The Epic 2017 Project #167: 160616
Mahogany Rush – What’s Next (1980)
Francesco Antonio “Frank” Marino (born November 20, 1954) is an Italian Canadian guitarist, leader of Canadian hard rock band Mahogany Rush. Often compared to Jimi Hendrix, he is acknowledged as one of the best and most underrated guitarists of the 1970s.
Mahogany Rush had its peak of popularity in the 1970s, playing such venues as California Jam II together with bands including Aerosmith, Ted Nugent and Heart.
Best known for Marino’s soaring lead guitar, long term members of the band include bassist Paul Harwood and drummer Jimmy Ayoub, and Frank’s brother Vince on guitar. Frank Marino, though, is the sole continuous member of the band.
What’s Next was their fifth studio album, released in 1980 under Columbia Records.The bonus live tracks on the CD edition were recorded in Salinas, California, during the Juggernaut tour of 1983.
The Epic 2017 Project #166: 170615
Lynryd Skyryd – One more from the road (1976)
One More from the Road (Styled as “One More For From The Road”) was the band’s first live album. A double and a double gatefold, it’s the only live album from the “classic” era of the band (1970–1977) prior to the plane crash that killed lead singer/songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, as well as band members Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines. The album was released in September 1976. It was certified gold on October 26, 1976, platinum on December 30, 1976 and 3x platinum on July 21, 1987 by the RIAA.
The original 14 tracks include a cover of Jimmie Rodgers’ “T for Texas” and a 13:30 version of “Free Bird”.
The first CD release (1986) was a single disc missing two tracks, “T For Texas” and “Travelin’ Man”, due to time constraints.
The second CD release (1996) was a two disc set with all 14 songs plus three bonus tracks: “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Gimme Back My Bullets” and “Simple Man”. The two disc set put the tracks in order of the appearance of the original concert.
The Deluxe Edition, released in 2001, is thoroughly remastered and contains additional performances from the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. The bonus tracks are also available separately on a “Rarities Edition”.
The live version of “Sweet Home Alabama” from this album was used as a track on the music rhythm video game “Guitar Hero World Tour.”
Here’s the 12:55 version of Freebird from a 1975 edition of ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ introduced by Whispering Bob Harris. There were tears this morning as I re-lived that long moment, I can tell you!
The Epic 2017 Project #165: 170614
Love Sculpture – Blues Helping (1968)
Love Sculpture were a Welsh blues rock band of the late 1960s, led by Dave Edmunds , plus bassist John David and drummer Rob ‘Congo’ Jones, their debut album ‘Blues Helping’ was released on Parlophone Records in December 1968
Based in Cardiff, Love Sculpture disbanded in 1970, although Edmunds went on to enjoy solo success in the 1970s. Here’s the rather excellent final track (and name-giver) of the debut album.
The Epic 2017 Project #164: 170613
Little Feat – Time loves a hero (1977)
Little Feat was formed by singer-songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist Lowell George and keyboardist Bill Payne in 1969 in Los Angeles. George disbanded the group due to creative differences in 1979, shortly before his death. Surviving members reformed Little Feat in 1987, remaining intermittently active to the present
‘Time loves a hero’ was their sixth studio album and the last to be released before Lowell’s passing.
The Epic 2017 Project #163: 170612
Leftfield – Leftism (1995)
Three anecdotes about this album. First anecdote – we caught the band on the first leg of the Leftism tour in Brighton on the year of its release. Two things about that gig; (1) it started at 02:00 in the morning – after the preceding three hour DJ set! and (2) when the bass hit it you – it hit you! It was a tangible thing – like a pressure wave. First (and to be honest) only time I’ve experienced that. Second anecdote – the band have just this year released a remastered version of Leftism as a double album; Leftism in all its remastered glory and Leftism as done by a host of respected other artistes and DJs including Quiet Village, Ben Sims, Dungeon Meat and Skream. I have both the original and the new one of course. Third anecdote – for around 11 years from the late 1990’s I played in a South Coast based samba band called Beach Bateria. Amongst our repertoire was a number called ‘Song of Life’ which was loosely based around the rhythm part of the Leftfield song and a sample I’d taken (and embellished) from the track.
Leftism, the first studio album from Paul Daley and Neil Barnes aka Leftfield was first released in January 1995 on Columbia Records. It contained a mixture of new tracks along with reworked versions of previous Leftfield singles together with guest spots from musicians not associated with dance music at the time such as John Lydon from Public Image Ltd. (and formerly of Sex Pistols) and Toni Halliday from Curve.
The Epic 2017 Project #162: 170611
Jonny Lang – Lie to me (1997)
Growing up on his father’s farm near Casselton, North Dakota, Lang absorbed his parents’ record collection, stocked with Motown, Otis Redding and Steely Dan. He was 12 when his dad brought him to a gig by the Bad Medicine Blues Band, and 13 when he gave him his first guitar. Eventually, the band’s guitarist gave Lang lessons, and it wasn’t long before his very obvious talent persuaded the band to take the rather brave step of adding a 14-year old as its frontman.
Renamed ‘Kid Jonny Lang & The Big Bang’, the decision paid off as, another year later A&M Records, then home of Janet Jackson and Soundgarden, spotted him at a showcase in Minneapolis, and he was suddenly the latest in a trend of shockingly young blues-guitar prodigies that included Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Derek Trucks.
Lie to Me is Lang’s second studio album, released on January 28, 1997. It was Lang’s big-label debut, released a day before he turned 16.
The Epic 2017 Project #161: 170610
Lindisfarne – The Legendary Christmas Show (2014)
This is my signed copy of the limited edition recording of Lindisfarne’s 2013 Christmas show at Newcastle City Hall. Underneath the CD is a signed copy of the programme for the gig.
I had the privilege of seeing Lindisfarne live back in the day in 1978 and 1979, although sadly not in Newcastle.
However, I have the good fortune now to have a very good friend who not only knows Ray ‘Jacka’ Jackson as a personal friend, but was also asked to write both the sleeve notes for the CD and the intro to the programme.
And, although I wasn’t able to get to the 2013 Christmas show, here’s an extract from the CD sleeve notes penned by Kevin Lindoe, which sum up what it really was always all about…
In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s the Lindisfarne Christmas shows at Newcastle City Hall became the stuff of legend in the North East of England. People came from all over the world to attend the shows and to see a band performing to capacity audiences on their home ground inside one of the most beautiful civic concert halls in the UK. The words ‘Lindisfarne’, ‘Christmas’ and ‘Show’ became synonymous with each other in an astonishing way. Almost everyone in the North East of England was aware of the shows taking place, even if they were not attending themselves. They truly became a North East cultural phenomenon and established themselves in modern folklore
There are so many Lindisfarne tracks which do admirable justice to the band and their musical prowess but ‘Fog on the Tyne’ has to be one of the best.