It was only after competing my retrospective look at the Hendrix related discs Alan Douglas put out that I though I really should have produced one of the best tracks from the Mike Jeffereis years. These were the years between Hendrix’s death in 1970 and 1974 even though Jefferies himself died in a plane accident in 1973. What I learned from listening to these albums (and this was also noted in my previous post), is that this could be the best example of the law of diminishing returns. ‘The Cry Of Love’ and ‘Rainbow Bridge’ are very good records. However, the two that followed are not. ‘War Heroes’ has some good material but the majority is pretty substandard. It is even worse on ‘Loose Ends’ which was so bad, that Reprise who represented Hendrix in the USA refused to release it. You can tell how bad it is that when the Hendrix family took over the catalogue in the 1990’s and seem to have release every recording Hendrix made bar him blowing his nose (even though it has felt as though they may as well have done), there is still one song from ‘Loose Ends’ that has so far failed to see a re-release.
As you can see from this double album, the majority of the cuts come form the first two releases of the Mike Jefferies era and there is some crossover with the Alan Douglas LP, but where as those tracks have session musicians on them, the Jefferies releases did keep the original players on there. Still a good album though but apart from ‘The Cry Of Love’, the Hendrix family have seen to it that these records were deleted from the Hendrix catalogue and I will surprised if they ever see the light of day again. It is not as though they are rare through as most were in production for over twenty years.
Freedom* (The Cry Of Love)
Night Bird Flying* (The Cry Of Love)
Come Down Hard On Me Baby (Loose Ends)
Stepping Stone* (War Heroes)
Astro Man (The Cry Of Love)
Drifting * (The Cry Of Love)
In From The Storm* (The Cry Of Love)
Dolly Dagger (Rainbow Bridge)
Hey, Baby, New Morning Sun (Rainbow Bridge)
Ezy Rider (The Cry Of Love)
Room Full Of Mirrors (Rainbow Bridge)
Straight Ahead (The Cry Of Love)
Izabella (War Heroes)
Look Over Yonder (Rainbow Bridge)
Bleeding Heart (War Heroes)
Drifters Escape (Loose Ends)
Earth Blues (Rainbow Bridge)
Angel* (The Cry Of Love)
Belly Button Window* (The Cry Of Love)
*These songs also appeared on the Alan Douglas Years compilation from earlier in the month.
The cover image is an adaptation of the one used for ‘The Cry of Love’ album.
The posthumous career of Jimi Hendrix can be split into three periods. The first period was just after he died when his manager Mike Jeffery was keen to milk the Hendrix cash cow for all it was worth. The second is after Jeffery had died (in 1973) and producer Alan Douglas took over the tape catalogue, as well as paying out of his pocket for tapes that Hendrix had recorded at the Record Plant studios. The third period is from the mid 90s up until the present day where the Hendrix family took control of the guitar players recorded legacy and have put out a steady steam of releases ever since. It is the second period that this entry deals with.
After buying all of the albums released during his lifetime, I turned my attention to the records that were put after his death. These came quite quickly with ‘The Cry Of Love’ being the first of these and was compiled by engineer Eddie Kramer as well as drummer Mitch Mitchell. The cover is a stunning piece of work and was quite successful with the record buying public on both sides of the Atlantic. Even though this cannot be considered to be the fourth Hendrix studio album because the song mixes had not been finalised by the man himself, it contained a couple of classic numbers including the lovely song, Angel.
From what was a positive start with the posthumous releases, this soon turned into a case of diminishing returns. I did not manage to secure a copy of ‘Rainbow Bridge’ but I did pick up ‘War Heroes’ and wondered what Hendrix himself would have thought of this and was it worthy of release. The nadir of the period was ‘Loose Ends’, an album considered to be so bad that the Reprise record label refused to release it in the US.
The last album from this period of Hendrix album releases that I bought was 1975’s ‘Crash Landing’. I think I played it once and until recently, I have never listened to it again. It just didn’t do it for me at the time. I think I was just into that psych period of Hendrix too much to want to hear his ‘I’ve moved onto something more heavy and funky’ period. ‘Crash Landing’ was the first of the Douglas releases and he would release another four ‘studio’ albums during his tenure as the keeper of the Hendrix archives. His time in this capacity has been seen by seem as controversial.
The controversy arises form he fact that Douglas replaced the original backing tracks of some of the songs on the releases he put out, utilising sessions players. These weren’t any old sessions players though, but some of the best in the business. In defence of Douglas, if he wanted to make a cash grab album, why spend money on some of the best musicians around. They would not have come cheap. He would also have needed to have updated the sound to appeal to the record buying public of 1975. The crate digging career overview box sets of today were not a thing back in the mid 70’s. As far as I can think of, only Buddy Holly & Jim Reeves had had their career prolonged in this way by releasing archive material up to that point. Using session musicians did not endure Douglas to fans of Hendrix, and it might not have helped his cause that he claimed writing credits on some of the ‘Crash Landing’ songs.
