Friday, April 03, 2009

December 10, 1971 - Ten for Two

Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor
Taped: Friday 10 December 1971

Later this evening, John and Yoko are among a line-up of musicians performing at a benefit concert in the Chrysler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the radical activist John Sinclair, who had been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for attempting to sell two marijuana joints. Their acoustic performance includes: 'Attica State' (which suffers badly from feedback), 'The Luck Of The Irish', 'Sisters O Sisters' and 'John Sinclair' and is featured in the film of the event entitled Ten For Two, which is premiered in Ann Arbor during December 1972. A full American release will not take place until April 1, 1989, more than 17 years after the event. The John and Yoko produced film also features contributions from Bobby Seale, Alien Ginsberg, Jerry Rubin and David Dellinger. (Incidentally, Sinclair is released on December 13, three days after the concert.) The Detroit television station WTVS also covers John and Yoko's performance. Their uncut videotape footage runs to almost 19 minutes, four minutes longer than the official Ten For Two film version. Scenes where John's guitar string breaks prior to the start of 'Luck Of The Irish' are consigned by the Lennons to the cutting room floor. Following the performance, the Lennons are approached to appear as co-hosts on the Emmy Award-winning afternoon talk show, The Mike Douglas Show.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Beatles - Back-Track Part Three

Label: Vigotone, BT6368-3

Total Time: 73:32
1. Do You Want To Know A Secret (2:38)
2. A Taste Of Honey (2:09)
3. Seventeen (2:58)
4. There's A Place (2:03)
5. You're Gonna Lose That Girl (2:23)
6. I Need You (2:30)
7. Yes It Is (2:43)
8. Twelve Bar Original (6:44)
9. Strawberry Fields Forever (home demo) (1:02)
10. Strawberry Fields Forever (home demo) (2:00)
11. Strawberry Fields Forever (studio take) (3:02)
12. Strawberry Fields Forever (studio take) (2:05)
13. Strawberry Fields Forever (studio take) (1:16)
14. Strawberry Fields Forever (studio take) (3:45)
15. Strawberry Fields Forever (studio take) (3:58)
16. Strawberry Fields Forever (studio take) (3:13)
17. Strawberry Fields Forever (studio take) (3:37)
18. Strawberry Fields Forever (studio take) (3:25)
19. Across The Universe (3:49)
20. Lady Madonna (2:10)
21. Not Guilty (4:16)
22. What's The New Mary Jane? (6:36)
23. A Case Of The Blues (2:55)
24. Because (2:15)

Do You Want To Know A Secret Recorded Feb. 11, 1963, Take 8, Track 2 opens with John and Paul asking George Martin for instructions on where to place the "Do-Dahs" during the chorus. A complete run-through follows, with George Harrison's lead vocal still single-tracked at this stage.

A Taste Of Honey Recorded Feb. 11, 1963, this version features an unreleased mono mix completed 2/25/63. Take 7, Track 2 has Paul's vocal double-tracked, slightly out of synchronization, to provide a fuller sound.

Seventeen Take 10, as presented here, is a complete run-through performed live at EMI studios Feb. 11, 1963. George Martin took portions of takes 9 and 11 to produce the final incarnation, "I Saw Her Standing There."

There's A Place Recorded live in the studio Feb. 11, 1963, Take 11 has no overdubs and is much faster paced than the more familiar take 13 (judged best by George Martin).

You're Gonna Lose That Girl Beginning with a count from George, Take 3, recorded Feb. 19, 1965, at the start of the "Help!" sessions, contains no reverb or electronic effects, and the bongo track runs throughout.

I Need You Started on Feb. 15, 1965, and completed the next day, Take 5 presented here, is a previously unreleased stereo mix. The absence of all reverb and other studio effects allows George to bring his tone pedal "wah-wah" guitar far forward to the right channel on this mix.

Yes It Is Take 14, recorded on Feb. 16, 1965. This recording, presented here, prior to the final overdubs of "Live" harmony, again features George Harrison's newly acquired tone pedal for guitar.

