The Beatles – Another Collection of Beatles Oldies

In this post, I will continue with my alternative history of The Beatles with a follow up to the 1966 collection, A Collection of Beatles Oldies. 

With The Beatles officially no more by the end of 1970, EMI had potentially lost a very lucrative cash cow. The individual members releasing a number of solo albums and singles throughout the early years of the 1970s, which did sell a significant amount of units, offset this somewhat. However what-if EMI had decided in its infinite wisdom to produce an LP for Christmas 1970 which followed on from their previous compilation, A Collection of Beatles Oldies. It would use the same format as the previous volume so it would include B-Sides, a few unreleased songs from the archive with a couple of rarities thrown in for good measure.

Rain (Mono) – Left off of the previous volume for being released the same year as the A Collection of Beatles Oldies compilation. Originally released as the B-Side to the Paperback Writer single.

Baby You’re A Rich Man (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to the All You Need Is Love single.

You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to the Let It Be single. Even though the single came out in 1970, the initial recording sessions for this song were started in 1967 and sounds more in tune with the psychedelic songs of that year than the more straightforward music the band were producing when it eventually saw the light of day. 

The Inner Light (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to the Lady Madonna single.  

I Am The Walrus (US Mono single mix) – This version of the song includes an extra bar of music before the words ‘yellow matter custard’. The UK version was an edit of the first half of Take 10 with Take 22. This was the version released on the B-Side of the Hello, Goodbye single and the Magical Mystery Tour EP. It would seem that Capitol Records in the US were sent an unedited tape of Take 22. 

Penny Lane (Stereo) – This dates from the 1980 US Rarities, so it could be said to be a little out of the time frame of this record, but this is a unique version worthy of inclusion here (and who’s to say that someone might have done the same thing in 1970 anyway). This was a combination of the stereo version of the song, which American audiences had not heard up to that time with some additional piccolo trumpet at the songs conclusion which had been heard on US promotional copies of the single.

Revolution (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side of the Hey Jude single. 

Across The Universe (Mono) – This version was released on the charity album, ‘No One Gonna Change My World’. This version had some added sound effects added to make it fit into theme of the record, which was released to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund. 

Don’t Let Me Down (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to the Get Back single. 

Old Brown Shoe (Stereo) – Originally released as the B-Side to the Ballad of John & Yoko single. 

Not Guilty (Full Length Version – Stereo) – Recorded during the sessions for The Beatles ‘White Album’. One of the last songs to be left off of the album, it was felt by Lennon especially, that airing the bands dirty laundry in public would not be beneficial to their public image. Listen to the song’s lyrics and you will see what he means. Harrison said that the song was a reference to the band’s trip to India, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the lavish launch of Apple Corps, which he had missed due to spending time with Ravi Shankar instead of returning more quickly from a trip to Asia. The song was legendary with Beatles fans during the 70s due to it being a known, but not heard outtake. Harrison did record a solo version for inclusion on his 1979 George Harrison album, but the original Beatles version did not see the light of day until 1996, and even then, it was in edited format. The full-length version would not be officially released until 2018. 

Christmas Time Is Here Again (Mono) – Between 1962 and 1969, The Beatles would release a fan club exclusive single with songs and sketches. One of those was Christmas Time (Is Here Again), which was included on the 1967 release. This is the edited version that would eventually be released to the general public as a B-Side on the 1995 Free As A Bird single. 

Side A

  1. Rain (Mono)
  2. Baby You’re A Rich Man (Mono)
  3. You Know my Name (Look Up the Number) (Mono)
  4. The Inner Light (Mono)
  5. I Am The Walrus (US Mono Single Mix)
  6. Penny Lane (US Rarities Remix Trumpet Ending Edited onto Regular Stereo Version)

Side 2

  1. Revolution (Mono)
  2. Across the Universe (Mono – No One Gonna change My World Version)
  3. Don’t Let Me Down (Mono)
  4. Old Brown Shoe (Stereo)
  5. Not Guilty (Stereo – Full Length Version)
  6. Christmas Time Is Here Again (Mono)

This playlist could not be reproduced on Spotify, as they contain songs not available on the platform at this time. The front cover is adapted from one of the rejected ideas that had been put forward for the ‘White Album’. 

The Squire Presents YouTube Channel

Hunters – Original Soundtrack

The first playlist of the month is something I have never done before and that is completing an Original Soundtrack album. Now, this isn’t for a film (which you might expect, but a TV show. The show in question is Hunters which looks at a group of Nazi Hunters working in the USA in 1977. The show is a curious mix of of a serious story mixed in with some lighthearted moments and you will really need to watch the programme to see what I am talking about. I really loved the music that they used and looked around to see if it had been released anywhere.  Now, TV shows don’t have the same track record of producing soundtracks in comparison to films and it would seem that this is no exception. Luckily in this day and age, there are websites that list the music from programmes such as this and I used these to help me compile this mix. I do hope that those websites are accurate and it’s too late if it isn’t. 

