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Category Archives: 1971

The 1971 movie Vanishing Point managed to become a cult hit, with its story of a Benzedrine-popping driver (Barry Newman) in a race for his life with the police of several states, but somehow the soundtrack managed to remain out-of-print until 2004, when Soundtrack Classics reissued it on CD. The music is surprisingly cohesive, primarily built around different aspects of country-rock as embodied variously by Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, the Doug Dillard Expedition, and Jerry Reed, with some gospel tracks by Segarini & Bishop and Big Mama Thornton, plus Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen.”

The music is all eminently listenable and then some, and has an earthiness that makes it more than a little bracing — only the lyrical, string-dominated love theme, provided by Jimmy Bowen and his orchestra, breaks that mood and even it works within its own musical context, and is explainable given the time in which the movie was made. The entire release rather favorably recalls the soundtracks to Easy Rider and Zabriskie Point, but Vanishing Point stands up quite nicely musically on its own.

-Bruce Eder,

Various Artists-VANISHING POINT OST (1971)
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If ever an album demanded an “ultimate edition” type of repackaging, it is Mott the Hoople’s Brain Capers, a record that was so divisive, so damaged, and ultimately so destructive that the bandmembers themselves needed two goes at getting it all down on tape — one self-produced, the other with regular producer Guy Stevens — before finally emerging with, as Ian Hunter put it, the sound of a band tearing itself apart. They broke up just months later. Tantalizing snippets from the unused portion of the sessions have been scattered across a wealth of compilations, and Angel Air’s remastering adds one more to the pile, an alternate version of the multi-hued panic of “The Journey.” (The other bonus cut, a live version of the non-LP “Midnight Lady” single, is more or less dispensable.) It’s a shame — bolstered, as it already is, by best-ever sound quality and a superb booklet, this edition of Brain Capers should have taken the opportunity to bring everything together. Instead…well, maybe some day. That is, of course, the only regret one can possibly feel as Mott the Hoople’s fourth and (had it not been for Bowie’s subsequent intervention) final album. Hunter explained, “We were getting complacent. If you are a band like us, a lot of the adrenalin is set off by the audience. When you are in a studio, it’s a very barren sort of atmosphere, and it’s hard to get the substitute — to get the same kind of adrenaline into your body. You have to get yourself into a kind of rage. Some people get stoned, some get drunk. We smashed a few things about.” And, while he admitted that “the thought of wrecking a studio seems rather stupid, I can assure you we were pretty dead when we went in there, and five days later, we were really excited.”

The sessions reflect that excitement, transforming themselves before the band’s very eyes into what Ian Hunter later called “three days of madness, done very quickly.” Song titles were changed as their nature developed — “Mental Train” became “The Moon Upstairs,” “How Long” was reworked first as “A Duck Can Swim With Me” and then as “Death May Be Your Santa Claus.” The album itself came perilously close to being titled AC/DC before producer Stevens hit upon the far more suitable Brain Capers. The grinding riff that wraps up “The Journey” was reborn as the cacophonic closer “Wheel of the Quivering Meat Conception,” and the brace of covers that hove into view — “Darkness Darkness” and “Your Own Back Yard” — were steamrolled as thoroughly as the original material. The result would later be tagged among the least commercial albums ever released by a so-called rising rock band. But Mott was sick of rising and wound up, instead, with what rates among the most important of its age, as Hunter later realized. “I didn’t listen to [that album] for years, and then the punks started talking about it. You can actually hear the Sex Pistols loud and clear.”

-Dave Thompson,

Mott the Hoople-BRAIN CAPERS (1971)
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Yes, I’m giving mediafire a shot again. Let’s see! -Ian!

Link Wray was one of rock & roll’s first bone fide guitar heroes, and his speaker-shredding buzzy chords were as distinctive a sound as anyone conjured up in rock’s early years. So Link’s old fans were thrown for a loop when, in 1971, the man made a comeback after several years along the margins with a self-titled album that set aside his big slabs of fretboard fuzz in favor of a loosely tight fusion of country, blues, and roughshod folk-rock. Recorded in a homemade three-track studio fashioned in an abandoned chicken coop on Wray’s Maryland farm, Link Wray lacks the muscle of the man’s legendary instrumental sides, with acoustic guitar, piano, and mandolin anchoring these sides as often as Link’s electric, and there’s a down-home mood here that lacks the switchblade intensity of Wray’s most famous music. But the rough passion of “Rumble” and “Rawhide” certainly carries through here, albeit in a different form; the plaintive howl of Wray’s vocals isn’t always pretty, but it certainly communicates (Wray lost a lung to TB in 1953), the best songs speak eloquently of the hard facts of Wray’s early life as a poor Shawnee child in the Deep South, and there’s a humble back-porch stomp in this music that’s heartfelt and immediate. (And Wray does serve up some primal hoodoo guitar on the closing cut, “Tail Dragger.”) Link Wray didn’t go over big with the man’s old fans and failed to win him many new ones, but it’s an honest and passionate piece of music that’s a fascinating detour from the music that has largely defined his career, and has aged better than the vast majority of the country-rock product of the early ’70s.

