sábado, 3 de outubro de 2015

Everything You Always Wanted To Hear On The Moog (But Were Afraid To Ask For)

Original released on LP Columbia MR 30383
(US, 1967)

Original released on LP RCA SF 8113
(UK, June 1970)

Originally released by British RCA, this debut album by Steeleye Span's original lineup -- Ashley Hutchings (bass), Tim Hart (electric guitar, electric dulcimer, banjo, harmonium, vocals), Maddy Prior (vocals, banjo), Terry Woods (mandola, mandolin, electric guitar, vocals), and Gay Woods (vocals, concertina, bodhran) - barely made it out the door before Gay and Terry Woods exited. This was probably the best singing edition of Steeleye Span, with Gay Woods and Maddy Prior melding beautifully on tracks like "Dark-Eyed Sailor" and "My Johnnie Was a Shoemaker", and Terry Woods adding some realistic coarseness on "The Hills of Greenmore". The sound is fully electric here (with superb playing on the epic "Lowlands of Holland"), if not as aggressive or well crafted as later albums - Hart, Hutchings, and Woods comprise a good core band, and Gerry Conway and Fairport Convention's Dave Mattacks sit in on drums. (in All Music)

Original released on LP Warner Bros BS 2710
(US, 20/6/1973)

Like most of his largely fantastic post-Animals work, Alan Price's soundtrack to the 1973 film, "O Lucky Man!", went almost completely unnoticed in the United States at the time of its release. It is a shame too, because the soundtrack holds together as one of the best albums Price ever put out. The film's plot followed the adventures of an everyman named Mick Travis (played by Malcolm McDowell) on his surreal journey through varying class-levels of British society. Price's music was fully integrated into the film, with scenes of his band's studio performances providing a kind of Brechtian commentary on the story as it unfolded. Since the movie was a black-comedy, it stood to reason that the music (featured so prominently) would reflect that aspect, and it did. All of Price's offerings are delivered with a healthy dash of wryly-smiling, Pantagruelian cynicism lurking just beneath their pleasant, dance-hall veneers. "Look Over Your Shoulder" bounces along with its jolly chord progression, all the while warning listeners that doom and misfortune could be waiting for them around every corner. In the song "Justice", Price reminds us that it is often wealth that guarantees fair treatment under the law, while musically cavorting across the village green like a harlequin-costumed Ray Davies. Along with Davies' influence, there are also nods to Randy Newman evident on songs like "My Home Town" and (especially) the charming side-one offering "Poor People". Price keeps his influences in their rightful place though, never channeling them into his songs directly; he, instead, sets them on top of his piano, like busts of great composers, for inspiration (in All Music)

Original released on LP RCA Victor LSP 4717
(US, 10/7/1972)

Emboldened by a huge hit and hanging with Lennon and Ringo, Harry Nilsson was ready to let it all go when it came time to record a follow-up to "Nilsson Schmilsson". The very title of "Son of Schmilsson" implies that it's a de facto sequel to its smash predecessor but, as always with Nilsson, don't take everything at face value. Yes, he's back with producer Richard Perry and he's working from the same gleefully melodic, polished pop/rock territory as before, but this is an incredibly schizoid record, an album by an enormously gifted musician deciding that, since he's already going unhinged, he might as well indulge himself while he's at it. And, wow, are the results ever worth it. Opening with a song to a groupie - he sang his balls off, baby, he nearly broke the microphone - and ending with an ode to "The Most Beautiful World in the World", this record careens all over the place, bouncing from one idea to another, punctuated with B-horror movie sound effects, bizarre humor, profanity, and belches. There are song parodies, seemingly straight piano ballads, vulgar hard rock, lovely love songs, and a cheerful singalong with retirees at an old folks home who all proclaim, "I'd rather be dead than wet my bed". The sheer perversity of it all would be fascinating, yet if that's all it had to offer, it'd merely be a curiosity, the way his post-Pussy Cats records are. Instead, this is all married to a fantastic set of songs that illustrate what a skilled, versatile songsmith Nilsson was. No, it may not be the easiest album to warm to - and it's just about the weirdest record to reach number 12 and go gold - but if you appreciate Nilsson's musicality and weirdo humor, he never got any better (in All Music)

Original released on LP RCA Victor LSP 4545
(US, November 1971)

