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Mark Barry "Mark Barry"

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Singles 1968-1971 [9CD + DVD]
Singles 1968-1971 [9CD + DVD]
Price: £34.69

5.0 out of 5 stars "....It's A Gas Gas Gas..." - The Singles 1968-1871 by THE ROLLING STONES (2005 Abkco 10-Disc Box Set), 22 Sep 2014
The last in a series of 3 Singles Boxes by The Stones provides goodies from a period of their history that I just can't get enough of - the late Sixties and early Seventies. They seemed to be dripping magic between "Beggars Banquet" and "Exile On Mail Street" -and this brilliant but sometimes frustrating mini 7" fest only rams home their swagger and musical genius. Here are the big tongues and sticky fingers...

UK released 28 February 2005 - "The Singles 1968-1971" by THE ROLLING STONES on Abkco 0602498270752 is a 9CD + 1DVD Mini Box Set and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (6:52 minutes):
Jumping Jack Flash b/w Child Of the Moon
UK: 23 May 1968 on Decca F 12782
USA: 24 May 1968 on London 908

Disc 2 (14:39 minutes):
Street Fighting Man b/w No Expectations
USA: August 1968 on London 909 [withdrawn, $10,000 plus rarity with P/S]
Street Fighting Man b/w Surprise Surprise & Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
UK: 25 June 1971 on Decca F 13195 [3-Track Maxi Play at 33 1/3 speed]
Street Fighting Man b/w Surprise Surprise
UK: 20 July 1971 on Decca 13202

Disc 3 (7:51 minutes):
Honky Tonk Woman b/w You Can't Always Get What You Want [Edit]
UK: 11 July 1969 on Decca F 12952
USA: 11 July 1969 on London 910
[Note: The A-side was a non-album track at the time. The B-side is an exclusive single edit at 4:50 minutes which loses the 40-piece choir at the beginning and final portion of the song - the full version at 7:29 minutes is on the 1969 "Let It Bleed" album in Stereo]

Disc 4 (5:47 minutes):
Memo From Turner b/w Natural Magic
UK: November 1970 on Decca F 13067
[Note: MICK JAGGER Solo single; the B-side is an instrumental from the film "Performance" - written by JACK NITZSCHE - it features RY COODER on Guitar]

Disc 5 (7:26 minutes):
Brown Sugar b/w Bitch
UK: 16 April 1971 on Rolling Stones Records RS 19100
[Note: some British copies came in a rare picture sleeve which is `not' used here. Some copies of the original 7" had a bonus track after "Bitch" called "Let It Rock" - a live cover version of a Chuck Berry song recorded in March 1971 at Leeds University. It's `not' included here but is available on the "Rarities 1971-2003" CD compilation from 2005]

Disc 6 (9:32 minutes):
Wild Horses b/w Sway
USA: 12 June 1971 on Rolling Stones Records RLS 101
[Note: the 1994 Virgin remasters are used for both tracks]

Disc 7 (5:19 minutes):
I Don't Know Why b/w Try A Little Harder
USA: 23 May 1975 on Abkco 4701
[Note: both tracks are taken from the 1975 outtakes compilation "Metamorphosis". The A-side is a Stevie Wonder cover recorded July 1969 (the night Brian Jones died) and is a "Let It Bleed" outtake. The B-side is a Jagger/Richards original from back in June 1964]

Disc 8 (6:42 minutes):
Out Of Time b/w Jiving Sister Fanny
USA: August 1975 on Abkco 4702
UK: 5 September 1975 on Decca F 13597
[Note: the A-side was written by Jagger/Richards for Chris Farlowe who had a Number One hit with it in the UK in June 1966 on Immediate Records. Again from the "Metamorphosis" compilation - it made its first appearance on that album and this single with Jagger's vocal on the track. The B-side "Jiving Sister fanny" is another "Let It Bleed" outtake from July 1969]

Disc 9 (26:12 minutes):
Sympathy For The Devil Remix
1. Sympathy For The Devil (Original Recording)
2. Sympathy For The Devil (Neptunes Remix)
3. Sympathy For The Devil (Fatboy Slim Remix)
4. Sympathy For The Devil (Full Phatt Remix)
UK CD single released September 2003 on Mercury 9810612

Disc 10 "The Rolling Stones Videos 1964-2003" - 4-Track DVD, Region 0:
1. Time Is On My Side (Live on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964)
2. Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow (Filmed Live in 1967 - no venue stated)
3. Jumpin' Jack Flash (1968 Promo)
4. Sympathy For The Devil (The Neptunes Remix Video) (Filmed 2003)

The 32-page glossy booklet features some great picture sleeves from around the globe and the liner notes giving a history of every song are pleasingly detailed and to the point. Tape transfer, Sound Restoration and Remastering involved a trio of great names - STEVE ROSENTHAL, TERI LANDI and BOB LUDWIG. They've done a great job given the notorious and wildly differing sound sources.

As far as I'm aware this is the only place to get the rare edit of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" while fans will probably have the "Let It Bleed" outakes on their SACD of "Metamorphosis". The less said about the "Sympathy For The Devil" remixes from 2003 - the better. "Jumpi' Jack Flash", "Street Fighting Man" and "Honky Tonk Women" still amaze - even after all these years. The 4 DVD films are fabulous too (and Region Free so no playback issues) while the foldout colour poster (black and white shot on the flip side) and art-cards give the whole thing a classy feel. And who will complain about those four corkers off "Sticky". Even "Memo From Turner" rocks - as does that rare Ry Cooder instrumental B-side.

"If you try might just get what you need..." Well look no further...

