Thursday, January 16, 2020

Baker Gurvitz Army : Elysian Encounter 1975

Baker Gurvitz Army were an English rock group. Their self-titled debut album featured a blend of hard rock laced with Ginger Baker's jazz- and Afrobeat-influenced drumming. The lengthy "Mad Jack" was that album's outstanding track, and the album hit the US Billboard 200 chart, and peaked at number 22 in the UK Albums Chart.

When Cream split up in 1968, Ginger Baker was invited to join Blind Faith, which formed the following year. This was not such a successful venture and following its demise, Baker put together his own outfit, Ginger Baker's Air Force, in 1970. Things did not go too well for Baker after the demise of that band.

Former The Gun and Three Man Army members, brothers Paul and Adrian Gurvitz were looking for a new way ahead after early successes, so they joined forces with Baker in 1974. In their first year they recorded one live and one studio album, following with two more studio albums, Elysian Encounter and Hearts On Fire. However, the death of their manager led to the band breaking up in 1976. In 2003, a compilation album, Flying In And Out Of Stardom, was released, including four new live songs.

This is the 2nd album by the British supergroup Baker Gurvitz Army, which was created when legendary drummer Ginger Baker joined forces with brothers Adrian Gurvitz (guitar) and Paul Gurvitz (bass), known to British proto-Prog fans as the founders of the legendary band Gun.

The trio was joined by excellent keyboardist Peter Lemer (with extensive Jazz background) and extraordinary vocalist Steve Parsons (ex-Sharks aka Mr. Snips). These five formidable musicians had enough talent between them to blow any band off the stage, which is clearly evident from what's enclosed here. Both Baker's drumming and Adrian's guitar playing is some of the best ever heard on record. This music simply refuses to fade out and remains to be vibrant and exciting.


Studio albums

Baker Gurvitz Army (1974)
Elysian Encounter (1975)
Hearts On Fire (1976)

Live albums

Live In Derby '75 (1975)
Live Live Live (2005)
Still Alive (2008) 


01. People
02. The Key
03. Time
04. The Gambler
05. The Dreamer
06. Remember
07. The Artist
08. The Hustler

Bonus Tracks

09. People (Live)
10. Freedom (Live)


Ginger Baker: drums
Adrian Gurvitz: guitar, vocals
Paul Gurvitz: bass guitar, backing vocals
Mr Snips a.k.a. Stephen W. Parsons: lead vocals
Peter Lemer: keyboards

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Chesterfield Kings: Let's Go Get Stoned 1994

The Chesterfield Kings were a rock band from Rochester, New York, who began as a retro-1960s garage band, and who have heavily mined 1960s music.
The early Kings were a late-1970s recreation of a mid-1960s garage band sound. Their self-released first single (Living Eye Records, LSD-1) was a cover of The Brogues' 1965 "I Ain't No Miracle Worker" b/w The Heard's 1967 "Exit 9". In a deliberate effort to create their own rare garage-band collectible singles, only 100 copies were pressed.

Their first broader public exposure came when a track on Greg Shaw's 1981 Bomp! Records compilation Battle of the Garage netted them a series of dates at the Peppermint Lounge in New York City. They continued with this 1960s garage sound through the mid-1980s, releasing two albums—Here are the Chesterfield Kings (1982) which contained entirely cover songs, and Stop! (1985) which introduced their first originals. They then turned to a harder-edged rock sound for Don't Open Till Doomsday (1987) and Berlin Wall of Sound (1989) featuring the blues guitar work of new band member Paul Rocco. The group's next album was an acoustic blues record Drunk On Muddy Water (1990).

