Sunday, 5 April 2015

(Flac) NEW ORDER - Studio 54, Barcelona, 1984

New Order
Studio 54, Barcelona, Spain
7 July 1984

 Source: Hooky's rubbish bin (the "stash" tapes)
Lineage: Master soundboard recording cassette (analogloyalist mastering, August 2012)

The following notes are by analogloyalist:

"At long last I'm starting to fix up and free a stash of gigs - which first saw the light (heh) in 2004 on the long-defunct Sharing The Groove, but were essentially untouched beyond basic cleanup - that really show how brilliant New Order were in their prime in the mid-'80s.

The quick-and-dirty background:  Whilst cleaning house, a set of master New Order soundboard tapes (various mid-80s live gigs, some rehearsals, and a DAT or two from the band's 1989 US tour) was found by Hooky under the floorboards at his studio Suite 16 in Rochdale, England.  A musician friend of Hooky, who was in his employ for a duration in the early 90s, then rescued the tapes and sold them to an infamous collector in Florida, a collector not known for sharing the wealth.  In the interim, ATR (sometimes called Stash) obtained digital transfers of these tapes before they were shipped off to Florida.  ATR then shared them amongst the New Order cognoscenti, and then in 2004 we fed them to the world via Sharing The Groove.

All these gigs had their various problems as-received from the source in between Hooky and us, the least of which were sector boundary errors (which means, if burned as-is to CD, there are audible "pops" in between tracks) and all off-pitch by varying degrees.  Some were extremely muddy, and others were far too bright.  None of them were just right, but my aim is to make them so.

(The New Order "stash" gigs that were on Sharing The Groove, and various other torrent sites and blogs from 2004 onward, are all from those original 2004 releases and have not been formally mastered since, until now.)

This is easily one of my all-time favorite New Order sets.  Generally fantastic, crystalline sound; great setlist; unique segues; sequencer cockups.  It's all here.

"Ceremony" on the Retro box set live CD was sourced from this very transfer via one of the Stash transfer recipients, though obviously without my mastering (the Retro version is inexplicably slowed down, and has been "muddified" for lack of a better term).  It truly shines here and is one of my favorite performances ever of this track.  Don't let the sound quality of the Retro version scare you, at all - this completely shatters Retro's version and beats it to a bloody pulp.

"Skullcrusher" - enough said.  One of the few performances with "lyrics" - and I put that in quotes because it's basically Barney ad-libbing a lyric.  And it's wonderful, in its absurdity.  The performance is, simply, out of this world.  And "Lonesome Tonight"!  Easily a top 5 New Order track for me.

Throughout the sequenced tracks ("The Village" / "Confusion" / "Hurt" / "Blue Monday" / "Everything's Gone Green" / "Temptation") you can audibly hear problems with the sequencer.  It's cutting in and out (it's actually mostly in, it's only dropping out in a few places) of the board feed; I have no idea if this was a problem with the on-stage equipment or simply the feed into the PA.  It makes for some unique versions, and I absolutely love it.

There's a wonderful problem with the sequencer kicking off "Everything's Gone Green" in that it bleats "Blue Monday" in perfect sync with "Everything's Gone Green" until Gillian sets things right.  And the perfect segue between "EGG" and "Temptation" is done perfectly, the sequencer going for a full 12 minutes straight between the two songs.  Love it!

The original unmastered version of this gig has been spread pretty far and wide since 2004.  Trust me when I say you will want to bin it immediately upon hearing this 2012 mastering - it crushes it like a grape.  This version here is truly spectacular, and could be released tomorrow by Warners."


01. Your Silent Face
02. The Village
03. Ceremony
04. Skullcrusher
05. We All Stand
06. Lonesome Tonight
07. Confusion
08. Hurt
09. Age Of Consent
10. Blue Monday
11. Bernard and Hooky riffing
12. Everything's Gone Green ---->


Thursday, 2 April 2015

(Flac) TRAFFIC - Fillmore East 1970

November 18, 1970
Fillmore East, New York City, NY

Soundboard master reel
running time 64: 04

Traffic, reformed in 1970, after Steve Winwood had initially begun recording his debut solo album. It became their third studio album, 'John Barleycorn Must Die' and was released in July.  Five of the six original album tracks are performed live here, with "Stranger To Himself" the only omission. The bulk of the remainder, appeared on the second self-titled album and the inclusion of Blind Faith member Ric Grech, gives these live tracks a more improvisational feel than their studio counterparts.