Twelve-Bar Original Never released, this was the Beatles' first attempt at recording an entire instrumental after reaching world-wide fame. Take 2, recorded live without overdubs Nov. 4, 1965, was mixed down and transferred to reference disc Nov. 30, 1965 (hence the surface noise present). This is the only known surviving recording of the Beatles' attempt at the blues a la Rolling Stones.

Strawberry Fields Forever (Home Demos) By the mid-60's, all the Beatles owned home tape machines which allowed them to put down ideas that would later prove invaluable back at EMI. In early November 1966, John began work on what would later evolve into arguably his most ambitious recording to date. Presented here are John's four original home demos.

Strawberry Fields Forever (Studio Takes) The evolution of a masterpiece of studio work traced through eight separate takes in the order they were recorded. Take 1 was recorded on Nov. 24, 1966. Takes 2, 3 and 4 were recorded on Nov. 28. At this point John had a very different song. One day later, Takes 5 and 7 were recorded. John, still not happy with the sound, asked George Martin to score a brass and string section. Take 25, recorded on Dec. 15, 1966, is the original trumpet and cello backing track later used on the finished recording. Take 26, recorded the same day, adds vocals and brings us close to the finished song, although George Martin eventually edited two versions together for the final incarnation.

Across The Universe Take 7, recorded on Feb. 4, 1968, was originally planned for single release. This early mix has backward guitar sounds and differs from both the "Wildlife" and "Let It Be" versions.

Lady Madonna An early raw version (Take 3) recorded Feb. 3, 1968, live in the studio with an attempted vocal overdub, aborted seconds into the take.

Not Guilty Take 99, recorded Aug. 8, 1968, during the "White Album" sessions. This is the complete unedited stereo mix, running several minutes longer than all other known versions. George sings lead.

What's The New Mary Jane? Take 4, recorded Aug. 14, 1968. This recording is unique in that John's vocals are single-tracked, without the "echo" effect predominant on other known versions. At the end you will hear John exclaim, "Let's hear it back before they come to take us away."

A Case Of The Blues Another Lennon home demo recorded during December of 1968. Written between the "White Album" and "Get Back" sessions, no known studio take exists.

Because Beethoven's Piano Sonata in C Sharp Minor, Opus 27 No. 2, provided the inspiration for this track (when played back to front!). Take 23 spotlights the beautiful three-part harmonies of John, Paul and George in this outtake vocal track, recorded Aug. 1, 1969.

Paul McCartney - The Knebworth Concert

Label: Vigotone, VT-CD 15

Total Time: 48:12
1. Coming Up (5:29)
2. Back In The USSR (3:10)
3. I Saw Her Standing There (3:12)
4. We Got Married (6:33)
5. Crowd Participation Time (0:38)
6. Birthday (2:32)
7. Paul's Speech + Cheer (0:59)
8. Let It Be (3:47)
9. Live And Let Die (3:33)
10. Interlude (0:55)
11. Hey Jude (7:02)
12. Tribute Intro (0:25)
13. Strawberry Fields Forever
Give Peace A Chance (4:10)
14. Applause (0:52)
15. Yesterday (2:04)
16. Applause (0:27)
17. Can't Buy Me Love (2:25)

John Lennon - Imagine - The Sessions

Label: Vigotone, VT-CD 08

Total Time: 71:05
1. Imagine (Alternate Take) (3:09)
2. Crippled Inside (Alternate Take) (3:50)
3. Jealous Guy (Alternate Take) (4:07)
4. It's So Hard (Alternate Take) (2:25)
5. I Don't Want To Be A Soldier, I Don't Want To Die (Alternate Take) (5:48)
6. Give Me Some Truth (Alternate Take) (3:42)
7. Oh My Love (Alternate Take) (2:26)
8. How Do You Sleep (Alternate Take) (8:09)
9. How (Alternate Take) (3:45)
10. Oh! Yoko (Alternate Take) (5:53)
11. Jam (Session Outtake) (0:40)
12. How Do You Sleep (Rehearsal) (4:33)
13. Oh, My Love (Version 2) (2:42)
14. I'm The Greatest (Demo) (2:38)
15. Well (Baby Please Don't Go) (Session Outtake) (5:52)
16. How Do You Sleep? (Low Vocal) (7:37)
17. Imagine (Solo Piano) (3:02)
18. San Francisco Bay Blues (Solo Acoustic) (0:47)

