Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hurriganes - Live In Hamina 1973 - #58

Hurriganes - Live In Hamina 1973

Finnish legends Hurriganes are no more, but they're still spoken of highly in their native country (and elsewhere in the world, where good music is appreciated). I'm being told that it is mandatory in Finland, for every household to own at least ten Hurriganes albums and play them on a daily rotation. Just let me tell you, don't go anywhere near Finland and tell them that you're not a fan of this band. I hope you've made your last will up, before setting out on such a suicide commando.

When one has thought to have heard everything Hurriganes, up comes a live CD. Don't fret about the booklet, it's all in glorious Finnish, which could well be Chinese to me. That is to say, I haven't got a clue what it says. I suppose it's the Hurriganes' story. What you get here are eleven tracks, played in the Hurriganes style. As much as I applaud such a release, there's some aspects that need closer inspection. In a way, the Hurriganes are, at least to me, an original band. Their covers always having been few and far between. Here they come up with eight and a half covers (out of the aforesaid eleven). That's a bit on the lazy side. Although I do admit, that they are delivered excellently, there's no doubt about it.

The line-up is Remu Aaltonen, Cisse Häkkinen and Albert Järvinen (the band had some changes during their existence). With regards to soundquality, well, it certainly wasn't the Rolling Stones mobile unit to catch this for the enjoyment of future generations. While it's not exactly bootleg quality, it's no HiFi sound either. You don't want to test your stereo with this one. One of the "original" tracks is "My Sweet Lily" and, I'm sorry to say, well nicked is still stolen. But these are minor quibbles when you think about what the album has in store for you. An excellent performance of a band who has rightfully earned their status as a legend. Rock'n'Roll Hurriganes style. Well worth a purchase, despite my nagging. Released on Love Records LXCD 677 in 2011.

Have yourself a rockin' great Christmas and lots of good music in 2012 and beyond.



Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wilko Johnson - News Revisited - #57

Wilko Johnson - News Revisited

Here's a short bit I found in the X-Mas issue of Record Collector (



Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kraftwerk – Ralf & Florian - #56

Kraftwerk – Ralf & Florian

Pioneers of electronic music made in Germany, Kraftwerk, were quite a number to be reckoned with in the early 70’s. The fact, that  they sold out from (and including) “Autobahn” onwards is a completely different matter. But before that, their records were even played on the radio. These were the days, when radio wasn’t as streamlined as it is today, although there were no private stations (with the exception of a few faraway pirates on mediumwave), the range of music that was on offer  was quite incredible.

With their first three LPs (“Same”, “2” and “Ralf & Florian”) they set the controls for a myriad of plagiarists to follow in their electronic trail. But they took to easy pop music with the success of “Autobahn” and they followed that path ever since. The beginning was electronic avant-garde and the band was never more creative than at this stage. Ralf Schneider and Florian Hütter, the duo that is Kraftwerk, however, don’t acknowledge their early work. It seems to be embarrassing to them, to be connected to the first three albums and so far, they have steadfastly refused to give permission for a reissue on vinyl or a first on CD. All the CDs you can buy of these albums (or the vinyls that are flooding the market) are counterfeits. Not a single one has been manufactured legally, no matter what someone else claims.

That has led to original LPs being very much sought after on the collector’s market with “Same” and “2” going usually for a little less than 100 EUROs, while the “Ralf & Florian”  vinyl can climb to a healthy 300 EUROs on a good day. While the first two albums were in my collection since they were originally released, the third one has been missing and I really don’t know why I held back on buying this one decades ago. A measly CD counterfeit was all that found its way into my collection. That had to be rectified and I really had the intention to buy a copy the next time a decent piece of wax was in my field of vision. It did take some years for this to happen, but recently one of my favourite record dealers had just the very item I was looking for, for sale. It wasn’t cheap, I can tell you, but considering what some folks pay according to popsike, I think I made a good deal. Clean copy (m-/m-) and with the poster included.

And what’s best, I can now listen to a seminal album in true style. Not your counterfeit CD or MP3 file, but to enjoy it the way it was meant to be listened to way back when electronic music of that kind was still in its infancy. I still wish they’d one day release the ancient stuff on CD or a re-release on vinyl. Every now and then, there’s someone claiming that exactly such a project is in the pipeline. I don’t think it’ll ever come to that. In the meantime, “Ananas-Symphonie” anyone?



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

V/A - Respect - #55

V/A - Respect

If you're one for cover versions, than this one's for you. Twenty, more or less well known tracks are presented here. You haven't heard of most of the artists being on record here, exceptions being maybe Sylvie Vartan, Los Salvajes, Cindy & Bert, Joy Flemming and the Supremes (who cover one of their own songs). All titles on offer were originally sung in English. Here you get versions in French, German, Spanish and Italian.

If you can't take "Der Hund von Baskerville (Paranoid)" or "Muy lejos de aqui (We Gotta Get Out Of This Place)", then you'd better put your Kelly Family platters on the turntable. But if the strange, weird and wonderful tickles you, than you can't go wrong with this collection. Most songs are known even to someone who's not a hardcore music freak ("Popi - Fuoco (Fire)", "Chao Chao (Downtown)" or "Der Feuerstuhl (Leader Of The Pack)".



Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wilko Johnson And Dr Feelgood - News - #54

Wilko Johnson And Dr Feelgood - News

According to the Wilko Johnson Website, there's a book about the man coming up

Described by Wilko as a "fractured autobiography", Looking Back At Me, written in association with Zoe Howe, will be published to coincide with his April 2012 UK tour.

And there's also some Dr Feelgood stuff in the pipeline

In April 2012, EMI will release a boxed set of three CDs and DVD. The CDs will include a mix of the first four Dr. Feelgood albums, and previously unreleased material.

Which makes me wonder, how much unreleased material is there in the vaults? Here's the link to the site, if you want to see for yourself:



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Larry's Blues Band - Nothing But The Blues - #53

Larry's Blues Band - Nothing But The Blues

... and you can take this at face value. No fancy funk excursions or heavy metal thunder. None of this "look here, I'm Mr. Fastfinger, I've no idea about the Blues, but as long as people believe it, I'm going to milk this cow dry" thing. No, friends and neighbours, this is Blues the way it should be played. No breaking of landspeedrecords on the guitar, just fine instrumental works. Larry Schmuki is some kind of legend in the Zurich Highlands. Talk about being a householdname! About everyone you're talking to up there goes "ah, Larry, of course we know him"! You try the same around where I live and people go "Larry who"?

