quarta-feira, 31 de dezembro de 2014

Happy New Year

One more year is gone, and more to come yes!!! Thanks to B., Bertrand (the MFP AKA LRR), Adriana, Mauro Filipe, Bill (24hrDejaVu), Vasily, Edgar Puddings, Patrick, George, Gkapageridis, Bob (bamabob), Lawrence David, Roldo, Pedro RochaCrimson, Chuntao (RareMP3), Entremimente, Las Marias , Marcelo, Lágrima Psycadelica, Mr. JJ, Baby GrandPa, Simon, Justin Thyme, Jason, Frank, Pascal Georges, Chico ,Steve , Zapata, Caixo, Carioca Brasil, OldRockerBr, and so many more, and to all this blog followers,....thanks for sharing life around!!! Happy New Year 2015! Take care and enjoy. :)

Mad River - Mad River 1968

One of the oddest San Francisco Bay Area bands of the late '60s, Berkeley-based Mad River cut two albums that are highly regarded by psychedelic collectors. After releasing a rare EP on a tiny local label in 1967, the band signed with Capitol and released their self-titled debut the following year. Perhaps the most ominous San Francisco band of the time, the group often sounded like an extremely dark version of Quicksilver Messenger Service with a bit of Country Joe & the Fish's minor-key melodies thrown in. Their material veered between drawn-out angst jams and frenetic numbers, spotlighting David Robinson's shimmering, blistering guitar leads and leader/songwriter Lawrence Hammond's mournful, quavering vocals. Unpredictably, their second and last LP (1969's Paradise Bar & Grill) found the band drifting into laid-back country-rock with less memorable results. The dark side of the psychedelic experience, sounding like a soundtrack to a bad trip with its bleak, enigmatic lyrics, swirling, somewhat dissonant arrangements, and relentlessly minor melodies. The longer tracks meander at times, but the hell-bent jerking tempos of "Merciful Monks" and "Amphetamine Gazelle, " as well as the chilling closing lullaby "Hush Julian, " still pack a punch. The 1985 British reissue of this LP (on Edsel) adds extensive liner notes, and restores the album to its correct speed (the original master ran too fast). AMG.

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Moby Grape - Moby Grape 1969

Moby Grape's career was a long, sad series of minor disasters, in which nearly anything that could have gone wrong did (poor handling by their record company, a variety of legal problems, a truly regrettable deal with their manager, creative and personal differences among the bandmembers, and the tragic breakdown of guitarist and songwriter Skip Spence), but their self-titled debut album was their one moment of unqualified triumph. Moby Grape is one of the finest (perhaps the finest) album to come out of the San Francisco psychedelic scene, brimming with great songs and fresh ideas while blessedly avoiding the pitfalls that pockmarked the work of their contemporaries -- no long, unfocused jams, no self-indulgent philosophy, and no attempts to sonically re-create the sound of an acid trip. Instead, Moby Grape built their sound around the brilliantly interwoven guitar work of Jerry Miller,Peter Lewis, and Skip Spence, and the clear, bright harmonies of all five members (drummer Don Stevenson and bassist Bob Mosely sang just as well as they held down the backbeat). As songwriters, Moby Grape blended straight-ahead rock & roll, smart pop, blues, country, and folk accents into a flavorful brew that was all their own, with a clever melodic sense that reflected the lysergic energy surrounding them without drowning in it. And producer David Rubinson got it all on tape in a manner that captured the band's infectious energy and soaring melodies with uncluttered clarity, while subtly exploring the possibilities of the stereo mixing process. "Omaha," "Fall on You," "Hey Grandma," and "8:05" sound like obvious hits (and might have been if Columbia hadn't released them as singles all at once), but the truth is there isn't a dud track to be found here, and time has been extremely kind to this record. Moby Grape is as refreshing today as it was upon first release, and if fate prevented the group from making a follow-up that was as consistently strong, for one brief shining moment Moby Grape proved to the world they were one of America's great bands. While history remembers the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane as being more important, the truth is neither group ever made an album quite this good. AMG.

