Out Of The Archives Comes A Vintage Rarities Collection From Legendary British Rock Band HUMBLE PIE!
Fans of classic, hard-chargin’ blues rock take note! A superb collection of mid ’70s rare recordings from blues rock institution Humble Pie is being released this month. I Need A Star In My Life features studio recordings from 1974-1976 with unmistakable HP vocalist Steve Marriott along with bassist Greg Ridley and guitarist Clem Clempson. Together this trio experimented with a variety of styles and sounds as they composed several new songs as well as rearranging songs by soul legend Sam Cooke, blues giant Bo Diddley, and others. King Crimson saxophonist Mel Collins even pops in for a special guest appearance!
These recordings have been completely digitally remastered and packaged with full liner notes from music journalist Dave Thompson. I Need A Star In My Life is available now on all formats including CD, digital and multiple vinyl configurations!
*Also be sure to check out the companion 7” featuring the band’s take on Sam Cooke’s “Shake” as well as an ultra rare track “Bluestalk” featuring the original guitarist of The Rolling Stones, Brian Jones!
Track List: 1. Shake 2. Mona 3. Lend Us A Quid 4. Send Me Some Lovin’ 5. She Moves Me Man 6. Street Rat 7. Captain Goatcabin’s Balancing Stallions 8. High And Happy 9. Be My Baby 10. It’s All Over 11. Bluegrass Interval 12. Don’t Take But A Few Minutes 13. Louisiana Blues 14. You’re A Heartbreaker 15. I Need A Star In My Life 16. Cocaine 17. I’ll Find You 18.Lord Let Me Hold Out 19. Hambone 20. Signed Sealed
I Need A Star In My Life appears to be a reissue (remaster, repackage?) of the The Scrubber Sessions, which features the same track listing, and also includes in the credits – Boz Burrell (bass, ex King Crimson), Ian Wallace (drums, ex King Crimson), Tim Hinkley (keyboards, organ), Joe Brown (fiddle), and BJ Cole (pedal steel guitar). Presumably this will be an upgrade in sound, and the packaging looks nicely done.
Scottish singer Mike Starrs recorded albums with Colosseum II and Lucifer’s Friend in the late ’70s, but prior to that, he had released a number of solo singles, as well as a solo album in 1974.
First ever CD release of Mike Starrs’ only solo album
Remastered by band member Gerry Morris and approved by Mike Starrs and original producer Tony Atkins.
Includes all four of his non-album singles as bonus tracks; a ‘catch-all’ of his 1970s solo releases.
Featuring 12 tracks Electric Garden was pure 70s pop, featuring plenty of ballads, strings, and songs that would’ve fit a number of AM radio playlists. Most of the songs were written by bass player Gerry Morris, at least half of those with Starrs. Morris had previously been a part of 60s band The Cymbaline, as well as prog band Lodestone – who’s lone 1971 album Time Flies, is also seeing a CD release next month. On Electric Garden, Starrs was also supported by the Rubettes’ John Richardson (drums) & Peter Arnesen (keyboards), as well as Mike Bailey (trumpet + string and brass arrangements), and guitarist Geoff Whitehorn! The latter would go on to Crawler, Bad Company and Procol Harum. Both Whitehorn and Gerry Morris also released his solo albums in ’74, with much of the same support crew (players, producer, engineers). All these albums were produced by Tony Atkins (Marquee Productions). Both Morris and Atkins have also been involved with this Cherry Red release of Electric Garden. I have the original LP version of Electric Garden, on the Telefunken label, and can only find another release for it on Pink Elephant (Netherlands), it is the latter that was used as the base for this CD reissue, as the 2 1974 issues had slightly different tracklistings and running orders. And though it was recorded and mixed in London Electric Garden never got a UK release in ’74! The album’s cover shot of Mike was one of (or The) first to be taken by famous ’70s photographer Barry Levine, who went on to credits with the likes of The Sweet, Kiss, The Runaways and more.
In a 2014 interview with Mike Starrs, he recalled – “In the ’70s I was living and working in London, Singing 6 nights a week in a Pub in Essex the Band was called Spinning Wheel our keyboard player for approximately 2yrs was Rick Wakeman – who as you know went on to become rather well known. A record producer heard the band and offered me a deal with The Marquee Studios which was behind the Famous Marquee Club. I recorded 1 album and a couple of singles.”