A few months later, a second Douglas produced Hendrix album was released. ‘Midnight Lightning’ followed the same template as ‘Crash Landing’ including using the same set of session musicians. This was followed up with ‘Nine To The Universe’ which was made up of edited jam sessions, but unlike the previous efforts, Douglas used most of the original backing tracks. Apart from the repacking of already released songs and live albums, Douglas waited until 1994 to release some new Hendrix studio product. ’Blues’ contained some songs that had already been released but the majority had not been. Some of them were composites of multiple takes that were edited together to form a new song. This record also included the original backing tracks. One last Douglas album was 1995’s ‘Voodoo Soup’ which was Douglas’ attempt at creating the album Hendrix was working on when he died. The album did receive some positive reviews but there was still the criticism that outside musicians were brought in to re-record parts Douglas felt were substandard. Not long after this, the Hendrix family gained the rights to the archives and Douglas’s association came to an end.
All of the albums released after Hendrix’s death until the release of the first Hendrix family approved albums in 1997 have been deleted from the back catalogue. However, these releases were around long time and enough copies were sold so it was not difficult to pick up the records missing from the collection, and I feel that in the past I fell into the trap many other have of dismissing Douglas’ contribution to the Hendrix legacy. The albums have good players playing on, the covers don’t look cheap (even though the Voodoo Soup one is a bit weird) and if Douglas was only after the money, why did he release so few Hendrix studio session albums. The Hendrix family have released considerably more in their time as custodians of the archive, some of it of very dubious quality. The ‘Blues’ album is also still part of the official catalogue, so if Douglas did such a bad job, why not delete everything he did? If the backing tracks that were recorded with Hendrix in the studio were so good, then why has the Hendrix family not released a studio cut of ‘Machine Gun’? Douglas did.
I put this playlist together using the following albums; ‘Crash Landing’, ‘Midnight Lightning’ and ‘Voodoo Soup’. I did not use ‘Nine To The Universe’ as none of the tunes fitted in with this playlist, and ‘Blues’ is still available. I wanted to see if the recording held up and there was enough for a double album. It could be presented as the best of the Douglas years and it is unlikely that the Hendrix family will never do this themselves.
I was inspired to put this compilation together by reading an excellent blog, http://deadhendrix.blogspot.com. It goes into a lot more detail. looking at each of the albums made up of studio cuts that were put out between 1970 and 1996. It with thanks to that blogger that I listened and re-evaluated the Douglas era. It is bloggers like this that the internet needs. Putting out fresh perspectives and challenging old ideas. I salute you, whoever you are.
Message To Love (Voodoo Soup)
Come Down Hard On Me (Crash Landing)
Midnight Lightning (Midnight Lightning)
Gypsy Boy (Midnight Lightning)
Room Full Of Mirrors (Voodoo Soup)
Night Bird Flying (Voodoo Soup)
With The Power (Crash Landing)
Drifting (Voodoo Soup)
The New Rising Sun (Voodoo Soup)
Belly Button Window (Voodoo Soup)
Freedom (Voodoo Soup)
Stepping Stone (Voodoo Soup)
In From The Storm (Voodoo Soup)
Once I Had A Woman (Midnight Lightning)
Machine Gun (Midnight Lightning)
Angel (Voodoo Soup)
The cover for this compilation as adapted from an unused Henri Martinez painting that had been commissioned by Hendrix for his next album but ultimately not used. I added a Hendrix related logo.
When Fleetwood Mac started in 1967, they were a British Blues band that ended the decade outselling The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. After numerous line up changes and relocating to the USA, the band released ‘Rumours’, one of the greatest and biggest selling albums of all time. With an album, how do you follow it up. Lindsey Buckingham, the man who pretty much kept the sessions for Rumours going even with a mountain of cocaine and the collapse of the inter band relationships trying to get in the way, through that ‘Tusk’ should be competing with the New Wave acts dominating the charts at the time. ‘Tusk’ sold well, but nowhere near a much as ‘Rumours’.
Then there was ‘Mirage’, the forgotten album from the classic Buckingham/Nicks era of the band. This album did something ‘Tusk’ and ‘Tango In the Night’ did not, which was to make Number 1 in the USA but in terms of singles, none really cut it in either the US or UK charts. Well, ‘Hold Me’ made the top 5 in the US but that was about it. Listening to the ‘Mirage’ album though, it could be argued that the band members who wrote the songs were not producing their best work for the band at this time. Stevie Nicks has realised ‘Bella Donna’, her first solo, which had reached Number 1 on the US Billboard chart and was very successful in other territories as well.
Lindsey Buckingham had also release this first solo album in the shape of ‘Law & Order’ which was not in any way shape or form as successful as Stevie Nicks. Mirage came out a year later and then there was five year gap before the next Mac album, ‘Tango In The Night’. In-between ‘Mirage’ in 1982 and ‘Tango In The Night’ in 1987, each of the band songs writer released a solo album. In fact, ‘Tango In the Night’ started life as a Lindsay Buckingham solo album until he was convinced otherwise, but what would have happened if the band had decided to have release another record in 1985 instead of the solo albums. Well, here is an attempt at answering that question.
