Thursday, December 25, 2008

Stories - 2007 - St + About Us

Here I bring to you a Christmas gift courtesy of the great D. Moose (Thank you very much!).
Just after the brief Montage episode (one album still available on cd), the great Michael Brown of Left Banke fame formed his real second group: The Stories, who spent a few months charming audiences before releasing their first single "I'm Coming Home" for their first national hit.
Stories was formed with vocalist Ian Lloyd, guitarist Steve Love, and drummer Bryan Madey. Following the group's self-titled 1972 Kama Sutra label debut, the mercurial Brown abruptly resigned, at which point the remaining Stories recruited bassist Kenny Aaronson and pianist Ken Bichel to record 1973's About Us. "Brother Louie," a tale of interracial romance penned by Hot Chocolate's Errol Brown, hit number one that summer, but Stories never again returned to the Top 40. Brown, meanwhile, resurfaced in 1976, leading the short-lived Beckies before spending the following decades out of the limelight.
About Us" was the second Stories album but also the last recorded with Michael Brown.
The Stories would record a third album called "Traveling Underground" without Brown.
Michael Brown would later surfaced with The Beckies.
Michael Brown left the band and the new Stories went into the studio with former Music Connection magazine editor and producer of Gladys Knight, Kenny Kerner. He and Richie Wise recorded a song written by Errol Brown/Tony Wilson and released by their British band Hot Chocolate. Kama Sutra later put the 45 in the original pressing's sleeve before adding it as a 13th track on About Us. That unique Hot Chocolate song was a far cry from the Paul McCartney-ish pop of opening track "Darling" or closing track "What Comes After," and the hit song's production was a lot heavier than the light pop which was Michael Brown's trademark, something Ian Lloyd translated very nicely. (AMG).

The Band:

Michael Brown - Piano, Harpsichord, Organ / Brian Madey - Drums / Steve Love - Vocal, Harmonies, Guitar / Ian Lloyd - Lead Vocals, Bass


Selftitled: Hello People / I'm Coming Home / Winter Scenes / Step Back / You Told Me / St James / Kathleen / Take Cover / Nice To Have You Here / High And Low

About Us: Darling / Don't Ever Let Me Down / Love Is in Motion / Hey France / Please, Please / Changes Have Begun / Circles / Believe Me / Words / Top of the City / Down Time Blooze / What Comes After / Brother Louie

Bonus Track Single: Another Love

Stories - Stories + About Us
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Bitrate: 320

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Me and my family wish you:





Friday, December 19, 2008

Big Star - 1992 - Live

Another rip courtesy of D. Moose.
This album is a live radio show that was broadcast on NY's WLIR in 1974. John Lightman takes over on bass as Andy Hummell left the band shortly after recording Radio City. Of interest is is a cover of Loudon Wainwright's "Motel Blues and the interview with Alex Chilton which gives a glimpse of his anger with the distribution problems of the Big Star LPs. The show was a favorite among bootleggers for many years.


September Gurls / Way Out West / Mod Lang Listen / Don't Lie To Me / O My Soul Listen / Interview / The Ballad Of El Goodo / Thirteen / I'm In Love With a Girl / Motel Blues / In The Street / You Get What You Deserve / Daisy Glaze / Back Of A Car / She's A Mover

Big Star - Live
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Bitrate: 320

Monday, December 15, 2008

Split Enz - 1985 - The Living Enz

A double live album with tracks from the farewell Enz With a Bang tour and a few from the 1982 Time and Tide tour. Rather than just focusing on the hit singles, the album revives old album favorites with new live arrangements. Mainly a gift ... Full Descriptionfor the fans, this album is a showcase for the band at its crowd-pleasing best. 19 tracks in all spread over 2 CD's housed in a standard double jewelcase.

