28.9.11

Pugh Rogefeldt - Ja, da a da ! (1969)



Pugh Rogefeldt, real name Anders Sture Torbjörn Rogefeldt (born 2 March 1947 in Västeras, Sweden), is a Swedish singer, musician, guitarist and songwriter.

Rogefeldt made his breakthrough in the late 1960s with albums such as Ja, dä ä dä and Pughish. Unlike most other Swedish pop musicians who wanted to achieve international success, he sang in Swedish. One song which is commonly associated with Rogefeldt is Sma lätta moln. Other major hits include Här kommer natten, Föräldralaten, Hog Farm, Dinga Linga Lena and Stockholm. In the 1970s, he toured with this band Rainrock, together with Ola Magnell and Janne Lucas Persson. A live double LP was released from this tour, entitled Ett steg till.

In the early 1990s, he was also a member of Grymlings, alongside Göran Lagerberg, Mikael Rickfors and Magnus Lindberg.


It’s sometimes easy to pass over the amount of good music which came out of Europe in the late sixties and early seventies. Albums made on the continent tended not to make such a big impact on the American or British markets and as a result are often maligned as novelty also-rans or given their dues way too long after they deserved it.

Serge Gainsbourg was plumbing the depths of depravity with his sleazy releases in France (where else). In Holland the supremely brilliant Jan Ackerman was busy carving up the fret board with Brainbox and Focus. In Germany, Can and the other Krautrockers were crafting some of the greatest music ever transposed to vinyl.
The Joys of Swedish Rock

In Sweden in 1969, Pugh Rogefeldt was taking the first steps on a long and varied career that would crown him as a cultural icon in his own native land. His first album Ja, dä ä dä, was recorded for Metronome and featured the talents of guitarist George Wadenius and respected Jazz and Funk drummer Jan Karlsson. The three of them managed to produce a fine album of psychedelic funk.

Pugh had been shipping out demos to various record companies, but by the time Metronome Records offered him a recording contract he had begun his military service. Leave wasn’t granted for making records at this time, so, in keeping with the sheer recklessness of the decade Pugh went AWOL and went off to the studio to record Ja, dä ä dä...and then spent 3 months in prison for doing so.

And it is a good thing he did because Ja, dä ä dä is pretty solid throughout. Stylistically it draws upon straight up blues rock, but with Pugh’s penchant for experimentation and playful compositional structures the album at times veers more towards early Pink Floyd and progressive rock territory.

The first track on the album “Love, Love, Love” should be instantly recognisable to fans of DJ Shadow as the crashing introductory drum break was lifted in its entirety for Shadow’s “Mutual Slump”. Aside from that it’s a brilliant bit of rock with an astounding guitar solo courtesy of Wadenius.

Elsewhere on the album Pugh turns his hand to doom-laden blues with “Här kommer natten”. He bows his acoustic guitar with mixed results on the folksy, Donovan-esque “Signe”, and demonstrates his ability to eat a harmonica on the slightly bonkers “Dä ä bra, dä ä fint”.

But by far the best track has to be “Sma lätta moln”. Apparently a song about clouds, it’s a terrific bit of hazy psychedelic folk, with gentle acoustic strumming and circling finger picking. Gorgeously ethereal vocals carry the track through to its dreamy psychedelic ending.

Pugh carried on through the seventies with some notable releases such as Pughish in 1970 and 1972’s Hollywood. However his records seemed to become less well received towards the eighties as rock became outdate and less popular. Thankfully he is still making music today and his back catalogue is worth a listen, even if it’s just to discover that there is more to Sweden’s musical heritage than Benny and Bjorn. --- Rewiev by Gerard Fanno.

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27.9.11

Halina Frąckowiak & ABC - Hallo No. 2 (1971)





Halina Frąckowiak (ur. 1947) – polska piosenkarka, kompozytorka i autorka tekstów.

Halina Frąckowiak debiutowała w 1963 i 1964 na Festiwalu Młodych Talentów w Szczecinie. Konkurowała tutaj z Czesławem Niemenem, Zdzisławą Sośnicką i Krzysztofem Klenczonem, została laureatką tak zwanej "Złotej Dziesiątki". Współpracowała z takimi zespołami, jak Tony, Takty i Tarpany. Następnie zdobywała kolejne nagrody na festiwalach piosenki w Opolu i w Kołobrzegu w latach 1969, 1976, 1977, 1988, 1991 i 1993. W roku 1976 w Opolu nagrodzono ją dodatkowo tytułem "Miss Obiektywu".

Pracując z takimi zespołami jak Czerwono-Czarni, ABC, Tarpany czy Drumlersi, wylansowała swoje największe przeboje ("Ktoś", "Czekam tu", "Napisz, proszę"). Jednocześnie dokształcała swoje umiejętności wokalne u Alicji Barskiej.