Harry Nilsson had a hit, a Grammy, and critical success, yet he still didn't have a genuine blockbuster to his name when it came time to finally deliver a full-fledged follow-up to "Nilsson Sings Newman", so he decided it was time to make that unabashed, mainstream pop/rock album. Hiring Barbra Streisand producer Richard Perry as a collaborator, Nilsson made a streamlined, slightly domesticated, unashamed set of mature pop/rock, with a slight twist. This is an album, after all, that begins by pining for the reckless days of youth, then segues into a snapshot of suburban disconnectedness before winding through a salute to and covers of old R&B tunes ("Early in the Morning" and "Let the Good Times Roll", respectively), druggie humor ("Coconut"), and surging hard rock ("Jump Into the Fire"). There are certainly hints of the Nilsson of old, particularly in his fondness for Tin Pan Alley and McCartney melodicism - as well as his impish wit - yet he hadn't made a record as cohesive as this since his first time out, nor had he ever made something as shiny and appealing as this. It may be more accessible than before, yet it's anchored by his mischievous humor and wonderful idiosyncrasies. Chances are that those lured in by the grandly melodramatic "Without You" will not be prepared for either the subtle charms of "The Moonbeam Song" or the off-kilter sensibility that makes even his breeziest pop slightly strange. In short, it's a near-perfect summary of everything Nilsson could do; he could be craftier and stranger, but never did he achieve the perfect balance as he did here (in All Music)


Original released on LP RCA Victor 33.042
(South Africa, 1965)

The Staccatos are South Africa's longest running group who formed in November 1961. They won the 1964 Transvaal Merseyside Contest, and the prize was an EMI recording contract. They supported Peter and Gordon in 1965, on their SA tour, the same year the group recorded this first album, with some exciting covers of the hits of the time. Later, they also supported The Byrds (1970) and Chris De Burgh (1979) on their South Africa tours.

sexta-feira, 2 de outubro de 2015


Depois de muitas dezenas de compilações ao longo dos anos – um hábito que mantenho desde os tempos das cassetes (que eram gravadas, imagine-se, com o micro direccionado para as colunas de som) – eis chegada a altura de levar a cabo a compilação das compilações. Esta nova colecção, “All Time Favourites”, será como um testamento musical do Rato, desde os anos 50 até aos dias de hoje: sete décadas a debitar decibéis, de vários géneros de música, onde, naturalmente, a música anglo-americana constituirá a parte de leão, tal como os anos 60 e 70, consideradas por muitos as décadas de ouro da música popular. São muitos anos a ouvir canções e as memórias que elas invocam constituem um pedaço essencial da minha vida. A distribuição será sempre feita por CDs duplos (com 25 faixas em cada um, cerca de 80 minutos, portanto) e a origem virá quer de fontes analógicas quer de fontes digitais, sempre com o devido tratamento, para assim poderem apresentar a melhor qualidade possível. Haverá de tudo um pouco, desde os hits aos temas mais ou menos óbvios, passando pelas raridades. Mas dois únicos critérios servirão para a escolha das selecções: ​primeiro, o meu gosto pessoal e​, depois, a qualidade sonora. Espero que gostem.

After many, many compilations through the years – an hobby that I preserve since the k7 times (which were recorded, can you imagine, with the micro next to the speakers) – it’s time to make the compilation of compilations. This new collection, “All Time Favourites”, will be like Rato’s musical legacy, since the Fifties till today: seven decades with decibels from many genres, where, of course, the anglo-american music will take the most part, so the 60’s and the 70’s, which are viewed by many like the golden decades of popular music. Many years I’ve passed listening to those songs, and the memories they bring to me are an essential part of my life. Each volume will be a double CD, with 25 songs in each one. The source will be either analogic or digital, always with the proper treatment, just to sound in the best possible way. You will find an ecletic music, from the hits to the rarities. But one thing is clear: I will follow, always, my personal taste. I hope you enjoy it.

There Must Be Magic...

Original Released on
- 10" LP Capitol H-357 (US, 1952)
- 12" LP Capitol T-357 (US, 1955)

“Unforgettable” may well be Nat King Cole’s signature song. And no doubt that it is a true classic and one of the most famous melodies of all time. Ironically, when the single first came out in 1951, it didn’t reach the Top Ten. The album "Unforgettable" is the first Nat King Cole compilation released by Capitol Records (1952). In the early days of vinyl, LPs were used to gather a group of an artist’s singles and release them in one handy package. "Unforgettable" was one such release. Packed with hits, the record proved to be one of Cole’s most resilient. The original release featured only eight songs (see the back cover), almost all of which were bona fide hits. The tunes resembled a period of transition for Nat King Cole, as he was moving from the Nat Cole Trio into solo territory. The songs reflect this transition well and serve as one of the essential recordings of the soulfully smooth baritone. Headed off by “Unforgettable”, this compilation is filled with memories. “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” is a familiar track to anyone, it was Nat’s first number one single and marks the earliest track on the record, dating back to 1946 ( it was recorded a few days after Nat had made his famous version of “The Christmas Song” with strings). Cole sings the great Irving Berlin standard “What’ll I Do?” with such stability that his recording, complete with guitar from Oscar Moore, managed to beat out Sinatra’s string-based version of the same song when the two were released at almost the exact same time. Other of my favourites are the songs “Mona Lisa” and “Too Young”. On both, the orchestral accompaniments were credit to Les Baxter. Three years later Capitol expanded the album for a 12” LP, adding more four tracks. And now, recently (2007), a Collector’s Choice Music edition added another four tracks. As with the other recordings in the collection, CCM has knowledgeably paired the bonus songs with the time period and mood of the original LP, creating a complete release worthy of the attention of any music collector. Unfortunately they mixed all the songs with no respect at all for the previous albums. Rato Records re-arranged everything, ordering the tracks the way they have appeared along the different album editions. I think it’s a better way to look and to listen to.