Their Let's Go Get Stoned (1994) is a mix of slightly post-Aftermath Stones covers and worthy originals in the Stones' style.
[ AllMusic Review by Matt Carlson

Although the Chesterfield Kings promised that the group would never sound like anything after The Rolling Stones' Aftermath, Let's Go Get Stoned is a tribute to the post-Aftermath Stones, replete with Stones covers ("Street Fighting Man" and "Can't Believe It"), songs The Stones covered (Merle Haggard's "Sing Me Back Home"), and Kings originals that mimic The Stones. Mick Taylor even guests on "I'm Not Talking." Singer Greg Provost has always worshipped at Mick Jagger's altar, but here, the attempt is deliberate. Musically, the results are different, of course, but The Chesterfield Kings go beyond mere ripoff or idolatry.]

Surfin' Rampage (1997) showed that they were fully capable of pop harmonies; Where the Action Is (1999) was a return to garage band roots, a mix of covers and 1960s-styled originals.

The Mindbending Sounds of the Chesterfield Kings (2003) pays tribute to the more baroque side of the 1960s underground, evoking at times the sound of the Electric Prunes ("Transparent Life", "Disconnection"), and featuring appearances by Jorma Kaukonen on two tracks.

Their Psychedelic Sunrise (2008) was an extension of sorts of the group's previous album.
Got Live…If You Want It (2009) was a dual live recording and DVD set, as well as the group's final release.


01. Johnny Volume (Saxophone – James Locigno)   2:16
02. Street Fighting Man (Piano [Additional] – Gilby Clarke)Written By – M. Jagger, K. Richards   3:25
03. Drunkhouse     2:58
04. It's Getting Harder All The Time  (Lead Guitar – Kim SimmondsWritten-By – K. Simmonds)   3:35
05. I'd Rather Be Dead  (Arranged By – G. Prevost, P. Rocco ) Traditional   3:49
06. Can't Believe It    Written-By – M. Jagger, K. Richards   3:05
07. Rock N' Roll Murder   (Saxophone – James Locigno)   Written-By – Kim Fowley   2:53
08. Sing Me Back Home  (Steel Guitar [Pedal] – Chuck Clarke)  written-By – Merle Haggard   3:24
09. Long Ago, Far Away     3:51
10. I'm Not Talking  (Slide Guitar – Mick Taylor)  Written-By – Mose Allison   2:31
11. One Foot In The Graveyard     3:29
12. Worried Life Blues   Written-By – M. Merriweather   2:50
13. I'm So Confused, Baby     4:32
14. Cannonballs For Christmas     1:12

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Echo And The Bunnymen: Heaven Up Here 1981

Echo & the Bunnymen are an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1978. The original line-up consisted of vocalist Ian McCulloch, guitarist Will Sergeant and bassist Les Pattinson, supplemented by a drum machine. By 1980, Pete de Freitas joined as the band's drummer.

Their 1980 debut album, Crocodiles, went into the top 20 of the UK Albums Chart. After releasing their second album, Heaven Up Here, in 1981, the band's cult status was followed by mainstream success in 1983, when they scored a UK Top 10 hit with "The Cutter", and the album which the song came from, Porcupine, hit number 2 in the UK. Ocean Rain (1984), continued the band's UK chart success with its lead single "The Killing Moon" entering into the top ten.

Their album, Heaven Up Here (1981), was a big critical and commercial success, reaching the UK Top Ten (No. 10), although a single lifted from the album, "A Promise", could only reach UK No. 49.
Recorded at Rockfield Studios near Monmouth in Wales, Heaven Up Here was co-produced by Hugh Jones and the band. A generally well received album by fans in the United Kingdom and by critics, Heaven Up Here won the "Best Dressed LP" and "Best Album" awards at the 1981 NME Awards. The album has also been listed at number 463 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

After releasing a self-titled album in 1987, McCulloch left the band and was replaced by former St. Vitus Dance singer Noel Burke. In 1989, de Freitas was killed in a motorcycle accident. After working together as Electrafixion, McCulloch and Sergeant regrouped with Pattinson in 1997 and returned as Echo & the Bunnymen, before Pattinson's departure in 1998. The band has been touring since, releasing several albums since the late 1990s, to varying degrees of success.