John Lennon - Something Precious & Rare

Label: Vigotone, VT-CD 07

Total Time: 60:54

Tracks 1 - 10 From sessions for the "Ringo" album - 1973
1. I'm The Greatest (False Start) (0:49)
2. I'm The Greatest (False Start) (0:31)
3. I'm The Greatest (False Start) (0:23)
4. I'm The Greatest (Complete Take 1) (3:38)
5. I'm The Greatest (False Start) (0:51)
6. I'm The Greatest (False Start) (0:19)
7. I'm The Greatest (Complete Take 2) (4:26)
8. I'm The Greatest (False Start) (0:45)
9. I'm The Greatest (Complete Take 3) (2:20)
10. I'm The Greatest (Complete Take 4) (4:01)

Tracks 11 - 19 Rehearsal session for "Wall And Bridges" album, Saturday, 13 July 1974.
11. Steel And Glass (5:20)
12. Going Down On Love (4:04)
13. Move Over Ms. L. (Includes "Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox) which is not listed on the cover.) (6:40)
14. Beef Jerky (3:24)
15. Scared (4:57)
16. Old Dirt Road (4:43)
17. Bless You (6:36)
18. Whatever Gets You Through The Night (1:51)
19. Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out) (5:16)

Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan Outtakes

Label: Vigotone, VT-115

Total Time: 72:36
1. Baby, Please Don't Go (1:58)
2. Corrina, Corrina (3:08)
3. The Death Of Emmett Till (4:17)
4. Mixed Up Confusion (2:23)
5. (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle (2:05)
6. Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues (3:45)
7. Milkcow's Calf Blues (2:32)
8. That's All Right (3:22)
9. Solid Road (Rocks And Gravel) (2:51)
10. Going To New Orleans (3:08)
11. Let Me Die In My Footsteps (4:03)
12. The Ballad Of Hollis Brown (5:04)
13. Wichita (2:56)
14. Sally Girl (3:16)
15. Whatcha Gonna Do (2:09)
16. Mixed Up Confusion (2:32)
17. Solid Road (Rocks And Gravel) (2:15)
18. That's All Right (2:09)
19. Mixed Up Confusion (2:19)
20. Corrina, Corrina (2:31)
21. Milkcow's Calf Blues (2:46)
22. Wichita (3:04)
23. Whatcha Gonna Do (2:58)
24. Baby I'm In The Mood For You (2:45)

25. Sally Girl (2:20)


Bob Dylan has walked down many roads. For most of his 22 years he "road freight trains for kicks and got beat up for laughs, cut grass for quarters and sang for dimes." And his songs today are the sounds he sopped up all those years on the road - "the coyote's call and the train whistle's moan, the ol' time pals an' first run gals, the faces you can't find again."

Bob does what a true folk singer is supposed to do - sing about the important ideas and events of the times. And he does it better than anybody else.

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan Outtakes features seven of Bob's own compositions, including both sides of his rare debut single. Also classic interpretations of songs by icons Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, and Elvis Presley. Including four songs in stereo and additional bonus tracks featuring noteworthy alternate takes.

Hear it and you'll know why Bob Dylan is the voice of the times.

Track Notes:
1. Baby, Please Don't Go - studio outtake - 4/62
2. Corrina, Corrina - alternate solo version - 7/62
3. The Death Of Emmett Till - studio outtake - 4/62
4. Mixed Up Confusion - rare single version - 11/62
5. (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle - studio outtake - 10/62
6. Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues - from withdrawn lp - 10/62
7. Milkcow's Calf Blues - Take 3 - studio outtake - 4/62
8. That's All Right - Take 1 - studio outtake - 11/62
9. Solid Road (Rocks And Gravel) - alternate solo version - 7/62
10. Going To New Orleans - studio outtake - 10/62
11. Let Me Die In My Footsteps - unedited w/extra verse - 4/62
12. The Ballad Of Hollis Brown - studio outtake - 11/62
13. Wichita - Take 2 - studio outtake - 4/62
14. Sally Girl - Take 4 - studio outtake - 10/62
15. Whatcha Gonna Do - studio outtake - 11/62
16. Mixed Up Confusion - alternate version (a) - 11/62
17. Solid Road (Rocks And Gravel) - from withdrawn lp - 10/62
18. That's All Right - Take 2 - studio outtake - 11/62
19. Mixed Up Confusion - alternate version (b) - 11/62
20. Corrina, Corrina - rare single version - 11/62
21. Milkcow's Calf Blues - Take 4 - studio outtake - 4/62
22. Wichita - Take 1 - studio outtake - 4/62
23. Whatcha Gonna Do - studio outtake - 11/62
24. Baby I'm In The Mood For You - alternate version - 7/62

