Mike Porcaro – Brotherly Love (2011)

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Michael Joseph “Mike” Porcaro (May 29, 1955 – March 15, 2015) was an American bass player known for his work with Toto.[1] He retired from touring in 2007 as a result of being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

He was the middle brother of Toto members Jeff Porcaro and Steve Porcaro. Their father is jazz drummerpercussionist Joe Porcaro.

He is the second of the three Porcaro brothers. The three brothers were taught drums by their father at his drum shop every weekend. Jeff said that he himself wasn’t the best drummer adding that Mike was a better player than him before he switched to bass while Steve later took up piano before they moved to California.

Porcaro worked as a session bass player before replacing Toto original bass player David Hungate in 1982 shortly after the band completed recording the Toto IV album. Porcaro played cello on a track for the album and subsequently appeared in the band’s videos and performed as a full band member on the world tour in support of the album. He remained with the band until 2007.

Thanks to keyboardist David Garfield, however, Porcaro s undersung gift as a glue guy with a huge, intuitive groove is back in the spotlight on this stellar 2-CD set. Taken from a German 2002 tribute concert to Mike s brother, late drum great Jeff Porcaro, the cross section of songs and stickmen yields some fascinating and fertile results. For starters, there s Mike locking with Steve Gadd and Greg Bissonette on the supreme shuffle of Roseanna, as well as driving the 6/8 pulse of Hendrix s Manic Depression both with bassist Glenn Hughes on soaring vocals. Add in Robin DiMaggio for Lowdown and Africa, and Bernard Purdie on Babylon Sisters all with Santana singer Alex Ligertwood. Elsewhere, Mike reimagines Georgy Porgy (dig his subtleyswung steady 16ths on the out chorus), and provides harmonically-astute walking on Straight No Chaser (with dad Joe on drums). Great music that supports a great cause.

In despite of being Mike Porcaro’s record this record is a record with amazing drum and vocals recording. (and maybe it can indicate what an amazing musicican Mike Porcaro was). It is a powerfull senstaion on track #1 to hear Gregg Bissonette’s groove on “Rosanna” and Glen Hughes vocals on it is a surprisingly good point to look at. The jazzy groove on “Georgy Porgy” is somewhat fine (and if you will look for that famous chords sequence please hear up to the end of the track … it’s fantastic!). For sure “Africa” with 3 drummers is the “piece of cake” of this record, because it’s amazing how carefully the original Jeff Porcaro’s groove was rebuild (and somewhat refurbished) here. “Stuffy” and “Jeff’s strut” is another highlight of this record due to the fantastic drum solo by the great Steve Gadd. “Corbitt Van Brauer” is another track to let you remember on Jeff Porcaro (and how Mike Porcaro is devoted to him musically on this record). If you are a fan of AOR stuff and want to have a bold record buy this record. If you like Toto and do want to know if it is worth to hear another “cover” from their famous tracks buy this record because I would guess there’s no better record on Toto’s legacy than this. And finally if you like carefully produced music (and there’s always that will claim that this is another “overproduced” stuff) and do not like too much live recordings buy this one (you’ll get surprised with the quality of the recording … and producing). For sure Mike Porcaro wouldn’t agree on this (as Will Lee statement available on CD’s booklet) but Mke Porcaro did great here in this recording.

Disc 1 
1 Rosanna – 7:08
2 Manic Depression – 4:43
3 Georgy Porgy – 9:38
4 Lowdown – 8:07
5 E Minor Shuffle – 8:05
6 English Eyes – 7:21
7 Human Nature – 5:23
8 Straight No Chaser – 8:52
9 Africa – 6:52
10 Let’s Stay Together (Bonus Track) – 8:37

Disc 2 
1 Stuffy – 1:31
2 Jeff’s Strutt – 8:06
3 Babylon Sisters – 7:29
4 Big Bone – 7:44
5 Corbitt Van Brauer-  10:43

 Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

Release: 2011
Genre: Pop Rock
Length: 1:50:02

Label – Creatchy Records

Joseph Williams – 3 (1997)

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Joseph Stanley Williams (born September 1, 1960) is an American rock singer and film score composer, best known for his work in the rock band Toto, who he fronted from 1986 to 1988, and again from 2010 to the present. He is the son of film composer John Williams and actress/singer Barbara Ruick and the grandson of jazz drummer Johnny Williams and actors Melville Ruick and Lurene Tuttle.

Joseph Williams is the son of the composer John Williams and Barbara Ruick Williams. John Williams is famous for having composed the scores of Indiana Jones, E.T. and Star Wars, and many others.
At the age of 21, he started to work with the manager Barry Bregman to obtain a recording.

