Author Archives: joevig

About joevig

Rock legend. Producing records since 1971, 50th year anniversary 2021

Esoteric Diaries of Joseph Viglione Second Day of Summer 2021

I produced this!

My Robin Gibb Review

Robin Gibb

How Old Are You?

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione  [-]

How Old Are You? is an extraordinary pop record from vocalist Robin Gibb, although none of these ten excellent tunes penned with twin brother Maurice joined his other two Top 40 hits on the charts. Heavy synthesizers embrace Gibb‘s distinctive vocals and embellish the sensational “Juliet,” which launches side one, as well as the very serious “Another Lonely Night in New York,” which opens side two. In between are gems like “Danger,” an elegant techno journey. This is the type of song which FM underground radio could have played in the early ’80s, a dark sound with hooks galore, and a joy to listen to. But why put Robin Gibb alongside Joan Jett, Genya Ravan, and Ian Hunter on the FM while the Bee Gees were so overexposed on Top 40? This is such a radio-friendly record by a proven artist that it only goes to show that a frosty march like “He Can’t Love You” has no place on the public airwaves if the artist isn’t hip enough, and what a statement that is; of course if Jett had performed this in her heyday, it would have gained some chart action. A poster photo of Clark Gable and Ava Gardner is separated from the box office by a solitary Robin Gibb on the front cover, while the singer sits in an empty movie house on the back, accompanied only by a young couple kissing (with Robin being a voyeur). “Kathy’s Gone” has film references and all the elements of a hit single. Every track shows the precision and professionalism the record-buying public encounters with each Bee Gees release. This is as much Maurice Gibb‘s album as Robin‘s, with co-production, co-songwriting, bass and acoustic guitar, backing vocals, and synthesizers provided by Robin‘s twin. “I Believe in Miracles” could have been a big hit for Dolly Parton or Linda Ronstadt, and why no ’80s adult contemporary artists jumped on this treasure chest of songs in America is a mystery. “Juliet” received substantial airplay in other parts of the world, reaching number one in Germany. Collapse ↑

Esoteric Diaries Sunday 6/20/21

It’s the summer solstice at 11:30 pm or so tonight. Here’s the Moe Tucker 45 we released in 1980, a song the velvet Underground had recorded but released years after we put this classic out there for the world.

Lonely Oak Radio June 20, 2021 Thought About You

thanks to Lonely Oak Radio for spinning Thought About You 9:17 AM Jun 20, 2021 #sundayvibes #SummerSolstice2021 @SteveGarnett20 Thought About You from #BostonRockandRollAnthology21 #CountViglione #BostonRockandRoll @rranimaltour @lspinna @gregpaquette5 @WhiteLightArts #LouReed #StarTrek #CaptainKirk #ScienceFictionRock @PunkBlowfish

Cator Web Radio June 18 Thought About You

Good Music Radio Double A Side Can’t Wait to See You Smile

June 20, 2021


Product Description
Veldt (UK): Mike Alexander, Lloyd Wadey, James Waterland.
Personnel: Mike Alexander (vocals, cello, keyboards).
The wonderfully eerie “Sleep” opens this 11-song debut CD, The Cause: The Effect, by the U.K. group Veldt, not to be confused with Chapel Hill, NC band the Veldt from the ’80s/’90s. “Sleep” has bending guitars right out of The Good, the Bad & the Ugly or any other spaghetti western you can think of — this trio certainly likes its movie soundtracks — and the haunting backing vocals and voice on the hook are enhanced by explosive sounds and tight edits, making for an extraordinary little piece of music with a lot of surprises. The title track, “The Cause, the Effect,” has flavors of Roxy Music and more film music nuances as does “Walking in Silence,” the effective video which recalls the great British synth pop of groups like Human League and Spandau Ballet’s “new romance” sound, only with more sweeping ambience for a new millennium. The lyrics have staying power long after the song has played its last note, a sure sign of craftsmanship from Lloyd Wadey, James Waterland, and Mike Alexander, three musicians who have a wonderful sense of style, coupled with material and production that are first rate. Add to that the trio’s intuitive sense of what is classy and intriguing and you get a superb
concoction of old-school British pop with elements of the modern sounds a Monsieur Leroc squeezes into his soulful gems. A tune like “Good Morning,” their debut single, evokes the majesty of an old Marianne Faithfull album while delivering perfect harmonies that could be the Small Faces if they were young and just starting out in the 2000s. This is one of the few bands that begs you to seek out the bonus track on their second CD single, so go find “Play for Today,” the B-side of “Walking in Silence,” and understand that there are musicians out there who care about a rich sound and delivering compositions that have melodic strength and interesting lyrics. The Cause: The Effect is a very impressive debut and a deep album that grows stronger with repeated spins. Highly recommended. ~ Joe Viglione