Love, God, Murder
Love, God, Murder
Offered by zeedee-uk
Price: £35.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Are You Counted With The Meek..." - Love God Murder by JOHNNY CASH (2000 3CD Mini Box Set), 22 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Love, God, Murder (Audio CD)
Released June 2000 on Columbia/American/Legacy COL 498580 2 as a 3CD-set in a flimsy card wrap - the three 16-track compilations contained within were compiled by Cash himself and make for the most fantastic listen. Handpicking tunes from across his monumental career (concentrating a lot on the Sixties and Seventies) - the Legacy Remasters even include 3 Previously Unreleased tunes. Here are detailed rings of fire, the sweet chariots and the bad Jesse James...

LOVE (39:51 minutes):
1. I Walk The Line (Mono) (1956, A-side of a US 7" single on Sun 241)
2. Oh. What A Dream (recorded 1958, from the album "Johnny Cash - 1958-1986" on Columbia C2 40637)
3. All Over Again (1958, A-side of a US 7" single on Columbia 4-41251)
4. A Little At A Time (1962, B-side of "In The Jailhouse Now" on Columbia 4-42425)
5. My Old Faded Rose (Recorded June 1964, Previously Unreleased in the USA)
6. Happiness Is You (1965, from the album "Happiness Is You" on Columbia CS 9337)
7. Flesh And Blood (1970, from the motion picture "I Walk The Line" on Columbia S 30397)
8. I Tremble For You (recorded October 1967, Previously Unreleased in the USA)
9. I Feel Better All Over (1960, from the album "Now There Was A Song!" on Columbia CS 8254)
10. 'Cause I Love You (as per 7)
11. Ballad Of Barbara (1977, from the album "The Last Gunfighter Battle" on Columbia JC 34314)
12. Ring Of Fire (1963, from the album "Ring Of Fire" on Columbia CS 8853)
13. My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You (as per 9)
14. While I've Got It On My Mind (1974, from the album "The Ragged Old Flag" on Columbia C 32917)
15. I Still Miss Someone (1959, from the album "The Fabulous Johnny Cash" on Columbia CS 8122)
16. The One Rose (That's Left In My Heart) (1996, from the CD album "Unchained" - American Recordings Vol.2)
[Notes: 1 and 16 are MONO all others STEREO; 5 and 8 are Previously Unreleased in the USA]

GOD (46:45 minutes):
1. What On Earth Will You Do (For Heaven's Sake) (1974, from the album "The Ragged Old Flag" on Columbia C 32917)
2. My God Is Real (1961, from the album "Hymns From The Heart" on Columbia CS 8522)
3. It Was Jesus (1959, from the album "Hymns By Johnny Cash" on Columbia CS 8125)
4. Why Me Lord (1993, from the CD album "American Recordings" - Volume 1)
5. The Greatest Cowboy Of Them All (1979, from the album "A Believer Sings The Truth" on Cachet CL3-9001)
6. Redemption (as per 4)
7. The Great Speckled Bird (1959, from the album Songs Of Our Soil" on Columbia CS 8148)
8. The Old Account (as per 3)
9. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (as per 3)
10. When He Comes (as per 5)
11. The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea (1996, from the CD album "Unchained" - American Recordings Vol.2)
12. Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord) (1963, from the album "Ring Of Fire" on Columbia CS 8853)
13. Man In White (1986, A-side of a US 7" single on Ezra 227)
14. Belshazzar (1957, from the album "Original Sun Sound" on Sun Records LP 1275)
15. Oh, Bury Me Not (Introduction: A Cowboy's Prayer) (as per 4)
16. Oh Come, Angel Band (as per 5)
[Note: 4, 6, 14 and 15 are MONO - all others in STEREO)

MURDER (51:18 minutes):
1. Folsom Prison Blues (1955, A-side of a US 7" single on Sun 232)
2. Delia's Gone (1993, from the CD album "American Recordings" - Volume 1)
3. Mister Garfield (1965, from the album "Johnny Cash Sings The Ballads Of The True West")
4. Orleans Parish Prison (Live) (recorded in Stockholm in 1972, released as a USA 7" single on Columbia 4-45997)
5. When It's Springtime In Alaska (It's Forty Below) (1964, from the album "Orange Blossom Special" on Columbia CS 9109)
6. The Sound Of Laughter (recorded in January 1966, Previously Unreleased in the USA)
7. Cocaine Blues (Live) (1968, from the album "Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison" on Columbia CK 65955)
8. Hardin Wouldn't Run (as per 3)
9. The Long Black Veil (as per 5)
10. Austin Prison (1966, on the album "Everybody Loves A Nut" on Columbia CS 9292)
11. Joe Bean (as per 10)
12. Going To Memphis (1960, from the album "Blood, Sweat And Tears" on Columbia CS 8730)
13. Don't Take Your Guns To Town (1958, from the 7" US EP "Fabulous Johnny Cash" on Columbia B 12532)
14. Highway Patrolman (recorded 1983, from the album "Johnny Cash - 1958-1986" on Columbia C2 40637)
15. Jacob Green (Live) (B-side of 4)
16. The Wall (as per 5)
[Note: 1, 2, 5 and 8 are MONO - all others STEREO. 5 features JUNE CARTER-CASH on Duet Vocals; 6 is Previously Unreleased]

This is the kind of music when men are "as wild as a buck" for their women - where alcoholic's reach their mother's grave and "I know God in Heaven looked down" - where a pistol went awry and someone now has a "warrant out for my arrest". The different period choices of the songs just mentioned are brilliant - "I Feel Better All Over" (Love), "The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea" (God) and "Austin Prison" (Murder). It makes each themed compilation a fascinating and invigorating listen. It's also cool to see tracks from the genius 2nd American Recordings album - "Unchained" - for me one of the best in the distinguished 6-album series (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers are the backing band). The cover of Springsteen's "Nebraska" nugget "Highway Patrolman" is superb too - tailor made for him and his huge voice.

