Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Rolling Stones- Unreleased Decca Live Album

As a contrast to the unreleased Who live album, here's a live recording the Rolling Stones (or at least their former label) considered releasing in 1972. The Who's Fillmore East live recording from 1968 would have been The Who's first live release and arguably would have lost nothing in quality and sound if it had been released instead the official, Live At Leeds. The idea of the Rolling Stones releasing a live album only two years after the brilliant Get Yer Ya-Yas Out! is crazy. Ya-Yas was and is the quintessential Rolling Stones live experience documenting their 1969 American tour. Whenever I listen to that record, I envision scenes from the scary good documentary, Gimme Shelter in my head. The sound is great, the guitar interplay between Keith Richards and Mick Taylor is wonderful (especially with headphones!) and Get Yer Ya-Yas Out had purpose and reason and really captured the Stones at their eerily devilish best.

The unreleased Decca record suffers from a couple of things, first the sound is sub par, sometimes distant and it seems muddy in parts, probably has more to do with the mix. Since it was only 2 years since Ya-Yas, releasing another live album seems kind of pointless with only two studio albums released since, there are some repeat songs, though the record is heavy towards Exile On Main Street material. If you want a better sounding and complete live recording from around this era, the recently available, Brussels Affair from their 1973 European tour is far superior. What makes this a worthwhile listen anyways? The Exile material is always welcome and the band is in peak-form during this period as the musicianship is top notch with a full horn section and the Richards/Taylor guitar duo (live) was the best the band ever had. And besides, I would rather hear another Stones live recording from the early 70's than anything after 1980. Here's what might have been.

Unreleased Decca Live Album- 1972

1. All Down The Line
2. Brown Sugar
3. Bitch
4. Rocks Off
5. Gimme Shelter
6. Happy
7. Tumbling Dice
8. Love In Vain
9. Sweet Virginia
10. You Can't Always Get What You Want
11. Midnight Rambler
12. Rip This Joint
13. Jumping Jack Flash
14. Street Fighting Man

Recorded live at Boston Gardens, July 19, 1972; at Spectrum Arena, Philadelphia, July 21, 1972; and at Tarrant County Convention Center, Texas, June 21. 1972.

THE ROLLING STONES- Unreleased Live Decca Album. rar (mp3)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Who- Live At Fillmore East 1968

I'm gonna stay in classic rock mode for a couple more posts and continue to focus on more unreleased albums. The Who's, Live at the Fillmore East is a great live document of The Who in their early prime demonstrating their dynamic and powerful stage show. This recording must have been professionally recorded since it was suppose to be released as a live album and has been a popular bootleg of the band. For whatever reason that idea was scrapped and instead the band released Live At Leeds a couple of years later, their only official live album. The Live At Leeds album wasn't too shabby either as many consider it one of the best live albums of all time (The New York Times, Q Magazine) and Rolling Stone placed it 170 in their top 500 albums. Both recordings feature the band performing extended jams and their incredible raw energy is what made The Who are known for. Even more amazing is watching video concert footage from this era, especially Townsend.

Since this was one of their most bootlegged shows, there are various versions of this concert around with different dates and slightly different setlists that omit tracks. As far as I know, this is the complete show and the last three tracks are from French TV in 1966 (read the back cover track listings). This is great, get it while you can!

Live at Fillmore East,
New York City, USA -
April 6, 1968.

Excellent Soundboard Recording (CBR 320 kbps.)

01. Summertime Blues
02. Fortune Teller
03. Tattoo
04. Little Billy
05. I Can't Explain
06. Happy Jack
07. Relax
08. A Quick One While He's Away
09. My May
10. Shakin' All Over
11. Boris The Spider
12. My Generation

Bonus Tracks
13. I'm A Boy
14. Substitute
15. My Generation

Personnel: Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, Keith Moon.

THE WHO- Fillmore East, NYC 1968. rar (mp3)
(Uncompressed FLAC, get it here.)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pete Townsend- Lifehouse Demos

I've been a little under the weather the last little while, so later in the day when I write these posts my brain has been mush and I've resorted to watching videos on YouTube and episodes of New Girl I've downloaded. Feeling a bit better today, so I'll try to squeeze out another post.