Product Description
Outside of repackages and live albums, original music from Tommy James is far too limited for an artist of his stature. 1980s Three Times in Love contained the sublime title track which hit the Top 40, while 1990s Hi-Fi on Aegis Records and 1995’s A Night in Big City remain treats for hardcore fans. Hold the Fire deserves a better fate, and the team-up of James with James “Wiz” Wisner leads to some very creative moments. “Isn’t That the Guy” has a great hook, a terrific hook, and some modern sensibilities, but may be a bit too avant-garde for adult contemporary radio. “It Keeps on Goin’ ” reveals the Tommy James his true fans appreciate, investigating pop boundaries and keeping the music different from track to track. One of the best titles here is the “bonus track,” “I Love Christmas” which deserves a place next to Darlene Love’s “All Alone on Christmas” and other latter day seasonal delights. “Ordinary Girl” is a strange hybrid of Elton John’s “Hey Jeannie” meeting David Gates’
“Goodbye Girl,” and on that level it works. “Angels & Strangers” begs the question of who wrote Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane” riff first? Those “Crimson & Clover” chords are recycled here prior to a soaring chorus. Why James decided to re-record “Megamation Man” from the A Night in Big City rock opera is anyone’s guess — the CD-single from the ’90s already gave us two edits. What is understandable is “Sweet Cherry Wine,” the remake of his Top Ten anti-war anthem from 1969, issued as a single a few months prior to Hold the Fire’s release. Almost 40 years later the song is just as significant, but the slowed down rendition is not going to get the point across as effectively as the original. It’s a missed opportunity, and is indicative of the album; this is a very good record from a great artist who delivered great albums whether they sold or not. The title track works, as does much of the music here, and it is great to have the pop maestro back. Where Lou Reed, truly James’ underground dopplegänger, kept releasing product over the decades, the world has not yet had enough of Tommy James’ creativity. If Hold the Fire marks his rebirth, it’s a good first step. ~ Joe Viglione

The Mason Williams Album

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione

     Producer Mike Post and composer Mason Williams packed all sorts of experiments into this half-hour listening experience called The Mason Williams Phonograph Record, and though there are some interesting moments from the clever singer, it is the instrumental masterpiece “Classical Gas” that displays the highest level of creativity. The 45-rpm was a number one adult contemporary hit in the summer of 1968 while the award-winning artist was writing for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. It won Grammys in 1968 for composition, performance, and Mike Post’s arrangement, and maybe because of its huge popularity, it feels out of place in the context of this concept disc. The 27 seconds of folksy banter that make up “Life Song” or the “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” riff that is all 30 seconds of “Dylan Thomas” are disposable bridges between musical elements that matter, the closing instrumental “Sunflower” — part of a film project where the songwriter “set up cameras in the desert” to capture “the largest flower ever done” — a skywriting airplane drawing underneath the rising sun. Stan Cornyn’s always difficult liner notes explain it, but not as well as the photo of the plane on the back cover. “Wanderlove” emulates Simon & Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade of Winter” without the flamenco guitar — the artist saved that for “Classical Gas” — and it appears the folksinging duo was a major inspiration to him in the development of this project. Al Capps’ arrangement of “Baroque-a-Nova” is noteworthy — sounding like the Bob Crewe Generation on speed, and a candidate for a much better segue after the hit than the downer that is “Long Time Blues.” A politically incorrect “The Prince’s Panties” is another excessive track, showing that Warner Bros. Seven Arts allowed the team many indulgences. It paid off as there are a couple of gems and one diamond found when sifting through The Mason Williams Phonograph Record.

