Ruben And The Jets – For Real (1973)

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For Real! is the debut album of Ruben and the Jets. Released in 1973, the album was produced by Frank Zappa, who wrote the first track and played guitar on the second track.

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention recorded a concept album called Cruising with Ruben & the Jets in 1968 which involved a fictitious Chicano doo-wop and rock and roll band called Ruben and the Jets.Subsequently, Zappa stated that the Mothers of Invention would record a second Ruben & the Jets album. No sequel to Cruising with Ruben & the Jets was produced.

Zappa was later contacted by a band which consisted of Mexican-American musicians Ruben Guevara, Tony Duran, Robert “Frog” Camarena, Johnny Martinez, Robert “Buffalo” Roberts, Bill Wild, Bob Zamora and Mike Albert, who sought Zappa’s permission to name their group Ruben and the Jets, in honor of the Mothers of Invention album. Zappa approved the group name, and agreed to produce their debut album, For Real!, which was released in 1973 on Mercury Records; Zappa also wrote the album’s opening song, “If I Could Only Be Your love Again”, and played guitar on the second track, “Dedicated To The One I Love”.

Listening to this album was one weird experience back in 1973, and it hasn’t gotten much less so since — but weird in the best, most glorious possible way. Where the 1968 Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention album Cruising with Ruben & the Jets was as much a satire of as a tribute to rock & roll and doo wop music, laced with several layers of humor and musical sophistication piled on top of its basic material, the For Real! album — produced by Zappa for a real-life Ruben & the Jets — is a stunningly beautiful, utterly delightful and straightforward musical creation; it’s all different from the tone of the album that helped inspire it, yet it seems the perfect follow-up to that album. And it’s also a perfect retro rock & roll album.

From the opening Zappa-authored number “If I Could Only Be Your Love Again,” the band plays it straight, which doesn’t mean that they don’t have fun with some of the conventions or stretch the envelope a bit; indeed, from the extended blues/R&B outro on “Dedicated to the One I Love,” this album is filled with genre-bending and redefining touches — that outro, incidentally, features an extended guitar solo that is presumed by most (but disputed by one or two people who were there) to be Zappa‘s one direct musical contribution to the album.

But whoever is playing, it’s a pretty cool touch moving the girl group standard into Muddy Waters territory (and maybe Wilson Pickett territory before it’s done) and quite effectively, too. Hearing this album more than three decades on, one heartily wishes that it could have been more widely played back in 1973 — For Real! could easily have redefined the parameters and meanings of the entire rock & roll revival and made it a lot more accessible. Ruben Ladron de Guevara and company could do romantic ballads (“Show Me the Way to Your Heart”) and stomping rhythm numbers (“Sparkie”) with equal inventiveness, including beautifully crafted breaks on sax (by Robert “Buffalo” Roberts and Jim Sherwood) and guitar (from Tony Duran) and gorgeous and powerful singing.

The range of material includes originals as well as standards like Chuck Berry‘s “Almost Grown,” and there’s not a weak moment anywhere on the album. And as good as all of For Real! is — without a false note sounded anywhere — they save the best for last, a stomping, killer version of “All Nite Long” that definitely leaves the listener wanting more (and depend upon it, another go-around on the album is worthwhile).

 

Tracklist

  1. “If I Could Only Be Your Love Again” — 3:34 (Frank Zappa)
  2. “Dedicated To The One I Love” — 5:45 (Lawman Pauling, Ralph Bass)
  3. “Show Me The Way To Your Heart” — 5:04 (Tony Duran, Leonard Duran)
  4. “Sparkie” — 4:30 (Tony Duran, Ruben Guevara)
  5. “Wedding Bells” — 2:58 (Robert “Frog” Camarena)
  6. “Almost Grown” — 2:20 (Chuck Berry)
  7. “Charlena” — 5:54 (Manuel Chavez, H. Chaney)
  8. “Mah Man Flash” — 2:38 (Ruben Guevara)
  9. “Santa Kari” — 4:29 (Ruben Guevara)
  10. “Spider Woman” — 3:58 (Paul Hof, Lonnie Scott, Tony Duran, Ruben Guevara)
  11. “All Night Long” — 2:22 (John Gray)

Credits

Notes
Released:  March 1973
Genre:  Doo-wop, rhythm and blues, rock and roll
Length:  43:41

Label – Mercury Records

 

Rock And Hyde – Under The Vulcano (1987)

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The Payolas (or just Payola$) were part of Vancouver’s new wave of bands and active in the Canadian music scene for a decade from the late 1970s, recording several albums and singles that were Canadian chart hits. They disbanded in 1988, but reformed again from 2003 to 2008, issuing a new EP in 2007.