Before putting this together, I was inspired by the soundtracks Quentin Tarantino films have. The only thing missing would be dialogue from the films but as it turns out, that would have made the rustling album too long. I also thought that as the show is set in 1977, all of the music should have been produced on or before that year. That meant there was no place for the lovely Verse by Olfur Arnalds & Alice Sara Ott which was used quite extensively and in multiple episodes. To accommodate the amount of awesome music, I felt that the album should be a double. Due to the limitations fo the vinyl format, it did mean that not every song from the show could be used. 

Being based upon the length a vinyl record did mean that the sides needed to match up in terms of play time. There was no point in having a side that lasts for 15 minutes and the other 20. This did prove a bit of a challenge as I also like the music to flow sonically as well. Even though this is not perfect in that regard, I am still happy with the end result. I wanted all of the songs to be available on Spotify so I could share this collection with you. To my surprise, Spotify had all of the songs I picked, some of which are quite obscure. It just goes to show that when it comes to Spotify, artists such as David Bowie have gaps in their collections but obscure groups such as Crowmell and 5 Spiritual Tones are represented. 

Lastly, I needed a front cover. Most of the images on line were in the same format as a movie post and do not fit in to the square associated with a record sleeve. Luckily, an image came up on the Glamsham website that was perfect. After a bit of careful editing, the cover was done. Enjoy.

Side 1

  1. Get In A Hurry – Eugene Blacknell & New Breed
  2. Put Your Head On My Shoulder – Paul Anka
  3. Baby, Do That Thing – Honey & The Bees
  4. All Along I’ve Loved You – Tony Ashley & The Delicates
  5. Evil Woman – Lou Rawls
  6. The Impossible Dream – Robert Goulet

Side 2

  1. O Caminho Do Bem – Tim Maia
  2. Lovin’ Is A Full Time Job – Jay Ramswey
  3. Show Me What You Got – Frank William’s Rocketeers
  4. Song Of A Sinner – Top Drawer

Side 3

  1. You Make Me Feel Brand New – The Stylistics
  2. Bad Situation – 5 Spiritual Tones
  3. Lonesome City – The Black Canyon Gang
  4. Oh I Wept – Free
  5. Night Moves – Bob Segar & The Silver Bullet Band

Side 4

  1. Let’s Go Fishing – Turner Brothers
  2. Down On The Town – Cromwell
  3. Nobody Knows – Pastor T. L. Barrett
  4. Oh! Sweet Nothing – Velvet Underground

The Squire Presents YouTube Channel

David Bowie – The Collection Vol.3

We now move to the third and final of my Bowie playlist CDs. I have not gone any further because I could just about listen to Bowie’s 80s output but found what he produced from Tin Machine onwards was not to my tastes. Anyway, I digress. Bowie left the hedonistic lifestyle that head fuelled his work in Los Angeles and moved to Europe to clean up; but had also become interested in German bands such Neu and Kraftwerk. He would also find inspiration from the album Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, a solo record from Tangerine Dream guitarist/keyboardist Edgar Frosse. Brian Eno became a collaborator and Bowie moved away from the Blue Eyed Soul of his L.A. work to one of electronica and ambient. What is different from Bowie’s previous work is the number of instrumentals on what became known as the Berlin trilogy of albums. These albums have a very distinct sound, but the songs on Bowie’s first album of the 80s (Scary Monsters and Super Creeps) have a similar sound, so those from this album that were used have been placed on disc one.

Disc two takes us into Bowie’s commercial 80s period. Let’s Dance was released in 1983, three years after the release of Scary Monsters which was at that point, the longest gap between new Bowie LP releases. The album’s title track would be a number one hit single in UK, US and numerous other territories. The album also sold over 10 millions copies and at the time was Bowie’s most successful album. However, this could be argued to be the first time that Bowie tried to second guess his audience, especially as he had gained so many new ones. The two albums that came after Let’s Dance, Tonight and Never Let Me Down were all commercial successes. However, they weren’t particularly well received by fans and critics, and Bowie distanced himself from them as early as 1990. It is easy to see why. They are well produced and very commercial, but the contrast with the experimental music featured on disc one of this collection is the most striking of all of the Bowie collections. Whilst disc one is full of audio landscapes, disc two became a generic mix of over production and session men. It’s therefore no great surprise that Bowie called this his Phil Collins years. One surprise on the second disc must be the inclusion of the song, Too Dizzy. Written as a homage to the 50s, Bowie came to dislike the song so much that it was deleted from all reissues of the record. Nevertheless, it finds a place here.

CD 1 is Bowie at his most experimental, and CD 2 at his most commercial. It goes to show more than any other of the Bowie collections I have posted the ever evolving nature of his music and craft.

The cover image was taken during the Berlin years and perfectly captures the nature of the music recorded during those years.