Nils Lofgren Night Fades Away

AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione

     If you combine portions of the titles of Neil Young’s 1973 Time Fades Away and his 1975 LP with Nils Lofgren, Tonight’s the Night, voila, you have Night Fades Away. Some erstwhile rock critic said that Neil’s Time Fades Away is an album that reviews itself — just erase the word “Time” and you have “Neil Young Fades Away.” Lofgren has less to risk at this point in his career than his former musical cohort, and the LP is more about exploring styles and experimenting than a fully realized musical statement. Nils’ disheveled five o’clock shadow and torn, stained shirt on the front and back covers give a glimpse of the musical image, though Skunk Baxter from Steely Dan, on guitar and production here, takes the opposite tack, employing the oh so professional name Jeffrey Baxter. Jeff Porcaro, Nicky Hopkins, and even Del Shannon (with vocals on his own “I Go to Pieces” ) all show up and bring their individual talents, though some of it gets lost in the thin sound Baxter crafts for his fellow guitarist. As with the I Came to Dance album, the best moments here are the covers. The Beatles’ “Anytime at All” is lots of fun, and though the rendition of Peter & Gordon’s Top Ten smash from 12 years prior, “I Go to Pieces,” moves nicely and is substantial, it doesn’t come close to the original, despite Shannon’s presence. The title track, “Night Fades Away,” opens the album, and it is the best and most memorable original. “Ancient History” runs a close second with “In Motion” having some good moments and a neat line in “Streets Again” — “I treat my victims like my friends” — showing some humor. The song suffers from a nursery rhyme slipped in between the verses and co-writer Baxter’s very nondescript production. The material and production keep Night Fades Away in the shadows, a dilemma for an artist as creative as Nils Lofgren. If only the music inside were as ragged as the cover photo of a star as enigmatic as he is handsome.

1:01 am Esoteric Diary for Saturday June 19th

I promise you the plethora of record albums on this site day after day after day are purely from the subconscious. It wasn’t my intent to have pages and pages of vinyl LP reviews, they just started proliferating again; that’s just a big part of my life so here it is:

You might say “this guy’s totally insane” but I did get a good deal for about $6.50 tonight for a bunch more vinyl – Petula Clark, Bette Midler, Olivia Newton John, Al Martino (with some interesting liner notes,) too good to pass up….excuse me as I mix drinks….my icewater and Cranberry juice at 1:08 am…

…Not only do I OWN vinyl records, I review them as well! Found my old Manhole CD/LP review (I reviewed it off the vinyl all those years ago) …so many eBay dealers using my thoughts on the music!

Product Description
Originally released on Grunt Records.
Personnel includes: Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, David Crosby, Pete Sears, Jack Casady, John Barbata, David Freiberg, Gary Duncan.
Producers includes: Paul Kantner.
Liner Note Author: Jeff Tamarkin.
Recording information: Wally Heider’s, San Francisco.
Manhole was the last of the experimental Jefferson Airplane, and Grace Slick’s first official solo album. While Bark and Long John Silver, the final stages of the original Airplane, displayed the excessive psychedelic nature of the musicians within the confines of their group format, Blows Against the Empire, Sunfighter, and Baron Von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun allowed for total artistic expression. Manhole concluded this phase with 1974’s other release, the Jefferson Starship’s Dragonfly. By taking the name from Paul Kantner’s Blows Against the Empire solo project, Dragonfly began the renewed focus on commercial FM which would turn into Top 40 airplay. Manhole is the antithesis of that aim, but is itself a striking picture of Grace Slick as the debutante turned hippy being as musically radical as possible. To the kids who think she’s the cool singer on the mechanical Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Manhole is an alien concoction, but it works on many levels as great head music. The title track itself is almost 15-and-a-half minutes of orchestrated underground rock with Craig Chaquico on lead guitar; Jack Casady on bass, along with Ron Carter; voices from David Crosby, David Freiberg, Slick and Paul Kantner; mandolin by Peter Kaukonen; and a 42-piece orchestra (51, if you include the fragments of the Airplane/Starship onboard). It’s fun stuff, but looking back one wonders how they maintained a distribution deal for Grunt records with R.C.A., the material being so far from commercial. The title track has a left-hand piano part which “was stolen from an improvisation by Ivan Wing,” Slick’s father, and the epic is rife with Spanish/English by the singer, translated in the booklet with Slick’s “phonetic Spanish spelling.” Again, this is total underground excess, but it is actually more than listenable than it looks on paper, and for fans, it has the serious/eccentric nature of this woman who emerged as a big, big star due to her quirky personality having the talent to back it up. Attacks on the government and Clive Davis in the elaborate booklet only prove all involved were not out to make friends, but songs like “Come Again? Toucan” are compelling and intriguing, more so than some of what would constitute 1981’s Welcome to the Wrecking Ball, which contained more elements of guitarist Scott Zito than the star. On Manhole, the music is wonderfully dense, macabre, exhilarating, and totally out there. This is a great portion of music from the lead singer of one of America’s great music groups. Maybe David Freiberg’s “It’s Only Music” deserved to be on an Airplane project or solo LP of his own, but it sounds great and works. “Better Lying Down” is Grace Slick and Pete Sears re-writing Janis Joplin’s “Turtle Blues,” a nice change of pace from the heavy instrumental backing of the other tracks. Slick is in great voice, and reflecting on the album years after it was recorded, the conclusion is that Manhole has much to offer fans. Compare this to Deep Space — recorded live at the Hollywood House of Blues in the 1990s to see the difference between capturing the time and trying to recapture the magic. Despite the eye toward success and the more serious nature of that later project, it just doesn’t have the charm of this artifact from the glory days. It’s also a far cry from the 1980s, when Slick returned with three more solo outings: Dreams, Welcome to the Wrecking Ball, and Software, projects which differ vastly from Manhole. The hard rock of Wrecking Ball and the synths and post-Kantner Starship feel of producer Peter Wolf’s collaborations on Software show a woman dabbling with other rock formats. Put those three discs in a boxed set with Manhole, and you have true culture shock from a major counterculture figure. Manhole is orchestrated psychedelia at its finest with the voice from “White Rabbit” stretching that concept across two sides. ~ Joe Viglione

