Journey – Escape [Blu-Spec CD2 Remaster 2017] (1981) [CD FLAC]

Journey - Escape [Blu-Spec CD2 Remaster 2017] (1981) [CD FLAC] Download

Artist: Journey
Album: Escape [Blu-Spec CD2 Remaster 2017]
Genre: Rock
Year: 1981
Size: ~ 595 mb
Source: CD
Format: FLAC (tracks + .cue)
Quality: lossless
Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz / 16 Bit

Description:

Journey is releasing the 35th anniversary deluxe edition of “Escape” on January 18, 2017.

This Japanese original set consists of 3 discs. Disc 1 (Blu-spec CD2) includes the original tracks with bonus one(s). Features DSD remastering, using the original analog master tapes. Both Disc 2 (Blu-spec CD2) and 3 (DVD) feature a concert held in Houston.

This set includes the followings: four 7-inch-vinyl-sized cardboard sleeve cover artworks, a mini-reproduction of a pamphlet for the 1982 Escape tour in Japan, a mini-reproduction of a flyer for a 1982 concert at Nippon Budokan, and a mini-reproduction of a ticket for a 1982 concert at Nippon Budokan.

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John Mellencamp – Sad Clowns & Hillbillies (2017) [WEB FLAC]

John Mellencamp - Sad Clowns & Hillbillies (2017) [WEB FLAC] Download

Artist: John Mellencamp
Album: Sad Clowns & Hillbillies
Genre: Rock
Year: 2017
Size: ~ 330 mb
Source: Digital Download
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Quality: lossless
Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz / 16 Bit

Description:

On April 28th, Heartland rocker John Mellencamp will release his 23rd full-length album, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies featuring Carlene Carter, the daughter of June Carter Cash and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, on Republic Records. Sad Clowns & Hillbillies returns Mellencamp to the musical eclecticism that is, itself, a reflection of his wide-ranging musings on life. John Mellencamp is an authentic voice of American music and master storyteller with a commitment to creating traditional rock & roll, bittersweet songs of happiness and melancholia, and fervent political dissent. His passions and experiences resonate beautifully in this showcase of his music. Sad Clowns & Hillbillies is produced by John Mellencamp.

Mellencamp s new single is Grandview featuring Country music star Martina McBride. He released the track, Easy Target in January as a continuation of Mellencamp s journey to convey the truth through this passionate and plain-spoken song. The video’s release occurred on the eve of the inauguration. The song focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement as well as gun violence in America. Fans who pre-order Sad Clowns & Hillbillies will get an instant download of Grandview and Easy Target.

This summer, Mellencamp will tour for 22 stops across North America for his all-new Sad Clowns & Hillbillies tour kicking off on June 5th in Denver, Colorado with special guests, Emmylou Harris, tour-mate Carlene Carter and Lily & Madeleine.

Sad Clowns and Hillbillies is the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer s follow up to 2014 s critically-acclaimed, Plain Spoken, Mellencamp s fourth consecutive Top 20 album, dating back to 2007 s Freedom Road.

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Jimmy Page – Albums Collection (1968-2011) [FLAC]

Jimmy Page - Albums Collection (1968-2011) [FLAC] Download

Artist: Jimmy Page
Album: Albums Collection
Genre: Rock
Year: 1968-2011
Size: ~ 10 gb
Source: CDs
Format: FLAC, APE, WavPack (tracks/image + .cue)
Quality: lossless
Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz / 16 Bit

Description:

Unquestionably one of the all-time most influential, important, and versatile guitarists and songwriters in rock history is Jimmy Page. Just about every rock guitarist from the late ’60s/early ’70s to the present day has been influenced by Page’s work with Led Zeppelin — his monolithic riffs served as a blueprint for what would eventually become heavy metal, yet he refused to be pigeonholed to any single musical style (touching upon folk, country, funk, blues, and other genres). Page also lent a hand in writing (or co-writing) Zeppelin’s vast array of classic songs and produced all their albums. Born on January 9, 1944, in Heston, Middlesex, England, Page picked up the guitar at age 13 after being inspired by the Elvis Presley tune “Baby Let’s Play House,” and while he took several lessons, was mostly self-taught. Instead of attending college right after high school, Page decided to join his first real rock band, Neil Christian & the Crusaders, whom he toured England with. But Page fell seriously ill (with glandular fever) and was forced to quit and recuperate. Dejected, Page pondered giving up music and focusing on another interest, painting, as he enrolled at an art college in Sutton, Surrey.

