Thursday, April 27, 2017

Led Zeppelin - 2017 - Destroyer (40th Anniversary Edition)

Led Zeppelin 
2017
Destroyer (40th Anniversary Edition)


Destroyer is a bootleg recording from the English rock group Led Zeppelin’s performance at Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland, Ohio on 27 April, 1977. The soundboard recording is from the first show of two nights at the venue, which were part of the band’s 1977 North American Tour. The album is technically titled simply Destroyer.

Initial vinyl pressings of the bootleg incorrectly credited Seattle, Washington as the location of this show. A limited edition of the four-LP set came in a plastic film reel carrying case bearing the legend "recorded June 24 'LED ZEPPELIN DESTROYER Unique Permanent Zeppelin Storage Case.'" The liner notes thanked John Bonham for letting the bootleg producers use the tape, and some songs were marred by the random splicing into them of segments from other songs.

The later three-CD sets fixed these errors, and eventually versions remastered from lower-generation source tapes surfaced. The exceptional sound quality[clarification needed] throughout the performance is described by some sources as "almost perfect". It was the first, and for many years the only, professionally recorded mixing desk tape to escape from the band's possession.

The bootleg should not be confused with an audience recording from the following night in Cleveland, sometimes entitled The Destroyer. Though marred by poorer sound quality, and incomplete as a result of using 60-minute (instead of the longer 90-minute) cassette tapes for the recording, many critics consider this second performance better than the more famous first Destroyer gig.

Led Zeppelin
April 27, 1977
Richfield Coliseum
Cleveland, OH



101. The Song Remains the Same
102. The Rover (introduction) / Sick Again
103. Nobody's Fault But Mine
104. In My Time of Dying
105. Since I've Been Loving You
106. No Quarter

201. Ten Years Gone
202. The Battle of Evermore
203. Going To California
204. Black Country Woman
205. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
206. White Summer
207. Black Mountain Side
208. Kashmir

301. Moby Dick
302. Guitar Solo
303. Achilles Last Stand
304. Stairway To Heaven
305. Rock and Roll
306. Trampled Underfoot


Review: LED ZEPPELIN – The Coliseum – April 27

It took those over two years to do it, but Led Zeppelin finally reached a Cleveland area stage once again last Wednesday night at the Coliseum. This show in particular, as well as their current tour in general, is nothing less than a re-assertion of their status among the Rolling Stones, Who and any other acknowledged deities of rock. It presents a challenge – as well as a set of standards to equal – to new wave heroes such as Aerosmith, Frampton and Blue Oyster Cult.

Zeppelin’s three-hour set passed with flying colors my personal shorthand estimation of a concert’s quality. It didn’t seem that long. The amount of material played, the musicianship involved, and the internal and external (special effects) manifestations of their music merged into an impressive, at time awe-inspiring, whole. The width of styles, moods and atmosphere, paired with consistent authenticity, crossed one of the widest spectrum of which any current combo seems capable.

Zeppelin’s show,  considerably revamped since their ’75 appearance in the same arena, was in general an effective mix of blues-ended structures such as In My Time of Dying, Nobody’s Fault But Mine and Since I’ve Been Loving You. The maximum amount of instrumental stretching-out however came on No Quarter. Working from both electric and acoustic pianos, John Paul Jones again impressed with his general versatility. Jimmy Page later joined in for what to me was his apogee of an evening’s worth of standout soloing. It was one of the best rock jams I’ve ever witnessed.

About midway through, Zep revived something they haven’t done in concert since the early 70s – an acoustic set. The founders and main perpetrators of the heavy metal music form sat themselves down and ran through delightful versions of Battle of Evermore, Going to California and Black Country Woman, even reviving the rockabilly Bron-Y-Aur Stomp from Led Zeppelin III (with Jones on stand-up bass).

Some more electrically oriented playing led into the visual highlight of the evening; a rotating, smoke-filled laser light cone surrounded Page as he spun out his famed violin bow work, with lasers behind him shooting arrow-straight beams at the ceiling at well-timed intervals. The show wound up with more conventional crowd-pleasers such as Kashmir and the Zeppelin signature song, Stairway to Heaven (with the biggest mirrored ball in rockdom used to wind it up.

John Bonham consistently kicked ass on drums, Robert Plant was 100 percent improved in voice and stage demeanor  since their last time here, and a warm, lucid in-group chemistry projected even across the Coliseum’s vast terrains. A surprisingly sedate and mature crowd did their part to create something I had previously thought was unique to small-hall presentations – a general warmness and intimacy of feeling emanating from the band and its reception by the listeners. It’s an attitude much more difficult to project over 20,000 seats than it is over 3,000. Such was the strength of Led Zeppelin’s performance, an in-person proof of why they still rank as one of the top viewing experiences in rock.
(C. Michalski / Scene April 1977)


This show gets criticized a lot, but it is really a good show, with lots of energy and intensity. The playing is great and the versions of Kashmir, Achilles Last Stand, and Ten Years Gone are exceptional, as is No Quarter. A really enthusiastic crowd feeds off of Zeppelin's energy, making for a memorable show. Plant sometimes complaining of monitor problems, especially during the acoustic set.

The soundboard for Led Zeppelin’s April 27th, 1977 show in Cleveland first surfaced on vinyl in the 1980’s on the European release Destroyer (DRGM 505), listed as being from Seattle and packaged in a color jacket with a picture of Page on the cover.  This was copied in the U.S. with the same title and matrix number but comes packaged in a plastic carrying case and the tape has a different mastering which many consider inferior, and releases have the songs out of proper sequence.  The Swingin’ Pig issued the four LP set Destroyer and other vinyl titles released in the late eighties include Sweet Jelly Roll (Rock Solid Records), Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Sad Song) and Hard Way To Heaven (UNI), which is incomplete and includes the Live Aid set.

When CDs first began to be manufactured this was one of the very first tapes to come out.  The Swingin’ Pig copied their vinyl release on Destroyer (TSP-CD-059-2), a 2CD set released in 1990.  Neutral Zone issued The Destroyer (NZCD 89013), containing “Going To California” to “Rock And Roll” and with “Stairway To Heaven” dropped, and Nobody’s Fault But Mine (NZCD 89015) containing the first hour of the show from “The Song Remains The Same” to “The Battle Of Evermore.” Destroyer (Archive) is a 1989 West German production in “perfect soundboard quality” but attributes this show to August 1977.  Coming Back To The Murder Stage (Buccaneer Records BUC 021/2) is a 2CD set erroneously attributing this show to April 28th, and also includes the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary reunion set.

Destroyer (BGS009-2) is a 2CD 1992 Italian release which claims to be re-mastered and replicates the artwork on the earlier Archive release.  Australia issued this tape at least three times beginning in 1993 with Led Zeppelin Live (Apple House Music SL-23 and SL-24), two CDs with the songs out of sequence.  The second disc of the Apple House production was copied on SW 39, and both were issued on the Banana label as Last Stand Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 on (BAN-025-A & B) Destroyer (Silverbird ZLNCD29) with correct date and a bonus track “Hey Joe” from Band Of Joy demo.

The early nineties also saw the release the first of four separate Tarantura releases on The Destroyer 1st Day (Tarantura T6CD-1).  This box set was issued in 1993 containing both the April 27th soundboard and the April 28th audience recordings.  The label issued the soundboard again two years later on The Destroyer Gold (Tarantura TUDCD-004~006).

Destroyer:  Final Edition (Cobra Standard 004) is a 3CD set issued in a cardboard sleeve with same lettering as first TSP vinyl.  The Pot label issued The Original Stereo Destroyer (POT-001/002) on two discs and Antrabata includes this on three discs in The Final Statements, a 9CD box set that also includes the September 4th, 1970 Los Angeles and July 28th, 1973 New York tapes.  The Destroyer (Last Stand Disc LSD-16/17/18) is a three disc set released in 1997 with excellent three disc set with 24-bit re-mastering in excellent quality.

Shout To The Top also released Destroyer (STTP 055/056/057) about this time.  Empress Valley released The Destroyer (EVSD-40/41/42) in 2000 in an LP sized case with the front cover replicating the old Smilin’ Ears vinyl edition of the audience recording from the following night.  This version is, by almost unanimous consensus, the best sounding and most complete version of the tape.  Several years later Tarantura issued two separate six-disc box sets simultaneously with both Cleveland shows.  The Destroyers (TCD-10-1~3) and The Destroyer (Flesh/Trade Mark Of Quality TMQ 20021 1-3) are two different remastering jobs and are singled out to be among the very worst titles released by Tarantura.