[Following their more psychedelia-based debut, Crocodiles, and subsequent "Puppet" single, Echo & the Bunnymen returned in 1981 with the darkest and perhaps most experimental album of their career. Heaven Up Here lacks the signature hooks and melodies that would make the Bunnymen famous, showcasing instead a dirge-like songwriting approach built around the circular rhythms of bassist Les Pattinson and drummer Pete DeFreitas.

In this setting, the band remarkably flourishes, although they would go on to greater heights by scaling back the album's extremism. Heaven Up Here's strength is the way in which the Bunnymen seamlessly work together to shape each song's dynamics (the tension underlying the crescendo of "Turquoise Days" being a prime example).

Ian McCulloch, having found his trademark confidence, sings with soaring abandon and passion throughout the album. Similarly, Will Sergeant's guitar playing, notably freed from verse-chorus structure and pop riffs, is at its angular finest; his playing on "No Dark Things" is pure Andy Gill-esque skronk. The album's opening troika of "Show of Strength," "With a Hip," and "Over the Wall" (the latter with its jarring, direct invocation of Del Shannon's "Runaway") are particularly effective, establishing the theme of distrust and restlessness which continues throughout the album. Indeed, even the album's lone single, "A Promise," is hardly light, pop material.

But the message underneath that darkness, especially in McCulloch's lyrics, is a call to overcome rather than wallow, as the album ends with the relatively euphoric "All I Want." Sitting comfortably next to the pioneering work of contemporaries like Joy Division/New Order, and early Public Image Ltd. and Cure, this is a rather fine -- and in the end, influential -- example of atmospheric post-punk.

Having reached the British Top Ten, Heaven Up Here is highly regarded among Echo & the Bunnymen's fans precisely for the reasons which, on the surface, make it one of the least accessible albums in the band's catalog.
AllMusic Review by Aaron Warshaw]


Will Sergeant – lead guitar
Ian McCulloch – vocals, rhythm guitar, piano
Les Pattinson – bass
Pete de Freitas – drums


Les Penning – woodwind


01. Show Of Strength     4:50
02. With A Hip     3:16
03. Over The Wall     5:59
04. It Was A Pleasure     3:12
05. A Promise     4:08
06. Heaven Up Here     3:45
07. The Disease     2:28
08. All My Colours     4:06
09. No Dark Things     4:27
10. Turquoise Days     3:51
11. All I Want     4:09

    Bonus Tracks

12. Broke My Neck (Long Version)     7:22
13. Show Of Strength (Live)     4:41
14. The Disease (Live)     1:53
15. All I Want (Live)     3:09
16. Zimbo (Live)     3:52

Tracks 1 to 11 were recorded at Rockfield Studios March 1981. Track 12 was recorded at Tistedal Studios, Norway on 7th June 1981. Tracks 13 to 16 were recorded live at the Manley Vale Hotel, Sydney, Australia on 11th Nov 1981 and were previously unissued.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Various Artists: Alligator Records 30th Anniversary Collection 2001

Alligator Records is an American, Chicago-based independent blues record label founded by Bruce Iglauer in 1971. Iglauer was also one of the founders of the Living Blues magazine in Chicago in 1970.

Bruce Iglauer started the label with his own savings to record and produce his favorite band Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers, whom his employer, Bob Koester of Delmark Records, declined to record.
Nine months after the release of the first album, he stopped working at Delmark Records to concentrate fully on the band and his label. Only 1,000 copies of the Taylor's debut album were made, whilst Iglauer also took over managing the group.

Other early releases for the fledgling label included recordings by Big Walter Horton with Carey Bell and Fenton Robinson. In 1976, Koko Taylor's I Got What It Takes was nominated for a Grammy Award, and Albert Collins soon signed to the label. Iglauer mainly acted as the label's executive producer.

In 1982, the label won its first Grammy Award for the album, I'm Here, by Clifton Chenier. The second Grammy came in 1985 for Showdown! by Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, and Robert Cray. In 1991, a 20th anniversary compilation album was issued.

