Words and Music Joe Viglione (ASCAP) Copyright (C)1985 Var Music Publishing BMI
got in from watching Law and Order SVU and the Chris Meloni one, the “filming” on both, way too dark. SVU needed some balance, one of the weaker story lines (they’ve been pretty good, lately) and the “feel” not what has kept the audience coming back.
with Dennis Lehane
with Felix Cavaliere
with Dr. Ruth
with Brad Meltzer
with Mick Taylor, Rolling Stone
with Burton Cummings
Published in the Book ALL MUSIC GUIDE TO ROCK https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-book-of-taliesyn-mw0000195135
The Book of Taliesyn Review
by Joe Viglione [-]
Several months after the innovative remake of “You Keep Me Hanging On,” England’s answer to Vanilla Fudge was this early version of Deep Purple, which featured vocalist Rod Evans, and bassist Nick Simper, along with mainstays Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice. This, their second album, followed on the heels of “Hush,” a dynamic arrangement of a Joe South tune, far removed from the flavor of one of his own hits, “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.” Four months later, this album’s cover of Neil Diamond‘s Top 25, 1967 gem “Kentucky Woman,” went Top 40 for Deep Purple. Also like Vanilla Fudge, the group’s own originals were creative, thought-provoking, but not nearly as interesting as their take on cover tunes. Vanilla Fudge did “Eleanor Rigby,” and Deep Purple respond by going inside “We Can Work It Out” — it falls out of nowhere after the progressive rock jam “Exposition,” Ritchie Blackmore‘s leads zipping in between Rod Evans smooth and precise vocals. As Vanilla Fudge was progressively leaning more towards psychedelia, here Deep Purple are the opposite. The boys claim to be inspired by the Bard of King Arthur’s court in Camelot, Taliesyn. John Vernon Lord, under the art direction of Les Weisbrich, paints a superb wonderland on the album jacket, equal to the madness of Hieronymous Bosch‘s cover painting used for the third album. Originals “The Shield” and “Anthem” make early Syd Barrett Pink Floyd appear punk in comparison. Novel sounds are aided by Lord‘s dominating keyboards, a signature of this group.
Though “The Anthem” is more intriguing than the heavy metal thunder of Machine Head, it is overwhelmed by the majesty of their “River Deep, Mountain High” cover, definitely not the inspiration for the Supremes and Four Tops 1971 hit version. By the time 1972 came around, Deep Purple immersed themselves in dumb lyrics, unforgettable riffs, and a huge presence, much like Black Sabbath. The evolution from progressive to hard rock was complete, but a combination of what they did here — words that mattered matched by innovative musical passages — would have been a more pleasing combination. Vanilla Fudge would cut Donovan‘s “Season of the Witch,” Deep Purple followed this album by covering his “Lalena”; both bands abandoned the rewrites their fans found so fascinating. Rod Evans‘ voice was subtle enough to take “River Deep, Mountain High” to places Ian Gillam might have demolished.
Song Review by Joe Viglione [-]
Deep Purple’s phenomenal version of “Hush”, written by country/pop songwriter Joe South, took the Vanilla Fudge style of slowing a song down and bluesing it up another step, venturing into the domain of psychedelic heavy metal. Covered by Kula Shaker in the 1997 film I Know What You Did Last Summer other versions were recorded by Billy Joe Royal, Gotthard , former Ritchie Blackmore lead vocalist Joe Lynn Turner on his 1997 Under Cover album of song interpretations and even John Mellencamp. But once the tune received this rendition’s indellible stamp no one could touch it again, not even the songwriter. South’s
lyrics are highly suggestive, beyond Van Morrison’s “Gloria”, straight into Louie, Louie” territory with: “She’s got a loving like quicksand… It blew my mind and I’m in so deep/That I can’t eat, y’all, and I can’t sleep.” Or as Aimee Mann sang, hush hush because voices carried this one right by the censors with Jon Lord’s quagmire of thick chaotic keyboard sound meshed with Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar. Tetragrammaton Records single #1503 went Top 5 in August of 1968, 4:11 as originally released on the Shades Of Deep Purple album, 4:26 on Rhino’s 2000 reissue The Very Best Of Deep Purple. Imagine a fuzz box on the organ in a church cathedral to get the intensity of the opening chords, a sound stolen less than two years later by Detroit’s Frijid Pink with their rendition of “House Of The Rising Sun”. Frijid Pink, however, couldn’t get the intense rhythmic nuances of original bassist Nic Simper and drummer Ian Paice, not to mention Rod Evans haunting vocal. “Smoke On The Water” equaled this song’s chart position five years later, and might have made a bigger impact, but there’s no denying that Deep Purple in its original progressive pop form was a far more dynamic and literate band. “Hush” remains their most cosmic moment, a truly unique blend of converging 60’s styles preferable to connoisseurs of stuff that found itself on the Nuggets compilation lp. This track was conspicuous in its absence.
The Beat Goes On Review
by Joe Viglione [-]
The expanded CD release of this second Vanilla Fudge album is much more accessible than the original vinyl version because of the inclusion of a number of cover tunes, most notably Beatles songs. The revealing liner notes that Sundazed project manager Tim Livingston adds to the reissues of these Atco albums helps put this influential band in a better light. The Beat Goes On is a difficult record, especially after the explosion that was their debut. The single from their previous album, Vanilla Fudge, originally charted in the Top 100 in the U.S. in 1967. (Britain was more hip to the group.) They finally hit in America in the summer of 1968, but had already begun to influence Deep Purple and the Rotary Connection, among others. The problem with this project is that they failed to influence themselves. Bassist Tim Bogert notes that “The Beat Goes On was the album that killed the band,” while guitarist Vinny Martell adds “we had already started our second album when Shadow (Morton) had this other concept idea for The Beat Goes On.” Morton had produced the Shangri Las, not the Beatles, and this creative effort was by a group with only two hit singles arriving on the scene around the time of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Morton set before the boys a daunting task which needed much, much better execution. Renaissance, which they were recording simultaneous with this, at least included a Donovan tune, “Season of the Witch.” The exotic wandering would have been better served by a reworking of “Strawberry Fields Forever” across a side of the disc instead of the keyboard notes which reference the tune. Even a killer guitar version of “The Beat Goes On” would have been more exciting than “18th Century Variations on a Theme by Mozart” or noodlings that can’t decide if they are “Chatanooga Choo Choo” or “Theme to the Match Game.” For a group of impressionable young kids out of high school, as referenced in the liners, this must’ve been extremely rough. The expanded CD has jam session versions of Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” and the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine,” “She Loves You,” “Day Tripper,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and “You Can’t Do That.” Any of these extended à la “Eleanor Rigby” from their debut would be more desirable than the interview-type questions about sex; the Beatles’ interest in “Indian meditation” (sitar enters here, and how would the VF know?); audio newsclips of John F. Kennedy, Hitler, and others, all a very strong argument against artistic control for some producers. Exploring the initial ideas that brought them fame was what was expected of Vanilla Fudge. What would you rather hear, readings from The Bible or the single from January 1968, “The Look of Love” b/w “Where Is My Mind”? Thankfully, Sundazed has included the Bacharach/David tune and two additional Mark Stein titles, “All in Your Mind” and the aforementioned B side, “Where Is My Mind,” on the expanded Renaissance album, the real follow-up to the Vanilla Fudge debut. Historically important, listening to this archive piece is truly a labor of love, with the emphasis on labor.