In 2004 Empress Valley released the tape again in The Supreme Destroyers (EVSD-276/277/278).  This is a 9CD box set released with two separate covers that contains also the audience recordings from the April 28tg Cleveland show and the May 30th Largo, Maryland show.  This show also appears on the DVDR-A title Destroyer (Genuine Masters GM-27.04.1977-DVD-A-18) which is superb.

Destroyer on the SODD label is the latest release and a rare non-Rolling Stones title.  The sound quality compares favorably with Empress Valley’s first release which is considered to be the best version of them all.  The familiar cuts are still present with the tape beginning at the first verse of “The Song Remains The Same.”  Also there are two faint digital faults on disc one that can be found at 4:22 in “Sick Again” and at 18:11 in “No Quarter.”

These sound like speed bumps, not very loud and don’t eliminate any music.  For the pickiest of collectors this is an issue, but for those who are more forgiving it won’t be.  With that said many do hope that the SODD people will fix these errors and make the correction available as Scorpio has done with their Ultimate Studio Sessions box set.  If that were to occur, then this release would be the definitive version of this often pressed show which is a solid concert despite some criticisms.  That this is a soundboard recording betrays many of the mistakes that are made on stage particularly by Page.  In the first hour of the show in particular he misses some cues and plays some bum notes.

What this concert really needs is a good audience recording to hear how the music was being received in the venue since the echo oftentimes covers them up.  Plant is in good voice and the rhythm section is solid as usual.  This night is right by the end of the first of three legs of their massive 1977 U.S. tour and would be followed by another night in Cleveland and the massive, record setting concert in Pontiac (whose clear audience recording was released only once by TDOLZ which runs way too slow).

SODD package this in a basic fatboy plastic jewel case.  The label usually issue bonus discs with their Rolling Stones titles, but there is no such bonus discs with this one.  Destroyer utilizes the font and graphic design first used by TSP in the eighties with a Madison Square Garden shot on the front cover.  The overall design is basic but effective and this version comes so very close to being definitive that we all hope the label will fix the errors.


The famed Destroyer tape begins during the first verse of The Song Remains the Same. Plant's voice starts off a bit rough and Page's fingers are constantly getting stuck in the strings. Things pick up during Sick Again. Plant seduces the crowd with his aggressive snarl as Page slashes and shreds through the bone-crushing rhythm. An unbelievably heavy performance, one of the best thus far. As the song ends, Plant tells the crowd "it's very nice to be back... in more ways than one." The band hammers through a devastating Nobody's Fault But Mine. Plant exclaims "go Jimmy, go!" as Page begins the guitar solo.

Since I've Been Loving You is excellent. As the song ends, Plant announces "Jimmy Page on guitar there... the doctor was played by Larry Badgely (the band's doctor) and management was arranged by Peter Grant." The ominous introduction to Jones's piano solo during No Quarter is fantastic. Unfortunately, a cut in the tape soon after leaves us at the end of the upbeat interlude. Page delivers an erratically epic guitar solo, punctuated by Bonzo's violent outbursts. Ten Years Gone features some fantastic soloing from Page. Before The Battle of Evermore, Plant tells the crowd "this song reflects, I s'pose more than anythin' else, an evening in England some seven hundred years ago... just about the time that me and Bonzo got married." Going to California is beautiful. As the song ends, Plant tells the crowd "this is startin' to feel good, man."

Plant introduces Bonzo as "one of the few gentlemen in Cleveland who manages to wash my hair with 7 Up, the man who... childhood friend, sweet baby, always been the lover boy of the band" before Over the Top. The drum solo features the extensive use of a spaced-out phasing effect as Bonzo hammers at his tympani. The song's finale is punctuated by a series of lightning-fast machine gun snare blasts. Page's fingers are a bit sticky during the first guitar solo in Achilles Last Stand. Plant dedicates Stairway to Heaven to "the sort of atmosphere that I think we've actually achieved between us all." Page disappears at the end of the guitar solo, leaving the rest of the band to fill the void for the remainder of the song.

As the band exits the stage, a cut in the tape leaves us near the end of the first verse of Rock and Roll. Page's guitar cuts out briefly at the beginning of the solo. Plant announces "well, now it's been a long time... I guess we should do a bit of stompin'" before the band closes the show with a heavy, plodding Trampled Underfoot. Bonzo gets into a disco rhythm for a few bars following the initial verses. Page shreds wildly through the guitar solo. A strong performance for the band's first night in Cleveland. Must hear.

The tape is an excellent soundboard recording.



Led Zeppelin
April 28, 1977
Richfield Coliseum
Cleveland, OH




101. The Song Remains the Same
102. The Rover (introduction) / Sick Again
103. Nobody's Fault But Mine
104. In My Time of Dying
105. Since I've Been Loving You
106. No Quarter

201. Ten Years Gone
202. The Battle of Evermore
203. Going To California
204. Black Country Woman
205. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
206. White Summer
207. Black Mountain Side
208. Kashmir

301. Moby Dick
302. Guitar Solo
303. Achilles Last Stand
304. Stairway To Heaven
305. Rock and Roll
306. Trampled Underfoot


This is clearly a night to remember. This gets my vote for the best show of the whole 1977 tour! The playing and energy are wonderful and Robert is in very strong voice. This show has what are probably the best ever versions of Ten Years Gone and Since I've Been Loving You from 1977, as well as a spine-chilling Jimmy Page Solo, a monstrous Achilles Last Stand, a grand Kashmir, and amazing playing throughout, especially from Jimmy. No Quarter is a wonderful, long version with lots of classical references thrown in.

The band's second night in Cleveland begins with a brief soundcheck before The Song Remains the Same comes thundering out of the gate. Sick Again is incredibly heavy. The stadium quakes under the power of Bonzo and Jones's bone-crushing rhythm as Page tears through the guitar solos. As the song ends, the taper can be heard shouting "oh fuck!" and "my god, we're in trouble!" There is a loud piercing squeal as Plant begins speaking, followed by a cut which leaves us at the beginning of Nobody's Fault But Mine. Plant exclaims "oh Jimmy!" as Page begins a blistering guitar solo.

There is a slight cut in the tape following Plant's aggressive shouts of "oh Georgina!" during an excellent In My Time of Dying. He and Bonzo get into a bit of Surrender as the song ends. Since I've Been Loving You is an epic drama. Page is absolutely on fire as he leads the band on an intense emotional journey. Bonzo pummels the crowd with a devastating stampede of drums as the frenzy reaches its peak. A truly amazing performance, one of the best thus far. Plant introduces No Quarter as "No Quaalude." Jones's piano solo features another frantic rendition of Nut Rocker, followed by an excellent blues interlude. Page delivers a dramatic guitar solo. An outstanding performance. Unfortunately, the song is cut during the final verse.

Ten Years Gone is absolutely fantastic. Plant hints at Dancing Days and Bob Dylan's Blues before Black Country Woman, which features his best Elvis impression. The crowd erupts as White Summer/Black Mountain Side gives way to a powerful Kashmir. Plant's aggressive howls echo over the crowd and into infinity. The taper exclaims "this sucks!" twelve minutes into Over the Top. Bonzo hammers at his drums with incredible intensity during Achilles Last Stand. The very beginning of Stairway to Heaven is missing from the tape. The taper can be heard saying "oh fuck" directly into the microphone during the initial verses. Page's epic guitar solo is dynamic and emotional. Bonzo thrashes wildly at anything within reach as the drama reaches its peak. An amazing performance. Unfortunately, the latter half of the song suffers from a series of minor tape issues.

As the band returns to the stage, Plant announces "there's still life in the old dog yet." The taper can once again be heard exclaiming "oh fuck!" as a chest-thumping Rock and Roll comes to a close. The band closes the show with a plodding Trampled Underfoot. A somewhat sluggish finale to an outstanding performance. Must hear.








