Monday, September 16, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols" (1977)

"Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols" - Sex Pistols

Until recently, I've always thought of "bollocks" as a British way of saying "bullshit."  And that's pretty spot on.  The first definition Google brings up, however, is...” testicles.”  Which is quite funny in its own right.  Whatever your poison may be, in 1977, the punk rock band Sex Pistols offended the hell out of everybody.  I'm not going to regurgitate the importance of this album.  The internet is full of essays galore about the band's legacy.  I'm not about to say the Sex Pistols are the best punk band ever.  Or even the first punk band ever.  But there should not be much argument, "Never Mind The Bollocks..." was a jumpstart in the way we think about our music and the various directions that rock music went from there.  It is an essential album and one I wanted to possess if nothing more than to check off another album from my “must own” list.

I found my used copy at a record swap in Hutchinson, KS.  I don't remember the fella's name but he was using chairs for his table.  The vinyl was vg++, but the cover had a little water damage in the corner.  The seller was quick to point that out.  It was late in the day and I wanted to leave with something...important.  It was marked $10, but he sold it to me for an Abe and 2 Georgies which was very cool.

“Never Mind...” sounds great on vinyl.  I mean surprisingly great.  The music absolutely jumps from the speakers.  For some reason, this surprised the heck outta me.  And I was also struck by how catchy and melodic the music is.  Don't get me wrong.  Johnny (Rotten) Lydon's wonderful and pissy spit attitude shines bright enough, as one might expect, but the musicianship backing all that talk up is really good, too.  Forty-plus years later, “Never Mind The Bollocks...” might not sound as dangerous, but you'll still need to wipe the phlegm off your face after giving the record a spin.

"Never Mind The Bollocks..." (back)

Warner Bros. Records / Virgin label

"Never Mind The Bollocks..." (sleeve-front)

"Never Mind The Bollocks..." (sleeve-back)

"E.M.I." - Sex Pistols /  "Never Mind The Bollocks..." (1977)

A1  "Holidays In The Sun"  3:22
A2  "Bodies"  3:03
A3  "No Feelings"  2:50
A4  "Liar"  2:41
A5  "Problems"  4:11  
A6  "God Save the Queen"  3:20
B1  "Seventeen"  2:02
B2  "Anarchy In The UK"  3:32
B3  "Submission"  4:12
B4  "Pretty Vacant"  3:17
B5  "New York"  3:05
B6  "E.M.I"  3:09

Johnny Rotten – vocals
Steve Jones – guitar, bass, b-vocals
Paul Cook – drums
Sid Vicious – bass ("Bodies")
Glen Matlock – bass ("Anarchy in the UK")

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Sunday, September 15, 2019

I Went...SI--SI--SIRIUS...All The Way Home (again)

(a short jaunt)

"Back Where I Started" - Box Of Frogs / "Box Of Frogs" (1984)

I never knew who did this song until now.  It's like a lost classic rock song.  "Box Of Frogs" is an album I find in bins all the time.  I thought the album was just another new wave album released by another new wave band that seemed to pop up on new wave shelves like Flash.  But no!  This group is made up of former Yardbird members.  Plus several guest guitarists like Rory GallagherEarl Slick.  Alumnus Jeff Beck even kicks off his boots.  Nothing fancy, but no prisoners either.  If the rest of the album sounds anything like this, I'm down.

"Simple Sister" - Procol Harum / “Broken Barricades” (1971)

"Simple sister got whooping cough.
Have to burn her toys."
Unlike "Whiter Shade Of Pale" that quite rightly rips your heart, "Simple Sister" takes it out more precise like Cristina Yang in the O.R.  A great way to lead off an album.  And it's an especially nice balance of guitar crankage to go along with vocalist/keyboardist Gary Brooker's more proggier leanings.  Guitarist Robin Trower left after this album to pursue his own dreams with an excellent body of work in his own right.  Still, one can't help but wonder what kind of album they might have recorded had Trower's drippy guitar play been allowed a longer leash. “Broken Barricades” was Procol Harum's fifth studio album.