At the same time he worked with Seth Riggs to develop his vocal talent.
When he got back from a tour with Jeffrey Osbourne, Joseph heard that Toto was holding auditions to find a new singer. Ten days after his audition, he became the new voice of Toto. He appeared on the Fahrenheit and The Seventh One albums and left the group in 1988.

Between 1990 and 1994 Joseph went to work again for MGM and Warner Brothers Publishing as a composer. In the middle of 1994, Joseph was invited to be the voice of the character of adult Simba in Disney’s The Lion King.
In 1995, Joseph began a new career as composer for films and television. During the following years, while he was working, Joseph recorded and realized his second solo album I’m Alive dedicated to the memory of his friend and former Toto bandmate Jeff Porcaro.
In 1997, Joseph realised his third solo album 3. This album includes a song written by David Paich as well as Jeff Porcaro’s title called “Goin’ Home”. The Joseph version of “Goin’ Home” includes musicians such as bassist Mike Porcaro, and former Toto singers Bobby Kimball and Fergie Frederiksen.

Williams was lead vocalist with Toto during the mid-to-late 1980s and was featured on the albums Fahrenheit (1986) and The Seventh One (1988) before leaving due to personal problems. He can also be heard on the album Toto XX (1998), a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks. He is featured on Toto’s 2006 album, Falling in Between, sharing lead vocals with Steve Lukather on “Bottom of Your Soul“. In addition to his guest spot on Falling in Between, Williams was a guest singer at several Toto concerts.

Since 2010, Joseph is once again Toto’s lead singer. He re-joined the band during their reformation tour and has toured with them since then. He performed lead vocals on their “35th Anniversary: Live In Poland” concert album and DVD, as well as on Toto’s 2015 studio album, Toto XIV.

Tracklist

1.  I’m Giving Up on You  (4:32)
2.  Goin’ Home  (4:44)
3.  For Your Love  (4:14)
4.  Love in the Rear View Mirror  (4:58)
5.  One Imperfect Heart  (3:59)
6.  Everywhere I Go  (3:59)
7.  Top Down Girl  (4:50)
8.  She’s Gone  (4:18)
9.  Love to Spare  (4:23)
10.  Man in Me  (5:00)
11.  In My Life [Live at the Desperado]  (3:39)

Notes

Release date: April 25, 1997
Length: 48:36
Genre: Ppp Rock

Label – Kitty Records

Fergie Frederiksen – Happiness Is The Road (2011)

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Dennis Hardy Frederiksen (May 15, 1951 – January 18, 2014) was an American rock singer best known as the former lead singer of Trillion, Angel, LeRoux and Toto, as well as providing backing vocals for Survivor. He was occasionally credited as Fergie Frederiksen or just Fergie (not to be confused with The Black Eyed Peas vocalist of the same name). He contributed to hit singles in three consecutive years, all with different bands: Survivor’s “American Heartbeat” in 1982, LeRoux’s “Carrie’s Gone” in 1983 and Toto’s “Stranger in Town” in 1984.

It’s remarkable that this album ever saw the light of day as Dennis ‘Fergie’ Frederiksen (ex Toto/Trillion/Le Roux/Mecca) was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer in June of last year and for most people that would have been that. However, Fergie decided to seek alternative cures and this very Summer announced positive results. He continued to work on his solo album throughout this time and what has now emerged is simply sensational! This is a truly striking album with fabulous songs that have been placed all over it like brightly coloured lights on a Christmas tree!

Opener ‘Angel (Mirror To Your Soul)’ just has this incredible uplifting feel to it with energetic pacing, smooth melodies and a gorgeous honey-coated chorus. The moment it finished it had me reaching for the replay button! ‘Elaine’ follows and what you get from Fergie is an amazing passionate vocal performance atop a mid tempo rock beat with keys aplenty singing about trying to win back a former lover. ‘First To Cry’ has a keyboard led precursor to a glorious chorus with a lovely guitar tone throughout the whole song reminiscent of Signal with Mark Free and then you get ‘Follow Your Heart’, a simply gorgeous Steve Perry era Journey-esque epic ballad. Quite stunning!

This opening quartet will already have you reaching for the payment options on Frontiers’ website even with eight songs still to pass through your ears. The title track ‘Happiness Is The Road’ is a co-write with Jim Peterik and has a very typical Survivor positive uplifting vibe to it whilsts ‘Writing On The Wall’ is a fast paced number with interesting Magnum style keys and a nice tone on the guitar supplied by one Nathan Eshman. ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’ is a positive ballad of sorts with strong sentiments on a driving beat and again swathed in plenty of keys. Acclaimed keyboard player Eric Ragno (Takara/Vox Tempus/China Blue/Ted Poley/Danny Vaughan/Tony Mills etc) I believe plays the majority of these parts but a certain Mr Dennis Ward is credited with bass plus guitars, keys and background vocals. My guess is during the production process, Ward would have added additional parts where necessary. The production, incidentally, is first rate, but then when has Dennis Ward ever delivered a poor production? He has to be up there amongst the premier class of producers for sure. Dik Bruinenberg is listed as drummer and as I’m. unfamiliar with this guy, I would hazard a guess he’s a German guy that Dennis knows and has been brought in on recommendation.