“The curious tale of the in-concert album that never was follows: Shows were taped at the Fillmore East, the release was scheduled; it even got an Island catalogue number – ILPS 9142, the perfunctory title of Live – November 1970 and is reckoned to have had finished sleeves and been just days from being pressed up and hitting the shops – but never materialised. Bootlegs exist, and some finalised tracks were released officially (including Bill Graham’s introduction; the performances are excellent) as bonus cuts on the expanded CD release of John Barleycorn Must Die. The performances are excellent, and as one theory of a lost tape is rather far-fetched if the sleeves were indeed printed, it is likely that events of the following year caused this project to be abandoned: these range from the band having second thoughts, to disputes between Chris Blackwell and UA records in the States over their handling of Winwood’s back catalogue.”  (info from

The ‘winwoodfans’ site conjectures that the album was perhaps unreleased, due to the record company United Artists releasing 'Winwood', a best of release, that had not been sanctioned by the artist. After a court order, that album was withdrawn. By this time, original member Dave Mason had rejoined the band along with two new members, and it was felt that the November 1970 recording, was now nothing to do with the current band. The writer of the piece Dan Ropek reflects on 'Live - November '70' "that it remains, perhaps forever, lost."

What does remain though, are these tracks, recorded over the same two dates at the Fillmore, they appear on this bootleg in excellent quality. 

(See the comments by Luke, below this post for further information)

1. Introduction by Bill Graham
2. Medicated Goo
3. Pearly Queen
4. Empty Pages
5. Heaven Is In Your Mind
6. Forty Thousand Headmen
7. John Barleycorn Must Die
8. Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring
9. Every Mother's Son
10. Glad > Freedom Rider*
11. Means To An End
12. Dear Mr. Fantasy

Steve Winwood - vocals, guitar, organ
Jim Capaldi – drums, percussion, vocals
Chris Wood - piano, organ. sax, flute, vocals
Ric Grech - bass guitar

SBD > Master Reel > CD > EAC > WAV > FLAC (level 8, align on sector boundaries)
* - Some glitches from master reel were present, on track 10 these have been edited and smoothed


If you enjoy this bootleg I would suggest investigating the first four studio albums:

Mr. Fantasy - 1967
Traffic - 1968
John Barleycorn Must Die - 1970
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys - 1971

Thursday, 26 March 2015

(Flac) LEONARD COHEN - "The Ladies Man' In Concert" 1993

The 1993 tour, from which this recording originates, would likely have been Leonard’s last, but he discovered in 2004 that his manager had been embezzling his earnings. He was left with little from his long career in music and publishing. After a long and protracted legal battle, he once again took to the stage, at the age of 73, for his first tour in 15 years. This latter day touring has resulted in a slew of official releases by his record company Columbia, another is scheduled for this year. It joins previous releases Live In London (2008), Songs From The Road (2008-09), Live In Dublin (2013).

With this in mind I’ve decided to post something from his mid-career era. The tours for the 'I’m Your Man' and 'The Future' albums were massively successful, humorous lyrics,

“Everybody knows that you've been faithful
 Ah give or take a night or two
 Everybody knows you've been discreet
 But there were so many people you just had to meet
 Without your clothes”

and great songs, introduced a younger audience to his work. This recording is from Switzerland’s largest city Zurich in the early summer of 1993, and is sourced from an FM broadcast, bootlegged by Flashback. The sound quality is excellent (some sibilance on the vocals) as is the performance. Leonard moves swiftly with ease from his newer work to his many older classics.
If you like this and want more from this era, I can also highly recommend these from the 1988 tour: Royal Albert Hall - London, Muziektheater - Amsterdam and Laugardalshöll - Reykjavik

"The Ladies Man In Concert" - liberated boot
Leonard Cohen
Kongresshalle, Zurich,
21 May, 1993

CD 1:
01. Dance Me to the End of Love
02. The Future
03. Ain't No Cure for Love
04. Bird on the Wire
05. Everybody Knows
06. Anthem
07. First We Take Manhattan
08. Avalanche
09. Chelsea Hotel #2
10. Tower of Song
11. Democracy

