Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Bootlegs of the Year 2015-18

I have received many emails inquiring as to where the original 100 bootlegs documented on site can be found (the links were lost in 2016, see Downloads box on top right-hand side panel). This PDF booklet will point you in the right direction, the sites I used and importantly the web addresses that they can be found at. Although it concentrates on the best bootlegs I have downloaded in the last four years, the same sites and addresses mentioned are where I obtained most of the bootlegs that were included in the 100 greatest bootlegs listing.

The 200 best bootlegs available via download, 2015-18
4 years - 114 different artists

The selections for the 100 greatest bootlegs site were mostly made from downloads prior to 2015. This document includes the best bootlegs I have downloaded in the following years, 2015 to 2018. It includes some that could easily stake a place for being included in that early list. In fact some will appear in the current Alternate 100. Having discarded numerous titles in the last four years, these are the best downloaded in that time frame.

I had considered switching to an A to Z format but it would have lost the sense of continuity running through the document. For example the titles at the beginning of the book were those downloaded in early 2015, those on the latter pages date from the end of 2018 and these consequently will be much easier to find. As you will discover the net ebbs and flows, those titles not available currently will eventually make a re-appearance; it’s just a matter of patience.

Full details have been included for each, such as the venue and date of the performance, the type of recording – soundboard, FM, from the audience, etc. and information on the lineage and running times. Most importantly the website address is given for each download. A complete track listing is included, along with track timings and informative comments about each bootleg. The index will aid those that prefer an A to Z alphabetical listing and help you instantly find a particular artist that is of interest to you.

I have not provided a sound quality rating as virtually all are of sufficient high quality to rate around 5 out of 5, some are worthy of 5+ like the best official releases.

As you can imagine, it originally took some amount of time and effort to pull this all together. What to include and just as importantly what to leave out, has taken considerable thought and listening hours, enjoyable nonetheless. So if you are a fan of any of the one hundred and fourteen artists featured, then I can confidently state that you will definitely enjoy the bootlegs that have been chosen.

The PDF document comprises:
  • 108 pages A4
  • Word count 67,541
  • 200 bootleg images

Full details have been included for each bootleg such as:

  • Venue
  • Date of performance
  • Type of recording - soundboard, FM, from the audience, etc.
  • Lineage
  • Running time
  • Website address
  • Complete track listings
  • Track timings
  • Informative comments about each bootleg
  • Index
Included in the main body of the text are details of the 200 bootlegs and where to find them by the following artists:

PIL (2)
REM (3)

      If you would like a copy, it's only £5 GBP via the donate button, you do not require a paypal account. 

      An audio sampler is available on a preceding post (see 29 December 2017). The selected tracks are from bootlegs that never made the cut for the final document, but they will give you an idea of the sound quality I look for.

      page samples above

      Monday, 11 February 2019

      JANE'S ADDICTION - The Pyramid Club, L.A. 1986 (Flac)

      Alternate 100 - boot #25

      Jane's Addiction
      The Pyramid Club,
      Los Angeles, CA
      November 13, 1986

      SBD > bootleg CD "Live and Profane"
      silver boot CD>EAC>FLAC

      01. My Time
      02. Whores
      03. Pigs in Zen
      04. Ain't No Right
      05. I Would for You
      06. Idiots Rule
      07. Trip Away
      08. Mountain Song
      09. Filler: Then She Did (unknown date/location)

      EAC & compression by terrapinstation 01/26/2001

      In the early '80s, the insular Los Angeles underground music scene, made up largely of over-educated misfits and art-school dropouts, exploded from the violent impact of suburban hard-core punk and scattered into a thousand fragments. Some of the fragments-the American-roots thing embraced by bands such as X and the Blasters, the neo-sixties scene that spawned the Bangles-became quite popular both inside and outside L.A.

      The self-described 'art' scene-depressed, black-clad musicians playing music almost as performance art, usually as an, ironic comment on the state of pop culture-produced a lot of bands and venues but not many fans. Basically, all but the most popular of L.A. art bands played to each other, to the 26 people on the guest list at the Anticlub on a Thursday night.

