Kendra Steiner Editions

June 26, 2019

Elvis Presley, “Sun-Sational”… Victrola Records (EU), 2-cd set (issued 2012), contains 1953-1977 recordings

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:07 am

ELVIS PRESLEY

“Sun-Sational–From Sunrise To Sunset, 1953-1977”

(Victrola Records, unauthorized EU 2-cd set, issued 2012)

elvis sunsational

As anyone who follows bootleg LP’s and CD’s of the past knows, an archival release from a major label often spawns an “answer” release from the bootleggers. There are many examples of this in the Beatle-Boot world, and with Bob Dylan, when Columbia began their “Bootleg Series” of Dylan archival releases, the bootleggers came out with something called the “GENUINE Bootleg Series,” intending to one-up the original…. and in the minds of many Dylan fans they did.

This unique Elvis Presley release was probably intended to follow on the coat-tails of the amazing 3-cd set/book A BOY FROM TUPELO, which contained every scrap of surviving Sun-era Elvis in performance, from the custom-recorded acetates Elvis recorded in 1953 through his final Sun session in 1955, along with any and all surviving live performances….and on top of that,  a huge doorstop of a 500-page book documenting Elvis’s life and career in this period in an almost day-by-day fashion. Ernst Jorgensen spent nearly 20 years putting this stunning collection together, and of course, there was no way any bootlegger could “add” anything to such an exhaustive and beautifully done release….so they didn’t even try.

What they did do, however, was to create a fascinating collection of Sun-related odds and ends, covering Elvis’ entire career

