Pink Floyd – The Tea Set & The Pink Floyd Sound

Record Collector magazine, a magazine that I have been buying since since the very early 90s when I saw a picture of there Syd Barrett line up on the front cover. I had only just bought ‘Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’ and wanted to find out more about the band during the Barrett era. Anyway, Record Collector has always been a great resource for information on all sorts of artists. In an article from at least eight, if not ten years ago, it mentioned a number of acetates Pink Floyd had recorded before they adopted their famous name. Before they were the Floyd, they went by numerous monikers such as Sigma 6, The Meggadeaths, The Abdabs, The Screaming Abdabs, The Tea Set and then The Pink Floyd Sound. There would also be a number of members who would leave before the band found fame. These would include Juliette Gale, who would later marry Floyd keyboard player Rick Wright and a guitar player who went by the name of Rado Klose. 

One acetate which contained the songs ‘Lucy Leave’ and I’m A King Bee’ would appear on bootlegs over the years, but the other two did not and it was only with the release of a vinyl EP going by the name ‘1965: Their First Recordings’ that fans finally got to hear them. These songs are nothing like the Floyd of ‘Arnold Layne’ or ‘See Emily Play’, but a more R&B/Blues based sound that was the rage at the time. These songs would also be released on the ‘The Early Years 1965-1972’ box set. 

Whilst trawling through fan made Pink Floyd LP sleeves, I came across this sleeve. The photo includes Rado Klose (he is the chap on the left) and I think it was taken in the back garden of 39 Stanhope Gardens, Crouch End, where Roger Waters and Nick Mason lived at the time. I thought it would be a nice bonus to present this as an EP the band could have put out if they had signed a contract with Columbia earlier than they did in reality. After all of the other Pink Floyd bits and pieces that have been presented this month to include this one as well. 

Side A

  1. Double O Bo
  2. Remember Me

Side B

  1. Walk With Me Sydney
  2. Butterfly

As I was at it, I thought I might as well make a picture sleeve for the other two tracks. ‘Lucy Leave’ and ‘I’m A King Bee’. I thought I would use the name the band were using at the time these tracks were recorded which was The Tea Set. If this were to have been made back in 1964/5 for a UK releases, it is possible that only the promo version would have had a picture sleeve like this. We in the UK didn’t seem to warrant picture sleeves back in the day. If we were on the continent though, they did produce picture sleeves so let’s pretend it comes from Germany. 

Side A

Lucy Leave

Side B

I’m A King Bee

As was mentioned earlier, I found this cover online but I did not make a note of who made it. The same with the ‘Lucy Leave’ single which was adapted from someone else work. Thanks whoever you are. Good job on both fronts. I was also surprised to find all of these songs on Spotify. 

Pink Floyd – Let There Be More Light

When Pink Floyd released their debut album ‘Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’, there was one driving force behind it. That was original guitar player/vocalist Syd Barrett. However, but the time they were ready to record their second, Barrett’s days in the band were numbered. His behaviour had becoming more erratic throughout 1967 to the point where he was detuning his guitar on stage. His material which once managed to break the Top Ten in the UK Singles chart was now failing to make the grade. By the time of ‘Apple & Oranges’, the last single he wrote for the band, their days as a chart band were gone and it would remain that way for another twelve years. The fact that they did not realise many singles in the UK in those twelve years might have played a part in that also. Anyway, as his ability to perform live diminished, Dave Gilmour, an old friend of Barrett’s was brought in as cover. The band thought that as Barrett had been responsible for most of the bands material up until this point, they would keep him on as a writer and non touring member along the lines of Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys. 

