Archive for the ‘live’ Category

Rare Lou Reed and Lou Reed Covers

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Lou Reed passed away this weekend, and I’m not going to say much about it.  I am incredibly bad at eulogizing, especially so when the person in question is someone I have mixed feelings about.

Lou Reed was a genius. Lou Reed was an asshole. Lou Reed was a revolutionary songwriter. Lou Reed was a hack. Lou Reed was a legendary performer. Lou Reed was lazy and hated his audiences. I feel that all those things are true, and I don’t know how to compose my contradictory viewpoints into anything that would do either him or my own thoughts justice.

So I’ll just say that Lou Reed will be missed by a lot of people, including me. Everyone should listen to his work with the Velvet Underground. If you can tolerate shoddy audio quality, then you also must listen to The Quine Tapes, an amazing 3CD collection of VU bootlegs that feature some of the greatest live performances I’ve ever heard. And listen to Transformer. Because damn.

This is all the Lou Reed-related material I have, enjoy.

Lou Reed
My Red Joystick (Remixed Version)
My Red Joystick (Instrumental Version)
The Original Wrapper (Extended Version)
The Original Wrapper (Dub Version)
The Original Wrapper (Remix Single Version)
Video Violence (Remix)
Satellite Of Love ’04 (Dab Hands Retouch)
Satellite Of Love ’04 (Dab Hands Radio Edit)
Satellite Of Love ’04 (Groovefinder Remix)
This is literally all the rare Lou Reed I have (that was recorded under his actual name…keep reading and you’ll see what I mean). These are all taken from various 12″ singles and I’ve posted them all before. However, I re-recorded everything save for the “Satellite of Love” remixes, so even if you downloaded them from me before, be sure to grab them again – these versions sound so much better than my original rips.

If you’ve never had the joy of hearing Lou Reed “rap” then you’ll be in for a treat with some of these tracks.

New Order
Sister Ray (Live)
From the disgustingly-titled-but-vaguely-interesting compilation Like A Girl, I Want You To Keep Coming, which includes rarities by David Byrne, Debbie Harry and Henry Rollins as well. As far as I know, this live VU cover has never been released on any other album.

Billy Idol
Heroin (Nosebleed Mix)
Heroin (Ionizer mix)
Heroin (A Drug Called Horse Mix)
Heroin (Overlords Mix).mp3″>Heroin (Overlords Mix)
Heroin (VR Mix)
Heroin (Needle Park Mix)
Billy Idol covered “Heroin” for his 1993 alubm Cyberpunk, an album that literally everyone on Earth hates except for me and Billy Idol. I re-recorded these tracks too, so if you downloaded them from my site once before and want better copies, download these too.

The Beachnuts - Cycle Annie
The J Brothers- Don’t Turn My World Upside Down
The Liberty Men -Wonderful World of Love
The Hi-Lites -Soul City
I wrote about these tracks before , they’re all from a mid-60s budget compilation album called Out Of Sight. This is how Lou Reed paid the bills before forming VU. He only performs on “Cylce Annie,” but he wrote all of these tunes.

David Bowie & Lou Reed
Queen Bitch
I’m Waiting For The Man
Dirty Boulevard
White Light/White Heat
All taken from Bowie’s 50th birthday bash in 1997. A great show you can find on YouTube I think.

David Bowie
White Light/White Heat (Rehearsal with Stevie Ray Vaughn)
White Light/White Heat (Studio Outtake)
I’m Waiting For The Man (Radio Appearance)
I’m Waiting For The Man (Live) (Another Radio Appearance)
I’m Waiting For The Man (Studio Recording)
I’m Waiting For The Man (Live Bootleg)
I’m Waiting For The Man (Live In Budapest)
These are all taken from various bootlegs, radio rips and other odds and sods I’ve accumulated over the years. In case you’re wondering how the Stevie Ray Vaughn thing happened, Stevie played guitar on Bowie’s Let’s Dance album. He was supposed to joing Bowie on the Serious Moonlight tour, but that didn’t work out. That recording is from the rehearsals for that tour.

