Wednesday, October 2, 2019

THE BYRDS, 'The Last Byrds Album' (Updated)


The Byrds

THE LAST BYRDS ALBUM  (1972)

Tiffany Queen   
Bugler
Antique Sandy
Lazy Waters
I'm So Restless*   [Roger McGuinn]
------------------------
Draggin'*    [Roger McGuinn]
Born to Rock and Roll**
Farther Along
Lost My Drivin' Wheel**
Time Cube*    [Roger McGuinn]


All tracks taken from the CD re-issue of 'Farther Along' except where noted

------------------------------------------------------

The follow up to 1971's Byrdmaniax started out as a band produced offering to be released that same year. Discussions for a reunion of the original line-up of the Byrds were already in motion and McGuinn's dissatisfaction with the latter-day line-up was further compounded with arguments over salary with drummer Gene Parsons. After a disappointing 45 single release of "America's Great National Past Time" (sung by bassist Skip Battin and written by him and lyricist Kim Fowley) backed with the Clarence White led rendition of the traditional "Farther Along" in Nov. 1971, the album originally titled Farther Along would be shelved by leader Roger McGuinn (though the other members would subsequently concur) and put the future of the band's current line-up in doubt.


By July 1972, Parsons had been fired and replaced by session drummer John Guerin. To further cement his return to controlling the group--a single with "Born to Rock and Roll" backed with a cover of "Lost My Drivin' Wheel" was issued as Roger McGuinn and The Byrds. Session musicians had been employed to back McGuinn on at least one of the tracks--but company rules made the recordings be labelled as 'The Byrds' since McGuinn was not contracted as a solo artist with Columbia. Half of the Farther Along tracks were combined with new songs McGuinn had recorded including the sides to the 45 single to make The Last Byrds Album. It's also fitting that Bob Dylan would appear on a song--bringing things full circle--playing harmonica on "I'm So Restless". Clarence White sings lead on "Bugler" and "Farther Along"; Skip Battin sings lead on "Lazy Waters"...McGuinn takes the rest. 

After disbanding the latter-day Byrds in Feb. 1973, McGuinn and the original Byrds would join forces once again to release Full Circle on David Geffen's Asylum label.

1.  Full Circle    [Byrds]
 2. Sweet Mary     [Byrds]
 3. Changing Heart     [Byrds]
 4. For Free       [Byrds]
 5. The Water is Wide     [Roger McGuinn]
 6. Things Will Be Better    [Byrds]
Side B:
 7. Cowgirl in the Sand      [Byrds]
 8. Long Live the King     [Byrds]
 9. My New Woman     [Roger McGuinn]
10. Laughing    [Byrds]
11. Bag Full of Money    [Roger McGuinn]
12. (See the Sky) About to Rain     [Byrds]



In reality, McGuinn had wanted to changed the band name to put his in front, but was discouraged from doing so by whomever at the time. Farther Along was released in Nov. 1971 and the band was reported to be unhappy with it--though Clarence White's vocal on "Bugler" was a highlight. The CD re-issue of this album included versions of "Bag Full of Money", "Born to Rock and Roll" and "Lost My Drivin' Wheel". These songs and versions of "Draggin'", and "I'm So Restless" (reportedly lost) with new drummer John Guerin were left unreleased at the time in 1972. In 1973, McGuinn released his eponymous solo debut and it included remakes of "Lost My Drivin' Wheel", "Draggin'" (featuring Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys on piano and bgv), "I'm So Restless'" (featuring Bob Dylan on harmonica), and "Bag Full of Money" (featuring Crosby on harmony) along with "My New Woman" (with backing by the original Byrds line-up and saxophonist Buddy Emmons) and the traditional "The Water is Wide" (again featuring Crosby). A proposed McGuinn/Crosby LP never happened--though those two songs were great. I included them with "My New Woman" on my mix of the Byrds reunion LP for that reason.

Monday, September 9, 2019

THE BYRDS, 'Byrdmaniax' [LP re-imagined]


The Byrds

BYRDMANIAX   (1971)


  • I Trust (Everything is Gonna Work Out All Right)
  • Just Like a Woman*
  • Absolute Happiness
  • Green Apple Quick Step
  • I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician
  • (Is This) My Destiny
  • Lover of the Bayou* (studio)   [[Untitled/Unissued]]
  • Willin'*  [[Untitled/Unissued]]
  • Pale Blue
  • It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)*    [Easy Rider soundtrack]
  • Jamaica Say You Will** (alt. mix)    
-----------------------------------All tracks taken from the original LP except where *

The often maligned tenth album by The Byrds has always been a challenge to listen to. Though I have revised my hard stance against Skip Battin somewhat (a song per LP) in my updated Byrds alt-discog. Much like Farther Along that would follow it, the LP is not without its charms. However, only half-an-album's worth of decent tunes does not a good album make. I previously paired these two 1971 LPs together whilst throwing in some of McGuinn's eponymous solo LP from '73. With the awesome new alt-discog sites I've seen over the past few months (Something Creative; Strawberry Peppers, and more you should check out--Ed.), I've gotten the idea to further revise my timeline, heh. I will follow-up with revised takes on The Last Byrds Album and Pheonix in future posts.