If I was pressed on standout songs on this album, then it would be a little bit like trying to choose a favourite between your children. The aforementioned song ‘Angel (Mirror To Your Soul’) and ballad ‘Follow Your Heart’ are up there as is ‘Love Waits For No One’, a classy mature sounding ode to a lost love, a recurring theme throughout the album. And I would also have to include ‘The One’ which features a nice keyboard refrain, a glorious chorus with multi-layered backing vocals and a fabulous outro guitar solo.

You will be hard pressed to find a much better Melodic Hard Rock album than this one. Toby Hitchcock’s solo offering is running right up with this one but nevertheless, this is a truly mesmerising release from a man who’s been at the top of his profession for many years. As the saying goes: form may be temporary, but class is permanent!

 

Tracklist

1. Angel – 4:15
Written-By – Ronny Milianowicz

2. Elaine – 4:05
Music By, Lyrics By – Robert Sall

3. First To Cry – 3:46
Written-By – Jeff Silbar, Mark Baker

4. Follow Your Heart – 5:09
Written-By – Jim Peterik

5. Happiness Is The Road – 4:02
Written-By – Fergie Frederiksen, Jim Peterik

6. I Still Believe
Lyrics By, Music By – David Roberts

7. Lyin Eyes – 5:22
Backing Vocals – Gui Oliver, Matt Brandon
Bass – Hemerson Vieira
Guitar – Ferpa Lacerda, Matt Brandon
Keyboards – Filipe Beyer
Lyrics By – Gui Oliver
Music By – Ferpa Lacerda, Gui Oliver
Performer – Auras

8. Love Waits For No One – 4:17
Lyrics By, Music By – David Roberts

9. Writing On The Wall – 5:06
Written-By – Jim Peterik

10. The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be – 4:24
Written-By – Jeff Silbar, Mark Baker

11. The One – 5:13
Written-By – Christian Wolff, Joe Vana

12. The Saviour – 3:37
Written-By – Robert Sall

 

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

Release: 2011
Recording Location: HOFA Studios The TrakShak, Germany
Genre: Pop/Rock
Styles: Hard rock / AOR
Duration: 53:34

Label – Frontiers Records

Christopher Cross – The Café Carlyle Sessions (2008)

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Initially I was a little skeptical that the re-arrangements would work. Although Chris’s guitar work has always been underrated, the keyboard work on those early records gave them a certain energy, courtesy of Michael Omartian; hence the worry that the spare instrumentation would leave the songs sounding rather tepid and flat. Not so! These are wonderful re-workings of some of Mr Cross’s finest. All the ‘hits’ are here and sound strong in their new incarnations, proving the point that a good song is a good song…

The players in this new ensemble play tight and loose at the same time – tight in the way they sound like they have played for ever; loose in the flow and space within the songs. No particular favorites but it’s nice to hear ‘Words of Wisdom’ and ‘Talking in my Sleep’ given some exposure.In April of 2008, Christopher Cross was booked into a rare month long appearance at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City… The room, an 88 seat cabaret venue that was the regular gig for the late jazz pianist Bobby Short, was something new for Cross and it created quite a challenge — To scale down the arrangements of his songs and present them backed only by piano & sax. The experience was such a positive one that Christopher went into the studio in an effort to document the new life these wonderful pop songs were given… The result is THE CAFE CARLYLE SESSIONS.

The presentation is simple… Christopher on acoustic guitar, accompanied by Andy Ezrin on piano & David Mann on sax from the original Carlyle engagement. Joining them for this recording are Kevin Axt on bass and CC band veteran Dave Beyer on drums/percussion. The acoustic jazz combo feel brings an honest, pure sound to the project while all the players are encouraged to stretch out on the solos. Christopher’s voice has retained it’s clear, melodic quality over the years and sounds fantastic.

Produced by Chris Walden, the new versions of classics like RIDE LIKE THE WIND, SAILING, ARTHUR’S THEME, NEVER BE THE SAME, THINK OF LAURA & more sound both old and new thru these great new jazz arrangements.

Tracklist

1.  Never Be The Same  – 4:59
2.  Deputy Dan  – 4:32
3.  Swept Away  – 4:48
4.  Walking In Avalon  – 5:22
5.  Arthur  – 4:00
6.  In The Blink Of An Eye  – 3:52
7.  Think Of Laura  – 3:24
8.  All Right  – 4:21
9.  Back Of My Mind  – 4:36
10.  Sailing  – 4:59
11.  Open Up My Window  – 4:45
12.  Drifting Away  – 4:52
13.  Words Of Wisdom  – 4:55
14.  Ride Like The Wind  – 4:49
15.  Talking In My Sleep  – 3:55

Companies, etc.

