sexta-feira, 17 de julho de 2009

Dana Valery - 1975 - ST (Leslie West - Corky Laing)

Dana Valery - Phantom BPL1-1124
This 1975 album by Female Vocalist DANA VALERY is a very underrated, must be heard classic. Italian-born Dana had been singing for well over a decade , cutting her first records in , of all places, South Africa. There she recorded for Columbia, and had several 45's released in the US also, including her soulful version of Paul Simon's YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE YOUR INTEREST LIES. She also had played on the stage, made TV appearances and cut other singles as well. She also is the sister to the late singer SERGIO FRANCHI. Her first US album was in 1972 with the Soul label, Brunswick, NOT THE FLOWER BUT THE ROOT. In 1975, she worked with ex-Mountain guitarist/vocalist/songwriter LESLIE WEST on his album, THE GREAT FATSBY, and also on this, her self-titled 2nd album. Both Dana's and West's albums may have been been recorded simaltaneously, as both came out in 1975, have the same musicians playing on both albums and were released on PHANTOM RECORDS.
DANA VALERY is a great album of both rock, and some rock ballads. She's got an excellent voice that can sing out with power, or softer with restraint. Her version of the LOBO hit I'D LOVE YOU TO WANT ME is a perfect song for her, with acoustic guitars that build up as her voice carries the song to new heights. Neil Sedaka's SOLITAIRE is also in the same vein, another great take that stands apart from other versions. Biggest surprise is her version of The Rolling Stones' PLAY WITH FIRE. The production is a mix of powerful lead & background vocals, guitars and an atmospheric production. Sort of conjures up mysticism, and expands the short Stones version into a longer rock jam. LESLIE WEST surrounds Dana with production and playing that does not get in the way of the main attraction, her voice.
A mix of rock with some noteworthy ballads make this album a consistent listening experience. Other rockers include POWER TO ALL OUR FRIENDS, TO BE ALIVE, and MUSIC AND MY MAN , the latter 2 songs of which Dana co-wrote with Leslie and others . The more acoustic ballad oriented songs include the exquisite Paul Williams-Roger Nichols penned I NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD and Jimmy Cliff's MANY RIVERS TO CROSS. The Beatles' OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA is a fun version that opens up Side 2. Musicians include LESLIE WEST, CORKY LAING, HOWIE WYETH, DON KRETMAR, FRANK VICARI, TIM SAUNDERS, and SREDNI VOLLMER. Produced by LESLIE WEST at the renowned ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS in New York.
This is a great, initially overlooked album that is being listened to today more than when it was released. Coupled with West's THE GREAT FATSBY, on which Dana contributed many lead & background vocals, this has some excellent music that stands the test of time.

sábado, 11 de julho de 2009

The Jaggerz - 1970 - We Went To Different Schools Together

Kama Sutra KSBS-2017

The Jaggerz are a pop/rock band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, often considered a one-hit wonder because their only major success was the single "The Rapper", written by Donnie Iris (who was then billed by his birth name, Dominic Ierace). Released on the Kama Sutra label in 1970, "The Rapper", released in late December 1969 got to #2 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks in March 1970, and sold over one million copies with the gold record awarded by the R.I.A.A..[1]

The band's name derives from the Pittsburgh English slang term, "jagger bush," meaning a thorny bush.

Jimmie Ross - Tuba, Trombone, Bass, Vocals
Benny Faiella - Guitar, Bass, Background Vocals
Dominic Ierace - Guitar, Bass, Trumpet, Vocals
Thom Davies - Organ, Piano, Trumpet
Billy Maybray - Bass, Drums, Vocals
Jim Pugliano - Drums, Background Vocals

Track Listing:

2. MEMOIRS OF THE TRAVELER (Rock, Ierace, Faiella)
4. LOOKING GLASS (Rock, Ierace, Faiella)
5. THE RAPPER (Ierace)
6. AT MY WINDOW (Rock, Ierace)
7. THINGS GOTTA GET BETTER (Rock, Davies, Maybray)
8. CAROUSEL (Rock, Davies, Pugliano)
9. DON'T MAKE MY SKY CRY (Rock, Davies, Maybray)
10. THAT'S MY WORLD (Rock, Davies)

domingo, 5 de julho de 2009

Lovercraft - 1970 - Valley of the Moon (H.P. Lovecraft / Bangor Flying Circus / Madura)

Following H.P. Lovecraft's collapse the band members scattered. Singer George Edwards stayed in California trying to form a new band, before giving up and returning to Chicago where he did some production work, including recording some material with friend Terry Callier. Drummer Michael Tegza also returned to Chicago where he joined The Bangor Flying Circus.