1968 2nd release that year RENAISSANCE https://www.allmusic.com/album/renaissance-mw0000675393
by Joe Viglione [-]
What made Vanilla Fudge so intriguing was how they and producer Shadow Morton mutated hit songs by stretching the tempo to slow motion so exquisite that even an overexposed song by the Supremes sounded new on the radio. The formula worked fine on covers, but despite their collective talent, the material they composed on Renaissance feels more like psychedelic meeting progressive and has less of that commercial magic. Renaissance is a concept album, produced and directed by Shadow Morton, the man who brought you the Shangri-Las and who produced the second album for the New York Dolls. With a long poem by Carl DeAngelis on the back cover and an amazing construction of a Mount Rushmore-type set of statues of the band members on the front, sculpted in the stars away from Earth, the band moved into an arena yearned for by Iron Butterfly and Rare Earth: respectability. Carmine Appice‘s “Faceless People” is the band’s standard sound on an unfamiliar tune. While it is highly listenable, not the tedious chore lesser music in lesser hands becomes, Top 40 could hardly respond to an epic like that or “The Sky Cried When I Was a Boy.” This is the punk version of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and there should have been a bigger market for it on FM radio. Singer Mark Stein and Tim Bogert compose a prototype that bands like Uriah Heep should have embraced. Calvin Schenkel’s “The Spell That Comes After” offers more than the band’s originals, though Vince Martell’s fuzz guitar on “The Sky Cried” meeting the superb vocals suspended somewhere above it all makes for a nice musical sandwich; their name far more appropriate than the trendy-for-the-time vibe Vanilla Fudge suggests. Martell’s “Thoughts” is eerily cosmic and spaced — his creativity seemed kept in check by the band, which is a pity; his early 1980 demos without the group evidence that his contributions were essential, despite the fame Bogert and Appice would find. Renaissance is a solid, albeit typical, release from this innovative group. Sundazed has re-released Renaissance with three additional tracks. The cover of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” does more with those two famous chords than most. It is a highlight and proves that covers should have been evenly matched with the originals on these early discs. That’s what got them the audience in the first place, and reinvention is what they did best.
Rock & Roll Review
by Joe Viglione [-]
Vanilla Fudge took a more basic stance with Rock ‘n’ Roll, bringing in Aerosmith’s first and the Velvet Underground’s last producer, Adrian Barber, to replace Shadow Morton. Guitarist Vinnie Martell sings lead on “Need Love,” and it is a quagmire of rock sounds, offset by Mark Stein‘s “Lord in the Country.” The band then goes after a good but non-hit Carole King/Gerry Goffin number, “I Can’t Make It Alone.” It has that vibe that made “Take Me for a Little While” so important and so timeless, but there’s just something missing. This is Vanilla Fudge‘s trademark sound looking for a new personality. The band started in 1967 by releasing an album of seven cover tunes done Vanilla Fudge-style. Along with Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and a handful of other bands, their sound helped shape Top 40 radio in the ’60s while heavily influencing Deep Purple and what that group would do for the ’70s. “Street Walking Woman” is OK, and that’s the problem with Rock ‘n’ Roll, the album is a picture of a band trying to grow and emerge from the shadow of what initially launched them — a familiar problem in rock & roll. The Sundazed CD contains original mixes of “Sweet Talking Woman” and “The Windmills of Your Mind,” the latter adapted from Dusty Springfield’s hit theme to the film The Thomas Crown Affair. Covers like “The Windmills of Your Mind” are what the band was all about, and this version is grunge, hard rock, that style you know Ritchie Blackmore and company copped for their ride into fame. A 19-minute-and-57-second unreleased studio track, “Break Song” is attached to what was already a 39-minute-and-44-second vinyl LP. That is one full hour of Vanilla Fudge, and Sundazed must be commended for helping put history in order. Still, Rock & Roll bares the strengths and weaknesses of this great ensemble, the weaknesses fully exposed on the 1984 “reunion” LP which pushes Vinny Martell into the background and redesigned the band’s sound. The strengths are found in their ability to pour passions into other people’s already established songs. Just listen to the drums pound away six and a half minutes into “The Windmills of Your Mind,” while the keyboard slashes like a guitar. It’s the Young Rascals meet Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground, a sublime blend. It’s just too bad sampling wasn’t in vogue back then; Dusty Springfield’s voice would have been the frosting on the cake. The point of “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody,” keyboardist Mark Stein dueting with drummer Carmine Appice, cannot be discerned. It’s OK, but sounds bare, and cries out for Shadow Morton‘s direction. They certainly push the band into a harder direction, but that twinkle in the eye that is the first Vanilla Fudge album seems to have evaporated except for the Carole King and Dusty Springfield covers. The cleancut young men who covered Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” in 1967 were not the brash musicians who tracked Mayfield’s “I’m So Proud” in 1973 with Jeff Beck. Rock & Roll captures the band as it was disintegrating, and the long bonus track, “Break Song,” is noteworthy, not for musical value, but to show the self-indulgence which would overtake what was an earth-shaking concept. It’s a delicious slice of nostalgia for hardcore fans and musicologists, but the general public might want to stick with a greatest hits package.
1969 Near the Beginning
Near the Beginning Review
by Joe Viglione [-]
Near the Beginning is an excellent title for this self-produced Vanilla Fudge recording. The fourth of five albums recorded during 1967, 1968, and 1969, the band themselves worked to get closer to what made them very special. What made them special was their treatment of other people’s material. Reworking Junior Walker’s 1965 hit is interesting, especially with engineers like Tony Bongiovi and Eddie Kramer to throw ideas at. Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood went Top 30 with “Some Velvet Morning,” and that is more in line with the Fudge’s debut than re-assembling Motown again. The problem with “Shotgun” is that it is pretty much the same tempo, with their big sound and added intensity being the difference. “Some Velvet Morning,” on the other hand, is more Black Sabbath than Ozzie and crew covering Crow’s “Evil Woman.” The performance dangles in mid-air, the vocals deliver eeriness, the stuff Deep Purple jumped on a year after Vanilla Fudge made Great Britain stand at attention, and the sound is quintessential Fudge. “Some Velvet Morning” makes for a very great album track, but as “near” to the beginning as these guys got, without production they just don’t get back to the chart action garnered by the sublime “Take Me for a Little While” and the immortal “You Keep Me Hanging On.” Carmine Appice‘s “Where Is the Happiness” is a band learning how to write in public. There is no doubt how talented all these fellows were, but “Where Is the Happiness” sounds like an extension of “Some Velvet Morning” and breaks no new ground. Twenty-three minutes and 23 seconds of a live track, “Break Song” was written by the bandmembers and recorded at the Shrine in Los Angeles. It certainly works better than Ted Nugent & the Amboy Dukes’ Survival of the Fittest Live a year after this was released, but not by much. Overly self-indulgent, there is yet again another drum solo from the period on record. Putting up with drum solos in concert is bad enough, but with Ted Nugent and Vanilla Fudge making a point to show off their musicianship, it became tiresome. Why blame Iron Butterfly when the real fault is no one listened to the 45 rpm version of “In a Gadda Da Vida”? By forgetting that Vanilla Fudge was a singles band, the whole reason the audience was buying tickets gets lost in the expressive nature of young artists dealing with fame and the record industry. “Good Good Livin’,” a previously unreleased long version written by all four members of the group, is heaviness they would explore with Adrian Barber on the Rock & Roll album, and unfortunately expand upon with their reunion in 1984, continuing to drift away from their beginnings. The single version of “Shotgun” is included on the extended CD, as is the 45 rpm “People” written by Vinny Martell, Carmine Appice, Tim Bogert, and Mark Stein. An interesting transitional record with some high points, and worth adding to your collection.
