Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Paperwhite Shop now Shop Now Shop now
Profile for Mark Barry > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mark Barry
Top Reviewer Ranking: 17
Helpful Votes: 14541

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mark Barry "Mark Barry"
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Five Leaves Left
Five Leaves Left
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £7.05

5.0 out of 5 stars "...A Very Rare Find..." - Five Leaves Left by NICK DRAKE (2000 Universal/Island CD – John Wood/Simon Heyworth Remaster), 3 Sept. 2015
This review is from: Five Leaves Left (Audio CD)
The very stuff of legend – 1969 British vinyl LP first pressings of Nick Drake's beautiful Island Records debut album "Five Leaves Left" have been attaining as much as a grand on the open auction market in the right condition. Said to have sold less than 500 copies – genuine 1st issues on the fabled 'pink' Island label are notoriously rare. But its one of those occasions where the money is warranted because when you hear this (now cheap as chips) CD remaster of that magnificent beginning – you wonder how in God's name did something this beautiful and brilliant go largely unnoticed? Whatever you look at it - 'masterpiece' is a liberally overused phrase in reviewing – but in this case it may even be inadequate. 'Time Has Told Us' indeed - here are the 'Way To Blue' details:

UK released June 2000 – "Five Leaves Left" by NICK DRAKE on Island IMCD 8 (Barcode 042284291521) plays out as follows (41:45 minutes)

1. Time Has Told Me
2. River Man
3. Three Hours
4. Way To Blue
5. Day Is Done
6. 'Cello Song [Side 2]
7. The Thoughts Of Mary Jane
8. Man In A Shed
9. Fruit Tree
10. Saturday Sun
Tracks 1 to 10 are the album "Five Leaves Left" - his debut vinyl album released 1 September 1969 in the UK on Island Records ILPS 9105. Its first US issue came in 1976 on Antilles Records AN-7010.

The 12-page booklet produces the lyrics for all the songs, track-by-track credits, has some photos of master tape boxes and a photograph of hand-written lyrics. It’s a shame though that there aren’t any explanatory liner notes – especially for such a beautiful record – but all that goes out the window once you lay your tired lugs on the masterful Audio...

Originally Produced by JOE BOYD – JOHN WOOD and SIMON HEYWORTH have handled the 24-bit CD remaster at Chop-Em-Out in London and they've done a truly beautiful job. There have been other reissues since 2000 (especially the 5CD "Tuck Box" from 2013 which I've reviewed extensively) but all have used these remasters and with such sweetly crisp and warm audio – why not. A gorgeous sounding CD – now to the music...

Taking its title from a message you receive in a packet of Rizlas for roll-your-own cigarettes (you've "Five Leaves Left") – it opens with Danny Thompson of Pentangle on Double Bass supporting Drake on Acoustic guitar for the beautiful "Time Has Told Me". He's joined on Piano by future Manassas keyboardist Paul Harris (Stephen Stills' band) and equally nice guitar licks from Fairport Convention's Richard Thompson. The primarily acoustic "River Man" shows up the remaster - rolling Spanish acoustic guitar – stunning String arrangements by Harry Robinson – it's the kind of melancholy song that will stop you in your tracks – both touching and magisterial at one and the same time. Danny Thompson returns on Bass but this time with the added percussion of Rocki Dzidzornu on Congas (he turns up again on "'Cello Song") for the stunning "Three Hours". The song is a kind of Jazz-Folk trip – like John Martyn at his best Folk-Soul best. It's at this point that you have to double-take – how could something as utterly brilliant as "Three Hours" have gone unnoticed in September 1969? Then you’re hammered with more gorgeous String arrangements for "Way To Blue" but this time courtesy of Richard Kirby. Side One ends on the lovely "Day Is Done" again with exquisite String Arrangements from Kirby.

Side 2 opens with my favourite Nick Drake song – a swaying Folk-Rock-Soul tune that’s liable to send me into rapture – "'Cello Song". Everything that's fantastical about his music is contained in this peach. Those acoustic rhythms he builds like England's answer to Tim Buckley – complimented by brilliant players like Danny Thompson on Double Bass and Dzidzornu on Congas. But giving the melody a spine-tingling beauty and sailing over the song's shuffle is a gorgeous drawn Cello note played by Claire Lowther. Surely this was the single Island should have released? Both "The Thoughts Of Mary Jane" and "Man In A Shed" feel like the Folk-Rock of "Stormbringer" by John Martyn – with Paul Harris and Danny Thompson playing Piano and Bass on "Man In A Shed". The 4LP set put out by Island in 1979 and reissued on CD by Hannibal Records in 1986 was called "Fruit Tree" after the album's second last song – another gorgeous string-laden melody (Richard Kirby arrangements). It finishes on the piano-beauty of "Saturday Sun" which Alexis Korner covered on his self-titled Rak Records album in July 1971 (SRAK 501) – I believe he was the first musician to officially cover a Drake song. Tristam Fry plays the Drums and provides those sweet Vibes (he's sessioned for huge swathes of legenardy artists including The Beatles and Frank Sinatra).

You could go all the way and purchase the 5CD set "Tuck Box" which has now been reduced in 2015 to a more affordable price. His only other two LPs "Bryter Layter" and "Pink Moon" followed in 1970 and 1972 and made up the perfect triumvirate before he sadly left us in 1974.

"...When I remember those people and places...they were really too good in their way..." – Nick Drake sang on "Saturday Sun". Was he too good for this world? How can something as ethereal and gorgeous as this have gone largely unnoticed in his short life span? It’s hard to know. Do yourself and your Soul a solid and get this man’s beauty into your life and onto your sound system.

Time has told us...he's a very rare find...


Street Corner Symphonies - The Complete Story Of Doo Wop: Volume 11 - 1959
Street Corner Symphonies - The Complete Story Of Doo Wop: Volume 11 - 1959
Price: £12.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "…My Love Must Be A Kind Of Blind Love..." - Street Corner Symphonies Volume 11: 1959 (2013 Bear Family CD Remasters), 31 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Hot on the heels of their definitive "Blowing The Fuse" and "Sweet Soul Music" CD Series (15 volumes to each genre of R'n'B and Soul) comes Bear Family’s Vocal Group attack - 15 discs spanning 1939 to 1963. Volumes 1 to 10 hit the shops in batches of 5 (May and October 2012) and the last five in May 2013. And while critics will argue that Vocal Group music has already been done to death by Rhino (3 x 4CD Box Sets across the decades) and a mountain of other cheapo labels taking advantage of the 50-year copyright law - this is the first time someone reputable (other than Rhino) have had a go - and typically these German-issued Bear Family CDs are gorgeous in all the right places - presentation and audio. You get 34 tracks and a format-incredible total playing time of 83:23 minutes. Time for 'A Teenager In Love' to 'Wiggle Wiggle' as 'The Angels Listened In'...

Released May 2013 in Germany - "Street Corner Symphonies Volume 11: 1959" on Bear Family BCD 17289 AR (Barcode 5397102172892) breaks down as follows (I've provided American 7” single catalogue numbers on all tracks – those with two or more catalogue numbers are reissues in the same year – 83:23 minutes):

1. I Only Have Eyes For You – THE FLAMINGOS (End 1946, A)
2. Love Potion No. 9 – THE CLOVERS (United Artists 180, A)
3. This I Swear – THE SKYLINERS (Calico 106, A)
4. The Angels Listened In – THE CRESTS (Coed 515, A)
5. Island Of Love – THE SHEPPARDS (Apex 7750, A)
6. You're So Fine – THE FALCONS (Flick 001/Unart 2013, A)
7. Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home) – THE IMPALAS (Cub 9022, A)
8. My Love Will Never Die – THE CHANNELS (Fury 1021, A)
9. Wiggle, Wiggle – THE ACCENTS (Brunswick 55100, A)
10. Dedicated To The One I Love – THE SHIRELLES (Arranged & Directed by Stan Green) (Scepter 1203, A)
11. Senorita I Love You – THE IMPRESSIONS (Abner 1025, A)
12. A Teenager In Love – DION & THE BELMONTS (Laurie 3027, A)
13. Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko Bop – LITTLE ANTHONY & THE IMPERIALS (End 1060, A)
14. Hushabye – THE MYSTICS (Laurie 3028, A)
15. Moonlight Serenade – THE RIVIERAS (Orchestra Conducted by Al Semola) (Coed 508, A)
16. Who’s That Knocking – THE GENIES (Shad 5002, A)
17. Just To Be With You – THE PASSIONS (Arranged And Conducted by Paul Swain) (Audicon 102, A)
18. Charlie Brown – THE COASTERS (Atco 6132, A)
19. Dearest Darling (You're The One) – HUEY SMITH (and The Clowns) (Ace 571, A)
20. Dry Your Eyes – THE DELLS (Vee-Jay 324, A)
21. (Baby) Hully Gully – THE OLYMPICS (Arvee 562, A)
22. Puppy Love – LITTLE JIMMY & THE TOPS (V-Tone 102/Len 1011, A)
23. Rockin' In The Jungle – THE ETERNALS (Hollywood 68, A)
24. You Were Mine – THE FIREFLIES (Ribbon 6901, A)
25. Good News – THE FIESTAS (Old Town 1074, A)
26. Mope-itty Mope – THE BOSS-TONES (Boss 501/V-Tone 208, A)
27. Sea Of Love – PHIL PHILLIPS with The Twilights (Khoury’s 711/Mercury 71465, A)
28. Let It Please Be You – THE DESIRES (Hull 730, A)
29. There Goes My Love – THE FANTASTICS (RCA Victor 47-7572, A)
30. My Beloved (Without Strings) – THE SATINTONES (Motown 1000, A)
31. Oh Rose Marie – THE FASCINATORS (Orchestra Under The Direction Of Jesse Stone) (Capitol 4247, A)
32. This Broken Heart – THE SONICS (Harvard 801/Checker 922, A)
33. There Goes My Baby – THE DRIFTERS (Atlantic 2025, A)
34. Shout (Parts 1 & 2) – THE ISLEY BROTHERS (RCA Victor 47-7588, A)

The 84-page non-detachable booklet is a feast of indepth liner notes on each release by Grammy-winning writer and lifelong fan BILL DAHL. Let's put it this way - there's a 'Photo Captions' index on Page 82 that tells who's who in the black and white publicity shots that accompany most (not all) of the photos. It actually lists the singer's names - who else but Bear would do this? The text is peppered with pictures of those old American 45s on long-forgotten labels like Flick, Unart, Scepter, Boss, Ghoury’s, Harvard, Hull and Cub as well as bigger names like Atco, Mercury and even Motown. You get rare 7” picture sleeves for The Accents, The Crests and The Falcons. The CD repros the rare "I Only Have Eyes For You" by The Flamingos on End and the spine makes up a single photograph of the series name when you line up all 15 volumes alongside each other on a shelf. Long-standing and trusted names like Walter DeVenne, Nico Feuerbach, Victor Pearlin, Colin Escott and Billy Vera have been involved in the research - while Audio Engineer MARCUS HEUMANN did the superb mastering (Disc Transfers by Victor Pearlin and Lothar Blank). The sources (as you can imagine) differ wildly but to my ears the sound quality is improved on everything that I've heard before (including some of the Rhino box sets). The audio and presentation are top-class here (a norm for Bear Family)...

With a huge 34 tracks and a format-packed playing time of 83:23 minutes – you certainly can't accuse this CD of scrimping it. Sounding gorgeous and virtually defining Vocal Group bliss – 1959's Volume 11 opens with a genuine masterpiece that I would put close to the top of my Desert Island disc selection – the beautiful "I Only Have Eyes For You" by The Flamingos. What a song – never fails to send me. It may look like Turpentine and taste like India Ink - but "Love Portion No. 9" seems to be doing the babe-pulling business for The Clovers - that is until one of them kisses a cop at 34th and Vine. Strings arrive with "This I Swear" by the white-boys-n'-gal combo of The Skyliners where our hero promises to never make her cry (he even sounds sincere folks).

Things go Dion & The Belmonts pop with The Crests on "The Angels Listened In" where our hero is convinced of heavenly intervention every time he looks at his girl. "Island Of Love" is an excellent slow-dancer as is the decidedly low-fi but emotion-packed "You're So Fine". A great smoocher and a genuinely clever inclusion is "My Love Will Never Die" by The Channels with soaring vocals from Lead Tenor Earl Lewis – as lovely as The Flamingos opener. Coming on like a companion rhythm to "Itty Bitty Pretty One" things gets bop-a-long with the infectious "Wiggle, Wiggle" by The Accents where Lead Vocalist James Jackson advises his lady on what to do with her rather fine posterior (but in a nice way you understand). By the time we reach The Shirelles with "Dedicated To The One I Love" and "A Teenager In Love" by Dion & The Belmonts – you can already feel the racy free-love of the 60ts beckoning.

