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 The single did receive a limited release but was withdrawn due to Clapton feeling that it did not reflect their sound.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).

Episode 89 – To The Ladies In The Band

For the amount of women who have made it in the music business throughout the years, the all female band it still something of a rarity. In this show, we take a look at some of those groups.

  • Ina Ray Hutton & Her Melodears – Doin’ The Suzie Q
  • If I Had My Way – Ivy Benson’s All Girl Band
  • Can’t Your Hear My heartbeat – Goldie & The Gingerbreads
  • Never Thought You’d Leave Me – The Pleasure Seekers
  • Six O’clock In The Morning – The Feminine Complex
  • Come & Hold Me – Fanny
  • High Flying Woman – The Deadly Nightshade
  • April Fool – Isis
  • I Love Playin’ With Fire – The Runaways
  • Icarus – Sweet Jayne
  • Never Underestimate The Power Of A Woman – Klymaxx
  • Demolition Boys – Girlschool
  • Cactus – Shonen Knife
  • Vacaton – The Go-Go’s
  • Getting Out Of Hand – The Bangs
  • Edge Of A Broken Heart – Vixen
  • Shove – L7
  • Hanky Panky – The 5, 6, 7, 8’s.
  • Con Man – the Tuts
  • Bender – Chastity Belt

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.

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.

A New Feature

A new feature on The Squire Presents website are playlists (or mix CDs) that I will be listing from now on. This is because I am old enough to remember slaving over a Hi-Fi system creating mixtapes to play on my ever-present Walkman. When tape went by the wayside, there was the MiniDisc, which I used for a couple of years, but these never really took off in the same way tapes had. The best feature of the MiniDisc though was the ability to move songs on the playlist without having to re-record them, or delete a song from the playlist if the flow didn’t sound quite right. The sound quality of the MiniDisc might not have been the best, but when played through Walkman Headphones, the tunes sounded pretty good to me.

Then I got hold of a PC with a CD burner. Having a computer to create playlists offered a great deal of freedom. This freedom included the ability to move songs around the playlist, edit songs, fade songs into one another and even create my own artwork. Even though CDs are now a bit old hat (even though in 2020, they seem to still be the most popular format for buying physical music), I still like to put together a playlist of songs, be it various or single artists, to the length of a CD. Therefore, I will be presenting these playlists including, where appropriate, the specific version of the song that was used as well as any further information I thought you may find interesting. For the most part, I also look to fill the entire CD (max length is about 1 hour, 19 minutes and 40 seconds), but sometimes the mix sounds right at a shorter playing time. Most probably there wasn’t enough material from an artist to fill an entire CD that sounded good to me. These are personal mixes where the songs flow is as important as the songs included. I have also tried not to use the same song (or at least the same version) on more than one compilation (in the same way I tried not to double up on the podcasts), but sometimes, it happens. I will be posting the first of these in the next few days. Enjoy.

Episode 88 – Before They Were Famous Part 2

We once again take a look at the song released by artists who became famous later on.

  • Lovingly Yours – Mockingbirds (Graham Gouldman/Kevin Godley)
  • London Is Behind Me – Justin Hayward
  • Till You Say You’ll Be Mine – Olivia Newton-John
  • How Long Must I Be Made To Wait, Wait – Giorgio & The Morodians (Giorgio Moroder)
  • You Never Wanted Me – Alex Campbell & Friends (Sandy Denny)
  • Say Those Magic Words – The Birds, Birds (Ronnie Wood)
  • Pulsar – Flaming Youth (Phil Collins)
  • Don’t Go Way Little Girl – Shame (Greg Lake)
  • Mr Poem – Mike Batt
  • Digger – A New Generation (Sutherland Brothers)
  • I Can Hear Raindrops – The Valentines (Bon Scott)
  • Who Has Seen The Wind – Simon Sisters (Carly Simon)
  • Amsterdam, The First Days – Brainbox (Jan Akkerman)
  • Silver Forest – Organisation (Kraftwerk)
  • Rocking Chair Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues – Elf (Ronnie James Dio)
  • Last Saturday – Pat Benatar
  • It’s A Happy Day – Ellen Amos (Tori Amos)
  • Arabadrengurinn (The Arab Boy) – Bjork
  • Never Grow Old – Aretha Franklin

Episode 87 – The Songs Of David Bowie

Before he became a household name and even into his early years of stardom, David Bowie released a good number of singles in his own name, bands he was then working with or songs he had placed with other artists. In this show we take a look at those songs.   

