Sunday, April 7, 2024

Steely Dan - "The Bear"


In 1980, Steely Dan released Gaucho, the band's first album in three years, and last before Donald Fagen and Walter Becker regrouped for a new album in 2000.

Several outtakes from Gaucho remain officially unreleased, although they’ve appeared on bootlegs and the Internet over the years.

I wanted to see if I could use outtakes to create a new Steely Dan album that theoretically could have been produced around 1981-82.


1. Kulee Baba

2. I Can't Write Home About You

3. Kind Spirit

4. Stand by the Seaside


1. The Bear

2. Talkin' About My Home

3. The Second Arrangement

Five known outtakes from the Gaucho album are "Kind Spirit," "Kulee Baba," "The Bear," "Talkin' About My Home," and "The Second Arrangement." I think the demo for "I Can't Write Home About You" also dates from the sessions.

“The Second Arrangement” was supposed to have been included on Gaucho, but an assistant engineer accidentally erased the track. Becker and Fagen reportedly didn’t want to start recording the song again from scratch. However, a version on a cassette was later discovered, and cleaned up and posted online by fans.

In fact, the amazing results of new software and fans’ creativity have resulted in what I think are good-sounding versions of all these leftovers.

"Stand by the Seawall" is an instrumental outtake from the Aja album. If it had been completed, it would likely have had lyrics, but I use it here as an instrumental ending for the album's first side.

Granted, seven songs make for a fairly short album, even if all the tracks range in the 4 to 5-plus-minute territory. As arranged, the album clocks in at 32:19, more than five minutes shorter than Gaucho.

And many purists will roll their eyes at the idea of using these revamped tracks to create a “new” Steely Dan album, especially given the well-documented perfectionism of Becker and Fagen. But after I arranged these songs and hit “play,” it sounded like a long-lost Steely Dan album to these ears.

I decided to use “The Bear” as the title track and then searched the Web for artwork. I found this rustic-looking image, and since it kind of looked like the California flag, I used a font similar to that used on the flag.

Here's a YouTube playlist of the album.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Stevie Wonder - "Front Line"


In 1982, Stevie Wonder released a two-disc album of greatest hits titled Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium I. (To date, there hasn't been an Original Musiquarium II, but I digress). On this album, he included four new tracks, all of which were also released as singles and became sizable hits.

I don't know if the four songs were specifically recorded for this compilation, they were leftover tracks from previous albums or if Wonder had originally penned them for a new album. Whatever the case, I wanted to take the four songs and see if I could find other stray tracks from the same period to create what could have been a new studio album for 1982 instead of a greatest hits package.


1. Front Line

2. Ribbon in the Sky

3. Stay Gold

4. What's That You're Doing?


1. That Girl

2. Front Line Revisited (instrumental)

3. Do I Do

Besides the four new tracks -- "Front Line," "Ribbon in the Sky," "That Girl" and "Do I Do," I also included "Stay Gold" from the soundtrack of the film "The Outsiders." Interestingly, when "The Outsiders" was rereleased several years later, director Francis Ford Coppola decided the score by his father Carmine (who co-wrote "Stay Gold") wasn't right for the film, and he changed the music. So moving the song to this album kind of saves it.

In addition, I included Wonder's collaboration with Paul McCartney, "What's That You're Doing?" It's actually not that uncommon for two singers to do a duet and then have the song appear on both of their respective solo albums (see "My Little Town" by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel). Plus, "What's That You're Doing?" always seems out of place on McCartney's Tug of War album, and I think it fits better here.

Finally, to fill out the album, I added the instrumental version of "Front Line" (found on the B-side of the single) to act as a coda before launching into the epic 10 1/2-minute "Do I Do" that concludes the album. Both sides end up clocking in at a little over 21 minutes.

I think overall this is a pretty good album with a nice musical variety and would have fit in well as a followup to Wonder's 1980 album Hotter Than July. Plus, the four tracks from Original Musiquarium I are allowed to better shine here.

I titled the album Front Line since I use two different versions of the song, and I repurposed the single's cover for the album cover after I did a little Photoshopping.

Listen to the YouTube playlist.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Van Halen - "Zero"

Van Halen famously had a 25-song demo tape that made the rounds as the band was searching for a record deal. Over the years, nearly all of those songs (in one form or another) made it onto regular albums, some being included on the band’s last album in 2012. 