This situation did not last long and by the end of January 1968, Barrett was no longer in the band. Even though he contributed to the playing on a couple of songs as a player, only one of the songs he had written for the group was used on the album that would be known as ‘A Saucerful Of Secrets’. ‘Jugband Blues’ was not like the joyous songs that had been included on the debut album but many have seen it as a self diagnosis of what he perceived was happening to him. Was it schizophrenia, a wry sense of humour, too many drugs, the fact that he longer wanted to be a star or a combination of all of them. Barrett had recorded a number of other songs but these would not seen an official release until 2016 and the Early Years box set. So, what if the second Pink Floyd album had sounded like it if it had used more of the material the band had recorded with Syd Barrett?

I’ll start by looking at the one track that did not make the cut. I did not want to use Saucerful of Secrets as it is the only the third section that I can actually listen to repeatedly. Wikipedia has that part listed as Celestial Voices and it is beautiful. It is shame that the rest of it was a load of psychedelic noodling that in any other era would have been seen as self indulgent. Seeing as this is quite a long song, that leaves plenty of room to fill on this LP. More on that later. Side A is the same as the album that was actually released. I did play around with this, moving songs around and trying to place the songs in a different order but it just didn’t work. 

It is Side B that is very different from the album that was ultimately released. It starts off with ‘See-Saw’ was listed on the recording sheet as ‘The Most Boring Song I’ve Ever Heard Bar Two’. It its not the most memorably of songs but it is not terrible. I would love to know what the two songs the band thought were more boring than this though. I have followed this with one of the unreleased Barrett songs that was officially released in 2016. ‘Vegetable Man’ is not an easy listen and the lyrics show Barrett looking in on himself. This and the other unreleased Barrett number, ‘Scream Thy Last Scream’ were considered as the A and B side of a single, in lieu of anything else in the can. This, as we know did not come to pass and I suspect that it would not have returned the band to the top of the single chart. The band did perform these songs on a BBC session in December 1967. 

‘Painbox’ was originally released as the B-Side of the Apple & Oranges single, and is one of a number of songs that band recorded that show the Barrett influence whilst not being written by him. ‘Jugband Blues’ is another song with lyrics that could be said to be Barrett looking in on himself and I almost finished this album in the same way it did on the original LP did. However, I decided to throw a little bonus in there, because otherwise my sides would not match up time wise. That track is an instrumental that has been bootlegged under the name as Sunshine, but supposedly the track is officially known as ‘Experiment’. Even though this track is meant to be 15 minutes long, only the first 90 seconds have escaped the studio. The track does sound a little rough, it fits into the sound of the album. I put a fade in and out and added some echo to the first 20 seconds.

The original Saucerful of Secrets was possibly the most democratic album the band ever made. Each of the five members take a lead vocal and this is the only album where Keyboardist Rick Wright vocal performances outnumber everyone else.  I have used the same artwork as Saucerful of Secrets but I took out the original photo to include one with all five Floyd members in it. 

Side A

  1. Let There Be More Light
  2. Remember A Day
  3. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
  4. Corporal Clegg

Side B

  1. See-Saw
  2. Vegetable Man
  3. Paintbox
  4. Scream Thy Last Scream
  5. Jugband Blues
  6. Experiment

A Spotify playlist could not be created for this play list due to one or more songs not being available on that platform. 

The Byrds – 20c

Now, normally I create a playlist and then try to put together a piece of artwork to go along with it. With this what-if album, this was the complete opposite in that I had the piece of artwork and wondered how I could find a playlist to go with it.

Now, this piece of artwork was is another one taken from the site and is for an album that would have been an overview of American popular music throughout the 20th Century. This was meant to be a follow on from the band’s previous album, ‘The Notorious Byrd Brothers’ which had already laid the template by expanding the genres of music the band was looking to incorporate into their repertoire. The ‘Notorious Byrd Brothers’ was an end of an era album though as drummer Michael Clarke and guitar player David Crosby had been fired before the record had been released. Pulling in new drummer in the from of ex-Rising Sons member Kevin Kelley, the band thought that they needed a jazz pianist to achieve the sound they required for their 20th Century album. In came Gram Parsons who did not waste anytime in turning this project into the album he wanted to make which would be released under the name ‘Sweetheart Of The Rodeo’. This is considered to be one of the first country rock albums and would be an influence on many bands that came after this. The 20th Century album was never revisited and as far as I can tell, not one recording session took place. 

