the UK by the BPI on 1 December 1975 and Gold in the US on 16 June 1997, but was the band's first release not to achieve platinum status in the US. For the second time, a Black Sabbath album initially saw favourable reviews, with Rolling Stone stating "Sabotage is not only Black Sabbath's best record since Paranoid, it might be their best ever", although later reviewers such as Allmusic noted that "the magical chemistry that made such albums as Paranoid and Volume 4 so special was beginning to disintegrate". Guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen told Nick Bowcott of Guitar Player in 2008 that the riff to "Symptom of the Universe" was the first Tony Iommi riff he ever heard and that "Tony's use of the flat fifth would have got him burned at the stake a couple hundred years ago."

The band toured the US in support of Sabotage in 1975, which included a filmed appearance for the prestigious series Don Kirshner's Rock Concert at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Sabbath played "Killing Yourself To Live", "Hole In The Sky", "Snowblind", "War Pigs" and "Paranoid". During Iommi's guitar solo during "Snowblind", plastic snowflakes were dropped from above on the audience and the band, a gimmick used during the band's live shows during this period. According to the book How Black Was Our Sabbath, "The audience was limited to just a couple thousand fans, and it seemed like the whole of LA got wind of it." Due to the band's expanding use of orchestras and other new sounds in the studio, the tour in support of Sabotage was the first in which Black Sabbath used a full-time keyboardist onstage, Gerald "Jezz" Woodroffe. Black Sabbath toured with openers Kiss, but were forced to cut the tour short in November 1975, after vocalist Osbourne was injured in a motorcycle accident. "Allmusic Rating: ★★★★ +Half 

The Band:
 Ozzy Osbourne – lead vocals
 Tony Iommi – all guitar, piano, synthesizer, organ, harp
 Terry "Geezer" Butler – bass guitar
 Bill Ward – drums, percussion (piano and backing vocals on "Blow on a Jug")

01. "Hole in the Sky"  04:00
02. "Don't Start (Too Late)" (Instrumental)  00:49
03. "Symptom of the Universe"  06:29
04. "Megalomania"  09:46
05. "The Thrill of It All"  05:56
06. "Supertzar" (Instrumental with vocalising choir)  03:44
07. "Am I Going Insane (Radio)"  04:17
08. "The Writ"  08:46

Some versions of Sabotage contain a short hidden track entitled "Blow on a Jug" at the end of "The Writ", recorded at very low volume.

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The Blues Project - Live at The CAFE AU GO GO 1966 (2CD) (Mono/Stereo) (SHM-CD)



Size: 226 MB
Bitrate: 256
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Live at The Cafe Au Go Go is the debut album by the American band The Blues Project, recorded live during the Blues Bag four-day concert on the evenings of November 24-27, 1965 at the Cafe Au Go Go in New York City. The band scaled down their usual lengthy arrangements for the album due to time constrictions and record label wariness.

Although Tommy Flanders (who'd already left the band by the time this debut hit the streets) is credited as sole vocalist, four of the then-sextet's members sang; in fact, Danny Kalb handles as many leads as Flanders (four each), Steve Katz takes center stage on Donovan's "Catch the Wind," and Al Kooper is featured on "I Want to Be Your Driver." The band could be lowdown when appropriate (Kalb's reading of "Jelly, Jelly"), high energy (Muddy Waters' "Goin' Down Louisiana" sounds closer to Chuck Berry or Bo Diddley), and unabashedly eclectic (tossing in Donovan or Eric Andersen with no apologies). Kalb's moody take on "Alberta" is transcendent, and the uptempo arrangement of "Spoonful" is surprisingly effective. 




One of the first album-oriented, "underground" groups in the United States, the Blues Project offered an electric brew of rock, blues, folk, pop, and even some jazz, classical, and psychedelia during their brief heyday in the mid-'60s. It's not quite accurate to categorize them as a blues-rock group, although they did plenty of that kind of material; they were more like a Jewish-American equivalent to British bands like the Yardbirds, who used a blues and R&B base to explore any music that interested them. Erratic songwriting talent and a lack of a truly outstanding vocalist prevented them from rising to the front line of '60s bands, but they recorded plenty of interesting material over the course of their first three albums, before the departure of their most creative members took its toll.


The Blues Project was formed in Greenwich Village in the mid-'60s by guitarist Danny Kalb (who had played sessions for various Elektra folk and folk-rock albums), Steve Katz (a guitarist with Elektra's Even Dozen Jug Band), flutist / bassist Andy Kulberg, drummer Roy Blumenfeld, and singer Tommy Flanders. Al Kooper, in his early twenties a seasoned vet of rock sessions, joined after sitting in on the band's Columbia Records audition, although they ended up signing to Verve, an MGM subsidiary. Early member Artie Traum (guitar) dropped out during early rehearsals; Flanders would leave after their first LP, Live at the Cafe Au-Go-Go (1966).