CD 2:
01. Waiting for the Miracle
02. I'm Your Man
03. Joan of Arc
04. Closing Time
05. Take This Waltz
06. Sisters of Mercy
07. Hallelujah
08. I Tried to Leave You
09. So Long, Marianne

FM ->  ?? -> CD -> EAC secure -> Wav -> Flac Frontend -> Flac (5)
Released by Flashback, Luxembourg, 1993: Flash 07.93.0215/1

Download part one

Download part two


Thursday, 12 March 2015

PINK FLOYD - The Best Of Tour '72

This historical recording captures Dark Side Of The Moon in its earliest stage.
No other recording available from the January-February 1972 tour (in which Dark Side Of The Moon was first performed) sounds as good as this. It has one ugly flaw (still) with the annoying cuts in "Time", Us And Them" & "Eclipse" but the music and sound is just too good to leave alone.
This upgrade is by far the best sounding version of this recording. You need this whether you are an average or diehard Floyd fan. (Artwork is included)

Rainbow Theatre, London
20 February, 1972

"The Best Of Tour '72 - Restored"
Remastered From Original 1st LP Pressing

01. Speak to me (cuts in, only last 8s left) 
02. Breathe   
03. Travel Sequence
04. Time (cut within) 
05. Home again
06. Religious Theme  
07. Money  
08. Us & Them (cut within, misses most)   
09. Dave's Scat Section   
10. The Lunatic Song
11. Eclipse (cuts off)

Time: 40:52:66
Sound: A
Source Info:
High Quality Condensator Stereo Mics -> Reel-to-Reel Master -> Mastering -> Mastered source (likely recorded on Hi-Speed Reel-to-Reel) -> 1st Pressing Vinyl Bootleg (16-421/422) -> Technics 1210mk2 with -881mk2s stylus -> Tascam DA20mk2 (A-D conversion 16 bit, 48kHz) -> PC -> Cubase SX 2.0 -> Wave (downsampled to 44.1k) -> FLAC -> Torrent

See below for clarification.
Re-Mastered @ the Soundhouse by Prof. Stoned, February 2006.


A note from the Prof.:

Today, 34 years and a couple of days after this was first recorded, I present to you all a significant digital upgrade -maybe even the definitive version- of the legendary "The Best of Tour 72" boot. It KILLS both the "Swinging Pig" and the "Original Masters Series" bootleg CD's of this album that most of you all know.
These two boots were both taken from the same inferior source which is ruined by a heavy NoNoise treatment. This is a trueful reproduction of the original vinyl bootleg and will make you hear details in the recording that you never heard before.

***About the Original Bootleg***

The content of this CDR has been carefully mastered from a rare vintage (1972) vinyl copy (strictly rated: EX), the very 1st pressing of this classic floyd bootleg, and therefore the closest source to the (unfindable) original tape.
The recorded content of the original LP was handled professionally from start to finish (not counting the cuts in the recording). The sound is beautiful. A very wide stereo image with clear separation of instruments & voices. There is little hiss or distortion. The unmastered source that the bootleggers used must have been 0th or maybe 1st generation tape. The original pre-vinyl tape has had a mastering treatment with a compressor, Dolby(A) and likely some EQ-ing.

The vinyl itself is nice and thick, made to last.
This could very well have been pressed at a pressing plant which was used by major record company's as well.
As you can read in Clinton Heylin's excellent book "Bootleg! The Rise and Fall of the Secret recording industry" this used to happen a lot in the early 70"s, and it would explain why the bootleggers were so keen to hide the name Pink Floyd, even on the record label itself.

Although the pre-vinyl part in the source info chain is speculated, it's 100% certain that this is NOT a soundboard and/or FM. Ever since this came out, the SQ has led people to believe it is. Even the above mentioned book, erroneously stated this was taken from a BBC radio broadcast.
And even to this day, this recording is way more often labelled as "radio" or "soundboard" than as what it is: "EX audience".

(NB: A few more details to identify the first pressing:
The record label is dark blue with silver characters and edge.
The matrix number on Side 1 is 16-421 and can be seen both on the label and also in small characters between the running grooves. The label says: "We did it for you".
Same goes for Side 2 but the number is 16-422 instead and the label says: "We did it for you too" 
On both sides you can see: "composed and arranged by TOUR 72".
There's no mention of Pink Floyd anywhere.
The only direct sign referring to PF are the tour dates on the back of the laminated sleeve.
This LP or the 2nd pressing are very much worth the hunt.)