Disc 1

  1. Moss Garden
  2. Speed Of Life
  3. Fashion
  4. D.J.
  5. Weeping Wall
  6. V-2 Schneider
  7. Sound & Vision
  8. Be My Wife
  9. Warszawa
  10. Breaking Glass
  11. Boys Keep Swinging
  12. Blackout
  13. Ashes To Ashes
  14. The Secret Life Of Arabia
  15. Look Back In Anger
  16. Heroes
  17. Always Crashing The Same Car
  18. Teenage Wildlife

Disc 2

  1. Let’s Dance
  2. China Girl
  3. Without You
  4. Criminal World
  5. Bang Bang
  6. Neighbourhood Threat
  7. Blue Jean
  8. I Keep Forgetting
  9. Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
  10. Time Will Crawl
  11. Too Dizzy
  12. Zeroes
  13. This Is Not America
  14. Loving The Alien
  15. Absolute Beginners
  16. As The World Falls Down

The playlist for disc one is available on Spotify, but disc two could not be re-created because one or more songs were not available on that platform.

The Beatles  – A Collection Of Beatles Oldies

Upon completing The Doll’s House fantasy LP, I began to think about what other fantasy album projects could I look at? Having a look through The Beatles records in Squire Towers, I came across a now deleted compilation called ‘A Collection of Beatles Oldies’. Looking at the track listing, I wondered if this could be improved upon? So with Ian McDonald’s classic book ‘A Revolution in the Head’ in hand, I thought I would have a go.

In late 1966, EMI were worried. The Beatles did not have any new product for them to sell during the Christmas period and the only new piece of merchandise anyone was set to hear was the annual fan club flexidisc. By this time the band had decided to retire from touring, so their fans in the UK also wouldn’t have any concerts from them to look forward to. Fans even protested outside the house of manager Brian Epstein when that news was released. There were rumours in the press that the band was on the verge of splitting up because the individual members had been working on a lot of projects without the involvement of the other three. This led EMI to decide to put together a compilation LP of old songs as a means of keeping the Beatles brand going.

The album EMI came up can be considered the first Beatles compilation LP. Out of the 16 songs on the album, 13 had been released as singles in the UK. Of the other three, Michelle and Yesterday had been released as singles in other territories and the final song, Bad Boy, had initially only been released before in the US market. EMI saw this as a way of appealing to UK record buyers as they would be getting a song they probably otherwise didn’t have. In another effort to tempt the record buying public, some of the songs were remixed in stereo. Up until the late 60 The Beatles singles released in the UK were available only in mono. The compilation did receive some good reviews, in part because it contained 16 songs instead of UK industry standard of the time of 14. It was also well received as an import in the US. It was not without its critics, as some of the songs had already been used on compilation EPs released in the preceding years, and there was a shortage of hard to find or unreleased songs. It was clear to everyone what this record was; a quick cash in.

However, what-if EMI had taken some time and released a compilation that was full of harder to find songs and more archive material? What could have been used? Well, all of the songs must have been recorded before December 1966, when the LP was released. The Beatles may not have been in favour of allowing unreleased songs out until the Anthology series of the 1990s, but this is a what-if scenario record so everything is fair game.

Love Me Do (Original Single Release – Mono) – The second out of three versions The Beatles recorded for EMI. This version has Ringo Starr on drums and it was this one that was released as the Beatles first single. The version found on the Please Please Me album was the third version recorded with session drummer Andy White playing drums. The difference between these two versions was that on the third version, Ringo can be heard playing the tambourine. There is no tambourine on the second version.

How Do You Do It? (Mono) – This was almost the band’s first A-Side. Producer George Martin felt it would be a hit single, but The Beatles were not keen on releasing it as they felt the song didn’t fit their sound. Later it was a number one hit single for Gerry & The Pacemakers (who were also produced by George Martin). The Beatles version would not see the light of day until the Anthology 1 album in 1995.

Thank You Girl (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to From Me To You.

One After 909 (Mono) – Recorded in early 1963 this is one of the earlier writing efforts of the Lennon and McCartney partnership. The song would not be released at the time but would be re-recorded six years later and included on the Let It Be album. The original version would later be released on the Anthology 1 album.

I’ll Get You (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to She Loves You.

This Boy (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to All My Loving.

And I Love Her (Stereo) – Originally released on the German version of the Something New album, this includes a few more bars of guitar playing in the closing riff. It is unknown why this version was created but the Beatles did not play this extended passage when recording the song, so whoever created this created a rarity. This was later re-released on the US version of the Rarities album in 1980.

Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand (Mono) – A German language version of I Want to Hold Your Hand. It was not unusual for bands to record songs in languages other than English to appeal to foreign markets. This was The Beatles only attempt at doing this, but was not only released in Germany. The single was given a release in Australia when the band toured there in 1964, and appeared on the US version of the Something New album. The title is not an exact translation as in English it is ‘Come, Give me Your Hand’.