Since its founding, Alligator Records has released over 250 blues and blues/rock albums, as well as a now-defunct reggae series. Present and past Alligator artists include Lonnie Mack, Marcia Ball, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, Eddy Clearwater, Sam Lay, Smokin' Joe Kubek, Roomful of Blues, Eric Lindell, JJ Grey & MOFRO, Lee Rocker, Cephas & Wiggins, and Michael Burks. More recently, veterans Charlie Musselwhite and James Cotton have re-signed to the label.
Alligator celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011 and noted that it returned a profit for the previous year.

Release Date August 21, 2001
Duration: 02:29:52 


01. Shemekia Copeland: Turn The Heat Up    
02. Michael Burks: Got A Way With Women    
03. Marcia Ball: Louella    
04. Junior Wells: Keep Your Hands Out Of My Pocket    
05. Coco Montoya: Enough Is Enough    
06. Robert Cray, Albert Collins: She's Into Something    
07. Corey Harris, Henry Butler: If You Let A Man Kick You Once    
08. William Clarke: Broke And Hungry    
09. Koko Taylor: Bring Me Some Water    
10. Carey Bell: Hard Working Woman    
11. Rusty Zinn: The Chill    
12. Corey Harris: Basehead    
13. The Kinsey Report: Time Is Running Out    
14. John Cephas &amp: Phil Wiggins: Mamie    
15. The Holmes Brothers: Homeless Child    
16. Dave Hole: Jenny Lee    
17. Johnny Winter: My Time After Awhile    
18. Phillip Walker, Lonnie Brooks: Boogie Rambler


01. Lonnie Brooks: Two Headed Man    
02. Luther Allison: Soul Fixin' Man    
03. C.J. Chenier And The Red Hot Louisiana Band: Jambalaya (On The Bayou)    
04. Albert Collins And The Icebreakers: Dyin' Flu    
05. James Cotton: When It Rains It Pours    
06. Elvin Bishop: Slow Down    
07. Saffire -The Uppity Blues Women: You Can Have My Husband    
08. Little Charlie And The Nightcats: I'll Take You Back    
09. Delbert McClinton: Maybe Someday Baby    
10. Lil' Ed And The Blues Imperials: Chicken, Gravy And Biscuits    
11. Son Seals, Elvin Bishop: Sadie    
12. Lonnie Mack: Stop    
13. Hound Dog Taylor & The House Rockers: It's Alright  

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Sound Explosion : The Explosive Sounds Of ... 2018

The Sound Explosion were formed in Athens, Greece, in May 1991 by four young gentlemen obsessed with all the great mid 60's garage and beat bands from all parts of the world. The line up was John (vocals, 6 and 12 string Vox guitar, harmonica), Jim (Eko bass, backing vocals), Stelios (Farfisa organ, maracas, backing vocals) and Stavros (drums, tambourine). The band started playing alone and together with other bands, such us the Fuzztones, Dead Moon, the Marshmallow Overcoat and the Others. Their wylde stage act attracted the attention of garage freaks from all over the globe.

As a result, the band started recording and releasing various 45's and a full length LP/CD, which got rave reviews from fanzines and magazines and considerable airplay from radio stations worldwide. While things started looking promising for the band, studies, day jobs, army obligations, some "internal frictions" ("we hate each other in the band" was a common phrase in the Sound Explosion ranks!), alien abductions etc, sadly put a sudden end to the band in early 1997. It looked like The Sound Explosion were gone for good! Yet, some things never change... So, you're right kids... THE SOUND EXPLOSION ARE BACK!!!

Its line up is John Alexopoulos (vocals, 6 and 12 string Vox guitar, harmonica), Dimitrios Dimopoulos (Bass guitar, backing vocals), Stelios Askoxylakis (Farfisa organ, backing vocals) and Stavros Daktylas (drums, tambourine). The band has played several concerts in Greece with bands like The Fuzztones, Dead Moon, Sick Rose, Cynics, the Others The Marshmallow Overcoat and co and in Beat Festival in Italy 2005.