The eclectic résumés of the musicians, who came from folk, jazz, blues, and rock backgrounds, was reflected in their choice of material. Blues by Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry tunes ran alongside covers of contemporary folk-rock songs by Eric Anderson and Patrick Sky, as well as the group's own originals. These were usually penned by Kooper, who had already built songwriting credentials as the co-writer of Gary Lewis' huge smash "This Diamond Ring," and established a reputation as a major folk-rock shaker with his contributions to Dylan's mid-'60s records. Kooper also provided the band's instrumental highlights with his glowing organ riffs.


France EP 1966
The live debut sounds rather tame and derivative; the group truly hit their stride on Projections (late 1966), which was, disappointingly, their only full-length studio recording. While they went through straight blues numbers with respectable energy, they really shone best on the folk and jazz-influenced tracks, like "Fly Away," Katz's lilting "Steve's Song," Kooper's jazz instrumental "Flute Thing" (an underground radio standard that's probably their most famous track), and Kooper's fierce adaptation of an old Blind Willie Johnson number, "I Can't Keep from Crying." A non-LP single from this era, the pop-psychedelic "No Time Like the Right Time," was their greatest achievement and one of the best "great hit singles that never were" of the decade.

The band's very eclecticism didn't augur well for their long-term stability, and in 1967 Kooper left in a dispute over musical direction (he has recalled that Kalb opposed his wishes to add a horn section). Then Kalb mysteriously disappeared for months after a bad acid trip, which effectively finished the original incarnation of the band. A third album, Live at Town Hall, was a particularly half-assed project given the band's stature, pasted together from live tapes and studio outtakes, some of which were overdubbed with applause to give the impression that they had been recorded in concert.



Kooper got to fulfill his ambitions for soulful horn rock as the leader of the original Blood, Sweat & Tears, although he left that band after their first album; BS&T also included Katz (who stayed onboard for a long time). Blumenfeld and Kulberg kept the Blues Project going for a fourth album before forming Seatrain, and the group re-formed in the early '70s with various lineups, Kooper rejoining for a live 1973 album, Reunion in Central Park. 

The Cafe au Go Go:

The Cafe au Go Go was a Greenwich Village night club located in the basement of 152 Bleecker Street. The club featured many well known musical groups, folksingers and comedy acts between the opening in February 1964 until closing in October 1969. Originally owned by Howard Solomon who sold the club in June 1969, to Moses Baruch who closed the club in October 1969. Howard Solomon became the manager of singer Fred Neil.

The club was the first New York venue for the Grateful Dead. Richie Havens and the Blues Project were weekly regulars, and the Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt played frequently. Jimi Hendrix sat in with blues harp player James Cotton there in 1968. Van Morrison, Tim Hardin, Tim Buckley, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Oscar Brown, Jr., the Youngbloods, the Siegel-Schwall Blues Band, John Hammond, Jr., The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Michael Bloomfield, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, The Chambers Brothers, Canned Heat, The Fugs, Odetta, Country Joe and the Fish, all played there. Blues legends Lightnin' Hopkins, Son House, Skip James, Bukka White, and Big Joe Williams performed at the club after being "rediscovered" in the '60s. Before many rock groups began performing there, the au Go Go was an oasis for jazz (Bill Evans, Stan Getz), comedy, and folk music.



Comedian Lenny Bruce and the club's owner, Howard Solomon, were arrested there on obscenity charges in 1964. In April 1964, Bruce appeared twice at the Cafe Au Go Go with undercover police detectives in the audience. On both occasions, he was arrested after leaving the stage, the complaints pertaining to his use of various obscenities, club owner Howard Solomon was arrested too.

A three-judge panel presided over his widely publicized six-month trial, with Bruce and club owner Howard Solomon both found guilty of obscenity on November 4, 1964. The conviction was announced despite positive testimony and petitions of support from Woody Allen, Bob Dylan, Jules Feiffer, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, William Styron, and James Baldwin – among other artists, writers and educators, and from Manhattan journalist and television personality Dorothy Kilgallen and sociologist Herbert Gans. Bruce was sentenced, on December 21, 1964, to four months in the workhouse; he was set free on bail during the appeals process and died before the appeal was decided. Solomon later saw his conviction overturned; Bruce, who died before the decision, never had his conviction stricken in his lifetime.


On December 23, 2003, 37 years after his death, Bruce was granted a posthumous pardon for his obscenity conviction by New York Governor George Pataki,[10] following a petition filed by Ronald Collins and David Skover with Robert Corn-Revere as counsel, the petition having been signed by several stars such as Robin Williams. It was the first posthumous pardon in the state's history. Pataki said his act was "a declaration of New York's commitment to upholding the First Amendment."


In 1964, Solomon brought in a large group of singers and musicians from an off-Broadway show and christened them the Au Go Go Singers, to rival the Bitter End Singers across the street at The Bitter End Cafe. Solomon managed the group until their breakup in late 1965.