Sie Liebt Dich (Mono) – Originally released as the B-side of the Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand single

Leave My Kitten Alone (Mono) – Recorded during the sessions for the Beatles for Sale album. Why this was not put on the record instead of Mr Moonlight is one of those questions we will no doubt never know the answer to. It is a considerably better recording. It was considered for a single release in the mid 80s when the Sessions album was being put together. The Sessions project was an attempt to release some previously unreleased Beatles material but was blocked by the band at the time. It was eventually released on the Anthology 1 album.

She’s A Woman (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to I Feel Fine.

Yes It Is (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to Ticket To Ride

That Means A Lot (Mono) – Recorded for possible inclusion on the Help album. The Beatles were not satisfied with their version so the song was given to P.J. Proby to record, for whom it would reach the top 30 in the UK singles chart. The Beatles version would later be released on the Anthology 2 album.

Bad Boy (Mono) – Written by Larry Williams, this was one of a number of his songs that the band recorded. It was only intended for the US market and was released on the Beatles VI album. As noted above, this was included on the official version of A Collection of Beatles Oldies as a way of appealing to Beatles completist.

I’m Down (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to the Help single.

Side A 

  1. Love Me Do (Single Version)
  2. How Do You Do It?
  3. Thank You Girl
  4. One After 909
  5. I’ll Get You
  6. This Boy
  7. And I Love Her (German Stereo Mix US Rarities LP)
  8. Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand

Side B

  1. Sie Liebt Dich
  2. Leave My Kitten Alone
  3. She’s A Woman
  4. Yes It Is
  5. That Means A Lot
  6. Bad Boy
  7. I’m Down

Amongst the songs that were up for the selection on the compilation was If You’ve Got Trouble, which was up for consideration as Ringo’s song on the Help album. However, the band were not happy with it and it is easy to see why. It is not a very good song and the band seemed to know it. In time it was included on Anthology 2. Also missing is Rain, which was the B-Side of Paperback Writer. Released in May of 1966, this omitted as it would have made the album sides a bit lopsided. As it is, both sides clock in just over 18 minutes. I would have also though that this would have been considered too new to be on a collection of oldies. However, Paperback Writer was included on the released version of this album. The LP uses the cover from the original release in 1966.

Spotify did not have the German Stereo single version so to make up the numbers, the stereo mix from A Hard Days Night was used in its place.

The Squire Presents YouTube Channel

David Bowie  – The Collection Vol. 2

With the release of 1972’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album, Bowie had achieved the success he had been working towards for the previous decade. 1972 was a busy year for Bowie as he helped to produce Lou Reed’s Transformer album, released John, I’m Only Dancing as a stand-alone single, and donated the song All The Young Dudes to Mott the Hoople. The Ziggy Stardust tour also traversed the world so with that workload, it is not a surprise that the Aladdin Sane album has been notorious down the years for a serious lack of bonus tracks. It would seem that Bowie just didn’t have the time to record anything other than what was necessary, or those songs were all he had. The inclusion of a Rolling Stones cover hints at the direction Bowie would take for his next record. Aladdin Sane is a continuation from the Ziggy Stardust album, as it still has a number of glam elements but combines this with a tougher rock sound. There were even some influences from jazz and cabaret. The majority of the Aladdin Sane tracks are used in the second half of the CD. 

Pinups was to follow and only two songs were used from it, the single Sorrow and it’s B-Side Port of Amsterdam. I must admit to finding this album a bit difficult to listen to because in my opinion his covers are not as good as the originals that inspired Bowie. The first half of CD one is taken up by recordings from Diamond Dogs, Bowie’s attempt to adapt the book 1984 before the family of George Orwell refused to sell him the rights. Included is the song Dodo from the Diamond Dogs sessions which was not on the parent album but was performed live in Bowies 1973 variety programme, The 1980 Floor Show. The studio version would not surface until 1990. The demo version of Candidate was used which is not only different musically from the version originally released but also contains different lyrics. The one anomaly (if that is the right word) is a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s It’s Hard to be a Saint in the City, which is believed to have been an outtake from the later Station to Station album. There is some conjecture though that it was recorded for the Diamond Dogs album as Bowie had recorded another Springsteen song in Growin’ Up (also included here) in the same period. It sounds like it should go in Bowie’s glam period so that is where it has been placed.

CD two moves into Bowie’s mid 70s period when he embraced Soul music. Young Americans fully embraced it whilst its follow up did contain some soul elements but also showed hints of the direction he would go in after that. Young Americans was the first time since he had become a star that Bowie had changed musical style so severely. This meant that Bowie did lose a portion of his UK fan base but with the single Fame reaching number one on the US singles charts, he was cementing his status on the other side of the pond. It was also during this period that Bowie developed a serious cocaine habit, the results of which could be seen in the way he looked. This is not called his Thin White Duke period for nothing. Bowie claims that he knew he was in Los Angeles whilst recording this because he read he was. Guitar players Earl Slick and Carlos Alomar have also testified to the quantity of drugs taken during this period. There aren’t too many outtakes from this period so the run time on disc two is a little short. The cover is an outtake form the Aladdin Sane photo shoot with a Diamond Dogs era Bowie logo added to it.