Notes

15 songs personally selected by Cross and completely re-recorded with a jazz quartet under the supervision of producer Chris Walden, Diana Krall, Paul Anka, Michael Bolton and many others.

Recorded at Conway Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA
Additional Recording at The Red Room Pacific Palisades, CA

Release: 2008
Genre: Pop
Style: Soft Rock
Length: 1:08:16

Label – Edel Records

 

Manfred Mann´s Earth Band – Somewhere In Afrika (1983)

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Manfred Mann’s Earth Band are an English rock band formed by South African musician Manfred Mann.

Somewhere in Afrika is the eleventh album by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, released in 1983. It is their last studio album recorded for their long time record label Bronze Records. They would record their next studio album, Criminal Tango for Virgin Records. Bassist Matt Irving joined the band, replacing Pat King for this album.

Somewhere in Afrika, an ode to Mann‘s home country of South Africa, contains a formula that is atypical of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band sound. With rhythms that combine an African flavor with a modern rock feel, vocalist Mick Rogers takes over on vocals with the number 22 hit “Runner,” released as the album’s only single. Tracks such as “Demolition Man” and “Eyes of Nostradamus” are model Earth Band efforts, but the compelling material lies in songs such as “Lalela,” “Koze Kobenini,” and the title track, which conveys Mann‘s love for his birthplace without sounding overly pretentious or manufactured.

The instrumentation is solid and free-flowing, with drums and other percussion work coming to the forefront while maintaining the group’s atmosphere as a rock band. Somewhere in Afrika gave Manfred Mann’s Earth Band their highest-charting American album since 1976’s The Roaring Silence, peaking at number 40, but the tight musicianship and unrestricted layout of the music prove that the album should have placed much higher.

UK version

  1. “Tribal Statistics” (Andy Qunta) – 4:16
  2. “Eyes of Nostradamus” (Al Stewart) – 3:28
  3. “Third World Service” (Anthony Moore) – 5:18
  4. Demolition Man” (Sting) – 3:45
  5. “Brothers and Sisters of Azania” (Manfred Mann) – 2:46
  6. “Africa Suite” (Mann, Matt Irving, John Lingwood) – 8:36
    a) “Brothers and Sisters of Africa” (Mann) – 3:06
    b) “To Bantustan?” (Mann) – 2:36
    c) “Koze Kobenini? (How Long Must We Wait?)” (Mann, Irving) – 1:26
    d) “Lalela” (Mann, Lingwood) – 1:31
  7. Redemption Song (No Kwazulu)” (Bob Marley) – 7:35
  8. “Somewhere in Africa” (Traditional; arranged by Mann and Lingwood) – 1:38

Bonus Tracks (1999 CD re-issue)

  1. “War Dream” (Mann, Lingwood, Steve Waller, Irving, Shona Laing) – 3:08
  2. “Holiday’s Dream” (Mann, Irving, Lingwood, Waller) – 2:40
  3. “Redemption Song” (single version) (Marley) – 4:14
  4. “Eyes of Nostradamus” (12″ single version) (Stewart) – 3:44
  5. “Demolition Man” (single version/alternate mix) (Sumner) – 3:44

Musicians

Technical

Notes

Release date: 18 February 1983
Recorded: 1981-1982 Studio Mastersounds Underhill Studios, London
Genre: Progressive rock
Length: 37:22

Label – Bronze (UK original release)

Night – Long Distance  (1981)

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Night’s vocalists Stevie Vann (aka Stevie Lange) and Chris Thompson had met when Vann had provided backing vocals for the 1978 album Watch by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band then fronted by Thompson. Soon afterwards Thompson invited Vann to join him in a new outfit, Vann’s session group known as Bones having recently disbanded and Thompson having reduced his involvement with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.

Richard Perry produced two albums by Night for his Planet label; the group’s eponymous 1979 debut album yielded two US Top 40 hits: “Hot Summer Nights” (#18) and “If You Remember Me” (#17).

Night was a rock band formed in 1978 in Los Angeles whose personnel were veteran British-based session musicians.

There’s a connection somewhere between New Zealand, South Africa, and good ol Blighty with this band. NZ’er Thompson previously sang with South African Manfred Mann and his Earth Band, Stevie Lange is a South African by birth (at one stage married to producer Robert ‘Mutt’ Lange, her maiden name is Van Kerken), Billy Kristian is a NZ’er as well, while McIntosh is English. Not sure about the other two, but near enough is good enough. The band came together in 1978, and released their debut album the following year. A slightly different lineup for that one, which yielded the hit single ‘Hot Summer Nights’, a favourite on Classic Rock stations, and heard quite often on radio at the time. It also featured many L.A musicians, including members of Toto.