So what I did with this album was remove all but one of Skip's songs (the one on here I do like) and "Glory, Glory"--ugh. Anyways, I could see the band going to use leftovers from Pheonix (the actual title for 1970's [Untitled] double LP) like "Lover of the Bayou" and a couple decent Dylan covers. Also, Gene Parsons doesn't have a vocal on the album--so "Willin'" would have a spot here. I also originally considered Clarence White's take on "Think I'm Gonna Feel Better" by Gene Clark...but a proper vocal take was probably never recorded; it remains an outtake for me. However, I am proud of the mix of "Jamaica Say You Will" I made combining elements from the quadraphonic LP version (containing additional woodwind and orchestral flourishes) with the album version. The problem with the latter is a slight pitch problem that flattens White's vocal take. McGuinn's harmony part is also off due to this. You can compare the performance of the two mixes and hear what I mean. The quadraphonic mix has the correct speed but the band's instruments are buried under Melcher's overdubs (even more than the album version). Putting them together makes sense. I also did the same with both versions of "One Hundred Years From Now" from the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album. Welp--that's all folks (for now). Special thanks to ernestmannerisms for the cover art!

P.S. Look up 'Byrdmaniax Repaired" on YouTube. That's another live/studio LP combination like '[Untitled]' (which was considered by the band at one point).






Saturday, July 6, 2019

THE BEACH BOYS, 'Beach Boys '67' [LP re-imagined]


BEACH BOYS '67 
Heroes and Villains
Vegetables
The Little Girl I Once Knew
Gettin' Hungry
Holidays
Good Vibrations
She's Goin' Bald
Little Pad
Trombone Dixie
Cool, Cool Water
Graduation Day

BEACH BOYS '67 would be released in the summer including the latest single "Heroes and Villains" opening up side A ('the latest and greatest from the group') followed by the new recording of "Vegetables", with the previously released non-LP single "The Little Girl I Once Knew" up next, along with "Gettin' Hungry" (a quirky new R&B track in a stripped down style released as a Brian and Mike duo 45), and an instrumental leftover from the forthcoming 'SMiLE' project entitled "Holidays" as the closer. Side B would mirror the TODAY! LP by featuring a theme of Brian Wilson's latest musical whims (so to speak). Including the Pet Sounds-era instrumental leftover "Trombone Dixie" and a new track from the SMiLE era ("Cool Cool Water") to further remind of what's to come. I think BW would've got a laugh from the irony of "Graduation Day" (a TODAY! outtake from '65) closing the record. I did, anyway.

----Cheers to Scott G. for his excellent mixes that I used.Check his page here.
The Something Creative blogspot has also been a source of inspiration and mixes.
'SMiLE' would be released in the Fall of '67 minus "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes and Villians" (11 tracks including "Our Prayer" as the unlisted intro). 



Just as he did with "Help Me, Rhonda" back in '65--BW improves a track from the previous LP in a new 45 with "Vegetables" (released as a double A-side with "Surf's Up")





With all the alternate discography and 'what if' scenarios that I see, things can become very convoluted depending on how OCD you wanna get (lol). One of my favourites is The Alternate Albums and More! blogspot. His mixes of Beach Boys, Beatles, Monkees, etc. are some of my go-to playlists. In perusing some of the various other blogs of this nature--I saw a discussion on what album The Beach Boys could have released in between Pet Sounds and Wild Honey instead of the 'Best of ,( vol. 2)' compilation and SMiLe's  subsequent replacement, Smiley Smile.
I was mostly inspired by this article to make this one happen. 

Cheers!


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

RYAN ADAMS, "Prisoner III" [LP imagined]


Ryan Adams

PRISONER III   (2019)


  • Blue Light    ['Blue Light'  7-inch]
  • Lookout+      [Prisoner: End of the World edition]
  • Fuck the Rain    ['Fuck the Rain' digital single]
  • The Cold+       [Prisoner: End of the World edition]
  • Doylestown Girl*
  • Aching for More+      ['Gimme Something Good'  7-inch]
  • So Lost   (Dirty Power demo)*
  • Was I Wrong?+     ['Baby I Love You'  7-inch]
  • Crazy Now
  • The Empty Bed
  • No Words
  • Manchester*
  • Broken Things
  • Too Tired to Cry
--------------------------------
All other tracks taken from Prisoner B-Sides  digital compilation (except + = vinyl only* = unreleased