Disc 1

  1. Future Legend
  2. Diamond Dogs
  3. Panic In Detroit
  4. We Are The Dead
  5. Sweet Thing
  6. Candidate
  7. Sweet Thing (Reprise)
  8. Rebel Rebel
  9. The Jean Genie
  10. Dodo
  11. Big Brother
  12. Chant Of The Ever Circling Skeletal Family
  13. Port Of Amsterdam
  14. Growin’ Up
  15. Watch That Man
  16. It’s Hard Toe Be A Saint In The City
  17. Candidate (Demo)
  18. Rock ‘n Roll With Me
  19. Drive-In Saturday
  20. Sorrow

Disc 2

  1. Station To Station
  2. Golden Years
  3. Fascination
  4. TVC 15
  5. Fame
  6. Somebody Up There Likes Me
  7. Can You Hear Me?
  8. Young Americans
  9. Win
  10. Who Can I Be Now?
  11. Wild Is The Wind
  12. It’s Gonna Be Me

Neither of these playlists could be reproduced on Spotify, as they contain songs not available on the platform at this time.

The Beatles – A Doll’s House

Here is the first of a number of Beatles related posts I’ve prepared, and this is a concept that is neither new, nor original, but it is one I had never thought about until a friend asked me what would be my track listing for a one disc ‘White Album’. The band’s producer was in favour of a single album at the time but was over ruled by the band. Maybe he was right, maybe he wasn’t but what we are left with is an album that was the first to highlight that The Beatles were going in their own separate ways. It just took them another year and a bit to realise it. If the single album is to follow the rough template of the bands albums from Help onwards, that would mean one song sung by Ringo Starr, two by George Harrison and the rest would be Lennon and McCartney. Okay, Revolver had three vocal performances by Harrison, but Sgt Pepper only had one so it evens itself out there. So, what would make the cut on this new slimmed down version of the album?

Side 1

  1. Back In The U.S.S.R.
  2. Dear Prudence
  3. Glass Onion
  4. I’m So Tired
  5. Blackbird
  6. Savoy Truffle
  7. Sexy Sadie
  8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Side 2

  1. Martha My Dear
  2. Mother Nature’s Son
  3. Yer Blues
  4. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  5. Julia
  6. Long, Long, Long
  7. Good Night

The record has to fit within the recording limitations of a single LP, so we are looking at about 23 minutes for each side. Even with those limitations, you certainly get your monies worth with this album as there is a total of fifteen songs. The first song could not be anything other than Back In The U.S.S.R. as it is the best side starting song on the original double. The segue into Dear Prudence works brilliantly as well. A more mellow effort after the upbeat first track. Glass Onion just sounds right as track three and is in the same place it was on the original album. The tempo slows down again with I’m So Tired before the folky Blackbird continues the mellow mood. We are brought out of this by the first Harrison song on the album; the upbeat soul inspired Savoy Truffle. It also includes a nice horn track that would become a feature of Harrison’s solo work. We finish off the side with another two Lennon songs in Sexy Sadie and Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Side two kicks off with two McCartney songs in Martha My Dear and Mother Nature’s Son, which wouldn’t be the only songs to feature a sole member of the band. The guitars are turned up for the next two tracks with the bluesy Yer Blues and possibly George Harrison’s greatest song whilst in The Beatles, While My Guitar Gently Weeps. We then have a bit of whimsy from John Lennon with Cry Baby Cry with the hidden track Can You Take Me Back still there leading nicely into Long Long Long. We end with the Starr sung, but Lennon written Good Night. Not the best song on the White Album, definitely not the worst but better than the Starr original Don’t Pass Me By.

The tracks that didn’t make the cut were cut in my opinion, for good reasons. Either I didn’t like them or they were not as good as the ones I kept. The break down is seven sung by Lennon, four by McCartney, three by Harrison and one by Starr. I suspect there will be those who will say that their version would look nothing like this, but as this is another of those What-If’s. Someone else will no doubt come up with a different track listing that for him or her, is better. For my money though, this is a pretty good album.

The artwork is taken from one of those in consideration when the album was going to be called A Doll’s House, but was eventually used on the compilation Beatles Ballads. I also used the mono mix of the album, as this was the last Beatles album to have a dedicated mono mix, but it is possibly the least known version of any Beatle album.

You can hear the playlist below, but not in mono I’m afraid. Annoyingly, Spotify only has the Stereo mix of the album available at this stage.

