The ’59 2018 #196: 180715
Rory Gallagher – Fresh Evidence (1990)
Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 32 – 1990.
Fresh Evidence, released in May 1990, was Rory Gallagher’s eleventh and last studio album.
The album was unusual in that Gallagher used more additional musicians and spent more time recording than he normally did. Not as unusual, the songs show his love for blues artists such as Robert Johnson and Son House and for other genres like Zydeco and Blue Grass.
Gallagher’s studio albums were often recorded rapidly, in as little as two weeks. This was partly due to time limitations caused by his heavy touring schedule but also because he was always more comfortable in front of a live audience than in the studio. However, Gallagher spent six months recording Fresh Evidence. He described the recording of the album as follows:
It took enough out of us, I can tell you. It took about six months to make, which is quite a long time really. It sounds like relatively simple music, but we were trying to get a good vintage, ethnic sound in the production and everything else. We used a lot of old valve microphones, tape echo, old spring reverbs and things like that, instead of using all the digital equipment.
The ’59 2018 #185: 180704
U2 – Rattle & Hum (1988)
This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 30 – 1988.
Rattle and Hum was the sixth studio album from U2, and a companion rockumentary film directed by Phil Joanou. The album was produced by Jimmy Iovine and was released on 10 October 1988, while the film was distributed by Paramount Pictures and was released on 27 October 1988.
Following the breakthrough success of the band’s previous studio album, “The Joshua Tree”, ‘Rattle and Hum’ captures their continued experiences with American roots music with elements of blues rock, folk rock, and gospel music.
The album is a collection of new studio tracks, live performances, and cover songs, and includes recordings at Sun Studios in Memphis and collaborations with Bob Dylan, B. B. King, and Harlem’s New Voices of Freedom gospel choir.
The ’59 2018 #084: 180325
The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street (1972)
This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 14 – 1972
Exile on Main Street was released on 12 May 1972 on the Rolling Stones Records label. It was the band’s first double album and tenth studio album release. Primarily recorded in a rented villa in Nellcôte, France while the band lived abroad as tax exiles, it’s rooted blues, rock and roll, swing, country, and gospel. The sessions included additional musicians including pianist Nicky Hopkins, saxophonist Bobby Keys, drummer Jimmy Miller, and horn player Jim Price, and were completed at Los Angeles’s Sunset Sound.
A remastered and expanded version of the album was released in Europe on 17 May 2010 and in the United States on 18 May 2010, featuring a bonus disc with 10 new tracks.
The ’59 2018 #077: 180318
Free – Fire & Water (1970)
This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 12 – 1970.
Fire and Water was the third studio album from Free and became the band’s breakthrough hit, reaching No.2 in the UK charts and No.17 in the US.
The album featured the hit single “All Right Now” which the band later played to a crowd of over 600,000 people at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.
To date, Fire & Water is the only Free album to have seen a CD reissue in America.
The ’59 2018 #064: 180305
Big Brother & The Holding Company – Cheap Thrills (1968)
This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 10 – 1968.
Big Brother obtained a considerable amount of attention after their 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, and had released their debut album soon after. The followup, Cheap Thrills, was a great success, reaching number one on the charts for eight nonconsecutive weeks in 1968. Columbia Records offered the band a new recording contract, but it took months to get through since they were still signed to Mainstream Records. The album features three cover songs (“Summertime”, “Piece of My Heart” and “Ball and Chain”). It was the last Big Brother album to feature Janis Joplin as its lead singer.
The cover was drawn by underground cartoonist Robert Crumb after the band’s original cover idea, a photo of the group naked in bed together, was vetoed by Columbia Records. Crumb had originally intended his art for the LP back cover, with a portrait of Janis Joplin to grace the front. But Joplin — an avid fan of underground comics, especially the work of Crumb — so loved the Cheap Thrills illustration that she demanded Columbia place it on the front cover. It is number nine on Rolling Stone’s list of one hundred greatest album covers. Crumb later authorized the sale of prints of the cover, some of which he signed before sale.
The ’59 2018 #50: 180219
John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (with Eric Clapton) [aka ‘The Beano Album’] (1966)
This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 8 – 1966.
Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (a.k.a. The Beano Album) is a 1966 blues/blues rock album recorded by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton as part of the band. It is the second album credited to John Mayall after the live John Mayall Plays John Mayall. Clapton left to form Cream after this recording, though would team up again in 1971 for the double LP Back to the Roots.
It is also known as The Beano Album (for obvious reasons from the cover photo). Clapton stated in his autobiography that he was reading The Beano on the cover because he felt like being “uncooperative” during the photo shoot.The photographer was Derek Wedgbury and the location was near the Old Kent Road in London.
“The ’59” 2018 #024: 180124
Booker T & the MGs – Green Onions (1962)
Green Onions was the debut album from Booker T. & the M.G.s, released on Stax Records in October 1962. It reached number 33 on the pop album chart in the month of its release. The title single had been a hit worldwide and has since been covered by dozens of artists, including the Blues Brothers and Roy Buchanan (both with Steve Cropper on guitars), as well as The Ventures, Al Kooper, The Shadows, Mongo Santamaría and Count Basie.
Three previous Stax LPs – two by the Mar-Keys, one by Carla Thomas – had been issued on Atlantic Records. Green Onions was the first album released on the Stax label. It was also Stax’s first charting album. It features only instrumental songs and features Steve Cropper playing a Fender Telecaster.
The album was included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.