Electric Garden originally came with lengthy liner notes, and biography on Mike Starrs on the back cover, the CD reissue includes those, as well as new linernotes from Mike. Electric Garden also includes Mike Starrs’ version of “Da-Doo-Ron-Ron”, originally a hit for ’60s all-female American act The Crystals, (and was later a hit for Shaun Cassidy). It is listed as a ‘bonus’ track here, though it is the first track on my German vinyl pressing, it wasn’t included on the original Dutch LP. The Pink Elephant LP also featured one more track than the Telefunken version, including “Loving You” (Atkins/Morris) and “I’ll Take Good Care Of You” – originally written by American Jerry Ragovoy and became a hit for R & B singer Garnett Mimms in 1966. Highights on the album include the ballad “Beautiful Day” (Starrs/Morris), the upbeat “Electric Garden” (Morris), “Hold One” (penned, but apparently unused by Lodestone), as well an excellent cover of Lesley Duncan’s 1970 hit “Hold On”. The heavier rockin’ B-side “Witches Brew” (Morris) is a great addition, would’ve made a good album cut too. More recently Starrs has recorded with Crossover, and with Peter Hesslein; Gerry Morris went on to success as a songwriter and producer, working with American singer Amii Stewart (among others).
FEEL SO GOOD WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE ELECTRIC GARDEN THE WILL GOOD LIFE TO EVERYONE CONCERNED LOVING YOU BEAUTIFUL DAY LOOKING FOR LOVE I’LL TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOU HOLD ON LOVE SONG *Bonus tracks WITCHES BREW LOST WITHOUT YOU DA-DOO-RON-RON BLUE AND WHITE
CROSSOVER is a British band of veteran rockers put together by guitarist Paul Gaskin (Gaskin) and drummer Gary Pearson (Vardis) in 2017. Originally, the band also featured singer Mike Starrs (ex Lucifer’s Friend, Colosseum II). Kevin Riddles (Angelwitch, Tytan) on bass and Martin Howells on keyboards. Following a couple of years of major health issues, and a few members moving and leaving the band regrouped with a few new faces, and Gaskin & Starrs writing new songs together. Ken Lorenz joined on bass in early 2020, just as the pandemic kicked in. From then the band was limited in their activities – “We literally could do nothing, except write new songs on our own, or Mike would send me lyrics, and I’d come up with the music. As things were easing in 2021, I decided we should get into the studio and start recording some of the songs, so at least we’d have something to work at and aim for. “ recalls Paul Gaskin. As Ken Lorenz left for a bit, Neil Murray (a friend of Mike Starrs) came in to play on a few songs. There are a few clips of the band on youtube, but at present the band has released a very limited (signed) CD single “Shangri-la” & “Gypsy Blood”. “We are currently looking for a label that suits us. In the meantime, I thought it would be a good idea to bring out a limited edition single to get some airplay. I chose a “radio friendly” number, and it’s one of those that Neil plays on.” PG.
The band: Mike Starrs – vocals Martin Howells – keyboards/vocals Ken Lorenz – bass/vocals David Pick – drums/vocals Me – guitars/vocals Guests; Neil Murray – bass Gary Pearson – percussion Kevin Riddles – bass *The single has Neil on bass and Gary on percussion on “Shangri – la”, and the regular band on “Gypsy Blood”.
LOST ON PLANET ARTIFICE: Rock musician John Sloman writes rock- memoir-cum-survival-manual for 21st Century.
John Sloman – singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist , has released his book Lost On Planet Artifice, which is his own story.
“Over the years, family members and close friends have suggested I write a book about my time in music. My response has always been the same: “I’d write it, but who would read it?”
Having been in such bands as Lone Star, Uriah Heep, and Gary Moore, Sloman would be hosed over on a number of occasions (such as the story of his 1989 solo album!), and grew to dislike the music business. In the 2000s he began recording a number of solo albums, mainly all on his own. His latest is Two Rivers. Both that album And Lost On Planet Artifice can be purchased on Amazon. (Kindle edition for under $5 Canadian!).
The first review on the book states – “Reading John Sloman’s book was a revelation in the sense that here’s a man who has been shafted and betrayed by the powers that be and it is outrageous that few in the ‘business’ give a damn. His prose is very well constructed and his stories are, in places, hilarious. It certainly makes a change reading this work from all the usual drivel of so many rock stars writing about life on planet ‘Orifice’. Well done to this brave Welshman.” (Derek Pringle).
I am looking forward to this, and highly recommend, whether you’re just a Heep fan or not – you check it out.
