Sunday, February 10, 2019

Brenda Holloway - "Hurtin' and Cryin'" and "Spellbound"



Motown Records scheduled the second album of Brenda Holloway to be released in November 1965 on its Tamla label. Titled Hurtin' and Cryin', the album never materialized. This is the reported track listing:

SIDE A
1. When I'm Gone
2. Just Look What You've Done
3. You've Made Me So Very Happy
4. I Don't Want Nobody's Gonna Make Me Cry
5. Till Johnny Comes
6. Hurt a Little Every Day

SIDE B

1. Starting the Hurt All Over
2. You Can Cry on My Shoulder
3. A World Without You
4. I'll Be Alright
5. Everybody Knows
6. Make Him Come to You

There are a number of  possible reasons the album was shelved. Her hits had been moderate, and the Motown forces were more focused on the acts that were making them money, specifically Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Temptations and The Miracles. Also, Holloway was from L.A., one of the few non-Detroit based acts on the label at the time. And perhaps most significantly, Holloway tended to rebel against the Motown machine, not going to its grooming school and often at odds with the material Motown was providing her.

Crazy enough, not only was the second album shelved, but two of the songs, "Just Look What You've Done" backed with "Starting to Hurt All Over" didn't see the light of day until released as a single 16 months later. And the Holloway-penned "You've Made Me So Very Happy" (later a big hit by Blood, Sweat and Tears) wasn't released as an A-side of a single until nearly two years after it was recorded.

All the tracks were eventually released in 2005 on Brenda Holloway: The Motown Anthology.

I found this album cover shown above online and simply added the Tamla logo.





SIDE A
1. I’m Giving Up
2. You Got a Little of Everything
3. Keep Me
4.What Good am I Without You?
5. The Lonely Heart and Lonely Eyes of Lonely Me
6. I Still Get Butterflies
7. Baby I’ve Got It

SIDE B
1. Spellbound
2. Whenever You Need Me
3. I Feel Your Love Growin’ on Me
4. Without Love You Lose a Good Feelin’
5. Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’?
6. Can’t Hold the Feeling Back

As if Holloway's tenure at Motown wasn't strange enough, even though songs from the aborted 1965 album were eventually released as singles in 1967, there appears to have been an attempt to record another Holloway album in 1966. The compilation Motown Unreleased 1966 includes 13 songs recorded by her to build this potential third album.

No track list, album title or album cover exists for this as far as I know. So I created my own or used what I could find on the Interwebs. In creating the track list, I tried to mix it up as best as possible. Most songs are dance pop or ballads. Since we had an odd number of tracks, I put most of the longer tracks on the side with the fewer songs.

"What Good am I Without You?" had originally been titled "Talk Still Going On" and had been assigned to Tammi Terrell.

There was already a compilation album for Holloway titled Spellbound, so I simply took that cover and made a few changes to make it look more like an album from '66.

Holloway eventually did record one more album for Tamla, The Artistry of Brenda Holloway, in 1968, before leaving the label for good.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Kinks - "God's Children versus Dreams and the Good Life, Part Two"



Like last week, here's another lost sequel. 

The Kinks' Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One was released in late 1970 and brought the band some much needed critical and financial success after a drought of a few years. 

As the title suggests, there was supposed to be a Part Two, but it was never released. Which leads us to this week's entry:

SIDE A
1. God's Children
2. Animals in the Zoo
3. Nobody's Fool
4. Anytime
5. Willesden Green
6. The Way Love Used to Be

SIDE B
1. The Good Life
2. Moments
3. Lavender Lane
4. Dreams
5. Just Friends
6. Got to be Free (Again)

In an interview with Uncut magazine in 2014, Ray Davies is quoted as saying, "Lola Versus Powerman… was good versus evil, obviously, and in Volume Two, I sketched out how you become your worst nightmare, how the good man goes so far he becomes the evil person he always fought against. But we had to do another tour, we had the RCA deal, and we had other recording projects that we had to work towards, and it got lost, unfortunately."

So the planned theme was a good man becomes the evil he'd previously fought against. That gives us something to work with. One of the "other recording projects" Ray refers to was a soundtrack album for a movie called Percy, and that soundtrack became the actual followup album instead of Part Two. I had to wonder if any ideas that he'd originally had for Part Two just ended up being used for the soundtrack. It wouldn't be surprising that The Kinks recycled some ideas considering the soundtrack also includes an instrumental version of "Lola."