Yesterday, I did manage to get outside to ice skate at the Forks (popular Winnipeg tourist spot) or more specifically on the river. It was a sunny beautiful day, a good excuse to get out and get some exercise and keep my mind off my runny nose. After a skate and a hot beverage I browsed through the Antique mall in the Johnson Terminal at the Forks looking for anything interesting. Of course, I get drawn to the records and flipped through the usual amount of popular crap (Wham!, Prism, Bee Gees etc...) most often seen at garage sales, but a few caught my eye, a number of Who records. A couple of the bad ones (It's Hard and Face Dances), as well as A Quick One, Who's Next and Pete Townsend's, Who Came First. I have all the Who records in one form or another, but I had a genuine interest to get the original vinyl versions of A Quick One and Who Came First, but the collector's pricing of $25 and $40 dampened my interest. When I got home I put on Who's Next and thought what an amazing record, which leads me to...

The Who's 1971 release, Who's Next is probably the bands most commercial and critical success and was arguably the high point in their career. The album was originally conceived as a rock opera by Pete Townsend called Lifehouse. Townsend wrote and arranged about 20 tracks for the Lifehouse project as all the instruments (played by Pete) were overdubbed for a full band effect. All the demos were recorded before the band even heard the songs and he basically had enough material for a double album with the quality of the "demos" incredible. Townsend intended the project to be a futuristic rock opera, live recorded concept album and as the music for a scripted film project. Instead, the project was abandoned, but many of the songs written for the project were re-recorded by the band and compiled on Who's Next as a collection of unrelated songs. A couple tracks also ended up on Pete's solo record, Who Came First, the next year.

In 2000, Townsend did finally release the Lifehouse Chronicles a sprawling 6 CD box set that captured not some, but all of the recording from the Lifehouse project. The set includes the demos, themes and experiments, arrangements and orchestrations, and a 2 CD radio play. This set is a lot to take in and might be too much detail for the casual fan, but the demos are an interesting listen especially if you're a Who fan (or not), as these versions of the Who classics stand up on their own. Judge for yourself.

The Lifehouse Demos 1

Teenage Wasteland
Goin’ Mobile
Baba O’Riley
Time Is Passing
Love Ain’t For Keeping
Too Much Of Anything
Music Must Change
Greyhound Girl
Behind Blue Eyes
Baba O’Riley (Instrumental)
Sister Disco

The Lifehouse Demos 2

I Don’t Know Myself
Put The Money Down
Pure And Easy
Getting In Tune
Let’s See Action
Slip Kid
Who Are You
Join Together
Won’t Get Fooled Again
Song Is Over

PETE TOWNSEND- Lifehouse Demos 1. rar
PETE TOWNSEND- Lifehouse Demos 2. rar

Monday, February 06, 2012

Liz Phair- Girly-Sound Tapes

As I was writing yesterday's post about Liz Phair, I realized you really can't talk about Liz Phair's early work without mentioning her pre-Exile In Guyville recordings, the Girlysound tapes. Actually Girly-Sound was the moniker Liz Phair used when she self-produced several tapes in 1991. They were recorded in her bedroom in her parent's house and were initially given only to two people. These tapes circulated and she eventually signed with Matador Records on the strength of a tape she sent the label that contained 6 songs from the Girly tapes. Many of the songs from Girly-Sound were reworked and re-recorded for her debut and altered versions of the other songs appeared on later studio albums. You could say Liz Phair became a bit of a phenomenon, as the tapes were traded within the taper community and Liz Phair fan music circles. To read more about the tapes and the tracks on each and a guide to what album the tracks eventually appeared on, read the wikipedia page for Girly Sound. None of the Girly-Sound tapes have been officially released, though 5 tracks appeared on her 1995 Juvenilia EP and a bonus disc of Girly-Sound tracks were included on the physical version of 2010's Funstyle album.

The tracks posted below are mp3's (probably 1st generation) from the three cassette tapes (sorry, I don't have the actual tapes!). These are truly a prize for any Liz Phair fan and an interesting listen for anyone curious about home recording. Technology has come a long way from the 4-track cassette recordings of Liz Phair and probably hundreds of other musicians that recorded music in their bedroom (yes, I have made many recordings of myself from my single track cassette recorder and 4-track tape machine!), nowadays a bedroom recording can sound as slick and intricate as a professionally recorded album thanks to computers and software. Thank you Liz Phair for proving that DIY can be a launching pad for a successful music career.