1984 Mystery with Jeff Beck
by Joe Viglione [-]
Quiet Riot‘s producer gives Vanilla Fudge — whom producer Shadow Morton discovered in the late ’60s — a “bang your head” onslaught of big hair drums, compressed guitar, and tired homogenization. The fun psychedelic distortion of Vinny Martell is totally stripped away — he is relegated to rhythm guitar on one song and backing vocals on three. That is a total travesty. It is one thing to have the leader of Beck, Bogert & Appice, one Jeff Beck, funk up “My World Is Empty,” even under the disguise of J. Toad (shades of George Harrison in his L’Angelo Mysterioso garb), but this version of the Supremes is so far removed from what made Vanilla Fudge so special that, really, it should be included as a bonus track on a reissue of the 1973 Epic debut Beck, Bogert & Appice. One Ron Mancuso is listed under Martell in the credits, but he is the hip guitarist recruited for this calculated disc to replace Martell. His name might be in small print, but his sound is what is splashed all over this veteran group’s comeback attempt. Proffer takes the once angelic voices and puts them through his machinery to come up with something that could be Patty Smyth‘s Scandal or even 38 Special. Clearly, this wasn’t an attempt at former glories, but a stab at reinventing the band instead of putting their trademark arrangements on familiar tunes. This is everything fans of ’60s music hate about the ’80s. Whether it is the first track, “Golden Age Dreams,” or the decent cover of Dionne Warwick‘s “Walk on By,” or the song that took seven writers to compose, “Don’t Stop Now,” the drumbeat is incessant and is more Quiet Riot than Fudge. The worst track is probably “Hot Blood,” which is Scott Sheets, Mark Stein, and Carmine Appice totally ripping off the chorus of Foreigner‘s 1978 hit “Hot Blooded.” You can rest assured they would’ve been sued if this album sold, but where the covers are amusing, and some of the originals show sparks of ingenuity, “Hot Blood” is so bad that most bar bands would balk before sending it to an A&R man. That this was released on Foreigner‘s own label is even more appalling. The song that follows, “The Stranger,” thankfully does not cop Billy Joel‘s riffs — it is interesting because of the use of Vanilla Fudge‘s slow pace combined with metal of the day. Had the band gone totally heavy metal with this, perhaps taking a Black Sabbath signature tune like “Paranoid” and making it sound like their second Top 40 hit, the eternal “Take Me for a Little While,” much of this could be excused. But “The Stranger”‘s early promise quickly descends into a parody that makes it sound like a Spinal Tap outtake. For musicians who launched Cactus and who could lure Jeff Beck into this quagmire (maybe the reason he goes incognito here is for artistic rather than contractual reasons), it sure sounds like they took Ahmet Ertegun‘s money and ran. “Golden Age Dreams” is a clone of Loverboy‘s 1981 hit sound for “Turn Me Loose.” So this new incarnation of Vanilla Fudge turned to imitating what was current rather than putting a refreshing stamp and change on contemporary records. What the original Fudge and Shadow Morton would’ve have done was take Fabian’s 1959 hit, Turn Me Loose, and have it melt into an eight-minute-plus saga that contorts until it has a re-birth as a slowed down version of the Loverboy title. Someone should re-release this on CD with the Vinny Martell demos from this period. His demo tapes have a charm and sparkle that is absent on this disc. “Jealousy” might boast Jeff Beck, but it is flavored with the Jefferson Starship’s “Jane” and “Find Your Way Back” riffs. Their success with this venture would have been assured had they given the Starship tune “Jane” that original Vanilla Fudge treatment, performed it at the pace of the title track here, “Mystery,” and let Marty Balin sing the lead. Balin was practicing “Jane” before he jumped ship from the Starship — it would have been a coup, and could have made all the difference in the world. It would have been a relief from the labor that listening to the track “It Gets Stronger” is. Nothing on early Vanilla Fudge is as difficult as this experiment.
White Out Review
by Joe Viglione [-]
Verbow is quite a find. In this world of derivative pop, the songs and performance of Jason Narducy have a personal stamp that begs repeated listenings, and an edge to move this music beyond the ordinary drone. “Dying Sun” is a neat sci-fi blitz with odd guitars, kind of like U2 submerged in water. The lyrics suggest Brian Wilson overdosing on Bob Dylan‘s “New Morning” rather than — as legend has it — “Be My Baby” on his tape loop. Alison Chesley‘s cellos give Verbow a distinct flavor — something pioneer John Cale has infused into his live shows: the string quartet. There’s an element of Cale-meets-Tracy Bonham: not power pop, but powerful pop. Bam. Just when “Dying Sun” has you lulled into one mood, “New History” continues the sentiment, upping the ante with more subdued energy and lyrics that are beyond Patti Smith — maybe more like a psychedelic Janis Ian. Couple those lyrics with a wall of sound and really charged production by producer/engineer Brad Wood, and you have a cosmic pop disc that deserves attention. “I’ll Never Live By My Father’s Dreams” is woven into this fabric (excellent song placement), kind of like a lost Tommy James riff coated with British psychedelia. “Four Channel Town” is another tune driven by a pop riff, a nice change of pace from the subdued “Garden.” Narducy’s vocals cut right through all the madness, a good contrast to the elegant musicianship. And playing rock this hard “elegantly” is not easy. Verbow has a driving vibe without a formula, which is unusual — maybe 50 paces to the left of Oasis. The band’s originality may keep it in the underground. That would be a shame. Music this good can educate the masses, but the glass ceiling created by commercial radio tends to keep sounds like this nice ‘n rare.
Coming Attractions: Moonfall Feb 3 2022 https://clubbohemianews.blogspot.com/2022/02/moonfall-film-reviewstay-tuned.html
Record Producer Joe Viglione’s first e.p., The Salt Water Summers, was a “best record of the month” in Phonograph Record Magazine, “Record of the Month” in L’Attendant Magazine/Belgium in 1976 and garnered Joe a position as one of the 5 best Boston bands in Playboy Magazine, 1977.
His work with Unnatural Axe is legendary in punk circles, the “Hitler’s Brain” e.p. going for hundreds of dollars on the collector’s circuit. The song was re-released on Rhino/Atlantic. Joe was also the “Production Consultant” on the “Lest We Forget” live album from The Buzzcocks on R.O.I.R..