25. Sally Girl - studio outtake - 10/62

All tracks mono (except stereo). Tracks 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 24 are from acetate sources.

The Beach Boys - Heroes And Vibrations

Label: Vigotone, VT-163

Total Time: 39:55

Good Vibrations (B. Wilson / M. Love)
1. Instrumental track (1) (3:42)
2. Toy piano (1:48)
3. Fuzz bass (1:45)
4. Rehearsals / instrumental track (2) (1:09)
5. Tack piano / piccolo (0:50)
6. "She's Already Workin' On My Brain" (mono) (3:01)
7. "Hum-Be-Dum" (mono) (1:08)
8. Rarities mix (mono) (3:35)

Heroes And Villains (B. Wilson / V.D. Parks)
9. "Fire" intro (0:51)
10. "I've Been In This Town..." (instrumental) (0:57)
11. "I've Been In This Town..." (w/ vocals) (1:00)
12. "In The Cantina..." (piano rehearsal / final version w/ vocals) (1:51)
13. "My Children Were Raised..." (vocal rehearsals) (3:22)
14. "My Children Were Raised..." (w/ final vocals) (0:34)
15. "Sunny Down Snuff..." (final vocals) (0:28)
16. "Dum, Dum, Dum" (end of "H&V Part One") (1:28)
17. "Tag To Part One" (2nd version) (1:18)
18. "Bicycle Rider" (main H&V theme) (5:13)
19. "H&V Part Two" (revised version take one) (4:17)
20. "Just See What You've Done" (final vocals) (0:52)
21. Mike F**ks with the Formula(s) (0:46)

"Heroes And Villains" and "Good Vibrations", the two greatest works of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys' career, are examined on "Heroes And Vibrations", the taster for Vigotone's forthcoming multi-disc "Smile" box set. Alternate instrumental and vocal takes for both songs, most in full stereo, are featured in breathtaking quality, along with studio chatter and other interesting items.

"Heroes And Vibrations" is a taster for future "Smile" riches to come from the good folks at Vigotone. We're still in the process of assembling the best possible package one could hope for from these legendary sessions, but with public outcry for the release of this set at a fever pitch, we've decided to unleash a few goodies to give you an idea of what's to come...and we think you'll be quite pleased with what you hear!

The excerpts included here are obviously, given our title, from the myriad rehearsals and sessions that produced the best-known and representative tracks from the "Smile Era", "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes And Villains". As with most of the tapes from this period, many of the tracks featured here are fragmentary and have been difficult listening on previous, lesser quality releases. Here the material appears in stellar sound quality. Most items are in full stereo, both on tracks that have only been available before in mono, as well as on several things never before heard. In other words, you're in for a real treat.

So, with that in mind, savor a bit of the genius that was '66-'67-era Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys and be on the lookout for the deluxe "Smile" box set - - - coming soon!

Elvis Presley - The Unissued Elvis 1956-1958

Label: Vigotone, VT-168/169

VT-168 / 37 Tracks - Total Time: 70:58
1-4. Lawdy, Miss Claudy (Takes 7-9, 12)
5-9. Shake, Rattle And Roll (Takes 1-3, 5, 7)
10. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 3)
11. (There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me) (Take 1)
12-14. I Beg Of You (Takes 5, 10-11)
15. That's When Your Heartaches Begin (Take 1)
16-28. It Is No Secret (What God Can Do) (Takes 1-13)
29-37. Blueberry Hill (Takes 1-9)