I got to know his music via some friends who put me on to Trust, a band Larry had been playing with. Up until then, I had the idea that Blues wasn't even dying, it was simply nonexistent in this country. The Trust CDs are probably out of print. If you see one, buy it. Don't think twice! His current project (has been so for a few years now), is his Blues band. If I'm not mistaken, this here is the third release on CD (that's all there is in my collection). The Blues played here is electric, make no mistake. And it's not the laidback kind of Blues that makes your feet go sleepy. It's to the point and musically excellent excersised. Top craftmanship! Hard to compare it to any other living Blues player, I just can't think of a good example. Or rather, the ones that I can think of are equally unknown, so as not to be of much help.

There's a certain Swissness throughout the album. I can't point my finger at it. Is it the singing (good voice, no question about it)? There's not much of a foreign accent here, just maybe a tad to exact. Of the fourteen tracks, ten are originals and also for this, the album should have a chance to rotate in your player. The songwriting is top stuff and up there with the best. On earlier releases, the balance between covers and originals was more in favour of the first. There's some video footage available, just check the usual places. Their website is at, where you also can order their CDs.



Monday, November 28, 2011

V/A - Rockabilly Xmas - #52

V/A - Rockabilly Xmas

Tired of Christmas and the standard "Holy Night" and "Jingle Bell" songs? Well, here's one to get your attention. Despite the title, it's not all Rockabilly, but there's a fair share of it to be found amongst the 30 tracks. There's even a "Jingle Bells" version (a good one at that) if you have second thoughts. I believe these tracks to be mostly from the 50's or early 60's. There are no liner notes and the information is a bit thin on the ground, although you get a handful of pictures of the artists and some labels.

A few of these songs are more in the novelty corner. But there's some serious Rock'n'Roll here as well. I've no idea where they've dug up these songs, I just know, I haven't even recognised one of the names on this CD. With regards to sound quality, you have to get used to some tape hiss. However, the listening experience is acceptable and the CD is great fun. Released by the good folks of buffalo bop (Bb - CD 55095).



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jimmy Virani - Is Beachcombing In Outer Space - # 51

Jimmy Virani - Is Beachcombing In Outer Space

I don't know why theremin music is always filed in the weird and strange section. Well, in fact I do, I just don't understand it. I suppose it was (and is) always more of a gimmick, in that it's being played without actually touching the instrument. It has usually more to do with a freakshow, than actually music that you listen to, to enjoy it. This here is serious stuff.

What you get here, are nine tracks of Hawai'i standards such as "Beyond The Reef", "Sleepy Lagoon", Hawai'ian Wedding Song" or "Aloha Oe". Now, I have a soft spot for Hawai'ian music anyway, but this is digestable even for people who will not otherwise touch this genre. It came quite as a surprise to me, that a theremin can be played not to represent a cat that's being stepped on the tail. Jimmy Virani is actually playing the music and not trying his hand at avantgarde interpretations of island life. There's some fattening of the sound here with the help of more standard instruments, but overall this is a theremin album. There's nothing to rock or roll you, it's almost an easy listening bit of entertainment and clocks in at just a bit more than thirty minutes. And it has one of the most interesting covers I've seen in a long time. Released on S Car Go (geddit?) Music 001.



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Roy Black & The Cannons – Last Rock’n’Roll Show, Live 26.12.1964 - #50

Roy Black & The Cannons – Last Rock’n’Roll Show, Live 26.12.1964

For someone who loves rockmusic, Roy Black is the devil in disguise. One of Germany’s most sugary Schlager singers with a string of hits that one couldn’t escape from. As a kid, sitting in front of the TV and hearing Mr. Black singing about romance and love and the like, wasn’t my idea of good music. Even when I was ten or thereabouts, I knew instinctively, that this wasn’t my cup of tea and I’d rather listen, at that time, to some longhaired Beat or Rock band from England or the States. Mind you, I’m not talking about easy listening, I’m explicitly addressing Schlager. If you’re not from a German speaking country, you don’t know what you’ve missed. And you should be grateful that fate hasn’t brought you in contact with this genre. The others know what I’m talking about. Let’s go to the cellar and weep about our misspent youth.

What I didn’t know until recently, is, that Roy Black was, before he took up this Schlager dreck, a Rock’n’Roller at heart. Well, sort of. Here’s the proof. Six songs rescued from way back in 1964 and delivered on a 10” platter (with CD supplement of the same six songs). They are covers of standard tracks alternating between Rock’n’Roll, Blues and some crooning pointing the way of things to come. This was apparently their last show as Roy Black & The Cannons. The Cannons seem to have carved a very small niche as a band on their own, but there’s nothing to ring a bell really.

I’d like to say this release is a revelation, but truth be told, this is a mediocre affair at best. More of a gimmick than anything else. The performance is not to bad, but you’ve heard these songs better and with more verve. But of course, these bands came aplenty in those days and their skills were enough for the local Saturday night dance. Almost fifty years later, you can’t help but wonder wether they would have been bigger, had they carried on. I don’t think so, as they are lacking in almost every department. Don’t get me wrong, this is not bad per se, it’s just nothing to write home about. It gave me a moment’s thought about Roy Black and I’ve adjusted my opinion about the man just a little bit, as this release is, despite everything I said, much better, than what was to come.

The sound quality? You can listen to it, but your HiFi system will be insulted, having to play what sounds like an audience recording. Hey, I mean this was 1964 and I’m pretty sure, there was nothing like the Rolling Stone mobile unit available. And if my information is correct, these were the only six songs that could be rescued from this gig. Buy it and then sit around your fireplace, telling your grandchildren how it was in the goold old days, when music was handmade and kids did what they were told.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wilko Johnson – Walking On The Edge - #49

Wilko Johnson – Walking On The Edge

This one is not exactly strange, just a bit unusual due to the fact that the French release has a different coloration as well as fonts not found on other releases of this single. I don’t know what the problem is with this one, but I haven’t seen another copy since I got mine a couple of years ago. It’s not that I really need a go at another one, but it’s interesting to see, that even though one is trying to dig a copy up, this is futile.

U.K. Release

French Release

Now, if(!) a copy would turn up for sale, I wouldn’t expect it to go much higher than a standard stock copy from the U.K., that is to say, you’ll get enough change from tenner to buy you an espresso and a croissant at your local coffee bar. I’m just wondering, what have the French done with all the copies that surely must have been on the market there?



Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wilko Johnson - Ecstacy/Ice On The Motorway 7" - #48

Wilko Johnson - Ecstacy/Ice On The Motorway 7"

One of the most exclusive items in my Wilko Johnson collection is certainly the "Ecstacy/Ice On The Motorway" 7" which was never released commercially, because, as folklore has it, Wilko Johnson was dissatisfied with the final mix. Seems like only a handful of these escaped. Both tracks do sound different to the versions that made it onto LP and CD and they are good ones at that. As far as I know, these mixes never made another appearance.