The band signed with ABC's Dunhill subsidiary, recording an album, before calling it quits.
In 1969 Edwards and Tegza decided to resurrect the band. As the lone carryovers from the original lineup, they started recruiting musicians, eventually rounded out their lineup with former Aorta bass player Michael Been and lead guitarist Jim Donlinger.

The foursome returned to California, settled into a big communal home, subsequently recruiting ex-Buckinghams keyboard player Marty Grebb and started rehearsing. Having shortened their name to 'Lovecraft', the band were signed by Reprise. Naturally another personnel disaster struck; founding member Edwards dropping out of the project. In spite of his departure the group continued on, recording 1969's self-produced, "Valley of the Moon" as a quartet.

Musically the set proved a major disappointment on the heels of earlier efforts. With Donlinger and Been contributing the majority of material (Grebb kicking in three tracks), material such as 'Never Gonna Go Back', 'Two Step Tussle', 'Hopefully We'll All Remain Together' and 'Dear' found what was essentially a totally new band somehow managing to replicate some of H.P. Lovecraft's trademarked vocals harmonies, but losing much of the band's unique sound in favor of a commercial mixture of guitar rock.

Certainly not as distinctive as earlier efforts, the collection was still worth a listen though it did little commercially. Reprise lifted one instantly obscure single from the LP.
- 1971's "We Can Have It Altogether' b/w 'Will I Know When My Time Comes' (Reprise catalog number 0996)

"Valley of the Moon" track listing:

(side 1) 1.) We Can All Have It Together (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been) - 3:55 2.) Brother I Wonder (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been) - 2:22 3.) Love Has Come To Me (Marty Grebb) - 3:11 4.) Will I Know When My Time Comes (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been - Donlinger) - 3:00 5.) Two Stop Tussle (Marty Grebb) - 3:34

(side 2) 1.) Take Me By the Hand (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been) - 3:10 2.) Lady Come Softly (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been - Donlinger) - 2:36 3.) The Dawn (Marty Grebb - Ken Wolfson) - 4:56 4.) Never Gonna Go Back (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been - Michael Tegza) - 3:42 5.) Dear (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been) - 3:11 6.) Hopefully We'll Remain Together (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been) - 4:20

The band hit the road opening for various name acts and within a couple of months the comeback project was over.

- Been formed The Call and also recorded a 1994 solo LP "On the Verge of a Nervous Breakthough" (Qwest catalog number 45557-2).

- Dolinger went on to a solo career and wrote a book about his rock experiences Space Traveller

- a Musician’s Odyssey. - Grebb reappeared as a member of The Fabulous Rhinestones and then became a member of Bonnie Raitt's touring band.
- Tegza briefly resumed his collaboration with Edwards in the Chicago band Elixir, opening for various national groups playing Chicago (

quinta-feira, 2 de julho de 2009

The Electric Junk-yard - 1969 - ST

The Electric Junkyard shows up occasionally in Moog sections but is not an electronic album. Instead, electrified horns and recording techniques ("nine months alone were spent experimenting") are supposed to justify the name and concept. But the result is an album of fun but standard blues-based dirges, items a Lalo Schifrin or Les Baxter might have written for the juke-box scene in a biker movie. There are interesting touches, such as female laughter; arranger Frank Hunter had arranged abstract female vocals in an exotica album a decade earlier (as had Les Baxter). Fans of progressive 1960s rock looking for new kicks could do much worse, but it would be no surprise to learn that The Electric Junkyard sold in the dozens.