VT-169 / 51 Tracks - Total Time: 66:19
1-15. Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (Takes 1-15)
16-27. Is It So Strange (Takes 1-11, 12)
28-30. I Need Your Love Tonight (Takes 3-4, 15)
31-32. A Big Hunk O' Love (Takes 2-3)
33-41. Ain't That Lovin' You Baby (Takes 2-10)
42-43. (Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I (Takes 4-5)
44-51. I Got Stung (Takes 3-8, 18, 20)

The Unissued Elvis 1956-1958 is a two CD set of unreleased studio takes from the King's most fertile period. These original session tapes, rescued from the trash heap, have appeared over the years scattered across many obscure and hard-to-find collections. Vigotone has gathered these tracks together in a coherent form and packaged them with a 32 page booklet of photos and facts creating a set that is a must own for the serious Presley collector.

Elvis - The Unissued Elvis 1956 - 1958

The hectic pace of the career of Elvis Presley and his rise to fame in the mid-to-late 1950's required the King to record "on the run" many times between television performances, live concerts and movie-making. As a result, recording studios in New York, Nashville and Hollywood were used to capture Elvis's tremendous output during these years. One consequence of this multi-location recording method was the scattering of the original session tapes among many locations. Many of these tapes have unfortunately been lost or destroyed by RCA, the official handler (or mishandler) of the Elvis tape archive, and only the foresight of several recording engineers and interlopers have kept some of these priceless recordings from the trash heap. Previously scattered among several obscure, hard-to-find collections, these sessions are now gathered together in a coherent form on these discs to give you Elvis - The Unissued Elvis 1956 - 1958.

Some observations on what you're about to hear:

Almost uniformly throughout his career, Elvis preferred to cut his material live with a band in the studio. Partly due to achieve the dynamicism of his stage performances, and partly due to the restrictions of the 1950's recording technology, these sessions saw very little overdubbing. Many of the takes are false starts and breakdowns, and the complete takes rarely differ from the final released takes. However, the excitement comes from the power of the performances that Elvis (still, excepting the final session, with his original classic band of Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J. Fontana, with assorted musicians) never fails to deliver in laying down these tracks.

"Lawdy, Miss Claudy" (Lloyd Price): Takes 7-9 and 12
"Shake, Rattle And Roll" (Charles Calhoun): Takes 1-3, 5 and 7

Personnel: Elvis Presley: guitar, vocals; Scotty Moore: lead guitar; Bill Black: bass; Shorty Long: piano; D.J. Fontana: drums.

Squeezed between his first two appearances on the Dorsey Brothers Stage Show television program, this last day of a three-day recording session produced two songs that ended up respectively as the "B" and "A"-sides of an August 1956 single. "Lawdy, Miss Claudy" takes 7 and 8 are breakdowns, including comments from an obviously amused Elvis. Take 9 produces a complete version, as does take 12, which features a slightly intense vocal performance, perhaps because the King had already captured the one on take 10, the released version.

The early takes of "Shake, Rattle And Roll" produce some interesting variations. Take 1 breaks down quickly but starts with a different verse than the released version (take 12). The version that was issued had overdubbed backing vocals; none are heard on any of these takes. Take 2 is complete, again with a different verse and a piano solo not in the issued take. Take 3 breaks down immediately, as does take 5, but now Elvis has started using the verse found on the released version. Take 6 is announced, but sadly is not heard. Take 7 is complete, with correct verses this time, but still with the piano solo.

"I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" (Mysels-Kosloff): Take 3

Personnel: Elvis Presley: guitar, vocals; Scotty Moore: lead guitar; Chet Atkins: guitar; Bill Black: bass; Marvin Hughes: piano; D.J. Fontana: drums.

A one day recording session to produce just one song, albeit a very important one: the A-side for the follow-up to E's smash debut RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel". Take 3 of "I Want You,..." is a complete version, with Elvis sounding a bit tentative; perhaps in order to get the feeling of the song. The released version is a splice of takes 14 and 17, and this fact, combined with the evidence of other takes that have been made on the Legendary Performer Vol. 2 LP, the Complete '50's Masters box set and the Platinum - A Life In Music set suggest that possibly Elvis' impatience documented at this session dictated the necessity of using various takes to create the finished master.

