Monday 21 February 2011

News, Views and Music Issue 92 (Top Five): AAA albums still waiting to be released on CD

And so ends our 200th issue. Will we make it to a 1000? To 300? Or struggle to get to 210?! Who knows. Another thing we don’t know is whether the few remaining gems in the AAA canon yet to have a CD release will get one by the time we reach the end of our journey. I’ve been dying to review some of the rarer and greater albums out there but I’m aware that the reader will have trouble finding some of them (not that that’s stopped me on a couple of albums that are just too great not to tell you about!) So here are the five albums that we’d most like to see on CD as of 2011 and article 200 – we’ll update you nearer the end of our lifespan to tell you if we ever managed to achieve a release for these forgotten gems!

5) Davy Jones “Davy Jones” (1966): Before Davy was in The Monkees the Colgems subsidiary label released their own self-titled album of the Mancunian who they were already grooming for stardom. Without much publicity and a retro 1950s sound completely out of step with the middle of the 1960s, it bombed completely but the single I own is impressive in a kind of cutesy teenybopper kind of way and I’m sure there’d be enough of a Monkees following to pay back the costs of re-issuing this set. You can see the album cover in the Monkees TV episode ‘Monkees at the Movies’ where the quartet are trying to fool a film producer that Davy is a ‘star’ – no wonder the band manage to put a mock-up album together so fast, seeing as it was a year old at the time of shooting! The same goes for later Monkees releases such as, well, ‘Release’, Peter Tork’s post-Monkees band who recorded an album in the early 70s that never came out and Micky Dolenz’s few post-Monkees releases (especially his album of duets with his sister Coco, ‘Micky Dolenz Puts You To Sleep!’) Mike Nesmith’s ‘Tropical Campfires’ wasn’t exactly available for long either.

4) The Beatles “Live At The Hollywood Bowl” (recorded 1964 and 1965, released 1977): When I tell people that a top 10 Beatles album has still never appeared on CD they think I’m monkeynuts or lying – not true, even if this live concert amalgam isn’t exactly a Beatles-promoted release. EMI were quite desperate for money in the late 1970s – some things never change – and instructed George Martin to have a go at salvaging the only officially recorded Beatles concert. After years of telling a sceptical press ‘the recording was so bad we couldn’t possibly use it’, George Martin was forced to do just that, remixing the album to take out some of the louder screams and sticking two concerts haphazardly together (both shows sound much better when heard complete I have to say, especially the later 1965 one when Lennon especially is on cracking form). Amazingly, despite all the fuss we have every few Beatles when the band/label start on a re-issue frenzy (2009’s remastered set and rockband game, 2004’s ‘Love’ 1995-6’s ‘Anthology’ and 1993’s ‘Live At The BBC’) the only official Beatles concert still remains absent from our shelves. Strange, especially considering that it was John and George who objected to its release the first time around – and neither Beatle is around to protest anymore. It also makes far more sense as a marketing exercise than the whole Love re-mix project which I still don’t understand, especially now we know EMI were working on the re-mastered albums in their entirety for some time before commissioning that project.

3) Grace Slick “Dreams” (1980): You’d think that the lead singer of a best-selling band with a huge cult following would have all of her fairly strong-selling albums back on catalogue wouldn’t you? But no, the only one of Grace’s albums available is 1973’s ‘Manhole’ and even that disappeared a long time ago (I won’t go into the travesty that’s the Grace Slick compilation ‘Somebody To Love?’ here, which passes over so many great solo tracks for worn out Jefferson songs). 1981’s ‘Welcome To The Wrecking Ball’ and 1985’s ‘Software’ are both pretty rare these days, but rarest of all is possibly the best album Grace was ever on, the largely autobiographical ‘Dreams’. Recorded when Grace had been booted out of the band for her problems with alcoholism this is a mature, consistent and exceptional work (which we’ve already covered in full in ‘news and views’ 39) which deserves pride of place in every Jefferson Airplane/Starship fans’ catalogue. So where the hell is it?! (Starship’s last two albums ‘No Protection’ and ‘Love Among The Cannibals’ are missing on CD too, but we’re not so concerned with that!)

