Archive for January, 2016

Beatles Reunited: Smile Away (1972)

January 28th, 2016 19 comments

The Beatles - Smile Away

What if The Beatles hadn’t broken up in 1970? In Any Major Alternative Universe the Fab Four stayed together, releasing solo records as they pleased but also keeping on producing Beatles albums.

We’ve already had the double-album follow-up to Let It Be, titled Everest, from 1971, and a live album from 1972. This new effort is also from 1972, including a few hold-overs from Harrison’s and Lennon’s fertile period in 1971. In 1972 Lennon was busy producing his weak Some Time In New York solo album with Yoko anyway, so that was just as well.

Ringo was on a roll and had two songs of his own composition included on the album (both in real life featuring George Harrison, who also played on John”™s Gimme Some Truth). Back Off Boogaloo, written by Ringo, was so good that Paul couldn’t object to its inclusion, even though the song addresses him.

In his commendable alternative-history novel The Life And Death of Mal Evans, Peter Lee produced his own idea of post-1970 Beatles albums. I followed his lead in calling the 1971 effort Everest. His follow-up album was set in 1974, as will be my next collection.

Arriving at a title for this putative 1972 LP was a bit of a challenge. What would The Beatles call an album in 1972? What was the vibe? I went for an easy option, and decided to riff on one of the song titles on this collection. But which one? I was torn between some theme relating to Gimme Some Truth, or maybe It Don’t Come Easy. But I think Smile Away is enigmatic and sounds like it fits to 1972. So that’s the one.

This is a single album, so it’ll easily fit on a CD-R. Covers included; PW in comments.

Side 1
Power To The People (John)
It Don’t Come Easy (Ringo)
Hi Hi Hi (Paul)
Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) (George)
Another Day (Paul)
Imagine (John)

Side 2
If Not For You (George)
Smile Away (Paul)
Gimme Some Truth (John)
Back Off Bugaloo (Ringo)
Behind That Locked Door (George)
Wild Life (Paul)


The Death & Life of Mal Evans by Peter Lee is available in print or eBook from or from Amazon or Kobo. Also check out Peter’s blog of the book.

Previous Beatles Reunited albums:
Everest (1971)
Live ’72 (1972)
Smile Away (1972)
Photographs (1974)
77 (1977)
Let It See (1980)

More great Beatles stuff:
Beatles Recovered: A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles Recovered: Beatles For Sale
Beatles Recovered: Help!
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul
Beatles Recovered: Revolver
Beatles Recovered: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club  Band
Beatles Revovered: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Recovered: White Album
Beatles Recovered: Yellow Submarine
Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 – Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 – Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Any Bizarre Beatles
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2

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Any Major Favourites 2015 Vol. 2

January 25th, 2016 10 comments

Layout 1

Last week we had 21 songs from 21 mixes posted on this blog in 2015. Here are 19 more songs from 19 more mixes posted in 2015. That gives us 40 mixes, though there were a couple more, in addition to the monthly In Memoriam posts.

Nobody has asked me which was my favourite Any Major Mix of 2015. I will still venture an answer. I think I’ve played the Any Major Roads Vol. 1 mix the most, along with both Not Feeling Guilty mixes, Vol. 4 and Vol. 5, and Any Major Winter.

I dare not ask which mix you liked in particular, since readers of his blog are very shy people, aside from a few comment section regulars, whom I love very much. Still, which Any Major Mix (or mixes, of course) did you particular enjoy the past year “” or, indeed, ever?

1. Diana Ross – The Boss (1979)
Any Major Funk Vol. 8
2. Janis Ian – Fly Too High (1980)
Any Major Disco Vol. 2 ““ Pop Edition
3. Ambrosia – You’re The Only Woman (1980)
Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 5
4. Rita Coolidge – That Man Is My Weakness (1971)
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1
5. John Lennon – How (1971)
Beatles Reunited ““ Everest (1971)
6. The Rolling Stones – Winter (1973)
Any Major Winter
7. B.B. King – Ghetto Woman (1971)
The Ringo Starr Collection
8. Hall & Oates with Eddie Kendricks & David Ruffin – My Girl (1985)
Live Aid ““ 30 years ago
9. The Intruders – Rainy Days And Mondays (1974)
Covered With Soul Vol. 20
10. The Ebonys – You’re The Reason Why (1973)
Any Major Soul 1973 ““ Vol. 2
11. Salsoul Orchestra feat Loleatta Holloway – Runaway (1977)
Any Major Disco Vol. 3
12. Juluka – Scatterlings Of Africa (1982)
A Life In Vinyl: 1982
13. Billy Idol – Hot In The City (1982)
Any Major Summer Vol. 5
14. Sweet – Fox On The Run (1975)
Any Major Glam Vol. 2
15. T. Rex – Metal Guru (1972)
Any Major Teen Dreams
16. The Redskins – Bring It Down (This Insane Thing) (1985)
Should Have Been A UK Top 10 Hit ““ Vol. 1
17. Depeche Mode – But Not Tonight (Extended Remix) (1986)
Any Major B-Side
18. Godley + Creme – Under Your Thumb (1981)
Any Major Halloween Vol. 2
19. Humble Pie – Drive My Car (1975)
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul


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The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 2

January 21st, 2016 8 comments

The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 2

This is the second mix of songs featuring the great, prolific and versatile session drummer Steve Gadd “” and there will be a third mix, the first in this series of compilations in honour of session players. And still there will be loads of artists for whom Gadd has drummed who will be excluded. I ran that list last time; I do so again here.

Bette Middler, Bob James, Joe Farrell, Rusty Bryant, Ellie Greenwhich, Jackie DeShannon, O”Donel Levy, Chet Baker, Hubert Laws, Herbie Mann, Deodato, Stanley Clarke, Hank Crawford, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Merry Clayton, David Sanborn, Leon Redbone, Kenny Vance, Chick Corea, Maynard Ferguson, The Brecker Brothers, Jon Lucien, Alessi Brothers, Freddie Hubbard, Ashford & Simpson, Eric Gale, Phoebe Snow, Lou Courtney, Al Di Meola, Harry Chapin, Earl Klugh, Sergio Mendes, Garland Jeffreys, Ringo Starr, Frankie Valli, Lolleatta Holloway, Manhattan Transfer, Weather Report, The Sylvers, Mongo Santamaria, Sadao Watanbabe, Richard Tee, Charles Mingus, Yusef Latif, Meco, Larry Carlton, Herb Alpert, Joe Sample, Jennifer Holliday, Diana Ross, Tania Maria, Paul Shaffer, Laurie Anderson, John Sebastian, Mark Cohn, Edie Brickell, Buddy Rich, Angela Bofill, Stephen Bishop, Eric Clapton, Tracy Chapman, Joss Stone, Randy Crawford, Nils Landgren, Kate Bush “” and many others”¦

This mix is particularly nice. I”ve had it on frequent rotation over the past few months, and enjoy its chilled out vibe every time it comes on. I hope you”ll like it, too.

As always, CD-R length, home-made covers, PW in comments (and do feel free to tell me whether you like this mix, or find the covers of no use, or what you think about Steve Gadd).

1. Tom Scott – Gotcha (Theme from Starsky & Hutch) (on percussion, 1977)
2. Roberta Flack – I”m The One (1982)
3. Melissa Manchester – I Wanna Be Where You Are (1977)
4. Michael McDonald – Playin” By The Rules (1982)
5. Carly Simon – You Belong To Me (1978)
6. Christopher Cross – Words Of Wisdom (1983)
7. Bee Gees – Nothing Could Be Good (1981)
8. Janis Ian – Do You Wanna Dance? (1978)
9. Esther Phillips – Living Alone(1974)
10. Maggie Bell – A Woman Left Lonely (1974)
11. Kate & Anna McGarrigle – Kiss And Say Goodbye (1975)
12. Paul McCartney – Take It Away (1982)
13. Joe Cocker – I Broke Down (1976)
14. Everything But The Girl – The Only Living Boy In New York (1993)
15. Dusty Springfield – Beautiful Soul (1974)
16. Nancy Wilson – From You To Me To You (1976)
17. Luther Vandross & Patti Austin – I”m Gonna Miss You In The Morning (1978)
18. NYCC – Make Every Day Count (1978)
19. Bob James – Soulero (1974)


Previous Session Musicians:
The Roy Bittan Collection
The Larry Carlton Collection
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 1
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 2
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 2
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 3
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 2
The Bobby Graham Collection
The Louis Johnson Collection
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 2
The Bobby Keys Collection
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 1
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 2
The Joe Osborne Collection
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 1
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 2
The Ringo Starr Collection

Categories: Mix CD-Rs, Session Players Tags:

Any Major Favourites 2015 Vol. 1

January 18th, 2016 10 comments

Any Major Covers

In my younger days I was an enthusiastic mix-tape compiler. The lucky girls who were the objects of my affection would be blessed with my carefully compiled cassettes. I have no doubt whatsoever that they profoundly appreciated the education they were receiving, never mind if they liked Whitney Houston and I inducted them into the delights of Prefab Sprout or The Rock Lobsters. Funny enough, I ended up marrying none of them. Not that my future wife escaped my aggressive mix-taping, but by the time we were dating, I had the consideration to compile songs in her favoured genres.