The band’s name is a reference to the payola scandal in the United States in the early 1960s.

The group was based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and recorded mostly at Vancouver’s Little Mountain Sound Studios. Through several lineup changes and name changes (the band also played as The Payola$, Paul Hyde and the Payolas and Rock and Hyde), the Payolas core members remained Paul Hyde and Bob Rock, who together wrote virtually all of the band’s songs, occasionally with co-writers. As well, Rock engineered and mixed virtually every Payolas recording.

This is a truely great album by the former Payolas with quite a few top notch songs including Dirty Water and I Will, both phenomenal songs with powerful vocal performances and great instrumental backing. Talk to me is also a great song that was a big hit when this disk was first released for them albeit in a slow and sad style. Some of the disk is odd, The Blind the Deaf and the Lame has an almost celtic style to it, not a bad song but definately not of the same type as their rock type of stuff.

Oh Ruby is a decent catchy tune that is a little lacking over the long run in its predictable and repetitive nature (which makes it surprising it was not a hit). Nevertheless the 3 major songs on this short disk “Dirty Water” “I Will” and “Talk to Me” are as good as the Payolas ever produced and since they are not under the same name are unfortunately never to be included on a greatest hits compilation. If you are a Payolas fan and aiming to get their hits you will not have a complete collection of their true greatest hits without this album.

 

Tracklist

1.  Dirty Water  – 4:23
(Written-By – Bob Rock, Paul Hyde)
2.  I Will  – 4:05
(Written-By – Bob Rock, Paul Hyde)
3.  The Blind, The Deaf And The Lame  – 5:43
(Written-By – Bob Rock, Paul Hyde)
4.  Knocking On Closed Doors  – 3:30
(Written-By – Bob Rock, Paul Hyde)
5.  What Children Say  3:31
(Written-By – Bob Rock, Paul Hyde)
6.  Talk To Me  – 6:15
(Written-By – Bob Rock, Paul Hyde)
7.  Middle Of The Night  – 3:59
Written-By – Bob Rock, Paul Hyde)
8.  There’s Always Someone Tougher  – 3:23
(Written-By – Rock, Chris Taylor, Hyde) 
9.  Oh Ruby  – 4:04
(Written By – M. Nelson, Rock, Hyde)
10.  It’s Always Raining  – 4:51
(Written-By – Bob Rock, Paul Hyde)

Companies, etc.

Distributed By – Capitol Records-EMI Of Canada Limited
Manufactured By – Capitol Records-EMI Of Canada Limited
Phonographic Copyright (p) – EMI Records Ltd.
Copyright (c) – EMI Records Ltd.
Pressed By – Praxis Technologies Inc. – 00196
Published By – Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc.
Published By – Rock And Hyde Music

Credits

Bass – Alex Boynton
Drums – Micky Curry
Drums, Keyboards, Programmed By [Programming] – Chris Taylor
Guitar, Keyboards, Bass – Bob Rock
Keyboards, Programmed By [Programming] – John Webster
Voice, Guitar – Paul Hyde

Notes
Released: March 20, 1987
Genre: Pop Rock / AOR
Length: 43:44

Label – Capitol Records

Red 7 – Red 7 (1985)

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Red 7 was a short-lived rock group, formed in 1984 in San Francisco, California. Mike Rutherford produced their first album, played bass on several songs and may have also sang in the choir on one song, “The Way”. The three core members were Michael Becker, Gene Stashuk and Paul Revelli. Don Gehmann mixed the single “Relentless” from the first CD, David Tickle was the engineer.

Red 7 recorded two albums. Their self-titled debut Red 7 was released in 1985 (MCA LP MCA-5508). Two cuts from that album were used in popular movies: “Less Than Perfect” was featured in the soundtrack to Joe Dante’s 1985 film, Explorers (Explorers: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack, MCA LP MCA-6148). Arguably their best-known song, “Heartbeat”, was featured in Michael Mann’s 1986 thriller Manhunter, as well as an episode of Miami Vice.

The second album, When the Sun Goes Down (MCA LP MCA-5792) was released in 1987.

The band lost their contract to MCA soon after the second album, and disappeared from public interest.

After the demise of Red 7, the members scattered to various corners of the country. Gene Stashuk currently owns and operates Apostrophe Music Studios in Washington State, where he produces and engineers a wide variety of contemporary music, rock to classical. With his own group, euGENE WENDELL, he has produced three CDs (euGENE WENDELL, Islands in the Sun and euGENE WENDELL 3). He is also a FOH mixer at many local music festivals and events.

