Due to other commitments and ever-growing computer issues
prolonging my ability to post anything new lately, I am hereby
announcing my retirement from Guitarzan's Vinyl Jungle.
time, I have spent weeks thinking to myself, "Is this really what I want
to do for the rest of my life?" - "Am I willing to keep going with this
project?" - "Do I want to be known as just 'the Guitarzan guy who posts
rare overseas music'?"
Guitarzan's Vinyl Jungle opened on August
14th, 2015. 170 total posts and over 32,000 visits. I have enjoyed the
hell out of making EVERY SINGLE POST, providing not just the downloads
but the notes as well - I always get a kick out of satisfying the
audience with my knowledge and with my witty yet crazy sense of humour. I
have always been passionate - and also quite the elitist! - for music
and thanks to fellow bloggers such as Ozzie Music Man who helped inspire me to start my own site. It's been a fun ride.
would love to thank the people who 'swung' by my blog and to my
followers, and to those helping keep me alive with their own weird and
wonderful shares of albums and singles. I have received so many kind
words on a lot of my posts; there has never been a single bad comment. I
also had input from a few people back then who had worked with certain
artists I have shared which is truly a great honour. I had even been
highly commended by a person namely 'Professor Bubblegum', the mayor,
head librarian, and chief promoter of both the town of Echo Valley and
the genre of pop-rock music known as bubblegum. You can check out
his/her podcast site, here: link
really can't express enough thanks to everyone who came by and
supported my blog. It's been a wonderful 2 years and a joyride sharing
and keeping this blog going for as long as I have. 2 years may not seem
much, but every plan for any new post has become more and more of a
trial, I'm not going to lie. Now that other opportunities in my life
have taken place, I can no longer continue the trend. Sorry to
That being said, I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a Happy 2018!
Sunday, 24 September 2017
Born Jean-Baptiste Mondino on 21 July 1949, in Aubervilliers, France, started out as an electro-pop singer. Though mostly recognised as a fashion photographer and music video director (for artists such as Neneh Cherry, David Bowie, Sting, Madonna, Les Rita Mitsouko and Björk to name a few) and photographer for record covers, Mondino (or Mon Dino as stated on cover) is here with his lone single; “La Danse Des Mots” – meaning “The Dance Of Words” in English – from 1983 (Island X-13155).
Mondino has also photographed the covers and album packaging for Prince's Lovesexy (1988), Alain Bashung's Osez Joséphine (1991), Shakespear's Sister's Hormonally Yours (1992) and Chatterton (1994) and the Marianne Faithfull (see Post #74) albums Before The Poison (2005) and Easy Come, Easy Go (2008).
The video for Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer", which Mondino directed, swept the MTV Video Music Awards in 1985, winning "Best Video", "Best Direction", "Best Art Direction" and "Best Cinematography". This video paired him with compatriot cinematographer, Pascal Lebègue, with whom he would later shoot several other notable music videos in black and white, such as "Russians" for Sting and "Justify My Love" for Madonna. FLAC
Saturday, 16 September 2017
Took a matter of time ‘til I could find another Trade Mark Of Quality bootie for the Jungle – what was it I said back at Post #36...? ;)
The band who underwent several name and lineup changes during their 50+ year career, starting with Jefferson Airplane, from October 1966 to February 1970. Original members were Marty Balin (vocals), Paul Kantner (guitar, vocals), Grace Slick (vocals), Jorma Kaukonen (lead guitar, vocals), Jack Casady (bass), and Spencer Dryden (drums). Marty Balin left the band in 1971. After 1972, Jefferson Airplane effectively split into two groups. Kaukonen and Casady moved on full time to their own band, Hot Tuna. Slick, Kantner, and the remaining members of Jefferson Airplane recruited new members and regrouped as Jefferson Starship in 1974, with Marty Balin eventually joining them.
In June 1984, Paul Kantner, the last remaining founding member of Jefferson Airplane, left Jefferson Starship. In October, Kantner took legal action over the "Jefferson Starship" alias against his former bandmates. In March 1985, Kantner settled out of court and signed an agreement that neither party would use the names "Jefferson" or "Airplane" unless all members of Jefferson Airplane, Inc. (Bill Thompson, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady) agreed. The band briefly performed as "Starship Jefferson" while legal proceedings occurred, before FINALLY settling on the shortened name, Starship. Wow!