So, why use this cover when no material was recorded for it? Well, it is a really good cover and it is a shame that it does not have a what-if album to go with it. I took inspiration from the sleeve itself and wondered if I could produce an album that followed a space theme. Not quite, but with some songs thrown in that have a flying theme (and Mind Gardens as it could be argued that the song is about travelling through inner space), there was enough material recorded between 1965 and 1967 to get an album of sorts. Most of the songs on this record were written or co-written by Jim McGuinn who was fascinated by aeronautics, so much so that he started using the name of Roger instead of Jim. Roger being used by pilots as part of the signalling protocol to say that the last message has been received satisfactorily. Like many of the what-if records I put together, this one would never have come out as the songs had already been used on other records but it did mean that that wonderful piece of artwork found a home. 

Side A

  1. Artificial Energy – The Notorious Byrd Brothers
  2. C.T.A.-102 – Younger Than Yesterday
  3. 5D (Fifth Dimension) – 5th Dimension
  4. Stranger in a Strange Land (Vocals by Blackburn & Snow) *(See Below)
  5. Eight Miles High – 5th Dimension

Side B

  1. The Airport Song – Preflyte
  2. Mr. Spaceman – 5th Dimension
  3. Mind Gardens (Alternative Version) – Younger Than Yesterday
  4. Space Odyssey – The Notorious Byrd Brothers
  5. 2-4-2 Fox Trot (The Lear Jet Song) – 5th Dimension

* The Byrds did not finish their version of ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’ and the instrumental backing track was released on the 1996 reissue of the ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’ album. However, in 1966, the duo of Blackburn & Snow recorded their own version of the song with vocals included. Paul from the Albums That Should Exist website took the vocals from the Blackburn & Snow recording and added them to the Byrds backing track. To find out more, follow the link.

It is because of this mash up that this playlist is not available on Spotify. Not much of a surprise really. 

Various Artists – Boss Level OST

It is always nice to come across a gem of a film that I knew nothing about beforehand. One of those which I saw over the Christmas period was Boss Level. It doesn’t have the most original of premise in that the hero of the film must relive the same day over and over again until he figures out what he needs to do to end this event from repeating itself. However, the action, acting and kick arse soundtrack made this 100 minutes of my time that I did not feel was wasted. Time being the operative word here because the majority of the songs on this soundtrack are concerned with it. 

Even though a soundtrack album was released for the music, this was the incidental music by Clinton Shorter. There wasn’t one for the songs that were used throughout the movie so I thought I would put one together. This includes nineteen of the twenty songs included in the film. The only one missing is ‘Sixties Airport Lounge’ by John Plowright which does not seem to be available anywhere. There were enough songs for a short double album so so here it is, the soundtrack to Boss Level.

Side 1

  1. Working For MCA – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  2. Alcohol Part 1 – Robert Jay
  3. Mean Little Mama – Roy Orbison
  4. Time Has Come Today – The Chambers Brothers
  5. Baby I Don’t Care – Carl Mann

Side B

  1. Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me) – The Gap Band
  2. Got My Mojo Workin’ – Billy Adams
  3. Slow Down – Jack Earls
  4. Foreplay/Longtime – Boston

Side C

  1. Fine Time – Genie Brooks
  2. Fix Me – Black Flag
  3. Destroy Everything – The Helltones 
  4. That’s Why I Love To Call His Name – Village Singers
  5. Picking Tea Leaves & Catching Butterflies – Lily Chao
  6. South American Getaway – Burt Bacharach

Side D

  1. Turn Back The Hands Of Time – Tyronne Davies
  2. I Want To Love You Baby – Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson
  3. Victim Of Circumstance – Mike & The Censations
  4. Day After Day – Badfinger
  5. How Much Can A Man Take? – Big John Hamilton
  6. Only Time Will Tell – Clarence Ashe

The artwork is taken from an image used to publish the film with some background added. 

