(RSD 2020 Special) Caroline Munro – Warrior Of Love

To celebrate the last of 2020’s Record Store Days, I’ve decided to post another album that I would put out as an RSD release it I had the opportunity. It is a pet project that I have had on the back burner for a while now. That is, an album of songs by the legendary Caroline Munro. Munro started off in the mid 60s as a model, but by the end of the decade she had started appearing in films. Now, I didn’t realise until recently how many of her films I had seen and that I caught most of them on wet Sunday afternoons during my childhood. ‘The Golden Voyage of Sinbad’ and ‘At The Earth’s Core’ seemed to be on all of the time, and then there was her appearance in the Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me. She also appeared in two early 80s music videos. ‘Goody Two Shoes’ by Adam Ant and ‘If You Really Want Me To’ by Meat Loaf. She was even a hostess on the rather bizarre, but exceedingly popular British TV show ‘3-2-1’. Appearances in Hammer films and Italian Star Wars knock off Starcrash have cemented her place as a cult icon. However, it is with her music career that I am concentrating on here. 

Now we did feature Munro’s version of ‘This Sporting Life’ in the first of our Eric Clapton spotlight shows http://www.thesquirepresents.co.uk/episode-75-eric-clapton-the-early-years-part-1/ but at the time, that was as far as  my interest went. However, after watching a number of  videos by YouTuber Brandon Tenold*, I found that she had performed a song called ‘Warrior of Love’ in the film ‘Don’t Open ‘Till Christmas’. After digging a bit further, I found that during the 70s she had released a number of singles with her then husband Judd Hamilton. I set pulling together all of these singles as well all the variations of the songs she recorded on Gary Newman’s Numa Record Label. What I was able to pull together was an LPs worth of material, with the instrumental, 12”, and Italian remix of the Numan produced Pump Me Up as a bonus single. This would be a complete collection of Munro single from 1967 to 1984.

There was also a single in the late 90s with Gary Wilson, but I have been unable to obtain a copy of this record. If anyone can help me out with this, please let me know. Warrior of Love is, as far as I can tell, still unreleased but thankfully the audio is available in the film so with a bit of careful editing by a YouTube user called Alex Nik (and a little bit more myself), a complete song can be heard. 

You will notice that “Love Songs’ is a retread of ‘Come Softy To Me’ with the additional of lyrics from other songs included during the middle section. These additional songs were ‘I Love How You Love Me’ and ‘In The Still Of The Night’. On the promo copy of the single I have, all of the songs and song writers are listed individually. On all of the photographs of the record labels on Discogs though list Hamilton and Munro as the songwriters, even though they did not write any of the songs. This might have lead to a course case if the single had been a hit, but as it wasn’t. ’Come Softy To Me’ had only been released in France so it is doubtful that the UK record buying public would have heard it before the ‘Love Songs’ variation was released in the UK. 

This is the sort of release that that should be picked up by a specialist reissue company for a limited release, especially on Record Store Day. Judging by some of the obscure releases that come out on RSD every year, there is no reason to expect this would not sell, especially with Munro’s status in cult film circles.

For the cover, I found a picture of Caroline Munro in her iconic outfit from the Starcrash film, looking every bit the Warrior of Love. The songs on this compilation are not available on Spotify so I have not been able to reproduce the complication here.

Side A

  1. Tar & Cement
  2. This Sporting Life
  3. Come Softy To Me
  4. Sad Old Song
  5. You Got It
  6. Where Does The Love Begin

Side B

  1. Love Songs
  2. Sound Of The Sun
  3. Warrior Of Love
  4. Pump Me Up (7” Version)
  5. The Picture

Bonus 12”

  1. Pump Me Up (12” Mix)
  2. Pump Me Up (Italian Mix)
  3. Pump Me Up (Instrumental Mix)
The majority of these songs have been taken from the original vinyl, so apologies for the surface noise.

* (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC51tRQjet4Z45Of3n1Qxn8A – I would recommend his channel highly. All the videos are well worth a watch).

James Iha – Pumpkinhead

As with any band who have a major songwriter in it, there tends to be another one waiting in the wings for any chance to get a song or two on a release. Some examples of this are The Kinks, The Jam or Creedence Clearwater Revival. Another would be our featured band of this month, Smashing Pumpkins. Look at the discography of the band between 1991 and 2000 and you will find very few credits to second guitarist Iha, especially songs that he wrote on his own. He did have the odd co-credit on the earlier albums but didn’t receive one on either the Adore or Machinea/The Machines of God albums. He did release a solo album in 1998 called Let It Come Down, but what if there was an album made up of songs that he wrote for and performed with the Pumpkins that he could have used for a second solo record. 

Well, the first thing I noticed was how few songs there were to choose from. Most of them were B-sides and so The Aeroplane Flies High collection has more Iha songs on it than any other. To make this album, I decided to work within the constraints of an LP, so it means that each side will need to be about 22 mins long. This did not prove to be much of a problem as Iha has not been the most prolific of writers. It also meant that I needed to include a cover that Iha sings and that is A Night Like This. When listening to majority of this material, I do wonder if Iha was in the wrong band. Main Pumpkin songwriter Billy Corgan didn’t always have the electricity turned up to eleven, but Iha seems to be writing as though he is in an alternative folk group. 

The only song that has not been officially released up to this point is Wave Song, which was included on the unofficial band completion Mashed Potatoes. The Mashed Potatoes set has been described as the Holy Grail of Smashing Pumpkins collectables, because there was only ever about ten of them made. Billy Corgan compiled the five disc set and gave them out to the rest of the band and friends. It contained live tracks, demos and alternative versions of previously released material. Considering how extensive the reissue programme was, not a lot of the Mashed Potatoes material was used. Like the material used on the ‘End’ album, I seem to remember this being on Corgan’s website back in those early days of the internet. I wonder if this compilation will ever see the light of day in an official capacity?  

