Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Col. Parker - Rock 'N' Roll Music (2001)

Gilby Clarke doesn't need any introduction. With a curriculum that includes Guns n Roses, Candy, Slash Snakepit, Nancy Sinatra and more recently Rock Star Supernova, Clarke easily qualifies as a guitar hero. Slim Jim Phantom was the Stray Cats drummer the seminal neo rockabilly band that spearheaded the movement of the same name in the early 80s. Slim Jim also counts on his profile with the band The Head Cat, where he and Lemmy played covers from 50s songs.

If you are into classic rock without the over the top, demented productions of the 70s, this album is a must. Even when Clarke and Slim Jim embark in a dangerous version of Janis Joplin's Mercedes Benz (a song that should be left well alone as far as most musicians are concerned) they don't disappoint too much . Don't expect anything innovative on this album but then again neither of these two do innovative and are still responsible for a lot of good rock and roll from the last 20 years.

Track listing
1. Dropping Out

2. Can't Get That Stuff
3. Harmony
4. All the Kings Horses
5. Blink of an Eye

6. Mother Mary's Son
7. Angel's Run
8. Pills
9. Mercedes Benz
10. Pushing 40 Blooze

11. Down Home Cookin'
12. Lord Only Knows

Produced by: Gilby Clarke

Col. Parker are:

Gilby Clarke (vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin)
Slim Jim Phantom (Jews harp, drums,percussion, background vocals)
Muddy Stardust (vocals, dobro, bass)
Teddy Zigzag (piano, Wurlitzer piano, Hammond organ)

Additional personnel:
Traci Guns (guitar)
Jeff Baxter (pedal steel guitar)
Chris Mostert (baritone saxophone)
Roberta Freeman, Stefan Adika (background vocals)

Saturday, 21 June 2008

The Bellrays

Here is the last two albums from The Bellrays. This band won't stop spinning in my head and on my ITunes.

An amazingly original band with these two works climbing fast in my list of all time favourites albums but don't take my word for it, check 'em yourself. Though if you can't imagine an incredible tight blues/garage band with an Aretha Franklin type of singer commanding the operations of this intrusion into the soul territory (without any cheese in sight) you might be in for a surprise.

The Bellrays - Have a Little Faith (2006)

The Bellrays - Hard, Sweet and Sticky (2008)

Friday, 16 May 2008

Album List 1972 - Uriah Heep & Deep Purple

This is the fourth Uriah Heep album, although the first with what could be considered their ultimate line up. Ken Hensley/keyboards, Mick Box/guitar, David Byron/vocals, Le Kerslake/drums and Gary Thain/bass. Thain died in '75 and Byron in '80, put an end to their classic line up. But on this album they delivered The Wizard, considered by some their supreme acoustic number, and Easy Livin' a fantastic driving track - which I'm sure caused a few accidents worldwide!

'Circle of Hands' is an excellent track which has a signature keyboard intro, all the other tracks on this album are equally inspiring, 'Traveller in Time' shows their more progressive side, though with a violent and aggressive start. 'Poet's Justice' with a great vocal/drum intro, where the bass of Gary Thain is absolutely unique. An all-round great album worthy of being included in this list.

Uriah Heep - Demons And Wizards (1972)

1. The Wizard
2. Traveller in Time
3. Easy Livin'
4. Poet's Justice
5. Circle of Hands
6. Rainbow Demon
7. All My Life
8. Paradise
9. The Spell
10. Why (Single Version - Bonus Track)
11. Why (Extended Version - Bonus Track)
12. Home Again To You (Demo)


Deep Purple - Machine Head Live ~
recorded January 3, 1972 at the band's Copenhagen show. 9 songs including "Highway Star," "Strange Kind of Woman," "Child in Time," "Space Truckin'," "Fireball," "Black Night" and more.

Sit back... roll a joint... grab a beer... relax... and enjoy 94 minutes of pure magic!

In 1972 there wasn't much of a change in the musical panorama, but who needs change when you have the likes of Led Zeppelin and Sabbath still in their golden age? This was the year when Deep Purple delivered one of the most classic albums of the classic rock era. This is a band who, without a doubt deserve to be included in this list, and Machine Head is their best album.

Opening with the 'white knuckle ride' of Highway Star, one of the best tracks ever in this genre. Lately covered by Metal Church as a tribute to this great band, and doing justice to the song. Including the most popular air guitar song of all time 'Smoke on the Water' which I'm sure is the tune any guitar player learned first. Add to this the pearls that are 'Lazy' and 'Space Truckin' and you have one of the best classic rock albums of the early seventies.

Machine Head - Deep Purple (1972)

1. "Highway Star" – 6:05
2. "Maybe I'm a Leo" – 4:51
3. "Pictures of Home" – 5:03
4. "Never Before" – 3:56
5. "Smoke on the Water" – 5:40
6. "Lazy" – 7:19
7. "Space Truckin'" – 4:31


Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Album List 1971, The Who, Led Zeppelin

This album from 1971 shows The Who at the top of their game. Roger Daltrey's voice has clearly evolved from their earlier work, and with the collective contributions of Moon, Townshend and Entwhistle, they laid the foundations for many generations to come. Classics like the progressive sounding Baba O'Riley and mournful power ballad Behind Blue Eyes (which was mandatory in their set lists) and most of all the riot-inciting Won't Get Fooled Again which reached number 9 in the UK Charts and #15 in the US.