***About the Mastering***

The vinyl was cleaned carefully one hour long using anti-stat.
Because both the SQ of the original recording and the mastering of the LP are so outstanding, I felt it would be a waste to correct anything in that aspect.
This means that no further eq-ing or compression has been applied by me. ObviousIy, I did not use any noise reduction; the big sin that made the previous (and unfortunately) common cd(r) versions of this recording sound like poop.
There is a little bit of vinyl distortion hearable, most notably in the gentle parts during the last 11 min. of Side 2 on the left channel.
It's nothing to write home about but still.
I picked out the biggest clicks by hand and handled the rest with the excellent 'Waves' Click & Crackle plug-ins.
I corrected the speed of the recording with +0.15 semitones.
I tuned Rick Wright's organ with great precision to an exact A (440 Hz), bringing down the playing time from 41:13 to 40:52.
I also swapped the channels as heard on the LP to match the stereo image as much as possible with PF's then stage order;
Dave's guitar & vocal are clearly on the left, the toms are coming from the left to the floor-tom on the right, (as if you are standing in front of the drums).
An edit was done to make side 1 run seamlessly into Side 2.
The point where the edit was made can be heard on both sides of the LP, so not a millisecond got lost.

Prof. Stoned


Friday, 6 March 2015

(Flac) STEVIE WONDER - Funkafied Rainbow (1974)

A complete concert by Stevie Wonder from 31 January 1974. It was recorded at the Rainbow Theatre in London, halfway between the release of the classic albums "Innervisions and "Fulfillingness' First Finale" The sound quality is excellent, perhaps only needing a final mix before release, which had been the intention. The nature of the performance is sprawling, meandering and at times unfocused but never less than fascinating. Stevie and his band relax on stage, away from the tight discipline and time schedule of the recording studio. He is accompanied by guitarist Michael Sembello, the rhythm section of Reggie McBride (bass) and Ollie Brown (drums) and Wonderlove's female backing vocalists.

Stevie Wonder - "Funkafied Rainbow"
Live in London January, 1974
(from the "Big-Fro Discs" release (BF-001/2), 2005)

Rainbow Theatre, London
31 January 1974

Disc #1
 1. intro > Contusion (17:44)
 2. Higher Ground (5:52)
 3. Superwoman (3:12)
 4. To Know You Is To Love You (7:11)
 5. Signed, Sealed And Delivered (3:03)
 6. Visions (9:56)

Disc #2
 1. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing (4:44)
 2. Living For The City (10:59)
 3. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life (12:00)
 4. Superstition (7:28)
 5. encore jam (6:02) 


Reviewed by Joe Kenney, 13/09/2006ce

For one of the greatest performers of the 20th Century, there’s very little live material afloat from Stevie Wonder, especially from his celebrated “golden age” in the 1970s. This man released a string of perfect albums in the 1970s (from “Music of My Mind” in 1972 to “Songs in the Key of Life” in 1976), yet never issued an official live recording during that period, which is a shame.

 This is a bootleg of Stevie’s concert at the Rainbow in London, in 1974. Word was, back in the day, that this concert was going to be officially released, but later on Stevie changed his mind, saying the audio quality of the tapes wasn’t up to snuff. This is strange, because the bootleg is a soundboard recording, and has great sound. Everything comes in crystal clear.

 If you take a look at this CD, the first thing that will strike you is the length of most of the songs. Seven minutes, eleven minutes, even eighteen minutes. You take a look at that 1974 date, take a look at Stevie’s large, multi-ethnic band (complete with electric guitar, keyboards, a great bassist), and you figure you’re in for some stoned-out mid-‘70s “hairy funk,” which was the style at the time. But, save for a few moments, that’s not the case. The majority of the running time on the longer tracks is given over to Stevie improvising while playing his clavinet alone; there are only a few moments of full-on funky jamming from the complete band. Which is a shame, especially for anyone who’s seen that great footage of Stevie on “Sesame Street” from 1972, playing “Superstition” live with his touring group; there they tear through the song and take names. (For anyone who wants to see this, search for it at

 The concert opens with an eighteen-minute take of the rock/jazz instrumental “Contusion” (released two years later on the double LP “Songs in the Key of Life”), the house announcer introducing the star to the audience while Stevie’s band (aka Wonderlove) vamps through some solos. When I first saw the length of this track, I anticipated a workout of epic proportions, the band really getting into the groove. But instead, the whole affair is more of a twelve-minute warm-up. The bass will play for a few minutes, then the guitar, then some funky drums. Nothing locks together into “Contusion” itself until the final three minutes, and from there it sounds remarkably like the album version. So pretty good, but not the super-long fusion extravaganza I expected. However, warm-up or not, I can't stress how funky it all is.