Derek & The Dominos – The Collection

 

Derek and the Dominos are one of those bands that are forever associated with one song; Layla. I suspect most people will think that it was originally an Eric Clapton solo track, but I digress. It is a rock classic but there is so much more to this group than that one song. The four members would meet whilst they were in the backing band of Delaney and Bonnie, who were the support act for Blind Faith, the band Clapton was in after Cream split. The Delaney and Bonnie band would back Clapton on his 1970 solo album but would split up due to all sorts of cliché band related nonsense. Clapton would recruit keyboard/guitar player Bobby Whitlock, bass player Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon to back singer P. P. Arnold on some sessions (which would only see the light of day in 2017 on an album called The Turning Tide) and then they were pretty much the backing band for George Harrison on his All Things Must Pass album. The band recorded their first single during the All Things Must Pass sessions, with Harrison and Dave Mason (formally of Traffic) joining them. The single did receive a limited release but was withdrawn due to Clapton feeling that it did not reflect their sound. That is not a bad collection of sessions to play on for a band who were not really a band at this stage.

With the band having completed a short UK tour and gaining a name, they decamped to Criteria Studios in Miami to record their classic album. The sessions got off to a bumpy start though as something was not quite happening as there was a spark missing. However, after being taken by legendary producer Tom Dowd to watch the Allman Brothers in concert, Duane Allman was invited to join the sessions and preceded to play on the majority of the album, giving it some fire and igniting Clapton to produce some of his best guitar work. What stands out for me about the Layla album is that it is one of the few records I can listen to all the way through without wanting to skip over a song. It sounds great and the songs are some of the best of Clapton’s’ career. He has never been the most prolific of writers but having a foil like Bobby Whitlock to work with him (in a way no one had done before or since) as well his burning desire for Patti Boyd, the wife of George Harrison ignited something that arguably has been lacking in his work ever since.

This album holds a special place in my musical journey as it one of the first albums that I bought on CD and even though I loved it, the edition I bought was the late 80s reissue, which used a less than stellar version of the record. It featured lots of background hiss, muddy sound and was one of many albums from that era that suffered from lazy record companies not looking for either the original master or multi track tapes. This was soon to be corrected but more on that later.

After a tour of the US, Bobby Whitlock recorded two solo albums, the first of which included performances from all of the Dominos. However, not one song has all four members of the band on it at the same time (which is a shame). Members also played on Dr John’s The Sun, Moon and Herbs album with all the Dominos performing on Familiar Reality (Reprise). The Layla album had come out and not been the commercial or critical success that Clapton (as well as many others) felt it should have been. He was also rocked by the deaths of Jimi Hendrix as well as Duane Allman and he failed to get Patti Boyd to leave George Harrison.

When sessions started for the proposed second album, the drug taking (which was substantial whilst recording the first record) escalated and the relationship between Clapton and Jim Gordon collapsed. A number of songs were recorded but most were instrumentals and most lack the fire a greatness of what was recorded for the Layla album. The playing is still good but Clapton is missing a sparring partner (like Duane Allman) to bring out the fire in his playing. A good number of these second album songs have seen the light of day down the years, but there are still a number that remain in the vaults. Well officially anyway.

When compiling this compilation, I could not change the Layla album as it is perfect to my ears, so I just went with as was. However, I went with the mix that was released for the 20th anniversary edition. Released in 1990, it could be considered to be the first Deluxe Edition of an album, as it contained jam sessions and album outtakes. The producers of that set also had access the vaults and went back to the original multi tracks. This version was superior to the one that had previously been released and included some bits and pieces not included in the original mix. Even though further reissues have superseded this, this is the version that was on heavy rotation on my CD player back in the day and the one I always come back to.

With the second disc, this is not an attempt to construct a second LP as many have tried in the past. This is a showcase of what was left in the can. These include some songs that were written by Jim Gordon which sound unlike anything the band recorded. These are Jim’s Song, ‘Till I See You Again and It’s Hard to Find a Friend. None of these have been officially released which is a shame, but seeing as 2020 is the 50th Anniversary of Layla, maybe this will be the time. Got to Get Better in a Little While appears twice. The version from 1988s Crossroads box set is a bonus track due to the unfinished nature of the recording. The 40th Anniversary box set contained a fuller version as Bobby Whitlock was brought in to record the keyboards and vocal parts that were originally missing. Sounds pretty good too.

Outtakes from the Layla sessions include a jam around the song (When Things Go Wrong) It Hurts Me Too, an incomplete master for a song called Tender Love (I do wonder if there was ever any lyrics for this song and if so, why wasn’t it finished?) and two versions of a song called Mean Old World. A duet version is included as a bonus track and was released on a Duane Allman compilation in the 70s, but the band version goes better in the flow of the second disc. The Phil Spector produced single recorded during the All Things Must Pass album sessions is included, plus five completed masters from the abandoned second album sessions. Snake Lake Blues also appears in two versions. The major key version has been released before, but the minor key one has not (as yet). Both are used as a way of finishing off, either the second disc set or bonus tracks.