W 1972 rozpoczęła karierę solową. Wtedy to właśnie wygrała kilkakrotnie plebiscyt na najpopularniejszą piosenkarkę, brała udział w zagranicznych festiwalach (Ostenda, Rostock, Drezno), gdzie otrzymała najważniejsze wyróżnienia i nagrody, m.in. otrzymała "Złoty Mikrofon" Polsko-Amerykańskiej Agencji Artystycznej.

W drodze na koncert, który miała odbyć w 1990 w Gorzowie Wielkopolskim, uległa poważnemu wypadkowi drogowemu. Miała pokaleczoną przez szkło twarz i połamane nogi. Chociaż obrażenia twarzy zagoiły się stosunkowo szybko bez widocznych blizn, to uszkodzenia nóg były poważniejsze i wymagały wielotygodniowego leczenia i wielomiesięcznej rehabilitacji.

Piosenkarka nagrała ponad 20 płyt i kaset, a jej koncerty można było obejrzeć w wielu miejscach Europy oraz w Stanach Zjednoczonych i Kanadzie. Występowała między innymi w Teatrze Muzycznym w Gdyni, w Teatrze Wielkim w Łodzi i Warszawie.

Płyta Ogród Luizy (i cykl 20 liryków miłosnych) powstaje jako owoc zafascynowania Haliny Frąckowiak poezją Kazimierza Wierzyńskiego. Kolejnym ważnym wydarzeniem stała się płyta nagrana z grupą SBB – Geira. Na listach przebojów znalazły się takie utwory jak: "Tin Pan Alley", "Papierowy księżyc" czy "Anna już tu nie mieszka". To efekt stopniowej zmiany repertuaru piosenkarki na poważniejszy i bardziej liryczny.

Polskie Nagrania, na Krajowym Festiwalu Polskiej Piosenki w Opolu, przyznały Halinie Frąckowiak Złotą Płytę za całokształt dokonań artystycznych.

W 2008 roku nagrała nową wersję swojego przeboju "Papierowy księżyc" razem z zespołem Muchy. (wikipedia)



Halina Frąckowiak (born April 10, 1947 in Poznań) - Polish singer, composer and songwriter.
She debuted in 1963 and 1964 at the Festival of Young Talents in Szczecin, was awarded the so-called “Golden Ten”. Working with bands such as Czerwono-Czarni, ABC, Tarpany or Drumlersi launched her greatest hits (“Ktoś”, “Czekam tu”, “Napisz proszę”). In 1972 she began a solo career, and she repeatedly won the contest for the most popular singer.

The singer has recorded over 20 records and cassettes, her concerts could be seen in many places in Europe and the United States and Canada. She performed public, inter alia, in the Musical Theatre in Gdynia, the Grand Theatre in Łódź and Warsaw. Halina Frąckowiak has been awarded the Gold Record for lifetime artistic achievement by “Polish Recordings” on the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole.

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VA - Working-Class Devils. Subversive Beat, R'n'B and Psych From Poland 1965-1971 (2011)



Czytelnik naszego bloga - Szarpidrut - przesłał nam informację o nowym, bardzo ciekawym wydawnictwie, które powinno zainteresować miłośników brzmień lat 60-tych, a szczególnie polskiej muzyki. Równocześnie jest nam smutno, że nie możemy się podzielić z Wami samą muzyką. Płyta ukazała się w wersji winylowej, w limitowanym nakładzie, a "techniczne" umiejętności naszego czytelnika uniemożliwiają prezentację we "współczesnych" formatach (może jakaś samopomoc naszych czytelników by pomogła).

"Ta składanka na pewno zadziwi wszystkich zakręconych na punkcie lat 60, ale nie tylko. Nie co dzień mamy przecież okazję posłuchać nagrań, które zdawałoby się już nigdy nie ujrzą światła dziennego. Working-Class Devils to właśnie zbiór 16 takich polskich rockowych kawałków z lat 1965-1971. Tu się wszyscy skrzywią i stwierdzą znudzeni: ale takich składanek jest przecież od metra. Otóż właśnie nie, co zaraz postaram się udowodnić.