There were a few of songs left over. Terrapin is another cover sung by Iha, which was written by Syd Barrett. Two are instrumentals that were released on the Deluxe Edition of The Aeroplane Flies High. The other two are from the Earphoria and all of these songs could be B-Sides for single, whichever song that would be.

The front cover of the album is adapted from the single from his first solo LP, Be Strong Now and is not one my strongest efforts. It did remind me of a bootleg cover, which is pretty much what this is.

Side A

  1. The Boy – The Aeroplane Flies High
  2. Summer – Single B-Side (Perfect)
  3. Blew Away – Single B-Side (Disarm)
  4. …Said Sadly – The Aeroplane Flies High
  5. One & Two – Single B-Side (I Am One)
  6. Go – Machina II/The Friends & Enemies Of Modern Music

Side B

  1. Wave Song (Demo) – Mashed Potatoes
  2. A Night Like This (The Cure Cover) – The Aeroplane Flies High
  3. The Bells – The Aeroplane Flies High
  4. Take Me Down – Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness
  5. Believe – The Aeroplane Flies High
  6. Farewell & Goodnight – Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness

B-Sides

  • Bugg Superstar – Earphoria
  • Terrapin (Syd Barrett Cover) – Single B-Side (I Am One – UK 10”)
  • Star Song – The Aeroplane Flies High (Deluxe Edition)
  • The Grover – The Aeroplane Flies High (Deluxe Edition)
  • Why Am I So Tired – Earphoria

These discs could not be reproduced because not all of these songs are available on Spotify. 

Smashing Pumpkins – End (1990 Album)

I had not heard of the Smashing Pumpkins until they made an appearance on a British TV show in which they didn’t seem to know if they should be promoting their new record as slagging each other off. I seem to remember that the show was much missed (by me anyway) Rapido, but I might have got that wrong. The next time they came up in conversation was with a guitar player who told me that the album that they were plugging that day was not their debut, as I had thought, but their second album. The first album was called Gish. Making my way to Kingston Upon Thames and to the Record Shop: my favourite place to buy vinyl and like Rapdio, I have greatly missed it since it closed down at the end of the 90’s. They had a copy of Gish so I thought I would give it a go. Gish was a curious mix of rock, alt rock and psychedelia but I enjoyed it, so I went back and bought the already released Siamese Dream as well. 

From 1993, every year was taken up until with a new Pumpkins release. Pisces Iscariot was a rather fine collection of B-Sides and rarities. Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness was the first triple vinyl album I had ever bought. The bonus for us vinyl buyers was that the release had two tracks that were not available anywhere else. That made up fro the fact that I missed out on the bonus single that had been included on the Pisces Iscariot album. I managed to pick up a copy of the Siamese Singles vinyl box set, which was a bit of an indulgent purchase considering I was at University at the time. This included some fine B-Sides not available anywhere else at the time. Then there was another indulgent purchase with the Aeroplane Flies High box set which the first time I had bought any of the bands work on CD. Even though there were a few duff tracks on here ( I think I have managed to get all the way through the Pistachio Medley just the once), it showed there was still gold to be found if looked hard enough. 1997 was a quiet year for releases with only one single coming out, The End is the Beginning is the End from the Batman and Robin film. However, the year was not quiet on the recording front. James Iha recorded his first solo album and the Pumpkins prepared their Adore album. Adore was a real departure from what went before and even though it was not as popular as their previous albums, it did receive critical praise and I liked the new direction the band seemed to be taking. What was curious about the vinyl edition was that it was released in mono. It would take until 2014 and the deluxe edition that I would hear the album in stereo. They would start the new decade with the Machina album, which would also see the end of the original incarnation of the band. The following decade would see a reformation (of sorts) and in the 2010’s, an extensive reissue programme that was meant to encompass all of the albums from their initial phase. As of October 2020, Machina has yet to feature in this programme.  

With the Smashing Pumpkins, it would seem that most of the websites that look at lost records go for a reconstruction of the Machina album, seeing as the second part is relatively easy to find due to Billy Corgan himself allowing it be downloaded for free across the internet. Was it available on his website from the turn of the century? I cannot remember but It would not surprise me if it was as Corgan was actually quite generous with rare or unreleased Pumpkins material at the time. The Squire Archive has a number of CD-Rs of material culled from that site. Unfortunately he stopped being so generous a long time ago. Most of these downloads were from the early days of the band, with a lot of it being sessions conducted by the band before it had a record deal. Some of these songs made it on the bonus discs during on the reissues from 2011 onwards but not all of them. What I thought I would do is to produce a discography for the band from the pre-Gish era as if they had produced not only an album, but singles and an EP. What I did not want to do was double up on material so none of these songs appeared on Gish or Pisces Iscariot. 

The band was formed in 1988 when Billy Corgan met James Iha whilst the latter was working in a record shop. Soon afterwards, D’arcy Wretzky was recruited on bass and they played a few shows backed by a drum machine. However, after one show at the Cabaret Metro, the owner told them he would only book them again if they had a real drummer. It was at this point that that Jimmy Chamberlain was drafted in after being recommenced by a friend of Corgans’. His recruitment changed the sound of the band immensely as Chamberlain was quite a powerful player, which allowed the rest of the band to, in the words of Corgan “rock harder than we could ever have imagined”. 

