Jethro Tull – Aqualung (1971) (UK, Repress, 1973)

Vinyl rip in 24 Bit/96 kHz | WV | cue & Tech Log | Artwork HR | 880 Mb |Chrysalis – CHR 1044 (1973) UK RePress | Rock

“Aqualung is the fourth studio album by the rock band Jethro Tull. Released in 1971, Aqualung, despite the band’s disapproval, is regarded as a concept album, featuring a central theme of “the distinction between religion and God”…

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Sonny Clark – Sonny’s Crib (1957) (2011 Music Matters 45RPM Vinyl)

Vinyl rip @ 24/96 | FLAC | Artwork | 963 MB
Genre: jazz, hard bop | RAR 5% Rec. | Label: Music Matters | CAT #MMBST-1576

Recorded in 1957, Sonny’s Crib features a front line of Curtis Fuller, Donald Byrd, and John Coltrane with Sonny Clark on piano, Art Taylor on drums, and Paul Chambers on bass. Truly still a bebop recording, done a full year before the landmark Cool Struttin’ session, nonetheless the set produced some awesome readings of classic tunes, like the opener, “With a Song in My Heart,” with one of the knottiest Byrd solos ever. As Chambers and Taylor up the rhythmic ante and Clark comps with enormous chords in the background, the entire line solos, but it is Byrd’s that is stunning in its complexity — though Coltrane could play bebop as well as anybody. The most notable tracks on the session are the classic readings of Kurt Weill’s “Speak Low” and “News for Lulu,” the latter of which has been adopted by John Zorn as his theme. On the former, Clark’s rearrangement, with Coltrane leading the front line, is truly revelatory. Using a Latin rhythm in cut time, Clark sets up a long, 22-note melody line that moves right into Trane’s solo. He moves the key around and harmonically shifts gears as Clark follows and stays in the pocket for him while Trane uses the middle register for legato pyrotechnics. Fuller’s next and covers over the blues inherent in the tune with pure swing, before Byrd brings it back into the fold with a gorgeous counterpoint of the melody. Clark taps his way into extended harmonics on the sixths and sharpens the accents as he trounces the original key and plays double trills to get back. The latter is a smokin’ Latin take on the hard bop blues, with a staggered melodic line and a large tonal palette that gives the horn players room to explore the timbral possibilities of Clark’s colors — which are revealed in the loosest, skittering skein of bluesy phrasing this side of Horace Silver in his solo. In all, Sonny’s Crib is a phenomenal recording, one that opened the door to hard bop becoming the norm in the late ’50s, and one that drew deft, imaginative performances from all its players.

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Kai Winding – Dirty Dog (1966) (Original Mono Verve LP)

Vinyl rip @ 24/96 | FLAC | Artwork | 396 MB
Genre: jazz, bop | RAR 5% Rec. | Label: Verve Records | CAT # V6-8661

Never released on CD as far as I can tell. Anything with 4 trombone players must be good. Great set of funky, groove oriented jazz, not too unlike Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder” (which is covered here). Nice version of Herbie’s classic “Cantaloupe Island”. The title track is a real floor shaker. These tunes were probably played a lot at Hugh Heffner’s NY Playboy Club, where Kai was the musical director.

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Ann Peebles – I Can’t Stand The Rain (1974)

Vinyl rip @ 24/96 | FLAC | Artwork | 579mb
Soul | 1974 UK LP | London SHU 8468

his wonderful album, originally released in 1974 on the Memphis-based Hi Records label, deserved a wider audience than it ended up getting at the time. It played to Ann Peebles’ great strength, her poised and sultry voice, and surrounded by the sparse, easy funkiness of the trademark Hi rhythm section and producer Willie Mitchell’s perfect use of horns and strings, she sings like a resilient but disappointed angel on this impressive set of songs about the darker side of love. Her best song is here, the eccentric but brilliant “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” along with a marvellous version of Joe Simon’s “(You Keep Me) Hangin’ On,” and perfect readings of a pair of Earl Randle songs, “If We Can’t Trust Each Other” and “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down.” Peebles sings her heart out, and with those somehow bright-sounding Hi grooves behind her, it all comes together to make a classic album of dark, bouncy, and beautiful Southern soul. Steve Leggett, Allmusic.

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The Mothers – Fillmore East June (1971)

Vinyl Rip in 24-Bit/96-kHz
FLAC tracks | Artwork | 897 MB
Prog Rock | 1 LP | Stereo  | Released: 1971
Label: Reprise Records – MS 2042, US pressing 

Fillmore East – June 1971 is a live album by The Mothers, released in 1971. It was the twelfth album by Frank Zappa. It was produced by Frank Zappa, and mixed by Toby Foster.

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Alan Parsons Project – I Robot (1977) (Original UK)

Vinyl rip in 24 Bit/96 kHz | FLAC | cue & Tech Log | Artwork HR | 869 Mb
Arista – SPARTY 1012 (1977) UK Original | Rock

“I ROBOT…THE STORY OF THE RISE OF THE MACHINE AND THE DECLINE OF MAN, WHICH PARADOXICALLY COINCIDED WITH HIS DISCOVERY OF THE WHEEL…AND A WARNING THAT HIS BRIEF DOMINANCE OF THIS PLANET WILL PROBABLY END, BECAUSE MAN TRIED TO CREATE ROBOT IN HIS OWN IMAGE”

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Status Quo – Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon (1970)

Vinyl rip @ 24/96 | FLAC | Artwork | 0.97Gb
Rock | Circa 1980 UK repress | Pye/PRT NSPL 18344