The flimsy card slipcase on the outside holds the three card digipaks on the inside but it easily falls apart. There are deliberations by JUNE CARTER CASH on Love, BONO on God and QUENTIN TARATINO on Murder but nothing in the way of booklets. Still it's the music you want and the remasters are great.

"Someone got killed 'neat the town hall light..." Johnny testifies on the classic "Long Black Veil". He was a mountain of a man. And these days this triple is often less than a fiver second-hand. Time to get this righteous slayer in your home right soon...

Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...I've Had A Thousand Dreams About You..." - River by TERRY REID (2014 Beat Goes On CD Remaster), 22 Sep 2014
This review is from: River (Audio CD)
Joe Walsh's "Barnstorm", Roy Harper's "Stormcock", Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", Stephen Stills' "Manassas", Donny Hathaway's "Extension Of A Man", Joni Mitchell's "The Hissing Of Summer Lawns", Bob Dylan's "Blood On The Tracks", Bruce Springsteen's "Darkness On The Edge Of Town", Tom Waits' "Blue Valentine"...

There are some records you simply can't be rational about. You love them to distraction - year after year - decade after decade. In fact your affection for them only grows with their passing seasons and your receding hairline. Terry Reid's wonderfully ethereal "River" (from 1973) is one of those albums. Any excuse to buy it again is fine by me. Well BGO of the UK have made that smart move and reissued it in 2014 - and this time with real style...

UK released September 2014 - Beat Goes On BGOCD 1165 (Barcode 5017261211651) is a straightforward transfer of his 3rd vinyl LP "River" originally released March 1973 in the USA on Atlantic SD-7259 and April 1973 on Atlantic Records K 40340 in the UK. The last CD incarnation I had of this was the excellent 'Water' label issue from America released 2002 that had a chunky booklet and a good remaster. But I'd have to say that this is even better - especially sonically.

ANDREW THOMPSON has been carried out the remaster with tapes licensed from WEA - and it's gorgeous. The seven tracks (36:35 minutes) are soft, almost acoustic vocal rambles in places and need a deftness of touch in the transfer. Others are funky even soulful Rock and need a bit of muscle - he's achieved both. I love the way this CD remaster sounds. The outer card wrap slipcase gives the release a feeling of class and event and the 12-page booklet features liner notes from noted writer JOHN O'REGAN (could have done with more photos though).

Reid famously turned down the Led Zeppelin gig - suggesting Robert Plant to Jimmy Page and Ian Gillan as Rod Evans replacement in Deep Purple - so in those terms you could say he did British Rock and our world a bit of a favour. His own career's blistering success however has been erratic if not at all. His debut album "Bang Bang You're Terry Reid" was released October 1968 on Epic in the States only - his 2nd self-titled LP "Terry Reid" came out in November 1969 and was his first in the UK on Columbia Records. Both were critically acclaimed in certain circles but neither did chart business despite quality singles off of each. So a new signing with the spiritual home of Led Zeppelin on Atlantic Records must have seen like a break at the time. But "River" peeled back the raspy guttural 'rawk' songs of the first two records and went for a more 'down by the river contemplating life' vibe - and again it received praise but despite touring with a stellar band both Stateside and here in Blighty - precious little record sales. And in some respects the album has remained a bit of an underground classic ever since.

EDDIE OFFORD (long-time associated with Yes) produced "Dream" and "Milestones" in England while Atlantic's resident producing genius TOM DOWD did the other five in America. REID played guitar and sang, DAVID LINDLEY played Steel, Slide and Electric guitar on all selections with LEE MILES on Bass and CONRAD ISADORE drumming on 4 tracks. WILLIE BOBO supplies Percussion on "River". Having relocated to California in 1972 while legal wrangles were being sorted out - the laid-back groove of that lifestyle permeates every song. The opener "Dean" is a little trippy, a little bluesy and yes even Soulful and Funky. His voice is just amazing. "Avenue" features Lindley's distinctive playing to the fore and has some strange choppy rhythms while acoustic Rock-Funk follows in "Things To Try" - a cool little tune and surprising Atlantic didn't consider it as a single.

Side 2 opens with "Live Life" settling into a sort of Tony Joe White groove - sexy and infectious - letting his fantastic voice rip in the second half. It gets all jazzy and smoking-room with the languid title track "River" where Willie Bobo shuffles on Percussion in the background. In fact I'm reminded of Dire Straits' debut album "Water Of Love" (also produced by Dowd). "Dream" has always been my favourite (lyrics from it title this review). Acoustic sloppy - it just sort of lingers like a old melody - maybe I'll stay - maybe I'll go - playful and sweet. It ends on the Nick Drake gentleness and peace of "Milestones" - as delicate and as a lovely a tune as you've ever heard - with superb layered Reid vocal flourishes throughout.

In August 2011 I did a Listmania List on Amazon UK and USA called "Obscure Albums That Shouldn't Be..." and Terry Reid's "River" is on both. Get this gorgeous record in your life and well done to all at BGO for doing it justice one more time...

Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...I'd Rather Live By A Dream..." - Initiation by TODD RUNDGREN (2014 Edsel 'DELUXE EDITION' CD), 22 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: INITIATION (Audio CD)
Back in May 2014 - Edsel of the UK began celebrating TODD RUNDGREN albums with 'Deluxe Edition' packaging upgrades - hardback book editions of key albums in his extensive back catalogue. The first three were "Something/Anything?" (a double-album from 1972), "A Wizard A True Star" (a single album from 1973) and "Todd" (another double from 1974). So here's the next batch of three for September 2014 - "Runt" - his debut solo album from December 1970 on Ampex Records now extended into a double-CD edition with bonuses - "Hermit Of Mink Hollow " from May 1978 on Bearsville Records - and this - "Initiation" from June 1975. Here are the Internal Eyes, Cosmic Treatises and Stellar Fires...