Kings of Mercia, the new group formed by acclaimed rock/metal guitarist Jim Matheos (Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos) and powerhouse rock vocalist Steve Overland (FM) have announced the release of their self-titled debut album on September 23rd, 2022 via Metal Blade Records. Accompanying the duo on the upcoming album are Matheos’ Fates Warning bandmate Joey Vera on bass, and legendary drummer Simon Philips.
Kings of Mercia are now pleased to share the new single “Liberate Me”.
Steve Overland says this about the track: “’Liberate me’ is another great example of what the Kings of Mercia album represents, a high energy, hard rock song about someone who has lived life selfishly and done many wrongs, but as the years take their toll, they begin to regret their past and want to make things right. Once again, it shows off the great individual talents in the band with great performances by all.”
TRACKLIST: 1.Wrecking Ball 3:54 2.Humankind 4:13 3.Sweet Revenge 4:38 4.Set the World on Fire 4:16 5.Too Far Gone 6:07 6.Liberate Me 4:18 7.Nowhere Man 4:20 8.Everyday Angels 3:59 9.Is It Right? 4:03 10.Your Life 6:07
Best known as the founding guitarist for Fates Warning, but with countless other projects under his belt – including Arch / Matheos and most recently Tuesday The Sky – Jim Matheos is incapable of stifling his creativity. In early 2021, he started working on the songs that would become Kings Of Mercia’s self-titled debut album, bringing his distinct style yet doing something a little different. “I started writing without any real idea of what direction I wanted to go in or what I was going to do with the material. The first few songs came together quickly and were a bit more straightforward than I’m used to, and I really liked that idea, kind of going back to my early heavy/hard rock roots.” Not having any pre-conceived ideas of what the record should or would end up sounding like, at least early on, certainly helped, “as did the fact that it’s our first record, so there was nothing to measure it against or expectations to live up to, even if only in my own head.”
Churning out songs, Matheos’ next concern was to find the musicians who would help him realize the material, and his first priority was a vocalist. It was his friend Jeff Wagner who suggested FM’s Steve Overland, and another friend, rock journalist Dave Ling, who put them in touch with each other. “Jim had asked Dave for my contact details, we talked about his idea for mixing the two styles, his heavier background, with my melodic/bluesier direction,” says Overland. “We decided to try a collaboration on one song and see how it worked, we came up with the track “Humankind”, and we both loved it.”. Having already settled on this hard rock direction, it was only once Matheos got the first couple of songs back from Overland that it became all the way clear of the shape the record would take, with the vocalist sending over his parts every few weeks, everything gradually coming together.
Behind the kit for the record is the legendary Simon Phillips (ex-Toto, Derek Sherinian), one of Matheos’ favorite drummers. “I decided to contact him on a whim, not really expecting that he’d be available or interested in this project. But, to my surprise, he liked the music and was able to fit some recording into his schedule. It’s an honor to share a credit with him and I couldn’t be happier with what he added to the record.” Rounding out the group is bassist Joey Vera – Matheos’ Fates Warning bandmate – who brings his trademark style and professionalism to the table. “My old friend and co-worker Joey Vera was a natural choice for bass. Not only did I know he would deliver performance-wise, but it was nice to have a familiar face among the new personalities.” With these players involved it was an easy, stress-free process throughout, making music for the love of it, and coming up with something that sounds familiar yet new, expanding the repertoire of all involved. This means songs like the half-acoustic ballad, half-swaggering “Too Far Gone” or the beautiful “Everyday Angels”, and the soaring “Wrecking Ball”, which opens the record on a high note, all brought to life in dynamic style. Jim Matheos – Guitars Steve Overland – Vocals Joey Vera – Bass Simon Phillips – Drums
SPIROGYRA was another interesting British band from that golden period of the early ’70s. The band was folk, progressive, psychedelic…Lots of harmonies, soft vocals, acoustic guitars, pianos, synths, flutes, violins and various string instruments.., The band only released 2 singles back in the day, along with these 3 albums, and commercial success eluded them, but they have maintained many followers years later. Plenty of gems among these albums, such as “Cogwheels, Crutches And Cyanide”, “Time Will Tell”, “Dangerous Dave” (a single), “Don’t Let It Get You”, “The Sargent Says”, and “In The Western World”. Very easy going stuff, but lots of stories amongst the songs, and the sweet vocals of Barbara Gaskin, and the distinctive voice of (guitarist) Martin Cockerham. Disc 2 comes with 4 bonus tracks, all outtakes, the best being the upbeat “Melody Maker Man”. Disc 3 contains the bonus track “I Hear You’re Going Somewhere (Joe Really)” – the A side to the band’s 2nd single. The set comes with a 12 page colored booklet complete with photos, liner notes, and interviews telling the band’s story. Well worth picking up if you’re interested, especially considering how much the band’s original LPs go for on Discogs.
