As much as I like Psychedelic music, my knowledge of the scene from the USA is not as good as it is for other countries from around the world. The brand of Psych from the US sometimes is lumped under the title of Acid Rock, which generally means that songs have heavy, distorted guitars with extended jams and lyrics full of drug references, either blatant or subtle. However, like most labels of music, it is pretty meaningless.
A lot of the groups and singers on this compilation either came out of the Garage Rock or Folk Rock scenes. Those bands that developed from Garage Rock into the Psych era took with them the distorted guitar sound and sound effects, which is major contrast from British Psych which took its cues from childhood imagery and the Music Hall Tradition. As time went on, the guitars became heavier and would eventually evolve into heavy rock and metal.
For this compilation, I looked at using music from the golden age of what could be considered Acid Rock music, which is arguably between 1966 and 1970. Not all of these artists are rockers, with the likes of Joni Mitchell and Time Rose making an appearance. What I was going for here was the feel of the US in the late 60s and I hope that I achieved this. Enjoy.
The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag – Country Joe & The Fish
Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum
Going Up The Country – Canned Heat
Hey Grandma – Moby Grape
Alabama Bound – The Charlatans
Night In The City – Joni Mitchell
Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was in) – Kenny Rodgers & The First Edition
For What Its Worth – Buffalo Springfield
That’s It For The Other One (Edit) – The Grateful Dead*
Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
The Weight – The Band
The Pusher – Steppenwolf
The Red Telephone – Love
Karmic Dream Sequence #1 – The Millennium
Mr Skin – Spirit
In A Gadda-Da-Vidda – Iron Butterfly
*Edited at 6:26
Wooden Ships – Crosby, Stills & Nash
The Golden Road (To Ultimate Devotion) – The Grateful Dead
Underdog – Sly & The Family Stone
Do You Follow Me – The United States Of America
Down on Me (Live) – Big Brother & The Holding Company
Morning Dew – Tim Rose
Magic Carpet Rode – Steppenwolf
Two Days ‘Till Tomorrow – The Beau Brummels
The Crystal Ship – The Doors
Sugar Man – Rodriquez
1982-A – Sons Of Champlin
Up & Down – The Serpent Power
Volunteers – Jefferson Airplane
Fool (Single Version) – Blue Cheer
How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away – Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
Bryte ’N’ Clear Day – Kak
Bummer In The Summer – Love
Murder In The Heart For The Judge – Moby Grape
Five To One – The Doors
Sure ‘Nuff ’N Yes I Do – Captain Beefheart & HIs Magic Band
On the 8th September 2000, a film had its premier at the Toronto International Film Festival. That film was ‘Almost Famous’, and it was director Cameron Crowe’s love letter to the rock scene in America in the early 1970s. Crowe himself had been contributing music reviews for an underground newspaper, San Diego Door by the time he was 13. By the time he was 16, he was writing for Rolling Stone magazine and was their youngest ever contributor. Being younger than all of the other contributors, he covered the bands that most of the other journalists didn’t like. These included Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and the Allman Brothers band. The latter band were used as his first cover story.
The script and some of the characters were based upon his experiences at that time. The songs used in the film were drawn from the time that the film is set, except for the songs that were performed by the fictional band Stillwater. These songs were written by Crowe with his then wife Nancy Wilson, who was also the guitar player in the band Heart. Two more were written by Peter Frampton who was also worked as the technical consultant on the film. He would also make a cameo as a roadie for Humble Pie, a band he was actually in between 1969 & 71. a Stillwater were actually a real band from the era and Crowe asked permission to use the name, which they agreed to after negotiating a fee for themselves. Though the film was a critical success and nominated for a number of awards as well as winning an Academy Award for best screenplay, it was not the commercial success.
It is not the film itself that I am focusing on today but the soundtrack album. This won the 2001 Grammy for the Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media and is a classic of the genre. It mixes period music with some of the songs written specifically for the film. The music is so integral to the scenes that Crowe managed secure the rights to using Led Zeppelin songs, something the band did not grant very often. Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ featured prominently in a scene where band tensions on the tour bus has reached a point where no one is talking to one another. ‘Tiny Dancer’ starts playing and then as it continues to play, the band and hangers on start to sing along.
What I set out to do here was to produce a deluxe edition of this soundtrack album to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the film. As with all the deluxe editions, the original sequence of songs needs to stay, even though I added a couple fo bonus songs on at the end as there was room to spare and too many good songs not leave any off. I also wanted to spread the renaming Stillwater songs out so that they would not be too many on the second disc.
‘Almost Famous’ is one of the great films about music and is rightly hailed as one fo the greatest films of all time.