CD 1 : Total playing time: 79:13 (41 tracks)
‘Sun Records’ interview excerpt Recorded February 27, 1970; Houston, TX – My Happiness (Peterson/Bergantine) Recorded July 18, 1953; Sun Records, Memphis, TN – That’s When Your Heartaches Begin (Raskin/Brown/Fisher) Recorded July 18, 1953; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – ‘Recording For Mother’ interview excerpt Recorded March 24, 1956; Warwick Hotel, New York, NY – That’s When Your Heartaches Begin (Raskin/Brown/Fisher) Recorded June 24, 1968; Dressing Room at NBC, Burbank, CA – Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Bill Monroe) Recorded June 25, 1968; Dressing Room at NBC, Burbank, CA – That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup) Recorded November, 1973; The Thompson Home, Memphis – ‘That’s All Right’ interview excerpt Recorded August 9, 1956; Peabody Auditorium, Daytona Beach, FL – That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup), takes 1, 2 Recorded July 5, 1954; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup) ‘Red Hot & Blue’ Radio Broadcast by D.Phillips on WHBQ; Summer 1954 – Dewey Phillips Reference Recorded July 5, 1976; Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN – I Love You Because (Leon Payne), takes 1, 4, 5 Recorded July 5, 1954; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – Harbor Lights (Kennedy/Williams), take 2 Recorded July 5, 1954; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – Tiger Man (Louis/Burns), jam Recorded June 4, 1970; RCA’s Studio B, Nashville, TN – Tiger Man Monologue Recorded August 20, 1970; International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV – Mystery Train / Tiger Man (Parker/Phillips/ Louis/Burns) Recorded August 3, 1969; International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV – ‘Blue Moon Of Kentucky’ interview excerpt Recorded May 14, 1956; Sawyer Auditorium, Lacrosse, WI – Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Bill Monroe) Recorded March 19, 1955; Eagles Hall, Houston, TX – That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup) Recorded July 5, 1976; Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN – Blue Moon (Rodgers/Hart) Recorded August 19, 1954; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – Blue Moon (Rodgers/Hart) Recorded June 24, 1968; Dressing Room at NBC, Burbank, CA – I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) Recorded March 19, 1955; Eagles Hall, Houston, TX – I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) Recorded June 24, 1968; Dressing Room at NBC, Burbank, CA – When It Rains, It Really Pours (William Emerson), takes 7, 9, 11 Recorded November, 1955; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – When It Rains, It Really Pours (William Emerson) Recorded June 24, 1968; Dressing Room at NBC, Burbank, CA – Tiger Man (Louis/Burns) Recorded August 11, 1973; International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV – ‘First Time On Stage’ interview excerpt Recorded March, 30, 1972; RCA Studio, Hollywood, CA – Baby, Let’s Play House (Arthur Gunter) Recorded March 19, 1955; Eagles Hall, Houston, TX – That’s When Your Heartaches Begin (Raskin/Brown/Fisher) (fragment) Recorded August 31, 1957; Empire Stadium, Vancouver, Canada – That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup) Recorded August 20, 1955; The Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport, LA – That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup) Recorded July 15, 1970; MGM Studios, Culver City, CA – That’s All Right (2) (Arthur Crudup) Recorded July 15, 1970; MGM Studios, Culver City, CA – Elvis receives the “Sun Sessions” LP from a fan Recorded December 13, 1975; International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV – Tomorrow Night (Coslow/Grosz) Recorded September, 1954; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN -How Do You Think I Feel (Walker/Pierce) Recorded February (March), 1955; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – How Do You Think I Feel (Walker/Pierce) Recorded September 1, 1956; Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA – When It Rains It Really Pours (William Emerson) Recorded February 24, 1957; Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA – ‘Successful Career’ interview excerpt Recorded February 25, 1961; Claridge Hotel, Memphis, TN – I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) Recorded March, 25, 1961; Bloch Arena, Honolulu, HA – Tiger Man (Louis/Burns) Recorded August 19, 1970; International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV.
CD 2 : Total playing time: 79:47 (36 tracks)
‘Rhythm and Blues’ interview excerpt Recorded June 8, 1956; Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA – Baby, Let’s Play House (Arthur Gunter) Recorded February 4, 1956; The Dorsey Bros. Stage Show, New York, NY – I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (slow version) (Kesler/Taylor), takes 13, 12 Recorded February (March), 1955; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (Kesler/Taylor) Recorded February (March), 1955; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – It Wouldn’t Be The Same Without You (Wakely/Rose) Recorded January 4, 1954; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – I’ll Never Stand In Your Way (Heath/Rose) Recorded January 4, 1954; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight’ interview excerpt Recorded August 5, 1956; Tampa, FL – Good Rockin’ Tonight (Roy Brown) Recorded March 19, 1955; Eagles Hall, Houston, TX – I Forgot To Remember To Forget (Kesler/Feathers) Recorded July 21,1955; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – Trying To Get To You (Singleton/Mc Coy) Recorded July 21,1955; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – Trying To Get To You (Singleton/Mc Coy) Recorded March 16, 1974; Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN – That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup) Recorded October 6, 1974; University Of Dayton, Dayton, OH – I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) Recorded January 28, 1971; International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV – Baby, Let’s Play House (Arthur Gunter) Recorded July 29, 1970; MGM Studios, Culver City, CA – Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Bill Monroe) (one liner) Recorded September 28, 1974; University of M.C. Field House, College Park, MD – I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) Recorded July 24, 1970; RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA – Mystery Train / Tiger Man (Parker/Phillips/ Louis/Burns) Recorded September 6, 1976; von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, AL – That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup) Recorded January 26, 1970; International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV -I’ll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin’) (Jimmy Wakely), take nr. unknown Recorded September 1954; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – Milkcow Blues Boogie (Kokomo Arnold) Recorded November (December)1954; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) (one liner) Recorded January 15, 1968; RCA’s Studio B, Nashville, TN – I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) Recorded August 14, 1970; International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV – I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine (Mack David) Recorded January 22, 1955; The Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport, LA – You’re A Heartbreaker (Jack Sallee) Recorded November (December)1954; Sun Studio, Memphis, TN – ‘Rock’n’roll’ interview excerpt Recorded July 10, 1956; Radio Station Studio, New Orleans, LA – That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup) Recorded March, 25, 1961; Bloch Arena, Honolulu, HA – I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) Recorded January 28, 1956; The Dorsey Bros. Stage Show, New York, NY – Trying To Get To You (Singleton/Mc Coy) Recorded August 11, 1971; International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV – That’s When Your Heartaches Begin (Raskin/Brown/Fisher) Recorded December 4, 1956; Sun Records, Memphis, TN – Mystery Train / Tiger Man (Parker/Phillips/ Louis/Burns) Recorded September 3, 1973; International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV – I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) Recorded November 10, 1971; Boston Garden, Boston, MA – Trying To Get To You (Singleton/Mc Coy) Recorded April 24, 1977; Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI – Just Because (Shelton/Robin) Recorded September, 1954; Sun Records, Memphis, TN – Mystery Train (Parker/Phillips) Recorded July 21, 1955; Sun Records, Memphis, TN – Tiger Man (Louis/Burns) Recorded June 25, 1968; Dressing Room at NBC, Burbank, CA – That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup) Recorded July 24, 1970, RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA – Back To Sun Recorded May 16, 1971; RCA’s Studio B, Nashville, TN.

