Saturday, October 23, 2010


We here at KTAD, in our ongoing effort 2 find great rockin new (old) sounds, spent this past Fri aft playing music that was (almost) completely new to us, in an attempt 2 find something worth adding 2 The Permanent Collection.
For an inaugural effort, this attempt 2 Find Something New (2 us) was an almost complete success. At least the turntable kept working.
But as for finding some great new previously-overlooked tunes ... not so much. We still have a pretty-good-sized pile of stuff gathering dust here, so these "New (old) Music Fridays" will likely continue 4 awhile.
Here's the inaugural playlist:

Mannheim Steamroller: Toccata/Small Wooden Bach'ses/Fantasia: Chorale/Door 1/Door 4/Door 5.
John McLaughlin: Devotion.
Mahavishnu Orchestra: Sister Andrea/Be Happy.
ELP: Abaddon's Bolero.
Procol Harum: The Devil Came from Kansas.
Focus: Sylvia/House of the King.
Todd Rundgren's Utopia: Utopia Theme.
Spirit: The Great Canyon Fire in General/Elijah.
It's a Beautiful Day: Don and Dewey/The Dolphins.
The Dregs: Bloodsucking Leeches/Up in the Air.

Notes: I heard a little of Mannheim Steamroller's work 30 yrs ago in my Record Store Daze & I remember wondering what all the fuss was about, when groups like Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, Amazing Blondel & Gryphon were all doing similar things -- taking classical & folk sounds & rocking them up. Sure the Steamroller's work was well-produced, but....
"Tocatta" is OK, but it doesn't really go anywhere, being mostly a showcase 4 kinda-showoffy keybs & drums. "Door 4" is pleasant, & "Door 5" almost rocks -- w/ a harpsichord. But these guys cut their themes 2 short sometimes, & when they're not being showoffy they can B overly delicate. I guess I'm saying this chamber-rock doesn't rock enuf. Some of it isn't rock&roll, & some of it isn't 2 gripping. It's also a little thin on the bass. But "Tocatta" was the only tune that stuck in my head all afternoon.... From FRESH AIRE III & II.
The 1st thing I thot while listening 2 "Devotion" was ... Hendrix lives! The track is a sorta aimless, kinda downbeat droning w/ McLaughlin's ultra-fast guitar runs played over the top. Thru most of the 14 mins I was wishing I could hear more of Larry Young's organ work -- & then Young got a little solo space toward the Nd. It didn't help much. I'm about 2 give up on most jazz-rock -- I need TUNES. This left me as cold as NE bad jazz-rock I've heard. From DEVOTION.
Mahavishnu's "Sister Andrea" isn't bad -- starts out w/ a kinda funky theme, then goes in2 a sorta atonal gtr-jam midsection that sounds a little like middle-period Gong, then back 2 the funky theme. Composer Jan Hammer does some nice keyboard work toward the Nd. "Be Happy" is very quiet & I'm not much of a fan of the singer, whoever she is. Both from BEST OF.
"Abaddon's Bolero" is a little more like it -- a theme w/ variations, repeated over & over & getting progressively louder. I was suprised it didn't get louder & wilder, & it coulda gone on longer.... Part of this sounds like the Air Force Song ("Off we go, into the wild blue yonder...."), or like some old TV show theme -- "Dragnet," mayB? From TRILOGY.
"The Devil Came From Kansas" sounded like kinda a muddy production 2 me, but it might B my cheap, tinny turntable & speakers.... From A SALTY DOG.
Here's 2 4 my new friends in Holland: I don't think I'd heard "Sylvia" in 35+ yrs. Good gtr riff -- it's missing only some yodeling or something 2 set it off. "House of the King" has some nice acoustic gtr & flute. I guess this was a minor hit in some countries. From FOCUS 3.
The "Utopia Theme" has LOTSa nice keybs & synths & of course Todd's gtr. It mighta bn a little over the top, but I didn't mind. Suprised they could keep it going 4 14 mins. From Utopia's 1st.
Spirit did some great stuff ("I Got a Line on You," "Nature's Way," most of 12 DREAMS OF DOCTOR SARDONICUS), & I would like 2 get in2 them more. But. "Canyon Fire" is another 1 of their odd little songs. "Elijah" is an 11-min jazz instrumental that sure coulda used a sax or something over the top of the lite-jazz riffing. I made it thru the bass solo. But I gave up in the middle of Ed Cassidy's drum solo. They needed something else 4 some contrast. From Spirit's 1st.
Beautiful Day's "Don and Dewey" is a sorta violin-led hoedown. Fred Neil's "The Dolphins" could almost B a country love ballad. They show some talent, but.... No wonder everybody 4got them after their 1st album. I'll havta play Side 2 of that 1st album again someday.... From MARRYING MAIDEN.
How do U mess up a song w/ a great title like "Bloodsucking Leeches"? EZ! -- make sure there's no tune. This & "Up in the Air" continue my opinion that the Dregs only had about 4 tunes total. "Leeches" is their flashy lotsa-changes #, & "Up in the Air" is a sorta rustic acoustic gtr showcase. Yes's Steve Howe is credited w/ gtr on "Air," recorded in England, but I only hear 2 gtrs, & he didn't add much. Did he guest just Bcos co-producer/engineer Eddy Offord had the connections? Pleasant but 4gettable. From INDUSTRY STANDARD.

Not much here that I can't live w/o. But this New (old) Music Friday thing will likely B continuing 4 awhile. Next time I'll just try 2 pick better....

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