Go Insane – Go Insane
Who’s Dreaming The Dream – Christine McVie
Gate & Garden – The Wild Heart
I’m the One – Christine McVie
Stand Back – Stevie Nicks
Slow Dancing – Go Insane
Loving Cup – Go Insane
Nothing Ever Changes – The Wild Heart
The Smile I Live For – Christine McVie
Bang The Drum – Go Insane
Beauty & The Beast – The Wild Heart
Enchanted – The Wild Heart
Nightbird – The Wild Heart
Ask Anybody – Christine McVie
D.W. Suite – Go Insane
I thought that being democratic with each of the three song writers receiving four songs each, taking the total songs on the record to 12. However, unless we did what Dire Straits did at the time which was was to do some editing here and there so that the album would have a different run time on vinyl and CD, then this was not going to happen. The songs are quite long apart from Stevie Nicks, who only seems that have one way of writing songs. Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham produced records that did not sound as though they would fit on the Mac album. Anyway, I digress. McVie would only have three songs on this record with Buckingham and Nicks having four each.
I may have been critical of Stevie Nicks, but when putting this album together, her songs were the most commercial and are arguably the best ones on this record. Her album, ‘The Wild Heart’ is pretty good and she had so much material knocking about that she was able to release another album in 1985, which was called ‘Rock A Little’. As albums go, I feel that this would have been a stronger collection than ‘Mirage’, but still not up there with the best albums this line up produced.
This record was geared to a the length of a vinyl LP, so there were a number of good songs left over. I felt that it would have been a shame to lose them so in this time line, these would have been used a B-Sides. The Stevie Nicks songs, like those used on the main album are the strongest here. If this had been, I am sure that Nicks would have been rather annoyed that she had produced so many quality songs that were not allowed to be on the parent album. I can hear her arguing with Buckingham about the inclusion of Nightbird, which is a good song. However, I can hear Buckingham saying ‘We cannot have Nightbird on the album as it sounds too much Gypsy form the last album’, which would no doubt get Nick’s back up.
By this point in music history, Mac were releasing 12” singles so there was room for some of the longer more experimental songs on the B-Sides. Whatever the A-Sides would have been, there are four B-Sides for you to enjoy. In reality, there is no way on God’s Earth that this album would have been released. It is amazing that they actually managed to get their act together to release ‘Tango In The Night’. That album came out in 1987 and in thirty four years since then, they had produced three albums of new major. To put that into context, before that, they had released fourteen albums. The band essentially finished in 1982 and ‘Tango’ aside, they have become like the Beach Boys. Releasing the odd album here and there but essentially going out on the road to perform old hit for ever increasing ticket prices. Fleetwood Mac are one of the greatest bands of all time but they have never been the same since.
The front cover is adapted from the promo CD release of the Stevie Nicks box set compilation, Enchanted. They band name is at the base of the quill to have the effect that the person has just written it. There are no band pictures from 1984 so I went with this image instead. Fits quite nicely I think.
After listening to the ‘Complete 1969 Recordings’ box set, especially the live recordings, it was clear that a good number of of the songs that would end up on either the second King Crimson album ‘In the Wake of Poseidon’ or the ‘McDonald & Giles’ LP were already being performed by the band. This lead me to think what a second King Crimson album would sound like if the original line up and not imploded at the end of 1969. Reasons for the split are many. Drummer Michael Giles was finding the touring life a strain, as well as not coping very well with the bands increasing popularity. Too much speed plus not enough sleep and missing home, McDonald was also missing his girlfriend. Multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald was also not coping very well with life on the road. Both Giles and Mcdonald were also not fans of where the music was going, with guitar player Robert Fripp taking the band into new and darker places. They felt that their more pastoral infused sound would be lost. Vocalist and bass player Greg Lake, was also talking to keyboard player Keith Emerson who was in The Nice about forming a band. The Nice were supporting Crimson at the Filmore East shows. A friendship ensued and by April 1970, Lake had also left Crimson to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Only Fripp and Lyricist Peter Sinfield were left.
Fripp was keen to continue with King Crimson and there was enough material from the previous twelve months for a new album. This would be ‘In the Wake of Poseidon’. This second album can be seen as a stop gap before Crimson really become the progressive behemoth they are famous for today. The album sounds similar to ‘In The Court of the Crimson King’, but there is some progression there as well. This similarity in sound could well be down to the fact that apart from Ian McDonald, the other three members from the first album are present, if only as sessions players or in Greg Lakes case, on the promise that he would receive King Crimson’s PA’s on payment. He would take this PA with him when he formed ELP. McDonald & Giles would join forces and release a self titled LP in 1971 that would also follow the template laid down by ‘In The Court of the Crimson King’.
However, what I was interested in was what if the original line up of King Crimson had stayed together for another year and recorded a second album. All the elements are there, even though nothing can quite replace the bombast of ‘21st Schiziod Man’ as an opening song. I decided to go with something a little calmer to start off this album which is the folk inspired ‘Is She Waiting’. This really highlights the pastoral side that Ian McDonald was afraid would not get a look in with King Crimson once Robert Fripp started to assert some dominance over the band’s sound. We then follow this up with the Michael Giles penned ‘Tomorrow’s People’ which predates King Crimson, but as far as I can see, this song was not recorded before.