With ‘Long Distance’ their sophomore effort, the sound shifted between the cosy radio friendly environment of Fleetwood Mac and Heart, but had more of an AOR edge to it. Most of the songs are punchy, and see the vocal lead split between Lange and Thompson. Standouts include the smooth AOR of ‘Don’t Break My Heart’, the superb jingly-jangly ‘Love On The Airwaves’ and the desperate musical heat of ‘Callin’ Me Back’. The pent-up energy continues on ‘Stealin’, though by this stage, the foot is taken off the accelerator with the lukewarm efforts of ‘Miss You (Like I Do) and ‘Day After Day’. Perhaps because of that, the album is not as immediate as the debut, and this is where the major difference is apparent.

Though the band released two albums, they deemed their existence and lack of success as a failure, and subsequently all the members moved onto greener pastures. McIntosh had a stint with The Pretenders while Chris Thompson extended his solo career, while Lange reverted to studio work, of which she’s done a heap over the years, as well as appearing as a solo artist under the name Stevie Vann..

Tracklist

1.  Dr. Rock – 4:19
2.  Don’t Break My Heart – 4:06
3.  Love On The Airwaves – 3:59
4.  The Letter – 3:24
5.  Callin’ Me Back – 3:57
6.  You Cried Wolf – 2:36
7.  Stealin’ – 3:59
8.  Miss You (Like I Do) – 4:09
9.  Day After Day – 4:00
10.  Good To Be Back In Your Arms – 3:55

Credits

Notes

Piano on “Miss You” recorded at Wessex Studio, London
Mastered at the Mastering Lab
Produced for F.Sharp Productions
Recorded at Battery, London

Released:  1980
Genre: Rock
Style: Pop Rock

Label – Planet Records

Phil May & The Fallen Angels – Phil May & The Fallen Angels (1978) [2003 Bonus Edition]

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Phil May (born Philip Arthur Dennis Wadey 9 November 1944 in Dartford, Kent) is an English vocalist. He gained fame in the 1960s as the lead singer of The Pretty Things, of which he was a founding member.

May has maintained membership throughout the band’s line-up, which otherwise underwent many changes over the years, and he was one of the band’s main lyricists. He was the primary lyricist for the album, S.F. Sorrow. Controversy still exists as to which band member had the original idea for the piece.

In 1976 a new group called the Fallen Angels, led by guitarist Mickey Finn, with Greg Ridley from Spooky Tooth and Humble Pie , Twink Adler from the Pretty Things, and Bob Weston from Fleetwood Mac set out to record an album and for vocals Finn recruited Phil May. Six weeks in Geneva resulted in only eight partially complete songs, and everybody abandoned the project except May. May recruited some more players; Wally Allen, John Povey, Bill Lovelady, Chico Greenwood, Brian Johnston, Ed Dean, Fran Byrne, and completed the album with overdubs and new songs – releasing an album in Holland Phil May and the Fallen Angels. Thereafter May abandoned the project and reactivated the Pretty Things, and Mickey Finn took back the name the Fallen Angels and recorded three more songs – later included as bonus tracks on reissues of the Phil May album.

Appears to be the only Phil May (Pretty Things vocalist) solo effort, recorded in 1978. Not bad, really. Features some well written songs + decent over all playing. Was never even aware of this long-forgotten title until here very recently. Tunes I thought showed some promise were “California”, the dramatic “13 1/2 Floor Suicide”, the beautifully played “Dance Again”, “I Keep On” and “Girl Like You”. Line-up: Phil May-vocals, John Porter & Ed Dean-guitars, fellow Pretty Things member Walley Waller-bass & vocals and Chico Greenwood-drums.

What a mess! It’s kind of glorious, but it’s a wreck. The Fallen Angels were a legendary never-were band of British former rock icons. The majority of this album was recorded with former Humble Pie guitar picker Mickey Finn (not the T. Rex drummer), teamed with Greg Ridley from Spooky Tooth, Twink Adler from the Pretty Things, and former Fleetwood Mac rhythm guitarist Bob Weston. The lineup was changed almost immediately and after many recruitments and falloffs, a lineup fronted by Finn — now including vocalist Phil May of Pretty Things fame (the band was on hiatus at the time) — went to Geneva to record an album. After six weeks in Switzerland that were ruled by rock & roll-styled excess, the Fallen Angels had recorded only eight songs — none of which were finished. Upon returning to the U.K., everybody quit but May. He recruited some more players and eventually finished the album with overdubs and new songs. Once done, May toured a bit and hung it up by reconvening the Pretty Things, at which time Finn re-formed the band and recorded three more songs — included on this set as bonus tracks. The original album was only issued in Holland, and is thoroughly unmemorable, sounding like a cross between the Eagles jamming with Humble Pie and the Black Crowes. It’s just icky, garage-y British blues-style rock, and being recorded in 1976 was already four years past its prime. Even the Faces had already moved on. In retrospect, it sucks, but in a charming, unfocused, drunken way. Standout tracks, if there are any, are “Fallen Angels,” “California,” “Cold Wind,” “Dogs of War,” and “Chance.”

