Friday, February 29, 2008


Digitized from the original vinyl, This is a 80 minute, home made "Best Of" compilation that takes the best cuts (i.e. my favorite tunes) from the first 4 Crack The Sky albums, released from 1975 thru 1978 on Lifesong Records. They are CRACK THE SKY, ANIMAL NOTES, SAFETY IN NUMBERS & LIVE SKY.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 320 Kbps
Nuclear Apathy / Wet Teenager / Flashlight / Give Myself To You / We Want Mine / Play On / Prelude to Safety In Numbers / Ice / Lighten Up McGraw / She's A Dancer / Virgin? No / Hold On / Long Nights / Robots For Ronnie / Maybe I Can Fool Everybody (Tonight) / Safety In Numbers
John Palumbo - Keyboards, Guitars, Vocals
Rick Witkowski - Guitar, Percussion
Joe Macre - Bass, Vocals
Jim Griffiths - Guitars, Vocals
Joey D'Amico - Drums, Percussion
Gary Lee Chappell - Vocals, Guitar
Rob Stevens - Keyboards, Synthesizers
WEBSITE(S): CrackThe Sky Home Page Bobby Shred Home Page Prog Archives
By Yours Truly
Crack The Sky holds a special place in my musical heart. I am, and always have been, a large fan of what they nowadays call Prog Rock. When this band arrived they were hard to catagorize. To some it was hard rock, others said Prog and yet others called it Industrial rock. Whatever you call it, it was some of the most off-the-wall, innovative and unique stuff out there in the 70's.
John Palumbo, the person responsible for most of the songs has a special way of looking at the world, like one of those demented genius' who are terribly smart but don't know how to interact with people. The rest of the band is no slouch either. Rick Witkowski plays some of the nastiest / tastiest guitar you're likely to ever hear. Both the Bass and drumming is much above average and moves things along nicely, but it's the songs that make this band stand out.
This CD starts out with an all time favorite tune of mine, Nuclear Apathy. This is an 8 minute kickass tour-de-force that pokes fun at the human race. "On the moon they're laughing at us, on the moon they're falling off their seats". An awesome tune. It doesn't stop there though, the next song, Wet Teenager delivers the message "stop blaming your parents, pick yourself up and get on with it"
This band is still together and still cooking today. As a matter of fact they have a new album that came out December 5th, 2007. I have yet to get all their stuff, alot of it's hard to find or priced beyond what I can afford to pay these days with 3 buck a gallon gas eating into my disposable income, but I'm always on the lookout for CTS music. I highly recommend this band, but be warned....this is not "quiet night by the fireplace" stuff. .... This is Rock n Roll at 11 on a scale of 1 to 10.
READ THIS for more information on this album.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1978 on Asylum Records.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 320 Kbps
Produced by John Hall & Charles PLotkin
Recorded By: Peter Granet with Steve Hirsch at Wally Heider Studio 4, Hollywood & with Jay Krugman and Peter Granet at the Record Plant, New York & Mark Howlett at the Sound Factory West
Mixed By: Val Garay at Sound Factory West
Cover Photography: David Alexander
Night / Break Of Day / Messin' Round With The Wrong Woman / Trust Yourself / Give Me The Right / The Fault / Good Enough / Voyagers
John Hall - Vocals, All Guitars, Polymoog, Clavinet
Keyboards - Joe Sample, Sonny Burke, David Paich
Bass - Wilton Felder, Chuck Rainey, David Hungate
Drums - Ed Green, Steve Gadd
Percussion - Milt Holland
Sax - Michael Brecker, David Sanborn
Harmonica - Joel Tapp
Synthesizer - Bill Payne
Background Vocals - James Taylor, Carly Simon, Garland Jeffreys, David Lasley, Arnold McCullough, Phillip Balou, Bonnie Raitt, Lowell George, Lynn Pitney, John Hall & The Persuasions
WEBSITE(S): john Hall for Congress Site John Hall Music Site Siren Songs Site
By Yours Truly
For folks old enough to remember the band ORLEANS and for those not old enough but interested in the great music of the 70's this 2nd solo album of John Hall's (1st one since the demise of Orleans) will be a welcome addition to your collection. John wrote all the songs on this album, sang lead vocals on all the songs and played his guitar on al tracks. Along with his top notch efforts there is a stellar lineup of folks that dropped in to help make this record and their efforts were not in vain as this is an 8 song set that has no low points.
High points for me personally are Trust Yourself & The Fault which contains the lines "Foundations built on indian bones, by black men stolen from their homes, sooner or later have to fall, to the fault running underneath it all" A very short but very honest American history lesson.
John these days has put down the guitar full time and taken up a career in politics to try and elicit some change in the world as a New York state congressman.
READ THIS for more information on this album.


