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Tattoo
Tattoo
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £7.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...The Joint Is Jumping All Around Me..." - Tattoo by RORY GALLAGHER (2012 CD Remaster), 30 Sep 2014
This review is from: Tattoo (Audio CD)
Under the supervision of Donal Gallagher (his older brother and former tour manager) - Irish guitar hero RORY GALLAGHER had his LP back-catalogue first reissued onto CD between 1998 and 2000. Each of those RCA/Capo releases came in jewel cases and had previously unreleased bonus tracks. The campaign culminated with a tremendous outtakes compilation in 2003 called "Wheels Within Wheels".

This latest version of "Tattoo" (his 4th studio album for Polydor) is one of six 'new' remasters released to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of his Solo career (list below). So what's different? In a nutshell - cheaper price, upgraded packaging and 2011 mastering (and proper track placing too). Here are the finite details...

Released 16 January 2012 in the UK (31 Jan 2012 in the USA) - "Tattoo" is on Sony/Capo/Legacy 88691917462 and comes in a card digipak rather than a jewel case. The original vinyl album was released November 1973 in the UK on Polydor Super 2383 230 and Polydor PD 5539 in the USA (it charted at number 32 in England and number 187 in the States).

BONUS TRACK ANOMOLIES:
The two bonus tracks that first appeared on the 2000 CD reissue ("Tucson, Arizona" and "Just A Little Bit") have been reduced to one for this 2012 version - "Tucson, Arizona". Just to be a bit more confusing - those two bonuses and a 'third' track on the 2000 edition of "Irish Tour" are all tied-in and need some explanation.

"Tucson, Arizona" is a genuine album-sessions outtake from the period so it warranted its placing on the original "Tattoo" CD - as it does here. "Just A Little Bit", however, was the last track on Side 4 of the original "Irish Tour '74" double album. Released in July 1974 the classic 2LP set consisted of 3 sides Live and two loose 'Studio Jams' on Side 4 - one of which was the near eight-minute "Just A Little Bit" - a blistering cover of a 1959 Roscoe Gordon R'n'B number on Vee Jay. It should of course have been on the last track on the "Irish Tour" CD - but on that 2000 reissue fans were baffled to see it replaced with a new thing called "Maritime". Big mistake. Named after a bar in Belfast that both Rory and Van Morrison played in - "Maritime" turned out to be a mere snippet - a useless 33-second instrumental that was gone as fast as it was forgettable. Why it was put on there is anyone's guess. For this series of reissues - Donal Gallagher has had the right songs put on the right issues and the correct artwork reinstated (for "Irish Tour '74"). If you actually want the "Maritime" outtake - you will need to keep your old 2000 issue of "Irish Tour".

So what of the bonus track we do have - misspelled on the 2000 CD artwork as "Tuscon..." instead of "Tucson..." - that rather obvious spelling error hasn't been corrected for the new issue (a little sloppy really). "Tucson, Arizona" is a Link Wray cover version that first appeared on Link's lesser-seen "Be What You Want To" album from July 1974 on Polydor. Gallagher's take is more like whimsical Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance circa 1974 - and is so un-Rory-like. But as a bonus it's an interesting addition and shows another side to his musical interests that he didn't often get the chance to express on his official releases. And as I say "Just A Little Bit" is now back where it belongs - as the last track on the "Irish Tour '74" CD (the 2012 issue that is).

The gatefold card sleeve repros the colour artwork of the original vinyl album (front and rear) while the booklet is again 8 pages and features the same Donal Gallagher liner notes that were on the 2000 issue. There's a collage of photos of Rory taken by MICHAEL PUTLAND and RICHARD UPPER - but little that is new. It has to be said the card digipak is nice to look at and retailing at less than six quid (and even less online) - it's a cheap way of acquiring the music - as opposed to a now rare original album.

The initial 2000 CD was 'remixed and remastered' by Tony Arnold at Courthouse Facilities in Dorset - these are 'untampered' versions remastered by ANDY PEARCE and MATT WORTHAM at Wired Masters in the UK in November 2011 (51:00 minutes total playing time). Andy and Matt have been involved in and received praise for remasters of Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Frankie Miller, Wishbone Ash and The Kinks (many of which I've reviewed). For these reissues the original 1/4 master tapes have been returned to - therefore giving the fans the album Rory himself would have approved rather than the slightly 'altered' preceding version. The new sound quality is superb - very clean and ballsy - and not as trebled up as the initial release.

"Tattoo" was also the 2nd album to feature the four-piece line-up that added Lou Martin's keyboards to Rory's overall sound. It was a big improvement over the slightly lacklustre "Blueprint" LP released earlier that same year - mostly because the songs were so much better - and in many cases - real growers. Among the 9 self-penned songs highlights included the rocking opener "Tattoo'd Lady", the acoustic strut of "20:20 Vision" and the much loved blues ambler "A Million Miles Away" (lyrics above) which is one of those rare outings that features him on Saxophone. I've also loved revisiting the boogie of "Sleep On A Clothes-Line" and "Admit It".

Like most Irishmen, I can't be rational about Rory Gallagher. I saw him and his band as a teenager live in Dublin in the early Seventies and the experience was mind-blowing. I then bought every album he ever put out after that and always looked forward to hearing where his flying fingers would take me next.

Rory was sadly lost to us in 1995 through liver failure - and it still hurts to think that this most unassuming and brilliant of guitar heroes is gone. "Tattoo" is a great way to remember him - and frankly the other 5 titles listed below are pretty much the same.

In 1975 he then signed to Chrysalis and released an absolute belter - "Against The Grain" - the first album in my opinion to unleash the awesome power he had on stage but in the studio. I'm hoping it's in the next vanguard of digipak CD reissues. And great googly moo - am I looking forward to that.

Rock on you beautiful axeman...

PS: the titles in this 2012 CD & Download reissue series so far are:
1. "Rory Gallagher" (originally UK released in May 1971) - REVIEWED
2. "Deuce" (November 1971) - REVIEWED
3. "Live! In Europe" (May 1972)
4. "Blueprint" (February 1973) - REVIEWED
5. "Tattoo" (November 1973) - REVIEWED
6. "Irish Tour '74" (July 1974) [2LP set on 1CD - Sides 1 to 3 are Live - Side 4 is Studio Jams]

PPS: Released 27 Feb 2012 - there are also 180-gram vinyl versions of each of the above titles available on the "Music On Vinyl" Label


Rusty York Rocks
Rusty York Rocks
Price: £15.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Sugaree...You Know I Love You So..." - Rusty Rocks by RUSTY YORK (2004 Bear Family CD Remasters), 30 Sep 2014
This review is from: Rusty York Rocks (Audio CD)
Released on Bear Family BCD 16543 AR - "Rusty Rocks" is a 28-track CD compilation featuring his recordings between 1957 and 1964. It's part of Bear Family's "Rocks" Series - which in April 2004 had only 5 other releases - but now in January 2012 sports 42 - and rising.

