Various Artists – The Psychedelic Years Vol.8

With Volume 8 in this series, there are, as always, a number of well known artists (The Who, Spencer Davis Group, The Rolling Stones), people who went onto be more famous in other groups (The Remo Four included two members who would go on to be in Ashton, Gardner & Dyke) and those who only found belated fame on psych compilations released many years after the event. I used a few more Mono mixes in here including ‘King Midas In Reverse’ which for my money sounds so much better with that mix than in stereo. All that phrasing spoils the song for me. 

Disc 1

  1. Atmospheres – Wimple Witch
  2. I’ll Be Late For Tea – Blossom Toes
  3. All So Long Ago – The Sweet Feeling
  4. Second Production – Mike Stuart Span
  5. Never Care – Eyes Of Blue
  6. Tread Softly For The Sleeper – The Hi-Fis
  7. In The Deep End – The Artwoods
  8. Sycamore Sid – Focal Point
  9. Am I Glad To See You – The In Crowd
  10. Something To Write About – Circus
  11. I Can See For Miles (Mono) – The Who
  12. Day & Night – The Drag Set
  13. ‘Cos It’s Over – The Summer Set
  14. We Love You (Single Version) – The Rolling Stones
  15. In the First Place (Original Abbey Road Mix) – The Remo Four
  16. Nobody Know Where You’ve Been – The State Of Mickey & Tommy
  17. Nightmare – The Gass Company
  18. She – Tuesday’s Children
  19. She Was Perfection – Murray Head
  20. Sanity Inspector (Single Mix) – The Spencer Davis Group
  21. Time & Motion Man – Episode Six 
  22. Cheadle Health Delusions – Felius Andromeda
  23. Lullaby – Grapefruit
  24. Busker Bull – The Truth
  25. Magician – The Amazing Friendly Apple

Disc 2

  1. Loneliest Person – The Pretty Things
  2. Armenia City In The Sky (Mono) – The Who
  3. In Another Land (Single Version) – The Rolling Stones
  4. Through My Eyes – The Creation
  5. Again – the Symbols
  6. Girl I’m Wondering – The Blackbirds
  7. For Your Information – The Cedars
  8. King Midas In Reverse (Mono) – The Hollies
  9. It – The Excelsior Spring
  10. My Kingdom Cannot Lose – Still Life
  11. Lovely People – The Fairytale
  12. Red Sky At Night – The Accent
  13. Mr. Partridge Passed Away Today – Fortes Mentum
  14. Do You Dream? – Circus
  15. Neville Thumbcatch – The Attack
  16. Trot – Turnstyle
  17. So Many Times – Ice
  18. Running In The Water – The Kytes
  19. Is It Love? – Jon
  20. Amanda Jane – West Coast Consortium
  21. Winter Afternoon – The Flies
  22. Ebaneezer Beaver – The Mirage
  23. Reflections Of Charles Brown – Rupert’s People
  24. 10,000 Years Behind My Mind – Focus Three
  25. Teargarden Lane – Jason Crest
  26. Genuine Imitation Of Life – Jackie Lomax
  27. Goodbye – Rainbow Folly

Various Artists – Songs From A Distant Earth

Something a little bit different here and a compilation I put together that is named after a book by Arthur C Clark (with an extra ‘A’ added, because it sounded better to me that way). The book actually has nothing to do with music, but I always liked the title and fancied making a chill out playlist that would share the title. This was inspired by a CD an old flat of mine had. The Ministry of Sound and their ‘The Chill Out Sessions 2” which came out in 2001. I have not been one for these mix CDs as normally I like to hear the songs start and finish without another song coming in over the top. Well, this changed with this compilation. 

I have taken some of the mixes that were made for the ‘Chill Out Session’ CD and made my own by adding songs of a similar nature to the playlist. Not only did I take some songs from there, but from a few other Chill Out CDs I had in the collection. These included number of tunes from the ‘Late Night Session’ series. Anyway, it is time to sit back, relax and float downstream. That could make a good lyric for someone. 