Zacznę od najważniejszego czyli muzyki, bo tu sensacja goni sensację. Podobnie jak w przypadku kultowej już składanki Wrenchin’ The Wires mamy tu do czynienia z „prawdziwym” big beatem – „garażowym” i jazgotliwym, niepoddającym się za bardzo gomułkowskiej cukierkowatości a la Czerwono-Czarni czy Czerwone Gitary. Z 16 utworów na płycie tylko trzy są w miarę znane i dostępne gdzie indziej - Klan, Trzy Korony, Filipinki – choć wybór nagrań też nie jest zbyt „polski”. Niektóre to utwory dla fanów niemal legendarne (choć nigdy oficjalnie niewydane bądź niewznowione) jak Ballada o nutriońcach Zdroju Jana, Huk puk Szwagrów czy Purple Haze Niebiesko-Czarnych. Oprócz tego są też absolutne białe kruki – zespoły Elar, Śliwki, Birbanci, Filipy, o których każdy prawdziwy kolekcjoner big beatu wiedział, że podobno coś kiedyś nagrały, ale nikt tego nigdy nie słyszał. Do tego dwie wersje radiowe (też chyba nigdzie niedostępne) Cool Jerk Polan i Dwudzieste szóste marzenie Skaldów, obie lepsze, bardziej zadziorne od dobrze znanych wersji płytowych. Całość daje potężnego rockandrollowego kopa i mnóstwo radości z obcowania z czymś elitarnym, czego nikt inny dotąd nie słyszał. Gdybym miał porównać ten zestaw do polskich wydawnictw, np. do Warszawskiego Rock and Rolla lat 60 (również wydanego na winylu), to powiedziałbym, że to jak niebo i ziemia, inna liga po prostu.

Już samo to, że składanka została wydana tylko na Zachodzie (Niemcy? Wlk. Brytania?) i tylko na winylu w nakładzie 500 egzemplarzy (podobno, bo pewności nie ma) świadczy o tym, że ma to być kolekcjonerski rarytas. Ktoś niezorientowany pewnie pomyśli, że tylko jakiś chory wydawca mógłby chcieć wypuścić nasz przaśny big-beat za granicą. Tymczasem wygląda na to, że to my Polacy jesteśmy największymi ignorantami, a dobrą muzykę inni sprzątają nam sprzed nosa. Jakoś kolekcjonerzy na całym świecie gotowi są zapłacić dobrą cenę za taką przaśną płytę. Oczywiście musi ona zawierać świetne i ciekawe kawałki, a nie wciąż te same „złote hity lat 60” odgrzewane w kółko przez Polskie Nagrania jak „Czterej pancerni i pies” przez TVP. " (Szarpidrut)

Side A
  1. KLAN - Nie sadźcie rajskich jabłoni
  2. ŚLIWKI - Gdy oczy zamknę
  3. POLANIE - Cool Jerk (radio version)
  4. ZDRÓJ JANA - Ballada o nutriońcach
  5. SZWAGRY - Huk puk
  6. BARDOWIE - To nic
  7. BIRBANCI - Jeden z nas
  8. ELAR - Moloch

Side B
  1. NIEBIESKO-CZARNI - Purple Hazy
  2. TARPANY - Kwiatki
  3. TRUBADURZY - Gdy ona mówi tak, myślę nie
  4. KRZYSZTOF KLENCZON & TRZY KORONY - Piosenka o niczym
  5. FILIPY - Lawina
  6. CZARNE GOLFY - Nie dla ciebie
  7. SKALDOWIE - Dwudzieste szóste marzenie (radio version)
  8. FILIPINKI – Hej nam hej


BEAT ROAD RECORDS returns after a longer silence with a new sensational production feat a number of incredible cool, rare and extraordinary rarities from the polish 60s scene that will give a completely new insight into one of those still underexplored scenes from behind the Iron Curtain. Tough Beatmusic, savage Garagepunk, mindbending Freakbeat and killer Psyche - all 100% guaranteed to burn itself into your ears and brains. LP features the freakbeat-psych kick-off by Klan or the girls-in-the-garage-meets-Eastern-folk wrap-up by Filipinki. It rumbles through Zdrój Jana's and Trzy Korony's fuzzy psychedelic weirdness and Szwagry's rough garage-punk. Along comes a freakish protest psycher by Elar, snarling garage by Czarne Golfy, Filipys cool surf instro "Lawina", Niebiesko-Czarni's fuzztone madness on "Purple Haze", organ-driven ravers by Tarpany and Polanie who provide a cool garage/mod rendition of the Capitols "Cool Jerk" alongside other, all uncompiled and unbelievable gems. The sound quality is fantastic and the English-written liner notes are superior, detailed and exciting too. Great artwork, b&w and colour pictures of the bands and sleeves complete this unique and mind-opening comp. With its 500-copy pressing it just can't be around for long, so grab it before the "Bloc Beat" craze hits the garageland for good. No Overlaps to previous comps from the polish Sixties.

We are sorry but there's no link in comments because our reader which send to us information about this limited edition album don't have possibilities to rip it from vinyl.