      One of these bands, and by no means the best, was Psi-Com, whose lead singer Perry Farrell, was king of the ring nose dreads. Psi-Com broke up out of ennui after half the members left to join a religous cult, but not before Eric Avery auditioned for the band in 1986, playing one bass riff 45 minutes while Farrell improvised vocals. Psi-Com would never play another gig, but a few months later Stephen Perkins and Dave Navarro, the high-school-age drummer and guitarist for a local glam-metal band, joined the group, which named itself Jane's Addiction after the habit of a junkie friend of Avery's and Farrell's. (Jane, now clean, works as a secretary in Hollywood-her idealized portrait, as the Virgin Mary, is on the inside cover of the lyric booklet that comes with the Ritual de lo Habitual CD.)

      By the end of 1986, the thrashings of Hollywood postpunk had all but withered away; what rose up in its place was plain old heavy metal again, and the heat that had surrounded local alternative music cleaved onto the retro-seventies hard-rock grooves you now hear on MTV. Guns N' Roses came out of the scene that formed at the club Scream, which happened a couple of times a week in a big, empty room under the Embassy Hotel in downtown L.A. Jane's Addiction, which by this time had acquired a heavy, metallic sheen to underpin Farrell's arty meanderings, was also wildly popular at Scream, where the kids didn't care how left-field a band was as long as it had loud guitars. The standard comparison in those days put them as Led Zeppelin to Guns N' Roses' Aerosmith, because Farrell's voice was shrill, the song structures powerful and abstract.

      Jane's Addiction stood out as art music that metal kids could like too-"neometal" as easy to bang a head to as to contemplate to on headphones-and the success of the non-genre genre made it possible for other West Coast bands like Faith No More, Primus and Soundgarden to cross over without confining themselves to a genre either. Where the record industry tends to peg bands as pop, rock, metal or alternative, Jane's Addiction was all of the above.

      In 1987, the band was signed by Warner Bros. Records for a sum large enough to stun the underground; in early 1988, it released a live album on local Triple X Records that included the classic "Whores"; in late 1988 it released its first major-label album, Nothing's Shocking, which included a song about Ted Bundy, a pile of metaphors for heroin addiction (a problem that has plagued all members of the band except for drummer Perkins) and an album cover that pictured Casey as naked Siamese twins with their heads ablaze. The nude videos accompanying the album were banned by MTV. Nothing's Shocking was nominated for a Grammy but lost out to Jethro Tull! 

      In 1990 Ritual went gold in less than a month, and the band went from playing small theatres to selling out Madison Square Garden. The band was speaking to somebody.

      Jane's rehearse as the Smiths, U2 and the Jesus & The Mary Chain look on

      'Sweet Jane'


      Below is an edited version of one of the finest pieces I have read about a particular bootleg. This is the edited 'short read' you can find the original 'long read' here:

      "On November 13, 1986, two months before recording Triple X, Jane’s Addiction recorded themselves through the soundboard at The Pyramid Club in Hollywood. Located at 1743 N. Cahuenga, east of the famous Mann’s Chinese Theater, The Pyramid was one of many small venues where L.A.’s underground bands performed in the 1980s. Goth, post-punk, and art rock thrived at little holes in the wall like Raji’s, Club Lingerie, and Black Radio Club, and Jane’s Addiction taped themselves playing at many of them. It took a a few years for copies of their other 1986 soundboard recordings to stray far from the band’s personal collection. Once copies of the Pyramid show leaked, bootleggers released it in the early 1990s on unauthorized CDs like Live and Profane and Addicted, where it circulated widely and remained, for a while, the earliest live recording that most Jane’s fans had. For people like me, who hadn’t experienced the band in all their pre-fame glory, the bootlegs were a windfall.

      The Pyramid show is searing. It’s the kind of unhinged rock and roll that built Jane’s Addiction’s reputation as one of Los Angeles’ best bands, and whose fame helped Nirvana and Pearl Jam make alternative music mainstream in the early 1990s. Now that Jane’s Addiction plays arenas and everyone from your surgeon to your grandma has tattoos, it’s hard to imagine these familiar things being limited to the subculture. But back in the late 1980s, before singer Perry Farrell embraced the true dark side of Los Angeles - namely, reality television and cosmetic surgery - and guitarist Dave Navarro leveraged his musical fame for that comfortable TV show money, the band was revolutionary.

