Léonie – Le Jardin Anglais / Mozart (1973)

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capa cópiaAnother brief entry, as we previously talked about Léonie and its (surprising) short career, based on 45 singles, started in the late-60’s amidst the french yé-yé scene. The dossier from this unknown singer can be checked in Hero Culte blog, don’t miss out the detective work from tinynoggin and other curiosities about French stars!

Let’s go to our album:

This time, she is backed up with the mighty arrangements/compositions by the number one french maestro Jean Claude Vannier. Léonie’s peculiar sensual voice stands out on its 5th release, she knows how to be pop and cult simultaneously.

A side has a characteristic (slower) charleston piano/xylophone pace, played by Vannier, along with strings and wizardry guitars in a vintage delicate atmosphere.

B side are my favorite, this fuzzy psych ballad has a magic cadency that sticks to the head, an example of how you can be pop without neglecting good aesthetic choices!

Léonie (Martine Collet)

Léonie (Martine Collet)

I really would like to count on better quality rips, but the fact is none of her singles were duly re-released on CD, this and other entries are a good invitation to meet the B-side on what is called Pop Jerk, somewhat ahead from the naive (early) works of France Gall, Sylvie Vartan, CélineFrançoise HardySéverine, and many others.

We’ll leave for an upcoming entry, more details about the yé-yé scene and its powerful independent girls, for now, keep it up with this lovely obscure pearl.

Haerenga Pai!

Tracks Include:

A Le Jardin Anglais (J.C. Vannier, Roda Gil)

B Mozart (J.C. Vannier)

Credits

  • Orchestra: Orchestre J.C. Vannier
  • Photography: Thierry Vincent
  • Producer: Thierry Vincent
  • Published: Editions Suzelle (A)
  • Published: Editions Labrador (B)
  • Distributed: Discodis
  • Printed: Dillard et Cie. Imp. Paris

Les Disques Motors ‎– MT 4030

Sylvie Vartan & Françoise Hardy

Sylvie Vartan & Françoise Hardy

Daniela Casa – Societa’ Malata (1975)

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capa cópiaLibrary music, also known as production or stock music, was originally recorded as fodder for media projects that needed readymade soundtrack cues. The tracks were usually brief instrumentals, typically no more than a minute or two in length, and often adopted whatever sounds were popular at the time. As a result, they serve as wonderful snapshots of the various musical eras in which they were laid down, from breezy easy listening and mellow mood to lethal funk jams and Moog noodlings.

These releases were not available to the general public and were chiefly distributed within media production circles. Free of the commercial pressure to produce hits, it was not uncommon for artists to abandon conventional song structures and immerse themselves into it. Even though it was supposed to be background music, a lot of this stuff is quite musically imaginative and makes for enjoyable listening on its own!

Let’s go to our music:

Alessandro Alessandroni

Alessandro Alessandroni (Braen)

Unlike popular and classical music publishers, who typically own less than 50 percent of the copyright in a composition, production music libraries own all copyrights of their music, thus, it can be licensed freely without the composer’s permission.

Library music composers and session performers typically work anonymously and have rarely become known outside their professional circle. In recent years some veteran composer, performers and arrangers such as Alan Hawkshaw, John Cameron and Keith Mansfield have achieved cult status as a result of a new interest in library music of the 60’s and 70’s, notably the beat/electronica cues recorded for KPM british label.

Suzanne Ciani

Suzanne Ciani

The Italian library scene from the 70’s are certainly the most popular and extensive of the ‘genre’, recently praised by worldwide labels, Dj’s and the blogosphere.

Soundtrack composers and arrangers such as Alessandro Alessandroni, Piero Umiliani, Bruno Nicolai, Suzanne Ciani, are just some of the greats from the period!

Let’s go to our artist:

Daniela Casa (February 6, 1944 – 28 July 1986), was the daughter of a builder of boats, that graduated from Art Schoolduring this time Daniela studied chant and guitar with Maestro Claudio de Angelis. She was discovered in 1963 and put under contract by Fonit label, participating in the same year at the Grand Prix (RAI TV show), in which she presents his own version of Senza Fine, the famous song by Gino Paoli.

Daniela Casa, 1964

Daniela Casa, 1964

The following year Daniela released her second 45 single, also by Fonit.