The Sutherland Brothers And Quiver – Dream Kid                                                  
Track Listing 
1. You and Me
2. I Hear Thunder
3. Flying Down To Rio
4. Seagull/Lonely Love
5. Champian the Underdog
6. Bluesy World
7. Bad Loser
8. Dream Kid
9. Maker
10. Rollin’ Away/Rocky Road/Saved By the Angel
Bonus Tracks
11. Silver Sister
12. Don’t Mess Up
Number of CDs:       1
Recording Type:       Studio
EAN:   5028479022823
Album Notes
An artists conception of The Dream Kid looking out into a blue universe, standing in a clear cube with clouds and seagulls in his line of sight, is a colorful and good visual equivalent to the music inside this team-up of two musical forces. Songwriters Ian Sutherland and his brother Gavin Sutherland recruit three members of the Warner Bros. group Quiver — drummer Willie Wilson, guitarist Tim Renwick, and bassist Bruce Thomas — and come up with a smooth and very satisfying product. Gone is Quiver songwriter vocalist Cal Batchelor, and it is a unique transition concept. Where Chris Thomas produced 1972’s Gone in the Morning album for Quiver, Muff Winwood is enlisted to guide the rhythm section and guitarist behind the singing and playing Sutherland Brothers. Interestingly enough, they’ve retained Quiver engineer Bill Price and cover artist Barney Bubbles from the Warner Bros. days and issue the newer sounds on Island. The album’s history lesson aside, the music is an excellent early- to mid-’70s hybrid of folk-rock and pop, with more emphasis on the clever pop side of things. This is Eric Carmen’s Raspberries gone underground with less of the jangle guitar — sounds more borrowed from early Beatles’ hits by way of latter day Traffic, and that comfortable silky vocal sound, especially on the five-minute-55-second suite which ends the album, track ten, comprised of three titles, “Rollin’ Away,” “Rocky Road,” and “Saved By the Angel.” These Ian Sutherland titles all melt into one another and are easy on the ears, good listening music, though there is nothing on this album as extraordinary as their minor hit “You Got Me Anyway” or the song Rod Stewart picked up from them, “Sailing.” Like labelmates Traffic, this is an adult rock endeavor, meant for those who want to hear the lyrics as they take in the solid melodies. “Seagull” is a song that embodies what the band is all about, ebbing and flowing with hooks and pauses, not your typical rock outfit, which might explain why they slipped through the cracks without making a bigger noise. Peter Noone, like Stewart, was smart enough to cover their music, and it is a pity that “Flying Down to Rio” and “You and Me” didn’t get more time on FM radio. “I Hear Thunder” and “Lonely Love” are standouts, precursors to AAA radio like Barclay James Harvest and Matthew’s Southern Comfort. The strong lyrics are included on the album sleeve, and enough good things can’t be said about this album: bouncy guitars and spirited rock which producer Muff Winwood squeezes into the grooves. You’ve got to spin it three or four times before it catches you; it’s one of those special discs that doesn’t grab the listener first time around, but when it does, it gets you good. ~ Joe Viglione