Although it was huge on the charts - the almost African rhythms of "Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko Bop" by Little Anthony & The Imperials sits a little uncomfortably here. The squeaky clean "Hushabye" by The Mystics (written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman) sounds incredible audiowise. "Moonlight Serenade" feels a little too syrupy for its own good – better is the bopping "Who's That Knocking" by The Genies which sounds a little like "Rama Lama Ding Dong". The pretty "Just To Be With You" by The Passions impresses but it's kicked into touch by the witty crowd-pleasing R&B of "Charlie Brown" by The Coasters (what a winner). Before they embarked on a staggering 40-year career in R&B and sophisticated 60ts Soul – The Dells gave us the lovely "Dry Your Eyes". Novelty time with "Hully Gully", the organ-driven seaside feel to "Puppy Love" and silly jungle noises for "Rockin' In The Jungle". Far better is the Otis Blackwell written "Good Times" by The Fiestas – a really great shuffling beat that's clearly going after the dancefloor crowd. "Sea Of Love" by Phil Phillips even had an Al Pacino/Ellen Barkin film named after it. "There Goes My Baby" indicates at the Soul to come. And on it goes to musical history with "My Beloved" by The Satintones – a long forgotten single but one that enjoyed the (now) astonishing catalogue number of Motown 1000 – the very first Vocal Group on the label...

To sum up – as 1959 plays you can feel the heyday of Vocal Groups as we've known and loved them already on the wane (and there's four more volumes to go No. 15) – but that doesn't mean that the song quality has gone out the window. I know many of these crossover R&B hits from other compilations – but their clarity here is stunning. You could argue the merits of having the manic Jackie Wilson crowd-pleasing vocal pyrotechnics of The Isley Brothers ending the compilation with both parts of the fabulous "Shout" – but I for one am glad it's here...

Niggles - they're too expensive as singles discs and perhaps they should have been doubles because real collectors will have more than a few titles on offer here. But Bear Family will argue '...not in this sound quality or looking this good...' - and they'd have a point.

Presented to us with love and affection by an independent record company that cares about forgotten voices that shouldn’t be forgotten. What a sweetheart of a compilation and another gold standard from Bear...


Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions
Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £6.91

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Do Right Woman..." - Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions ETTA JAMES (2001 Blues Classics Remastered & Revisited), 31 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's arguable that all eleven of the 2001 American Reissues listed below in Universal's fabulous "Blues Classics: Remastered & Revisited" CD Series are must-buy winners – guaranteed to put a pep in your step, a glint in your eye and an animated wanton in the trouser area (if I may be so rude on a wet Monday morning). And after spending 57 minutes in the company of their lone Etta James entry "Tell Mama..." - you can’t help feeling that this CD compilation is just a little bit more special than all the others. Here is a proper little sweetheart of a release available to us good Limey folks for notta-lotta wonga. Here are the shimmy-shimmy details...

US released May 2001 – "Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Recordings" by ETTA JAMES on Universal/MCA/Chess 088 112 518-2 (Barcode 008811251826) is a 22-track CD compilation and plays out as follows (57:09 minutes):

1. Tell Mama
2. I'd Rather Go Blind
3. Watch Dog
4. The Love Of My Mind
5. I'm Gonna Take What He's Got
6. The Same Rope
7. Security
8. Steal Away
9. My Mother In Law
10. Don't Lose Your Good Thing
11. It Hurts Me So Much
12. Just A Little Bit
Tracks 1 to 12 are the LP "Tell Mama" – released January 1968 in the USA on Cadet LP 802 (Mono) and Cadet LPS 802 (Stereo). Although the "Tell Mama" album was released in supposed 'Stereo' – Universal's tape research shows that true stereo mixes for Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 were never made - fake Stereo was used on the issued LP - so they've been replaced here with the true Mono mixes. Bearing that in mind - Tracks 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 are in STEREO – Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 are in MONO.

BONUS TRACKS (all in Mono, only Mono Masters exist):
13. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (recorded 30 Nov 1967)
14. You Took It (recorded 2 Aug 1968)
15. I Worship The Ground You Walk On (1968 USA 7" single on Cadet 5606, B-side of "I Got You Babe")
16. I Got You Babe (1968 USA 7" single on Cadet 5606, A)
17. You Got It (recorded August 1968)
18. I've Gone Too Far (recorded August 1968 – Previously Unreleased)
19. Misty (recorded August 1968 – Previously Unreleased)
20. Almost Persuaded (1969 USA 7” single on Cadet 5630, A)
21. Fire (1968 USA 7" single on Cadet 5620, B-side of "You Got It")
22. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (Alternate) (recorded 30 Nov 1967 – Previously Unreleased)

This CD will allow fans to sequence the A&B-sides of four US 7" singles using the following tracks:
1. Tell Mama [1] b/w I'd Rather Go Blind [2] (Nov 1967, Cadet 5578)
2. Security [7] b/w I'm Gonna Take What He's Got [5] (March 1968, Cadet 5594)
3. I Got You Babe [16] b/w I Worship The Ground You Walk On [15] (June 1968, Cadet 5606)
4. Almost Persuaded [20] b/w Steal Away [8] (Jan 1969, Cadet 5630)

The four-way foldout inlay has new liner notes by LEE HILDEBRAND (it also reproduces the original Morry Roth LP liner notes) as well as track-by-track annotation. There are colour photos of Etta in the Studio with the seated horn section of James Mitchell, Charles Chalmers and Floyd Newman - another with the rest of the band – Calvin Scott, Billy Foster, Jimmy Ray Johnson and Albert Lowe, Jr. – and a final shot of an smiling Gene "Bowlegs" Miller with Producer and owner of Fames Studios – Rick Hall. It’s nicely done if not a tiny bit slight – but that cannot be said of the fabulous ERICK LABSON remasters. Labson has handled as many as 1000 remasters overt the decades including the vast majority of the huge Chess Records catalogue as well as prestigious Rock catalogues like Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, Neil Diamond, Wishbone Ash and The Who (to name but a few). But his work here is gorgeous – especially on those stunning Stereo cuts.

The LP is very much a product of the 60ts R&B times – fast-slow, fast-slow and so on. A fast belter opens proceedings with the Stereo take of "Tell Mama" putting hairs on your chest – which is followed by the magnificent ache of "I'd Rather Go Blind" (Christine McVie would almost make the song her own with Chicken Shack on Blue Horizon who covered it that year). Etta doesn't appreciate her jealous lover in "Watch Dog" as she tells us "...I don't want no man of mine everywhere I go...he's right behind...he's like the FBI!” You on the other hand will love this groovy shimmy and shake dancer penned by Don Covay. Time for Ed Townshend's "The Love Of My Man" where Etta tells us he's the greatest chap in the whole wide world. Shortly after she’s telling us in uncomfortable sucker-mode that even though 'he beat on me and he cheat on me' her man's ok really because in private he can be so sweet (what a guy).

The chipper Lloyd Webster/Leonard Caston number "The Same Rope" advises that if Etta's man leaves he maybe using that rope to hang himself when he realises what he's done (stunning audio on this especially in the rhythm section). She does a great job with Otis Redding's "Security" and the sexy arrangement she gives Jimmy Hughes' "Steal Away" is refreshing while still retaining the brilliance of that wicked original. Etta has a family itch she needs to scratch in the cautionary "My Mother In Law" where she tells us that she's "...Sick and tired of your mother...always sticking her nose in my business...seems like I married her...instead of you..." (oh dear). And on it goes to her slinky cover of Rosco Gordon's "Just A Little Bit" - a wicked hip-wiggler bound to put your arteritis out to pasture...

The 10 bonus tracks offer three Previously Unreleased (18, 19 and 22) while her single-only cover of Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" is Previously Unreleased on album. Unfortunately it's easy to hear why her cover of "Misty" was canned – its jazzy arrangement feels dated, out of place and just doesn’t suit her. Better is the boogie of "You Took It", the Don Covay dancer "You Got It" and the chugging Clarence Carter funk of Willie Dixon's "Fire".

A wicked CD Reissue currently retailing at just over three quid from certain sellers. "I'm on fire! I'm hot!" Etta assures us on the funky R&B winner "Fire"...and I think she’s right...

PS: Titles in the "Blues Classics - Remastered & Revisited" CD Series are (all are US releases):
(1 and 2 are SUHA GUR remasters, 3 to 11 are ERICK LABSON - I've reviewed most)

1. Bad News Is Coming - LUTHER ALLISON
(1972 Gordy LP, 2001 CD Remaster + Four Previously Unreleased Bonus Tracks) - Universal 440 013 407-2 (Barcode 044001340727)

2. Luther’s Blues - LUTHER ALLISON
(1974 USA 9-track LP with 3 Previously Unreleased bonuses, 70:28 minutes)
Universal 440 013 409-2 (Barcode 044001340925)

3. Two Steps From The Blues - BOBBY BLAND
(1961 USA 12-track LP on Duke with 2 bonuses, 35:12 minutes)
MCA 088 112 516-2 (Barcode 008811251628)

4. The Real Folk Blues/More Real Folk Blues - JOHN LEE HOOKER
(October 1966 and September 1991 LPs on Chess, 2LPs on 1CD, 79:44 minutes)
MCA/Chess 088 112 821-2 (Barcode 008811282127)

5. The Real Folk Blues/More Real Folk Blues - HOWLIN' WOLF
(January 1966 on Chess and January 1967 on Chess, 2LPs on 1CD, 66:45 minutes)
MCA/Chess 088 112 820-2 (Barcode 008811282028)

6. Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions - ETTA JAMES
(January 1968 US 12-Track LP on Cadet - 13-22 being bonuses, 57:11 minutes)
MCA/Chess 088 112 518-2 (Barcode 008811251826)

7. Live At San Quentin - B.B. KING
(1990 13-Track Compilation on MCA, no extras, 64:09 minutes)
MCA America 088 112 517-2 (Barcode 008811251727)

8. At Newport 1960 - MUDDY WATERS
(1960 US 9-Track LP on Chess with 10-13 being 4 Mono Studio Tracks from June 1960 as bonus tracks, 44:41 minutes)
MCA/Chess 088 112 515-2 (Barcode 008811251529)

9. Fathers & Sons - MUDDY WATERS (with Paul Butterfield, Otis Spann, Mike Bloomfield, Donald 'Duck' Dunn and Buddy Miles)
(Tracks 1-10 and 15-20 is the August 1969 2LP set on Chess in Full with Tracks 11, 12, 13 being previously unreleased - and 14 previously unreleased in the USA). (77:38 minutes)
MCA/Chess 088 112 648-2 (Barcode 008811264826)

10. The Real Folk Blues/More Real Folk Blues - MUDDY WATERS
MCA/Chess 088 112 822-2 (Barcode 008811282226)

11. The Real Folk Blues/More Real Folk Blues - SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON
(January 1966 and January 1967 LPs on Chess, 2LPs on 1CD, 65:28 minutes)
MCA/Chess 088 112 823-2 (Barcode 008811282325)


Rare, Unreleased and Live 1965-2012
Rare, Unreleased and Live 1965-2012
Price: £13.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Sour Milk Sea..." – Rare, Unreleased And Live, 1965-2012 by JACKIE LOMAX (2015 Angel Air 2CD Remasters), 31 Aug. 2015
JACKIE LOMAX has seen his 60ts output with The Undertakers done by Big Beat of the UK (part of Ace Records), his lone Apple album reissued twice in 1993 and 2010 on Expanded CDs and his duo of Warner Brothers LPs from 1971 and 1972 also Expanded by Rhino – all in fine style. Now it’s the turn of England’s Angel Air label to have a go. This is a Lomax fan-orientated 2CD compilation, which generously mops up unreleased tracks, rare live and studio recordings and various other unreleased stragglers. But as is the nature of these kinds of releases - it’s a very mixed bag on both song quality and audio (both good and bad). Here are the Sour Milk Seas...

UK released May 2015 - "Rare, Unreleased and Live, 1965-2012" by JACKIE LOMAX on Angel Air SJPCD466 (Barcode 5055011704664) is a 2CD posthumous retrospective and plays out as follows:

CD1 – Unreleased – 76:20 minutes:
1. Soul Light
2. More (Livin' For Lovin')
3. California
4. Who's Foolin’ Who
Tracks 1 to 4 recorded 1975 at Hollywood Central Studio and features Paul Barrere of Little Feat on Guitars (including Slide).

5. If Only I Could Find A Way
6. She Feels That Way
Tracks 5 and 6 are the A&B-sides of a 1977 USA 7” single on Pan American PAX 134.

7. The Little Things Of Love
8. Fallen Angel (both recorded 1980, no other details available)

9. I'm Gonna Be There
10. You're So Beautiful
11. Green Eyes
12. Don't Talk To Me (9 to 12 recorded 1985, no other details available)

13. Devil Eyes (a cover version of a Tim Buckley song by Jackie Lomax and Juke Logan. Originally on a 1990 Various Artists CD compilation called "True Voices" on Demon FIEND CD 165)

14. Give Your Heart To Somebody
15. Hold On Tight To What You Got
16. Against All Odds
17. The Edge Of The World (Tracks 14 to 17 recorded 1990, no details)

18. I Can't Hold Out (an Elmore James cover)
19. One Night In Chicago (Tracks 18 and 19 by The Undertakers featuring Jackie Lomax on their 2009 CD “Resurrection” on Meadow Records 3. He sang lead vocals on these two songs)

20. Dead And Gone (from the 2012 CD compilation "Black On Blue: A Tribute To The Black Keys" on Cleopatra CLP 8727)

CD 2 – Rare & Live – 74:59 minutes:
1. Throw Your Love Away (1965 recording first issued on the 1996 "Unearthed" CD compilation by The Undertakers featuring Jackie Lomax on Big Beat CDWIKD 163)

2. You Better Get Going Now (by The Lomax Alliance)

3. Genuine Imitation Life (1968 UK solo 7” single on CBS Records 2554, A)

4. Sour Milk Sea (George Harrison song)
5. The Eagle Laughs At You (Tracks 4 and 5 recorded live at the BBC "Top Of The Pops" in November 1968 with Tim Renwick on Guitar and Chris Hatfield on Piano)

6. So War Das Netz Gewoben (German Version of "How The Web Was Woven". Same backing track as the UK hit - just with German lyrics overdubbed).