Third and final volume (my version) of the Prisoner album trilogy RA mentioned online in 2018. Since there were 20 tracks in all (17 B-Sides that were released digitally; 3 on vinyl only), I had only seven leftover songs after compiling vol. II in a previous post. I was able to expand the tracklist to 14 songs over 47 minutes by including the vinyl-only tracks "Was I Wrong?" (exclusive Prisoner b-side) and two previously released non-LP tracks that fit the album's theme ("Aching For More", "Blue Light") as well as RA's latest single, "Fuck the Rain" (from the canceled Big Colors LP that was due on April 19). Two more new songs that were leaked to radio from Big Colors are also included ("Doylestown Girl" and "Manchester") and a gem of an unreleased track ("So Lost") from the 'Dirty Power' demos of 2010. Since the demise of RA's planned 2019 trilogy (Big Colors / Wednesdays / Chris) following the unpleasant rumours compacted with eXgirlfriend-hindsight-turned up-to-11 in this new millennial created age-of-entitlement--this is all we got, music lovers.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Tom Petty, "WiLDFLOWERS" [imagined 2xLP]


Side One (24:17)
01 Wildflowers – 3:11
02 You Don't Know How It Feels – 4:49
03 Time to Move On – 3:15
04 You Wreck Me – 3:22
05 It's Good to Be King – 5:10
06 Only a Broken Heart – 4:30
------------------------------
Side Two (24:01)
07 Honey Bee – 4:58
08 Don't Fade on Me – 3:32
09 U Get Me High – 4:11
10 Hard on Me – 3:48
11 Cabin Down Below – 2:51
12 Hope on Board - 1:18
13 It's Hard to Find a Friend – 3:23
---------------------------------
Side Three (24:22)
14 Climb that Hill – 3:57
15 I Hope You Never – 3:02
16 Girl on LSD – 3:34
17 California – 2:39
18 Supernatural Radio – 5:22
19 Hung Up and Overdue – 5:48
-----------------------------------
Side Four (24:29)
20 A Higher Place – 3:56
21 House in the Woods – 5:32
22 Somewhere Under Heaven – 4:37
23 Crawling Back to You – 5:05
24 Wake Up Time – 5:19

---
This original post was found here. I simply re-copied this as I wanted to try this one, mah self. A dear friend of mine passed away last September...and this Tom Petty album was certainly very significant to me--as it's a record I know he really dug. It's just that good. Below is a comment by the original poster.
 
I added the re-recorded stuff for the lack of a better version, and tried to separate the She's the One tracks into their own side, as they work better together. And that's it 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

RYAN ADAMS, "Prisoner II" [LP re-imagined]

Ryan Adams

PRISONER II   (2018)


About Time
Where Will You Run?
Stop Talking
Juli
It Will Never Be the Same
You Said
Hanging On to Hope
Baby, I Love You
Are You Home?
What if We Were Wrong
Let it Burn
Please Help Me
Halo
Stop You

--------

Collection of tracks for a proposed companion disc to his 2017 album Prisoner. Most of these can be found on the Prisoner B-Sides collection except for the digital singles "Baby I Love You" (released on Valentine's Day 2018) and "About Time"--the latter pulled almost immediately after its release. After announcing four archival releases for potential release in 2018--it was believed Prisoner 2/3 was next--"About Time" was quietly released online. None of the proposed archive releases have seen the light of day, yet. This 14-track collection clocks in at about 47 minutes. A pretty solid listen in that context. Prisoner had a very 80's retro guitar vibe (among other things) matched with seemingly biographical lyrics concerning RA's divorce from singer/actress Mandy Moore. He announced a trilogy of albums concerning the subject. I will put together a third volume in a future post. 



Saturday, January 19, 2019

THE LA's , "The La's" [re-imagined LP]

The La's

THE LA's   (alt.)

  • Son of a Gun
  • I Can't Sleep
  • Timeless Melody
  • Come in Come Out
  • There She Goes
  • Doledrum
  • Feelin'
  • Way Out
  • I.O.U.
  • Freedom Song
  • Calling All
  • Over

-----------
All selections taken from the compilation album BBC in Session. A great fookin' band I was introduced by an old friend who left The La's in my car's tape deck. I really enjoyed those tunes and the CD re-issue with all the other songs and alternates. The La's frontman Lee Mavers is a particular cat when it comes to his own music. The band's self-titled debut album was re-recorded a couple times at least with various producers coming and going over the first few years of the band's existence--despite releasing critically acclaimed singles from said project. Mavers ultimately gave up and left it to producer Steve Lillywhite to assemble the album we're most used to hearing. It didn't help Mavers and the band disparaged the album's sound likening it to a "snake with a broken back" in the press. A more live-in-the-studio approach is ultimately what is closest to what he probably had in mind. This recent archival release of BBC recordings provides a reasonable alternative to the Go! Discs release we all know from 1990. Cheers!