-= 7-FLOOR =-

Monday, December 31, 2007

John Kay & The Sparrows - Collector´s Item (Before Steppenwolf 1968)

Biography by Greg Prato:Steppenwolf leader/founder John Kay is perhaps the most overlooked early contributor to the musical style that would become heavy metal and hard rock. Kay was the first rocker to use the phrase heavy metal in a song, in one of metal's first great anthems: Steppenwolf's 1968 classic "Born to Be Wild." Born Joachim Fritz Krauledat on April 12, 1944, in the section of Germany that was once known as East Prussia, it was the American rock & roll that he heard on U.S.Armed Forces radio after his family moved to East Germany that fueled his interest in music. After relocating to Toronto, Canada, in 1958, Kay became even more transfixed by rock & roll — leading to Kay picking up the guitar, writing songs, and playing in local bands.
In the '60s, Kay founded the Sparrow, a rock outfit who played both Canada and the U.S., but received little attention. The group had fallen apart by 1967, but with a new, harder-edged style of rock beginning to conquer the charts and airwaves (Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and the Yardbirds), Kay decided to pursue this direction with his next band, Steppenwolf (titled after Hermann Hesse's novel of the same name). After moving to Los Angeles, the fledgling band was signed to Dunhill and recorded their self-titled debut, issued in 1968. The album became a sizeable hit, as "Born to Be Wild" was unleashed on an unsuspecting record-buying public, becoming one of rock's most instantly identifiable and enduring hits of all time. After the track was used in the 1969 cult classic movie Easy Rider, it subsequently appeared in countless other movies and TV commercials over the years and was covered by numerous other bands (Blue Oyster Cult, Slade, Crowded House, and the Cult).

Steppenwolf continued to crank out hit albums (1968's The Second, 1969's At Your Birthday Party, and 1969's Monster), singles ("Magic Carpet Ride," "Rock Me"), and tours on a regular basis, with Kay being the only constant member among a revolving door of other musicians. By 1972, Kay decided to end the group, issuing his first solo albums around the same time: Forgotten Songs & Unsung Heroes and My Sportin' Life. Steppenwolf's retirement didn't last for long, however, as Kay alternated between the band and his solo career throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s. He even took a few former members of the band to court when they, too, began touring behind the name Steppenwolf. In 1994, Kay penned an autobiography, Magic Carpet Ride, and four years later, Steppenwolf and Kay were the subject of an interesting Behind the Music episode for VH1.

(Info CGR)

01. Twisted
02. Goin To California
03. Baby Please Dont Go
04. Down Goes Your Love Life
05. Bright Lights Big City
06. Cant Make Love By Yourself
07. Good Morning Little School Girl
08. King Pin
09. Square Headed People
10. Chasin Shadows
11. Green Bottle Lover
12. Isnt It Strange
13. Tomorrows Ship (Bonus Track)
14. Twisted (Bonus Track)
15. Goin To California (Bonus Track)
16. Hoochie Coochie Man (Bonus Track)
17. The Pusher (Bonus Track)
18. Goin Upstairs (Bonus Track)
19. Tighten Up Your Wig (Bonus Track)
20. Too Late (Bonus Track)

Size: 121 Mb
Bitrate: 256 mp3
Artwork Included
Download - part.1
Download - part.2

Cravinkel - Cravinkel (1970)

Originally recorded and released on the Phillips label in 1970, Cravinkel, the English spelling to the last name of band's guitarist, was recorded in London by Rainer Goltermann and featured an idyllic cover showcasing the band members bumming in a haystack. 'Cravinkel', the band's self-titled debut album features ten short tracks, none of which top four minutes. The music is a fairly straightforward groovy Anglo rock sound augmented with blues, country, folk, and psych. The album has three standout tracks, 'Two Circles', 'Lonesome Road' and 'Smiles'. First, 'Two Circles', a dreamy laid-back track, combines elements of psych and blues guitar with blues vocals giving the track a slight cosmic feeling. 'Lonesome Road' is a jangly pop number with an interestingly downbeat chorus section.

Showcasing a strong touch of country and folk rock, 'Smiles' comes off as a laid back guitar and vocal ballad. Even though I think it won't appeal to most krautrock fans, I can say that the album does have a fairly unique sound, even if it is patterned after the Anglo style. As a bonus, the CD reissue contains the group's only single, 1971's 'Keep On Running' b/w 'Mr. Cooley.
The sleeves of both Cravinkel records only stated their last names and contained no further information about these four guys. 'Cravinkel' (1970) had short tracks with a firm country-rock touch. The album was recorded in London at the IBC studios and produced by Rainer Goltermann (Phillips' "house producer"). It came in a poster fold-out cover which showed the band lazing in a haystack. 'Garden Of Loneliness' (1971) had a single cover (nice psychedelic artwork on the front!), but included a poster. Their music had by then become heavier and more "progressive" (which can be defined as: longer tracks, more time for instrumental work, and generally better albums). Side two had a 20-minute jam session called "Stoned", an apt title! It was quite a change from their first one, but indeed a logical development. This album, too, was a Goltermann production. There is also an obscure single from 1971, "Keep On Running", coupled with "Mr. Cooky" (Phillips 6003 158), neither track having been included on any of the albums.

