Friday, September 16, 2016

Richard Wright - 1978 - Wet Dream

Richard Wright
Wet Dream

01. Mediterannean C (3:52)
02. Against the Odds (3:59)
03. Cat Cruise (5:15)
04. Summer Elegy (4:53)
05. Waves (4:20)
06. Holiday (6:12)
07. Mad yannis Dance (3:19)
08. Drop in from the Top (3:26)
09. Pink's song (3:27)
10. Funky Deux (4:57)

- Richard Wright / vocals, keyboards, Oberheim synthesizer
- Mel Collins / saxophone, flute
- Snowy White / guitars
- Larry Steele / bass
- Reg Isadore / drums

As many of us, I am thinking more of Rick these days. It is true that I never considered him as he ought to be and things have to be put into perspective here. Now more than ever.
First of all, his song writing capabilities should have been better recognized while he was a permanent member of the huge band we (almost) all love. Not only did he contribute to several great songs from the band, but in his first solo album Wet Dream he just confirmed this.

Mediterranean C which is the opening track is truly superb. But it is only the first of many songs in which Mel Collins appear as a fantastic asset.

There are also truly Floydian accents like Against The Odds in here; but this is no wonder I guess. Lyrics are quite explicit:

I don't want to talk no more tonight. We've gone through this before. Now we ask for more. Seems to me we can't escape at all. Words have no meaning. To hold such a feeling. Can there be a way out of here. I don't know. Why we go on so. I don't want to fight no more tonight. Every time's the same. Both of us to blame. I don't want to talk no more tonight...

Another one is the beautiful and melodic Summer Elegy. On the soft side of course, but really catchy. It is actually on par with the superb Waves which features some fantastic sax again from Mel.

Rick was very clever while he hired Snowy White to hold the guitar on this album: he is just remarkable. Just listen to the passionate and melodic Drop in from the Top.

Pink's Song is one of the emotional one from this album: an obvious wink to dear old friend Waters: Patiently, you watched us play parts you'd seen before. Even then, we sometimes asked: would you keep us for? Sadly, then, you lost yourself. So you had to leave.
Review by ZowieZiggy 

Absolutely the most underrated album from any Floyd member for many years. God knows why? This in essence could almost be a Floyd album all on it's own. Incredible to think that also Gilmour's first solo album was also hatched at this time, Wet Dream has great contributions from Snowy White on guitar, Mel Collins on Sax, Juliette Wright with lyrics but most of all Rick Wright himself. the album is richly laden in deep textures of prog, jazz and just plain old Floydian styles. 'Against all Odds' questions the deep emotion behind relationships and their subesequent break ups. 'Waves' a perfect instrumental with stunning sax from Mel Collins. ' Summer Elegy ' for me perhaps the most slick Floyd style sing along. Let's face it when Rick Wright sings well there is probably not a better vocalist from Pink Floyd. Apologies Waters and co.' Drop in from the top' and ' Funky Deux' are excellent jazzy funk rockers and it's classics like these that introduced me to jazz/fusion in the first place. No poor songs on this album.

Alan Ross Band - 1978 - Restless Nights

Alan Ross Band
Restless Nights

01. Restless Nights
02. Ain't It A Shame
03. Kamina
04. I Will Be Alright
05. Angel
06. Joe Henry
07. Land Of The Snows
08. Salvation
09. Don't Back Away

Alan Ross - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Craig Anders - Guitar, Vocals
Pete Dennis - Bass, Vocals
Ed Spevock - Drums
John Cooke - Keyboards, Vocals