 From there Stevie leads the band into some funky clavinet/drums jamming, with airy, wordless female vocals in the background. Two minutes in, Stevie cuts this off, telling the audience “We’ve gotta save that for later on in the show, we can’t do that now.” He then informs us that the first track we heard was “Contusion,” and then launches into “Higher Ground.” Again, this sounds much like the studio take, though Stevie has a different, more electronic (yet still funky) sound on his clavinet, which sounds similar to some of the keyboards on the Miles Davis fusion classic “On the Corner.” The band isn’t given much room to jam; it all sounds very much like the version on “Innervisions,” except the bass is a bit louder. However Stevie’s voice, I should mention, is strong throughout this song and the rest of the concert – he hits the same notes he hits in the studio takes.

 Next we have “Superwoman,” off the truly unsung “Music of My Mind” LP. Feedback gets in the way of the first few lines, but from there it’s just Stevie, a smooth guitar, bass, and drums. Two and a half minutes in, Stevie calls “Everyone play,” and the band opens up for the final minute. The track is much shorter than the studio take found on "Music of My Mind;" here Stevie only sticks to the first half of the song ("Superwoman"), and skips the second half ("Where Were You When I Needed You").

 After the more melodic “Superwoman,” things get funky again with “To Know You is to Love You,” a song Stevie penned and produced for his former wife Syreeta, and which appeared on her first album. Here it’s stretched out to a bit over seven minutes, and the full band gets to jam the groove; unlike “Contusion,” they’re all playing together. A good portion of the song is given over to the band jamming on the riff, with Stevie’s backup singers moaning “To know you is to love you,” while the man himself provides some wordless vocals overtop. Lots of moments like this on the concert, by the way; Stevie’s fond of his “aahs” and such. As the track builds and builds, the funk gets deeper and deeper, with all kinds of wah-wah action from the guitar and clavinet.

“Signed, Sealed and Delivered” is next, again sticking close to the studio version. Not much to say about this one; the song precedes Stevie’s self-produced, “golden” era, so it doesn’t allow for the funky expressionism he brings to the later tracks in the set. But hell, the song’s a classic, and one of the best things Motown has in its catalog. It just doesn’t fit here.

“Visions” follows, ten minutes long, with the first three minutes given over to Stevie expressing his feelings to the audience over soft, soft guitar, bass, keyboard, and the occasional cymbal tap. He tells the audience he loves them, then the song officially begins. Again, it is very close to what you’ll hear on “Innervisions.” The song ends at seven minutes in…or does it? Stevie, for some reason so happy with his audience, decides to improvise a whole new verse. The music stays the same, that soft, jazzy dreaminess familiar from the godlike “Innervisions” LP. The crowd screams its appreciation at the end, and the track closes out Disc 1.

 Disc 2 opens with “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing,” another “Innervisions” classic. Something’s happened midway, because now everything seems much louder than before. Maybe this is the audio problem which kept Stevie from releasing the show officially – the first half wasn’t recorded as well as the second? The song as performed here isn’t as full as the studio version. It’s more of an intimate affair, Stevie on keys, with the band quietly jamming behind him. It’s also not nearly as ebullient and frantic as the studio version. That is, until it kicks into a higher gear two minutes in. The guitarist has this warm tone throughout the concert, and here it’s put to good use, with him providing jazzy little notes and riffs. Again, there’s a big difference between the album version and this live version. Which is a good thing; who wants to go to a concert and hear songs that sound the same as their studio counterparts?