7. Too Complicated (by Heavy Jelly and from their self-titled debut album on Island Records which was Promo Only – never released)

8. Sour Milk Sea (Live)
9. More (Livin' For Lovin') (Live)
10. Peace Of Mind (Live)
11. (Put Some) Rhythm In Your Blues (Live)
12. Blue World (Live)
13. Our Love (Live)
14. Hold On To Your Loved One (Live)
15. It Isn't Only Love (Live)
16. On The Road To Be Free (Live)
17. Hellfire, Night Crier (Live)
18. She Took Me Higher (Live)
Tracks 8 to 18 recorded live at "The Savoy" in San Francisco, California, 12 December 1976

The 12-page booklet has short but informative liner notes by compilation producer ALISTAIR HEPBURN and although it doesn’t state who did the Remasters – all material is licensed from the Estate of Jackie Lomax. The Audio is a very mixed bunch indeed – ranging from superb modern day recordings (the reformed Undertakers) to hissy home cassettes and ok live stuff. This is aimed at fans a whole CD of Previously Unreleased is what they want – those looking for hits should perhaps opt for the Apple CD of “Is This What You want?” or the two Rhino 2005 CD reissues of his Warner Brothers LPs “Home Is In My Head” from 1971 and “Three” from 1972.

It opens with a winner – a four-song session from 1975 with Paul Barrere of Little Feat guesting on Guitars. The audio quality on Tracks 9 to 12 is very bad – clearly dubbed from discs or knackered tapes. It’s a hissy shame because “You’re So Beautiful” is very AWB territory with a sexy Soulful groove and great playing. More funky Rock comes with the 1990 recordings of “Give Your Heart To Somebody” – but again “Hold On Tight”, “Against All Odds” and “The Edge Of The World” are covered in noticeable hiss. Far better is a great Boogie version of Elmore James’ classic “I Can’t Hold Out” by Jackie as part of The Undertakers in properly great audio. His own “One Night In Chicago” isn’t great but a wicked and kicking “Dead And Gone” is fantastic 60ts Freakbeat. The live set on Disc 2 gives the fans what they want by opening with his Apple hit “Sour Milk Sea” and then going into his latest Capitol Records material – the audio on the whole set is only ok.

A mixed bag for sure (especially on the audio front) – but one that fans will love and need to own...


I'll Remember
I'll Remember
Price: £34.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Blister On The Moon..." - I'll Remember by TASTE (2015 Universal/Polydor 4CD Book Set Remasters), 30 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: I'll Remember (Audio CD)
When "On The Boards" by Rory Gallagher's TASTE was released on the first day of the new decade (1 January 1970) – yours truly was a goofy 11-year old Dublin kid recently progressed from short pants into long trousers with a rapidly growing obsession for Girls, Thunderbirds 2 and Rock Music (yum yum). As you can imagine - guitar-heroes who were 'Irish' could be typed on a very small piece of paper indeed. But man oh man when we stumped up our candidate for selection – Ireland produced a proper goodun.

So what of this much-anticipated reissue? As much as I worship the ground Rory Gallagher and his battered Stratocaster walked on – this 2015 Universal 4CD Reissue is both good and awful in very equal measures. The good news is that the PASCHAL BYRNE remasters of the two studio albums are off-the-wall brilliant. Byrne has a long and distinguished history as an Audio Engineer having handled the "Spirit Of Joy" Polydor 3CD Box Set and hundreds of other quality reissues for Universal and Esoteric Recordings over the last decade. But I'm sensing awards are in order because the boy has excelled himself here. The audio on the two albums is fabulous – the best I've ever heard - and I've known and loved these LPs for over 45 years. The Previously Unreleased outtakes from those studio efforts are also genuinely worth having too – stuff that will make blind men see, preachers lay their Bibles down and even persuade politicians to go straight (well lets not ask for too much shall we).

But (all puns aside) Discs 3 and 4 are a different matter. The professionally recorded Swedish gig is electrifying (it really is) but the 'Off Air' "BBC Live In Concert" stuff that finishes off Disc 3 is virtually unlistenable – poor bootleg standard at best. And the fact that an exclusive song like "Feel So Good" on the officially released "Live Taste" and "Live At The Isle Of Wight" LPs from 1971 and 1972 has been replaced with this lesser stuff will only rub salt into the wounds for fans. Disc 4 is not much better - the 'Belfast Sessions' are Demos notoriously inflicted with tape dropouts on almost all tracks that 'has not' been fixed - so they're curio value at best rather than a pleasurable listen. In fairness to the makers of the box – this stuff is included of course for completeness and some of the earlier tracks are actually worth listening to. But if they're audibly damaged – then why include them at all. The Major Minor single is crap and the Woburn stuff good rather than great (a very so-so recording). In truth - had this been a 3CD set containing the Swedish gig and the stragglers not duplicated from the official live albums slapped on at the end of Disc 3 – then it would have been perfect. As it is – I know I'll only be playing those first two discs and the live Swedish gig off the 3rd – and ditching the inferior rest. Here are the full details...

UK released Friday 28 August 2015 – "I'll Remember" by TASTE on Universal/Polydor 472 269-7 (Barcode 602547226976) is a 4CD Book Set Of Remasters and pans out as follows:

Disc 1 – "Taste" – 63:25 minutes:
1. Blister On The Moon
2. Leavin' Blues
3. Sugar Mama
4. Hail
5. Born On The Wrong Side Of Time
6. Dual Carriageway Pain [Side 2]
7. Same Old Story
8. Catfish
9. I'm Moving On
Tracks 1 to 9 are their debut studio LP "Taste" – released April 1969 in the UK on Polydor 583 042 and August 1969 in the USA on Atco SD 33-296

BONUS TRACKS (all Previously Unreleased):
10. Blister On The Moon (Alternate Version)
11. Leavin' Blues (Alternate Version)
12. Hail (Alternate Version)
13. Dual Carriageway Pain (Alternate Version)
14. Same Old Story (Alternate Version with No Vocals)
15. Catfish (Alternate Version)

Disc 2 – "On The Boards" – 71:10 minutes:
1. What's Going On
2. Railway And Gun
3. It's Happened Before, It'll Happen Again
4. If The Day Was Any Longer
5. Morning Sun
6. Eat My Words [Side 2]
7. On The Boards
8. If I Don't Sing I'll Cry
9. See Here
10. I'll Remember
Tracks 1 to 10 are their 2nd and last studio album "On The Boards" – released January 1970 in the UK on Polydor 583 083 and in the USA on Atco SD 33-322. It charted in the UK rising to No. 18.

BONUS TRACKS (All Previously Unreleased):
11. Railway And Gun (Take 2 – Off The Boards Mix)
12. See Here (Take 1 – Alternate Version)
13. It's Happened Before, It'll Happen Again (Take 2 – Beat Club TV Audio)
14. If The Day Was Any Longer (Beat Club TV Audio)
15. Morning Sun (Beat Club TV Audio)
16. It's Happened Before, It'll Happen Again (Beat Club TV Audio)

Disc 3 – "Live In Konserthuset" - 77:45 minutes (all Previously Unreleased):
1. What's Going On
2. Sugar Mama
3. Gamblin' Blues
4. Sinner Boy
5. At The Bottom
6. She's Nineteen Years Old
7. Morning Sun
8. Catfish
Tracks 1 to 8 recorded Live in Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden, 1970

"BBC Live In Concert"
9. I'll Remember
10. Railway And Gun
11. Sugar Mama
12. Eat My Words
13. Catfish
Tracks 9 to 13 are an "Off Air" Recording of TASTE Live at The Paris Theatre in London, 1970.

Disc 4 - "The Belfast (Early) Sessions" - 56:12 minutes (Previously Unreleased on CD):
1. Wee Wee Baby
2. How Many More Years
3. Take It Easy Baby
4. Pardon Me Mister
5. You've Got To Pay
6. Norman Invasion
7. Worried Man
8. Blister On The Moon - April 1968 UK debut 7" single on Major Minor Records MM 560, A
9. Born On The Wrong Side Of Time - B-side of 8, both are different mixes to the versions on the debut LP (which were re-recorded)

"Live At Woburn Abbey" (Woburn Abbey Festival, UK, 1968)
10. Summertime
11. Blister On The Moon
12. I Got My Brand On You
13. Medley: Rock Me Baby/Bye Bye Bird/Baby Please Don’t Go/You Shook Me Baby

TASTE (or The Taste as they were originally called) was Rory Gallagher on Lead Guitar and Vocals, Richard McCracken on Bass and John Wilson on Drums.

"I'll Remember" comes in one those 8" CD Book Packs with an attached 40-page booklet. Produced by Donal and Daniel Gallagher (his family) alongside Joe Black – the superbly detailed sleeve notes are by NIGEL WILLIAMSON and go into Rory’s early days in Belfast at The Maritime Club (Taste took over residency from Van Morrison's Them) on to their first reference on a London billboard (August 1967 as a support act to Robert Hirst at The Marquee) and even meeting John Peel in a transport café (he remained a huge fan of Gallagher for years). Pages 28 to 29 are festooned with photographs I’ve never seen before of the young band in Cork, on their way to a date Scotland, tours with Traffic, sharing the Bill with Roger Chapman’s Family at the Camden Roundhouse and so on. There’s even a very old newspaper clipping of a happy Rory amidst a bunch of Cork hopefuls on a 'Spot The Talent' show smiling beneath a Mrs. Mary Carey-O'Mahony who had to be 75 if not a day! It's properly great stuff and affectionate too...the only error I can see is that a Danish titled picture sleeve of "Born On The Wrong Side Of Time" is credited as a UK release when it never had a picture sleeve in this country.

SINGLES:
Eagle-eyed fans will know that the first Taste 45 was "Blister On The Moon" b/w "Born On The Wrong Side Of Time" on Major Minor Records MM 560 in April 1968 (long before they had an album) – and both cuts were different mixes to the re-recorded versions that turned up on the debut LP in 1969. Although it doesn’t state it directly on the packaging (it is mentioned in the excellent booklet) - they are here on Disc 4, Tracks 8 and 9 as part of ‘The Belfast Sessions’. That whole recording was issued in the UK as a Rory Gallagher LP called "In The Beginning" on Emerald Records GES 1100 in 1974 (it was later subject to successful prosecution). The only officially released British Polydor single came when the label put out the newly recorded LP cut of "Born On The Wrong Side Of Time" b/w "Same Old Story" as a first 7" single on Polydor 56313 in March 1969. But in that strange way that Polydor didn't support the first Stone The Crows LP with a 45 when they should have done – Polydor didn't bother to plug the 2nd Taste LP "On The Boards" with a single either although "What's Going On" was an obvious choice. In fact that track flipped with "Railway And Gun" and "If I Don't Sing, I'll Cry" b/w "I'll Remember" were both released as 7" singles in many European countries (a set of those picture sleeves adorns the last page of the attached booklet).

STUDIO LPS:
Produced by Tony Colton - the debut LP opens with a belter - "Blister On The Moon" - and immediately I'm hit with the quality remaster – the bass and drums so clear. We now get the first of the album's four cover versions – Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter's "Leavin' Blues" which sounds incredible – that strangely sparse slide sound he’s getting. The other three covers are a grungy (and hissy) "Sugar Mama" by Howlin' Wolf, his amazing cut of Robert Petway's 1941 Bluebird Records stalwart "Catfish" and a Countrified shuffle through Hank Snow's "I'm Moving On” (the rest are Gallagher compositions). His acoustic-only "Hail" sounds incredible while it's easy to hear why the re-recording of "Born On The Wrong Side Of Time" was an obvious single. “Dual Carriageway Pain” was badly recorded in my opinion and still sounds strangely tame - as if the song just needed to let rip somehow to infuse it with some genuine excitement. The same unfortunately applies to "Same Old Story" – a good tune hampered by a weedy recording. But then we get a true monster and surely why Hendrix was so impressed by Gallagher - his cover of "Catfish". Hendrix recorded "Catfish" himself in a similar 8-minute Bluesy vein (It was finally released as "Catfish Blues" on the superb "Blues" CD from 1994). It's as if Gallagher knew that something needed to be done – so he cranks the amps up to 90 and does an 8-minute Blues Rock thrashing of "Catfish". With heavy riffs like he's auditioning for Led Zeppelin - you can hear the amps rumbling in the background – his playing inspired because the structure of the song allows him to let go. It's a standout on an otherwise strangely tame debut LP...

The 2nd album "On The Boards" is an entirely different beast to the first – so much more sophisticated and filled with far better songs (all Rory originals). Again produced by Tony Colton but Engineered by Eddie Offord (late of Yes fame) – the audio is brilliant and the remaster absolutely brings that to life. "What's Going On" has always made me throw undignified shapes around my living room with a tennis racket (still does) – but little prepared me for the stunning audio on Bluesy "Railway And Gun" and the jazzy "It's Happened Before, It'll Happen Again" (Rory gives the Alto Saxophone a rare outing on this one). The Fleetwood Mac "Then Play On" boogie of "Morning Sun" is wicked too. The Johnny Winter style cool slide of "Eat My Words" sounds awesome, as does Rory's clever Harmonica inclusion on "If The Day Was Any Longer" (again with gorgeous Audio).