I wanted to create an album of any leftover tracks from the band's pre-record deal that could be cobbled together into a DIY album for 1977.


1. Piece of Mind

2. Young and Wild

3. Woman in Love

4. I Wanna Be Your Lover

5. Babe, Don’t Leave Me Alone


1. Light in the Sky

2. Angel Eyes

3. We Die Bold

4. Get the Show on the Road

5. Gonna Take a Lot of Drugs

I sort of considered this exercise as an alternate universe where the band got tired of waiting for a record deal and issued its own low-budget album to sell at shows. Sadly, all the demos that you find on bootlegs sound like third or fourth-generation recordings, but they're at least listenable.

There are some demos from earlier than 1976 floating around the interwebs, but the sound quality on them is not very good. The one exception I made was the inclusion of “Angel Eyes” from 1974 because I simply needed at least one more track. I could be wrong, but I think David Lee Roth is the only one actually performing on the track with vocals and guitar. Besides that song and "Woman in Love" and "Babe, Don't Leave Me Alone" (both from 1976), the rest of the tracks are from 1977.

There's a bit of "Get the Show on the Road" that was later used in the song "Romeo's Delight," but I decided that it was different enough to include here. "Gonna Take a Lot of Drugs" was a joke recording of Roth and Michael Anthony singing different lyrics to Nicolette Larson's "Lotta Love" which had been produced by their producer Ted Templeman. It's doubtful this ever would have been made commercially available, but I thought it was a humorous way to end the album.

For a cover, I chose the rejected cover for the first album. The photo is ridiculous in so many ways with Alex Van Halen looking like the leader, Roth looking asleep, Anthony looking scared and Eddie Van Halen looking mad. And the cover overall looks like it belongs to some new wave group. But it captures the band members as they were at the time. Zero has been used as a title by others for compilations of the band's demos (as opposed to Van Halen and Van Halen II), and I figured it was just as good as any other so I adopted it as well.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Elvis Presley Discography, 1969 - 1977.

I debated on whether to delve into a third reimagined discography for Elvis Presley. But after digging into recording session details and other info, I decided to give it a shot. Plus, his 89th birthday is tomorrow. 

The primary problem with Elvis’ discography in the 1970s is the perplexing number of compilation albums, many with no rhyme or reason in their song selection. These coupled with numerous live albums and actual new material created a glut of music being released that competed with itself and confused the public.

There’s an odd thing about album covers for Elvis during this time period. Apparently after more than a decade of sitting for professional publicity portraits for albums, movies and whatever else, Elvis refused to do any more. And therefore, the record company started using photos of Elvis performing on stage for nearly every album. I think this gives the false impression to the general public that Elvis released more live albums than he actually did. That’s not to say there weren’t more live albums than necessary in the 1970s -- there were five between 1969 and 1974. However, I assume RCA Records had a graphic arts shop and could have been a little more imaginative (Elvis Country is a good, rare example). So, I’ve attempted to find or create better covers for several of the albums. 



1. Wearin' That Loved on Look

2. This Is the Story

3. I'll Hold You in My Heart ('Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)

4. Long Black Limousine

5. A Little Bit of Green

6. I'm Movin' On


1. From a Jack to A King

2. Gentle on My Mind

3. Inherit the Wind

4. Rubberneckin'

5. You'll Think of Me

6. Without Love (There Is Nothing)          

At first, I wasn’t sure this album needed to be tinkered with. It’s one of the few of Elvis’ that is highly praised. But From Elvis in Memphis and the follow-up Back in Memphis are made up of tracks from two different recording sessions: Jan. 13-23 and Feb. 17-22. I thought it would be interesting to put only January tracks on the first album and February tracks on the second, and leaving all the A-sides of singles off the albums entirely.

There’s something absurd about calling an album From Elvis in Memphis and showing him performing on a Hollywood soundstage on the album cover. So for this particular cover, I found an image already created and just added the title.