Crowded House & Tim Finn (1989-1991)

I do like a good what if album and this month, we have two for the price of one. Recently, I gave a couple of Crowded House albums a spin. They were ‘Woodface’ and ‘Afterglow’. I had always read that ‘Woodface’ was a amalgam of Crowded House tracks and songs that main House songwriter, Neil Finn had written with his brother Tim for an album project of their own. The story goes that Tim and Neil Finn were looking to record an album as the Finn Brothers and had written an albums worth of material when Neil said could he use some of the songs for the next Crowded House Record. With Tim saying yes and joining the band, what we got was a great album that had been made out of the ashes of two. So, what if Capitol had not rejected the original version of Woodface and the Finn Brothers had recorded their first collaborative effort as planned? Well, with the wonders of the internet and the bands reissue programmes, we can do just that.  

Crowded House – Woodface (Original Version)

With Woodface, we get an album that does not sound too dissimilar to Temple Of Low Men. I only allowed songs on here that were either written by Paul Hester, the bands drummer or Neil Finn. None of the co-write between Tim and Neil would be allowed. That does mean that most of the singles that were released from ‘Woodface’ would no longer be on here, with only ‘Fall At Your Feet’ left. The album is solid, if not spectacular. It does lack some of the sparkle that came when the tracks form the abandoned ‘Finn’ project were added, but I believe it would have stood up against the other records the band had released up to this point. 

Side A

  1. Anyone Can Tell
  2. Left Hand
  3. Fields Are Full Of Your Kind
  4. As Sure As I Am
  5. Sacred Cow
  6. She Goes On
  7. Italian Plastic

Side B

  1. Fall At Your Feet
  2. Dr. Livingston
  3. Fame Is
  4. I Love You Dawn
  5. Whispers & Moans
  6. My Telly’s Gone Bung
  7. My Legs Are Gone

The cover for this collection is based upon a band T-Shirt that came out at the time. 

The Finn Brothers – Self Titled

On the other hand, we have the Finn Brothers record. What we get are all of the songs that were recorded for Woodface, plus some of the others that had been written for ‘Finn Brothers’ record but not used at the time. That would mean that four out of the five singles from Woodface would be included here, potentially making this a more commercial record. Out of the songs demoed by the Finn’s, two would end up on Tim Finn’s first solo record after leaving Crowded House which was called ‘Before & After’. These would be ‘In Love With It All’ and ‘Strangeness & Calm’. Two more, ‘Prodigal Son’ and ‘Catherine Wheels’ would be released via Neil Finn’s website. Catherine Wheels (which had supposedly been gestating since the late 70s) would be finished and released on the Together Alone album. For the purposes of this what if record, I have gone with the Finn Brothers demo. One more song was demoed by the Finn’s and this was called ‘Cemetery In The Rain’. This last song has not been released anywhere as far as I know, but 12 tracks is enough to come up with an alternative history Finn Brothers album. 

Side A

  1. Chocolate Cake
  2. It’s Only Natural
  3. Tall Trees
  4. Catherine Wheels
  5. There Goes God
  6. Four Season in one Day

Side B

  1. Strangeness & Calm
  2. Weather With You
  3. Prodigal Son
  4. All I Ask
  5. In Love With It All
  6. How Will You Go

It was quite difficult to find a picture of the Finn Brothers for an album cover, but they did appear facing each other whilst playing their guitars from the ‘It’s Only Natural’ video. Adopting the minimal approach of the era remembering that complicated albums sleeve didn’t work in the cassette era, we have a sleeve not too different from Talk Talk’s ‘Spirit Of Eden’. 