I think we can say without question that David Bowie really liked “I’m Waiting For The Man,” I assume he could identify with that song on multiple levels.

Nirvana
Here She Comes Now (Electric Punk Version)
Here She Comes Now (Radio Appearance)
One version of Nirvana’s cover of this VU song has seen official release, the “Smart Studios” version was included on both the With The Lights Out compilation and the Super Deluxe edition of Nevermind. However, Nirvana performed and recorded this song a lot over the years. The “Electric Punk” version is, like the title suggests, more of a punk rock arrangement of the tune, while the radio appearance versions is more in tune with the Smart Studios version – all are great. You can really hear the emotion in Kurt’s voice in all these versions. This cover is how I got into VU in the first place.

KRAUTROCK-POWERED MOTORCYCLES

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

The Tigers won. America won’t default. I’m functioning on very little sleep. This post is silly. I apologize.

Yes
Rhythm Of Love (Dance To The Rhythm Mix)
Rhythm Of Love (Move To The Rhythm Mix)
Rhythm Of Love (The Rhythm Of Dub)
City Of Love (Live Edit)
Fuck yeah, Yes remixes! Is synthpop Yes the best Yes? Probably not. But it is the “best” Yes.

I have a strange fascination with Yes that I still can’t really explain. I don’t know why. I only own a handful of Yes records, and I don’t even think I’ve listened to all of them. I actually know very little about the band, a fact that I’ve been wanting to remedy in recent months. Actually, I’ve toyed with the idea of buying all of Yes’ records and reviewing them all, in chronological order, simply as a writing exercise and as a personal quest to find out for myself what the hell they’re all about. I might still do it someday. Prog rock is hella big in Japan after all. This despite the fact that drugs of any kind are nearly impossible to find there. The wonders never cease.

Anyways, these remixes really aren’t prog rock. As I said before, this is synthpop Yes. Like all synthpop Yes, this song was co-written and produced by Trevor Horn, so sometimes I like to close my eyes and imagine Frankie Goes To Hollywood covering it.

Can you imagine a Frankie Goes To Hollywood/Yes collaboration!?! Oh man, why didn’t that happen? That’s the greatest tragedy of the 1980s.

Tangerine Dream
Streethawk (Radio Remix)
There was a TV show in 1985 called Street Hawk. It was about an ex-cop who fought crime with the help of a super-powered motorcycle. The theme song was by Tangerine Dream.

So…yeah. So…okay…so…I don’t even know where to begin with that entire statement. I need to let that sink in. Y’know what? Let me watch the opening credits to the Street Hawk TV show, maybe that will help me figure out how to put my thoughts to words.

HOLY SHIT HOW COME MORE PEOPLE DIDN’T WATCH THAT SHIT IT’S LIKE KNIGHT RIDER BUT WITH A MOTORCYCLE AND A SOUNDTRACK BY TANGERINE DREAM OH MY GOD.

Ahem.

Yeah, okay. I can’t comment on that. It speaks for itself. I got noting – maybe if I watch that opening again.

AND THE DUDE’S NAME IS JESSE MACH!? WHY? WAS “JOHNNY FAST” TAKEN?!

Wow. Okay, seriously, all of you need to read the Street Hawk wiki, because someone put a lot of effort into making sure everyone knows that Street Hawk is currently available on DVD (ORDERING NOW) and that at one point there were Street Hawk toys and even freakin’ Street Hawk novelizations.  And then check this incredible Street Hawk fansite. Because if you don’t, who will? Aside from the apparently millions of dedicated Street Hawk fans out there.

Wait a second, this site even has Street Hawk fan-fiction.

I have to go. I have reading to do.

Fuck your Breaking Bad nonsense, Street Hawk for life.

 

Mo’ Sakamoto

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

I reviewed the 12″ single to “Get Lucky.” Because if I don’t who will?

Another post dedicated entirely to Ryuichi Sakamoto. I should just turn this site into a Yellow Magic Orchestra fanpage.