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1979 on Columbia Records.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 320 Kbps
Produced & Arranged By: John Hall
Recorded At: Bearsville Sound Studio by John Holbrook & Atlantic Sound Studio, New York by Gene Paul & Lew Hahn
Album Cover: Eric Meola
Home At Last / Power / Heartbreaker / So / Run Away With Me / Firefly Lover / Arms / Half Moon / Cocaine Drain
All music and lyrics by John & Johanna Hall
John Hall - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Cowbell
Eric Parker - Drums
Jody Linscott - Percussion
David Schwartz - Bass
Louis Levin - Keyboards
Bryan Cumming - Saxophone, Guitar
Lynn Pitney - Background Vocals
Phil Ballou -Background Vocals
Jon Pousette-Dart - Vocals
John Troy - Vocals
Tony Levin - Bass
James Taylor - Vocals
Carly Simon - Vocals
Michael Mainieri - Vibes
WEBSITE(S): John Hall For Congress Site John Halls Home Page Siren Songs Website
By Yours Truly
I'm Probably going to sound a bit biased but as far as I'm concerned John Hall hasn't put a bad song out in his entire recording career. This is John's third solo album and it's chock full of excellent melodies, great guitar work, great singing and a slew of wonderful backup musicians to help John realize his songs.
This is another performer who should've been much more recognized for his talent than he ever was, however these days I doubt it bothers him much as he's moved on to another arena to effect the changes he attempted to make with his music. He is now a New York Congressman.
From the opening strains of Home At Last to the final notes of Cocaine Drain this is a marvelous album that any music lover would be proud to have as a part of their collection.
READ THIS for more information on this album.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1980 on Asylum Records.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 320 Kbps
Produced By: Andrew Gold
Production Assistant: Melanie McDowell
Engineered By: Greg Ladanyi & Jim Nipar
Recorded & Mixed At: The Sound Factory & Record One, Los Angeles
Album Cover: Jim Shea
Kiss This One Goodbye / Whirlwind / Sooner Or Later / Leave Her Alone / Little Company / Brand New Face / Nine To Five / Stranded On The Edge / Make Up Your Mind
All Songs Written and Arranged by Andrew Gold
Andrew Gold - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Synthesizer
Drums: Michael Botts, Rick Marotta
Bass - Bryan Garofalo, Kenny Edwards
Guitar - Waddy Wachtel
Keyboards - Don Grolnick
Background Vocals - Brock Walsh
WEBSITE(S): Andrew's Home Page Wikipedia Site
By Yours Truly
Not a whole lot I can say about this one without overdoing it so let me just say if you have any rock and roll bones in your body at all ( and I assume you do or you wouldn't be reading this.....) then there's damn little chance that you won't be playing this one over and over at a decent volume. Andrew's first 3 albums were great. They were full of wonderful tunes, great arrangements, the whole nine yards, but this one is different. Andrew is pissed, he's got attitude and both his voice and his guitar work have a "don't screw around with me" vibe. The guitar work is fantastic. I didn't know that he could play like that There's not a weak spot on this disc, but the high points for me include "Kiss this one goodbye", Leave Her Alone" and two others that actually helped convince me to marry my wife....."Sooner or Later" and Make Up Your Mind". I've heard that Andrew likes this album least of the one's he's put out. I dunno why that would be unless it was a time in his life that he'd rather not recall.......for me it's makes a very strong statement, is full of very strong lyrical content and just simple good advice......I been married for over 25 years now, to the same woman and still happy about it......matter of fact my wife just bought me a T-shirt for my birthday (#55) that says "if my music is too loud, you're too old". Rock on to the end kids.
A surprise offering from a gifted artist!, March 21, 2006
By D. Frame "music lover" (Missouri)
If you are a casual fan of Andrew Gold, I would suggest his compilation CD which spans the majority of his career as a solo artist. However, if you are a fan of Gold and are not familiar with this album, I can promise you that you will not be disappointed with this purchase. It is true that you will not find songs that sound like "Thank You For Being A Friend" on this CD. Personally, I am grateful for that. I've always considered this album to be the one where Andrew Gold matured as an artist - and I use the word "artist" as a major compliment - a singer, songwriter and, yes, a rocker. This is the Gold offering that shows his more rocking side and he does it well. Imagine "Lonely Boy" with a bit more edge and you've got the idea for this one. Musically and lyrically, there is not one bad track on this CD. I would probably have only given this four stars (his "What's Wrong With This Picture" would be a five star effort) but I wanted to offset the ridiculous 1 star rating given by the only other reviewer at the time I wrote this. If you've got other Andrew Gold CDs and you are wanting to find out what he was doing during this period in his solo career, I highly recommend this one, especially if you are wanting to hear the gifted singer/songwriter with more of a rock edge.
READ THIS for more information on this album.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1974 on RSO Records.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 320 Kbps
Produced & Mixed by Mike Finesilver
Engineered By: Anton Mathews & Gerry Leach
Recorded At: Ramport Studios, Battersea, London
Album Cover: Patrick Woodruff
Alright By Me / You're Looking Down A Road / Wherever You Go / Caroline / Changes / Help Me Understand / Blackbird / I Need Your Love / Buxton / Leave It All Behind You
All Songs composed, Written & Arranged by Alan Ross
Alan Ross - Lead Vocals, Guitars & Filing Cabinet
Steve Emery - Bass and Vocals
Bob Jackson - Keyboards, Vocals, String Machine
Tony Fernandez - Drums, Percussion
Reuben White - Percussion
I couldn't find a doggone thing on the net about this great band.
By Yours Truly
After an hour's worth of searching the net I've come to the conclusion that it's pretty hard to find info on a band from 30 years ago that was named after one of the members. So, maybe I'm the only one on the planet these days that thinks that Allan Ross was one of the great ones back in the mid 70's. To me, this album rocks from start to finish. Great, great melodic guitar work and Alan has a classic rock n roll voice. Many was the evening back in the 70's I'd be out cruizing around town in the truck with this album just blasting from the speakers. Everybody in this band knows their instrument well, excellent bass work and the drummer is a dynamo. There is some nice organ work too but the guitar is the focal point. Alan Ross wrote, arranged and sings all the tunes on this album and why it wasn't a major smash I'll never know. I've been meaning to write the Sundazed people and tell 'em they need to put this music on a CD and start pandering them to the masses. They just don't make rock n roll like this nowadays and we sure could use some..........Give this one a'll be 45 minutes well spent I tell ya.
posted 10/26/2005 by Russ
Another fantastic album of music by ALAN ROSS.Some of the best by a great guitarist.a mixture of hard rock w/ melody and great lyricks.I dont know why it's unavailable,but I do know once it isn't i'll buy it .
READ THIS For more information on this album.