In the same Uncut interview, Ray Davies says of the Percy soundtrack, "There were a few songs already written, like 'The Way Love Used To Be,' but most of it was done to fit the themes of the film." I have a feeling most if not all of the instrumentals (minus the "Lola" instrumental) were written for the film. But at least some of the songs with lyrics may have originally been intended of Part Two. Or perhaps the general theme of "man becomes the evil he'd previously fought against" was simply still percolating in Ray's head as he wrote songs for the film.

From Percy I took the songs "God's Children," "The Way Love Used to Be," "Moments," "Animals in the Zoo," "Just Friends," "Dreams" and "Willesden Green." 

From the 2014 deluxe edition of Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, I used the outtakes "Anytime," "The Good Life" and an alternate version of "Got to be Free" (which I retitled "Got to be Free (Again)"). It sounds significantly different than the originally released version, and I thought ending both albums with different versions of the same song more strongly tied the two together.

Unfortunately, these 10 tunes left us a bit short of an album. So I was forced to reach a bit. On the deluxe edition of the band's 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies, there are two outtakes that don't appear to fit that album's theme: "Lavender Lane" and "Nobody's Fool." They may be a little late to be appearing on Part Two, but who's to say (other than Ray Davies)?

For a title, I didn't think it made sense to call it Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part Two since it specifically references songs from the last album. So in keeping with the way the previous album was named incorporating song titles, I did the same here and came up with God's Children versus Dreams and the Good Life, Part Two. It's a mouthful, but I think it works with the general theme.

Finally, for a cover I tried to make it similar in style to Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround to show they're linked, but make it a bit darker/more chaotic looking. So instead of geometric lines we have scribbling, and instead of looking out at you, Ray is in profile. Instead of titles in blue, they're in red.

I have to say, from the song selection to the cover design, I'm rather proud of how this effort turned out.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Clash -- "The Story of the Clash, Volume 2"



In 1988, Epic Records released a double CD titled The Story of the Clash, Volume 1. It was a compilation album with most of the band's well-known songs -- basically a "best of" collection.

A Volume 2 was planned, but never released. There has been some debate as to exactly what was supposed to be on the second volume. I've read both that it was to be live tracks, and also that it was supposed to be rarities. I've also read that it was to be a combination of both. Perhaps there was a disagreement among parties and that's why it never materialized. 

When it came to determining what tracks to use for The Story of the Clash, Volume 2, I decided to include both rarities and live material. If this was to truly be a "story of the band," I think both sum up The Clash along with the "hits" of Volume 1.

In the 1990s, there were several Clash compilation albums that came out with B-sides, rarities and live tracks. Two of those albums stood out to me -- From Here to Eternity: Live and Super Black Market Clash.