"Dazed and Confused (live)" - Led Zeppelin / "The Song Remains the Same" (1976)

The last time I sat through this entire song, I remember shaking my head telling myself that I didn't want to listen to "Dazed and Confused (live)" again until.......EVER!!!   And then, months turned into years and that very same song comes on the radio.  All 27-8-9 minutes of it.  And once again, I sat through the song in its entirety...shaking my head and telling myself the very same thing.  Déjà fuckin' vu.


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Future" (1967)

"Future" - The Seeds (1967)

The Seeds third album..."Future" a bit of early garage-psych.  And if not the band's best, it is at least my favorite.  The L.A. band, The Seeds, weren't the most skilled and Sky Saxon's voice at times sounded like an angry Sonny Bono had built a nest in his throat, but what they lacked in A-level talent, they made up for in sheer commitment.  There are a number of interesting psych tracks that will make your lava lamp feel at home.  “Flower Lady and Her Assistant” is an outstanding atmospheric spin.  "Now A Man" is an excellent example of garage-psych.  "Six Dreams" has the beginnings of what Alice Cooper would take to the next level.  But it is the last track, “Fallin'”...that finds the band at their most psych-seediest.  At nearly 8-minutes, Saxon's repetitive refrains backed by harp strings, organ, and other weird noises and beats make for mind-stealing fun.  Sky Saxon supposedly was the first musician to coin the “Flower Power” phrase.  Or one of the first to claim ownership.  And while embracing the high, I imagine Saxon's head exploded when that mantra struck his brain!

The packaging for this album is primo.  A nice heavy gatefold with lyrics and the "Originations of the Flower Generation" written inside.  Most of the artwork was done by Sky Saxon himself.  Also included were three mini posters. (see below)  Two for the wall, I suppose, and the other one for your scissors to cut into pieces.  Maybe not the best idea while dropping the Lysergic stuff.  Again, "Future" is about half psych and half garage.  And pretty good on both counts.  A little messy, but fun, and a nice example of early psych.

"Future" (back)

"Future" (inside gatefold)

GNP Crescendo label

"Future" (insert 1)

"Future" (insert 2)

"Future" (insert 3)

"Flower Lady And Her Assistant" - The Seeds / "Future" (1967)

A1  "Introduction" 1:03
A2  "March Of The Flower Children" 1:45
A3  "Travel With Your Mind" 3:00
A4  "Out Of The Question" 3:02
A5  "Painted Doll" 3:20
A6  "Flower Lady & Her Assistant" 3:15
A7  "Now A Man" 3:20
B1  "A Thousand Shadows" 2:25
B2  "Two Fingers Pointing On You" 3:10
B3  "Where Is The Entrance Way To Play" 2:55
B4  "Six Dreams" 3:05
B5  "Fallin'" 7:40

Sky Saxon - vocals, bass, artwork
Jan Savage - guitar, gong, b-vocals
Harvey Sharpe - bass
Daryl Hooper - organ, sitar, piano, b-vocals
Rick Andridge - drums, b-vocals

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Saturday, September 7, 2019

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "Revival" (2014)

"Revival"...Stephen King (2014)
403 pages

This wasn't 'scary' scary.  But there are plenty of disturbing shadows to go around.  A young family preacher loses his faith and finds something else to take its place. (I'm a poet and don't know it.)  The story is entertaining enough.  The main characters are fleshed and are easy to visualize.  A third-string bar band musician and a traveling salvation tent healer.  Sort of.  On a given night, both can pull off a pretty good show.  It's about obsession and a little bit of addiction.  I'm glad I spent a few evenings reading it, but I felt the payout was a little lowball.  However, there is an image Stephen King describes near the end of "Revival" that really creeps me out.  Even now.  Not in my top-ten King books, how could it be, but if you're a SK fan, here's another book to scratch that itch.  "Reverend was right about one thing: people always want a reason for the bad things in life. Sometimes there ain't one.” ― Stephen King, "Revival."

"Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" - David Spade / "Lost & Found" (1999)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
Follow Me On FACEBOOK 

Friday, September 6, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Barbarella" (1968)

"Barbarella  Soundtrack" (1968)

I guess you could call this album part space lounge and part lounge psych.  Most of the tracks are instrumentals.  There are flourishes of light fuzz guitar, along with spanks of horns, (not too brassy) and hints of futuristic space grooves.  Some of it is really pretty good.  It's all mostly groovy utopian vibes intermixed with tracks that sound a little more authoritarian.  And these tracks sometimes interrupt the overall good vibes.  Yin and Yang, I suppose.  There are 4 tracks with vocals, all but one provided by The Glitterhouse.  There is some groovy rhyming going on.  Like 'Barbarella' with 'psychedella,' for example, crooned in a 'Space-F-ing is Fun' kind of style.  Way more campy than sexy.  But if spinning in the background, there's room for both.  The soundtrack was given new life in 2018 with a hand-numbered re-issue of "Barbarella" limited to 500 copies on the Varèse Sarabande label.  But nice original copies are pretty cheap and easy to find.

I mentioned the band, The Glitterhouse earlier.  They recorded a psych-rock album of their own, “Color Blind” (1968) and a few in the VC have taken time to recommend it.  (Check the album out here).

Look, the film was a daring (for the time) future sex space flick.  It was silly, but it did present a young and attractive Jane Fonda as eye-candy, so there was that.  Unintentionally campy or not, the film gained a midnight movie following.  Having said, and this is by no means a stretch, I enjoyed the soundtrack a little better than the film.

"Barbarella" (back)

Dynovoice label

"The Black Queen's Beads" - "Barbarella Soundtrack" (1968)

A1  "Barbarella" (Vocal by The Glitterhouse) (2:40)
A2  "Goodnight Alfie" (1:29)
A3  "Spaceship Out Of Control" (1:28)
A4  "Ski Ride" (1:56)
A5  "The Hungry Dolls" (1:48)
A6  "Love Love Love Drags Me Down" (Vocal by The Glitterhouse) (3:42)
A7  "Pygar Finds Barbarella" (1:17)
A8  "I Love All The Love In You" (Vocal by The Glitterhouse) (3:52)
A9  "The Labyrinth" (1:11)
A10  "Pygar's New Wings" (1:57)
A11  "Fight In Flight" (2:35)
B1  "Entrance Into Sogo" (1:55)
B2  "Hello Pretty Pretty" (1:03)
B3  "Pygar's Persecution" (1:16)
B4  "The Black Queen's Beads" (3:31)
B5  "Dead Duck" (0:34)
B6  "The Pill" (1:02)
B7  "Smoke" (Viper Vapor) (2:16)
B8  "The Sex Machine" (3:17)
B9  "The Chamber Of Dreams" (2:23)
B10  "The Destruction Of Sogo" (2:27)
B11  "An Angel Is Love" (Vocal by Bob Crewe) (4:23)

The Bob Crewe Generation (session musicians)
The Glitterhouse - vocals
Charles Fox - score

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
Follow Me On FACEBOOK 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

I Went...SI--SI--SIRIUS...All The Way Home (again)

(a short jaunt)

"Guns, Guns, Guns" -  The Guess Who / "Rockin'" (1972)

This has an Elton John kind of intro before Kurt Winter applies some tasty guitar and that recognizable voice of Burton Cummings walks up to the plate.  Seldom heard, but one that rocks pretty legit.  Cummings could be the best part or the worst part of The Guess Who depending on how much he fed his self-indulgence.  When under control, The Guess Who was one of the best things to ever happen to AM radio.  "Godspeed Mother Nature.  Never really wanted to say goodbye."   This was the band's ninth studio album.