1. Power of My Love

2. Only the Strong Survive

3. Do You Know Who I Am?

4. If I'm a Fool (For Loving You)

5. And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind

6. Any Day Now


1. Stranger in My Own Hometown

2. After Loving You

3. The Fair's Moving On

4. True Love Travels on A Gravel Road

5. Who Am I?

6. It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'

The album was originally released as part of a two-record set along with a live album from Las Vegas. And the following year, both albums were released individually. When this came out, calling this album of leftovers Back in Memphis didn’t make much sense. But in this new configuration, all the tracks are from the February 1969 sessions, so this is now actually a return to the Memphis studio following the previous recording sessions in January. I’ve made this album longer than the original with the addition of two extra tracks. I used some existing artwork I found to create this cover.


I previously worked on this album, and you can find a whole blog entry about it here. I'm adding an alternative album cover I liked, which I think is from the Follow That Dream series.



1. I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water

2. Snowbird

3. Tomorrow Never Comes

4. Little Cabin on The Hill

5. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

6. Funny How Time Slips Away


1. There Goes My Everything

2. It's Your Baby, You Rock It

3. The Fool

4. Faded Love

5. I Really Don't Want to Know

6. Make the World Go Away

7. I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago

The idea behind this album was to take several country songs from the recording sessions and put them together into a sort of concept album. This is one of the very few Elvis albums that some actual thought was put into creating it, so I decided not to mess with it too much. However, I don't think “Snowbird,” a very recent hit for Anne Murray, was the best way to start the album. So, I shuffled the songs a little. "I Washed My Hands in the Muddy Water" is a much more energetic and gripping opening track, especially the long, nearly five-minute version. Also, throughout the original album are snippets of the song “I was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago” and I think the album would have benefitted with the song in its entirety also being included at the end, which I've done here. I used the FTD cover (which I prefer) for their alternate version of this album.



1. Cindy, Cindy

2. Love Letters

3. If I Were You

4. Got My Mojo Working / Keep Your Hands Off of It

5. Only Believe

6. Heart of Rome


1. When I'm Over You

2. This Is Our Dance

3. I'll Never Know

4. It Ain't No Big Thing (But It's Growing)

5. Life

6. Where Did They Go, Lord?

This album has pretty much all the leftovers from the June 1970 recording sessions that don’t appear on Elvis Country or my remade Elvis in Nashville. I thought “Love Letters,” a remake of a song he recorded and released back in 1967, was a bad way to open the album. “Cindy Cindy” is much more energetic, so I used that as the opening track, and shuffled the rest. Finally, I added “Where Did They Go, Lord?” to make the album longer and to end it with a song that’s a bit more powerful than “Life.” I used some artwork I found online and did some altering in Photoshop to create the cover.


There isn’t much you can do to change an album of holiday songs, so I didn’t, not even the album cover. 



1. Help Me Make It Through the Night    

2. Put Your Hand in The Hand 

3. It's Only Love

4. I'm Leavin'  

5. Padre               

6. Until It's Time for You to Go    


1. We Can Make the Morning     

2. Early Mornin' Rain

3. It's Still Here

4. I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen      

5. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

6. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)

This album needed some TLC. Although there were enough tracks from 1971 sessions to make a full album, for some reason it was decided to throw in leftovers from January 1969 and June 1970. The result was a mishmash and definitely not “now.” I removed the three older tracks and added four. I also removed “Miracle of the Rosary” and moved it to the next album. As released, Elvis Now was a short album and my version is a little more than five minutes longer. But I think the important thing is that it's now more contemporary. I found this burnt orange artwork online and thought it would make the perfect cover once I did a little altering.



1. Amazing Grace             

2. Lead Me, Guide Me

3. He Touched Me           

4. I've Got Confidence   

5. An Evening Prayer

6. Seeing Is Believing      


1. Reach Out to Jesus

2. He Is My Everything  

3. There Is No God but God         

4. I, John                             

5. Bosom of Abraham

6. Miracle of the Rosary

In 1972, Elvis released a contemporary gospel album titled He Touched Me. Despite the sentiment of the title song, an album titled He Touched Me just sounds wrong. So I’ve retitled it Amazing Grace and used the album cover from a compilation album titled You’ll Never Walk Alone. The only changes I made to the track listing were removing "A Thing Called Love" (a non-gospel song that had no reason to be here) and adding the song “Miracle of the Rosary” (which was recorded during the same sessions and I’m not sure why it wasn’t included originally).