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Forbidden Colours
The Last Emperor
Little Buddha
Wuthering Heights
Replica
El Mar Mediterrani
All of these tracks are live, taken from the album Cinemage.

The first four are excepts from musical scores and soundtracks that Sakamoto worked on. “Forbidden Colours” being the theme to Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, while the others are all self-titled from the films they appeared in. This version of “Forbidden Colours” does feature Sylvian’s vocals, but I suspect they were dubbed in later and not performed live with the rest of the music.

“Replica” is the only track on the album that is not taken from some sort of project, it is lifted from the Japanese version of Sakamoto’s solo album Illustrated Musical Encyclopedia. Next to “Forbidden Colours,” it’s probably my favorite track on Cinemage, thanks to its regimented, minimalist feel that echos Phillip Glass.

Finally, there’s “El Mar Mediterrani,” which was composed for the 1992 summer Olympic games. It’s 17 minutes long and crazy. That Olympic theme that John Williams did doesn’t have shit on this.

Bonus Sakamoto!
Jungle LIVE Mix Of Untitled 01 – 2nd Movement – Anger
I put up a ton of remixes from Sakamoto’s album Dischord a few weeks ago and since then a reader sent me along this mix, which he snagged off a promo CD. I love it, it’s just barely removed from pure noise at parts. As a narcoleptic who has built up a near-immunity to caffeine, I really find that comes in handy at times.

Mixtape Madness

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Check it, Drum and bass on cassette was a thing. Who knew?

009

Ed Rush – Live In ’98
Side 1
Side 2
This tape suffers a bit from wear and tear, and from the sounds of things the original source recording wasn’t the greatest either. The opening dips out a bit, and the MC’s vocals can get muddled up at times. Thankfully the audio quality gets better as it goes on. I know there are a few Ed Rush sets from this era that have made it onto music-sharing sites like Soundcloud and such, but I don’t think this one has. At least, I couldn’t find it. If someone does have a better recording of this set please let me know. I’d love a high-quality copy.

Nicky Blackmarket & Ed Rush – Live At The Edge
Side 1
Side 2
Nicky Blackmarket is another early drum and bass DJ, going all the way back to the 1980s. I assume his set is on side one, and it’s pretty good. It starts and stops suddenly a few times early on, probably because of technical difficulties. The second side is the Ed Rush set, and it sounds much more like the Ed Rush I know and love than the stuff on the first tape. It’s still high-energy and intense, but it also has that menacing neurofunk vibe that I fell in with when I first heard Wormhole and had my mind properly blown.

The quality of this tape is a little bit better than the first, but remember that a high-quality tape is still going to sound worse than a low-quality CD. So go in with a bit of lowered expectations. And once more, if anyone out there has better quality rips of either of these sets let me know and I’ll replace the links with those.

Boom Boom Room

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

1280-1024-tsujo
I’ve pretty much been listening to Boom Boom Satellites every single day since I got back from Japan in January. Before then I only had their 1999 debut album Out Loud (their only CD to get a proper release in the states), so I guess I’ve been going on a binge of their entire back catalog to make up for lost time.

Since I’ve been diving into their back catalog I’ve been trying to figure out exactly why they’ve failed to gain any kind of foothold in the states. And after listening to all of their albums multiple times over, I think I’ve managed to pin down their lack of success in the West to one thing: jazz.

Allow me to elaborate.

Boom Boom Satellites’ first album, Out Loud, was released in the states not soon after it came out in Japan. It was even given a fairly big push by their American distributor Epic. They went on tour with Moby, and were even commissioned for some pretty big remix jobs. I think a lot of people had the band pegged to break through because that album was the perfect crossover record; very much like an “electronica” album of the era, but with a very heavy, very guitar-focused rock sound as well.

But if the band gained any momentum off of Out Loud, they probably squandered it completely with their next two albums. Their second album, 2001′s Umbra, is the poster child for the stereotypical “difficult sophomore album.” While a fine record, it’s all over the place, with the band taking detours into hip-hop, drum and bass, and even some trip-hop. It’s not the kind of album that one can just pick up and listen to.