RCA Victor LSP-4158

segunda-feira, 1 de junho de 2009

Natural Gas - ST (1976) Produção Felix Pappalardi

Natural Gas - ST (1976) Private Stock Records PS 2011

Jerry Shirley - baterista do Humble Pie / Fastway
Peter Wood - Teclados
Mark Clarke - Baixista (Co-autor da faixa "The Wizard" do Uriah Heep, tocou nas bandas Colosseum / Uriah Heep / Rainbow / Mountain / Mott the Hoople)
Joey Molland - Guitarrista Badfinger

Clique para conhecer!

sábado, 13 de setembro de 2008

CROW - 1972 - DAVID WAGNER - d/b/a CROW

Even with the huge success of their second single 'Evil Woman’ (it sold upwards of 600,000 copies in it’s first year, and was covered on the first “Black Sabbath” LP), Crow made fateful choices that killed their career in record time. “Atlantic almost signed us," said Dave Wagner. "We had Atlantic on one line and Amaret on the other. Amaret was decided upon because (managers) Traut and Golden felt we'd get buried with the Atlantic. In a matter of months, it turned out to be the biggest mistake we ever made." Between late 1969 and early 1971, Crow either opened for or headlined with Jefferson Airplane, Three Dog Night, Steve Miller Band, Steppenwolf, Eric Burdon & War, Janis Joplin (three separate times) and Iron Butterfly. The group was working more than ever, but seemed to be enjoying it less. “We were becoming more and more disillusioned with Amaret by the day," said Wagner. "We fought with them over our artistic direction. We had some really good material for what was to be our fourth album all ready. But they turned it all down saying it wasn't commercial enough, or it wasn't this or that." Elektra Records were very interested in the group, but Amaret wouldn't let them out of their contract, unless they wouldn’t use the name Crow. And Elektra didn't want Crow without their name. In the closing months of 1971, Dave Wagner, feeling there was absolutely no way out of the band’s financial and managerial mess, left the group. In 1972, Amaret released a “Best Of Crow” (Amaret AST 5012) as a sort of epitaph to a this unique band. That same year, Amaret was sold to MGM records. A deal was worked out with MGM for Dave Wagner to release a solo album. "They sent me a list of material to choose from, about twenty songs,” Wagner said. “One of the songs they insisted I re-record was a Micky Newbury tune we had done as Crow called 'Mobile Blues.' I worked with some top-notch musicians. Basically, MGM was fulfilling its obligatory contract to get the album (“Dave Wagner, d/b/a Crow”) out. They had no interest in really backing the project." And so, the album and Crow’s career, came to a quiet end.

Sweathog - 1971 - ST (Southern Rock) CBS/Columbia 30601

Sweathog was a San Francisco-based quartet whose sound was fairly far removed from the music normally associated with that city. They were a powerful ensemble instrumentally, keyboardist/singer Lenny Lee (aka Lenny Lee Goldsmith), guitarist/singer Bob Jones, bassist/singer Dave Johnson, and drummer Frosty (aka Barry Smith, aka Bartholomew Smith) all top players in their field — Frosty had played with Lee Michaels on his third and fourth albums, while Jones had played on Harvey Mandel's Cristo Redentor and Righteous in the late '60s, and Goldsmith was an ex-member of the Five Americans. They were not bad as singers, either, with Goldsmith handling the leads. Their music was a mix of Southern-style soul, early-'70s funk, and blues, all wrapped around a virtuoso rock sound. The group was signed to Columbia Records at the time of that label's fixation on West Coast acts, under Clive Davis's regime — they were always looking for another Big Brother & the Holding Company, or something to take the place of that act on their roster. The group's self-titled debut album passed mostly without a musical trace, without an AM radio hit to drive sales, though its cover image of bare buttocks was censored in various countries. In 1972, they seemed to hit paydirt with their single "Hallelujah," a driving piece of explosive Southern-fried rock & roll with a soul edge that was a killer showcase for all four players (especially Frosty). It got to number 33 on the national charts, but that relatively modest performance doesn't indicate how popular it was on the radio, where it got airplay closer to that of a Top 20 hit. The song got the album (also titled Hallelujah) into stores, at least, but it never sold in huge numbers, despite a respectable promotion effort and a lot of exposure for the band, touring behind Black Sabbath, among other top acts of the period. They broke up in 1973, and Goldsmith later played on Martha Reeves' first post-Motown solo album before joining Stoneground.