Paul Revelli continues to produce music and play drums in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has appeared with an interesting variety of artists including Elvis Costello and Chuck Prophet. He currently plays with the blues group Bey Paule Band.

Michael Becker returned to his beloved home state of New Jersey and presumably continues to play keyboards.

 

Tracklist

1.  Relentless – 3:58
2.  Heartbeat – 4:17
3.  No Sorry – 3:24
4.  Less Than Perfect – 4:12
5.  The Way – 5:09
6.  This Dark Hour – 4:37
7.  Questions And Answers – 4:09
8.  Let Me Use You – 3:35
9.  Shades Of Grey – 4:12
10.  Can’t Much Anymore – 5:02

Companies, etc.

Copyright (c) – MCA Records, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – MCA Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – MCA Records, Inc.
Recorded At – The Farm
Mixed At – The Farm
Mixed At – Rumbo Recorders
Mastered At – Artisan Sound Recorders
Pressed By – MCA Pressing Plant, Pinckneyville

Credits

Art Direction – Jeff Adamoff
Co-producer, Mixed By – Don Gehman (tracks: 1, 4)
Drums, Backing Vocals – Paul Revelli
Engineer – Greg Edward (tracks: 1, 4)
Engineer [Assistant] – Geoff Callingham, Greg Droman (tracks: A1, A4), Ian Morace, Julian Stoll (tracks: 1, 4)
Engineer, Programmed By [Fairlight] – David Tickle
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Gene Stashuk
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Michael Becker 
Management [Direction] – Marty Cohn
Mastered By – Greg Fulginiti
Producer – Mike Rutherford

Notes
Released: 1985
Genre: Electronic, Rock
Style: Soft Rock, Synth-pop
Length: 42:15

Label – MCA Records

Richard Pryor – Are You Serious??? (1976)

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Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, and social critic. Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed vulgarities and profanity, as well as racial epithets. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and storytelling style, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential stand-up comedians of all time.

It appeared as though Richard Pryor could do no wrong in the late 70’s, as evidenced by such strong comedy albums as 1976’s ARE YOU SERIOUS?, but behind the scenes, Pryor’s life was spiraling out of control due to dangerous cocaine addiction that nearly cost him his life around this time. But you’d never know that personal demons haunted him during this period, as he offers another impressive set of comedy bits and social commentaries that stick with you long after you’ve finished listening, as Pryor proved that he was still at the top of his game. Pryor reflects upon his life as a youngster growing up in a whorehouse (!) and a rather unsuccessful (and ultimately, brief) enlistment in the U.S. Army. Pryor is at his best on the individual standouts “Virgins,” “Leroy,” “Bad Breath,” “Hillbillies,” and “Deodorant.” ARE YOU SERIOUS? continued Richard Pryor’s winning streak of hilarious comedy albums.

Side one opens with a lively organ-trio fanfare, leading to Richard welcoming the audience in a whisper: “I would like to make you laugh, I would like to make you cry, I would like to…make you!”. Richard then goes into the bits about his old street gang back in Peoria, the “Girls” routine, war movies, and the submarine pep-talk. He also does “Army Life” from the first album, but the “Kill Class” part of it is much better here, funnier, and with some good variations. The funniest bit is when he talks about the hillybilly guy getting to call cadence while marching in line: “Eenie-meenie-minie-moe! Catch a nig–!”, and gets promptly pummeled by the black guys before he can even finish the word!

Side two starts off with his fire-and-brimstone preacher “in the year nineteen twunny-nahhhn!”, walking down the street “eatin’ a sammich”, and running into God himself, who asks for a bite. He goes from that into talking about his two different grandmothers: “One used to give me milk and cookies, and the other used to give me beer and reefer…and needless to say which one I liked the best!”. Then there’s the “Smells” bit from the first album, followed by “Being Born”, probably a more visual routine (and probably not unlike the re-created routine you see him do in Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling ).

The last bit is called “Mankind”, kind of a history of the world, zipping by via a string of zingers and one-liners. The oft-remembered line is of the first Thanksgiving, where the head Pilgrim blesses the dinner and asks if everyone is thankful, and asks the same of the person sitting next to him: “Yeah, massuh!”. It concludes with JFK’s “Ask not what your country” quote melding into the Texas drawl of LBJ: “All men are created…hm?…equal!. On that note, Richard thanks the audience, the show is over, and so is the album.