*For more info check out the press release, tracklisting, and links below…
• NEW 3CD CLAMSHELL BOXED SET OF THE THREE ALBUMS BY SPIROGYRA RELEASED BETWEEN 1971 AND 1973 • FEATURING THE ALBUMS ‘ST RADIGUNDS’, ‘OLD BOOT WINE’ AND ‘BELLS, BOOTS AND SHAMBLES’. WITH A FULLY ILLUSTRATED BOOKLET
Spirogyra was formed by duo Martin Cockerham and Mark Francis in Bolton in 1968, but the band expanded when Cockerham was a student in Canterbury at the end of 1969. The expanded line-up featured Cockerham (guitar, vocals), Barbara Gaskin (lead vocals), Steve Borrill (bass) and Julian Cusack (violin, keyboards) and secured a contract with B&C Records in 1970. The band’s impressive debut album, ‘St Radigunds’ was issued in 1971 and featured guest drummer Dave Mattacks and Tony Cox on VCS3 Synthesizer. In 1972 the band’s second album, ‘Old Boot Wine’, was released on the Pegasus label, a “progressive” imprint established by B&C. Prior to the recording of the album Mark Francis re- joined the group, and the sessions also saw contributions from guest musicians Dave Mattacks (drums), Julian Cusack (violin, keyboards), Rick Biddulph (mandolin), Alan Laing (cello). With the demise of the Pegasus label, Spirogyra recorded their third album for Polydor. By this time Spirogyra had become a core of Martin Cockerham (guitar, vocals) and Barbara Gaskin (lead vocals) with Steve Borrill (bass) and guest musicians Dave Mattacks (drums), Julian Cusack (violin, keyboards), Henry Lowther (trumpet), John Boyce (cello), Stan Sulzman (flute) and Steve Ashley (whistle). Despite achieving critical praise, Spirogyra failed to enjoy commercial success which ultimately led to their demise. The trio of albums the band recorded between 1971 and 1973 featured music of innovation and originality and are arguably beyond classification. They remain highly regarded and are sought after by collectors and aficionados of the Progressive era. This collection features four bonus tracks recorded during sessions for ‘Old Boot Wine’ and the 1973 single release I Hear You’re Going Somewhere (Joe Really).
Disc One: St Radigunds
The Future Won’t Be Long Island Magical Mary Captain’s Log At Home In The World Cogwheels, Crutches And Cyanide Time Will Tell We Were A Happy Crew Love Is A Funny Thing The Duke Of Beaufoot
Disc Two: Old Boot Wine
Dangerous Dave Van Allen’s Belt Runaway Grandad Wings Of Thunder World’s Eyes Don’t Let It Get You Disraeli’s Problem A Canterbury Tale Bonus tracks Counting The Cars Window Turn Again Lane Melody Maker Man
Disc Three: Bells, Boots And Shambles
The Furthest Point Old Boot Wine Parallel Lines Never Separate Spiggly An Everyday Consumption Song The Sergeant Says In The Western World 1) In the Western World 2) Jungle Lore 3) Coming Back 4) Western World (reprise) Bonus track I Hear You’re Going Somewhere (Joe Really) (A- side of single)
The fifth album under the Lonely Robot name is to be released August 26th… I have to admit I wasn’t overly familiar with John Mitchell until his performances on Phil Lanzon’s (Uriah Heep) 2 excellent solo albums (If You Think I’m Crazy, 2017, and 48 Seconds, 2019). His vocals on Lanzon’s albums made me curious about his other work – such as It Bites and Arena. A Model Life is full of fine melodies and well crafted songs & productions from the opener “Recalibrating”, the softer ballad “Species In Transition” (with a cool guitar solo), the excellent title song, and “Rain Kings” (somewhat of a ballad, John reminds me of Peter Gabriel on occasion). But really, this album of 10 tracks has a lot going on, progressive, very modern / fresh sounding, great vocals, and it gets better with each listen, as there is so much going on with differences from song to song.
*for more info check out the press bio and links below…
A lone soldier on the frontlines of creativity, John Mitchell has been at the forefront of forward thinking and progressive rock for decades now. As a member of such revered prog ensembles as It Bites, Arena, Frost* and his own projects Kino and The Urbane, he has become a uniquely vital contributor to the modern scene, while his credentials as a producer for countless contemporary rock acts are unquestionable. But since 2015, John has been operating under name Lonely Robot: a solo project in all but name, it has enabled him to fully express his own musical vision, via some of the most vivid and fascinating music of his career to date.