‘Cadence and Cascade’ was originally recorded with Fripp’s school friend Gordon Haskell singing. However, there is a version of this song with a Greg Lake guide vocal which I decided to use as it fits in with the theme of this being a continuation from the first album. The song ‘Peace’ featured in three different configurations on the original ‘In The Wake of Poseidon’ and I did plan on using it as the opening song on this record but it just didn’t flow in a way that sounded good to me, but it fit nicely after the end of the title track.
The second side is taken up with the ‘Birdman’ suite which also took up the second side of the ‘McDonald & Giles’ album. The song took some cues form the track ‘Trees’ that had been played live by Crimson in 1969. Some of the song was written by Robert Fripp and his section would become ‘Pictures of a City’. This Fripp penned tune did not make the cut here but ‘Birdman’ does, along with another section of ‘Peace’. To finish off, I have included the single edit of ‘Cat Food’ which the band would perform on Top of the Pops. Who thought that this song would be a commercial success really must have been on something. I ditched the original B-Side which was called ‘Groon’. I replaced it with ‘Flight of the Ibis’, which does share some similarities with ‘Cadence & Crimson’. That is because originally the ‘Ibis’ song had the ‘Cadance’ lyric. When he left Crimson, Ian McDonald took the tune with him and Robert Fripp composed a similar tune to the lyrics. It would have been interesting to have had a combination of the ‘Ibis’ tune with the ‘Cadence’ lyric, but unfortunately this was not to be.
Is She Waiting?*
Tomorrow’s People – The Children Of Today*
Cadence & Cascade (Greg Lake Guide Vocal)
In The Wake Of Poseidon
Peace – A Beginning
The Inventor’s Dream (O.U.A.T)
Wings In The Sunset
Birdman – The Reflection
Peace – An End
Cat Food (Single Mix)
Flight of The Ibis*
The cover art is the image that was on the back of the original ‘In The Wake of Poseidon’ gatefold sleeve.
Well, today is the second Record Store Day of the year so here, as promised earlier in the month is my fantasy RSD release by Giles, Giles & Fripp with Judy Dyble.
I Talk To The Wind (Judy Dyble Vocal)
Make It Today (Judy Dyble Vocal)
Under The Sky (Judy Dyble Vocal)
The version of ‘Under The Sky’ sung by Judy Dyble is taken from her Gathering The Threads collection, as this corrects a slight drop out in the tape that was evident on The Blondersbury Tapes version.
This EP collects the remaining vocal performances from Judy Dyble that were not included on the ‘Metaphormosis’ album from earlier in the month. https://www.thesquirepresents.co.uk/giles-giles-fripp-metaphormosis/
The EP cover was taken from an image produced by YouTuber Les Chants de Maldoror with some text added and Record Store Day sticker.
It is not quite true to say that King Crimson exploded fully formed out of nowhere, which the ‘Complete 1969 Records’ tries to put forward. Granted, the sound of Gile, Giles & Fripp is very different from what was to come, but with the song ‘I Talk to the Wind’, the progression was already in place. What King Crimson did that GG&F did not do was to take their sound out on the road. The band honed their craft in the basement of the Fulham Palace Cafe (on Fulham Palace Road), the first live shows were in February 1969 at the Change Is venue in Newcastle. Over the eleven months, the band would play the standard venues of the day including the Marquee in London, festivals and universities. This was before they set off for a a series of gigs in the USA which would bring tensions that had been bubbling under the surface to a head. By 14th December 1969 and their gig at the Filmore West, the original line up of King Crimson had disbanded.
What we present here is a collection of live tracks that were recorded, mostly by fans in the audience of the first King Crimson line up. The fidelity of these recording sis not great, but it is fantastic that we have any at all and that they have survived. As King Crimson were keen to branch out with their playing, having a single disc set would not showcase the bands talents fully so I decided that a double would have to be complied. I also wanted this to be a mix of songs that had or would be recorded in the studio, as well as tunes that did not. There also needed to be a bit of editing here and there to make it sound as though all of these tunes came for the one gig, Enjoy.
A Man, A City – Live At The Filmore East*
Epitaph – Live At the Filmore East
Get Thy Bearings – Live At Victoria Ballroom, Chesterfield
Drop In – Live At Victoria Ballroom, Chesterfield
Mantra – Live At Victoria Ballroom, Chesterfield
Travel Weary Capricorn** – Live At Victoria Ballroom, Chesterfield
Mars – Live At Plumpton Racecourse (9th Annual Jazz & Blues Festival)
I Talk To The Wind – Live At Victoria Ballroom, Chesterfield
21st Century Schizoid Man – Live At the Filmore East
*The gig announcement was taken from their set as one of the opening acts for the Rolling Stones at their Hyde Park gig, 5th July 1969.
** On the original, the segues in a passage of improvisation. Due to the time constraints of the vinyl format, this improvisation was cut and some audience applause from another performance added.
The cover is adapted from the protective sleeve that came with 2020’s, ‘Complete 1969 Recordings’.
With the release of the King Crimson ‘Complete 1969 Recordings’ at the end of 2020, I thought it was about time that reassess the early years of the band along with the group, Giles, Giles & Fripp, the group that ultimately lead to that latter bands formation.
