March 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Crystal Mansion - The Crystal Mansion

There is always a little story behind every record posted here, so bear with me!
I bought this album in 1998 at Leeds. I found it in a small shop that had opened very close to my house. The shop was at Brudenell Road, Hyde Park and it used to sell every kind of second hand stuff such as flares and retro gadgets in general, as part of the sixties/seventies revival that had taken over England as a trend in those days. The owners were very polite but they hadn't a clue about rare records!!! The price of this album was 2 quid (we are talking about original pressing gatefold vinyl with lyrics included)!!! I grabbed it immediately (I had been looking for it for a while) and I also bought a couple of other original vinyls at ridiculous prices (Golden Earring's "Moontan" and Amon Duul II's "Dance Of The Lemmings" were among them).

The Crystal Mansion were a band signed to Rare Earth Records (a subsidiary of Motown) and they were one of the numerous "white soul-funk" bands of the label. Their music is kinda anodyne and, to be honest with you, I was a little bit disappointed by the album, since I expected it to be funkier. Nevertheless, it contained some nice tracks such as the real funky "Somebody (Outta Turn Your Head Around)" and "Let Me Get Straight Again". The latter was a funky anti-drug confession of a fucked-up pothead. I used to play that track every day, for quite a while. It was somehow connected to my life and thoughts at the time.

Unfortunately, most tracks are rather prosaic and they lack energy (...mind you, my tastes are a bit eclectic) but I am sure that some of you will consider it an interesting album. It is fairly rare to find (especially on vinyl) but if you dig, you should go and buy the CD reissue.

The Crystal Mansion

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Gay & Terry Woods - The Time Is Right [1976, Vinyl] & Renowned [1976, Vinyl]

The husband-and-wife duo of Gay and Terry Woods got their beginning in 1969, when Terry Woods was still a member of Sweeney's Men. At that point, negotiations were underway for Sweeney's Men plus Gay Woods to join Fairport Convention bassist Ashley Hutchings in a new band, to be called Steeleye Span. When Sweeney's Men members Irvine and Moynihan decided it wasn't what they wanted, another duo, England's Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, went in with Woods and Hutchings. The Woods lasted for just one album before striking out on their own as the Woods Band, releasing an eponymous debut in 1971, where they mixed traditional and original material. After touring extensively throughout Europe, the band fell apart and Gay and Terry returned to Ireland. Settled again, they signed with Polydor, for whom they recorded Backwoods in 1975. Composed mostly of original material just as their subsequent releases would be, they became more experimental on their two 1976 records, The Time Is Right and Renowned. Given their small niche, that proved to be the end of their major-label association and their final album together, Tenderhooks, appeared on the tiny Mulligan label out of Dublin, an Irish folky roots rock swansong (selections from their final two years can be found on Gay and Terry Woods in Concert). At that point, Gay joined prog band Auto Da Fe and Terry Woods briefly revived the Woods Band before abandoning music for a few years. He resurfaced in 1986 as a member of the Pogues, whose music was a direct descendent of his work with Sweeney's Men. Though Gay Woods, too, retired from music, she did emerge into the spotlight again in the late '90s, rejoining Steeleye Span and becoming their sole vocalist after the departure of Maddy Prior. []

The Time Is Right [1976, Vinyl]

Track list;
01 - Song For The Gypsies. 3:12
02 - Brown Girl. 5:04
03 - Northwinds. 2:56
04 - When The Time Is Right. 3:43
05 - Back To You. 5:18
06 - Redlake Piper. 3:01
07 - Empty Rooms. 4:11
08 - Under The Yew Tree. 3:25
09 - Stealer Of Dreams. 4:22
10 - Country Girlie. 2:30
11 - Country Girlie Reprise. 0:51

192k @ [RapidShare] or [Sendspace]

Renowned [1976, Vinyl]