Tracklist

1. Fallen Angels – 5:50
2. California – 4:26
3. 13 1/2 Floor Suicide – 3:58
4. Dance Again – 5:11
5. Shine On Baby – 3:35
6. My Good Friend – 3:24
7. Cold Wind – 7:01
8. I Keep On – 5:05
9. Dogs Of War – 4:51
10. Girl Like You – 3:42

[2003 Bonus Tracks] 
11. When The Russians Came Back – 3:08
12. Chance – 3:26
13. Lazy Days – 2:44

Credits

Notes

Release: 2003
Genre: Blues Rock
Length: 56:27

Label – Castle Music

The Flaming Lips/Stardeath And White Dwarfs With Henry Rollins And Peaches – The Dark Side Of The Moon (2010)

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The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon is a collaborative studio album by the psychedelic rock group The Flaming Lips. The album is a complete track-for-track reimagining of Pink Floyd‘s seminal 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon.

The Flaming Lips have a flair for making other artists’ music their own. Their versions of T. Rex’s “Ballrooms of Mars,” Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure,” and Madonna’s “Borderline,” a song they recorded with Stardeath and White Dwarfs, who also appear on the literally titled The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon, all show what they took from those artists and what they gave back. Though the Lips always seemed more indebted to Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, they put their own stamp on Dark Side’s paranoia and moody atmospheres. They performed this version of Dark Side of the Moon at their 2010 New Year’s Eve celebration, capping a triumphant 2009 that included the release of their revitalized-sounding Embryonic. While the Lips recorded that album on their own, it’s still easy to hear how this album is symbiotic with Embryonic.

The same wildness permeates these songs, giving them a feel that’s more primal than the original’s polished reflections. “Speak to Me/Breathe” opens the album with short-circuiting keyboards and raw, vaguely Latin-sounding percussion immediately tying it to the Lips’ last album, while “Time/Breathe (Reprise)” rides on the driving, fuzzed-out bass that was Embryonic’s spine. However, …Doing Dark Side of the Moon feels more focused than its predecessor — of course, the familiarity these songs have helps — with its rawness providing contrast instead of adding an intentionally primordial feel, as it did on Embryonic. Elsewhere, the Flaming Lips and guests are just as faithful to Dark Side of the Moon as they need to be, using Peaches as a stand-in for Clare Torry on “The Great Gig in the Sky” — although Peaches’ super-saturated howls are far more odd and jubilant.

As on the original, some of the best moments are the spookiest ones. “Us and Them” sounds like a conversation held across a kitchen table instead of in deepest space, regardless of the synths whooshing around Wayne Coyne’s vocals, and tender guitars underscore its unique intimacy. “Brain Damage” is even more stripped-down while remaining true to the original’s air of eerie knowingness, of being just sane enough to know you’re going crazy. As always, the Flaming Lips approach this tribute by exploring how they can serve the songs, without worrying about the legacy or image of the artist they’re covering. The only time this backfires (slightly) is on “Money,” which has a cleverly tinny drum machine that sounds like coins piling up, but its heavy vocoders and stiff beats lose too much of the original’s jaded swing. Despite the sheer number of musicians playing on it, The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon is a distinctly non-bloated treatment of one of rock’s most epic albums. While it might be more fun than impressive, fun has always been a vital part of the Flaming Lips’ best music.

Tracklist

1. “Speak to Me/Breathe”  (featuring Henry Rollins and Peaches) – 5:19
2. “On the Run”  (featuring Henry Rollins) – 3:55
3. “Time/Breathe  (Reprise)” – 4:57
4. “The Great Gig in the Sky”  (featuring Henry Rollins and Peaches) – 3:57
5. “Money”  (featuring Henry Rollins) – 5:31
6. “Us and Them”  (featuring Henry Rollins) – 7:45
7. “Any Colour You Like” – 2:42
8. “Brain Damage”  (featuring Henry Rollins) – 4:42
9. “Eclipse”  (featuring Henry Rollins) – 2:12

 
Track performances

  • Track 1 is performed by The Flaming Lips & Stardeath and White Dwarfs featuring Henry Rollins & Peaches.
  • Tracks 2 and 9 by The Flaming Lips & Stardeath and White Dwarfs featuring Henry Rollins.
  • Track 3 by Stardeath and White Dwarfs
  • Track 4 by The Flaming Lips featuring Henry Rollins & Peaches.
  • Tracks 5 and 6 by The Flaming Lips featuring Henry Rollins.
  • Track 7 by The Flaming Lips & Stardeath and White Dwarfs.
  • Track 8 by Stardeath and White Dwarfs featuring Henry Rollins.