24.9.11

Zoot Money's Big Roll Band- Zoot ! (1966)



Colin Allen - drums
Johnny Almond, Nick Newell - flute, sax
Andy Summers - guitar
Zoot Money - keyboards, vocal
Paul Williams - bass, vocal

George Bruno Money, known as Zoot Money (born 17 July 1942, Bournemouth, England) is a British vocalist, keyboardist and bandleader best known for his playing of the Hammond organ and association with his Big Roll Band. Inspired by Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles, he was drawn to rock and roll music and became a leading light in the vibrant music scene of Bournemouth and Soho during the 1960s. Money has been associated with Eric Burdon, Steve Marriott, Rocket 88, Snowy White, Mick Taylor, Spencer Davis, Geno Washington, Brian Joseph Friel, The Hard Travelers, Widowmaker and Alan Price.

He is known as a bit part and character actor and as "one of British rock & roll's homebound heroes - admired, respected, and sought after by his colleagues".

Born George Bruno Money in Bournemouth in 1942, his family were Italian immigrants though of English descent on his father's side. He played the French horn and sang in the school choir as a boy. During the mid-'50s, he discovered Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles, took up keyboard and, by the beginning of the '60s, Hammond organ. He took his name after Zoot Sims after seening the latter in concert.

In early Autumn 1961 Zoot Money formed the Big Roll Band, with himself as vocalist, Roger Collis on lead guitar, pianist Al Kirtley, bassist Mike "Monty" Montgomery and drummer Johnny Hammond. In 1962 drummer Pete Brookes replaced Hammond at the same time as bassist Johnny King and tenor sax player Kevin Drake joined the band.

The Big Roll Band played soul, jazz and R&B, moving with musical trends as the now established R&B movement moved into the Swinging Sixties and became associated with the burgeoning "Soho scene". Money's antics as a flamboyant frontman were a feature of the band's act. During 1964 The Big Roll Band started playing regularly at The Flamingo Club in Soho, London until Money joined Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. In July 1967 the Big Roll Band became Dantalian's Chariot and in spite of a lack of chart success the band found itself at the heart of a new counter culture, sharing concert line-ups with Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. A single, "Madman Running Through the Fields", was released in 1967 but in April 1968 Dantalian's Chariot was disbanded. During 1968, with a brief stint in the United States with Eric Burdon & The New Animals, Money moved home to the States for a short time. During this period he began attracting acting roles and started a parallel career with character appearances in film and TV dramas.

In the 1970s Money appeared with different acts including the poetry and rock band Grimms, Ellis, Centipede, Kevin Ayers and Kevin Coyne. Money toured with Coyne and appeared on Coyne's double album In Living Black And White (1976), which was recorded at live performances, and on his two studio albums Heartburn (1976) and Dynamite Daze (1978). Money signed to Paul McCartney's record label MPL Communications in 1980 and recorded Mr. Money produced by Jim Diamond. In 1981 Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane formed a band with Money, bass player Jim Leverton, drummer Dave Hynes and saxophone player Mel Collins to record the album The Majic Mijits. The album features songs by Lane and Marriott but due to Lane's multiple sclerosis, they were unable to tour to promote it. It was eventually released nineteen years later."Majic Mijits. An interview with Jim Leverton".


In 1994 Money appeared with Alan Price and The Electric Blues Company alongside vocalist and guitarist Bobby Tench, bassist Peter Grant and drummer Martin Wild, on A Gigster's Life for Me. He continued to appear with Price at live appearances in UK. The only Dantalian's Chariot album Chariot Rising was eventually released in 1997, thity years after it was recorded. In 1998 Money produced Ruby Turner's album Call Me By My Name, and the Woodstock Taylor and The Aliens album Road Movie (2002), also contributing keyboards to both. In 2002 he recorded tracks with Humble Pie for their album Back on Track released by Sanctuary Records.

In 2000, he starred in the underground cult film Remember a Day (2000 film); as a fanatical fan stalking the Rock star Roger Bannerman, played by Darryl Read, the character and story of the film were closely based on Syd Barrett.

Money joined Pete Goodall to re-record the Thunderclap Newman UK hit single Something In The Air (2004) written by John "Speedy" Keene, which featured the last recorded performance by saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith.[10] In 2005 Money joined Goodall to record a CD of new songs by Goodall and Pete Brown. They went on to tour the UK under the name of Good Money. In early 2006 Money and drummer Colin Allen joined vocalist Maggie Bell, bassist Colin Hodgkinson and guitarist Miller Anderson, in The British Blues Quintet.