Elvis did not live long enough to benefit from the “rockabilly revival”—-it had already started in Europe prior to his passing in 1977, and RCA had issued (finally) a collection of THE SUN SESSIONS a year before Elvis’ death, which Elvis was aware of (there are accounts of his having been shown a copy by a fan), but he was not a man who looked back with nostalgia toward the past. He may not have been looking toward the future much in terms of innovation anymore in his last year or so, but he continued to milk as much as he could out of the present with his grueling schedule of live concerts. As someone who has heard probably 500+ Elvis Presley live concerts and who has read many accounts of Elvis’ activities in his 1969-1977 “Live era,” it seems to me that The King may well have been happiest when on stage, at least at his most satisfied. Possessions and money-spending could not bring him what he desired, but getting out in front of thousands of people who loved him and loved what he did and what he represented, and then giving them what they loved and feeling that love coming back to him in live performance undoubtedly brought him some taste of the thrill he’d felt during his initial fame, and one thing most anyone who dealt with Elvis would agree on was that he loved his fans and that he wanted to give his fans the best experience he could. Had Elvis really cared about money and the growth of his savings account, he would have gone out on the road with five musicians, not a full orchestra and a few groups of singers (The Sweet Inspirations and J. D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet)–in fact, Elvis even brought in the group ‘Voice’, his proteges, at his own personal expense. He was from the generation of country-rooted performing artists who felt that an audience deserved a “show,” with opening acts, comedy, etc., and he continued to deliver that until his dying day, not worried about the expenses, which of course meant that he had to stay on the road to bring in continued revenue, as he was not a calculated saver or a man who lived according to a disciplined budget.

During the 69-77 era, Elvis joked about how his Sun records had a lot of echo on them and how there were only three musicians on them—-himself on acoustic guitar, Scotty Moore on electric guitar, and Bill Black on standup bass. He would joke about how his early records were made “fifty-five years ago” or whatever. He sometimes seemed to forget the chronology of his early years, making reference to “Tiger Man” as his second Sun record when there is no documentation or surviving tape of him ever recording the Rufus Thomas Sun-label classic during his own Sun years (he did sometimes merge “Tiger Man” with “Mystery Train” in concert and give the two songs a similar beat and performance—-perhaps they got blurred together for him—-or perhaps it was just another example of Elvis’ mischievous and sly sense of humor…..perhaps a combination of the two!).

However, he did continue to re-visit songs of the Sun era, in live performance and in rehearsals, and he would occasionally make reference to them in conversation. They remained in his consciousness until his dying day, and they continued to be present with him and animate his spirit. What this amazing collection does, since there’s no way it could ever offer more Sun-era outtakes, as those don’t exist beyond what was on the BOY FROM TUPELO box, is document every one-off performance of a Sun-era song, every spoken reference to those songs or those days, either informally or in interviews or on stage, anything which has survived on bootleg recordings. When the album was originally released, some in the Elvis community wrote it off as a collection which had no new content, with everything having been on some previous boot, and that is probably true, but to corral it all in one place is kind of revelatory. Added to the one-off live performances and short-takes of Sun-era material during rehearsals and references to those years in conversations or interviews, we’re also given snippets of actual 1953-55 Sun outtakes and masters, peppered through the two albums to anchor it in the reality of the Sun years. The end result is an unintentionally deep and profound examination of what Sun meant to the later Elvis and how it continued to live within him and animate him in his later days, making the point far more convincingly than any essay or study could, with Elvis’ own music and words delivering the message, not the words of some outside commentator, but directly from the man who lived it. Anyone who has watched the 1968 footage of Elvis, clad in black leather, banging away on an electric guitar in the live performance section of the “comeback special” on a Jimmy Reed number, knows that Elvis still had that spirit inside him. Even his opening song in the 70’s concerts, “CC Rider,” echoes his previous opening song, “That’s All Right,” his first Sun record (he gives both the same beat and similar performance–one could even say they are interchangeable on some level to him), and by starting with that song–and then segueing into the Gospel chestnut “Amen”–for hundreds upon hundreds of performance in the 69-77 period, it’s clear that Elvis knew what his roots were, tried to keep them alive and to anchor his performance in those roots at the beginning of each show, and he also understood on some deeper level that many of  those folks out there in his paying audience had been with him since those days, and those days provided an entry point into his work. He may have moved beyond those days, in the sense that we all must live in today and do the work we need to do today to pay the bills (and we all do know people, whether they be creative artists or not, who DO live in the past, and how that winds up being somewhat sad and pathetic in most cases), but those days remained with him at his base. Had he lived into the early 80’s, he may well have recorded a rockabilly revival album with his core group as his old colleagues Carl Perkins and Rick Nelson did very successfully, and had he done that, it perhaps would have grounded him as an artist, allowed him to come to terms with his past, and given him a renewed foundation from which to re-invent himself in the 80’s and 90’s. Remember the way that Bob Dylan re-invented himself and went back to his early 60’s roots on his two early 1990’s solo acoustic albums (the wonderful GOOD AS I BEEN TO YOU and WORLD GONE WRONG), then proceeding on to create some of his greatest-ever work in the era of TIME OUT OF MIND through TEMPEST, reaching new artistic peaks that in my mind go beyond Dylan’s  60’s and 70’s material. Elvis might have done that, had he lived into the 1980’s. Alas, we’ll never know. However, this fascinating collection, which may or may not have been a cynical throw-together to milk some money out of the super-fans who regularly buy bootlegs, winds  up providing a unique insight into how Sun continued to live through and animate Elvis up through his final days. It’s a collection I treasure and a collection that is sure to provide a kind of epiphany for anyone who cares about Elvis Presley, both the work and the man. Pulling all these fragments together–which must have been quite a chore–was a great public service. You can still find this 2-cd set for about what it cost new (in the $25-30 range), but I’m noticing fewer copies in the Elvis marketplace every day, so act now if this set sounds of interest to you, because as with most boots, it will eventually become a big-ticket item. The “Victrola” label also issued two similar sets dealing with Elvis’ early RCA years, and those are also highly recommended, but SUN-SATIONAL is the one to get now….and savor….and reflect on…and appreciate the great and still under-appreciated (although everyone knows his name) artist that was Elvis Presley.