UK released 9 September 2014 (16 September in the USA) - Edsel EDSA 5032 (Barcode 740155503239) is a single-CD reissue of their October 2011 twinning with "Faithful" - only this time it's in a case bound hardback book (67:40 minutes). The attached 12-page booklet within has liner notes by Paul Myers from his superb tome "A Wizard, A True Star - Todd Rundgren In The Studio" and is an excellent read. The front and rear sleeve artwork of the June 1975 Bearsville vinyl album is here (BS 6957 in the USA and K 55504 in the UK) - as is the inner sleeve that came with original copies. The hard card case bound book has a details sticker on the outer shrink-wrap that easily peels off (if you want to attach it to the book cover). There are no extras.

There is no new remaster that I can hear - this is the Edsel October 2011 version - that in itself was a Peter Rynston UK master using the 1993 American Rhino remasters. Don't get me wrong - the sound is superb. And famous at the time as being the longest vinyl album ever made at 67:40 minutes - the original LP was always a dreadful compromise as a listening experience. So the CD remaster alters all of that and so much for the better. The only upgrade here is the cool-looking book packaging - which is a rather lovely thing to behold...

I loved November 1974's "Todd Rundgren's Utopia" - for me one of the true Prog masterpieces of the Seventies (with "The Ikon" on Side 2) - so I was frothing at the gash when this album came out. But it's a tale of two cities - the brilliant and the indulgent. Side 1 is superb - opening with the catchy "Real Man". It was actually released as a single in September 1975 with "Prana" the cool opening guitar/synth combo bit on Side 2 as its B-side. There's even a stab at boogie in "The Death Of Rock'n'Roll" and the frantic guitar soloing in "Initiation" is amazing. The lovely vibes of "Eastern Intrigue" are peppering with humorous lyrics but Todd genius comes in the shape of the gorgeous "Fair Warning" - as brill a Rundgren song as he's ever written (lyrics above).

But then unfortunately you're hit with the sort of indulgence that only an artist with total control can produce - the 35-minute synth/keyboard extravaganza that is the whole of Side 2 - "A Treatise On Cosmic Fire". He plays every imaginable keyboard in his own Studio and it's hard to swallow in one sitting. There are cool parts like the opening "Prana" which is returned to in the dying minutes of the piece - but most of it is endless wailing synth solos that irritate in stead of illuminating. It's not all un-listenable nonsense of course -but once past the opening eight minutes or so - it's not far off of it either. Ah the Seventies...

So there you have it - two sides to every story. And yet even now - nearly 40 years after the event - I still get a kick out of just looking at its sleeve...

Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Ancient Associates And Fellow Wanderers..." - `U' by THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (2014 Beat Goes On 2CD Remaster), 22 Sep 2014
This review is from: U (Audio CD)
How do you describe let alone approach 'U' by THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND? Grow a beard, dance around the mulberry bushes looking for fairies, join a Sitar class or just down a couple of pinks with your fiddle-loving mates in a real-ale pub and wickedly laugh at the sheer loony-bin joyous knob of it all.

Following on from the even nuttier "I Looked Up" released only months earlier in the spring of 1970 - this October 1970 double-album of Folk Rock Pantomime has always divided fans between those who secretly love it and those who want to pretend they bought it when they were stoned. Well along comes Beat Goes On of the UK in 2014 - and they want your credit card to reappraise this beast on a beautifully newly remastered 2CD edition. And I for one am digging the Astral Plain and sonic Silver Doves man...

UK released September 2014 - Beat Goes On BGOCD 1164 (Barcode 5017261211644) is a 2CD set that splits the original UK vinyl double-album 'U' (October 1970 on Elektra Records 2665 001) onto 2CDs - Sides 1 and 2 on Disc 1 (53:58 minutes) with Sides 3 and 4 on Disc 2 (53:07 minutes). It comes in their now customary card slipcase.

Consisting of multi-instrumentalists ROBIN WILLIAMSON and MIKE HERON (Guitar, Mandolin, Sitar, Flute, Piano, Bass, Various English and European String Instruments and Vocals) - the band also had ROSE SIMPSON on Bass and LICORICE McKECHNIE on Duet Vocals and Guitar. Guest JANET SHANKMAN sang Lead Vocals on "Bad Sadie Lee" and played Harpsichord on "Queen Of Love", GREG HEAT gave a Voice Sitar to "Invocation" and PETER GRANT played Banjo On "Bad Sadie Lee".

The 24-page booklet features photos of their infamous stage show packed with puppets, theatre mime and mind-expanding visuals, lyrics, recording info and detailed liner notes by noted writer JOHN O'REGAN. But the big news is a lovely new remaster by ANDREW THOMPSON. Many of these tracks are essentially acoustic guitars, mandolins and high vocals - the remaster has hiss on some track but great clarity too.

It opens with the 8-minute instrumental "El Wool Suite" lulling you into a false of hippy security with its gorgeous Sitar vibes - but that's quickly kyboshed by the silly English Folk of "The Juggler's Song" - a Madrigal too far for most. "Time" has lovely acoustic and mandolin while "Bad Sadie Lee" is deliberately comical - Wild West Vaudeville where someone's about to say `varmit" any minute. The production quality on "Queen Of Love" is superb (if you can handle Williamson's discordant voice). Speaking of childlike lady voices - Licorice gives it some welly on the lovely Side 3 opener "Bridge Song". But like Yoko Ono's larynx voice - its a love it or loathe it situation. But to me "Bridge Song" has always had some gorgeous chord-changes - there's a beautiful tune in there somewhere trying desperately to get out.