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Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced 1967

One of the most stunning debuts in rock history, and one of the definitive albums of the psychedelic era. On Are You Experienced?Jimi Hendrix synthesized various elements of the cutting edge of 1967 rock into music that sounded both futuristic and rooted in the best traditions of rock, blues, pop, and soul. It was his mind-boggling guitar work, of course, that got most of the ink, building upon the experiments of British innovators like Jeff Beck and Pete Townshend to chart new sonic territories in feedback, distortion, and sheer volume. It wouldn't have meant much, however, without his excellent material, whether psychedelic frenzy ("Foxey Lady," "Manic Depression," "Purple Haze"), instrumental freak-out jams ("Third Stone from the Sun"), blues ("Red House," "Hey Joe"), or tender, poetic compositions ("The Wind Cries Mary") that demonstrated the breadth of his songwriting talents. Not to be underestimated were the contributions of drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding, who gave the music a rhythmic pulse that fused parts of rock and improvised jazz. Many of these songs are among Hendrix's very finest; it may be true that he would continue to develop at a rapid pace throughout the rest of his brief career, but he would never surpass his first LP in terms of consistently high quality. [The British and American versions of the album differed substantially when they were initially released in 1967; MCA's 17-song reissue did everyone a favor by gathering all of the material from the two records in one place, adding a few B-sides from early singles as well.] AMG.

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Jimi Hendrix Experience - Axis: Bold as Love 1968

Jimi Hendrix's second album followed up his groundbreaking debut effort with a solid collection of great tunes and great interactive playing between himself, Noel ReddingMitch Mitchell, and the recording studio itself. Wisely retaining manager Chas Chandler to produce the album and Eddie Kramer as engineer, Hendrix stretched further musically than the first album, but even more so as a songwriter. He was still quite capable of coming up with spacy rockers like "You Got Me Floating," "Up from the Skies," and "Little Miss Lover," radio-ready to follow on the commercial heels of "Foxey Lady" and "Purple Haze." But the beautiful, wistful ballads "Little Wing," "Castles Made of Sand," "One Rainy Wish," and the title track set closer show remarkable growth and depth as a tunesmith, harnessingCurtis Mayfield soul guitar to Dylanesque lyrical imagery and Fuzz Face hyperactivity to produce yet another side to his grand psychedelic musical vision. These are tempered with Jimi's most avant-garde tracks yet, "EXP" and the proto-fusion jazz blowout of "If 6 Was 9." AMG.

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Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland 1968

Jimi Hendrix's third and final album with the original Experience found him taking his funk and psychedelic sounds to the absolute limit. The result was not only one of the best rock albums of the era, but also Hendrix's original musical vision at its absolute apex. When revisionist rock critics refer to him as the maker of a generation's mightiest dope music, this is the album they're referring to. ButElectric Ladyland is so much more than just background music for chemical intake. Kudos to engineer Eddie Kramer (who supervised the remastering of the original two-track stereo masters for this 1997 reissue on MCA) for taking Hendrix's visions of a soundscape behind his music and giving it all context, experimenting with odd mic techniques, echo, backward tape, flanging, and chorusing, all new techniques at the time, at least the way they're used here. What Hendrix sonically achieved on this record expanded the concept of what could be gotten out of a modern recording studio in much the same manner as Phil Spector had done a decade before with his Wall of Sound. As an album this influential (and as far as influencing a generation of players and beyond, this was his ultimate statement for many), the highlights speak for themselves: "Crosstown Traffic," his reinterpretation ofBob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," "Burning of the Midnight Lamp," the spacy "1983...(A Merman I Should Turn to Be)," and "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)," a landmark in Hendrix's playing. With this double set (now on one compact disc), Hendrix once again pushed the concept album to new horizons. AMG.

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Quicksilver Messenger Service - Quicksilver Messenger Service 1968

Quicksilver Messenger Service's debut effort was a little more restrained and folky than some listeners had expected, given their reputation for stretching out in concert. While some prefer the mostly live Happy Trails, this self-titled collection is inarguably their strongest set of studio material, with the accent on melodic folk-rock. Highlights include their cover of folksinger Hamilton Camp's "Pride of Man," probably their best studio track; "Light Your Windows," probably the group's best original composition; and founding member Dino Valenti's "Dino's Song" (Valenti himself was in jail when the album was recorded). "Gold and Silver" is their best instrumental jam, and the 12-minute "The Fool" reflects some of the best and worst traits of the psychedelic era. AMG.