"(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)" (Thomas Dorsey): Take 1
"I Beg Of You" (Rosemarie McCoy-Kelly Owens): Takes 5, 10-11
"That's When Your Heartaches Begin" (William Raskin-Billy Hill-Fred Fisher): Take 1

Personnel: Elvis Presley: guitar, vocals; Scotty Moore: lead guitar; Bill Black: bass; Gordon Stoker: piano, backing vocals; D.J. Fontana: drums; Neal Mathews, Hoyt Hawkins, Hugh Jarret (Jordanaires): backing vocals.

From the first of three studio sessions for RCA in January 1957, Elvis mixes the sacred with the profane: a little gospel with his rock 'n' roll. Take 1 of "Peace In The Valley" has the same "around the piano" feel as the released take 9, the the Jordanaires offering their usual fine backing vocals.

The three takes of "I Beg Of You" (released almost a year after it was recorded, as the B-side to "Don't") all differ from the issued version, which ended up being recorded at a session a month later (February 23) at the same studio. Here the guitar lines, percussion and backing vocals are significantly different. Takes 5 and 11 are complete, take 10 breaking down midway through.

Switching to a ballad mode, Elvis gives us the 1957 version of his first ever recording from 1953, take 1 of "That's When Your Heartaches Begin", slower and without the echo present on the released take 7.

At least two of these January 1957 sessions were recorded in experimental "binaural" stereo (although it sounds like regular stereo to these ears!), some tapes of which were officially issued by RCA on the Stereo '57 album in 1988, and a complete session which follows...

"It Is No Secret (What God Can Do)" (Stuart Hamblem): Takes 1-13
"Blueberry Hill" (Al Lewis-Larry Stock-Vincent Rose): Takes 1-9
"Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" (Scott Wiseman): Takes 1-15
"Is It So Strange" (Faron Young): Takes 1-11, 12

Personnel: Elvis Presley: guitar, vocals; Scotty Moore: lead guitar; Bill Black: bass; Dudley Brooks: piano; Hoyt Hawkins: organ, backing vocals; D.J. Fontana: drums; Neal Mathews, Hoyt Hawkins, Hugh Jarret (Jordanaires): backing vocals.

A four song session, presented here complete in "binaural" stereo (with E on the right, Jordanaires and piano on the left, and the rest of the instruments centered), for tunes all destined for various EP's and LP's, with Elvis starting off again with some gospel singin'. Takes 3, 5, and 12 of "It Is No Secret" are all complete takes that differ little from the released take 13. (As a matter of fact, with all the complete unissued performances in this session, Elvis seems to be basically looking for the right nuances in his vocal to perfect the take.) The other attempts all break down quickly, with the incomplete take 4 being the first attempt at the Jordanaires' distinctive vocalization over the intro.

Elvis' rather uninspired reading of Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill", one of the few cover versions E attempted that he was unable to make "his own", is featured in 4 complete performances (takes 2, 3, 7 and 8) nearly indistinguishable from the master take 9. Again the other takes are all fairly quick breakdowns.

Listen next for the most profanity-laden part of the session; three "shit" versions of "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" within the 15 takes included; not a reflection of the quality of the performances but simply because the King utters the aforementioned expletive when takes 1 (featuring Elvis proclaiming "I can't make this son of a bitch right") and 11 break down and take 7 concludes after a full rendition! (E aficionados may recall a version of "Can't Help Falling In Love" that has circulated for many years with the King breaking down the take in a similar fashion.) Take 2 is complete, though it ends abruptly ("Is that too short?"). Takes 13 and 14 are also complete, 13 featuring an attempt at "Vegas-y" phrasing ("...told ya lately that I love ya"), and 14 concluding with Elvis admonishing Bill Black for not repeating a verse as E had requested. The other takes all break down at various points, with Elvis getting particularly impatient on takes 3 through 6 ("Okay, okay...let's go..."; must have been time for eats!), and problems with the guitar/piano intro botching attempts 8 through 10 before they finally "hit the pocket" on master take 15.