GG&F were formed when the Giles Brothers advertised for a singing keyboard payer. Robert Fripp responded to the advert even though he played guitar and didn’t sing. The trio ended up moving to a flat in London and whilst there, they made a series of rather good sounding demos that lead to them being given a contract with Decca’s newly formed Deram label. Even by the standards of the day (and by day I mean 1968), the resulting album, which was called the ‘Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp’ is a bit weird. The records contains two spoken word pieces mixed with songs that range from jazz, pop, psychedelic and novelty. Even though the band appeared on the now lost to history BBC Show, Colour Me Pop, the singles and album failed to set the charts alight. The band might have ended up as another footnote in the history of popular music except for the fact that by 1969, the group had evolved into the vastly more successful King Crimson. This What-If compilation looks at the year between the release of the Cheerful Insanity album and the King Crimson debut record.
What Giles, Giles & Fripp (GG&F) had that very few, if anyone else had at the time was their own private studio, sort of. The had managed to acquire a second hand Revox tape recorder along with some microphones, some headphones and a metal box fitted with attenuators and coaxial socks that was essentially their mixer. It did help that they knew a chap called Russell Medcraft who had once worked at EMI’s Technical Research Department and was able to not only maintain the equipment, but helped calibrate the Revox so that the band was able to use the tape machine as a primitive two track machine, meaning that they could overdub tracks. They became so proficient at this that the recordings are missing the enormous amounts of hiss that would be expected from constantly recording from one part of the tape to the other. The fidelity of these recordings is exceptionally good considering the conditions in which they were recorded.
It was at this time that an advert from June of 1968 caught the eyes of Peter Giles. It was from Judy Dyble, who hd been in the original lineup of Fairport Convention. Dyble was looking to form her own band but ended up joining GG&F, and brought her boyfriend at the time, Ian McDonald along with her. He also brought with him his friend and lyricist Peter Sinfield into the fold. Dyble did not stick around long, but she did contribute to a number of the songs and even though I have included songs that were mostly sung by the men on the group, I felt that her performances were good enough that if this second album had been released, this would have been a good candidate for a GG&F and Judy Dyble Record Store Day release (which I will post later this month). However, I digress.
The band continued to record but Peter Giles was beginning to lose interest. He and his brother had been in bands for eight years and he had enough of living a hand to mouth existence, so quit to find a proper job. The split was amicable enough that he would come back to play bass on the second King Crimson album, appear with them on their 1970 Top Of The Pops appearance and on the McDonald & Giles album. However, with the exception of the Judy Dyble sung ‘I Talk To The Wind’, these recordings sat in a cupboard, tea chest, someone’s shed (delete as appropriate) until 2001 when they finally escaped. Even though it does show some hints at what wad to come with King Crimson, the majority of these recordings hark back more to the GG&F ‘Cheerful Insanity’ album than ‘In The Court of the Crimson King’. However, it is these recordings that I used for the basis of what a second GG&F album would have sounded like, and pretty good it sounds too. In fact, I would argue that this is a better record. Would they have re-recorded the songs that had Judy Dyble vocals? Well, the versions I have used were the only versions of these songs that were available so I decided to use them reasoning that the album sounded better with them than without them. Hypocrite was also recorded before the band had moved to London, but for a lack of other material, it had to go in. The only other songs I really had to think about using was ‘I Talk To The Wind’, because it was used later on the ‘Court of the Crimson King’. However, if this album was to have been released in 1969, then it would have had to have included it is one of the best song they recorded up to this point.
Even though this was recorded on such primitive equipment, it sounds great. To show how good the quality of these recordings were, the band mimed to them on their appearance on Colour Me Pop, a performance which has been mentioned before unfortunately been lost in time. I would recommend reading the sleeve notes to the original Brondesbury Tapes CD to find out how they managed to record these songs. GG&F did not get to release another album and King Crimson did not release their record on Deram/Decca. They were just another in a long line of artists who were on that label but went onto greater success somewhere else. Imagine what Decca would have been if they had actually signed The Beatles and kept King Crimson, Genesis, David Bowie and the like.
The album cover was a direct copy of LP Metaphormosis that was released by Tenth Planet in 2001. It contained highlights from the sessions that produced the demos that make up the songs on this album.
Murder (Judy Dyble Vocals)
Plastic Pennies (Judy Dyble Vocals)
Passages Of Time (Judy Dyble Vocals)
Why Don’t You Just Drop In (Peter Giles Vocals)
Wonderland (Peter & Michael Giles/Ian McDonald Vocals)
Tremelo Study In A-Major – Spanish Suite
She Is Loaded
Hypocrite (Peter Giles Vocals)
Make It Today (Michael Giles/Ian McDonald Vocals)
I Talk To the Wind (Michael Giles/Ian McDonald Vocals)
Under The Sky
All the songs are taken from a mixture of ‘The Brondesbury Tapes’ CD and as the GGFF recording from the ‘Complete 1969 Recordings’ box set. The only exceptions were ‘She Is Loaded’ and ‘Under The Sky’ which came from the expanded edition of The Cheerful Insanity Of Giles, Giles & Fripp from 1992
A playlist for this complication could not be produced due to one or more songs not being available on Spotify.