A playlist for The Finn Brothers LP could not be complied due to one or more songs not being available on Spotify. 

So what do we get when listening to these. Well, we get two albums, but take off the best songs from each and you get one excellent album. Now, if only the brothers had decided to have started ‘Woodface’ with something other than Chocolate Cake, it would have made for an even better record. 

I have not included ‘I’m Still Here’ as it always sounded out of place to my ears and did nothing to add to the experience of listening to ‘Woodface’. 

I cannot believe that this album is nearly 30 years old. Where has the time gone?

Various Artists – Blood Records Sampler 2021

Happy New Year everyone. Between 2018 (when they released their fist disc) and 2020, Blood Records put out 29 records. In 2021, the released 33 showing that this particular label went into overdrive over the past twelve months. It also meant that this years sampler would be a much larger affair than the previous efforts. I was still keen for at least one song from each release and at one point, it looked as though there would be enough to have two double albums. As it is, the second double ended up being the third disc on what would be a triple LP as there just wasn’t enough material for a second disc at a length I felt would have been acceptable (I know its a fantasy release). 

With supply chain issues and released being pushed back because of it did mean that there were a number of records that did not drop through the door at Squire Towers before the end of the year. There are already fourteen discs that Blood Records have advertised in 2021 that will hopefully be handed over via my Post in the next few months. 

One disc is missing form this list Halloweens ‘Morning Kiss at the Acropolis’ is not included as this was a straight reissue (albeit on a different coloured vinyl) for the version released last year. 

The sleeve is one of the Blood Records logos taken from their Facebook page. 

Side A

  1. Keeper – Lonely The Brave
  2. Lights On Baby – Halloweens
  3. A Better Life – Stanleys
  4. Too Good – Arlo Parks
  5. Who Am I? – Pale Waves

Side B

  1. Let The Music – Okie
  2. I Like The Way You Die – Black Honey
  3. All My Friends – The Obgms
  4. Shipbuilding – Mystery Jets
  5. Delicious Things – Wolf Alice

Side C

  1. Gold Teeth – Warmduscher
  2. Hey There – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
  3. Momentary – Low Island
  4. Feelings I’m Supposed To Feel – Maximo Park

Side D

  1. Trouble’s Coming – Royal Blood
  2. Soul Singer – Thom Southern
  3. Monty Python – Connie Constance
  4. Land Of The Lost – The Coral
  5. Time – Only Sun

Side E

  1. It Won’t Always Be Like This – Inhaler
  2. That Night – Stanleys
  3. Clique – Yonaka (feat. Over 333)
  4. Oh My Love – The Lathums
  5. Undertaker (Fever 333 Remix) – Nova Twins
  6. Melon & The Coconut – Glass Animals
  7. Start Again – Rianne Downey

Side F

  1. The Sum Of Our Fears – The Howlers
  2. Stuck In Your Heard – Vistas
  3. Bloodsports – Strange Bones
  4. Jump Off The Top – The Vaccines
  5. Nothing Is Gonna Change – Dead Nature
  6. Something To Leave The House For – The Lottery Winners
  7. I Never Get Lonesome – Courtney Barnett

Harry Nilsson – Nilsson Sings Yoko

The other Nilsson projects I have put together recently were essentially records I would like to have seen released, but this one is a genuine lost album. After the release of ‘Knnillsson’ in 1977, Nilsson left RCA Records, his home for the previous decade. One further album called ‘Flash Harry’ was released in a few European countries as well as Japan, but this was a one off deal. It would also be his last studio album that Nilsson released before his death. This period was quite productive as he also produced the soundtrack album for the Robert Altman film, ‘Popeye’. He also worked on a couple of musicals. One about Mexican Revolutionary, Emiliano Zapata and the other was cartoon characters Blondie & Dagwood. 