It comes in Bear Family's now standard packaging for this series - a 3-way foldout card digipak containing a detachable oversized booklet inside (52 pages for this issue). Pages 2 to 33 feature an in-depth essay on Charles Edward York (his real name) by noted writer and musicologist COLIN ESCOTT, Pages 35 to 40 show photos from Rusty's own 'Scrapbook' - while Pages 41 to 50 have a full Discography on all 28 recordings (and more) by Bear's own RICHARD WEIZE. The text throughout is peppered with trade adverts from Billboard and Cashbox, black and white and colour photos of Rusty in the USA and Europe as well as reviews and posters for Dick Clark Shows in Hollywood and Michigan. It's the usual classy act from Bear.

And then of course there's the great sound courtesy of JURGEN CRASSER. I've raved about his mastering work before (see my TAG for him and reviews for the astonishing "Blowing The Fuse" series (16 compilations) and the "Sweet Soul Music" series (10 discs). Musically it's Rock'n'Roll and Rockabilly with a little Pop on the later Sixties stuff, but it sounds great - full of atmosphere, echo and life.

TRACK LIST:
1. Sugaree
2. Sweet Love
3. The Girl Can't Help It
4. Mean Woman Blues
5. Peggy Sue
6. Great Balls Of Fire
7. Shake 'Em Up Baby
8. Red Rooster (Instrumental)
9. Sweet Talk
10. Peggy Sue (2)
11. Sadie Mae
12. Tore Up Over You
13. Tremblin'
14. Love Struck
15. La Dee Dah (Duet with BONNIE LOU]
16. Cajun Blues/Frosty (Instrumental)
17. Goodnight Cincinnati, Good Morning Tennessee
18. Sweet Love (2)
19. You'd Better Leave My Baby Alone
20. Baby What You Want Me to Do See [as BILL STAMPER]
21. Don't Do It
22. One, One, One, Wonderful (Instrumental)
23. Molly Darlin' [as BILL STAMPER]
24. Tremblin' (Alternate)
25. Tore Up Over You (Alternate)
26. The Girl Can't Help It (2)
27. A Fallen Star
28. Margaret Ann

Tracks 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, 11, 22, 23 and 24 are from the 1979 vinyl album "Rusty York: Rock And Roll Memories" on Jewel JRC 917

Tracks 4, 5, 6, 12, 16, 18, 19, 25, 26, 27, 28 are from a 1994 CD compilation called "Cincinnati Fireball" on Gee Dee 270 103

Tracks 24 and 25 are 'Alternate Takes' of "Tremblin'" and "Tore Up" and are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

The other tracks (and some above) are either 7" single releases or from rare US compilations - and many are seeing the CD light of day for the first time.

Born in Kentucky - Rusty York's lone chart entry is the fabulous "Sugaree" - a song I've loved and featured on many a rocking CD compilation. Its ultra-rare original US 45 is repro'd on the CD label (P.J. Records 100). "Sugaree" has a great history. Written by country singer Marty Robbins, it was aired by gospel group The Jordanaires on Capitol as their first secular release in late 1956. York's version rearranged it into a faster beat and was recorded April 1959 as a casual B-side, but the finished Rock'n'Roller demanded release. It was immediately hawked around RCA, Mercury and other big record companies - but none showed any interest. Undeterred - it was put out on the self-published P.J. Records in April 1959 (P for was Pat Nelson and J for Jackie DeShannon). They pressed up a thousand copies at a time and sold them from cars. 10,000 singles later - it was picked up by Note Records that summer (Note 10021) and then at the end of the year released on the mighty Chess label. Chess 1730 finally charted on the Billboard Top 200 at a lowly ranking of 77. Hank Ballard and The Midnighters even put out a version on King in June 1959. "Sugaree" is just one of those irresistibly brill Rock'n'Roll records that never dates. Bolstered up by great Saxophone work from Jimmy Risch - it boogies along and wins fans every time. It's rare instrumental B-side "Red Rooster" is also on here.

The rest of the tracks comprise of like-minded cover versions - Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue", Little Richard's "The Girl Can't Help It", "Mean Woman Blues" (sung by Elvis Presley in 1957 on his "Loving You" album) and Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls Of Fire". He sounds like 1950's Buddy Holly on the pretty "A Fallen Star". The cool Rockabilly of "Shack 'Em Up Baby" turned up on "All I Wanna Do Is ROCK" - Bear Family's budget-priced CD sampler for the "Rocks" series (a great introduction). I also particularly like the two versions of 1957's "Sweet Love" which is very Gene Vincent in his prime. The instrumental "Cajun Blues/Frosty" too features JIMMY RISCH on sax, but also has some excellent guitar work from York himself. Even the 1961 material like "Tore Up Over You" and "Love Struck" is good - sounding not unlike period Jerry Lee Lewis. There's also a tremendous boogie cover of Jimmy Reed's shuffling Blues classic "Baby What You Want Me To Do" which was put out as a 45 in 1964 with "Molly Darlin'" on the A (REM Records REM 330 - credited to BILL STAMPER). The only real turkey for me here is a terrible duet with Bonnie Lou on "La Dee Dah" - a sappy 1959 "cha cha cha" song on King Records - I guess it's been included due to its rarity.

To sum up - I liked this compilation a lot. Rusty York may be a criminally forgotten figure in the Rock'n'Roll and Rockabilly pantheon - but this superb "Rocks" compilation by the incomparable Bear Family does him and his recorded legacy proud...


And The Truth Will Set You Free
And The Truth Will Set You Free
Price: £12.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...I'm Just Trying To Be Free..." - ...and THE TRUTH will set you free... by DAVE KILMINSTER, 30 Sep 2014
You would imagine the guitarist with David Gilmour's touring PINK FLOYD would have serious playing skills - and DAVE KILMINSTER does. Released September 2014 on Killer Guitar Records DK003 - "...and THE TRUTH will set you Free..." breaks down as follows (59:39 minutes):

1. Messiah
2. Addict
3. Thieves
4. Circles
5. Save Me
6. Cassiopeia
7. The Fallen
8. Stardust

Kilminster plays all Guitars and Sings lead on all tracks - Phil Williams the Bass and Pete Riley the Drums. Produced by JON ASTLEY at Close To The Edge (of THE WHO remasters fame) - the music feels like Sonny Landreth at times - but with a more mellow voice and less slide pyrotechnics.

"Messiah" opens proceedings with polished acoustic strumming - that quickly melts into Rock riffage - a sort of Pink Floyd meets Rush vibe. The monster chords in "Thieves" are heavy like Metallica goes Prog while the clean plucking of "Circles" is altogether more radio friendly if not a little bland. He ups the poor-me count on the six-minute "Save Me" - a sort of an Acoustic prayer. "The Fallen" is more complicated Rock riffage while the nine-minute "Stardust" has a very Pink Floyd circa the Nineties feel (probably the best track on here).

Accomplished and worth a punt...


I Looked Up
I Looked Up
Price: £10.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...This Moment..." - I Looked Up by THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (2014 Beat Goes On CD Remaster), 30 Sep 2014
This review is from: I Looked Up (Audio CD)
When the INCREDIBLE STRING BAND put out the vinyl double-album 'U' in October 1970 complete with a pantomime show to accompany its half-genius and wholly indulgent sprawl - many fans thought they'd lost it while critics had a total field day. And perhaps the single album "I Looked Up" that preceded 'U' only months earlier (which also tested people's patience) lit the fuse for that backlash. Whatever you look at it - four and half decades later - and along comes Beat Goes On of the UK with a spiffing new CD remaster and quality presentation. They're hoping of course you'll reassess the whole hairyman affair in 2014...and if you're a fan, you should. Here are real ale details...