With the emergence of such bands as the Rolling Stones in the early ’60s and their gritty blues-rock, Page’s interest in music perked up once again — but instead of forming a band right away, he decided to hone his craft by becoming one of England’s top session guitarists and producers. Although the exact specifics of which sessions he was involved with have become hazy over time, it’s confirmed that he worked with many of the day’s top acts, including the Who, Them, Donovan, the Kinks, and the Rolling Stones, among others. By 1966, Page was looking to put his session work on hold and join a full-time band; he accepted an offer to play with the Yardbirds (initially as a bassist, then shortly thereafter as a guitarist), as he was paired up with another one of rock’s all-time guitar greats, Jeff Beck. Although the Yardbirds began as a straight-ahead blues-rock band, with the inclusion of Page in the lineup, the group began experimenting with psychedelic and hard rock styles.

Little Games Despite it being obvious that the Yardbirds were on the downside of their career (Beck left shortly after Page came onboard), Page appeared on the album Little Games and several tours before the band finally called it a day in 1968. With a string of tour dates still set up throughout Europe, Page decided to go through with the shows and put together a new band that was dubbed the New Yardbirds — including longtime session bassist John Paul Jones, plus newcomers Robert Plant on vocals and John Bonham on drums. After the completion of their initial tour, the band changed its name to Led Zeppelin and explored the still largely uncharted territory of hard rock/heavy metal. The band immediately became one of rock’s most successful and enduring bands, issuing a string of classic albums from 1969 through 1975 — Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin III, Led Zeppelin IV, Houses of the Holy, and Physical Graffiti — which spawned such classic rock radio standards as “Dazed and Confused,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “Immigrant Song,” “Black Dog,” “Stairway to Heaven,” and “Kashmir,” as the band also became a must-see live act in the process. Page also found the time to work with folk artist Roy Harper (most notably his 1971 release, Stormcock, under the alias S. Flavius Mercurius). Zeppelin was arguably the biggest rock band in the world by the mid-’70s (their influence on other rock bands following in their wake cannot be stressed enough) as they launched their own record company, Swan Song, but it was around this time that Page began dabbling with heroin and other substances, eventually leading to him becoming a full-blown addict by the late ’70s/early ’80s (as a result, his playing began to suffer). Also, Page’s interest in the occult became a concern to those around him (he went as far as purchasing a mansion on the Loch Ness in Scotland that was once owned by renowned Satanist Aleister Crowley).
The Song Remains the SameZeppelin continued issuing albums until the dawn of the ’80s (1976’s concert movie/soundtrack The Song Remains the Same and Presence, 1979’s In Through the Out Door), but tragedy ultimately derailed the quartet — the death of Plant’s young son in 1977 and Bonham’s alcohol-related death in 1980. After Led Zeppelin decided to call it quits in late 1980, Page disappeared from sight (it became known later on that he hardly touched his instrument for a long time afterward). It wasn’t until 1982 that Page began to emerge from his self-imposed exile, as he composed and played on the motion picture soundtrack to Death Wish III, compiled the Zeppelin outtakes collection Coda, and took part in the 1983 star-studded A.R.M.S. tour, which saw Page unite with Beck and Eric Clapton for a series of shows that raised money for multiple sclerosis research. In 1984, Page guested alongside Plant, Beck, and Nile Rodgers on the hit EP of rock & roll oldies The Honeydrippers, and formed his first band since the demise of Zeppelin, dubbed the Firm. The group featured former Free/Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers, and despite the fact that their self-titled debut was a sizable hit, the band decided to call it a day shortly after the release of its lukewarm-received sophomore effort, Mean Business.