The Au Go Go Singers included Kathy King (who later toured with Bobby Vinton and appeared in the Broadway show, Oh Calcutta and currently works as Kathrin King Segal), Jean Gurney, Michael Scott (who later performed with the Highwaymen and the Serendipity Singers), Rick (Frederic) Geiger (who eventually was accepted into a light opera company in California), Roy Michaels (who later performed with Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys and toured with Jimi Hendrix), Nels Gustafson, Bob Harmelink, and soloists Stephen Stills and Richie Furay. (Gustafson and Harmelink had been in an earlier trio with Furay, but quit show business after the demise of the Au Go Go Singers.)


It was also at the Cafe Au Go Go that a new folk/rock group, The Company, was formed from some remnants of the Au Go Go Singers: Geiger, Michaels, Scott & Gurney (who together before the Au Go Go Singers performed as the Bay Singers, a popular group in Boston & New York City), and Stills. Immediately after the Au Go Go Singers breakup, the Rollins and Joffe Talent Agency - managers of Dick Cavett, Woody Allen, and other notables - heard a reunion of the Bay Singers at the Cafe Au Go Go and offered the group a six-week Canadian tour. Rollins and Joffe did not originally include Stills on the tour, but Stills made it known to the Bay Singers that he wanted to join their group and the tour. 


Very comfortable in performing their arrangements and songs they perfected on their radio show and performances before joining the Au Go Go Singers, and knowing that Jack Rollins and Charlie Joffe offered the tour based on the Singers' performance, most of the Bay Singers were hesitant to add another member, but ultimately gave in to Stills. 


The new quintet switched to amplified instruments, took about a week to learn new material (some under the direction of the former Au Go Go Singers arranger, Jim Friedman), named their new group The Company, and then headed for Ontario. While on tour the group first met local boy Neil Young, who was performing with the Squires, as the opening act for The Company. After leaving Canada The Company played at Mr. Kelly's in Chicago where Woody Allen was headlining. In less than a year after the group broke up, Stills, Young, Richie Furay, and two others formed the Buffalo Springfield.

Howard Solomon not only had The Au Go Go Singers, but had also booked comedians such as George Carlin and Lenny Bruce, who had regular stints at Cafe Au Go Go that would last either from one or two days to three weeks. Lenny Bruce's performances at the Go Go were controversial. On more than one occasion the Cafe Au Go Go was raided by the police because of the obscenities that had been used during his performances. 


By 1966, the police and the courts had managed to silence Lenny Bruce and taught him a lesson that he should not use "foul language" or disrespect the church and the law. Eventually bankrupting him just before his death that year. Though the police had managed to silence Lenny Bruce, George Carlin continued to do his controversial comedy. Carlin eventually went on to have his own trouble with the law. Controversy arose because of the use of obscenities in his counter-culture routine known at the "Seven Dirty Words". Both Lenny Bruce and George Carlin were two of the most influential stand-up comedians of their time and they along with many others had come out of the Cafe Au Go Go.

When the Cafe au Go Go finally locked its doors for good, the now-famous Stephen Stills was a featured performer at the gala closing.


Personnel

 Danny Kalb - Lead Guitar, Vocals
 Al Kooper - Organ
 Steve Katz - Rhythm Guitar
 Roy Blumenfeld - Drums
 Andy Kulberg - Bass
 Tommy Flanders - Vocals
 Val Valentin - engineer

Disc 1 (Stereo)

01. "Goin' Down Louisiana" (Muddy Waters)
02. "You Go, I'll Go With You" (Willie Dixon)
03. "Catch the Wind" (Donovan)
04. "I Want to Be Your Driver" (Chuck Berry)
05. "Alberta" (Traditional)
06. "The Way My Baby Walks" (Andy Kulberg)
07. "Violets of Dawn" (Eric Andersen)
08. "Back Door Man" (Willie Dixon, Chester Burnett)
09. "Jelly Jelly Blues" (Billy Eckstine, Earl Hines)
10. "Spoonful" (Willie Dixon)
11. "Who Do You Love" (Ellas McDaniel)

Bonus Tracks

12. "Hoochie Coochie Man"
13. "Parchman Farm"
14. "Have You Ever Had The Blues"
15. "Alberta" (Alternate Version)

Disc 2 (Mono)

01. "Goin' Down Louisiana" (Muddy Waters)
02. "You Go, I'll Go With You" (Willie Dixon)
03. "Catch the Wind" (Donovan)
04. "I Want to Be Your Driver" (Chuck Berry)
05. "Alberta" (Traditional)
06. "The Way My Baby Walks" (Andy Kulberg)
07. "Violets of Dawn" (Eric Andersen)
08. "Back Door Man" (Willie Dixon, Chester Burnett)
09. "Jelly Jelly Blues" (Billy Eckstine, Earl Hines)
10. "Spoonful" (Willie Dixon)
11. "Who Do You Love" (Ellas McDaniel)

Bonus Tracks

12. "Bright Lights, Big City"
13. "Who Do You Love" (Alternate Vesrion)
14. "Violets of Dawn" (Studio Version)
15. "Back Door Man" (Studio Version)

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