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1967 on Columbia Records.
Format: mp3
Bit Rate: 256 kbps
Produced by Gary Usher
Engineered by Roy Halee & Tom May
Turn On A Friend (To The Good Life) / Lonely Leaf / Pleasure / Too Many Do / Living, Loving Life / Invasion Of The Poppy People / Captain Sandwich / Living Dream / Ecstasy / Time Is After You / Wonderment
Barbara Robison - Vocals, Percussion
John Merrill - Vocals, Guitar
Jim Voigt - Drums Percussion
Bill Wolff - Vocals, Guitar
Alan Brackett - Vocals, Bass
REVIEW: (Amazon reviews)
4 1/2 stars Great lost sixties classic!
Having a name like the Peanut Butter Conspiracy probably didn't help on this otherwise very strong record from this Los Angeles band. Very similar to Jefferson Airplane (female vocalist male backing members- drummer of PBC was lured to the Airplane-etc). Comparisons aside- this is excellent well written with great vocals from female singer Sandy who has since passed on. The songs are steeped deep in the San Francisco sound- part psyche-part acid rock pastoral folk. I'm very glad i stumbled upon this and i would consider it in the top twenty of the albums released during 1965-1969, to me the golden age of rock and pop. For psyche summer of love "hippie" or sixties fans its a must own.
Blow your mind!!, January 9, 2006
By Samuel B. King "Sam King" (Concord, NH)
What a singer!! The first cut "Its a happening thing" blew my mind (pardon the '60s lingo, but it fits). I remember the name "Peanut Butter Conspiracy" but hadn't heard them. The female lead singer, Barbara "Sandi" Robison, in my opinion, was better than either Grace Slick, Mama Cass or Spanky McFarlane (no kidding). They sound like Surrealistic Pillow era JA minus the hype and hits. Kind of like a modern alternative band performing this type of music. One can only imagine their power in a live setting. If you like jangly Rickenbacker guitars, tasteful harmonies and a rich soulful lead vocalist, you gotta have this one. I hear the singer tragically passed away during the '80s. A real drag. Her legacy, however, lives on in these cuts. Buy it!!
READ THIS for more information on this album.


