Friday, December 6, 2019

Melancholia Vol 18 - The MTV 80s

Time for another themed edition from the Melancholia series. This one revolves around the 80s at the peak of MTV influence. I first heard each of these songs while watching MTV in the eighties, back when MTV actually played music. While still not a big fan of the era these songs stuck with me. There are a couple bands on this comp that I further explored but for the most part, to me, these are mostly one hit wonders in my book. But such cool songs that seem to perfectly encapsulate what the eighties were for me.

I have one more themed edition to post and two non-themed volumes that I may or may not post which are more catch all type collections that I enjoy playing but don't seem to have the same emotional impact the others do. I might revisit and restructure them.

Tracklist

01 Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
02 Tears For Fears - Everybody wants to rule the world
03 Scandal - Goodbye To You
04 The Fixx - One Thing Leads To Another
05 Psychedelic Furs - Pretty In Pink
06 Animotion - Obsession
07 Fine Young Canibals - She Drives Me Crazy
08 Glass Tiger - Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone
09 Haircut 100 - Love Plus One
10 Human League, the - Fascination
11 Kajagoogoo - Too Shy
12 Katrina and the Waves - Walking On Sunshine
13 Madness - Our House
14 Naked Eyes - Always Something There To Remind Me
15 OMD - If You Leave
16 Talk Talk - Talk Talk
17 The Outfield - Your Love
18 Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me)
19 Soft Cell - Tainted Love-Where Did Our Love Go (Extended Version)
20 Split Enz - I Got You
21 Wang Chung - Dance Hall Days

Friday, November 22, 2019

Bonnie Raitt - Philly 1972

This was my first and still my favorite Bonnie Raitt bootleg. But like many live documents there is a lot of dead space where the band is tuning or chatting among themselves which for me brings things to a crawl. So what I've done here is edit the between song sections to improve the overall flow. There is still some chatter but not enough to get in the way.
Paul over at Albums That Should Exist posted a version of this as well but we took different approaches.

Tracklist

01 Mighty Tight Woman
02 Rollin' & Tumblin'
03 Anyday Woman
04 Woman Be Wise
05 Thank You
06 Bluebird
07 Finest Lovin' Man
08 Big Road
09 Stayed Too Long At The Fair
10 Under The Falling Sky
11 Walkin' Blues
12 Can't Find My Way Home
13 Richland Woman Blues
14 Blender Blues
15 Since I Fell For You

Reality Notes

Like my Grateful Dead, Barton Hall edit my goal here was to fix the flow of the album. I'm sure live and in the moment this was an amazing show to be at but the between song chatter always takes me out of the recording. Also, when a song would pop up when the iPod was on shuffle you tend to get songs from live recordings that either start or end with a lot of dead space bringing the listening experience to a halt. For that reason alone I tend to leave live albums off my iPod but there are a few I love having around and this is one of them.

The cover is the original cover I received with my bootleg. This show has been "officially" released somewhat recently with a new cover but the contents are exactly the same as the bootleg.

Friday, November 8, 2019

KISS - Larger Than Life

[I finally cleared some space in my Mega account. I have a small handful of projects to post and one special project in the works but that won't be ready for some time yet. I'll try to space the new posts out in hopes the new one will be ready by then but I can't promise.]

In late 1977 KISS released their second live album, KISS Alive II, only 2 years and three studio albums after their previous live album Alive!. Because of the close release dates between the live albums they decided that the second album should only contain songs from the last three albums which led to not having enough songs for a full two vinyl disc set. To fix this they recorded five new songs and put those on side four making the album a three sides live one studio.

What if instead of the live album they just put out a new album. This is my answer to that question.

Side One
01 All American Man
02 Rockin' In The USA
03 Larger Than Life
04 Rocket Ride
05 Goodbye

Side Two
01 Burning Up With Fever
02 Wiped Out
03 Tossin' And Turnin'
04 Living In Sin
05 Wouldn't You Like Me To Know

Reality Notes

1977 saw KISS transform from the lean, hungry and mean underdog band from New York into the superstar household names often referred to as SuperKISS. After Alive II they released a best of package, the solo albums and two more studio albums before SuperKISS was brought down and humbled. During this time they relesed a disco single and the average age of their concert attendees went from 18-20 down to 12-16.