Woe betide the psychedelic groover who picked up the third album by Status Quo, dreaming of further picturesque matchstick messages! A mere three hits in a long three years had completely exhausted the band-members’ patience with the whimsy of yore, and their ears had long since turned in other directions. It was the age, after all, of Canned Heat’s relentless boogie and Black Sabbath’s blistered blues, and when the Quo’s first new single of 1970, the lazy throb of “Down the Dustpipe,” proved that the record-buying public wasn’t averse to a bit more down-home rocking, their future course was set. Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon allies one of the most evocative titles in rock album history to one of the most familiar sights in a rock band’s iconography, the cheap roadside café — crusty ketchup, leafy tea, an overflowing ashtray, and Ma Kelly herself, cigarette clenched between unsmiling lips and a face that has seen it all and didn’t like any of it. Neither do the album’s contents disturb her glowering visage. From the opening trundle of “Spinning Wheel Blues” and onto the closing, lurching medley of “Is It Really Me”/”Gotta Go Home,” the most underrated disc in Status Quo’s entire early catalogue eschewed the slightest nod in the direction of the band’s past — even “Dustpipe” didn’t make the cut. But six years on, when recording their live album, the Quo were still dipping back to “Junior’s Wailing,” the midpoint in the greasy spoon experience, and an expressively rocking archetype for all they would later accomplish. The dark shuffle of “Lazy Poker Blues,” too, unleashed spectres that the band would be referencing in future days, including the boogie piano that made 1974′s “Break the Rules” seem such a blast from the past. Compared to the albums that would follow, Ma Kelly is revealed as little more than a tentative blueprint for the Quo’s new direction. At the time, however, it was a spellbinding shock, perhaps the last one that the Quo ever delivered. You should remember that when you play it. Dave Thompson, Allmusic.

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Donovan – A Gift From A Flower To A Garden (1968)

Vinyl rip @ 24/96 | FLAC | Artwork | 1.36Gb
Folk, Folk-Rock, Psychedelia | UK 2-LP box set, 1976 stereo repress | Pye NSPL 20000

Rock music’s first two-LP box set, A Gift from a Flower to a Garden overcomes its original shortcomings and stands out as a prime artefact of the flower-power era that produced it. The music still seems a bit fey, and overall more spacey than the average Moody Blues album of this era, but the sheer range of subjects and influences make this a surprisingly rewarding work. Essentially two albums recorded simultaneously in the summer of 1967, the electric tracks include Jack Bruce among the session players. The acoustic tracks represent an attempt by Donovan to get back to his old sound and depart from the heavily electric singles (“Sunshine Superman,” etc.) and albums he’d been doing — it is folkier and bluesier (in an English folk sense) than much of his recent work. Bruce Eder, Allmusic.

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Donovan – HMS Donovan (1971)

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Folk, Folk-Rock | UK double LP, 1975 repress | Dawn DNLD 4001

Anyone who likes the Donovan of “Sunshine Superman” or “Mellow Yellow” will probably want to ignore this album — but anyone who liked the Donovan of “Colours,” “Turquoise,” or “Poor Cow,” or Gift From a Flower to a Garden, will have to track it down, because they’ll find it essential. One has to give Donovan a lot of credit for attempting a release like HMS Donovan in 1971, although it never came close to charting at the time of its release. The drugged-out hippie era that had spawned trippy folk-based albums such as Gift From a Flower to a Garden was long past, and acoustic folk recordings were considered passé, yet here was Donovan setting words by Lewis Carroll, Thora Stowell, Ffrida Wolfe, Agnes Grozier Herbertson, Lucy Diamond, Edward Lear, Eugene Field, William Butler Yeats, Natalie Joan, and Thomas Hood, among others, to what were often hauntingly beautiful melodies, mostly strummed on a guitar. What’s more, it just about all works perfectly, once one gets past the tape-effect tricks and other silliness of the opening track, “The Walrus and the Carpenter.” Spawned at a time when the singer/songwriter was about to become a father, the album has a decidedly playful tone, even more so than its obvious predecessor, For Little Ones. Lovely as that record was, there are also long stretches of HMS Donovan that have far prettier melodies, arrangements, and accompaniment, played at more attractive tempos. The playing here, which is mostly just Donovan’s solo guitar with maybe a string bass and organ, and an unnamed female singer or two backing him on a few tracks, is crisper and more focused (along with the recording), and the tunes are seldom short of gorgeous, whether written by Donovan or simply his arrangements of traditional folk melodies. HMS Donovan marked the singer’s last venture of this kind, into his mid-/late-’60s folk style, or into folk-style children’s songs, and it was the last of his albums to be characterized by whimsy. “Lord of the Dance” (written by Sydney Carter and utilizing a melody that Americans may know better as “Simple Gifts”), “Queen Mab,” and “Celia of the Seals” are worth the price of admission by themselves. Bruce Eder, Allmusic.

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The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry (1980)

Vinyl rip in 24-bit/96kHz & 16-bit/44.1kHz | FLAC (Tracks), artworks | Stereo | 788 Mb | 5% RAR Recovery
Styles: New Wave, Post Punk | PVC Records – PVC7916

Falling somewhere between official release and compilation, Boys Don’t Cry was released in February 1980 in hopes to get the band exposure outside of the U.K.. It captures the first phase of the band well, showcasing the angular new wave that had garnered them acclaim in England. What separates this from the debut full-length (and thus qualifying it as an ‘official’ release) is that unlike Three Imaginary Boys, the first three singles (“Killing an Arab,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” and “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”) are included, and tracks like “So What” (the one with lyrics read off a sugar packet) are dropped in favor of the excellent “World War” and “Plastic Passion.” A good starting point for getting up to speed on this era of the band, it works best when paired up with Three Imaginary Boys; then you’ll get the complete picture.—Allmusic

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