America – Simon & Garfunkel
Sparks – The Who
It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference – Todd Rundgren
I’ve Seen All Good People – Yes
Feel Flows – The Beach Boys
Fever Dog – Stillwater
Every Picture Tells A Story – Rod Stewart
Mister Farmer – The Seeds
One Way Out (Live) – The Allman Brothers
Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
That’s The Way – Led Zeppelin
Tiny Dancer – Elton John
Lucky Trumble – Nancy Wilson
I’m Waiting For The Man (Live) – David Bowie
The Wind – Cat Stevens
Slip Away – Clarence Carter
Something In The Air – Thunderclap Newman
Paranoid – Black Sabbath
You Had To Be There – Stillwater
Roundabout – Yes
Burn – Deep Purple
Sweet Leaf – Black Sabbath
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere – Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Chance Upon You – Stillwater
The Oogum Boogum Song – Brenton Wood
Reelin’ In The Years – Steely Dan
Looking At You – MC5
Love Thing – Stillwater
Easy To Slip – Little Feat
Search & Destroy – Iggy & The Stooges
Go All the Way – The Raspberries
Wishing Well (US MIx) – Free
Tangerine – Led Zeppelin
Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters – Elton John
Dear Jill – Blodwyn Pig
Hour Of Need – Stillwater
Teacher – Jethro Tull
These playlists could not be reproduced on Spotify due to one or more songs not being available on that platform.
When Record Store Day (RSD) was cancelled back in April, I was interested to see what would happen with all of the stock which had already been pressed up and was ready to be distributed to participating shops. Not a lot for a while, but then it was announced that there would not be one RSD, but three. The first of these is today so I have been thinking about what I would like to see as a RSD release if I was allowed to pick anything from the archives. Therefore, for each of these RSD’s I will be putting together a compilation of songs that I think would be a welcome release. The first of these is Pink Floyd and a compilation of the singles that were put together for the US market.
Pink Floyd had started life releasing singles and breaking in the British Top 20 with ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘See Emily Play’. These songs were written by Syd Barrett but he was soon to leave the band for reasons that have been documented in great length elsewhere. The group continued to record after Barrett’s departure and though they remained a successful album band (non of their LP’s have failed to reach the UK top ten), on the singles front, the hits dried up. After ‘Point Me At The Sky’, the Floyd decided to stop releasing singles in the UK because, as Roger Water said “we were no bloody good at it”. This would remain the case until 1979 when ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part II) became an unlikely number 1 single in many of the major record buying markets around the world, including the UK.
In other parts of the world, this was not the case. For this compilation, we are going to focus on the US as a number of singles and an EP were pressed up. Some of these were promotional releases designed for DJs to promote the parent album. Others were commercially released singles and one was an EP of ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ songs. Most were edited, and some of the earlier songs on this collection are mono mixes as AM radio was still king in the early 1970’s.
One Of These Days (Mono Promo Single Edit)
Fearless (Mono Promo Single Edit)
Free Four (Promo Single Edit)
Money (Promo EP)
Breathe (Promo EP)
Time (Promo EP)
Us & Them (Promo EP)
Have A Cigar (Mono Single Edit)
Run Like Hell (Single Version)
One Of My Turns (Single Version)
Comfortably Numb (Single Edit)
Not Now John (Obscured Single Edit)
Flaming (Mono Single Promo)
One Of These Days (Single A Side) — This was a commercial released single that has similar playing times to the songs when they appeared on the parent album and was in stereo. However, the promo single was mixed in mono and there were various small edits throughout the song to reduce playing time.
Fearless (B Side of One Of These Days) — Like the A Side, this was mixed into mono for the promo release. The album version has two verses, but the promo single has only one. It mainly consists of the first verse (until “just wait a while for the right day”) but the last lines were replaced by those of the second verse (“and as you rise … faces in the crowd”). This version also fades out earlier.
Free Four – There isn’t too much different here between the album version and this single mix. This version does fade out earlier and it has been mixed into mono.
Dark Side of the Moon EP – The songs included on this EP are ‘Breathe’, ‘Time’, Us & Them’ and ‘Money’. Released after the parent album had came out. A note on the back of the EP cover says “Pink Floyd’s latest No.1 album, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ went platinum a few months after release – with smash sales surpassing three times those of a standard gold album. Here are four representative selections take from the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ LP, edited down for your airplay convenience”. Apart from the edits to bring down the playing time, ‘Time’ has been edited so that the introduction to the song has also been placed at the end. The profanity in the song ‘Money’ has been edited out and all of these songs have been mixed into mono.
Have A Cigar – The introduction of this songs has been reduced from eight bars to four. There are also some small edits in the guitar and keyboard themes. There is also an early fade out during the final guitar solo. Once again, this song has been mixed to mono.
Run Like Hell – This is the first song on this collection to have been released in stereo. The mix does not include any crowd noise during intro and outro. There is also only one guitar theme before the first “Run, run, run, run…” instead of two, but it is repeated twice at the end (after the scream) instead of once. The “hunt” part has also been edited.