As business partner with the late Jimmy Miller the team co-produced the legendary Buddy Guy including performances with Genya Ravan, Joe Perry and Nils Lofgren. Joe negotiated the recording contract for The Mannish Boys with Motown/USA, signed Willie “Loco” Alexander to New Rose/RCA Records in Paris, signed Johnny Thunders (produced by Jimmy Miller) to New Rose/Musidisc, signed Marty Balin and the band Spirit to GWE Records (a division of CD Review Magazine), helped SPIRIT negotiate their Time Circle retrospective with Epic/Sony.
Production work over the years with Jo Jo Laine, Bonnie Bramlett, Marty Balin of the Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship, Randy California and Spirit (edit of the song “Compromise” as well as shopping the band to A & R in New York, 1994) and Bobby Hebb along with over 31 compilations of music is only part of the resume and history of the Varulven label.
Marty Balin: Live On The Boston Esplanade – June 14, 2008 – is currently out worldwide on Music Video Distributors. Joe is currently working on multiple documentaries
A Publicity Company
Demo That Got The Deal ™ Radio
Listen to Non-Visual Radio Friday nights 8 pm on www.activatemedia.org
a few quotes:
Established in 1976, the Boston Globe calls Joe Viglione “Boston’s hardest working underground impresario.” WBCN Program Director stated “The hardest working man in Boston Rock and Roll” at a dinner with Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks.
Former business partner and former #1 DJ in Boston when he was at WZLX, Harvey Wharfield wrote this: Thu, Feb 3 2022 at 9:56 AM “Joe…Whoever coined the phrase” “The hardest working man in show business !”NEVER FORESAW A GUY LIKE YOU !”
DJ Lou Spinnazola on the 2 part Jimi Hollis interview: 8 pm Friday Feb 4 2022 “What a great interview. You guys are great together. Joe is a fascinating guy who truly loves music. He’s an encyclopedia of music and an inspiration to dig deep into more music. And I am blown away at you guys mentioning me in the interview. I am flattered at all the kind words! “
I love the chemistry you and Joe have got going. Joe is such an amazing guy. He’s always busy doing what he loves. The way he’s rattling off the names and relationships is going to take more listens to get all the gems. Outstanding! Thanks for a great interview, guys!” Lou Spinnazola
ALVIN LEE’S ZOOM!
Alvin Lee, George Harrison and Deep Purple’s Jon Lord…such an HONOR to work this CD! Top 25 regionally in Billboard, 1992, when they had regional charts! Thanks to WBCN, WCGY, WBOS!
Promotion by Joe Viglione, A & R Northeast, Domino Records, NYC 1992
Legendary Bobby Hebb, composer of “Sunny,” co-writer A Natural Man, Grammy-winner, genius, and good friend.
YOU’VE GOT ONE HELL OF A PUBLICIST”
IMPRESARIO BILL MILLER…
THE MAN WHO BROUGHT ELVIS TO VEGAS
FATHER OF ROLLING STONES PRODUCER
SEE JUST SOME OF JV’S WORK OVER THE PAST 46 YEARS
… from Bon Jovi’s first Boston show to Tesla’s SIGNS on Geffen Records, Extreme when they were The Dream, to Rolling Stone Mick Taylor’s Stranger in This Town CD and Hard Rock Cafe Show, Alvin Lee of Ten Years After with George Harrison and Deep Purple’s Jon Lord, and so many more, Ian Lloyd’s Stories, Spanky and Our Gang, Buzzy Linhart and Moogy Klingman writers of “(You Got to Have) FRIENDS” (Bette Midler’s signature tune,) Moulty and the Barbarians release of rare music on my Varulven label and Moulty’s p.r. for The TAMI show DVD (featuring Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Supremes, Lesley Gore, etc,) Rusty Kershaw with Neil Young, Mercury and Pye singer Jo Jo Laine and The Firm featuring Sting and Andy Summers of The Police (Jo Jo on PYE)…as well as Ray Fenwick of Fancy (Jo Jo on Mercury,) Denny Laine of the Moody Blues/McCartney and Wings (Hard Rock Cafe show in Boston,) Danny Klein of the platinum-selling J Geils Band, Moe Tucker and Willie Alexander of The Velvet Underground, Grammy winner Bobby “Sunny” Hebb, legendary platinum songwriter Harriet Schock produced by Beach Boys/Andre Previn producer Nik Venet, legendary blues singer Genya Ravan, Ferron, Theresa Trull and Barbara Higbie, opened for Phranc (Gay Pride Worcester, 1998,) represented and promoted Spirit Featuring Randy California and Ed Cassidy and their TIME CIRCLE on Epic/Sony, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Artist Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship, Wayne Wadhams and The Fifth Estate (the highest charting Wizard of Oz song in the 1960s with “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”) John Mooney with Ivan Neville, Hubert Sumlin (with Keith Richards, David Johansen, Levon Helm, James Cotton, Eric Clapton) …production and promotion of Grammy Winner Buddy Guy (1986/1987) featuring Nils Lofgren, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Genya Ravan, promoted Tony Rocks – guitarist for Jonzun Crew and on record — New Kids on the Block, Peter Wolf —both featuring the magic of Tony Rocks, managed Michael Jonzun’s Mission Control studio in 1988 (New Kids, Jonzun Crew) working with Bonnie Bramlett (of Delaney and Bonnie) and Danny Sheridan, as well as Nu Cliche and Pure Passion; production consultant on a Buzzcocks live album featuring Pete Shelley on R.O.I.R. cassettes, edited Willie Alexander’s Greatest Hits with Karen Kane at Euphoria for New Rose Records, promotion for Australia Sun Records (Audioscam featuring Brian Pitcher and Brad Wallace, David Hudson with Irene Cara (of 80’s hits “Fame,” Flashdance (What a Feeling) notoriety,) Jamaican artists Spanner Banner (brother of Richie Spice, Meta and the Cornerstones, as well as New York’s Stacie Rose, Peter Calo and many, many more, of course. Built “Sunny: The Bobby Hebb Story” boxed set over a five year period. Write content for http://www.bobbyhebbstudio.com
CHECK OUT BOBBY HEBB'S HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT (AND FUN) WEBSITE EDITED BY JOE VIGLIONE
Quoted in New York Times (Hendrix) Boston Globe (Hendrix) Radio & Records (Ian Hunter’s Rant)
The Demo That Got the Deal Radio Show ™
#JoeViglioneMedia has promoted some of the greatest rock and roll artists in history.