As the regular reader will know, I still enjoy making mix-tapes. I love selecting the music, even as I hate omitting good songs to keep within my set length of one standard CD-R. I enjoy sequencing the songs; it’s perhaps the most creative part of the process. And I love playing the mixes, mostly in my car.

Here is a compilation of songs that featured on compilations that ran during the past year, with a second mix coming next week.

1. Odyssey – Use It Up And Wear It Out (1980)
Any Major Disco Vol. 1
2. Jorge Ben – Taj Mahal (1976)
Copy Borrow Steal ““ The Collection
3. Bill LaBounty – Livin’ It Up (1982)
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1
4. Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgettin’ (1982)
The Louis Johnson Collection
5. Karl Kikillus – Another Shore (1983)
Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 4
6. Alan Price – Groovy Times (1978)
Any Major Love
7. Tim Rose – You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (1972)
Help! Recovered
8. The Dells – Dock Of The Bay (1969)
Covered With Soul Vol. 21
9. Margie Joseph – Touch Your Woman (1973)
Any Major Soul 1973 ““ Vol. 1
10. Bettye Crutcher – Up For A Let Down (1974)
Any Major Soul 1974 ““ Vol. 1
11. Sammy Davis Jr – Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow (Theme of Baretta) (1976)
Any Major TV”ˆTheme Songs Vol. 3
12. Tony Joe White – I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby (1972)
The Originals ““ Elvis Presley Vol. 2
13. Little Feat – Truck Stop Girl (1970)
Any Major Roads Vol. 1
14. Alison Krauss – Forget About It (1999)
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 2
15. Rilo Kiley – The Angels Hung Around (2007)
Saved! Vol. 6 ““ The Angels edition
16. The The – Heartland (1986)
Should Have Been A UK Top 10 Hit ““ Vol. 2
17. Garland Jeffreys – R.O.C.K. (1981)
A Life In Vinyl: 1981
18. Paul McCartney & Wings – Maybe I’m Amazed (live, 1976)
The Beatles: Reunited and live
19. Dusty Springfield – You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me (1966)
The Bobby Graham Collection
20. Edith Piaf – Notre-Dame de Paris (1952)
Any Major Paris In Black & White
21. Smiley Lewis – One Night Of Sin (1956)
The Originals ““ Elvis Presley Vol. 1


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Any Major Roads Vol. 2

January 14th, 2016 9 comments

Any Major Road Vol.2

Let”s go for a drive again with songs about cars and being on the road. The first Any Major Roads mix was very popular. This time around I”ve been a bit less purist about the song having to do with actual driving; here the artists can also talk about their cars or trucks. Though I cannot vouch that this is really case with Patrick Gammon”s rather metaphorical Yo” Chevy.

I have also waived my rule about not repeating artists: as indicated last time, there are just too many Springsteen songs about cars and girls (and look which Prefab Sprout I did not choose). And how did you like the beta-version of Thunder Road on the first mix?

One song here is about a real-life incident: George Jones” car crash in 2003 in Tennessee. Jones was talking on his cellphone when he crashed into a concrete bridge railing (luckily not into another car). He wasn”t wearing a seatbelt, which aggravated his serious injuries. So the Drive-By Truckers song is a valid public safety announcement. Talking (never mind texting) on the phone while driving is dangerous, also to other roads users. In terms of shitty driving behaviour, it ranks only just below driving while drunk.

The next Any Major Roads will comprise nominations from readers; quite a few were offered in the comments of Volume 1. If you have any nominations, please list them in your comments.

I made this mix at the same time as I was planning a musical road-trip around the US, which will kick off in Boston in a few weeks” time.

As always, this mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-serviced covers. PW in comments.