David Bowie - 2017 - Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles '74)

David Bowie 
2017 
Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles '74)




01. Introduction 1:47
02. 1984 2:55
03. Rebel Rebel 2:31
04. Moonage Daydream 5:17
05. Sweet Thing / Candidate / Sweet Thing (Reprise) 7:41
06. Changes 3:47
07. Suffragette City 3:49
08. Aladdin Sane 5:01
09. All The Young Dudes 4:09
10. Cracked Actor 3:20
11. Rock 'N' Roll With Me 4:54
12. Knock On Wood 3:16
13. It's Gonna Be Me 7:11
14. Space Oddity 5:23
15. Diamond Dogs 6:58
16. Big Brother 4:05
17. Time 5:44
18. The Jean Genie 5:45
19. Rock 'N' Roll Suicide 5:10
20. John, I'm Only Dancing (Again) 8:41

Alto Saxophone, Flute – David Sanborn
Backing Vocals – Anthony Hinton, Ava Cherry, Diane Sumler, Luther Vandross, Robin Clark (2), Warren Peace
Baritone Saxophone, Flute – Richard Grando
Bass – Doug Raunch
Congas – Pablo Rosario
Drums – Greg Errico
Guitar – Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick
Piano, Mellotron – Mike Garson
Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica – David Bowie

Sticker on shrinkwrap:
Record Store Day Exclusive

A previously unreleased live recording from Los Angeles on 5th September, 1974. This was a pivotal gig in the transition between the Diamond Dogs tour and the Philly Dogs tour. Produced by David Bowie and mixed by Tony Visconti at Human Studios, NYC in October/November 2016. 3 LP set with etching on sixth side. Recorded live at Los Angeles Amphitheatre, L.A. California, USA 1974-09-05.

Record Store Day 2017 available in independent record shops, 3-LP set with etched vinyl. Limited edition of 17,000 copies worldwide (5000 for UK).


A previously unreleased live recording from Los Angeles on 5th September, 1974. 
The material on Cracked Actor comes from Bowie’s Los Angeles performance on the so-called “Philly Dogs” leg of his Diamond Dogs tour – the same show that was captured in part in a BBC documentary of the same name – during which he performed material from both that album and the soul-inflected Young Americans, which was released the following year. The performance came just months after the recording of David Live, Bowie’s notoriously spotty first live album, but features a more R&B-oriented band including Luther Vandross on backing vocals, assembled to perform the new Young Americans material. Cracked Actor was mixed by Tony Visconti, Bowie’s longtime producer.
“I had the good fortune to see one of the earlier versions of the Diamond Dogs tour in New York. It was the most ambitious stage design I had ever seen for a Rock show. There was a suspension bridge between two towers. David would disappear and reappear minutes later at the top of the bridge. As he sang Sweet Thing the bridge would descend to the bottom and he stepped off to finish the song on the stage.
He also sang Space Oddity into a telephone whilst suspended over the audience, sitting in a chair attached to the arm of a cherry picker. These mechanical props often malfunctioned making a night to remember. The choreography was created by Toni Basil, another first, for the interactive dancing between David, Warren Peace and Gui Andrisano. By the time the tour reached Los Angeles the personnel had changed and the band was smaller.
Michael Kamen left the tour and Mike Garson played all the keyboard parts. Carlos Alomar and Luther Vandross were added as well as an American based rhythm section. By then the band was well greased and the show went off like clockwork. David was a lot looser, he seemed to be ecstatic that night; so apparent with some very adventurous, almost acrobatic, interpretations of his older songs and his quirky banter with the audience.
The set changed a bit from earlier shows although most songs were a combination of Diamond Dogs and older classics. Now very pleased with the Young Americans album we had recorded during a tour break he introduced some new songs without saying the name of the new album. They were It’s Gonna Be Me (very well received) and a frantic paced finale of John I’m Only Dancing (Again). Before the long instrumental outro had finished David was already being driven away in his limo. A solemn voice announced to the audience clamouring for an encore, “Mr Bowie has left the building.”
Revisiting this era in the post-Blackstar period had me a little choked up. David used to sit just behind me when we were working on that album and now I was mixing his incredible vocal performances from 1974. I couldn’t help turn to where he once sat and ask, “Well, what do you think of that mix?”.” — Tony Visconti – April 2017

Frode Thingnaes - 1980 - Direct To Dish

Frode Thingnaes 
1980
Direct To Dish


01. Bumpin' 6:44
02. Caught In The Act 4:50
03. Along Came You 4:58
04. Sett Sjøbein 5:20
05. Three For The Money 5:14
06. Around Once More 5:18


Bass – Jan Erik Kongshaug
Drums – Thor Andreassen
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Synth [Mini Moog, Roland SH2, Roland Jupiter 4] – Henryk Lysiak
Guitar, Synth [Mini Moog, Roland VP 330 P Vocoder] – Pete Knutsen
Percussion – Svein Christiansen
Trombone – Frode Thingnæs

Sticker on front cover: "Norges Første Direktegraverte Plate"
Text from back sleeve: "It is the first commercially released direct-to-disc recording ever in this country."
Recorded March 10th and 11th, 1980 at Rosenborg Studios.



I have very little info about this album, so any help would be welcome, also if you have his album from 1978 I would be really grateful if you would share it with the rest of us... and also the guy that requested these other two albums.

Frode Thingnaes - 1974 - Feelin All Right

Frode Thingnaes 
1974 
Feelin All Right



01. Feelin' All Right
02. Norwegian Folk Song: Mannen Han Gikk Seg Pâ Veaskog
03. Wheels
04. The Little Lion
05. Fink Finster
06. Axel

Frode Thingnaes : Trombones
Bjorn Johansen : Tenor Sax
Henryk Lysiak : Piano
Jan Erick Kongshaug : Guitar
Bjorn Jacobsen : Bass
Svein Erik Gaardvik : Drums
Ole Jacob Hansen : Percussion

Additional Musicians :
Arne Monn-Iversen : Leader Strings on Tracks: A1, A2, B1 & B3
Finn Eriksen : Trumpets on Tracks A1, A3 & B1
Bernt Steen : Trumpets on Tracks A1, A3 & B1
Christian Beck : Trumpets on Tracks A1, A3 & B1
Johan Bergli : Baritone Sax on Tracks A1, A3 & B1

All Arrangements & Trombone Parts by Frode Thingnaes
Recorded in Oslo between 1st & 3rd of October 1974



Thingnæs picked up the trumpet at eight, when he started to play in Sinsen school band. In 1953 he switched to trombone. He received his music education at th in Sinsen school band. In 1953 he switched to trombone. He received his music education at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. From 1959 onwards he played in orchestras led by Bjørn Jacobsen, Gunnar Brostigen, Mikkel Flagstad and Kjell Karlsen. His own F. T. Quintet, formed in 1960, was included on Norway's first jazz album, released in 1963. He contributed to releases by Egil Kapstad, Terje Rypdal, Laila Dalseth, Espen Rud, Bjørn Alterhaug and Per Husby. In 1967 he was named best trombonist in the magazine 'Jazznytt musician vote', and in 1969 he led his Norwegian sextet at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival.

He was kapellmeister at Norway's most famous revue theater, Chat Noir in 1960. On the pop music scene he made contributions over a period to Popol Ace. He conducted the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. Together with Philip Kruse he wrote the music for the Norwegian Eurovision Song Contest entries "Hvor er du?" (1974, English title "The First Day of Love") and "Mata Hari" (1976), both performed by his former wife, Anne-Karine Strøm. At the time both Thingnæs and Strøm were members of jury member Finn Eriksen's orchestra. Frode Thingnæs has also conducted and been a member of the Defense Staff Marching Orchestra (FSMK) and for more than 30 years he has conducted Norway's most high-profile Janissary orchestra, Kampen Janitsjarorkester. Other pop music collaborations include Wenche Myhre, Lill Lindfors and Svante Thuresson. For a number of years Thingnæs worked together with Einar Schanke, Alfred Næss and Yngvar Numme. He has composed a lot. His most renowned works may be Wheels and the Flåklypa ballet (1985) at the Norwegian National Opera. He also produced records for, among others, Bodega Band (1977). In latter years he led a quintet together with Harald Gundhus. Thingnæs died, aged 72, in Oslo.

Feelin Alright is Frode Thingnaes first album. It is considered a Norwegian jazz masterpiece from 1974, a true holy grail amongst jazz collectors. It sells for high amounts online. It was originally released in small quantities with very limited distribution, mainly in Norway. Recorded in the 70's, combining funk, folk songs, jazz and soul, makes it an unique album that represents the contemporary 70's jazz scene in Norway.