The audio quality continues on "The Puppet Song" (warm and clear) - the same on the delicate "I Know You" - even if it's a tad hissy. It may go nowhere but the extraordinary Acoustic Guitar workout that is "Astral Plane Theme" has always sounded amazing to me. "Invocation" has hippy lyrics that would make witches blush (lyrics above) and yet is strangely cool too. And then the musical stage show ends on the epic near 16-minute "Rainbow" - a chop-and-change mix of Folk, Rock, Pop and Flute Baroque. It's self-indulgent for sure but those Vocal and Piano play offs at seven minutes have greatness and vision in them.

The Incredible String Band would go on to the altogether better "Liquid Acrobat As Regards The Air" album when they signed to Island in 1971. To sum up - the unwieldy and slightly fay 'U' won't be everyone's cup of Darjeeling for sure - but for others it's a "sweet song of love" from a more innocent time...

Blue River / Stages: The Lost Album
Blue River / Stages: The Lost Album
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Candles At The Feet Of The Compassionate Patron Saint Of Youth..." - Blue River/Stages: The Lost Album by ERIC ANDERSEN, 22 Sep 2014
Pennsylvania born folky/poet ERIC ANDERSEN has a recorded history that reads like some tragi-comedy that really shouldn't be that funny. After a seven-album run between 1965 and 1970 (5 with Vanguard and 2 with Warner Bothers) - he signed to Columbia Records and finally saw limited chart action with "Blue River" in 1972. It reached the unfairly low placing of 169. But then his record company 'lost' his follow-up LP (see story below). A virtual unknown outside of certain circles even to this day - I can only hope that this stunning double CD reissue alters that run of bad breaks because this is a doozy of a release. Here are the longhaired tape-box mix-ups...

UK released September 2014 - Beat Goes On BGOCD 1159 (Barcode 5017261211590) offers up two albums onto 2CDs as follows:

Disc 1 (46:55 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 11 are his 8th solo album - "Blue River" was first released July 1972 in the USA on Columbia Records KC 31062 and February 1973 in the UK on CBS Records S 65145.

Disc 2 (58:17 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 are his unreleased 9th album "Stages" - supposed to appear on Columbia Records in 1973. There's a history to the album that needs explanation. Meant to be the spiritual follow-up to "Blue River" - tracks were recorded in Nashville in late 1972 and early 1973 and the sessions went well - using pretty much the same crew as the first album and the same delicate vibes and arrangements. But then disaster struck. In Columbia's transitional confusion - they lost all the tapes (even the artwork) and Andersen was left stranded without career momentum and no answers. Amazingly they remained `lost' until a diligent lady at Columbia called Amy Herot sent out a system-wide search only to be told in October 1989 that 40 boxes of tapes had been `found' in the New York vaults. Columbia brought in mastering geniuses DENNY PURCELL and GREGG CALBI to deal with Tracks 1 to 10 - the usable `vintage' recordings on his lost masterpiece "Stages". Tracks 11, 12 and 13 were re-recorded by a virtual Country Rock supergroup in late 1990 featuring RICK DANKO on Bass/Backing Vocals with GARTH HUDSON on Accordion (both of course from THE BAND) with SHAWN COLVIN on Backing Vocals. WILLIE NILE also played Guitar on "Soul Of My Song". The Sony/Legacy CD of "Stages: The Lost Album" finally appeared in 1991 to widespread critical acclaim. Which brings us back to this Beat Goes On set...

The 24-page booklet has a superb essay on Andersen's musical career/troubles/vindication by noted writer JOHN O'REGAN and full session details. There are photos of him with Baez and Dylan in 1975, Patti Smith in 1971 and even Shawn Colin and Rick Danko at the 1990 re-recording sessions. There's also an outer card slipcase - it's the usual classy affair from BGO. But best of all is a sparkling new remaster from ANDREW THOMPSON - each album shining like a diamond. The audio quality is beautiful - clarity and warmth.

Musically this is singer-songwriter territory with a Country twist. "Blue River" is a lovely album - very plaintive and soft on the ear. His Gram Parsons voice may not appeal to everyone - but the melodies are classy and work their way into your heart. The classy opener sets the pace and style - "Is It Really Love At All" - sounding not unlike James Taylor's "Mud Slide Slim..." album from 1971. Piano introduces the perky "Pearl's Goodtime Blues" feeling not unlike a "Stage Fright" outtake by The Band. The gorgeous title track "Blue River" features a rare backing vocal on the chorus from none other than JONI MITCHELL and another lady song "Sheila" is just as pretty. It gets a little Leonard Cohen on "Come To My Bedside, My Darlin'" with its bedroom lyrics and rolling acoustic guitar. He ends with an accordion romp through the old Hank Williams nugget "Why Don't You Love Me?" sounding not unlike mid 90's Steve Earle. The whole album feels like a lost classic - and on re-hearing - it is.

It's clear from the 1991 results that 1973's "Stages" would surely have broken the charts for him. It opens with the plaintive "Baby, I'm Lonesome" with backing vocal from his ex wife DEBBIE GREEN ANDERSEN (she's also on the ending of "Can't Get You Out Of My Life". The truly lovely "Moonchild River Song" features a delicate backing vocal from DAN FOGELBERG that so compliments the country melody. But then you're hit the album's undeniable masterpiece - the eight and half minute "Time Run Like A Freight Train" which is part Tim Buckley, part James Taylor and part Nick Drake. It's just gorgeous - acoustic guitars and pretty melody searing their way into your heart ("..she asked for a symphony...I only gave her a song..."). Special mention should go to GLEN SPREEN on Hammond B3 organ and DAN FOGELBERG adding so much to the layered vocals on the lovely chorus (his explanation of the song titles this review).