In 1965, at the Piper Club in Rome, she forms the duo Dany & Gepy with Giampiero Scalamogna, specializing in the revival of covers of soul and r&b. Along the 70’s she devoted herself to composition, writing the famous hits Regolarmente, engraved by Mina, and Dimmi Cosa Aspetti Ancora, perfomed by Dominga. Then, Uomo became the theme song of the television program Storie di Donneat the same time she married the musician Remigio Ducros and in 1972, Valentina Ducros was born.

Thenceforth, she develops several instrumental/library albums whose recording career lasted from 1963 through to her untimely death from cancer in 1988. (RIP)

Let’s go to our album:

1971

A genuine pioneer of experimental pop music, electronics, Giallo jazz and even heavy drone rock jams, her elusive and infectious music joins the dots and loops between other Italian female electronic composers such as Giulia Alessandroni, Doris Norton and Suzanne Ciani, retaining one of the most diverse composing styles of an advanced mechanical musician. Originally designed for use in Italian thrillers, nature documentaries, educational projects and commercial installations.

I’m not an ardent fan of Library music, but this wonder recently re-released on vinyl has really poked me from the very first second. Daniela’s aural reflection of the wickedness of humanity and decay of our world, delivers a multi-layered musical landscape that remain as vibrant and authentic today as they did 35 years ago!

Piero Umiliani Experiements

Piero Umiliani Experiements

Lastly, this is another exclusive release, godere di questa meraviglia, sì?!

The ‘IM’ highlights are: Strade Vuote and Occultismo.

Bon Vwayaj!

Tracks Include:

A1 Ignoto

A2 Strade Vuote

A3 Pericolo

A4 Angoscia

A5 Fabbrica

A6 Oppressione

B1 Esoda

B2 Vizio

B3 Occultismo

B4 Noia

B5 Dittatura

Deneb ‎– DNB 0116

Suspiria's Japanese Poster

Suspiria’s Japanese Poster

Pavlos Sidiropoulos (Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος) & Σπυριδούλα (Spyridoula) – Φλου (Flou) [1979]

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capa cópiaComposer, lyricist/singer Pavlos Sidiropoulos (July 27, 1948 – December 6, 1990), only lived until the age of 42, though he left behind a remarkable musical legacy and influence amongst young artists. He was the great grandson of Zorba, nephew of the poet Elli Alexiou and since his early age showed a musical aptitude. A truly legend, despite the few musical releases in life, the today’s entry is simply considered as the most important rock album of all time in Greece! Fortunately, there’s plenty of information (in greek) available about Pavlos, your site/tribute, deserves a lookout!

Over time other albums will come and we’ll try to bring more details about the life of this fabulous artist, we count on to help from our Greek friends, rest in peace Pavlos.

Let’s go to our artist:

Mural

Mural

Sidiropoulos began his career in 1970 in Thessaloniki, where he was studying maths in Aristotle University. Together with Pantelis Delleyannidis they set up the folk-duo Damon and Phintias; though does not graduating he returns to Athens, disappointed with the revolutionary youth, there he worked to his father’s factory. He soon met, at Kittaro’sDionysis Savvopoulos and his group Bourboulia, he joined the band and released the 45 release Damis The Tough (Ντάμης ο σκληρός) in 1972. There, he stayed until 1974, and therefore first experimented with combining folklore and rock.

Afterward Sidiropoulos collaborated with the Greek composer Yannis Markopoulos, singing his compositions with lyrics by the poet Dimitris Varos. In 1976, together with Spiropoulos brothers, he founded the music group Spiridoula. It took three years for their first release, the cornerstone album Flou, with the homonymous theme song that inspired many musicians, opening a completely different path to Greek audience!

Pavlos Sidiropoulos & Spyridoula

Pavlos Sidiropoulos & Spyridoula

At 1975, he made its two film appearances. He had the leading role in the film (and OST) O Asymvivastos, directed by Andreas Thomopoulos, at the same time, he starred with Dimitris Poulikakos another movie by ThomopoulosAldevaran.

Sidiropoulos joined the band Οι Απροσάρμοστοι (The Misfits), in 1980 where he remained until his death. They released 3 studio albums and numerous live performances. En Lef̱kó̱ was published in 82′, and many of the songs were censored!

Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος

Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος

In 1985, Zorba the Freak came out and in 1989 they released (their lastly) Without Make-up, which was recorded live at Metro club in Athens. In the summer of 1990 and after his mother’s death, his left hand started getting paralyzed, as a result of his long term drug use that he was trying to overcome for many years. He continued his live performances but the deterioration of his health had serious implications. On December 6, 1990 he died from heart attack, caused by heroin overdose. (RIP)

Let’s go to our album:

Considered by many the most important album in Greek rock music, i was completely surprised first time i heard him a and it touched me really deep!

Live

Live

Pavlos are simply the best, always with a tight band, he delivers nice guitars, horns, elements from progpsychedelic and jazz, folk and (beautiful) classic rock, wow!

The ‘IM’ Highlights are: Oi Sovaroi Klooun (Serious Clown) and I Ora Tou Stuff (The Time of Stuff)Safar Wanaagsan!

Tracks Include (polytonic, romanized and translated):

A1 Ο Μπάμπης Ο “Φλου” – O Babis O Flou (The Father Flou)

A2 Μου ‘πες Θα Φύγω – Mou Pes Tha Fygo (You Told Me I Will Go)

A3 Που Να Γυρίζεις – Pou Na Gyrizeis (Where To Turn?)

A4 Ξέσπασμα – Xespasma (Outbreak)

A5 Οι Σοβαροί Κλόουν – Oi Sovaroi Klooun (Serious Clown)

B1 Το ’69 Με Κάποιο Φίλο – To ’69 Me Kapoio Filo (The ’69 With a Friend)

B2 Στην Κ. – Stin K. (In K.)

B3 Η Ώρα Του Stuff – I Ora Tou Stuff (The Time of Stuff)

B4 Τω Αγνώστω Θεώ – To Agnosto Theo (Tm Unknown God)

B5 Εν Κατακλείδι – En Katakleidi (In Conclusion)

Credits

  • Alto Saxophone, Clarinet: Γιάννης Φαναριώτης (John Fanariotis)
  • Bass: Τόλης Μαστρόκαλος (Tolis Mastrokalos)
  • Bass, Guitar (Slide): Νίκος Πολίτης (Nikos Politis)
  • Drums: Ανδρέας Μουζακίτης (Andreas Mouzakitis), Τάσος Φωτοδήμος (Tassos Fotodimos)
  • Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar: Βασίλης Σπυρόπουλος (Vassilis Spyropoulos)
  • Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Flute: Νίκος Σπυρόπουλος (Nikos Spyropoulos)
  • Music, Lyrics: Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος (Pavlos Sidiropoulos)
  • Piano: Δημήτρης Πολύτιμος (Dimitris Valuable)
  • Tenor Saxophone: Μάκης Παπαθεοδώρου (Makis Papatheodorou)
  • Trombone: Ανδρέας Γκαβογιάννης (Andreas Gkavogiannis)
  • Trumpet: Δημήτρης Λεονταρίδης (Dimitris Leontaridis)
  • Violin: Γιώργος Μαγκλάρας (Yorgos Maglaras)
  • Vocals, Percussion: Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος (Pavlos Sidiropoulos)
  • Female Vocals: Dimitra Galani 

Recorded: Γιώργος Κωνσταντόπουλος (George Konstantopoulos)

Engineer (Assistant): Γιώργος Τζάννες (George Tzanes), Εμμανουήλ Ψαρράς (Manolis Psaras)

Cover, Design, Photography: Γιώργος Μανιάτης (George Maniatis), Δημήτρης Αρβανίτης (Dimitris Arvanitis)

Producer: Θόδωρος Σαραντής (Theo Sarantis)

Coordinator: Μάνος Ξυδούς (Manos Xydous)

  • Made, Printed: EMI Greece S.A.
  • Pressed: Columbia, Athens – 7608

Harvest ‎– 14C 062-70913

1984 (Rock On!)

1984 (Rock On!)