LIVE STUFF:
A six-minute "What's Going On" allows Rory to stretch out and get the crowd going but it’s the fabulous Blues Rock riffage of "Sugar Mama" that gets them clapping and screaming. He does a wicked electric slide version of Melvin Jackson's "Gamblin' Blues" where he sounds like Mike Bloomfield enjoying himself even though "...my woman eat me out of house and home..." We then get a track that would eventually turn up in studio form on his 1971 debut solo LP – "Sinner Boy". He slows it down with a 'new one' called "At The Bottom" which features his Harmonica playing (he would eventually record it for 1975's "Against The Grain"). Next up is a very cool version of Muddy Waters' "She's Nineteen Years Old" which has the crowd clapping to its salacious Blues beat – a great inclusion. It's followed by a forgotten nugget from "On The Boards" – a huge rocking version of "Morning Sun" fully brought to life in the live environment where Taste suddenly sound like a four-piece band and not just a trio. And it ends on the crowd-pleaser Blues-Rock of "Catfish" sounding every bit as powerful as the debut LP version – hair-raising note bending and all that. This is Heavy Hard Rock and I love it...

After the high of the Swedish recording – the BBC tracks come as a truly dreadful disappointment – they’re no better than a bad bootleg recording and even though "Eat My Words" is electrifying in all its slide-guitar glory – the audio makes it virtually unlistenable. Disc 4 offers some solace in 1967 demos of Big Joe Turner's "Wee Wee Baby", Howlin' Wolf's "How Many More Years" and a wicked Bluesy version of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Take It Easy Baby" which stretches to 7:13 minutes. The bad news is that those three-or-four-second tape drop-outs on "How Many More Years", "Pardon Me Mister", "You've Got To Pay", "Norman Invasion" (a three-minute instrumental) and "Worried Man" are still there making the listen a curio rather than a genuine pleasure. The Major Minor single versions of "Blister On The Moon" and "Born On The Wrong Side Of Time" in Mono sound strictly amateur-hour compared to their 1969 Polydor re-recordings and the Woburn Abbey gig is good rather than great. All in all – there's too much of Disc 3 and 4 that's dismissible. So there you have it – a very mixed bag - but I have to say that I’m lapping up the remasters of the studio albums and their alternate versions.

Once asked what’s it like to be seen as the greatest guitar player in the world – Jimi Hendrix reputedly replied, "I don't know. You should ask Rory Gallagher..." And at least parts of this "I'll Remember" 4CD release hammer home why the mighty Jimi was such an admirer...


The Complete Stax / Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 3: 1972-1975
The Complete Stax / Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 3: 1972-1975
Price: £35.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...I'll Take You There..." – The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles Volume 3: 1972-1975 (1994 and 2015 10CD Box Set), 29 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"STAX Soul Singles Complete Volume 3" (3 of 3) spanning the final years of the famous Soul Label's output between 1972 and 1975 first appeared in 1994 in a garish orange-coloured 12" x 12" Box set to very mixed reviews. With 10-discs and a whopping 213-tracks – it was extensive for sure - but incredibly pricey. And worse - felt musically stodgy in terms of quality once you got past Discs 1 to 6.

The infinitely superior blue-coloured Volume 2 Box covering 1968 to 1971 had preceded it in 1993 - while the black-coloured Volume 1 Box (handled by Atlantic Records) had done the 9-disc 12" x 12" deed for the formative years of 1959 to 1968 in 1991. Subsequently 'Concord Music Group, Inc.' acquired the Stax catalogue in 2011 and began trickling out "Stax Remasters" single CDs of label favourites like The Staples Singers, Johnnie Taylor and Booker T. & The M.G.'s. Now in 2014 and 2015 - Concord are reissuing the two huge "Complete Stax Singles" boxes they do have control over in stripped down 'Mini Book Box' packaging at greatly reduced prices - Volume 2 in December 2014 and this - Volume 3 in February 2015 (I’ve reviewed both and the 9 "Stax Remasters" single discs).

Originally produced by BILL BELMONT and ROB BOWMAN - Volume 3 gives you 213 singles – 116 on Stax, 38 on Volt, 24 on Enterprise, 25 on Truth and 10 on We Produce. The lid of the 2015 Mini Box reissue slides upwards and off to reveal 10 numbered single card sleeves inside and a chunky 154-page booklet at the rear. Complete with full track annotation - the essay by ROB BOWMAN (author of "Soulsville U.S.A. – The Story Of Stax Records") is a blast to read - funny and honest. There are black and white publicity photos - colour reproductions of trade adverts for "Wattstax", The Staples Singers album "Be What You Are" and other LPs by Isaac Hayes and Albert King etc. An oddity though is that my card sleeve for Disc '6' is a duplicate with Disc 9 (the CD inside is correct) – I don't know if anyone else got this anomaly? The Audio Remaster done in 1994 by PHIL DE LANCE (with Archive Research and Tape Transfers by Lisa Gifford and Richard Duarte) has not been altered for the 2015 reissue probably because there's no need – this stuff sounds amazing anyway – full of life and presence. And second time around this 2015 10CD reissue is weighing in at a crowd-pleasing thirty-five quid - a bit of a deal in any man's language. Here are the indepth details...

UK released 2 March 2015 – "The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles Volume 3: 1972-1975" by VARIOUS ARTISTS is a 213-track 10CD Mini Box Set Reissue on Concord Music Group, Inc/Universal/Stax STX-35991-02 (Barcode 888072359918) and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1, 24 Tracks (79:03 minutes):
1. Yum Yum (I Want Some) – EDDIE FLOYD (January 1972, Stax STA-0109, A)
2. Carry On – JEAN KNIGHT (January 1972, Stax STA-0116, A)
3. Do Your Thing – ISAAC HAYES (January 1972, Enterprise ENA-9042, A)
4. I've Been Lonely For So Long (February 1972, Stax STA-0117, A)
5. Nothing Is Everlasting – ANNETTE THOMAS (February 1972, Stax STA-0118, A)
6. Hearsay – THE SOUL CHILDREN (February 1972, Stax STA-0119, A)
7. Angel Of Mercy – ALBERT KING (February 1972, Stax STA-0121, A)
8. In The Rain – THE DRAMATICS (February 1972, Volt VOA-4075, A)
9. She's My Old Lady Too – LEE SAIN (February 1972, We Produce XPA-1806, A)
10. Explain It To Her Mama – THE TEMPRESS (February 1972, We Produce XPA-1807, A)
11. Right On – SONS OF SLUM (February 1972, Stax STA-0120, A)
12. Doing My Own Thing (Part 1) – JOHNNY TAYLOR (The Soul Philosopher) (February 1972, Stax STA-0122, A)
13. My Honey And Me – THE EMOTIONS (February 1972, Volt VOA-4077, A)
14. Let's Stay Together [Instrumental] – ISAAC HAYES (March 1972, Enterprise ENA-9045, A)
15. Bring It Home (And Give It To Me) – HOT SAUCE (March 1972, Volt VOA-4076, B-side to “Echoes To The Past”
16. Look Around You – BLACK SOCIETY (March 1972, Stax STA-0115, A)
17. Don’t Do It/I’m With You – THE NIGHTINGALES (March 1972, Stax STA-0107, A)
18. I'll Take You There – THE STAPLE SINGERS (March 1972, Stax STA-0125, A)
19. Which Way – THE LEADERS (March 1972, Volt VOA-4078, A)
20. Living A Life Without Love – VERA BROWN (March 1972, Stax STA-0123, A)
21. What's Good For You (Don't Have To Be Good To You) – HARVEY SCALES (March 1972, Stax STA-0126, A)
22. Let Me Repair Your Heart – THE MAD LADS (March 1972, Volt VOA-4080, A)
23. What's Usual Seems Natur'l – ERIC MERCURY (April 1972, Enterprise ENA-9047, A)
24. I Want To Make Up (Before We Break Up) – MAJOR LANCE (April 1972, Volt VOA-4079, A)

Disc 2, 20 Tracks (71:18 minutes):
1. Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) – ISAAC HAYES & DAVID PORTER (April 1972, Enterprise ENA-9049, A)
2. Walking The Back Streets And Crying – LITTLE MILTON (April 1972, Stax STA-0124, B-side of “Before The Honeymoon”))
3. Save Us – WILLIAM BELL (April 1972, Stax STA-0128, A)
4. 6-3-8 – RUFUS THOMAS (April 1972, Stax STA-0129, A)
5. Starting All Over Again – MEL & TIM (May 1972, Stax STA-0127, A)
6. Keep On Loving Me – STEFAN (May 1972, Stax STA-0130, A)
7. I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over – DAVID PORTER (May 1972, Enterprise ENA-9050, A)
8. Going Down Slow – LITTLE SONNY (May 1972, Enterprise ENA-9053, A)
9. I Could Never Be happy – THE EMOTIONS (May 1972, Volt VOA-4083, A)
10. Don't Take My Kindness For Weakness – THE SOUL CHILDREN (June 1972, Stax STA-0132, A)
11. I'll Play The Blues For You, Part 1 – ALBERT KING (June 1972, Stax STA-0135, A)
12. I Dedicate My Life To You – ROGER HATCHER (June 1972, Volt VOA-4084, A)
13. Do The Sweetback – MARCH WIND (June 1972, Stax STA-0131, A)
14. Gettin' Funky 'Round Here – BLACK NASTY (June 1972, Enterprise ENA-9054, A)
15. When The Chips Are Down – DAVID PORTER (June 1972, Enterprise ENA-9055, A)
16. Sugar – CARLA THOMAS (July 1972, Stax STA-0133, A)
17. You’re Good Enough (To Be My Baby) – EDDIE FLOYD (July 1972, Stax STA-0134, A)
18. This World – THE STAPLE SINGERS (July 1972, Stax STA-0137, A)
19. Helping Man – JEAN KNIGHT (July 1972, Stax STA-0136, A)
20. Ain't I Good – JOHN KaSANDRA (July 1972, Truth TAA-2502, A)

Disc 3, 23 Tracks (76:41 minutes):
1. Dance, Dance, Dance (Part 1) – THE BAR-KAYS (July 1972, Volt VOA-4081, A)
2. Dedicated To The One I Love – THE TEMPREES (July 1972, We Produce XPA-1808, A)
3. Toast To The Fool – THE DRAMATICS (July 1972, Volt VOA-4082, A)
4. Stop Doggin' Me – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (August 1972, Stax STA-0142, A)
5. Trouble – FREDERICK KNIGHT (August 1972, Stax STA-0139, A)
6. I'm Gonna Cry A River – LITTLE MILTON (August 1972, Stax STA-0141, A)
7. Itch And Scratch (Part 1) – RUFUS THOMAS (August 1972, Stax STA-0140, A)
8. What Would I Do – ERNIE HINES (August 1972, We Produce XPA-1809, A)
9. I Know It's Not Right (To Be In Love With A Married Man) – VEDA BROWN (September 1972, Stax STA-0143, A)
10. Holy Cow – STEFAN (September 1972, Stax STA-0145, A)
11. What Goes Around (Must Come Around) – SONS OF SLUM (September 1972, Stax STA-0138, A)
12. Theme From The Men (Instrumental) – ISAAC HAYES (Enterprise ENA-9058, A)
13. Endlessly – MAVIS STAPLES (September 1972, Volt VOA-4086, A)
14. You Hurt Me For The Last Time – INEZ FOXX (September 1972, Volt VOA-4087, A)
15. My Sweet Lord – JOHN GARY WILLIAMS (September 1972, Stax STA-0146, A)
16. Breaking Up Somebody's Home – ALBERT KING (November 1972, Stax STA-0147, A)
17. How Can You Mistreat The One You Love – KATIE LOVE (November 1972, Stax STA-0151, A)
18. From Toys To Boys – THE EMOTIONS (Volt VOA-4088, A)
19. The Dryer (Vocal – Part 1) – ROY LEE JOHNSON & THE VILLAGERS (December 1972, Stax STA-0144, A)
20. I May Not Be All You Want (But I'm All You Got) – CARLA THOMAS (December 1972, Stax STA-0149, A)
21. Ain't No Sweat – MAJOR LANCE (December 1972, Volt VOA-4085, A)
22. Do Me – JEAN KNIGHT (December 1972, Stax STA-0150, A)
23. Rainy Day – LITTLE MILTON (December 1972, Stax STA-0148, A)