 

Tracklist

A1.  Nigger Babys’
A2.  Processed Hair
A3.  Virgins
A4.  9 Pound Pill
A5.  Jesse
A6.  Movies
A7.  Mafia
A8.  Hillbillies

B1.  G-D
B2.  Grandmother
B3.  Leroy
B4.  Bad Breath
B5.  Deodorant
B6.  Being Born
B7.  Mankind

Credits

Co-producer – Louis Drozen
Producer – David Drozen

Notes
Release date: 1976
Country: US
Genre: Non-Music / Comedy/Spoken
Style: StandupComedy
Duration: 37:59

Label – Laff Records

Porno For Pyros – Porno For Pyros (1993)

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Porno for Pyros were an American alternative rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1992, following the break-up of Jane’s Addiction.

Porno for Pyros is the eponymous debut album by Porno for Pyros, released on April 27, 1993, on the same label as Jane’s Addiction, Warner Bros. Records. Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and bassist Eric Avery, battling substance abuse issues, had left the band in 1991 in an attempt to stay clean, though the other half of the band wished to continue creating music.

The remaining members of Jane’s Addiction, Perry Farrell and Stephen Perkins, were joined by guitarist Peter DiStefano and future Jane’s Addiction bassist Martyn LeNoble, and continued under the new band name Porno for Pyros. The band (and album) name is a reference to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which are mentioned throughout the songs on the album as a recurring theme.

Perry Farrell’s first project since splitting up Jane’s Addiction, Porno for Pyros’ self-titled debut, was one of the most highly anticipated rock releases of 1993. Joining Farrell is ex-Jane’s drummer Stephen Perkins, guitarist Peter DiStefano, and bassist Martyn LeNoble, and while the music of Porno for Pyros contains some similarities to Jane’s, it turned out to be a more ethereal and psychedelic affair. Most noticeably absent are the monstrous guitar riffs — DiStefano specializes more in textured guitar sounds (à la the Cure’s Robert Smith, etc.), which puts more emphasis on Farrell’s vocals and Perkins’ drumming (who also adds exotic percussion to the proceedings).

Also, Porno’s compositions are far more succinct. Whereas Jane’s were known to wander into mood-enhanced improv, most tracks on Porno for Pyros are under the four-minute mark, while Farrell’s lyric-writing still alternates between train of thought and thought-provoking. The slightly melancholic ballad “Pets” was an MTV hit, as it lyrically touches upon the possibility of extraterrestrial life. A pair of tracks, “Cursed Female” and “Cursed Male,” are sequenced back to back to create a brief epic (clocking in together at barely over seven minutes) that explores the pros and cons of both genders.

Also featured is the funky “Meija,” the hyperactive “Bad Shit,” the ballad “Black Girlfriend,” and the title track, which deals with the 1992 Los Angeles/Rodney King riots. While those expecting an instant classic like Nothing’s Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual were probably disappointed, Porno for Pyros remains an interesting musical detour for Farrell and co.

 

Tracklist

1.  “Sadness” – 2:33
2.  “Porno for Pyros” – 3:06
3.  “Meija” – 3:13
4.  “Cursed Female” – 3:24
5.  “Cursed Male” – 3:50
6.  “Pets” – 3:36
7.  “Bad Shit” – 2:58
8.  “Packin’ .25” – 4:08
9.  “Black Girlfriend” – 4:33
10.  “Blood Rag” – 3:29
11.  “Orgasm” – 4:27

All tracks written by Porno for Pyros (Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins, Peter DiStefano and Martyn LeNoble).

Porno for Pyros
Peter DiStefano – guitars
Perry Farrell – vocals
Martyn LeNoble – bass guitars
Stephen Perkins – drums, percussion

Additional musicians
Skatemaster Tate – sound additives
Matt Hyde – sound additives

Recording personnel
Matt Hyde – Production, recording engineer, mixing
Perry Farrell – Production
Rob Seifert – Recording engineer
Damien Wagner – Assistant recording engineer
Chris Belman – Mastering

Additional personnel
Tom Recchion – Art direction, design
Bill Hofstadter – Artwork, photography
Perry Farrell – Artwork
Barrie Goshko – Lettering
Cecil Juanarena – Computer imaging
Ted Gardner – Management
Don Muller – Booking agent
Ted Mico – Publicity

Notes
Released: April 27, 1993
Recorded: Summer, 1992
Genre: Alternative rock, psychedelic rock, funk metal
Length: 39:17

Label – Warner Bros. Records

Buffy Sainte-Marie – She Used To Wanna Be A Ballerina (1971)

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She Used to Wanna Be a Ballerina, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s seventh album, is a varied collection of new originals by the singer/songwriter, along with covers of songs by her friends. It’s an ambitious work, recorded at five different studios in New York, Los Angeles, and London, and co-produced by Sainte-Marie with Jack Nitzsche, who brings in some elaborate arrangements at times, as well as musicians including sometime-bandmates in Crazy Horse, Neil Young, Danny Whitten, Ralph Molina, and Billy Talbot. They are heard, for instance, in Sainte-Marie’s feeling version of fellow Canadian Young’s “Helpless,” a song he cut previously with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, although it is a personal reminiscence of a Canadian childhood, and thus a song with which Sainte-Marie can identify closely.