 And now we come to “Living for the City,” that epic classic from “Innervisions.” Eleven minutes here, but again not due to the super-jamming you might expect (or even a re-enactment of the infamous mid-song “arrest” on the LP version), but due to Stevie improvising solo. It starts off just like the studio version, save with the Wonderlove backup girls adding vocals at the end of each verse. Stevie’s keys are brighter here than on the studio version, nearly ear-piercing at times. Now, we all know how the LP version features a staged arrest and lock-up halfway through the song. Here, Stevie just stops the song four minutes in, breaks for a few seconds, and then comes back jamming the theme on his keys. He prods the band to keep up with him (drums and bass only, with guitar eventually joining in), then directs the audience to clap along. From there on it’s Dictator Stevie; in between his vocal improvisations (“I’m sick of/Living for the city”), he painstakingly attempts to get the backup singers (and the audience) to not only sing the phrase “Are you tired now,” but also WHEN to sing it. “No, no, don’t repeat it AFTER me, sing it WITH me!” Stevie yells on multiple occasions. One can almost see him shaking that sunglass’d face in frustration. Finally, the band joins in for a full-on groove for the final minute.

“You Are the Sunshine of My Life” follows, here even longer than the preceding track. Only three minutes on “Talking Book,” here “Sunshine” is stretched to an unwieldy twelve minutes. My favorite part: Stevie introduces a member of Wonderlove who co-sings the song with him; after she sings “You are the apple of my eye,” someone in the audience whistles at her. Instead of dropping out of the track for more improvisation, here the group jams away in a jazzy groove. This then breaks down for a minute or two of Stevie solo on harmonica. Then the band comes back in on that jazzy groove. Stevie calls for “a little more edge” on his mic, then jumps into some scat vocals over the beat. Finally he cuts loose with that harmonica, the band opening it up a bit. But this track, despite it’s running length, is a bit too subdued. And I have to mention that Stevie treats us to his imitation of Gomer Pyle, singing the lyrics, for the last minute or two.

“Superstition” follows immediately thereafter, and I am so glad it’s here. Not only is this my all-time favorite Stevie Wonder song, it’s also just my favorite song ever. Stevie sticks to the funk here; no more of that soulful improvising over quiet backing. This is hard and heavy throughout its seven-minute running time. Even the guitar gets turned up to a tougher edge! It’s not as full-sounding as that “Sesame Street” performance mentioned above (mostly because Stevie had guys on sax and horn there; here he doesn’t), but it’s just as funky. Yes, the band hits on all cylinders here, and though I can’t say I like this version better than the studio take released on “Talking Book,” I have to say it rocks just as hard. But then it pulls a fast one, revving up the tempo four minutes in, into a hardcore-level pace. Stevie works the hell out of that clavinet, and the guitarist (I see him, waiting patiently throughout the show for the nod from Stevie) finally cuts loose. The band locks in on a bass-lead groove, with the guitarist shredding overtop. (But still, what I wouldn’t give to have him joined by Pete Cosey – he of “Agharta,” Miles Davis’ super-heavy guitarist around this time period.) And then, just when you think it’s all about to pound you into the dirt, the song gets even faster! Here the group officially takes over, the guitarist, bassist, and drummer just rocking the hell out of the tune. Without question, this track is the highlight of the concert. Eventually the group fades away, with Stevie’s keys floating up and taking over, leading us into the next (and final) track.

“Encore Jam” is how the CD labels this final song. “Encore Improvisation” would be just as good a title. It’s all Stevie improvisation, telling the audience how much he loves them, while the group provides quiet yet jazzy accompaniment. Stevie’s sure to let us know he did NOT write this song earlier; he’s making it all up as he sings. Sometimes this works out, sometimes it doesn’t; a few times Stevie has no choice but to make up words to finish the rhyme. It’s funny, at one point he sings to the crowd that if his future albums don’t please them, then that will only serve to make him try to do better! The track wraps up at six minutes, the crowd screaming, Stevie telling them he loves them, the guitarist throwing in one last, very Hendrix-ian solo (“Angel”-era Hendrix, that is), and it’s all over.

 There are two Stevie Wonders: the soulful balladeer who gives us tracks like “You are the Sunshine of My Life,” “Love’s in Need of Love Today,” and “Isn’t She Lovely,” but sometimes gets a bit too saccharine for his own good. And there’s the bad-ass Stevie, who gives us the fuzzed-out funk of “Keep On Running,” “All Day Sucker,” and “Do Yourself a Favor” (one of the greatest tracks in the Wonder catalog, a hard-hitting funk monster which can be found on his 1971 LP “Where I’m Coming From”). I would’ve preferred more of the hard-hitting funk Stevie on this bootleg, and less of the soulful improvising Stevie, but that’s just me.