He appeared with The RD Crusaders for The Teenage Cancer Trust at "The London International Music Show", on 15 June 2008. In 2009 he appeared with Maggie Bell, Bobby Tench, Chris Farlowe and Alan Price, in the Maximum Rhythm and Blues Tour of thirty two UK theatres. (wikipedia)

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17.9.11

The Ex + Tom Cora - Scrabbling at the Lock (1991)

Kolejne wcielenie holenderskiej grupy The Ex. "Scrabbling at the Lock" to pierwszy z dwóch albumów The Ex, nagrany we współpracy z awangardowym wiolonczelistą Tomem Cora. Jest to również pierwsza studyjna płyta The Ex, na której dołącza do zespołu i zostaje na dłużej gitarzysta Andy Moor z Dog Faced Hermans. Ze współpracy tej wyłoniły się nagrania będące oryginalną mieszanką punk rocka, folku i muzyki improwizowanej z  mocnym społeczno-politycznym akcentem.



After producing an extensive discography through the '80s which contains some of the best avant-rock and post-punk put to record in the decade, the staunch Dutch independent group is paralleled by Fugazi in maintaining a strident autonomy in both business and aesthetic approaches. During the '80s they produced some of the most hard-hitting political punk, but by the beginning of the '90s were starting to experiment in new tangents that incorporated the influence of folk and free improvisation. Teaming up with the extraordinary avant-garde cellist Tom Cora of Skeleton Crew and Roof for his baffling solo cello improvisations, this formation explored the delicate modalities of European folk. A beautiful, candid recording that marks an inspired new tangent for the Ex which sparked themes that would run through their recordings for the remainder of the decade -- where folk and free improvisation would collide elegantly with their soaring autodidactic avant-rock. (Dean McFarlane)
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13.9.11

Peace Bread & Land Band - Spirito-Politico Folk Rock 1969-1978





This vinyl disk contains two pieces from an unreleased demo tape done by the original Peace, Bread & Land Band in Berkeley in 1969, six songs from Liberation Music , a 10" record produced in Seattle in 1970, two songs from Mill Town Blues , a 7" album recorded in 1974, and two tracks from Modality Stew , a 12" disk recorded in Olympia and Vancouver, Washington in 1978.'

'This was basically Sid Brown's band (ex-Spike Drivers). When he moved from the Detroit area to San Francisco he went to the Ali Akbar College of Music in Berkeley and formed Peace, Bread & Land Band. They made some recordings. After that the band moved north and released a 10" EP Liberation Music in an oversized envelope (full of '60s motives) and later on a 7" EP.

They later changed their name to Peace, Bread & Land and made an album Sid is not very proud of. That's why he parallelly did a record on his own: Modality Stew . The songs are from all periods with all the songs from the 10" EP.'

'Communal left-wing hippie folkrock with female vocals and a strong political orientation, including a poem by Ho Chi Minh set to music and women's rights concerns. A mono recording.' - Acid Archives

'Should also throw in a word for the recent Peace Bread & Land Band reissue from RD Records, which I'd rate as among the top 3 I've heard on the label, up t with the Spikedrivers (a percussor to this band) and the old Bob Smith box set. It's hippie folkrock with a strong political edge and an Eastern undercurrent; accessible sound for most psych heads, with the bonus of two outstanding unreleased tracks from 1969.' - Patrick Lundborg



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Ruth Copeland - The Invictus Sessions 1971-1972 (2002)





Billy Nelson - bass
Tiki Fulwood - drums
Eddie Hazel - guitar
Bernie Worrell - keyboards
Tawl Ross - guitar
Ruth Copeland - vocal

Ruth Copeland is an English singer known for her involvement with George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic.

Copeland was born in Durham, in the north-east of England. She initially pursued her music career as a blues and folk singer, however she gained her first break after her marriage to Motown producer Jeffrey Bowen. When Holland, Dozier and Holland created the new Invictus Records, Bowen began producing records for the label, and Copeland became one of the label's first white performers, as a member of the newly signed group 'New Play'. Copeland was involved in writing material for the group, however New Play was not successful, and soon disbanded.

At the same time as Copeland's involvement with Invictus, George Clinton's Parliament was also signed to the label. She became involved with work on the group's debut album, Osmium, co-producing the record with Clinton and writing two of the album's tracks: 'Little Old Country Boy' and 'The Silent Boatman'. These tracks are unusual in Parliament-Funkadelic's catalogue, and show the influence of Copeland's interest in country and British folk music.

Following the release of Osmium in 1970, Copeland continued to collaborate with Clinton, co-writing a further two singles for Parliament, 'Come In Out of the Rain' and 'Breakdown', which were released between 1971-1972.

The year 1972 also saw Copeland contribute to the self-titled album released by The Politicians featuring McKinley Jackson. She co-wrote the album's opening track, 'Psycha-Soula-Funkadelic', a track subsequently sampled by Brighton-based band The Go! Team, on their 2007 album Proof of Youth.