Now & ZenLed Zeppelin fans were given a rare treat when Zeppelin’s surviving three members reunited (with drummers Tony Thompson and Phil Collins) for the mammoth Live Aid at Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium in July 1985 — unfortunately handing in an incredibly under-rehearsed, sloppy performance. Zeppelin reunited again in 1988 for the Atlantic Records 25th anniversary concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden (this time Bonham’s son, Jason, filled in for his late father behind the kit), and yet again performed another mistake-filled mini set. The same year Page guested on Plant’s solo release Now & Zen, as well as issuing his first ever solo recording, Outrider, following it up with a tour that touched upon tracks from all eras of his career. By the early ’90s, further rumors of an impending Zeppelin reunion continued to circulate, and after Plant declined an invitation from Page to join forces once again, Page decided to collaborate with former Deep Purple/Whitesnake vocalist David Coverdale, whose vocal style was often compared to Plant’s over the years. Page’s latest project only lasted a single album, 1993’s heavily Zep-like Coverdale/Page, as a proposed world tour was scrapped in favor of just a few select dates in Japan.
No Quarter In 1994, Plant and Page finally agreed to collaborate once again (although Jones wasn’t invited this time), leading to the release of the acoustic set No Quarter the same year, plus a highly popular MTV Unplugged special and sold-out world tour. A year later, Led Zeppelin were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, this being the second time a Page-related band got the nod from the Hall (in 1992, the Yardbirds were honored). The year 1998 saw Plant and Page issue an album of all-new material, Walking into Clarksdale, which was surprisingly not well received by the public, sinking from sight shortly after its release. The duo went their separate ways by the late ’90s, as Page joined the Black Crowes for a tour and live album (2000’s Live at the Greek). The same year as the album’s release, another Crowes/Page tour was cut short due to a back injury Page suffered. But in June of 2001, Page took to the concert stage alongside Plant to celebrate the 60th birthday of Roy Harper.
In 2005 Page was appointed Office of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his charity work, and the following year he was inducted, along with the rest of Led Zeppelin, into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame. A one-off charity concert with all of the surviving Led Zeppelin members, with Jason Bonham on drums, occurred in 2007 at the O2 Arena in London, and in 2008 Page appeared in and co-produced the guitar documentary It Might Get Loud, which focused on the careers and playing styles of Page, Jack White, and U2’s the Edge. In 2012 Page, Plant, and Jones received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony amidst rumors circulating about a possible Led Zeppelin reunion in anticipation of the forthcoming deluxe reissues of the band’s first three studio albums. By 2014 those rumors had mostly abated, and Page announced that he was going to put together a band and tour as a solo act for the first time since 1988. – Artist Biography by Greg Prato

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Steely Dan – Albums Collection (1972-2003) [FLAC]

Steely Dan - Albums Collection (1972-2003) [FLAC] Download

Artist: Steely Dan
Album: Albums Collection
Genre: Rock
Year: 1972-2003
Size: ~ 3.3 Gb
Source: CDs
Format: FLAC (image + .cue)
Quality: lossless
Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz / 16 Bit

Description:

Most rock & roll bands are a tightly wound unit that developed their music through years of playing in garages and clubs around their hometown. Steely Dan never subscribed to that aesthetic. As the vehicle for the songwriting of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, Steely Dan defied all rock & roll conventions. Becker and Fagen never truly enjoyed rock — with their ironic humor and cryptic lyrics, their eclectic body of work shows some debt to Bob Dylan — preferring jazz, traditional pop, blues, and R&B. Steely Dan created a sophisticated, distinctive sound with accessible melodic hooks, complex harmonies and time signatures, and a devotion to the recording studio. With producer Gary Katz, Becker and Fagen gradually changed Steely Dan from a performing band to a studio project, hiring professional musicians to record their compositions. Though the band didn’t perform live after 1974, Steely Dan’s popularity continued to grow throughout the decade, as their albums became critical favorites and their singles became staples of AOR and pop radio stations. Even after the group disbanded in the early ’80s, their records retained a cult following, as proven by the massive success of their unlikely return to the stage in the early ’90s.

