Led Zeppelin – The Collection

Looking back, over 50 years since their first album was released, it might be hard for the audience today to get their heads around the amount of albums this band sold. Every single one of their records released in their ten year of recording new material achieved Platinum status in the US and UK markets and their fourth album has sold over 20 millions copies in the America alone.  The band have also tightly controlled their output, famously not releasing an official single in the UK until 1997. The 70s were their decade but they did not last into the next decade having decided not to continue after their drummer, John Bonham, died in 1980. 

I knew very little about Led Zeppelin before 1990, and then I heard Stairway to Heaven on the radio. Asking around, I found a friend at school had a copy of the album that song came from and lent me the record. I was hooked. This just happened to coincide with my first forays into buying my own records instead of just what was in the house. Coincidently, it was around this time that the band announced that they going to release a 4 CD Boxed Set, remixed by Jimmy Page who had not only played on all of the albums but had produced them the first time around. I had to have it and on Christmas Day morning, there it was.

I seem to remember the set was produced because Page was annoyed with the mastering job that had been done on his music when they first released on CD and felt that he could do a better job. He was not wrong in that respect. The sound is in you face from the moment ‘Whole Lotta Love’ comes out of the speakers. The rest of the first CD is uniformly excellent with enough light and dark in the music to show that they are not just a hard rocking outfit. CD 2 is a bit more folkie and mellow and that was all I could take on the first sitting. It took me a while too warm to the music on the latter discs, especially CD 3. Like most bands I like, the longer they go on, the less I seem to like the music. The CD 4 was the same. 

What annoyed me a little bit about this Boxed Set was that at the same time, a two disc highlights set was also released and contained the song ‘Good Times Bad Times’ that was missing from the set I had. With funds limited, there was not way I was going to be able to buy the two disc set just for one song. I was also able to borrow most of the individual albums off of other people to hear the songs that I was missing and I left it at that. However, Led Zeppelin did something that no other band have done to the best of my knowledge. That was, they released another Boxed Set which included all of the songs not on the 1990 set. This meant that I now had every song from their albums including BBC sessions, unique remixes and outtakes. Well done Zeppelin; an excellent example to other bands of not ripping off your fans. 

This compilation is my own best off of Zeppelin songs over three discs as they produced so much good music that it had to be that long. Enjoy!

Disc 1

  1. Good Times Bad Times
  2. Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman)
  3. Whole Lotta Love
  4. Heartbreaker
  5. Communication Breakdown
  6. Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
  7. What Is & What Should Never Be
  8. You Shook Me
  9. Boogie With Stu
  10. Tangerine
  11. Baby Come On Home
  12. Thank You
  13. Gallows Pole
  14. Ten Years Gone
  15. Kashmir
  16. When The Levee Breaks

Disc 2

  1. Black Dog
  2. Over The Hills & Far Away
  3. Immigrant Song
  4. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
  5. Black Country Woman
  6. Rock & Roll
  7. Four Sticks
  8. Misty Mountain Hop
  9. The Battle Of Evermore
  10. Hey Hey What Can I Do
  11. Going To California
  12. Down By The Seaside
  13. That’s The Way
  14. Ramble On
  15. The Rain Song
  16. Stairway To Heaven

Disc 3

  1. Your Time Is Gonna Come
  2. Black Mountain Side
  3. Travelling Riverside Blues
  4. The Girl I Love She Got The Long Black Wavy Hair
  5. The Lemon Song
  6. Since I’ve Been Loving You
  7. How Many More Times
  8. South Bound Suarez
  9. Bring It On Home
  10.  The Rover
  11. Poor Tom
  12. Houses Of The Holy
  13. Custard Pie
  14. I’m Gonna Crawl
  15. All My Love
  16. Bron-Yr-Aur

I used the artwork from that 1990 box set for this collection. To me, it was perfect.

The Lost Founder Members of the Rugby Football Union – Part 1

On 26th January 1871, twenty one rugby clubs met in London to found the Rugby Football Union. Eight of them still exist, but what happened to the others? Found out their legacy as The Squire looks at the histories of these long lost clubs.