 The fact is, this is a great concert, with great sound, and it should’ve been released officially. Definitely hunt it down if you are a Stevie fan (and let’s face it, what excuse would you have to NOT be a fan of golden age Stevie Wonder?).

Download disc one

Download disc two

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Monheim is compiled from two separate performances, both recorded within a month of each other, at the end of 1998. The download links take you to where you can choose from flac mp3 or listen to the available stream.

"Hung Over as the Queen in Maida Vale"
BBC Studios, London, UK
John Peel session
Recorded: 22 November 1998
Broadcast: 1 January 1999
Source: FM

01. Monheim > Improvisation (includes Chart #3 & Steve Reich) (18:17)

Consists of the movements "Monheim" (which later appeared on 2002's Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven), "Chart #3" (also on Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven), and "Steve Reich" (unfortunately unreleased).

 As a suite not unlike how the band present their albums (specifically their first two full lengths), this set works very well. "Monheim" is a fantastic opening piece, building up from a bittersweet guitar strum into a churning mess of estranged harmony and intense release. A momentary pause allows us to catch our breath before "Chart #3" begins, a relatively simple piece which revolves around a sample of a man speaking very passionately about spiritual discovery. The simplistic and distant guitar chords immediately segue into the final section, "Steve Reich," and if you were looking for a payoff, you'll never find one sweeter than this. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the fact that this and the VPRO radio sessions as the only way of hearing this incredible piece of music is the most criminal case of withholding brilliance that I've ever encountered! This is simply breathtaking from start to finish. Mimicking the eponymous composer's early experiments in form, the three guitar players present compounding riffs one atop the other, all within a relatively closed harmonic space, and all of which are both beautiful and melancholic. These three riffs are the centre of the piece, as they wail and churn within it for its entire duration, the percussion and violin/cello adding emphasis and accentuation in simplistic and perfect ways. If this piece really has been transformed into an A Silver Mount Zion, it's too bad - in this original form, its incredible, and should definitely have been recorded by the band before its indefinite hiatus.

 Unfortunately, though, this is the best place to find it. While it is isolated from "Monheim" in the VPRO sessions, those recordings have quite a bit more hiss, and the performance is of a slightly lesser quality (a few inherent imperfections which bring it down a notch). This is recommended to all GY!BE fans, and if you're a patient listener, it would be a fantastic introduction to the band as well. (review by seasonsinthesky - November 25, 2006,

Download link:

Sojus 7, Monheim, Germany
17 December 1998
Source: Soundboard

02. Intro (3:10)
03. The Dead Flag Blues (9:40)
04. Moya (14:28)
05. World Police And Friendly Fire (13:55)
06. She Dream’t She Was A Bulldozer, She Dream’t She Was Alone In An Empty Field > J.L.H. Outro (18:36)

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Benefit sanctions: Britain's secret penal system

Benefits claimants are subjected to an 'amateurish, secret penal system which is more severe than the mainstream judicial system', writes Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow.
By: Dr David Webster
Date: Monday, 26 January, 2015
Few people know that the number of financial penalties (‘sanctions’) imposed on benefit claimants by the Department of Work and Pensions now exceeds the number of fines imposed by the courts. In Great Britain in 2013, there were 1,046,398 sanctions on Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants, 32,128 on Employment and Support Allowance claimants, and approximately 44,000 on lone parent recipients of Income Support. By contrast, Magistrates’ and Sheriff courts imposed a total of only 849,000 fines.

Sanctioned benefit claimants are treated much worse than those fined in the courts. The scale of penalties is more severe (£286.80 - £11,185.20 compared to £200 - £10,000). Most sanctions are applied to poor people and involve total loss of benefit income. Although there is a system of discretionary ‘hardship payments’, claimants are often reduced to hunger and destitution by the ban on application for the first two weeks and by lack of information about the payments and the complexity of the application process. The hardship payment system itself is designed to clean people out of resources; all savings or other sources of assistance must be used up before help is given.