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1974 on Blue Thumb Records.
Format: mp3
Bit Rate: 320kbps
Produced And Engineered by Chris Huston
Recorded And Mixed at Wally Heider's, Hollywood, California
Album Design & Graphics: Richard Taylor
Aim For The Highest / My Friend / Hollywood / You Need Me / Seattle / I'm There / Morning Magic / How Are We To Live / Endlessly / 4 O'Clock Rock / We Can Make It
Michael W. Overly - Guitars, Flutes, Lead and Background Vocals
Patrick O'Connor - Bass
Warren "Bugs" Pemberton - Drums
Loren Newkirk - Keyboards
There's nothing out there about the band that I could find.
I love this album. It's so high energy that it's hard not to be infected by the enthusiasm in the grooves. I can't sing to save my soul, but that doesn't stop me from trying to keep up with Michael Overly's atmospheric, Soaring vocal range. To this day I think his guitar playing / style and vocals are some of the most unique that I've ever heard. The rest of the band are no Slouch either, they're all excellent. The drummer is exceptionally impressive and the bass player lays down a very solid foundation for the soaring guitar and vocal work.
I found this album in a cut-out bin of 50 cent albums in a Detroit area record store back in the late 70's. I was so impressed with it that the next time I went back there I bought 5 more copies of it just to give away to friends. I'm down to two copies left now so sharing has to be done digitally. I believe there's a possibility that this album is a "Christian" rock album due to some of the references made in the lyrics, but the message is so subtle that unless you're really paying attention to the lyrics you'd never know. At any rate listening to this album is pretty much a spiritual experience anyhow so that's not a detracting point.
These days Michael Overly lives in Dayton Ohio and writes some of the best instruction guides for guitar that you can buy. If you play, check out 12 Tone Music Publishing...
READ THIS for more information on this album.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Digitized from the original vinyl recording released in 1974 on Fantasy records.
Format: mp3
Bit Rate: 320 kbps
Produced By: John Boylan, A Great Eastern Gramophone Production
Engineered By: Paul Grupp
Recorded At: Captiol Records, Hollywood, California; Fantasy Records, Berkeley California; The Record Plant, Sausalito, California
Album Cover: Norman Seef
The Great Pretender / Jamica / Yellow Rose Express / Sunday Morning Fool / Last Dance In Salinas / Tattooed Man From Chelsea / Woman Of Aran / Pentacott Lane / Icarus / Texas Knight
All songs written by Michael Dinner
Michael Dinner - Vocals, Guitars
Guitar - Bob Warford, Ed Black, Don Felder
Steel Guitar - Ed Black, Sneaky Pete, Al Perkins
Keyboards - John Boylan, Andrew Gold, Larry Knechtel, Mike Utley
Fiddle - David Lindley
Accordian - Nick DeCaro
Bass - Michael Bowden
Drums - Mickey McGee, Gary Mallaber, Russ Kunkel
Percussion - Milt Holland
Background Vocals - Linda Ronstadt, Doug Haywood, Herb Pedersen, Ronee Blakley, Gail Davies
No other way to say it, this is a great album, full of great tunes. For a first effort this album surpassed 95% of the stuff that was released in 1974. Of course that's my biased opinion but even that aside it'd be hard to argue that this is a well produced piece of work. The musicians are all well known, stellar performers and the songs themselves are all jewels.
The album has a definite country feel to it, the likes of other artists of the day like Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, (Who I've always thought should do a version of "Woman of Aran"), Danny Okeefe etc......
After his second attempt, Tom Thumb the Dreamer, Michael gave up on a music career and went into TV production and has been very successful thruout the years up to current times. I still can't help but wonder though how a man with all the talent this guy had could just walk away from something he was obiviously so good at. I would have loved to have a half dozen or more albums from him as I'm sure he'd have matured even more and written dozens of excellent tunes that we could all be singing along with. A pox on the record company for not supporting this artist the way he should've been supported. Maybe someday he'll put out that 3rd album when he has a little bit extra time.
Enjoy this one and if you don't find yourself singing along after the first couple listens I'd be real surprised.
READ THIS for more information on this album.