This bootleg consists of tracks taken from 2 PBS television specials: "Go Ride The Music" recorded on April 2, 1970 at Wally Heider Studio, San Francisco; "A Night At Family Dog" recorded on February 4, 1970 at the Family Dog At The Great Highway, San Francisco (see tracklist below). Many coloured vinyl editions including blue, green, red, purple and orange... but available in this download is a yellow coloured vinyl with handwritten titles on the labels. I couldn’t locate a code anywhere but the Trade Mark Of Quality site indicates as TMOQ 71011: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_Mark_of_Quality_discography.
A nice little bonus included in this download, too – a TMOQ catalogue! Something handy for all the big-time collectors out there. Thanks once again to Sunshine for this great find. Enjoy. FLAC
1. We Can Be Together (5:50) from Go Ride The Music
2. Volunteers (3:39) from Go Ride The Music
3. Eskimo Blue Day (5:49) from A Night At Family Dog
4. Mexico (2:16) from Go Ride The Music
5. Somebody To Love (4:49) from Go Ride The Music
6. Wooden Ships (6:26) from Go Ride The Music
7. Plastic Fantastic Lover (3:09) from Go Ride The Music
8. Emergency (4:41) from Go Ride The Music
9. Ballad Of You And Me And Pooneil (8:30) from A Night At Family Dog
9. Ballad Of You And Me And Pooneil (8:30) from A Night At Family Dog
Born Gregory Joel Abbott in New York City, Abbott's parents came from Venezuela and Antigua. During his early years, Abbott's mother taught him how to play piano and encouraged him to develop vocally. Before his career as musician, Abbott studied psychology at University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1975 and creative writing at Stanford; where he won a Wallace Stegner fellowship. Abbott taught English at University of California, Berkeley.
One of Abbott's first opportunities in his studio was an album for an independent record label, which gave him the opportunity to do a duet with Whitney Houston. Continuing on, Abbott produced for the group EQ on Atlantic Records. In 1986, Abbott released his first solo album, Shake You Down. The title track for the album was a success, going platinum and topping the Billboard Hot 100. And here the single stands, with a slightly extended mix of “Wait Until Tomorrow”, 30 seconds longer than on the album (CBS BA 3497). The follow-up single, "I Got The Feelin’ (It's Over)" reached Number 5 on the U.S. R&B chart. With the strength of its singles, the album propelled to platinum status and earned Abbott several awards.
Internationally, Abbott carried much success, winning first prize at the Tokyo Music Festival. The title track of his second album, "I'll Prove It To You" which was released in 1988, was featured on a Japanese movie soundtrack. In Belgium, he performed with Princess Stephanie of Monaco. Over the years much of his new music has been released via singles on his own Mojo Man Entertainment label. Abbott has continued with his R&B sound but in addition he has added a Caribbean/Soul feel as well. In 2011, an album entitled Drop Your Mask was released; and Abbott continues to release new singles two to four times a year.
Abbott is a dual citizen of the United States and Antigua. He has been married once. In December 1976, at 22 years old he married American singer Freda Payne, who was 34 years old at the time in a ceremony in Chicago. Abbott and Payne had a son, Gregory Joel Abbott, Jr born September 19, 1977; which was Payne's 35th birthday. Abbott and Payne divorced in August 1979. FLAC
Sunday, 10 September 2017
Post 167 – Santa Esmeralda starring Jimmy Goings – The House Of The Rising Sun + Quasimodo Suite [Single Edit] b/w Nothing Else Matters [Edit], 1978
Santa Esmeralda was formed in 1977 by French producers Nicolas Skorsky and Jean Manuel de Scarano, both songwriters who had launched their own label with the aim of producing artists who would record their compositions. Upon meeting singer, Leroy Gómez, in Paris, the duo recruited him for the group's first record, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which debuted on the independent French label, Fauves Puma. A sudden success in Europe, the record was picked up for worldwide distribution by Casablanca Records.
Originally written in 1964 for Nina Simone, her version had failed to chart, and the song was picked up by rock group The Animals the following year. The song became a hit all over again, first topping the U.S. Disco chart and then matching the #15 peak of The Animals' version on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified gold. The flipside of the record featured the love ballad "You're My Everything" which became a radio request song and received airplay, even though the song never charted. Despite the success of the record, Gómez did not record any subsequent record with Santa Esmeralda's original production team.