Remarkably, Lonely Robot’s catalogue is already four albums deep. From 2015’s cosmic debut Please Come Home and its grandiose follow-up The Big Dream (2017), to the multifarious charms of 2019’s Under Stars and most recent full-length Feelings Are Good (2020), John has cemented his reputation as a prolific and inspirational songwriter. Two years on from his last release, the Lonely Robot is back in action again in 2022. The fifth album to bear the name, A Model Life is John Mitchell’s first communication to a post-pandemic world.
“The truth is, I only ever intended to make three albums and then stop,” he laughs. “Then we got to the end of the three albums and I had a discussion with the label about maybe not releasing the next one under the name Lonely Robot, but with true Germanic business sense, they said, ‘We have established the brand now!’ So then everyone’s wondering where the guy in the spacesuit has gone! But I don’t really care what it’s called, as long as I get to keep making music. The thing I find most freeing about Lonely Robot is that I can just sit there on my own, get on with it at my own pace and not wait around for other people!”
If the first four Lonely Robots offered wistful, sci-fi-tinged observations on the state of things, A Model Life is perhaps understandably infused with the anxieties and ominous omens of the real life, present day. As John explains, the new songs have a little more grit under their fingernails than any of their predecessors; even if the relentlessly inventive, melodic splurge of his songwriting remains soundly intact.
“A lot of shit has happened, and one quite traumatizing thing was that I split up with my girlfriend of 16 years and it hit me very hard,” he says. “Then quite a few people I know died, and that hit me very hard. I thought, this isn’t how it’s supposed to go. What happened to the forever ever after, into the sunset? That’s where the title comes from, A Model Life. It’s about what people’s fantasies of what they would like their lives to be, rather than what they actually are. Endless positive affirmation on social media and everything looking pure and white and like an Enya video. So every song is about being pissed off about someone or other. There’s no robots or space or anything!”
An album that brims with frustration at the state of things, while tugging remorselessly at the heart strings, A Model Life is plainly the most honest and vulnerable Lonely Robot record to date. From opener Recalibrating, which muses on the aftermath of a broken relationship, and Digital God Machine – a sardonic tribute to keyboard warriors everywhere, to the boys-don’t-cry pathos of Rain Kings and the absurdly moving, adoption-themed Duty Of Care, these new songs provide a scattershot but profoundly emotional soundtrack to a restless and uncertain world.
“Recalibrating is about splitting up with somebody and the nail goes into your head and you realize that there is no second act for that relationship. Digital God Machine is about fucking morons in their bedrooms, typing hate at people like me for writing music and thinking they know better. Then there’s The Island Of Misfit Toys, which is about people that don’t have a sense of belonging. I like the analogy of knackered toys with eyes hanging out, for people who don’t fit in and are socially awkward… a bit like myself! I was thinking about an article I read about how Google go out of their way to employ people on the autistic spectrum, because they’re much better at figures and numbers. One day those people will take over the world!”
In musical terms, A Model Life marks a notable departure from the synth-fueled futurism of 2020’s Feelings Are Good. Songs like the darkly euphoric Starlit Stardust and the tense sprawl of Species In Transitions are full of punchy riffs and blazing solos, not to mention all the ingenious instrumentation and studio trickery that John Mitchell has made such an essential part of his music.
“I do think this record is different,” he notes. “There’s lots of weird sounds and soundscapes. I’m just trying to make odd sounds out of things. On Digital God Machine, that’s me beating the shit out of a cello through a distortion pedal. At the risk of sounding like Peter Gabriel, there’s a lot of ethnic elements like marimbas and things I haven’t used before. I was under a self-imposed solo ban for the last Frost* record, so I really went overboard and played too many guitar solos this time. The last album was all about synthesizers, but this one is all about getting back to what I think I probably do best, so it’s all about guitar playing again.”
Yet another career peak from one of modern prog’s most prolific polymaths, A Model Life hits harder than any previous Lonely Robot record, but with a warmth and wit that few can match. Meanwhile, with long-awaited tour dates tentatively etched into the horizon, John Mitchell declares himself ready and cautiously optimistic for whatever the future holds.
“There’s a tour in February and some dates in Europe. But if the various hoops we have to jump through haven’t been sorted by then, When we planned this tour it was three albums ago, so I don’t know what I’m doing anymore! [Laughs] I’m really proud of A Model Life, so I might focus on that. I’ve got no idea what I’m going to play because I’ve got far too many songs! I’m sure I’ll put my nose back to the grindstone soon and make another album too.”
