Sunday, August 11, 2019

Pink Floyd - "Animals" (reimagined)


Last month I posted about a double album version of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. I included two live tracks, "You've Got to be Crazy" and "Raving and Drooling," that Floyd would later rewrite as "Dogs" and "Sheep" for the band's album Animals. A comment was posted by danielmartin273 asking what then would Animals have been without those two tracks. Until his comment, I hadn't really considered it. My response was "Maybe the remaining tracks from Animals along with selections from Gilmour's solo album?"

But afterward, I started thinking about it a bit more. Removing "Dogs" and "Sheep" from Animals takes away more than half the album because both tracks are so long. Besides Gilmour's first solo album being released in 1978 (a year after Animals), Richard Wright also released his first solo album that year. So I looked to both to see if I could cannibalize and recreate Animals (don't ask me what would then happen to the solo albums -- this could go on forever).


SIDE A
1. Pigs on the Wing (Part 1) - 1:24
2. I Can't Breathe Anymore - 3:04
3. Pigs (Three Different Ones) - 11:28
4. Cat Cruise - 5:14
5. Message from the Sheep (Field Recording) - 0:37

SIDE B
1. Deafinitely - 4:27
2. No Way - 5:32
3. Pink's Song - 3:28
4. So Far Away - 5:50
5. Pigs on the Wing (Part 2) - 1:24

First off, I wondered if I should even call the album Animals as the remaining tracks all have "Pigs" in the title. But two tracks I included led me to keep the album title. Also, the lyrics to "Pigs on the Wing (Part 2)" includes the line, "And any fool knows a dog needs a home" so there's at least one other animal reference.

Since "Dogs" and "Sheep" were essentially written back in 1974, only the "Pigs" tracks were new. I wonder if Waters' strong Type A-personality pushed other band members' potential contributions aside in order to create his concept for an album loosely based on "Animal Farm." It seems possible given that both Gilmour and Wright picked the time right after Animals and its supporting tour to release their first solo albums.

I looked for outtakes from Animals hoping to find something that hadn't been included initially, but there appears to be nothing other than one very short track of sound effects (which I used -- more on that later).

When it came to choosing which tracks to use from the solo albums, I decided against any that weren't completely written by a band member. I didn't think the band would go for that at this point in their career. That left us with six tracks from Gilmour's self titled album and nine from Wright's Wet Dream album.

Like the actual Animals, this version of the album begins and ends with the two parts of "Pigs on the Wing." I used Gilmour's "I Can't Breathe Anymore," "Deafinitely," "No Way" and "So Far Away." I couldn't resist Wright's "Cat Cruise" to add an additional animal-titled song. And "Pink's Song" sounded like something that should be on a Pink Floyd album, both musically and title wise.

I found "Message from the Sheep (Field Recording)" on a bootleg and it's supposedly an outtake from Animals. It's basically just a bunch of sheep yelling "baa!" I found it amusing, and at 37 seconds it seemed like a good way to end the first side. It ends up being sort of a reprise of the end of "Pigs (Three Different Ones)."

The two sides are fairly even, being 21:47 and 20:41 respectively.

Interestingly, I think this sounds more like a Pink Floyd album than the actual released Animals because of more input from Gilmour and Wright. To my ears, after Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd releases became increasingly more like Roger Waters albums with the rest of the band backing him.

Since we're keeping the album title, at first I didn't see a reason to change the album cover (especially since the only animal shown is the floating, inflatable pig). But then I thought in keeping with using earlier concept art for my double disc version of Wish You Were Here, I'd do the same with this entry. This was a concept sketch by design group Hipgnosis for Animals that the band rejected. I assume if it had been chosen, Hipgnosis would have created a more finished artwork, but this rough sketch is as good as we're going to get.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Jimmy Liggins Specialty Albums That Never Existed




Jimmy Liggins is one of those nearly-forgotten pioneers of R&B. Born in Oklahoma, his family moved to San Diego when he was a teenager. His older brother Joe Liggins would hit the big time with the hit "The Honeydripper," which topped the R&B charts for 18 weeks in 1945.