Corgan had recorded a few songs using equipment in his father’s home studio but in late 1988, they were ready to record some material for an album, which was quite a commitment considering they did not have a record contract. The band had played a number of gigs and had made the decision that they should put all of their earnings towards recording. Through word of mouth they found out about Mark Ignoffo who was a recording studio in the basement of his parents house. The band recorded a number of songs, three of which (I Am One, Daydream and Rhinoceros) would end up on Gish but only after they had been re-recorded. These sessions would be used as the basis for a number of demo tapes that the band would use to either secure gigs or to solicit record labels. Two songs would be used on a compilation called ‘Light Into Dark’ and these were My Dahlia and Sun. They would also contribute tracks to other compilations albums before Gish was released as well as signing with Sub Pop. It was with the release of the ‘My Dahlia’ single that caused enough interest in the record industry for a number of labels to show some interest in them. However, the band decided to sign with Caroline, a subsidiary of Virgin Records. 

So, what are we left to play with to make this first LP that never was. I thought I would keep the two single A-Sides that they released prior to signing with Caroline in their original versions. Both of these songs would be re-recorded for Gish. The original B-Side for I Am One is also the same. La Dolly Vita and Honey Spider would be used elsewhere so I used a cover on the flip instead. The Pumpkins didn’t do many covers that were released, but those they did tended to be on the B-Sides of singles. One was Cinnamon Girl which was originally by Neil Young. I was quite surprised to find that Jackie Blue was not a Pumpkins song, but was by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. I suspect that Billy Corgan would have only wanted his own songs or co-writes with second guitar players James Iha on there. However, I did not feel that any of the other songs I tried to replace it with fitted with the flow of the record. 

The album itself is made up of songs that made up one of the demo tapes the band shopped around in 1989. It was re-produced for the Pisces Iscariot deluxe edition from 2012. Jackie Blue had been released on the previously mentioned ‘Light Into Dark’. Two of the songs come from the downloads Billy Corgan made available all those years ago. C’Mon and Honey Spider, which may well be the same as the version found on the B-Side of the Tritessa 12” single, but I do not have one of those in the collection so I have not been able to confirm this. There is also a song called Psychodelic which would also see the light of day on an early demo tape which has yet to see a re-release. It is known to the Pumpkins fans as the ‘Moon Demo Tape’. Lastly, there is Cinder Open, which sounded really good as an opening song, but a bit on the long side. I therefore edited it down to two minutes and used the remainder of the song to finish this collection off. Overall, this is a pretty good album.

However, I did have a few songs left over that I felt were too good to ignore but there wasn’t enough for another album, so these could have been released as a special 12 inch single. Seven songs would have been good value for money as well. The majority of these songs came from the downloads Corgan had put on his webpage as well as some of the other songs from the ‘Moon Demo Tape’. There is La Dolly Vita, the missing Tritessa B-Side and Smiley, which was a Gish era demo, but it was not used on the album so it could have found a home for itself here. It is a shame that when the deluxe editions came out that these songs were not on those records. There was certainly room for them on the Gish as this was an album from the last days of the vinyl era and was only 46 minutes long. 

For the album cover, I used the same image that was used on 2001’s Greatest Hits compilation. I called it ‘End’ because of not only the road sign that the band are standing in front of, but I thought it would be a bit of a Billy Corgan thing to do to call their first album by a name that sounds like it should be the last. The Vanilla artwork is a recoloured version of their logo from the Siamese Dream era, but I could not find anything else that I liked that had not been used somewhere else before. The band had not quite found their feet at tis time, but this would have been a good introduction of the band if they had secured a record record before they actually did. 

Side A

  1. Cinder Open (Edited to 2:00) – Pisces Iscariot (Deluxe Edition)
  2. Spiteface – Smashing Pumpkins Demo Tape (Pisces Iscariot)
  3. C’Mon – Real Time Studios II Version
  4. Psychodelic – Moon Demo Tape

Side B

  1. Sun – Smashing Pumpkins Demo Tape (Pisces Iscariot)
  2. Jackie Blue – Pisces Iscariot (Deluxe Edition)
  3. Jennifer Ever – Smashing Pumpkins Demo Tape (Pisces Iscariot)
  4. East – Smashing Pumpkins Demo Tape (Pisces Iscariot)
  5. Honey Spider (Full Length Version) – Real Time Studios II Version
  6. Cinder Open (Reprise) – Pisces Iscariot (Deluxe Edition)

Singles

  1. I Am One – Limited Potential Version (Single A-Side)
  2. Not Worth Asking – Limited Potential Version (Single B-Side)
  1. Tritessa – Sub Pop Single
  2. Cinnamon Girl – Pisces Iscariot

Vanilla E.P.

Side A

  1. With You – Moon Demo Tape
  2. Vanilla – Pisces Iscariot (Deluxe Edition)
  3. Smiley – Gish (Deluxe Edition)
  4. Waiting For You Now – Real Time Studios Acoustic

Side B

  1. Egg – Moon Demo Tape
  2. La Dolly Vita – Sub Pop Single
  3. I Am One (Part 2) – Real Time Studios Acoustic

These discs could not be reproduced on Spotify.

(RSD 2020 Special) Blood Records – Sampler 2018-2019

Blood Records was created by the same people that brought us the subscription vinyl service, Flying Vinyl (you can hear the two podcasts we produced about them by following the links below). Where as Flying Vinyl deals with the joys of the single, Blood Records is all about the 12”, with their release schedule already including LPs and EPs. These releases are exclusive to the site and are for the most part, hand numbered. The quicker you are to order, the lower the number you will receive. They tend to be signed by the people involved as well as coming on all sorts of wonderful shades of vinyl. There have even been a number of LPs pressed on what can only be described as a zoetrope picture disc. These do have to be seen to be believed. 