Comfortably Numb – The final guitar solo is stuck to the end of the first verse (no first guitar solo, no second verse).
One Of My Turns – The dialling tone that starts the album version of this song has been removed. The synth in the songs opening bars has been brought forward in the mix and the vocal effects on the ‘Why are you running away’ lyric are now sustained for about three seconds longer.
Not Now John – This is known as the Obscured version, because this song is notable for using some very strong profanity. The original album version has lyrics that say “Fuck all that”, To make a radio-friendly version, this lyric was changed to ‘Stuff all that’. Note that they just recorded “Stuff all that” loud enough to drown the original, which is still there. The intro is slightly different from the album version as the laugh has been edited out. This version also fades out before the lyrics “Where’s the fucking bar John?”.
Flaming – Pink Floyd’s debut album was butchered by their US record label when it was released in 1967. Out went the songs ‘Astronomy Domine’, ‘Flaming’ and ‘Bike’. Instead, the US album included ‘See Emily Play’. The running order was also completely different. ‘Flaming’ was released as a single in mono and is noticeable as the sound effects are much louder than those of the stereo mix. It is very similar, if not identical to the mono mix used on the UK album. Why was ‘Flaming’ stuck at the end even though it was the first song to be released? Well, it didn’t really fit in anywhere else, especially as ‘One Of These Days’ is a perfect song to start this record with.
This idea for the following two what-if records came about because I was trying to put together a fourth Fleetwood Mac album from the Peter Green line up. I did have a go but this ultimately failed because looking at all of the available material, there was a lack of new material from Green and nothing new from Jeremy Spencer, which is not much of a surprise as he only just released a solo album. On the other hand, Danny Kirwan had lots of material from the Green era that did not make it onto a Mac studio album. From 1968 to 1970, he wrote enough material to fill an album. For this album to come out though, we need to do a little bit of rewriting of the band’s history.
Fleetwood Mac had spent the majority of 1970 touring America and then Europe, but all was not happy in the camp. Founder member and talismanic guitar player Peter Green was struggling with the trappings of fame and the band have noticed his behaviour has changed. He has grown a beard, started wearing a crucifix (which was odd in the fact that Green was Jewish) and had spoken about giving his money away. In March, he spent some time in a commune in Munich, Germany where he ingests some LSD that, according to the manager Clifford Davis, is where Green’s fragile mental state finally broke. Green decided to leave the band he had founded and the remaining quartet soldier on for a few gigs and record the album ‘Kiln House’ before bringing in Christine McVie, bass player John McVie’s wife and famous musician in her own right to fill out the sound. The band records the single, ’Dragonfly’ and ‘The Purple Dancer’ before the end of the year which is released in March of 1971. The song is not a hit and it is the only Kirwan pen A-Side released in his native UK.
This line up continues to tour and record radio sessions before returning the USA in February for another Stateside tour. It is here that Spencer starts to become disillusioned with life in the Mac. He is unimpressed with how he sounds on live recordings and when a major earthquake hits Los Angeles, he fails to persuade the band not to go there. When the band arrives in L.A., Spencer says that he is going to a bookshop but never returns. The band have to cancel all their L.A. shows because they are looking for their missing guitar player. When he is eventually found, Spencer has joined the religious group, the Children of God. Despite appeals from the band to fulfil his obligations to the band, Spencer will not return. The band play a few gigs as four piece before convincing Peter Green to rejoin them for a few gigs before they can recruit a permanent replacement. It is here that Bob Welch comes into the picture. The band continue to record and have a core of four members throughout this period. Welch convinces the band to move to America as they have become more successful there than their native UK. Welch leaves the band shortly after this move the band recruit Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, becoming one of the biggest bands on the planet.
What if the band had decided that after losing two founder members that were not only front men for the group but songwriters to boot? This is where these what if albums come in and the history of Danny Kirwan could have been a bit different.
With the band returning to Britain after the end of their 1971 USA tour, Kirwan and the remainder of Fleetwood Mac decide that losing Green and Spencer is too much for the group to carry on so they disband. The rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are well known enough to become session musicians (which they did do in reality when they played on Warren Zevon’s song ‘Werewolves of London’). Christine McVie resurrects her solo career but like her previous attempt at fronting a band under her own name, it does not last and she retreats into studio work. What of Danny Kirwan though. Under the direction of Mac’s manager, Clifford Davis, he is left to fulfil the band’s recording contract with Reprise and promises to deliver two albums in the next two years.
Kirwan did not have a great deal of new material so he decided to resurrect some songs that he had performed with Fleetwood Mac either live or on radio show but had not made their way onto an official album. Roping in the other ex members of Fleetwood Mac for the sessions, Kirwan produces an album that is quite eclectic. I have listed next to songs where these songs can be found.
