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Why bands should self-destruct after 4 years

My letter published in the new edition of Record Collector magazine (January 2023)

Dear RC

Luke Haines’column about bands having an Imperial Phase got me checking my record collection and he is right! I think some bands have extended the three years he cites by a year – think the Stones run of LPs from Beggars Banquet in ’68 to Exiles in ’72, or the Kinks going from Face To Face in ’66 to Lola in ’70. The only exception to the Four Year Rule is the Flamin Groovies whose Imperial phase runs from Flamingo in ’70 to Jumpin’ In The Night ’79. The explanation here is two separate Imperial  phases – their Stones phase in 1970- 1973 and their Beatles phase 1976-79.

The logical conclusion of this approach is that bands should self-destruct no later than 4 years after they make their first great record, which would save everyone a lot of time and money.

All the best 

Simon Wright

The Rise And Fall Of The Little LP

Article printed in Record Collector magazine for January 2023

The Stones did it, the Beatles did it, the Yardbirds did it, The Kinks did it. The Small Faces did it beautifully, but only in France. What they did was release EPs – Extended Play 7” vinyl, the size of a single but typically with four tracks which played at 45 rpm. Many EPs had tracks unavailable elsewhere as well as very cool picture sleeves and are now highly sought after – check out current prices for Five Yardbirds or Kwyet Kinks. The heyday of the vinyl EP was 1963 to 1967 although there were sporadic attempts to resurrect the format during pub rock and punk rock, resulting in classic releases like The Count Bishops’ Speedball and Eddie And The Hot Rods Live At The Marquee.   

I had always assumed that the USA was immune to the appeal of the Extended Play but two recent additions to my collection have proved me wrong. First was a six-track version of Todd Rundgren’s Something / Anything? double vinyl LP and more recently the four best tracks from The J.Geils Band’s Bloodshot. Both releases come in picture sleeves that are a miniature version of the LP sleeve and both were released by Little LP’s Unlimited. Intrigued, I began to dig around. 

Courtesy of the excellent Both Sides Now Stereo Newsletter (BSN) I I discovered that the term “Little LP” was applied for the first time to six releases from the back catalogue of Cadence Records. Each contained six tracks with a maximum playing time of about eight minutes per side at 33 1/3 rpm. All six were released in October 1961and flopped but encouraged Mercury to put out ten titles the following month, albeit with a similar lack of success. Enter the Seeburg jukebox company, who according to the BSN website “liked the idea of Little LPs, but wanted them in stereo to play in a jukebox they had planned. In September 1962 they began to tease the industry about a new juke box that would be ‘revolutionary’. The curtain was unveiled later in September on their new stereo jukebox console which could play Little LPs and had places to display album covers for them. Seeburg pointed out that jukeboxes had largely become fixtures in adult rather than teenage venues, and Little LPs with adult content such as easy listening or country would sell very well in bars and other adult meeting spaces.” Even before the new jukebox was available Seeburg had signed up sixteen major labels including Columbia, Decca, London, Mercury and RCA-Victor. By January 1963 the catalogue comprised 233 Little LPs, with sales of more than 200,000 units by 1964. From this initial run, sought after releases include Surfer Girl, Shut Down, Volume 2, Today! And Best Of (The Beach Boys) plus Meet The Beatles, The Beatles Second Album and Something New (The Beatles) with some achieving price tags of £200 plus.

By 1967 there were 1000 Little LPs in the catalogue but Seeburg found it hard to run the business in addition to its core juke box business so Little LPs were sold to Garwin Sales who in turn sold the business to Baskase. By 1970 there were virtually no new releases, but in the spring of that year two new businesses were formed to market Little LPs, and this is where rock’n’roll really enters the picture. Company number one was Gold Mor from New Jersey who would release 57 titles by January 1973. Company number two was Little LP’s Unlimited from Illinois who were more productive, releasing 134 titles by May 1973. The two companies agreed that big hits did not belong on Little LPs, because they were already on the juke box. Hence the Little LP for Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water did not include the title track. However the two newcomers disagreed on design. While Gold Mor felt the covers should accurately reflect the full-colour parent LP cover, Little LP’s Unlimited did not think colour covers were important, so their Little LPs had monochrome covers from the start, as you can see from my J.Geils and Todd Rundgren releases. 

In 1971 Seeburg started producing jukeboxes that would not play at 33 1/3 rpm. It was the beginning of the end for Little LPs. In an attempt to boost sales Little LP’s Unlimited started issuing quadrophonic releases but quadrophonic jukeboxes were rare: by 1976 there were no further releases of Little LPs from either label. 

A search on Discogs shows that many of the Little LP’s are now highly collectable. These include Déjà Vu (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), Tumbleweed Connection and Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player (Elton John), Four and Houses Of The Holy (Led Zeppelin), Burn (Deep Purple), Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Black Sabbath), Aqualung (Jethro Tull), American Beauty (Grateful Dead), Brothers And Sisters (Allman Brothers Band), Countdown To Ecstasy and Pretzel Logic (Steely Dan), The Smoker You Drink…(Joe Walsh), Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle Of Love (Alice Cooper), In The Right Place (Dr. John) and Harvest (Neil Young). Most sought after (and highest priced) is a 1972 four track distillation of the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street which has sold for £295. All these releases came with a monochromatic sleeve and sometimes with a strip of juke box labels. The full colour picture sleeves adorning Gold Mor‘s releases included a very desirable Goats Head Soup taster (Rolling Stones) plus There’s A Riot Goin’ On (Sly and the Family Stone), Santana (Santana) and There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (Paul Simon), this last one in Quadrophonic sound. 

If you agree that the 7” vinyl single is the sexiest art-form ever created then you need some of these small but perfectly formed releases in your collection. Less Is More. Go Little.

New Vinyl Releases From The Rolling Stones, Faces, Family, Jimi Hendrix with Dusty Springfield

Order now from

Rolling Stones – Live in The USA 1972

Side One

  1. Brown Sugar
  2. Bitch
  3. Gimme Shelter
  4. Happy
  5. Tumbling Dice

Side Two

  1. Sweet Virginia
  2. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
  3. All Down The Line
  4. Rip This Joint
  5. Uptight  (Everything’s Alright)  / 
  6. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

All songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards except Side Two, Track 5 written by Stevie Wonder, Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby

Recording Details

All tracks recorded live on tour and broadcast by Radio WMMS (Cleveland) on August 11th 1972