Here's one side of the label, because most Wilko Johnson fans might not have seen it. And to think of how I came by this beauty ... I'm still grateful that someone thought of me. This is one item I never even thought of laying my hand upon. Dreaming ... yes! But actually owning one copy? If I would have to name the rarest item in my Wilko Johnson collection, this one would take the top spot. Guaranteed!



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Viennese Record Shops - #47

Viennese Record Shops

When I'm visiting a city, the best way to get a feeling for the place, is, to check the local record shops. There's always something there, that one can't find locally at home. Some places boast a fantastic range of outlets (London for the sheer size of it or Helsinki because of the very high quality) and some you wouldn't even recommend when you'd be paid for it (Edinburgh for the record shops that look more like the local city dumps, but then you're bound to visit the place more for the whisky than anything else and then it's a very nice place).

Having just returned from Vienna and been there to a fair number of record shops, I can only attest, that the place is brimming with excellent outlets. I've never ever brought so many Free Jazz, Noise and Avantgarde records back from a trip abroad. Also the weird and strange segment is well taken care of (as well as the more normal Rock and Blues and Jazz). There are lots of independent stores with an excellent selection catering to every need in the book (new and second hand). I'm not giving any names here, but none of the about ten shops I visited was a failure. Some better than the others, sure, but always interesting and I didn't leave one place without having bought a load of albums. Vienna is not as stuffy as one might think, this is a very modern city with lots to offer to a record collector (as well as for the times one's not searching through the racks).



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Diamond Dogs - It's Most Likely The Diamond Dogs - #46

Diamond Dogs - It's Most Likely The Diamond Dogs

One of the weirder items in my Dr Feelgood/Wilko Johnson collection is this CD by Swedish Rolling Stones wannabes Diamond Dogs. Mind you, it's not a bad album, it rocks, it rolls, they just forgot originality. I can listen to it, without getting rashes on the skin. But there is one outstanding track on this CD though, a ditty called "Wilko Johnson's Eyes".

It's not remarkable in the way that you haven't heard a better song since the beginning of 20th century popular music, but just because our guitar hero is mentioned in a song (and title). Who would have thought? This 2008 release was buried deep inside one of my shelves and only came to light recently again. Is this something of a must have? Definitely yes! If you call yourself a Wilko Johnson fan, then you'll need this.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bootlegs - #45


The cover story in November's Uncut is "Uncovered! The 50 Greatest Bootlegs. "Rock's Most Mythical Records". Not one of these albums is in my collection, although I do have a fair share of bootlegs. Mine just don't seem to be "Rock's Most Mythical Records". That's it. But then, I don't want to have these, I want good stuff. And that's were it's lacking. Most bootlegs are just not worth bothering, with a few exceptions. I've said it on my website, the best bootleg I've heard so far is a Pete Gage band project (that was named "Dr Feelgood") and the CD is "They Do It Right", apparently recorded during their European tour in 1999.

In fact, this is not a real bootleg, as it is a CD-R. But the soundquality is superior to any other live recording I've heard before. I don't know wether it's still available, because I haven't seen this for a while. A couple of years at least (around ten or so). But if you can get your hand on this, don't hesitate. Good Pete Gage performance with a bunch of backing musicians. When you listen to the CD, you get the idea, that the band is standing there, playing live in your livingroom.

With regard to "real" bootlegs (meaning pressed CDs or LPs) of Dr Feelgood and Wilko Johnson, there's very little available. I need to present the few items here, in a future message.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Alice Cooper - Live October 16, 2011 in Winterthur / Switzerland - #44

Alice Cooper - Live October 16, 2011 in Winterthur / Switzerland

Originally, the gig should have been in Basel. I suppose, they were looking for a smaller venue due to low advance ticket sales and the Eulachhalle in Winterthur happened to be available. Alice has played the Z7 in Pratteln a few times, but even that venue would have been one or two sizes to big this time. The Z7 holds around 1500 people and, a good guess, there wasn't a full thousand present in Winterthur. And the Eulachhalle is really a sports hall and it looks the part. Rock'n'Roll is the furthest from your mind when you're there. Although the original ACG has played there as well. Never mind, The Coop is just not drawing masses of fans anymore.

Special guest from the U.K. was The Treatment. A hardrockband that sounded like a leftover from the 80's. Not bad, but really, we've heard this kind of music. Some good songs, but who really needs the antics of a band like this. They were certainly not used to such a big stage and you could be forgiven to think, that they were in training for the New York marathon.

Alice Cooper. Strange that they would be playing AC's new CD during the break between The Treatment and the headliner. Usually you just don't do it. But that was maybe because it was also some sort of marketing, at least you could buy the new LP/CD at the merchandise stand. AC in top form. The band, with the new woman guitarist, smoking. Hard hitting and precise. But, and this is a big but, it was one of these greatest hits shows. I've seen one of these last year and it was actually one of the most forgettable events involving The Coop. I was afraid something like this was going to happen again, and I was right. One hit song after the other makes this fan a bit tired. Mr Cooper can do better. I've seen (and heard) him do it, so no excuses here. About halfway through (around "Halo Of Flies"), I thought of the whole shebang as a toned down show. Once more getting the cheapo version in Switzerland. You can always tell, because Alice does the cane pointing and posing far to often. I was really surprised when he got beheaded, because just minutes before that, I told someone that they could forget about Alice being killed that evening.

This was the "No More Mr. Nice Guy" tour, so there were not a lot of new songs on offer (from his album "Welcome 2 My Nightmare"). Having seen Alice Cooper on stage more than I can remember, I was still pleasantly surprised about a few things. One song in particular. "School's Out" with "Another Brick In The Wall" thrown in somewhere in the middle. Although I'm not a fan of Pink Floyd and I believe "A Brick In The Wall" to be a mediocre album at the most, I was grinning. Us Alice working such a ditty into one of his classic songs. Chapeau, Mr. Cooper, an excellent idea and it fit your own song like a glove. At around 2200hrs it was all over and once more Alice Cooper had paid his annual visit to the land of cheese and chocolate. Next time, it's probably going to be a club gig, because even less people will attend.

A very nice evening, good music, although the whole gig was more or less without a red thread, which made it a bit unremarkable. I wouldn't call this a highlight of all the AC gigs I've been to, in my list, this is rather somewhere at the bottom, but I'm complaining on a high level here, because I just know, AC can do better. And I missed "Be My Lover". Well, maybe next time, but then we can expect more songs from his current album. And yes, the lady on guitar is a nice looking gal.



Friday, October 14, 2011

Candye Kane - Sister Vagabond - #43

Candye Kane - Sister Vagabond

I welcome each new release from Candye Kane. However, with Mrs Kane, you sometimes get a very polished version of the Blues (and whatever else she fancies at the moment), bordering on Easy Listening. But I do like her for her diversity and I don't carry the Blues police badge anyway. The latest CD features a certain Laura Chavez throughout (on guitar) and this lady has also co-written nine out of the thirteen tracks on offer. The other four being cover versions.