Music was put to one side after the assassination of his friend John Lennon as Nilsson joined the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. He started making media appearances to raise funds for the organisation as well as recording the single ‘With a Bullet’. He even got on stage at Beatlefest events to do some live singing. By the mid 80s, Nilsson was starting to record more frequently, mostly on commissions for TV and Movies, but also tribute albums. One of these was ‘Every Man Has a Woman’, which was released in celebration of Yoko Ono’s 50th birthday. Nilsson had three songs on the album, but he seems that he was so happy with what he was doing, that he decided to record a whole albums worth. The National Times reported that the album would be released in 1985, but it never materialised. 

Unlike many lost albums, most of the songs were recorded but why wasn’t released has yet to come to light. Record companies might have been put off by Nilsson’s antics in the 1970s, or the fact that his last few albums had not been big sellers. The song ‘Loneliness’ was released as a single on Polydor and does not seem to have been a hit so the record company might not have wanted to follow up with a full album. Whatever the reasons, the songs have for the most part, stayed in the archives. Well, here is my reconstruction of what could have been if this album had sent he light of day in 1985. 

As three of the songs had already seen the light of day on ‘Every Man Has a Woman’, it would be nice to have alternative versions of those songs here. For two of them, this is possible, ‘Loneliness’ and ‘Dream Love’ both exist as extended versions. These two can be included but ‘Silver Horse’ does not, so that will have to stay the same. The song ‘Yang Yang’ was rehearsed but never finished. A quick bit of editing though has meant a sort of master take could be produced. 

At forty minutes, this would have been an optimal length for a vinyl album. A couple of alternative mixes have also been circulating. Most of Nilsson’s back catalogue has been rereleased with bonus tracks. If this album had had of come out and was to have received a CD reissue, these could have been used as bonus tracks. I have also included the versions of ‘Loneliness’ and ‘Dream Love’ from ‘Every Man Has A Woman’ for completeness. Will these tracks ever seen the light of day in an official capacity? Only time will tell. 

I found the album artwork on a message board, so whoever made this, thank you. It is an homage to the ‘Nilsson Sings Newman’ cover. It is shame that they did not called it ‘Nilsson Sings Ono’.

Side A

  1. Silver Horse
  2. Loneliness (Extended Edition)
  3. Listen, The Snow Is Falling
  4. Let The Tears Dry

Side B

  1. Yang Yang
  2. Smile
  3. Never Say Goodbye
  4. Toy Boat
  5. Dream Love (Extended Version)

CD Bonus Tracks

  1. Toy Boat (Alternative Take)
  2. Smile (Alternative Vocal)
  3. Never Say Goodbye (Alternative Mix)
  4. Listen, The Snow Is Falling (Different Mix)
  5. Loneliness (Every Man Has A Woman Version)
  6. Dream Love (Every Man Has A Woman Version)

The Beach Boys – Greatest (UK Edition)

Last month, I posted a fake album called ‘Endless Bummer – Vol.1’ which was a collection of some of the worst tracks The Beach Boys released before they put out the glorious ‘Pet Sounds’. Well, I did feel a bit bad about posting that so I thought about what I could do to make up for that and this is it, a collection of their hits. This is not just any collection of their hits mind you. This compilation only includes the singles that were hits in the UK. 

A lot of the material The Beach Boys recorded in their early career just did not translate to the record buying pubic in the UK. Songs about sunshine, surfing and hot rod cars didn’t have much of a market over here and out of the really early singles, only ‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’ would be a hit, and a minor one at that, only reaching number 34. It would take until ‘I Get Around’ in 1964 for their first top ten hit. Out of the 21 singles the band released in the US between 1961 and 1966, not all would see a release in the UK and out of those that were, only 10 managed a chart placing; Granted, by the time we get to ‘Good Vibrations’, they have scored their first UK number 1. 

Their albums would also be released out of order as well. ‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’ would be released in 1963 in the US, but would only see the light of day in the UK in 1965. Therefore, I have a problem with any release that claims to be a Greatest Hits record in the UK. That is because they always contain songs that were not hits in the UK. That might be why the majority of them go under the Best Of tag. 