Marcus Hook Roll Band - 1973 - Tales of Old Grand Daddy

Marcus Hook Roll Band 
1973 
Tales of Old Grand Daddy




01. Can't Stand The Heat
02. Goodbye Jane
03. Quick Reaction
04. Silver Shoes
05. Watch Her Do It Now
06. People And The Power
07. Red Revolution
08. Shot In The Head
09. Ape Man
10. Cry For Me

Bonus Tracks
11. One Of These Days (Previously Unreleased)
12. Natural Man (1972 A-Side Of Regal Zonophone RZ 3061)
13. Moonshine Blues (1974 B-Side Of "Can't Stand The Heat" BASF - 06 19196-0)
14. Louisiana Lady (1973 A-Side Of Regal Zonophone RZ 3072)
15. Ride Baby Ride (Previously Unreleased)

George Young (vocals, guitar, piano, bass)
Harry Vanda (lead guitar, vocals)
Alex Young (saxophone)
Angus Young (guitar)
Malcolm Young (guitar)
Freddie Smith (bass)
Ian Campbell (drums)
John Proud (drums)
Howard Casey (saxophone)



If the Marcus Hook Roll Band are known for anything it’s as the first vehicle for AC/DC siblings Angus and Malcolm Young. But the story began in London in 1972 when Australians George Young and Harry Vanda, formerly of The Easybeats, handed a demo to EMI. Producer Wally Waller, a former Pretty Things bassist, recorded two singles but by the time an album was requested Young and Vanda were back in Australia. Waller was told to follow. “I stood there tutting, making out it would be a terrible drag,” chuckles Waller.

In Sydney, George roped in elder brother Alex, once of Beatles prodigies Grapefruit, on sax while guitar came from 20-year-old Malcolm. “Malcolm was playing stuff you needed to be 30 to play, stuff that required a bit of soul, some life experience,” recalls Waller. “I said to George: “Your brother is really something”. He said “There’s another like him at home”. Angus turned up and was just as good.” The album – named after Waller’s duty-free bourbon consumed in well-oiled sessions – thus became the first record featuring Malcolm and Angus Young, and the only album to feature four Young brothers.

It’s an odd one, covering slick 70s rock (“Can’t Stand The Heat”), glam (“Goodbye Jane”), 60s throwbacks (“Silver Shoes And Strawberry Wine”) and Faces-meets-Queen show-stoppers (“Cry For Me”). You can hear proto-DC riffing on “Quick Reaction” and also some AC/DC sexual politics on the (literally) grunting “Ape Man”.

Particularly odd is the radical-chic two-hander “The People And The Power” and “Red Revolution”. Five bonus tracks include previously unreleased country cornball “Ride Baby Ride”. Nobody can remember who played what but Malcolm was on everything and Waller is sure Angus played on “Watch Her Do It Now”. As it was, the album was shelved after Young and Vanda refused to tour America, but Waller wasn’t surprised to hear of Angus and Malcolm’s subsequent success. “I knew how talented they were,” says Waller. “And they had everything else that was required – drive, luck and a brother who knew the industry.”

Stevie Wright - 1975 - Black Eyed Bruiser

Stevie Wright 
1975
Black Eyed Bruiser



01. Black Eyed Bruiser
02. The Loser
03. You
04. My Kind Of Music
05. Guitar Band
06. The People And The Power
07. Help! Help!
08. Twenty Dollar Bill
09. I've Got The Power

Stevie Wright (Vocals)
Kevin Borich (guitar)
Ronnie Peel (bass)
Warren Morgan (keyboards)
Johnny Dick (drums)



This is a good pop album. It has flash, it doesn't take itself seriously, the songs are strong, the production doesn't hide under a blanket. Mostly it stars one Stevie Weight, ex-Easybeat and sometime rock and roll vagabond — but producers / songwriters / guitarists Harry Vanda and George Young always make their presence felt and sometimes they step out and take right over.
The album has a theme to it: young Stevie is cast in the role of rock and roll fighter, struggling through the ranks of pop punkdom to some kind of Nirvana via attainment of big money and popularity.
The concept lays it on the line really. Vanda and Young and Wright aren't interested in layers of internal meaning, they're vitally concerned to make an immediate impact and they keep their riffs solid and memorable. They also recycle a lot. The Kink's "You Really Got Me" comes in for some revisiting on the title track "Black Eyed Bruiser". Fats Domino s "BlueBerry Hill" is re-serviced and refitted into "Twenty Dollar Bill", and so it goes on. But the reconversion process happens with some taste and nothing is so blatant as to be embarrassing.
Stevie's voice holds up well throughout the album. His high notes are more and more sounding like strangled screams, but his range has deepened and he can get some awesome inflexions into his vocals that people like Dr. John would be proud to claim: "ev-uh-ree daaaeeaaaan ni-eeeet...."— that sort of thing.
Most important, its sustained flashy pop — except for where Stevie steps back to let massed choruses blow and guitars riff-on. It only happens on two songs "You" and "My Kind Of Music". "You" is some sort of distant relation to "Evie (parts I to 1.001)" but the exercise develops into something of an anti-climax when a female chorus takes over the chorus line. After the 25th honeyed rendition of "Aawl I waaaan is YOOOOOOOOOU", you really start longing for a strangled scream — anything — from Stevie. "My Kind Of Music" turns out to be a good cooking exercise for Warren Morgan, Johnny Dick and the rest of the (un-credited) band. (Review by Anthony O'Grady, RAM Magazine #14, Sept 6, 1975)

.
Juke Magazine published the following article on Stevie Wright in their May 1975 edition, which focused on his then recent comeback to the music industry, and his soon to be released album 'Black Eyed Bruiser' .
.
'One Of The Boys'Stevie Wright learn't recently that when England's glitter band Mott The Hoople were undergoing their most recent change they had considered the former Easy beats vocalist to front them. Through the years since the midsixties, there has always remained around the world a pronounced respect and nostalgia for the Easybeats, the Australian group made good internationally. Paul McCartney has often said that "Friday On My Mind" is one of his all-time favorite singles. But what the world Easybeats enthusiasts have never realised is that the group's most ordinal and worthy music was actually written and recorded in Australia. 
."When we got to England", remembers a much older Stevie Wright, "we thought we had to change and we were taking all sorts of advice from all the people who were offering it. Even our manager wanted to have a hand in the group's songwriting. I couldn't take that". 'Little' Stevie intimated that this was a large part of the reason why, once the Easybeats landed in England, Stevie stopped co-writing the group's material, and Harry Vanda teamed with guitarist George Young instead. "Here in Australia our manager was like an older brother to us. We'd always be able to lean on him and twist his advice. But when we got to England we just couldn't respect his decisions anymore. We had as much to do with the running of the band as he did." 
In the end, this situation between the Easys and their management disintegrated the band. Mike Vaughn (the manager) was signing the group, to any record company silly enough to believe they were free and left the group to grapple with the crippling legalities he was shoving the group's way as he skipped from record company to record company. "That was really frustrating", says Stevie now. "By then we had Tony Cahill on drums and we were a much better band than we'd ever been". George Young and Harry Vanda turned their attentions to the tasks of being non-performing songwriters and record producers, finally returning to Australian soil a couple of years ago. Stevie Wright, on the other hand, drifted aimlessly on the perimeters of the Australian music business On his earlier return, finally gaining a semblance of recognition again with his role in the Sydney stage presentation of "Jesus Christ Superstar". This gave him the confidence to attempt a solo album of his own songs. "It just wasn't coming together", confesses Steve. After a long time I went to the boys (Vanda and Young) and they saw the basis of something good in what I'd done. They over-dubbed on the tracks I'd started and added some of their own songs. They played practically everything on the album between the two of them". The result of course was the 'Hard Road' album, which won Stevie Wright two gold records for its Australian sales.
Now, in the coming weeks, there's to be a second album, consisting this time totally of Vanda-Young songs. "I've had a dry spell with my songwriting", Stevie will say, dismissing with that the obvious question. One gets the impression however, that Stevie will "go along with anything, without much self determination". Turning out song after song for the likes of Johnny Farnham, William Shakespeare and John Young, as well as for Stevie Wright, the boys' have become some what of a songwriting machine. They also produce the records of AC/DC which includes two younger Young brothers. They've been back on stage only once, backing Stevie Wright in concert, after Stevie had gone through an endless chain of abortive attempts to keep a band together to help him perform the Stevie Wright sound on stage. There he was, with a nation-wide smash hit on his hands and unable to turn out a decent live performance. Stevie, it turns out, doesn't seem capable of keeping a band together. He shouldn't even have to pick its members. Stevie quite clearly just wants to sing. He doesn't even care a lot what it is he sings, just as long as he's having nearly a good time. So when Stevie's reputation was taking a dive due to his ugly live appearances, the Vanda-Young team moved in to give their companion the lift he needed back towards something like a professional sound. They hadn't performed in front of an audience for years. Stevie remembers with a smile, "It was like singing in front of a steam train. There was so much uncontrolled energy pounding out". 
The Vanda-Young-Wright was joined on stage for these performances by former Aztecs, Johnny Dick and Warren Morgan. Although this handful of appearances probably brought back long forgotten Easybeat memories, Stevie much prefers singing with his current band, because it's obviously much less raw and more dynamic musically. Vanda and Young have been replaced by two former La De Das, Kevin Borich, and Ronnie Peel. A permanent group perhaps? "No", smiles Stevie again. "Those guys see me as a way to get to America." There is a look of resignation in his eyes. And amusement. Stevie Wright's Easybeat background, coupled with the outstanding success of his records since, has found Stevie with contracts for the release of his records in both England and America.