Track list;
01 - Love Is Like A Burdon. 3:44
02 - One More Time. 4:09
03 - Radio Man. 3:44
04 - Solace. 5:17
05 - Save The Last Dance For Me. 3:15
06 - I Found You. 2:21
07 - Jameson And Port. 3:29
08 - Country Blues. 2:54
09 - Van Dieman's Land. 8:14

192k @ [RapidShare] or [Sendspace]

Style; Folk

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Arthur Gee - 1971 - Same (Tumbleweed TWS 101)

ARTHUR GEE (Toronto, Canada / CA / Denver, CO)

"The End Is The Beginning" 1969 (Two:Dot) [1-sided]
"In Search Of Arthur" 2004 (RD Records 13, Switzerland) [+bonus tracks; insert]
"Dawn Of Time" 197 (Marcus 2502) [no cover]
"Arthur Gee" 1971 (Tumbleweed TWS 101)
"City Cowboy" 1973 (Tumbleweed TWS 107)

Gee's real debut LP is also the first release on the Tumbleweed label, and a fine start for both. Upscale, intricate production typical of the label with Arthur's atmospheric voice given an appropriate context that involves a full folkrock setting plus bells, violin, even jew's harp. Opens on a strong psych vibe, then goes through various chameleon tricks including outlaw country, Tim Hardin folk, and some obvious Dylan "Blonde On Blonde" moves. It's all quite appealing and held together by the expensive, elaborate arrangements. The LP has obvious 60s remnants and is less singer/songwriter than most Tumbleweeds. Two tracks from the Two:Dot demo LP appear in more elaborate versions, although I prefer the sparser 1969 sound of "Meditations". Easy to find and well worth checking out. Gee's second LP for Tumbleweed ("City Cowboy", 1972) is inferior in a countryrock direction. [PL]

1 Dimensions + Plain Talk
2 Cotton Suede
3 Love Song 451 + A.L.F.A.L.F.A.
4 Country Fable + Waterweight + Love Song 450
5 Confessions + Dawn of Time

All info and photo from acid archives.
Hope i am correct and not confusing this album with dawn of time or city cowboy.


also get the first album here
Thanks Opa-Loka and Freaky lady



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ray Conniff presents Irving Berlin - Dreaming Of Broadway

Ray Conniff. Yes! With this guy, you got it all: massive horn arrangements, space age pop attitude, light 'n dreamy vocals, musical, theatre and jazz, jazz, jazz!
Here is a really nice 45 from the man and his orchestra, with four quality tracks. I ripped it on a bad day but it made me feel better! Simply great music from another time.

I will actually let the liner notes to do the talking (click to enlarge) :

Dreaming Of Broadway

Sunday, March 23, 2008

India National Sitar Ensemble - Sitar Music Of India

Get ready for a real treat. This brilliant vinyl (which I bought quite a few years ago but managed to listen to relatively recently) contains three tracks of original Indian music performed by the ...appropriately named India National Sitar Ensemble. Two of them form a suite that contains numerous different themes (many of them are really complicated and beautifully arranged) and the third one is a great Meditational Raga, ready to transport you to another planet! All thanks to the obscure Everest Records (can any of you provide any information on this label?) who presented us with this extraordinary album.

The vinyl is Out Of Print and I am pretty sure that there has been no reissue of it on CD. Anyway, we are talking about great music here, people. Don't miss it and don't be intimidated by the style of the recording (it's quite old, you see). And, if you stumble upon the original vinyl, do yourself a favour and buy it.

Kick Off
[320kbps (click & pop elimination) + artwork]

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spacefarm - 1972 - Going Home To Eternity

Short lived trio, this being their sole album. Originally released by the famous New Zealand Zodiac label in 1972 for a very brief time. Featuring the phenomenal guitar work of Harvey Mann, who's only peer back in the day in N.Z was the Human Instinct's Billy T.K.
1. Space Farm (3:14)
2. Homeward Bound (3:56)
3. Infinity Way (3:24)
4. Waking Dream (3:40)
5. On the Loose (3:14)
6. Flying (4:23)
7. Gypsy Dream (6:23)
8. Whell (4:14)
9. Lover Not a Dancer (3:36)