The album also boasts an excellent Gerry Goffin/Carole King song, “Smack Water Jack,” which Sainte-Marie performs alone to her own piano accompaniment. (The song also appears on King’s LP Tapestry, released simultaneously with She Used to Wanna Be a Ballerina.) Another notable track is a previously unheard and typically poetic and emotional Leonard Cohen song, “Bells,” and Sainte-Marie presents her version of a song Cohen, too, has covered, “Song of the French Partisan” (aka “The Partisan”).

That is far from the only politically oriented tune on the disc, though. Sainte-Marie also presents “Moratorium,” a reflection on troops serving, misguidedly, in her opinion, in Vietnam, which includes an expletive followed by “Bring the brothers home.” A similar sentiment informs “Soldier Blue,” Sainte-Marie’s theme song for the recently released film concerning mistreatment of American Indians, another constant in her work. The album also contains love songs like “Now You’ve Been Gone for a Long Time,” performed with equal effectiveness. She Used to Wanna Be a Ballerina finds Sainte-Marie holding onto many of the themes and the folk styles with which she began, but, with the assistance of Nitzsche and others, expanding into mainstream pop and rock successfully.

Her previous album Illuminations having sold so poorly as to lose Vanguard a considerable sum of money, the label placed considerable pressure on Sainte-Marie to come up with something that would sell in larger numbers. To this effect, She Used to Wanna Be a Ballerina was recorded with guitar from Ry Cooder and Neil Young and assistance from the latter’s backing band Crazy Horse. There was also a change in focus of the material: covers of contemporary songs, which she had almost never recorded before, accounted for five of the eleven songs. Vanguard boss Maynard Solomon, who had produced her first five albums and most of Illuminations, surrendered production duties completely to Neil Young producer Jack Nitzsche, who was later to marry Sainte-Marie after she wrote “Up Where We Belong” with him in the early 1980s.

This label-driven effort to achieve increased commercial success did briefly pay off when “Soldier Blue”, the theme song from the movie of the same name reached number 7 in the UK Singles Chart and was a hit throughout Europe. It failed to chart in the States, however, and the album barely dented the Billboard Top 200, which served to strain the relationship between Sainte-Marie and Vanguard and paved the way for their split in 1973 after Quiet Places.

 

Tracklist

1. “Rollin’ Mill Man”  (Gerry Goffin, Russ Titelman) – 2:18
2. “Smack Water Jack”  (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) – 3:21
3. “Sweet September Morning” – 2:53
4. “She Used to Wanna Be a Ballerina” – 2:17
5. “Bells”   (Leonard Cohen) – 4:37
6. “Helpless”  (Neil Young) – 3:11
7. “Moratorium” – 4:14
8. “The Surfer”   (Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ariel Gonzales, Carlos Pardeiro) – 2:38
9. “Song of the French Partisan”  (Anna Marly, Hy Zaret) – 3:16
10. “Soldier Blue” – 3:21
11. “Now You’ve Been Gone for a Long Time” – 2:53

All songs composed by Buffy Sainte-Marie unless otherwise indicated.

Personnel
Buffy Sainte-Marie – vocals
Jesse Ed Davis, Neil Young, Ry Cooder – guitar
Jack Nitzsche – piano
Merry Clayton – background vocals
Gayle Levant – harp
Crazy Horse

Notes
Released: March 1971
Genre: Pop, Folk
Length: 35:25

Label – Vanguard Records

Mike Rutherford – Smallcreep´s Day (1980)

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Michael John Cloete Crawford Rutherford[1] (born 2 October 1950) is an English songwriter and musician. He is a founding member of Genesis and one of the band’s only two continuous members.

Smallcreep’s Day is the first studio album by English guitarist and songwriter Mike Rutherford, released in February 1980 on Charisma Records. It was recorded in 1979 during a period of inactivity from his rock band Genesis, during which Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks recorded their first solo albums. The 24-minute title track is based on the 1965 novel Smallcreep’s Day by Peter Currell Brown which tells the story of Mr. Smallcreep and the journey of self-discovery he takes through the assembly line of the factory he has worked in for forty years.