Walter Becker (bass) and Donald Fagen (vocals, keyboards) were the core members of Steely Dan throughout its variety of incarnations. The two met at Bard College in New York in 1967 and began playing in bands together shortly afterward. The duo played in a number of groups — including the Bad Rock Group, which featured future comedic actor Chevy Chase on drums — which ranged from jazz to progressive rock. Eventually, Becker and Fagen began composing songs together, hoping to become professional songwriters in the tradition of the Brill Building. In 1970, the pair joined Jay & the Americans’ backing band, performing under pseudonyms; Becker chose Gustav Mahler, while Fagen used Tristan Fabriani. They stayed with Jay & the Americans until halfway through 1971, when they recorded the soundtrack for the low-budget film You Gotta Walk It Like You Talk It, which was produced by the Americans’ Kenny Vance. Following the recording of the soundtrack, Becker and Fagen attempted to start a band with Denny Dias, but the venture was unsuccessful. Barbra Streisand recorded the Fagen/Becker composition ‘I Mean to Shine’ on her album Barbra Joan Streisand, released in August 1971, and the duo met producer Gary Katz, who hired them as staff songwriters for ABC/Dunhill in Los Angeles, where he had just become a staff producer. Katz suggested that Becker and Fagen form a band as a way to record their songs, and Steely Dan — who took their name from a dildo in William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch — was formed shortly afterward.

Can’t Buy a Thrill Recruiting guitarists Denny Dias and Skunk Baxter, drummer Jim Hodder, and keyboardist/vocalist David Palmer, Becker and Fagen officially formed Steely Dan in 1972, releasing their debut, Can’t Buy a Thrill, shortly afterward. Palmer and Fagen shared lead vocals on the album, but the record’s two hit singles — the Top Ten “Do It Again” and “Reeling in the Years” — were sung by Fagen. Can’t Buy a Thrill was a critical and commercial success, but its supporting tour was a disaster, hampered by an under-rehearsed band and unappreciative audiences. Palmer left the band following the tour. Countdown to Ecstasy, released in 1973, was a critical hit, but it failed to generate a hit single, even though the band supported it with a tour.
Pretzel LogicSteely Dan replaced Hodder with Jeff Porcaro and added keyboardist/backup vocalist Michael McDonald prior to recording their third album, Pretzel Logic. Released in the spring of 1974, Pretzel Logic returned Steely Dan to the Top Ten on the strength of the single “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.” After completing the supporting tour for Pretzel Logic, Becker and Fagen decided to retire from live performances and make Steely Dan a studio-based band. For their next album, 1975’s Katy Lied, the duo hired a variety of studio musicians — including Dias, Porcaro, guitarist Elliot Randall, saxophonists Phil Woods, bassist Wilton Felder, percussionist Victor Feldman, keyboardist Michael Omartian, and guitarist Larry Carlton — as supporting musicians. Katy Lied was another hit, as was 1976’s The Royal Scam, which continued in the vein of its predecessor. On 1977’s Aja, Steely Dan’s sound became more polished and jazzy, as they hired jazz fusion artists like Wayne Shorter, Lee Ritenour, and the Crusaders as support. Aja became their biggest hit, reaching the Top Five within three weeks of release and becoming one of the first albums to be certified platinum. Aja also gained the respect of many jazz musicians, as evidenced by Woody Herman recording an album of Becker/Fagen songs in 1978.
Gaucho Following the release of Aja, ABC was bought out by MCA Records, resulting in a contractual dispute with the label that delayed until 1980 the release of their follow-up album. During the interim, the group had a hit with the theme song for the film FM in 1978. Steely Dan finally released Gaucho, the follow-up to Aja, in late 1980, and it became another Top Ten hit for the group. During the summer of 1981, Becker and Fagen announced that they were parting ways. The following year, Fagen released his solo debut, The Nightfly, which became a critical and commercial hit.
KamakiriadFagen didn’t record another album until 1993, when he reunited with Becker, who produced Kamakiriad. The album was promoted by the first Steely Dan tour in nearly 20 years, and while the record failed to sell, the concerts were very popular. In 1994, Becker released his solo debut, 11 Tracks of Whack, which was produced by Fagen. The following year, Steely Dan mounted another reunion tour, and in early 2000 the duo issued Two Against Nature, their first new studio album in two decades. It won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Steely Dan followed it in 2003 with Everything Must Go. Fagan’s solo album Morph the Cat was released in 2006, and Becker released Circus Money in 2008 as Steely Dan embarked on another tour. – Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Blue Cheer – Oh! Pleasant Hope [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017] (1971) [CD FLAC]