A trip overseas seems more than likely. And that's what Stevie's sidemen are counting on, says Stevie, "I wonder why those guys are even content to call the band The Stevie Wright Band. They've got much more reputation than I have. They've even got me splitting my performance fee with them equally." Again one gets this impression of an infinitely easy-going Stevie Wright, allowing his side-men to make their demands on him. All he wants to do is sing.... and avoid undue hassle. I don't think Stevie is even ambitious enough to dream of Easybeats-like big time as the end result of his solo pursuit. Those times are probably more like youth that's been spent and unobtainable again. He just wants a band to sing in front of, some songs to sing with them, and just enough of an audience to make it worthwhile. The ambition he leaves to those around him. And they're looking after that department quite nicely thank you. The boys wanted me to get some songs together for the album, but I'd rather not have a song there for the sake of it, if it's going to be a mediocre song. I'm writing more now, and there'll probably be some more of my songs on the album after this one. Songwriting seems to come very easily to Stevie's former Easybeats comrades....perhaps even a little too easy. One recipient song of a Vanda-Young song tells how the pair pieced together bits of things they had lying around to come up with a satisfactory song when it was requested. (Article by By Ed. Nirhmervoll, Juke Magazine page 10, May 14, 1975)



Stevie Wright may well be regarded as the forgotten man of Australian rock & roll thanks to a career that was curtailed and shortened by a long-running battle with drugs. Wright joined the Easybeats in 1964 and had several Australian hits, including the worldwide smash "Friday on My Mind," before the band broke up in 1969. He then formed the band Rachette and produced Bootleg's debut single, "Whole World Should Slow Down." He performed with Rachette at the Odyssey Music Festival in 1971 before briefly joining Likefun in Perth. He returned to Sydney to perform in the Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar and stayed with the production from 1971-1973. During 1972 he also performed with Black Tank and appeared on the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, released in 1973.

He then began work on his debut album Hard Road with Easybeats' songwriters Harry Vanda and George Young. Released in April 1974, the album peaked at number five on the national charts and spawned Wright's best-known hit, "Evie," which peaked at number two. After touring the country with his band, the All Stars, he followed Hard Rain with Black Eyed Bruiser, another fine example of Australian '70s rock. It produced the hit "Guitar Band," which peaked at number eight in December 1974.

The All Stars left to back John Paul Young in 1975 so Wright formed the Stevie Wright Band but, by this stage, Wright's drug addiction had begun to curtail his career. He performed a few gigs with Sacha in 1976 and performed "Evie" alongside performances by the cream of Australian pop and rock at the Concert of the Decade in November 1979, captured on the double album Concert of the Decade (1980).

He next appeared on Flash and the Pan's 1982 release, Headlines. The single "Waiting for a Train" hit number seven in the U.K. and Headlines became Flash and the Pan's third consecutive number one hit in Scandinavia. His career, however, soon derailed again when Wright appeared in court charged with housebreaking in January 1984 while undergoing drug rehabilitation. Wright was arrested for heroin use in the same month after being found unconscious in a hotel toilet. The Easybeats reformed for a successful six-week national tour in October 1986. Wright formed the band Hard Rain in 1988 and released the album Striking It Rich in 1991. With his health declining, Wright gave his final performance at Sydney's Coogee Bay Hotel on April 4, 1992.

Black Eyed Bruiser didn't do nearly as well as Hard Road no doubt due to the lack of a massive hit like 'Evie' but I've always known the singles 'Black Eyed Bruiser' and 'Guitar Band' thanks mainly to EMI compilations from those years that always seemed to include hits from the Alberts stable. These awesome singles set the tone for Stevie to become a Hard Rock artist of credibility. The problem is though, that's where this albums stops with the Hard Rock. What could have been?

So, whilst the rest of the album isn't on the harder side, I feel that there are some very strong songs that probably make it more consistent than Hard Road. There's the ballad '(All I Want is) You' with its guitar intro that'll remind you of Live's Lightning Crashes and some soaring female vocals, not quite gospel, that really lift the song in a way that Stevie couldn't. Then there's the organ driven 'My Kind of Music' and the laid-back 'Twenty Dollar Bill' to contrast against the political 'The People and the Power' and a couple of songs that sound like Stevie brought along the entire cast of Jesus Christ Superstar - 'Help, Help' and 'I've Got the Power'.

Stylistically, it's a mixed bag and while it lacks general cohesiveness, all the songs are good. The real disappointment is that this was effectively the end of Stevie's career as by the following year he was completely fucked by drugs.

Stevie Wright - 1974 - Hard Road

Stevie Wright 
1974
Hard Road


01. Hard Road
02. Life Gets Better
03. The Other Side
04. I Got You Good
05. Dancing In The Limelight
06. Didn't I Take You Higher
07. Evie:
08. Part I (Let Your Hair Hang Down)
09. Part II (Evie)
10. Part III (I'm Losing You)
11. Movin' On Up
12. Commando Line

Stevie Wright - vocals
George Young - bass
Harry Vanda - guitar
Malcolm Young - guitar
John Proud - drums
Warren Morgan - piano



Stevie Wright's first taste of fame was with the now legendary 60's group, The Easybeats. Together with Harry Vanda and George Young, they created some of the most memorable and iconic music to come out of Australia in the 1960's. They rivaled The Beatles in their talent and success and scored an international hit with "Friday On My Mind".

After the breakup of The Easybeats, Stevie went solo and released his debut solo album, Hard Road, in 1974. Produced by none other than his former Easybeats partners, Harry Vanda and George Young, the album was a huge success in Australia, topping the charts everywhere.

Hard Road is without question Stevie's finest hour, and it remains one of the best Australian albums of the period. The classic Vanda-Young tracks -- the autobiographical "Hard Road", "Didn't I Take You Higher?" and the epic "Evie" were ably complemented by Stevie's own strong compositions "Movin' On Up", "Commando Line", "Life Gets Better" and "Dancing in the Limelight".

Stevie's groundbreaking debut solo single "Evie (Parts I, II and III)" is a genuine rock epic. It is arguably the perfect rock'n'roll song, encapsulating the three basic themes of all love songs -- (A) "Baby it'll be great once we're together, (B) "Baby, it's so great now that we're together" and (C) "Baby, it's so bad since you left me". Clocking in at a whopping eleven minutes in total, it seemed an unlikely chart contender, but the three parts were wisely split across the two sides of the single, and the head-on power rock of "Evie Part I" proved irresistible. Lyrically, it revisited the perennial "gonna have a good time tonight" theme of "Friday On My Mind" and "Good Times" and musically it is perhaps the ultimate distillation of the full-frontal hard rock Vanda & Young had previously essayed on V&Y classics like "Good Times", and showcased the no-frills hard-rocking sound which they would soon hone to perfection with AC/DC.

Released in May 1974, Evie shot to the top of charts, peaking at #2 nationally during July. It did especially well in Melbourne, where it stayed at #1 for seven weeks. The Hard Road album also peaked at #5 nationally and #1 in Melbourne. It was released on Atlantic in the USA and Polydor in the UK and made a strong impression overseas -- Suzi Quatro later covered "Evie", and Rod Stewart included a version of "Hard Road" on his Smiler album. "Evie" is now widely considered to be one of best Australian singles of Seventies.

To promote the records, Stevie hit the road with his aptly-named backing group, The All Stars. The band's lineup shifted several times during its existence but it featured many top-flight players including Warren "Pig" Morgan (piano; ex-Chain, Aztecs), Tim Gaze (lead guitar; ex-Tamam Shud, Kahvas Jute, Ariel) and Johnny Dick (drums; ex-Meteors, Doug Parkinson In Focus, Aztecs).