Disc 1:

I Walk Away / One Step Ahead / Bold as Brass / Ninnee Kneez Up / I See Red / Message to My Girl / I Hope I Never / Dirty Creature / Hard Act to Follow / Time for a Change

Disc: 2:

Strait Old Line / Walking Through the Ruins / Pioneer / Six Months in a Leaky Boat / Take a Walk / Small World / Lost for Words / Years Go By / Charlie

Split Enz - The Living Enz
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Bitrate: 320 (Rip and artworks courtesy of D. Moose)

Badfinger - 2000 - BBC In Concert 1972-1973

"For a while in the history of music, the only way you'd ever have heard of Badfinger was to either have tuned in to the local oldies station, stumbled upon an old, worn-out copy of one of their albums in a relative's collection or to have paid upwards of $100 for said record in much nicer condition from a dealer. (I was lucky, and happened to find a copy of Straight Up in my uncle's records. I still have that record.)
The re-release of most of Badfinger's catalog while on Apple helped to stir up some interest in the band (as well as the ghosts of the suicides of members Pete Ham in 1975 and Tom Evans in 1983), but after that, it again seemed like Badfinger was destined for the deepest realms of the vaults of obscurity.
With the recent release of BBC In Concert 1972-3, that just might change. These 15 tracks capture the band at the highest pinnacle of their career, and you can almost feel the glow coming through your speakers. Even in the rare shaky moment or two, Badfinger will quickly make you wonder why you haven't heard more from these guys.
The first half of the disc, taken from a June 1972 concert, inexplicably includes two Dave Mason covers. Granted, they do a killer version of "Only You Know And I Know" and a passable job on "Feelin' Alright" - one of the few classic rock songs I can think of that gets worse the more I hear it. But, come on ! They were working their Straight Up album at this time! Where's "Baby Blue"? Where's "Day By Day"? Where's "No Matter What" from No Dice? If any collection screamed for the definitive live versions of these tracks, BBC In Concert 1972-3 is it.
That being said, the songs selected for this part of the album are impeccable. "Better Days" is a wonderful start to the show, and two tracks from Straight Up that normally don't get attention, "Take It All" and "Suitcase", are given the chance to show their true glory. (Another version of "Suitcase" shows up in the next part of the disc.)
The second half of the CD (except for one track) features Badfinger at the same concert hall (London's Paris Theatre) in August 1973. Musically, Badfinger sounded a little shaky at times - check out the uncertainty on songs like "Love Is Easy" - and the band was in the midst of switching from Apple to Warner Brothers. Regrettably, the two CDs from this time are out of print, so unless you bought Ass (the only Apple release I believe that didn't get reissued) or Badfinger, chances are you're hearing most of these cuts for the first time. And if first impressions mean anything, the performances are decent but the material isn't anything to write home about.
Still, it's the performances of guitarist Joey Molland, guitarist Ham, bassist Evans and drummer Mike Gibbons that sells this set, and it's more than enough to carry the songs through. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the album's closer, a 1970 "Top Of The Pops" version of their debut hit "Come And Get It," which occasionally sounds out of tune. (C'mon, guys, you're telling me with the vastness of the BBC's tape library, a better live version of this song doesn't exist? My arse.)
If there were any justice in this world, BBC In Concert 1972-3 would signal a rebirth of interest in a band who unjustly were compared to the Beatles for most of their career. If this disc does anything, it proves just how good and multi-faceted Badfinger were live, and this should be a welcome addition to your collection. Who knows - if this disc takes off, maybe then we'll see the rest of Badfinger's catalog grace CDs.
" (Christopher Thelen for The Daily Vault)


Better Days / Only You Know And I Know / We're For The Dark / Sweet Tuesday Morning / Feelin' Alright? / Take It All / Suitcase / Love Is Easy / Blind Owl / Constitution / Icicles / Matted Spam / Suitcase / I Can't Take It / Come And Get It [1970 Top of the Pops]

Badfinger - BBC In Concert 1972-1973
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Bitrate: 320 (Rip and artworks Courtesy of D. Moose)