UK released September 2014 - Beat Goes On BGOCD 1166 (Barcode 5017261211668) comes in an outer card slipcase and breaks down as follows (41:27 minutes):

1. Black Jack Davy (Mike Heron)
2. The Letter (Mike Heron)
3. Pictures In A Mirror (Robin Williamson)
4. This Moment (Mike Heron)
5. When You Find Out Who You Are (Robin Williamson)
6. Fair As You (Mike Heron song)

Tracks 1 to 6 are the stereo vinyl album "I Looked Up" - released April 1970 in the UK on Elektra 2469 002 and Elektra EKS 74061 in the USA

Consisting of multi-instrumentalists ROBIN WILLIAMSON and MIKE HERON (Guitar, Mandolin, Sitar, Flute, Piano, Bass, Various English and European String Instruments and Vocals) - the band also had ROSE SIMPSON on Bass and LICORICE McKECHNIE on Duet Vocals and Guitar. The 16-page booklet features two photos of the ISB and detailed liner notes by noted writer JOHN TOBLER that go into a long history of the groups stay at Elektra. But the big news is a lovely new remaster by ANDREW THOMPSON that brings out the music in a really great way. Many of these tracks are essentially acoustic guitars, mandolins and high vocals - the remaster has hiss on some tracks - but the clarity is fab.

Musically if I were to single out two extremes (bad and good) - it would be the near unlistenable nonsense of "Pictures In A Mirror" which goes on for eleven minutes and is painful to listen to. A contrast is the lovely six minutes of "This Moment" - even if it has the "oh no" vocal refrain towards the end. And the remaster is amazing on "When You Find Out Who You Are" as it goes into those delicate vocal duets between Robin and Licorice. But perhaps best of all is the old world madrigal folk of "Fair As You" with its Flute, Gimbri and layered vocals. It has hiss on it for sure but it's not been dampened down in the transfer at the expense of the prominent acoustic guitar and flute (deftly done).

The Incredible String Band would go on to the altogether better "Liquid Acrobat As Regards The Air" album when they signed to Island in 1971. To sum up - it's a bit Bovril - you either love it or loathe it. But if you're a fan - you need this superb remaster in your collection...


Switch (Expanded Edition)
Switch (Expanded Edition)
Price: £12.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...We Like To Party..." - Switch by SWITCH (2014 Big Break Records Expanded CD Remaster), 30 Sep 2014
Soul and Funk band SWITCH managed 5 albums between 1978 and 1981 on Gordy (USA) and Tamla Motown (UK) - and this is their debut. Typically accomplished and polished Soul ala Kool & The Gang or The Commodores with songwriting involvement from Bobby DeBarge and Jermaine Jackson- it's a mixture of mid-paced steppers and classy smooth ballads recorded by seriously talented players. Here are the multi-instrumentalist details...

Released 25 August 2014 in the UK (7 October in the USA) - Big Break Records CDBBRX 0164 (Barcode 5013929046436) breaks downs as follows (40:04 mnutes):

1. I Wanna Be With You
2. There'll Never Be
3. I Wanna Be Closer
4. We Like The Party...Come On!
5. Fever
6. You Pulled A Switch
7. It's So Real
8. Somebody's Watching You

Tracks 1 to 8 are the album "Switch" - released August 1978 in the USA on Gordy G7-980R1 and October 1978 in the UK on Tamla Motown STML 12096

9. There'll Never Be (Single Version)
10. I Wanna Be Closer (Single Version)

Using the two bonuses and Tracks 6 and 8 - this release will allow fans to sequence their two US 7" singles as follows:
There'll Never Be b/w You Pulled A Switch, June 1978 on Gordy G-7159F
I Wanna Be Closer b/w Somebody's Watching You, December 1978 on Gordy G-7163F

The 16-page booklet has live photos of the band, rare picture sleeves, label facsimiles and liner notes by SHELLEY NICOLE (as well as album credits). But the big news as always is a KEVIN REEVES and NICK ROBBINS remaster from Universal tapes and it sounds just amazing - clear, punchy and full of life.

Highlights include "I Wanna Be Closer" - a great smoocher - and the floor-filling slap-bass funk of "We Like To Party...Come On!" where they sound like an energized Gap Band.

Another superb reissue from BBR and kicking where it matters - sound and presentation...


Abracadabra: The Asylum Years (International Release)
Abracadabra: The Asylum Years (International Release)
Price: £10.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Like A Wind Song..." - Abracadabra: The Asylum Years by JUDEE SILL (2006 Rhino 2CD Remasters), 29 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
With her so uncool Granny glasses, plain Jane straight hair and hard-to-pigeonhole melodies - JUDEE SILL's duo of Asylum Label LPs have gathered a cult-status that refuses to go away. Yet as someone who worked in a busy secondhand record shop in London's West End for near twenty years - I can remember in the late Eighties and Nineties when you couldn't give "Judee Sill" or "Heart Food" away. Much like Emitt Rhodes on Probe or Eric Andersen on Capitol (see reviews for both) - they'd sit in the racks in their gatefold sleeves unloved and unwanted. And clearly from this gorgeous 2CD retrospective - that was something of a collective mistake. It's not all genius by any means - but when she hits that mark - her music is truly beautiful. So here are the cross makers and the soldiers of the heart...

Released June 2006 - "Abracadabra: The Asylum Years" on Rhino/Asylum 8122 79534 2 (Barcode 081227953423) breaks down as follows...

Disc 1 (77:26 minutes):
1. Crayon Angels
2. The Phantom Cowboy
3. The Archetypal Man
4. The Lamb Ran Away With The Crown
5. Lady-O
6. Jesus Was A Cross Maker
7. Ridge Rider
8. My Man On Love
9. Lopin' Along Thru The Cosmos
10. Enchanted Sky Machines
11. Abracadabra
Tracks 1 to 11 are her debut album "Judee Sill" - released September 1971 in the USA on Asylum SD-5050 and May 1972 in the UK on Asylum SYLA 8751

12. The Pearl (Original Version)
13. The Phoenix (Original Version)
Tracks 12 and 13 were removed from the album to make room for the late inclusion of "Jesus Was A Cross Maker" and subsequently re-recorded for "Heart Food"

14. Ridge Rider (Alternate Version)
15. My Man On Love (Alternate Version)
14 and 15 are Previously Unreleased outtakes from the "Judee Sill" sessions

16. Intro/The Vigilante
17. Lady-O
18. Enchanted Sky Machines
19. The Archetypical Man
20. Crayon Angels
21. The Lamb Ran Away With The Crown
22. Jesus Was A Cross Maker
Tracks 16 to 22 were recorded 'Live In Boston Music Hall', 3 October 1971
Tracks 12 to 22 were first issued on the Rhino Handmade CD Edition of "Judee Sill" on RHM2 7836 in 2003