The Easybeats - 1977 - The Shame Just Drained

The Easybeats
1977
The Shame Just Drained



01. Little Queenie
02. Baby I'm A Comin'
03. Lisa
04. I'm On Fire
05. Wait A Minute
06. We'll Make It Together
07. Peter
08. Me And My Machine
09. The Shame Just Drained
10. Mr. Riley Of Higginbotham & Clive
11. Kelly
12. Where Old Men Go
13. Johnny No-One
14. Amanda Storey
15. Station On Third Avenue

Additional Tracks
16. Do You Have A Soul, 3rd Version
17. Check The Bassline
18. Watch Me Burn
19. Where Did You Go Last Night
20. Heaven And Hell
21. Happy Is The Man
22. Land Of Make Believe
23. Coke Jungle #1
24. Coke Ads #2 & 3


For a group that really only scored one major international hit, the Easybeats' songwriting team -- Harry Vanda and George Young -- were very busy bees indeed in the studio in the late '60s. All but one of the songs on this 15-track compilation are taken from sessions between late 1966 and late 1968 that were unreleased at the time; five come from an album that was canned at the last minute. Apparently there were about 20 more outtakes where that came from. Don't pay any mind to the ridiculous claim in the sleeve note that "had all the material been released in the sequence (and quantity) it was created, then the Easybeats' impact might have been far more notable and we might today be comparing their albums alongside Rubber Soul, Aftermath, and other rock milestones." This is cheery late-'60s pop with mild psychedelic influences, echoing the Small Faces, the Turtles, and especially the Kinks. The cheeriness, in fact, verges on childish and sickly sweet in places. It's not bad. In fact, it's occasionally pretty good; it's just not incredibly significant. By far the best track is "Mr. Riley of Higginbottom & Clive," a bit of dry class satire that compares well with Ray Davies' vignettes from the same era.

The Easybeats - 1969 - Friends

The Easybeats 
1969
Friends



01. St. Louis (03:14)
02. Friends (03:43)
03. Watching The World Go By (02:37)
04. Can't Find Love (03:29)
05. Holding On (03:40)
06. I Love Marie (02:39)
07. Rock and Roll Boogie (02:30)
08. Tell Your Mother (05:24)
09. The Train Song (03:32)
10. What Becomes Of You My Love (03:19)
11. Woman You're On My Mind (04:35)

12. Peculiar Hole In The Sky (Single A-Side) (02:59)
13. Gonna Make It (Instrumental) - (Single B-Side) (03:17)
14. H.P. Man (Single B-Side) (02:44)
15. Down To The Last 500 (from ''Best of the Easybeats Vol.2'' LP) (02:40)
16. My Old Man's A Groovy Old Man (from ''Best of the Easybeats Vol.2'' LP) (02:24)
17. Such A Lovely Day (from ''Best of the Easybeats Vol.2'' LP) (03:14)
18. Who Are My Friends (Completely different version of ''Friends'' from UK album) (03:14)
19. Look Out I'm On The Way Down (Demo from Central Sound studio) (02:36)
20. Little Red Bucket (Demo from Central Sound studio) (02:45)
21. Remember Sam (Alternate Mix from the Shel Talmy tapes) (02:37)
22. Pretty Girl (Alternate Mix from the Shel Talmy tapes) (02:32)

Stevie Wright – vocals
Harry Vanda – vocals, lead guitar
George Young – vocals, rhythm guitar
Dick Diamonde – bass guitar
Tony Cahill – drums
Steve Marriott – vocals on "Good Times"
George Alexander – vocals on "Come In You'll Get Pneumonia"


Originally released in 1969, Friends, The Easybeats' last album, was a curiously half-baked and deflated affair, despite some interesting moments. The Australian group's trademark peppiness gave way to a world-weary tone, perhaps as a result of their roller-coaster ride through near-Beatles-like fame in their native land and limited success elsewhere. Apparently much of this collection was actually half-finished demos, which accounts for the fairly sparse feel on several tracks. The least successful songs are the forced rock & roll boogies, with overwrought vocals from lead singer Stevie Wright. The more pensive tracks, like the title tune, have an oddly compelling, hollow feel of resignation bordering on gloom that starkly contrasts with their more well-known mid-'60s material. The Harry Vanda/George Young songwriting team wrote all of the album's songs, including the group's final single, "St. Louis."

The Easybeats - 1968 - Vigil

The Easybeats
1968 
Vigil



01. Good Times 3:23
02. What In The World 2:15
03. Falling Off The Edge Of The World 2:33
04. The Music Goes Round My Head 2:47
05. Can't Take My Eyes Off You 3:30
06. Sha La La 3:04
07. Come In You'll Get Pneumonia 3:23
08. See Saw 2:32
09. Land Of Make Believe 3:10
10. Fancy Seeing You Here 2:30
11. Hello How Are You 3:14
12. Hit The Road Jack 2:49
13. We All Live Happily Together 4:04
14. I Can't Stand It 2:52

Additional Tracks
15. Good Times 3:14
16. Lay Me Down & Die 2:54
17. Lay Me Down & Die 2:48
18. Bring A Little Lovin' 2:20
19. The Music Goes Round My Head 2:16
20. Hello How Are You 3:54
21. Come In You'll Get Pneumonia 3:18
22. Falling Off The Edge Of The World 2:33

Track 15: Different Mix
Track 16: Instrumental Version
Track 17: Vocal Version
Track 19: Fast Version
Track 20: Original First Version
Track 21: First Mix
Track 22: Second Version

Stevie Wright - Lead Vocals on A1
George Young - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums
Harry Vanda - Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums
Dick Diamonde - Bass Guitar
Tony Cahill - Drums, Percussion


Exactly what happened to the Easybeats between Friday on My Mind in 1967 and this release later in 1968 is something of a mystery. Vigil is as disjointed and lifeless for long stretches as Friday on My Mind was inspired, the group falling into routine pop/rock. There's a real sense of simply going through the motions of making music, and no originality to speak of on most of the songs -- two of the exceptions, "Falling Off the Edge of the World" and "Land of Make Believe," sound like leftovers from Friday on My Mind, which is a welcome relief, but don't justify the purchase of this album, except by the most hardcore fans. The third, "I Can't Stand It," is a solid straight-ahead rocker that could have come off of one of the group's first two Australian albums, except that they would have done it with a quicker tempo in those days; and "Good Times" is a pleasant throwback to the same era, and livelier than anything else on this album.

The Easybeats - 1967 - The Best of The Easybeats + Pretty Girl

The Easybeats 
1967
The Best of The Easybeats + Pretty Girl




01 For My Woman 3:04
02 She's So Fine 2:02
03 Wedding Ring 2:00
04 Sad And Lonely And Blue 2:10
05 Easy As Can Be 2:30
06 In My Book 3:05
07 Women (Make You Feel Alright) 2:30
08 Pretty Girl 2:17
09 Come And See Her 2:36
10 I'll Make You Happy 3:08
11 Too Much 1:45
12 Sorry 2:32
13 Made My Bed (Gonna Lie In It) 2:17
14 Friday On My Mind 2:45

Stevie Wright - vocals
Harry Vanda - vocals, lead guitar
George Young - vocals, rhythm guitar
Dick Diamonde - bass guitar
Snowy Fleet - drums


After the success of the band's single "Friday On My Mind" in the U.K., The Easybeats continued work with the single's producer Shel Talmy on a debut album for their international label United Artists Records. The finished album, titled Good Friday, was released in Europe in May 1967. However, due to contract issues, no album of the new material was released in their home country of Australia. Instead Albert Productions compiled "greatest hits" package of the band's most popular Australian singles and EP tracks. Three songs from the Good Friday album were included on the album, with "Pretty Girl" (which hadn't yet seen a release in Australia) promoted as a "new" song. The album was released in May 1967 during the group's homecoming tour of Australia.

The album was first released in May 1967 during the band's homecoming tour of Australia. It was reissued on the budget Drum Records label in June 1975, along with The Best of The Easybeats Volume 2. The album's cover art title was changed to The Best of The Easybeats Featuring Stevie Wright. The first release on CD was in 1986 on the Albert Productions label and again in the 1997 through EMI. The 1997 released would again change the cover art and title to simply The Best of The Easybeats. On 6 August 2013, the album was remastered and made available through the iTunes Store. For the 2014 Australian Record Store Day, a limited edition 180 gram vinyl LP was released. This vinyl release was released by Albert Productions and remastered by renowned mastering engineer Don Bartley.