The shirt designs can all be purchased from https://www.blackandblue1871.com

Rolling Stones – Can You Walk On The Water?

In 2016, The Rolling Stones released ‘Blue & Lonesome’, their first covers LP and it was harking back to their roots as it consisted entirely of blues based music form the likes of Little Walter, Willie Dixon and Magic Sam. The album was a critical and commercial success as it made the top five in the majority of the major record buying markets. With this in mind, I was surprised that The Stones had not done this before. 

Looking back at their earliest albums where they were more covers than originals, The Stones showed their was more to they influences than the blues by covering R&B and Rock n Roll numbers. This would continue until the writing team of Jagger and Richards got into their stride just before the release of the ’Aftermath’ album. However, during those formative years they recorded a good deal of material, especially when they were touring in the USA that has not escape the vault in a legitimate sense. Considering that The Rolling Stones are one of the premier league 60s bands, it is surprising that a reissue campaign of deluxe editions or archival releases has not seen the light of day. This might have something to do with the stand off with ABKCO which is a story for another time. 

As has already been noted, Jagger and Richards were really coming together as a song writing partnership and were so happy with the songs that they had recorded in late 1965 that they wanted to rush release the sessions as an album called ‘Could You Walk On The Water’. A cover was put together using a shot taken a photoshoot at a Californian reservoir. Decca, the bands record label refused to release it but the cover would see the light of day when it was used on the compilation ‘Big Hits (High Tide & Green Grass)’. Another recording sessions would lead to another batch of original songs being recorded and were used on ‘Aftermath’. 

However, what if Jagger and Richards had still not found their writing chops by late 1965, or if they decided to clear some of the songs that they had recorded so they could come out all guns blazing in 1966 as a band that could produce albums of self written material? If we look at the bands recordings up until the end of 1965, there is enough in the can to produce an album of a similar structure to what had gone before. If we also look at the UK releases up to 1965’s ‘Out Of Our Heads’, each had twelve songs so was there enough to produce a good blues/R&B style record? There was, even though I did start off with ‘I Want To Be Loved’ as the opening track which dates from 1963 as the opening song. It had been the B-Side of ‘Come On’, their first single and had not been included on a UK album release at that time. 

The A-Side of this record is very much a blues inspired affair, with a rare instrumental by the band in the form of band composition ‘Stewed & Keefed’. Side B opens with another rarity in form of a song written by Bill Wyman. As far as I can tell, he only received credit for three compositions during his time in the band (even though he would claim that he contributed to a lot more). Like the A-Side, the focus is blues with the Jagger/Richards songs showing their Chuck Berry and Chicago blues influences on their sleeves. 

As albums go, this would have not sounded out of place in the mid 60s, especially when comparing it to other Stones albums of the time. This would also have been quite a nice release for the Christmas market in 1965, especially if you consider that the bands US fans got ‘December’s Children (& Everybody’s)’. With a title that the record company did not like and with bands always moving on and not looking into their archives at this time, an album like this would not have been released in the 60s. However, it would have been a nice 60s equivalent to the ‘Blue & Lonesome’ released 50 years later. 

Side A

  1. I Want To Be Loved* (Dixon) Olympic Studios, London – 10th May 1963
  2. Tell Me Baby, How Many More Times (Broonzy) Chess Studios, Chicago – 10th/11th June 1964
  3. Go Home, Girl (Alexander) Decca Studios, London – 16th July 1963
  4. High Heeled Sneakers (Higginbotham) Chess Studios, Chicago – 10th/11th June 1964
  5. Stewed & Keefed (Phelge) Chess Studios, Chicago – 10th/11th June 1964
  6. Meet Me At The Bottom (Dixon) Chess Studios, Chicago –  8th November 1964

Side B

  1. Goodbye Girl (Wyman) Chess Studios, Chicago –  8th November 1964
  2. Don’t Lie To Me (Jagger/Richards) Regent Sound Studios, London – 12th May 1964
  3. Reelin’ & Rockin’ (Berry) Chess Studios, Chicago – 11th June 1964
  4. Key To The Highway (Segar) Chess Studios, Chicago –  8th November 1964
  5. Looking Tired (Jagger/Richards) RCA Studios, Hollywood – 6th September 1965
  6. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (Redding/Butler) RCA Studios, Hollywood – 12th/13th May 1965 

All of these songs were unreleased up until the end of 1965 except for ‘I Want To be Loved’ which had been the B-Side of ‘Come On’, the bands first UK single. 

