Monday, 7 August 2017

Sixties Psychedelic Pop: Del Shannon - Further Adventures Of Charles Westover 1968 (1998 BGO Records) Flac & mp3

This lesser-known cult favorite is not only one of the most musically ambitious outings of Del Shannon's career, but also one of his most all-around consistent albums. The Further Adventures of Charles Westover finds Shannon embracing psychedelia in a personalized way: Instead of imitating the whimsy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, or the creepy freak-outs of Their Satanic Majesties Request, he uses the cinematic quality of psychedelic pop to provide a vivid backdrop for his songwriting. For instance, "Silver Birch" uses a swirling mass of horns and densely layered backing vocals to add a haunting quality to its tale of an abandoned bride, and "Color Flashing Hair" uses vertiginous string motifs and churning horns to re-create the feelings of obsessive love described in the lyrics. Shannon's work on this album also differs from usual psychedelic fare because it mixes some earthier textures into its sonic brew: "Be My Friend" enhances its lusty plea for feminine companionship with wailing harmonica and gospel-tinged female backing vocals, and "River Cool" laces its swinging beat with some deliciously soulful organ licks. The overall effect is stunning, managing to fit the tag of psychedelic pop but still retaining the haunting, emotional kind of songwriting that distinguished Del Shannon's music. (

This album is just GREAT. Everytime i listen to it it blow me away. ''I Think I Love You'' is psychedelic pop at it's best. And this is just one example of the album. You can take nearly every song and it is a great one. For me it's really hard to understand why the album failed to reach the charts back then.
Hope you have fun
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Pop Rock/Jangle Pop by Mike Shupp - October Sun 1997 Flac & mp3

A singer/songwriter influenced by the jangly pop of the 80's Athens scene, Mike Shupp writes heartland pop with crunching guitars and a sugary sweet voice. A Virginia native, Shupp first played with Bang Theory in the early 90's, but when the band fell apart he found himself unable to keep another outfit together. Undaunted, he simply went solo, releasing October Sun in 1997 and garnering raves from Spin Magazine among other sources.

After a period of live performances, Shupp stepped into the studio with producer Jeff Murphy in 2000 for The Key. Recorded in Chicago, the album was entirely performed by Shupp outside of the percussion. Hitting the road after favorable local reviews, Shupp took less time in between albums and returned in the spring of 2002 to record This Time. The record, mixed by Indigo Girls producer Don McCollister, arrived in September of the same year.(

I needed two or three spins in the beginning i listened to the album. After that the album was for a longer time regular in my player. This guy is a very good songwriter at least what i hear on this album. Give it a try if you like laid back jangle pop with strong songs.
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Two on One CD release on BGO Records 1995: Del Shannon - Live In England & And The Music Plays On 1973 & 1978 (1995 Beat Goes On Records) Flac & mp3@320

This 1996 reissue of these two Del Shannon albums is impeccable in its logic, nearly 80 minutes long and combining the best (and most common) of his latter-day albums with the rarest and most interesting of them. The sound is killer all the way through, mastered at a high volume with lots of detail. Even at import prices, it's cheaper than finding a copy of And the Music Plays On on vinyl.(allmusic)

Live in England is from 1973 and what's called here ''And The Music Plays On'' was released 1978. Eleven years after it was recorded. Del Shannon recorded the album 1967 with Andrew Loog Oldham. The original name for the album was ''Home And Away'' and were planned as following album of his last album released by Liberty. Why it not happened? I don't know. In my opinion it is one of his best works together with ''The Further Adventures Of Charles Westover'' (i will post later).

Del Shannon’s Home & Away never saw a proper release in the 1960s. These tracks would eventually see light of day on the 1978 vinyl LP/compilation titled And The Music Plays On.  Record executives of the day were looking for heavy, underground sounds, not dense, wall-of-sound type productions that featured complex vocal arrangements, strings, harpsichords, and plenty of horns.  The music on this disc was recorded in 1967 with Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham sitting in the producer’s chair.   Home & Away was considered passe stuff for 1967 and shelved shortly after, as Del began work on his psychedelic masterpiece, The Further Adventures of Charles Westover.  The 2006 EMI reissue has excellent stereo sound and presents the LP in it’s proper context – a must own for fans of  the mid 60s Beach Boys, the Zombies and the Left Banke.

It’s useless to point out highlights on this great, lost pop album.  “Runaway ’67” is exactly what it claims to be; a 1967 update of Del’s classic smash.  This cut has a strong Left Banke feel with it’s swirling strings and baroque arrangement.  Del’s vocals sound haunted and seamlessly mesh with Oldham’s productions.  They hit the mark on nearly every track.  This means that each song on the album flows effortlessly, whether it’s the trippy harpsichord intro to “Easy To Say, Easy To Do” or the romantic pop of “My Love Is Gone.”   My hit picks are the shimmering psychedelic pop of “Silently” and the beautiful Pet Sounds influenced gem “It’s My Feeling.”  Del only penned 3 of the LP’s tracks but he and Oldham did a good job choosing fine material from outside writers – the 3 Billy Nichols selections are pop gems.

Home & Away is just a shade or two less important than The Further Adventures of Charles Westover. It’s proof that this type of early rocker could forge on into the late 60s and make great, experimental music without losing their identity.  Del Shannon is one of those hard luck artists who made excellent music all throughout the decade but never received his due.(

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Debut by Marshall Crenshaw - Marshall Crenshaw 1982 (2009 Warner Rec. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab SACD) Flac & mp3@320

In retrospect, 1982 was a brief, exhilarating moment in between the fall of disco and the rise of MTV, when the eternal verities of real rock & roll broke through once again. The punk and new wave music of the late '70s had given way to power-pop, a return to catchy, relatively unadorned guitar rock. In that context, it was easy to see Marshall Crenshaw and his self-titled debut album as the Next Big Thing. Hailing from music-rich Detroit but based in new wave mecca New York City, Crenshaw looked like Buddy Holly by way of Elvis Costello, and sounded like that combination too. His short, simple songs had an obvious lineage, but Crenshaw further updated the sound and added a lightly sardonic tone à la Costello, giving it a smart-alecky New York edge. Not only did critics love the result, but the immediate surface charms of the music seemed to bode for a quick trip to the top. But although "Someday, Someway" reached the Top 40 and the LP got halfway up the Top 100, that did not happen. Maybe because Crenshaw was perhaps a little too faithful to his old records. Any record collector had to love a guy who knew enough to cover Arthur Alexander's "Soldier of Love."

Yet Holly and Costello got away with their essentially nerdy appearance by working against it, always seeming about to break out of the image; Crenshaw, from the art deco cover of his album to his perfectly echoed vocals, seemed to fetishize the look and sound, more a formalist than a stylist. Or maybe it was just that by the end of 1982, Michael Jackson had released Thriller and Duran Duran was cavorting on MTV. In any case, Marshall Crenshaw remains a great album.(allmusic).

Top notch pop/power pop album by Crenshaw and in the times then it was for me a ray of hope in the music scene of the early eighties. Like some others of the great power pop bands/artists of the late seventies and early eighties. All this bands who took the rock'n'roll of the fifties, the mod sound of british sixties, byrdsian jangle guitars with seventies punk rock and beatles inspired harmonies.
Highly recommended!
Have fun
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