Side One

Tracks 1- 3 and 5 Spectrum Sports Arena, Philadelphia –  20th July

Track 4 Tarant Convention Centre, Fort Worth, Texas –  24th June, First Show

Side Two

Track 1 Spectrum Sports Arena, Philadelphia – 21st July, First Show

Tracks 2  & 3 Hofheinz Pavilion, Houston , Texas 25th June, First Show

Track 4 Tarant Convention Centre, Fort Worth, Texas 24th June, First Show

Tracks 5 & 6 Spectrum Sports Arena, Philadelphia – 20th July

Sound Quality

Excellent throughout, Side Two, Track 6 is Very Good


Mick Jagger: vocals and harmonica

Keith Richards: guitar, vocals

Mick Taylor: guitar

Charlie Watts: drums

Bill Wyman: bass

Nicky Hopkins: piano

Bobby Keys: saxophone

Jim Price: trumpet, trombone

Additional personnel  on Side Two, Tracks 5 & 6 only

Stevie Wonder: vocal, piano

Ray Parker Jr: guitar

Ollie E. Brown: drums

Steve Madaio: trumpet

Ralph E. Hammer: guitar

Denny  Morouse; saxophone

Keith Stevens: congas


This tour is going to go down as the rock’n’roll tour of all time

Roy Hollingworth, Melody Maker, July 29th 1972

The Rolling Stones seventh tour of North America was subtitled STP, standing for either Stones Touring Party or 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methyl-amphetamine. They played 51 shows at 32 venues to almost 750,000 fans: they could have played to several million such was ticket demand. The tour grossed $4 million, making it the richest rock tour to date. Bill Graham said “they are the biggest draw in the history of mankind”, but then he was the Stones’ promoter. The tour was extensively documented through Robert Greenfield’s excellent book Stones Touring Party, the concert filmLadies & Gentlemen The Rolling Stones and most controversially by a warts-and-all tour documentary Cocksucker Blues. The latter was directed by Robert Frank and was a film verité depiction of boredom, sexual misbehaviour, rampant narcotic abuse and hotel room destruction interspersed with occasional glimpses of exhilarating live music. Frank’s film never got an official release, although excerpts were included in the 25 x 5 Continuing Adventures Of The Rolling Stones video.

The Stones intended to release a double LP from the tour, shared between themselves and support act Stevie Wonder. Gigs in Texas were recorded by Andy Johns using the Record Plant Mobile, and soundboard recordings were made of gigs in Philadelphia and New York and these recordings provide the material for this LP. Cover slicks for the projected LP exist but the release was halted because of issues over material that had previously been recorded for Decca and ABKCO. The Great Unreleased Stones Live Album has passed into Stones mythology, but there is little consensus as to which tracks would have been included. However the eleven track selection aired by Cleveland’s Radio WMMS makes for a fine sounding summary of the Stones onstage.

Brown Sugar was the set opener and sounds fresh, its highly incorrect lyric predating all types of -isms. Bobby’s good tonight. Bitch uses the brass section to punctuate the riff. Jagger goes “OK Keith you got it” and he had. There is even a short interlude of drum and bass as Wyman and Watts play unaccompanied which sounds glorious before Richards takes us back to the song. The intro to Gimme Shelter  features intricate guitars interlaced with Hopkins immaculate piano, before Taylor takes a series of concise but lyrical solos. Charlie drives an uptempo Happy with Keith singing the verses solo and Mick helping out on the choruses. By contrast Tumbling Dice  is performed at a languid strut which allows the piano and the brass to co-exist  with the duelling guitars of Richards and Taylor. Charlie picks up the beat after the mid-song breakdown and instinctively the audience clap along.

Sweet Virginia provides a welcome acoustic respite. Jagger replaces “California” in the lyric with “Philadelphia” to predictable acclaim, Charlie does so much with so little, Nicky shines and Bobby blows. You Can’t Always Get What You Want now has Jim Price’s trumpet over its introduction: Hopkins’ restraint gives Mick Taylor’s Les Paul the space to stretch out. The Jagger / Richards ‘harmonies’ work well here. All Down The Line is the perfect blend of raunch and precision and features Taylor on slide. Rip This Joint is taken at a furious pace but somehow Jagger still manages to fit in all the words. Finally, one of the most exciting four and half minutes committed to celluloid. On a very full stage Wonder leads an amalgamation of the Stones and members of his band Wonderlove through Uptight which he summarises as  “funky funky funky”. Jagger then helps Wonder from his piano to centre stage where they duet on Satisfaction before the substantial brass section brings the song home. The songs fit together so well, possibly because Uptight was Wonder’s response to the driving beat of Satisfaction

The Stones structured the act to a finale that, in retrospect is hard to believe. The crowd was blowing its mind with the excitement of it all. Then suddenly it ended.” Globe and Mail, Toronto, July 1972

With thanks to Nico Zentgraf

Sleevenotes: Princess Radish and Truby

The Faces Live BBC3 1971-72

Side One 

1.     Had Me A Real Good Time (Lane, Stewart, Wood)

2.     Love In Vain (Johnson)

3.     Maybe I’m Amazed (McCartney)

4.     Browned Off (Wood, McLagan, Lane, Jones)  

Side Two

1.     Tell Everyone (Lane)

2.    Sweet Lady Mary (Lane, Stewart, Wood)

3.  (I Know I’m) Losing You (Grant, Holland, Whitfield)

4.  Stay With Me (Wood, Stewart)

Recording Details

Side One Tracks 1-4  recorded for BBC Radio Sounds Of the 70s on April 20th and transmitted May 3rd  1971

Side Two Tracks 1 & 2 recorded for BBC TV Disco Two on April 22nd1971and broadcast the same day

Side Two Tracks 3 & 4 recorded for BBC Radio In Concert onFebruary 17th and transmitted on February 26th 1972

Sound Quality

Excellent throughout


Rod Stewart – lead and backing vocals

Ronnie Lane – bass, backing vocals, lead vocals

Ron Wood – lead guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals

Ian McLagan – Hammond organ, pianos, backing vocals

Kenney Jones – drums and percussion


Our previous compilations of Faces broadcast material from 1970 and 1971 have been well received, so we are delighted to present a further volume of performances from 1971 and 1972

In April 1971 the band recorded a four-song session for the late night BBC radio programme Sounds Of The Seventies, on this occasion presented by DJ Bob Harris. By now Had Me A Real Good Time was the Face’s signature tune, its exuberance and mid-song Auld Lang Syne breakdown summarising their raucous live act. Love In Vain is effectively a cover of a cover. Originally written by blues pioneer Robert Johnson the track featured on the Rolling Stones live LP ‘Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!’. The Faces used to play Ya-Ya’s to get their adrenalin going before taking the stage, so it is unsurprising that this version is in thrall to the Stones. Ronnie Wood matches Stewart’s impassioned vocal with a series of excellent solos which demonstrate his considerable ability on slide guitar. Another cover is Paul McCartney’s Maybe I’m Amazed. A studio version was a surprisingly unsuccessful single, but the song still became a key song in the Faces live set. As always Ronnie Lane sings the first verse before Stewart weighs in. Finally we have Browned Off which would eventually be given the extended title Oh Lord I’m Browned Off when it appeared as a US single B side in 1971. Mac’s Hammond organ drives this instrumental, reminiscent of Pineapple And The Monkey from the Faces first LP.