And things got even less accessible with their third record, Photon, as it found the band diving head first into the oh so dangerous waters of acid jazz with crazy, free-flowing horns and rambling drums taking  hold on about half of the album’s tracks. It’s interesting, to be sure, but jazz fusion electronica isn’t exactly a crossover genre that the masses are eager to eat up. It’s a shame too, because while the album as a whole is pretty out there, two of the band’s most intense and powerful tracks, “Dress Like An Angel” and “Light My Fire” are buried alongside the freeform jazz freakouts.

Since then, the band has all but completely discarded their jazzier and more experimental side, opting instead for a more electronic-rock sound that could best be described a s heavier, more frantic version of Garbage. Their follow-up to Umbra, 2006′s On, opens with “Kick It Out,” an obvious ready-made single designed exclusively to be a radio megahit if there ever was on. It was a massive smash for the band in Japan, but by then I think the jazz had done its damage. American record labels probably stopped calling, and anyone who had heard of the group during their brief run for success in the states had probably forgotten about them. Even I forgot about them for a long time, and I saw them live once!

And it’s a damn shame, because while they’re not as experimental or complex as they used to be, ever since 2006′s On they’ve been doing nothing but cranking out one solid electronic-influenced rock banger after another. Exposed (2007), To The Loveless (2010) and their recent release Embrace are all amazing works that combine electronic dance music and hard-rocking guitars better than anyone else on the planet. They’ve simply taken their unique sound to a whole new level. Sure, it’s lacking some of the spontaneity and experimental nature of their early work, but it’s infinitely more accessible, and damn it, there’s nothing wrong with creating music for the masses.

Only three proper Boom Boom Satellites are available digitally in the states: Out Loud, Embrace and Exposed. I recommend starting with Embrace, but Over and Over, a 2010 greatest hits compilation made specifically for American audiences, is also available, and that’s probably a good start for those looking to find out more about the band.

Even though the majority of their stuff is out of print in America, I don’t want to just post all of it. I do feel like it’s just a matter of time before they do make it here, at least digitally if nothing else.  But I did want to share something special, something that both die-hard Boom Boom Satellites fans and newcomers to the group would appreciate, and I think I found it.

Boom Boom Satellites (Live At Shibuya O-East)
All In A Day
Back On My Feet
Kick It Out
Light My Fire
Dress Like An Angel
When Boom Boom Satellites excellent 2010 album To The Loveless was first released, it came in a special edition that included a live DVD. Above is an audio rip of that concert. I chose to share this for two reasons. One, it’s an excellent mini-setlist that shows off both the electronic and rock sides of the group perfectly. Two, it also shows how damn awesome their live show is. As great as the studio versions of “Kick It Out” and “Dress Like An Angel” are, they cannot hold a candle to these live cuts, especially with “Kick It Out.” Holy shit. It’s crazy. If I ever get to hear that song live in person I think my heart will explode. Fucking incredible.

Hot Ash

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

I just bought tickets for seven different shows between March 20th and June 16th. I should really start buying earplugs by the gross.

Ash
Girl From Mars (Live in Tokyo)
Girl From Mars (Live from the Numbskull EP)
Girl From Mars (Live from the Twilight Of The Innocents Bonus Disc)
I really need to update my sources of music news. Not only was I not aware that Ash recently released an amazing 3LP edition of their excellent A-Z Singles series (it comes complete with a digital download that includes a shitton of extra tracks, you should buy it). But I also was not aware that they were touring the states! Even worse, I had no idea that they were coming to my own backyard of Pittsburgh, PA! Shit! Thankfully I found out in time and now I have tickets, but damn, how the hell did this one nearly sneak past me. I must be slipping in my old age.

I fucking love Ash. They’re my favorite band of the britpop era (yes, I know they’re from Northern Ireland, but you know what I mean). 1977 is a great record. Amazing. A must own in my opinion, and everything they’ve done since has been great too. I actually think that their best work has been their most recent, the aforementioned A-Z Series. You should seriously buy that. For real. Go buy it. It’s great.