After the band's first album, singer Jimmy Goings was brought in to replace Leroy Gómez. In late '77/early '78 Santa Esmeralda scored a top 20 disco hit with a dance version of yet another song made famous by The Animals, "The House of the Rising Sun" (Philips 6042 355). In 1978 they recorded the song "Sevilla Nights" for the Thank God It's Friday soundtrack. In addition to their contribution to that hit soundtrack, their album The House of the Rising Sun also appeared on the pop and black charts that year.
Following the success of their first two albums, they had a minor club hit with their 1978 album Beauty, and returned to the disco Top 20 with "Another Cha-Cha/Cha-Cha Suite", which peaked at #16 in 1979. The album featured extensive writing from Goings which would continue for the rest of the band's existence until his departure in 1983, and original lead singer Leroy Gómez took on the band once again from the 1990’s to this day. They are still touring throughout the world. FLAC
Tuesday, 5 September 2017
Having produced albums for big names including Tina Turner, Howard Jones, Bob Geldof, Thompson Twins, Stevie Nicks, Chris de Burgh, Suzanne Vega, Rush and Underworld to name a few, Rupert Neville Hine (born 21 September 1947, Wimbledon) has recorded 11 albums, including ones billed under his own name, the pseudo-band name Thinkman, and as a member of the band Quantum Jump.
In the early sixties, Hine formed half of the folk duo Rupert & David. The duo performed in pubs and clubs and occasionally shared the stage with a then-unknown Paul Simon. The duo's one released single (on the Decca label in 1965) was a cover of Simon's "The Sounds of Silence". The single was not a success, but was notable for featuring a young Jimmy Page on guitar and Herbie Flowers on bass.
In the early 70’s, Hine released two albums under his own name: Pick Up a Bone (1971) and Unfinished Picture (1973). During the latter year, Hine, along with guitarist Mark Warner, bassist John G. Perry (then of Caravan) and drummer Trevor Morais (formerly of The Peddlers) formed the band Quantum Jump, releasing two albums, Quantum Jump (1976) and Barracuda (1977). After a re-release of the track "Lone Ranger" (from Quantum Jump) became an unexpected UK Top Ten hit in 1979, a third album – Mixing, a reworking of tracks selected from the first two QJ albums – was released.
After QJ disbanded, Hine released a trilogy of albums under his own name, including Immunity (1981); Waving Not Drowning (1982); and The Wildest Wish to Fly (1983). The American release of Wildest Wish dropped two tracks, radically reworked two others and incorporated two tracks from 1981's Immunity – including "Misplaced Love", which featured a guest vocal by Marianne Faithfull (see Post #74) and had been a minor hit in Australia, reaching number 14 on the charts. And here is that single, of which edit has not yet been released digitally – not even on the CD re-release of Immunity (A&M K-8252). Thanks Sunshine for digging this one up.
As well as a recording artist and producer for many of his own songs, Hine also produced many films including the 1985 black comedy Better Off Dead, and wrote the music for the soundtrack. FLAC
Monday, 4 September 2017
Protégés of singer Rick James, the victim of the overly sampled hit tune, “Super Freak” from 1981, as well as producer, co-writer AND featured singer of “Party All The Time” with comedian/actor Eddie Murphy in 1985. And coming out of that year are the Mary Jane Girls, with their biggest hit, “In My House”, in all shapes and sizes.
Included in the 7” single is: “In My House b/w In My House (instrumental)” (Gordy 1741 GF).
Included in the 12” single is: “In My House [12" Version] b/w In My House (instrumental) [12" Version]” (Motown 4529-MG) - thank you Sunshine for this one.
Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Mary Jane Girls were a subgroup of Rick James' backing band, the Stone City Band. In 1983, James proposed to Motown that lead singer Joanne "Jojo" McDuffie be offered a solo career but miscommunication caused the label to sign the all-girl group. James filled the positions behind McDuffie with Cheryl Bailey (who used the stage name Cheri Wells), Candice "Candi" Ghant and Kimberly "Maxi" Wuletich. He also wrote all the original songs and produced all the recordings. The girls learned choreographed dance routines and they practiced under a vocal coach.
The Waters sisters and McDuffie sang all the parts on the first Mary Jane Girls album: Mary Jane Girls (1983). The album yielded their first R&B hits: "Candy Man", "All Night Long" (which was later included in the soundtrack of the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City), and "Boys".