1. Burning Love

2. For the Good Times   

3. Where Do I Go from Here

4. Love Me, Love the Life I Lead

5. Fool

6. Separate Ways             


1. Always on My Mind   

2. It's a Matter of Time

3. A Thing Called Love

4. I will be True

5. (That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me

6. My Way

Looking back, many critics have chastised RCA for not having a new album to feature Elvis’ last big hit, “Burning Love.” Instead, RCA strangely attached the new tracks “Burning Love,” “It’s a Matter of Time,” “Separate Ways” and “Always on My Mind” onto two horrible compilation albums of random tracks Elvis had recorded in the 1950s and 1960s. It’s beyond a headscratcher – it’s something close to a crime. RCA kind of tried to rectify the mistake in 1999 with a Burning Love album that included most of the tracks of the time period, but also included live tracks.

Perhaps the biggest problem was that Elvis only recorded seven tracks during the March 1972 sessions – not enough for an album, even a short one. What I’ve done here is take all seven tracks recorded in March 1972 and added "My Way," "Love Me, Love the Life I Lead," "I will be True," "(That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me" and "A Thing Called Love," all of which were recorded the previous year. For the album cover, I had fun throwing the kitchen sink at it -- different existing art, Photoshop maneuvering, fonts, etc.



1. Raised on Rock            

2. Are You Sincere

3. Find Out What's Happening   

4. I Miss You

5. Girl of Mine

6. I've Got a Thing About You, Baby           


1. For Ol' Times Sake

2. If You Don't Come Back            

3. Just A Little Bit

4. Sweet Angeline

5. Three Corn Patches    

6. Take Good Care of Her

The original version of this album had 10 tracks even though 12 had been recorded in the sessions of July 1973. Both “I've Got a Thing About You, Baby” and “Take Good Care of Her” were left off for a single, and eventually included on the next album. I rectify the issue by including all the tracks from the sessions. I've never understood the double title of this album, Raised on Rock / For Ol' Times Sake. Seems like people couldn't make up their minds. I stuck with just one title.



1. Talk About the Good Times

2. Loving Arms  

3. I Got a Feelin' in My Body

4. If That Isn't Love

5. She Wears My Ring


1. Your Love's Been a Long Time Coming

2. It's Midnight

3. My Boy           

4. Spanish Eyes

5. Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues

It almost seems like someone was going with a theme or concept about "time" for this album. Or maybe it was just a coincidence of the words Good Time(s) being in two of the song titles. A total of 18 songs were recorded during sessions in December 1973, and they would be used to make up both the Good Times and Promised Land albums. I "fix" Good Times by including only tracks recorded during these sessions, and that means adding "Your Love's Been a Long Time Coming" and "It's Midnight." The titles of these two songs also refer to time and now maybe in this configuration of Good Times really is some type of loose concept album. Not my favorite album cover, but trying to find usable, non-perfomance photos for the right time period can be daunting.



1. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (jam – May 1971)

2. It's Diff'rent Now (rehearsal – July 1973)          

3. Froggy Went A-Courtin’ (rehearsal – July 1970)

4. Lady Madonna (informal recording – May 1971)           

5. It's My Way (Of Loving You) / This Time / I Can't Stop Loving You (jam – February 1969)

6. I Didn't Make It on Playing Guitar (jam – June 1970)


1. The Lord's Prayer (informal jam – May 1971) 

2. A Hundred Years from Now (rehearsal – June 1970)

3. I Shall Be Released (informal rehearsal – May 1971)

4. Allá en el Rancho Grande (rehearsal – July 1970)

5. Stranger in My Own Hometown (rehearsal – July 1970)

In 1974, Elvis' manager Col. Tom Parker had one of his more bumbleheaded ideas: release an Elvis Presley album with no music. Having Fun with Elvis on Stage is just Elvis on stage telling various silly jokes, asking for glasses of water and chatting with the audience or band members. It’s considered by many to be one of the worst albums ever released. Parker apparently thought that a record without music meant that he and Elvis could keep all the profits, not realizing the contract with RCA (that he’d signed and negotiated) stipulated that the record company had the rights to anything Elvis recorded.