NOTA: As capas dos discos são para a minha geração parte essencial de um todo chamado Album. Esta capa original de "Unforgettable", por exemplo, é uma memória bem viva da minha meninice, pois o 78 rotações já morava lá por casa pouco tempo depois de eu ter nascido. Segundo os meus pais, desde tenra idade que me entretinha com o manuseamento dos discos, (com alguns acidentes de percurso pelo meio - lembro que os primeiros acetatos se quebravam facilmente...), o que explica esta velha paixão pelos discos (nunca houve outro objecto que ao longo dos anos me desse tanto prazer comprar). É por isso que tenho sempre o cuidado de apresentar neste blog o produto original. Este "Unforgettable" teve uma outra capa mais tarde, mas não a reproduzo aqui, de modo a não adulterar o album original.

NOTE: The records sleeves are, for my generation, an essential part of an whole thing called Album. This “Unforgettable” original sleeve, by example, is still a very bright memory from my childhood, ‘cause the 78 rpm version was already living in my house, a short time after I was born. My parents always told me that in my first years I had the habit to play with records (with some accidents, ‘cause the old acetates were very easy to broke…), fact that explain this old passion of mine for records (there’s never been no other object which brought me such a pleasure to buy). That’s why I always try to present in this blog the original product. This “Unforgettable” had another sleeve later, but I don’t want to reproduce it here, just to preserve the original album.

Singing The Facts Of Love

Original Released on LP Reprise RS-6202 
(US, January 1966)

"How should I sing this?"
"Like a 16 year old girl who's been dating a 40 year old man, 
but it's all over now."

She looks good, dresses good, lives good, eats, drinks, loves, breathes, dances, sings, cries good. Five foot three and tiger eyes. A mouth made for lollipops or kisses, stingers or melting smiles. Ninety-five pounds of affection. She's been there already. Barely in her twenties, she looks younger. That look, like Lolita Humbert, like Daisy Clover. The power to exalt, or to destroy, wanting only the former, but unafraid to invoke the latter if the time comes. The eyes that see through, know more, look longer. Unafraid to pull on the boots again, toss off a burnt out thing with a casual "So long, babe", and get. A young fragile living thing, on its own in a wondrous-wicked-woundup-wasted-wild-worried-wisedup-warmbodied world. On her own. Earning her daily crepes and Cokes by singing the facts of love. Her voice tells as much as her songs. No faked up grandure, her voice is like it is: a little tired, little put down, a lot loving. No one is born sophisticated. It's a place you have to crawl to, crawling out of hayseed country, over miles of unsanded pavement, past trouble, past corners and forks with no auto club signs to point you, till you get there and you wake up wiser. She's arrived. She sings you about the long crawl. And makes you have to listen. She's there.
Stan Cornyn (original LP liner notes)


Gigliola Cinquetti is an italian singer, born on the 20th December, 1947, in Verona. At the age of 16 she won the Sanremo Music Festival in 1964 singing "Non Ho L'Età" ("I'm not old enough"), with music composed by Nicola Salerno and lyrics by Mario Panzeri. Her victory enabled her to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1964 with the same song, and she went on to claim her country's first-ever victory in the event and achieve the first UK Top 20 hit with a non-English-language Eurovision song. In 1966, she recorded "Dio, come ti amo" ("God, How I Love You"), which became a world-wide hit. In 1974, she returned to the Eurovision Song Contest, again representing Italy, and finished second behind Sweden's ABBA with the song "Sì" ("Yes"), the music and lyrics of which were written by Mario Panzeri, Daniele Pace, Lorenzo Pilat, and Carrado Conti. When translated into English as "Go", this song reached the UK Top 10.