Disc 2 (77:56 minutes):
1. There's A Rugged Road
2. The Kiss
3. The Pearl
4. Down Where The Valleys Are Low
5. The Vigilante
6. Soldier Of The Heart
7. The Phoenix
8. When The Bridegroom Comes
9. The Donor
10. (No Title)
Tracks 1 to 10 are the album "Heart Food" - released March 1973 in the USA on Asylum SD 5063 and April 1973 in the UK on Asylum SYL 9006

11. The Desperado (outtake from the "Heart Food" sessions)

12. The Kiss
13. Down Where The Valleys Are Low
14. The Donor
15. Soldier Of The Heart
16. The Phoenix
17. The Vigilante
18. The Pearl
19. There's A Rugged Road
Tracks 12 to 19 are Solo Demos for the "Heart Food" album

20. The Donor (Alternate Mix) - Previously Unreleased
Tracks 10 to18 first issued on the Rhino Handmade CD Edition of "Heart Food" on RHM2 7802 in 2003

With its card slipcase, a 20-page sepia-tinted booklet and CD labels that reflect the original Asylum 'door in the sky' logo - this feels like a classy release - and it is. First up is the truly beautiful remastering by long-standing Rhino stalwarts DAN HERSCH and DAVE SCHULTZ. Co-ordinator ANDY ZAC explains in the liner notes that the first generation Stereo master tapes had inherent glitches and distorted her voice. Hidden by vinyl to some degree -the CD is less forgiving - but given that - the job they've done is fabulous - as faithful and as clear as the music is ever going to be. On quieter songs like the piano-driven "When The Bridegroom Comes" - their deftness of touch really lifts the song.

Her two minor hits are here - covers of The Turtles "Lady-O" and The Hollies "Jesus Was A Cross Maker" - but her own "There's A Rugged Road" impresses more (Shawn Colvin does a gorgeous version of it on her "Cover Girl" CD from 1994). "My Man On Love" has her signature magic - as lovely a melody as you've ever heard. It was put on the flipside of "Sky Enchanted Machines" when it got released in September 1972 in the UK as a 7" single (Asylum AYM 509). "The Archetypal Man" is witty and perceptive too and I love the 'Alternate Version' of "Ridge Rider" which is simplified and better for it.

But if I were to single out three masterpieces - two would be on the hugely accomplished "Heart Food" album. First is probably everybody's favourite - the moving and beautiful ache of "The Kiss" - wow! If you get the chance -check out The Old Grey Whistle Test footage of her doing this live with just a piano in 1973 (lyrics from it title this review). Second is the epic 9-minute hymn-like finisher "The Donor" which MICHELE KORT rightly gives paragraphs to in her wonderfully detailed and heartfelt liner notes. It goes off into staggering vocal tangents and pirouettes that predate Kate Bush - and with the combined male and female voices repeating a Kyrie Eleison refrain throughout (Lord Have Mercy) - its musical ambition is like a female Todd Rundgren on a roll. The complicated tympani and vibes arrangements alone must have taken months to get down. It's astonishing stuff.

But best of all is the set's prize - a previously unreleased outtake that I feel matches even "The Kiss". It's called "The Desperado" and should have finished the album instead of the non-titled Track 10 that is merely an Irish air instrumental that might have seemed like fun at the time - but now seems superfluous and badly misjudged. "The Desperado" would have brought the album full-circle - even into Joni Mitchell territory. It's beautifully produced - a lovely acoustic melody - what a find.

Judee Sill won't be for everyone for sure and some may wonder what all the fuss is about - but I've been moved to tears many times by the beauty and talent available on this gorgeous 2CD release.

Aged only 35 - she died at home 23 November 1979 from a drug overdose - with her loss barely reported anywhere. Rest with the angels you beautiful lady...


Unusual (Expanded And Remastered Edition)
Unusual (Expanded And Remastered Edition)
Price: £11.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Trouble With My Trousers..." - Unusual by ROGER RUSKIN SPEAR [of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band] (2014 Expanded CD Remaster), 29 Sep 2014
Following on from his daft-as-a-brush "Electric Shocks" album from October 1972 - one year later and the ex BONZO DOG DOO DAH BAND main man was at it again. "Unusual" is a another cocktail of wonderfully eccentric send-up - Monty Python type lunacy where men struggle with submersible trousers and go bumpity bump in roadsters made for two as vaudeville songs played on Tubas waft out of a wireless hidden by Billy Bunter in Felsham hedgerows... As you can imagine it's very funny and very, very silly. Here are the Mad Dogs and their certifiable Englishman...

UK released on CD September 2014 - "Unusual" by ROGER RUSKIN SPEAR is on Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2464 (Barcode 5013929456440) and breaks down as follows (34:23 minutes):

1. Pinball Wizard
2. On Her Doorstep Last Night
3. Trouble With My Trousers
4. Shove-Off Shostakovich
5. I Love To Go Bumpity Bump (On A Bumpy Road With You)
6. When Yuba Plays The Tuba Down In Cuba
7. Frank The Ripper
8. Morecombe And Wise
9. Heartbreak Hotel
10. My Goodness (Or The Revolutionary New Concrete Mixer Show)
11.Unusual

Tracks 1 to 11 are his second solo album "Unusual" - originally released on vinyl LP October 1973 in the UK on United Artists UAG 29508

Quite apart from the sheer craziness of the proceedings - the first thing that hits you is the great remaster carried out to perfection by BEN WISEMAN at Audio Archiving. The dense multi-tracked original tapes have been given a right polish and all the instrument antics, funny voices and animal noises are here in fabulous sound quality.

The 16-page colour booklet features photos of our Roger with his boggle-eyes, white lab coat and massive Tuba - looking like a doctor who shouldn't be let loose in any ward. He shares his typically brill reminiscences of each song and how they came to be (the band HELP YOURSELF guest on "Bumpity Bump" while THUNDERCLAP "Something In The Air" NEWMAN plays the piano on his fabulous send up of The Who's classic "Pinball Wizard"). And as with the preceding "Electric Shocks" issue - there are superb further liner notes from noted writer MALCOLM DOME. It's very classily done.

Carrying on in much the same tradition as the Bonzo albums on Liberty - the songs are full of madcap rhythms and old timey melodies (like he's on the set of Boardwalk Empire). You'll find yourself giggling a lot and his brilliantly deadpan cover of Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" will have you wanting to You Tube it immediately (telling the world of your fab new find). Spear in fact felt that "Unusual" and its comedy suffered unfairly against the more popular "Electric Shocks" album from 1972 (see my review) - and that now in 2014 - it genuinely deserves reappraisal. He's right because there's songwriting/comedic genius amidst all of the tomfoolery (check out "Trouble With My Trousers").

No one but no one does bonkers quite like the British - and well done to all the good people in Cherry Red and Esoteric for getting this forgotten piece of stark-raving mad back out there...


Strangely Strange - But Oddly Normal - An Island Anthology by Various Artists, Emerson Lake & Palmer, John Martyn, Nick Drake, Jethro Tull, Tr (2005) Audio CD
Strangely Strange - But Oddly Normal - An Island Anthology by Various Artists, Emerson Lake & Palmer, John Martyn, Nick Drake, Jethro Tull, Tr (2005) Audio CD
Offered by M&E Books-USA
Price: £84.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Like Another Chance..." - Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal: An Island Anthology 1967-1972 (2005 3CD Mini Box Set), 29 Sep 2014
The 'Island Record Label' - enough to put a Weightwatchers smile on the face of even the most overweight Fiftysomething. And this rich, crazy, inspiring 3CD 48-song Mini Box Set covering their Rock, Prog and Folk Rock late Sixties and early Seventies output will only have you doing guitar windmills in your living room once again. It's a lovely thing indeed. Here are the low sparks and high heels...