Largely recorded the same time as Link Wray’s self-titled 1971 comeback album, Beans and Fatback was more playful and harder-rocking set than the country- and blues-flavored album that announced Wray’s return to active duty. The loopy title cut started the album on a jew’s-harp-infused jug band note, and “I’m So Glad, I’m So Proud” was exactly the sort of showcase for Wray’s trademark rumbling guitar that the previous album lacked. Elsewhere, songs such as “Hobo Man” and “Georgia Pines” (the latter a rewrite of Leadbelly’s In the Pines”) followed the roots-oriented pattern of Link Wray, but with a stronger backbone and a lot more wallop; if both albums sound like they came from a studio housed in a chicken shack on a rundown Maryland farm, Beans and Fatback seems to have been born during a Saturday night rave-up, and goes a lot father toward fusing the rowdy howl of Wray’s early instrumental hits with the back-to-the-land flavor of his more personal 1971 set. If Beans and Fatback suffers in comparison to Link Wray, it’s in the lack of the deeper and more emotionally resonant undercurrents that carried the 1971 album; as good as these songs are, they don’t have the same impact as, say, “Fire and Brimstone” or “Take Me Home Jesus.” But as a pure listening experience, Beans and Fatback is plenty satisfying, and offers more rock & roll bang for the buck than Wray’s other work from this period. Virgin’s original LP release of Beans and Fatback also included a free piece of dried fatback as a “bonus” — yummy!

-Mark Deming,

LINK WRAY (1971)

Yes, I know, I’ve uploaded this album already. But Dr. Ebbetts made a bootleg of the rare mono mix of RAM (not a stereo fold down) and I figured I’d just repost both mixes. The mono mix wins me over on certain songs, the stereo on others. Rockers like “Smile Away” are served well by the mono, and you can tell extra special care was taken in the mono mix for “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”, one of the weirdest singles ever. By the way, this is the single best solo work by any Beatle. Just thought I’d throw that out there. -Ian!

One collector points out “This is (so far) the best sounding digital transfer of the rare mono LP. While it sounds similar to the Japanese pirate disc [‘Ram Mono Mix’ Manural Apple MAS-3375], the sound here is a bit more open on the high and low frequencies and the bass is more profound and clear. The overall sound is very smooth and this disc plays nicely beside the DCC master of the stereo mix. We all know that the vinyl Capitol Records used during this period was not the quietest, and as such every mono LP has a small amount of audible background noise. This noise is a little more noticeable on the Dr. Ebbett disc than the ‘Manural Apple’ disc, but this could just be a result of the Equalizing. I also want to mention that it is possible that Dr. Ebbett could of mastered this version from the ‘Manural Apple’ disc but I highly doubt it (there’s a lower tracking error during “Smile Away” on this version than the “Manural Apple’ disc).”

This is a straight transfer of the mono. There is noticeable surface noise however. To give the benefit of the doubt to the label, virgin copies may be almost impossible to find, but it sounds as if no attempt was made to clean up the recording. Despite that it has the good Scorpio mastering job sounding very natural and warm. It comes packaged in a single cardboard glossy paper sleeve with an insert with the track listing on the inside.

According to the book Eight Arms To Hold You, there are differences between the mono and stereo on almost each track. On “Too Many People” the mono mix has mixed-down backing vocals, less processing and a longer fade out. On “3 Legs,” there is a stray note that is mixed out during “fly flies in…”, a tighter edit at “you know it’s not allowed,” and the background vocals are mixed lower. “Ram On” has no processing on the ukulele. For “Dear Boy” there is considerable flanging on the vocal interlude in the middle and the backing vocals are lower also. There is flanging also on the guitar intro for the mono mix of “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.” The high-hat at the start of the “Admiral Halsey” section in the stereo version is absent in mono. There is a vocal harmony at 3:10 on the word “water” missing in mono and the punch in at 2:18 in the stereo version is lower in the mix on mono.

The segue between “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” and “Smile Away” is smoother in mono, and the high harmony at 1:52 in stereo is absent throughout the rest of the song in mono. Also, the fade is three seconds longer in mono than stereo. “Heart Of The Country” is identical in both stereo and mono. The mono ”Monkberry Moon Delight” has more reverb than stereo and the guitar, tambourine and backing vocals are lower in the mix. In the mono “Eat At Home” there is some mumbling by Paul after the first “eat at home” and the vocal interjections during the solo are not in mono. On “Long Haired Lady” there is flanging on the piano during the first “love is long” break, the stereo fade is slightly longer and the crossfade to ”Ram On” begins at a different point. The mono mix for “Ram On” shorter with less reverb, and finally ”The Back Seat Of My Car” has a smoother edit to the outro.



Shockingly little information information on this album by Ike & Tina. Little help? Drop a line if you know anything, allmusic, wikipedia, amazon have nothing on it. No reviews I can really find.

Anyway, the album fucking tears ass all over the place. So just get it.

Ike & Tina Turner and The Ikettes-COME TOGETHER (1970))

Even before Carlos knew of a film project concerning A Clockwork Orange, the composer had begun work on a composition (Timesteps) based on the book. It’s the best piece of music in the score (and one of the most famed in the early history of electronic music), fitting in well next to late-’60s minimalist works by Terry Riley as well as the emerging Tangerine Dream (pre-Phaedra). Carlos also pioneered the effect of synthesized vocals (known as a vocoder), and their eerie nature perfectly complemented scenes from the film. Much of the rest of A Clockwork Orange is filled with rather cloying synthesizer versions of familiar classical pieces (from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie) similar to Carlos’ previous Switched-On Bach recordings. Still, it’s worthwhile if only for Timesteps. A Clockwork Orange was originally released as a Warner Bros. soundtrack, containing only film cuts (which edited Timesteps down from 13 minutes to only four).

-John Bush,

Wendy Carlos-A CLOCKWORK ORANGE OST (1971)