Guitarist Alan Ross played on 2 of John Entwistle's solo albums in the early 70's, "Whistle Rhymes" and "Rigor Mortis Sets In". He was also part of Entwistle's touring band during that period. In 1973, he played guitar on Tim Hardin's album "Painted Head". That same year, he formed a band called Ro-Ro with bass player Warwick Rose and they released an album called "Meet At The Water" on the Regal Zonophone label. The album is now extremely hard to find and goes on ebay for anything between GBP 200 and GBP 300. By 1974, he formed the group "Ross" with former Indian Summer keyboard player Bob Jackson. The band's career seemed to take off when they landed themselves a contract with RSO Records. They recorded 2 brilliant albums for the label, "Ross" and "The Pit And The Pendulum", released in 1974 and 1975. Eric Clapton, who was also an RSO artist toured the USA in 1974 and the Ross band was on the same bill. The band disbanded after two albums. In 1976, he appeared on the band Stars' self titled album. He released another 2 albums in 1977 and 1978, "Are You Free On Saturday" and "Restless Nights", this time for a small British label, Ebony Records under the name Alan Ross Band. In 1980, he appeared on an album by Wilson-Gale called "Gift Wrapped Set". In 1983, he played on Alexis Korner's album "Juvenile Delinquent". With the exception of a few minor session jobs in the late 80's and early 90's, Alan Ross disappeared. Alan now helps his wife run a horse sactuary in a town called Finchingfield in Essex, England.

Alan Ross - 1977 - Are You Free on Saturday Night

Alan Ross 
Are You Free on Saturday Night

01. Are You Free On Saturday
02. What You Gonna Do About It
03. Man With The White Glove
04. Mystified
05. Get The Guns
06. Nothing Gets In My Way
07. Baby Please
08. Punishment Park
09. Love Is Love

Bass, Vocals – Pete Dennis
Drums, Percussion – Ed Spevock
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Alan Ross
Keyboards, Vocals – Frank Wilson
Percussion, Vocals – Chris Fletcher

It's hard to know where to place this record. Some lovely harmony vocals - but it's also let down by a weak lead vocal.  Sometimes there's a Beach Boys feel to it.  Other times it's soft funk rock. Sometimes the guitars are full, rocking and strong, but the sound can also be a bit wimp-like on some songs.

Ross - 1974 - The Pit And The Pendelum

The Pit And The Pendelum

01. Swallow Your Dreams 4:15
02. Gotta Get It Right Back 4:19
03. Madness In Memories 5:26
04. Standing Alone 4:09
05. Discovery 4:41
06. Now I See 4:14
07. So Slow 3:59
08. The Edge 1:50
09. Nearer And Nearer 4:14
10. Free 1:00
11. I've Been Waiting 5:37
12. Oh, I'm Happy Now 2:05

Bass – Steve Emery
Drums – Tony Fernandez
Guitar – Alan Ross
Keyboards – Bob Jackson
Lead Vocals – Alan Ross, Bob Jackson (tracks: A5)

Concept albums are virtually non-existent in today’s music scene, but they were quite popular throughout the 1970s. Basically, a concept album revolves around a central theme and all songs relate to telling a story or expanding on the idea contained in the theme. One that may be most familiar to music lovers is 2112 by Rush. The whole first side follows the adventures of a rock and roll kid rebelling against a dictatorial government. The Who (Tommy), Pink Floyd (The Wall), and Genesis (The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway) are all examples of concept albums.

In the case of Ross, a mid-70s band that only released two albums before splitting, they used Edgar Allan Poe’s short story for inspiration. Published in 1842, The Pit and the Pendulum tells the story of an unidentified man that becomes prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition. He is strapped to a table and left to die via a large swinging pendulum, which has a rather nasty razor at the end, the intention being to swing until it reaches the man and divides him in half.

Sounds like a cool idea for a heavy metal album, which I thought it was when I bought it in 1974. Alas, it was but a dream within a dream. The album does have its rocking moments, but is tamer than I had hoped. It reminds me more of a band like Styx rather than the doom & gloom hard rock expected from using the dark writings of an alcoholic and drug addict.