Smallcreep’s Day opens with the 24-minute title track that has seven distinct sections. It is based on the 1965 novel Smallcreep’s Day, the only book written by Peter Currell Brown. A satire on modern industrial life, the story follows Pinquean Smallcreep who has worked in the same factory for forty years and embarks on a journey of self-discovery as he follows its assembly line to find out what the factory produces. Brown had in fact worked in a factory for forty years himself. Rutherford had read the book roughly three years prior to starting work on the album, noting it had similarities to the Gormenghast series of fantasy novels by Mervyn Peake. Though he considered it “hardly a great piece of literature”, he was more impressed with its spirit and the atmosphere it presented as a reader. He also chose the book as its story and setting was something he could work and develop from and adapted it to have a happy ending. He later noted a strong contrast in themes between the factory and machine-oriented imagery on his album and the more romantic and fantasy-inspired Genesis songs typical of the time. Rutherford had attempted to pass lines from the book as lyrics, but abandoned the idea as they failed to work effectively.

One other track recorded during the sessions for the album, “Compression”, was released as the B-side to the single release of “Working in Line”.

 

Side one
1. “Smallcreep’s Day” – 24:41
(a) “Between the Tick & the Tock”
(b) “Working in Line”
(c) “After Hours”
(d) “Cats and Rats (In This Neighbourhood)”
(e) “Smallcreep Alone”
(f) “Out Into the Daylight”
(g) “At the End of the Day”

Side two
1. “Moonshine” – 6:26
2. “Time and Time Again” – 4:54
3. “Romani” – 5:27
4. “Every Road” – 4:15
5. “Overnight Job” – 5:44

All tracks written by Mike Rutherford.

Musicians
Ant Phillips – keyboards
Noel McCalla – vocals
Simon Phillips – drums
Morris Pert – percussion
Mike Rutherford – guitars, basses

Production
David Hentschel – production, engineering
David Bascombe – production and engineering assistant
Andy Mackrill – equipment
Dale Newman – equipment
Geoff Banks – equipment
Hipgnosis – cover design and photography
Tony Smith – management at Hit & Run

Notes
Released: 15 February 1980
Recorded: 1979 Studio Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden
Genre: Progressive rock
Length: 51:28

Label – Charisma Records

Leon Russell & New Grass Revival – The Live Album (1981)

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Leon Russell & New Grass Revival’s THE LIVE ALBUM (Paradise, PAX-3532) was recorded and videotaped on 5/15/80 at Perkins Palace in Pasadena, CA. Leon on keyboard and lead vocals is supported by Sam Bush (mandolin, fiddle, backing vocals), Courtney Johnson (banjo, backing vocals), John Cowan (bass, backing vocals), and Curtis Burch (guitar, dobro, backing vocals). Also appearing: Bill Kenner (mandolin) and Ambrose Campbell (percussion).

The concert often resembles a tent revival meeting, yet there’s much variety here. Leon’s take on “Over the Rainbow” is quite compelling. The Russell original, “Pilgrim Land” is a particular highlight. “Caribbean” was a c&w charter for Mitchell Torok three times between 1953 and ’59. The fervent “Prince of Peace” and “…Sweet Baby’s Arms” are quick tempoed. “…Strange Land” maintains that high energy; then it kicks into overdrive. Leon strips his vocal cords at its conclusion and during “…At the Meeting.”

Leon Russell is well versed in bluegrass and all things hillbilly rock and roll. He recorded this collaboration back in 1980. This amazing and versatile performer simply finds a way to assimilate with any and all surroundings and be able to come out of it with something new and fresh, yet still represent Leon at his best. When I saw him in concert with Willie Nelson back in 1978 he fit in perfectly with whatever Willie wanted and whatever kind of backing the song required. His love for traditional music and a gospel kind of sound is well documented. New Grass Revival are one of the more progressive bluegrass bands, and feature excellent musicianship. Sam Bush especially stands out on mandolin.

Side one opens with a little crooning from Leon but picks up steam a bit when he covers Ray Charles’ classic I Believe To My Soul. A jumped up version of Prince Of Peace finishes off side one with a fury. New Grass Revival had covered that song a few years ago and Leon happened to catch their act and obviously there was some mutual love for that dawg there.

Side two begins with Rollin’ In My Sweet Baby’s Arms, sparked up nicely with the “strings” arrangement. I Want To Be At The Meeting is a gospel-tinged rave up, the kind that Russell does so well. Wild Horses gets a different kind of arrangement than what Old And In The Way had given it a few years before. Both shared some similarities as well. Sprinkle in a little Jambalaya and finish with some Jumpin’ Jack Flash and its certainly all right with me.