For this comp I took the studio songs from Alive II and fleshed them out with the leftovers from the solo albums. I did drop one song, a cover of The Dave Clark Five's Anyway You Want It. I replaced that with another cover, Tossin' and Turnin' which was a part of their setlist in 1979, from Peter's solo album to give him a vocal. KISS have done covers before but never more than one per album. It's for this reason I did not use New York Groove from Ace's solo album. We do have two Ace songs.

I tried to pick the most KISS sounding songs from what was left from the solo albums after my 1978 construction. What's left is truly scraping the bottom of the barrel. The final result is quite enjoyable and sits in nice between Love Gun and Radioactive.

For the cover I reconstructed the Alive II album cover with the new title.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

New Blog


I started another blog. Something simple enough that I could knock out a few posts on a whim. Basically each post is a list of songs that I most identify with a band or artist in Fifteen Songs or Less. Feel free to play along.

This blog is not dead. I have a few projects done that I want to post but my Mega account is almost full. I use it for this blog and my Beatles blog and as a transfer point of reference mixes for bands I work with. So, because I'm too cheap to spend a little cash and upgrade to a paid account, I have to open another free account and transfer some files. And because I'm a lazy bastard that just started a new job with no computer access I'm not sure when I'll get around to that.

[My uncle painted the picture]

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Pearhead Bootleg Sampler

So last night my band played at Milwaukee's Summerfest. We don't play out too often so I attempted to record the show with a Zoom H4n recorder and was going to post that here if it turned out OK but something failed and all I have is the first minute of soundcheck. We did film it so hopefully that turned out.

We didn't have any physical CDs to sell so we threw together a sampler CDR to give away. Here is a rip of that CDR. It contains four songs each from our two albums and four songs from our upcoming album. We used those cool CDRs that look like a vinyl LP and slipped them into plain black CD sleeves and just handed them out to who ever wanted one.

From the album Barefoot on a Gravel Road
01 Remember Love
02 Red White and Blue
03 Getto Song
04 Feather In Her Hat

From the album Mainstreet Barbershop
05 Temptation
06 Willow
07 Going Nowhere
08 Buddha Dog [slow version]

From the upcoming album TooKens
09 Fishin' Boat
10 Illusions
11 Same Ol' Song
12 More More More

The title TooKens is a play on the fact that our two principle songwriters are named Ken. You can listen to all of our music at our ReverbNation page. We also did a covers album under the name Mighty Man which was fun.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Status Report

As you may have noticed I haven't been vary active lately. Time has been limited and ideas have been few. I do have a couple projects in the works but I'm taking my time with them. At my peak I always seemed to have a few projects done and on deck. It has been interesting to watch the weekly Top 5 list change from day to day and readership seems to be steady so thanks to all of you still stopping by.

In an effort to keep things alive around here I'll be adding another feature. I will be going through each post and add a section called Hindsight. Starting with my first post and working my way up to the present, both here and on my Beatles blog, I'll give a short review on how I feel the project has stood up, how it might be different if I made the construction today and if the project has made its way onto my iPod.

It is rare that I would redo a project so don't expect actual updates but if something is easy to fix I'll include the how and why. For the most part I am happy with at least 90% of the work I have posted. Any changes are most likely related to song choices and track order.

Since my 160gb iPod died I have been using my old 30gb which means space is a bit more tight so a comp has to be special to make it on there. To maximize my walking around music I make my own "best of" comps of 5 to 20 songs for artists that I am either not familiar with their whole catalog or those that have huge discographies but only a handful of songs I find appealing. Others I have my favorite albums with a best of the rest comp. There are a few groups that I have all studio albums on there but to reduce redundant songs I leave the live albums off.

A reader recently contacted me about my ELP concept that I introduced in my last posts and asked if they could run with the idea for their own projects. I was fine with it and gave them the OK and I am looking forward to seeing what they do with it. But it got me thinking about double albums and the ELP format in general. I've discussed my feelings about double albums many times here so I won't repeat myself but I am not as militant about it as I seem to be. Many double albums will fit on a single CD thus they will fit in the ELP format. A single CD is easier to deal with than two. My vision is any album between 50 and 70 minutes I would consider an ELP. I'll discuss any construction here that may apply in my Hindsight feature.

So stay tuned, There is more to come. In the meantime, keep checking in and be sure to visit my friends on the blogroll on the right. We all have different tastes and methods so I know you can find some great stuff from them. I know I have. Share the love. Play hard but play safe.