Like It This Way (The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac)
Early Morning Come (Live At The BBC)
Mind Of My Own (Show Biz Blues)
Open The Door (Madison Blues)
Down At The Crown (Madison Blues)
Tell Me From The Start (The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac)
Love It Seems (The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac)
Loving Kind (Live In Boston)
Only You (Live At The BBC)
When I See My Baby (Live At The BBC)
Farewell (The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac)
Kirwan was rooted in blues music but he did have quite an eclectic taste. This are shown by the songs included on this record. ’Like It This Way’, ‘Early Morning Come’ and ‘Mind of My Own’ highlight Kirwan’s blues influences but this changes with ‘Open The Door’ which shows some distinctly country roots. ‘Down At The Crown’, a song about the pub located near the Fleetwood Mac’s communal house in Hampshire shows a rockier side to Kirwan.
Side two opens with ‘Tell Me From The Start’ which sounds very out of time for the late 60’s, early 70s. It harks back to an earlier age and shows an influence of swing. ‘Love It Seems’ hints at the songs Kirwan would write and contribute to the ‘Future Games’ album. ‘Loving Kind’ and ‘Only You’ reintroduce more blues to the mix before ‘When I See My Baby’, which sounds like something Jeremy Spencer would compose; a pastiche of a 50’s doo-wop band. The album finishes with Farewell would could be said to be a bit of a cheat because it was an early version of Earl Grey, that was included on the ‘Kiln House’ LP. It is different enough to stand on its own and means that the two sides of the album have similar run times.
Sands of Time (1972)
Sales of the first album are strong enough for Kirwan to go into the studio to record again. Kirwan once again uses the ex-Mac members as his backing band and this album is split between the more rock orientated songs on Side A and the more mellow Songs on Side B. The album is not as successful as the previous effort so Kirwan is sent out on tour to promote it. However, this is where it all goes wrong. Kirwan has been a heavy drinker for the last couple of years and this has now turned into full blown alcoholism. He had also experimented with LSD and mescaline. This did not help Kirwan who was possible too sensitive a soul to have survived long in the music business. After cancelling the rest of the tour, Reprise do not take up the option of renewing Kirwan’s contract. Kirwan spends the next couple of years playing on songs of old acquaintances and trying to get a new band together. He would eventually release his next solo album in 1975 called ‘Second Chapter’.
Child Of Mine (Bare Trees)
Bare Trees (Bare Trees)
Danny’s Chant (Bare Trees)
Trinity (25 Years – The Chain)
Sunny Side Of Heaven (Bare Trees)
Woman Of 1000 Years (Future Games)
Sands Of Time (Future Games)
Sometimes (Future Games)
Dust (Bare Trees)
I initially did not intend to do a second part to the Danny Kirwan what ifs album, but whilst putting together the first one, I thought about all of the material that was written by him between 1971 and 1972 that had originally been released by Fleetwood Mac in what is know as their wilderness years. There was also a song released on the 25th Anniversary Box Set that meant that even though there are less songs on this LP, this album is actually longer. Both of these albums hold together quite well, even though the second is a lot more consistent seeing as the majority of those songs were officially released by the band at the time. The first album is essentially a load of outtakes.
In the real world, Fleetwood Mac continued on after Jeremy Spencer left, recruiting American Bob Welch. With Spencer gone, so were the 50’s pastiches and Elmore James blues work outs. This line-ups first album was ‘Future Games’ which was more acoustic and mellow than previous efforts, with only the filler jam of ‘What A Shame’ spoiling what could be considered a lost classic. After the release of ‘Future Games’, the band began an eleven month tour of the US and Europe. ‘Future Games’ had sold well in America and Fleetwood Mac broke house attendance records at some of the venues they played in. They even had time to record another album in the shape of ‘Bare trees’. Not all was well with Kirwan though.
His fragile mental state, his drinking and being worn down by the constant touring, Kirwan fell apart. Backstage at a University gig on the ‘Bare Trees’ promotional tour, Kirwan started to argue with Welch over his guitar being in tune. He then proceeded to smash his head against and wall and then destroy his guitar. Refusing to go on stage, Kirwan sat by the mixing desk and then criticised the band for not putting on a good enough show. Kirwan was promptly fired from the band. He played with a few bands and released three solo albums, and even though the first two do have some merit, by the third, his fire was gone. The album was only recorded to fulfil his record contract and Kirwan’s distinct lead playing is nowhere to be seen. It has been debated if he even played any guitar on the record at all.
Kirwan would spend some time homeless in the 80’s and 90’s, and even though he was able to find accommodation in the care home for alcoholics, he never recorded again. A shame, as this guy did write some good tunes (even if he did borrow some of his lyrics from poets) and was a talented player.
Both of the album covers are inspired by the ones Fleetwood Mac used in the same time period.
I have not been able to put together a Spotify playlist for either of these what ifs due to that platform not having all of the material available on it.