Back in March 2020, I put together a two disc version of Derek & the Dominos ‘Layla’ album in the style of a Deluxe Edition. The first disc contained the album as was released with the second containing outtakes from those sessions as well as the best (in my opinion) of what was recorded for their second LP, which was never finished. A brief story of the band can be found here as well as that playlist can be found here. https://www.thesquirepresents.co.uk/derek-the-dominos/.
I did consider putting together an attempt at the second Dominos LP, but so many other people have had a go and there was only so much material that has surfaced that is actually worth listening to. The sessions for the second Dominos LP were fraught to say the least. The band had set out on tour after completing the ‘Layla’ album, the results of which can be heard in numerous bootlegs as well as a couple of officially released albums. The officially released albums all contain songs recorded from the bands gig at the Filmore East. The band had consumed a good deal of drugs in the studio and would continue to do so on tour. Clapton’s personal life was also in turmoil due the death of his grandfather and his unrequited love for Patti Boyd, then wife of George Harrison. He would also lose friend Jimi Hendrix as well as Duane Allman, the man who had brought the ‘Layla’ session to life once he joined the band in the studio.
Keyboard player, Bobby Whitlock was also having issues with drummer Jim Gordon. On stage, Whitlock would be positioned in such a way that he was looking at Gordon, who mouth things to Whitlock about what he would like to do to him. Whitlock would say that Gordon ‘liked to swing both ways’. Whitlock had also signed a solo deal that would mean any new material as well as anything he had already written would be siphoned off for those. The Dominos backed him up on these albums but it would seem that the whole band did not play on any of the songs. Clapton even played bass on one of the recordings, something that he seems not have done before nor since.
By the time the band reconvened at Olympic Studios in Barnes, England, the magic had gone. Inter-band relations were be strained. The quality of the new material was not up to the standard of the first LP and Clapton was most probably missing a second guitar player to bring the best of him, much in the way Allman had done in the ‘Layla’ sessions. That is not to say that everything is not up to scratch. Anyway, things quickly started to fall apart with Jim Gordon seemingly being the instigator of it.
He wanted more song writing credits, and three of his songs were recorded in the sessions. None have seen the light officially as of June 2021. He was also displaying the first symptoms of as yet undiagnosed schizophrenia and this was shown on the sessions notes when the engineer wrote ‘what the fuck is he doing?’ on the session notes. The end of the band came about when Gordon spent an enormous amount of time tuning his drums. The atmosphere was already tense and this tuning exercise did nothing to cut the tension. Clapton, who was tuning his guitar, made some remark about the merits of another drummer which Gordon took exception to. An exchange of words took place which ended when Gordon said ‘would you like me to tune that thing for you?’, referring to Clapton’s guitar. More words were exchanged and Clapton let the studio saying that he would never work with Gordon again. He never did. It would also take him until 2000 to play with Whitlock again even though bass player Carl Radle was a member of Clapton’s band for most of the 1970s.
So, how to put together what could have been the second LP. ‘Layla’ was made up of nine original songs and five covers. When the band were recording the album, they were worried that they would not have enough material for a single album, let alone the double that it became. The covers and the extended run time of some of the songs helped up the run time. There is no need to try and emulate the double sided nature of that album. A single disc LP will have to do here.
The Dominos played a good number of songs live that were not recorded in the studio. One of these was a Whitlock original called ‘Country Life’, but as this appeared on his first solo album, I did not use this as it was recorded before the Dominos second album seasons had started. What does this leave me with. Well, there are four second album seasons that were released on the Crossroads Box Set back in 1988. They are ‘Evil’, ‘More More Chance’, ‘Mean Old Frisco’ and ‘Snake Lake Blues’. I went for these mixes instead of the 2010 versions as they are how I originally heard those songs. I decided to use the 2010 version of ‘Got To Get Better In A Little While’ because Whitlock was brought into the studio to finish the track off as he was not on the version released on the Crossroads set.
‘High’ was also recorded by the Dominos but it did not include any vocals. I have used the version from 1975’s ‘There’s One In Every Crowd’ which does, even though with the female backing vocalists, it is not quite how the original would have sounded. There is also room Jim Gordon original (‘Till I See You Again) , and another one could have been used as a B-Side if a single had been released from this album. If I as to chose it, ’Got To Get Better In A Little While’ would be the obvious choice. ‘Motherless Children’ was another songs the Dominos would play live but I have used the studio version taken from Clapton’s 1974 album, ‘461 Ocean Boulevard’.
The rest are covers from the band’s tour which I have decided the use these to make up for the shortfall in usable studio cuts. These are taken from ‘The Majestic Stand’ set and this includes a guest appearance from Delaney Bramlett. This gives Clapton a sparing partner to play off, which beefs up the sound and shows what the band could have sounded like if they had taken a second player out with them. In some respects, it follows the template that Clapton would follow with his solo work during the 70s. A smattering of originals padded out with covers.
This is nowhere near the classic album that ‘Layla’ is, but it does have its merits. The version of ‘Evil’ being a particular highlight. Some of the live recordings are not professionally recorded either so the sound quality is a bit of a mixed bag I am afraid.