2) Hotlegs aka 10cc “Thinks...School Stinks” a.k.a. “You Didn’t Like It Because You Didn’t Think About It” (1970): The first time the four members of the original 10cc were together on record, this album should be big news – not least because it’s actually a good deal more enjoyable than at least half of the band’s proper releases. And yet ask even some of the band’s biggest fans about it today and they’ll scratch their heads in amazement. We last heard about this album back in 1974 when 10cc were at their sales peak with ‘I’m Not In Love’ – and its never been seen since, except at second hand record fairs and the odd charity shop. Fair enough that it hasn’t been released in some form up till now – the band reportedly aren’t that keen on it and Graham Gouldmann is more of a guest than a fulltime member here. But for goodness sake, this album spawned a #2 hit with ‘Neanderthal Man’ and could have earned its creators quite a few extra royalties at a time when they needed them most (I’m sure fans would rather have had this album on CD than either of the two reunion monstrosities, albums made for money not artistic worth). See ‘news and views no 36’ for more about why this album’s non-appearance is nothing short of a travesty!)

1) Neil Young “Time Fades Away” (1973): His Neilness infamously hated digital technology so much when it came out that he refused to let some of his favourite among his albums out in the new format (a point that’s hardly mentioned here – was he just getting his own back on Stephen Stills, again, the first musician ever to use the technology back in the late 70s?!) Anyway, there always used to be six important Neil Young records you still couldn’t buy till five or so years ago: ‘Journey Through The Past’ ‘On The Beach’ ‘American Stars ‘n’ Bars’ ‘Hawks and Doves’ and ‘Re-Actor’ and this one. The others have all appeared in dribs and drabs over the years since (though ‘Journey’ for one seems to have disappeared almost as soon as it came out), but ‘Time Fades Away’ is still notable by its absence, despite being one of the darker and more important milestones in Neil’s recording career. The first album in Neil’s ‘doom trilogy’, recorded in the aftermath of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten’s overdose death, its also Neil’s first live album, albeit made up of a ragged version of all-new songs with Crosby and Nash singing the most out-of-tune harmonies of their careers. Any album containing Neil’s most revealing track ‘Don’t Be Denied’, the jagged hypnotic ‘Last Dance’ and a whole bunch of yearning piano ballads deserves to be better known, however.

Let’s hope all five of these albums – plus a few others we could name like Moody Blue John Lodge’s ‘Natural Avenue’, Byrd Gene Clark’s ‘Echoes’ and ‘Roadmaster’ and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters’ ‘The Body’ and Rick Wright’s ‘Wet Dream’ and ‘Zee’- all get CD re-issues before we write another 200 articles! See you on article 201!
A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY  Entries 2008-2019
1) Chronic Fatigue songs

2) Songs For The Face Of Bo

3) Credit Crunch Songs

4) Songs For The Autumn

5) National Wombat Week

6) AAA Box Sets

7) Virus Songs

8) Worst AAA-Related DVDs

9) Self-Punctuating Superstar Classics

10) Ways To Know You Have Turned Into A Collector

11) Political Songs

12) Totally Bonkers Concept Albums

13) Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

14) Still Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

15) AAA Existential Questions

16) Releases Of The Year 2008

17) Top AAA Xmas Songs

18) Notable AAA Gigs

19) All things '20' related for our 20th issue

20) Romantic odes for Valentine's Day

21) Hollies B sides

22) 'Other' BBC Session Albums

23) Beach Boys Rarities Still Not Available On CD

24) Songs John, Paul and George wrote for Ringo's solo albums

25) 5 of the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tracks From The Pre-Beatles Era