What you can hear, is actually an album that is far grittier than any other Candye Kane release I could name off the top of my head. This is still not the heads down no nonsense mindless Boogie Bluesrock offering, but it gets pretty close (at least compared to other releases of the lady). Wether this is her best album of her career (as some reviewer had it) is open for debate, but it certainly makes for a change. The CD sits easily among her top three releases.

The swingin' bit is not lost, not by a long shot. It's coming through as ordered and there is again this relaxing feeling that most of the songs carry across. Top songwiting as usual and the coverversions are not to be sneered at either. "Sweet Nothin's" (the old Brenda Lee chestnut) is a surprise appearance here. And what an excellent version that is. The CD clocks in at about 45 minutes and is well worth every cent. In case you haven't heard of Candy Kane before (things happen that way), you can't go wrong by choosing this one as your entry into her musical world and then you can work your way backwards to the beginning.

Now, if Mrs Kane would just make a live appearance around here in the foreseeable future? It's been a while since I saw her live on stage.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Marketing B.S. - #42

Marketing B.S.

I really believe, despite the fact that I'm one of the minority to actually buy LPs and CDs, that the music industry has earned it's downfall. And every cent of it. As a collector, I realise, I'm being had, because I have to shell out my hard earned cash every second week for an apparently "new" release with a "never before heard" mix (not on Shellac anyway)) and this must have "unreleased" track (which translates as the biggest hit of the artist, but this time it's live [the 574th version], recorded in some dive in the hinterland of Afghanistan). I do not shed a tear when the industry whines about the illegal downloading (although I couldn't care less myself) and predicts the end of music in the near future.

Today I've seen an ad for a rerelease of King Crimson's "In The Wake Of Poseidon". I won't bore you to death with the stupidity in their attempt to sell the same product to the public for the umpteenth time. Just wait a few weeks, there'll be another edition round the corner. But what made my day is the following: "Each copy includes unique code for mp3 download of a copy of an original 1970 vinyl pressing". I rest my case. There's absolutely nothing to say about this anymore.



Saturday, October 8, 2011

HeadCat - Walk The Walk ... Talk The Talk - #41

HeadCat - Walk The Walk ... Talk The Talk - #41

A Rockabilly album by the likes of Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead) and Slim Jim Phantom (ex Stray Cats) with the help of Danny B Harvey is bound to lean more towards Lemmy than any other musician in this setup. Rumble Rockabilly it is, with Lemmy "singing". What works fine for Motörhead is, surprisingly, also fine here. Lemmy's bass pushing everything forward and his vocal style, well, he's just Lemmy. What did you expect? Although Slim Jim and Danny do a good job, they really fall by the wayside. It's a Mr. Kilmister album in disguise. A mellowed down Motörhead affair, you might be tempted to say.

The CD clocks in at just under 28 minutes, which makes me mark this down one notch. Another reason for a slight downgrade is the fact, that only two songs are originals (of which I really don't count "The Eagle Flies On Friday" as such, although they do claim writing credits). Well, I'm almost done with the negative aspects, but there's one more. Really guys, although I rate "Shakin' All Over" as unkaputtbar, you come bloody close to sink this hook, line and sinker. And "Something Else", well, friends and neighbours, I actually do prefer Eddie's version.

Being done with that, I need to say, that the CD is nevertheless a fine entertainment product. This is not going to shake the foundations of the Rock'n'Roll world, but is a welcome addition. An overall rating would be eight out of ten points. The old Cream chestnut "Crossroads", sorry about that, but I almost forgot, is not much of a highlight either. How come I rate this rather high despite having to say so little about it's positive sides? One: It's Lemmy and via his Motörhead dayjob, he has an advantage. Two: The album is fun even with the few negative points thrown in. Three: There's so much b.s. on the market these days, even a halfway decent recording stands out. Go out and buy this from your local record dealer.



Friday, October 7, 2011

Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare - Part 3 - #40

Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare - Part 2 - #40

I'm not yet sure about this album, but it doesn't represent an Alice Cooper album to me. There are a few good songs, but even those don't seem to belong on a latter day AC LP/CD. Just a tad to many gimmicks, I think. The album is musically really torn and not what one could expect from The Coop in 2011. I would have bet some money, that he was to follow the formula of the last couple of albums, but no, what we get is a bunch of ditties that are more easy listening than anything else and don't know how to spell R-O-C-K! O.K. to listen to when you're in your car and have still a couple of hundred kilometers ahead of you.

I'm still hoping I get it, and I'm not fundamentally against it, but I don't see this as THE highlight as some fans would have this to be. An entertaining album, in some ways, but nothing to write home about. On October 16, 2011 I'll be at the Alice Cooper gig in Winterthur. Actually I wanted to take this CD with me on the road (roundtrip about 300 km) but on 2nd thought, I'd rather pick something else. Probably some bootleg. "Go To Hell" comes to mind.



Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Dr. Feelgood" Post-1994 - #39

"Dr. Feelgood" Post-1994

Actually, the topic is as dead as a piece of meat on the plate in front of you. I've taken a lot of flak during the last couple of years for expressing my opinion, that Dr. Feelgood simply ceased to exist when Lee Brilleaux died. Everything else is a cover band. I knew right from the start of this debate, that history would prove me right. But seeing Wilko Johnson in an interview in the current Classic Rock magazine made my day.

You left the Feelgoods as long ago as 1977. How do you feel about the band carrying on these days with the name but without a single original member?

I'm quite an articulate guy, but even I don't have the vocabulary to describe the current band. Without Lee (Brilleaux, singer who died in 1994) it's not Dr. Feelgood. The connections are just to tenuous.

Unfortunately, this brought the topic back, which I, by now, had well and truly forgotten, as "Dr. Feelgood 2011" are relegated to the backseats of Rock's history. Not even I get heated up about this anymore. But I had to laugh when I read it and I knew, I was always on the side of the good guys. Wilko, I do owe you one!



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare - Part 2 - #38

Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare

2011. A new studio album by everyone's favourite artist, Alice Cooper. This is kind of a sequel to 1975's "Welcome To My Nightmare", the debut Alice Cooper solo album. The work comes in a plethora of releases and each different one seems to sport a bonus track, not available on any of the other items. I've said, what I had to say about this. If fans are ripped off in such a way, I don't feel sorry about the decline of the music industry. You reap what you sow.