For this months Record Store Day (RSD), I have decided to produce a sampler disc, in the style of the classics such as ‘Nice Enough To Eat’ and ‘El Pea’ that were released by Island Records in the late 60s and early 70s. This sampler covers the period between 2018 and 2019. In that time, Blood Records released ten records but it is impossible to give a complete picture of the label as some of the LPs released were various artists affairs. The songs that have been selected from those albums has just been a case of picking one that I liked as well as fitting into the time limitations fo the format. 

The sleeve artwork was taken from the Blood Records Facebook account and is one of the earlier logos with the dates covered by this compilation added.

Side A

  1. The Overcorrection – Ralph Pelleymounter
  2. It’s Over – The Hippaes 
  3. After Dark – SPINN
  4. The Time Game – Lauilia
  5. Bonnie – Anteros
  6. Forty Days & Forty Nights (Live) – The Blinders

Side B

  1. Shadow By Your Side – Alligator
  2. Game – Eliza Sheddad
  3. Icarus – Stereo Honey
  4. Junk Food Forever (Live) – The Amazons

Flying Vinyl – Episode 1 (https://www.thesquirepresents.co.uk/2016/07/)

Flying Vinyl – Episode 2 (https://www.thesquirepresents.co.uk/podcast/episode-57-flying-vinyl-year-2/)

Various Artists – American Acid (Volume 2)

A second volume of songs from the late 60s US Acid Rock (sort of) scene. A few artists from the first volume make another appearance here as well as some well known faces that did not. There are also some obscure artists like Michelle proving that much like the UK psych scene, there was so much good music coming out at the time that some of it disappeared through the cracks. Enjoy. 

Disc 1

  1. Codine Blues – The Charlatans
  2. Rag Mama Rag – The Band
  3. Let’s Work Together – Canned Heat
  4. Combination Of The Two – Big Brother & The Holding Company
  5. Omaha – Moby Grape
  6. Superbird – Country Joe & The Fish
  7. Live & Let Live – Love
  8. Dark Star – The Grateful Dead
  9. Sister Of Mercy – Leonard Cohen
  10. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 – Bob Dylan
  11. Lemonade Kid – Kak
  12. Red Balloon – Tim Hardin
  13. Think Twice – Salvation
  14. Domesday – Stained Glass
  15. Guess Things Happen That Way – Terry Manning
  16. The Pusher – Hoyt Axton
  17. Free Up – The Surprise Package
  18. Doodle – Skip Spence

Disc 2

  1. Mercedes Benz – Janis Joplin
  2. Evil Ways – Santana
  3. Time Was – Canned Heat
  4. Roll With It – The Steve Miller Band
  5. California Earthquake – Cass Elliott
  6. Electric Saiilor – Kak
  7. 8:05 – Moby Grape
  8. Old Man – Love
  9. Lie To Me – Kaleidoscope
  10. Light Your Windows – Quicksilver Messenger Service
  11. Summer In the City – The Lovin’ Spoonful
  12. Acid – Stu Mitchell With Wes Dakus’ Rebels
  13. War In Peace – Skip Spence
  14. Song For A Seagull – Joni Mitchell
  15. Forever Is A Dream – Food
  16. Lonely People Blues – Gary Lee Yoder
  17. White Bird – It’s A Beautiful Day
  18. Lament Of The Astro Cowboy – Michele
  19. Good Vibrations (Tape Rewind) – The Beach Boys

Neither disc could be reproduced on Spotify.

Various Artists – American Acid (Volume 1)

As much as I like Psychedelic music, my knowledge of the scene from the USA is not as good as it is for other countries from around the world. The brand of Psych from the US sometimes is lumped under the title of Acid Rock, which generally means that songs have heavy, distorted guitars with extended jams and lyrics full of drug references, either blatant or subtle. However, like most labels of music, it is pretty meaningless. 

A lot of the groups and singers on this compilation either came out of the Garage Rock or Folk Rock scenes. Those bands that developed from Garage Rock into the Psych era took with them the distorted guitar sound and sound effects, which is major contrast from British Psych which took its cues from childhood imagery and the Music Hall Tradition. As time went on, the guitars became heavier and would eventually evolve into heavy rock and metal. 

For this compilation, I looked at using music from the golden age of what could be considered Acid Rock music, which is arguably between 1966 and 1970. Not all of these artists are rockers, with the likes of Joni Mitchell and Time Rose making an appearance. What I was going for here was the feel of the US in the late 60s and I hope that I achieved this. Enjoy. 

Disc 1

  1. The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag – Country Joe & The Fish
  2. Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum
  3. Going Up The Country – Canned Heat
  4. Hey Grandma – Moby Grape
  5. Alabama Bound – The Charlatans
  6. Night In The City – Joni Mitchell
  7. Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was in) – Kenny Rodgers & The First Edition
  8. For What Its Worth – Buffalo Springfield
  9. That’s It For The Other One (Edit) – The Grateful Dead*
  10. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
  11. The Weight – The Band
  12. The Pusher – Steppenwolf
  13. The Red Telephone – Love
  14. Karmic Dream Sequence #1 – The Millennium
  15. Mr Skin – Spirit
  16. In A Gadda-Da-Vidda – Iron Butterfly