Disc 4, 21 Tracks (72:35 minutes):
1. It Ain't Always What You Do (It's Who You Let See Do It) – THE SOUL CHILDREN (January 1973, Stax STA-0152, A)
2. I May Not Be What You Want – MEL & TIM (January 1973, Stax STA-0154, A)
3. Funky Robot (Part 1) – RUFUS THOMAS (February 1973, Stax STA-0153, A)
4. Don't You Fool With My Soul (Part 1) – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (February 1973, Stax STA-0155, A)
5. Oh La De Da – THE STAPLE SINGERS (February 1973, Stax STA-0156, A)
6. What Do You See in Her? HOT SAUCE) February 1973, Volt VOA-4089, A)
7. A Thousand Miles Away – THE TEMPRESS (February 1973, We Produce XPA-1810, A)
8. Hey You! Get Off My Mountain – THE DRAMATICS (February 1973, Volt VOA-4090, B-side to “The Devil is Dope”)
9. Rolling Down A Mountainside – ISAAC HAYES (Enterprise ENA-9065, A)
10. You're Still My Brother – THE BAR-KAYS (March 1973, Volt VOA-4092, A)
11. Stop Half Loving These Women – JIMMY LEWIS (March 1973, Volt VOA-4091, A)
12. Lovin' On Borrowed Time – WILLIAM BELL (March 1973, Stax STA-0157, A)
13. Lay Your Loving On Me – EDDIE FLOYD (March 1973, Stax STA-0158, A)
14. The Time – INEZ FOXX (March 1973, Volt VOA-4093, A)
15. Heaven Knows – MEL & TIM (May 1973, Stax STA-0160, A)
16. I Believe In You (You Believe In Me) – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (May 1973, Stax STA-0161, A)
17. Short Stopping – VEDA BROWN (May 1973, Stax STA-0163, A)
18. Be What You Are – THE STAPLE SINGERS (May 1973, Stax STA-0164, A)
19. I’ve Got To Love Somebody’s Baby – STEFAN (May 1973, Stax STA-0165, A)
20. Playing On Me – ALBERT KING (May 1973, Stax STA-0166, A)
21. Long As You’re The One Somebody In The World – DAVID PORTER (May 1973, Enterprise ENA-9071, A)

Disc 5, 22 Tracks (72:31 minutes):
1. This Is My Song Of Love To You – FREDERICK KNIGHT (June 1973, Stax STA-0167, A)
2. Sugarcane – THE MGs (June 1973, Stax STA-0169, A)
3. Love Is A Hurtin' Thing – THE SOUL CHILDREN (June 1973, Stax STA-0170, A)
4. Baby, Lay Your Head Down (Gently On My Bed) – EDDIE FLOYD (July 1973, Stax STA-0171, A)
5. Check Me Out – EDDIE FLOYD (July 1973, Stax STA-171, B-side of “Check Me Out”)
6. Runnin' Back – THE EMOTIONS (July 1973, Volt VOA-VOA-4095, B-side of “I Wanna Come Back”)
7. Crossing Over The Bridge – INEX FOXX (July 1973, Volt VOA-4096, A)
8. Love's Maze – THE TEMPREES (July 1973, We Produce XPA-1811, A)
9. It Ain't Easy – THE BAR-KAYS (July 1973, Volt VOA-4097, A)
10. Love Among People – CARLA THOMAS (August 1973, Stax STA-0173, A)
11. What It Is – LITTLE MILTON (August 1973, Stax STA-0174, A)
12. I’ve Got To Go On Without You – WILLIAM BELL (August 1973, Stax STA-0175, A)
13. Love Is Taking Over – ERIC MERCURY (August 1973, Enterprise ENA-9080, A)
14. Ruby Dean – HOE HICKS (August 1973, Enterprise ENA-9081, A)
15. I'm So Glad I Fell In Love With You – THE MAD LADS (August 1973, Volt VOA-4098, A)
16. Fell For You – THE DRAMATICS (August 1973, Volt VOA-4099, A)
17. Cheaper To Keep Her – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (September 1973, Stax STA-0176, A)
18. I Know You Don't Want Me No More – RUFUS THOMAS (September 1973, Stax STA-0177, A)
19. If You're Ready (Come Go With Me) – THE STAPLE SINGERS (September 1973, Stax STA-0179, A)
20. Slipped And Tripped – THE SWEET SENSATIONS (October 1973, Stax STA-0178, A)
21. Peace Be Still – THE EMOTIONS (October 1973, Volt VOA-4100, A)
22. I'll Be The Other Woman – THE SOUL CHILDREN (November 1973, Stax STA-0182, A)

Disc 6, 20 Tracks (73:40 minutes):
1. The Martian Hop – THE NEWCOMERS (November 1973, Stax STA-0186, A)
2. I Had A Talk With My Man (November 1973, Volt VOA-4101, A)
3. At Last – THE TEMPREES (November 1973, Enterprise ENA-9085, A)
4. Joy (Part 1) – ISAAC HAYES (November 193, Enterprise ENA-9085, A)
5. Good Woman Turning Bad – HOT SAUCE (November 1973, Volt VOA-4103, A)
6. Mose (Part 3) – JOHN KASANDRA (November 1973, We Truth TAA-2504, A)
7. I’ll Be Your Santa Baby – RUFUS THOMAS (December 1973, Stax STA-0187, A)
8. I Wanna Do Things For You – EDDIE FLOYD (December 1973, Stax STA-0188, A)
9. That's What The Blues Is All About – ALBERT KING (December 1973, Stax STA-0189, A)
10. One Way Love Affair – CAROLYN HURLEY (December 1973, Stax STA-0191, A)
11. Tin Pan Alley – LITTLE MILTON (December 1973, Stax STA-0191, A)
12. The Funky Bird – RUFUS THOMAS (December 1973, Stax STA-0192, A)
13. We're Getting Careless With Our Love – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (December 1973, Stax STA-0193, A)
14. What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas – THE EMOTIONS (December 1973, Volt VOA-4104, A)
15. Season's Greetings – CIX BITS (December 1973, Enterprise ENA-9087, A)
16. Don't Lose Faith In Me Lord –ERIC MERCURY (December 1973, Enterprise ENA-9089, A)
17. Don't Start Loving Me (If You're Gonna Stop) – VEDA BROWN (January 1974, Stax STA-0194, B-side to “Fever”)
18. Touch A Hand, Make A Friend – THE STAPLE SINGERS (January 1974, Stax STA-0196, A)
19. And I Panicked – THE DRAMATICS (January 1974, Volt VOA-4105, A)
20. Change It All – JOY FLEMING (January 1974, Enterprise ENA-9088, A)

Disc 7, 21 Tracks (68:58 minutes):
1. Gettin' What You Want (Losin' What You Got) – WILLIAM BELL (February 1974, Stax STA-0198, A)
2. He's Mine – JACQUI VERDELL (February 1974, Truth TAA-2505, A)
3. My Woman Is Good To Me – LITTLE SONNY (February 1974, Enterprise ENA-9092, A)
4. I Got You And I'm Glad – DAVID PORTER (February 1974, Enterprise ENA-9090, A)
5. Put A Little Love Away – THE EMOTIONS (February 1974, Volt VOA-4106, A)
6. Suzy – FREDERICK KNIGHT (February 1974, Stax STA-0201, A)
7. The Same Folks – MEL & TIM (March 1974, Stax STA-0202, A)
8. You Make The Sunshine – THE TEMPREES (March 1974, We Produce XPA-1813, A)
9. The Whole Damn World Is Going Crazy – JOHN GARY WILLIAMS (March 1974, Stax STA-0205, A)
10. Circuit's Overloaded – INEZ FOXX (March 1974, Volt VOA-4107, A)
11. Wonderful – ISAAC HAYES (March 1974, Enterprise ENA-9095, A)
12. Behind Closed Doors – LITTLE MILTON (April 1974, Stax STA-0210, A)
13. Guess Who – EDDIE FLOYD (April 1974, Stax STA-0209, A)
14. Dirty Tricks – THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS (April 1974, Stax STA-0203, A)
15. Whicha Way Did It Go – ROEBUK “POPS” STAPLES (April 1974, Stax STA-0213, A)
16. Talking To The People – BLACK NASTY (April 1974, Enterprise ENA-9098, A)
17. I've Been Born Again – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (April 1974, Stax STA-0208, A)
18. Neckbone – THE MGs (May 1974, Stax STA-0200, A)
19. Wounded Woman – SANDRA WRIGHT (May 1974, Stax STA-0212, A)
20. Stop Doggin' Me – HOT SAUCE (may 1974, Volt VOA-4109, A)
21. Goodness Gracious – KIM WESTON

Disc 8, 21 Tracks (73:13 minutes):
1. City In The Sky – THE STAPLE SINGERS (June 1974, Stax STA-0215, A)
2. Title Theme – ISAAC HAYES (June 1974, Enterprise ENA-9104, A)
3. Soul Street – EDDIE FLOYD (June 1974, Stax STA-216, A)
4. Flat Tire – ALBERT KING (June 1974, Stax STA-0217, A)
5. Love Makes It Right – THE SOUL CHILDREN (June 1974, Stax STA-0218, A)
6. Mr. Cool That Ain't Cool – THE TEMPREES (July 1974, We Produce XPN-1814, A)
7. Ain't Nuttin' (But Gettin' Down (Part 1) – RUFUS THOMAS (July 1974, Stax STN-0219, A)
8. Highway To Heaven – ROB BANKS & THE DRAMATICS (July 1974, Volt VOA-4108, A)
9. Get It While It's Hot – WILLIAM BELL (July 1974, Stax STN-0221, A)
10. Passing Thru – FREDERICK KNIGHT (July 1974, Truth TRA-3202, A)
11. Keep An Eye On Your Close Friends – THE NEWCOMBERS (July 1974, Truth TRN-3204, A)
12. My Main Man/There Is A God – THE STAPLE SINGERS (August 1974, Stax STN Special, A.)
See also Disc 9, Track 7 for the B-side to “My Main Man" only which was issued September 1974 on Stax STN-0227)
13. That's The Way I Want To Live My Life – MEL & TIM (August 1974, Stax STN-0224, A)
14. Forever And A Day – MEL & TIM (August 1974, Stax STN-0224, B-side to “That’s The way I Want To Live My Life”)
15. Baby, I'm Through – THE EMOTIONS (August 1974, Volt VON-4110, A)
16. It's September – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (August 1974, Stax STN-0226, A)
17. Woman To Woman – SHIRLEY BROWN (August 1974, Truth TRA-3206, A)
18. Did You Hear Yourself (Part 1) – RANDY BROWN & COMPANY (August 1974, Truth TRA-3207, A)
19. You Need A Friend Like Mine – ANNETTE THOMAS (September 1974, Truth TRA-3208, A)
20. I Love, I Love – THE TEMPREES (September 1974, We Produce XPN-1815, A)
21. Let Me Back In – LITTLE MILTON (September 1974, Stax STN-0229, A)

Disc 9, 22 Tracks (73:05 minutes):
1. Crosscut Saw – ALBERT KING (October 1974, Stax STN-0228, A)
2. Coldblooded – THE BAR-KEYS (October 1974, Volt VOA-4111, A)
3. Bump Meat – SIR MACK RICE (October 1974, Truth TRA-3212, A)
4. (Too Little In Common To Be Lovers) Too Much Going To Say Goodbye – THE NEWCOMERS (October 1974, Truth TRA-3213, A)
5. Bump And Boogie (Part 1) – THE WRECKING CREW (October 1974, Truth TRA-3214, A)
6. What's Happening Baby? – THE SOUL CHILDREN (November 1974, Stax STN-0230, A)
7. Who Made The Man – THE STAPLE SINGERS (November 1974, Stax STN-0227, B-side to “My Main Man” (only))
8. I Keep Thinking To Myself – BROOK BENTON (November 1974, Stax STN-0231, A)
9. I Got A Reason To Smile (Cause I Got You) – EDDIE FLOYD (November 1974, Stax STN-0232, A)
10. Try To Leave Me If You Can (I Bet You Can’t Do It) – BESSIE BANKS (November 1974, Volt VON-4112, A)
11. Burning On Both Ends – WILLIE SINGLETON (November 1974, Truth TRA-3215, A)
12. There Are More Questions Than Answers – THE EMOTIONS (December 1974, Volt VON-4113, A)
13. Santa Clause Wants Some Lovin' – ALBERT KING (October 1974, Stax STN-0234, A)
14. I Can't Let You Go – HOT SAUCE (January 1975, Volt VON-4114, A)
15. I Betcha Didn't Know That – FREDERICK KNIGHT (January 1975, Truth TRA-3216, A)
16. Lovin' You, Lovin Me – SANDRA WRIGHT (February 1975, Truth TRA-3220, A)
17. Do The Double Bump – RUFUS THOMAS (February 1975, Stax STN-0236, A)
18. Come And Get Your Love – THE TEMPREES (March 1975, We Produce XPN-1816, A)
19. Dark Skin Woman (Part 1) – SIR MACK RICE (April 1975, Truth TRA-3221, A)
20. It Ain't No Fun – SHIRLEY BROWN (April 1975, Truth TRA-3223, A)
21. If You Talk In Your Sleep – LITTLE MILTON (April 1975, Stax STN-0238, A)
22. Talk To The Man – EDDIE FLOYD (April 1975, Stax STN-0239, A)

Disc 10, 19 Tracks (63:42 minutes):
1. You're Astounding – BARBARA & JOE (April 1975, Truth TAA-2507, A)
2. Dy-No-Mite (Did You Say My Love) – THE GREEN BROTHERS (April 1975, Truth TRA-3219, A)
3. Boom-A-Rang – THE DYNAMIC SOUL MACHINE (May 1975, Truth TAA-2508, A)
4. Come What May – JOHN GARY WILLIAMS (May 1975, Truth TRA-3227, A)
5. Try Me Tonight – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (June 1975, Stax STN-0241, A)
6. Groovin' On My Baby’s Love – FREDDIE WATERS (June 1975, Stax STN-0246, A)
7. I Can't Shake Your Love (Can't Shake You Loose) – THE FIESTAS (June 1975, Truth TAA-2509, A)
8. I Wanna Play With You – FREDERICK KNIGHT (June 1975, Truth TRA-3228, A)
9. I'm Doing Fine – ALBERT KING (June 1975, Stax STA-0245, A)
10. No Way (I Can Live Without You) – TERESA DAVIS [of The Emotions] (June 1975, Stax STN-0247, B-side of “If I Were You”)
11. Back Road Into Town – THE STAPLE SINGERS (July 1975, Stax STN-0248, A)
12. I'm So Glad I Met You – EDDIE FLOYD (August 1975, Stax STN-0251, A)
13. Packed Up And Took My Mind – LITTLE MILTON (August 1975, Stax STN-0252, A)
14. Just Keep On Loving Me – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (September 1975, Stax STN-0253, A)
15. How Can I Be A Witness – R. B. HUDMON (September 1975, Truth TRA-3230, B-side of “If You Don’t Cheat On Me (I Won’t Cheat On You)”)
16. Jump Back ’75 (Part 1) – RUFUS THOMAS (October 1975, Stax STN-0254, A)
17. I Got To Be Myself – THE STAPLE SINGERS (October 1975, Stax STN-0255, A)
18. It's Worth A Whippin' – SHIRLEY BROWN (November 1975, Truth TRA-3231, A)
19. Holy Ghost (Part 1) – THE BAR-KAYS (November 1975, Volt VOA-4115, A)

Although the brief is 'Soul' – after a quick reconnoitre of the track lists - Blues fans will be pleased to see good names like Little Milton, Albert King, Little Sonny and others also get a look in (mainly on the Enterprise label). All the big hitters for Stax and its subsiduaries are here – Isaac Hayes, Eddie Floyd, The Staple Singers, Shirley Brown, The Emotions, The Dramatics and so on – but so are loads of names that don’t exactly roll off the (chart) tongue - Veda Brown, John KaSandra, Eric Mercury, Roger Hatcher, John Gary Williams and Stefan. Or how about Cix Bits, Hot Sauce or The Wrecking Crew. But that's the fun of a massive time like this – dip in and enjoy...