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Quicksilver Messenger Service - Happy Trails 1969

Without question, this follow-up to Quicksilver Messenger Service's self-titled debut release is the most accurate in portraying the band on vinyl in the same light as the group's critically and enthusiastically acclaimed live performances. The album is essentially centered around the extended reworkings of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" and "Mona," as well as the lesser lauded -- yet no less intense -- contribution of Gary Duncan's (guitar/vocals) "Calvary." This album is the last to feature the original quartet incarnation of QMS. The collective efforts of John Cipollina (guitar/vocals), Greg Elmore (percussion), David Freiberg (bass/vocals), and the aforementioned Duncan retain the uncanny ability to perform with a psychedelic looseness of spirit, without becoming boring or in the least bit pretentious. The side-long epic "Who Do You Love?" suite is split into an ensemble introduction and coda as well as four distinct sections for the respective bandmembers. The perpetually inventive chops of QMS are what is truly on display here. The musicians' unmitigated instrumental prowess and practically psychic interaction allow them to seamlessly weave into and back out of the main theme. Yet all the while, each player takes center stage for uncompromising solos. "Mona" and its companion, "Calvary," continue in much the same fashion. Here the members ofQMS play off each other to form a cohesive unit. This track also contains some of Cipollina's finest and most memorable fretwork. He is able to summon sonic spirits from his guitar in a way that is unlikeany of his Bay Area contemporaries. A prime example of his individuality is the frenetic "Maiden of the Cancer Moon" -- ascending from the remnants of "Mona." The angst and energy in Cipollina's guitar work and line upon line of technical phrasing could easily be considered the equal of a Frank Zappaguitar solo. The brief title track, a cover of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans' "Happy Trails," seems almost insignificant in the wake of such virtuoso playing. It clears the sonic palette and also bids adieu to this particular fab foursome of psychedelia. AMG.

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Quicksilver Messenger Service - Shady Grove 1969

The third long-player from San Francisco psychedelic icons Quicksilver Messenger Service (QMS) is a direct contrast from their previous discs. Shady Grove (1969) is comprised mostly of shorter and self-contained pieces as opposed to the long and extended jams that were so prevalent on their self-titled debut (1967) and Happy Trails (1969). Ironically, the one stretched-out instrumental is courtesy of their latest acquisition -- Brit recording session guru Nicky Hopkins (keyboards). Another possible reason for the shift in style as well as personnel is the conspicuous absence of Gary Duncan (guitar) -- who is rumored to have been a "guest" of Bay Area law enforcement at the time. The band incorporate a number of different styles on the album. Kicking off the disc is an up-tempo rocking version of the traditional Appalachian folk song "Shady Grove." The QMS reading is highlighted byJohn Cipollina's trademark fluid fretwork and a familiar "Bo Diddley" backbeat -- reminiscent of both "Who Do You Love" and "Mona" from the live ensemble LP Happy Trails. The slow and dark "Flute Song" is a trippy minor chord masterpiece that is augmented by the shimmering effect of Hopkins' airy piano lines which mingle throughout the light orchestration. Additionally, QMS try their hand at the same country & western-flavored sound that was making the rounds with their San Fran contemporaries the Jefferson Airplane ("The Farm") and the Grateful Dead ("Dire Wolf"). However, the down-home cowboy waltz "Word's Can't Say" never gets out of the stable, unfortunately. This somewhat uneven effort would sadly foreshadow QMS's journey from psychedelia and into a much more pop-oriented sound on their follow-up, Just for Love (1970). However, enthusiasts of those albums will find much more to revisit on Shady Grove than those who favored the first two records. AMG.

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Savoy Brown - Shake Down 1967

Part of the late-'60s blues-rock movement, Britain's Savoy Brown never achieved as much success in their homeland as they did in America, where they promoted their albums with nonstop touring. The band was formed and led by guitarist Kim Simmonds, whose dominating personality has led to myriad personnel changes; the original lineup included singer Bryce Portius, keyboardist Bob Hall, guitaristMartin Stone, bassist Ray Chappell, and drummer Leo Manning. This lineup appeared on the band's 1967 debut,Shake Down, a collection of blues covers. Seeking a different approach, Simmonds dissolved the group and brought in guitarist Dave Peverett, bassist Rivers Jobe, drummer Roger Earl, and singer Chris Youlden, who gave them a distinctive frontman with his vocal abilities, bowler hat, and monocle. With perhaps its strongest lineup, Savoy Brown quickly made a name for itself, now recording originals like "Train to Nowhere" as well. However, Youlden left the band in 1970 following Raw Sienna, and shortly thereafter, PeverettEarl, and new bassist Tony Stevens departed to form Foghat, continuing the pattern of consistent membership turnover. Simmonds collected yet another lineup and began a hectic tour of America, showcasing the group's now-refined bluesy boogie rock style, which dominated the rest of their albums. The group briefly broke up in 1973, but re-formed the following year. Throughout the '80s and '90s Simmonds remained undeterred by a revolving-door membership and continued to tour and record. Their first album for the Blind Pig label, Strange Dreams, was released in 2003. Steelfollowed in 2007 from Panache Records. AMG.