DISC 1 - Live
  1. London's Burning (Victoria Park, East London, 30 April 1978)
  2. What's My Name (Music Machine, London, 27 July 1978)
  3. City of the Dead (Lyceum Theatre, London, 28 Dec. 1978)
  4. I Fought the Law (Lyceum Theatre, London, 28 Dec. 1978)
  5. Drug-Stabbing Time (Lyceum Theatre, London, 28 Dec. 1978)
  6. English Civil War (Lyceum Theatre, London, 3 Jan. 1979)
  7. Capital Radio (Lewisham Odeon, London, 18 Feb. 1980)
  8. Armagideon Time (Lewisham Odeon, London, 18 Feb. 1980)
  9. Complete Control (Bonds International Casino, New York City, 13 June 1981)
  10. Train in Vain (Bonds International Casino, New York City, 13 June 1981)
  11. The Guns of Brixton (Bonds International Casino, New York City, 13 June 1981)
  12. Clash City Rockers (Orpheum, Boston, 7 Sept. 1982)
  13. (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais (Orpheum, Boston, 7 Sept. 1982)
  14. London Calling (Orpheum, Boston, 7 Sept. 1982)
  15. The Magnificent Seven (Orpheum, Boston, 7 Sept. 1982)
  16. Know Your Rights (Orpheum, Boston, 7 Sept. 1982)
  17. Should I Stay or Should I Go (Orpheum, Boston, 7 Sept. 1982)
  18. Straight to Hell (Orpheum, Boston, 7 Sept. 1982)
  19. Janie Jones (Orpheum, Boston, 7 Sept. 1982)
  20. Career Opportunities (Shea Stadium, New York City, 13 Oct. 1982)
DISC 2 - Rarities
  1. 1977 (B-side of "White Riot" single, 1977)
  2. Listen (full version, 1977)
  3. City of the Dead (B-side of "Complete Control" single, 1977)
  4. Jail Guitar Doors (B-side of "Clash City Rockers" single, 1978)
  5. The Prisoner (B-side of "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais" single, 1978)
  6. 1-2 Crush on You (B-side of "Tommy Gun" single, 1978)
  7. Pressure Drop (B-side of "English Civil War" single, 1979)
  8. Groovy Times (The Cost of Living E.P., 1979)
  9. Gates of the West (The Cost of Living E.P., 1979)
  10. Capital Radio Two (The Cost of Living E.P., 1979)
  11. Justice Tonight / Kick It Over (dub version of "Armagideon Time," B-side of "London Calling" 12-inch single, 1979)               
  12. Time Is Tight (from Black Market Clash, 1980)
  13. Robber Dub (dub version of "Bankrobber" 1980)
  14. Stop the World (B-side of "The Call Up" single, 1980)
  15. The Cool Out (instrumental version of "The Call Up,” B-side of "The Magnificent Seven" single, 1981)
  16. The Magnificent Dance (B-side of "The Magnificent Seven" single, 1981)
  17. Radio Clash (B-side of "This Is Radio Clash" single, 1981)
  18. First Night Back in London (B-side of "Know Your Rights" single, 1982)     
  19. Long Time Jerk (B-side of "Rock the Casbah" single, 1982)
  20. Cool Confusion (B-side of "Should I Stay or Should I Go" single, 1982)       
  21. Mustapha Dance (dub version of "Rock the Casbah," B-side of "Rock the Casbah" single, 1982)      
In essence, From Here to Eternity: Live accomplishes the live portion. It includes tracks recorded from 1978 through 1982. At the risk of appearing lazy, I decided to simply take those tracks to make my "live" disc, with the main difference in that I put the tracks in chronological order. I also added a live version of "English Civil War" that appears on the compilation Clash on Broadway as there aren't any other tracks featured from 1979.

For Disc 2, I took a similar approach in that I took the tracks of rarities compilation Super Black Market Clash, and reorganized the songs in chronological order.

I can't say as to whether this is close to the original plan for Volume 2, but I think it certainly manages to showcase the band as both a live act and as a group with diverse music. For a cover, I tried to mimic Volume 1 by taking another photo of The Clash and using a similar layout.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Underdogs - S/T


After three singles on Hideout Records in 1965 and 1966 that went nowhere, Detroit garage rockers The Underdogs probably thought they were finally going to break out in 1967 following the group's signing to Motown's V.I.P. imprint.

In January 1967, their single "Love's Gone Bad" (b/w "Mojo Hanna") was released by V.I.P. And the band recorded more tracks as well for what I assume was to be the band's debut album. However, according to the Both Sides Now website, V.I.P. Records only scheduled eight albums during its short life (and two of those were never released), and there's no mention of an Underdogs LP.

The band's newest single didn't sell any better than their previous ones, V.I.P. lost interest and the band faded away.

Then in 2016 and 2017 the collections Motown Unreleased 1966 and Motown Unreleased 1967 came out respectively and included a combined 12 Underdogs tracks. There's also one other track that can be found on the album Motown Sings Motown Treasures. Add the failed single and we've a nice 15-song album:

SIDE A
1. You Hit Me Where It Hurt Me
2. Come on Up
3. If You Don't Want My Love
4. Come See About Me
5. The Way You Do the Things You Do
6. One of These Days
7. Love's Gone Bad [extended version]

SIDE B
1. It's My Time
2. Mojo Hannah
3. I Want A Love I Can See
4. I Got A Feeling Baby
5. Bring It on Home To Me
6. Last Train to Clarksville
7. Need Your Lovin' (Want You Back)
8. Turn on Your Lovelight

This is an interesting collection, and it can be entertaining listening to a garage rock band perform Motown soul hits. A cover of the Supremes' "Come See About Me" doesn't stray far from the original. But "The Way You Do the Things You Do" is almost unrecognizable at the beginning, and the odd "na na na na" from "Land of a Thousand Dances" added in the middle is unexpected. I found an extended version of "Love's Gone Bad" online and included it here as a longer album version of the single.

I opened the second side with "It's My Time" as it seems like the obvious next single. It had actually been originally assigned to The Mynah Birds, but when Rick James was incarcerated and his band broke up, I guess the track was up for grabs.