The group released their second album Only Four You in 1985. McDuffie was featured on most of the songs, and the Waters sisters were yet again hired to provide background vocals, since the other members were vocally limited. The lead single "In My House" became the group's biggest hit, reaching number 3 on the R&B chart and then crossing over to the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it reached number 7 and spent 12 weeks in the Top 40. It also charted on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, peaking at number 1 for two weeks in April 1985. "Wild and Crazy Love" was the second single from this album and it also fared well on the R&B (number 10) and dance charts (number 3). It barely missed the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 42. The last single, "Break It Up", only reached number 79 on the R&B chart and did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100, but it did hit #39 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.
A third album was recorded by the group, the project called Conversation, but it was shelved for decades, finally released in 2014 as part of a larger retrospective of James' work. However, a single was released from the project in 1986, a cover of the The Four Seasons hit "Walk Like a Man" which was heard in the film A Fine Mess. This single charted at number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. Another single, "Shadow Lover", was also released in 1986, and the Mary Jane Girls appeared on Soul Train to lip-sync to it, but the single was not promoted by the label. Ghant obtained other work in 1986 when James and Motown were in dispute, since the group had no label support. The Mary Jane Girls officially disbanded in 1987.
Fun fact: The name of the group referenced mary jane, slang for marijuana; a favoured recreational drug of James (the name of the group may also refer to James' hit song "Mary Jane"). FLAC
Friday, 1 September 2017
Post 164 – Crash Craddock – Letter Of Love [Mono Single Mix] b/w Well, Don’t You Know [Mono Single Mix], 1960
One for the sound purists out there...
Someone recently validated that “Well, Don’t You Know” had severe tape damage throughout the entire song. What I mean by ‘tape damage’ is that it sounds similar to what you hear from a worn cassette (remember those?), if it had creases in the tape or damage from being stuck in the heads.
Again, maybe not that noticeable if you listen to it over speakers (depending on the brand), but if you use headphones, you can easily detect it at the first 30 seconds of the song; especially around the lines “A lot of things I didn’t know” and “This little girl belongs to me”, the left and right channels tend to fade, flicker and wander (see a 30-second example here).
I then checked over every compilation I had with that song on it (CD and LP), and every time it was the same ‘tape damage’ source. I knew something was amiss because I had heard the original 45 pressing of “Well, Don’t You Know” on a low-quality YouTube clip, and I could hear no sign of degradation anywhere even underneath the poor quality. However, I was fortunate enough to later pick up a copy from a garage sale with “Letter Of Love” as the A-side, and with the pleasure of fixing this baby up, my prediction proved correct (Coronet KS-377)!
I have a feeling we’ll be seeing ol’ Crash make another appearance somewhere down the track, so we’ll leave the exciting tale of Mr. Craddock for another post... stay swingin’! ;) FLAC
Sunday, 18 June 2017
Seeing as we had German schlager-music singer Drafi Deutscher/Mr. Walkie Talkie in the previous post, here to join him is fellow German who goes by the name of Tony Marshall.
Born in Baden-Baden as Herbert Anton Bloeth on February 3, 1938, he changed his name to Herbert Anton Hilger before settling on the name Tony Marshall in 1965 when he started training as an opera singer at Karlsruher College of Music.
However, rather than embarking on a career in the opera, in 1971 he had his first hit single, "Schöne Maid", making its way into the German Top 40. But it wasn't until the following year the English-language version made single (Interfusion ITFK-4432), becoming one of the biggest hits in Australia in late ‘72/early ‘73. The original German version had tweeting birds at the start but the musical arrangement was basically the same.
Pete Bellotte, a British lyricist and producer, wrote the English lyrics for "Pretty Maid". He is also one-third of the trio largely responsible for the wide sweeping success of the '70s disco movement, alongside Giorgio Moroder, writing many hit compositions including "Hot Stuff", "I Feel Love" and "Love To Love You Baby" for Donna Summer. He also wrote "Son Of My Father", a hit for UK group Chicory Tip. FLAC
Friday, 9 June 2017
Drafi Franz Richard Deutscher (known professionally as Drafi Deutscher) was a German singer, producer and writer. He was born 9 May 1946 in Charlottenburg, in the western zone of Berlin.
Between 1964 and 1966, Deutscher had a string of hits in Germany, for example Shake Hands (1964, #1), Keep Smiling (1964, #7), Cinderella Baby (1965, #3), Heute male ich dein Bild, Cindy-Lou (1965, # 1).