Disco 2 was a BBC2 television music show that ran between January 1970 and July 1971. It was the successor to Colour Me Pop and the forerunner of The Old Grey Whistle Test. The Faces appeared twice, in March 1970 and April 1971. From the latter show comes a charming version of Ronnie Lane’s Tell Everyone, here sung by Stewart. Sweet Lady Mary also benefits from a restrained Stewart vocal and some Ronnie Wood pedal steel.

Finally two tracks recorded for In Concert in early 1972 and introduced by staunch Faces supporter John Peel. (I Know I’m) Losing You first appeared on Rod Stewart’s solo LP Every Picture Tells A Story, this track using the Faces as his backing band. Originally recorded by The Temptations, it had been part of Stewart’s repertoire since his stint with Jeff Beck in 1967. The song was now a crucial part of the Faces live set, providing Kenney Jones with a rare opportunity for a drum solo and enabling the rest of the band to break for ‘refreshments’. We close with Stay With Me, the Faces first bona-fide hit single.Ronnie Lane had suggested Glyn Johns as a producer but initially the band did not want to pay him the percentage he demanded. By the time of the third Faces studio album A Nod Is As Good As A Wink… a deal had been agreed. Johns’ involvement resulted in a better studio sound, with improved song dynamics and tighter arrangements: Kenney Jones claims that Stay With Me was recorded in only two takes. Released as a single in December 1971 it reached number 6 in the UK singles chart. The version here provides the audience with an opportunity to sing the chorus unaccompanied. This would become an increasingly prominent part of Faces gigs, the party atmosphere reflecting the intimate connection between fans and band. There will be a lot more of this sort of thing on our next release from 1972…

Sleevenotes: Cyn, Dee & Rita

Family – Music Hall Boston 1972

Side One

  1. Between Blue And Me
  2. Burlesque
  3. My Friend The Sun
  4. Holding The Compass

Side Two

  1. Top Of The Hill
  2. The Weaver’s Answer
  3. A Song For Me

All songs written by Roger Chapman and John “Charlie” Whitney except Side Two, Track 3 written by  Roger Chapman, Charlie Whitney, Rob Townsend and Will Weider.

Recording Details

Side One and Side Two, Tracks 1& 2 recorded live at The Music Hall, Boston September 28th 1972 and broadcast on WCBN-FM

Side Two Track 3 recorded live at Olympic Studios, Barnes for Rockenstock French TV on January 11th 1972 and broadcast on January 15th

Sound Quality

Very Good throughout


Roger Chapman – lead vocals

Charlie Whitney – guitar

Rob Townsend – drums

Poli Palmer – vibes, keyboards, vocals

Jim Cregan – bass, vocals (not Side Two, Track 3)

John Wetton – bass, guitars, vocals, vocals (Side Two, Track 3)


The Family story starts with blues and soul band The Farinas, founded in 1962 by Charlie Whitney at Leicester Art College. Moving to London in 1967 they changed their name to Family at the suggestion of Kim Fowley and became very popular on the underground scene, immortalised in Jenny Fabian’s infamous book Groupie where Family appear cunningly disguised as Relation. The first Family single Scene Through The Eye Of A lens is a great and sought-after psyche release and having Dave Mason produce their debut LP Music In A Dolls House further raised the band’s profile. Over the next three years Family produced a series of well received LPs and toured continually without breaking through commercially. One problem was that the band’s line-up kept changing, although the core trio of vocalist Roger Chapman, guitarist Charlie Whitney and drummer Rob Townsend remained stable. A high proportion of the band were often called John, which is why John Whitney changed his name to Charlie. The other challenge for the band was America. Whilst popular in the UK and mainland Europe the band had achieved only limited success in the US. Their 1969 tour was marred by a misunderstanding between Chapman and key promoter Bill Graham which affected future touring.

In 1971 In My Own Time became Family’s first top ten single, to be followed the next year by Burlesque and My Friend The Sun. The two LPs released at this time Fearless (1971) and Bandstand (1972) were the bands most successful in the US. Accordingly September 1972 found Family supporting Elton John as they once again attempted to build on their American cult following. As Roger Chapman told Connor McKnight “You have to go out on the road – especially a band like us. It’s the only way to get through to your audience. It doesn’t really matter what  people in the business think of your records, you’ve got to give the audience something.“ When the tour reached Boston local radio station WCBN decided at the last minute to broadcast the show. By this stage Family had evolved into an exciting live act focussed on Chapmans onstage antics and distinctive vocals plus Whitney’s double necked-guitar and the vibes and keyboards of Poli Palmer.

Reviewing an earlier tour date at Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun were unimpressed.  “Another British group, Family, began the evening with an ambiguous assortment of sounds that often defied clarity and resonance. The vibraphone was used as if it were a second guitar. The lead singer limited himself to emitting raucous screeches and raspy throat vibratos. At one point the vibes were plugged into a synthesizer and one got the impression that the band had never used one before. A person sitting next to me on the floor suggested that it really was not music at all. But I knew they were through when the singer spun around and fell over the drums and onto the floor.”

Back in Boston Between Blue And Me makes for a relaxed start to the set with Whitney’s guitar to the fore. Before playing Burlesque Chapman enquires as to whether anyone knows the song. Near total silence is the response, but the distinctive lurching rhythm based around Jim Cregan’s bass produces warm applause. An acoustic My Friend The Sun is also well received with some fine harmonies. Holding The Compass gives the band a chance to stretch out. Top Of The Hill features a languid introduction highlighting Palmer’s vibes and key boards and provides an atmospheric introduction to traditional set closer The Weaver’s Answer. A lengthy rumination by Chapman on fate and destiny, a quiet opening section leads to a martial beat over which synthesiser and guitar intertwine as the song builds to a rousing finish which is greeted by enthusiastic applause.

A bonus track recorded for French TV at Family’s favoured recording studio – Olympic in Barnes – rounds out this selection. Inevitably it is a different line up, John Wetton in place of Cregan. A Song For Me evolved out of the band’s cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s How Many More Years?. Chapman improvises a gritty vocal over a dance beat, Wetton and Whitney both sport double-necks and Palmer’s electronic keyboards are prominent in the mix. A suitably exciting end to a fine collection by an under-rated group.