While the big hits like "I'll Take You There" and "If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)" by The Staple Singers, "Starting All Over Again" by Mel & Tim, "I've Been Lonely For So Long" by Frederick Knight and "Cheaper To Keep Her" by Johnnie Taylor are great pit stops for Stax Soul – it's those nuggets inbetween the cracks that make this overlooked set such a reward. I love the impossibly romantic "Let Me Repair Your Heart" by The Mad Lads, the heavy guitar Blues of "Walking The Back Streets And Crying" by Albert King, the butt-shaking-boogie of "Gettin' Funky 'Round Here" by the suitably named Black Nasty. Northern Soul dancers will shuffle their talcom-powered shimmies to "How Can You Mistreat The One You Love" by Katie Love (fabulous audio too) and Jean Knight's stunning "Do Me” is a full-on Funky workout that will surely turn up in a Hollywood movie soon (and again sounding just amazing).

Fantastic vocals on the Funky fidelity tale "It Ain't Always What You Do (It's Who You Let See You Do It)" by The Soul Children while The Temprees do a Smokey Robinson Soulful version of a Vocal Group smoocher "A Thousand Miles Away" originally done by The Heartbeats in 1956. People like Inez Foxx are so associated with the 60ts that it's a shock to find they did torch-vocal Soul in 1973 (the passionate "This Time") and DJs with dancefloors to fill will appreciate the superb funk of "It Ain't Easy" by The Bar-Kays. There's loads of moods too - it goes from the instrumental Sunday morning easy of "Sugarcane" by The MG’s to the Sunday afternoon congregational Gospel of "Peace Be Still" where the girls of The Emotions let rip with just that – spirit-moved emotion. Isaac Hayes proved he still had sexy in him with the salacious "Joy (Part 1)" while Eddie Floyd got down with an Al Green rhythm on "I Wanna Do Things For You" where our hero promises his lady that he's gonna do things with her that he's never done with anyone else (yikes).

The beautiful all-colours positivity of The Staple Singers peppers so many discs – but most have forgotten fantastic groovers like "Touch A Hand, Make A Friend" and the stunning funk of "City In The Sky". One of Stax’s great songwriters David Porter gives us the sly groove of "I Got You And I'm Glad" (sports stunning audio too) while The Sweet Inspirations remain unimpressed by men's "Dirty Tricks". Bluesman Little Milton gets in a Soulful mood with his rearranged "Behind Closed Doors" (Charlie Rich) while that treated Guitar of Pops Staples is unmistakeable on "Whicha Way Did It Go" talking about the "mighty hand" of something bigger than himself...

The more I play these CDs the more I'm finding gems - and that Audio is just great throughout (truly impressive_. I'm also digging the space-saving snugness of this neatly shaped orange block as opposed to the clumsy 12" x 12" monster I used to have.

Stax Records may have been fading out as a label in 1975 but what a legacy they left behind. And this wicked 2015 Mini Box Set only reacquaints us with that deluge of great Soul in proper style...


1970-1975: You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything...
1970-1975: You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything...
Price: £29.49

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Had Me A Real Good Time...And Other Domestic Short Comings..." – 1970-1975 by FACES (2015 Warner Brothers/Rhino 5CD Box Set), 28 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
FACES fans are going to love 'and' hate this. "1970-1975: You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything..." is both truly exhilarating and sappily infuriating at the same time. The upside is that it contains stunning remastered music with some shockingly good extras but it’s missing edits when there was room on the 'Singles' disc and it’s presented in a truly small beer way - when this best of British bands deserved the full brewery (and it's not cheap either). To the good news first...

On the 4CD Rhino Book Set "Five Guys Walk Into A Bar" from 2004 - you got 3 tracks out of 10 from the 1st LP, 5 out of 9 from the 2nd and all of the 3rd and 4th LPs bar three (as well as a hefty wad of 30+ Previously Unreleased - I reviewed it years back). Here the temptation is all 4 studio albums newly remastered in their entirety and each bolstered up with great Previously Unreleased material not available anywhere else. There’s also a 5th bonus disc with 9-tracks that mops up those 'Stray Singles' and a rare NME Flexidisc track. There’s a lot to get through - so lets get this box set's tartan trousers down and have a peek at its Bollinger-stained boxer shorts (if you get my drift)...

UK and US released Friday 28 August 2015 – "1970-1975: You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything..." by FACES is a 5CD Mini Box Set on Warner Brothers/Rhino R2 550009 (Barcode 081227954239) and plays out as follows:

Disc 1 - "The First Step" – 70:11 minutes:
1. Wicked Messenger
2. Devotion
3. Shake, Shudder
4. Stone
5. Around The Plynth
6. Flying [Side 2]
7. Pineapple And The Monkey
8. Nobody Knows
9. Looking Out The Window
10. Three Button Hand Me Down
Tracks 1 to 10 are their debut studio album "The First Step" – released March 1970 in the UK on Warner Brothers WS 3000 (reissued December 1971 on Warner Brothers K 46053) and March 1970 in the USA (as "First Step") on Warner Brothers WS 1851. The British LP had the words FACES centred on the front cover of its gatefold but because this set is US based it uses American artwork where the band were wrongly called SMALL FACES (the band they used to be).

BONUS TRACKS (all Previously Unreleased):
11. Behind The Sun (Outtake) (Jones/Lane/McLagan/Stewart/Wood)
12. Mona – The Blues (Outtake) (Lane/Wood)
13. Shake, Shudder, Shiver (Lane/Wood) (BBC Session recorded 9 March 1970, broadcast 28 March 1970 on John Peel's "Top Gear" Radio 1 Program)
14. Flying (Take 3) (Stewart/Wood/Lane)
15. Nobody Knows (Take 2) (Wood/Lane)

Disc 2 - "Long Player" – 67:18 minutes:
1. Bad 'N' Ruin
2. Tell Everyone
3. Sweet Lady Mary
4. Richmond
5. Maybe I'm Amazed (Live)
6. Had Me A Real Good Time [Side 2]
7. On The Beach
8. I Feel So Good (Live)
9. Jerusalem
Tracks 1 to 9 are their 2nd studio album "Long Player" released March 1971 in the UK on Warner Brothers WS 3011 and February 1971 in the USA on Warner Brothers WS 1892. Tracks 5 and 8 were recorded live at The Fillmore East in New York (11 Nov 1970) – two more live versions from that date have been included as Bonus Tracks (13 and 14).

BONUS TRACKS (All Previously Unreleased):
10. Whole Lotta Woman (Outtake) (Marvin Rainwater cover)
11. Tell Everyone (Take 1) (Lane)
12. Sham-Mozzal (Instrumental – Outtake) (Jones/Lane/McLagan/Wood)
13. Too Much Woman (Live) (Ike & Tina Turner cover)
14. Love In Vain (Live) (Robert Johnson cover)
[Notes: 13 and 14 are live and were recorded at The Fillmore East in New York on the same date that 5 and 8 on the album were – 11 Nov 1970]

Disc 3 - "A Nod's As Good As A Wink…To A Blind Horse…" – 45:07 minutes:
1. Miss Judy's Farm
2. You're So Rude
3. Love Lives Here
4. Last Orders Please
5. Stay With Me
6. Debris [Side 2]
7. Memphis
8. Too Bad
9. That's All You Need
Tracks 1 to 9 are their 3rd studio album "A Nod's As Good As A Wink...To A Blind Horse..." released November 1971 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 56006 and in the USA on Warner Brothers BS 2574. It was credited in the USA as "A Nod Is As Good As A Wink...To A Blind Horse" and that front cover artwork is used for this reissue.

BONUS TRACKS (both Previously Unreleased):
10. Miss Judy's Farm (Live)
11. Stay With Me (Live)
[Notes: both were recorded 28 September 1971 and Broadcast 6 October 1971 on John Peel's "Top Gear" Radio 1 Program]

Disc 4 - "Ooh La La" – 46:36 minutes:
1. Silicone Grown
2. Cindy Incidentally
3. Flags And Banners
4. My Fault
5. Borstal Boys
6. Fly In The Ointment [Side 2]
7. If I’m On The Late Side
8. Glad And Sorry
9. Just Another Honky
10. Ooh La La
Tracks 1 to 10 are their 4th and final studio album "Ooh La La" released April 1973 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 56011 and March 1973 in the USA on Warner Brothers BS 2665.

BONUS TRACKS (All Previously Unreleased):
11. Cindy Incidentally (BBC Session)
12. Borstal Boys (Rehearsal)
13. Silicone Grown (Rehearsal)
14. Glad And Sorry (Rehearsal)
15. Jealous Guy (Live)
[Notes: "Cindy Incidentally" was recorded 12 February 1973 and Broadcast 1 March 1973 on "BBC Radio One Club". The cover version of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" was recorded at The Reading Festival in the UK on 25 August 1973.

Disc 5 – "Stray Singles & B-Sides" – 40:38 minutes:
1. Pool Hall Richard – a non-album single released in the UK 30 November 1973 on Warner Brothers K 16341 as the A-side
2. I Wish It Would Rain (With A Trumpet) – a Temptations cover version issued as the non-album B-side to "Pool Hall Richard". It was recorded live at The Reading Festival in 1973
3. Rear Wheel Skid – the non-album B-side to "Had Me A Real Good Time (Edit)" released 13 November 1970 in the UK on Warner Brothers WB 8018 and 21 October 1970 in the USA on Warner Brothers WB 7442
4. Maybe I'm Amazed – a non-album 3:40 minutes 'studio version' - released 6 April 1971 US 7” single on Warner Brothers WB 7483. It's a cover of a Paul McCartney song and the full 'live' version at 5:32 minutes is on the "Long Player" album.
5. Oh Lord I'm Browned Off – the non-album B-side to "Maybe I'm Amazed"
6. You Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything (Even Take The Dog For A Walk, Mend A Fuse, Fold Away The Ironing Board, Or Any Other Domestic Short Comings) – a non-album UK 7" single released as the A-side 11 November 1974 on Warner Brothers K 16499 and (as an edit) 22 January 1975 in the USA on Warner Brothers WBS-8066. It was reissued in the USA (also as an edit) 28 May 1975 on Warner Brothers WBS-8102.
7. As Long As You Tell Him – the non-album B-side to "You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything..."
8. Skewiff (Mend The Fuse) – an instrumental non-album B-side to "Cindy Incidentally" issued 9 February 1973 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 16247 and 5 February 1973 in the USA on Warner Brothers WB 7681.
9. Dishevelment Blues – a non-album exclusive track recorded 5 April 1973 for the UK 'NME Magazine, April 1973' issue – it was issued on a one-side flexi that came free with the Music Paper.

The Mini Box Set contains five singular card sleeves inside and a foldout inlay. Bluntly it feels cheapish. The attached 62-page colour booklet that came with the FACES Book Set "Five Guys Walk Into A Bar..." from 2004 was a fabulous fan-fest rammed to the gunnels with foreign picture sleeves, press clippings, live photos, badges, teeshirts, Warner Brothers memorabilia and all manner of boozy tour shenanigans. Here we get a three-way fold out slip of paper with track credits and absolutely nothing else! Each of the original vinyl albums (in the UK especially) had elaborate packaging – the first in a gatefold, the second in a 78" stitched sleeve with its own custom label, "Nod" came with a massive fold out poster and "Ooh La La" famously had the folding 'lips' sleeve with a lyric poster inside as well – none of it is reproduced here.