Right now, I've only the double vinyl issue (on red wax nevertheless) in my possession. The CD with accompanying magazine is still not here (Classic Rock issue), which is total b.s. as well. This was advertised as being out a full month before the albums hits the streets. Stupid marketing gimmick, I bought the Vinyl today (and I believe, the normal CD version was also available). The LP comes with a mini poster and coversized booklet. The latter is quite nice. The poster? I don't know. Kindergarten stuff. The original "Welcome To My Nightmare" doesn't have a cover graphic to write home about, but they have lowered their standards even further. This qualifies easily as one of the most horrible (pun intended) covers. Jesus Christ, what kind of amateurs are trying their "skills" these days. Where have the days gone, when talented people created good graphics?

The music? Much has been made of the fact, that the original Alice Cooper Band was back in the Studio! It was hailed as the second coming of Christ! Original? Wait a minute! Last time I checked, Glen Buxton was still dead ... so much for the claim of "original" ACG. And as far as I've heard, the rest didn't even get to be in the studio at the same time. And worse is yet to come, The living members of ACG are only to be heard on three tracks. Hardly news you need to be aware of. And what's more, wether they have lent their skills to these three songs or not, I wouldn't have noticed anyway. Alice Cooper could have hired any musician to fill out these slots, with no change to the quality. Or he could have used his current standard band on all tracks. Oh well! 

The music needs to grow on you. Starting very slow and a few tracks later drifting off to funfair music and everything else between here and Transylvania, this is not the kind of album you expected of a 2011 solo Alice Cooper. Especially since the last couple of releases had the quality of a fifty ton steamroller. But after a couple of listening sessions, I'm already beginning to like this slice of music. Although this is certainly not on a par with the original "Welcome To My Nightmare", as there's to much missing and the album is still a hodge podge collection with just to many gimmicks thrown in. It's entertaining, yes, but for the most part, don't expect your rockin' Alice. Very mainstream, but sometimes you want to shout "get to the point". As negative as this might sound now, there's some excellent stuff here, but I don't rate it as high as, say, "Killer" or thereabouts. And it doesn't help, when Alice Cooper tries his hands at Disco music (even though he might make a statement here) or with this godawful bonus track on the LP version. I have better Electronica or Industrial music in my collection. Just wonder where this leftover came from!

Buy the album, when you're in a record store the next time and you can't decide wether to buy a hits collection of yesteryear or this here. At least you're on the side of the good guys.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Heidi Brühl - Hundert Mann und ein Befehl - #37

Heidi Brühl - Hundert Mann und ein Befehl

I'm not one for German Schlagers (with very few exceptions), but this here is remarkable. I was only aware of the Freddy Quinn version of this Cover (Sgt Barry Sadler - The Green Berets) until someone pointed me this way. Heidi Brühl is singing the song from a women's point of view, although the original German version is from a man's standpoint. I believe, it has nothing much to do with the Barry Sadler interpretation of this song.

What's so interesting here is not so much the song itself, but the delivery of the tune. First, Heidi Brühl looks absolutely stunning in this video. Then, this is the video for which the word teutonic must have been invented. This is a top class performance and I very much believe, that this was intended the way it comes across. Ice cold, shivers down your spine, that's what it is. The thing has class written all over the video. In one sweep, the team who produced this piece, has confirmed and denied everything that one believes to know about the Germans. And then the choir set into the dimly lit frame. This is one of the most interesting videos I've seen in a very long time.  Unfortunately, Heidi Brühl died when she was in her fourties (complications after cancer surgery). You don't have to buy Schlager CDs now, but you can still admire this one here.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Test Pressings / Acetates - #36

Test Pressings / Acetates - #36

If you're after test pressings or acetates, here's a word of warning. For years, test pressings and acetates have been on the market, that are not the real deal. There's an industry in the Far East feeding the market with fake "acetates" (I'm speaking of vinyl only, as in my opinion, there are no CD acetates, whatever there might be available). Suddenly you see these items creeping up from places you've never heard about in your life. It's sometimes hard to spot a genuine article, when all you have is a picture on an auction site, and most of the time not a very good one at that.

Test pressings seem to be made from stock copies by way of taking off the label and replacing it with a white label with some fantasy writing or even better, bleaching the original label, so what you have in the end is a white label. But, of course, again, you can hardly spot this before bidding. Just ask the seller for a confirmation, that this is the real deal and if you don't get it, hands off! Of course, once you have the item in your hands, it's apparently easy to see that you've been had. Bleached labels with the original artwork shining through, handwriting the same over a set of different vinyls and the etching in the wax being the same as the one off stock copies.

In view of test pressings and acetates having a premium on them, sometimes very high, don't let yourself being taken advantage of. As tempting as an item might look, make sure you're not going to fall for a fake product.



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Imelda May - #35

Imelda May
An Irish singer who just recently has released her 3rd studio album, this one called "Mayhem". The lady has made quite a few waves and is about to conquer the world. Ms May comes along the Rockabilly route, but has gone further afield now with Blues and Jazz taking up quite a slice of her repertoire. Rockabilly is still present, but she is not what some critics call her, "Easy Listening". Not in the sense it was meant to put her down. Here's her website

There are quite a few quality videos available on the internet. Instead of going for her Rockabilly side, I've chosen one of the best ballads I've heard in years (let's make this decades). Go and explore her music.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gash – A Young Man’s Gash (Or Why A Rare Record Is Not Really Worth Its Money) - #34

Gash – A Young Man’s Gash (Or  Why A Rare Record Is Not Really Worth Its Money)
A German Band from the 70’s, alternatively called heavy (by some “experts”) or progressive (by another bunch of “experts”). They go on about what a fine record this is, especially the B-side which also features a full orchestra and that the A-side is of a somewhat lesser quality, but still holding up to the overall excellent quality of this album, which, btw, has never been legally re-released on CD (although there is a counterfeit CD available by a bootlegger outfit called “Germanofon”). Avoid this Label at all cost. Not just because of the counterfeiting nature of their product, but also because of the inferior quality (read, mostly pulled from scratchy vinyl).

And before you try to find a decent vinyl copy for EUR 300.00+, forget about acquiring one of these as well. Take your silver bullets with you, a handful of garlic and a peg with a hammer. And if you happen to see this album somewhere, make sure to give it all you’ve got, just to make sure this is not going to haunt any collectors worldwide anymore. My gratitude to you for saving the world from one of the worst and most redundant LPs in the whole universe. Imagine Black Widow, but just with the teutonic inability to put anything into verse, because, yes, friends and neighbours, this is an album that gives you nightmares for a long time to come. 

Talking about the music: This is syrupy stuff, that’s quite o.k., if it’s meant for your kids afternoon nap. Nice organ doodling its way through the tracks, being accompanied by untalented drum and guitar works. But the real icing on the cake (in the most negative way imaginable) is the “singer” and the “lyrics”.  The vocalist is this kind of deadpan German guy, you can see in Hollywood pictures about the second world war. Kind of “Ja mein General! Wir werden die Russen im Morgengrauen angreifen!”, well almost. There is no feeling there, this is about  reading the 8 o’clock news on German TV from the teleprompter.