*Edited at 6:26

Disc 2

  1. Wooden Ships – Crosby, Stills & Nash
  2. The Golden Road (To Ultimate Devotion) – The Grateful Dead
  3. Underdog – Sly & The Family Stone
  4. Do You Follow Me – The United States Of America
  5. Down on Me (Live) – Big Brother & The Holding Company
  6. Morning Dew – Tim Rose
  7. Magic Carpet Rode – Steppenwolf
  8. Two Days ‘Till Tomorrow – The Beau Brummels
  9. The Crystal Ship – The Doors
  10. Sugar Man – Rodriquez
  11. 1982-A – Sons Of Champlin
  12. Up & Down – The Serpent Power
  13. Volunteers – Jefferson Airplane
  14. Fool (Single Version) – Blue Cheer
  15. How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away – Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
  16. Bryte ’N’ Clear Day – Kak
  17. Bummer In The Summer – Love
  18. Murder In The Heart For The Judge – Moby Grape
  19. Five To One – The Doors
  20. Sure ‘Nuff ’N Yes I Do – Captain Beefheart & HIs Magic Band
  21. I Need It Higher – Zerfas
  22. Get Together – The Youngbloods
  23. Porpoise Song (Mono Single Mix) – The Monkees

Various Artists – Almost Famous OST (Deluxe Edition)

On the 8th September 2000, a film had its premier at the Toronto International Film Festival. That film was ‘Almost Famous’, and it was director Cameron Crowe’s love letter to the rock scene in America in the early 1970s. Crowe himself had been contributing music reviews for an underground newspaper, San Diego Door by the time he was 13. By the time he was 16, he was writing for Rolling Stone magazine and was their youngest ever contributor. Being younger than all of the other contributors, he covered the bands that most of the other journalists didn’t like. These included Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and the Allman Brothers band. The latter band were used as his first cover story. 

The script and some of the characters were based upon his experiences at that time. The songs used in the film were drawn from the time that the film is set, except for the songs that were performed by the fictional band Stillwater. These songs were written by Crowe with his then wife Nancy Wilson, who was also the guitar player in the band Heart. Two more were written by Peter Frampton who was also worked as the technical consultant on the film. He would also make a cameo as a roadie for Humble Pie, a band he was actually in between 1969 & 71.  a Stillwater were actually a real band from the era and Crowe asked permission to use the name, which they agreed to after negotiating a fee for themselves. Though the film was a critical success and nominated for a number of awards as well as winning an Academy Award for best screenplay, it was not the commercial success. 

It is not the film itself that I am focusing on today but the soundtrack album. This won the 2001 Grammy for the Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media and is a classic of the genre. It mixes period music with some of the songs written specifically for the film. The music is so integral to the scenes that Crowe managed secure the rights to using Led Zeppelin songs, something the band did not grant very often. Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ featured prominently in a scene where band tensions on the tour bus has reached a point where no one is talking to one another. ‘Tiny Dancer’ starts playing and then as it continues to play, the band and hangers on start to sing along. 

What I set out to do here was to produce a deluxe edition of this soundtrack album to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the film. As with all the deluxe editions, the original sequence of songs needs to stay, even though I added a couple fo bonus songs on at the end as there was room to spare and too many good songs not leave any off. I also wanted to spread the renaming Stillwater songs out so that they would not be too many on the second disc. 

‘Almost Famous’ is one of the great films about music and is rightly hailed as one fo the greatest films of all time. 

Disc 1

  1. America – Simon & Garfunkel
  2. Sparks – The Who
  3. It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference – Todd Rundgren
  4. I’ve Seen All Good People – Yes
  5. Feel Flows – The Beach Boys
  6. Fever Dog – Stillwater
  7. Every Picture Tells A Story – Rod Stewart
  8. Mister Farmer – The Seeds
  9. One Way Out (Live) – The Allman Brothers
  10. Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  11. That’s The Way – Led Zeppelin
  12. Tiny Dancer – Elton John
  13. Lucky Trumble – Nancy Wilson
  14. I’m Waiting For The Man (Live) – David Bowie
  15. The Wind – Cat Stevens
  16. Slip Away – Clarence Carter
  17. Something In The Air – Thunderclap Newman
  18. Paranoid – Black Sabbath
  19. You Had To Be There – Stillwater

Disc 2

  1. Roundabout – Yes
  2. Burn – Deep Purple
  3. Sweet Leaf – Black Sabbath
  4. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere – Neil Young & Crazy Horse
  5. Chance Upon You – Stillwater
  6. The Oogum Boogum Song – Brenton Wood
  7. Reelin’ In The Years – Steely Dan
  8. Looking At You – MC5
  9. Love Thing – Stillwater
  10. Easy To Slip – Little Feat
  11. Search & Destroy – Iggy & The Stooges
  12. Go All the Way – The Raspberries
  13. Wishing Well (US MIx) – Free
  14. Tangerine – Led Zeppelin
  15. Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters – Elton John
  16. Dear Jill – Blodwyn Pig
  17. Hour Of Need – Stillwater
  18. Teacher – Jethro Tull

These playlists could not be reproduced on Spotify due to one or more songs not being available on that platform.

(RSD 2020 Special) Pink Floyd – The US Singles

When Record Store Day (RSD) was cancelled back in April, I was interested to see what would happen with all of the stock which had already been pressed up and was ready to be distributed to participating shops. Not a lot for a while, but then it was announced that there would not be one RSD, but three. The first of these is today so I have been thinking about what I would like to see as a RSD release if I was allowed to pick anything from the archives. Therefore, for each of these RSD’s I will be putting together a compilation of songs that I think would be a welcome release. The first of these is Pink Floyd and a compilation of the singles that were put together for the US market. 

Pink Floyd had started life releasing singles and breaking in the British Top 20 with ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘See Emily Play’. These songs were written by Syd Barrett but he was soon to leave the band for reasons that have been documented in great length elsewhere. The group continued to record after Barrett’s departure and though they remained a successful album band (non of their LP’s have failed to reach the UK top ten), on the singles front, the hits dried up. After ‘Point Me At The Sky’, the Floyd decided to stop releasing singles in the UK because, as Roger Water said “we were no bloody good at it”. This would remain the case until 1979 when ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part II) became an unlikely number 1 single in many of the major record buying markets around the world, including the UK.

