Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chuck Berry - The Chess Years Red Box - I Want to Be Your Driver

Discs Five & Six today, with 25 and 27 tracks each. Still a couple of
cool hits and a lot less known tracks from the 1950's, and some from
the early 60's to mid 60's.This is perhaps the more less known music:
My Mustang Ford, Merrily We Rock & Roll, She Once Was Mine,
Ain't That Just Like A Woman, Lonely School Days, I'm A Rocker,
No Particular Place To Go, Chuck's Beat, I Want To Be Your Driver,
and it's strong as ever with that Chuck Berry patented riff all throughout.
It's also some excitable, happy music, the song Butterscotch is a
serious guitar workout,instrumental not to be missed.
A lot of these 60's tracks have the same themes in them from the
vintage 50's Chuck, but they never seem to sound too dated.
After It Over is a slow blues instrumental number that really
shows his guitar playing off. Everyday We Rock & Roll is yet
another guitar riff-fest.
Chuck 5

Chuck 6

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band- Grow Fins - My Human Gets Me Blues

Disc 5 from this series,and the final one missing here.
This disc contains the tracks from various time period 1969-1980
and is a collection of live shows,work tapes,& live radio broadcasts.
I only wish there were more discs in this series, and more out takes
because it's always interesting to hear tracks that are maybe just
sketches, or different versions to see what the Captain might have
been thinking about. This disc is also has the most different players
that came through his band. The revolving door of players can
sweeten the sound, and add some other sound elements.
Either way, this is a must-have set. Track list included.
Captain 5

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band- Grow Fins - Ella Guru

Captain Beefheart is for lunch today,here's discs 3 & 4
and most importantly are a whole disc of tracks from the
1969 Trout Mask Replica sessions,and they are excellent
sounding takes. Makes you wonder what the Captain
thought was acceptable and not. And how could he tell?
He must have been going for that certain feeling, or that
weirdness that you can't describe. Either way, a
secret decoder ring list of all of the band people that came
and played along, just so you can keep score. It was a
revolving list of people adding their color to the canvas.
Complete with track lists, disc one contains all of the
artwork for you to make your own box set. Just color
nice kids,and you don't have to stay within the lines either.

Captain 3

Captain 4

Chuck Berry - The Chess Years Red Box - Too Pooped To Pop

More of The Chess Years and the fabulous Chuck Berry:
Discs 3 and 4 feature 29 and 30 songs on each volume,and
are packed with tons of lesser known songs. These discs are
most likely the best sounding material, that inspired so many
bands to pick up a guitar and give these a try. Which shows,
that these songs are not complicated,so much as the brilliance
is in that they are simple,catchy and so hum-able,they are
hard to resist, and usually the most memorable. Plus they
have a really happy energy and enthusiasm that you hear
when he sings and plays, that just pulls you into the music.
The "Go Go Go Little Queenie" singing has got a great riff,
and a simple sing along that appears easy to write, but are in
reality difficult. It's actually hard to condense all of those feelings
into a 2 minute 30 second song. "Back In The USA" sounds
downright anthem like. "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" could
be anyone of any color,he just has to have brown eyes.
Nadine is also a wonderful riff-fest, and will play in your head
for days. I don't think this music really needs describing,it's
just exciting to hear again. I doubt that today's charted music
can hold a candle to this. Complete with artwork/scans below.
Chuck 3

Chuck 4

Friday, August 21, 2009

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band- Grow Fins - Sure 'Nuff n Yes I Do!

Don Van Vliet was born Don Glen Vliet on January 15, 1941.
We should re-title this particular box set and call it "Painting with Music".
This set of 5 discs will set you up with the best material from
1965-to the mid 1970's and early 80's.
Where do you start with Captain Beefheart? He's a musician,
and a painter, a sculptor, and probably 3 other things. He had a
band of revolving musicians,much like his pal, Frank Zappa had.
The music? well, it's jazz,it's blues, it's psychedelic, it's experimental,
much like his paintings, and it's all over the place. Why be one thing?
Why not invent something no one else does? Well, success never
came with chart hits or huge sales in large numbers,but there was
plenty of artistic success. There's material on here from the early
A & M records period, from the first album, Safe As Milk,
the classic album you ought to own. Then there's more material
from we'll call it, the Buddah records years, and finally a large
chunk of Trout Mask Replica, his opus, which was released in
June of 1969 on Zappa's Straight label. Much of the rest is of this box
is early to mid 70's period Beefheart,which is a variety of sound
paintings. What other way can you describe it? Well,
BBC Radio DJ John Peel stated:

"If there has ever been
such a thing as a genius in the
history of popular music,it's Beefheart.I heard echoes of his
music in some of the records I listened to last week and I'll
hear more echoes in records that I listen to
this week."

The White Stripes have released an EP as a kind
of dedication
to the Captain, including
'Party of Special
Things to Do' and 'Ashtray Heart',and there's
this wonderful CD/LP compilation called Fast 'n' Bulbous
A Tribute To Captain Beefheart (from 1988) And it features:
XTC,Sonic Youth,the Membranes and many more. I'm certain,
this set could light your Beefheart fuse and set you off listening to
more,so that's why I'm posting it. I'm just going to tell you,
to please be open minded and don't think all great music has to
be a hit record,or too rigid, conforming, and 4/4 time.
I'll post a couple and you stay tuned, for more if you wanna.

Captain 1

Captain 2

Chuck Berry - The Chess Years Red Box - Berry Pickin' Fun

Chuck Berry was born on October 18,1926 in St. Louis,MO is still
alive and kicking and playing live shows! Did you know that?
Guitarist and songwriter extraordinaire with a box set of 9 discs
here,my hope is,you are going to get a complete education
on Chuck.He isn't just about one song called "Maybellene", so,
I expect readers to listen,and hope you get a better picture of him.
The famous joke here,is, Chuck's only number one song is
"My Ding-A-Ling". My Ding-A-Ling or not, He was inducted
into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in it's first year, in 1986.
Richard Berry (no relation to Chuck) another brilliant 50's
songwriter recording artist
drew on Chuck Berry's
Havana Moon,
as an inspiration for his own song, the now
classic Louie Louie, the song that launched many a
garage band.
From listening to this music for weeks now,
there's a lot more to Chuck than just one or two songs which
really don't define him as an artist. He was one of those musicians
who wrote and sang and played his own music,which for the
mid-50's was no small feat. He wrote a blend of country,hillbilly,
rhythm and blues,but blues with a big giant beat (but trying to go
beyond the old blues style).

Leonard Chess recalled: "I told Chuck to give it a bigger beat.
History, the rest, you know? The kids wanted the beat, the cars
and young love. It was a trend and we jumped on it
While Elvis was a country boy who sang 'black' to some degree,
Chuck Berry provided the mirror image where country music
was filtered through an R&B sensibility
If he didn't get a big hit with Maybellene right away,he might
have not been able to keep recording and making records for Chess.
He was ahead of the pack, with one hit song under his belt,
that was enough for Chess Records to jump into rock and roll,
and stray from the deep south blues sounds,they were typically
making. As long as you produce those hits. And he did. Like me,
you will probably really start digging his lesser known hits.
He wrote durable, clever catchy melodies,and the way he played a
guitar launched a million bands. Ask Keith. Actually ask any
British Invasion band that question. There's no color barrier
when you write your own songs and play them, like he does.
Where would we be without him? This is just a couple from this
long out of print set,and I will post all 9 in the series,so stay tuned.
Chuck 1

Chuck 2