BABE RUTH was one of those unique British progressive bands, originally lead by guitarist / writer Alan Shacklock, and featuring the vocals of Jenny Haan. Alan was a member of The Juniors in the ’60s, along with Mick Taylor and the Glasscock brothers. After The Juniors, the band evolved in to The Hi Numbers and The Favourite Sons. Shacklock went on to work with Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds before eventually forming Babe Ruth. Following the 3rd album Shacklock left (tho he contributed to Stealin’ Home). The band carried on with Bernie Marsden on guitar for 2 more albums, with the 5th and final album not including any original members! Bassist Dave Hewitt would go on to work with Whitford/St Holmes and Georgia Satellites, Haan recorded a solo single in ’79, while Shacklock went on to a lengthy career as a producer. The original band reformed decades later, even releasing a new album in 2009 (Que Pasa).
This 3 CD set features the band’s first 3 albums, on Harvest Records. The debut First Base is perhaps the band’s most easily recognizable, with the Roger Dean artwork, and classic like heavy rockin’ “Wells Fargo”, as well as their best known cut “The Mexican”, and favorites “Black Dog”, the ballad “The Runaways”, and a cover of Frank Zappa’s “King Kong”. *A few bonus tracks on this one, notably the pop-rock single “Ain’t That Livin'”.
The band followed that up with the album Amar Caballero, and it is quite different than the debut, as the band takes on more influences of soul, r & b, and Spanish music. There’s plenty of strings, flutes, congas, trumpets, sax…. Not overly rockin’, but a pretty interesting album. The cover (created by Hypnosis) features a photo of horses out in the desert (Poco anyone?). This disc features favorites “Gimme Some Leg” (which features a couple of heavy solos from Shacklock), and the funky “Doctor Love”. *Includes the bonus track “If Heaven’s On Beauty’s Side”, which was released as a single in ’74, and it’s the only real hard rock’ track here.
The band’s 3rd album was self-titled, featuring a slightly more interesting cover of bandmembers dressed as characters from another era. And this one is back on track, and the band’s hardest rockin’ with heavy hitters like “Dancer” and “Somebody’s Nobody” – which kicked off this album, as well as “Jack O’ Lantern”, and ‘ “Sad But Rich”. A couple of excellent covers included on this album – Curtis Mayfield’s “We People Darker Than Blue” the theme to “A Fistful Of Dollars” (by Italian composer Ennio Morricone), and Booker T Jones’ “Private Number” (which featured Shacklock sharing lead vocals) was issued as a single (single edit here as ‘bonus’ track). The heavy ballad “The Duchess Of Orleans” was the other single from this album. This last of the trio is the best of the era IMO, and it’s hard to believe it wasn’t a huge charting success for the band. Oh well….but you can check ’em out in this package!
*For more info, check out the press & bio info below…
• NEW 3CD CLAMSHELL BOXED SET OF THE ALBUMS AND SINGLES BY THE BAND BABE RUTH RECORDED FOR THE HARVEST LABEL BETWEEN 1972 AND 1975 • FEATURING THE ALBUMS ‘FIRST BASE’, ‘AMAR CABALLERO’ AND ‘BABE RUTH’. • NEWLY REMASTERED FROM THE ORIGINAL HARVEST MASTER TAPES WITH AN ILLUSTRATED BOOKLET FEATURING AN ESSAY
Babe Ruth was formed Iin Hatfield in 1970 by guitarist Alan Shacklock and featured vocalist Janita “Jenny” Haan, bassist Dave Hewitt and drummer Jeff Allen. Their unique brand of soulful Progressive Rock soon gained many admirers and in 1972 they signed a contract with EMI Records’ Progressive imprint, Harvest. By this time Jeff Allen had departed and Dick Powell joined on drums. The band’s line-up was also expanded by the arrival of keyboard player Dave Punshon. Babe Ruth stood out from many of their labelmates, partly due to Haan’s vocals and through the band’s ability to generate a soulful edge to their music. Their debut album, ‘First Base’ was issued in 1972 and featured the classic tracks ‘Wells Fargo’ and ‘The Mexican’ (later covered by Jellybean Benitez in 1984), which gained considerable air play in Canada (where the album gained Gold Disc status) and the USA, but the record inexplicably failed to match this success in the UK. The arrival of Chris Holmes on keyboards and new drummer Ed Spevock in 1974 saw them follow their debut with ‘Amar Caballero’, before the band’s final album for Harvest in 1975, the eponymous ‘Babe Ruth’ which was a hit in the USA and Canada and featured the band’s memorable cover of the theme from the film A Fistful Of Dollars and the Curtis Mayfield composition ‘We People Darker Than Blue’. Soon after the album’s release Alan Shacklock departed the band (to be replaced by Bernie Marsden) and Babe Ruth moved labels to Capitol Records.