June 25, 2019

recent Bill Shute posts at BTC

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 11:03 am

My bi-weekly column is still running over at BTC–I’m working on a review now of a 1918 silent film starring Mary Miles Minter, and when I send it over to Chris, I should have material in the can at BTC to keep you all occupied through October. Since you may not read BTC regularly, here are links to pieces of mine from the last two months….

Of course, there will continue to be regular posts of mine here at KSE…so check back every week or so, and one or two (or even three) new posts will magically appear…

boris 3

FILM: THE ISLAND MONSTER, starring BORIS KARLOFF (Italy, 1954)

https://black2com.blogspot.com/2019/06/moom-pitcher-review-by-bill-shute.html#links

 

happening

MUSIC: FIRE AND ICE LTD., “The Happening” (1966 Capitol LP)

https://black2com.blogspot.com/2019/06/album-review-by-bill-shute-fire-and-ice.html#links

 

The_Fighting_Pilot (1)

FILM: THE FIGHTING PILOT, starring RICHARD TALMADGE (1935)

https://black2com.blogspot.com/2019/05/moom-pitcher-review-by-bill-shute.html#links

 

ray draper 1

MUSIC: RAY DRAPER w/ John Coltrane, “A Tuba Jazz” (Jubilee Records LP, 1958)

https://black2com.blogspot.com/2019/05/lp-review-by-bill-shute-ray-draper-tuba.html#links

 

canned heat (1)

MUSIC: CANNED HEAT, “The Boogie House Tapes, 1967-1976” (Ruf Records 2-CD set, Germany)

https://black2com.blogspot.com/2019/04/cee-dee-review-by-bill-shute-canned.html#link

June 22, 2019

VERVE ELITE EDITION COLLECTORS’ DISC (1999 cd)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:13 pm

VERVE ELITE EDITION COLLECTORS’ DISC (Verve CD 314547265-2, issued 1999)

1. Let’s Fall in Love [#] – Louis Armstrong
2. Dancing in the Dark [Mono Version] – Bill Evans
3. Rosita – Coleman Hawkins (from UK 78 release)
4. Shine on Harvest Moon – Coleman Hawkins (from UK 78 release)
5. Memories for the Count – Buck Clayton
6. Moon Is Low – Benny Carter
7. Close Your Eyes [#] – Oscar Peterson
8. Playboy Peterson [#] – Oscar Peterson
9. Prayer, a Jazz Hymn (AKA Hymn to Freedom) [#] – Oscar Peterson
10. Squatty Roo – Dizzy Gillespie
11. Duke’s Place – Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
12. With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair – Tal Farlow (diff. from the 10″ LP version)
13. Broadway [#] – Jimmy Smith
14. Let’s Fall in Love [#] – Louis Armstrong

No overlap with other Verve cds.

verve elite sampler

It’s hard to think of the 1990’s as the golden age of anything, but it certainly was a great period in the reissue of classic jazz from previous decades. The major labels , often with content from the smaller labels they controlled, were out to wring every last drop of income from their rich and deep catalogues, sitting there in the vaults doing no one any good–not making profit for the owners, not being available to the serious listeners. I’ve mentioned the Savoy Jazz reissues in previous posts–another fine series was the Verve Elite Edition, which issued this collection of rarities not available elsewhere, from the various labels owned by what at that time was called Polygram. (Verve had other series, of course, but this was a specialized series, with (supposedly) limited pressings……which reminds me, whenever I would as a teenager mention that I was buying something sold as a limited edition, my late father would always toss off as an aside the comment, “yeah, limited to all they can sell,” and undoubtedly there’s a lot of truth in that).