Fleetwood Mac were very creative down the years and from 1967 to 1977, as they pretty much released an album a year. Not bad for a band that rarely had the same line up between releases. During this time, they seemed to go through guitar players in the way Spinal Tap went through drummers but without the tendency to pass away in bizarre circumstances. When it comes to unreleased albums or projects, the Mac did not leave that many ideas in the can. It was reported that Jeremy Spencer and Peter Green were going to produce a ‘orchestral-choral’ biography of Jesus Christ. However, it looks as though nothing came of this idea and Spencer would go on to produce a solo records full of tributes/parodies of rock n roll. Considering that the rest of Mac backed Spencer on this record, it could be considered a lost album by the band if if Peter Green only appears on one song. This record could even be considered a dry run for 1970s ‘Kiln House’. Anyway, I digress.
One record project that was made and then went unreleased at the time was a live album. In February 1970, the band played a series of gigs at the Boston Tea Party, Boston, MA. As Peter Green notes in one of the in-between songs bits of banter, the band are not as loose as they normally are due to the pressure of ensuring that they produce a top notch performance. The Mac knock out a nearly four hour show of blues and rock n roll pastiches. Imagine going to gig that long now. Compare this to The Beatles who would knock out about thirty minutes when they last toured just four years before this. Could the Mac of this period be classed at the British equivalent of The Grateful Dead.
Anyway, this gig never made it onto the market mostly down to the fact that Peter Green left the band just three months after this recording was made. The tapes would stay in the vault until the mid-80s when they would slowly creep out on numerous releases before a 2013 CD release that pretty much compiled all of the available releases. So, what would have happened if this set had come out back in 1970? Well, this was when the technology to record live gigs effectively and with the amount of martial recorded that night, it would have been a shame to only release this as a single record. So, a double album it is. Live records at the time would also look to fade out the crowd at the end of the songs so none of the on stage banter would have been kept in.
The band at this point had three front men, guitar playing songwriters so there needs to be a fair representation of all three. The band also would finish up shows with some old rock n’ roll songs so if this is to be representative of a Mac live concert, this would need to be kept as well. So, what do we have. The album starts off with the Boston tea Party MC introduces the band and he also re-introduces the band later on. This was used for Side C as this was a great way of starting the second disc. The MC also comes on to finish the gig as well and so this stayed in as well. The music itself shows the band moving on from their blues roots to something else entirely. Most the blues tracks that do remain in the set are delivered by Jeremy Spencer, who still seems to be stuck as a Elmore James copyist. Spencer does not take part in the songs of the other two guitar players but it is when Peter Green and Danny Kirwan get going, that he hear some fantastic interplay between the two. It is a shame that Green and Kirwan only appeared on one Mac album together and it is a tragedy that the careers were curtained by bad drugs and metal illness.
Black Magic Woman
Like It This Way
World In Harmony
I Can’t Hold Out
Got To Move
Jumping At Shadows
The artwork used a shot of the band live in this period. It may even have been taken at the Boston Tea Party. It was the only picture I could find with all five members of the band playing live and this is also the first time I have completed the back sleeve as well. I took inspiration from the band 1971 ‘Greatest Hits’ album cover and like that, this would have been a gatefold.
All of the songs were available on Spotify but has not been edited down in the way it would have been back in the day. Therefore, banter between the songs has been left in so there are occasions is where someone will introduce a song and then the band doesn’t play it. The end of Jenny Jenny also has Peter Green talking about the band ending up having a jam with a guest guitar player and future Eagle, Joe Walsh. If you can get through this, the record stands up as a great document of a band at it peak. Enjoy!
Oh Fleetwood Mac. If there had been one of those American mini series (that seemed to be on the TV regularly when I was kid) about this band, it would have gone on for a year. The band have been so many musicians (well, guitar players really), different line ups and morphed from blues purists to purveyors of soft rock that it has been difficult to keep up.
My first introduction to the band was ‘Rumours’, the multi million selling album from 1977 that means that no-one in the UK can listen to the songs ‘Chains’ without thinking that motor racing is about to come on the television. My next memory was of the band was the album ‘Tango In The Night’ which came out ten years afterwards and even though not up to the sales and standard of ‘Rumours’ was still a pretty good album. Their 1988 ‘Greatest Hits’ record (the one with the green sleeve) was one of the first CDs I ever bought but this dealt with the soft rock period from 1975 up until that time. This was the period of time where I was first getting into looking into band histories as well as buying my own records and this included my first tentative steps into the world of second hand record shops. Fleetwood Mac were the first band where actively went out to buy all of their records.