A definitive album that marks the beginning of a new decade of rock, respectful of it's roots but looking forward and eager to reach new heights. The Who are one of those bands that spontaneously gather a hardcore following of dedicated fans normally only reserved for cult bands who move in more underground circles.

The Who and their fans with the mod movement were responsible for a lot of exceptional music and mirror-clad Lambrettas around the seaside resorts at the weekends during the sixties and seventies. Also of their own making was the reclaiming of icons like the Union Jack at that time deeply rooted within the establishment and extremely unfashionable. Just for these reasons alone The Who would deserve a place on this list, never mind the fact that this album is the dogs bollocks. How many more bands can claim to have started a youth movement single handed? Surely not many, and the number is even slimmer if we expect those bands to have members recognised by their peers as some of the best in the world ever, as it was the case of Keith Moon.

The only bad thing to come out of this album was the cover version of Behind Blue Eyes from Limp Bizkit. It was such a bad taste joke, as I refuse to think for a second that a band of such limited capabilities done the version in good faith, expecting to improve it, thinking that perhaps they had something to add to a song of itself so close to perfect. I suffered with excruciating pain during the first and only audition. It took me ages to recover, being only possible with successive non stop top volume sessions of the original, thank god for the repeat button in these modern contraptions.

Who's Next - The Who (1971)

1 - Baba O'Riley
2 - Bargain

3 - Love Ain't For Keeping

4 - My Wife

5 - The Song Is Over

6 - Getting In Tune

7 - Going Mobile
8 - Behind Blue Eyes

9 - Won't Get Fooled Again


What else can Confessions of a Vagabond say about Led Zeppelin IV that wasn't said many times before by people far more qualified then us, humble scribes at your orders?!? Nonetheless we face the ordeal with a smile on our lips as only an opening track like Black Dog could manage, the smile broadens even more as soon as Rock and Roll follows. The two opening tracks would guarantee the entrance of this album in any sort of list, let alone in one made by people who grew up thinking of Jimmy Page as the ultimate guitar virtuoso and John Bonham as the perfect drinking mate.

So we establish the first two tracks are quite something, what to say when we know that the next two tracks are Battle of Evermore and Stairway to Heaven. If the ideas for this review seem to pale in comparison to the larger than life side A of this album. Oops! You never owned the original album on vinyl? Maybe you only have it on cd, we are old farts here, and apologise for the assumption that you ever owned a copy of one of the best rock and roll albums of all time. But, we have news for you - this album due to the law of physics also had a side B, which by sheer luck or ingenuity and originality of Led Zeppelin contained a none less celebrated Misty Mountain Hop and Going To California plus another two tracks which we won't bother you with the names for two simple reasons - if you are as old as us... you already know their names. If you are younger, you are not used to so much quality in one album alone.

Go and see for yourself, enough said. And please be assured we are not patronising you... this album is. What else do you expect when your generation produced only Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, and your only good musicians are rip-offs from the past, i.e Amy Winehouse and Jack White.

Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin (1971)

1. Black Dog
2. Rock & Roll
3. The Battle of Evermore
4. Stairway to Heaven
5. Misty Mountain Hop
6. Four Sticks
7. Going to California
8. When the Levee Breaks

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Album List, Led Zep, Black Sabbath,1970

Lets start this list of our favourite albums of each year since 1970/71 the years when me, this humble Vagabond here present and GreenEyedPixie were born, respectively..
It won't be an easy task to decide which albums are to represent each year. Hopefully we'll be able to pick not the most acclaimed by the specialized critics but the ones we liked the most, the more emblematic and perhaps original, also the more influential for future generations.
Influential but not in the vast sense of the musical landscape, here we are only concerned with most sorts of Metal, Punk Rock and all the derivatives like Hardcore and Stoner Rock.
Don't expect many mainstream albums, though some will figure on this list due to their exceptional quality but also due to their importance and impact to certain youth movements started since 1970, i.e Heavy Metal, Punk Rock and New Wave.

With no further delay let's kickstart this sonic onslaught from what your record collection will never recover.

The first choice of 1970 is without a shadow of a doubt the biggest and most original band to grace the stadiums of this planet, too small for such talent, they deserved not world tours but Milky Way tours where they could land their now remastered Mothership, letting loose John Bonham ready to beat the natives into submission with what was thought to be drumsticks but after much research we are convinced that were hammers from the Rock Gods that once also spawned Page and his hypnotic axe shaped weapon and Plant with his banshee like qualities.