Boston RR Anthology #21 Now at retail http://joeviglione.com/?p=1796
with Mick Taylor, Rolling Stone
with Burton Cummings, The Guess Who
with Dennis Lehane, author
with Felix Cavaliere, the Rascals
Rob Gronkowski, Bob Hydlburg and Joe Viglione
with Peter Noone, Herman’s Hermits
actress Felicity Jones, Star Wars Director Drake Doremus
on Visual Radio
with Sarah Karloff, daughter of Boris Karloff
with Brad Meltzer @ BookExpo
with Judge Bob Somma Editor of Fusion Magazine
with Dr. Ruth
with Anthony James, actor
with Norman Greenbaum Spirit in the Sky in Malden
49th Show @ The Paradise with Denny Dias of Steely Dan/guitar John Morelli of Cyndi Lauper/drums
1985 Joe Viglione promoted Bon Jovi’s first Boston show in Paradise with Jet Screamer, Smuggler and Dorian Grey
Harvey Wharfield (blue jacket,) Paul Lemieux (white shirt, red tie,) both of WZLX radio. I was Mr. Wharfield’s business partner at Mentor Music Group, and when he went to WCGY I produced the Boston Music Showcase (from 1991-1993,) was ad rep for CGY and consultant to PD Steve Becker.
Jo Jo Laine gives Hard Rock Cafe a GOLD record award from WINGS, “With a Little Luck” (P. McCartney)
with Henry Alex Rubin, Director
Author Dennis Lehane returns to Visual Radio
Joe Viglione @ The Paradise Paul Lovell on guitar
Joe Harvard, Frank Rowe, Joe Vig Builders of Boston Music Scene
Photo Joe V 9/10/21 York Beach Maine
Harriet Schock Platinum album for Helen Reddy’s Greatest Hits, I had the honor of working promotion on Harriet’s ROSEBUD CD produced by Nik Venet https://harrietschock.com/songwriter/
JV Recorded the Second to Last Show of Velvet Underground May 27 ’73
Moe Tucker’s first solo 45 ever, and subsequent E.P. released on Varulven 1980, 1985 Another View. That was my title hijacked by Polygram for the follow-up to VU
In 1995 I managed Spirit’s Ed Cassidy and Randy California. Connected EPIC Records with Randy for the release of TIME CIRCLE
JV put the Nature’s Way E.P. together with Randy and Ed via CD Review Magazine’s Wayne Green
LINER NOTES TO DIFFERENT ALBUMS
ANDY PRATT’S FIRST ALBUM ON POLYDOR, RECORDS ARE LIKE LIFE
RECORDS ARE LIKE LIFE Liner Notes
24-4015 Stereo, Records Like Life, was produced by Andy Pratt and
Aengus for Amphion Productions, Inc. It’s an eight song collection
clocking in at a little over thirty-nine minutes featuring “Bella
Bella”, a tune that was part of Andy’s live set, and the title track
“Records + Records (Records Are Like Life)” . In a June 1976 review of
Peter Herbst published in The Boston Phoenix he states “1971’s RECORDS ARE LIKE LIFE (Polydor) stirred nary a ripple and is now lost to time (though Pratt has recently regained the masters)” while a July 3 1973 published interview with Ben Gerson notes: “After college came RECORDS ARE LIKE LIFE, the master of which Pratt’s shrewd manager Nat Weiss has
purchased from Polydor in order to avoid Polydor’s capitalizing on Andy’s Columbia success by re-releasing it. Now Pratt, Weiss, and his producer ex-Earth Opera John Nagy can decide what they wish to do with it –re-release it themselves, re-cut some of the songs, or forget about it. ” “It may be a masterpiece, it may be swill” ” ponders Andy’s road manager Buzzy. ” “Whatever it is, we own it.” ” Earlier in the interview Gerson begins the piece by saying “For the past three years Andy Pratt has been an intriguing local rumor, having release in 1970 a Polydor album entitled RECORDS ARE LIKE LIFE whose 5,000 copies soon wound up in the
It was these
early articles which put the fan on a mission: this writer had to find
this lost artifact. In the days before Ebay and Gemm sites on the web
which bring little record stores from around the world into your home
via the world wide web one had to sift through hundreds of recordings
in dozens of stores before uncovering hidden treasure. And RECORDS ARE
LIKE LIFE lives up to expectations – it is a tremendous early work by
Andy Pratt adorned with an off-white cover featuring a cherub on a
frosty jungle high wire on a mountainside with sun rays
shooting down at a right to left angle. No credit is given to the cover artist, though a David Jenks photo with three musicians starting with a very young Andy Pratt is itself a work of art, the youthful faces peer out from the back cover in single file, but placed perfectly in the square. Drums and percussion by Rick Shlosser, Bill Elliot providing a bass and vocal on “Mindy” as well as a string arrangement on “Low Tide Island” with a Steve Crump guitar on “Bella Bella” Hindsight is always 20/20, and with over thirty years since this work was created and released, it is easy to speculate – the record should have been left in circulation – Polydor “capitalizing” on Andy’s Columbia success could only help him build a following – when Sonny And Cher found their 1964 recording “Baby Don’t Go” resurrected and going Top 10 just six weeks after their
breakthrough hit, “I Got You Babe” hit #1, it helped make them the hottest of commodities. It would be a year and a half until they hit the Top 10 again – so that early record not only provided them with momentum for concert performances, it has made their Greatest Hit collections so much more fun. And as the Grateful Dead learned through allowing tape
trading, the more material the fans have, the bigger the following. Again, this fan becoming obsessed with finding a copy (he actually found three, two with a cover, one with just an inner sleeve), proves that when the public hears a sound they like, is turned on to an artist who
makes a positive impact in their lives, they want more of his/her work. They want to explore the sound and the individual crafting that sound. This fan also recorded Pratt at Paul’s Mall and taped his concert at that venue off of the radio. “Avenging Annie” opened doors for Andy
Pratt, and to this day people remember how amazing its sound was, but how it lent itself so well to radio. “Bella Bella” would have been the perfect follow-up on a production which has the same flavor as the Columbia disc, much more so than the refined Arif Mardin productions
that are RESOLUTION and SHIVER IN THE NIGHT and the Eddy Offord (Yes –
Emerson, Lake and Palmer) gloss of MOTIVES. In another interview from THE REAL PAPER
printed in 1976 around the time of the August 29th free concert on City Hall Plaza in Boston, it is said of the artist in regards to this album that it is something “he now denies nearly categorically.” Wow. Times change, and over three decades have elapsed since Andy Pratt
recorded this rare and beautiful gem of a disc. The fan who sought out the pearl of great price had the honor of having his review published on AMG as well as Rolling Stone.com. In that review the disc is called “a lost treasure. This is Pratt at his most innocent, with vocals that sound otherworldly and songwriting that is way ahead of its time.” The review also describes Andy as a ( more orthodox) “doppelgänger” of pianist/vocalist Willie “Loco” Alexander
and goes on to describe the songs – citing “Wet Daddy,” “a charming guitar/percussion ditty”, “Oliver” an indication of where Pratt would take his music: elegant piano, double-tracked vocals, and a unique melody and “Low Tide Island” “a truly extraordinary (and haunting) song with the ttitle track bringing things back to the jazz/pop that is Andy Pratt’s forte. The decade after this music was made saw the music business becoming more business than music. With manufactured sound as well as fabricated artists proliferating like snowflakes a work such as RECORDS ARE LIKE LIFE can be viewed for exactly what it is, a pure artistic statement that continues to entertain – and that is more useful than much of the material being forced on the market today. It has stood the test of time. If the Columbia album was the Messiah of Andy Pratt’s work, RECORDS ARE LIKE LIFE is its John The Baptist. The references are not made as a nod to Pratt’s Christian albums, only to put this collection of songs in its proper context. The Andy Pratt album on Columbia is a major work that has yet to get its due. It is worthy of a Grammy, and RECORDS ARE LIKE LIFE is the work that came directly before it. There is much insight into the artist on this recording. Buzzy Linhart (no relation to Pratt’s aforementioned road manager referenced above), co-author of Bette Midler’s theme song, “(You Got To Have) Friends” – Top 40 in November of 1973, fell in love with the title of
this album when he heard about it on the phone in April of 2003, when these liner notes were being composed. Both men were flirting with major success in 1973, and both are revered in musical circles. RECORDS ARE LIKE LIFE is one of those artifacts that truly reflects its title – and lives up to its legend.