“Gritty, loose, rough and powerful, Family were one of those bands you always remember with a smile”  Pete Frame, ZigZag magazine

Sleevenotes: Rita and Greta

Jimi Hendrix Experience With Dusty

New Wave Connection – Martin Stephenson and John Perry

New Wave Connection

Martin Stephenson and John Perry

Limited Edition Eco CD via

In which Martin Stephenson takes a fresh look at his back-catalogue and revisits ten songs, chosen from both the Daintees albums and his more recent solo work. Martin’s vocals and guitar are ably supported by the father and son rhythm section of Davy Cowan (bass) and Sam Cowan (drums). Adding lead guitar is John Perry, formerly of the Only Ones whose playing impressed a 17 year old Martin back in 1976. From the opening track Rock & Roll Jamboree you can hear how well they work together, the neo-rockabilly arrangement providing the perfect setting for John to run through some vintage leads and phrases.  Wholly Humble Heart benefits from a spare, slinky sound where Martin’s vocals are echoed by those of Anna Lavigne and Susanna Wolfe and John gets in a couple of his trademark solos, economical but expressive. Running Water is a real toe tapper, with a rousing country feel – think the Byrds playing You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere – which makes for a great end to a thoroughly enjoyable release. Throughout Martin’s production is clear, his arrangements serve the songs and nothing overstays its welcome.  Highly recommended to fans of Martin Stephenson, John Perry and classy rock’n’roll.

Review written for Record Collector magazine

Photos by Sam Cowan (upper) and Anna Lavigne (lower)

Where Were You In ’72? and The Who at their best

pin-ups 1972

A Band With Built-In Hate

Peter Stanfield (Reaktion Books)

Two books from Peter Stanfield which follow the same approach, developing a hypothesis by the careful selection and presentation of quotes from a wide variety of other sources. This means that he will never be one of my favourite writers – I prefer the highly-opinionated school of Nick Kent , Greil Marcus and Lester Bangs – but the material he chooses is for the most part relevant and stimulating and in some cases new to me, so that is enough to make for two entertaining and thought-provoking volumes.

Stanfield also shares two of my prejudices: that the early ‘70s were a brilliant time for music and that the Who peaked with Sell Out and Tommy. Pin-Ups 1972 follows in the steps of Jon Savage’s book on 1966 and David Hepworth’s review of 1971. Unlike these two titles Stanfield makes no attempt to review the contemporary music scene in its entirety but instead zeroes in on a tight and inter-related group of acts including Iggy and the Stooges, the New York Dolls, Lou Reed and Roxy Music, all firm favourites of mine. He notes how Marc Bolan had lead the way, and how Bowie was at the centre of it all. A surprising outlier is the opening chapter on Mick Farren, by then no longer a performer but a full-time writer and generally angry person. Stanfield gives a clear account of tectonic plates shifting within the London music scene and how this helped rock’n’roll shake off the last fringes of the 60’s as these groups evolved a Third Generation Rock’n’Roll, the subtitle of the book.  He is also good on how the seismic eruptions of 1977 started as minor tremors five years previously

A Band With Built-In Hate is a fine book about the Who that would be better served by its sub-title The Who From Pop Art To Punk. Stanfield spends little time on the implications of the Townshend quote beyond noting that the members of the Who were four very different individuals who did not get on, hardly new news. Much more interesting is what Stanfield has to say about the relationship between the Who and popular culture in general and Pop Art in particular. Stanfield is helped greatly by extensively quoting Nik Cohn, still the most pithy and interesting commentator on the Who in the 60’s. The final chapter is enlivened by a wonderful rejection letter from Townshend to Eddie And The Hot Rods’ record company where he refers to his “meditative Mercedes buying” – truly the Godfather meeting The Punks. As with pin-ups 1972 the book concludes with the influence of the Who on punk, and vice versa.

Academic in tone but accessible in content these two books are recommended to bored teenagers of all ages.

Yes, Genesis, Monkees Vinyl LPs Out Now!

Available from

Broadcasts 1969 – Yes

Side One

  1. Every Little Thing (Lennon, McCartney)
  2. Something’s Coming (Bernstein, Sondheim)
  3. Looking Around (Anderson, Squire)
  4. Everydays (Stills)
  5. No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed (Havens, Moross)  

Side Two

  1. Something’s Coming (Bernstein, Sondheim)
  2. Every Little Thing (Lennon, McCartney)
  3. Looking Around (Anderson, Squire)
  4. Survival (Anderson)

Recording Details

All tracks recorded live in 1969 as follows:

Side One

Tracks 1 & 2 German TV WDR, Big Apple, Wiesbaden, August 26th

Track 3 BBC Radio The Johnnie Walker Show, June 4th

Track 4 BBC Radio Symonds On Sunday, August 4th

Track 5 Radio Bremen, Germany, November 29th

Side Two

Tracks 1 & 2 BBC Radio Symonds On Sunday, August 4th

Tracks 3 & 4 Radio Bremen, Germany, November 29th


John Anderson – vocals and percussion

Peter Banks – guitars and vocals

Chris Squire – bass and vocals

Tony Kaye – organ and piano

Bill Bruford – drums and percussion


1969 was a crucial year for Yes. Having released their first LP in July they were keen to promote it across Europe through a series of live TV and radio performances. Some of these were included on the 2CD set Something’s Coming (1997). This LP brings together a selection of high quality recordings designed to complement those previously released.

The members of Yes served their apprenticeship in the UK mid-sixties beat boom. Guitarist Pete Banks and bass player Chris Squire were both in Deram-recording artists The Syn. They hooked up with Warriors vocalist John Anderson  – he would not become Jon until 1970 – to form Mabel Greer’s Toy Shop together with guitarist Clive Bayley. The addition of keyboard player Tony Kaye (ex-Bitter Sweet) and drummer Bill Bruford (Melody Maker ad) together with the subtraction of Bayley resulted in the first Yes line up. In September 1968 Yes performed at Blaise’s club in Kensington as last-minute replacements for Sly and the Family Stone. They were well received by both the audience and the host Roy Flynn, who became the band’s first manager. After an audition for Ahmet Eretgun at the Speakeasy, Yes signed to Atlantic in March 1969 and began recording their first, self-titled LP.

The songs recorded were a combination of original materials and covers designed to highlight both the instrumental prowess and the harmony singing of the band.

If you are only familiar with the music made by the later versions of Yes, these live recordings will be a revelation. The band play with power and aggression to the point where the opening Every Little Thing recorded for German TV sounds like The Who, thanks to Banks’ Rickenbacker slashes and Bruford’s exuberant drumming. Something’s Coming is played in a version very different to that found in West Side Story, Kaye’s organ flourishes are very Nice.

Looking Around was an unsuccessful single from Yes, this BBC version recorded for The Johnnie Walker Show highlights the band’s lush harmonies and more instrumental interaction between Peter Banks and Tony Kaye. The Symonds On Sunday version of Stephen Stills’ Everydays loses the swinging jazzy feel heard on Buffalo Springfield Again, replaced by a more start-stop arrangement featuring Banks fuzzed guitar and Kaye’s Hammond plus an incongruous snippet of I Do Like To Be Besides The Seaside. Everydays would eventually appear on the second Yes LP, Time And A Word (July 1970). The band’s cover of Richie Havens No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed would also appear on Time And A Word. Recorded in the TV studios of Radio Bremen for the venerable Beat Club TV programme, this version contains an instrumental reference to the theme from 1958 Western The Big Country.