In other parts of the world, this was not the case. For this compilation, we are going to focus on the US as a number of singles and an EP were pressed up. Some of these were promotional releases designed for DJs to promote the parent album. Others were commercially released singles and one was an EP of ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ songs. Most were edited, and some of the earlier songs on this collection are mono mixes as AM radio was still king in the early 1970’s.

Side A

  1. One Of These Days (Mono Promo Single Edit)
  2. Fearless (Mono Promo Single Edit)
  3. Free Four (Promo Single Edit)
  4. Money (Promo EP)
  5. Breathe (Promo EP)
  6. Time (Promo EP)
  7. Us & Them (Promo EP)

Side B

  1. Have A Cigar (Mono Single Edit)
  2. Run Like Hell (Single Version)
  3. One Of My Turns (Single Version)
  4. Comfortably Numb (Single Edit)
  5. Not Now John (Obscured Single Edit)
  6. Flaming (Mono Single Promo)

One Of These Days (Single A Side) — This was a commercial released single that has similar playing times to the songs when they appeared on the parent album and was in stereo. However, the promo single was mixed in mono and there were various small edits throughout the song to reduce playing time. 

Fearless (B Side of One Of These Days) — Like the A Side, this was mixed into mono for the promo release. The album version has two verses, but the promo single has only one. It mainly consists of the first verse (until “just wait a while for the right day”) but the last lines were replaced by those of the second verse (“and as you rise … faces in the crowd”). This version also fades out earlier. 

Free Four – There isn’t too much different here between the album version and this single mix. This version does fade out earlier and it has been mixed into mono.

Dark Side of the Moon EP – The songs included on this EP are ‘Breathe’, ‘Time’, Us & Them’ and ‘Money’. Released after the parent album had came out. A note on the back of the EP cover says “Pink Floyd’s latest No.1 album, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ went platinum a few months after release – with smash sales surpassing three times those of a standard gold album. Here are four representative selections take from the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ LP, edited down for your airplay convenience”. Apart from the edits to bring down the playing time, ‘Time’ has been edited so that the introduction to the song has also been placed at the end. The profanity in the song ‘Money’ has been edited out and all of these songs have been mixed into mono. 

Have A Cigar – The introduction of this songs has been reduced from eight bars to four. There are also some small edits in the guitar and keyboard themes. There is also an early fade out during the final guitar solo. Once again, this song has been mixed to mono. 

Run Like Hell – This is the first song on this collection to have been released in stereo. The mix does not include any crowd noise during intro and outro. There is also only one guitar theme before the first “Run, run, run, run…” instead of two, but it is repeated twice at the end (after the scream) instead of once. The “hunt” part has also been edited.

Comfortably Numb – The final guitar solo is stuck to the end of the first verse (no first guitar solo, no second verse).

One Of My Turns – The dialling tone that starts the album version of this song has been removed. The synth in the songs opening bars has been brought forward in the mix and the vocal effects on the ‘Why are you running away’ lyric are now sustained for about three seconds longer. 

Not Now John – This is known as the Obscured version, because this song is notable for using some very strong profanity. The original album version has lyrics that say “Fuck all that”, To make a radio-friendly version, this lyric was changed to ‘Stuff all that’. Note that they just recorded “Stuff all that” loud enough to drown the original, which is still there. The intro is slightly different from the album version as the laugh has been edited out. This version also fades out before the lyrics “Where’s the fucking bar John?”.

Flaming – Pink Floyd’s debut album was butchered by their US record label when it was released in 1967. Out went the songs ‘Astronomy Domine’, ‘Flaming’ and ‘Bike’. Instead, the US album included ‘See Emily Play’. The running order was also completely different. ‘Flaming’ was released as a single in mono and is noticeable as the sound effects are much louder than those of the stereo mix. It is very similar, if not identical to the mono mix used on the UK album. Why was ‘Flaming’ stuck at the end even though it was the first song to be released? Well, it didn’t really fit in anywhere else, especially as ‘One Of These Days’ is a perfect song to start this record with.

The album art was taken from https://www.askideas.com/very-funny-human-face-tree-picture/. I was looking for an image that reminded me of the style used by Hipgnosis, the design company that famously worked with Pink Floyd (and numerous other bands).  

Danny Kirwan – Mind Of My Own/Sands Of Time

Mind Of My Own (1971)

This idea for the following two what-if records came about because I was trying to put together a fourth Fleetwood Mac album from the Peter Green line up. I did have a go but this ultimately failed because looking at all of the available material, there was a lack of new material from Green and nothing new from Jeremy Spencer, which is not much of a surprise as he only just released a solo album. On the other hand, Danny Kirwan had lots of material from the Green era that did not make it onto a Mac studio album. From 1968 to 1970, he wrote enough material to fill an album. For this album to come out though, we need to do a little bit of rewriting of the band’s history. 

Fleetwood Mac had spent the majority of 1970 touring America and then Europe, but all was not happy in the camp. Founder member and talismanic guitar player Peter Green was struggling with the trappings of fame and the band have noticed his behaviour has changed. He has grown a beard, started wearing a crucifix (which was odd in the fact that Green was Jewish) and had spoken about giving his money away. In March, he spent some time in a commune in Munich, Germany where he ingests some LSD that, according to the manager Clifford Davis, is where Green’s fragile mental state finally broke. Green decided to leave the band he had founded and the remaining quartet soldier on for a few gigs and record the album ‘Kiln House’ before bringing in Christine McVie, bass player John McVie’s wife and famous musician in her own right to fill out the sound. The band records the single, ’Dragonfly’ and ‘The Purple Dancer’ before the end of the year which is released in March of 1971. The song is not a hit and it is the only Kirwan pen A-Side released in his native UK. 