Decisions on guilt are made in secret by officials who have no independent responsibility to act lawfully; since the Social Security Act 1998 they have been mere agents of the Secretary of State. These officials are currently subject to constant management pressure to maximise penalties, and as in any secret system there is a lot of error, misconduct, dishonesty and abuse. The claimant is not present when the decision on guilt is made and is not legally represented. While offenders processed in the court system cannot be punished before a hearing, and if fined are given time to pay, the claimant’s punishment is applied immediately. Unlike a magistrate or sheriff, the official deciding the case does not vary the penalty in the light of its likely impact on them or their family. If the claimant gets a hearing (and even before the new system of ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’ only 3 per cent of sanctioned claimants were doing so), then it is months later, when the damage has been done. ‘Mandatory reconsideration’, introduced in October 2013, denies access to an independent Tribunal until the claimant has been rung up at home twice and forced to discuss their case with a DWP official in the absence of any adviser – a system which is open to abuse and has caused a collapse in cases going to Tribunal.

Yet the ‘transgressions’ (DWP’s own word) which are punished by this system are almost exclusively very minor matters, such as missing a single interview with a Jobcentre or Work Programme contractor, or not making quite as many token job applications as the Jobcentre adviser demands.

How did we get to this situation? Until the later 1980s, the social security system saw very little use of anything that could be called a sanction. Unemployment benefits were seen as part of an insurance scheme, with insurance-style conditions. Any decision on ‘disqualification’ (as it was called) from unemployment benefit was made by an independent Adjudication Service, with unrestricted right of appeal to an independent Tribunal. The maximum disqualification was 6 weeks, and those disqualified had a right to a reduced rate of Supplementary Benefit assessed on the normal rules.

‘Sanctions’ are almost entirely a development of the last 25 years. The British political class has come to believe that benefit claimants must be punished to make them look for work in ways the state thinks are a good idea. Yet the evidence to justify this does not exist. A handful of academic papers, mostly from overseas regimes with milder sanctions, suggest that sanctions may produce small positive effects on employment. But other research shows that their main effect is to drive people off benefits but not into work, and that where they do raise employment, they push people into low quality, unsustainable jobs. This research, and a torrent of evidence from Britain’s voluntary sector, also shows a wide range of adverse effects. Sanctions undermine physical and mental health, cause hardship for family and friends, damage relationships, create homelessness and drive people to Food Banks and payday lenders, and to crime. They also often make it harder to look for work. Taking these negatives into account, they cannot be justified.
Benefit sanctions are an amateurish, secret penal system which is more severe than the mainstream judicial system, but lacks its safeguards. It is time for everyone concerned for the rights of the citizen to demand their abolition.


David Webster’s written and oral evidence to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into Benefit Sanctions beyond the Oakley Review is available on the website and and his other papers on sanctions are available via Child Poverty Action Group.
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Sunday, 8 February 2015


David Bowie / Toy

Genre: rock, classic rock
Country: UK
Year of Publishing: 2001
Audio codec: MP3
Tracks audio bitrate: 256 kbps
Duration: 1:01:58

 01. Uncle Floyd
 02. Afraid
 03. Baby Loves That Way
 04. I Dig Everything
 05. Conversation Piece
 06. Let Me Sleep Beside You
 07. Toy (Your Turn To Drive)
 08. Hole In The Ground
 09. Shadow Man
 10. In The Heat Of The Morning
 11. You've Got a Habit Of Leaving
 12. Silly Boy Blue
 13. Liza Jane
 14. The London Boys

Album (compilation)
Toy - planned for release in 2001. David Bowie album, which included re-recorded old songs as well as material that later appeared on the album "Heathen" and the accompanying b-sides. The official release did not take place.

thebasement67 notes:

During 2000, David Bowie became enthused on a new project of re-recording some of his lesser-known songs, written in the early years of his career. These re-recordings plus three new songs were to appear on a new album titled ‘Toy’ in 2001.
The release failed to materialise because Virgin didn’t own the rights to the older songs. Bowie then formed his own record label ISO, after leaving Virgin at the end of 2001, but failed to release the album, quickly moving on to write and record ‘Heathen’.

The Toy songs: Uncle Floyd (re-recorded and re-titled Slip Away) and Afraid (remixed) appeared on ‘Heathen’ (2002).  Baby Loves That Way, Conversation Piece, Shadow Man (longer with strings), You've Got a Habit Of Leaving (remixed) appeared on the associated CD singles and ‘Heathen’ 2-cd edition.

These versions offered here from the leaked torrent source in 2011, are from an early and unfinished version only available at the moment in this lossy source.

The 2014 compilation ‘Nothing Has Changed’ includes finished versions of Let Me Sleep Beside You, Your Turn To Drive (Toy) and Shadow Man.