Disc 1

  1. Music For The Funeral Of Queen Mary – Wendy Carlos
  2. Here With Me – Dido
  3. Since I Left You – The Avalanches
  4. Daydream In Blue – I Monster
  5. Bentley’s Gonna Sort You Out – Bentley Rhythm Ace
  6. Giving Up – Hairy Diamond
  7. Worth It – Skinny
  8. So Easy – Röyksopp
  9. Drifting Away – Faithless
  10. Erase/Rewind – The Cardigans
  11. Kelly Watch The Stars – Air
  12. My Friend – Groove Armada
  13. Sweet Harmony – The Beloved
  14. American Dream – Jakarta
  15. Slip Into Something More Comfortable – Kninobe
  16. Give It Away – Zero 7
  17. Because (Vocal Only Mix) – The Beatles
  18. Utopia (Genetically Enriched) – Goldfrapp
  19. Fear & Love – Morcheeba
  20. Les Fleur – 4Hero

Disc 2

  1. Another Green World – Eno
  2. Connjur – School In Seven Bells
  3. Woman – Karen O
  4. I Won’t Hurt You – Anja Garbarek
  5. La Fille De La Ligne 15 – The Limiñanas
  6. Eple – Röyksopp
  7. Keep Asking – Vangelia
  8. Love Song – Olivia Newton-John
  9. Orleans – David Crosby
  10. Everloving – Moby
  11. Breathe – Open Door
  12. At The River (Q Magazine Edit) – Groove Armada
  13. Game Love – Gulp
  14. Some Men – Darkel
  15. 4:33 – Nils Frahm
  16. Missing Photos – Last Days
  17. Pyramid Song – Radiohead
  18. In The Waiting Line – Zero 7
  19. Should I Stay – Gabrielle
  20. Passing Through – Rare Bird
  21. Invisible – Grouper
  22. Shine – Slowdrive
  23. Wind Drive (Alternate Tag Section) – The Beach Boys

The cover is taken from the Twitter account, Images That Could Be Album Covers (@ImagesAlbum).

Crowded House – The Collection

I had heard of Crowded House when their song and debut UK hit, ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ came out in 1986. This was in a period when I didn’t buy much music and so I must have heard it on the radio or one of the few TV Chart Shows we had in the UK at the time. I liked the song but not enough to buy it. Roll on five years to 1991 when I heard the song ‘Fall At Your Feet’. At the time, this sort of well crafted melodic pop song was not the sort of thing I was listening to. Guitar gods such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Peter Green were pretty much all that was being played around this period. I took a punt and popped along to Music Inn in Ashford (Middx), another of the great lost record shops of my youth and duly picked up a copy of the parent LP. 

Putting the vinyl on the deck, I was almost put off playing anymore by the albums opening song, Chocolate Cake. I really didn’t understand what this song was going on about, and how was Tammy Bakker they kept going on about? Turns out she was married to disgraced TV evangelist Jim Bakker but as this was before the days of widespread internet, I only found this out later. It was also the albums lead single which ended up pretty much losing the band its American fan base. Crowded House had been a lot more successful Stateside than the UK with their first two albums but ‘Woodface’ would change all of this. The rest of the alum was stunning, with a set of beautiful songs that lasted stayed in the memory. This album was also quite long for an LP clocking in at over 47 minutes. Not a minute wasted either (apart from Chocolate Cake, and in time Weather With You, a song I grew tired of quite quickly). 

What I didn’t realise at the time is that this album should not have sounded like this. Neil Finn, the band’s main songwriting had delivered an album that the record company had refused to release. Neil had been working on material with his brother Tim for an album that they would release under the moniker of the Finn Brothers. Neil asked Tim if he could use some of this material for the next  Crowded House album, with Tim saying yes as long as he could become a member of the band. The Finn brothers had already been in the band Split Enz. Tim later said he was joking, but Neil took him at his word and Tim became a member, if only for a short time. I actually had a go at recreating this lost LPs back in January of 2022 (

In time, I would buy the two proceedings album, ‘Crowded House’ and ‘Temple of Low Men’. Neither of these would have the impact on me that ‘Woodface’ did and they did not get a lot of airtime. I missed out on the release of their forth album, ‘Together Alone’ as I feel it just passed me by. 1993 was the beginnings of the Britpop era and that was taking all of my attention. What swung me around to possibly my favourite album by them was the fact that during my University days, I ended up working in an Off License that had a CD player in it. One day a copy of ‘Together Alone’ appeared and from then on I was hooked. A bit different from the albums that preceded it but still full of beautiful songs with well crafted melodies and neat hooks. The band unfortunately split up in 1996 and even though they have reformed and released a number of albums since, none of these have graced my record collection. I’m not sure why. It must just be down to the fact that I am not a great fan of bands that reform and release new music. The Small Faces and Smashing Pumpkins being other examples. The spark they once had is no longer there.

My one regret is that I did not get to see the band live during their first incarnation, especially when Tim Finn was in the line up. Live music also passed me by at that point. I either spend the money on records or going to the gig. I pretty much exclusively spent my money on the records. 