Two more supercharged cover versions open Side Two, both recorded for the BBC’s Symonds On Sunday. This lengthier version of Something’s Coming opens with some impressive Bruford drumming before the melody gradually becomes discernible, interspersed with snatches of America and Tonight. On Beatles For SaleEvery Little Thing was a melancholy number with a delicate arrangement. Yes completely overhaul the song, even slipping in the riff from Day Tripper. Finally two further tracks recorded for Beat Club. Looking Aroundbenefits here from Chris Squire’s  distinctive bass. Survival moves through different moods – lively, pensive, optimistic – with a catchy riff, ecological lyrics and more of those fine harmonies. 

Yes would break through internationally in 1971 with their third LP The Yes Album. By then Peter Banks had been replaced by Steve Howe: Rick Wakeman in a glitter cape and concept albums would follow. As both musical virtuosity and song lengths increased, some of the enthusiasm and freshness of this first Yes line-up would be lost. Lester Bangs described Yes in Rolling Stone as “a totally unexpected thrust of musical power with a sense of style, taste, and subtlety“. This LP shows what he was talking about.

Sleevenotes: Cindy Catts

At The BBC 1972 – Genesis

Side One

  1. Twilight Alehouse (Gabriel, Phillips, Rutherford, Banks)
  2. Get ‘Em Out By Friday (Gabriel, Rutherford, Banks, Hackett S, Hackett J)
  3. Watcher Of The Skies (Gabriel, Collins Rutherford, Banks)

Side Two

  1. The Musical Box (Gabriel, Collins, Rutherford, Banks, Hackett S)
  2. The Fountain Of Salmacis (Banks, Gabriel)
  3. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed (Gabriel, Collins, Rutherford, Banks, Hackett S)

Recording Details

Side One  Recorded for John Peel on September 25th, broadcast on November 7th

Side Two Recorded for In Concert at the Paris Studios, Lower Regent Street on March 2nd  and transmitted 11th March


Peter Gabriel – lead vocals, flute, percussion

Tony Banks – keyboards, 12 string guitar and backing vocals

Mike Rutherford – bass guitar, guitar and backing vocals

Steve Hackett – lead guitar and effects

Phil Collins – drums, percussion, backing vocals


Listening to debut Genesis LP From Genesis To Revelation in 1969 it is hard to imagine that this collection of ex-Charterhouse public schoolboys would one day achieve world domination. However by 1972 when the band recorded these two radio sessions for the BBC they had a stable and committed line-up, a sympathetic record label manager in Tony Stratton-Smith and a growing fanbase, the latter generated by incessant touring. Most of the songs here come from two key LPs – Nursery Cryme (November 1971) and Foxtrot (October 1972). Singer Peter Gabriel had become a convincing frontman, telling bizarre stories to introduce songs and wearing his wife’s red dress and a fox’s head, as per the cover of Foxtrot. The instrumental prowess of the band was sufficient to cope with a variety of time changes and songs composed of different sections. We are fortunate that the high standards of recording at BBC radio allow us to present this material in excellent stereo sound throughout.

Twilight Alehouse was a song recorded during the sessions for Foxtrot but left off the LP for reasons of space. The band had been playing the song live since 1970: the studio version ended up as the B-side of the 1973 single I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) and was also included on the box set Genesis Archive 1967 – 1975. Gabriel’s flute features extensively on this version, complementing his vocal in praise of “the magic power of wine”.  Get ‘Em Out By Friday has been described by Gabriel as”part social comment, part prophetic“. It was partly inspired by Gabriel’s own problems with the landlord of his London flat. During the song he adopts four different characters, each with their own vocal style. The song carries a composition credit for John Hackett, Steve’s younger brother. Watcher Of The Skies takes its title from a line of the 1817 sonnet On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer by John Keats. The song imagines an empty earth being viewed by an alien visitor. The  mellotron that Tony Banks plays had been bought from King Crimson.

The BBC In Concert programme lasted for an hour. On this occasion Genesis were  sharing the slot with Max Merritt and the Meteors, an Australian pub-rock band. Genesis are introduced by DJ Andy Dunkley as “old friends”. The Musical Box is a lengthy piece based on a macabre Victorian fairy tale written by Peter Gabriel that involves a girl killing a boy by knocking his head off with a croquet mallet (the Nursery Cryme featured on the album’s cover). After a quiet introduction featuring Gabriel on flute, riff-based passages alternate with softer sections featuring acoustic guitars. Collins drives the second half of the song, underpinning an impassioned Gabriel vocal. The Fountain of Salmacis is a retelling of the  Greek myth of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus. Banks features on mellotron and organ, Gabriel contributes flute and the song ends with a succinct Hackett guitar solo. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed warns of the spread of the toxic plant Heracleum mantegazzianum after it was “captured” in Russia and brought to England by a Victorian explorer. Though the real plant is extremely toxic, the song’s lyrics are a humorous exaggeration, suggesting the plant is attempting to take over the human race. Collins’ drumming and Banks’ organ bring a swing to this song.

Listening to these six songs there is a drive and a heightened sense of dynamics compared to the versions released on the bands studio LPs. The band must have sensed this, as in 1973 they recorded Genesis Live, still many fans favourite snapshot of the band in concert. With At The BBC 1972 we are delighted to provide further insight into Genesis at their creative peak.

Sleevenotes: Harald d’Barelle

Live In Japan 1968 – The Monkees

Side One

  1. Last Train To Clarksville (Boyce, Hart)
  2. I Wanna Be Free (Boyce, Hart)
  3. D.W. Washburn (Leiber, Stoller)
  4. Daydream Believer (Stewart) /
  5. Cuddly Toy (Nilsson)
  6. Salesman (Smith)
  7. It’s Nice To Be With You (Goldstein)

Side Two

  1. Mary, Mary (Nesmith)  
  2. Cindy, Cindy (Traditional)
  3. Peter Percival Patterson’s Pet Pig Porky (Tork)
  4. Johnny B. Goode (Berry)
  5. Gonna Build A Mountain (Bricusse, Newley)
  6. I Got A Woman (Charles, Richard)
  7. I’m A Believer (Diamond)
  8. (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone (Boyce, Hart)

Recording Details

All tracks recorded live at the Budokan Hall, Tokyo on October 4th 1968 and broadcast on Japanese TBS television


Michael Nesmith – guitar, vocals

Davy Jones – drums, vocals

Peter Tork – bass, organ, banjo, vocals

Micky Dolenz – drums, vocals

The Floral – instrumental support Side Two, tracks 2 – 6


In 1966 an American TV company observed the success of the Beatles’ A Hard Days Night and Help! movies and decided that a TV series with a similar theme and style would do well. After auditioning The Lovin’ Spoonful they decided that an already existing group would cause too many problems, so they placed a few adds to see who arrived.“ The NME Book of Rock (1973)

Who arrived were Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz. Although initially recruited by Screen Gems on the basis of how they looked, each Monkee had considerable musical expertise. Nesmith had been playing since 1963, Tork was a Greenwich Village folkie, Dolenz had sung and played guitar in The Missing Links and Jones already had a record contract. Despite this it was not until their third LP Headquarters (1967) that the Monkees were allowed to play on their own records. The Monkees TV series was an immediate hit both in the US and elsewhere: their commercial success made the four Monkees the target of criticism from both jealous musicians and from the underground press. Roger McGuinn’s lyrical jibes in So You Want To Be A Rock’n’Roll Star? were typical.