Personnel

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

Release date: December 22, 2009
Genre: Alternative rock
Style: Psychedelic rock, Experimental
Length: 41:00

Label – Warner Bros. Records

Alan Parsons – The Time Machine (1999)

by Record Facts

The Time Machine is the third solo album produced and engineered by Alan Parsons following the split of The Alan Parsons Project.

While the sound of this album is recognizably similar in style to some of the soft, ethereal tracks from certain Alan Parsons Project albums, it is noteworthy that none of the writing or performance credits in the sleeve notes (of the CD edition) go to Alan Parsons, except for one short and simple instrumental part on “Temporalia”, and that the album lacks much of the rock edge of the previous albums; his relation to the album is almost exclusively as producer.

The track list here is from the North American release; on the Japanese release, the instrumental here called “The Time Machine,” is named “H.G. Force” (a reference to H.G. Wells) and a bonus track titled “Beginnings” is also included.

The Time Machine by Alan Parsons actually features very little musical input from Parsons himself, who produced and engineered the album. No matter, because this concept album about the passage of time — and the triumphs, mistakes, regrets, and memories associated with it — is Parsons‘ best work of the ’90s. It blends Parsons‘ traditional prog rock and pop/rock leanings with a bit of techno. The real stars are guitarist/saxophonist/keyboardist/bassist Ian Bairnson and drummer/keyboardist Stuart Elliott, both longtime Alan Parsons Project cohorts who individually wrote most of this album’s songs. Other Parsons veterans on The Time Machine include vocalists Colin Blunstone, Chris Rainbow, and Neil Lockwood. “The Time Machine (Part 1)” is a wonderful instrumental complete with dreamy acoustic guitar lines and a steady drum-machine rhythm. Spandau Ballet vocalist Tony Hadley tastefully restrains his past histrionics for “Out of the Blue.” Blunstone is featured on the hypnotic “Ignorance Is Bliss,” which also contains tasteful piano and orchestral flourishes. “The Call of the Wild” has a warm, Celtic feel thanks to the vocals by Clannad‘s Máire Brennan and a sprinkling of Northumbrian pipes. “No Future in the Past” and “Press Rewind” are the album’s most distinctive pop/rock numbers. Beverley Craven provides the vocals on the lush, bittersweet ballad “The Very Last Time.” “Far Ago and Long Away” is a densely arranged instrumental with an overtly techno flavor. The Time Machine will definitely please die-hard Parsons fans.

Tracklist

  1. “The Time Machine (Part 1)” – (Stuart Elliott) Instrumental – 4:54
  2. “Temporalia” – (Parsons) Instrumental with narration by Professor Frank Close – 1:00
  3. “Out of the Blue” – (Bairnson) Lead Vocal Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet – 4:54
  4. “Call Up” – (Bairnson) Lead Vocal Neil Lockwood – 5:13
  5. “Ignorance Is Bliss” – (Bairnson) Lead Vocal Colin Blunstone and The Alan Parsons Project  – 6:45
  6. “Rubber Universe” – (Bairnson) Instrumental – 3:52
  7. “The Call of the Wild” – (Bairnson) Lead Vocal Máire Brennan of Clannad – 5:22
  8. “No Future in the Past” – (Elliott) Lead Vocal Neil Lockwood – 4:46
  9. “Press Rewind” – (Elliott) Lead Vocal Graham Dye – 4:20
  10. “The Very Last Time” – in memory of Gemma (Bairnson) Lead Vocal Beverley Craven – 3:42
  11. “Far Ago And Long Away” – (Bairnson) Instrumental – 5:14
  12. “The Time Machine (Part 2)” – (Elliott) Instrumental – 1:47

Bonus Tracks

  1. “Beginnings” – Instrumental – 4:31
  2. “Dr. Evil (edit)” – Lead Vocal Mike Myers) – 3:23

“Dr. Evil (edit),” features the voice of Mike Myers from the second Austin Powers movie, The Spy Who Shagged Me, in which The Alan Parsons Project is mentioned. It is available on most releases which feature a bonus track. “Beginnings” is available only on the Japanese release

Personnel

Companies, etc.

Credits

Lyrics

The lyrics in this album, like many other albums of Alan Parsons and Alan Parsons Project, are around a central theme, in this case H.G. Wells novel The Time Machine, but touch other themes related to relativity and time travelling.