Most of these were beautiful exact reproductions of rare LP’s from the 50’s mostly, though also the early 60’s. The gimmick was that they would be “limited” and available only for a short time (the albums would often contain a sell-by date right on the cover, at which time they would be retired!). I remember going to my local Best Buy on payday, twice a month, and looking for the most recent ones. This was in the waning days of when stores that sold CD’s still were interested in having the widest selection as a selling point, not just having 50 copies each of the Top 100 and selected mass-interest items in other genres such as jazz or country or classical or whatever. I have about a dozen of these VERVE ELITE EDITIONS, including some I treasure and still play regularly….the Meade Lux Lewis CAT HOUSE PIANO set which combines two original 1950’s LP’s by the boogie-piano master, the sublime Walt Dickerson/Sun Ra IMPRESSIONS OF “A PATCH OF BLUE,” and most importantly, the extended 3-cd set of Lee Konitz’s MOTION, one of the 10 albums I’d probably take to the moon (assuming I’d have a CD player and electricity there).

This particular album is different, though. First, it’s NOT a sampler…although reissue labels often offered those at low prices, to entice the potential customer. No, this contains all material unavailable elsewhere. Much of it is alternate versions never released; some tracks are not just alternates, but songs not recorded elsewhere by the artists, which just happened to not get catalogued properly and wound up missing in action. The Coleman Hawkins sides (also with Ben Webster) were versions only released originally on 78 rpm in the UK; the Bill Evans track is an example where the mono LP had a quite different take from the stereo LP (devoted fans had pointed that out to the compilers), and of course it’s the stereo version that would have been reissued over the decades; the Tal Farlow track is an example where the 12″ LP had a different take from the earlier and better-known 10″ LP, and it is the 10″ masters that had been used for previous reissues; the Jimmy Smith track, which runs over 10 minutes, is a small-group warm-up for an album session with a larger-group, and thus was treated as a throwaway and left on the session reel….until 1999. In a way, it’s kind of like a 1960’s version of the wonderful FROG SPAWN compilations issued by Frog Records in the UK of 1920’s rarities, and it’s just as fresh and satisfying.

And the great news is that, unlike some Verve Elite Editions which now command big bucks, a recent internet search for a cover image of the album showed me that you can still get a mint, or even new, copy of this album for UNDER TEN DOLLARS.

In addition to containing first-rate performances by the greats of jazz, performances that listeners would not have or even be familiar with (and don’t forget, Duke Ellington is on here, Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, Roy Eldridge, etc.), the album is skillfully programmed, book-ended by takes 1 and 2 of “Let’s Fall In Love,” by pianist Oscar Peterson (according to the liner notes, Verve’s most-recorded artist) with Louis Armstrong singing and playing trumpet. Armstrong never did two takes the same or even similar, both as a singer and a player, so it’s a treat to hear him casually work his way through these two takes, and in 1957 Armstrong was still at 100% of his abilities, not just an older, lower wattage version of his earlier self as he would be in the mid-to-late 60’s.

The album’s running time is 65 minutes. Get yourself a bottle of wine, put this album on after sundown, and take a trip to the ultimate virtual-jazzclub. Thanks to Verve for doing this fine series….be on the lookout for any of these Elite Edition reissues, as others are still available for reasonable prices. As physical media continue to disappear, these albums will eventually be as collectable and desirable as rare vinyl from the 1950’s or 1960’s. Don’t laugh… wait 30-40 years (let’s hope you and I are both around then!) and we’ll see. Better yet, DON’T WAIT—get your copy of this now for under 10 dollars and enjoy it for the next 30+ years. Put it on when visitors/friends are over, and I can assure you virtually everyone will enjoy it. We jazz fans are on a lifelong mission to bring more people into the jazz fold, and albums like this with first-rate material that’s accessible but fresh can win people over and get them playing the local jazz radio station, or programming jazz feeds on their streaming services. At least I am!