So, for this project, the obvious move might be to just ignore this album. But we now know from the many, many posthumous Elvis album releases that several jam sessions and rehearsals resulted in songs that weren’t issued while he was alive. And it occurred to me that you could create an album that if not great would at least be a lot more interesting than banal stage banter. The photo I used is a bit out of focus, but I thought it was OK given that the songs here were not meant to be polished. I included the Boxcar Records logo.



1. Promised Land

2. There's A Honky Tonk Angel (Who Will Take Me Back In)

3. Help Me

4. Mr. Songman

5. Love Song of The Year               


1. If You Talk in Your Sleep

2. You Asked Me To 

3. The Twelfth of Never

4. Thinking About You

5. Tiger Man [jam]

For Promised Land, we have only eight tracks left over from the December 1973 sessions that also produced the songs for Good Times (Elvis didn't record anything in a studio the entire year of 1974). So, I had to find two songs to fill out the album. I added "The Twelfth of Never," which was actually recorded during a rehearsal in August 1974, and a jam from March 1975 of "Tiger Man," which kind of makes a fun ending. But to use "Tiger Man," this album would need to be released probably no earlier than May 1975, five months after the real album was released. The sound quality of "The Twelfth of Never" is not quite up to snuff, but is OK. After searching high and low for Elvis photos I thought would work with the album title, I finally gave up and went a different direction and used this sunset (or is it sunrise?) over a field that I found online.


Ten tracks were recorded in March 1975 and all were used for the Elvis Today album. So, nothing to change here song-wise and I left it as is, except for creating a new album cover. I have tried for the most part to avoid performance photos, but succumbed in this case as there aren't a lot of good non-performance photos from the end of Elvis' career to work with.



1. Hurt

2. Never Again

3. Blue Eyes Crying in The Rain

4. She Thinks I Still Care

5. Danny Boy

6. The Last Farewell


1. For the Heart

2. Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall

3. Solitaire

4. Love Coming Down

5. I'll Never Fall in Love Again     

6. Moody Blue                  

In February 1976, a recording session took place at Elvis’ Memphis home Graceland. Elvis was becoming less and less interested in recording, so it was hoped that the comforts of home might help. A dozen tracks were recorded, but instead of using all 12 for a new album, two songs were held for a future single. For this reimagined album, I used all the songs from the session, which required a little change in the track listing. And since I’m including the song “Moody Blue,” I decided to take the title for what was to be the follow-up album. I wish I could find a better-quality version of this photo, but it kind of reminds me of the cover art for Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits although that wasn't my intention.


In late October 1976, Elvis recorded four songs (“It’s Easy for You,” “Way Down,” “Pledging My Love” and “He’ll Have to Go”), and that was it before he died. Four tracks are obviously not enough for an album and I’m going with the idea that they were used for two final singles that could be used on a future greatest hits compilation album of some sort.

Between Jan. 1, 1969, and the day Elvis died on Aug. 16, 1977, RCA released 14 studio albums, five live albums, seven compilation albums, 12 budget albums, two box sets and one all-talk album. That's 41 albums in less than nine years. Or to put it another way, that's more than four albums a year! Holy crap! There were also 35 singles released during that time. Oy....

So, finally, here’s my full reimagined discography for Elvis from 1969-77, free of endless compilations, repetitive live albums and gobs of singles. It still includes at least two (sometimes three) albums a year (other than 1976-77), which is more than enough.


  • SINGLE: “Memories” / “Charro” (February)
  • SINGLE: “In the Ghetto” / “My Little Friend” (April)
  • ALBUM: From Elvis in Memphis (June)
  • SINGLE: “Suspicious Minds” / “I’ll Be There” (August)
  • ALBUM: Back in Memphis (October)
  • SINGLE: “Don’t Cry Daddy” / “Change of Habit” (November)


  • SINGLE: “Kentucky Rain” / “Let’s Be Friends” (January)
  • SINGLE: “The Wonder of You [live]” / “Walk a Mile in My Shoes [live]” (April)
  • ALBUM: Elvis on Stage [live] (June)
  • SINGLE: “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” / “I Just Can’t Help Believin’ [live]” (October)
  • ALBUM: Elvis in Nashville (November)
  • SINGLE: “I Really Don’t Want to Know” / “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling [live]” (November)