I have decided to address this with a collection that only includes songs that were hits in the UK. There is just about enough to fit onto a double LP, or one CD. All of these songs were Top 40 hits and I have also looked to include the single versions. That means, most of them are in mono. It also means that the disco version of ‘Here Comes The Night’ is also a lot shorter at four and a half minutes, whereas the album version was over ten. The harpsichord intro to ‘Lovely Lynda’ is also absent. That only appeared on the album version. 

There is also a bonus track (if you can call it that) for the CD version, which is the collaboration between The Beach Boys and Status Quo. Unlike the collaboration between The  Beach Boys and the Fat Boys, this version of ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ did not initially appear on a Beach Boys album. I only include it here because if this were a real record, there would be enough room on the CD for it. The joke being that when the original Beach Boys version of this song was released in the UK, it was not a hit. This inferior version with Quo, made number 24. 

The songs are presented in the order in which they were hits in the UK. 

Side A

  1. Surfin’ U.S.A
  2. I Get Around
  3. When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)
  4. Dance, Dance, Dance
  5. Help Me, Rhonda
  6. California Girls
  7. Barbara Ann
  8. Sloop John B

Side B

  1. God Only Knows
  2. Good Vibrations
  3. Then I Kissed Here
  4. Heroes & Villains
  5. Wild Honey
  6. Darlin’
  7. Friends

Side C

  1. Do It Again
  2. Bluebirds Over The Mountain
  3. I Can Hear Music
  4. Break Away
  5. Cottonfields (The Cotton Song)
  6. California Saga (On My Way To Sunny Californ-i-a)

Side D

  1. Rock & Roll Music
  2. Here Comes The Night
  3. Lady Lynda
  4. Wipe Out (with The Fat Boys)
  5. Kokomo

CD Bonus Track

Fun, Fun, Fun (with Status Quo)

The sleeve was taken from the a piece of artwork created by a user on the Smiley Smile message board. 

Various Artists – Beck Record Club

Between ‘Golden Feelings’, his first album release in 1993 and Modern Guilt in 2008, Beck Hansen released a new record nearly every other year. This all finished in 2008 and Beck would not release another album under ‘Morning Phase’ in 2014. So what was Beck up to in those six years. He spent some of that time recovering form a spinal injury that he received whilst filming a music video for the song ‘E-Pro’ in 2005. He said that recording the ‘Modern Guilt’ album was like “doing it with both hands tied behind your back. It hurt to sing. I’m whispering through half of those vocals”. This also meant that Beck was unable to tour and he also changing record labels. 

With all of this going on, Beck was not idle. He worked on a number of projects including recording enough material to have released around four albums. 2012 would seen he ‘I Just Started Hating People Today’ single and a set of 12 inch singles was released in 2013 that included songs from a unfinished project that was similar to ‘Odelay’. The drought of albums finished with 2014 and ‘Morning Phase’, but there was also a second album that Beck said would also be released that year which has not been released so far. 

However, Beck did record five albums in 2009 which did see the light of day, but not on any physical format. These record’s came out via YouTube under the banner of Beck’s Record Club and the idea behind that project was to cover an entire album by another artist with a rotating set of musicians. These albums were:

1. The Velvet Underground & Nico – The Velvet Underground

2. Songs Of Leonard Cohen – Leonard Cohen

3. Oar – Skip Spence

4. Kick – INXS

5. Yanni Live At The Acropolis – Yanni

I had heard all of these albums before (except for the Yanni one) and enjoyed the idea as well as the execution. These songs were all available to hear on YouTube and I also remember that there was poll on Beck’s official website (or possibly a fan site – I cannot remember) where fans were asked to vote on which songs from these record would be officially released. I took part in the voting and looked forward to it being released. Well, I am still waiting so I thought I would put together my own Record Club LP using my favourite tracks from those sessions. Highlights include the duet on ‘Need You Tonight’ and electronica of ‘Run Run Run’. I also like the way in which they turned ‘Black Angel’s Death Song’ from the noise experiment of the original into a folk tune, reminiscent of the early demo tape The Velvet Underground recorded in 1965. The amount of songs I had would have made the album too long for an LP release, so I took the two that did not fit the flow of the record so I put these on B-Sides to any singles that was released. 