      Designing their own album covers and sharing clothes, generating buzz without generating much profit, shooting heroin and fighting on stage, Jane’s Addiction’s spooky mix of dark art and forceful deviance was enthralling, and the sense of its inevitable implosion only heightened the appeal. Back when the band handed a blank tape to The Pyramid’s soundman, Jane’s Addiction was L.A.’s own Iggy and The Stooges, and their recording of “Whores” that night is one the grittiest rock songs ever captured on tape.

      The band had been referred to as “feeling’ man’s metal.” That seemed to fit. It was Jane’s Addiction’s cover songs that introduced me to the music of The Velvet Underground, Stooges, and X before I knew these were covers. And like an older sibling who lends you his favorite records and winks, You’re not a virgin anymore, it was Jane’s Addiction who showed me what L.A. bands like Dream Syndicate and Suburban Lawns already knew: that no matter how many of us Arizonans treated L.A. as one big beach and discounted its interior as a cultureless silicone implant sewed onto the movie industry’s chest, this city had a fertile musical underbelly that many of us had been missing, and it was thriving just six hours west of my Phoenix home. “Whores” changed me permanently.

      Like most great rock songs, “Whores” isn’t complicated. It’s a simple metal guitar riff chugging over a dirty baseline in the key of B. Between guitar solos, Perry howls about a marginalized existence, “way down low where the streets are littered.” The popular rock songs from 1986, like Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name,” build themselves around clichés and sappy sing-alongs that encourage mindlessness and nostalgia. “Whores” has no glitter, no pretense. Instead of numbing you, it shocks you awake, taking listeners where few straight-laced, tax-paying citizens ever visit: the places you go to cop dope, and where prostitutes ply their trade. Although “Whores” isn’t sui generis, with no predecessor and no equal, it’s a unique artistic vision that resulted when a group of young musicians with different styles and ideas first started jamming together, and their recreational drugs were still working.

      Unfortunately, the more I read about the band, the clearer the role drugs played in the rise and fall of their creative output became. All the songs they wrote during their first few months resulted from a unique combination of talent, vision and drugs - heroin specifically. And during the second half of their life as a band, heroin was the reason they wrote nothing new.

      Jane’s Addiction’s early iterations performed “Whores” and songs like “Ain’t No Right” in 1985 and ’86 with a different guitarist named Ed Dobrydnio, and Matt Chaikin on drums. Their versions established many songs’ basic structures. When Dave Navarro and Stephen Perkins joined in early ’86, Dave wrote stronger, more imaginative guitar parts and the band turned “Whores” into what it is today.

      The new lineup fleshed out their songs at the Wilton House, the beautiful, run-down, 1910s Craftsman that Perry rented from two cops at 369 N. Wilton. Many artists lived there, including Eric, photographer Karyn Cantor, and the band’s namesake. “It was one of those houses where everyone in the music scene in the mid-80s seems to have done a lot of time,” Eric said, “where every single closet was rented out.”

      “I remember showing up when everyone got off work,” Stephen said, “going into the garage, and writing all those songs - ‘Whores,’ ‘Pigs In Zen.’ It’s like that moment when you fall in love.” Residents kept guitars in the living room and beat bongos on the wraparound porch. People like Angelo Moore from Fishbone and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers came over to jam and hang out. “The first song Perry, Eric and I ever played with Dave together as a four-piece was ‘Whores,'” Stephen said, “and at that moment, for me, the sound of Jane’s Addiction was born. And it hasn’t changed since.”

      After that, Jane’s Addiction wrote most of their first three albums before they even released their first one. Bootleg recordings reveal the truth about the band in ways that all the early magazine interviews and TV spots did not: That they experienced an extremely fertile period of creativity during the first few months of collaborating on that porch and in that living room.

      Live and Profane surprised me. Its fidelity was excellent, and the band played with unbelievable fire. To me, this was rock and roll. No second thoughts. No overdubs to correct mistakes and make improvements. They played each song in one take, feeling their way through with their guts with the energy of a local band free to experiment with their sound before anyone expected anything from them.

      I hunted for more Jane’s Addiction recordings. Before the internet let fans trade digital files from the comfort of their bedrooms, you had to search for hardcopy bootlegs. Because they’re illegal, not every store stocked bootlegs, but I gradually found more soundboard shows mixed in with the legitimate releases: from L.A.’s Variety Arts Theatre in 1987, and the John Anson Ford Theater in 1989. I loved the then-unreleased song “Kettle Whistle” from the Variety Arts show. That and another vinyl bootleg I had were the only recordings on which that song was available. Perry had conceived it with his previous band in 1985 and didn’t release a version until 1997. By then it had hypnotized me for seven years, and the bootleg performances were better than the official. Whoever this bootleg company named Totonka was, I felt indebted to them.