Originally released December 2005 - "Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal: An Island Anthology 1967-1972" is on Universal/Island 9822950 (Barcode 602498229507) and breaks down as follows (all catalogue numbers are UK):

Disc 1, 19 tracks, 79:09 minutes:
(Jethro Tull, Amazing Blondel, Free and Quintessence pictured on the card artwork)
1. Supernatural Tales - ART (on "Supernatural Fairy Tales", 1967 Mono LP on Island ILP 967)
2. Paper Sun - TRAFFIC (A-side of the 7" single released 1967 on Island WIP 6002)
3. Harpsichord Shuffle - WYNDER K. FROG (WKF is a pseudonym for Mick Weaver - on "Out Of The Frying Pan", 1968 Stereo LP on Island ILPS 9044)
4. Rainbow Chaser - NIRVANA (A-side of the 7" single released 1968 on Island WIP 6029)
5. Pearly Queen -TRAMLINE (on "Moves Of Vegetables Centuries", 1969 Stereo LP on Island ILPS 9095)
6. Sunshine Help Me - SPOOKY TOOTH (A-side of the 7" single released 1968 on Island WIP 6022. Also featured on the Stereo album "It's All About" on Island ILPS 9080)
7. Dusty - JOHN MARTYN (on "The Tumbler", his 2nd album released 1968 on Island ILPS 9091)
8. Meet On The Ledge - FAIRPORT CONVENTION (on "What We Did On Our Holidays", 1969 Stereo LP on Island ILPS 9092)
9. A Song For Jeffrey - JETHRO TULL (on "This Was", their debut album from 1968 on Island ILPS 9085)
10. The Carpenter - CLOUDS (on "Scrapbook", their debut album on Island ILPS 9100)
11. I Keep Singing The Same Old Song - HEAVY JELLY (Stereo mix taken from the Island Records label sampler album "Nice Enough To Eat" released in 1969 on Island IWPS 6. The Mono Mix was released as the A-side to the UK 7" single on Island WIP 6049)
12. Black Mass: (Electric Storm In Hell) - WHITE NOISE (on "An Electric Storm", 1969 album on Island ILPS 9099)
13. Over The Green Hills (Part 1) - FREE (on "Tons Of Sobs", their debut 1968 Stereo album on Island ILPS 9089)
14. Worry - FREE (as per 13)
15. Giants - QUINTESSANCE (on "In Blissful Company", their 1969 debut album on Island ILPS 9110)
16. Queen Of Scots - AMAZING BLONDEL (on "Evensong", 1970 album on Island ILPS 9136)
17. Feelin' Alright - TRAFFIC (An 'Alternate Version' from the double-album "Dave Mason Scrapbook" released 1972 on Island ICD 5. The original mix of this Dave Mason song is on their 1968 "Traffic" album on Island ILPS 9081)
18. Sing Me A Song That I Know So Well - BLODWYN PIG (on "Ahead Rings Out", 1969 debut LP on Island ILPS 9101)
19. A Sailor's Life - FAIRPORT CONVENTION (on "Unhalfbricking", 1969 album on Island ILPS 9102)

Disc 2, 15 tracks, 73:34 minutes:
(Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, McDonald & Giles, Cat Stevens and The Incredible String Band on the card artwork)
1. A New Day Yesterday - JETHRO TULL (on "Stand Up"9172), 1969 LP on Island ILPS 9103)
2. No Time To Live - TRAFFIC (on "Traffic", 1968 album on Island ILPS 9081)
3. Three Hours - NICK DRAKE (on "Five Leaves Left", 1969 LP on Island ILPS 9105)
4. Lost In My Dream - SPOOKY TOOTH (on "Spooky Two", 1969 LP on Island ILPS 9098)
5. Stormbringer - JOHN and BEVERLEY MARTYN (on "Stormbringer!", 1970 album on Island ILPS 9113)
6. Strangely Strange But oddly Normal - Dr. STRANGELY STRANGE (on "Kip Of The Serenes", 1969 album on Island ILPS 9106)
7. Notting Hill Gate - QUINTESSANCE (A-side of a UK 7" single released January 1970 on Island WIP 6075)
8. Banks Of The Nile - FOTHERINGAY (on "Fotheringay", March 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9125. Features SANDY DENNY and members of FAIRPORT CONVENTION)
9. Wild World - CAT STEVENS (on "Tea For The Tillerman", November 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9135)
10. Painted Chariot - THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (on "Liquid Acrobat As Regards The Air", 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9172)
11. Cat Food - KING CRIMSON (on "In The Wake Of Poseidon", May 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9127. It's credited in the booklet as the A-side 7" single edit (at 2:47 minutes) but it plays the full album version at 4:54 minutes)
12. Groon - KING CRIMSON (non-album track, B-side to the March 1970 UK 7" single of "Cat Food" on Island WIP 6080)
13. The North Star Grassman And The Ravens - SANDY DENNY (on "The North Star Grassman And The Ravens", September 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9165)
14. Suite In C (Including Turnham Green, Here I Am And Others) - McDONALD & GILES (on "McDonald & Giles", 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9126. Ian McDonald (Saxophone and Keyboards) and Michael 'Mike' Giles (Percussion, Vocals, Writer and Arranger) were with KING CRIMSON. The track also features STEVE WINWOOD on Keyboards)
15. The Siege Of Yaddlethorpe - AMAZING BLONDEL (on "Fantasia Lindum", 1971 album on Island ILPS 9156)

Disc 3, 14 tracks, 76:18 minutes:
(Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Alan Bown, Traffic and Heads, Hands & Feet on the card artwork)
1. Knife Edge - EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER (on "Emerson, Lake & Palmer", their November 1970 debut album on Island ILPS 9132)
2. Thunderbuck Ram - MOTT THE HOOPLE (on "Bumpers", 1970 UK Double-Album Label Sampler on Island IDP 1. The mix on this double differs to the original version on the album "Mad Shadows" from 1970 on Island ILPS 9119)
3. Northern Sky - NICK DRAKE (on "Bryter Layer", November 1970 2nd LP on Island ILPS 9134)
4. Thru The Night - THE ALAN BOWN (on "El Pea", exclusive to the 1971 double-album label sampler on Island IDLP 1)
5. Dark Dance - ROBIN WILLIAMSON (on "Myrrh", 1972 album on Island HELP 2. Robin Williamson is from THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND)
6. I Am The Walrus - SPOOKY TOOTH (on "The Last Puff", a cover version of The Beatles classic released 1970 on Island ILPS 9117)
7. Glistening Glyndebourne - JOHN MARTYN (on "Bless The Weather", an instrumental on the November 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9167)
8. Fire And Water - FREE (on "Fire And Water", June 1970 3rd album on Island ILPS 9120)
9. See My Way - BLODWYN PIG (on "Getting To This", April 1970 2nd album on Chrysalis ILPS 9122)
10. See The World (Through My Eyes) - VINEGAR JOE (on "Vinegar Joe", their debut album from 1972 on Island ILPS 9183. Both ELKIE BROOKS and ROBERT PALMER shared Vocals in the band)
11. Peace Train - CAT STEVENS (on "Teaser And The Fire Cat", September 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9154)
12. Watercolour Days - CLOUDS (on "Watercolour Days", 1971 LP on Chrysalis ILPS 9151)
13. The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys - TRAFFIC (on "The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys", 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9180)
14. Song For Suzie - HEADS, HANDS & FEET (on "Head, Hands & Feet", 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9149. The band featured ALBERT LEE on Guitar)