June 19, 2019

BEATFREAK, Volume 10 (Particles UK, cd)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 9:06 am

PART4105CD_CU

BEATFREAK VOLUME 10 (Particles UK, CD 4105)

RARE AND OBSCURE BRITISH BEAT 1964-1968, 20 track compilation
01. The Mighty Avengers – Hey Senorita (1964)

02. The Firing Squad – A Little Bit More (1964)

firing-squad-bull-moose-parlophone

03. Eden Kane – Gonna Do Something About You (1964)

04. The Juniors – Pocket Size (1964)

juniors-pocket-size-columbia

05. Neil Landon – I’ve Got Nothing To Lose (1966)

06. Bobby Angelo & The End – I Got Wise (1967)

bobby angelo

07. The Sonics – Hey Baby (1968)

08. Laurie Jay Combo – A Song Called Soul (1965)

09. Wee Willie Harris – Try Moving Baby (1966)

wee willie

10. The Roger James Four – Leave Me Alone (1965)

11. The Mustang – Why (1967)

12. The Monotones – If You Can’t Give Me All (1965)

13. Dave Curtiss & The Tremors – Que Sera Sera (1965)

dave-curtiss-and-the-tremors-que-sera-sera-karate

14. The Mosaics – Let’s Go Drag Racing (1966)

15. The Monotones – When Will I Be Loved (1965)

16. The Merseybeats – I Stand Accused (1968)

17. Jackie Lynton – Little Child (1964)

18. The Cousins – Yes Sir, That’s My Baby (1964)

yes sir

19. Bobby Cristo & The Rebels – I’ve Got To Get You Out Of My Mind (1964)

20. The Mighty Avengers – I’m Lost Without You (1965)

mighty-avengers-im-lost-without-you-press

The BEATFREAK series of compilations finishes up with Volume 10, and it’s a strong conclusion to an essential series. It’s hard to believe that at this late date, some 50+ years after the original British Beat era, one could find 20 (let alone 200, counting all the songs on the 10 albums in the series) unvarnished, raw UK beat records that have (mostly) escaped reissue, but here they are, in all their glory. Yes, some volumes have had some padding….but still, when the volumes would have tracks from someone like Billy J. Kramer, they actually were first-rate sides, but from an artist one might not want to seek out because of some non-beat records that tend to be better known. One of the strengths of this series is that they base the selection on what’s in the grooves, not on someone’s reputation. Therefore, if a balladeer or someone known for novelty records or someone rooted in the pre-Beatles period or someone who usually leaned toward jazz or skiffle made a solid Beat record, they are not afraid to include it in the series. I’ve been collecting this kind of thing since I first started buying used records in the early 1970’s—-I remember when I lived in Oklahoma in the early 80’s, finding the Ian and the Zodiacs US album in Philips, the German Star-Club LP’s by Kingsize Taylor and the Dominos, and various odd US 45 releases of obscure UK beat records, put out by various mid-sized labels who were no doubt thinking they might have the next Beatles or Yardbirds on their hands—-and all these decades later, there is still the same excitement on hearing new-to-my-ears classic UK beat quartets and quintets from the Golden Age, blasting away in the studio and sounding much like they probably sounded on the stage of some small club in Croydon or wherever. I should make the point that what we’ve got here is pure rock-and-roll, not romantic teen-pop heart-throbs, or vocal quartets with instrumental backing, or toytown baroque pop confections.

The tracks range from early 1964’s primitive “Hey Senorita” from The Mighty Avengers (best known for recording various Jagger-Richards songs), which sounds like it could be a demo recorded in the back room of a publisher’s office—-to later Merseybeats song “I Stand Accused” (from 1965, not 1968 as the back cover states) that harkens back to the glory days of pre-psychedelic Hollies, a song that The Action would have killed for—-most of the songs are from 64-65 (and the few from 66 are 64-65 in spirit), so just imagine that you are in the offices of the NME in 1965, and the postman drops off a huge burlap sack of random new singles from labels large and small by lesser-known and unknown artists hoping for their big break, longing for a write-up in the NME that will get them better-paying gigs. There is no order to the random singles in the sack, so you just put them on, one after the other, on your portable Dansette record player, blasting one beat blast after another at maximum volume, quaffing a pint or three of stout, stomping along with 20 gems of pure UK rock and roll from an era that set the standard, a standard that’s never been equaled. As in, say, Memphis in 1956 or Los Angeles or San Francisco in 1966, when you could probably go to any neighborhood and find local bands playing high school dances of gigs at the local VFW hall who were first-rate in every way playing at a fever-pitch of excitement, but because bands were a dime a dozen and we were in such a productive period, they tended to get lost in the shuffle….that’s how London and the UK in general was in the 64-67 period. You could dip the ladle into the pot and pull out 20 random songs and you’d have gold, if by gold you meant unpretentious rock and roll bands who knew their Bo Diddley and who wanted a taste of the fame that the Hollies or the Yardbirds had.