      To me, live recordings frequently has immediacy that studio albums do not. Although soundboard cassette recordings lack the lush dimensions caught on a multi-track studio console and good microphones, live performances often have more fire. There’s power in a first take, and over-thinking can diminish it.

      Before Jane’s Addiction played their songs enough for them to become rote, the band was still exploring their sound. On stage, Stephen experimented with different drums and rhythms. Dave soloed wildly and tried different guitar effects. Live, Perry experimented the most. He put more echo on his vocals, adding layers of lysergic reverberations to his already psychedelic lyrics. Lots of bands add reverb to their guitars and voices. Few singers used as much as Perry did in the early days.

      At shows like The Pyramid, Perry went crazy with the echoes, turning knobs on his electronic processor to warp their frequency high and low and cranking the volume so high that he sometimes drowned out Dave’s solo. These hypnotic, pulsing frequencies drifted through the club, filling the space between verses and laying an eerie texture underneath the instruments that started loud and trailed away. “Pigs in zen, zen, zen, zen,” Perry sang, “Talking ’bout the pigs, pigs, pigs, pigs. Ooow!” Back when I took acid, I loved this effect. Even after I quit tripping, the effect enchanted me. It’s a defining part of Jane’s Addiction’s sound. You hear it on the best board tapes.

      The bootlegs let us hear Jane’s Addiction at the peak of their power, a band not yet locked into their musical or destructive habits, a band unafraid to take chances. And if some weasel black market capitalists hadn’t leaked these performances, fans would never have been able to enjoy them. Which is to say: sometimes bootlegs perform a cultural service. As one classical music bootlegger told Stereo Review in 1970, “We ‘pirates’ - if you must call us that - are the custodians of vocal history and we’re doing a damn good job of it - a job you can’t expect record companies to do because they’re not in business for that.”

      Board tapes made me a lifelong fan of live recordings. When you hear the crowd yell, you feel the electricity between band and audience. Of all the early recordings I’ve collected, The Pyramid show, thirty-one years after Jane’s Addiction made it, still sounds fresh and strange.

      Located in a nondescript building between Yucca Street and Hollywood Boulevard, the owners called the venue The Pyramid Club on some nights and The Continental Club on others, presumably to draw different musical crowds.

      Stephen Perkins remembered playing there in 1986. “At the time,” Stephen said, “Dave and I weren’t twenty-one, so we weren’t allowed into the club until the band was announced. Perry went and got us a six-pack of beer, and we went and drank it in a car outside the club, waiting to get on stage. Then the guy said ‘Jane’s Addiction!’, and the back door opened and we came running onstage. We had to vacate the premises right after the show.”

      For reasons that remain unclear, Jane’s Addiction constantly taped shows. Maybe they treated live recordings as demos to circulate to labels. Maybe they wanted to capture their best takes for possible releases, or capture new ideas as they generated them: a bass line Eric came up with on stage, a melody they spontaneously jammed between songs.

      The Pyramid show’s sound quality isn’t as three-dimensional as Triple X, but it’s equally inspired. As Jane’s Addiction often did in those days, they opened with acoustic songs, with bassist Eric playing rhythm guitar on “Slow Divers,” “Jane Says” and “My Time.” Before “Jane Says” Perry tells the crowd, “Here’s one we haven’t done in a long time.” Although they’d played it before, this is the earliest known live recording of what became their “Stairway to Heaven.” Perry delivers it with feeling, drenched in effects. Afterwards he says, “Alright, let’s get down into it now.” Meaning: play electric. Dave tunes his guitar. Someone burps near a microphone, and Stephen rolls his sticks across his drum heads, sending a cascade of trippy echoes through the air. Then they tear into “Whores,” “Ain’t No Right,” “Idiots Rule,” “Mountain Song,” and “Summertime Rolls.”

      Still excited by these new songs, probably loosened by beer, Dave solos with a spirit you don’t expect from a 19-year-old. Perry screams “Owooo!” and grunts whenever it feels right, punctuating the space between verses the way his idol Iggy did in Stooges songs like “Down on the Street,” letting his voice trail into the distance.