"Wild Crow Blues" is dedicated to his early Seventies pal and neighbour PATTI SMITH and it features LEON RUSSELL on Electric Wurlitzer, EDDIE HINTON on Acoustic Guitar and TROY SEALS (brother of Jim from Seals and Crofts) on Electric Guitar. "Woman She Was Gentle" has a duet vocal with JOAN BAEZ. He evens goes a bit Country Rock on "I Love To Sing My Ballad, Mama" but it's the least convincing of the tunes on here. It ends with the Folk of "Dream To Rimbaud" which maintains an acoustic rhythm throughout punctured by eerie Pedal Steel from veteran player WELDON MYRICK. The three new recordings are superb too - so impressive - especially "Lie With Me" and "Soul Of My Song" with gorgeous work from SHAWN COLVIN in complimenting his (by now) deeper 1990 vocals.

There's a photograph of Andersen with Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs circa 1964 on the last page of the booklet - you can't but think that all these heroes of Americana are only now been fully appreciated.

A gorgeous reissue - beautifully presented and sounding just amazing - well done to all at BGO and a definite reissue of 2014 for me...

Breezes of Patchouli (His Studio Recordings 1966-1969)
Breezes of Patchouli (His Studio Recordings 1966-1969)
Price: £19.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Sunshine Superman..." - Breezes Of Patchouli: His Studio Recordings 1966-1969 by DONOVAN (April 2013 EMI 4CD Remasters), 21 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fans will know that Donovan Leitch's Sixties catalogue is a labyrinth of different LPs pressed up by Pye in the UK and especially Epic in the USA - with a raft of non-album singles and rarities thrown into the complicated stew. His stay at both labels has been comprehensively covered by superlative EMI CD remasters in 2005 and 2009 - most bolstered up with copious amounts of bonus tracks. And that's where this 4CD Anthology comes in. It gathers up 5 of those albums (one a double) across the first 3 CDs and gives you a fourth 23-track disc which contains a smattering of the bonus material that came with those original 2005 CD reissues. Here are the Joss Sticks, Super Lungs and Jennifer Junipers...

UK released April 2013 - "Breezes Of Patchouli: His Studio Recordings 1966-1969" is a 4CD set in a double jewel-case on EMI 928 6052 (Barcode 5099992860520) and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (78:01 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are his 3rd album "Sunshine Superman" - released 'only' in the USA September 1966 on Epic Records BN 26217 (Stereo)
Tracks 11 to 20 are his 4th album "Mellow Yellow" - released 'only' in the USA February 1967 on Epic Records BN 26239 (Stereo)

Disc 2 (77:29 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 are his album "The Hurdy Gurdy Man" - released 'only' in the USA October 1968 on Epic Records BN 26420 (Stereo)
Track 14 is "Jennifer Juniper" (Italian Version)
Tracks 15 to 24 are the album "Barabajagal" -released 'only' in the USA September 1969 on Epic Records BN 26481 credited to DONOVAN with THE JEFF BECK GROUP
Track 25 is "A Poor Man's Sunshine (Nativity)" - a previously unreleased session outtake that first appeared on the May 2005 Expanded CD for "Barabajagal"

Disc 3 (62:05 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 22 are the album double-album "A Gift From A Flower To A Garden". This April 1968 2LP Box Set with Art Prints gathered together two American-Only LPs on Epic both issued in December 1967 in Mono and Stereo - `You're Your Love Like Heaven" (Side 1 and 2) and "For Little Ones" (Side 3 and 4). The "A Gift From A Flower To A Garden" Box set was issued in both the USA and UK in Mono and Stereo - this CD remaster uses the rare STEREO mix.

Disc 4 - Associated Recordings (75:41):
Tracks 1 to 5 are 5 of the 7 bonus tracks that first appeared on the May 2005 CD remaster of "Sunshine Superman" (below are also May 2005 CD remasters)
Tracks 6 to 11 are 6 of 10 bonus tracks that first appeared on "Mellow Yellow"
Tracks 12 to 18 are all 7 of the bonus tracks that first appeared on "The Hurdy Gurdy Man"
Tracks 19 to 23 are 5 of the 12 bonus tracks that first appeared on "Barabajagal"

His first 2 LPs "What's Bin Did And What's Bin Hid" and "Fairytale" (both from 1965) are not covered by this set - they're available elsewhere (see my review for "Fairytale"). The good news is that the 2005 and 2009 remasters carried out by PETER MEW at Abbey Road have been used for this release and the STEREO sound is glorious to say the least. Songs like "Sunshine Superman", "Goo Goo Barabajagal" and "Mellow Yellow" sound amazingly good. The audio clarity is wonderful. And when you veer away from the chart hits - it's the LP goodies like the unbelievable cool "Season Of The Witch" and "Sunny South Kensington" with their guitars and clavinets that impress so much. The 24-page booklet is also pleasingly comprehensive with period colour photos and superbly outlined liner-notes by noted writer and musicologist LORNE MURDOCH (even though those "Flower" art-prints are still AWOL due to contractual reasons).

The acoustic "House Of Jansch" and "River Song" are gorgeous as are the Sixties Dream anthems "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" and "To Susan On The West Coast Waiting". He can also get surprisingly Rock Funky with tracks like the previously unreleased "Snakeskin" and all Sitar groovy on "Fat Angel". Even the re-recorded 1968 versions of his classics "Colours" and "Catch The Wind" are lovely - they don't trump the originals -by any means but remind you of how beautiful they really were and what a tunesmith the man is.