The Easybeats - 1967 - Good Friday

The Easybeats
1967
Good Friday



01. River Deep, Mountain High 2:47
02. Do You Have A Soul 2:58
03. Saturday Night 3:25
04. You Me, We Love 3:21
05. Pretty Girl 2:14
06. Friday On My Mind 2:40
07. Happy Is The Man 2:40
08. Hound Dog 2:30
09. Who'll Be The One 2:34
10. Made My Bed Gonna Lie In It 2:05
11. Remember Sam 2:30
12. See Line Woman 3:09

Additional Tracks
13. Heaven And Hell 2:38
14. Do You Have A Soul (long version) 3:38
15. Women (Make You Feel Alright) 2:35
16. All Gone Boy (different mix) 2:30
17. You Me, We Love (different mix) 3:20
18. Lisa (different mix) 3:06

Stevie Wright - vocals
Harry Vanda - vocals, lead guitar
George Young - vocals, rhythm guitar
Dick Diamonde - bass guitar
Snowy Fleet - drums


Friday on My Mind, produced by Shel Talmy and recorded in England, captures the Easybeats at just about their peak, combining all of the best elements in the evolution of their sound under one cover. The Easybeats were still one of the most energetic outfits in rock music, with a raw, highly animated guitar attack, but they were trying (and largely succeeding with) ever more complex vocal harmony parts and some staccato guitar harmony as well that was pretty impressive, and at this stage they were working with a brace of gorgeous Harry Vanda/George Young originals. The ubiquitous title track is in excellent company, surrounded by an array of mid- to late-60's British rock treasures: a killer garage punk rendition of "River Deep, Mountain High," with a superb performance by Stevie Wright and what sounds almost like a sitar buried somewhere in the midst of the crisp electric guitars; "Do You Have a Soul," with its abrupt tempo changes, cascading choruses, chiming guitars, and hooks that seem to flow into each other effortless; "Saturday Night," with more sitar-like sounds beneath the radiant choruses and rhythm guitar hooks; the dramatic, angst-ridden "You Me, We Love," on which Vanda's guitar playing becomes as intense as Wright's wrenching vocal performance; "Pretty Girl," with its crunchy rhythm guitar sound and catchy lyric hooks and choruses; and "Made My Bed Gonna Lie in It," a punk anthem nearly as catchy and well-played as "I'm Not Like Everybody Else." Not everything on this album is as successful as these cuts, but it is all good listening, even the eerie, original album finale, "See Line Woman." In fact, only the rendition of Leiber and Stoller's "Hound Dog" may be out of place, and even it works as a change of pace. The label of "Australia's Beatles" may have proved an overstatement to some, but one can get a good look at its basis on this album it's loaded with actual and potential hit singles, yet it doesn't come off as lightweight in any way.

The Easybeats - 1966 - Volume 3

The Easybeats 
1966 
Volume 3


01. Sorry
02. Funny Feelin'
03. Say You Want Me
04. You Said That
05. Goin' Out Of My Mind
06. Not In Love With You
07. Promised Things
08. The Last Day Of May
09. Today
10. My My My
11. Dance Of The Lovers
12. What Do You Want Babe
13. Can't You Leave Her

Bonus Tracks
14. Hound Dog
15. Do You Have Soul?
16. Saturday Night
17. My Old Man's A Groovy Old Man
18. Historeasy
19. Mean Old Lovin'
20. I'm Happy
21. Hey Babe
22. I Don't Agree
23. Keep Your Hands Off My Babe
24. I'm Just Trying


Stevie Wright - vocals
Harry Vanda - vocals, lead guitar, 12-string guitar
George Young - vocals, rhythm guitar
Dick Diamonde - bass guitar
Snowy Fleet - vocals, drums


1966's Volume 3 was the last album the Easybeats recorded in Australia before heading to England in hopes of conquering the pop world; by this time they were firmly established as Australia's most popular group, and while Volume 3 doesn't quite sound like a band going through the motions, it also suggests they'd accomplished as much as they were likely to with producer Ted Albert and the songwriting team of Little Stevie Wright and George Young. (Significantly, Harry Vanda would come into the forefront as Young's songwriting partner on their next album, Friday on My Mind). But if Volume 3 doesn't capture the Easybeats at their very best, it hardly disappoints; opening with the tough, R&B flavored "Sorry," the album moves through expressive love songs ("Say You Want Me" and "Dance of the Lovers"), tough rockers ("You Said That" and "Not in Love with You"), Beatles-styled smart pop ("Promised Things" and "The Last Day of May") and hard-stomping dance tunes ("My My My") with confidence and aplomb over the course of its 13 tracks. Stevie Wright demonstrates his chops as one of the strongest and most versatile vocalists of the British Invasion era, and guitarists Harry Vanda and George Young cut through these songs with an aggressive strength that put most of their peers to shame. One could argue that Volume 3 is the Easybeats' relative equivalent to Beatles for Sale -- a few notches below their usual standards, but still great rock roll for anyone with a passion for the pre-psychedelic era. [Repertoire's 2006 reissue of Volume 3 adds an impressive eleven bonus tracks to the package. Five come from the Easybeats' first recording session and find them in stiff but engaging form, while most of the rest are odds and ends from their later session with Shel Talmy; "Do You Have a Soul" is outstanding, but the latter-day studio construction "The Easybeats Medley" is best avoided by anyone who cares about this group, or music in general.

The Easybeats - 1966 - It's 2 easy

The Easybeats 
1966 
It's 2 easy


01. Let Me Be 2:06
02. You Are The Light 1:55
03. Women 2:35
04. Come And See Her 2:41
05. I'll Find Somebody To Take Your Place 3:02
06. Someway, Somewhere 2:20
07. Easy As Can Be 2:32
08. I Can See 2:12
09. Sad And Lonely And Blue 2:16
10. Somethin' Wrong 2:16
11. In My Book 3:08
12. What About Our Love 1:54
13. Then I'll Tell You Goodbye 2:33
14. Wedding Ring 2:01

Additional Tracks
15. Me Or You 3:05
16. Too Much 1:46
17. I'll Make You Happy 3:09
18. A Very Special Man 2:21
19. Trying So Hard 2:46
20. Friday On My Mind 2:42
21. Made My Bed Gonna Lie In It 2:14
22. Happy Is The Man 2:54
23. How You Doing Now 2:00
24. All Gone Boy 2:14
25. Mandy 2:17

Stevie Wright - vocals, percussion, electric organ
Harry Vanda - vocals, lead guitar, 12-string guitar
George Young - vocals, rhythm guitar, electric organ
Dick Diamonde - vocals, bass guitar
Snowy Fleet - vocals, bongo, drums



The Easybeats' second album was an Australia-only release that only got out elsewhere 27 years later. It was vaguely similar in spots to the band's first -- many of the songs, particularly the hits "Women" and "Sad and Lonely and Blue," were heavily influenced by 1964-vintage Merseybeat groups. Those songs are somewhat deceptive, however, for the group was stretching out stylistically on much of It's 2 Easy. Sharing space with bright, heavily harmonized numbers like "Let Me Be" and "You Are the Light" is a string of songs integrating elements of blues, folk, and even a certain novelty feel, similar to the work of the Kinks. "Come and See Her" and "I'll Find Somebody to Take Your Place" abandon those Beatlesesque melodies in favor of dissonances and a punk attitude. Featuring some gloriously crisp and slashing lead guitar over pleasantly crunchy rhythm playing, "Easy as Can Be" is a catchy, loud, fiercely posturing declaration of lust that could almost pass for a piece of American garage rock.
Most of this album is a respectable piece of mainstream rock & roll, inspired and full of surprises. With the addition of 11 more songs, the original LP has been expanded to 25 tracks and 62 minutes' running time. The added tunes are an uneven lot, derived from various singles, B-sides, and other sources. Some of it is rather lugubrious, but none of it detracts from the value of the original album, which remains one of the best bodies of music in the late British invasion style ever produced.

The Easybeats - 1965 - Easy

The Easybeats 
1965 
Easy



01. It's So Easy
02. I'm A Madman
03. I Wonder
04. She Said Alright
05. I'm Gonna Tell Everybody
06. Hey Girl
07. She's So Fine
08. You Got It Off Me
09. Cry, Cry, Cry
10. A Letter
11. Easy Beat
12. You'll Come Back Again
13. Girl On My Mind
14. Ya Can't Do That

Additional Tracks
15. For My Woman
16. Say That You're Mine
17. The Old Oak Tree
18. Friday On My Mind
19. Lisa (Rough Mix)
20. Find My Way Back Home
21. No One Knows
22. She's So Fine (Live)

Dick Diamonde
George Young
Harry Vanda
Snowy Fleet
Stephen Wright

Producer – Ted Albert




The Easybeats were all about youthful exuberance, and this 1965 debut captures them at their most youthful and exuberant-and what's more, this CD adds eight bonus cuts to the LP's 14 tracks. An alternate mix of their smash Friday on My Mind joins rare B-sides, a live version of their big Aussie hit She's So Fine , and more, with melody and energy to spare!