      Like me, Stephen Perkins recognized the magic of their early sets. This explains why, when the band reunited in 1997, they released this version of “Whores” on their miscellany, Kettle Whistle. And to think that teenagers chugging beer in a parking lot delivered such a furious performance.

      1743 N. Cahuenga became many different clubs after The Pyramid. Last time I checked, the building sat deserted, as vacant as my youthful attempts at poetry. Fronted by a lone palm tree, cigarette butts collected below its white walls where the landscaping had gone feral. Cars pass on nearby Hollywood Boulevard 24 hours a day. Some transport their drivers to work. Others are filled with tourists going to photograph themselves on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2013, Jane’s Addiction finally got a star on the Walk. It’s number 2,509, located three blocks from The Pyramid."

      If you have made it this far, well done. This boot marks the first quarter of the alternate 100 posted. The listing is as follows:

      #01. JOE STRUMMER & THE MESCALEROS - Key Arena, Seattle, WA. 17 October, 2001
      #02. BROADCAST - BBC Radio & TV Sessions (1996-2000)
      #03. FELT - BBC Sessions
      #04. NEW ORDER - Central London Polytechnic 1985
      #05. TINARIWEN - The Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool 2017
      #06. PRIMAL SCREAM - XTRMNTR Live, BBC Maida Vale Studios, London. 20 March, 2000
      #07. The VERVE - Unreleased Urban Hymns
      #08. TOM PETTY & the Heartbreakers - Capitol Records Tower, Hollywood. 11 November, 1977
      #09. STEELY DAN - The 'Lost' Gaucho
      #10. JOHNNY CASH & The Tennessee Two - Radio Broadcasts 1956-59
      #11. RICKIE-LEE JONES - Theatre Carré, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 3 September, 1979
      #12. CAT POWER - Black Sessions 2008
      #13. The CLASH - Last Gang In Town (Rarities 1976-84)
      #14. PJ HARVEY - State Theatre, Sydney, Australia. 19 January, 2012
      #15. LED ZEPPELIN - MSG, New York, NY. (Matrix Version) 12 February, 1975
      #16. BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE - Entering a New Ride (1997)
      #17. ARCTIC MONKEYS - Earls Court 26 October, 2013
      #18. LED ZEPPELIN - How The East Was Won 1971 (EVSD) Tokyo, Japan. 29 September, 1971
      #19. The CRAMPS - Club 57, Irving Plaza, New York, NY. 18 August, 1979
      #20. JEFF BUCKLEY - Knitting Factory, New York, NY. 4 February, 1997
      #21. The CURE - Rock Werchter Festival, Werchter, Belgium. 5 July, 1981
      #22. The VERVE - Hultsfred Festival, Sweden. 13 August, 1994
      #23. The SMITHS - Demos & Outtakes (Mixed Locations)
      #24. LINTON KWESI JOHNSON - Bersee Museum, Bremen, Germany. 27 June, 1980
      #25. JANE'S ADDICTION - The Pyramid Club, LA. 13 November, 1986

      Wednesday, 30 January 2019

      LINTON KWESI JOHNSON - Bremen 1980

      Alternate 100 - boot #24

      Caribbean Week
      Bersee Museum,
      Bremen, Germany
      27 June 1980

      01. Reality Poem
      02. It Noh Funny
      03. Want Fi Go Rave
      04. Reggae Fi Peach
      05. Inglan Is A Bitch
      06. band intro
      07. Bass Culture
      08. Loraine
      09. Di Black Petty Booshwah
      10. Sonny's Lettah
      11. Independant Intavenshan
      12. Two Sides Of Silence
      13.  It Dread Inna Inglan (for George Lindo)
      45:55 min

      FM - Cassette (1. gen) - Audacity - xACT


      Last year saw the 40th anniversary of the debut album released by Linton Kwesi Johnson. It was originally released on the Virgin Front Line label and titled 'Dread Beat an' Blood' by Poet and The Roots. On later editions the name Poet & The Roots was dropped for Linton's own name. It was a ground breaking release incorporating spoken political poems together with a roots reggae backing. 

      Linton was an integral part of the UK reggae scene and helped it become accepted in Jamaica and worldwide as a valid section of British music and reggae culture. His vivid and unflinching descriptions of London during those times, led to him being named as the first artist to deal with the reality of the black experience in Britain. 