His best known song was "Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht" ("Marble, Stone and Iron Break") in 1965 which sold over one million copies, and awarded a golden record. In the US, the song was released in 1966 under the title "Marble, Stone and Iron Break" with English lyrics sung by Deutscher. This English version entered the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1966, peaking at #80, and sparking a number of English cover versions by contemporary acts such as The Deejays (under the title “Dum Dum (Marble Breaks and Iron Bends)”), as well as by the two Australian acts Peter Fenton and Toni & Royce (aka Toni McCann and Royce Nicholas), none of which seem to have charted.
As his career in Germany was in full swing it was however shaken by a 1967 conviction for public indecency (Erregung öffentlichen Ärgernisses) after he had urinated from a balcony while drunk, in plain view of a group of schoolchildren watching him from street level. After his 1967 conviction for public indecency, he virtually disappeared from the public eye as a singer for more than a decade, writing and producing several worldwide hits for Boney M, Nino de Angelo and Tony Christie (see Post #138) throughout the 1970s under a number of pen names instead.
During the late 70's, he went by various pseudonyms, including Mr. Walkie-Talkie – an act which saw notable commercial success particularly in the Benelux countries. And here for download is his only hit single in Australia, “Be My Boogie Woogie Baby” (Philips 6003 527), which would only reach #62 but oddly enough, staying for a whopping 33 weeks in the Top 100. The song as well as “Lolly Loving Cop” is featured on the album Happy Rummel Music. In 1978, he changed his name to Jack Goldbird, releasing a few singles from 1979 until 1983, one of them being “Can I Reach You” which was a moderate success in Germany.
In 1982, a biopic loosely inspired by Deutscher's life was released to German theatres under the title of his greatest hit, 1965's Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht, in which he appeared in a small cameo role.
In November 1998, Deutscher suffered two strokes, followed by a breakdown in 1999 due to increasing diabetes. He nevertheless continued touring, celebrating his 40-year stage anniversary in 2003. On 9 June 2006 (11 years ago on this very day), Deutscher died from heart failure in 2006 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, at the age of 60. He was married to Isabel Varell from 1989 to 1991. FLAC
Post 161 – Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose – Too Late To Turn Back Now* b/w Lift Your Love Higher, 1972
A family soul singing group from Dania Beach, Florida, formed in 1970 and gained popularity in the early 1970s. It was composed of siblings Carter, Eddie and Rose Cornelius, who were joined by sister, Billie Jo Cornelius in 1972. Cleveland E. Barrett (a childhood friend), an original member of the group, was killed in a car accident before their chart success.
Rose Cornelius had already appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in June 1967 and had been performing in Las Vegas and worldwide, touring in 1970 with a group called the Gospel Jazz Singers. She went home to Florida at her mother's request to help form the group. Rose wrote most of the background vocals while Eddie wrote most of the songs.
In 1971, Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose hit the pop chart in 1971 with the single "Treat Her Like a Lady" (U.S. R&B Top 20, Billboard Hot 100 #3). The record was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on 2 August 1971. The act succeeded again in 1972 with "Too Late to Turn Back Now" (U.S. R&B #5, Hot 100 #2); both songs were written by Eddie Cornelius. This also sold over one million copies with a gold disc awarded in August 1972. And here stands one of the million, with flipside “Lift Your Love Higher”, both songs ‘lifted’ from their self-titled debut album which has not yet made CD (United Artists UAK-4704).
While the group failed to capitalise on the scale of their first two singles, two further releases, "Don't Ever Be Lonely" and "I'm Never Gonna Be Alone Anymore" reached the Billboard Top 40. Their final charting single was "Since I Found My Baby" in 1974, from their third and last album, Greatest Hits. Their records were all produced by Bob Archibald at the Music Factory in Miami.
The group disbanded in 1976 when Carter Cornelius joined a black Hebrew sect in Miami and adopted the name Prince Gideon Israel. He wrote, recorded, and mixed the sect's music and videos for the next 15 years. He died of a heart attack on November 7, 1991. Eddie Cornelius became a born-again Christian and later an ordained pastor who continued to sing, produce, and write music. Rose Cornelius is working and living in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, and performs with many groups. FLAC
Thursday, 8 June 2017
Before things start to get too serious here in the Jungle, thought I might fun them back up a bit with 3 Fonzie-obsessed gals... and taking centre stage are 50’s retro rock-n-roll/doowop group, The Heyettes!
