Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Troggs - The Trogg Tapes 1976 (2008 Repertoire Records)

Don't mistake the title of this album, The Trogg Tapes, for that 12-minute talking studio digression New Rose Records released (with no track listing) on The Troggs on 45's EP. Perhaps cashing in on that fun debacle's underground buzz, the band releases 11 tracks that are pure Troggs. With singer Reg Presley and late drummer Ronnie Bond on board, original producer/manager Larry Page puts together an exciting 1976 album which has a simple raw sound, perfect for the new wave.

As Larry Uttal's Private Stock label couldn't do much with Blondie, this innovative disc went nowhere as well and the shame of it is that there's some great rock & roll in these grooves. Bassist Tony Murray and co-guitarist Colin Fletcher come up with a decent pop ballad in "After the Rain," while Rufus Thomas' "Walking the Dog" is so primitive that it is too bad the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith didn't get to hear it before they tracked the tune for their respective debut albums.

The snarling guitars of Fletcher and Richard Moore create a wonderful platform for Reg Presley's distinctive grunts and growls. Sure, Marc Bolan was the visionary that Reg Presley is not, but with the Troggs having three Top 30 hits to Bolan's one in America, and with quality underground stuff like this, the band should have been able to do more than issue discs for a cult following. Producer Larry Page and guitarist Colin Fletcher come up with a great track in "Gonna Make You," while sea effects on "I'll Buy You an Island," courtesy of the English Channel, is the cool, earthy stuff that made the Troggs such an important fringe band. The back of the LP has a tape box à la the Velvet Underground's Peel Slowly and See, while the front has the group sitting in a mini-mountain of unspooled recording tape.

Drummer Ronnie Bond is no longer with us, but he gets to sing the vocal on "Rolling Stone," one of two titles he co-writes with Tony Murray. There are only two Reg Presley originals here, but his attitude is everywhere, from the punk of "Rock 'N' Roll Lady" to the fine leadoff track "Get You Tonight." Had Private Stock saturated college radio with a collector's-item disc, say a colored vinyl 45 of "Get You Tonight," this excellent artifact would have had a fighting chance. It doesn't have the angst or abandon of the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bullocks nor does it have the pretension of some of the Clash's material; it's a consistent recording of a band doing what they do very well, and on that level it works just fine.(allmusic.com)

  Flac p1  &  Flac p2   & Flac p3    -  mp3 p1   -  mp3 p2

One of my absolute favourite 60/70ties band. This is a really great rock'n'roll band.
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Pre 10cc: Hotlegs - You Didn't Like It Because You Didn't Think Of It-The Complete Sessions 1970/1971 (2012 Grapefruit Records) Flac & mp3

One of the finest archive products of the pre-CD age, You Didn't Like It was released in the U.K. in 1975, at the height of 10cc's success, as a reminder that there was more, so much more, to the members' past incarnation as Hotlegs than the hit "Neanderthal Man." Rounding up every track that the ultimately ill-starred combo cut -- that is, the entire Thinks: School Stinks album, plus four additional performances -- You Didn't Like It not only took the edge off an increasingly desperate collectors market (copies of that original album were impossible to come by), it also reminded listeners just how much of Hotlegs' legacy had been bequeathed to the members' next project. "Fly Away," itself re-recorded from a Godley-Creme contribution to a 1969 Marmalade label sampler, offers the prototype for any number of subsequent ballads -- innocent vocal, innocent song, but a deceptive beast of a lyric.

"How Many Times" (the doomed U.S. follow-up to the hit "Neanderthal Man"), "Take Me Back," and "All God's Children" each had a close relation lurking within the 10cc catalog, while "You Didn't Like It" itself had already been pressed back into surface, as the first 10cc album's closing "Fresh Air for My Mama." "You Didn't Like It" is one of four songs appended to the original Thinks album. Of the remainder, "Lady Sadie" was released as a single in 1971 and went absolutely nowhere, while "Today" and "The Loser" saw service on the "second" Hotlegs album, Songs. Despite such generosity, however, You Didn't Like It fared no better than either of its predecessors, and, bitterly, one remembers why.

10cc at the time were universally regarded among the most creative bands on the planet. Hotlegs, on the other hand, were good for one thing and one thing only. "I'm a Neanderthal man -- CRASH; you're a Neanderthal girl -- CRASH...." And collectors notwithstanding, that was never going to change. (allmusic.com)

Great like a lot of the stuff the band or its members released over the years, excuse me...over the decades. If you like what these guys have done in the past you will love this, too.

         SB1   Flac p1Flac p2       - mp3@320

John Squire's The Seahorses - Do It Yourself 1997 Flac & mp3@320

When John Squire (b. 24 November 1962, Broadheath, Greater Manchester, England; guitar) announced his departure from the Stone Roses in March 1996, inevitable press speculation followed regarding what he would do next. The usually taciturn Squire stated: ‘I’ve always been into the idea of a group... I don’t want to be a solo artist, I want to contribute to a band.’ Still contracted to Geffen Records, Squire chose three unknown musicians to join him in what constituted a fresh start after the friction of his final months in the Stone Roses.

Chris Helme (b. 22 July 1971, York, England; vocals/acoustic guitar) was approached while he was busking outside his local Woolworths, while Stuart Fletcher (b. 16 January 1976, York, England; bass) was standing in on bass for local band the Blueflies, when Squire happened to be drinking in the pub where they were playing that night. Squire, Helme and Fletcher rehearsed for several months before recruiting Andy Watts (b. 1970, London, England; drums/vocals) to complete the line-up.

After playing a low-key debut performance in Scotland, the band decamped to Los Angeles to record their debut album with Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T. Rex). Featuring songs by both Squire and Helme, Do It Yourself was released in May 1997 on the back of an excellent Top 10 single, ‘Love Is The Law’. The album eschewed the sub- Led Zeppelin riffing that weighed down the Stone Roses’ The Second Coming, opting for a more melodic and playful style of Britpop. Helme’s folk-influenced vocals were a welcome contrast to Squire’s distinctive guitar work, while his string-laden ballad ‘Blinded By The Sun’ stood out as one of the album’s highlights.

Diverse enough to appeal to both old Stone Roses fans and new listeners, Do It Yourself justified Squire’s faith in his new band by entering the UK album charts at number 2. Watts left the band in September 1997 and was replaced by Toby Drummond (b. 1976, Hastings, Sussex, England).

Expectations for a second album were quashed when the band announced they were splitting-up in early 1999. Squire released his debut solo album, Time Changes Everything, three years later. Helme went on to record with the Yards.

An email conversation with a very nice guy i know (Hello Bert :-) ) gave me the inspiration to post this album here today. I ask myself what went wrong if a band hits the charts at number two with their first album and the single is a success too. After the album release four months later the drummer left the band. And around one and a half year the band was history. The music? Ah yes the music. The Seahorses made a very good brit pop album with very good songs, strong hooks, jangly guitars and a slightly psychedelic feel. Squire and the band have done an album way better than the most of the million brit pop copies at the time then.
Have fun
              SB1   Flac p1  & Flac p2    - mp3@320