Motherless Children – 461 Ocean Boulevard
All Night Long – The Majestic Stand**
Everyday I Have The Blues – The Majestic Stand***
One More Chance – Crossroads (1988 Box Set)
’Til I See You Again – Unreleased 2nd Album Session
High – There’s One In Every Crowd
Got To Get Better In A Little While – 2010 Version
Evil – Crossroads (1988 Box Set)
Ramblin’ On My Mind – The Majestic Stand*
Stormy Monday – The Majestic Stand**
Mean Old Frisco – Crossroads (1988 Box Set)
Snake Lake Blues – Crossroads (1988 Box Set)
It’s Hard To Find – Unreleased 2nd Album Sessions
*Concert at Electric Factory Theatre, Philadelphia (PA), United States. 16th October 1970
** Concert at Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica (CA), United States. 20th November 1970, 1st show with Delaney Bramlett (slide guitar)
***Concert at Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica (CA), United States. 20th November 1970, 2nd show with Delaney Bramlett (slide guitar)
The cover was taken from a forum discussing the second Dominos album. It uses a painting like ‘Layla’ but I am not sure how the person who produced this decided upon the title. Much like the album, the cover is nowhere near as memorable as the first LP but I must thank whoever made this for posting it.
As we stated off both May and June of 2021 with a podcast looking at the later years of Eric Clapton, I thought it might be a good time to look at one of the lost albums of his career. Now, Clapton has not had many albums that have been ‘lost’ down the years and it could be said that this one isn’t really lost. The album did came out but not in the way it was originally planned.
Clapton may well have cemented his place as a guitar God in the 60s and very early 70s, but by the time he reached the early 80’s, you would think that from listening to his studio albums that he had forgotten what a solo was. His laidback sound that is characteristic of the majority of his work in the 70s might have been down to his growing addiction to alcohol. Gigs during this time could go on for 30 minutes before he left the stage, or would involve him hurling abuse at the audience or his band. He did manage to form a relationship and then married Pattie Boyd, the inspiration behind the Layla album. However, his drinking did cause problems and there were reports of domestic abuse. His drinking became so bad that he was warned by his doctor that if he didn’t stop drinking, he would die. He has said that the only reason he did not commit suicide during this period was because that would mean he would not be able to drink. His marriage to Patti disintegrated not only due to his drinking, but his numerous infidelities.
With all of this going on, Clapton continued to release numerous albums and on each of them, you can tell that the drinking is becoming more and more evident in is playing. In 1980, he had had one album turned down by his record label which would become known as ‘Turn Up Down’. The record was never released as it was felt by his record company that it wasn’t good enough. The same happened to the ‘Behind The Sun’ album.
By the mid 80’s Clapton ’s friendship with Phil Collins turned into a professional one and they decided to record a record together, with Collins acting as producer. Clapton had also started to reacquaint himself with his guitar in a way that he had not done is years. This had began when he started to be sober for the first time in years and playing as a sideman on Roger Waters ‘The Pros & Cons Of Hitchhiker’ album. For this record, Clapton pulled out some show stopping guitar playing on ‘Same Old Blues’ and ‘Just Like A Prisoner’, two songs that chronicle the break up of his marriage to Patti Boyd. He shows his pain again in the tender sounding title track which has just Clapton and Collins on it. Collins adding the subtle synthesiser backing to the track.
The album is also a product of the decade in which it was produced. Clapton was not the only 60’s musician trying to find a voice in this decade and there are layers of synth on ‘Same Old Blues’ that date the song and in some ways ruin it. Clapton himself used a guitar synth on the song ‘Never Make You Cry’. Phil Collins has taken the lions share of the blame for the way the album sounds but that is not actually his fault, and here is why.
As the ‘Layla’ was a love letter to Patti Boyd, this album was a document of its disintegration. Clapton’s record label didn’t want an album like ‘Behind The Sun’ in its original form. They told him it was not relevant to anything else out there and there were no singles. It is strange that a record label would sign an artist that has not, especially in his solo years, been known as a man that has spent too long in the singles charts. Instead of fighting his corner (possibly because this was only his second album on WB), Clapton went with the record companies wishes and recorded three songs by writer Jerry Lynn Williams. Two of these in the form of ‘Forever Man’ and ‘See What Love Can Do’ were released as a singles. ‘Forever Man’ was the bigger hit of the two in the major markets but neither set the charts alight.
However, what would this album have sounded like if Warner Brothers had not insisted changes being made. Luckily, a number of the songs from the original sessions have found there way out of the vault on either box-sets, movie soundtracks or B-Sides. The music on Side 1 is a bit more upbeat, even if the lyrical content is not. There is some straight blues with ‘Too Bad’ which dispenses with the synth sounds of the era. Shame the rest of the music wasn’t recorded this way as this would have made the record timeless instead of a timepiece. There is a song written by Marcy Levy, who had been in Clapton’s band for most of the 70’s. All of the Williams written songs have been removed. I also took off the rather unnecessary cover of ‘Knock On Wood’, which added nothing to the album. A better cover was ‘You Don’t Know Like I Know’ which only saw a very limited release in Australia as a single. It fits in better with the tone of the album. The rest is essentially either by Clapton alone or with a co-writer.