This 1972 recording is a peculiar release in that it is an alternate version of an
incredibly rare LP released on Zodiac in New Zealand. While the original version may remain in obscurity, this alternate take is certainly as high standard acid rock as the infamous original LP. Spacefarm were a Hendrix-inspired psychedelic rock group lead by pyrotechnic guitarist Harvey Mann, who is often compared to fellow New Zealand post-Jimi Hendrix guitar legends Billy T.K. and Jesse Harper. Fans of the heavy psychedelic rock sound of the Human Instinct need look no further than Spacefarm to add to the compendium of obscure New Zealand psychedelic rock — the small but brilliant output of this group is clear evidence as to why these obscure LPs are so sought after in collector circles. Think Cream, Hendrix Expeience, and Blue Cheer and you're getting close to the guitar overload Harvey Mann summons up on this LP. Audiophiles take note that Little Wing released this on vinyl only.

Get it here

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Driving Stupid - Horror Asparagus Stories (2002)

The Driving Stupid released just one single, "The Reality of (Air) Fried Borsk"/"Horror Asparagus Stories," which came out on the KR label and flopped in 1966. The band eventually attracted a notoriety way out of proportion to their accomplishments, however, when both songs were anthologized on the '60s garage rock compilation Pebbles Vol. 3 about 15 years later. The tracks are considered to be the apogee of stupid psychedelic garage rock, with their over-the-top juvenile absurd comedy. Some listeners would subscribe to the "it's-so-stupid-it's-brilliant" school; many would find the single unbearably amateurish and dumb. But of such things reputations are made, if only cult ones.

The Driving Stupid were formed on the East Coast by college students, three of them longtime friends from New Jersey. As more of a lark than a serious endeavor, in the summer of 1966 they drove from New Jersey to Hollywood in an effort to crack the big time, stopping off in Albuquerque, New Mexico to record some demos. They did manage to land a deal and record an album's worth of material in Hollywood, but the album didn't come out at the time, after the commercial death of the 45. This unreleased material, like the single, combined sloppy garage band rock with self-consciously silly lyrics, like a garage group providing the soundtrack for a Z-grade horror-science fiction film.

Most of the Driving Stupid left Hollywood at the end of the summer of 1966 to return to college. The single, plus 17 unreleased tracks from their 1966 adventures, were issued in 2002 by Sundazed on Horror Asparagus Stories.

The excavation of an entire album's worth of unreleased material by the Driving Stupid must have excited some die-hard garage-heads, though the result proved to be somewhat less thrilling than might have been imagined. The exact sources of each specific track are undocumented, but they're taken from their 1966 demos in New Mexico and the unreleased album they did in Hollywood the same year. Both sides of the "Horror Asparagus Stories"/"The Reality of (Air) Fried Borsk" single are included as well, naturally. But the reality of the Driving Stupid is that this particular brand of horror/science fiction/comedy rock isn't too funny or clever. Imagine a bunch of teenagers who barely know their way around their instruments, fueled by a steady diet of surf rock, Mad magazine, and monster and outer-space films, half-improvising songs in their suburban basement. That's what this sounds like, and though some might interpret that as a high recommendation, it's not. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention these guys weren't, though those who get enormous kicks out of kitsch might enjoy songs about postmen putting spiders in mailboxes and the like, backed by the most rudimentary of riffs and over-excited sung-spoken vocals. They did actually try to get "serious" on a couple of occasions with the romantic ballad "How Do You Tell a Stranger?" and the deliberately Lovin' Spoonful-like "Happytime Springface and Flowers," and not memorably so. For those enamored of the "Horror Asparagus Stories"/"The Reality of (Air) Fried Borsk" single (which admittedly did include their best songs), rawer versions of each of those songs are here, along with an interview with lead guitarist Roger Kelley that does much to reveal the mysterious story of the group.