Jimmy followed his brother a couple of years later, signing with Specialty Records in L.A. His first single was released in 1947. At this time, Specialty only issued 78s and 45s. As far as I can tell, the label didn't issue an actual 33 1/3 album until Little Richard's debut in 1957, three years after Jimmy left Specialty. I wanted to see what it would have been like if Jimmy's songs had been packaged as LPs. In all, he recorded enough music to fill four standard LPs.

CADILLAC BOOGIE
SIDE A
1. I Can't Stop It    
2. Troubles Goodbye          
3. Teardrop Blues 
4. Cadillac Boogie 
5. Rough Weather Blues
6. Move Out Baby
SIDE B
1. Homecoming Blues
2. Careful Love      
3. Lookin' For My Baby      
4. Baby I Can't Forget You 
5. Nite Life Boogie
6. Don't Put Me Down       

The interesting thing about the title song (at least to me) is how it so obviously influenced the song "Rocket 88," which many people consider the first rock and roll song. One could argue that "Cadillac Boogie" should actually hold that title. Lots of other good R&B and blues can be found here as well. For cover art, I used a concept sketch GM did for the 1948 Cadillac. Looks similar to the Batmobile.



LONELY NIGHTS
SIDE A
1. Mississippi Boogie          
2. Misery Blues     
3. Answer to Teardrop Blues
4. That Song Is Gone
5. Sincere Lover's Blues     
6. Saturday Night Boogie Woogie Man
SIDE B
1. Down and Out Blues
2. Lonely Nights Blues
3. The Washboard Special
4. Lover's Prayer   
5. Goin' Down with the Sun
6. That's What's Knockin' Me Out  

More great music, and you can hear confidence building in Liggins' and his band's performances. I titled this LP Lonely Nights after the song "Lonely Nights Blues." For cover art, I thought this picture captured the concept well.


NOW’S THE TIME
SIDE A
1. Stolen Love
2. Low Down Blues
3. Brown Skin Baby
4. Dark Hour Blues
5. Drunk
6. I'll Never Let You Go
SIDE B
1. Come Back Home
2. Going Away       
3. Shuffle Shuck
4. I'll Always Love You
5. Hep Cat Boogie
6. Now's the Time

"Drunk" may be my favorite Liggins song, and it was one of his biggest hits, reaching the top 10 in late 1953 and early 1954. It contains the great line, "Came home one night with a swimmin' in the head, reached for the pillow, missed the whole durn bed." But "Drunk" would probably not be the best title for an album, so I went with Now's the Time. For cover art, I found this one of a couple embracing in front of a big clock and thought it worked well.


JUMPIN’ AND STOMPIN’
SIDE A
1. Come Back Baby
2. Train Blues
3. Baby's Boogie
4. Bye Bye Baby Good-Bye
5. Give Up Little Girl            
6. Unidentified Instrumental 
SIDE B         
1. Blues for Love   
2. Jumpin' and Stompin'
3. Cloudy Day Blues             
4. Pleading My Cause                         
5. Railroad Blues  

These are the last recordings by Liggins on Specialty Records. Lots of blues here -- "Train Blues," "Blues for Love," "Cloudy Day Blues" and "Railroad Blues." I can't find that Specialty released any of these songs at the time. Liggins himself released "Blues for Love" on his own Duplex Records label in 1959, but I'm not sure if it was the same recording or a remake. "Jumpin' and Stompin," which I used for the album title, is a rockin' instrumental with a piano up front. For cover art, I found this artwork that was used for a Liggins compilation CD and altered it a bit with a new title and the Specialty logo.