But the band has crafted their lyrics in a kind of language I don’t understand. Sometimes I think they’ve tried their hands at English, but I’m pretty sure, this is not what it was meant to be. I mean, us foreigners will make a lot of mistakes when speaking or writing in another language (as certainly everyone who reads this blog or has been over to my website or has met me in person, can attest to). What I don’t understand is, why can’t bands have some proofreader do a final check. I mean, these are just a couple of lines and it shouldn’t be so expensive for a person of English mothertongue to make a few corrections to a couple of words. But, really, if they want to go down in pophistory as the most stupid band in the world, this is their decision. It’s just, that, if you have absolutely no idea about a foreign language, you should just maybe stick to what you know. Maybe releasing a record with German vocals in this case.

There’s no lyrics here, as this would be a breach of copyright matters, but you’re invited to check out the www and laugh until your insides hurt. Interestingly enough, the LP doesn’t seem to have shifted a lot of copies when it came out, thus making this a collector’s item. But it is one of these instances, where the going rate doesn’t match the musical value. You’re paying around EUR 320.00 for a mint copy at the moment (if you can find one, that is) and all you get is a colourful fold-out sleeve and a piece of black plastic on the Brain label. Taken the music into consideration, this album should be discounted to about half a Euro. And that’s maybe overly optimistic. I bought my copy sometime around its original release in the first half of the 70’s, but I can’t recall why I’ve made the decision to pick this. I mean, I did buy some fishy ones throughout the last decades, but this one tops it all.



Monday, August 8, 2011

Pirates - Shakin' With The Devil (The Best Of) 1977 - 1979 - #33

Pirates - Shakin' With The Devil (The Best Of) 1977 - 1979

Ever since I bought the 1971 LP "Johnny Kidd & The Pirates", way back, when I was young, very young, I've been a Johnny Kidd & The Pirates fan. To me, the old chestnut about only two true rock'n'rollers coming out of the U.K., and one of them being Johnny Kidd, hasn't lost a fraction of truth. These songs, I can listen to, without ever growing tired of them. Although I don't buy into the statement that only Johnny Kidd's backing band with Mick Green, Johnny Spence and Frank Farley were the real deal (that would be putting down the other guys that played in other incarnations of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates), the aforementioned trio is certainly a major line-up in the history of the band and with hindsight the only one to carry the torch.

In the 70's, our powertrio got started again (minus Johnny Kidd of course - R.I.P.). And there was a lot of good music being released by my heroes (and some awful stuff, but that was, when Mick Green had a Pirates sans Johnny and Frank going). You want to stick to releases by this core trio. Take my word for it. Here's the Pirates 1977 to 1979 when they had their highest post Johnny Kidd profile. This being a "Best Of" you might go "Aw, I don't need another compilation. Got all the official releases anyway". You're dead wrong. First of all, this double CD is available for a very nice price. You're not going broke, buying this item. Second, there's some unreleased material on the CDs, including radio promo spots (although I think you want to listen to the latter only once, but it's nice nevertheless) and third, the compilation as such is very enjoyable. Both CDs clock in at a little more than 75 minutes. Excellent sound quality, double fold-out digipack and a nice and informative booklet with lots of pictures. Released on Salvo as SALVODCD219. And if you want to visit the Pirates website (well worth it), here's the way to go:



Monday, August 1, 2011

Alice Cooper - Welcome To My Nightmare 2 - #32

Alice Cooper - Welcome To My Nightmare 2

The new Alice Cooper album should be released sometime in October 2011. It's, of course, the sequel to "Welcome To My Nightmare". At least, it's marketed as such. The remaining members of the ACG have contributed to this longplayer. To what extent, I can not say. But I don't really expect a full (minus Glen Buxton, of course) outing of the ACG on this CD (not even for one track). However, it'll be the closest you'll get to the original line-up again. There's a fan pack available with the CD and some goodies such as a 132 page magazine and a current Alice Cooper interview. Plus, I think, there's a poster involved somewhere (although that might be just if you order it within a certain timeframe). The whole thing is not even GB£ 16.00 (includes postage). You might want to point your browser in the direction of Classic Rock magazine (U.K.) for more information and how to order it. And what makes this even more of a treat, there's bonus tracks on the CD, otherwise not on the album and you'll get it about one month before it hits the high street.



P.S.: I just read, that there are at least six different releases, all with bonus tracks (and you have to buy the lot, if you want all of these "bonus" tracks). Well, that's marketing for you. Thank you very much. Downloading the stuff for free, looks suddenly like an option. If only to draw a line at some point.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dr. Feelgood - Oil City Confidential (Japanese DVD Releases) - #31

Dr. Feelgood - Oil City Confidential (Japanese DVD Releases)

Japan has seen its own release of the Dr. Feelgood "Oil City Confidential" film. There's a single version available (PCBP 52035) and a "Premium Edition" (PCBP 52034) which is a 2-DVD set and apparently limited (whatever that means in these days, when even a 2'000'000 copy release is limited). There are a few differences to the European edition. Covers, for one.

But also, the DVDs don't come in a slip case, but rather the standard plastic one (with the 2-DVD release also sporting an OBI). The accompanying booklet is very different from the one we're being used to (and not only because this is written in Japanese). Different pictures (mainly), totally new graphic outlay. The lot.

As for the presentation, here are the differences between the various issues:

European release:
1. Main feature film
2. Lee Brilleaux interview
3. Wilko Johnson outtakes

Japanese single DVD release
1. Main feature film

Japanese 2-DVD release
Disc 1:
1. Main feature film
Disc 2:
1. Lee Brilleaux interview
2. Wilko Johnson outtakes
3. Wilko Johnson interview (about 60 minutes)
4. Julien Temple interview (about 10 minutes)

Now, wether or not you need these two versions as well, is, of course, your decision. I've answered this for myself already.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dr. Feelgood – Classic And Brilleaux (Japanese CD-Releases) - #30

Dr. Feelgood – Classic And Brilleaux (Japanese CD-Releases)

Both of these albums have seen a limited release in Japan in 2006. What makes them special is the fact, that they are housed in cardboard sleeves. As far as I know, only these two got the treatment from the Dr. Feelgood back catalogue. Although both releases are OOP, there’s still a few mail orders, where you can buy it. The CDs have been manufactured with some kind of high definition wizardry called K2 HD coding.

Of course, you know the sleeves of “Classic” (both) and “Brilleaux”, thus I’ve scanned the covers of the booklets that come with these releases. Both have the lyrics in Japanese and English and what appears to be some kind of Japanese liner notes. No English language writing for the latter, I’m afraid.