What I found when starting to look for the Mac back catalogue was lots of album where there were hairy guys on the cover and no women in the band. Was this a fake Fleetwood Mac (there actually was one of these in the 70s) or a time in the bands history I knew nothing about. As it was, the latter was the correct answer. This hairy bloke band were the group that had produced ‘Albatross’, still the only Mac single to be a number 1 hit in the UK. I had heard of that but I didn’t really put two and two together and didn’t realise these were the same band. I found out that this earlier incarnation was a blues band, and as I was listening to a goo deal of that style of music at the time, I thought I would give them a go. My first purchase of what is known as the Peter Green era was a double LP from the Castle Group called the Collection. It dealt with their records from their time on the Blue Horizon and Immediate record labels. I was instantly hooked. Great guitar playing from Peter Green and if like some humour or Elmore James riffs, you will like the contributions from the other guitar player in this early line up, Jeremy Spencer.
I then made my way through all of the early albums and didn’t buy any of the more famous 70s and 80s albums for a good number of years. With a limited budget, the blues was winning out in the race of my pounds. I then got to ‘Then Play On’, their third album and the first with third guitar player Danny Kirwan. This was a development of the sound. It still had a blues base but it was moving on from the twelve bars. It was also lacking in any Jeremy Spencer songs. He was given an opportunity to record his songs on an EP that would have come with the LP, but this would remain unreleased until the 1990s. This era would end with Peter Green leaving and the band losing their fan base for the next five years. This second era will be dealt with the next CD compilation.
This first Fleetwood Mac era has had numerous compilations and box sets, but it has been poorly served by reissues. They are a bit of a mess, especially when they left the Blue Horizon label and signed with Reprise/Warner Brothers. The ‘Complete Blue Horizon Sessions’ covered the first two albums and contains, supposedly, the entire recording output on that label. It is a good place to start of you can find a copy as it is over twenty years old now. ‘Then Play On’ has suffered from multiple different variations and when it was eventually given a deluxe edition in 2013, it was a bit short of bonus tracks.
If you can find copies of the compilations ‘Show-Biz Blues’ and ‘The Vaudeville Years’ you will hear how much they had left in the can. These compilations have not been readily available down the years and this era continues to be poorly served. In 2019 there was a live compilation of ‘recently’ discovered tapes which was bit lacking in the documentation stakes. The record also included songs that were labeled as demos but I believe that these are actually BBC sessions that did not make the ‘Live at the BBC’ in the 1990s. Someone really needs to make an effort to sorting out this period in the bands history in the same way in which the classic Buckingham-Nicks lineup were compiled over the last few years. The music from this era is great and considering at the time Fleetwood Mac were outselling The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the UK, it is a shame that this period is not as well known as it should be.
Hellhound On My Trail
I Believe My Time Ain’t Long
The World Keep On Turning
Black Magic Woman
My Baby’s Good To Me
I Loved Another Woman
Allow me One More Show
Mean Old Fireman
Can’t Afford to Do It
Shake Your Moneymaker
Love That Woman
Love That Burns
My Heart Beat Like A Hammer (Take 2)
Need Your Love Tonight
I’m Coming Home To Stay (1st Album Outtake)
Lazy Poker Blues
Stop Messin’ Around
My Baby’s Sweeter
Rambling Pony No.2
Need Your Love So Bad
A Fool no More
No Place To Go
Long Grey Mare
Baby Please Set A Date
Blues With A Feeling
Mean Mistreatin’ Mama
Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave
Looking For Somebody
Trying So Hard To Forget
Early Morning Come
Got To Move
When I See My Baby
I Can’t Hold Out
(That’s What) I Want To Know
Jumping At Shadows
Leaving Town Blues
You’re So Evil (1st Album Outtake)
Coming Your Way
Closing My Eyes
Although The Sun Is Shining
Something Inside Of Me (Take 1)
Tell Me From The Start
Like It This Way
One Sunny Day
Oh Well (Part 1)
Oh Well (Part 2)
Man Of The World (Single Version)
Someone’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight
(Watch Out For Yourself) Mr Jones
Love It Seems
Before The Beginning
The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown)
This playlist is dedicated to the memory of Peter Green who passed away recently. That news, as well as the death of Danny Kirwan back in 2018 shut the door on any hope of the blue based line up of Fleetwood Mac reformingto play some gigs. All that is left is the great music which these two fine guitar players left us with.
These play lists could not be reproduced with one or more songs not being available on Spotify.
To finish off the month, I have put together a special Beatles What-If project. Being in lockdown allowed my imagination to wander somewhat, but I do hope that you enjoy this alternative history project of what The Beatles Anthology albums could have been.
The Long & Winding Road Vol.1
In 1995, The Beatles released their Anthology project that consisted of a TV series, albums, and a coffee table book. They had also thrown open the doors on the archives to allow unreleased studio recordings to be officially heard for the first time. The project had been running from 1970 when Neil Aspinall, future head of the Apple Company, put together a compilation of archival footage that he called The Long & Winding Road. The film was ready by 1971, but as relations between the band members were not as good as they could have been, they were not involved in the project. This film itself became a part of the archive but permission was given to use some of the footage so that Eric Idle could complete his Rutles project. The project was resurrected in 1980 when John Lennon said that he would be getting back together with the other Beatles for a reunion concert and that it would be used as the end of the Long & Winding Road film. Tragically, Lennon was killed before this could happen.