While The Heyettes were not an actual band, the album Fonzie, Fonzie, He’s Our Man is in fact not associated with Happy Days in any official way, shape or form (nor even the title itself), although it was released at the peak of Happy Days fever. None of the sitcom’s cast or crew actually appear on the album – I would think any Fonzie fans out there will tell you: “Go pay Henry Winkler a visit then come back to see me”!
Most of the songs on the album (including every one about Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli) were written by Michael S. Fein, including "The Fonz Song", "Do The Fonz", "Fonzie For President" and "Sit On It". The album was produced by Jackie Mills, who also produced AND composed on The Kids From The Brady Bunch. Go figure.
Julia Tillman, one of the “voices of the Heyettes”, as stated on the back cover, performed backing vocals for many legendary artists including The Bee Gees on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Leonard Cohen’s Death Of A Ladies’ Man, Neil Diamond‘s You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, Kim Carnes‘ Mistaken Identity and on Carole King's groundbreaker LP, Tapestry. In 1978, she reunited with fellow Heyette Maxine Willard to sing backup on former Kiss drummer Peter Criss' solo album.
Third Heyette Jessica Smith was a gospel-trained member of Hodges, James & Smith, a Motown creation that wound up signed to London in 1976. She was also part of The Ikettes, a female backing vocalist trio for Ike and Tina Turner (credited as Jessie Smith).
Seeing as I already came across a couple of scathing reviews on the album (LOL), I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and leave it up to the audience to decide with this download (London SPA-10329). FLAC
Sunday, 4 June 2017
Taco Ockerse (born July 21, 1955) is an Indonesian-born Dutch singer and entertainer who started his career in Germany. Known for his synthpop cover version of Irving Berlin’s "Puttin’ On The Ritz", which he released as a single from his album After Eight and accompanied by a controversial music video containing characters in blackface and has since been banned from many networks. A censored version of the video eliminates many shots of the blackface characters, though some remain. Taco pays homage to Fred Astaire by including a tap dance solo in the middle of the song, as it famously became a hit for Astaire in 1946 when he performed it in the movie Blue Skies.
Another composition, “Cheek To Cheek” , of which Berlin wrote for the 1935 movie Top Hat, starring – yep, you guessed it – Fred Astaire, along with dancing partner/on-screen romantic interest, Ginger Rogers. And speaking of tap-dancers, another to mention is Gene Kelly, and the famous centrepiece, “Singin’ In The Rain”, from the movie of which he danced, sang, directed AND choreographed in 1952. The song was originally published in 1929, words by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown. It is unclear exactly when the song was written; it has been claimed that the song was performed as early as 1927. And here both songs are featured in today’s post, new wave/synthpop style (RCA Victor TACO-1)!
Fun fact: Due to the success of Taco's cover of “Puttin’ On The Ritz”, it made 95-year-old Irving Berlin the oldest living songwriter ever with a Top 10 single in the US Hot 100. Taco’s follow-up album was also named after an Irving Berlin song he covered, "Let's Face the Music and Dance". FLAC
|Fred Astaire (R) and Ginger Rogers (L).|
|Gene Kelly, Singin' In The Rain, 1952.|
Tuesday, 30 May 2017
A painter, sculptor and inventor of numerous unique and highly original mediums, Lisa R. Fredenthal-Lee, also known as Lisa, was born in Detroit, Michigan USA into an artistic dynasty, with a broad array of artists and performers, going back generations.
A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Lisa became one of the principle artists and a major contributor to the original SOMA art scene of the 1970s and 80s; including several one woman and group exhibitions across a wide diversity of mediums. Lisa is primarily renowned as a painter on canvas and highly regarded for her rich texture, vibrant color work and diversity of subject matter. She is equally regarded for her re-use of discarded/discovered materials and the wealth of innovation that she generates from these materials.
Prior to 1982, Lisa had no formal training or interest in the music business. However, the artist seized an opportunity to utilize pop music as a performance platform, using her own body as a canvas. Lisa applied her primary skills to textiles; in 1984 she performed as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations at The San Francisco Modern Art Museum, having created an original piece specifically for the event.