Alan Ross was a guitarist with John Entwistle’s (The Who’s original bassist) short-lived side project Rigor Mortis. Ross left to form his own band and released his self-titled debut in 1973, then The Pit and the Pendulum in 1974. The material ranges from the quieter pieces like Swallow Your Dreams and I’ve Been Waiting to the harder riffage in Gotta Get It Right Back and So Slow. Touches of keyboards from his Rigor Mortis bandmate Bob Jackson help to color the tunes and trade off electric piano solos with Ross’ guitar licks.

Lyrically, the songs don’t help to tell the story. All you would get from the twelve songs is that someone is scared, someone doesn’t know where they are, and someone doesn’t know why they are about to die. This also raises a complaint that I level at many guitar players. Get yourself a lead singer because you can’t sing. Ross has a weak voice to begin with, and struggles to hit any higher notes outside of his three-note range. A talented singer could have taken advantage of the many melodies found here.

The album ends with an except from an unrelated Poe poem that has no use other than for the prisoner, who has escaped the pendulum, to say, “I’m happy now.” Considering the many fine poems that Poe wrote in his brief 40 years of life in this astral plane, it’s easy to see his material adapted to a concept album. Ross might have been better advised to set music to Poe’s own verses instead of trying to interpret one story in his own words.

Finally, I have to address something I found as I did research on the band. Fans of the album have posted positive reviews, which is all good because I like it as well, but we need to get our rock genre definitions straight. I have seen this album described as both “funk rock” and “progressive rock.” It sure as heck ain’t funk rock, as my idea of funk rock would be along the lines of Trapeze or the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

As far as progressive, there are three bands that define that genre: Yes, Genesis, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The arrangements on The Pit and the Pendulum do not approach that style. No long, complex instrumentals with odd time signatures, and no weird song titles like The Temple of Scrotum Parts I-IV. This is closer to AOR than what you’d find strung out over three discs. If you are a hard core E.A. Poe lover and also dig Styx and The Grand Illusion, this might be worth checking out.

Ross - 1974 - Rozz


01. Alright By Me 6:43
02. You're Looking Down A Road 4:32
03. Wherever You Go 3:56
04. Caroline 3:27
05. Changes 3:42
06. Help Me Understand 6:37
07. Blackbird 3:08
08. I Need Your Love 3:35
09. Buxton 3:57
10. Leave It All Behind You 3:54

Bass, Vocals – Steve Emery
Drums, Percussion – Tony Fernandez
Keyboards, Vocals, Strings – Bob Jackson
Lead Vocals, Guitar, Other [Filing Cabinet] – Alan Ross
Percussion – Reuben White

Ro Ro - 1972 - Meet At The Water

Ro Ro 
Meet At The Water

01. Goin’ Round My Head — 5:06
02. Beautiful Lady — 5:01
03. Something About Her — 4:37
04. Down On The Road — 2:27
05. Meet At The Water — 4:53
06. Mandala — 2:10
07. Give Me The Benefit — 5:54
08. June — 4:59
09. Wild, Wild Woman — 4:03
10. Whole Fire Burning — 5:37

Bass Guitar – Warwick Rose
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Rod Coombes
Electric Guitar – John Weider
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Neil Sheppard
Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Alan Ross
Violin – John Weider (tracks: A4)

Alan Ross gives it a go... countryrock style.

Tangerine Peel - 1970 - Soft Delights

Tangerine Peel 
Soft Delights

01. Cindy Lou
02. Soft Delights
03. Goodnight To The Nights
04. Long Long Ride
05. What Am I To Do
06. Talkin' 'Bout A New Day
07. Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie
08. To Judi
09. Leave Me Now
10. Moment I Recall