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Savoy Brown - Getting to the Point 1968

Getting to the Point marks the debut of a vastly different lineup, still led by Simmonds but now fronted by new vocalist Chris Youlden. The pair got off to a good start by writing or co-writing most of the album. The playing is solid blues revival, and though Youlden's vocals are often overly imitative of B.B. King and Muddy Waters, he has a confident voice and frontman persona. Originals like "Flood in Houston" and "Mr. Downchild" provide the highlights. AMG.

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Savoy Brown - Blue Matter 1969

The third release by Kim Simmonds and company, but the first to feature the most memorable lineup of the group: Simmonds, "Lonesome" Dave Peverett, Tony "Tone" Stevens, Roger Earl, and charismatic singer Chris Youlden. This one serves up a nice mixture of blues covers and originals, with the first side devoted to studio cuts and the second a live club date recording. Certainly the standout track, indeed a signature song by the band, is the tour de force "Train to Nowhere," with its patient, insistent buildup and pounding train-whistle climax. Additionally, David Anstey's detailed, imaginative sleeve art further boosts this a notch above most other British blues efforts. AMG.

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quarta-feira, 24 de dezembro de 2014

Groundhogs - Blues Obituary 1969

Recorded during June of 1969 at Marquee Studios in London with Gary Collins and Colin Caldwellengineering, the trio of Groundhogs put the blues to rest on Blues Obituary in front of a castle on the Hogart-designed cover while six black and whites from photographer Zorin Matic grace the back in morbid Creepy or Eerie Magazine comic book fashion. Composed, written, and arranged by Tony "T.S." McPhee, there are seven tracks hovering from the around four- to seven-minute mark. The traditional "Natchez Burning," arranged by McPhee, fits in nicely with his originals while the longest track, the six-minute-and-50-second "Light Is the Day," features the most innovation -- a Ginger Baker-style tribal rant by drummer Ken Pustelnik allowing McPhee to lay down some muted slide work. As the tempo on the final track elevates along with manic guitar runs by McPhee, the jamming creates a color separate from the rest of the disc while still in the same style. Vocals across the board are kept to a minimum. It is all about the sound, Cream without the flash, bandleader McPhee vocally emulating Alvin Lee (by way of Canned Heat's Alan Wilson) on the four-minute conclusion to side one that is "Mistreated." While Americans like Grand Funk's Mark Farner turned the format up a commercial notch, Funk's "Mean Mistreater" sporting the same sentiment while reaching a wider audience, the Groundhogs on this late-'60s album keep the blues purely in the underground. The pumping beat on "Mistreated" embraces the lead guitarist's vocal, which poses that eternal blues question: "what have I done that's wrong?" Blistering guitar on the opening track, "B.D.D.," sets the pace for this deep excursion into the musical depths further down than Canned Heat ever dared go. While "Daze of the Weak" starts off sludgy enough, it quickly moves like a train out of control, laying back only to explode again. "Times" get things back to more traditional roots on an album that breaks little new ground, and is as consistent as Savoy Brown when they got into their primo groove. AMG.

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The Who - The Who Sings My Generation 1966

An explosive debut, and the hardest mod pop recorded by anyone. At the time of its release, it also had the most ferociously powerful guitars and drums yet captured on a rock record. Pete Townshend's exhilarating chord crunches and guitar distortions threaten to leap off the grooves on "My Generation" and "Out in the Street"; Keith Moon attacks the drums with a lightning, ruthless finesse throughout. Some "Maximum R&B" influence lingered in the two James Brown covers, but much of Townshend's original material fused Beatlesque hooks and power chords with anthemic mod lyrics, with "The Good's Gone," "Much Too Much," "La La La Lies," and especially "The Kids Are Alright" being highlights. "A Legal Matter" hinted at more ambitious lyrical concerns, and "The Ox" was instrumental mayhem that pushed the envelope of 1965 amplification with its guitar feedback and nonstop crashing drum rolls. While the execution was sometimes crude, and the songwriting not as sophisticated as it would shortly become, the Who never surpassed the pure energy level of this record. AMG.

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