Blue Cheer - Oh! Pleasant Hope [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017] (1971) [CD FLAC] Download

Artist: Blue Cheer
Album: Oh! Pleasant Hope [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017]
Genre: Rock
Year: 1971
Size: ~ 350 mb
Source: CD
Format: FLAC (image + .cue)
Quality: lossless
Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz / 16 Bit

Description:

It’s hard to imagine what would prompt someone to suggest the band that recorded Vincebus Eruptum should get in touch with their pastoral side, but for their sixth album in only four years, Blue Cheer decided to explore something close to folk-rock and they sounded a lot more comfortable with the stuff than anyone had a right to expect. 1971’s Oh! Pleasant Hope featured the same lineup as the previous year’s The Original Human Being (the first time since Outsideinside that the band had the same musicians for two albums in a row), and while the previous album found Blue Cheer trying to buff off some of their rough edges, this one is loose, laid-back, and playful; if it doesn’t hit very hard, it’s one of the most organic and natural-sounding recordings to carry the group’s name. The album opens with “Hiway Man,” an updated variant on old folk ballads with acoustic guitars and a magisterial organ dominating the arrangement; Oh! Pleasant Hope upends traditional expectations about this most heavy band, and while their tough, blues-centered rock is still present on songs like “Believer” and “Heart Full of Soul” (not the Yardbirds hit but a Dickie Peterson original), most of the time the music is simpler and quieter, and “Traveling Man,” “Money Troubles,” and “Ecological Blues” come off like jams cut live in the studio rather than stuff the group labored over for days. And the band flies their freak flag high on the tale of a mythic, mean-spirited cop “Lester the Arrester” and the title track, a likably goofy singalong in which a guy looking for reefer in the midst of a cannabis drought imagines a day when “grass will flow like wine.” Oh! Pleasant Hope was recorded at a time when Blue Cheer’s fortunes were at a low ebb, and it was the last album they would cut before breaking up for several years; it’s hard to imagine anyone thought this was a shrewd commercial move, and at heart, this is an album Blue Cheer made because they felt like doing this, and the relaxed attitude and sense of fun is what makes this album work. – AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

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Blue Cheer – Blue Cheer [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017] (1970) [CD FLAC]

Blue Cheer - Blue Cheer [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017] (1970) [CD FLAC] Download

Artist: Blue Cheer
Album: Blue Cheer [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017]
Genre: Rock
Year: 1970
Size: ~ 382 mb
Source: CD
Format: FLAC (image + .cue)
Quality: lossless
Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz / 16 Bit

Description:

After working with two monstrously loud guitar heroes, Leigh Stephens and Randy Holden, Blue Cheer wanted to pursue a more subtle musical direction, and on their fourth album, simply titled Blue Cheer, they followed the path of the first half of 1969’s New! Improved! Blue Cheer, featuring guitarist Bruce Stephens and keyboard man Ralph Burns Kellogg, instead of the power trio format they pioneered on their first two albums and the second half of New! Improved! with Holden. Drummer Paul Whaley had also dropped out of the band by album number four, with Norman Mayell taking over the traps and leaving bassist and singer Dickie Peterson as the only original member of Blue Cheer, all within two years of the release of Vincebus Eruptum. Given all these changes, it’s no wonder Blue Cheer sounds so much different than they did on the band’s first two LP’s, but so long as you’re not expecting the monolithic power of their earliest stuff, it’s a fun album that generates an impressive groove. Blue Cheer’s music was always rooted in the blues, but here the approach is less mutated and more organic, with a touch of boogie in the rhythms and enough swagger to keep this from sounding like country-rock, even if the tone is more rootsy and significantly less punishing. The raspy twang of Peterson’s vocals shows a lighter, more graceful touch here, though he still sounds good and gritty, and the interplay between Kellogg’s piano and organ and Stephens’ guitar work suggests some improbable but effective cross between the Band and Steppenwolf. And while Peterson didn’t contribute much to the songwriting on Blue Cheer, Stephens and Kellogg step up with some good tunes (as does Gary Yoder, who guests on two tunes and would join the group for album number five), and the cover of Delaney Bramlett’s “Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham” is inspired. If Vincebus Eruptum and Outsideinside sounded like music for an acid-and-amphetamine-crazed Saturday night biker party, Blue Cheer is the stuff the same bikers would put on for a Sunday beer-and-weed cookout; it’s a more laid-back and relaxed effort, but it still rocks with a strong and steady roll. – AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

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Blue Cheer – Blue Cheer [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017] (1970) [CD FLAC]

Blue Cheer - Blue Cheer [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017] (1970) [CD FLAC] Download

Artist: Blue Cheer
Album: Blue Cheer [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017]
Genre: Rock
Year: 1970
Size: ~ 382 mb
Source: CD
Format: FLAC (image + .cue)
Quality: lossless
Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz / 16 Bit

Description:

After working with two monstrously loud guitar heroes, Leigh Stephens and Randy Holden, Blue Cheer wanted to pursue a more subtle musical direction, and on their fourth album, simply titled Blue Cheer, they followed the path of the first half of 1969’s New! Improved! Blue Cheer, featuring guitarist Bruce Stephens and keyboard man Ralph Burns Kellogg, instead of the power trio format they pioneered on their first two albums and the second half of New! Improved! with Holden. Drummer Paul Whaley had also dropped out of the band by album number four, with Norman Mayell taking over the traps and leaving bassist and singer Dickie Peterson as the only original member of Blue Cheer, all within two years of the release of Vincebus Eruptum. Given all these changes, it’s no wonder Blue Cheer sounds so much different than they did on the band’s first two LP’s, but so long as you’re not expecting the monolithic power of their earliest stuff, it’s a fun album that generates an impressive groove. Blue Cheer’s music was always rooted in the blues, but here the approach is less mutated and more organic, with a touch of boogie in the rhythms and enough swagger to keep this from sounding like country-rock, even if the tone is more rootsy and significantly less punishing. The raspy twang of Peterson’s vocals shows a lighter, more graceful touch here, though he still sounds good and gritty, and the interplay between Kellogg’s piano and organ and Stephens’ guitar work suggests some improbable but effective cross between the Band and Steppenwolf. And while Peterson didn’t contribute much to the songwriting on Blue Cheer, Stephens and Kellogg step up with some good tunes (as does Gary Yoder, who guests on two tunes and would join the group for album number five), and the cover of Delaney Bramlett’s “Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham” is inspired. If Vincebus Eruptum and Outsideinside sounded like music for an acid-and-amphetamine-crazed Saturday night biker party, Blue Cheer is the stuff the same bikers would put on for a Sunday beer-and-weed cookout; it’s a more laid-back and relaxed effort, but it still rocks with a strong and steady roll. – AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

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Blue Cheer – BC #5 Original Human Being [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017] (1970) [CD FLAC]

Blue Cheer - BC #5 Original Human Being [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017] (1970) [CD FLAC] Download

Artist: Blue Cheer
Album: BC #5 Original Human Being [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017]
Genre: Rock
Year: 1970
Size: ~ 416 mb
Source: CD
Format: FLAC (image + .cue)
Quality: lossless
Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz / 16 Bit