Not surprisingly the box's artwork (as well as the CD labels) uses the famous 'pink' Island colouring and the 48-page booklet is both a joy to look at and a fascinating read. Compiled by reissue heroes MARK POWELL and remastered to stunning effect by PASCHAL BYRNE (Audio Archiving) - you get three and a half hours of audacious scope and at times hippy nonsense. There's a small history of the label - then each artist is lined up (in alphabetical order) with a very detailed biography by Powell - and all of it peppered with loads of album sleeves and period photos. And the remasters are fabulous...

Some might argue about the choices and the alignment of the songs (Robin Williamson gets a one minute instrumental yet a whole page of Biography) - but time after time you're hit with the sheer diversity of British Rock bands - Traffic, Jethro Tull, Spooky Tooth, Blodwyn Pig and ELP. And the singer-songwriters like John Martyn, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny and Cat Stevens shine even brighter. And how good is it to see bands like Clouds, Vinegar Joe, Quintessence, Fotheringay and Heads, Hands & Feet get an airing. The 11-minute McDonald & Giles "Suite In C" is a complex Prog masterpiece and it's clever of the compilers to include those "Bumpers" and "El Pea" exclusives by Mott The Hoople and The Alan Bown. A favourite - the near twelve minutes of Traffic's "Low Spark" is an awesome thing (lyrics from it entitle this review)...

A fantastic reminder of a time when musically - anything seemed possible -and on the evidence it this - it clearly was...


Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal: An Island Records Anthology 1967-1972
Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal: An Island Records Anthology 1967-1972
Offered by langton_info_england
Price: £45.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Like Another Chance..." - Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal: An Island Anthology 1967-1972 (2005 3CD Mini Box Set), 29 Sep 2014
The 'Island Record Label' - enough to put a Weightwatchers smile on the face of even the most overweight Fiftysomething. And this rich, crazy, inspiring 3CD 48-song Mini Box Set covering their Rock, Prog and Folk Rock late Sixties and early Seventies output will only have you doing guitar windmills in your living room once again. It's a lovely thing indeed. Here are the low sparks and high heels...

Originally released December 2005 - "Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal: An Island Anthology 1967-1972" is on Universal/Island 9822950 (Barcode 602498229507) and breaks down as follows (all catalogue numbers are UK):

Disc 1, 19 tracks, 79:09 minutes:
(Jethro Tull, Amazing Blondel, Free and Quintessence on the card artwork)
1. Supernatural Tales - ART (on "Supernatural Fairy Tales", 1967 Mono LP on Island ILP 967)
2. Paper Sun - TRAFFIC (A-side of the 7" single released 1967 on Island WIP 6002)
3. Harpsichord Shuffle - WYNDER K. FROG (WKF is a pseudonym for Mick Weaver - on "Out Of The Frying Pan", 1968 Stereo LP on Island ILPS 9044)
4. Rainbow Chaser - NIRVANA (A-side of the 7" single released 1968 on Island WIP 6029)
5. Pearly Queen -TRAMLINE (on "Moves Of Vegetables Centuries", 1969 Stereo LP on Island ILPS 9095)
6. Sunshine Help Me - SPOOKY TOOTH (A-side of the 7" single released 1968 on Island WIP 6022. Also featured on the Stereo album "It's All About" on Island ILPS 9080)
7. Dusty - JOHN MARTYN (on "The Tumbler", his 2nd album released 1968 on Island ILPS 9091)
8. Meet On The Ledge - FAIRPORT CONVENTION (on "What We Did On Our Holidays", 1969 Stereo LP on Island ILPS 9092)
9. A Song For Jeffrey - JETHRO TULL (on "This Was", their debut album from 1968 on Island ILPS 9085)
10. The Carpenter - CLOUDS (on "Scrapbook", their debut album on Island ILPS 9100)
11. I Keep Singing The Same Old Song - HEAVY JELLY (Stereo mix taken from the Island Records label sampler album "Nice Enough To Eat" released in 1969 on Island IWPS 6. The Mono Mix was released as the A-side to the UK 7" single on Island WIP 6049)
12. Black Mass: (Electric Storm In Hell) - WHITE NOISE (on "An Electric Storm", 1969 album on Island ILPS 9099)
13. Over The Green Hills (Part 1) - FREE (on "Tons Of Sobs", their debut 1968 Stereo album on Island ILPS 9089)
14. Worry - FREE (as per 13)
15. Giants - QUINTESSANCE (on "In Blissful Company", their 1969 debut album on Island ILPS 9110)
16. Queen Of Scots - AMAZING BLONDEL (on "Evensong", 1970 album on Island ILPS 9136)
17. Feelin' Alright - TRAFFIC (An 'Alternate Version' from the double-album "Dave Mason Scrapbook" released 1972 on Island ICD 5. The original mix of this Dave Mason song is on their 1968 "Traffic" album on Island ILPS 9081)
18. Sing Me A Song That I Know So Well - BLODWYN PIG (on "Ahead Rings Out", 1969 debut LP on Island ILPS 9101)
19. A Sailor's Life - FAIRPORT CONVENTION (on "Unhalfbricking", 1969 album on Island ILPS 9102)

Disc 2, 15 tracks, 73:34 minutes:
(Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, McDonald & Giles, Cat Stevens and The Incredible String Band on the card artwork)
1. A New Day Yesterday - JETHRO TULL (on "Stand Up"9172), 1969 LP on Island ILPS 9103)
2. No Time To Live - TRAFFIC (on "Traffic", 1968 album on Island ILPS 9081)
3. Three Hours - NICK DRAKE (on "Five Leaves Left", 1969 LP on Island ILPS 9105)
4. Lost In My Dream - SPOOKY TOOTH (on "Spooky Two", 1969 LP on Island ILPS 9098)
5. Stormbringer - JOHN and BEVERLEY MARTYN (on "Stormbringer!", 1970 album on Island ILPS 9113)
6. Strangely Strange But oddly Normal - Dr. STRANGELY STRANGE (on "Kip Of The Serenes", 1969 album on Island ILPS 9106)
7. Notting Hill Gate - QUINTESSANCE (A-side of a UK 7" single released January 1970 on Island WIP 6075)
8. Banks Of The Nile - FOTHERINGAY (on "Fotheringay", March 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9125. Features SANDY DENNY and members of FAIRPORT CONVENTION)
9. Wild World - CAT STEVENS (on "Tea For The Tillerman", November 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9135)
10. Painted Chariot - THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (on "Liquid Acrobat As Regards The Air", 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9172)
11. Cat Food - KING CRIMSON (on "In The Wake Of Poseidon", May 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9127. It's credited in the booklet as the A-side 7" single edit (at 2:47 minutes) but it plays the full album version at 4:54 minutes)
12. Groon - KING CRIMSON (non-album track, B-side to the March 1970 UK 7" single of "Cat Food" on Island WIP 6080)
13. The North Star Grassman And The Ravens - SANDY DENNY (on "The North Star Grassman And The Ravens", September 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9165)
14. Suite In C (Including Turnham Green, Here I Am And Others) - McDONALD & GILES (on "McDonald & Giles", 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9126. Ian McDonald (Saxophone and Keyboards) and Michael 'Mike' Giles (Percussion, Vocals, Writer and Arranger) were with KING CRIMSON. The track also features STEVE WINWOOD on Keyboards)
15. The Siege Of Yaddlethorpe - AMAZING BLONDEL (on "Fantasia Lindum", 1971 album on Island ILPS 9156)