Wells Fargo The Runaways King Kong Black Dog The Mexican (Interpolating Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu) Joker Bonus tracks Wells Fargo (single version) Theme from A Few Dollars More (B-side of single) Ain’t That Livin’ (A-side of single) We Are Holding On (B-side of single)
Lady Broken Cloud Gimmie Some Leg Baby Pride Cool Jerk We Are Holding On Doctor Love Amar Caballero a) El Caballero de la Reina Isabella b) Hombre de la Guitarra c) El Testament De ‘Amelia Bonus track If Heaven’s On Beauty’s Side (A-side of single)
Dancer Somebody’s Nobody A Fistful Of Dollars We People Darker Than Blue Jack O’Lantern Private Number Turquoise Sad But Rich The Duchess of Orleans Bonus track Private Number (single version
British progressive band GENTLE GIANT released 11 studo albums and 1 double live albums from 1970-1980. The band split in 1980, but still have a large following. This upcoming box set looks like it will be most welcome by fans and collectors. For more info & details check out the press release below –
Gentle Giant “Front Row Center (US Dates 1976-1980)” 10LP Deluxe Box Set Released on Madfish Sept. 23, 2022
10LP box set + 60 page book from the influential cult progressive rock collective.
Gentle Giant “Front Row Center (US Dates 1976-1980)”10LP Deluxe Box Set will be released on Madfish Sept. 23, 2022! Celebrating four classic years (1976-1980) of touring throughout the USA, encompassing the full Gentle Giant live experience through never-before pressed vinyl, unseen memorabilia and photographs.
The box set features: • HEMPSTEAD, New York – CALDERONE CONCERT HALL – JULY 13, 1976 (3LP) – Originally broadcast live on New York City’s WLIR radio as part of the station’s Bicentennial celebration. • HEMPSTEAD, NEW YORK – CALDERONE CONCERT HALL – NOVEMBER 16, 1977 (3LP) An outstanding previously unreleased performance sourced from guitarist Gary Green’s personal collection. • CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA – WIDENER COLLEGE – NOVEMBER 18, 1977 (2LP) – Available for the first time on vinyl sourced from Gary Green’s collection. • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – AGORA BALLROOM – MAY 29, 1980 (2LP) – A rare recording from the band’s final tour prior to their split in the summer of 1980.
In addition to the recordings the set will come with a 60-page book written by GG authority Alan Kinsman concentrating on their live experiences and memorabilia. The set will also include a numbered Limited-Edition certificate.
This is a chance to own a collection of uber-rarities here on vinyl for the first time ever. A must have for all Gentle Giant collectors.
DISC 1 A.1. Intro/Just The Same (The Bicentennial, NY, July 13, 1976) A.2. Proclamation/Valedictory (The Bicentennial, NY, July 13,1976) B.1. On Reflection (The Bicentennial, NY, July 13, 1976) B.2. Interview (The Bicentennial, NY, July 13, 1976)
DISC 2 C.1. The Runaway/Experience (The Bicentennial, NY, July 13, 1976) C.2. So Sincere (The Bicentennial, NY, July 13, 1976) D.1. Excerpts From Octopus (The Bicentennial, NY, July 13, 1976)
DISC 3 E.1. Give It Back (The Bicentennial, NY, July 13, 1976) E.2. Timing (The Bicentennial, NY, July 13, 1976) F.1. Free Hand (The Bicentennial, NY, July 13, 1976)
DISC 4 A.1. Two Weeks In Spain (Calderone Concert Hall, NY, 16 Nov 1977) A.2. Free Hand (Calderone Concert Hall, NY, 16 Nov 1977) B.1. On Reflection (Calderone Concert Hall, NY, 16 Nov 1977) B.2. I’m Turning Around (Calderone Concert Hall, NY, 16 Nov 1977)
DISC 5 C.1. Just The Same/Playing The Game (Calderone Concert Hall, NY, 16 Nov 1977) C.2. Memories Of Old Days (Calderone Concert Hall, NY, 16 Nov 1977) D.1. Betcha Thought We Couldn’t Do It (Calderone Concert Hall, NY, 16 Nov 1977) D.2. Funny Ways (Calderone Concert Hall, NY, 16 Nov 1977)
DISC 6 E.1. The Face (Calderone Concert Hall, NY, 16 Nov 1977) E.2. For Nobody (Calderone Concert Hall, NY, 16 Nov 1977) F.1. Excerpts From Octopus (Calderone Concert Hall, NY, 16 Nov 1977)
DISC 7 A.1. Two Weeks In Spain (Widener College, PA, 18 Nov 1977) A.2. Free Hand (Widener College, PA, 18 Nov 1977) A.3. On Reflection (Widener College, PA, 18 Nov 1977) B.1. I’m Turning Around (Widener College, PA, 18 Nov 1977) B.2. Just The Same/Playing The Game (Widener College, PA, 18 Nov 1977) B.3. Memories Of Old Days (Widener College, PA, 18 Nov 1977)