Tape #1
Yo Yo Buddy Yup Yup Word To Ya Muthuh (1991)

01. White Babies
02. Shane
03. Six Dick Pimp
04. Divorce Song
05. Go West
06. Dont Hold Your Breath
07. Johnny Sunshine
08. Miss Lucy
09. Elvis Song
10. Dead Shark
11. One Less Thing
12. Money
13. In Love With Yourself (Combo Platter)
14. Fuck Or Die

Tape #2
Girls Girls Girls (1991)

01. Hello Sailor
02. Wild Thing
03. Fuck & Run
04. Easy Target
05. Soap Star Joe
06. Ant In Alaska
07. Girls Girls Girls
08. Polyester Bride
09. Thrax
10. Miss Mary Mack
11. Clean
12. Love Song
13. Valentine
14. Shatter

Tape #3
Untitled (1991)

01 Flowers
02 Whip Smart
03 Open Season (Beg Me)
04 Go Speed Racer
05 Stratford Guy
06 South Dakota
07 Why I Left California
08 Batmobile
09 Gigolo (Cant Get Out What Im Into)
10 Easy (Its Not That)
11 Slave (Sometimes A Dream Is What Makes You A)
12 Chopsticks

GIRLY-SOUND- Tape 1. rar
GIRLY-SOUND- Tape 2. rar
GIRLY-SOUND- Tape 3. rar

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Liz Phair- Whitechocolatespaceegg (Original Version)

Say what you want about Liz Phair, but you can't deny she was quite the force in the 90's. Her amazing debut album in 1993, Exile In Guyville is a classic and is listed in Rolling Stones top 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time (328) and this definitely was her greatest achievement. Her other albums in the 90's, Whip-Smart and Whitechocolatespaceegg are good, not essential, but are still worth owning. This is where my interest in Liz Phair began to fade, I downloaded her next couple of albums, Liz Phair and Somebody's Miracle and they tread on the side of too mainstream for my taste. Also there's something about the production team of The Matrix that I can't stand, that canned auto-tuned sound and her subject matter and lyric content (H.W.C.) at times sounded desperate. Some called it selling out or career suicide, but I think she was trying too hard to capture the spirit and attitude of her earlier work, she was no longer shocking or innovative. Her most recent studio album, Funstyle was a fiasco and barely listenable. Don't misunderstand me, I love Liz Phair, if she came to town (hasn't happened yet) I would buy tickets the second they went on sale and with the advent of YouTube I can live out my musical fantasies watching her videos and live performances. With the re-release of Exile in 2008, Liz reminded music lovers why she was relevant and she did the trendy thing and embarked on a tour performing the entire Exile In Guyville record. I would love to have seen it.

When Liz Phair submitted the original version of her third album, Whitechocolatespaceegg to her record label (Atlantic) it was rejected and she was instructed to re-record and remix it. What I've posted are the rejected mixes and original version of the album including some tracks that didn't make it on the album. None of these tracks were officially released and in most cases these versions sound a lot different than the released versions. It was probably a good decision to remix, as most of the songs seemed to lack the punch and crisp sound of released product. I do enjoy the original version of What Makes You Happy and as a bonus I'm posting a short video from the making of Whitechocolatespaceegg where she's recording some vocals for Happy. If anyone knows if there's a the full version of the video, please let me know.

Whitechocolatespaceegg (Original version) 1996/97

01. Whitechocolatespaceegg
02. Fantasize
03. Headache
04. Big Tall Man
05. Baby Got Going
06. Only Son
07. Bars Of the Bed
08. Oh My God
09. Ride
10. Waiting For the Bird
11. Perfect World
12. Desperado Theme
13. Tell Me You Like Me
14. What Makes You Happy
15. Freak Of Nature
16. Girls Room
17. Russian Girl

LIZ PHAIR- Whitechocolatespaceegg (original version). rar

(the original files were taken from the Symphony Of Ghosts music blog)
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