Description:

Even after cleaning up their act considerably on their self-titled fourth album, Blue Cheer sound positively slick (at least by their standards) on 1970’s The Original Human Being. Though Dickie Peterson was still up front on bass and vocals, guitarist Bruce Stephens had left the group and Gary Yoder, who had contributed to Blue Cheer, came aboard on six-strings and vocals, while drummer Norman Mayell expanded his role, playing occasional keyboards, guitar, and even sitar as Blue Cheer belatedly embraced their Eastern influences on “Babaji (Twilight Raga).” A horn section was brought in for “Good Times Are So Hard to Find,” “Preacher,” and “Love of a Woman,” and Ralph Burns Kellogg’s keyboards take an even larger role in the arrangements. The Original Human Being is the most polished and professional album of Blue Cheer’s career, and there’s a lean but muscular proto-boogie groove that infuses most of the album’s 11 songs, and the performances sound tight and well-focused throughout. However, tightness isn’t what made Blue Cheer a memorable band in the first place, and the cleaner approach doesn’t always flatter this music. The Original Human Being is at its best when the group lets their rougher side show, such as on Peterson’s slow blues wail “Man on the Run,” Kellogg’s country-flavored lament “Tears in My Bed,” the mean-spirited “Black Sun,” and the loose-limbed and surprisingly funky “Sandwich.” Most of the time, The Original Human Being feels as if Blue Cheer were trying to build on the lessons learned from their fourth album, but while that record hit just the right note, this one reaches just a bit too far, and it’s most pleasing when the players forget trying to impress us and just go for what feels right. – AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

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Blue Cheer – New! Improved! [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017] (1969) [CD FLAC]

Blue Cheer - New! Improved! [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017] (1969) [CD FLAC] Download

Artist: Blue Cheer
Album: New! Improved! [Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2017]
Genre: Rock
Year: 1969
Size: ~ 313 mb
Source: CD
Format: FLAC (image + .cue)
Quality: lossless
Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz / 16 Bit

Description:

Guitarist Leigh Stephens quit Blue Cheer after touring in support of their second album, Outsideinside, but he may have been amused by the fact it took three men to replace him when the band cut their next LP. There are two different and distinct bands at work on New! Improved! Blue Cheer; on the album’s first six tunes, founding members Dickie Peterson (bass and vocals) and Paul Whaley (drums) are joined by Bruce Stephens on guitar and Ralph Burns Kellogg on keyboards, and this lineup bears little musical resemblance to the wildly over-amped power trio that cut Vincebus Eruptum less than two years before. This new edition of Blue Cheer was still strongly influenced by the blues, but the raw physical impact of the band had been significantly buffered, and Bruce Stephens’ rootsy guitar work was in a completely different league from the old band’s bone-crushing onslaught. The gentle country-rock of “As Long as I Live” and the dynamic, percussive boogie of “When It All Gets Old” would have been inconceivable coming from Blue Cheer Mk. One, and while the notion of comparing them brings to mind that old clich about apples and oranges, Peterson’s vocals do reveal a lot more nuance on these recordings, and Whaley’s more tightly controlled drumming gives the band a lean groove they didn’t have before. On side two, Blue Cheer return to power trio format with Randy Holden (formerly of the Other Half) on guitar, and while his style is also considerably different from Leigh Stephens’, his fondness for overwhelming volume and fierce, extended solos makes his contributions feel a lot more like the group’s formative work; Peterson and Whaley also sound a lot more like their old selves here, calling up a thunderous report to match Holden’s thick but graceful leads, and if Blue Cheer are a more subtle and artful band with Holden on guitar, his contributions suggest an evolution from the towering proto-metal of Vincebus Eruptum and Outsideinside, rather than the dramatic stylistic departure of the album’s first half. Unfortunately, the possibilities suggested by Holden’s material went unrealized when he quit the band shortly after making New! Improved! Blue Cheer; with him they might have made another album that, unlike this mixed bag, would have lived up to the boast of the title. – AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

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