  • Good Morning Girl – David Bowie
  • Take My Tip – Kenny Miller
  • And I Say To Myself – David Bowie & Lower Third
  • I Dig Everything – David Bowie
  • Over The Wall We Go – Oscar
  • Silver Tree Top School For Boys – The Slender Plenty
  • Little Toy Soldier – The Riot Squad
  • Laughing Gnome – Ronnie Hilton
  • Silly Boy Blue – Billy Fury
  • Ragazzo Solo, Ragazzo Sala – Computers
  • Right On Mother – Peter Noone
  • Moonage Daydream – Arnold Corns
  • Andy Warhol – Dana Gillespie
  • Man Who Sold The World – Lulu
  • Life On Mars – Barbra Streisend
  • Growing Up, I’m Fine – Mick Ronson
  • All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople

Episode 86 – Talkin’ About The Good Times

Once again I am joined by Darryl Bullock to talk about some of our favourite records of all time.  

  • I’ll Be Back (Mono Mix) – The Beatles
  • Good Vibrations (Mono Single Mix) – The Beach Boys
  • Alone Again Or (Mono Single Mix) – Love
  • Pleasant Valley Sunday (Mono Mix) – The Monkees
  • I Say A Little Prayer – Aretha Franklin
  • The Village Green Preservation Society (Mono Mix) – The Kinks
  • Because (Mono Mix) – The Beatles
  • Bell Bottom Blues – Derek & The Dominos
  • Going To California – Led Zeppelin
  • The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack
  • The Great Gig In The Sky – Pink Floyd
  • Teenage Kicks (Vinyl) – The Undertones
  • Love Will tear Us Apart – Joy Division
  • O Elbereth Gilthoniel – Stephen Oliver
  • Waves – Blancmange (Original Version)
  • Love Is (Dance Mix) – Troy Tate
  • Blind – Talking Heads
  • Dalliance – The Wedding Present
  • Mary Jo – Belle & Sebastian
  • All I Need – Air
  • Do You Realize? – The Flaming Lips
  • A Lady Of A Certain Age – The Divine Comedy

Episode 85  – Label of Love: Now Sounds

In another in our record label spotlight series, we take at reissue label Now Sounds, a label dedicated to dedicated to exploring the untrodden sonic avenues of the creatively fertile West Coast music scene and beyond.

  • Come To The Sunshine (Instrumental Mix) – Harpers Bizarre
  • Windy (Acoustic Demo) – Ruth Friedman
  • You (In My Mind) – The Cowsills
  • Enter The Young – The Association (Withdrawn 45 Mix)
  • Easy To Be Hard (Acetate) – The Sugar Shoppe
  • To Put Up With You (Non LP 45)– The Holy Mackerel
  • Little Girl – Tiny Tim
  • Leave Him To Me – Donna Loren (Previously Unreleased)
  • Young Birds Fly – The Cryan’ Shames
  • Legend Of Paul Revere (Unedited Version) – Paul Revere & The Raiders
  • Illusions – The Serendipity Singers
  • Silently (Philippines 45 Version) – Del Shannon
  • I’m Aware (Alt. Mix) – The Knack
  • Fantastic Four (Session Outtake)– The Mamas & The Papas
  • Strawberry Jam Man (Alt Version) – Jamme
  • No One Knows (Mono 45) – Every Mothers’ Son
  • Time Will Equalize – MC Squared
  • Lisa, But Not The Same – The Critters
  • New In Town (Non LP B-Side) – Gary Lewis
  • Mary – Twinn Connexion
  • Right Or Wrong (Demo) – Colours
  • Smokey Joe’s – Tina & The Mustangs
  • Frog Prince (Alt. Mix) – the Parade

Episode 84 – D Is For Demo: Part 2

In the second of our two shows, we take another look at the world of the demo recording. 

  • Quicksand – David Bowie
  • Nobody’s Fool – The Kinks
  • Symphony – Marvin Gaye
  • Behind Blue Eyes – Pete Townshend
  • Ghetto Child – Curtis Mayfield
  • The Pearl – Judee Sill
  • Out In The Streets – Blondie
  • Collections – Anthony Phillips
  • Second Hand News – Fleetwood Mac
  • Interzone – Joy Division
  • The Doctor (Comfortably Numb) – Pink Floyd
  • Lime Time – The Cure
  • Dignity – Bob Dylan
  • Bye Bye Badman – The Stone Roses
  • Just A Girl – Suede
  • Carousel – Sun Dial
  • It’s Not Me – Supergrass
  • Kelly Watch The Stars – Air
  • Love Like Laughter – Beth Orton
  • I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother’s Heart – The White Stripes
  • Love Is A Losing Game – Amy Whitehouse
  • Storm Song – Smoke Fairies
  • Candy – Talk Talk
  • Free Bird – Lynyrd Sknyrd