The oddest choice is a cover of The Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville." Other than some fuzz guitar, it's basically the same song. Even odder, according to notes on Motown Unreleased 1967, the song was originally assigned to the Isley Brothers.

I closed out the album with "Turn on Your Lovelight" as it gets the full Motown horn backup and it gives the album a grand conclusion. While most of these songs are enjoyable, there's nothing here that suggests to me that The Underdogs were anything other than standard '60s garage rock.

For a cover, I took one of the two or three band photos I could find, tinted it, and added the group name and VIP Records logo.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Monkees - "L.A., D.C., Houston and Openshaw"



There were a lot of outtakes from The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees album, and I guess that shouldn't be surprising. Despite the success of the previous two albums, Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. where the band members worked together as a team, for The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees the members worked mostly independently. As a result, there were a lot more tracks than were needed for a single album.

I guess I could have reconfigured The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees into a double album, but that's not as fun as creating a whole new LP.

SIDE A
1. Changes
2. If I Ever Get to Saginaw Again
3. Rosemarie
4. Lady's Baby
5. Carlisle Wheeling
6. Come on In
7. My Share of the Sidewalk

SIDE B
1. Tear the Top Right off My Head
2. Shake 'Em Up (and Let 'Em Roll)
3. Party
4. Nine Times Blue
5. War Games
6. Merry Go Round

The only real problem with assembling the tracks for this album is that it has only two with Micky Dolenz on lead vocals -- "Rosemarie" and "Shake 'Em Up (and Let 'Em Roll)." Considering he sang most of the band's hits, the album is a bit lacking without more of his voice. But on the other hand, it allows the other three members to shine a bit.

I thought the jangly “Changes” sung by Davy was a good opener for side one, and Peter’s rockin’ “Tear the Roof Right Off My Head” a good opener for side two. Besides Micky's two lead vocals, Davy and Peter have lead vocals on four tracks each, and Mike sings lead on three.

All songs can be found on Missing LinksMissing Links Volume Two or Missing Links Volume Three

For an album title, I took a cue from The Monkees' Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. album that was named after their zodiac symbols (both Nesmith and Jones having the same, Capricorn). L.A., D.C., Houston and Openshaw is named after the towns each band member was born in.

For an album cover, I used a tie-dye (or is that batique?) background and placed over it The Monkees logo. Then I added London underground signs with the names of the cities, as well as the Colgems Records logo. Came out nice, I think.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

David Bowie -- "Bowie-ing Out"



Tuesday is David Bowie's birthday -- he would have been 72 -- so I thought this would be a good time to offer this idea of a covers album.

Bowie's 1973 album Pin Ups was supposed to be the first of two collections of 1960s cover versions. While Pin Ups featured covers of British songs, the second was to be made up of songs by American artists. One tentative title for the second album was Bowie-ing Out although that title was being considered for a live album as well.

Why the plan for the second album fizzled is not really clear. What is known is that Bowie loved Bruce Springsteen's then-new debut album Greetings from Asbury Park and recorded two of the tracks. However, since Springsteen's album was a 1973 release, the two tracks didn't really fit the original concept of covering 1960s songs.

But while Bowie never released Bowie-ing Out, he did continue covering 1960s/early 1970s songs throughout much of his career. 
  1. Growin' Up - Bruce Springsteen [Pin Ups - 1990 reissue]
  2. I Keep Forgettin' - Chuck Jackson [Tonight]
  3. Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan [Heaven and Hull (Mick Ronson)]
  4. God Only Knows - Beach Boys [Tonight]
  5. I'm Waiting for the Man - Velvet Underground [Bowie at the Beeb]
  6. Knock on Wood - Eddie Floyd [David Live]
  7. Alabama Song - The Doors [Scary Monsters (and Super Freaks) - 1992 reissue]
  8. White Light/White Heat - Velvet Underground [Bowie at the Beeb]
  9. I've Been Waiting for You - Neil Young [Heathen]
  10. America - Simon and Garfunkel [The Concert for New York]
  11. I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship - Legendary Stardust Cowboy [Heathen]
  12. I Wanna Be Your Dog - The Stooges [Glass Spider]
  13. It's Hard to be a Saint in the City - Bruce Springsteen [The Best of David Bowie 1974/1979]
Since the Springsteen songs were from 1973, I used only covers of tracks that were from that year and prior. The rip-roaring version of "Like a Rolling Stone" actually comes from Mick Ronson's Heaven and Hull album and features Bowie on lead vocals.