 In 1971 Lillian Roxon wrote  After a while it got to be a matter of pride for the Monkees to master their own instruments, so when things were a little settled in the summer of 1967 they got together a ‘live” act, proving they could provide a pleasant evening’s entertainment as well as anyone. The tour won them a lot of respect from people who had previously dismissed them as a non-group.” Nesmith played guitar, Dolenz was on drums, Tork was on bass and Jones on lead vocals with the other three all singing.Had the live performances been based solely on playing ability Nesmith suggested it would have himself on bass, Tork on guitar and Jones on drums with Dolenz on lead vocals. This configuration can be seen in the video for Words, the B side of Pleasant Valley Sunday. 

Following the success of their 1967 US tour, the following year The Monkees toured Australia and Japan. The results were far better than expected. The four Monkees performed all the instruments and vocals for most of the live set, only needing additional instrumental support for their individual solo spots. In Japan this support was provided by The Floral. From the six shows in Japan, a performance at the Budokan was recorded for Japanese TV. Sadly the original video is now lost and even Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval has been unable to locate it. This LP is the soundtrack to that concert, carefully edited to minimise the presence of two very intrusive Japanese announcers who talk over the start of every track.

Against a background of constant screaming Last Train To Clarksville is a lively opener, closely following the studio version. I Wanna Be Free has an impassioned Davy Jones vocal whilst then-single D.W. Washburn features an almost ragtime arrangement. The screams get even louder for the introduction to Daydream Believer, driven by a propulsive bass and Jones exhortations for the crowd to join in. Cuddly Toy is another Davy Jones singalong, but Nesmith’s Salesman brings a tougher edge with some daft backing vocals and prominent organ. It’s Nice To Be With You was the B side of DW Washburn: neither track made it onto a Monkees studio LP. Davy Jones’ vocal on It’s Nice To Be With You reveals his background in musicals with a strong resemblance to Anthony Newley-era David Bowie (aka The Other David Jones)

Side two kicks off with Mary, Mary sung effectively by Micky Dolenz. Mike Nesmith wrote the song before he joined the Monkees and it was first recorded by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band on their East West LP. Cindy, Cindy and Peter Percival Patterson’s Pet Pig Porky allow Pete Tork’s folk tendencies full reign. Nesmith rocks out with a creditable if brief  Johnny B Goode. Jones’s Gonna Build A Mountain was originally written  for the musical Stop The World – I Want To Get Off. The most entertaining solo spot is from Dolenz who performs Ray Charles’ I Got A Woman in the style of James Brown, right down to multiple attempts to leave the stage. I’m A Believer  is also sung by Dolenz. The final number is a menacing version of (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone, taken slower than the single version and ending with a freakbeat style guitar/organ coda. The crowd go bonkers.Sadly the concerts in Japan would be the last time the original Monkees quartet would appear onstage together until 1986.

Despite releasing the cult movie Head  in November 1968 the Monkees career went into terminal decline, with Tork leaving at the end of that year. On stage recordings from this era are rare, with only the Live 1967 release compiled by Rhino from dates in Seattle, Portland and Spokane on their US tour that summer. We are delighted to expand the amount of in-concert Monkees material available and demonstrate what a fine live band they had become.

With thanks to

Sleeve notes: Alan Ternate (Mr.)

Trash Are Cover Stars!

Just arrived – my copy of the new Soul Jazz compilation CD Punk 45 I’m A Mess (SJR CD505 2022). Sub-title is D-I-Y Or Die! Art, Trash & Neon, Punk 45s in the UK 199-1978

Track 4 is debut Trash single Priorities which has never sounded better – excellent remastering by Duncan Powell and Pete Reilly. And we are all over the packaging – front of slip case, back of slip case, on the disc itself and in the booklet (twice). Congratulations to Steve Platt at Soul Jazz and everyone involved. 7″ vinyl still to come…

Roxy Live: Under Exposed

Jocelyn Fiske

Titan Books  £39.99

There is being a fan and being a totally-obsessive-going-to-every-gig-since-1973-batshit-crazy fan. Luckily for us Jocelyn Fiske is one of the latter, and crucially she took her camera with her. The result is a beautifully put together extended love letter to Roxy Music and all who have sailed in her. Only two of these images have ever seen before – bizarrely in a British Airways inflight magazine – so everything else is previously unavailable. Some of the early Kodak Instamatic images are a bit primitive but quality improves as we get more up to date. Throughout Jocelyn provides a running commentary on how and where the photos were taken and what she remembers of each gig. The final entry is the  Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame performance from 2019, although she also documents various solo performances from Ferry, Manzanera and McKay. Production values are high throughout so that the finished book whilst not cheap exudes style and glamour, just like the band it so handsomely documents.

Roxy Music @ The 02, London

October 14th

View:  right down the front

Merchandise: a bewildering selection of tour T shirts, programmes, books, lithographs and baseball caps

The revitalised Roxy Music ended their 50 (years) tour in front of a sold-out and enthusiastic if elderly crowd. The costumes and production were pared back, so the emphasis was on the extraordinary songs: all stages of Roxy’s career were represented in the twenty song set. An opening salvo of Remake/Remodel, Out Of The Blue, The Bogus Man and Ladytron was exhilarating. Energy levels dropped for some of the later material but Avalon and More Than This both impressed. Bryan Ferry’s vocals were ably supported by a trio of backing singers whilst Andy McKay’s sax and oboe were ably complemented by the wonderful Jorja Chalmers. Prominent throughout was the guitar of Phil Manzanera, whether playing clipped rhythm guitar to underpin Dance Away or really letting rip at the end of Ladytron and In Every Dream Home A Heartache. An impending curfew meant there wasn’t time to play an encore so the band just powered through a countdown to ecstasy final sequence of Love Is The Drug and an Editions Of You powered by The Great Paul Thompson’s explosive drumming, before Virgina Plain, Jealous Guy and Do The Strand brought the evening to a triumphant close. When I first saw Roxy Music at Guilford Civic Hall playing their new single Virginia Plain, I never imagined that fifty years later we would still be “teenage rebels of the week”. Viva!