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III (1970)

  1. “Immigrant Song” (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 2:25
  2. “Friends” (Page, Plant) – 3:54
  3. “Celebration Day” (Page, Plant, John Paul Jones) – 3:29
  4. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (Page, Plant, Jones) – 7:23
  5. “Out on the Tiles” (Page, Plant, John Bonham) – 4:08
  6. Gallows Pole” (trad. arr. Page, Plant) – 4:58
  7. “Tangerine” (Page) – 3:12
  8. “That’s the Way” (Page, Plant) – 5:39
  9. “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” (Page, Plant, Jones) – 4:18
  10. “Hats Off to (Roy) Harper” (traditional) – 3:42


Formed in 1968 with the name Earth and after successive changes in the bands line up, Black Sabbath finally delivered their self titled first album in 1970.
Here in Confessions of a Vagabond we believe that in the near future little children will learn the classic formation of this seminal band in the classrooms and will be able to say in chorus and with their angel voices: Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Terence "Geezer" Butler (bass guitar), and Bill Ward (drums & percussion)
Hopefully it will be also the same near future where talent shows were eradicated from public memory and Sharon Osbourne, 92 but still job hunting offers to fight in the public arena anyone that talks about her family. Bitch fights substitutes talent shows, we're all for that, brother!
But in 1970/71 before the Osbourne's were turned into the favourite pets of the MTV generation, before all the gold and platinum records and before countless bands cloned the Sabbath trade mark sound which was in part due to a work related accident suffered by Toni Iommi, which left him with the tips of the fingers on his left hand shorter, but capable of a unique sound.
To that macabre incident the band added lyrics about the occult and witchcraft though the dark side didn't help when in January 1970 the single "Evil Woman" failed to chart in the U.K.
Sabbath were then given two days to record their debut album, Iommi remembers:
"We thought 'We have two days to do it and one of the days is mixing.' So we played live. Ozzy was singing at the same time, we just put him in a separate booth and off we went. We never had a second run of most of the stuff."

The self titled album came out in the U.K on Friday the 13th February 1970. The album reached number 8 in the UK, and following its US release in May 1970 by Warner Bros Records got to 23rd place of the Billboard 200, where it remained for a year selling millions of copies.
Sabbath were young but obviously not daft as the got into the studio in order to milk their commercial success in the States. Next album was Paranoid originally meant to be called War Pigs, a critic to the Vietnam War but fearing repercussions from the American fascists the title was changed to Paranoid (no pun intended, we assume at Confessions of a Vagabond).
Paranoid the single came out in September in the U.K. and reached number 4 this time with help from the legions of doom at the service of Satan and countless subliminal messages about their love from the Prince of Darkness, we were told by an American church goer with the important role of Reverend in his community. The unknown but well informed Rev.Bubba Ray Cletus III.

Paranoid the album came out in October and reached number 1 in the U.K but was upheld in the U.S till January 1971 due to their first album still being in the charts.
Again more evidence of foul play by the Devil worshippers a.k.a. Black Sabbath is still being uncovered by Rev. Bubba Ray Cletus III who now lives in semi hiding at his hometown in West Virginia, where he married his cousin. Rev Cletus III wants to know how it was possible to Black Sabbath were awarded a Grammy for Iron Man 30 years after the song came out...

*All data from Wikipedia (except the parts concerning Rev. Cletus III).

Black Sabbath ~ Black Sabbath

1. Black Sabbath
2. The Wizard
3. Behind the Wall of Sleep
4. N.I.B.
5. Evil Woman
6. Sleeping Village
7. Warning

Black Sabbath ~ Paranoid

1 Luke's Wall/War Pigs (7:55) *
2 Paranoid (2:47)
3 Planet Caravan (4:24)

4 Iron Man (5:53)
5 Electric Funeral (4:47)
6 Hand of Doom (7:07)

7 Rat Salad (2:29)

8 Fairies Wear Boots/Jack the Stripper (6:13)

Friday, 11 April 2008

Goblin Defense

Goblin Defense is a free online game, there for the taking with millions of ugly Goblins and other variations from the original Tolkien universe.
The game creators don't claim to have been inspired by LOTR, but who would expect them to do so ?

Don't let such issues bother you, leave that to the lawyers of this world, instead why don't you sharpen up your arrows and with bow in hand prepare yourself for a bloodbath.

Show no mercy to your enemies and wash your screen with the fresh red juice that pops out of those dead Goblins. Do Middle Earth a favour and kill 'em all.
Let out the Legolas in you and enjoy this wicked game.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Venom The Singles 80-86

Now this is a classic if i ever seen or heard one. Formed in 1979 in Newcastle after meeting at a Judas Priest show Venom are the band that connected Heavy Metal with all the sub genres we know and love today. In fact I believe that without such seminal works as Welcome to Hell (1981) or Black Metal (1982) even bands like Metallica would have a much harder time to affirm themselves in the international scene as they did after Kill 'em All (1983)

In this "best of" Cronos, Mantas and Abadon left all the other contemporary bands miles behind with a collection of previous works ideal for the first time listener.

Larger than life immediate hits like "In League With Satan", "Bloodlust","Die Hard", "Bursting Out" and my favourite "Lady Lust" are all you need to make a party of depressed gothics, near suicidal emos (if you are unlucky enough to know them) and old school heavy metal kids with the odd punk in their mist to raise into a frenetic and spastic satanical adoration right in your living room. End the session with "Manitou"
and not even your American Native friends will feel left out.

Thanks to the original uploader