Both CDs have bonus tracks. “Classic” is expandend with "What Do You Think Of That" and "Don't Underestimate Your Enemy" and “Brilleaux” gets an extension with "Don't Wait Up (Extended Version)", "Something Good" and "Rockin' With Somebody New". Sure, this is not something that a Dr. Feelgood collector doesn’t already have in the collection, but there you go. I mean it’s not like there’s a ton of unissued outtakes around (although I’ve been told otherwise – the stuff is still in the vaults). Naturally, both albums come with an OBI, as is the norm with Japanese releases. You won’t buy this because you haven’t heard the material yet (and I doubt that you’ll be the audiophile who buys this on the strength of an obscure high definition format, in which case you’re better off with your old vinyl anway), but because you’re a completist in dire need of additional material to get your collection to the max. Nice enough items they are. You won’t be disappointed.

Release out on Victor catalogue number VICP-63342 ("Classic") and VICP-63341 ("Brilleaux").



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sheena & The Rokkets - #29

Sheena & The Rokkets

Well known because of their collaborations with Wilko Johnson, but otherwise not a household name in this part of the world. Outrageous and sometime hilarious, Sheena & The Rokkets are a fantastic band from Japan. I believe, they're overdoing their act on purpose. They seem to have an idea what Rock'n'Roll is all about and they try to transfer it to Japan. Maybe I'm reading this completetely wrong, but it's the impression I get from watching their videos. Here's one, in which they are a bit too polished. Normally, the band is rougher, not in a punk way of style, just grittier. And I can't remember to have seen any footage with a brass section.

Certainly, the "London Sessions #1 and #2" (which are really credited to Makoto Auykawa, but featuring Sheena as  well as the Wilko Johnson Band) are the items to look out for the Wilko Johnson Fan. But there's more stuff like the "Dream Box", a fantastic set of CDs and a DVD (and also featuring some Wilko Johnson). But really, you can't go wrong with any of their numerous releases, even those without Wilko's participation. Just have a look around on their website at



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Alice Cooper - Old School: 1964-1974 (Part 2) - #28

Alice Cooper - Old School: 1964-1974 (Part 2)

See also post #20. The box set arrived a couple of weeks ago. While I haven't heard the CDs/LP/7" or viewed the DVD or had more than a quick glance at the paperware in there yet (time is indeed a luxury these days), another question has crept up. Is it worth all the money?

Well ... let me see. The fact that there are videos on the www celebrating the unpacking of the box set, says a lot about the item. These folks do speak highly of their recent purchase. Other voices think that the price is ridiculous and they do not intend to shell out their hard earned cash. Each to his/her own. And there are fans out there, who simply can't afford this kind of money to leave the household, were it not for food, clothing or rent.

Nice as it looks, the box is indeed way overpriced. And I mean way overpriced. It's a very cute idea to house this in a kind of schooldesk, but, let's not mince words, this is nothing but cheap cardboard. And the last time I was getting excited about some fancy papergimmick, has been a while ago. Around the time of "Killer" actually. The fact, that the item is, apparently, limited (noone really knows how many are on the market, so pick any number between 1 and 100000 - the forums are ripe with uneducated guesses), doesn't help really.

Of the four CDs you get, only two are really worthwile. These are the the ones containing outtakes and live material and stuff. A third one, an interview disc, is something that shouldn't even be mentioned as a selling point. Nice to be in there, but it cries "cheapo" all over the place. Not really something you'll be listening to more than once. And the fourth CD is the same live document (plus 1) as the LP inside the box. So you could say, there's a third CD worth your money in there, but then, the LP is redundant. Your pick how you want to see this. You just buy the same basically twice.

The 7" (Nazz) doesn't even have a picture cover (they could have done one for this release, even though the original didn't have one) and is housed in a cardboardlike abrasive sleeve. Not something you want to see your precious vinyl in. The printed material is nice, but there's no point in adding fake tickets or photocopied setlists. No really, you have to see these two items to realise that you've been had. Although, in a way this is a nice boxset, it's not essential material, even to a diehard Alice Cooper fan. If you can afford it, by all means, go ahead and buy it (but hurry up, some mail orders have already sold out). To the others, there are better deals around. I'm not saying that a boxset can't cost up to EUR 200.00 (just  compare the really fat ones released by Bear Family and then cry in your beer, when you see what you can get for your money here), but then you expect more value for your cash.



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Setting A Goal - #27

Setting A Goal

I’ve actually been thinking, in a low sort of way, to get rid of the collection. Well, one day I will need to make a decision. Either someone will dump it in the municipal waste disposal or I’m selling this off, before I face the grim reaper. Not that I intend to sign off any time soon, but one has these funny thoughts. I could also take a few year’s early retirement and finance my living out of the proceeds of selling the collection on the internet. No decisions have been taken as of yet. But, and this is an upper case BUT, the next question is, should I sink any more money into the collection?

When is the time to stop collecting? I mean, when there’s no more good music to be bought, is not really a target you can set for yourself. That’s an endless avenue, especially if one has an eclectic taste in music. My latest idea, I’m collecting records until I can listen a whole year through, 24/7, without repeating anything. Well then, I should be thinking about closing down rather soon, but there’s still a few slots open. On the other hand (there’s a fist, as Jona Lewie used to say), I can give the thought a few twists and turns and see what I can come up with.



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Крекерс - Замес На Рок'н'ролле - #26

Крекерс - Замес На Рок'н'ролле

Or, for the few non-russian speaking folks that visit this blog, Krekers with "Zames Na Rok-n-Rolle". This band from St. Petersburg released their debut album in 2010 (on Bomba-Piter Inc.) and unfortunately, it seems to have sunk like a rock. Thankfully some specialist mailorders have it in their catalogue. Now, I'm pretty sure you don't think Russia is the world's foremost post to go, when you want Rock'n'Roll. Maybe not, but it'd be a very grave mistake, not to make the detour via the aforementioned St. Petersburg.

What you get here, is one of the most interesting Rock'n'Roll/Rockabilly releases I've heard for a while. Fourteen tracks, and all of them selfpenned. And, I have to point this out, of excellent quality. I challenge you to name a recent release that's even close to this level, albeit still looking at the competition from down below. Fantastic musicians with a very good singer. And now, I'm telling you that eleven of these songs are sung in Russian and you go, ah, that doesn't work, Russian is not a Rock'n'Roll language. Sorry to say, but you're wrong. It fits. The last three tracks are English language songs and with them, the CD clocks in at just beyond three quarters of an hour (which is a very long album by this genre's standard) and not a second where you wish a song would be cut short.