(Info by CGR)

01. get a feeling going round 3:29
02. two circles 2:36
03. lucy 3:33
04. heaven 2:58
05. candlelight 3:09
06. about mother and son 3:13
07. lonesome road 2:47
08. hidden love 3:17
09. if i sing a song for you 3:46
10. smiles 3:43 bonus tracks:
11. keep on running 3:44
12. mr. cooley 3:56

Size: 75.7 Mb
Bitrate: 256 mp3
Artwork Included

Alex Harvey - The Joker is Wild (1972)

Rare Album only released in Holland 1972
including zappa´s "Willie the Pimp".
Very good album, Higly recommended

(info by CGR)

1. The Joker Is Wild 2:07(Caldeira/Marx)
2. Penicillin Blues 4:58(Harvey)
3. Make Love To You 3:23(Harvey)
4. I'm Just A Man :12(Larry Santos)
5. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother5:05(Bob Russel/Bobby Scott
6. Silhouette and Shadow 2:07(Caldeira/Marx)
7. a) Hare Krishna (Galt Mac Dermot/James Rado/Gerome Ragni)b) Willie the Pimp 12:23(Frank Zappa)
8. Flying Saucer's Daughter 4:50

Size: 72.0 Mb
Bitrate: 256 mp3
Artwork Included

Saturday, December 22, 2007

John Lennon - Lennon Legend (1963-70)

I know! You've heard these songs before. and are probably tired of all the "remastered" Greatest hits collections floating around.

Frankly speaking, so am I.

However, this CD is different, and here's why. "Shaved Fish" was the first (or, should I say, Apple) greatest hits package. This was released in 1975. Needless to say, "Shaved Fish" is outdated and terribly incomplete. Next we have the "Imagine" sound track collection which ventures back into John's Beatle days and includes songs like Revolution, Help, The Ballad of John and Yoko, etc. This Imagine sound track collection falls into the same trap that hurt the George Harrison Greatest hits collection back in 1976 -- It included too many Beatle numbers.
Well, the Lennon Legend avoids all the pitfalls of the past. For openers, it is timely. This CD covers John's Apple years as well as the Dakota period. This CD includes the very best John has to offer as a solo artist. No, you are not going to be treated to any of John's Beatle numbers on this CD.

The sound quality on these "remastered" tunes are absolutely outstanding. John's voice and the instrumentation never sounded better. Those of us who still have vinyl immediately notice the difference in sound quality.

I do have one complaint about this CD. The Imagine Sound Track collection included John's version of Real Love. Listening to John's version of Real Love, you would immediately notice that the version the "reunited" Beatles included in Anthology 2 is different then the direction John was going with this tune. The Lennon Legend CD should have included John's version of Real Love to make this collection truly complete.

(Info by J.Genio)

As it stands, this CD is definitely a plus for any collection.

Size: 103 Mb
Bitrate: Variable mp3
Artwork Included

Head Over Heels - Head Over Heels - 1971

A Michigan power trio whose album is powerful and inventive - one of the best hard rock albums on the label. Showcasing a line up consisting of drummer John Bredeau, singer/guitarst Paul Frank and singer/bassist Michael Urso, the band only managed to release one instantly obscure album, but what an LP! Produced by Dan Moore and Buzz Clifford, 1971's Head Over Heels is simply great. Loud, tough, yet surprisingly accessible, material such as Road Runner and In My Woman showcased the trio's knack for melodic, but crunching guitar rock. Frank and Urso had attractive voices and as we said before, they sure could generate some sound. Among the few missteps were some out of kilter harmony vocals (Question) and the bland power ballad Children Of The Mist (which was almost redeemed by Frank's nice guitar solo).

Elsewhere, recorded at Detroit's Eastowne, an extended cover of Willie Dixon's Red Rooster and the Franks-penned Circles were in-concert efforts that aptly showcased the band's impressive live chops.

Frank and Urso subsequently reappeared with the band Fresh Start. Urso was also a late-inning member of Detroit's Rare Earth (along with the Scorpion guitarist Ray Monette), playing on several of their albums in the mid-70s.

(info by CGR)

1. Roadrunner
2. Right Away
3. Red Rooster
4. Children of the Mist
5. Question
6. Tired and Blue Land Band
7. In My Womean
8. Circles

Size: 75.8 Mb
Bitrate: 320 mp3
Artwork Included

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stepson - Stepson (1974)

An excellent hard/blues album, with Jeff Simmons on one track. Most of the songs were written by the group and the vocals and guitar parts are especially interesting (Rude Attitude, I Apologize, Burnin' Hurt). Arthur Lee of Love and Chris Hillman od The Byrds get "special thanks" on the cover.

Hawks, Newman and Gallucci had all previously been in Don and the Goodtimes and later with Hauser in Touch.

After the demise of TOUCH, 3 (of the 5) members went on and resurfaced in 1974 with this hard drivin' slab of attitude, swagger, fuzz and hammond. JEFF SIMMONS appears on one of the tracks and a heavy Detroit-vibe hangs in the air throughout.

(info by CGR)

01 - Rule In The Book - 3.20
02 - Lil´ Bit - 3.59
03 - Rude Attitude - 3.26
04 - It´s My Life - 3.03
05 - I Apologize - 5.34
06 - Suffer - 4.45
07 - Back To Bama - 2.35
08 - Man, I´m A Fool - 4.34
09 - Turnpike - 2.42
10 - Burnin´ Hurt - 4.36

Size: 72.6 Mb
Bitrate: 256 mp3
Artwork Included

James Gang - Yer Album (1969)

James Gang - Yer Album (1969)

(no info)

Size: 84.6 Mb
Bitrate: 256 mp3
Artwork Included