1) My Mother Was A Big Fat Pig
2) Rid The Lobsters
3) Fast City?
4) The Reality Of (Air)
5) We've Come To Take The Earth Away
6) Green Things Have Entered My Skin,Gladys
7) I'm Gonna Bash Your Brains
8) Water My Doing Here?
9) Girl's Got A Turtle
10) How Do You Tell A Stranger
11) Happytime Springface And Flowers
12) Greensleeves
13) Fast City (Version 2)
14) I'm going To Bash Your Brains In (Version 2)
15) We've Come To Take The Earth Away (Version 2)
16) The Reality Of (Air) (Version 2)
17) Ride The Lobsters (Version 2)
18) Green Things Have Entered My Skin, Gladys (Version 2)
19) Horror Aspargus Stories


Dorian Gray - 1976 - Idaho Transfer

Dorian Gray - 1976 - Idaho Transfer
LP New Blood NPA 476 (1976)

Tracks :
1 Idaho Transfer (4:14)
2 Nighttime Is Colder Than Outside (5:21)
3 The Mole (6:56)
4 Extraordinary Exercises (0:56)
5 Quasimodo Shuffle (11:56)
i Crusus ii The Doombox
6 July, 13th (5:05)

Claudia Schippel (vocals)
Filler Mueschenborn (guitar, vocals)
Kurt Paetzold (drums)
RĂ¼diger Brune (keyboards)
Herbert Jassmann (bass)

New Blood - 1986 - LP spray cover

These were an obscure non-professional band who self-produced one album and then disappeared. Interestingly Dorian Gray can be seen as a very early example of a music that was later to be simplified and commercialised by innumerable female vocal fronted 80's new-wave bands. But, it must be said, Dorian Gray were odd! They mixed in a lot of heavy guitar rocking and contrasting spacey folk, male and (mostly) female vocals, all creating a hybrid between the 60's psychedelic trippiness and slightly punky sounds. An interesting album, though hardly worthy of its reputation as a pricey collectable rarity.

source : The Crack In The Cosmic Egg

Get it here :

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Creamcheeze Good-Time Band - 1973 - Home Cookin'

Creamcheeze Good-Time Band - 1973 - Home Cookin'

Tracks :
01 Living Without You
02 Ruby Tuesday
03 Fleetwood Plain
04 Wild World-Song For Marlene
05 Home Cooking
06 Redwood Hill
07 Uncle Jed
08 Log Cabin Home (In The Sky)
09 T.O. Lady
10 Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue

Billy Kell (guitar; vocals)
Dave Harwood (bass)
Barb Payne (fiddle, maracas, washboard, recorder,vocals)
Pat Kell (mandolin, tambourine, kazoo, whizzer, washboard, vocals)
Jimi Kell (drums, spoons)

This quintet from Perth County, Ontario was a showcase for three siblings and the vocals of Barb Payne.

Their first hit was 1971's "Uncle Jed" from their Terry Regan produced 'Perth County Green' LP.
Their second hit was 1973's "Living Without You" from the album 'Home Cookin' produced by Gary Buck and contained a number of cover tunes including The Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday", Cat Stevens' "Wild World", Gordon Lightfoot's "Redwood Hill", and "Fleetwood Plain" written by Greg Quill, long-time columnist for The Toronto Star. The latter song was the second song off the album.

The group disbanded in the mid-70s.

The Kells and Ross Whitney released an album together in 1981 called Kell High Energy featuring studio sessions done at Waxworks in St. Jacobs, Ontario plus live material from The Blue Moon in Petersburg, Ontario (featuring Gary Halliwell on bass).

In the early '90's Billy Kell released an independent cassette called "Too Old To Quit Now". Billy Kell succumbed to cancer in 1992.

notes from Ross Whitney and John Sakamoto.

1971 Uncle Jed (Dominion)
1973 Living Without You/Redwood Hill (Dominion/MCA) MCA-40089
1973 Fleetwood Plain/T.O. Lady (MCA) MCA-40163

1971 Perth County Green (Dominion)
1973 Home Cookin' (Dominion/MCA)

source :

Get It Here :