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Tribute To Shoes - 2001 - Shoe Fetish

22 of today's top pure pop artists pay musical homage to legendary DIY power pop pioneers on Shoe Fetish: A Tribute to Shoes.
Artists such as Matthew Sweet, Don Dixon & Marti Jones, Scott McCarl (The Raspberries) and Jeffrey Foskett (vocalist/guitarist with Brian Wilson's current touring band) have recorded their versions of Shoetunes exclusively for this collection.
The songs covered include tracks from all phases of the Zion, Illinois-based Shoes' 25 year (!) recorded history, including nuggets from 1976's groundbreaking Black Vinyl Shoes album, as well as a generous helping of songs from the band's three Elektra Records releases.


DM3 - Too Late / Matthew Sweet - Karen / Astropuppees - The Tube / Bobby Sutliff - Turnaround / Doug Powell - She Satisfies / Sparkle*Jets U.K. - Cruel You / Cloud Eleven - Found A Girl / The Lolas - I Can't Go Wrong / Jeffrey Foskett - Your Very Eyes / The Spongetones - Curiosity / The Shazam - Hangin' Around With You / Michael Carpenter - Love is Like a Bullet / Al Chan - I Miss You / The Masticators - Your Imagination / Shane Faubert - I Don't Know Why / Big Hello - Tomorrow Night / Don Dixon & Marti Jones - Only in My Sleep / Walter Clevenger & The Dairy Kings - If All I Had Was You / LMNOP - Okay / Matt Bruno - When Push Comes To Shove / Chewy Marble - The Things You Do / The Tearaways with Scott McCarl - Never Had It Better

Shoes Tribute - Shoe Fetish

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Bitrate: 320

Shoes: Boomerang-Shoes On Ice (1982) + Propeller (1994)

Boomerang was Shoes 3rd major-label release and demonstrates Shoes knack for creating melodic, guitar-based pop/rock songs. Recorded at Chicago's CRC (Chicago Recording Company) in the spring of 1982 the songs here range from upbeat to moody to lush, vocal landscapes with Shoes' underlying core of guitar riffs and punchy bass lines. The opening track, In Her Shadow was made into an impromptu, "unofficial" video from an appearance on a Madison, Wisconsin television show in response to MTV's request for a new video from the band. MTV also aired a short interview clip of the band recording in the studio on their Music News segment.
Shoes inaugurate a new chapter in their storied recording history with their latest album Propeller, a power-charged 12-track collection of luscious, melodically-driven pop gems. Supplemented by a talented supporting cast that includes drummers Ric Menck of Velvet Crush and Mike Zelenko of Material Issue, Propeller delivers on all counts. While the self-produced album continues Shoes' healthy obsession with crafting perfectly constructed pop symphonies of sound, Shoes break new ground with Propeller. Just listen to the haunting cello that gracefully frames "In My Mind", the visceral punch of "Animal Attraction", the charming psychedelia of "Treading Water" or the hypnotic sheen of "The Last of You" and prepare to be converted.

Boomerang / Shoes On Ice tracks:

In Her Shadow / Curiosity / Mayday / Too Soon / Double Talk / The Summer Rain / Under The Gun / The Tube / What Love Means / Bound To Be A Reason / Shake It Away / Tested Charms / Too Late [live] / Hangin' Around With You [live] / Cruel You [live] / In My Arms Again [live] / She Satisfies [live] / Hate To Run [live]

Propeller tracks:

1. Animal Attraction / Treading Water / Don't Do This To Me / The Last Of You / Slipping Through Your Fingers / Tore A Hole / Bittersweet / If All I Had Was You / In My Mind / Silence Is Deadly / A Thing Of The Past / Never Ending

Shoes - Boomerang/Shoes On Ice
Shoes - Propeller

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Bitrate: 320

Note: If you like, you can buy both cd's at BLACK VYNIL SHOES or CDBABY