DISC 8 C.1. Betcha Thought We Couldn’t Do It (Widener College, PA, 18 Nov 1977) C.2. The Face (Widener College, PA, 18 Nov 1977) D.1. For Nobody (Widener College, PA, 18 Nov 1977) D.2. Excerpts From Octopus – part 1 (Widener College, PA, 18 Nov 1977) D.3. Excerpts From Octopus – part 2 (Widener College, PA, 18 Nov 1977)
DISC 9 A.1. Convenience (Clean And Easy) (The Agora, GA, 29 May,1980) A.2. All Through The Night (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980) A.3. Free Hand (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980) A.4. Knots (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980) A.5. Playing The Game (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980) B.1. Memories Of Old Days (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980) B.2. Giant For A Day (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980) B.3. Inside Out (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980)
DISC 10 C.1. It’s Not Imagination (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980) C.2. Underground (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980) D.1. For Nobody (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980) D.2. The Advent Of Panurge (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980) D.3. Number One (The Agora, GA, 29 May, 1980)
Flash were an early ’70s progressive rock band which featured original YES guitarist Peter Banks. In a few short years the band released 3 albums, all worth checking out. This live set is for collectors, as it gathers the band’s live recordings over their short lifespan touring the USA. Likely bootlegged over the years, these recordings have been cleaned up as best as possible and are an enjoyable look at the band. Flash had lots of potential, but for whatever reasons didn’t last too long. These shows make a great companion to the band’s studio albums (which featured some cool cover-art!). *Check out the press release below for more details & track listing.
Prog Legends FLASH Featuring Peter Banks “In The USA Live 1972-73” 3-CD Set Available Sept, 9, 2022
Available on Sept. 9th, restored live recordings from 1970ʼs classic prog rock group FLASH featuring ex-YES guitarist Peter Banks. Twenty-two tracks from seven shows across 3 discs; a majority of them previously unavailable. Best known thanks to their YES connections, the band nevertheless held their own across three Billboard charting albums, and the top 30 single hit “Small Beginnings.” Includes 32-page booklet with exclusive band interviews, unpublished photos and tour itinerary. A true time capsule back to the golden age of US rock concerts.
• Carefully restored and previously unreleased recordings • For fans of progressive rock, guitar heroes & YES • Previously unpublished photos & essay including detailed US tour history with exclusive band interviews and memorabilia
“Capturing the collective during seven of their American shows of 1972-1973, one of those preserved for posterity in its entirety, the digipack will allow the listener to savor most of the three LPs in rather different performances than those laid down in the studio and the uninitiated will have the opportunity to see how brilliant these musicians were. Colin and Ray worked for a while under the old name relatively recently, but it’s the old recordings their followers are after, so there’s something to look forward to.” – Dmitry Epstein https://dmme.net
Says Ray Bennett: “What ‘Think Like A Key Music’ set out to do here, on this multi-disc set, is to gather together whatever was left out there of live FLASH stuff regardless of quality and present it in the best possible way. Whatever improvements could be made to the audio were done. Quite a bit of it is rough sounding, but I found that even with the poor sound issues there was something coming across from the live experience. Some surprisingly good moments. A fair bit of this material was fan-recorded, probably on cassettes, some possibly from rough mixing board recordings; some is much better studio type quality, and some has been online for years on obscure websites, but in the worst possible form – awful sound, complete with extraneous noise and talking in the recordings. So all that has been cleaned up and the sound mastered as well as possible. Overall, I think this is a worthy project for the historical record at the very least. Other than the ‘In Public’ CD which is already available, this new set is it as far as we know. Pretty much all that there is of live FLASH performance.”