Alongside her work on Parliament's debut, Copeland also began working on solo material, and her first album Self Portrait was released by Invictus in October 1970. The album featured contributions not only from George Clinton, but from a range of other Parliament-Funkadelic musicians, including Bernie Worrell, Eddie Hazel, Tawl Ross, Billy Bass Nelson and Tiki Fulwood.

A second album, I Am What I Am was released in July 1971, again featuring a range of P-Funk musicians, including several (such as Hazel and Nelson) who had recently left Funkadelic due to financial concerns. These former Funkadelic musicians remained with Copeland as her backing band when she toured to promote her album.

Copeland was unable to sustain the success of her initial albums and tours. Despite releasing a third album entitled Take Me To Baltimore in 1976, she failed to repeat the popularity of her initial releases. (wikipedia)

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12.9.11

The Heads - Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere (2000)



Simon Price - guitars, voices
Hugo O. Morgan - bass
Wayne Maskell - drums
Paul Allen - keyboards, guitars, voices

Originally formed in 1990 by Hugo Morgan, Simon Price and Dave Spencer (guitar) from the remnants of Bristol bands Quinton and The Spasmodics respectively. They were joined by Wayne Maskell a few months later and played music somewhat influenced by Loop, Spacemen 3 and The Stooges. This line up lasted for 2 years, playing support slots to bands such as Babes in Toyland and Swervedriver, but without any record releases (although an early version of Spliff Riff appeared on the Sessions 1 7" released by Rocket records in 1999).

After a few months with a guitarist called Jim, who then left to be replaced by Paul Allen (aka ROCKPROF) in 1993, the band took a slightly more rock route more inspired by bands such as Monster Magnet. Their first single was released in 1994, entitled

The QUAD EP. This has become a collectors item with its Russ Meyer inspired sleeve and initial copies including a packet of cigarette papers with the name of the band printed on the front.

The band recorded 3 Peel Sessions between 1995 and 1999 as well as a session for Mark Radcliffe.


The Heads create quite a stirring dirge on Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere. One wouldn't think that the relatively aggressive and moody guitar sound of the Heads would come from the band's home of Bristol, England, a region known more for experimental techno and trip-hop artists. Much of the music from Bristol qualifies as chill-out quality; the music on this album might be called fired-up. The band sound like they're scoring a 1970s movie about a road trip across the United States, a movie with a great deal of drug ingestion and scenes of violence or confusion, one would think. The band mostly strays from traditional song structures, focusing instead on the power and feel of wailing, dirty guitars. At times the guitars suggest the sound of airplanes taking off or landing, as on "Pill Jam," which later becomes reminiscent of Vincent Gallo's cool score to his movie Buffalo '66. Samples appear randomly throughout the album's running time. A goofy narrator, a playground of children, a barking dog, and the band's chatter all add to the confused state of things. "Barcoded" is a definite highpoint. It flies out of one's speakers like a cross between Killing Joke, Brian Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy, and The Fall's fractured art rock. "Motorjam" seems to go forever without ever getting boring, as searing guitars and wobbly bass compete to form a stranglehold on the overall atmosphere. "Stab Railroad" sounds like Joy Division doing a goth impression of the Doors. The album is messy, snarled, and, for the most part, quite interesting. Clocking in at more than 70 minutes, it's a bit hard to stomach in one listen. In small doses, the album shines quite bright; in larger doses, the music overwhelms and punishes, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Only fans of hard rock will appreciate what the Heads have concocted on Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere, but those enamored with blissed-out, shaggy guitars will love this crazed ride. ---Tim DiGravina, All Music (more here)

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3.9.11

Beacon Street Union - "The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union" (1968)


[PL]

Ciężko się nie zgodzić z trywialną opinią, że większość arcydzieł psychedelii lat '60 została wykreowana w obrębie San Francisco lub Los Angeles czy ogólnie Bay Area. Jedna z najrzadszych i najbardziej poszukiwanych płyt psychedelicznych została jednak nagrana przez kapelę z Bostonu, która założona została około roku 1964 pod nazwą Beacon Street Union. Zespół liczył sobie pięciu (czy też jeśli wierzyć apokryfom sześciu) członków, których lost zetknął w obrębie uczelni Boston College, na granicy której znajdowała się Beacon Street – skąd pochodzi nazwa. Najważniejszy głos w zespole mieli John Lincoln Wright (wokal) oraz Wayne Ulaky (gitara basowa), którzy skomponowali też znaczną część repertuarau. W 1967 los uśmiechnął się do nich, kiedy kontrakt nagraniowy z wytwórnią MGM zaproponował im producent Wes Farrell, znany wcześniej z promocji i produkcji wielu grup pop rockowych i garażowych.