As an album, it works quite well. There’s a bit of blues, soul and 80’s rock held together by having one producer in the form of Phil Collins. Most of the criticism laid at his door for the way this album sounds should be directed at the people who worked on the Jerry Lynn Williams recordings. Judging this record with hindsight, it may well have worked better if Warner Brothers had not interfered. It is still not a great album, but it is not without merit. This is a guess as to what the lineup would have been as as far as I can tell, the original running order of this record has never seen the light of day.
The version of ‘Behind The Sun’ that came out in the 80’s might sound dated now, but it could be argued that this was the first album of a creative rebirth for Clapton that would culminate less than a decade later with his songs ‘Tears In Heaven’ and the ‘Unplugged’ LP.
You Don’t Know Like I Know
It All Depends
One Jump Ahead Of The Storm
Never Make You Cry
Tangled In Love
Same Old Blues
Just Like A Prisoner
Behind The Sun
The album cover is the same as on the original album, but as a negative image.
1968 was an interesting year for The Who. I covered this in a lot more detail last month in my post, ‘Who’s For Tennis’ so see that to find out more. Since I posted that post (and a further what-if release from John Entwistle), the Super Deluxe Box Set version of ‘The Who Sell Out’ dropped through the door. What was evident from the booklet contained within was that main songwriter Peter Townshend struggled to have enough material for the albums they actually did release. This might explain why John Entwistle has three songs on the LP. Entwistle would only have this amount of material on a Who album on 1978’s ‘Who Are You’ and 1982’s ‘It’s Hard’. With Townshend consumed by producing ‘Tommy’ which would not see the light of day until 1969, did this box set give me enough material for an album for release in 1968 that would not cross over with the two other what-is records I put out last month?
Well, the Entwhistle record would never have seen the light of day in reality, but ‘Who’s For Tennis’ might have been, even if it was not in the configuration that I proposed. That means, none of the covers from that album could be used. That leaves about 15 tunes that could be placed on some vinyl. Some of these did see the light of day in 1968 so I thought I would continue to use these as singles in this fantasy time line. ‘Magic Bus’ and ‘Dogs’ are the A-Sides, but the B-Sides are a little different. ‘Call Me Lightning’ was used as an A-Side in the US, but this is B-side material of the highest order. It sounds like it was from earlier in the 60s, which is exactly when it was written. If you are really interested, a video was shot for ‘Call Me Lightning’ in an abandoned warehouse in the USA which the rest of the band chases a robotic Keith Moon about. Watching this, I feel that it took one whole day to think up the concept and film it. Videos were different in the 60s. Anyway, I digress.
In the UK, ‘Dogs’ was the A-Side to ‘Call Me Lightnings’ B-Side. ‘Dogs’ a curious beast. It sounds nothing like any other Who song, and I thought it was a piss take when I first heard it. It might well have been, but I was surprised this was released back in the day, let alone be an A-Side. The final single would have been an exclusive for the US Market. ‘Little Billy’s Doing Fine’ and ‘Kids! Do You Want Kids’ were written on belief of the American Cancer Society and were designed to warn against the dangers of smoking. Neither saw the light of day in 1968, and ‘KIds! Do You Want Kids’ was never recorded by The Who. The version here is Pete Townshend demo recording.
As for the album, The Who did not have enough material to release a complete studio album. What they did have was a live recording recorded at the Filmore East in April of 1968. The plan for these recording was to release a live album, but when playing back the tapes, it was found that only some of the first night had been successfully recorded. The second night had been recorded completely but these would stay in the archive until 2018 when the tapes were dusted down and released. What if these live recordings were used in conjunctive with the studio cuts that were in the can?
A half live/half studio album is still a rarity in this day and age, let alone the 1960s. The inspiration for this set was ‘Wheels on Fire’ and the soon to be released ‘Goodbye’, by Cream. Both of these records had live and studio cuts on them. This would follow the template of ‘Goodbye’ though, as this is only a single album. Listening to it, it sounds exactly what it is. An album made up of outtakes with live tracks thrown in to make up the time. It does work reasonably well, though, even though the edit between ‘C’Mon Everybody’ and ‘Boris The Spider’ is a bit sharp. It is doubtful that an album like this would have been released by The Who, especially as their records at the time were not selling that well compared to the previous years. It was their live work, especially in the USA that kept the band going until ‘Tommy’ was unleashed in 1969.
Fortune Teller (Live)
Little Billy (Live)
I Can’t Explain (Live)
Happy Jack (Live)
I’m A Boy (Live)
My Way (Live)
C’Mon Everybody (Live)
Boris The Spider (Live)
Inside Outside (Demo)
Jaguar (Original Mono Mix)
Faith In Something Bigger
Signal 30 (Sodding About)
Rael Naïve (Full Coda)
Magic Bus (UK Single Mix)
Facts Of Life (aka Birds & Bees)
Dogs (Single Mix)
Call Me Lightning (Single Mix)
Little Billy’s Doing Fine
Kids! Do You Want Kids (Demo)
The cover is adapted from the Bootleg LP, ‘Little Billy Relaxes At The Filmore’. I chose the title ‘Who’s Missing’ (which would later be used for a couple of compilation albums in the 1980’s) because it accurately describes the contents within.