There is one more song to mention, the curiosity that is Devil’s Road, which was recorded with vocals from female vocalist Rene Armando. Little information appears about her online, with some sites saying that she was married to Jim Gordon. However, she does not seem to have appeared on any other recording. This track was recorded in Eric Clapton’s’ home studio with only the guitar player and drummer on the original track, with keyboards and bass added on later. Were these performed by the other Dominos? No one is quite sure about this. I have included it because of when it was recorded, the personnel and the fact that Clapton is on fire with his playing.

Derek and the Dominos was the last time Eric Clapton was just a member of the band. After this, he would go out under his own name. It is such a shame that the Dominos did not finish their second album, or continue after that. They are one of the great-lost bands but at least they did leave us with one classic album. There aren’t many bands who can claim that.

The artwork is the original album cover surrounded in a black background using a golden text. This mirrors the effect of the 20thAnniversary Edition that I liked so much.

Disc 1

  1. I Looked Away (1990 Remix)
  2. Bell Bottom Blues (1990 Remix)
  3. Keep On Growing (1990 Remix)
  4. Nobody Knows When You’re Down & Out (1990 Remix)
  5. I Am Yours (1990 Remix)
  6. Anyday (1990 Remix)
  7. Key To The Highway (1990 Remix)
  8. Tell The Truth (1990 Remix)
  9. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? (1990 Remix)
  10. Have You Ever Loved A Woman? (1990 Remix)
  11. Little Wing (1990 Remix)
  12. It’s Too Late (1990 Remix)
  13. Layla (1990 Remix)
  14. Thorn Tree In A Garden (1990 Remix)

Disc 2

  1. (When Things Go Wrong) It Hurts Me Too (Jam)
  2. Got To Get Better In A Little While (2010 Remaster)
  3. Mean Old World (Band Version – 2010 Remaster)
  4. Till I See You Again
  5. Roll It Over (2010 Remaster)
  6. Evil (2010 Remaster)
  7. Tell The Truth (2010 Remaster)
  8. Jim’s Song
  9. Tender Love (Incomplete Master)
  10. I’ve Been All Day
  11. It’s Hard To Find A Friend
  12. One More Chance (2010 Remaster)
  13. Mean Old Frisco (2010 Remaster)
  14. Devil’s Road (Rene Armando Vocals)
  15. Snake Lake Blues (2010 Remaster)

Bonus Tracks

  1. Mean Old World (Duet Version)
  2. Got To Get Better In A Little While (Crossroads Mix)
  3. Snake Lake Blues (Minor Key Version)

Disc 1 was available on Spotify so I was able to include that here. I was not able to add a playlist for Disc 2 because one or more songs were not available on that platform (mostly due to the fact that they have not been officially released).

Derek & The Dominos – The Collection Disc 2

David Bowie – The Collection Vol.1

For the second compilation, we have David Bowie using songs from his debut album up to and including Ziggy Stardust. Bowie had been on vinyl as far back as 1964 but none of these early singles made the cut. To my ears, they are not very good and pretty derivative of the period in which they were recorded. However, by the time his first album came out in 1967, there were a couple of songs that didn’t sound out of place. Most of these were stereo but some mono mixes were used all thanks to the deluxe edition of his debut album which was a goldmine of interesting cuts and BBC sessions. A couple of these early songs are presented by BBC recordings as they had a bit more life to them than the studio cuts. 1971 re-recording of Holy Holy was also included here as this was the version I heard first and I prefer it to the original single mix. The first disc does highlight the fact that Bowie was really trying to find his voice and style.

Disc 2 is where this changes and the gold starts to flow. Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust are great albums and it was hard leaving songs off. However, it is all about the flow when putting a compilation like this together. I included the demo of Quicksand instead of the studio cut as I like the simplicity of it. It is also quicker and fits in better. Looking for a Friend is the unreleased single mix from Bowie’s Arnold Corns project and some period songs that were either released as B-sides later on (Velvet Goldmine) or unreleased at the time (Sweet Head). The disc finishes with a bang by using the single version of John, I’m Only Dancing. Well the version without the saxophone on it anyway. For the cover, I used a fresh faced Bowie from his debut album but with any reference to the record label taken off.

Disc 1

  1. Space Oddity
  2. Unwashed & Somewhat Slightly Dazed
  3. The Man Who Sold The World
  4. Running Gun Blues
  5. Janine
  6. God Knows I’m Good
  7. Let Me Sleep Beside You (BBC Version)
  8. Black Country Rock
  9. Come & Buy My Toys (Stereo Album Mix)
  10. Letter To Hermione
  11. Holy Holy (1971 Re-Recording)
  12. An Occasional Dream
  13. In The Heat Of The Morning (Mono Vocal Version)
  14. Sell Me A Coat (Original Mono Album Mix)
  15. Silly Boy Blue (BBC Version Recorded For Top Gear)
  16. Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (Rare B-Side Version – 2003 Digital Remaster)
  17. After All
  18. Cygnet Committee
  19. Memory Of A Free Festival