Disc 3, 14 tracks, 76:18 minutes:
(Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Alan Bown, Traffic and Heads, Hands & Feet on the card artwork)
1. Knife Edge - EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER (on "Emerson, Lake & Palmer", their November 1970 debut album on Island ILPS 9132)
2. Thunderbuck Ram - MOTT THE HOOPLE (on "Bumpers", 1970 UK Double-Album Label Sampler on Island IDP 1. The mix on this double differs to the original version on the album "Mad Shadows" from 1970 on Island ILPS 9119)
3. Northern Sky - NICK DRAKE (on "Bryter Layer", November 1970 2nd LP on Island ILPS 9134)
4. Thru The Night - THE ALAN BOWN (on "El Pea", exclusive to the 1971 double-album label sampler on Island IDLP 1)
5. Dark Dance - ROBIN WILLIAMSON (on "Myrrh", 1972 album on Island HELP 2. Robin Williamson is from THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND)
6. I Am The Walrus - SPOOKY TOOTH (on "The Last Puff", a cover version of The Beatles classic released 1970 on Island ILPS 9117)
7. Glistening Glyndebourne - JOHN MARTYN (on "Bless The Weather", an instrumental on the November 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9167)
8. Fire And Water - FREE (on "Fire And Water", June 1970 3rd album on Island ILPS 9120)
9. See My Way - BLODWYN PIG (on "Getting To This", April 1970 2nd album on Chrysalis ILPS 9122)
10. See The World (Through My Eyes) - VINEGAR JOE (on "Vinegar Joe", their debut album from 1972 on Island ILPS 9183. Both ELKIE BROOKS and ROBERT PALMER shared Vocals in the band)
11. Peace Train - CAT STEVENS (on "Teaser And The Fire Cat", September 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9154)
12. Watercolour Days - CLOUDS (on "Watercolour Days", 1971 LP on Chrysalis ILPS 9151)
13. The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys - TRAFFIC (on "The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys", 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9180)
14. Song For Suzie - HEADS, HANDS & FEET (on "Head, Hands & Feet", 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9149. The band featured ALBERT LEE on Guitar)

Not surprisingly the box's artwork (as well as the CD labels) uses the famous 'pink' Island colouring and the 48-page booklet is both a joy to look at and a fascinating read. Compiled by reissue heroes MARK POWELL and remastered to stunning effect by PASCHAL BYRNE (Audio Archiving) - you get three and a half hours of audacious scope and at times hippy nonsense. There's a small history of the label - then each artist is lined up (in alphabetical order) with a very detailed biography by Powell - and all of it peppered with loads of album sleeves and period photos. And the remasters are fabulous...

Some might argue about the choices and the alignment of the songs (Robin Williamson gets a one minute instrumental yet a whole page of Biography) - but time after time you're hit with the sheer diversity of British Rock bands - Traffic, Jethro Tull, Spooky Tooth, Blodwyn Pig and ELP. And the singer-songwriters like John Martyn, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny and Cat Stevens shine even brighter. And how good is it to see bands like Clouds, Vinegar Joe, Quintessence, Fotheringay and Heads, Hands & Feet get an airing. The 11-minute McDonald & Giles "Suite In C" is a complex Prog masterpiece and it's clever of the compilers to include those "Bumpers" and "El Pea" exclusives by Mott The Hoople and The Alan Bown. A favourite - the near twelve minutes of Traffic's "Low Spark" is an awesome thing (lyrics from it entitle this review)...

A fantastic reminder of a time when musically - anything seemed possible -and on the evidence it this - it clearly was...


Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal: An Island Records Anthology 1967-1972 by Various Artists (2009) Audio CD
Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal: An Island Records Anthology 1967-1972 by Various Artists (2009) Audio CD
Offered by M&E Books-USA
Price: £48.29

5.0 out of 5 stars “…Like Another Chance…” – Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal: An Island Anthology 1967-1972 (2005 Universal 3CD Mini Box Set), 29 Sep 2014
The ‘Island Record Label’ – enough to put a Weightwatchers smile on the face of even the most overweight Fiftysomething. And this rich, crazy, inspiring 3CD 48-song Mini Box Set covering their Rock, Prog and Folk Rock late Sixties and early Seventies output will only have you doing guitar windmills in your living room once again. It’s a lovely thing indeed. Here are the low sparks and high heels…

Originally released December 2005 – “Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal: An Island Anthology 1967-1972” is on Universal/Island 9822950 (Barcode 602498229507) and breaks down as follows (all catalogue numbers are UK):

Disc 1, 19 tracks, 79:09 minutes:
(Jethro Tull, Amazing Blondel, Free and Quintessence on the card artwork)
1. Supernatural Tales – ART (on “Supernatural Fairy Tales”, 1967 Mono LP on Island ILP 967)
2. Paper Sun – TRAFFIC (A-side of the 7” single released 1967 on Island WIP 6002)
3. Harpsichord Shuffle – WYNDER K. FROG (WKF is a pseudonym for Mick Weaver - on “Out Of The Frying Pan”, 1968 Stereo LP on Island ILPS 9044)
4. Rainbow Chaser – NIRVANA (A-side of the 7” single released 1968 on Island WIP 6029)
5. Pearly Queen –TRAMLINE (on “Moves Of Vegetables Centuries”, 1969 Stereo LP on Island ILPS 9095)
6. Sunshine Help Me – SPOOKY TOOTH (A-side of the 7” single released 1968 on Island WIP 6022. Also featured on the Stereo album “It’s All About” on Island ILPS 9080)
7. Dusty – JOHN MARTYN (on “The Tumbler”, his 2nd album released 1968 on Island ILPS 9091)
8. Meet On The Ledge – FAIRPORT CONVENTION (on “What We Did On Our Holidays”, 1969 Stereo LP on Island ILPS 9092)
9. A Song For Jeffrey – JETHRO TULL (on “This Was”, their debut album from 1968 on Island ILPS 9085)
10. The Carpenter – CLOUDS (on “Scrapbook”, their debut album on Island ILPS 9100)
11. I Keep Singing The Same Old Song – HEAVY JELLY (Stereo mix taken from the Island Records label sampler album “Nice Enough To Eat” released in 1969 on Island IWPS 6. The Mono Mix was released as the A-side to the UK 7” single on Island WIP 6049)
12. Black Mass: (Electric Storm In Hell) – WHITE NOISE (on “An Electric Storm”, 1969 album on Island ILPS 9099)
13. Over The Green Hills (Part 1) – FREE (on “Tons Of Sobs”, their debut 1968 Stereo album on Island ILPS 9089)
14. Worry – FREE (as per 13)
15. Giants – QUINTESSANCE (on “In Blissful Company”, their 1969 debut album on Island ILPS 9110)
16. Queen Of Scots – AMAZING BLONDEL (on “Evensong”, 1970 album on Island ILPS 9136)
17. Feelin’ Alright – TRAFFIC (An ‘Alternate Version’ from the double-album “Dave Mason Scrapbook” released 1972 on Island ICD 5. The original mix of this Dave Mason song is on their 1968 “Traffic” album on Island ILPS 9081)
18. Sing Me A Song That I Know So Well – BLODWYN PIG (on “Ahead Rings Out”, 1969 debut LP on Island ILPS 9101)
19. A Sailor’s Life – FAIRPORT CONVENTION (on “Unhalfbricking”, 1969 album on Island ILPS 9102)