  • ALBUM: Elvis Country (January)
  • SINGLE: “Rags to Riches” / “Where Did They Go, Lord?” (February)
  • ALBUM: Love Letters from Elvis (June)
  • SINGLE: “Sound of Your Cry” / “Heart of Rome” (July)
  • ALBUM: Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas (October)
  • SINGLE: “Merry Christmas, Baby” / “O Come All Ye Faithful” (November)


  • ALBUM: Elvis Now (February)
  • SINGLE: “Until It’s Time for You to Go” / “We Can Make the Morning” (February)
  • ALBUM: Amazing Grace (April)
  • SINGLE: “Burning Love” / “It’s a Matter of Time” (August)
  • ALBUM: Burning Love (October)
  • SINGLE: “Separate Ways” / “Always on My Mind” (November)


  • ALBUM: Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite [live] (February)
  • SINGLE: “Steamroller Blues” [live] / “American Trilogy” [live] (March)
  • SINGLE: “Raised on Rock” / “For Ol’ Times Sake” (September)
  • ALBUM: Raised on Rock (October)


  • SINGLE: “I’ve Got a Thing About You, Baby” / “Take Good Care of Her” (January)
  • ALBUM: Good Times (April)
  • SINGLE: “My Boy” / “Loving Arms” (May)
  • ALBUM: Having Fun with Elvis (October)
  • ALBUM: Elvis' Golden Records, Vol. 5 (December)


  • SINGLE: “If You Talk in Your Sleep” / “Help Me” (March)
  • ALBUM: Promised Land (June)
  • SINGLE: “Promised Land” / “It’s Midnight” (June)
  • SINGLE: “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” / "Mr. Songman" (September)
  • ALBUM: Elvis Today (October)


  • SINGLE: “Hurt” / “For the Heart” (March)
  • ALBUM: Moody Blue (May)
  • SINGLE: “Moody Blue” / “She Thinks I Still Care” (November)


  • SINGLE: “Way Down” / “It's Easy for You” (June)
  • SINGLE: “Pledging My Love” / “He’ll Have to Go” (September) [posthumous]


  • ALBUM: Elvis' Golden Records, Vol. 6 (October) [posthumous]

Most of these tracks can be found on the box sets From Nashville to Memphis: The Essential '60s Masters and Walk a Mile in My Shoes: The Essential '70s Masters. However, you'll have to find some tracks on the original albums or countless other compilations.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

The Zombies - "Next Steps"


Odessey and Oracle, the final album by The Zombies’ original lineup, was recorded in the summer of 1967, and released in the UK in the spring of 1968. Neither the initial single nor the album did much in the UK, and the album wasn’t initially released in the U.S. at all. Al Kooper became the album’s champion and eventually convinced CBS to release the album in the U.S. A single, “Time of the Season,” had flopped in the UK in the spring of ’68, but after being released in early 1969 in the U.S., it became a huge hit.

Suddenly, The Zombies were again a popular band, something they really hadn’t been since 1964. CBS wanted another album, but the group had already disbanded. Using six tracks recorded by bandmembers Rod Argent and Chris White’s new group Argent, as well as newly overdubbed Zombies demos from previous years, the album R.I.P. was assembled. But two singles, “Imagine the Swan” and “If It Don’t Work Out,” didn’t sell well, and the album was shelved. It was eventually released 30 years later in 2000.

But if R.I.P. had been released and proved successful, I was curious about whether yet another “Zombies” album could be created.


1. I Hope I Didn’t Say Too Much Last Night

2. Unhappy Girl

3. I Can’t Live Without You

4. Though You Are Far Away

5. Telescope (Mr. Galileo)


1. It Never Fails to Please Me

2. Her Song

3. Let Me Come Closer to You

4. To Julia (for When She Smiles)

5. Caroline Goodbye

With The Zombies’ popularity increasing in the 1990s and 2000s, several new compilations were issued, including Greatest Hits (1990), the boxset Zombie Heaven (1997) and R.I.P (2000). In 2007, an album titled Into the Afterlife was released that included several demos recorded by Argent and White (as well as several cover songs recorded by lead vocalist Colin Blunstone under the alias Neil MacArthur).

I took the unused Argent and White songs from Into the Afterlife and combined them with songs Blunstone wrote for his debut solo album One Year, which was produced by both Argent and White in 1971. I also included the B-side of a Blunstone single, “I Hope I Didn’t Say Too Much Last Night,” which I ended up using to open the album. The overall result, I think, is a very Zombies-sounding album.