In the meantime, here are three versions of “Girl From Mars,” taken from different hard-to-find singles, bonus discs and DVDs.

Quick sidenote about Ash. While I do love them, as a person with an s/sh speech impediment, I find their name endlessly frustrating.

Spiritualized
Come Together
Broken Heart
Broken Heart (Instrumental)
HEY EVERYONE LET’S GO DO ACID.

Ahem, these versions are from The Abbey Road EP, and are different than the versions that appeared on Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space.

OH GOD IT’S KICKING IN I CAN SEE NEW COLORS.

I’m in a good mood. Celebrate by buying some of my records (and downloading some Belinda Carlisle).

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

No profanity-laced political tirade tonight. No rants about how people are horrible (spoiler: they sill kind of are). No depressing exclamations of pessimistic, misanthropic views about the American voting population. None of that bullshit. Why?

Because I’m actually kind of in a good mood for once and I’d rather keep it that way. Also, I just updated my “For Sale” page! So if you really want me to keep this upbeat, positive vibe, then go to that post and make me an offer on some stuff you want. I added some cool Duran Duran, Laibach, Exotic Birds and more! I should also be updating it this weekend, so check back often!

Now music.

Belinda Carlisle
Visions Of You (Remix ’91)
I Feel Free (Live)
Heaven Is A Place On Earth (Live)
When I was in NYC a few weeks ago I did the proper hipster thing and went to a drunken party in a dive bar with a bunch of art students. While there, I got met a man who was rocking a GoGo’s t-shirt (and an amaaazing mustache). I immediately knew this was a person I had to talk to, and we spent about five minutes discussing exactly how awesome The GoGo’s were (we settled on “really fucking awesome.”)

At the end of the conversation though, the mustached man said that while he loves her, Belinda Carlisle has to be one of the worst names in the history of pop music.

“Belinda!” he said, “it just sounds gross!”

This man’s name?

Pacifico.

Glass houses people.

These three tunes are from a clear 12″ single that came in a ziplock bag. Yeah. It was weird looking.

Devo
That’s Good (Extended Version)
Speed Racer (Extended Version)
Speaking of weird singles, I got these hard-to-find remixes from a 12″ promo-only single that was given out to radio stations. I have no idea why these mixes were never put out on any other single or have yet to be re-released in any way (at least, as far as I know), they’re pretty great. “That’s Good” is one of Devo’s best, and definitely one of those songs that can never be long enough. Yay Devo.

 

Beep! Magazine video-game flexi-discs!

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

In recent years I have developed quite a fascination with video game soundtracks that have been released on vinyl. Unfortunately, these are pretty rare in the states, with only a few marquee titles like Halo and some cult hits like Sword & Sworcery getting the vinyl treatment.

However, in Japan things are different. There, video game music gets the respect it deserves. Back in the 80s, nearly every game that was worth a damn had a soundtrack release, either in its original form or as an arranged (remixed/reproduced) version. Either they were given an album of their own, or highlights were included on compilation LPs that featured a selection of video game music from a particular game company such as Namco or Sega.

Some were even given away for free in flexi-disc form as bonuses to readers of Japanese video game magazines like Beep!, a popular magazine from the 80s that stuck around in some form or another until this year.

I know this because I have a very awesome friend named Anna Hegedus. And she got me two of these amazing discs for my birthday! So let’s take a look at them, shall we?

 

Wai Wai GAME MUSIC (March 1988)
Music From Ninja Warriors
Che!
Are you Lady? (Kunoichi’s Theme)
Name Entry

Namco x-Mas Charity Concert Live
Berabo-man
Toy Pop
Member Introduction 

According to VGMdb, this flexi was a supplement for the March, 1988 issue of the magazine. Side A is a collection of original music from the Taito arcade game Ninja Warriors, a uniqe beat-em-up that used three monitors to create a widescreen-style experience. (You can find out more about the game at this site). I never played any incarnation of this game from what I can remember, but this music is great, an excellent example of the kind of diverse and shockingly complex tunes that games of the time were able to produce.