Rok 1967 był przełomowy dla amerykańskiego biznesu muzycznego i każda licząca się wytwórnia szukała na lewo i prawo produktów, które podbiłyby rynek. Kierownictwo MGM nie myślało inaczej i firma próbowała w tym czasie wygryźć konkurencji (głównie wytwórniom Columbia, RCA i Elektra) kawałek modnego, psychedelicznego tortu, który nagle – jak pokazywał sukces The Doors i Jefferson Airplane – stał się dominującym trendem w przemyśle nagraniowym. Pod bokiem był Nowy Jork i Boston – kuźnie brzmienia Wschodniego Wybrzeża – brakowało jednak sceny muzycznej, która jako zjawisko kulturowe rozprzestrzeniała się w Kalifornii z szybkością huraganu.



Z braku laku i dla większego boomu, dział marketingu MGM szybko wymyślił lokalną scenę o prześmiesznej nazwie – The Bosstown Sound. Beacon Street Union wraz z grupami The Ultimate Spinach, Eden's Children, Orpheus i Puff – których płyty są dzisaj łakomym kąskiem dla fanów psychedelii – stali się z dnia na dzień częścią nowego zjawiska! Pomimo tego, że jedynym wspólnym mianownikiem była wytwórnia płytowa, nie obniżyło to w żaden znaczący sposób jakości samej muzyki. Beacon Street Union zostali uwiecznieni na dwóch płytach, które następnie fala historii zmiotła na ponad trzydzieści lat. Pierwsza płyta zespołu jest pozycją genialną i powinna się znaleźć w każdej kolekcji szanującego się fana psychedelii.

Słuchając "The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union” mam czasem wrażenie, że tak mogłaby brzmieć pierwsza płyta The Velvet Underground z Nico, gdyby zespół bardziej poleciał na kwasowej fali. Nie zrozumcie mnie źle, podopieczni Warhola nagrali dobrą płytę, szukam po prostu nowych połączeń. Dla mnie to właśnie brzmienie pierwszej płyty bostońskich kwasiarzy decyduje o niepowtarzalnym klimacie ich grania (doskonała robota w studiu)... a nie mniejszą rolę odgrywają abstrakcyjne, poetyckie teksty. Duże wrażenie robi także szata graficzna okładki z pięknymi psychedelicznymi kolażami, które akcentują zagrożenie wybuchem atomowym z XVIII wiecznymi ilustracjami, z okresu Amerykańskiej Wojny o Niepodległość (zespół był w końcu z Bostonu, kolebki ruchu niepodłegłościowego). Zarówno muzyka, jak i okładka zostały w swoim czasie zauważone, płyta przedarła się na 75. miejsce Billboardu, a psychedeliczne kolaże dostały bardzo pozytywne recenzje w prasie. To jednak w zasadzie wszystko... i czterdzieści lat później odkrywamy tą płytę jak gdyby nigdy nic.

Album startuje tajemniczą recytacją (krytykowaną często za kiczowatość), która interpretowana być może jako koncepcyjny klej albo anty establishmentowy manifest, z pewnością zapowiada jednak coś więcej niż tylko przebieranie palcami po gitarze i w istocie dostajemy przemyślaną od początku do końca spiralę absolutnie oryginalnych kompozycji raz ocierających się o garaż, raz o kwasowy wypierdol, ale także o muzykę cyrkową i parodię kawiarnianego jazzu. Zdecydowanie przeważają tu jednak stare, dobre, tripowe wibracje, które idealnie pasują do pierwszej godziny kwasowych drgawek. Chłopcy musieli mimo wszystko jeść dobre kropelki.



Zwraca uwagę twarde brzmienie basu, które rzadko produkowane było na płytach psychedelicznych w ten sposób, za to mocno eksploatowane przez grupy garażowe tj. The Sonics czy Paul Revere & The Raiders (charakterystyczny bas Voxa). Tuż za nim uderza w nas piękna perkusja, napędzana lekką, niemal jazzową techniką i obowiązkowa, apokaliptyczna gitara. W kawałku "Sportin' Life" (wspomniana parodia kawiarnianego jazzu) akompaniament składa się jednak głównie z pianina i organów, co pięknie odsłania horyzonty i możliwości techniczne grupy (tak stary, nie uważam że jest to tylko nudny zapychacz). Gdyby twardo skategoryzować tą płytę, znalazłaby się pośrodku trójkąta "Strange Days” The Doors, debiutu The Velvet Underground i tytułowej płyty The United States Of America.