Known for her Hi-NRG, Synthpop and Disco-style music, she released her first singles “Jump Shout” in 1982 and the follow-up, “Rocket To Your Heart” in 1983. And here for download is the latter, 2 different mixes on a UK 12” release (Carrere CART 328). The self-titled LP Lisa was released that year, with cover art by Lisa and Robert Lee. Following were many successful singles including “Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart” and in 1992 Jump Shout the CD came to market.
Once again, another one of these cases where the track lengths don’t quite match the album cuts... the A-side clocks out at 5min 54sec whereas on the original album is 5:45, and 9:33 on the Jump Shout CD. As for the B-side, however, I was lucky to stumble upon some info for the “remix”: it was remixed by Steve Algozino & Lester Temple who are uncredited on this pressing, and is a version from a Hot Tracks DJ subscription service (series 2, issue 8) with the vocoder-spoken intro (which refers to Hot Tracks) removed. Hmm.
Fun fact: Lisa was one of the first artists to exploit scanner generated archival pigment printing as an original medium, rather than using the device, in the conventional way, for the reproduction of pre-existing pieces rendered in other mediums. She saw the opportunity to use the scanner, originally, by erecting a variety of compositions and collages directly on the machine table. In 1995 this was considered to be a ground breaking approach to the use and application of the technology. To the artist, the manipulation of the mechanism was yet one more tool to be utilized and, in this regard, no different than picking up a brush or a palette knife! FLAC
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Born in Hollywood, California, Alan Earle O’Day was the only child of Earle and Jeannette O'Day, who both worked at the Pasadena Star-News. He stated that he remembered creating melodies on a xylophone at the age of six. By the fifth grade, his favourite artist was Spike Jones, and he was serenading his class on the ukulele. At Coachella Valley Union High School, after participating in one band called "The Imperials," he started his own rock'n'roll band, "The Shoves," with heavy influences from Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Fats Domino. A third band, "The Renés" played Latin and Mexican standards mixed with rock and roll tunes and gave him the opportunity to write his own songs.
In 1961, he found work via a friend from high school, Arch Hall, Jr., whose father, Arch Hall, Sr., was an independent movie producer. The senior Hall wrote and produced films that starred the junior Hall, and O'Day helped out with the sound, in 1962, acting as music editor on the film Eegah and musical director on Wild Guitar, sound recorder on 1963's The Sadist, and sound mixer on the 1964 What's Up Front! The work led to Arch Jr. and O'Day putting together a four-piece band (called "The Archers") and playing in clubs on the Sunset Strip such as Whiskey A Go Go and Pandora's Box.
Around 1965, O'Day was in the band "Alan & Bob & Denny," a show group that did pop songs and some comedy. They played nightclubs in the Pasadena & Hollywood area, and were on The Ed Sullivan Show on November 14, 1965, as the backup band for singer/actress/comedian Virginia O'Brien.
In 1969, he signed with E. H. Morris Music, followed by Warner Brothers Music in 1971, showing off his song-writing skills starting with "The Drum," which was a hit single for Bobby Sherman. In 1974, three more of his songs did well: "Train of Thought," recorded by Cher, "Rock And Roll Heaven," recorded by The Righteous Brothers, and "Angie Baby," recorded by Helen Reddy.
O'Day would then pursue his solo career and release his first solo album, Caress Me Pretty Music in 1973. The album was not a major commercial success and he temporarily put his recording career on hiatus.
Then, in 1977, Warner Bros. Records formed a label for their composers who also performed. O'Day was the first artist signed, and the first release was "Undercover Angel". The song, which he described as a "nocturnal novelette," was in February 1977. Within a few months it had become #1 in the country, and has sold approximately two million copies. It was also a hit in Australia, reaching #9 on the Australian Singles Chart. "Undercover Angel" also landed O'Day in an exclusive club as one of only a handful of writers/performers to pen a #1 hit for themselves and a #1 for another artist. A follow-up single, "Started Out Dancing, Ended Up Making Love" stalled at #73, marking O'Day's second and last appearance on the US charts. Both songs appear on his 1977 album Appetizers, available on CD and iTunes.
Three years later, in March 1980, a song called "Skinny Girls" reached #11 on the Australian Singles Chart, spawning from the Oh Johnny! album, here for you to download (Pacific PC 4301). Thanks to Garry for finding me this – he claimed it took him a long time to get the LP from eBay and he’d only ever seen it once. Only time I found it made CD reissue was in 2010, again, only for Japan.
Sadly, O'Day died on May 17, 2013 (4 years ago on this day), after battling brain cancer for six months. FLAC