Production Consultant Joe Viglione wrote this review in 2002:
While The Buzzcocks were on tour in 1979 and 1980, Joan McNulty, the publisher of their official fan magazine Harmony In My Head (and then girlfriend of singer Pete Shelley,) taped all their shows on cassette the way Judy Garland’s husband Mickey Deans recorded her final shows. McNulty and this writer captured dozens of Willie “Loco” Alexander / Richard Nolan and Third Rail performances prior to her touring with the Buzzcocks.
Decades after these cassettes were made their value is obvious. After lengthy legal haggling between 1982 and the date of release, 1988, Neil Cooper of Reach Out International Records was able to issue this very worthwhile series of 19 songs culled from various live performances on the tour.
Who better to compile the music than the woman who gave attention to the group before anyone else in the U.S.A.?
The bevy of tapes were brought up to Blue Jay Studios in Carlisle, Mass., the place where The Joe Perry
Project, Aimee Mann, Phil Collins and others worked, and the material was transferred from the master
cassettes into organized form.
There are tons of Buzzcocks favorites here, energetic versions of “What Do I Get?,” “Fast Cars,” “Airwaves Dream,” “Fiction Romance,” “Somethings Gone Wrong Again,” all preserved
for the ages, presented with love and care by someone who knew their music as well as the band itself. Boston, Chicago, Minnesota, New Jersey, Providence, RI, New York and Birmingham, UK are all represented with songs from their respective concerts.
As The Doors release all the live tapes from their archives, and artists from Frank Zappa to The Velvet Underground and Jimi Hendrix have their concert tapes being issued to acclaim and sales, Joan McNulty’s efforts can be viewed as pioneering.
Decades after it was conceived and released, Lest We Forget is as pure a document as you’ll find on the tour of a vital power pop band. The recording quality is not state of the art, but that adds to the charm.
All This and World War 2 Russ Regan’s Beatles’ Tribute
Thanks AudioAsylum.com for reprinting my review All This and Worlds War II
Record executive Russ Regan, instrumental for his behind-the-scenes work with Harriet Schock, Genya Ravan, and producer Jimmy Miller, was involved in the creation of this soundtrack to the 20th Century Fox documentary film All This and World War II. Produced by Lou Reizner, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, arranged by Wil Malone and conducted by Harry Rabinowitz, back up an amazing array of stars on Beatles covers. What this is, truly, is one of the first Beatles tribute albums, and it is extraordinary. Peter Gabriel performing “Strawberry Fields Forever should be a staple on classic hits radio stations. It’s a natural, but how about David Essex doing “Yesterday,” Leo Sayer on “Let It Be,” or the Four Seasons interpreting “We Can Work It Out”? Where the dismal soundtrack to the film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band had hits and misses, this is a very cohesive and impressive work of art. The Brothers Johnson re-create Hey Jude, and its soulful reading is not what Earth, Wind and Fire did to “Got To Get You Into My Life” — their Top Ten 1978 hit from the Sgt. Pepper soundtrack — but it is just as cool. In 1994 BMG released Symphonic Music of the Rolling Stones, which had Marianne Faithful sounding like Melanie Safka on “Ruby Tuesday” (or is it the other way around) and Mick Jagger re-creating “Angie,” but that was 18 years after this, and doesn’t have the marquee value of this double-vinyl LP chock full of stars. This is four sides of orchestrated Beatles, with the Status Quo, Ambrosia, and Bryan Ferry on a version of “She’s Leaving Home” that was meant exclusively for him, as is Helen Reddy’s take on “Fool on the Hill.” Leo Sayer gets to do “The Long and Winding Road” as well as “I Am the Walrus,” while Frankie Valli does “A Day in the Life” to augment his Four Seasons track. It is nice to see Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood on the same album again, Wood with “Polythene Pam”and “Lovely Rita,” future Beatles co-producer Jeff Lynne cutting his teeth on about seven minutes of “With a Little Help From My Friends”/”Nowhere Man.” Tina Turner reprises her classic “Come Together,” Elton John, of course, has to weigh in with “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” while the Bee Gees are spread out over the record doing bits and pieces of the Abbey Road medley, “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” on side one, less than two minutes of “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” on side two, and two minutes of “Sun King” on side three. Frankie Laine, Status Quo, and a delirious Keith Moon add to the festivities, but it is the Peter Gabriel track which gets the nod as the over-the-top performance here; Moon’s rant is so out-there and off-key it disturbs the momentum. We have to give him a pass, though. It’s Keith Moon, and he never made it to 64! Keep in mind that, two years later, the Bee Gees, Helen Reddy, Frankie Valli, and Tina Turner would show up in the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band soundtrack and film as well, so maybe this is where the idea for that came to be. Utilizing the Elton John number-one hit from two years earlier, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” insures that a Beatle is involved in this project, as John Lennon performed on that single under the name Dr. Winston O’Boogie, though it might have been interesting had they added the Royal Philharmonic to the original tape. Well, on second thought, maybe not. Still, it is a classic, classic album that deserves a better place in rock history, certainly more so than the aforementioned Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band soundtrack. Definitely worth seeking out.