Disc 1

  1. World Where You Live
  2. Love You ‘Till The Day I Die
  3. Something So Strong
  4. Hole In The River
  5. Now We’re Getting Somewhere
  6. Don’t Dream It’s Over
  7. Tombstone
  8. Can’t Carry On
  9. Sister Madly
  10. When You Come
  11. Fame Is
  12. There Goes God
  13. Four Seasons In One Day
  14. Tall Trees
  15. Its Only Natural
  16. Fall Out Your Feet
  17. Whispers & Moans
  18. As Sure As I Am
  19. She Goes On
  20. Into Temptation
  21. All I Ask
  22. How Will You Go
  23. Better Be Home Soon

On my mix of ‘How Will You Go’, the hidden song of ‘I’m Still Here’ was edited out. Unfortunately, Spotify does not give me the option to do this. It does make the end of this playlist a little disjointed.  

Disc 2

  1. Kare Kare
  2. In My Command
  3. Nails in My Feet
  4. Black & White Boy
  5. Scared Cow
  6. Instinct
  7. I Love You Dawn
  8. Fingers Of Love
  9. Pineapple Head
  10. Skin Feeling
  11. Locked Out
  12. Catherine Wheels
  13. Walking On The Spot
  14. Time Immortal
  15. Distant Sun
  16. Help Is Coming
  17. Not the Girl You Think You Are
  18. Private Universe
  19. Together Alone

As far as I can tell, nearly all of the bands LP artwork was produced by the bands bass player, Nick Seymour. Art, like music is subjective and I am not great fan of what he has produced down the years. So I took a shot of the band when Tim Finn was a member and tried to emulate the minimalist approach record companies took in the mid 90s when it came to sleeves as the artwork needed to fit into a CD and/pr cassette box and this is what I came up with.

Elton John – Regimental Sgt. Zippo (Deluxe Edition)

It was thought that the early years of Elton John’s career were well know. Born Reginald Dwight in 1947, he showed aptitude for the piano by being able to play back classical pieces after only hearing them once. He gained a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music but quit before taking his final exams. By 1962, he had formed the Bluesology and backed musicians such as The Isley Brothers and Long John Baldry. The band released three singles before disbanding. Dwight, taking the John from Long John Baldry and Elton from bandmate Elton Dean, created the stage name he would be known as from now on. 

Now know as Elton John, he answered an advert in the New Musical Express placed by Ray Williams,  the A&R man at Liberty Records, looking for talent in the shape of artists, composers, singers and musicians. John was happy in his ability to write melodies and tunes, but was not happy with his lyric writing. Explaining this to Williams, John was handed a bunch of lyrics that had been sent to Liberty by someone else who had seen the advert, a chap called Bernie Taupin. They started off collaborating by post before meeting in late 1967 when Taupin moved to London. 

Through Williams, John was put back in touch with his old Bluesology band mate, Caleb Quayle who was the studio manager of Dick James Music on New Oxford Street. Quayle snuck John into the studio after hours to record demos until they were rumbled. Quayle was able to pursued his boss, Dick James (who had set up Northern Songs to administer the publishing of The Beatles music) that John was a talent that would be of benefit to the company. James listened to the songs and agreed, signing John and Taupin to a publishing and management contract. The first fruits of this contract was the single, ‘I’ve Been Loving You’ which came out in March of 1968 and is listed as being written by John and Bernie Taupin, but was a actually written by John alone. John had given Taupin the co-credit so that his collaborator might have a bit of bit of extra income from the royalties.. The single was not a chart smash, but undaunted, John continued to record and write. They placed songs with Roger Cook and a Eurovision entry for Lulu, which came last out of the 1969 UK entries. John released two more singles in 1969 as well as his debut album, ‘Empty Sky’. It was with his 1970 single, ‘Your Song’ that John scored his first major hit and the rest the say is history. 

However, this turns out not to be the complete story. In 2020, John released a rather fine box set called ‘Jewel Box’. Containing deep cuts and B-sides, it also contained a number of demo recordings from 1965 -1975. This was a treasure trove of songs showing how the songwriting team of John and Taupin developed. The sleeve notes also mentioned an unreleased album called ‘Regimental Sgt. Zippo’. A track listing was included and even though some of the ones had been released before on bootlegs, no one realised that they were meant for an otherwise unreleased LP. One song had been given a legitimate release on a very rare Portuguese EP version of the ‘Thank You For All Your Loving’ single called‘Angle Tree’. 

‘Jewel Box’ contained demos for most of the songs but what was a bigger surprise was that the album existed in a fully realised form. A mono edition was given a limited release as part of Record Store Day in 2021, and then a stereo version came out the following year. Why this album didn’t come out is anyone’s guess. No one really seems to know but it could’t have been that the title track was just a little too similar in name to the behemoth that was ‘Sgt Pepper’ that had come out the year before. It could have been that those involved just felt it wasn’t commercial enough with the record company were struggling to find a single out of the songs that had been recorded. What is nice is that it came out at all, if belatedly. 