On side B we find three more tracks, but instead of music taken directly from a game, they are live reproductions that were performed at a special Namco charity Christmas concert! I don’t know anything about this concert, or what charity it was supporting, so if anyone out there who does know anything about it is reading this, please let me know!

As far as the songs themselves go, the first is the theme music to Berabo-man, an arcade shooter that never made its way out to the states. Judging from the sound of this recording, it sounds like the live version still used a fair bit of synthesizers and drum machines, but I think I hear some live strings and other instruments in there as well. The second track is for another Japanese exclusive title, Toy Pop, and it’s a purely piano arrangement of that game’s theme music. It’s cute. The final track features the MC announcing the concert’s performers (each of whom perform their own quick little solos).  All very interesting stuff and something I bet most gaming fans have never heard before!

SUPER ARRANGE GAME MUSIC (November 1988)
Chase H.Q. – Stand By (Arrange)/Los Angeles (Arrange)
Syvalion – Round Start Arrange)/Main Theme (Arrange)
Assault – BGM 1 (Arrange)
Marchen Maze – Round 1 (Arrange) 
Next up we have this flexi disc, which was originally included with the November 1988 issue. Unlike the Ninja Warrior tunes from the previous disc, these songs are arranged (remixed/re-recorded) versions that sound substantially more complex and intricate than the original game versions.

The disc really starts things off with a showstopper, both in terms of music quality and in game reputation, with an amazing arrangement of music from the car pursuit classic Chase HQ. I don’t know if the bassline in this version is real or the work of a synthesizer, but if it is legit, then Squarepusher and Les Claypool could learn something from whomever is responsible for it, as it’s freaking unbelievable.

Paling in comparison but still worthwhile is the theme to the Japanese-only Syvalion, which has a great sci-fi feel that fits its space shooter genre very well. After that there’s an arranged version of the background music (BGM) for the generically titled Namco game Assault, another title that never saw a US release from what I can gather. It’s probably the second-best track on the disc, thanks in large part to its awesome synth guitar solo. MIDI shredding is the best shredding.

Finally there’s the stage one music for Marchen Maze, an isometric platformer based on Alice In Wonderland. As you may have guessed considering its source material, the music is rather jaunty.

All in all this is excellent stuff, and a peek into the era. If you like it, remember you have Anna to thank for it, and if you want to make her happy, follow her on Twitter and visit her website, where she often posts crazy technical videos that are so awesome they make my brain hurt.

And I’ll be back later this week with another Japanese-themed post! Until then, enjoy this 8/16-bit goodness!

David Bowie’s Cocaine Adds Life (Cocaine Bear Approves)

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Another week, another amazing 2LP bootleg. This time it’s from David Bowie.

Cocaine Adds Life

The wonderfully titled Cocaine Adds Life mostly features tracks from mid-70s Thin White Duke Bowie (hence the title), but it also throws in some random 80s stuff on the last side. While Discogs sites the album as coming out in 2008, I think that’s a repressing, and that the version I have actually came out in 1984 (as this site claims). If the back cover of my version is to believed, the bootleg label responsible for this release only printed 200 of these bad boys (mine is number 66), making it a pretty rare find.

Regardless of where and when it came from, and how rare it is, it’s a great bootleg full of some pretty interesting stuff. The first three sides are a complete concert, recorded live at the Rotterdam Sports Palais Ahoy on May 13th, 1976. The recording is from a soundboard, so it’s crystal clear, if a little flat. Although Bowie complains on the recording that he’s suffering from a bit of bronchitis, he sounds great as the band plays through some of his best material of the time, including “Station to Station,” “TVC15″ and “Diamond Dogs.”