  • The Time Machine: Instrumental intro about the time machine.
  • Temporalia: Instrumental track, it has Professor Frank Close’s explanation about time and space relativity, this is an extract of “Equinox – The rubber Universe”.
  • Out Of The Blue: Lyrics related to a time traveller from our earth’s future. Vocals by Tony Hadley.
  • Call Up: About travelling to the past and bringing back all the great people in history, to help change the world. Vocals Neil Lockwood.
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: talks about our time, and how sad people are in comparison to ancient and simpler times, and the possibility of change for good to a simple way of life. Vocals by Colin Blunstone.
  • Rubber Universe: Instrumental related to the expansion of the universe.
  • The Call Of The Wild: Talks about a future when mankind will be one without any separation (ethnicities, faith, nations, etc.). The melody of this song is a variation of a traditional Irish folk song “She Moves Through the Fair”. Vocals by Maire Brennan
  • No Future In The Past: Talks about avoiding repeating past mistakes. Lead Vocals by Neil Lockwood, with additional vocals by Stuart Elliott.
  • Press Rewind: About the possibility of going back in time and starting all over again, doing the same again or changing something for better. Sang by Graham Dye
  • The Very Last Time: A song about people that have gone and never been seen again (alive or not). The song was actually written about Bairnson’s recently deceased dog, Gemma. Vocals by Beverley Craven
  • Far Ago And Long Away: Instrumental using a play on words, as in relativity “space” = “time” so “far away” = “far ago” and “long ago” = “long away”.
  • The Time Machine (Part 2): Instrumental outro about the time machine.

Notes

Release date: 28 September 1999
Genre: Progressive rock
Length: 51:50

Label – Miramar Records

Brothers Of A Feather feat. Chris & Rich Robinson – Live At The Roxy (2007)

by Record Facts

Brothers Of A Feather: Live At The Roxy is a live album by Chris and Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes. It was released on July 10, 2007, and was later followed by a DVD release with extra tracks in September, 2007. The album features two new songs, some old Black Crowes songs, as well as some covers. The album is a compilation from several shows at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, California recorded during the 2006 Brothers of a Feather tour. The show features an intimate duet performance by the Robinson brothers, with most of the songs featuring only one or two guitars and vocals, with occasional accompaniment from Mona Lisa Young and Charity White, the Black Crowes’ backing vocals duo, as well as a guest appearance by Tenor Saxophonist Dave Ellis of The Left Coast Horns.

After a long hiatus that lasted for much of the first half of the 2000s, Chris and Rich Robinson started to reunite the Black Crowes in 2005, but before the full-fledged reunion really took flight, the siblings took off on a 2006 tour billed as Brothers of a Feather, releasing an album of the same name the following summer.

Compiled of highlights from their three-night stint at the Roxy in Los Angeles, Brothers of a Feather does distinguish itself from the growing list of official live Black Crowes-related projects just by its intimate nature: hearing the brothers Robinson alone (it’s not quite acoustic, since Rich often plays an otherwise unadorned electric) is unique and surprisingly revelatory, illustrating that both Chris and Rich can be sensitive interpreters when stripped down to the bone.

But even if there are many soft, almost folky moments — including a good cover of John Martyn‘s “Over the Hill,” Rich‘s solo spotlight “Forgiven Song,” and a winding version of “Driving Wheel” — there’s plenty of grit and good vibes here, best heard on the roaring opener, “Hosehead,” and a down-n-dirty “Darling of the Underground Press.” Most of Brothers of a Feather works a middle ground between the ruminative and the rowdy, whether it’s on a beautiful reading of Lowell George‘s “Roll Um Easy” or an epic take on their own “Thorn in My Pride,” which proves that they can find a new spin on their old warhorses. And that sentiment applies to Brothers of a Feather as a whole: it’s familiar in its sound yet fresh in its approach and certainly worth a listen for Black Crowes fans, no matter if they’re hardened hardcore fans or fans who are a bit less dedicated yet no less enamored of the Robinsons’ old-time rock & roll.

Tracklist

1.  Horsehead – 4:59
2.  Cursed Diamond – 6:18
3.  Over The Hill – 4:19
4.  Magic Rooster Blues – 4:19
5.  My Heart’s Killing Me – 4:37
6.  Forgiven Song – 7:54
7.  Someday Past The Sunset – 4:33
8.  Roll ‘Um Easy – 3:17
9.  Cold Boy Smile – 4:47
10.  Driving Wheel – 6:01
11.  Leave It Alone – 4:10
12.  Polly – 4:46
13.  Darling Of The Underground Press – 4:21
14.  Thorn In My Pride – 12:24

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

Release Date: July 10, 2007
Genre: Pop/Rock
Styles: American Trad Rock, Roots Rock, Southern Rock
Duration: 1:16:38

Label – Eagle Records