The cover appears to be a poor photo, captured off a video screen of Leon in front of a whole bank of bad video screens, repeated forming a kind of nauseating pattern. The orange font used on the artists name and while new and live stand out, New Grass Revival is somewhat hidden in green. Not much about this cover that I like, even the picture of Leon seems to be taken while he’s in the middle of a conversation and doesn’t really want to be bothered. Or better yet I’d like to think that he’s testifying, rather than making some weirdo’s salute

 

Tracklist

A1.  Over the Rainbow  (3:31)
A2.  I’ve Just Seen a Face  (1:35)
A3.  One More Love Song  (3:48)
A4.  Pilgrim Land  (2:21)
A5.  Georgia Blues  (2:11)
A6.  I Believe to My Soul  (3:24)
A7.  Prince of Peace  (3:07)

B1.  Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms  (2:14)
B2.  Stranger in a Strange Land  (3:09)
B3.  I Want to Be at the Meeting  (3:03)
B4.  Wild Horses  (4:30)
B5.  Jambalaya (On the Bayou)  (1:49)
B6.  Caribbean  (2:21)
B7.  Jumpin’ Jack Flash  (2:34)

Credits

Backing Vocals – Courtney Johnson, Curtis Burch, John Cowan, Sam Bush
Banjo – Courtney Johnson
Bass – John Cowan
Design – Bill Tom, Rod Dyer, Inc.
Directed By – Pancho Makzoumé
Engineer [Assistant] – Noland O’Boyle
Engineer, Mixed By – Steve Ripley
Fiddle – Sam Bush
Guitar, Dobro – Curtis Burch
Mandolin – Bill Kenner, Sam Bush
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Percussion – Ambrose Campbell*
Photography By – Ron Slenzak, Tom Kemp
Producer – Leon Russell
Written-By – Mick Jagger/Keith Richards (tracks: B4, B7), Leon Russell (tracks: A3 to A5, A7 to B3)

Notes
Released: 1981
Recorded: live at Perkins Palace, Pasadena, CA. May 15, 1980 by Paradise Records and Paradise Video.
Genres: Progressive Bluegrass, Country Rock
Length: 39:37

Label – Paradise Records

Rusted Root – Welcome To My Party (2002)

by Record facts

Welcome to My Party is Rusted Root’s fifth studio album. It marked a departure from the tribal grooves of the group’s previous work to a poppier sound. Both “Welcome to My Party” and “Blue Diamonds” were released as singles.

Rusted Root is an American band formed in 1990 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by singer-guitarist Michael Glabicki, bassist Patrick Norman and percussionist Liz Berlin. The band got its start as the house band playing a weekly gig in Jack’s Back Room on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

Welcome to My Party is an apt invitation to the stirring, often festive songs that populate Rusted Root’s fourth record. From the funky, joyful “Union 7,” where the vocals of band founders Mike Glabicki and Liz Berlin intertwine and shine, to the lovely instrumentation of the title track to the reggae strains of “Women Got My Money,” Rusted Root augment an already expansive musical palette. The multi-instrumentalist sextet fuse elements of Latin, African, Eastern, soul, rock, and traditional American music into an uplifting, intelligent, melodious whole. Discrete yet cohesive, the wonderful percussion and Middle Eastern vibe of “Artificial Winter,” the bluesy Band-like ballad “Sweet Mary,” and John Buynak’s enchanting pennywhistle melodies on songs like “Too Much” make for an enjoyable journey. Although they’ve toured with the Grateful Dead and Santana and support environmental and social causes, Rusted Root are not a retro jam band or overly New Age-y. Rather, their timeless, well-crafted, and multidimensional tunes provide enriching ear candy for a stressed soul.

On their fifth album, Welcome to My Party, Rusted Root decides to delve into full-fledged funkiness, tempering these elastic party grooves with their neo-hippie, acoustic earnestness. Both sides are polished rather heavily by producer Bill Bottrell, resulting in a record that feels like it positions the group to share territory with the Dave Matthews Band. Since they’ve been leaning in this direction for a while, this isn’t an awkward move, but it’s still a little jarring, especially when heavy guitars are married with chants on “Women Got My Money.” Rusted Root remains as versatile as ever as musicians, and there are moments where the production and their sound gel, but overall, it’s may be a little bit too much for longtime fans.