Digitized from the original vinyl recording released in 1976 on Fantasy records.
Format: mp3
Bit Rate: Is a lowly 128 kbps as it was the first one I did and I was still on the learning curve.
When I get time I'll redo it at 320....stay tuned.
Produced By: Keith Olson for Pogologo Productions
Recorded At: Sound City, Los Angeles, California; Dea Lane Lea, London; Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California
Album Cover: Moshe Bracha
Tom Thumb The Dreamer / Julye / The Promised Land / Thrown Out Of The Paradise Ballroom / The Swallow / Sitting In Limbo / Apple Annie / Silver Bullets / Pale Fire
All songs written by Michael Dinner (except "Sitting In Limbo" by Jimmy Cliff & Guilly Bright)
The Dinettes
Michael Dinner - Guitar, Vocals
Waddy Wachtel - Guitar, background vocals
David Foster - Keyboards
Bill Champlain - Organ, Background Vocals
Dee Murry - Bass, Background Vocals
Nigel Olsson - Drums, Background Vocals
Honorary Dinettes
Timothy Schmidt - Background vocals
Laura Allan - Background Vocals, Zither
Allan Estes - Percussion
Lenny Pickett - Tenor Sax
Chuck Findley - Trumpet
Dick Hyde - Trombone
Richie Hayward - Background Vocals
String and Horn arrangements by David Foster
This is the 2nd of two albums that Michael put out before giving up on music and going into the video arena, developing a very successful career in TV over the last 30 years(ack!). This one has been a personal favorite of mine since the first time I put it on the turntable. It still sounds fresh today. I'm not big fan of comparing artists to one another, but if I had to try and explain what's in these grooves I guess I'd have to say it's kinda country rockish....Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne.......great song writing and wonderful melodies thruout. If you love music that you can sing along with then I'd be willing to bet you'll enjoy this one. I've included a Ipod sized cover pic. I hope you'll take the time to take a listen.
READ THIS for more information on this album.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1968 on Vanguard Records.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 320 Kbps
Produced By: Samuel Charters
Engineered By: Ed Friedner
Recorded At: Vanguard's 23rd Street Studio, New York City
The Fish Cheer & I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag / Who Am I / Pat’s Song / Rock Coast Blues / Magoo / Janis / Thought Dream / Thursday / Eastern Jam / Colors For Susan
Rock & Soul Music / Susan / Mojo Navigator / Bright Suburban Mr. & Mrs. Clean Machine / Good Guys-Bad Guys Cheer / The Street Of Your Town / The Fish Moan / The Harlem Song / Waltzing In The Moonlight / Away Bounce My Bubbles / Cetacean / An Untitled Protest
Country Joe McDonald – Vocals, Guitars
Barry Melton – Vocals, Guitar
David Cohen - Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
Bruce Barthol – Bass, Vocals
Chicken Hirsch – Drums, Percussion, Bells, Castanets, Sand Blocks