Yes, I know that "Alabama Song" was written in the 1920s, originally in German and translated into English soon afterward. But let's face it, the version most people know is that of The Doors. 

I mixed up the songs from different years as well as studio and live tracks. Although it doesn't really mirror Pin Ups, I think this is an interesting compilation that forgoes the usual songs found on hits collections (and Bowie certainly has plenty of those already). This collection could have been a compilation album released during the 10-year gap between Bowie's Reality and The Next Day albums.

For a cover, I wanted something that was contemporary, but also somehow mimicked the Pin Ups cover where Bowie appears with supermodel Twiggy. I found it when I spotted a series of photos of Bowie posing with supermodel Kate Moss in (I think) 2003. I liked this photo best and added name and title. Interestingly (at least to me), the Pin Ups cover shoot was photographed for Vogue Magazine, but Bowie requested the use of it for his album instead. The picture of him and Kate Moss was also part of a photo shoot for Vogue. So it all comes together.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Honeydrippers -- "Volume Two"



In early 1981, Robert Plant made his first public return to the stage after the breakup of Led Zeppelin. Fronting a band called The Honeydrippers, Plant performed several R&B and early rock and roll numbers in front of small audiences at unbilled shows. Some may have wondered at the time whether this was going to be his new direction. But during the following two years he released all-new music with two albums and a tour.

Then in 1984, Plant surprised a lot of people when he released a Honeydrippers EP. The band lineup was completely different than the one that had performed at unpublicized gigs in 1981, and included Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Nile Rodgers among others. And perhaps to Plant's surprise, The Honeydrippers, Volume One was a hit  bigger, in fact, than his previous two solo albums had been. The "group" made one TV appearance, as musical guest on "Saturday Night Live" with Brian Setzer on guitar.

Soon after the EP's success, Plant said in interviews that he planned to record a full Honeydrippers album. But so far, it hasn't materialized, and I'm guessing at this point it never will. 

However, I wondered if there might be some stray tracks that could, if not create a whole album, at least be a second EP.


SIDE A
1. Philadelphia Baby – (Porky’s Revenge soundtrack, Crawling King Snakes, 1985)
2. Let’s Have a Party – (The Last Temptation of Elvis soundtrack, 1990)
3. Louie Louie – (Wayne’s World 2 soundtrack, 1993)
SIDE B
1. Gonna Shoot You Right Down (Boom Boom) – (Blues Blues Blues, Jimmy Rogers All-Stars, 1998)
2. Let the Boogie Woogie Roll – (More Friends: Small World, Big Band, Vol. 2, Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, 2002)
* BONUS: Santa Claus is Back in Town [live] – (Saturday Night Live, The Honeydrippers, 1984)

Since the 1981 band lineup wasn't the same as the one in 1984, and since not even all the same musicians performed on all the tracks of the original EP, it seems logical to think of The Honeydrippers as simply Robert Plant covering old songs with a rotating cast of band members.

Since it took three years from the original Honeydrippers conception until Volume One was released, I didn't mind a gap of a few years between songs for Volume Two. But I ended up having to really expand beyond a few years to find enough tracks for a simple five-song EP -- 17 years to be exact. Admittedly, it seems a bit far-fetched. Still, it's a nice companion to the original. 

"Philadelphia Baby" on the Porky's Revenge soundtrack was credited to The Crawling King Snakes. But considering that it came out in 1985, I wonder if it wasn't originally conceived as another Honeydrippers song. The song was written and originally recorded by Charlie Rich in 1958.

"Let's Have a Party" was written by Jessie Mae Robinson and first recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957 as simply "Party" for the film "Loving You." Wanda Jackson recorded her version the following year with the extended title (although it apparently wasn't released until 1960). Led Zeppelin actually performed this song often as part of a medley during shows.

"Louie Louie" was written and recorded by Richard Berry in 1955, although it's probably best known for the 1963 version by The Kingsman. "Gonna Shoot You Right Down (Boom Boom)" was written and recorded by John Lee Hooker in 1961. "Let the Boogie Woogie Roll" was written by Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, and first recorded by Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters in 1960.

I included the holiday song "Santa Claus is Back in Town" from the Honeydrippers' appearance on "SNL" as a bonus track. It was written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, and originally recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957.

For a cover, I took a 1950s photo of a couple slow dancing, did a bit of cosmetic work, and added the group name and logo.