The Easybeats occupy a unique place in the pantheon of 1960s British rock acts. For starters, they were Australian, except that they really weren't -- they met in Sydney alright, and being based in Australia with the talent they had gave them a leg-up over any of the local competition. But lead singer Stevie Wright originally came from England (although he'd been in Australia for some years), and bassist Dick Diamonde hailed from the Netherlands, as did guitarist Harry Vanda, while the others, guitarists George Young and drummer Gordon "Snowy" Fleet, were recent arrivals from Scotland and England -- most significantly, Fleet was Liverpool born and raised, and had been a member of the Mojos, one of that city's more promising bands of 1963 and 1964. They all had talent, but he had a sense of style and an idea of what worked in rock & roll; it was Snowy Fleet who came up with the name "the Easybeats," and the sharp image for the early group, which made them a piece of authentic Brit-beat right in the heart of Sydney, 13,000 miles from Liverpool and as precious there as water on a desert.

After honing their sound and building a name locally around Sydney in late 1964, the group was signed to Albert Productions who, in turn, licensed their releases to Australian EMI's Parlophone label. Ted Albert, their producer, seemed to recognize what he had in a group of talented, newly-transplanted Englishmen and Europeans -- the real article, and a rare musical commodity in Australia. The band was signed up with 20 original songs already written, and as they sounded fresh, he simply let the band cut them, merely making sure the music came out right on vinyl. Working from originals primarily written by Stevie Wright, by himself or in collaboration with George Young, the group's early records (especially the albums) were highly derivative of the Liverpool sound, which was fine by all concerned. What made it special was the sheer energy that the quintet brought to the equation -- they were highly animated in the studio and on stage, they looked cool and rebellious, and they sang and played superbly.

"For My Woman," their debut single, issued in March of 1965, was an ominous garage punk bolero, featuring Stevie Wright in an agonized lament, accompanied by brittle, bluesy rhythm and lead guitar parts that called to mind the early Kinks. "She's So Fine," their second single, brought out two months later, shot to number one in Australia and was one of the great records of its era -- musically, it flew out of the gate like a rocket, a frantic, hook-laden celebration of female pulchritude from the point of view of an unrequited male admirer that grabbed the listener and wouldn't let go, across two minutes of raw excitement. Their debut album Easy, issued the following September, was a bit more influenced by the Hollies (and especially by Tony Hicks' playing) and, to a lesser degree, the Beatles and any number of lesser known Merseybeat acts, but whatever it lacked in originality, they made up for with an attack on their instruments that, coupled with Wright's searing, powerful lead vocals, made them one of the best British rock & roll acts of the period and Easy one of the best of all British Invasion albums (though it took more than 30 years for it to be released officially outside of Australia).

In Australia, they were the reigning kings of rock & roll from the summer of 1965 onward, assembling a string of eight Top Ten chart hits in a year and a half, including an EP that managed the unusual feat of making the singles chart. Their second album, It's 2 Easy, was a match for their first, a genuinely exciting collection of British Invasion-style rock & roll whose only fault -- assuming that this was a fault -- was that it seemed a year out-of-date in style when it was released in 1966. That, however, pointed to the fundamental bind that the band faced; they'd conquered Australia and could do no wrong by keeping their sound the same, as the changes taking place in rock music filtered only very slowly across the Pacific. By George Young's own account, the band could have gone on writing and playing the same kind of songs for years in Australia and nobody would have minded, but he had ideas for more complex and daring music. By mid-1966, the Wright/Young songwriting team had become history, but in its place Vanda and Young began writing songs together. Additionally, the group had become so successful, that it was inevitable that they'd try to expand their audience, and that didn't mean side trips to New Zealand. In the fall of 1966, the Easybeats were ready to make the jump that no Australian rock & roll act had yet done successfully, and headed for England.
In November of 1966, with legendary producer Shel Talmy (of Who and Kinks fame) managing their recordings, the group scored its first U.K. hit with "Friday on My Mind." A product of Vanda and Young's songwriting, the song embodied all of the fierce kinetic energy of their Australian hits but was written at a new level of sophistication, with an amazing number of musical "events" taking place in its three minutes: An opening two-note staccato figure (backed by a cymbal crash) blooms into a pseudo-Arabesque quotation on the guitar, rising higher while the singer intones a frantic tale of work, fun, and escape, covering the days of the work week (in a manner vaguely reminiscent of "Rock Around the Clock"'s trip around an idealized 24 hours in a teenager's life, and also declaring working class defiance in the manner of "Summertime Blues"); a chorus chimed in at an even higher register, notching up the tension even as the tempo quickens and also broadening the tonal palette, in a manner akin to the early psychedelia of the period. With all of that activity and excitement within the context of a three-minute pop song, and two catchy hooks, it was impossible to get tired of "Friday on My Mind," in any language. It rose to the Top Ten not only in England but across Europe and much of the rest of the world, and reached the Top 20 in the United States as well where, for the first time, Americans became aware of the Easybeats.

The group spent seven months in England, writing new, more ambitious songs and also performing before new audiences, most notably in Germany, where they were greeted with an enthusiasm rivaling their appearances in Australia, and left behind a notable series of live television appearances. The band's return to Australia in May of 1967 for a national tour marked the high point of their history. Unfortunately, it would be the last unbridled success that they would know -- the group moved their base of operations to London, where the Vanda/Young songwriting team began composing ever more complex songs, in keeping with the flourishing psychedelic era. Some of the songs were superb, but the same charmed existence that the group had led up to that point seemed to desert them in 1967-1968 -- their single "Heaven and Hell" was banned from the radio in England for one suggestive line, and a six-month lag for a follow-up cost them momentum that they never reclaimed. Additionally, they lost some cohesiveness in their sound as the members began indulging in the chemical and other diversions at hand in still swinging London -- they worked in the studio, making some extremely complex recordings during late 1967 and early 1968, and the songs, including "Falling Off the Edge of the World" and "Come in You'll Get Pneumonia," were as good as anything being written in rock at the time. The Easybeats, however, were no longer as exciting a group to listen to or see, when they actually did perform. By mid-1969, the band had receded to a mere shadow of itself, and their music had regressed to a form of good-time singalong music, similar to the work of the Tremeloes, pleasant enough but nothing like the kind of work they'd been generation just two years before. Their final grasp at international success came with the single "St. Louis," which managed to scrape the very bottom of the American Hot 100.

The band decided to call it quits following a return to Australia for one final tour, after which Harry Vanda and George Young became full-time songwriter/producers, helped organize AC/DC (featuring Young's siblings Angus Young and Malcolm Young), and generated the 1973 hit "Evie" for Stevie Wright. Their string of successes has stretched into the new century -- "Friday on My Mind" remains in print in dozens of editions throughout the world, as recorded by the Easybeats and others; and in 2001, their late '70s disco hit "Love Is in the Air" (primarily associated with John Paul Young), was licensed for use in two different commercials for two separate products (a car and a credit card) running simultaneously on American television. Meanwhile, the Easybeats' complete output has been issued on CD through the Repertoire label (making their 1965-1966 Australian sides widely available around the world for the first time), and anthologies of their work are in print in England and America.

Their first album, not available outside Australia until the 1990s. The Vanda/Young songwriting partnership had yet to dominate the band in their early days, and most of the (entirely original) material here comes from the pens of George Young and singer Stevie Wright. It's more Merseybeatish and less oriented toward power-pop and staccato guitar attacks than their subsequent releases, which isn't really detrimental; it doesn't scale the peaks the band would shortly climb, but neither does it have the overdone good-time mania that made some of their efforts hard to take in more than limited doses. A fairly consistent, if not incredibly remarkable, relic from the Beat era, with some very Beatlesque tracks, including "It's So Easy," "I Wonder" (on which Harry Vanda sounds a lot like a young George Harrison circa "Do You Want to Know a Secret"), and cuts that could pass for the Searchers ("I'm Gonna Tell Everybody"), Gerry & the Pacemakers ("Hey Girl," "A Letter"), the Merseybeats ("Cry Cry Cry"), the Kinks ("You'll Come Back Again"), and Peter & Gordon ("Girl on My Mind"). Stuck in the middle of all of those delightfully derivative treasures is the most defiantly original track off the album, and (not coincidentally) their first big Australian hit, "She's So Fine," which doesn't sound like anything else here, pulsing with energy, a hot pumping bass part, and a ferocious guitar break. The Repertoire Records CD reissue enhances the original album significantly with the addition of eight bonus tracks, including five jewels from the Vanda/Young songwriting team.