This session concluded with the recording of "Is It So Strange". Takes 1 (ending with Elvis having a hearty laugh), 9, 10 and 11 feature complete performances, with breakdowns on the remaining takes at various points. It should be noted that the abrupt silence about 3/4 of the way into take 10, which concludes with Elvis confidently proclaiming "I got this son of a bitch, man!" is on the source tape. The issued master was, as with all the other tunes, the final take. It fades early here, again due to the source tape.

"I Need Your Love Tonight" (Sid Wayne-Bix Reichner): Takes 3-4, 15
"A Big Hunk O' Love" (Aaron Schroeder-Sid Wyche): Takes 2-3
"Ain't That Lovin' You Baby" (Ivory Joe Hunter): Takes 2-10
"(Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I" (Bill Trader): Takes 4-5

"I Got Stung" (Aaron Schroeder-David Hill): Takes 3-8, 18, 20

Personnel: Elvis Presley: guitar, vocals; Chet Atkins: lead guitar; Hank Garland: guitar; Bob Moore: bass; Floyd Cramer: piano; D.J. Fontana: drums; Murray "Buddy" Harman: bongos; Gordon Stoker, Neal Mathews, Hoyt Hawkins, Ray Walker (Jordanaires): backing vocals.

Recorded during a two-week leave from the Army, is which he has just started a two-year hitch that was feared would perhaps knock the King from his rightful throne, the June 10th evening session had Elvis showing up in uniform! Perhaps not the best way to get one in the mood for some fiery rock and roll to leave his faithful followers during his absence, but it certainly didn't seem to affect his performance. "I Need Your Love Tonight" take 3 was an immediate breakdown, but leads into a complete take 4 which featured a slightly laid-back vocal, and another complete performance in take 15. Take 18 was the keeper, however and was issued as the B-side of take 9 of "A Fool Such As I" in March of 1959.

"A Big Hunk Of Love", the A-side of his final "Army era" single, is featured here with a complete take 2, with a somewhat frantic vocal from Elvis, and different Jordanaires backing. Take 3 was (trimmed from this version) the issued take, released in June 1959.

"Ain't That Lovin' You Baby" is represented by all but the first take; 2 and 3 are breakdowns (after the first verse and intro respectively). Take 4 was the take used for the issued version (oddly enough, not released until September 1964, as the B-side of the "Ask Me" single). However, a further 6 takes are included here, all breakdowns and incomplete with plenty of the King's laughter ensuring their unusablity! Finally, takes 4 (a breakdown) and 5 (complete) of "A Fool Such As I" bring this session tape to a halt.

The next night, Elvis returned for his final recording session of the 1950's. "I Got Stung" took many tries to perfect; 24 to be exact. Takes 3-7 are all incomplete (the King proclaims "I like this song!" during the breakdown in the first verse of take 4, and coughs his way through take 6 into take 7), but take 8 is finally a complete version. Take 18 is almost complete, until E's delightful utterance of "Fuck it, shit" makes it plain that this won't be a keeper. Bringing the disc to a close is a complete take 20, with a very prominent bass line that isn't evident in the released take 24.

...And so ended what was the most important period in true "rock and roll", with Elvis still the King. His return from the Army in March 1960, and the release of the "Stuck On You" single the same month saw Elvis' popularity unabated. However, it was obvious from first listening that this was a different performer, one with the rough edges gone. E was now into the realm of the "all-around entertainer" that the good Colonel had envisioned, perhaps from day one of his association with Elvis. His descent into Hollywood Hell in the early to mid-'60's made John Lennon's quote upon hearing of the King's death in 1977 ring even more true: "Elvis died when he went into the Army". Though Elvis was to recover somewhat in the late '60's, listening to this material makes it plain that he never again reached the heights that he scaled from 1954 - 1958. Maybe John was right...

Dr. John Carpenter and Sister Michelle
July 1998

Bob Dylan - We Had Known A Lion

Label: Vigotone, VT-170/171

VT-170 - 7 Tracks - Total Time: 41:52
The Acoustic Set
1. She Belongs to Me (4:04)
2. To Ramona (5:59)
3. Gates Of Eden (6:43)
4. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (5:08)
5. Desolation Row (10:11)
6. Love Minus Zero / No Limit (4:03)
7. Mr. Tambourine Man (5:45)

VT-171 - 9 Tracks - Total Time: 48:37
The Electric Set
1. Tombstone Blues (5:04)
2. I Don't Believe You (4:48)
3. From A Buick Six (3:18)
4. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (5:18)
5. Maggie's Farm (4:37)
6. It Ain't Me, Babe (4:41)
7. Ballad of a Thin Man (6:05)
8. Like a Rolling Stone (8:22)
bonus: studio alternate version
9. Tombstone Blues
(w/background vocal overdub) acetate (6:26)

On July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan shocked the music world by "going electric" at the Newport Folk Festival. Five weeks later he played his first full concert since the switchover, and his eight song electric set was met with utter hostility from the fans at the Forest Hills Music Festival. His next show was September 3rd at the Hollywood Bowl, and that historic concert is contained on this set. Unlike the Forest Hills concert, which unfortunately has only come down to us in the form of an awful quality audience tape (even by 1965 standards), a pristine quality soundboard recording was used for this set. Dylan is met with surprising civility, and even takes the opportunity to joke with the crowd. While the set list is nearly the same as that of Forest Hills, Dylan does add "Ballad Of A Thin Man", which gets its live debut. Dylan is backed by future Band Member Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm, along with Al Kooper on organ and Harvey Brooks on bass. This is a moment of rock history, and it's also some damn fine music.

Bob Dylan - First Time Around

Label: Vigotone, VT-187/188

VT-187 8 Tracks - Total Time: 52:22
April 13 - Stadium, Syndey, Australia - Part One
Acoustic Set
1. She Belongs To Me (3:44)
2. Fourth Time Around (4:39)
3. Visions Of Johanna (8:25)
4. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (6:19)
5. Desolation Row (11:08)
6. Just Like A Woman (5:20)
7. Mr. Tambourine Man (8:29)
8. interval (4:20)

VT-188 8 Tracks - Total Time: 46:27
April 13 - Stadium, Syndey, Australia - Part Two
Electric Set
1. Tell Me, Momma (5:48)
2. I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Have Never Met) (6:36)
3. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (4:41)
4. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (7:09)
5. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (5:04)
6. One Too Many Mornings (3:41)
7. Ballad Of A Thin Man (7:21)
8. Positively 4th Street (6:07)

Taken from a newly-surfaced soundboard recording, First Time Around is a long sought piece of the legendary 1966 tour puzzle. Among many highlights, it features an electrifying version of "Positively 4th Street" which was dropped from the latter part of the tour. This double CD is a historical document of Bob Dylan at the peak of his creative power. On stage, alone with his backup band, his performances are electrifying. This deluxe package features a 28 page booklet of informative text and photos of interest.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

December 16, 1971 - The David Frost Show

Taped: Thursday 16 December 1971
Aired: Thursday 13 January 1972

In New York, John and Yoko record an appearance on the Westinghouse Group's programme The David Frost Show. They appear at the very start of the show backing Apple artist David Peel as he sings 'The Ballad Of New York', with John happily plucking on a tea-chest bass. The Lennons reappear in the show backed by members of the group David Peel and The Lower East Side, performing 'Attica State', 'Luck Of The Irish' (short version), 'Sisters 0 Sisters' and 'John Sinclair'. Other highlights of the show, first transmitted in America on January 13,1972, include a screening of a silent home movie of John and Yoko recently visiting the American Indian Chief Lion and his tribe. The Lennons, who first met the Chief during Yoko's Syracuse exhibition in October, are now actively involved in his campaign to stop the construction of a freeway through his tribe's reservation. The Chief himself also guests on the show. Another most memorable sequence occurs when John and Yoko get involved in a heated discussion with two members of the studio audience, who accuse the Lennons of "making it sound as if the only worthwhile people in this world are people who have committed crimes". This was, in fact, John and Yoko's second US TV appearance with David Frost. (The first was transmitted in America on July 10, 1969.) It is clear that John does not enjoy this further encounter. He refuses to take a bow to the audience at the end of part one of the programme, and reappears later only to perform. This leaves Yoko to face questions from Frost on her own. During the Lennons' appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, John had sarcastically referred to David Frost as "Fravid Drost".