Nata a Verona nel 1947, debuttò giovanissima, dopo aver frequentato il liceo artistico e il Conservatorio nella sua città natale, vincendo il concorso per esordienti di Castrocaro - nel 1963 - con una canzone scritta da Giorgio Gaber, "Le strade di notte". Nel 1964, praticamente sconosciuta, vinse il Festival di Sanremo con la canzone "Non ho l'età", che diventò, dopo la vittoria all'Eurofestival quello stesso anno, un enorme successo in Italia e in Europa, vendendo più di 4 milioni di dischi. La Cinquetti aveva appena 16 anni e proponeva al pubblico italiano l'immagine di un'adolescente saggia e rispettosa dei valori tradizionali oltre che della melodia all'italiana. Nella seconda metà degli anni '60 Gigliola Cinquetti diventò molto popolare in America Latina, in Giappone e in Francia, dove, fra l'altro, ebbe modo di cantare all'"Olympia" di Parigi e registrare un album con Maurice Chevalier. Tra i suoi maggiori successi del decennio si può ricordare "Dio come ti amo" di Domenico Modugno in coppia al quale vince il Festival di Sanremo 1966 e "La Pioggia", del 1969, che cantata col titolo "L'orage" ebbe un enorme successo in Francia. Negli anni '70 Gigliola Cinquetti cambiò la sua precedente immagine. Si avvicinò ad esempio alla tradizione popolare e alle canzoni degli anni '30-'40. Affrontò anche la canzone politica italiana, attraverso le canzoni dei Cantacronache, gli autori francesi e la canzone brasiliana. Nel 1974 partecipò nuovamente all'Eurofestival con la canzone "Si" che ottenne un buon successo in Inghilterra. Nel 1975 registrò un album di canti tradizionali con i 40 musicisti della Fanfara municipale di Milano.

Original released on LP Columbia CL 1489 / CS 8321
(US, 1960)


One of the most prominent Latin-born performers of the pop era, singer/guitarist Jose Feliciano was born September 10, 1945, in Lares, Puerto Rico; the victim of congenital glaucoma, he was left permanently blind at birth. Five years later, he and his family moved to New York City's Spanish Harlem area; there Feliciano began learning the accordion, later taking up the guitar and making his first public appearance at the Bronx's El Teatro Puerto Rico at the age of nine. While in high school he became a fixture of the Greenwich Village coffeehouse circuit, eventually quitting school in 1962 in order to accept a permanent gig in Detroit; a contract with RCA followed a performance at New York's Gerde's Folk City, and within two years he appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival. After bowing with the 1964 novelty single "Everybody Do the Click," he issued his flamenco-flavored debut LP "The Voice and Guitar of Jose Feliciano", trailed early the next year by "The Fantastic Feliciano". Unhappy with the direction of his music following the release of 1966's "A Bag Full of Soul", Feliciano returned to his roots, releasing three consecutive Spanish-language LPs - "Sombras...Una Voz", "Una Guitarra, Mas Exitos de Jose Feliciano" and "El Sentimiento, La Voz y La Guitarra de Jose Feliciano" - on RCA International, scoring on the Latin pop charts with the singles "La Copa Rota" and "Amor Gitana." 

With 1968's "Feliciano!", he scored a breakthrough hit with a soulful reading of the Doors' "Light My Fire" that launched him into the mainstream pop stratosphere; a smash cover of Tommy Tucker's R&B chestnut "Hi Heel Sneakers" solidified his success, and soon Feliciano found himself performing the national anthem during the 1968 World Series. His idiosyncratic Latin-jazz performance of the song proved highly controversial, and despite the outcry of traditionalists and nationalists, his status as an emerging counterculture hero was secured, with a single of his rendition also becoming a hit. In 1969 Feliciano recorded three LPs - "Souled, Alive Alive-O", and "Feliciano 10 to 23" - and won a Grammy for Best New Artist; however, he never again equalled the success of "Light My Fire", and only the theme song to the sitcom Chico and the Man subsequently achieved hit status, edging into the Top 100 singles chart in 1974. Throughout the 1970s Feliciano remained an active performer, however, touring annually and issuing a number of LPs in both English and Spanish, including 1973's Steve Cropper-produced "Compartments"; he also appeared on the Joni Mitchell hit "Free Man in Paris," and guested on a number of television series including Kung Fu and McMillan and Wife. In 1980 Feliciano was the first performer signed to the new Latin division of Motown, making his label debut with an eponymous effort the following year; his recorded output tapered off during the course of the decade, although he occasionally resurfaced with LPs including 1987's "Tu Immenso Amor" and 1989's "I'm Never Gonna Change". A school in East Harlem was renamed the Jose Feliciano Performing Arts School in his honor; in 1996, he also appeared briefly in the hit film "Fargo". (in All Music)