26) AAA Autobiographies

27) Rolling Stones B-sides

28) Beatles B-Sides

29) The lllloooonnngggeesssttt AAA songs of all time

30) Kinks B-Sides

31) Abandoned CSNY projects 'wasted on the way'

32) Best AAA Rarities and Outtakes Sets

33) News We've Missed While We've Been Away

34) Birthday Songs for our 1st Anniversary

35) Brightest Album Covers

36) Biggest Recorded Arguments

37) Songs About Superheroes

38) AAA TV Networks That Should Exist

39) AAA Woodtsock Moments

40) Top Moments Of The Past Year As Voted For By Readers

41) Music Segues

42) AAA Foreign Language Songs

43) 'Other' Groups In Need Of Re-Mastering

44) The Kinks Preservation Rock Opera - Was It Really About The Forthcoming UK General Election?

45) Mono and Stereo Mixes - Biggest Differences

46) Weirdest Things To Do When A Band Member Leaves

47) Video Clips Exclusive To Youtube (#1)

48) Top AAA Releases Of 2009

49) Songs About Trains

50) Songs about Winter

51) Songs about astrology plus horoscopes for selected AAA members

52) The Worst Five Groups Ever!

53) The Most Over-Rated AAA Albums

54) Top AAA Rarities Exclusive To EPs

55) Random Recent Purchases (#1)

56) AAA Party Political Slogans

57) Songs To Celebrate 'Rock Sunday'

58) Strange But True (?) AAA Ghost Stories

59) AAA Artists In Song

60) Songs About Dogs

61) Sunshiney Songs

62) The AAA Staff Play Their Own Version Of Monoploy/Mornington Crescent!

63) What 'Other' British Invasion DVDs We'd Like To See

64) What We Want To Place In Our AAA Time Capsule

65) AAA Conspiracy Theroies

66) Weirdest Things To Do Before - And After - Becoming A Star

67) Songs To Tweet To

68) Greatest Ever AAA Solos

69) John Lennon Musical Tributes

70) Songs For Halloween

71) Earliest Examples Of Psychedelia

72) Purely Instrumental Albums

73) AAA Utopias

74) AAA Imaginary Bands

75) Unexpected AAA Cover Versions

76) Top Releases of 2010

77) Songs About Snow

78) Predictions For 2011

79) AAA Fugitives

80) AAA Home Towns

81) The Biggest Non-Musical Influences On The 1960s

82) AAA Groups Covering Other AAA Groups

83) Strange Censorship Decisions

84) AAA Albums Still Unreleased on CD

85) Random Recent Purchases (#2)

86) Top AAA Music Videos

87) 30 Day Facebook Music Challenge

88) AAA Documentaries

89) Unfinished and 'Lost' AAA Albums

90) Strangest AAA Album Covers

91) AAA Performers Live From Mars (!)

92) Songs Including The Number '100' for our 100th Issue

93) Most Songs Recorded In A Single Day

94) Most Revealing AAA Interviews

95) Top 10 Pre-Fame Recordings

96) The Shortest And Longest AAA Albums

97) The AAA Allstars Ultimate Band Line-Up

98) Top Songs About Sports

99) AAA Conversations With God

100) AAA Managers: The Good, The Bad and the Financially Ugly

101) Unexpected AAA Cameos

102) AAA Words You can Type Into A Caluclator

103) AAA Court Cases

104) Postmodern Songs About Songwriting

105) Biggest Stylistic Leaps Between Albums

106) 20 Reasons Why Cameron Should Go!