I thought Next Steps was a good title and then went about searching for a photo that I thought captured the feeling of the album.

Here's a YouTube playlist to determine for yourself.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

"Catch .44" soundtrack

This is a really short and quick entry. I have friends in the band Deadbolt, and one of their songs is played in the 2011 Forest Whitaker/Bruce Willis movie "Catch .44." The film was a box office bomb, although it’s a fairly entertaining crime flick.

No soundtrack album was released for the movie, but the featured songs are a real grabbag of genres and times. From the spaghetti western “Ride ‘Em,” glam rock from David Bowie and Sweet, rap en español by Vakero, plus country, alt-rock, psychobilly, gospel, etc. Even a track by Willis. Think of it as a crazy mix tape.

1. Ride ‘Em – Ben Zarai

2. Fox on the Run – Sweet

3. Choose Me – The Debonettes

4. Queen Bitch – David Bowie

5. Between Midnight and Day – Corey Harris

6. I’ll be All Smiles Tonight – Mac Wiseman

7. Dead Sound – The Raveonettes

8. Respect Yourself – Bruce Willis

9. Sweet Rock and Roll – Vibrolux

10. Se Partio de Lapiz – Vakero

11. Zulu Death Mask – Deadbolt

12. Silver Piano Man – Cotton Jones

13. Believer – Viva Voce

14. Fair and Tender Ladies – The Osborne Brothers

15. Running Bear – Johnny Preston

16. U R A Fever – The Kills

17. Hot Ashes – Jordan Klassen

18. Living, Forgiving – Paul Burch

I’m not going to go through all the sources, but suffice it to say you probably won’t find two songs on any one album. Let Amazon, iTunes, etc. be your friend. 

For a cover, I simply took the movie poster and cropped and edited it.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

David Bowie - "The Gouster"


When Parlophone released the David Bowie boxset Who Can It Be Now? (1974-1976), which included the long-lost / long-rumored The Gouster album, many people were surprised at the track listing. Primarily, it was missing several songs that some people had expected to be included, especially what would have been the title song, “I am a Lazer (The Gouster).” But producer Tony Visconti who assembled the “new” album insisted that this was the intended track list.

I have no proof whatsoever of this, but my theory is that the track listing is actually for an early version of the album that became Young Americans after The Gouster name and title cut had been dropped.

So, if this original configuration had been released as Young Americans, there would have been plenty of tracks left for a quick follow-up album, which I’m calling The Gouster.


1. I am Divine

2. Win

3. Shilling the Rubes

4. I am a Lazer (The Gouster)


1. After Today

2. Across the Universe

3. Fascination

4. Fame

From the actual released version of Young Americans, we have four songs to include here: “Win,” “Across the Universe,” “Fascination” and “Fame.” Thanks to better music editing software, old demos from this time period are showing up on bootlegs and YouTube. These include “I am Divine,” “Shilling the Rubes,” “After Today” and the previously mentioned “I am a Lazer (The Gouster).”

The album opens with the rockin’ “I am Divine” and closes with the monster hit “Fame.” Both “I am Divine” and “I am a Lazer” were destined also (along with other Bowie-penned songs) for the debut album of The Astronettes (Bowie’s backup singers), which was recorded around the same time, but was shelved and didn’t get released until 2009. But I definitely think Bowie originally planned to release these songs himself. My reasoning for that is that the recording Bowie made of “I am Divine” includes the Astronettes on backup with Bowie singing lead, and “I am a Lazer” is also a full band workout, although without the backup singers. So, why go to all that trouble if it was simply meant as a demo to give to the group?

Here's a Playlist on YouTube.

Now, if you want to go the extra mile and create a double album with all the tracks from this period, you could simply take the boxset’s The Gouster and add the version above to create this:


1. John, I’m Only Dancing (Again)

2. Somebody Up There Likes Me

3. It’s Gonna be Me


1. Who Can I be Now?

2. Can You Hear Me?

3. Young Americans

4. Right


1. I am Divine

2. Win

3. Shilling the Rubes

4. I am a Lazer (The Gouster)


1. After Today

2. Across the Universe

3. Fascination

4. Fame