As if to add insult to injury (and with no offence to our good American friends) but this most British of Rock 'n' Roll bands then gets the 1st and 2nd LPs represented here in single sleeve 'American' artwork both of which have all the aesthetic impact of a wet rag. They couldn't even be bothered to produce a gatefold on the first. I suppose the tan label CDs on all four studio-albums (aping the original issues) is a nice touch - while the singles set gets a Warner Brothers Burbank Label – again a good idea. The artwork also prints the bonus tracks on the rear of each single card sleeve in the same print as the original - so I suppose that makes them a tiny bit interesting (the fifth CD has nice artwork too). But it all feels like small beer when surely this is a 70ts band that deserved the best WEA could offer. If Rhino were able to do the packaging business by the Faces in 2004 - then why not in 2015? Anyway - let’s get to the Audio - which is thankfully blindingly good...

It doesn't say when the DAN HERSCH and BILL INGLOT remasters (done at Digiprep from Flat Analogue Tapes) were carried out (no dates provided) but I suspect these are the 2004 versions. The good news is that they 'rock'. These CDs sound great even if they're hissy on the 1st and 2nd albums (how they were recorded). Hersch and Inglot have handled huge swathes of primo WEA material across the years for Rhino - Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding to name but a few legends. But I bet these Top Audio Engineers got their transfer jollies digitally preserving this catalogue. The power of the band is realised - muscular, clear and full of that 'live-in-the-studio' feel that original Producers Glyn Johns, Mike Bobak and Ron Nevison got for the Faces at the time. Each album has fantastic audio moments – "Stone" on "First Step", "Sweet Lady Mary" on "Long Player", the stunning Side 2 opener "Debris” (and "Stay With Me" B-side) on "Nod" and the lovely overlooked ballad "Glad And Sorry" on "Ooh La La". I'll presume that fans already know how good the studio albums are so I'll get stuck into the cool extras...

The bonus tracks on "First Step" are shockingly good. The first "Behind The Sun" is 5:30 minutes long as is just as good if not better than anything on the album (and it sounds utterly amazing here). Both it and the second helping here "Mona – The Blues" were recorded after the LP's release on 12 May 1970 in Hollywood. "Mona – The Blues" starts with shouts and comes on like a barroom brawl is about to break out at any minute – another five-minute slide boogie winner with piano and no vocals (it later turned up on the 1976 Soundtrack LP "Mahoney's Last Stand" by Ron Wood and Ronniw Lane). The audio on the BBC Session of "Shake, Shudder, Shiver" is good rather than great - but the Rock 'n' Roll power of the band is amazing. We're now treated to a duo of sublime versions of "Flying" and a more Piano-orientated cut of "Nobody Knows" – wow!

As if to reinforce what a bunch of hairy-assed reprobates they really were – "Whole Lotta Woman" (a Marvin Rainwater cover done in British Rock 'n' Roll style) opens with giggles and drunken screams to "...turn the tape machine on and let's get it going!" The session then launches into that effortless Stones swagger The Faces seemed to be able to conjure up at the drop of a hat. This is the kind of outtake that will make fans weak at their elderly knees. A very shambolic Take 1 of "Tell Everyone" gets an outing where both Lane and Stewart are clearly trying to get a feel for the melody - and begin getting there towards the end. But we now get a true kick in the nuts – an instrumental Ron Wood Guitar version of "Had Me A Real Good Time" called "Sham-Mozzal" and my God am I grinning from ear-to-ear. This is true fabulous stuff and it sounds stunning too (where has this sucker been all these years). Continuing in Rock mode we get an incendiary live version of an Ike and Tina Turner song "Too Much Woman" wrongly credited in the inlay as being by Ronnie Lane. With terrific audio it's 5:29 minutes of Wood riffing away while Stewart shows why he had the best damn larynx on the planet at the time (there's also a cool Kenney Jones drum portion). Their cover of Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain" doesn't have great audio really but as it sounds like "Let It Bleed" Stones – I can so understand why it's here...

I'm always disappointed that the mighty "Nod" from 1971 never seems to have even a single outtake or alternate version – so what were offered here are two workmanlike versions of "Miss Judy's Farm" and "Stay With Me" from an unreleased BBC Session. They’re good – they are – but they're hardly sparkling. At least the 'Stray Singles' disc gathers up those wicked B-sides - like the three rough and tumble instrumentals "Rear Wheel Skid", "Oh Lord I'm Browned Off" and "Skewiff (Mend The Fuse)". And after years of playing that crinkled 1973 NME Flexidisc – I can now hear the slow "Dishevelment Blues" in all its Bluesy glory (the boys essentially goofing in the studio - with wild guitar from Ron Wood). And how good is "Pool Hall Richard" backed with its live cover of The Temptations classic "I Wish It Would Rain" complete with Soulful brass.

So there you have it – good and bad – mostly good it has to be said. The remastered albums are fabulous and those Previously Unreleased goodies genuinely exciting. It's just a shame about the ASDA packaging (docked a star for that) when with a little imagination this mini box set could have been a Fortnum & Masons hamper you covet...and that would truly have been something worth getting drunk and disorderly about...
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 29, 2015 4:54 PM BST


Street Corner Symphonies Vol. 1: 1939-49
Street Corner Symphonies Vol. 1: 1939-49
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £12.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "…If I Didn't Care...Would I Feel This Way..." - Street Corner Symphonies Volume 1: 1939-1949 (2012 Bear Family CD Remasters), 27 Aug. 2015
Hot on the heels of their definitive "Blowing The Fuse" and "Sweet Soul Music" CD Series (15 volumes to each genre of R'n'B and Soul) comes Bear Family’s Vocal Group attack - 15 discs spanning 1939 to 1963. Volumes 1 to 10 hit the shops in May and October 2012 and the last five in the spring of 2013. And while critics will argue that Vocal Group music has already been done to death by Rhino (3 x 4CD Box Sets across the decades) and a mountain of other cheapo labels taking advantage of the 50-year copyright law - this is the first time someone reputable (other than Rhino) have had a go - and typically these German-issued Bear Family CDs are gorgeous in all the right places - presentation and audio. You get 30 tracks and a format-incredible total playing time of 87:09 minutes. Time to 'cover the waterfront'...with 'memories that never die'...

Released May 2012 in Germany - "Street Corner Symphonies Volume 1: 1939-1949" on Bear Family BCD 17279 AR (Barcode 4000127172792) breaks down as follows (I've provided American 78" catalogue numbers on all tracks – those with two or more catalogue numbers are reissues in the same year – 87:09 minutes):

1. If I Didn't Care – THE INK SPOTS (1939, Decca 2286, A)
2. I Miss You So – THE CATS and THE FIDDLE (1940, Bluebird 8429, B-side to "Public Jitterbug No. 1")
3. Till Then – THE MILLS BROTHERS (1944, Decca 18599, A)
4. I Learn A Lesson, I'll Never Forget (1944, Beacon 7120, A)
5. Sentimental Reasons – DEEK WATSON (1945, Manor 1009, A)
6. Play Jackpot – DUSTY BROOKS and His Four Tones (1945, Memo 1001, A)
7. Atom And Evil – THE GOLDEN GATE QUARTET (1946, Columbia 37236, A)
8. Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin' – THE DELTA RHYTHM BOYS (1946, Decca 18739, A)
9. I Know – THE JUBALAIRES with Andy Kirk and His Orchestra (1946, Decca 18782, A)
10. I Sold My Heart To The Junk Man – THE BASIN STREET BOYS (1946, Exclusive 225, A)
11. I Cover The Waterfront – THE CATS 'N' JAMMER THREE (1946, Mercury 2003, A)
12. My Baby – THE MELODY MASTERS (1946, Apollo 379, A)
13. I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder – THE FOUR ACES (1946, Trilon 143, A)
14. P. S. I Love You – THE FOUR VAGABONDS (1947, Apollo 1057, A)
15. Ol' Man River – THE RAVENS (1947, National 9035, A)
16. Don't You Think I Oughta Know – BILL JOHNSON and His Musical Notes (1947, Harlem 1011/Queen 4171/King 4171, A)
17. I'm All Dressed Up With A Broken Heart – THE FIVE BARS (1947, Bullet 1009, A)
18. Solitude – THE SCAMPS (1947, Modern Music 550, A)
19. After Awhile – THE BIG THREE TRIO (1947, Columbia 37893/30103, A)
20. It's Too Soon To Know – THE ORIOLES (1948, It’s A Natural 5000/Jubilee 5000, A)
21. Recess In Heaven – THE DEEP RIVER BOYS (1948, RCA Victor 20-3203, A)
22. Loch Lomond – THE ROCKETS (1948, Aladdin 3017, A)
23. Go Long – THE DIXIEAIRES (1948, Gotham 163, A)
24. It Takes A Long Tall Brown Skinned Gal – THE FOUR BLUES (1948, Apollo 398, A)
25. You're Heartless – THE FOUR TUNES (1949, RCA Victor 22-0024/50-0008, A)
26. A Kiss And A Rose – THE CHARIOTEERS (1949, Columbia 38438, A)
27. Wrapped Up In A Dream – THE FOUR KNIGHTS (1949, Coral 60046, A)
28. River Stay Away From My Door – THE SYNCOPATORS (1949, National 9095, A)
29. If It's So Baby – THE ROBINS (1949, Savoy 726, A)
30. I've Been A Fool – THE SHADOWS (1949, Lee 200, A)

The 82-page non-detachable booklet is a feast of indepth liner notes on each release by Grammy-winning writer and lifelong fan BILL DAHL. Let's put it this way - there's a 'Photo Captions' index on Page 81 that tells who's who in the black and white publicity shots that accompany most (not all) of the photos. It actually lists the singer's names - who else but Bear would do this? The text is peppered with pictures of those old American 78s on long-forgotten labels like National, Gotham, Bullet, Apollo, Memo, Beacon and Bluebird. You get trade adverts and concert posters for The Ink Spots, The Delta Rhythm Boys, Bill Samuels, The Four Vagabonds and The Four Blues. The CD repros the rare "I'm All Dressed Up With A Broken Heart" by The Five Bars on Bullet and the spine makes up a single photograph of the series name when you line up all 15 volumes alongside each other on a shelf. Long-standing and trusted names like Walter DeVenne, Nico Feuerbach, Victor Pearlin, Colin Escott and Billy Vera have been involved in the research - while Audio Engineer MARCUS HEUMANN did the superb mastering (some Disc/Metalpart transfers by Victor Pearlin and Lothar Blank). The sources (as you can imagine) differ wildly but to my ears the sound quality is improved on everything that I've heard before (including some of the Rhino box sets). The audio and presentation are top-class here (a norm for Bear Family)...

With a huge 30 tracks and a format-busting playing time of 87:09 minutes – you certainly can't accuse this CD of scrimping it. Sounding gorgeous and defying its age - Volume 1 in the series of 15 opens with a died-in-the-wool 1938 classic famously used in the opening scene of Frank Darabont's 1994 movie masterpiece "The Shawshank Redemption". The character Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sat drunk in his car at night with a gun in hand. He knows that his wife is inside the house ahead of him with another man as he listens to The Ink Spots on the radio sing their nostalgic love song "If I Didn't Care". Both it and the following two lullabies precursor Fifties Vocal Groups by a decade – "I Miss You So" by The Cats And The Fiddle and "Till Then" by The Mills Brothers – and the opening three sound utterly astonishing in their clarity. Unfortunately all that goes out the window with "I Learned A Lesson, I'll Never Forget" which has clearly been dubbed from a badly worn disc (shame because it's a sweetheart of a tune). That juxtapositon of clean vs. worn crops up a lot throughout the listen...

I've always had a thing for "Sentimental Reasons" which Linda Ronstadt covered so beautifully on her 1986 album "'Round Midnight" (also used in the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere soundtrack to "The Runaway Bride" in 1999) and often wondered who did the original? Well here it is. Fronted by ex Ink Spots Tenor Ivory 'Deek' Watson and written by their Baritone/Guitarist William 'Pat' Best – it's another rough transfer – but a fabulous inclusion – scratchy or no. A welcome lyrical wit kicks in with the slot-machine song "Play Jackpot" where our hero wisely advises his listeners to "...pull down the lever and see what you got..." (it also boasts great audio despite the barely audible crackle in the background). The same brill audio applies to a genuinely astonishing find – an anti nuclear song cut a year after Enola Gay dropped its horrible cargo. It's called "Atom And Evil" wherein The Golden Gate Quarter solemnly warn us that if "...Atom and Evil should ever be wed...then damn near all of us are gonna be dead..." (so true).

Duke Ellington's "Just A-Sittin' And A Rockin'" as sung by The Delta Rhythm Boys features the gorgeous Lead Vocals of Otho 'Lee' Gaines – said to have massively influenced a singer beloved by all Vocal Group collectors – Jimmy Ricks of The Ravens. And you can hear why Ricks was so enamoured – Gaines' deep velvet tone could lift any song to another place. Fabulous clarity returns with "I Know" by The Jubalaires where Andy Kirk fronts amazing Brass and Guitar. The gorgeous standard "I Sold My Heart To The Junk Man" is represented here by a clean-as-a-whistle transfer for The Basin Street Boys where Ormond Wilson sadly tells all his lady friends that "...he'll never fall in love again...” (though I've heard they’re not so sure). Two very rough transfers come at you next – "Cover The Waterfront" and "My Baby" and while the lovely melodies impress – there's no escaping the fact that the wall of cackle and clicks make them hard going as a listen.