Up to this point, Beatles fans had been poorly served by archival material being released. Between 1970, when the band split up, and 1995 when the Anthology project saw the light of day, there were a couple of live albums. The Live at the Hollywood Bowl and Live! at the Star-Club In Hamburg, Germany albums, both from 1977. In 1980, EMI had asked house engineer John Barrett to listen to and catalogue The Beatles session tapes whilst he recovered from cancer treatment. This led to a multi-media event called ‘The Beatles at Abbey Road’, which included some unreleased material being heard for the first time since they had been recorded. All of the surviving Beatles attended the event and Harrison said that he was happy for his solo take of While My Guitar Gently Weeps to be released. EMI prepared an album called Sessions, but The Beatles undertook legal proceedings to prevent it coming out. All of the songs that were put forward for the Sessions album would be released on the Anthology albums.
These albums contained material that had not been released before and this took the form of some live cuts, TV appearances, demos and alternative mixes of previously released songs. What these albums showed was that there was little in the way of songs that were not used anywhere else. Most of these songs came from the early days of the band and their recordings before signing with EMI in 1962. What was also missing were any curiosities that had come out down the years, and are little known outside of the most dedicated Beatles fans.
What if the project had been released in 1980 as planned, but instead of what we got in 1995, these records were made up of some of the aforementioned curiosities, some unreleased mixes and demos. I have seen this as a continuation of my Collection of Beatles Oldies LPs, so as these would still be readily available in this alternative timeline, none of the songs included on those collections are included here. These albums would be released three single LPs and would have a cover photo close to the period when the music was recorded. That is why Pete Best is included on the sleeve for Vol.1 as Ringo Starr does not play on many of the songs on that record. All of the sleeves are based on the U.S. version of the Rarities album that was released in 1980.
I have tried to show where these songs can be found as a number of them have been released officially down the years, but some are still in the archive (or on bootlegs, if you know where to look). There is a gap in these collection between 1963 and 1966, mostly down to the fact that the best archival recordings from that period had already been used on the first Collections of Beatles Oldies LP. I would hope that The Beatles in this timeline would see fit not to double up on material to give their fans the best value for money compilations they could.
That’ll Be The Day – The Quarrymen – Demo
In Spite Of All Danger – The Quarrymen – Demo
Hallelujah, I Love Her So – Home Demo
You’ll Be Mine Home – Demo
Cayenne – Home Demo
My Bonnie – With Tony Sheridan
Ain’t She Sweet – With Tony Sheridan
Cry For A Shadow – With Tony Sheridan
‘Till There Was You – Decca Demo
Like Dreamers Do – Decca Demo
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 would be released on the Anthology 1 album (1995).
Track 6 was originally released as a single, but the band was credited as The Beat Brothers (1961)
Track 7 was originally released as a single (1964)
Track 8 was originally released on the ‘Mister Twist’ EP (1962)
Track 9 is currently unreleased.
Track 10 would be released on the Anthology 1 album (1995).
Take Good Care Of My Baby – Decca Demo
The Sheik Of Araby – Decca Demo
Love Of The Love – Decca Demo
Crying, Waiting, Hopping – Decca Demo
Three Cool Cats – Decca Demo
Hello Little Girl – Decca Demo
Besame Mucho – EMI Demo (Pete Best on Drums)
Love Me Do – EMI Demo (Pete Best on Drums)
Please Please Me – Andy White on Drums
Bad To Me – Home Demo
I’m In Love – Home Demo
Tracks 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 would be released on the Anthology 1 album (1995).
Tracks 1, 3 & 4 are currently unreleased.
Tracks 10 & 11 would be released on the The Beatles Bootleg Recordings (2013)
The Long & Winding Road Vol.2
A Beginning (Take 4)/Don’t Pass me By (Take 7) – Studio Recording
Child Of Nature – Esher Demo
Step Inside Love – Studio Jam
Los Paranoias – Studio Jam
Circles – Esher Demo
Junk – Esher Demo
Can You Take Me Back (Take 1) – Studio Recording
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 8 would be released on the ‘The Beatles – 50th Anniversary Box Set’.
Track 7 would be released on the Anthology 3 album.
It’s All Too Much – Full Length Version
What’s The New Mary Jane – Studio Outtake
The Inner Light – Stereo Mix
Tomorrow Never Knows – Matrix XEX 606-1 – Mono
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) – U.S. 8-Track Stereo Mix
Inner Grove Sgt Pepper’s
Track 1 is currently unreleased.
Track 2 would be released on Anthology 3 (1996).