The cover art for this post is the cover for my band's upcoming release. We are an indy-indy basement band that records in my home project studio on the weekends so work goes slow but the new album is getting closer to being done. When it's finished we will release it on ReverbNation and on our website and hopefully on Spotify. We give our music away for free so download all you want. We all have decent day jobs so no need to complicate things. I'll post it here as well.

Friday, May 3, 2019

The Beatles - The BEATLES I

So, dig this. In 1966 they introduced a new music format called "Laser Read Music Delivery System" or LRMDS for short. The music industry in general was hesitant to try a new format but the classical and jazz industries quickly embraced the medium for its clean sound, its ability to hold longer playback times and the elimination of the need to turn the disc over halfway through. But not before renaming the format to the Extended Long Player or ELP for short. [Many years later, uninformed journalists often would misquote a certain popular Prog band claimimg this as the origin of their band's name. Silly journalists.]

The pop market was slow to catch on to the format due to its higher cost for the consumer. But as 60s consciousness expanded and pop groups became pop artists the format's appeal grew. Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde was tailor made and specifically targeted to the ELP. Frank Zappa exploited the format to its limits on a regular basis.

The first Beatles product released on the format was when Capitol decided to expand EMI's Magical Mystery Tour double EP soundtrack to fit on the ELP adding all the non-LP singles and B-sides not yet released in any long playing format.

But in 1968 The Beatles themselves decided to see how far they could push the format and released not one but two separate but simultaneously recorded ELPs. Averaging 70 minutes each the record companies were worried that the buying public would feel overwhelmed by such an abundance of music from one artist all in one go. But of course Beatles fans couldn't get enough of it.

The contents of each album was a wide cross section of the band's influences stripped of the psychedelia of the past year we got everything from soft folk songs to rousing sing-a-longs to weird abstract soundscapes and straight up rockers, most likely an after effect from their recent meditation retreat in India. Two abbreviated LPs were also released for those on a tighter budget.

Eventually debates and discussions arose over which collection was the better one or whether or not two sets were even necessary. Some fans even went so far as to compile their own single ELP versions.  Imagine that.

01 Back in the USSR
02 Dear Prudence
03 Glass Onion
04 Sour Milk Sea
05 Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
06 Wild Honey Pie
07 The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
08 While My Guitar Gently Weeps
09 Happiness Is a Warm Gun
10 Los Paranoias
11 Martha My Dear
12 I'm So Tired
13 Blackbird
14 Revolution
15 Piggies
16 Hey Bulldog
17 Rocky Raccoon
18 What's The New Mary Jane
19 Circles
20 Don't Pass Me By
21 Why Don't We Do It In The Road
22 I Will
23 Julia

Reality Notes

I go into a little more detail in the post for part two below. I used the 2009 stereo remaster as my base and for the most part kept the songs in their original order and slipped the new songs where I felt they fit in. The sources for the additional material mostly comes from the 2018 deluxe package unless otherwise noted. I also followed George Martin's plan of not having more than two songs in a row by a single writer, George's songs are spread out evenly between the two discs and all of the "animal" songs are on one disc.

Songs and edits of note are as follows:

Sour Milk Sea: This outfake comes from the 22 disc bootleg series The Lost Album. This is one of the better versions of this outfake that syncs George's Esher demo with the backing track from the Jackie Lomax version that George produced and features Paul on bass and Ringo on drums as well as Eric Clapton on guitar.

Los Paranoias: This is my edit of the impromptu jam between Paul, John and Ringo recorded during the I Will session. This is a new edit and is different from the edit I did on my Paul solo album version.

Revolution is the single version (Hey Jude appears on the second disc).

Hey Bulldog: This was recorded before the trip to India along with Across The Universe during the Lady Madonna sessions so could be considered outside the timeline but the Beatles didn't like to leave things in the can and in spite of it being slated for use in the upcoming animated film they also used it here.

What's The New Mary Jane is the Anthology mix.

Circles is the Esher demo.

Don't Pass Me By: I prefaced this song with the A Beginning orchestral piece as originally intended. I transitioned from one to the next by having the piano intro of the song start to appear while the orchestra is winding down creating a nice natural join of the two parts.

Why Don't We Do It In The Road: I prefaced this song with an additional verse from the previous take to extend the song a little bit more. This is a recreation of the edit I did to the song on my solo album version.

Where ever appropriate I created transitions between the songs to match the flow between songs on the original release.