"Fly Translove Airways...get you there on time..." DONOVAN sings on "Fat Angel" - I'd agree. Too often dismissed as a sort of lesser Dylan from England - this superb-sounding 4CD retro is a fabulous reminder of his huge songwriting talent. Buy it...

Pocket Mass & Other Faith Based Music
Pocket Mass & Other Faith Based Music
Offered by HANG LOOSE Records
Price: £14.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Head And Heart..." - Pocket Mass And Other Faith Based Music by RAUN MacKINNON BURNHAM (2012 CD Album), 19 Sep 2014
What you have here is 'new music written to traditional liturgy' composed and sung by RAUN MacKINNON BURNHAM with the SERAPHIM CHOIR - and it's beautifully done. The first 6 songs are called "Pocket Mass" while 7 to 11 are "Other Faith Based Music". It was released 2012 on Wobba Wobba Music No. 0004 (Barcode 884501782164) and comes in a 5' card sleeve with full annotated details on the rear.

For the "Pocket Mass" side each song is stripped back to just 'voices' (and the very occasional instrument) - Raun's as lead voice accompanied by as many as 20 others - Alto, Tenor, Baritone and Soprano. It feels like TAKE 5 without the scatting and mouth-mumbling trickery. It's aurally like modern-day monastery music - huge, melodic, sweeping and really quite beautiful. This is not bible-thumping preacher ranting even with such an overtly Christian base - it's soothing on your ear - and dare we say it - peaceful on the soul. "Kyrie" (Kyrie Eleison - the Greek for "Lord Have Mercy") and "Agnes Dei" are particularly moving - voices cascading and melodies melting - lovely stuff. Special mention should also go to Wayne Cook's Production, Editing and Mixing - exquisite throughout - giving the sonic wall of voices warmth and lovely texture.

The second sets of songs features more of the same but this time with some instrumentation - Cello, Bass Violin and Drums. Her lifelong partner and friend JERRY BURNHAM provides some Mouth Percussion. Songs like "Gold On The Water" even have a Pop element to them - but it ends on the lovely "Carry Me Over" which reminds me of the aching traditional "The Water Is Wide" sung by James Taylor or Mavis Staples.

"I've tried to be faithful and be whom I should..." she sings on "Carry Me Over".

Job done I'd say. Kudos to all involved...

Original Albums Collection
Original Albums Collection
Price: £22.78

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Rude Boy With Gruvy Beats..." - Original Album Collection by LAUREL AITKEN (2014 Pressure Drop 5CD Mini Box Set), 19 Sep 2014
Having worked in secondhand record shops for the guts of 20 years - and been in and out of them for the formative 2 decades of vinyl debauchery that preceded those - I can safely say that I've never seen 'any' of these uber-rare British Reggae/Ska albums - ever! Listed in 2014 price guides at somewhere between £200 and £150 for each album - good luck trying to find one! Well along comes Pressure Drop of the UK (part of Cherry Red Records) rectifying that unnecessary hole in our Skaless lives with this cool little box set which is frankly guaranteed to put some fire in your wire. Here are the rude boy rhythms, stretching braces and naughty lyrics...

UK released September 2014 on Pressure Drop PDROPBOX25 (Barcode 5013929682504) - the 5CD mini box set has 5 repro card sleeves - 4 original albums and a new 25-track CD compilation put together by Reggae expert and fan LAURENCE CANE-HONEYSET. His is a name familiar to me - he did the superlative 2CD Deluxe Editions of "Tighten Up" Volumes 1 and 2 (see my reviews) and the groundbreaking paperback books - "Young Gifted & Black: The Story Of Trojan Records" and "Tighten Up: The History Of Reggae In The UK" (see separate reviews also). This is a guy who knows what's what when it comes to this genre (at times so shrouded in discography mystery)...

As you can imagine Sixties Reggae and Ska was recorded in Uncle Albert's laundry room with a bucket and a broom - so the sound fluctuates wildly depending on the sources. But having said that - ALAN WILSON has done a wonderful job with the mastering. The 4 albums in particular sound amazingly fresh and clean .You can of course here cackle here and there - but frankly that's what I love about this joyous and funny music - it's from the streets and all the more fab for it. Here's a breakdown of what's on the discs...

Disc 1 is "Ska With Laurel" - first released on a UK 12-track LP in 1966 on Rio Records LR 1 (30:12 minutes)

Disc 2 is "Laurel Aitken Says Fire" - first released on a UK 12-track LP in 1967 on Doctor Bird Records DLM (B) 5012 (31:46 minutes)

Disc 3 is "Scandal In A Brixton Market - first released on a UK 12-track LP in 1969 on Pama Economy ECO-8 (43:02 minutes)

Disc 4 is "The High Priest Of Reggae" - first released on a UK 12-track LP in 1970 on Pama Special PSP1012 (34:17 minutes)