There are legendary names involved here–productions by such luminaries as Shel Talmy and Andrew Loog Oldham, as well as involvement by such music-biz pros as Arthur Greenslade and the John Carter-Ken Lewis duo–but really, it’s the randomness of a compilation such as this which gives BEATFREAK 10 its strength. If these are the barrel-scrapings of the UK Beat era—-and no one is doubting that they are—-then what an era it was! And you can experience it yourself for the minimal cost of this CD, and also get educated via the usual voluminous expert set of liner-notes with many pics and label shots. Grab some Guinness Stout or Newcastle Brown, crank up the volume, and set your player on repeat….you’ll want to listen to this album 3 or 4 times straight and feel it “kick in.” In anticipation of this Volume 10 of Beatfreak, which was waiting for me in the mail when I returned from my recent sojourn in Louisiana and East Texas, I blasted earlier Beatfreak volumes in my car as I was driving down I-10 and the state highways between Beaumont and Lake Charles. They all delivered the goods.

The Past & Present/Psychic Circle/Particles family of labels like to issue compilations in groups of 5, 10, or 20 (there were 20 volumes of Piccadilly Sunshine, for instance) so they can later issue the same material as box-sets. I would not be surprised to see the 10 Beatfreak albums issued in such a box a few years down the line. Until then, be sure to score some of the individual volumes, particularly this new Volume 10.

dansette

1962 Dansette Tempo record player

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ps, please note that the cover posted online for promo purposes (seen above) lists 1965-1968—-the cover of the actual album in my hands reads 1964-1968

 

June 18, 2019

the 1980’s Warhol/Munch series

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:56 pm

warhol munch louisiana poster

Though Andy Warhol passed away 30+ years ago, his body of work is so large and so many areas of it remain little-known that undoubtedly for the lifetimes of all reading this post there will be no shortage of deep dives into the Warhol vaults, bringing focus and visibility to some of the many series of works he continued to create up to the time of his passing in 1987. I tend to find the close examinations of limited numbers of thematically related works to be a fruitful approach when it comes to study and appreciation and enjoyment of Warhol’s work. He left us, posterity, an amazing amount of work, and I would encourage anyone with a taste for Warhol to wake up and start exploring and savoring the work. Perhaps the easiest way to do that is through the many specialized oversized books devoted to specific-focus exhibitions, more often than not outside the United States. Regular perusal of the sale lists of online art-book dealers or Ebay can turn up many obscure gems….and on occasion multiple copies of such books will find their way into the remaindered-books stream and show up at Half-Price Books (I’ve written about some of those here on the KSE blog). They usually don’t last long, and six months or a year later, one sees them going up significantly in price.

I generally have at any particular time one or two such books in my reading-and-study rotation, and upon return from my writing vacation in East Texas and SW Louisiana last week, I went through my Warhol collection to dig out a few to enjoy here in the early Summer and found that I own TWO books devoted to Warhol’s 1980’s series of re-imaginings of the art of Edvard Munch.

They are MUNCH/WARHOL AND THE MULTIPLE IMAGE by Patricia C. Berman and Pari Stave, published in 2013 to accompany a New York exhibition at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, New York (see book pictured below)

and WARHOL AFTER MUNCH edited by Michael Juul Holm and Henriette Dedichen, published by the legendary Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark to accompany an exhibition of the same name (the cover to this book is similar to the exhibition poster, at the top of this post).

munch warhol multiple image book

If I may quote from a definitive account of the genesis of this series, from the Christie’s sale of some of the pieces, “In late 1982, on one of his daily amblings distributing copies of Interview magazine around Manhattan, Andy Warhol (1928 –1987) visited Galleri Bellman on 57th Street. The gallery had recently opened a show of 126 paintings and prints by Edvard Munch (1863–1944), including an impression of The Scream, the iconic 1895 lithograph on loan from the Munch Museum in Oslo….Surprised at how prolific Munch was as a printmaker, he professed at the time to being more impressed by his prints than his paintings. Warhol returned to the Bellman exhibit several times, eventually securing a commission to paint what became known as the After Munch series: The Scream, Eva Mudocci and Self Portrait juxtaposed with Madonna. In 1983 five canvases of each — a total of 15 works — were commissioned….‘Warhol came to this imagery as a function of his respect for Munch, not only as an artist, but as a printmaker,’ says Richard Lloyd, International Head of Prints and Multiples at Christie’s. ‘There’s a long tradition of artists being very invested in Munch’s creative output in this medium. He was not only incredibly prolific, he was also very technologically innovative and experimental, which is something Warhol really responded to.’ The following year, agreement was reached on a related project to create screen-printed versions of each of these motifs. The original idea was to issue 60 portfolios, each containing the three compositions. Warhol began work on the prints by ordering photographs and transparencies of the originals to be enlarged. These were then used as the basis of tracings, whereby he recreated the structure with bold graphite lines. The Pop artist worked with master printer Rupert Jasen Smith, who used stencils to add blocks of colour, producing a series of unique colour versions (Warhol was to select the most successful colour combinations for the edition). The combinations were extremely varied, ranging from two colours to half a dozen or more, from sombre browns and blacks to neon pinks and lime greens. In some the figure is in sharp relief against a muted background; in others the figure is almost invisible, completely subsumed by the landscape.
Unfortunately, disagreements between the directors of Galleri Bellman meant the project was cancelled. The total number of unique Munch screen-prints Andy Warhol produced is unknown, Lloyd says, but it is thought to be small.” 