Disc 2

  1. Changes
  2. Oh! You Pretty Things
  3. Eight Line Poem
  4. Life On Mars!
  5. Kooks
  6. Fill Your Heart
  7. Andy Warhol
  8. Song For Bob Dylan
  9. Queen Bitch
  10. Quicksand (Demo)
  11. Looking For A Friend (Single Version)
  12. Moonage Daydream
  13. Starman
  14. It Ain’t Easy
  15. Lady Stardust
  16. Star
  17. Hang On To Yourself
  18. Velvet Goldmine
  19. Ziggy Stardust
  20. Suffragette City
  21. Sweet Head
  22. Rock & Roll Suicide
  23. John, I’m Only Dancing (1972 single version, new 1990 remix

The playlist for Disc 1 is available on Spotify, but disc 2 could not be re-created  because one or more songs were not available on that platform.

David Bowie – The Collection Disc 2

Small Faces – The Collection

First up, we start with the legendary Small Faces. I was first introduced to the band during the Britpop Years when many of those acts said how much of an influence and inspiration they were. Unfortunately, compilers have poorly served the band and record companies down the years, especially after the mess that was the Immediate label. However, at least in the 2010s, there have been some efforts to rectify this with deluxe editions of their 60s catalogue as well as a four disc box set. At the time of writing though, the Autumn Stone compilation has yet to be a part of this programme but hopefully this will not be the case for too much longer.

I have split this band overview over two discs, neatly divided into the Decca and Immediate years. This is not quite as neat a division as it should have been as Eddie’s Dreaming, which ends Disc One was the last song on the first Immediate album. To my ears, none of the Decca material sounded like a last song on an album track, and with the story of Happiness Stan Suite finishing Disc Two, this would have been a track too good to miss off.; hence it goes there. Just Passing on Disc Two was recorded during the period where the band was moving between Decca and Immediate, but it sounds more like the second labels material so it went there. In my opinion, the band also sounded better in Mono so the majority of the songs here are in that format, except for the songs taken from Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake. Being the most psychedelic of their albums, stereo seems to be the best way to listen that material. Stereo was also the way in which I first heard that album, so mono just doesn’t sound right to me. The exception being Song of a Baker which sounds a bit odd in stereo to my ears, due to the drums being in the left channel instead of the centre. Red Balloon has never been released in mono. The front over is a classic mod shot of the band from their early years which was borrowed from a very early Small Faces website back in the early years of this century.

Anyway, stay tuned for more playlists coming over the following weeks.

The Small Faces – The Collection

Disc 1 – The Decca Years

  1. What’Cha Gonna Do About It (Mono)
  2. What’s A Matter Baby (Mono)
  3. Take This Hurt Off Me (Mono/Different Version)
  4. I Can’t Make It (Session Version – Mono)
  5. Jump Back (Mono/BBC Saturday Club Version)
  6. Shake (Mono)
  7. Hey Girl (Mono)
  8. Almost Grown (Mono)
  9. Own Up Time (Mono/Alt Version)
  10. Come On Children (Mono)
  11. Understanding (Mono)
  12. E Too D (Mono)
  13. You Need Loving (Mono)
  14. One Night Stand (Mono)
  15. It’s Too Late (Mono)
  16. All Or Nothing (Mono)
  17. Don’t Stop What You’re Doing (Mono)
  18. My Mind’s Eye (Mono)
  19. Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (Mono)
  20. That Man (Mono)
  21. I’ve Got Mine (Mono)
  22. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me (Mono)
  23. Eddie’s Dreaming (Mono)

Disc 2 – The Immediate Years

  1. Tin Soldier (Mono)
  2. Something I Want To Tell You (Mono)
  3. Here Comes The Nice (Mono)
  4. Itchycoo Park (Mono)
  5. I Feel Much Better (Mono Single Mix)
  6. Become Like You (Mono)
  7. Talk To You (Mono)
  8. Things Are Going To Get Better (Mono)
  9. Afterglow Of Your Love (Stereo)
  10. Songs Of A Baker (Mono)
  11. Just Passing (Mono)
  12. Feeling Lonely (Mono)
  13. All Our Yesterdays (Mono)
  14. Lazy Sunday (Mono)
  15. The Universal (Mono Single Mix)
  16. My Way Of Giving (Mono)
  17. Show Me The Way (Mono)
  18. I’m Only Dreaming (Mono)
  19. Wham Bam Thank You Mam (Mono)
  20. Red Balloon (Alt Stereo Mix)
  21. The Autumn Stone (Mono Single Mix)
  22. Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire (Mono)
  23. Happiness Stan (Stereo)
  24. Rollin’ Over (Stereo)
  25. The Hungry Intruder (Stereo)
  26. The Journey (Stereo)
  27. Mad John (Stereo)
  28. Happy Days Toy Town (Stereo)

I was not able to add a Spotify playlist because one or more songs were not available on that platform.

The Small Faces – The Collection Disc 1
The Small Faces – The Collection Disc 2