Joe Viglione, All Music Guide
Joe Viglione is published in many of the AMG books. Here is the Google Books screenshot of some of my work in the All Music Guide to THE BLUES
Lost review by Joe Viglione
Review by Joe Viglione [-]
Arturo Sandoval & His Group contains 11 songs which take the listener on an instrumental pop/jazz journey that is completely satisfying and full of musical surprises. The close to seven minutes of “Para Empezar a Vivir” is pure ’80s lounge while “Cuatro Gigantes” starts off with traditional Latin sounds before veering off into Weather Report territory. The cover of Jennings/Kerr‘s “Yo Nunca Volveré a Amar de Esta Manera” has Sandoval scorching the horn in parts; it’s far more intrusive than Dionne Warwick‘s beautiful rendition of her Top Five 1979 hit “I’ll Never Love This Way Again.” At certain points, Sandoval intentionally tears into the melody while the band has some fun with the rhythm, the ending disintegrating into mayhem and one wondering if some satire isn’t going on. The packaging is exquisite, including a 20-page booklet — ten pages in English; ten in Spanish — with photos and extensive credits. Helio Orovio‘s liner notes are spot on and make for great reading while “Variaciones Para una Mazurca de Chopin” plays in the background, taking a turn into the mysterious and exotic, sounds that shimmer inside a beautiful undercurrent. There’s a lot to take in on this single disc and even after repeated spins it holds plenty of secrets, a work of art containing ideas that drift in and out before you realize how quickly the dimensions keep shifting. It is a group effort with Sandoval giving his bandmates plenty of space to showcase their skills, especially on their total musical revision of Gershwin‘s “Summertime.” “Sábado 14” is one of only two Arturo Sandoval originals, taking bits of “Moon River” and ’80s disco with perhaps a dash of Stevie Wonder. It’s yet another fine disc for the bachelor pad fans.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band Angel Station Review JVhttps://www.allmusic.com/album/angel-station-mw0000194751
Angel Station Review
by Joe Viglione [-]
Vocalist Chris Thompson’s last album with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band is dressed up in Mann’s beautiful keyboards. Angel Station has some key moments — “You Angel You,” a Bob Dylan tune that sounds nothing like Dylan, and not the way their Top Ten version of “Quinn the Eskimo”/”The Mighty Quinn” was reinvented. “You Angel You” has a strong hook with topnotch Anthony Moore production work, and it melts into the title track of Harriet Schock’s landmark Hollywood Town album, the source of Helen Reddy’s “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady.” The Manfred Mann version is interesting, and explores the possibilities of the composition, though Schock’s version is perfect country-pop and hard to top. It is nice to see a rock band with such good taste. “Angelz at My Gate,” co-written by Manfred Mann, leads off side two and is another dreamy “angel” tune. It sounds mysteriously like “Games Without Frontiers,” the Peter Gabriel radio hit from his 1980 third self-titled solo album. Now since this was released the year before, do you think Gabriel found inspiration from the grooves of Angel Station? While artists like Gary Wright and Jordan Rudess overwhelm you with the keyboards, Manfred Mann’s are indeed the lead instrument, but he uses them to augment the vocals, not to overpower. The John Shaw-photographed album cover looks innocent enough until you turn it upside down — there a female dark angel, in open black cape, exposes her breasts. So blatant, but upside down it probably went right by many retailers, and with no hit single, it probably didn’t cause too much of a stir. It’s interesting that, like Gary Wright, the Earth Band recorded for Warner Bros., yet both acts only eked out a couple of hit singles. As with Wright’s Headin’ Home LP, this 1979 album has more than its share of good material, both keyboard players being intuitive artists with credentials and past chart success. Despite good performances on Heron’s “Don’t Kill It Carol” and a simply wonderful cover of Billy Falcon’s 1978 release, “Waiting for the Rain,” this is yet another album that deserved a better fate. The rendition of the Falcon tune may be the best performance of one of that singer’s compositions ever. The two Manfred Mann songs on side two are excellent: “You Are – I Am” is good and pleasant while “Resurrection” has lyrics that display clever sarcasm and religious — or sacrilegious — overtones. Angel Station is well-crafted music by an industry veteran. Collapse ↑
Feedback Review by Joe Viglione
Feedback is one of the strangest happenings in rock, more dramatic than Michael MacDonald taking over the Doobie Brothers, but more successful artistically than it was financially, and a chapter of the group that is sadly forgotten. The original band was produced by Lou Adler and built around guitar prodigy Randy California, and a bit of history is in order to understand this hybrid project. David Briggs, producer of Kathi MacDonald, Alice Cooper’s Easy Action, and Neil Young, helped the band forge their classic Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus and was retained for this follow-up. William Ruhlmann’s liner notes to Spirit’s Time Circle Epic/Legacy release notes that Randy California resigned from the group at this point. Mark Andes and Jay Ferguson formed Jo Jo Gunne with Curly Smith, and Smith’s friends, the Staehely Brothers, joined Cassidy and company. What Ed Cassidy and keyboard player John Locke created with producer David Briggs was a phenomenal reinvention of Spirit, which worked, sometimes better than the original group. Bassist/vocalist Al Staehely wrote the music, with guitar chores and backing vocals by his brother J. Christian Staehely. “Witch,” the final track on the disc, is typical of this new Spirit sound, a fusion of pop/jazz/rock with a dab of country. It would have been a perfect blend for Randy California to step back into, though his ego might have been the stumbling block here. In concert, this version of Spirit was serious and precise, playing with a cool efficiency. David Briggs was the perfect guy to oversee this project, allowing the musicians their space and developing a true counterpart to The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, considered by many to be the band’s highpoint. The cover is in eerie aqua blue with the faces looking like spirits peering out of a distorted television. The gatefold contains a band photo and a smart evolutionary image for this eclectic and underrated West Coast band. Here’s the clincher: musically, some of the best work on Feedback are the two instrumentals by keyboard player John Locke, “Puesta Del Scam” and “Trancas Fog-Out,” fragments of the original “Spirit” performed by this new quartet. The stuff is brilliant, and that it was excised from Time Circle is a pity. It was this writer who put Epic/Legacy in touch with Randy California in the development of 1991’s Time Circle compilation project, and certainly the elegant “Darkness,” the third John Locke title, deserved to be included on that double disc, and some representation of this remarkable work would have been appropriate rather than nine whopping cuts from The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus. Jo Jo Gunne guitarist Matthew Andes (brother of Spirit’s Mark Andes) co-wrote “Mellow Morning” with Al Staehely, and it, along with “Right on Time” and “Ripe and Ready,” all display the Spirit vibe, even hinting at some Jo Jo Gunne, as strange as that may seem. The Cassidy/Locke/Staehely/Staehely combo added enough jazz to Spirit to temper the all out assault that was Jo Jo Gunne, and therein lies the difference. This is not David Bowie’s ex-drummer and bassist forming the Spiders From Mars; keep in mind that Ed Cassidy was not only the band’s insignia with his Yul Brynner look, he was this group’s spiritual leader. As Randy California’s step-dad, it’s a shame he didn’t get more firm with the boy and demand they all be “the family that plays together.” Had the Staehely brothers and John Locke stayed on board for Cassidy and Randy California’s next project, the erratic Potatoland disc may have mutated into something totally brilliant. The best of Al Staehely, John Locke, and Randy California would have been truly something. Feedback is a solid performance and remarkable album which deserves its place in the Spirit catalog, and not the status of bastard son. It is a legitimate Spirit project and it is very, very good. Collapse ↑
by Joe Viglione [-]
by Joe Viglione [-]