1. Canned Heat – On The Road Again (1968)
2. Allman Brothers Band – Brothers Of The Road (1981)
3. Carole King – Main Street Saturday Night (1978)
4. Steely Dan – Midnite Cruiser (1972)
5. Patrick Gammon – Yo” Chevy (1979)
6. Prefab Sprout – Faron Young (1985)
7. James Taylor – Traffic Jam (1977)
8. NRBQ – Ridin” In My Car (1978)
9. Dar Williams – Road Buddy (1997)
10. Son Volt – Highways And Cigarettes (2007)
11. Steve Earle – N.Y.C. (1997)
12. Bon Jovi – Fast Cars (2009)
13. Joe Walsh – Life”s Been Good (1978)
14. Bruce Springsteen – Stolen Car (1980)
15. Drive-By Truckers – George Jones Talkin” Cell Phone Blues (2009)
16. George Jones – The One I Loved Back Then (Corvette Song) (1985)
17. Johnny Cash – I”ve Been Everywhere (1996)
18. Elvis Presley – Long Black Limousine (1969)
19. Ronnie and the Daytonas – Little GTO (1964)
20. The Beach Boys – Little Deuce Coupe (1963)
21. Jan & Dean – Dead Man”s Curve (1964)


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In Memoriam – December 2015

January 7th, 2016 7 comments

IM Dec 2015 gallery-1In what might be his best-known song, Ace of Spades, Motörhead”s frontman Lemmy Kilmister sang: “That”s the way I like it, Baby; I don”t want to live forever”. Just after Christmas he got his wish “” only just over a month after the death of Motörhead drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Lemmy, who was widely believed to be indestructible and therefore immortal, had learnt of his aggressive cancer only a couple of days before his death. Reportedly he checked out playing his favourite video game.

On the day Lemmy died one of the pioneers of rock & roll also went (coming too late to my attention for inclusion in the annual round-up of music deaths which I posted on New Year”s Eve). Saxophonist Joe Houston was a pioneer without being really a rock & roller. His jam was the jump, but he used the terminology of “rock and roll” and “rockin”” before it became a big thing, on a 1952 album titled Rock And Roll which included titles like titles such as “We”re Gonna Rock “˜N” Roll” and “Rockin” At The Drive-In” (Hear the latter HERE). Of course, the term had been used before, even by Ella Fitzgerald. But Houston was part of the movement that would give rise to the genre. His style of playing sax certainly became a feature of rock & roll. Houston went on to back the likes of Little Richard and Big Joe Turner during the rock & roll heyday. He never broke through, but played on the circuit until a stroke hit him in 2005. Apparently his gigs were raucous affairs

I was really saddened to hear of the death at 65 of Natalie Cole on New Year”s Eve. She was a fine singer, equally at home in soul as she was in jazz vocals. She also has a fascinating life which she recounted in a forthright memoir. Born the daughter of Nat King Cole, who died when Natalie was 14, she became a heroin addict and fraudster, and even worked as a prostitutes” “come-on girl” on the streets of Harlem. Then she cleaned up, had a string of soul hits, faded away and became a cocaine addict. She again cleaned up, and had a comeback in 1987 with I Live For Your Love. In 1991 she had her massive hit with a posthumous duet with her father, with modern technology facilitating as recording of his hit Unforgettable.

With his cousin Hugo Peretti (who died in 1986), Luigi Creatore adapted two foreign songs to create classic hits: The Token”s The Lion Sleeps Tonight (originally a South African song by Solomon Linda; read the who sorry tale here) and Elvis” Can”t Help Falling In Love, which borrowed heavily from the old French love song Plaisir d”amour, composed in 1785 by Johann Paul Aegidius Martini. Hugo & Luigi, as they liked to style themselves, also produced Perry Como, Little Peggy March and Sam Cooke (notably hits like Chain Gang, Twistin” the Night Away and Wonderful World) for RCA. Before that they produced a string of hits for Jimmie Rodgers, including Honeycomb and Kisses Sweeter Than Wine. These were released on the Roulette label in which they were partners with mafioso Mo Levy. The FBI identified Roulette as a source of revenue for the Genovese crime family (Peretti and Creatore were not implicated in illegal activity). In the 1970s they were partners in Avco Embassy Records, for whom acts like Van McCoy, The Stylistics, Maxine Brown and The Softones had hits.

IM Dec 2015 gallery-2Gladys Knight”s heavenly voice and perfect delivery overshadows everything, but The Pips were more than just a trio of backing singers. Many of the songs were arranged with their part as an integral part of the performance. Just listen to their vocals on the most famous Gladys Knight & The Pips song, Midnight Train To Georgia, for evidence of that. On Christmas Eve one of the Pips, William Guest, joined the great Soul Train in the Sky at the age of 74. The group members were all related: Gladys and her brother Bubba Knight were cousins to Guest and Edward Patton, who in 2005 was the first of them to die. The Pips, incidentally, were named after the nickname of another cousin. Look at The Pips performing their routine on The Richard Pryor Show in 1977, without Gladys.

Wally Roker was a rare breed in his day: in the 1950s he was a black musician Read more…

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