Review written for Record Collector magazine

That setlist in full:

  1. Remake / Remodel
  2. Out Of The Blue
  3. The Bogus Man
  4. Ladytron
  5. While My Heart Is Still Beating
  6. Oh Yeah
  7. If There Is Something
  8. In Every Dream Home A Heartache
  9. Tara
  10. The Main Thing
  11. My Only Love
  12. To Turn You On
  13. Dance Away
  14. More Than This
  15. Avalon
  16. Love Is The Drug
  17. Editions Of You
  18. Virginia Plain
  19. Jealous Guy
  20. Do The Strand

Review as published in Record Collector magazine (Christmas 2022)

Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Miles Davis Quintet – Vinyl LPs out now!

Available from

The Spencer Davis Group

At The BBC


Side One

  1. Midnight Train (Roy, Hicks)
  2. It’s Gonna Work Out Fine (Seneca, Lee, McCoy)
  3. Dimples (Hooker, Bracken)
  4. It Hurts Me So (Winwood S)
  5. Midnight Train (Roy, Hicks)
  6. My Babe (Medley, Hatfield)
  7. Watch Your Step (Parker)
  8. It Hurts Me So (Winwood S)
  9. I Can’t Stand It (McAllister)

Side Two

  1. My Babe (Medley, Hatfield)
  2. Strong Love (Malone, Silvers, Brown)
  3. Dust My Blues (James)
  4. Strong Love (Malone, Silvers, Brown)
  5. This Hammer (Winwood M, Winwood S, York, Davis)
  6. You Put The Hurt On Me (Nelson)
  7. Keep On Running (Edwards)
  8. Goodbye Stevie (Winwood M, Winwood S, York, Davis)

Recording Details

All tracks recorded for BBC Radio

Side One

Tracks 1-3 broadcast in January 1965

Tracks 4-6 broadcast in February 1965

Tracks 7-9 broadcast in March 1965

Side Two,

Tracks 1-3 broadcast in June 1965

Tracks 4-5 broadcast in August 1965

Tracks 6-8 broadcast in January 1966


Steve Winwood – Keyboards, guitar, vocals

Spencer Davis – Guitar, harmonica, vocals

Muff Winwood – Bass, vocals

Pete York – Drums

Sleeve Notes

The four members of the Spencer Davis Group had all been active on the Birmingham jazz scene before forming the Rhythm & Blues Quartet in April 1963. They turned professional at the Golden Eagle pub in August 1964, the same month that Fontana released their debut single.

Although the group was named after founder Spencer Davis the key talent in the group was teenager Stevie Winwood. He was already a powerful vocalist, proficient on guitar and keyboards and a rapidly developing songwriter. Despite this the band’s first four singles fell short of the top 40 and it was not until their cover of Jackie Edwards’ Keep On Running that the band had a hit. Released in November 1965 it went to number one in the UK singles chart. After this Somebody Help Me, Gimme Some Loving and I’m A Man were all hits. Stevie quit the band in early 1967 feeling hemmed in by the pressures of chart success. Muff Winwood also left the band at this time to become a successful record producer. A second version of the Spencer Davis Band was active until 1974 but never reached the commercial or artistic heights of its predecessor.

Rolling piano and an uptempo shuffle beat runs through Midnight Train. It’s Gonna Work Out Fine was an Ike & Tina Turner original: Winwood’s soulful vocal belies his sixteen years. The band’s first single Dimples was written by John Lee Hooker but is distinguished from generic 1964 blues-boom fare by a sprightly arrangement and Spencer’s supportive harmonica. The fabulous It Hurts Me So is an early Stevie Winwood composition, with fine Tamla Motown-style harmonies. My Babe features unison vocals from Spencer and Muff, counterpointed by Stevie on the bridge: the song was written by Righteous Brothers Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley. Bobby Parker’s Watch Your Step was a blues-boom staple with a distinctive stop-start riff borrowed by the Yardbirds, the Beatles and many others. I Can’t Stand It was the second Fontana single. First recorded by The Soul Sisters, Stevie sings it well but the hook was not strong enough to deliver a hit.

Northern Soul favourite Strong Love was another unsuccessful Fontana single, originally recorded by The Malibus and features scat singing atop a swinging beat. Elmore James’ Dust My Blues gave Steviea chance to shine on lead guitar whilst Spencer took lead vocals, as he did on This Hammer, a folk-blues which showed the versatility of the band. You Put The Hurt On Me was the lead track of an EP released by Fontana in November 1965. Initially the song was recorded by Prince La La as She Put The Hurt On Me, subsequently Otis Redding would be given the songwriting credit.

Then at last a hit single! Jackie Edwards had recorded the original version of Keep On Running on his 1965 LP Come On Home, released on Island Records. The head of Island was Chris Blackwell, also the Spencer Davis Group’s producer. Their version toughened up the rhythmic drive of Edwards’ original.  The guitar intro went through the same fuzz pedal as Keith Richards had used for Satisfaction.  “Heh heh heh” backing vocals were added to support Winwood’s gutsy lead vocal.  The result was a huge international hit which brought Stevie into the spotlight. How do you follow that? By writing your own exit note in Goodbye Stevie, one of the final tracks Winwood recorded with the group and an appropriate place to end our selection of fine Spencer Davis Group recordings.

Writing in Bam Balam magazine in 1980 Brian Hogg crowned The Spencer Davis Group “Birmingham’s finest (except The Move). They were marvellous, playing a rolling bassy R&B. But the real power and excitement left with Stevie Winwood”. After leaving the Spencer Davis Group, Stevie Winwood would form and re-form Traffic as well as being part of short-lived ‘supergroup’ Blind Faith before going solo. All stages of his career have been artistically and commercially successful: amongst musicians he remains a well-respected and popular figure. But for sheer musical excitement, that fuzz-drenched intro to Keep On Running takes some beating…

Sleevenotes: Wynder K. Frog

Port Chester 1970


Side One

  1. Every Mother’s Son (Capaldi, Winwood)
  2. Medicated Goo (Winwood, Miller)
  3. John Barleycorn Must Die (trad. arr. Winwood)
  4. Pearly Queen (Capaldi, Winwood)
  5. Empty Pages (Capaldi, Winwood)

Side Two

  1. Forty Thousand Headmen (Capaldi, Winwood)
  2. Freedom Rider (Capaldi, Winwood)
  3. Feelin’ Good (Newley, Bricusse)


Steve Winwood – vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass

Jim Capaldi – drums, percussion, vocals

Chris Wood – saxophone, flute, piano

Recording details

All tracks recorded live at the Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, New York on June 26th 1970 (second show) and broadcast on WNEW-FM


Whilst various versions of Traffic existed between 1967 and 1994 the band never reached the level of commercial success they deserved. Throughout their career they had the sympathetic management and financial support of Chris Blackwell at Island Records and they achieved chart listings for both singles and albums. However their musical restlessness resulted in a continuously changing line-up and a reluctance to confine themselves to a single style of music, both of which made them a hard band to market.

Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood formed Traffic together with guitarist Dave Mason. In late1968 the band split for the first tjme, Winwood going on to form Blind Faith with Eric Clapton. Following the demise of this ill-fated ‘supergroup’  Winwood started recording a solo LP to be called Mad Shadows, a title later purloined by producer Guy Stevens and gifted to fellow-Islanders Mott The Hoople. After recording two tracks on his own, Winwood invited Capaldi and Wood to join him, effectively reconstituting Traffic without Mason. The resulting LP John Barleycorn Must Die came out under the Traffic name in July 1970.

From spring 1970 onwards Winwood, Capaldi and Wood were playing songs from the forthcoming LP live. The absence of a dedicated bass player required much juggling of musical instruments between (and sometimes during) songs. Their American tour started in mid-June, so the band were well-rehearsed by the time they arrived in Port Chester to play two nights at the Capitol Theatre on June 26th and June 27th.  On June 26th they played two shows, supported by Silver Metre and Swallow. The late show was broadcast in high quality by New York radio station WNEW-FM: whilst introducing the band DJ Scott Muni told the crowd “second shows are always the greatest”.  The Capitol Theatre was built in 1926 for vaudeville and cinema but by 1970 the 2000 capacity venue was a popular live music venue hosting the Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, who wrote Mercedes Benz in a nearby bar.

The audience gives Traffic a warm welcome, applauding the opening bars of the older songs and listening carefully to the new songs such as set-opener Every Mother’s Son. One of the solo tracks recorded by Winwood, the song is a showcase for Winwood’s vocal prowess and an extended organ solo. Medicated Goo was a stand alone single A-side released in December 1968 and jointly written by Winwood and producer Jimmy Miller. The lyrics do not bear close analysis but the riff is catchy and Winwood gets in a short and snappy guitar solo. The title track from John Barleycorn sees Winwood switching to acoustic guitar, supported by the subtle use of Wood’s flute and some evocative vocal harmonies. From Traffic’s second album comes Pearly Queen, withmore inventive electric guitar from Winwood that gets a great response. Keyboards dominate Empty Pages, another new song beautifully sung by Winwood. Capaldi claimed the song Forty Thousand Headmen came from a “hash-induced dream’, although the lyrics make it sound more like a nightmare and the organ/flute introduction reinforces this mood. The set-closer is another new song, an organ-driven version of Freedom Rider where Chris Wood takes a lengthy solo on flute. The enthusiastic applause brings the band back for a lengthy encore of Feelin’ Good. Although originally written for the musical The Roar Of The Greasepaint – The Smell Of The Crowd, this version is clearly based on Nina Simone’s 1965 rendition, as featured on her LP I Put A Spell On You. Capaldi keeps the beat whilst Wood and Winwood solo on flute and organ. Traffic never recorded a studio version of this song and only rarely played it in concert. It makes a great end to a fine concert, and a valuable record of this short-lived Traffic line up.

Sleevenotes: Mr. Fantasy

Miles Davis

Live At Ronnie Scott’s, London 1969


Side One

  1. Bitches Brew (Davis)
  2. It’s About That Time (Davis)
  3. No Blues (Davis)

Side Two

  1. This (Corea)
  2. I Fall In Love Too Easily (Cahn, Styne)
  3. Sanctuary (Shorter, Davis)
  4. The Theme (Davis)
  5. ‘Round Midnight (Hanigen, Williams, Monk)

Recording Details

Tracks 1-5 recorded live at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London on November 2nd 1969 and broadcast on BBC2 TV Jazz Night on December 26th

Track 6 recorded live at Teatro Sistina on October 27th 1969, Rome and broadcast on RAI Italian television


Miles Davis – trumpet
Wayne Shorter  – soprano and tenor saxophones
Chick Corea  – Fender Rhodes
Dave Holland – upright bass
Jack DeJohnette  – drums

Sleeve notes

The Lost Quintet

Why ‘Lost’? This extraordinary collection of musicians sadly never released any studio recordings. So Miles Davis fans are grateful for live recordings taken from  their European tour of Autumn 1969, some of which were released officially on Live In Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2. Miles himself was a fan of this line-up “Man, I wish this band had been recorded because  it was a really bad motherfucker…Columbia missed out on the whole fucking thing.” Audience reaction was similar. Downbeat magazine reported of the Quintet’s gig at New Jersey in November 1969 “during the second minute of the tumultuous ovation the young lady seated behind me was still gasping ‘Oh God, oh God, oh God.’ Her reaction was understandable. She had just witnessed contemporary jazz at its peak of perfection.”

Miles had spent much of 1969 in the studio, recording landmark LPs In A Silent Way (June 1969) and Bitches Brew (March 1970). The electric instrumentation he used reflected his increased interest in the rock and roll of Jimi Hendrix and the funk of Sly & The Family Stone. By 1970 he would be sharing the stage at the Fillmore East with Neil Young, Steve Miller and the Grateful Dead. November 1969 found the Quintet playing Ronnie Scott’s, a modestly sized club in London’s Soho at the behest of the BBC who were filming the gig for Jazz Night. The night before the Quintet had played two concerts at the Hammersmith Odeon, a better guide to their live popularity.

Only a small clip from the Ronnie Scott gig exists online but it demonstrates the extraordinary concentration that Miles brought to his playing as well as the casual instrumental dexterity of the other musicians. Thankfully we have a high quality audio recording of the entire broadcast. Here is JazzTimes’ Tom Moon’s description of the live Quintet. “Granted, they’re still playing tunes like ‘I Fall in Love Too Easily’, which were standards in Davis’ repertoire in the late ’50s. The tune might be old, but the treatment isn’t. Davis was determined to be a part of the new music that was erupting, and he recognized that he’d have to jettison most traces of swing to do it. The European tour of 1969 catches this moment of transition. It’s wild, fitful, ripping good stuff. And in a way, it’s prophetic: Inside these discussions, a profoundly new (nonjazz) musical landscape is coming into view. The territory hasn’t been mapped yet; there are no rules and very few structures or signposts. That can sometimes be terrifying, but it sounds like these five intense musicians like it that way.

To complete the LP a lengthy version of ‘Round Midnight is included from an earlier date in Rome. The thoughtful and melodic introduction shows that the Bitches Brew material was just one aspect of this fascinating group. “That quintet developed some really beautiful improvised stuff” recalled Chick Corea. “ We would do two or three pieces that were strung together, one right after another for the whole concert and we would make this wonderful, wonderful composition. The live stuff really should have been gotten on tape because that was when the band was burning”. Over fifty years later we are delighted to oblige.

Sleevenotes: Bertha de Kool