It split up in 1997, but reunited during the early 2000s . In the end of 2017 they started to record a new 14 song album after 24 years with general title The explosive sounds of...The Sound Explosion and it will be released in April 2018 in the label Lost in tyme records.

After 24 years since their first classic album, this legendary Greek garage band entered the studio again to record this album! 'The Explosive Sounds Of... The Sound Explosion' contains 14 songs and time seems to have stopped.

Taking their inspiration from all the classic and the most obscure American garage bands of the '60s, they have created a statement of how a true garage band should sound! A record that's gonna melt on the turntable of each fan. They're back to turn on the fuzz!

The Sound Explosion ‎– The Explosive Sounds Of......
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock
Year: 2018
Notes: All songs by The Sound Explosion
Recorded and mixed November 2017 - January 2018 at "Best Of Studio"
Produced by The Sound Explosion
Engineering by Nikos Trigkas
Artwork by George Paraskevopoulos

JOHN ALEXOPOULOS - 12 & 6 string guitars, lead vocals,
DIMITRIS DIMOPOULOS - Bass, backing vocals
STAVROS DAKTYLAS - Drums tambourine
STELIOS ASKOXYLAKIS - Farfisa organ, backing vocals


01. In My Grave    
02. Don't Shoot Me Down    
03. I Wanna Be Mine    
04. I'm Lost And I'm Found    
05. You Better Run    
06. Girl Of My Dreams, Girl Of My Life    
07. Cause You Lie    
08. Bring Back Your Love    
09. No Matter What You Do    
10. Don't Try My Love    
11. In Your Eyes    
12. Baby Baby Bye Bye    
13. For A Girl Like You    
14. Through Space And Tyme   


Friday, December 20, 2019

Various Artists - Pebbles, Vol. 10 Subtitled: Original '60s Punk & Psych Classics 1996

Various Artists - Pebbles, Vol. 10
Subtitled: Original '60s Punk & Psych Classics
1996 Archive International Productions (AIP)
CD cat. #: AIP CD 5027

Leather Boy, Bruthers, Others etc. The original series of 28 LPs contained obscure '60s recordings from all over the world. In preparing the series for CD release, we have taken a somewhat different approach. The first five volumes, always the popular favorites, have been kept largely the same, only omitting tracks more definitively reissued elsewhere, and adding several new bonus tracks to each album.

Subsequent volumes have begun to take a more regional approach, drawing not just from the original Pebbles and Highs albums, but also from other compilations that have since gone out of print, as well as from our large archive of previously unreissued tracks. Some of the new Pebbles CDs include tracks never before issued, and all have been completely remastered, with all-new liner notes reflecting the latest info available to us.

Twenty-four mid-'60s garage favorites, none available on CD before. It's above the median standard of such compilations, including numerous better cuts from the original vinyl Pebbles series: the Leather Boy's truly strange "I'm a Leather Boy," and the Clockwork Orange's Electric Prunes-influenced "Your Golden Touch," the Uncalled For's "Do Like Me," and the Others' "I Can't Stand This Love." There are also a number of tracks that are relatively unfamiliar, the most interesting of these being "Leave Me Alone" by the Canadian Squires, who would turn into the Band (yes, the Band) a few years later.