Better is "P.S. I Love You" sung by Lead Tenor John Jordan of The Four Vagabonds – as lovely and as nostalgic a tune as a filmmaker could wish for. A welcome bopper arrives in sparkling form as the awesome Bass Singer Jimmy Ricks does that Jerome Kern classic "Ol' Man River" for The Ravens – thankfully keeping it upbeat - the suffering explored in the song somehow pushed into the background. Two more beautiful melodies "Don't You Think I Oughta Know" by Bill Johnson and "I'm Dressed Up With A Broken Heart" by The Five Bars are badly wrecked – but they're such gorgeous songs and strong performances – I can fully understand their inclusion is not just about rarity value. Thankfully the clarity on The Scamps version of Duke Ellington's "Solitude" is fabulous – piano and voices like they were in the room. The Big Three Trio liven things up with "...Hey Mo! Tell old Tom...hurry on down...the party is on...were gonna drink a little whiskey...after awhile..."

Things go into the legendary with "It's Too Soon To Know" by The Orioles fronted by the suave and silver-toned Sonny Til - a sex symbol of the day for African-American teenage girls (the equally terrific George Nelson holds the second half of the song sounding not unlike a young Louis Armstrong). Another professing-my-love "my angle, my dear" song comes in the sweet shape of The Deep River Boys singing "Recess In Heaven" while the vocal bopper "Loch Lomond" assures us that The Rockets have all been to Scotland (well maybe not). And on it goes to Preacher Brown who's in both celestial and congregational trouble because a "...long tall brown skinned gal made him lay his bible down..." (oh dear). Saving us all from the flames of desire is the wistful "You're Heartless" by The Four Tunes – another audio winner with stunning clarity. Aside from the R&B jaunt of The Robins on a wonderfully clear "If It's So Baby" - two of the compilation's final four - "A Kiss And A Rose" by The Charioteers and "Wrapped Up In A Dream" by The Four Knights are amazingly evocative – dripping the sob-pillow longings of hopeless romantics the world over...and would we have it any other way.

To sum up – I had honestly felt that Volume 1 in this series would be an Audio Disaster Area because of transfer problems with discs so staggeringly old (and as I’ve highlighted - in some cases it is). But man oh man the clarity on the others is stunning. And like its 1950 follow-up – '1939 to 1949' is dominated by unashamedly smoochy tunes – an out-and-out 'romantic' compilation that positively drips old movies nostalgia – and personally I love that.

Niggles - they're too expensive as singles discs and perhaps they should have been doubles because real collectors will have more than a few titles on offer here. But Bear Family will argue '...not in this sound quality or looking this good...' - and they'd have a point.

Presented to us with love and affection by an independent record company that cares about forgotten voices that shouldn’t be forgotten. What a sweetheart of a compilation and another gold standard from Bear...


Completely Well [Us Import]
Completely Well [Us Import]
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £17.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...So Excited..." - Completely Well by B.B. KING (2012 Japanese SHM-CD Remaster In 5" Gatefold Card Repro Artwork), 27 Aug. 2015
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2012 JAPANESE SHM-CD VERSION ***

There's so much B.B. King product out there - it's hard at times to isolate the real goodies. "Completely Well" was his 5th album on the American Bluesway label since he'd moved to them in 1967 with "Blues Is King". Released December 1969 in the USA (June 1970 in the UK) - it’s represented here on one of those natty Japanese SHM-CD reissues in gorgeous 5" card repro artwork. A fab mixture of Blues with Funk and even Boogie (his band was mainly white Rock guys) – "Completely Well" is a great B.B. King album – and on this format – elevated up the Audio ranks even further. Here are "The Thrill Is Gone" details...

Released 19 December 2012 - "Completely Well" by B.B. KING is a Japanese SHM-CD Reissue on Geffen/Universal UICY-94841 (Barcode 4988005743954) and comes in 5” Gatefold Hard Card American Repro Artwork (52:44 minutes)

1. So Excited
2. No Good
3. You’re Losin' Me
4. What Happened
5. Confessin' The Blues
6. Key To My Kingdom [Side 2]
7. Cryin' Won’t Help You Now
8. You're Mean
9. The Thrill Is Gone
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Completely Well" – released December 1969 in the USA on Bluesway BLS-6037 and June 1970 in the UK on Stateside SSL 10299 (both Stereo only).

The album was produced by BILL SZYMCZYK of Eagles and Joe Walsh fame and the band consisted of B.B. King on Lead Vocals and Lead Guitar, Hugh McCracken on Rhythm Guitar, Paul Harris on Piano, Electric Piano and Organ, Gerald ‘Fingers’ Jemmott on Bass and Herbie Lovelle on Drums.

BONUS TRACK:
10. Fools Get Wise – Studio Outtake recorded June 1969 in New York with the same line-up as the album

As any collector will tell you – these Japanese Mini LP Repro Sleeves are truly gorgeous. There's an OBI strip with reissue details on it (in Japanese) around the card sleeve (the SHM-CD symbol is at the top) and it's held in a resealable plastic. When out of the plastic - you see the lovely attention to detail - even mimicking the 'gloss' texture of the Bluesway gatefold sleeve, which was also 'hard card' like LP sleeves of the time. The Inner Gatefold has Ralph J. Gleason's original liner notes with photos of BB on stage and looking cool as he lights a cigarette. The booklet is a plain white affair with the lyrics in English and the remainder in Japanese. A SHM-CD (Super High Materials) doesn't require a special CD player to play it on (compatible on all machines) - nor does it need audiophile kit to hear the benefits. It's a new form of the CD format that picks up the nuances of the transfer better (top quality make). I own about 15 of them and they're uniformly superb.

His "Live And Well" album had turned up March 1970 in the UK on Stateside SSL 10297 – only three months before the release of the studio album "Completely Well" in June 1970 on Stateside SSL10299. The British record label preceded the album with a classic single that should have garnished more chart love than it did – "The Thrill Is Gone" b/w "You're Mean (Edit)" in February 1970 on Stateside SS 2161. But it did precious little business – despite now being a tune entirely associated with B.B. King. Just before the album hit the racks in June – Stateside UK tried the jaunty Side 1 opener "So Excited" as another 45 on Stateside SS 2169 in May 1970 with "Confessin' The Blues" on the B-side – but again no takers.

You have to say that the remaster on this beauty is awesome. B.B. King has all these white Rock guys around him – and McCracken's chunky Rock guitar backs up his licks – while Paul Harris plays those cool keyboard flourishes. With great production values and his voice in top form as he growls his way through "No Good" and "You're Losin' Me" – the remaster hits you again and again – elevating the tunes to another level. The brass arrangements on the wonderfully languid "What Happened" were arranged by Bert "Super Charts" DeCoteaux and what an Audio winner it is. The sweet bass, the guitars, the drums and the piano plinking – the audio on this sucker is fabulous – all the instruments fully accounted for. It then rocks out big time with a wicked cover of Jay McShann's "Confessin' The Blues" where Hugh McCracken’s boogie guitar underlines the song with a chugging Rock sound while Paul Harris plays a big chords melodic blinder.

His cover of Maxwell Davis's "Key To My Kingdom" is good rather than being great – far better is the Funky Blues of "Cryin' Won't Help You Now" – a slinky little number with a gorgeous Bass Line (B.B. puts in some of his most convincing picking on this). But then something unexpected happens – it extends into the next track "You're Mean" which is near 10-minutes long. "You're Mean" is essentially a huge blasting extension of the funky "Cryin' Won't Help You Now" where the band comes on like Led Zeppelin letting rip on the Blues – it’s properly great stuff. B.B. shouts at the boys half way through "...that's alright..." as they improvise and boogie like Canned Heat in the company of a great Blues man. It ends on the beautiful Audio of "The Thrill Is Gone" – a bit of a minor masterpiece frankly. The Bonus Track "Fools Get Wise" turns out to be a Funky Rock tune and at 2:38 minutes – it comes in, does the business and then leaves - a great addition and worthy of the moniker 'bonus'.

These Japanese SHM-CDs are pricey for sure – some over thirty quid – some below twelve – but there's something about the sound on them – like this is how CD should have sounded in the first place when dealing with analogue recordings. I can totally understand why fans feel that their fave artists should be on this format – mastered by the perfectionist Japanese. Seek it out – you’ll love what you’re seeing and hearing...and thanks for all the Blues Mister King...


Completely.. -Jap Card-
Completely.. -Jap Card-

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...So Excited..." - Completely Well by B.B. KING (2012 Japanese SHM-CD Remaster In 5" Gatefold Card Repro Artwork), 27 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Completely.. -Jap Card- (Audio CD)
There's so much B.B. King product out there - it's hard at times to isolate the real goodies. "Completely Well" was his 5th album on the American Bluesway label since he'd moved to them in 1967 with "Blues Is King". Released December 1969 in the USA (June 1970 in the UK) - it’s represented here on one of those natty Japanese SHM-CD reissues in gorgeous 5" card repro artwork. A fab mixture of Blues with Funk and even Boogie (his band was mainly white Rock guys) – "Completely Well" is a great B.B. King album – and on this format – elevated up the Audio ranks even further. Here are "The Thrill Is Gone" details...

Released 19 December 2012 - "Completely Well" by B.B. KING is a Japanese SHM-CD Reissue on Geffen/Universal UICY-94841 (Barcode 4988005743954) and comes in 5” Gatefold Hard Card American Repro Artwork (52:44 minutes):

1. So Excited
2. No Good
3. You’re Losin' Me
4. What Happened
5. Confessin' The Blues
6. Key To My Kingdom [Side 2]
7. Cryin' Won’t Help You Now
8. You're Mean
9. The Thrill Is Gone
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Completely Well" – released December 1969 in the USA on Bluesway BLS-6037 and June 1970 in the UK on Stateside SSL 10299 (both Stereo only).

The album was produced by BILL SZYMCZYK of Eagles and Joe Walsh fame and the band consisted of B.B. King on Lead Vocals and Lead Guitar, Hugh McCracken on Rhythm Guitar, Paul Harris on Piano, Electric Piano and Organ, Gerald 'Fingers' Jemmott on Bass and Herbie Lovelle on Drums.

BONUS TRACK:
10. Fools Get Wise – Studio Outtake recorded June 1969 in New York with the same line-up as the album

As any collector will tell you – these Japanese Mini LP Repro Sleeves are truly gorgeous. There's an OBI strip with reissue details on it (in Japnese) around the card sleeve (the SHM-CD symbol is at the top) and it's held in a resealable plastic. When out of the plastic - you see the lovely attention to detail - even mimicking the 'gloss' texture of the Bluesway gatefold sleeve which was also 'hard card' like LP sleeves of the time. The Inner Gatefold has Ralph J. Gleason's original liner notes with photos of BB on stage and looking cool as he lights a cigarette. A SHM-CD (Super High Materials) doesn't require a special CD player to play it on (compatible on all machines) - nor does it need audiophile kit to hear the benefits. It's a new form of the CD format that picks up the nuances of the transfer better (top quality make). I own about 15 of them and they're uniformly superb.

His "Live And Well" album had turned up March 1970 in the UK on Stateside SSL 10297 – only three months before the release of the studio album "Completely Well" in June 1970 on Stateside SSL10299. The British record label preceded the album with a classic single that should have garnished more chart love than it did – "The Thrill Is Gone" b/w "You're Mean (Edit)" in February 1970 on Stateside SS 2161. But it did precious little business – despite now being a tune entirely associated with B.B. King. Just before the album hit the racks in June – Stateside UK tried the jaunty Side 1 opener "So Excited" as another 45 on Stateside SS 2169 in May 1970 with "Confessin' The Blues" on the B-side – but again no takers.

You have to say that the remaster on this beauty is awesome. B.B. King has all these white Rock guys around him – and McCracken's chunky Rock guitar backs up his licks – while Paul Harris plays those cool keyboard flourishes. With great production values and his voice in top form as he growls his way through "No Good" and "You're Losin' Me" – the remaster hits you again and again – elevating the tunes to another level. The brass arrangements on the wonderfully languid "What Happened" were arranged by Bert "Super Charts" DeCoteaux and what an Audio winner it is. The sweet bass, the guitars, the drums and the piano plinking – the audio on this sucker is fabulous – all the instruments fully accounted for. It then rocks out big time with a wicked cover of Jay McShann's "Confessin' The Blues" where Hugh McCracken’s boogie guitar underlines the song with a chugging Rock sound while Paul Harris plays a big chords melodic blinder.

His cover of Maxwell Davis's "Key To My Kingdom" is good rather than being great – far better is the Funky Blues of "Cryin' Won't Help You Now" – a slinky little number with a gorgeous Bass Line (B.B. puts in some of his most convincing picking on this). But then something unexpected happens – it extends into the next track "You're Mean" which is near 10-minutes long. "You're Mean" is essentially a huge blasting extension of the funky "Cryin' Won't Help You Now" where the band comes on like Led Zeppelin letting rip on the Blues – it’s properly great stuff. B.B. shouts at the boys half way through "...that's alright..." as they improvise and boogie like Canned Heat in the compamny of a great Blues man. It ends on the beautiful Audio of "The Thrill Is Gone" – a bit of a minor masterpiece frankly. The Bonus Track "Fools Get Wise" turns out to be a Funky Rock tune and at 2:38 minutes – it comes in, does the business and then leaves - a great addition and worthy of the moniker 'bonus'.

These Japanese SHM-CDs are pricey for sure – some over thirty quid – some below twelve – but there's something about the sound on them – like this is how CD should have sounded in the first place when dealing with analogue recordings. I can totally understand why fans feel that their fave artists should be on this format – mastered by the perfectionist Japanese. Seek it out – you’ll love what you’re seeing and hearing...and thanks for all the Blues Mister King...


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20