Tangerine Peel was best known during the second half of the 1960s as a five-man psychedelic band, specializing in a slightly light but pleasant brand of the music. Their principal claim to fame was the presence of future songwriter/producer Mike Chapman in their ranks during the late '60s, when they cut records such as their version of the Bee Gees' "Every Christian Lion-Hearted Man Will Show You," cut for British United Artists in 1967. Subsequent singles included "Solid Gold Mountain" and "Talking to No One" for British CBS, and "Never Say Never Again" and "Play Me a Sad Song and I'll Dance" for British MGM. Chapman left before the group recorded its one and only LP, Soft Delights, in 1970. By that time, the group had abandoned its psychedelic influences in favor of a more conventional pop/rock sound. The group's version of "Every Christian Lion-Hearted Man Will Show You" was reissued in 2004 on Castle's Maybe Someone Is Digging Underground: Songs of the Bee Gees. ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide
MIKE CHAPMAN and friends in 1970 put out a REALLY GREAT lp titled 'SOFT THOUGHTS'...this album has a wide variety of sound from pysch, heavy rock, folk, to bubblegum, this is indeed a TRUE lost gem...the lp kicks off with 'CINDY LOU'...with trashy electric guitars in top form, this song sounds like the inside of a pinball machine crunching along, with lyrics such as 'oh sweet, sweet, sweet, cindy lou, and the sweet, sweet, sweet, things you do' ! song the title track 'soft delights', a bubblegum song, sunshine pop with the trademark drum stomp,..... sounds like a cornerstone sound of MUD and SWEET,....naturally since he would produce both bands a few yrs later....
'GOODNIGHT TO THE NIGHT' changes the pace, this one is a soft folk tune with wonderful piano, that takes you to another time, another place...*...side 1 ends with 'what am i to do' with such lyrics such as 'and in front of me stands a girl who will tear and break down my world'...side 2 begins with 'TALKIN' 'BOUT A NEW DAY'...great revolutionary spirit, and the song reaches for new musical heights...every song is great including 'to judi' a love song, and the lp eds with 'MOMENTS I RECALL' where the singer travels through his memory to bring forth thoughts of wonderment,

Pop Liisa Volumes 1-6

Pop Liisa Volumes 1-6

The Pop-Liisa and Jazz-Liisa broadcast session series presents previously unreleased and forgotten gems from the biggest names of Finnish prog and jazz of the 1970's

Never bootlegged and known up until now only to a few faithful servants (and largely thought to have been lost for ever), these sessions offer a hitherto unrivalled look into the state of Finnish jazz and progressive rock between the years 1972-1977. Imagine if the sessions recorded by John Peel had only recently been discovered, and you get an idea of the cultural weight of what is being brought into the light of day here.

Originally recorded as broadcasts by YLE (the national radio service Yleisradio, ”the Finnish BBC”), the thirty-four Liisankatu sessions are a genuine who's who of Finnish prog and jazz. Interestingly, anyone with even basic knowledge of the era's biggest bands will recognize familiar names at play within these obscure bands.

As such, these sessions provide the missing link between jazz and prog, explaining through spirited performances - and largely unknown collaborations - the instrumental prowess and dexterity of these players and bands. What's best, these sessions show these exceptional bands playing for the moment in front of a hundred strong studio audience, not weighed down by the tedium of studio recording, and thus somehow miraculously managing to capture the best of both worlds: studio performances in front of a live audience.

Tasavallan Presidentti – Pop-Liisa 1

01. Lennosta Kii 19:28
02. Dance 14:28

Live at Liisankatu Studios, Helsinki.
Live broadcast on Channel 2, Wednesday September 12th, 1973, 8 PM to 8.40 PM

Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute, Piano, Electric Piano – Pekka Pöyry
Drums – Vesa Aaltonen
Electric Bass – Heikki «Häkä» Virtanen
Electric Guitar – Jukka Tolonen
Vocals, Percussion – Eero Raittinen

Jukka Hauru & Superkings – Pop-Liisa 2

01. Mai-Ling 8:38
02. Twilight Time 13:46
03. Elegy Elegio 8:34
04. Angel 9:47

Live at Liisankatu Studios, Helsinki.
Live broadcast on Channel 2, Wednesday October 10th, 1973, 8 PM to 8.40 PM.

