Thursday, 28 November 2019

The Byrds - Byrds '66

Self made compilation 

01 5D (Fifth Dimension)
02 I See You
03 Wild Mountain Thyme
04 Mr. Spaceman 
05 I Know My Rider (I Know You Rider)
06 Captain Soul
07 Eight Miles High
08 John Riley
09 The Day Walk (Never Before)
10 What's Happening?!?!
11 Why

The re-imagining of The Byrds albums continues.

In late 1965, The Byrds had released their second album 'Turn! Turn! Turn!' and ended the year recording a new single that was pretty far out; 'Eight Miles High' b/w 'Why'.

These new songs saw The Byrds at their height; experimentation, jazz and drone influences and sound now uniquely their own. 

The new single (although not the original recordings) was released and Gene Clark promptly left.

The resulting album, 'Fifth Dimension', was a frustrating mix of a band burning on new ideas and struggling without their chief songwriter. At this point McGuinn's guitar and compositional ideas, Crosby's vocal and unique rhythms, Hillman's stunningly inventive bass playing and even Clarke's drumming were all starting to fire. Without Gene Clark however, some of these ideas fell flat, or didn't have the required structure to hang on.

That said there are flourishes of absolute genius in the recordings of 1966.

5D (Fifth Dimension), I See You, Wild Mountain Thyme, Mr. Spaceman, What's Happening?!?! and John Riley are included in their original forms from 'Fifth Dimension'. Eight Miles High and Captain Soul are of also retained, but the inclusion of  'The Day Walk (Never Before)' ups the Gene Clark quota. 

'The Day Walk (Never Before)' was recorded during the sessions for 'Turn! Turn! Turn!' and was marked as 'keep' for the next Byrds album.

The version of 'Why' included here is from the b-side of 'Eight Miles High'. Spiky and more energetic than the version released on the following album 'Younger Than Yesterday', yet more developed from the RCA recording from '65.

'I Know My Rider (I Know You Rider)' was recorded as a potential single. It went unreleased as the band felt it shared too much with The Beatles 'Paperback Writer'.

Nonsense, it would of been a brilliant single and is one of the best Byrds unreleased songs.

There you go; what The Byrds may have done in 1966.

Brocken Spectre - EP 1

TOR069. 2019.

01 We Vs. The Bastards
02 Feature Length
03 I Am Your Fuel
04 Corkscrew

It's been a year since the last release from Brocken Spectre. In that time we have honed our sound, evolved and played new venues and festivals.

This E.P. represents where we are today. There are no more re-records or dipping into the TOR back catalogue for songs. The four tracks here come directly from the sessions we have in the tiny room at the top of a vintage shop.

This time around, we recorded live (with vocals overdubbed) and produced ourselves.

The four songs here are mainstays in our set and another E. P. of new material will follow next year.

Thanks to Jonathan Sharp for mastering.

Free download and physical copies available from Bandcamp.

Spiritualized / Mercury Rev - Good Dope Good Fun / Boys Peel Out

Greenpeace Records. 1993.

The first post 'Laser Guided Melodies' material from Spiritualized was a pure hit.

The first Greenpeace charity 7" was this split between Mercury Rev and Spiritualized.

'Good Dope, Good Fun' was pure, hedonistic rush and another theme which would see several different versions.

'Boys Peel out' came from a Peel session Mercury Rev had that year.

"This programme was produced to coincide with the 1993 Electric Mainline Tour. All profits from its sale will go to help Greenpeace campaigns."

Monday, 21 October 2019

Barbara, The Gray Witch

DEA Records 1969/70

01 Modern Witchcraft
02 Witchcraft Facts
03 Witchcraft Surprises
04 Childhood Questions
05 Adult Questions
06 Witchcraft Tests
07 Contacting Spirits
08 Doe-Dee
09 Be Cool
10 Black Witchcraft
11 Me-O-Me
12 Black Necessities
13 Demayo-Demío
14 Black Occult
15 Domé
16 White Witchcraft
17 Shamoo-Ra
18 Gray Witchcraft
19 Witch's Love Song
20 Gray Responsibilities

Occultism, wicca, black magic and the like had a bit of a renaissance in the late sixties. As Westerners looked in darker corners for soul satisfaction, spiritual guidance or new highs, a flood of witchcraft products came through.

Barabara, The Gray Witch was one of several albums released by a witch or other occultist. The difference is that this one is pretty good.

There is only a couple of musical moments on here; this is a spoken word instructional album. Barbara gives us a potted history and a bit of guidance, all interesting stuff.

'Witch's Love Song' is the only 'song' here. A simple repeated rhyme with some electronic backing.

If you have interest in this area, you will be interested in this.

It's also worth noting, this L.P. is as rare as hen's teeth!

Mystery Spring - Forever Is Too Long

TOR068. 2019.

01 Currents
02 Pale Blue
03 Brian
04 Everybody is a Stranger These Days

The next release from Treehouse Orchestra Recordings:

"Over the last year or so I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad. More so than normal, I’m not really sure why. Brian (as my mum and others called him) or dad as I called him, passed away after a long illness in 2004. 

It feels a very long time since we were together, and my memories of those times grow fainter and seem less reliable with every passing year. I feel like he’s a ghost now, and I’m just left with a strong sense of love and gratitude for the way he brought me up and the opportunity’s he gave me. We were always very close, and would spend a lot of time together chatting, reading the papers, arguing and laughing. He was kind, good company, very funny, a bit of a show off and had a strong moral compass. 

I thought I would try to write a song for my dad, and a song for me. ‘Brian’ the third track on this EP is that song. I wanted it to evoke the mystery of people you love disappearing but never leaving you. How the pictures in your head are jumbled and sometimes eerie, but the broad feeling of love remains.

 The four verses of the song were cut down from 12 verses, each one representing a memory of time me and my dad spent together. I realised as i wrote these verses that I am not always a reliable narrator of my own history!! The four verses left in the song are the ones i can remember best and that’s why I left them in. 

All the songs on this EP are love songs of a sort, love either for people who are close, those who have gone, or those who are distant. 

Huge thanks to all involved in this EP, we couldn’t do it without you." - Marc.

Various Artists - October 2019:Helen Mirren On Acid

01 Barbara, The Gray Witch - Excerpt from 'Modern Witchcraft'
02 D. Patucchi - La Dimostrazione
03 The Electric Prunes - Holy Are You
04 The Ceyleib People - Changes
05 Sandra Kerr & John Faulkner - Opening
06 Barbara, The Gray Witch - Witch's Love Song
07 Song Sung - I'm Not In Love
08 The Orb - Other Blue Worlds
09 The Creation - How Does It Feel To Feel (US Version)
10 Six Organs of Admittance - Saint Cloud
11 Mellow Candle - Silversong
12 Duster - The Queen of Hearts
13 Paper Dollhouse - Nuclear Alignment
14 Barbara, The Gray Witch - Excerpt from 'Gray Responsibilities'

New mixtape. As always, just in time for Halloween.

Note: Yes, that really is Helen Mirren on acid on the cover.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

James Blackshaw - Celeste

Celebrate Psi Phenomenon 2004

01 Celeste Pt. 1
02 Celeste Pt. 2

It's nearly five years now since James Blackshaw announced he was retiring from touring. Since then there have been no live appearances or record material.

Interestingly, the official Bandcamp only lists the first and last albums.

This was his second release. First issued by Celebrate Psi Phenomenon in 2004, then as a CDr by Barl Fire Recordings the following year and finally by Tompkins Square in 2008.