Disc 5 - Exclusive 25-Song CD Compilation - "Skinhead Train: 1960's Singles & Rarities" with all tracks by LAUREL AITKEN except where noted (73:45 minutes):
1. Boogie In My Bones - 1960, Starlite ST45 011, A-side
2. Drinkin' Whisky - with The Caribs, 1960, Starlite 014, B-side to "Honey Girl"
3. Mary Lee - with The Blue Beats, 1960, Melodisc M 1570, A-side)
4. Bartender - 1961, Blue Beat BB 40, A-side
5. Brother David - 1962, Blue Beat 84, A-side
6. Lucille - with The Blue Beats, 1962, Blue Beat 109, A-side
7. Adam & Eve - 1963, Rio R 11, A-side
8. I Shall Remove - 1963, island WI 092, A-side
9. Lion Of Judah - 1964, Black Swan WI 401, A-side
10. Don't Stay Out Late - 1964, Columbia DB 7280, B-side of "Be Mine"
11. Clementine - 1966, Blue Beat 340, A-side
12. Propaganda - 1966, Ska Beat JB 236, A-side
13. Green Banana - 1966, Ska Beat JB 239, A-side
14. Rock Steady - 1967, Columbia Blue Beat DB 102, A-side
15. Blowin' In The Wind - B-side of 14, Bob Dylan cover
16. I'm Still In Love With You Girl - 1967, Columbia Blue Beat DB 106, A-side
17. Reggae Prayer - 1969, Doctor Bird DB 1196, A-side
18. The Rise And Fall (Of Laurel) - 1969, Doctor Bird DB 1197, A-side
19. Heile Heile (The Lion) - 1969, Doctor Bird DB 1202, A-side
20. Donkey Man - 1969, Unity UN 506, B-side of "The Avengers" by TOMMY McCOOK
21. Reggae '69 - 1969, Nu Beat NB 025, B-side of "Suffering Still"
22. Big Fight In Hell - 1969, Nu Beat NB 033, B-side of "Lawd Doctor" by Laurel Aitken & Girlie
23. Skinhead Train - 1969, Nu Beat NB 047, A-side
24. Apollo 12 (Skinhead Invasion) - 1969 White Label Only

The infectious brass rhythm that permeates "Street Of Glory" and "Lonesome Traveller" pretty much define Ska while he upped the piano involvement for his brilliant and very funny/fruity second LP "Says Fire". Laurel tells of his ardour being 'vexed' and "bwoy me hav fire in me wire..." (what a hoot!). "Worried Over Me" is fantastic - sounds great too. Even his cover of Billy Fury's "Halfway To Paradise" raises a smile. And as you can see from my track listing provided for Disc 5 (these details are not in the booklet) - there's lots of catalogue numbers collectors' want badly. The only let down (if you could call it that) is the 8-page inlay - which feels way too slight. But at least it has a central display of rare UK 45s with labels like Rio, Black Swan, Doctor Bird, Blue Beat, Ska Beat, Nu Beat, Pama and Island - it's the kind of photo that will make lovers of Reggae and Ska drool.

Such an enjoyable release - makes me big and fat - and I don't mind dat....

Santana (2CD Woodstock Experience Edition)
Santana (2CD Woodstock Experience Edition)
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £14.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Go Out And Make It Better..." - Santana: The Woodstock Experience by SANTANA (2009 Columbia/Legacy 2CD Remaster), 19 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Sometimes you forget how good an album is. Always trumped by the artistic and commercial leap forward "Abraxas" their 2nd LP made in 1970 - Santana's self-titled debut is that astonishing thing - a great record that also introduces an entirely different kind of music - Latin Rock. And this clever tie-in with the iconic "Woodstock Festival" in 1969 gives me a good excuse to indulge yet again...

Released July 2009 - "Santana: The Woodstock Experience" on Columbia/Legacy 88697 48242 2 is a 2CD set that lumps together the band's September 1969 debut album "Santana" (37:10 minutes) with a new disc - "Recorded Live At The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, Saturday, August 16, 1969" (45:39 minutes). Both are in 5" oversized card repro sleeves - each with a different sepia-feel inner bag containing recorded details and reissue credits. There is also a gorgeous two-sided foldout poster with Santana live at the 1969 event on one side and a colour crowd shot on the other. It's all housed in an equally pretty card slipcase (see PS below for a list of all releases in this excellent commemorative series).

The presentation and sound quality is first class. The 9-track debut album uses a superb VIC ANESINI remaster (he mastered the 2nd disc too from 8-track tapes) with the Live Disc offering the following:
1. Waiting
2. Evil Ways
3. You Just Don't Care
4. Savor
5. Jingo
6. Persuasion
7. Soul Sacrifice
8. Fried Neck Bones And Some Home Fries

The sexy and wild opening rhythms of "Waiting" sounds like music from another world - even now - while Carlos Santana's hair-raising guitar prowess soars over everything. It's followed by the hooky "Evil Ways" with Gregg Rolie giving it some vocal prowess. "Shades Of Time" and "Savor" allow Percussionists Jose Areas and Mike Carabello let rip while I've always thought "Treat" with its languid piano beginnings - guitar speed-up in the centre - back to Rolie's cool keyboard vibes to finish - is a masterpiece. The Funk-Rock of "You Just Don't Care" is great (love that guitar break at the end) while the LP finisher "Soul Sacrifice" has rightly been on countless "Best Of" CD anthologies across the decades.

Given its age and the circumstances in which it was recorded - the previously unreleased 'live set' from 16 August 1969 is fantastically good - way past crappy bootlegs of old. A month 'before' their debut album will hit the record shops and with ace fresh material in the bag - the band is on fire (even if the crowd seem stunned or tired). "Waiting", "Evil" and a screaming version of "Soul Sacrifice" - it's all so good. You also get to savour a song that is rarely if ever heard - "Fried Neck Bones And Some Home Fries" - very cool indeed. The whole thing is superb and Anesini has done a masterful job in the transfers.

You could obviously say that Sony has spotted yet another way to crassly milk a cultural event - but this release doesn't feel like that to me. It's beautifully done - this is a 2-disc set of hip-shakers you need in your muddy living room real soon...

PS: the 5 titles in this series are:
1. Jefferson Airplane - uses the "Volunteers" album and has an 8-track live album recorded 17/8/29
2. Janis Joplin - uses the "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!" album and has a 10-track live album recorded 17/8/29
3. Santana - as above
4. Sly & The Family Stone - uses the "Stand" album and has a 9-track live disc recorded 17/8/69
5. Johnny Winter - uses the "Johnny Winter" album and has an 8-track live disc recorded 17/8/69
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