Osamu Kitajima (喜多嶋修) – Benzaiten (1974)

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capa cópiaThe music of Japan includes a wide array of performers in distinct styles both traditional and modern. The word for music in Japanese is 音楽 (ongaku), combining the kanji  ‘on’ (sound) with the kanji  ‘gaku’ (enjoy). Many instruments, as the koto, were introduced in the 9th and 10th centuries, the accompanied recitative of the Noh drama dates from the 14th century and the popular folk music, with the guitar-like shamisen, from the 16th century. Western classical music, introduced in late 19th century, now forms an integral part of Japanese culture. The imperial court ensemble Gagaku has influenced the work of many modern Western composers.

Notable classical composers from Japan include Toru Takemitsu and Rentarō Taki.

Biwa & Koto by Utagawa Kunisada, 1848

Biwa & Koto by Utagawa Kunisada, 1848

Popular music in post-war Japan has been heavily influenced by American and European trends, which has led to the evolution of J-pop (popular music). Japan is the second largest music market in the world, with a total retail value of over 3 billion dollars in 2013, dominated by Japanese artists. Karaoke is also the most widely practiced cultural activity, ahead of flower arranging (ikebana) or tea ceremonies. Traditional Japanese music is quite different from Western music as it’s based on the intervals of human breathing rather than mathematical timing. (!)

Toru Takemitsu

Toru Takemitsu

Let’s go to our artist:

Osamu Kitajima (February 3, 1949) was born and raised in the beach town of Chigasaki (Kanagawa Prefecture), as a young man he studied classical guitar and piano; his first band the Launchers, was led by pop idol and actor Yuzo Kayama, the group disbanded in the late 60’s, after Kitajima began to work on his own.

After graduating from Keio University, and already a successful composer of TV and advertising jingles, he moved for one year to the UK in 1971, which brought him in to contact with British folk and psychedelia. Inspired by The Beatles, T. Rex and Syd Barrett, he dubbed himself Justin Heathcliff and issued a lone eponymous album.

Dr. Osamu Kitajima, 1972

Dr. Osamu Kitajima, 1972

His first solo album in 1974, Benzaiten, was a mix of modern pop and traditional Japanese music, and was well received in Japan and later released abroad (Antilles label in U.S.) where it received some underground radio airplay and sold moderately. Also in 1974 Kitajima relocated to the Los Angeles area and later opened East Quest Studios; the late 70’s and 80’s saw the establishment of its career, with more than a dozen Lp’s, he has become one of Japan’s biggest selling artist internationally!

During the decades, Osamu Kitajima expanded his work to include commercial and soundtrack work, he provided part of the music to the blockbuster mini-series Shogun and contributed to the soundtrack of Sharkey’s Machine. He also arranged the scores for PBS documentaries on Japan, Chinese/Japanese film Mandala and produced a number of artists. Nowadays, inside East Quest Records, he continues to release his own albums (new and re-issues), as well as works by countless artists.

Osamu's Portrait

Osamu’s Portrait

Let’s go to our album:

This is truly a melting pot of Western rock and Japanese traditional music, very few have pulled it off so well as Kitajima does here. Either they usually fall prey to new age sappiness, or move towards amateurish exploitation, fortunately it does not happen here, a real serious work, the type of rock influenced world music that still hasn’t been much explored at all. The album also featured Haruomi Hosono and it utilized various electronics: synthesizerrhythm machine, and electronic drums.

A bit different from our previous entry Buddha Meet Rock, this is a more elaborate record, with brilliant musicians and cinematic feelings, being a cornerstone of japanese folklore, be enlightened by Kitajima’s masterful work and Bono Trinus!

Benzaiten Goddess

Benzaiten Goddess

The ‘IM’ highlights are: Taiyo (The Sun) and Benzaiten (Reprise).