Far from being a letdown, volume ten of the oh-so-awesome Pebbles series is a supremely rockin' disc, packed with some of the swinginest garage rock classics ever to roar their way outta the 60s. As a matter of fact, I may go so far as to say thatthis is one of the two or three best CD volumes in the entire series (!!!) The songs exemplify garage rock at its best and rawest, with plenty of attitude, electric organs, fuzz guitars, and teenage rage. I mean, seriously, listen to those tunes! "The Leather Boy" and "On the Go" (both by the elusive Leather Boy, a.k.a. Milan) are whaked-out weirdo biker anthems, greasy rockers with thuggish backup vocals, slashing guitars, and tough-guy lyrics. The Bold's "Gotta Get Some" is a leering, saliva-dripping stomper that makes the 'Stones seem tame. This set also features the group's cover of "Train Kept A-Rollin'," which rocks with exactly the kind of untamed ferocity that makes garage rock so much fun. The Bruthers snarl their way through an awesome raver entitled "Bad Way to Go," before the Canadian Squires burst onto the scene with a lean, mean pounder entitled "Leave Me Alone" (Canadian Squires, by the way, would later find fame as the Band).

The Clockwork Orange turn in two tremolo laden classics by the name of "Your Golden Touch" and "Do Me Right Now," and the Breakers' "Don't Send Me No Flowers (I Ain't Dead Yet)" is a gritty, cocky, and strutting rocker with a monstrous fuzz guitar attack. And then there's Spirite's tense, the
Loved Ones' "Surprise Surprise," and the Mach V's catchy anti-drug anthem, "If I Could." Am I done yet? Of course not! There's still the Others' jet-propelled "I Can't Stand this Love, Goodbye," and the Prophets' infectious, low key three-chord jangler, "Yes I Know." Ravin' Blue turn in a stormin' little blues-punker entitled "Love," before the Rooks' "A Girl Like You" comes roaring out of your speakers, with its wonderfully distorted guitars and all-around catchiness. The RPM keep things short and sweet with the brief, but undeniably powerful, snarler known as "White Lightening." The Silver Fleet's "Look Out World" is, admittedly, a ripoff of "Gloria." Still, it's an incredibly good one.

Who We Are mix sapced-out psychedelia with fuzz-blastin' garage punk quite effectively on "Last Trip," and the Teddy Boys are just plain insane on their cover of Bo Diddley's "Mona." The Uncalled For's "Do Like Me" is subtle, sarcastic, and quietly intense, and the Kidds' "Nature's Children" is a fuzzy punk pounder with lotsa bite. The Regiments' "My Soap Won't Float" is a wonderfully bizzare psych-punk-popper which may or may not be an excellent parody of the whole concept of hippie mystecism.

It's also really, really, really catchy. And then there's "Doin' Me In." A garage-punk-rock-n-roll-proto-metal masterpiece in every sense of the word, the Gonn's "Doin' Me In" is a two-chord monster that combines every single adjective I've used so far in this review (except for "subtle." It isn't subtle), and throws in a few more (for example, "brutal"). Just plain awesome. Garage fans, get this disc right now. NOW!


01. The Leather Boy / I'm A Leather Boy - 02:08
02. The Bold / Gotta Get Some - 02:32
03. The Bruthers / Bad Way To Go - 02:53
04. Canadian Squires / Leave Me Alone - 02:38
05. Clockwork Orange / Your Golden Touch - 02:14
06. Clockwork Orange / Do Me Right Now - 01:30
07. The Breakers / Don't Send Me No Flowers (I Ain't Dead Yet) - 02:08
08. The Spirit / No Time To Rhyme - 02:37
09. The Leather Boy / On The Go - 02:13
10. The Loved Ones / Surprise Surprise - 01:59
11. Mach V / If I Could - 02:23
12. The Others / I Can't Stand This Love - 02:10
13. The Prophets / Yes I Know - 02:45
14. Ravin' Blue / Love - 02:09
15. The Rooks / A Girl Like You - 02:10
16. The RPM's / White Lightnin' - 01:47
17. Silver Fleet / Look Out World - 03:17
18. We Who Are / Last Trip - 02:30
19. Steve Walker and the Bold / Train Kept A Rollin' - 02:31
20. The Teddy Boys / Mona - 02:59
21. The Uncalled For / Do Like Me - 02:46
22. The Kidds / Nature's Children - 02:16
23. The Regiment / My Soap Won't Float - 02:17
24. Gonn / Doin' Me In - 02:45

Playing time...57:37