Category ACROSS THE DECADES

1971 COUNTDOWN:  #44 — #40

44  SPECTRUM — Miles Ago The second album by Australian progressive outfit Spectrum was an ambitious work that sprawled across four sides of vinyl. Displaying the downbeat wit of songwriter/leader Mike Rudd, the album was hugely ambitions and largely successful. Sometimes the laid back style is hypnotic and as relaxed as a hot Aussie Saturday […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #49 — #45

49 JOHN MAYALL — Back To The Roots Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Keef Hartley, Don ‘Sugarcane’ Harris, Harvey Mandel, Johnny Almond… a selection of the musicians John Mayall called when he decided to make an album celebrating past alumni of his bands. The name and roster tells you all you need to know, really. Eighteen […]

LEVITATING

A recent late-night on-line buying bonanza netted this re-issue of Hawkwind’s 1980 album Levitation. Part of the attraction—apart from it being Hawkwind, of course—was the inclusion of not one, but two bonus records: a concert recorded at that world-famous venue, the Lewisham Odeon, on the 18th of December 1980. The studio album has retained some […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #55 — #50

55  ROY HARPER — Stormcock Roy Harper could aptly be described as a poet-troubadour, a storyteller and wordsmith who uses music as the carrier wave for his images, thoughts, and observations. This fascinating album consists of four extended songs in the progressive folk style and is considered amongst his best works. Listeners may hear connections […]

LITTLE EDEN

The last time Nick Saloman and I spoke he had just sent off the digital files for the next Bevis Frond album to his record company, Fire Records. We spoke about his hopes for the two-dozenth Frond opus. As always, the songwriter was phlegmatic about the record’s future. “I write songs,” he says. “I record […]

THE BEVIS FROND  |  NEW RIVER HEAD

FROM 33 ⅓ SUBMISSION CHAPTER ONE — “Introduction” You are now the owner of the latest His Master’s Voice radio gramophone and you have at your command all the pleasures to be found on His Master’s Voice records. To show you how lovely modern records sound on a modern radio gramophone, here are extracts from […]

BLURRED VISION

Back in May of this year I was immersed in a project that occupied my waking hours (plus a few more besides) and left little room for other activities. The best I could manage at Vinyl Connection was a pictorial post that hinted at the topic. It was called, with coy indirectness, “What’s Going On […]

HITSVILLE

The 2019 documentary Hitsville: The Making of Motown has the slug-line “The soul of a city, the rhythm of a nation”. Very catchy and with some truth, no doubt, though an equally valid subtitle might have been “The house that Berry built”. Berry Gordy cheerfully admits—several times, in fact—that his reason for getting into music […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #60 — #56

60   ALICE COOPER — Killer The band really pulled their act together in 1971, releasing Love It To Death in March and Killer in November. Although the former had the bigger single, the enduring love letter to teenage angst “I’m Eighteen”, the latter edges it out for me. Amongst the schlock horror—check out the inner […]

RELICS

Pink Floyd’s Relics, which came out in May 1971, was the perfect example of a record company stop-gap release. The band toured extensively in that era (the time of Atom Heart Mother) and when they did eventually make it into the studio, there were worries their rate of creating new music was far from brisk.  […]