By Yours Truly
I'll admit it, I'm biased about these guys. From the first time I heard "Electric Music for the Mind and Body" I was hooked. To an impressionable youth of 15 or so and a musician, playing in local bands, these guys were something different, something never heard before and if the first album opened my ears, the second album opened my eyes. By the time the 3rd one came out they could do no wrong. Sure, now when I listen to this record it has it's weak points and yes, it sounds a bit dated, but because it was with me during the time when it was relevant those slight flaws are easy to put aside when the melodies and words take me back to a time when it was all ahead of me. I can't imagine this music having the same effect on someone listening to it for the first time in these times but I could be wrong. At the very least these albums in particular and this band in general are a great way to delve into the history of music trying to make a difference in the late 60's.
Gimme an F!
REVIEW for "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die"

A True Masterpiece of shimmering beauty, September 15, 2000
James T. Jacobs (Normal, IL USA) - (Amazon Customer Review)
The term "psychedelic" is even more elusive now than it was when it was first coined. If you ask someone what it means, you'll likely get a different answer from each person you ask. Does it mean throwing in funny sounds, fuzz and echo to make the music sound spacey? Hendrix and Pink Floyd did this, but they did much, much more. Country Joe and the Fish didn't do much of this, but some of their music still stands out in my mind as some of the very best of that era. One important characteristic of understanding this type of music is that in order to appreciate it, you have to really listen to it. Not as background or just for dancing. This was one of the big changes of the time. Instead of just dancing to music, you sat and listened to it, gathering the beauty, feelings and ideas inherent in the music itself. This album is a perfect example of this. You can't listen to it if you're in a hurry. Especially "Colors For Susan", which is a brilliant, subtle instrumental that paints pictures while you lay back and listen. I'm amazed that someone had the patience to write such a piece. It seems to go on forever, but, when it ends, I'm always disappointed, and want it to go just a little longer. My favorites exhibit a quality that I call, "shimmering beauty". The most outstanding example of this is "Thought Dream". The combination of Joe's smooth, soaring vocals, the melodic guitar figures and the solo organ lines just grab hold and go to the base of my spine and start the shivers right up my back.
The album cover is one of many of that time which pay tribute to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper cover. The record is also an attempt to, as Sgt. Pepper did, create an album as a whole piece, from beginning to end, rather than just a collection of songs. In my opinion, it was successful. Since I got the CD version, I've listened to it dozens of times, and it still goes straight to my heart, and this is about 33 years later. Country Joe and the Fish, I thank you! =============================
REVIEW for "Together"

Quintessential, September 28, 2000
By Mark R. Dobos (Indian Harbour Beach, FL USA)
More or less a top 5 band of all time, these guys were each one of the best in what they did and the one band that can claim that they were truly at the center of the 60's, given the political element/genesis. this album is essential and all the songs are favorites--i truly bow to this band--i met Country Joe McDonald back in 1992 in Orlando when i was about 19 and was one of the only times i was starstruck--i had him autograph a napkin and told him his music was timeless. this band is actually beloved. from Melton's guitar/singing/writing majic to "Chicken" Hirsh's ultra drumming to Cohen's super-grade organ and piano--this band is what hip is about and they give new meaning to the term "kick tail." This is very much an ensemble album highlighting their many abilities. I cant say enough about them. The true Musike Politicos--not recommended-- Required!

READ THIS for more information on these albums.


Video #1 - 1969 - Country Joe at Woodstock singing "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die"

Those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.
George Bernard Shaw

Video #2 - 2006 - Country Joe singing "Support The troops"

This entry is dedicated to my musical compatriot in Hamburg Germany who sent me Counry Joe's "Support The Troops" video, which was the catalyst for this post.