This line up continues to tour and record radio sessions before returning the USA in February for another Stateside tour. It is here that Spencer starts to become disillusioned with life in the Mac. He is unimpressed with how he sounds on live recordings and when a major earthquake hits Los Angeles, he fails to persuade the band not to go there. When the band arrives in L.A., Spencer says that he is going to a bookshop but never returns. The band have to cancel all their L.A. shows because they are looking for their missing guitar player. When he is eventually found, Spencer has joined the religious group, the Children of God. Despite appeals from the band to fulfil his obligations to the band, Spencer will not return. The band play a few gigs as four piece before convincing Peter Green to rejoin them for a few gigs before they can recruit a permanent replacement. It is here that Bob Welch comes into the picture. The band continue to record and have a core of four members throughout this period. Welch convinces the band to move to America as they have become more successful there than their native UK. Welch leaves the band shortly after this move the band recruit Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, becoming one of the biggest bands on the planet. 

What if the band had decided that after losing two founder members that were not only front men for the group but songwriters to boot? This is where these what if albums come in and the history of Danny Kirwan could have been a bit different.

With the band returning to Britain after the end of their 1971 USA tour, Kirwan and the remainder of Fleetwood Mac decide that losing Green and Spencer is too much for the group to carry on so they disband. The rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are well known enough to become session musicians (which they did do in reality when they played on Warren Zevon’s song ‘Werewolves of London’). Christine McVie resurrects her solo career but like her previous attempt at fronting a band under her own name, it does not last and she retreats into studio work. What of Danny Kirwan though. Under the direction of Mac’s manager, Clifford Davis, he is left to fulfil the band’s recording contract with Reprise and promises to deliver two albums in the next two years.

Kirwan did not have a great deal of new material so he decided to resurrect some songs that he had performed with Fleetwood Mac either live or on radio show but had not made their way onto an official album. Roping in the other ex members of Fleetwood Mac for the sessions, Kirwan produces an album that is quite eclectic. I have listed next to songs where these songs can be found.

Side 1

  1. Like It This Way (The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac)
  2. Early Morning Come (Live At The BBC)
  3. Mind Of My Own (Show Biz Blues)
  4. Open The Door (Madison Blues)
  5. Down At The Crown (Madison Blues)

Side 2

  1. Tell Me From The Start (The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac)
  2. Love It Seems (The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac)
  3. Loving Kind (Live In Boston)
  4. Only You (Live At The BBC)
  5. When I See My Baby (Live At The BBC)
  6. Farewell (The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac)

Kirwan was rooted in blues music but he did have quite an eclectic taste. This are shown by the songs included on this record. ’Like It This Way’, ‘Early Morning Come’ and ‘Mind of My Own’ highlight Kirwan’s blues influences but this changes with ‘Open The Door’ which shows some distinctly country roots. ‘Down At The Crown’, a song about the pub located near the Fleetwood Mac’s communal house in Hampshire shows a rockier side to Kirwan. 

Side two opens with ‘Tell Me From The Start’ which sounds very out of time for the late 60’s, early 70s. It harks back to an earlier age and shows an influence of swing. ‘Love It Seems’ hints at the songs Kirwan would write and contribute to the ‘Future Games’ album. ‘Loving Kind’ and ‘Only You’ reintroduce more blues to the mix before ‘When I See My Baby’, which sounds like something Jeremy Spencer would compose; a pastiche of a 50’s doo-wop band. The album finishes with Farewell would could be said to be a bit of a cheat because it was an early version of Earl Grey, that was included on the ‘Kiln House’ LP. It is different enough to stand on its own and means that the two sides of the album have similar run times.

Sands of Time (1972)

Sales of the first album are strong enough for Kirwan to go into the studio to record again. Kirwan once again uses the ex-Mac members as his backing band and this album is split between the more rock orientated songs on Side A and the more mellow Songs on Side B. The album is not as successful as the previous effort so Kirwan is sent out on tour to promote it. However, this is where it all goes wrong. Kirwan has been a heavy drinker for the last couple of years and this has now turned into full blown alcoholism. He had also experimented with LSD and mescaline. This did not help Kirwan who was possible too sensitive a soul to have survived long in the music business. After cancelling the rest of the tour, Reprise do not take up the option of renewing Kirwan’s contract. Kirwan spends the next couple of years playing on songs of old acquaintances and trying to get a new band together. He would eventually release his next solo album in 1975 called ‘Second Chapter’. 

Side A

  1. Child Of Mine (Bare Trees)
  2. Bare Trees (Bare Trees)
  3. Danny’s Chant (Bare Trees)
  4. Trinity (25 Years – The Chain)
  5. Sunny Side Of Heaven (Bare Trees)

Side B

  1. Woman Of 1000 Years (Future Games)
  2. Sands Of Time (Future Games)
  3. Sometimes (Future Games)
  4. Dust (Bare Trees)

I initially did not intend to do a second part to the Danny Kirwan what ifs album, but whilst putting together the first one, I thought about all of the material that was written by him between 1971 and 1972 that had originally been released by Fleetwood Mac in what is know as their wilderness years. There was also a song released on the 25th Anniversary Box Set that meant that even though there are less songs on this LP, this album is actually longer. Both of these albums hold together quite well, even though the second is a lot more consistent seeing as the majority of those songs were officially released by the band at the time. The first album is essentially a load of outtakes. 