Notwithstanding his success at Specialty, or perhaps because of it, Liggins left the label and never had a big hit again despite recording on Aladdin and his own Duplex Records. He eventually faded from the scene -- his big band style no longer popular. From what I've read, after returning to San Diego for a few years he eventually ended up in North Carolina as a music teacher. He died in 1983.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Cheap Trick - "Cheap Flicks"


For this entry, I put together a compilation of Cheap Trick tracks that have appeared as part of various movie soundtracks over the years.

  1. Everything Works If You Let It ["Roadie"]
  2. Reach Out ["Heavy Metal"]
  3. I Must be Dreamin' ["Heavy Metal"]
  4. Spring Break ["Spring Break']
  5. Born to Raise Hell ["Rock & Rule"]
  6. I'm the Man ["Rock & Rule"]
  7. Ohm Sweet Ohm ["Rock & Rule"]
  8. Up the Creek ["Up the Creek"]
  9. Mighty Wings ["Top Gun"]
  10. Money (That's What I Want) ["Caddyshack II"]
  11. You Want It ["Say Anything"]
  12. I will Survive ["Gladiator"]
  13. Wild Thing ["Encino Man"]
  14. Surrender '99 ["Detroit Rock City"]
  15. Transformers (The Fallen Remix) ["Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"]

What I've included are Cheap Trick songs that were exclusive to the films, i.e. songs that didn't appear on the band's regular albums. So although "Surrender" and "I Want You to Want Me" were used (along with a few other band tracks) in many films over the years, they are not included here (except for the rerecorded version in 1999).

I put the tracks in chronological order, beginning with "Everything Works If You Let It" from 1980 through to "Transformers (The Fallen Remix)" from 2009. And since this would be a post-2009 release, I didn't divide the album into two sides like I usually do for a theoretical vinyl album. 


Most of the tracks can be found on the official soundtrack albums, and some can also be found on band compilation albums.There was never a soundtrack album released for the animated film "Rock & Rule" (aka "Ring of Power"), and Cheap Trick's three songs from the film were eventually released on the compilation Sex, America and Cheap Trick.

"Transformers (The Fallen Remix)" appears on the soundtrack for "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," but is not actually used in the movie for some reason. I decided to only include songs from movie soundtracks, but you could also include "Out in the Streets" (aka "That '70s Song") from the TV show "That '70s Show."


For a cover, I used a movie marquee generator and then made some simple modifications.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Who -- "Who's for Tennis?"



Between the release of The Who Sell Out in December 1967 and the release of Tommy in March 1969 were 17 long months. The Who's management and record company wanted something to fill the gap. Although three singles were released during this time, there were also a couple of ideas thrown around about releasing a live album or a compilation album of various tracks that hadn’t made it onto albums yet. A working title for this compilation was Who’s for Tennis? Eventually, two best-of compilations were released: Direct Hits in Britain and the oddly named Magic Bus: The Who on Tour in the U.S.

For this exercise, I put together a Who’s for Tennis? compilation using what few songs we still have that we didn’t include on our previous re-imagined Who albums. The result was a tidy, 10-track album.

SIDE A
1. Glow Girl
2. Fortune Teller
3. Dogs
4. Call Me Lightning
5. Melancholia

SIDE B
1. Faith is Something Bigger
2. Little Billy
3. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
4. Shakin' All Over
5. Magic Bus

"Glow Girl" was originally envisioned as an A-side of a single, and later to be the lead off track to Who's for Tennis? Then it was considered for Tommy. Eventually, it ended up on 1974's Odds and Sods. While I'm not sure it's really worthy of being a single, it's a nice way to start Who's for Tennis? "Fortune Teller" was considered for an EP that was never released. "Dogs" was released as a single in June 1968, and didn't do very well. A song about domestic bliss probably wasn't something most Who fans were clamoring for in 1968. "Call Me Lightning" was the B-side to "Dogs." "Melancholia" is also a song originally planned for Who's for Tennis? but it didn't get released until the 1995 version of The Who Sell Out as a bonus track.