But what if the record had come out in 1968? Well, it could have ended up like his true debut, ‘Empty Sky’ as a forgotten part of his career, only really known to his most committed of fans. If it had been released, what would a deluxe edition of this record would have looked like? To answer this, I have taken more traditional route for deluxe edition of records by making this CD based. All songs were originally recorded between 1967 and 1968. Any song recorded later has not been included as these should go in an ‘Empty Sky’ set. A demo of ‘Skyline Pigeon’ was recorded in 1968 but i have not included this also due to a full band recordings appearance on the aforementioned ‘Empty Sky’ LP. 

Disc 1

This would include the stereo mix of the album. It also includes his first single release (which came out in 1968). 

  1. When I Saw Teaby Abbey
  2. And The Clock Goes Round
  3. Sitting Doing Nothing
  4. Turn To Me
  5. Angel Tree
  6. A Dandelion Dies In The Wind
  7. Reginmental Sgt. Zippo
  8. You’ll Be Sorry To See Me Go
  9. Nina
  10. Tartan Coloured Lady
  11. Hourglass
  12. Watching The Planes Go By
  13. I’ve Been Loving You (Single A-Side)
  14. Here’s To The Next Time (Single B-Side)

Disc 2

This includes the mono mix of the album, along with any demos of these songs. ‘Nina’ sounds like the album version but is 10 seconds shorter than both the mono and stereo mix so has been included for completeness. This disc also includes John’s first demos recorded after he had been introduced to the lyrics of Bernie Taupin, some of which were recorded before the two men had even met. 

  1. When I Saw Teaby Abbey
  2. And The Clock Goes Round
  3. Sitting Doing Nothing
  4. Turn To Me
  5. Angel Tree
  6. A Dandelion Dies In The Wind
  7. Reginmental Sgt. Zippo
  8. You’ll Be Sorry To See Me Go
  9. Nina
  10. Tartan Coloured Lady
  11. Hourglass
  12. Watching The Planes Go By
  13. When I Saw Tealby Abbey (Piano Demo)
  14. And The Clock Goes Round (Piano Demo)
  15. Angel Tree (Piano/Guitar/Tambourine Demo)
  16. A Dandelion Dies In The Wind (Piano Demo)
  17. Nina (Band Version)
  18. Scarecrow (Piano/Tambourine Demo)
  19. Velvet Fountain (Piano Demo)
  20. A Little Love Goes A Long Way (Piano Demo)
  21. If You Could See Me Now (Piano Demo)
  22. Mr. Lightning Strikerman (Piano Demo)

Disc 3

A collection of period demos, including ‘Here’s To The Next Time’ which was the B-Side of his debut solo single.

  1. Countryside Love Affair (Piano Demo)
  2. I Could Never Fall In Love With Anybody Else (Piano Demo)
  3. I Get A Little Bit Lonely (Piano Demo)
  4. The Witch’s House (Piano Demo)
  5. Year Of The Teddy Bear (Piano Demo)
  6. Where It’s At (Piano/Percussion Demo)
  7. Who’s Gonna Love You (Piano/Percussion Demo)
  8. Get Out Of This Town (Piano/Tambourine Demo)
  9. Here’s To The Next Time (Piano/Tambourine Demo)
  10. Thank You For Your Loving (Band Demo)
  11. Where The First Tear Shows (Band Demo)
  12. 71-75 New Oxford Street (Band Demo)
  13. Reminds Me Of You (Piano Demo)
  14. I Can’t Go On Living Without You (BAnd Demo)
  15. I’ll Stop Living When You Stop Loving Me (Piano Demo)
  16. Trying To Hold On To A Love That’s Dying (Piano Demo)
  17. Cry Willow Cry (Band Demo)
  18. There Is Still A Little Love (Band Demo)
  19. If I Asked You (Band Demo)
  20. Two Of A Kind (Band Demo)
  21. The Girl On Angle Pavement (Band Demo)
  22. Smokestack Children (Band Demo)
  23. Baby I Miss You (Band Demo)
  24. Bonnie’s Gone Away (Piano/Guitar Demo)
  25. Just An Ordinary Man (Piano Demo)
  26. There’s Still Time For Me (Piano/Guitar/Tambourine Demo)
  27. The Tide Will Turn For Rebecca (Piano Demo)

The sleeve is the same as the one used for the 2021 release but with the deluxe edition banner added. 

Disc 2 could not be reproduced on Spotify