In the real world, Fleetwood Mac continued on after Jeremy Spencer left, recruiting American Bob Welch. With Spencer gone, so were the 50’s pastiches and Elmore James blues work outs. This line-ups first album was ‘Future Games’ which was more acoustic and mellow than previous efforts, with only the filler jam of ‘What A Shame’ spoiling what could be considered a lost classic.  After the release of ‘Future Games’, the band began an eleven month tour of the US and Europe. ‘Future Games’ had sold well in America and Fleetwood Mac broke house attendance records at some of the venues they played in. They even had time to record another album in the shape of ‘Bare trees’. Not all was well with Kirwan though.

His fragile mental state, his drinking and being worn down by the constant touring, Kirwan fell apart. Backstage at a University gig on the ‘Bare Trees’ promotional tour, Kirwan started to argue with Welch over his guitar being in tune. He then proceeded to smash his head against and wall and then destroy his guitar. Refusing to go on stage, Kirwan sat by the mixing desk and then criticised the band for not putting on a good enough show. Kirwan was promptly fired from the band. He played with a few bands and released three solo albums, and even though the first two do have some merit, by the third, his fire was gone. The album was only recorded to fulfil his record contract and Kirwan’s distinct lead playing is nowhere to be seen. It has been debated if he even played any guitar on the record at all. 

Kirwan would spend some time homeless in the 80’s and 90’s, and even though he was able to find accommodation in the care home for alcoholics, he never recorded again. A shame, as this guy did write some good tunes (even if he did borrow some of his lyrics from poets) and was a talented player. 

Both of the album covers are inspired by the ones Fleetwood Mac used in the same time period. 

I have not been able to put together a Spotify playlist for either of these what ifs due to that platform not having all of the material available on it. 

Fleetwood Mac – Live In Boston 1970

Fleetwood Mac were very creative down the years and from 1967 to 1977, as they pretty much released an album a year. Not bad for a band that rarely had the same line up between releases. During this time, they seemed to go through guitar players in the way Spinal Tap went through drummers but without the tendency to pass away in bizarre circumstances. When it comes to unreleased albums or projects, the Mac did not leave that many ideas in the can. It was reported that Jeremy Spencer and Peter Green were going to produce a ‘orchestral-choral’ biography of Jesus Christ. However, it looks as though nothing came of this idea and Spencer would go on to produce a solo records full of tributes/parodies of rock n roll. Considering that the rest of Mac backed Spencer on this record, it could be considered a lost album by the band if if Peter Green only appears on one song. This record could even be considered a dry run for 1970s ‘Kiln House’. Anyway, I digress. 

One record project that was made and then went unreleased at the time was a live album. In February 1970, the band played a series of gigs at the Boston Tea Party, Boston, MA. As Peter Green notes in one of the in-between songs bits of banter, the band are not as loose as they normally are due to the pressure of ensuring that they produce a top notch performance. The Mac knock out a nearly four hour show of blues and rock n roll pastiches. Imagine going to gig that long now. Compare this to The Beatles who would knock out about thirty minutes when they last toured just four years before this. Could the Mac of this period be classed at the British equivalent of The Grateful Dead. 

Anyway, this gig never made it onto the market mostly down to the fact that Peter Green left the band just three months after this recording was made. The tapes would stay in the vault until the mid-80s when they would slowly creep out on numerous releases before a 2013 CD release that pretty much compiled all of the available releases. So, what would have happened if this set had come out back in 1970? Well, this was when the technology to record live gigs effectively and with the amount of martial recorded that night, it would have been a shame to only release this as a single record. So, a double album it is. Live records at the time would also look to fade out the crowd at the end of the songs so none of the on stage banter would have been kept in. 

The band at this point had three front men, guitar playing songwriters so there needs to be a fair representation of all three. The band also would finish up shows with some old rock n’ roll songs so if this is to be representative of a Mac live concert, this would need to be kept as well. So, what do we have. The album starts off with the Boston tea Party MC introduces the band and he also re-introduces the band later on. This was used for Side C as this was a great way of starting the second disc. The MC also comes on to finish the gig as well and so this stayed in as well. The music itself shows the band moving on from their blues roots to something else entirely. Most the blues tracks that do remain in the set are delivered by Jeremy Spencer, who still seems to be stuck as a Elmore James copyist. Spencer does not take part in the songs of the other two guitar players but it is when Peter Green and Danny Kirwan get going, that he hear some fantastic interplay between the two. It is a shame that Green and Kirwan only appeared on one Mac album together and it is a tragedy that the careers were curtained by bad drugs and metal illness.  

Side A

  1. Black Magic Woman
  2. Sandy Mary
  3. Like It This Way
  4. Only You
  5. Oh Well

Side B

  1. Rattlesnake Shake

Side C

  1. World In Harmony
  2. I Can’t Hold Out
  3. Got To Move
  4. Loving Kind
  5. Jumping At Shadows

Side D

  1. Stranger Blues
  2. Teenage Darling
  3. Keep A-Knocking
  4. Jenny Jenny

The artwork used a shot of the band live in this period. It may even have been taken at the Boston Tea Party. It was the only picture I could find with all five members of the band playing live and this is also the first time I have completed the back sleeve as well. I took inspiration from the band 1971 ‘Greatest Hits’ album cover and like that, this would have been a gatefold. 

The gatefold sleeve for ‘Live At The Boston Tea Party’.

All of the songs were available on Spotify but has not been edited down in the way it would have been back in the day. Therefore, banter between the songs has been left in so there are occasions is where someone will introduce a song and then the band doesn’t play it. The end of Jenny Jenny also has Peter Green talking about the band ending up having a jam with a guest guitar player and future Eagle, Joe Walsh. If you can get through this, the record stands up as a great document of a band at it peak. Enjoy!