Besides a very clean production (not overdone), it's the vintage/modern mixture that pays tribute to decades of good music. Especially interesting, at least for me, is the prominent feature of saxophone. This is an instrument which is very dear to me (although I don't play it myself, but have always wanted to). You'll hear it on almost every track on this CD. Just trying to remember if there's a song without the sax. No, I don't think so. My heavy rotation list has never been so busy, what with Steve Hooker, Doctor's Order, Hillbilly Moon Explosion and Happotedit all lining up to get a slot. Right now is a good time to find and enjoy new music.

There's a website mentioned on the back of the cover, get your Russian language skills to work.



Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jan And Dean - Meet Batman - #25

Jan And Dean - Meet Batman

Just recently I've bought this reissue of an old 1966 LP. Although I'm not the surfin' kind of type, everything Batman catches my attention. And I just can't leave my hands off an LP with such a sleeve. The dynamic duo in full action. The item is a "concept" album that matches the 60's television series, that is to say, over the top comic sketches (as Captain Jan and Dean, the boy blunder), although, I could image, that this is a bit tiresome, when you've heard the LP for the umpteenth time. But you don't have to have it on heavy rotation.

The music is typical Jan and Dean surf fare. So, here's to Batman and Robin and all the villains in Gotham City. May the bat signal shine on you!



Friday, June 24, 2011

Mighty Four - Bangin' The Boogie - #24

Mighty Four - Bangin' The Boogie

Just realised, that finnish band Mighty Four will be releasing their third full length CD in mid July 2011. It's not yet available from the mail order shops (I checked), so please queue up and wait just like everyone else. If you want to know more about the Mighty Four, go to their website at or my website for a review of one of their earlier CDs. The new album can be ordered from Goofin' Records in Helsinki. See



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

V/A - Nippon No Rock'n'Roll (A Dr Feelgood Tribute) - #23

V/A - Nippon No Rock'n'Roll (A Dr Feelgood Tribute)

There's a Dr Feelgood tribute album out there. Japanese bands covering everybody's favourite band. I don't think you'll get this at your local record shop, so this will be one of the cases, where one needs to buy this long distance from Japan via mailorder.

2. GOING BACK HOME/ 赤羽ブリロー
4. THAT'S IT,I QUIT/ 石橋 勲バンド
5. ROXETTE/ 夜のストレンジャーズ
6. ROUTE66/ Mooney & His Lucky Rhythm
9. BEST IN THE WORLD/ マボロシハンターズ
10. MILK & ALCOHOL/ ミステルズ
11. KING FOR A DAY/ 赤羽ブリロー
12. SEE'S THE ONE/ テリー島村グループ
16. I DON'T MIND/ 夜のストレンジャーズ
17. RIOT IN CELL BLOCK NO.9/ ダンス天国

18. VIOLENT LOVE/ トリビュートセッション



Monday, June 20, 2011

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis - Smoking In Heaven (Part 2) - #22

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis - Smoking In Heaven (Part 2)

The vinyl has finally arrived here at these doorsteps. The first thing you realise, all of the songs have been written by the Durhams/Weiss'. Not a single cover version in sight. The debut had only two originals. The music is less Rock'n'Roll by a degree, but the songwriting is excellent and it still sounds like a modern 50's platter. Rock'n'Roll mixes with Swing and Boogie Woogie and what else. One of the ladies still sings like she's having an enormous cold. It does sound great, no question.

This is really a double vinyl release and comes with a download code for the whole album. In fact, right now I'm listening to this version (a CD-R that is). There's a new video out there, this one for "Messing With My Life", that just shows how eclectic of an album this is. The album could have done with better graphics though, this is a bit of a letdown compared to the "classic" image on their debut. Nevertheless, the release is waiting for you to be brought to a good home. A thoroughingly enjoyable release! Go out and buy it!



Sunday, June 19, 2011

Levi Dexter & Steve Hooker - Rockabilly Dolls - #21

Levi Dexter & Steve Hooker - Rockabilly Dolls

I'm checking the stock of one of my preferred online mail orders and what do I see? A Steve Hooker release! Well, not quite. This is Levi Dexter & Steve Hooker. And if this is carefully chosen, then this is really a Levi Dexter release with some help of Steve Hooker. Well again, I'm sorry, the whole enterprise has the stamp of the latter hammered into the plastic. Not least because Steve Hooker provides electric, acoustic and bottleneck guitars, harmonica, vocals and last but not least handclaps. Anyway, this is also a Steve Hooker production and comes to Europe via Japan. The CD has very recently been released on Thousands Records (1000's Records).
They claim that Rockabilly is the Punk of Rock'n'Roll and they're here to remind us of this fact. Might be so, I wouldn't know a thing about this. To me, Rockabilly was always the mellower family member. A bit like the older brother or sister (Rock'n'Roll) being out on the streets and when he or she returns home, they're taking care of their young siblings. I might have gotten my bearings wrong ... I'm a bit irritated. If the Punk analogy holds at all, it's the other way round. The likes of Wild Bob Burgos are the ones with the Punk attitude. And that guy is certainly Rock'n'Roll. I'm confused.

Some of these songs have already been released on previous albums, for example Steve Hooker's "Before The Rooster Crows". Others, I don't know about, as I'm not familiar with Levi Dexter's releases. What you get is a very entertaining slice of Rockabilly (there it is, I almost wrote Rock'n'Roll). Nine tracks that clock in at just thirty minutes (with 2 seconds overtime). But I'd rather have half an hour of high energy Rock'n'Roll (I can't deny it, this is more Rock'n'Roll to me than anything else), than 80 minutes of music I can't stand. Well done!
The music is a bit rougher, than on a "real" Steve Hooker album. This can be measured only with the most advanced scientific methods, but I'll swear to it, the music has an edge, that's usually not there. I'm talking slight variations here. Just don't think one's the "Music For A Late Night Date" type of stuff and this here is the Death Metal bit. No, this is certainly not so. Compared to the aforementioned "Before The Rooster Crows", this release seems to be somewhat straighter. I don't know, if it's less finesse ... it's straighter, that's all. Maybe that's the Punk in here.
Nine tracks, the last being an instrumental "Wicked Blues (Remastered)", will remind you, why you like this kind of music. One thing though, I have to mention. Being a major Screaming Lord Sutch Fan, I think "Jack The Ripper" should have been left off the CD. While it might be a honourable attempt at the song, it just had to fail. Some songs you just can't cover, and only because the definitive version has already been done. Mind you, this is not a bad version, but as a singer, Screaming Lord Sutch's take (or takes) is/are in their own league. A plus point for the sleeve. Excellent. But what I really want to see, is exactly this on an LP version of this album. This cries for graphics about nine times as large.
You can buy this CD at well stocked Rockabilly mailorders (or visit Steve Hooker's Website at