This classic 1972 album on Elektra by John Kongos has Queen/Cars director Roy Thomas Baker remixing superb production by Gus Dudgeon, the man who created many an Elton John hit. Elton sidemen Ray Cooper, Caleb Quaye, Dave Glover, Roger Pope, Sue (Glover) and Sunny (Leslie) — pretty much the crew from John‘s 1971 epic Madman Across the Water — are all excellent here. But this album has more to offer than the solo records by Kiki Dee and Bernie Taupin, which also proliferated around the same time. Though he never made it to Joel Whitburn‘s Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits in the U.S.A., there were three minor splashes on this disc: “Tokoloshe Man,” “Jubilee Cloud,” and “He’s Gonna Step on You Again.” The totally original sound — producer Dudgeon on “asses jawbone,” bicycle bell, maracas, and Mike Noble playing the “clapper board” — build a texture one didn’t hear on Elton John records. Highly experimental, the brilliant piano and guitar by Quaye invigorate “Jubilee Cloud,” which can only be described as psychedelic gospel. Not only a gospel feel, the mysterious Sue and Sonny personify a church choir next to Mike Moran‘s ARP Synthesizer. There are lots of Jesus references throughout the disc, and on the heavily Beatles-influenced “Come on Down Jesus” with brass and Ray Cooper‘s tambourine, one gets the message that Kongos is a Jesus freak. This record sounds like a party — a bunch of hippies on some Indian reservation at sunset. The album cover giving hints to what is transpiring on the grooves. Some of the themes Bernie Taupin flavored the Elton John “Country Comfort” song with are here, but the singer embraces them in a different way. Kongos sounds like a sincere Billy Joel on “Gold,” and a cross between Elton and Joel on “I Would Have Had a Good Time.” But as good as those tracks are, it is the energy of “Tokoloshe Man,” the ecstasy of “Jubilee Cloud,” and the insanity of “He’s Gonna Step on You Again” that make this album timeless. Producer Gus Dudgeon plays “chair squeak,” “rusty tin,” and “earth drums” on “Step on You,” John Kongos adding castanets, creating a Phil Spector stereo nightmare, which is simply gorgeous. The album has been re-released in different versions; a German CD contains eight bonus tracks and a U.K. collection has five additional songs. Magical music that one does not get to experience often. Collapse ↑
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione [-]Released in Europe on Castle Communications and distributed in the U.S. on Domino Entertainment, a label founded by producer Rob Fraboni, the album’s tracks were all shuffled into a different order except for “A Little Bit of Love,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” and “Use That Power.” An oddity, but you could put the CD in your player on the shuffle setting and it would remain one of journeyman Alvin Lee’s finest statements. The stellar track here is “Real Life Blues,” which hit in spots around the states, notably in Texas and in Massachusetts. It was a Top 30 hit on the Billboard charts in Boston when the regional papers published such tracking. The track featured the unmistakable sound of George Harrison on slide guitar and Deep Purple keyboard player Jon Lord. This is a wiser, slower, more methodical sentiment than we once heard Lee make on “I’d Love to Change the World.” A 16 page booklet accompanies the cover photo (the bull’s eye on Lee’s guitar), it’s the other side of the flash guitar Lee’s been known for. “A Little Bit of Love” is Ten Years After meets Power Station with thunderous drums and very smooth production. Steve Gould and Deena Payne’s backing vocals chirp over Alan Young’s boom-boom drumbeat on “The Price of Love,” a bonafide dance tune that cries for the kind of production that the band Chic made famous — dance blues. “Moving the Blues” is a fun, Delaney & Bonnie type rocker with Clarence Clemons on tenor sax. Clemons appears on four tracks, including “Use That Power,” “Jenny, Jenny” — a Little Richard meets Mitch Ryder by way of Chuck Berry fun stomper — and the funky “Wake Up Moma” which has that trademark Jon Lord keyboard filling in nicely. The instrumental “Lost in Love” is very tasteful. This is a major ’60s/’70s figure making music on his own terms and it is very satisfying.
The upcoming Spiderman film looks like fun. Doctor Octopus, Doctor Strange chock full of docs….https://thedirect.com/article/spider-man-3-no-way-home-trailer-official-sony-movies I started writing reviews at the age of 15 in 1969 for my fan publication Varulven Magazine. 52 years later I have developed my own “writer’s voice” giving insight quite different from other critics. My theory is, why do a regular mainstream review that you can find online from any publication? With a film out worldwide Marty Balin Live on the Esplanade – Rock n Roll Hall of Fame artist directed by Joe Viglione, the first solo Marty Balin (of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship) disc full of surprises, and a number of new films already in the planning stages, you get ideas inside my reviews from behind the camera and from the front row of the theater.
From Joe V, the director: This Marty Balin DVD is the “ultimate fan package”…meaning, rather than allow unauthorized tapes to flourish we got footage together from both professionals and people who are long-time Balin supporters who wanted to run cameras at the June 14, 2008 concert in Boston. The spirit of the recording was to document a rare Balin gig a la Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven’s “The First Annual Camp Out Live at Pappy and Harriet’s P”. It’s a 9 camera shoot utilizing 7 of the cameras in the edit. Don’t expect a multi-million dollar production – this disc is a labor of love spanning 14 years beginning with an interview from 1995. As the 1995 concert footage that accompanied the original television broadcast interview was Jefferson Starship material we decided to film a new concert with Marty’s band. Balin was originally scheduled to open for Johnny Rivers in 2007 but due to a prior commitment with Jefferson Starship in New York the date got moved to June of 2008 – a gig with the group/duo America at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade (same venue Rivers played the year before).
The cover photo is not from this America/Balin concert…that’s a picture that former Jefferson Starship lead singer Darby Gould took from the stage when Marty was in the latter-day J.S….and we thank her for such a beautiful and mysterious shot. Marco Centola and Rob Fraboni remastered the two-track soundboard audio…D.J. Eli Polonsky at WMBR in Cambridge/Boston played “Somebody To Love” on the air and it sounded great coming over the radio. Marty Balin was interviewed by Polonsky on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 and when the DJ noted that singer Didi Stewart is a legendary Boston figure Marty said immediately “She’s a great singer!” As producer/director I would love to see an extended version of this DVD a few years from now…and maybe an audio CD mixed from both the soundboard and the multiple cameras. The August 1976 hit “With Your Love” was performed in the studio practice at Newbury Media on 6-13-08 the day before the show and is probably up somewhere on the web as a trailer for this project, though that classic wasn’t performed the next night at the show. Those songs were digitally recorded, multi-track, at the world class facility which has gold and platinum for Marky Mark, New Kids on The Block and other major recording artists. Three of the Newbury Media rehearsal sessions are on this DVD – Essra Mohawk’s “Shaping The Night”, a second version of the Jesse Barish classic “Count On Me” and Balin’s own “Somehow The Tired Reach Home”. The audio on those three bonus tracks was mixed by Ken Kanavos at the studio and the quality is superb.
It is my hope that everyone gets to see the genius of Marty Balin 39 years after he performed at Woodstock and enjoys this presentation that we put a lot of time and love into, released on the 40th Anniversary of the Woodstock event. Four of the songs the Jefferson Airplane performed at Woodstock appear on this disc recorded 4 decades after the Summer of Love.
As noted above I’m the producer/director of this document. The 5 star rating I give it is for Marty Balin’s performance and the performances of singer Didi Stewart, keyboard player Gordon G.G. Gebert (of a latter day version of the group Angel), bassist Dave Trupia (also on Marty’s upcoming CD) and the extraordinary Donny Baldwin, drummer with Elvin Bishop Group and the latter day Starship (the Mickey Thomas version of the band after Marty Balin went solo). It was an absolute honor to work with these talents and it is my hope that the public enjoys this recording for what it is: an historical record of a rock & roll hall of famer with no frills and lots of bonus material including interviews with Signe Anderson, Jeff Tamarkin and Marty Balin himself.