"Sparks Of The Tempest" - Kansas / "Point of Know Return" (1977)

As much as I like “Leftoverture,” I think I enjoy "POKR" a little better.  “Sparks of the Tempest” is a killer track with hard rock getting the upper hand over the prog side of things, but not deserting it.  That's violinist Robby Steinhardt doing the vocals on this one.  True story.  I was trying to set up an interview with Robby via his people and was emailed back they'd hook me up...but could I also give them Joe Vitale's phone number who I had recently done an interview with.  I chose not to share, respecting Joe's privacy.  And then I never heard from the Steinhardt camp again.  Whaddygonnado?  Kansas' 5th studio album.

"For Ladies Only" - Steppenwolf / "For Ladies Only" (1971)  

This is the original album track.  The radio edit version cut out nearly 4-minutes.  The lyrics are a bit...not preachy, but something like it.  In an 'I'm a man and you're a woman' sorta way.  John Kay really sells the song like it's the end-of-the-month for buying aluminum siding.  It's good, but I'm not really sure I trust myself to say just how good the song really is.  Nevertheless, I enjoy this quite a bit.  Maybe I'll just file this one under ...”Guilty Pleasure.”  Steppenwolf's 6th studio album


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Sunday, September 1, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."666" (1972)

"666" - Aphrodite's Child (1972)

"666" is a double album filled with almost 80-minutes of floaty prog-psych trippiness. A lot of ideas are going on here.  And everything works.  It's amazing.  One engaging idea after another.  And even in the albums' strangest moments, Vangelis, vocalist/bassist Demis Roussos, and the rest of band's confidence just oozes out of the speakers and we can relax trusting that wherever the music takes us will see us safely to the end.  It's all very peculiar, and yet all very easy on the ears.

I remember finding my mid-70s copy last spring at the local record store (Spectrum) with a $15 price tag and a note saying one of the records had a slight warp but plays fine.  The fella told me to take it home and if it didn't sound great...bring it back.  The album plays like a leviathan.  And I saw barely a lift in my cartridge.  Otherwise, the records play minty.  Close to it.  By the way...this is what an 'essential' album sounds like.  If you can find a good copy of this for under $'re getting a steal.  By the way, this is one of those rare double albums that deserves to double-down.  Good stuff.
"666" was the third (and last) album from Aphrodite's Child.  The group had separated before the album was released.

"666" (back)

"666" (inside gatefold)

Vertigo (spaceships) label

Original Vertigo/Mercury sleeve

"The Four Horsemen" - Aphrodite's Child / "666" (1972)

A1  "The System" 0:23
A2  "Babylon" 2:47
A3  "Loud, Loud, Loud" 2:42
A4  "The Four Horsemen" 5:54
A5  "The Lamb" 4:33
A6  "The Seventh Seal" 1:30
B1  "Aegian Sea" 5:22
B2  "Seven Bowls" 1:29
B3  "The Wakening Beast" 1:11
B4  "Lament" 2:45
B5  "The Marching Beast" 2:00
B6  "The Battle of the Locusts" 0:56
B7  "Do It" 1:44
B8  "Tribulation" 0:32
B9  "The Beast" 2:26
B10  "Ofis" 0:14
C1  "Seven Trumpets" 0:35
C2  "Altamont" 4:33
C3  "The Wedding of the Lamb" 3:38
C4  "The Capture of the Beast" 2:17
C5  "∞" 5:15
C6  "Hic et Nunc" 2:55
D1  "All the Seats Were Occupied" 19:19
D2  "Break" 2:58

Vangelis - keyboards, organ, piano, vibraphone, bass, flute, percussion, b-vocals
Demis Roussos - vocals, bass, guitar, b-vocals
Loukas Sideras – drums, vocals, b-vocals
Silver Koulouris - guitar, percussion
Guest musicians
Harris Halkitis - bass, saxophone, congas, percussion, b-vocals
Michel Ripoche - trombone, saxophone
Irene Papas - vocals ("∞")
John Forst - English narration
Yannis Tsarouchis - Greek narration ("Ofis")
Daniel Koplowitz - narration ("Loud, Loud, Loud")
Costas Ferris - lyricist

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers