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Genesis Shade Of Dawning (Watford UK, March 1972)

MI0000015153From collectorsmusicreviews.com

Watford Technical College, Watford, England – March 4th, 1972

(66:56) Harlequin, Stagnation, The Fountain Of Salmacis, Twilight Alehouse, The Musical Box, The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, The Knife

Shade Of Dawning contains one of the most important documents of Genesis’ live career. It is the oldest audience recording of any gig they played in England and one of the most valuable from the Nursery Cryme era. The March 4th Watford Technical College gig circulated before, but this release is a significant upgrade over the poor quality, high generation that was floating around before. The music is sharper and Peter Gabriel’s stories, almost inaudible on the old tape, are understandable.

The taper was positioned close to the stage and was able to produce a very good audience recording of the event. The audience are very quiet as they follow the tales in what turns out to be a passionate performance by the band. There are three small cuts during Gabriel’s introduction to “The Fountain Of Salmacis,” two small cuts before “Twilight Alehouse,” a small cut before ”The Musical Box” and a short tape pause in the very beginning of the song, and a small cut before “The Return Of The Giant Hogweed.”

Aside from being the earliest Genesis audience recording from England, this valuable for having the only live version of ”Harlequin.” Since the tape cuts in at the very beginning it is hard to say if it is the first song of the set. It wouldn’t be inconceivable to start the show with a mellow acoustic based ballad. The only older audience recording, dating from January 16th Festival Charleroi in Belgium, has a similar set list except “Happy The Man” is played first before “Stagnation.”

It is effective in the live setting with the guitars emanating a dreamy landscape perfect in capturing the idea behind Nursery Cryme. Gabriel tells a long story about Thomas Eselberg playing monopoly before the start “Stagnation” which, at the start, maintains the aura of the preceding song.

Gabriel tells the hermaphrodite story before dedicating “The Fountain Of Salmacis” to the Tesco supermarket chain, ”without them, none of this would have been possible.” This is one of the most passionate renditions of the tale with Peter in particular punctuating the verses with screams. Before “Twilight Alehouse” he tells the long “tube train” story which has nothing to do with the song but is famous for being included on the liner notes to Genesis Live released the following year. This is the only recording where he recites the story.

“The Musical Box” has by this time found its place as their most dramatic and compelling live pieces. Gabriel tells the story of the song and speaks about a “naked Patrick Moore” being lowered from the rafters before they start and even without the visuals and the costumes the stark emotions are conveyed. Banks and Hackett hit the hard rock middle with much aggression which will be carried over into the final songs of the night.

Before “Hogweed” Gabriel tells the audience they paid six John Lennon impersonators and challenges them to find the real John Lennon. The middle and ending with Hackett and Banks playing closest to heavy metal as Genesis would ever go and when they come out for the encore Gabriel introduces “The Knife” as “a bit of vintage Genesis.” There have been no other silver releases of this tape since Highland produced Shade Of Dawning in 1996 and it remains the definitive edition.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Genesis Shade Of Dawning | , | Leave a comment

Genesis A Trick Of The Outtakes (1975)

genesis_trickouttakes082From collectorsmusicreviews.com

Beloved Summer, Ripples, Ripples, Robbery Assault & Battery, Los Endos, Los Endos, Mad Mad Moon, A Trick Of The Tail, Entangled (instrumental #1), Entangled (instrumental #2), Dance On A Volcano, Squonk

A Trick Of The Outtakes captures Genesis in one of the strangest periods in their long career. When Peter Gabriel decided to tend to his cabbages instead of continuing with school chums Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, Genesis lost not only the singer, but they lost the artistic focus of the band.

It was his artistic vision, both visually and lyrically, that defined the image of the band during their initial rise to popularity. And in a stranger turn still, despite auditioning four hundred vocalists and settling upon drummer Phil Collins, and with the British music press already writing obituaries for the band, they come back with their strongest album yet with A Trick Of The Tail.

Genesis began to write and demo the songs for this LP in the summer of 1975 and they recorded the album in October and November 1975 at Trident Studios. The tape on this particular release comes from the studio sessions. They were released first on vinyl on A Trick Of The Tail Outtakes (5020). The instrumental track of “Squonk” is under its original name “Indians.”

It was pressed on silver disc on A Trick Of The Tail Outtakes (Sacem Alt91-80-80) and in 1998 on A Trick Of The Takes (Highland HL198). A Trick Of The Outtakes on the Red Devil label offers the same material as the others but the sound quality, especially compared to the Highland, is a significant improvement. It is louder with less hiss and is several generations closer to the master tape.

The tape begins with the one true outtake from the sessions. “Beloved Summer” is the original name of the song. This song was released as the b-side to both “Ripples” in 1976 and “Your Own Special Way” in 1977. On CD it appears on Genesis Archive Vol 2 and on the sixth disc of the Genesis 1976-1983 box set released in 2007. The latter restored the omitted second verse (“Don’t you know I’m not asking / You must have made up your mind / Is it worth the pain you’re causing / To those you’re leaving behind”) and is the longest available, clocking in at 6:15.

The second two tracks are instrumental takes of “Ripples.” Each clocks in over four minutes and approximate half of the eight minute commercial version. Each also has a short count-in.

The second “Ripples” picks up during the instrumental interlude before the grand finale of the song. The instrumental take of “Robbery, Assault, & Battery” begins with Banks saying, “Take four and we’re rearing to go…” This sounds like the final take except for vocals and Banks’ organ figure during the instrumental middle between 3:23 and 3:37.

The first ”Los Endos” take begins without the beautiful “It’s Yourself” soundscape but picks up at the quick tempo bass and drum line and does not have the “Squonk” reprise at the end. The second “Los Endos” picks up with the “Dance On A Volcano” and goes into the “Squonk” theme (but without the faint Collins vocals on the commercial version) before breaking down in the middle.

“Mad Mad Moon” is one of the most gorgeous creations written by Tony Banks that unfortunately was never played live by the band. On A Trick Of The Tail the song is almost eight minutes long, but the track in this collection is four minutes of the first half consisting of the piano, bass, and drums and ends during the piano solo in the middle. The lyrics and keyboard flute augmentation are missing. It sounds naked, but it is fascinating to hear the piano playing alone.

The title track is the same as the commercial version including vocals and a short count-in but missing the synthesizer arrangement in the melody. Two takes of Steve Hackett’s “Entangled” follows. Both are instrumental run throughs with guitar, drums, bass and piano. The vocals and other keyboards were added later. It again sounds very naked but to hear the stark instrumental of the mesmerizing track is great.

The first run through has about half of the song, but the second has the song in its entirety. “Dance On A Volcano” and “Squonk,” the final two tracks on the tape, are close to the final arrangements but lacking vocals. The final track is fascinating to hear since this is what they used when auditioning all of the vocalists and is subsequently the first one Collins recorded.

Red Devil package this release in a cardboard digipack with many memorabilia from the era and a duplication of the album on the front cover (but with the robber from “Robbery, Assault, & Battery” and Helen from “Ripples” brought to the forefront.

The track listing on the back contains several errors: the second “Ripples” is listed as “Robbery, Assault & Battery,” “Robbery, Assault & Battery” is listed as “Los Endos,” “Los Endos” is listed as “Squonk (instrumental / different intro)” and “Mad Mad Moon,” and “Mad Mad Moon” is listed as “instrumental.” These corrections are listed here to avoid confusion since at first glance it looks like there might be brand new material, but that isn’t the case. However, A Trick Of The Outtakes is a great sounding and looking release that is worth having.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Genesis A Trick Of The Outtakes | , | Leave a comment

Jimi Hendrix: Woodstock (1994)

jimi-hendrix-woodstock-seale-431165From amazon.com

Despite being unwell and having had to wait all night before finally taking the stage at about 8.00am on a damp Monday morning, Jimi plays at the top of his form, putting in a tremendous performance, as do Billy Cox on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums.

The sound is filled-out by Larry Lee on guitar and Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez on congas and other percussion instruments. Not that Jimi and Mitch ever really needed such assistance; Noel Redding had left the band a couple of months before and Jimi was into making it more of a collective.

Songs played include Red House (new out in the States at the time), Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Purple Haze and Jimi’s famously and of course deliberately murdered Star Spangled Banner, his Vietnam equivalent of Picasso’s Spanish Civil War painting Guernica. Izabella, Fire, Hear my Train a Comin’ and Villanova Junction are pretty good too, not to mention the various improvisations and jams.

The recording carries some extraneous noise, some unintended feedback, the odd buzz and squeak, but even before factoring-in the primitive equipment and the appalling weather and other conditions of the festival weekend it ain’t bad. In fact, all things considered, it’s really good.

The atmosphere comes over and by the time we get to announcer Chip Monck’s closing remarks – closing the whole festival – it’s impossible to feel anything other than downright nostalgic. There is a nice exchange too between Jimi and a guy who comes onstage to fix the mikes. Jimi empathizes with his embarrassment, “I know what you mean. People are looking at me too, man”.

There is, however, a loss of authenticity; the tracks have been re-ordered. First off was actually Voodoo Child (Slight Return), not Fire, though Jimi often did open live shows with Fire. As re-ordered, the show plays well enough, with no noticeable gaps or breaks between sections.

Some material was left off too, including an encore that started as Valleys of Neptune but ended as Hey Joe. Live at Woodstock has the whole set but for a couple of songs from Larry Lee (but again re-ordered).

The booklet with this CD is colourful and informative. A long essay by Michael Fairchild pushes the limits of how much we really want to know about the weather in Mississippi over the Woodstock Weekend (even worse than in Bethel, N.Y., where the festival was held), but on the detail of what it was like wallowing in the mud of Max Yasgur’s dairy farm Fairchild stops way short of the Woodstock film.

For that, most buyers of this album will be grateful.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Jimi Hendrix :Woodstock | | Leave a comment

Genesis Duke’s Misunderstanding (Montreal, June 1980)

sirene041From collectorsmusicreviews.com

The Forum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada – June 19th, 1980

Disc 1: Deep In The Motherlode, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight/intro, Squonk, One For The Vine, Behind The Lines, Duchess, Guide Vocal, Turn It On Again, Duke’s Travels, Duke’s End, mc, The Lady Lies, mc (The Tonight Show theme)

Disc 2: Ripples, Misunderstanding, In The Cage, Raven, Afterglow, Follow You Follow Me, Dance On A Volcano, Drum Duet, Los Endos, I Know What I Like. Bonus track: Tony Banks Interview

Duke’s Misunderstanding is another soundboard liberated from The Farm, remastered and pressed by the Siréne label. The quality similar to the Dijon and Sao Paulo tapes with the music very well balanced and detailed and the audience sound very far away. There are two versions of this tape circulating. The first has the first five seconds of “Deep In The Motherlode” missing and the second have the missing piece restored. Siréne use the latter so this show is complete.

Two versions of this tape were released by fan produced cdr labels, Albert A La Carte (PRRP SAE 01) and Duke Of The Forum (GRU01). The GRU release was dehissed too much and doesn’t sound as good as the PRRP version. Duke’s Misunderstanding sounds superior to these two versions with much more depth to the bass and no distortion present whatsoever. The CDR label D3 copied the Sirene on Dancing With Genesis. Of all the Genesis releases so far this is probably the best.

This is also one of the best recordings from the Duke tour. It sounds as good as the May 7th recording (Musica, Duke’s Source Live) and has an advantage over that because there are no cuts between songs. The performance is really good with the only imperfections being Banks’ losing the beat in the disco section of “One For The Vine” and Phil’s somewhat sore voice. The set list has some variations from earlier shows with “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight” serving as an intro to “Squonk” instead of “Carpet Crawlers” (which was dropped entirely), “Raven” added to the medley and the band’s current single “Misunderstanding” being added.

The material from Duke is played for the most part as a suite from “Behind The Lines” to “Duke’s End.” The reiteration of the “Duke” theme in the final piece always sends shivers down my spine (“I am the one who guided you this far”)! Both Gabriel and Collins customarily address the audience in their native language and Phil speaks to the Quebecois in basic French.

The second disc ends with a special Tony Banks radio interview done in Montreal before the show. He talks about the new album, the difference between progressive and traveling in the United States. It is a fascinating interview and a nice touch by the label to include it here. Labels should look around more for material like this for filler to give a more complete historical background to these concerts.

The cover art utilizes themes from the Duke LP with several Albert’s running around in a circle and with a very strange picture of Phil on the inside cover with him standing on stage next to the cardboard cut out used for “Duchess” with him touching her exposed breast. Given the sound quality, presentation and the show this is one of the best releases from 1980 for Genesis and one of the best so far on the Siréne label to surface. It is nice to see a label pay attention to these recordings and give them the high-class treatment they richly deserve.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Genesis Duke's Misunderstanding | , | Leave a comment

Genesis German Replies (Frankfurt, October 1981)

genesis_germanrepliesFrom collectorsmusicreviews.com

Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany – October 30th, 1981

Disc 1: Behind The Lines, Duchess, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Dodo / Lurker, Abacab, Carpet Crawlers, Me And Sarah Jane, Misunderstanding, No Reply At All, Firth Of Fifth

Disc 2: MC, Man On The Corner, Who Dunnit?, In The Cage/Cinema Show/Slippermen, Afterglow, Turn It On Again, Dance On A Volcano, Drum Duet, Los Endos, I Know What I Like

Some Genesis collectors have used extended hyperbole when describing the Frankfurt 1981 soundboard with one enthusiastic writing calling this “literally the best Genesis bootleg ever!” Hyperbole aside, having a complete soundboard in near perfect sound quality has been a highly desired recording for many fans, and with German Replies has finally surfaced. A very good audience recording already circulates for this show, but this recording is a crystal clear and well balanced soundboard recording being a tremendous upgrade. There is a minor amount of distortion in the bass in louder passages, but it is hardly noticeable and does not detract from the music in the slightest. This tape surfaced very recently and already there are two other titles from fan produced remaster projects: Live At Frankfurt (GASP 012) and Live In Frankfurt Am Main (TM Productions GEN811030TM).

Genesis begin the show with several numbers from the preceding album as was their custom. “Behind The Lines” and “Duchess” recall the Duke suite played the preceding year. These two segue nicely into “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.” “Guten Abend Frankfurt! Anybody from England? Good evening to all those from England. Anybody from America? Hi y’all. Well tonight I’m gonna be talking German, spielen German. So I shall translate in English as well.” Collins proceeds to say in horrible German that they will play old song and new songs including the next song ”from the newen LP.” The first of the new songs is the nihilistic “Dodo / Lurker” suite. This is certainly one of the darkest and most mysterious songs written by Genesis and ends with the riddle: “Clothes of brass and hear of brown. Seldom need to breathe, dont need no wings to fly. And a heart of stone, And a fear of fire and water…who am I?” The best answer to the riddle is a submarine which follows from the lyrics emphasizing images of the sea.

A long version of “Abacab” follows and the band really start to cook by the end, getting into the synthesized chaos filling the Festhalle. “Carpet Crawlers” is the second of three tunes from their opera The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. In many ways Collins improves on the song but it is a shame they never play the narrative beginning of the tune but rather pick up at the first verse. “Me And Sarah Jane” from the new album follows and in turn is followed by “Misunderstanding.” It is interesting they play the two in this sequence since the former serves as a sequel the latter. The protagonist in “Misunderstanding” is standing in the rain and is stood up by the object of his affections, while the subject of “Me And Sarah Jane” is still standing in the rain yet invents his imaginary girlfriend. Perhaps the meaning of the Duke track is thus changed to imply that Sarah Jane stood up the protagonist? (Or maybe I’m just reading too much into Genesis lyrics?)

The second disc begins with Collin’s long introduction for “Man On The Corner.” When he says “In American that is, ‘everybody thinks he’s a bit stupid’” a drunk American hurls obscenities towards Phil. He tries to elaborate by saying, “this man that stands on the corner, everybody thinks is a fool.” The guy is even more hostile and Collins quips “yea, I remember my first beer too.” That doesn’t help so he pushes the drunk to the extreme by saying, “yes, all English people are completely stupid.” He cuts the story short and introduces the song, “dis heist ‘Man On The Corner.’” Both Led Zeppelin in 1980 and Queen in 1982 also had problems at this venue.

After “Who Dunnit?” Phil introduces the band and mentions Rutherford, who played drums on the track, as the “other drummer” and Chester Thompson as “the REAL drummer.” “Turn It On Again” is played straight as on the previous tour and wouldn’t be expanded as a medley until later. The set closes with the Trick Of A Tail numbers “Dance On A Volcano” and “Los Endos” with a drum duet between Collins and Thompson in the middle. “I Know What I Like” complete with the “Stagnation” reference serves as the encore for the evening. This tape received rave reviews from Genesis collectors and they are all justified. It is a blessing to have such a phenomenal sounding soundboard from the Abacab tour in circulation and even better that Virtuoso chose to press it on silver for commercial release. They use photos from the tour on the artwork and printed German Replies in two hundred copies.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Genesis German Replies | , | Leave a comment

Genesis Spectrum 1983 (Philadelphia, November 1983)

genesis_spectrumFrom collectorsmusicreviews.com

The Mama tour for Genesis’ eponymous thirteenth album took in seventy-three gigs in the US and Canada and ending with five dates in Birmingham, England in late February 1984. The tour began on November 6th in Normal, Illinois. Genesis played three shows at the Spectrum in Philadelphia on November 25th, 26th, and 27th.

The latter two were recorded by two different companies for radio broadcast and, because of the excellent quality, remain the best known shows of the era. Some of the titles claim some material comes from the first but has since been proven wrong and a tape source has yet to surface.

Spectrum 1983 is an upgraded edition of the famous Three Nights In Philly (sic) release. The sound quality is excellent on both nights with Virtuoso’s well known mastering making the tapes sound very sharp and enjoyable producing what is perhaps the definitive statement of the Genesis Mama tour.

Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA – November 26, 1983

Disc 1 (46:43): Dodo / Lurker, That’s All, Abacab, Mama, Keep It Dark, Home By The Sea, Second Home By The Sea

Disc 2 (47:15): In The Cage / Cinema Show / In That Quiet Earth / Slipperman, Afterglow, drum duet, Los Endos, Turn It On Again, Misunderstanding, Illegal Alien

The second night in Philly is sourced from a radio recording produced by RKO for their Captured Live series and all of the titles come from RKO Captured Live 4LP set. A very good early releases is Mama (Pulse PL-9029) and Three Nights In Philly (Buccaneer Records BUC 051/2) and its reissues.

Only about one hundred minutes were recorded and broadcast. The set is missing “It’s Gonna Get Better,” the “Eleventh Earl Of Mar” medley, “Follow You Follow Me,” and “Carpet Crawlers.” ”Abacab,” the two encore numbers “Turn It On Again” and “Misunderstanding” and “Illegal Alien” are out of sequence and most of the stage commentary is edited or omitted altogether.

The tape begins with “Dodo/Lurker,” the opening song for the set. Phil Collins says, “There now follows a new song. A new song from our new record album. It’s a kind of country and western style thing so you can all pitch off your pants and take off your dresses” before “That’s All” inserted into second place by RKO.

“Abacab,” the true second song follows and it seems that RKO wanted to break up the two Abacab songs with one from Genesis so early in the broadcast.

“Mama” was the first single from the new album and on this song they played all of the verses including the final where Collins has to sing some very high notes. Subsequent tours will drop the last verse. Some have pointed out this version to be among the best recordings of the song with Phil in particular throwing himself into the narrative of the piece.

“Keep It Dark” from Abacab is edited in next from later in the set followed by the two new songs, “Home By The Sea” and “Second Home By The Sea.” The latter two are introduced by Phil saying, “we now have access to the other world. We’re going to play you a tune which is all about ghosts and things that go bump in the night.”

The full “contact with the other world” sketch is highly edited in both radio broadcasts.

After the first forty-five minutes, which are dominated by songs from the last two albums, the next half hour contains the older songs including the fourteen minute oldies medley with snippets from “In The Cage,” “Cinema Show,” “In That Quiet Earth” and “Slipperman” before melting into “Afterglow.”

This tour is notable also for the medley played in “Turn It On Again” as the second and final encore. Collins says how happy he is to be playing in his hometown of Philadelphia (a joke at every stop in the tour) and they play bits of “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love,” “The Last Time” and “In The Midnight Hour” among other tunes.

“Misunderstanding,” which is actually the first encore, follows and because of very poor editing the opening notes of the ”Turn It On Again” are audible at the very end.

Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA – November 27, 1983

Disc 1 (48:44): Dodo / Lurker, Abacab, That’s All, Mama, Illegal Alien, Home By The Sea, Second Home By The Sea

Disc 2 (51:52): In The Cage / Cinema Show / In That Quiet Earth / Slipperman, Afterglow, Keep It Dark, It’s Gonna Get Better, drum duet, Los Endos, Misunderstanding, Turn It On Again

The source for the November 27th show comes from King Biscuit Flower Hour. The tape is excellent like the previous evening but more emphasis upon the bass. The songs are in their proper sequence but the “Eleventh Earl Of Mar” medley, ”Follow You Follow Me” and “Carpet Crawlers” are omitted.

Like all tapes from this archive there is dubbed audience cheering throughout the show. There have been several releases by DIR and “Turn It On Again,” aka “That Damn Medley,” from this show was issued as the b-side of the “Illegal Alien” (Charisma/Virgin AL 1-12) 7″ and appears on the Best Of 1981-1983 (Vertigo 848854-2) compilation.

Unofficial releases include Three Nights In Philly (Buccaneer Records BUC 051/2) with material from other shows and even different tours (“Behind The Lines” and “Dance On A Volcano” are included but were not played on this tour). Some songs are clipped and Buccaneer added more audience cheering.

Other versions include No Reply At All (Seagull Records Seagull CD 038), Home By The Sea / No Replay At All (Pipeline PPL 517/518), Fugitives From Justice (American Concert Series ACS 001) one disc with some material, A Phantastically Phabulous Philly (Coaster Factory) without the bizarre addition of tracks from other gigs, It’s A Shame (ARC 0087) and In The Cage (Trade Service/Rare Recording Collection RRC 004).

The subtleties in the recording enhance the show greatly. A surreal version of “Dodo/Lurker” begins the show followed by ”Abacab.” The full “contact with another world” isn’t present but Collins says, “I think we now have contact with the other world. Anyway while we have contact with the other world let’s perform a song for you which all about ghosts and things that go bump in the night.”

Banks makes a few timing errors in ”The Cinema Show” solo in the long medley. It is good “It’s Gonna Get Better” wasn’t omitted as it was for the first show. It is one of the more musically interesting and optimistic songs they’ve written.

Daryl Stuermer plays a very Hackett-like solo by the song’s end. In the final encore “Turn It On Again” Collins thanks the crowd for making the past three days “fantastic for us in Genesis.” The medley is the same as the previous night with “Everybody Needs Somebody,” “Satisfaction,” “The Last Time,” “All Of The Day And All Of The Night” and “In The Midnight Hour.” The medley would be expanded by the ending of the tour. Some Genesis collectors claim the second night in Philly to be one of the best Genesis show’s available and it’s hard not to agree.

In Spectrum 1983 Virtuoso produced one of their better Genesis titles.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Genesis Spectrum 1983 | , | Leave a comment

Genesis Hallam Tapes (Sheffield, April 1980)

genesis-hallamFrom collectorsmusicreviews.com

The City Hall, Sheffield, England – April 17th, 1980

Disc 1 (65:07): Deep In The Motherlode, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight (intro), Carpet Crawlers, Squonk, One For The Vine, one short story, Behind The Lines, Duchess, Guide Vocal, Turn It On Again, Duke’s Travels, Duke’s End

Disc 2 (71:29): Say It’s Alright Joe, The Lady Lies, Ripples, band introduction, In The Cage, Afterglow, Follow You Follow Me, Dance On A Volcano, Los Endos, I Know What I Like

Since Genesis focused upon international markets in 1978 after the release of …And Then There Were Three…, they promised an extensive tour of England for their next album. They played a more than forty dates in intimate venues and agreed to several radio broadcasts. The more popular are the Lyceum Theater in London gigs in May but the April 17th Hallam radio broadcast is another excellent source for this tour. Although it is not as clear and powerful as the May 7th Lyceum tape and it contains hints of static from its transmission, Sheffield is complete including Collins’ stories and introductions between songs.

Hallam broadcast the show twice and Nottingham’s Trent FM once (with “Say It’s Alright Joe” omitted and the other songs out of proper sequence). The Trent broadcast is the source for Steeltown Revelation (Discurious DIS 215 A) with the aforementioned problems and running at a slow speed. Hallam Tapes on Highland comes from a low generation tape, runs at the proper speed, and includes the missing track and is in the proper sequence.

A very passionate ”Deep In The Motherlode” begins the set with Collins punctuating the narrative. The opening to “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight” serves as an introduction to “Carpet Crawlers” which would only be played on the UK tour. In the US “Dancing” would serve as an introduction to “Squonk.” Early on in the set Mike Rutherford’s pants ripped and, since no smoke machines were allowed, the roadies walked onstage smoking cigarettes instead.

“It’s been a while since we played here innit? Tonight we’re gonna be here for quite a while so make yourself comfortable” Collins says before before “One For The Vine.” This song was a constant in the setlist since 1977 but would be retired after this tour.

Collins spends several minutes telling the Albert story before the Duke suite. This is the longest continuous narrative they played onstage since The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and would be the last time they attempted such a piece. A heckler interrupts Collins early on and he quips, “yeah, I remember my first beer too” and while Collins lists the number of books Albert wrote someone in the audience shouts out “Albatross,” from the Monty Python skit, and at which Collins laughs.

Originally the first three songs, “Turn It On Again” and the final two were supposed to form a side long suite on the album. However that idea was scrapped when it was thought it would be too weak for an official release. So the live recordings give a glimpse into how the piece was supposed to fit together although conceptually it is still difficult to fathom. The obscurity lies in the ambiguity of the speaker who says, “I am the one who guided you this far” which pops up first in “Guide Vocal” and again in the middle of “Duke’s Travels.” Nevertheless the piece is a magnificent nod to their progressive rock roots of the early seventies. Of particular note is the energetic workout of the frenetic “Duke’s Travels” which shifts between nineteenth pastoral and technological twenith century melodies concluded with a Steve Hackett sounding guitar break.

Two mini-dramas, “Say It’s Alright Joe” and “The Lady Lies” begin the second half of the show. ”In The Cage” forms a short medley with “Afterglow” and the show ends with “Dance On A Volcano,” the drum duet and “Los Endos” with “I Know What I Like” as the only encore of the evening. Hallam Tapes is one of the best latter day Highland Genesis releases. The artwork is a clever variation of the Duke cover and the CDs themselves are gorgeous looking picture discs with the Albert design on the cover. Highland put a lot of effort into the presentation of their Genesis titles and this turns out to be one of the most pretty and is the definitive version on silver of the Sheffield radio broadcast.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Genesis Hallam Tapes | , | Leave a comment

Oasis The Masterplan (1998)

Oasis_-_The_Masterplan_-_frontFrom ultimate-guitar.com

‘The Masterplan’ was Oasis’ fourth album. All songs on this album are b-sides, because it hasn’t always been easy to hear Oasis’ ‘b’ sides outside Britain. There are b-sides of some of Oasis’ greatest hits, like ‘Some Might Say’, ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’. The opening track, ‘Acquiesce’, which is the b-side of ‘Some Might Say’ is backed by the main lyrics of ‘Morning Glory’ at the beginning. It contained an awesome, blazing guitar riff and it should’ve been an ‘a’ side.

Liam sings the verse for this one, but Noel sings the chorus, because Liam couldn’t reach the high notes. The next track, ‘Underneath The Sky’, had a happy-wanderer feel and was all sung by Liam. It was the ‘b’ side to ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. The next track, ‘Talk Tonight’, is an acoustic, beautifully tender song and made up the ‘b’ side to ‘Some Might Say’. But track four, ‘Going Nowhere’, is the oldest song on this album. It was written around 1990, but wasn’t recorded until after their third album ‘Be Here Now’.

Noel and drummer Alan White are the only Oasis members involved, with piano, brass and horn players to bring a vaguely Burt Bacharach atmosphere. The ‘a’ side to this song is ‘Stand By Me’. Track five, ‘Fade Away’, was a punk-rock song which made up the ‘b’ side to ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol. Paul Weller (lead guitarist out of The Jam) turned up to play ‘Champagne Supernova’ with Oasis which features on their second album ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’ He has turned up again, playing the wordless ‘The Swamp Song’.

It is constant guitar solos and thunderous drumming, which made up the b-side to the legendary ‘Wonderwall’. The next track, ‘I am The Walrus’, was played live and written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It was played live because The Beatles had never performed this song live. The a-side was ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’. Another b-side to ‘Cigaretts & Alcohol’ was ‘Listen Up’, it used to boast a solo much longer than the one you hear in this version, but Liam wanted it shorter. Noel disagreed, but four years, Liam got his own way.

‘Rockin Chair’ was the b-side to ‘Roll With It’, and it actually sounded familiar to it’s a-side. Paul Weller’s favourite Oasis track is the acoustic ‘Half The World Away’ which made up the b-side to the acoustic ‘Whatever’. Another b-side to ‘Whatever’ was ‘(It’s Good) To Be Free’, which contained more fierce guitars than the previous track. Another b-side that should’ve been an a-side is named ‘Stay Young’.

Noel disliked the b-side to ‘D’You Know What I Mean?’ The Thin Lizzy influenced ‘Headshrinker’ was the b-side of ‘Some Might Say’ in 1995 and it was written about three years earlier, during the band’s punkier phase. Lastly, the best track on this album is the same name as this album, ‘The Masterplan’. This acoustic song contained smooth bass-lines and Noel sung this one. No guesses what the a-side to this song is, it’s ‘Wonderwall’. The sound was amazing, and it was only b-sides!

If you thought Noel’s song writing was great, just wait until you buy this album. Okay, it might only be b-sides, but whenever Noel writes a new song, everyone will expect that song to be great. Credit to Noel for his song writing, but credit to Liam for singing most of them. His voice suits the music well. But there are arguments about which Gallagher sings better. I’m not really sure, they are as good as each other.

Each ‘b’ sides were of the highest quality. Technically, this is a b-album, and just like ‘Definitely Maybe’ and ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’, this album is phenomenal. The most impressive songs on this album are ‘The Swamp Song’, ‘Headshrinker’ and ‘The Masterplan’. What I love about this album was that Oasis had put a lot of thought into their b-sides. I don’t hate anything about this album. If this album got stolen/lost, I might consider buying it again. To end this review, ‘The Masterplan’ contains superb b-sides which also makes this album superb.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Oasis The Masterplan | | Leave a comment

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (2011)

noel_gallagher_high_flying_birds_album_cover_location_beverly_hillsFrom supajam.com

Oasis were undoubtedly one of the biggest British rock bands of the last 30 years and the Gallagher brothers are now two of the most well-known names in music. Now whether you’re a fan of Liam or Noel, it’s pretty much common knowledge that the pair have always done things differently. On one side we have Liam, the larger than life, super boisterous outspoken Oasis bashing headline generator and on the other side we have Noel, the more down to earth, laid back of the siblings.

When Oasis split back in 2009 due to Noel leaving with the quote, “with some sadness and great relief…I quit Oasis tonight. People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer”. Liam made it clear that Oasis would be carrying on without Noel. The remaining members re-named to ‘Beady Eye’ and released their debut album ‘Different Gear, Still Speeding’ only a year later.

So while Liam rushed to get things going, offering up some fairly decent versions of Oasis-sounding songs, Noel took the long-view approach, realising that a great album has to be nurtured, coddled and brought up right.

Some people might say that Noel held all the cards for Oasis: He was the main songwriter, writing all of the hits that gave Oasis their legendary status in the first place. Not only that but his singing voice was simply magnificent, a rich throaty delivery that could be so expressive and passionate but widely underused of the two Gallagher brothers. Then again, there would be no need for Liam if Noel just wrote and sang all the songs would there…

So it was to many fans’ delight when Noel announced he would be working on not one, but two solo albums! Even more so when early demos started to leak on the internet showcasing that Noel hadn’t lost his genius song writing touch.

After two long years it’s finally here ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’. It delivers some of the best material Noel has written since ‘What’s The Story Morning Glory’ as it has everything you would come to expect from Noel; Each track is brilliantly composed with all the emotional buttons – desperation, anger, joy, melancholy and everything else included! Utilising the talents of new band mates Jeremy Stacey (drums), Lenny Castro (Percussion) and Mike Rowe (Keyboards) the manner in which they jump through so many moments of epiphany, sometimes in the space of one song, is astonishing.

Now we wouldn’t go as far to say that this album is the future of Rock ‘n’ Roll but if it wants to linger around for the next few years we certainly wouldn’t complain. With another album apparently just around the corner we here at SupaJam can only hope we’re not dreaming, and that music still has a leg to stand on in this world plagued with Teen pop, dubstep, horrible R&B collaborations, X-Factor rejects and everything in-between.

‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ sets another precedent for the rest of the music scene to live up to, and if everyone was to just take one step in the same direction as Noel then maybe in twenty years’ time we can look back on the music of our generation and be proud.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds | , | Leave a comment

Oasis Dig Out Your Soul (2008)

Oasis-Dig_Out_Your_Soul-FrontalFrom Uncut

Oasis and their audience seem to have agreed to not grow up together. The band was founded on an ideal of rock and roll as the coked-up, cocksure arrogance of lads on the Saturday night lash, and though Noel Gallagher has enrolled in the dadrock school of songcraft and Liam has written the odd number for his kids, it’s hard to say in 15 odd years they’ve ever seen much point in looking any further. Yet the lads and ladettes who swayed and brayed along at Knebworth must be deep into their thirties by now. Are these teary, bleary closing-time anthems about booze and fags enough to see them through middle age?

News that tickets for Oasis’ entire tour sold out in less than an hour – in your face, Michael Eavis – suggests they may be, being just the latest testament to the remarkable, enduring devotion of their fans. Such loyalty can seem strange. The acts who span the decades are usually those that somehow soundtrack their audience’s lives – think how far Paul Weller fans, for example, have travelled with him since they first donned their parkas in the fourth form.

But why bother with maturity? When Liam leers “Love is a time machiiiiine” on “The Shock of the Lightning”, the first single from Oasis’ seventh album, it’s almost as though the act keeping faith with your teenage passions could keep you young. The song is the first sign of a change of tack in the Gallagher camp. After the well-tempered Kinksy refinement of 2005’s Don’t Believe The Truth, Noel has talked about getting back to a groove rather than classic rock pastiche, and to be honest, it’s a welcome move. Despite their Merseybeat pretensions (and DOYS inevitably comes replete with references to “magical mysteries”, revolutions in the head, and even samples of John Lennon interviews), Oasis were never convincing as the Manc Beatles, but were far better as some kind of Burnage Stooges – heroically moronic products of post-industrial, suburban boredom, welding together secondhand riffs like used-car salesman, with idiot-savant frontmen daring the crowd to make something of it.

The first half of DOYS goes some way to making good on that promise, and may be the most thrilling half hour of music they’ve mustered since their second album. “Bag It Up” could be a sequel to the Fall’s take on “Mr Pharmacist” – a ramshackle speedfreak racket, Liam taking refuge from “the freaks coming up through the floor” with his “heebeegeebies in a little bag”. Both “The Turning” and “Waiting For The Rapture” ride along on grinding monotone riffs, pitched somewhere between the blunt frustration of “Raw Power” and the desperation of “Gimme Shelter”. Running straight into the short, sharp “Shock of the Lightning”, this is a terrific sequence – urgent, wired, alive for the first time in ages.

Even the interruption of one of Liam’s Lennon ballads isn’t unwelcome. “I’m Outta Time” is lovely, right down to its impeccably George Harrison guitar solo – and once again seems to be about the disenchantments of growing old. “Y’know, It’s getting harder to fly” sings Liam with unaccustomed modesty. “If I were to fall, would you be there to applaud?”

“(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady” is a pretty funny title and not much more, but it gives us a breather before “Falling Down”, which implausibly enough, this late in the day, is one of the best songs Noel’s ever written. Riding along on a downbeat echo of that “Tomorrow Never Knows” drum break, Noel complains of trying to talk to God to no avail, as the sun comes down on all he knows. “We live a dying dream, if you know what I mean,.” And for once you kind of do. Turns out we’re not going to Live Forever after all.

It’s a brilliant closing track. But unfortunately, Dig Out Your Soul is not over yet by a long way. It’s almost as though, feeling pretty pleased with himself, Noel has taken the afternoon off and let the rest of the band finish the record. And so we have to deal with: “To Be Where There’s Life” – a sub-Heavy Stereo stewed psychedelic blues jam from Gem that gives the album its title; “Ain’t Got Nothing” – a self-explanatory squib from Liam; the Ruttles raga of Andy Bell’s “The Nature of Reality” (it’s “pure subjective fantasy,” in case you were wondering, epistemology fans) and then the closing track, another Liam contribution, “Soldier On”. In a way the song seems like a strange echo of the Stone Roses “Fools Gold” – the original stoned scally, baggy odyssey – except now 20 years on, drained of every ounce of funk or idealism, the quest has been reduced to a dire, joyless test of endurance, of keeping, on keeping on.

It’s an uninspiring ending to a record that it’s best faces up to some pretty downbeat truths and thus seems to fit right into the current national mood. But is this really what we want from Oasis?

It may be that the genre they really fit into is the terrace anthem. They made their name with songs to sing when you were winning, when you were young and it didn’t take much more than cigarettes and alcohol to make you feel like you were a rock and roll star. Like New Labour, they’ve benefited from the good fortune of ten years of relative plenty. But really, the great football songs are the ones you sing when you’re losing – when you’re relegated to the third division, or you’ve been twatted at home by United or your club’s been taken over by criminal plutocrats. They’re songs that give you heart, in spite of it all – “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”, “Blue Moon”, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. As their audience slump into middle age, and recession looms, when folk might lose their homes, their jobs and more, it may be that Oasis’s biggest challenge is to give their audience something to sing along to when there’s not much else to shout about. Are they up to it? Are they still mad for it?

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Oasis Dig Out Your Soul | | Leave a comment