While Warhol certainly had a history of appropriating and then re-interpreting images from classic art, he was also very much aware of artists whose work involved the kind of series repetition and variation that was so central to his own aesthetic. It’s no surprise that he re-interpreted the works of Giorgio de Chirico, who often re-visited his own works in later life the way a 1950’s rock and roll artist would re-record his early hits decades later for budget labels. Also, Warhol’s Last Supper paintings, one of his last major series projects, which were based on cheap and inexact reproductions of Leonard DaVinci’s original image.

Edvard Munch produced multiple variations on his own iconic images via prints and woodcuts, which is one reason that people who may know little about classic art recognize Munch’s “The Scream”–it’s been endlessly reprinted, and that replication began with Munch himself. That aspect of the Norwegian artist surely appealed to Warhol, who probably felt a kindred spirit, allowing him to bring his patented appropriation-and-reimagining aesthetic to well-known works that in their new Warhol versions would no doubt have wide appeal. The WARHOL AFTER MUNCH book explains the repetition with variation, re-coloring, etc. that Munch himself did later in his career with his earlier images (he even wondered if he had done too much of that and if he was cheapening the value of his work by doing it, but then remembered how the technique was spreading his work and fame far and wide), in detail, and it’s uncanny how such practices foreshadow Warhol’s technique.

denmark-2010

Warhol chose four images from Munch–“Madonna,” “The Brooch, Eva Mudocci,” “The Scream,” and “Self-Portrait” (themselves from lithographs), with “Madonna” and “Self-Portrait” being combined by Warhol into one image. According to Patricia G. Berman, “Warhol painted fifteen versions of Munch’s printed motifs onto canvas, and he produced upwards of thirty trial proofs of graphic versions (it is not altogether clear how many were printed). The prints were never issued as an edition.” The Louisiana book includes SIXTEEN Warhol variations on the Madonna/Self-Portrait image, multiple versions of the others, close-up visual analyses of Warhol’s technique in producing the images, an analysis of the color schemes used in the works, etc. With the exhaustive coverage of Munch’s variations on the images, and then Warhol’s variations on Munch’s variations, the readers can get a feeling of dizziness  and feel like they are looking at a slightly-warped mirror image of another slightly-warped mirror image of another slightly-warped mirror image, all illuminated by colored stage lighting that switches randomly every five seconds.

Andy-Warhol-Eva-Mudocci-After-Munch-1984.-©-Haugar-Vestfold-Kunstmuseum

It’s a unique sensation, and the works themselves are intoxicating via the large and crisp reproductions found in these two books. And let’s not forget the deep and insightful commentaries from a number of disciplines and perspectives found in both books.

Andy-Warhol-Foundation-for-the-Visual-Arts-Photo-Sparebankstiftelsen-DNB

Both books are highly recommended. For those who do not feel like buying art books, all  you need to do is Google the names MUNCH/WARHOL, and you can see many of the images online, a number of them in resolutions high enough that you can close-up on sections of the pieces for study.

Below you can find links to two articles related to exhibitions of the Warhol/Munch prints, which can provide you enough background and basic info to provide the flavor of the project…and perhaps inspire you to dig deeper.

Lux Magazine on the Oslo Exhibition at the Munch Museum

Hyperallergic on Munch and Warhol an Unlikely Pair

Also, you’ll want to read a definitive piece on the backstory and the genesis of the series in this piece accompanying the sale of some of the prints at Christie’s (I quoted extensively from this above).

Christies sale of Warhol After Munch prints

Warhol and Munch continue to work their magic in new century through both their bodies of works and their techniques that open doors which today’s aestheticians desire to walk through and raise questions that today’s art audience want to ponder. Their interaction through this series of works is something that many reading this will find quite worthwhile, providing a lot of food for thought….and beautiful, haunting pieces to enjoy.

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