There are not songs from the Yanni album because I just did not like this record. 

Side 1

  1. Little Hands – Oar
  2. Run Run Run – Velvet Underground & Nico
  3. I’ll Be Your Mirror – Velvet Underground & Nico
  4. Diana – Oar
  5. All Tomorrow’s Parties – Velvet Underground & Nico
  6. Never Tear Us Apart – Kick

Side 2

  1. Broken Heart – Oar
  2. Mystify – Kick
  3. Need You Tonight – Kick
  4. Sunday Morning – Velvet Underground & Nico
  5. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong – Songs Of Leonard Cohen
  6. All Come To Meet Her – Oar

Single B-Sides

  1. Black Angel’s Death Song – Velvet Underground & Nico
  2. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye – Songs Of Leonard Cohen

The front cover was adapted from an image found on with a Beck logo added to it. 

This play list could not be reproduced with one or more songs not being available on Spotify.

The Beatles – Let It Be / Abbey Road (Mono)

As this is Black Friday, and Record Store Day also deem this a suitable time to release ‘exclusive’ vinyl, here is something I would like to see come out which no doubt never will. That is, the last two Beatles albums in mono.

Even though there been some experiments with stereo recording in the 19th Century, mono recordings would dominate audio recording from its early days until the late 1960s. This however began to change because the technology to produce a stereo sound improved and musicians were making more experimental music that would use the format to make the music move from one speaker to the next. Check out the end of ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ from Pink Floyd’s debut album for a good example. 

In the early 60’s, stereo was thought of a niche product and not as much time was spent on these compared to the mono mixes. Mono was also the broadcast medium for AM radio so singles tended to be exclusively in Mono. This would even continue into the 70s where mono mixes of records were made exclusively for radio stations until FM radio caught on. For a while, both mono and stereo versions were released with differing mixes but by 1967 in the US, mono versions would start to be discontinued. In the UK, mono was essentially gone by 1968 but in other areas of the world, this would not be the case. Mono records continued to be pressed and so it was with these records that were released in Mono in Brazil.

There is nothing particularly special about them as they are just a fold down of the stereo mix. However, they are a nice curiosity. 

Side 1 – Abbey Road (Side A)

  1. Come Together
  2. Something
  3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
  4. Oh! Darling
  5. Octopus’s Garden
  6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

Side 2 – Abbey Road (Side B)

  1. Here Comes The Sun
  2. Because
  3. You Never Give Me Your Money
  4. Sun King
  5. Mean Mr. Mustard
  6. Polythene Pam
  7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
  8. Golden Slumbers
  9. Carry That Weight
  10. The End
  11. Her Majesty

Side 3 – Let It Be (Side A)

  1. Two Of Us
  2. Dig A Pony
  3. Across the Universe
  4. I Me Mine
  5. Dig It
  6. Let It Be
  7. Maggie Mae

Side 4 – Let It Be (Side B)

  1. I’ve Got A Feeling
  2. One After 909
  3. The Long & Winding Road
  4. For You Blue
  5. Get Back

Since I initially put this together, I have discovered that a Mono version was released of Abbey Road in Czechoslovakia in the early 1970s which like the Brazilian, is a Stereo fold down mix. Let It Be was also released in a fold down Mono mix in Argentina. I am sure that further Mono versions will come to light once I have uploaded this. 

I was also able with my rudimentary computer skills to make up a front cover that is a mash up of both the original sleeves.