Side B begins with "Faith is Something Bigger," an attempt by Pete for The Who to preach to the fans. "Little Billy" is an anti-smoking song supposedly written for the American Cancer Society and considered as a possible single. But it too ended up in the vault until Odds and Sods. "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is a John Entwistle tune written about Keith Moon and his alcohol-fueled mood swings. It was released as the B-Side to "Magic Bus." "Shakin' All Over" is a cover song originally recorded by Johnny Kidd and The Pirates, a rival band of The Who in the early days. The album concludes with the biggest hit here, "Magic Bus."

All these songs are easy to find on various Who compilations. The album cover comes from the great I Design Album Covers website: https://idesignalbumcovers.tumblr.com/

So if you're keeping track, we have the following for a revised 1960s discography for The Who:
To close out the '60s, you can also include my single disc version of Tommy if you'd like: https://albumsbackfromthedead.blogspot.com/2018/12/double-albums-made-single.html

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Who - "Happy Jack"



This is a followup from our previous blog entry about a revised version of The Who's My Generation album. Soniclovenoize recreated Jigsaw Puzzle (see http://albumsthatneverwere.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-who-jigsaw-puzzle.html) a few years ago, an album that had been planned but eventually scrapped in favor of A Quick One.

Continuing in the vein of assuming Introducing the Who, my revised version of My Generation as well as Jigsaw Puzzle were released, here I give you a brand new disc: Happy Jack -- but a very different version from the Happy Jack album that was released in the U.S.

SIDE A
1. Disguises
2. Doctor, Doctor
3. Bucket T
4. My Generation/Land of Hope and Glory
5. (Love is Like a) Heat Wave
6. Happy Jack

SIDE B
1. So Sad About Us
2. Batman
3. I've Been Away
4. A Quick One, While He's Away

The release of The Who's A Quick One album was a confusing time. It had started out as an album to be called Jigsaw Puzzle. And in the U.S. the tracklist was reshuffled and released as Happy Jack due to the title track becoming a hit on the American charts.

Only three tracks from the original Happy Jack are included here: "Heat Wave," "Happy Jack" and "A Quick One...." It should be noted that although "Heat Wave" appears on soniclovenoize's Introducing The Who, this is a different version. It kind of goes along with the different version of "My Generation" that appears here and segues into "Land of Hope and Glory." "Happy Jack" was the only track on our version that was released as a single so we keep the album name.

This is a fairly short album, but so many albums in the 1960s were short that I don't think that's a problem. And if you're going to have the other three revised versions of Who albums, all these tracks become strays.

"Disguises," "Bucket T" and "Batman" were originally released on the EP Ready Steady Who in 1966, and both "Disguises" and "Bucket T" as well as "Doctor, Doctor" were on the 1968 LP Magic Bus: The Who on Tour. "So Sad About Us" and "A Quick One, While He's Away" were released on A Quick One in 1966 and Happy Jack in 1967

"Heat Wave" was also released on A Quick One. "My Generation/Land of Hope and Glory" was originally intended for the Ready Steady Who EP, but not released until the 1995 remastered version of A Quick One. "Happy Jack" appeared, of course, on Happy Jack. And although "I've Been Away" was released as the B-side to "Happy Jack," I don't think it appeared on an album until the 1995 remastered version of A Quick One.

For cover art, I used the terrific single cover artwork for "Happy Jack" created by Ralph Steadman (probably best known for his association with Hunter S. Thompson).

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Who -- "My Generation"


This is the first in a series of three Who albums.

Over at soniclovenoize's "Albums That Never Were" blog site, he created what could have been The Who's debut album, Introducing The Who (http://albumsthatneverwere.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-who-introducing-who.html).

For this blog entry, I tackle a revised version of the album My Generation, assuming that soniclovenoize's Introducing The Who had been released.