The final side of the bootleg is a grab bag of bonus cuts culled from a variety of sources. First up is a recording of Bowie performing “Sweet Jane” with Lou Reed on July 8th, 1972 in London. It’s a real rarity, which makes up for the fact that the recording kind of sounds like garbage. After that there’s another super-rare one, Bowie doing a cover of The Beatles’ “This Boy,” performed on July 18th, 1972 in Aylesbury. It also sounds pretty bad though.

That’s followed by “Sister Midnight,” taken from a performance in Toronto on February 26th, 1976, and a version of “Sound and Vision,” that’s from a show in London on July 1st, 1978. These sound bad, but better than the previous tracks.

Finally there are a pair of tracks taken from two shows in Brussels on April 18th and 19th, 1983. The first is a rare live version of “Joe The Lion” and the second is a cover of The Who’s “I Can’t Explain.” These also sound okay, but not great.

Truth be told, the final side is pretty much a wash when it comes to sound quality, although those versions of “Sweet Jane” and “This Boy” should probably be of interest to Bowie completists out there. Like I said before, the real treat here is the complete concert from 1976. It sounds great and is well worth a listen. I hope you like it.

Complete Track Listing

Rotterdam Concert – 5/13/176

  1. Station to Station
  2. Suffragette City
  3. Fame
  4. Word On A Wing
  5. Stay
  6. Waiting For The Man
  7. Band Introduction
  8. Changes
  9. TVC15
  10. Diamond Dogs
  11. Rebel Rebel
  12. Jean Genie

Additional Tracks

  1.  Sweet Jane – 7/8/72
  2. This Boy –  7/18/72
  3. Sister Midnight – 2/26/76
  4. Sound And Vision – 7/1/78
  5. Joe The Lion – 5/18/83
  6. I Can’t Explain – 5/19/83

Echoes of Romance – An Ultravox(!) Bootleg

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Echoes Of Romance
Part 1
Part 2
I’ve been accumulating quite a few bootlegs lately so I think I’m going to have to go bootleg crazy for the next few weeks to clear them out of my queue. Don’t worry, I’m sure most of you will like what I have to offer (even those of you who whine about “decent music).” So let’s just jump right in with one of my favorite recent bootleg finds, Echoes Of Romance by Ultravox.

This is an awesome album because it’s basically two great bootlegs in one, 30 songs pulled from two completely different shows. The first 15 tracks are taken from a December 26th, 1978 concert at the Marquee in England. This is the original(ish) line-up that includes Robin Simon on guitars and, more importantly, John Foxx on vocals. It’s classic early Ultravox, a bizarre combination of punk rock, synthpop and glam rock that still sounds unique and fresh some 32 years later. The quality is also excellent, with very clear vocals and almost no audience chatter. Classics like “Young Savage” and “Hiroshima Mon Amour” are performed, as well as awesome unheralded tunes like “Walk Away” and the supremely odd “Someone Else’s Clothes.” It’s a great show and worth a listen to even the most casual fans of the group’s early work.

The second half of this three-LP bootleg is comprised of songs from a December 13th, 1980 concert at the Odeon Hammersmith. This is of the “classic” line-up that features Midge Ure on vocals. The quality of this recording is a little more sketchy, with the vocals coming off a little more muddled at times and audience noises sometimes making their way into the mix. But even with its lesser fidelity it’s still well worth a listen for fans of the group as the band plays favorites like “New Europeans,” “All Stood Still,” and “Vienna.” Even Foxx-era tracks like “Hiroshima Mon Amour” and “Quiet Man” make an appearance. Great stuff all around.

I’m curious, which Ultravox do you all like the most? The punkier, harsher John Foxx stuff, or the classier, new romantic-influenced Midge Ure albums?

I love them both, although I still don’t have all of the Ure-era stuff. I think my favorite Ultravox song overall is the Ure-fronted “Hymm,” but I also have a soft spot for the crazier Foxx tracks like “Young Savage” and “Saturday Night In the City of the Dead.” Ask me which iteration of the band I prefer one day and you might get a different answer the next. I can’t decide.

Just don’t bring up the Billy Currie-led era. That never happened.

NEVER HAPPENED.