Congas, Marimba, Glockenspiel – Reino «Reiska» Laine
Drums – Vesa Aaltonen
Electric Bass – Heikki «Häkä» Virtanen
Electric Guitar – Jukka Hauru
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Olli Ahvenlahti
Violin – Juhani Poutanen

Wigwam – Pop-Liisa 3

01. Imagine 3:42
02. Nipistys 8:46
03. Marvelry Skimmer (Friend From The Fields) 3:40
04. Fairyport 14:02
05. Grass For Blades 9:32

Live at Liisankatu Studios, Helsinki.
Live broadcast on Channel 2, Wednesday November 7th, 1973, 8 PM to 8.40 PM.

Drums – Ronnie Österberg
Electric Bass – Pekka Pohjola
Vocals, Electric Piano – Jim Pembroke
Vocals, Organ – Jukka Gustavson

Taivaanvuohi – Pop-Liisa 4

Drop Drag 4:48
Shedding 8:27
Gloom / Muukalaiset Yössä 5:17
Forward Bound 10:02
Orange County Lumber Truck 6:50

Live at Liisankatu Studios, Helsinki.
Live broadcast on Channel 2, Wednesday December 5th, 1973, 8 PM to 8.40 PM.

Alto Saxophone, Flute – Pertti «Pepa» Päivinen
Drums – Ismo Räisänen
Electric Bass – Urpo Siitonen
Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals – Sami Hurmerinta
Hosted By – Erkki «Unde» Lehtola
Vocals – Tarmo Rosenlund

Jukka Hauru / Nono Söderberg – Pop Liisa 05

01. Jukka Hauru Günther Angst, Parts 1-6 17:06
02. Nono Söderberg Tide 8:24
03. Nono Söderberg Seagull 10:27

Recorded live at Liisankatu Studios, Helsinki, Finland.
Live broadcast on Channel two,
Wednesday, December 15th, 1976, 8 PM to 8.40 PM.

Double Bass – Tapani Tamminen
Drums – Esko Rosnell
Electric Guitar – Jukka Hauru
Music By – Jukka Hauru
Percussion – Ari Valtonen
Piano – Eero Ojanen
Violin – Juhani Poutanen

Clavinet [Hohner] – Esa Kotilainen (tracks: B2)
Congas – Esa «Nätsi» Roswall
Drums – Roope Koistinen
Electric Bass – Harri Merilahti
Electric Guitar – Nono Söderberg
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Esa Kotilainen (tracks: B2)
Percussion – Esa «Nätsi» Roswall (tracks: B1)
Producer – Juha Nikulainen
Soprano Saxophone – Reijo «Takku» Ylinen (tracks: B1 to B2)
Synthesizer [Moog] – Esa Kotilainen (tracks: B1 to B2)
Synthesizer [String] – Esa Kotilainen (tracks: B2)

Finnforest / Elonkorjuu – Pop Liisa 06

01. Finnforest Odd Tale 10:19
02. Finnforest Juan 8:22
03. Elonkorjuu Hey Brother 4:40
04. Elonkorjuu Yours Tonight 5:15
05. Elonkorjuu Rolling Down The Highway 7:36

Recorded live at Liisankatu Studios, Helsinki, Finland.
Live broadcast on Channel two,
Wednesday, January 23rd, 1977, 8 PM to 8.40 PM.

Perti Pokki – Fender Rhodes electric piano, ARP Odyssey synthesizer
Pekka Tegelman – electric guitar
Jarmo Hiekala – electric bass
Jussi Tegelman – drums

Kari Tamienen – vocals
Juha Unkila – tenor saxophone
Pekka Tyni – electric piano
Jukka Syrenius – electric guitar
Veli-Pekka Pessi – electric bass, backing vocals
Veikko Noutio – drums