The front cover of the LP is taken from ‘I Design Album Covers’ website (https://idesignalbumcovers.tumblr.com).

Various Artists – A Whole Lot Of Rainbows Volume 3

And so we reach August. This is the time of year when the majority of schools in the UK and therefore the general population are on holiday. What better time to share the third and last (so far) of my compilations looking at the wonder of the Sunshine Pop genre. There are the usual suspects in here (The Association, The Millennium and the 5th Dimension) but also some more obscure artists such as Griffin, The Parade and The Arbors with their rather fine cover of ‘Touch Me’ by The Doors. Remember folks, the night are now drawing in and it will soon be Christmas. 

Disc 1

  1. Someday Man – Paul Williams
  2. Rumours – Eternity’s Children
  3. Sweet Pea – Tommy Roe
  4. Hands Off The Man (Film Flam Man) – Peggy Lipton
  5. Sugar Town – Nancy Sinatra
  6. Odds & Ends – Dionne Warwick
  7. Sweet Blindness – The 5th Dimension
  8. Hotel Indiscreet (Mono Single Version) – Sagittarius
  9. I’ll Never Find Another You – The Seekers
  10. It’s Getting Better – Mama Cass Elliot
  11. Frog Prince – The Parade
  12. Don’t You Care – The Buckinghams
  13. Kissin’ My Life Away – The Hondells
  14. Along Comes Mary (Single Version) – The Association
  15. Sunday Will Never Be The Same – Spanky & Our Gang
  16. (They Long Top Be) Close To You – Josie & The Pussycats
  17. Touch Me – The Arbors
  18. So Many People (Mono Single Version) – Paul Williams
  19. Oh What A Lovely Day – Twinn Connexion
  20. Master Jack – Four Jacks & A Jill
  21. Don’t Sleep In The Subway – Petula Clark
  22. I’ll Never Fall In Love Again – Dionne Warwick
  23. You’re So Good For Me – Twice As Much
  24. She’s Not Coming Home – Ohio Express
  25. My Sentimental Friend – Herman’s Hermits
  26. Share With Me – The Millennium
  27. Sister Marie – Chad & Jeremy
  28. Always You – The Sundowners

Disc 2

  1. Come To The Sunshine – Van Dyke Parks
  2. Green Tambourine – The Lemon Pipers
  3. Early In The Morning – Vanity Fare
  4. Baby, It’s Real – The Millennium
  5. Luckie (Mono) – Laura Nyro
  6. Cynthia At The Garden – Sidewalk Skipper Band
  7. Yours ‘Till Forever – Griffin
  8. If You Don’t Want My Love – Robert John
  9. From You Unto Us – Eternity’s Children
  10. Sweet Sounds – Tommy Roe
  11. Flying On The Ground – Summer Snow (feat. The Peppermint Trolley Company)
  12. Brandy (Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) – The Eight Day
  13. My World Fell Down (Stereo Single Version) – Sagittarius
  14. There’s Got To Be A Word – The Innocence
  15. Beautiful People – Kenny O’Dell
  16. Riding A Carousel – Petticoat & Vine
  17. Come On In – The Association
  18. She’d Rather Be With Me – The Turtles
  19. Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song) – The Buckinghams
  20. And Suddenly – Cherry People
  21. I Can Make It With You – Pozo-Seco Singers
  22. Neon Rainbow – The Box Tops
  23. Pageant – Blades Of Grass
  24. Mornin’ I’ll Be Movin’ On (Mono Single Version) – Paul Williams
  25. Make You’re Own Kind Of Music – Mama Cass Elliot
  26. Living Together, Growing Together – The 5th Dimension
  27. This Guy’s In Love With You – Herb Alpert
  28. I’m Gonna Make You Love Me – Nick De Caro
  29. I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love – Petula Clark