SIDE A
1. Substitute
2. Bald Headed Woman
3. The Good's Gone (full version)
4. La La La Lies
5. Much Too Much
6. My Generation

SIDE B
1. The Kids are Alright
2. Instant Party Mixture
3. It's Not True
4. The Ox
5. Legal Matter
6. Circles (Instant Party)

There were two versions of My Generation officially released, one in Britain and another in the U.S. (the American version is titled The Who Sings My Generation). Four of the songs from those versions were used on soniclovenoize's Introducing The Who, which requires us to find replacements. 

Of those replacements, we kick off our version of My Generation with "Substitute," a classic Who song that the band has performed in nearly all of their concerts since it debuted. This is followed by "Bald Headed Woman," a blues song that was featured as the B-side of the "I Can't Explain" single. And then we use the full length version of "The Good's Gone." The rest of Side A is the same as the released versions of the album.

Side B begins the same as the released version with "The Kids are Alright." But then the second track is "Instant Party Mixture," which is a bit of filler originally intended as a B-side of a single. The rest of Side B is the same as the U.S. version of the album.

"Substitute" was originally a non-album single and I don't think it appeared on an album until Direct Hits was released in 1968. It can now be found on numerous compilations. "Bald Headed Woman," "The Good's Gone" and "Instant Party Mixture" can all be found on the 2014 deluxe version of My Generation.

I used the same cover as the British version of the album.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (double album)



With Pink Floyd's massive fame following the release and success of Dark Side of the Moon, the band wasn't sure how to follow it up. One idea was to use everyday items around the home as instruments. The working title of the album was Household Objects. After a few weeks of banging on pots and pans and strumming rubber bands, the group gave up on the idea. 

In addition, Pink Floyd had been working on and performing two songs while on tour in 1974: "You've Got to be Crazy" and "Raving and Drooling." Interestingly, neither one ended up on the subsequent album Wish You Were Here. Instead, both songs were reworked as "Dogs" and "Sheep" respectively for the band's 1977 album Animals.

I thought it might be interesting to combine what was released in 1975 along with other music the band was working on to expand Wish You Were Here into a double album. For this project, I've combined tracks of the actual Wish You Were Here with music the band had produced for this and other projects.

SIDE A
1. Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Parts I-V - 13:32 
2. Welcome to the Machine - 7:32

SIDE B
1. The Hard Way - 2:46
2. You've Got to be Crazy [live] - 18:13

SIDE C
1. Have a Cigar [alt] - 5:08
2. Raving and Drooling [live] - 14:30
3. The Travel Sequence - 2:21

SIDE D
1. Wish You Were Here [alt] - 6:14
2. Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Parts VI-IX - 12:30

I was a little leery at first of mixing studio and live tracks, but it's certainly something Pink Floyd has done before. But with the inclusion of new tracks, some rearranging was necessary to make the length of each album side relatively the same.

We open and close the album the same, with "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." In fact, the first side remains exactly the same with the inclusion of the track "Welcome to the Machine." 

For Side B, we open with the instrumental "The Hard Way," a leftover from Household Objects. The only other known music from that aborted album is "Wine Glasses," which the band incorporated into "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." So there was no need to add it as well. The side closes with "You've Got to be Crazy," recorded live at Wembley Stadium.

Side C opens with an alternate version of "Have a Cigar" that features vocals from Roger Waters and David Gilmour instead of Roy Harper. The next track is the live "Raving and Drooling," also recorded at Wembley Stadium. Closing out the side is the instrumental "The Travel Sequence," which is actually an outtake from Dark Side of the Moon.

The album's title song opens the final side. I used an alternate version, which is longer and features the prominent playing of Stephane Grappelli on violin. And as stated earlier, it closes with the rest of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond."

All of these tracks, including the live ones, can be found on the box set Why Pink Floyd...? The cover art was actually originally designed by Hipgnosis for Wish You Were Here, but rejected by the band.

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P.S. - Since publishing this post, I've discovered that there were demos recorded for both "You've Got to be Crazy" and "Raving and Drooling" that are available on a bootleg called The Extraction Tapes. So if you don't want live tracks mixed with studio ones, you could sub those.