Jest tu oczywiście sporo kwaszenia na gitarze, jak w "My Love”, "Mystic Mourning” czy "Green Destroys The Gold”, co z pewnością docenią fani sceny San Francisco, oraz nieco twardsze, bardziej garażowe kawałki tj. "Blue Avenue” czy mroczny, na maksa wykwaszony kawałek „South End Incident” z pięknymi, quasi gotyckymi partiami organowymi. Wszystko fantastycznie zaaranżowane i wyprodukowane, a jeśli wierzyć starym hippisom, tak samo dobrze było grane również na żywo. W 2010 label Cherry Red Records wydał obydwa albumy grupy na CD, dzięki czemu możecie ich teraz słuchać bez wydawania 80 euro na oryginał! Ten mało znany w swoim czasie album powinien doczekać się w końcu swojej reinstytucji, jako że w pełni na nią zasługuje!

[EN]

It's tricky no to agree with a trivial opinion about gross of 60's psychedelia masterpieces being created in the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles or Bay Area in general. However, one of the rarest and most sought after psych records came from Boston based group, established around 1964 as Beacon Street Union. Five members started this band (or six if you believe some other sources), who've met all attending Boston College, district of which was bordering Beacon Street (where they've been living or hanging out, whatever) – source for this peculiar name. The most important in the band were John Lincoln Wright (vocals) and Wayne Ulaky (bass guitar), who composed most of the repertoire. In 1967 sun has eventually shined on the band, when Wes Farrell – a well recognised garage & pop groups' producer and promoter – signed them to MGM Records.

1967 was a breakthrough for American music industry and every big player has been looking everywhere for a new product to take an advantage of the market. MGM's management wasn't indeed looking the other way and struggled to bite their teeth into trendy, psychedelic cake (eaten quickly by the likes of Columbia, RCA and Elektra), which became a cutting-edge thing for the show business – as shown by the success of The Doors and Jefferson Airplane. Right next to their fortress new bands emerged in New York and Boston – forges of the East Coast sound – scene like San Francisco's was yet non-existent there and California seemed miles away.

Not much intimidated by the fact and to jump a gun by creating a market hype, MGM's marketing wizards quickly coined a new scene dubbing it The Bosstown Sound. Beacon Street Union together with The Ultimate Spinach, Eden's Children, Orpheus and Puff – whose records are now a real treat for psych collectors – came round as a new phenomenon day after. Although the only common denominator was MGM's logo, it didn't really lower the value of music itself. Beacon Street Union recorded two LPs for the label just to be swiped away by the tide of time for the next thirty years. First record of the band is still a fascinating creation and should be appreciated by any respecting psychedelia fan.



Listening to "The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union” I wonder sometimes if debut album of The Velvet Underground and Nico would have sounded like that if they were surfing on the wave of acid. Don't take that wrong, man, Warhol's children scored a good album and I'm just sparkling new wires. For me it's the sound of Boston's acid eaters, which takes their music to the top (fantastic studio work)... but absurd, poetic lyrics are nevertheless great. Sleeve artwork is very impressive as well. These beautiful, psychedelic collages mixing atomic mushroom cloud with XVIII century's Independence War etchings (they were from Boston, hence Tea Party and stuff is right). Both music and the cover have been noticed at the time of release, record has scored 75th position on Billboard's chart and psychedelic collages got positive press reviews. But It's actually all, folks... and fourty years later we're discovering the record like it just happened.

Album kicks off with a mysterious recitation (criticized very often for being corny), which might be interpretated as a conception glue or anti establishment manifesto (whatever), it does certainly evoke something more that jiggling fingers down the guitar and fortunately we get well thought, all rounded spiral of absolutely original compositions grinding garage, acid rock freak out, circus music or night club jazz parody. It's old school, trippy vibes reigning here after all to which you can tune in when twitching during your first hour on acid. Boys have defenitely been eating some good drops.



Bass sound is very distinctive here, it was almost never produced like that on psych records, being very exploited by garage groups such as The Sonics or Paul Revere & The Raiders (great Vox sound) on the other hand. Drums follow hitting us with a light, almost jazz driven mastery and obligatory, apocalyptic guitar. "Sportin' Life” (mentioned before as night club jazz parody) is a piece with mostly piano and organ arrangement, which serves as a basis for understanding the horizons and technical abilities of the group (yes man, I don't treat it only as a filler). If I was just to drawer this album, it would find it's place in the middle of the triangle of three records: "Strange Days” by The Doors, debut album of The Velvet Underground & Nico and self-titled album of The United States Of America.

There is a lot of acid fuzz here, especially in "My Love”, "Mystic Mourning” or "Green Destroys The Gold”, which will be appreciated by San Francisco acid scene fans, but we have some harder edge , garage pieces like "Blue Avenue” or dark and acid-twisted „South End Incident” with quasi gothic organ lines. All tracks are perfectly arranged and produced and if you believe old hippies, they were as good when performed live. In 2010 Cherry Red Records reissued both albums on CD, thus you can enjoy them at home without spending 80 euro on an original! This very overlooked, first album of Beacon Street Union should be finally reinstated as a great material, which it is definitely!

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