Tracks Include:

A1 Benzaiten (The God of Music and Water)

A2 Taiyo (The Sun)

A3 Tengu (A Long Nosed Goblin)

B1 Benzaiten (Reprise)

B2 Whoma (Immortality)

Credits

  • Acoustic Guitar, Synthesizer, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Koto, Biwa, Drums (African, Mexican), Electronic Drums (Rhythm Machine): Osamu Kitajima
  • Bass: Dennis Belfield, John Harris
  • Biwa: Masako Hirayama
  • Drums (African): Kinji Yoshino
  • Drums (Tsuzumi), Percussion (Narimono): Kisaku Katada
  • Electric Bass: Haruomi Hosono
  • Electric Guitar: George Marinelli
  • Flute (Hayashi-bue): Haruyoshi Hosei
  • Keyboards: Brian Whitcomb
  • Shakuhachi: Tatsuya Sano
  • Sho: Yosei Sato
  • Engineer: Kinji Yoshino
  • Engineer (Assistant): Yutaka Matsumoto
  • Producer: Kinji Yoshino, Osamu Kitajima
  • Distributed and Manufactured: Island Records Inc.
  • Antilles U.S. release of album first released by Island Records (Japan) in 1974.

Recorded through Jan/Aug 1974 at Hit Studio of Jean Jean Theater, Tokyo

Whoma recorded live at Nikkei Hall.

Antilles ‎– AN 7016

Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom Festival

The Corporation – The Corporation (1969)

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folderToday we’ll have a short entry, The Corporation might not have done the expected success at its time, but they’re not complete strangers when it comes to psychedelic culture, rediscovered and praised by the bloggers network since the mid-2000s. Therefore, this could be called a B side from a major label (Capitol), with paramount importance if we look at what was being produced back then; bands like The Power of Zeus, Autosalvage, Fifty Foot Hose, Kalacakra, amongst others, somehow failed to achieve national recognition, however, after more than 40 years since their respective releases we can see how ahead of time they were, let’s stick with them!?

Let’s go to our artist:

Formed in Milwaukee in 1968 at Cudahy’s Galaxy Club, where the Kondos brothers joined up with members of an outfit called Eastern Mean Time. Some months later they were heard by Capitol reps at another club The Bastille, which the band had bought into. With a contract for an album the band journeyed to Detroit to record at Tera Shirma studios with producer John Rhys. Even though the record ended up not being a huge commercial success, the band continued to write with hopes of a follow up record on Capitol, this material was eventually spread across two LPs released by Age of Aquarius label, subsequently Get on Our Swing and Hassles in My Mind.

1969 Promo

1969 Promo

Perhaps more extensive touring might have propelled their first album to greater heights, but except for Chicago and St Paul, the band remained local. There were no television appearances, and nothing else to build a greater audience; a European tour was in the plans, but it fell apart along with disagreements with Capitol Records.

Nick Kondos recalls about it: ‘They treat you like kings, they even set you up with the hottest girls, we went to a jam featuring Jimi Hendrix, and then they get the drugs out. But we found out that the album was selling and we didn’t get a penny. We had an argument with Capitol and that’s how the contract ended. Maybe we were a little impatient. You give it everything you’ve got and, if you want to be a star, you have to let them use and abuse you for a while, and THEN worry about the money.’ (!)

Let’s go to our album:

Released in February 1969, with some serious writing on side one by the Kondos brothers, the Lp is notable for the side-long psych rework of John Coltrane’s India, along with heavy fuzzflutes, harmonica, and vigorous vocals in a trippy overall!

John Coltrane, a Navy Reserve

John Coltrane, U.S. Navy Reserve

Straight and simple, the ‘IM’ highlights are: Smile and India (fantastic).

კარგი მოგზაურობა!

Tracks Include:

A1 I Want To Get Out of My Grave (John A. Kondos, Nicholas A. Kondos)

A2 RIng That Bell (John A. Kondos, Nicholas A. Kondos)

A3 Smile (John A. Kondos, Patrick D. McCarthy)

A4 Highway (Gerard J. Smith, John A. Kondos)

A5 Drifting (John A. Kondos)

B1 India (John Coltrane)

Credits

  • Bass, Backing Vocals: Kenneth Bernard Berdoll
  • Drums, Backing Vocals: Nicholas Alexander Kondos
  • Guitar, Flute, Harp, Piano, Backing Vocals: John Alexander Kondos
  • Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals: Gerard Jon Smith
  • Lead Vocals: Daniel Vincent Pell
  • Organ, Trombone: Patrick Daneil McCarthy

Recorded: Tera Shirma Studios, Detroit

Engineers: Milan Bogden and Les Chasey

Produced: John Rhys

Capitol Records ‎– ST 175

Summer of Love, 1967

Summer of Love, 1967