107) The AAA Pun-Filled Cookbook

108) Classic Debut Releases

109) Five Uses Of Bird Sound Effects

110) AAA Classic Youtube Clips Part #1

111) Part #2

112) Part #3

113) AAA Facts You Might Not Know

114) The 20 Rarest AAA Records

115) AAA Instrumental Songs

116) Musical Tarot

117) Christmas Carols

118) Top AAA Releases Of 2011

119) AAA Bands In The Beano/The Dandy

120) Top 20 Guitarists #1

121) #2

122) 'Shorty' Nomination Award Questionairre

123) Top Best-Selling AAA Albums

124) AAA Songs Featuring Bagpipes

125) A (Hopefully) Complete List Of AAA Musicians On Twitter

126) Beatles Albums That Might Have Been 1970-74 and 1980

127) DVD/Computer Games We've Just Invented

128) The AAA Albums With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

129) The AAA Singles With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

130) Lyric Competition (Questions)

131) Top Crooning Classics

132) Funeral Songs

133) AAA Songs For When Your Phone Is On Hold

134) Random Recent Purchases (#3)

135) Lyric Competition (Answers)

136) Bee Gees Songs/AAA Goes Disco!

137) The Best AAA Sleevenotes (And Worst)

138) A Short Precise Of The Years 1962-70

139) More Wacky AAA-Related Films And Their Soundtracks

140) AAA Appearances On Desert Island Discs

141) Songs Exclusive To Live Albums

142) More AAA Songs About Armageddon

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159) A (Not That) Short Guide To The 15 Best Non-AAA Bands

160) The Greatest AAA Drum Solos (Or Near Solos!)

161) AAA Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speeches

162) AAA Re-Recordings Of Past Songs

163) A Coalition Christmas (A Fairy Tale)

164) AAA Songs About Islands

165) The AAA Review Of The Year 2012

166) The Best AAA Concerts I Attended

167) Tributes To The 10 AAA Stars Who Died The Youngest

168) The First 10 AAA Songs Listed Alphabetically

171) The 10 Best Songs From The Psychedelia Box-Sets ‘Nuggets’ and ‘Nuggets Two’

172) The 20 Most Common Girl’s Names In AAA Song Titles (With Definitions) 

180) First Recordings By Future AAA Stars

185) A Tribute To Storm Thorgerson Via The Five AAA Bands He Worked With

188) Surprise! Celebrating 300 Album Reviews With The Biggest 'Surprises' Of The Past Five Years Of Alan's Album Archives!

190) Comparatively Obscure First Compositions By AAA Stars

193) Evolution Of A Band: Comparing First Lyric With Last Lyric:

200) The Monkees In Relation To Postmodernism (University Dissertation)

202) Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain': Was It About One Of The AAA Crew?

217) AAA 'Christmas Presents' we'd most like to have next year

221) Dr Who and the AAA (Five Musical Links)

222) Five Random Recent Purchases

223) AAA Grammy Nominees

224) Ten AAA songs that are better heard unedited and in full

225) The shortest gaps between AAA albums

226) The longest gaps between AAA albums

227) Top ten AAA drummers

228) Top Ten AAA Singles (In Terms of 'A' and 'B' Sides)

229) The Stories Behind Six AAA Logos

230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams

231) An AAA Pack Of Horses

232) AAA Granamas - Sorry, Anagrams!

233) AAA Surnames and Their Meanings

234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles

235) The Best AAA Orchestral Arrangements

236) Top 30 Hilariously Misheard Album Titles/Lyrics

237) Ten controversial AAA sackings - and whether they were right

238) A Critique On Critiquing - In Response To Brian Wilson

239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums

240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo

241) Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/Grateful Dead/Nils Lofgren/Rolling Stones/Hollies) 

242) AAA Christmas Number Ones 

243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles  plus worst releases of the year)

244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015

245) Why The Tory 2015 Victory Seems A Little...Suspicious

246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria

247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015

248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015)

249) The Revised AAA Crossword!

251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry)

252) Guest Post: ‘The Skids – Joy’ (1981) by Kenny Brown

254) Guest Post: ‘Supertramp – Some Things Never Change’ by Kenny Brown

255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018

256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019

257) Tiermaker

258) #Coronastock

259) #Coronadocstock

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