 

Tracklist

1. “Union 7” (Glabicki, Jenn Wertz) – 4:39
2. “Welcome to My Party” – 3:49
3. “Women Got My Money” – 4:38
4. “Blue Diamonds” – 4:56
5. “Weave” (Wertz) – 3:59
6. “Artificial Winter” – 4:17
7. “Too Much” (Liz Berlin) – 4:24
8. “Sweet Mary” – 3:43
9. “Hands are Law” – 4:18
10. “Cry” (Patrick Norman, Glabicki) – 2:52
11. “People of My Village” (Jim Donovan, Glabicki) – 5:39

All songs written by Michael Glabicki except where noted.

Personnel

Michael Glabicki – vocals, guitar
Jenn Wertz – vocals
Patrick Norman – bass,vocals
Liz Berlin – vocals
Jim Donovan – drums, percussion
John Buynak – guitar
John McDowell – keyboards
Bill Bottrell – producer, Engineer, mixer
Roxanne Webber – assistant engineer
Calvin Turnbull – assistant engineer

Notes
Released:  April 9, 2002
Genre:  Rock
Length:  47:14

Label – Island Records

Lee Ritenour – Rio (1979)

by Record Facts

Rio is an album by jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour recorded in New York City, Santa Barbara, and Rio de Janeiro. It was released in 1982 in the U.S. on Elektra/Musician Records, then on GRP in 1985 with a different album cover and track sequence.

Recorded by JVC for the Japanese market, first released in the U.S. by Elektra, and now on GRP, Ritenour’s first all-acoustic guitar album was recorded in three far-flung cities with three different bands (how’s that for musical chairs in packs of three?). The New York tracks, which feature Dave Grusin (keyboards) and Marcus Miller on popping bass, have a nice genteel funky flavor not unlike Larry Carlton’s acoustic albums in the next decade. The Rio tracks, with a Brazilian rhythm section and Don Grusin’s keyboards, differ only marginally in feeling, mostly in the use of percussion. Out in Santa Barbara, CA, “Ipanema Sol” sounds even more Brazilian than the Rio tracks, as colored by the flute of Ernie Watts and the percussion battery of Alex Acuna and Steve Forman, while Joe Sample’s “It Happens Everyday” closes the set on a lyrical note. For all of its continent-trotting ways, the record is remarkably unified — thanks in no small part to Ritenour’s intelligent, beautifully felt playing — and makes comfortable listening.

 

Tracklist

1. “Rio Funk” – 5:10
2. “San Juan Sunset” – 5:37
3. “Rainbow” – 5:48
4. “A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That” – 5:09
5. “Simplicidad” – 4:58
6. “Ipanema Sol” – 5:28
7. “It Happens Every Day” – 5:43

Companies, etc.

Phonographic Copyright (p) – Victor Musical Industries, Inc.
Licensed From – JVC
Manufactured By – Elektra/Asylum Records
Distributed By – Elektra/Asylum Records
Copyright (c) – Elektra/Asylum Records
Recorded At – Estúdios da SIGLA
Recorded At – Santa Barbara Sound Design
Recorded At – A&R Studios
Recorded At – Davlen Sound Studios
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Mastered At – A&M Mastering Studios

Credits

Acoustic Guitar, Producer – Lee Ritenour
Bass – Abraham Laboriel (tracks: 6, 7), Luizão Maia (tracks: 3, 5), Marcus Miller (tracks: 1, 2, 4)
Co-producer – Toshi Endo
Drums – Alex Acuna (tracks: 6, 7), Buddy Williams (tracks: 1, 2, 4), Paulinho Braga (tracks: 3, 5)
Engineer – Don Murray, Larry Rosen
Keyboards – Dave Grusin (tracks: 1, 2, 4), Don Grusin (tracks: 3, 5 to 7)
Percussion – Armando Marcal (tracks: 3, 5), Chico Batera (tracks: 3, 5), Jose Da Silva (tracks: 3, 5), Roberto Pinheiro (tracks: 3, 5), Rubens Bassini (tracks: 1, 2, 4), Steve Forman (tracks: 6, 7)
Rhythm Guitar – Jeff Mironov (tracks: 1, 2, 4), Oscar Neves (tracks: 3, 5)
Soprano Saxophone, Flute – Ernie Watts (tracks: 6, 7)

Notes
Released: 1979
Recorded at: Studio Sigla Studio, Santa Barbara Sound, A&R Studio, Davlen Studio
Mastered at: The Mastering Lab and A&M Studio, Hollywood, CA.
Genre: Jazz, jazz fusion
Length: 40:05

Label – GRP, Elektra/Musician