Disc 2, 15 tracks, 73:34 minutes:
(Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, McDonald & Giles, Cat Stevens and The Incredible String Band on the card artwork)
1. A New Day Yesterday – JETHRO TULL (on “Stand Up”9172), 1969 LP on Island ILPS 9103)
2. No Time To Live – TRAFFIC (on “Traffic”, 1968 album on Island ILPS 9081)
3. Three Hours – NICK DRAKE (on “Five Leaves Left”, 1969 LP on Island ILPS 9105)
4. Lost In My Dream – SPOOKY TOOTH (on “Spooky Two”, 1969 LP on Island ILPS 9098)
5. Stormbringer – JOHN and BEVERLEY MARTYN (on “Stormbringer!”, 1970 album on Island ILPS 9113)
6. Strangely Strange But oddly Normal – Dr. STRANGELY STRANGE (on “Kip Of The Serenes”, 1969 album on Island ILPS 9106)
7. Notting Hill Gate – QUINTESSANCE (A-side of a UK 7” single released January 1970 on Island WIP 6075)
8. Banks Of The Nile – FOTHERINGAY (on “Fotheringay”, March 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9125. Features SANDY DENNY and members of FAIRPORT CONVENTION)
9. Wild World – CAT STEVENS (on “Tea For The Tillerman”, November 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9135)
10. Painted Chariot – THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (on “Liquid Acrobat As Regards The Air”, 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9172)
11. Cat Food – KING CRIMSON (on “In The Wake Of Poseidon”, May 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9127. It’s credited in the booklet as the A-side 7” single edit (at 2:47 minutes) but it plays the full album version at 4:54 minutes)
12. Groon – KING CRIMSON (non-album track, B-side to the March 1970 UK 7” single of “Cat Food” on Island WIP 6080)
13. The North Star Grassman And The Ravens – SANDY DENNY (on “The North Star Grassman And The Ravens”, September 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9165)
14. Suite In C (Including Turnham Green, Here I Am And Others) – McDONALD & GILES (on “McDonald & Giles”, 1970 LP on Island ILPS 9126. Ian McDonald (Saxophone and Keyboards) and Michael ‘Mike’ Giles (Percussion, Vocals, Writer and Arranger) were with KING CRIMSON. The track also features STEVE WINWOOD on Keyboards)
15. The Siege Of Yaddlethorpe – AMAZING BLONDEL (on “Fantasia Lindum”, 1971 album on Island ILPS 9156)

Disc 3, 14 tracks, 76:18 minutes:
(Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Alan Bown, Traffic and Heads, Hands & Feet on the card artwork)
1. Knife Edge – EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER (on “Emerson, Lake & Palmer”, their November 1970 debut album on Island ILPS 9132)
2. Thunderbuck Ram – MOTT THE HOOPLE (on “Bumpers”, 1970 UK Double-Album Label Sampler on Island IDP 1. The mix on this double differs to the original version on the album “Mad Shadows” from 1970 on Island ILPS 9119)
3. Northern Sky – NICK DRAKE (on “Bryter Layer”, November 1970 2nd LP on Island ILPS 9134)
4. Thru The Night – THE ALAN BOWN (on “El Pea”, exclusive to the 1971 double-album label sampler on Island IDLP 1)
5. Dark Dance – ROBIN WILLIAMSON (on “Myrrh”, 1972 album on Island HELP 2. Robin Williamson is from THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND)
6. I Am The Walrus – SPOOKY TOOTH (on “The Last Puff”, a cover version of The Beatles classic released 1970 on Island ILPS 9117)
7. Glistening Glyndebourne – JOHN MARTYN (on “Bless The Weather”, an instrumental on the November 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9167)
8. Fire And Water – FREE (on “Fire And Water”, June 1970 3rd album on Island ILPS 9120)
9. See My Way – BLODWYN PIG (on “Getting To This”, April 1970 2nd album on Chrysalis ILPS 9122)
10. See The World (Through My Eyes) – VINEGAR JOE (on “Vinegar Joe”, their debut album from 1972 on Island ILPS 9183. Both ELKIE BROOKS and ROBERT PALMER shared Vocals in the band)
11. Peace Train – CAT STEVENS (on “Teaser And The Fire Cat”, September 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9154)
12. Watercolour Days – CLOUDS (on “Watercolour Days”, 1971 LP on Chrysalis ILPS 9151)
13. The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys – TRAFFIC (on “The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys”, 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9180)
14. Song For Suzie – HEADS, HANDS & FEET (on “Head, Hands & Feet”, 1971 LP on Island ILPS 9149. The band featured ALBERT LEE on Guitar)

Not surprisingly the box’s artwork (as well as the CD labels) uses the famous ‘pink’ Island colouring and the 48-page booklet is both a joy to look at and a fascinating read. Compiled by reissue heroes MARK POWELL and remastered to stunning effect by PASCHAL BYRNE (Audio Archiving) – you get three and a half hours of audacious scope and at times hippy nonsense. There’s a small history of the label - then each artist is lined up (in alphabetical order) with a very detailed biography by Powell – and all of it peppered with loads of album sleeves and period photos. And the remasters are fabulous…

Some might argue about the choices and the alignment of the songs (Robin Williamson gets a one minute instrumental yet a whole page of Biography) - but time after time you’re hit with the sheer diversity of British Rock bands - Traffic, Jethro Tull, Spooky Tooth, Blodwyn Pig and ELP. And the singer-songwriters like John Martyn, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny and Cat Stevens shine even brighter. And how good is it to see bands like Clouds, Vinegar Joe, Quintessence, Fotheringay and Heads, Hands & Feet get an airing. The 11-minute McDonald & Giles “Suite In C” is a complex Prog masterpiece and it’s clever of the compilers to include those “Bumpers” and “El Pea” exclusives by Mott The Hoople and The Alan Bown. A favourite - the near twelve minutes of Traffic’s “Low Spark” is an awesome thing (lyrics from it entitle this review)…

A fantastic reminder of a time when musically – anything seemed possible -and on the evidence it this – it clearly was…


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