Track 3 would be released on The Beatles EP Collection (1981)
Track 4 was released on the first pressing of the Revolver LP. When ‘Revolver’ was initially mixed, a different master for ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ was sent off to be pressed. The mix is known as Remix 11. Although subtle, it is different to the standard Remix 8 which was ultimately to replace it. The story goes that each group member was given the first copies from the production line and John Lennon went off to listen to it. But, it turned out that he was unhappy with the mix or that the wrong one had been used and he informed George Martin. Production was then stopped as the new masters were cut and the pressing plates were replaced. First pressings have XEX 606-1 whereas the standard press has XEX 606-2 and beyond (www.thebeatles-collection.com). This version has not been made available since.
Track 5 was released on the 8-Track version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band (1967) The 8 track edition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band features a longer edit of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise), created to fill more of the tape and “even out” the recording sides. At about 1:15, where Paul’s “Woo!” is heard, the previous 15 seconds are replayed and that “Woo!” is heard again before the song completes (www.aboutthebeatles.com).
Track 6 was released on the initial UK pressing of the Sgt Pepper album (1967). Later pressings, especially in the USA did not include this track.
The Long & Winding Road Vol.3
Come Together – Brazilian Mono Mix
Teddy Boy – Get Back – 1st Version
Dig It – Get Back – 1st Version
Something – Inc. Coda Jam
The Ballad Of John & Yoko – NZ Censored Edition
Track 1 was released in Brazil (1970). Both Abbey Road and Let it Be were released in Mono in Brazil. They were not dedicated Mono mixes though, but a fold down of the Stereo one.
Tracks 2, 3, & 4 are currently unreleased. Tracks 2 & 3 were the original versions of songs that would be released later as the Let It Be album. Track 4 includes an extended piano jam that an was exorcised from the final version.
Track 5 was made specifically for New Zealand radio with references to Christ edited out. This version has not been made commercially available.
Come & Get It – Studio Demo
Old Brown Shoe – Australian Mono Single Mix
Don’t Let Me Down – Get Back – 1st Version
Watching Rainbows (Edit) – Demo
All Things Must Pass – Studio Demo
Goodbye – Home Demo
Get Back (Coda) – Get Back – 1st Version
Tracks 1 & 6 would be released on Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (2019)
Track 2 was released in Australia (1969). It is not a dedicated Mono mix, but is a fold down of the Stereo.
Tracks 3, 4 & 7 are currently unreleased. Tracks 3 & 7 were versions of songs that would be released later as the Let It Be album. Track 4 is a songwriting jam from the Let It Be sessions.
Track 5 would be released on Anthology 3 (1996).
A Spotify playlist could not be created for these collections due to the amount of songs that have still not been officially released.
Here is the second volume of The Beatles Collection I put together. Disc 1 uses songs that were recorded around the time of the ‘White Album’, using some demos, singles and outtakes to create a one CD version. It would seem that my choices were pretty consistent as only one song that was used on the A Doll’s House post did not make the cut here, and that would be Savoy Truffle (http://www.thesquirepresents.co.uk/the-beatles-a-dolls-house/). There are lot more George Harrison songs on this compilation, showing the improvement he had made as a songwriter at this time. What these discs show; if proof were needed, is just how prolific they were at that time.
The Beatles are one of the few bands where I feel they improved with age. The songs got better as they went along, and when I pull out one of their records to play, they tend to be from Revolver onwards. Rarely do I go for one of the earlier LPs. The songs are still good but as a cohesive whole, those earlier records just don’t cut it for me. That is most probably why the early material covers one CD whereas the songs from Revolver onwards cover three. Each to their own I suppose. Not using any covers most probably helped though.
Disc 2 covers the sessions for Let It Be and Abbey Road. I was quite surprised when going back over this, how many of the mixes from Let It Be…Naked I used. I would have felt that the original Phil Spector produced versions would have been ingrained into my brain that I would have gone with those regardless. The whole of Side 2 of Abbey Road was used (except for Her Majesty) as this was a perfect way of completing this compilation.
Back In The USSR
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness Is Warm Gun
Martha My Dear
I’m So Tired
Mother Nature’s Son
Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me & My Monkey
Cry Baby Cry
Across The Universe (Wildlife Version)
Long, Long, Long
One After 909
Two Of Us
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
I’ve Got A Feeling
Don’t Let Me Down
All Things Must Pass (Demo)
Let It Be
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
Here Comes The Sun
You Never Give Me Your Money
Mean Mr. Mustard
She Came in Through The Bathroom Window
Carry That Weight
The front cover is taken from the compilation 1967-1970 and shows the band looking down from the stairwell of the now demolished London headquarters of EMI in Manchester House, London. This was a re-creation of the shot used on the 1962-1966 compilation and it was planned to be used on the front cover for their Get Back LP but as that album did not come up, it was repurposed here.
This was compiled before the release of the deluxe editions, so the Anthology 3 version of Not Guilty was used. The full length version of this song can be used as there would still be enough room to still fit into the playing time of one CD.