      I was fortunate to see him as the support act backed by the Denis Bovell Dub Band on the 'Ju Ju' tour by Siouxsie & The Banshees in 1981. This show was recorded a year earlier in 1980, well before the New Cross fire and the Southall riots. On my initial listen I thought Linton was reciting over backing tapes, primarily because the music fades out at the end of each track while the audience applauds. He introduces the band after 'Inglan Is A Bitch' and the recording does have a live ambience, the fading out seems a bit strange and not something I have heard on any other live show recording.

      Desmond Hunt interviewed Linton in 1981 and gave the following excellent analysis of his career to date.

      "Poets today, in this world of escalating violence, social pressure and greed, have to make one of three choices. They can be escapist and lapse into mysticism and hallucinatory drugs. They can compromise their views and try commercialism. Or they can do as Linton Kwesi Johnson has done, that is face up to injustices and write dear, invincible poetry, about black working class experience – and set it to accessible and very beautiful reggae music. The result is that the poet draws upon the dialects of the black community and gives it a sense of gut-solidarity.

      Linton was born in August 1952 in Chapelton, Jamaica. He left to join his mother who had emigrated to England in 1961. Between 1963 and 1970 Linton attended the Tulse Hill Comprehensive School in Brixton, graduating with six O levels. He then went on to attain 2 A levels. In 1973 he entered Goldmiths College where he got a B.A. Degree in Sociology. After a spell of unemployment he worked as an assembly worker at Twinlocks in Croydon.

      In 1977 Linton was awarded the Cecil Day Lewis Fellowship as a writer in residence in the Borough of Lambeth. His first work was published in Race Today in their monthly journal and soon they were to publish his books of poems, namely “The Voices of the Living and the Dead”. Boyle L’ouverture published his second volume “Dread Beat and Blood” and Race Today have recently put out “Inglan is a Bitch”.

      Although not disillusioned with record companies “They only exploit artist, they act like they’re doing you a favour just by releasing your work”, he recorded “Dread Beat and Blood” on Virgin and “Forces of Victory”, “Bass Culture” and “LKJ in Dub” on Island. Perhaps the biggest break through was when a documentary of the poet-at-work was financed by the Arts Council of Great Britain and screened by the BBC of all people, at peak viewing time!

      Ever since leaving Comprehensive School, Linton has been active in the black struggle. At 18 he joined the Black Panther Movement, a mass organisation of working blacks mobilised to pursue the liberation of blacks from what they called “Colonial oppression” in Brixton.

      “Race Today is an independent black organisation which puts out a monthly journal. It is important because it mobilises support for campaigns and tries to heighten the consciousness of black and white people involved in the same causes. We want to work with those whites who are interested in isolating the fascists among them and dealing with them in the same way that we have to isolate those backward racists amongst us as well. We have the small minority of blacks who believe in the “back-to-Africa” idea, or nonsense like hating the white man. These elements represent the ass-hole end of black politics. They preach the same kind of race hatred that the British Movement and the National Front preach. You saw what happened at Brixton when the police started their swamp intimidation. Black and White people rose to the occasion and made their protest that they were not going to take any more of this. As long as these conditions prevail acts of insurrection will happen.” How right he was in retrospect with further rioting at Southall, where Blair Peach’s memory lives on and later-all over the country.

      LKJ is hardly what the Daily Mail would call a “Wild rampaging black”, he is the representative voice of a troubled black community. In fact he was one of the main organisers of the recent “Black Peoples Day of Action”, a march of Black Solidarity through Fleet Street, and the centre of London, to protest at the media wall of silence to the fire in New Cross which claimed the lives of 13 and injured 26 others.

      “In Dublin when they had the fire in the discotheque, they had a day of mourning and the Prime Minister made a speech, but not a single member of our parliament mentioned the massacre. That is why we demonstrated to show the country at large, the police, the government, and the fascists, that we’re no longer prepared to have so many people killed and say nothing about it, but we’re here to stay and if it comes to it we’re prepared to fight and soon. The inquest was a farce, the jury were totally misled and confused and lots of important evidence was mysteriously covered up by the police which was later revealed”.

      Linton has always associated himself with reggae music, although he doesn’t believe that Rastafarianism is the answer to the black problem. He feels there is a danger of mystifying the struggle and he feels there is a Rasta trap.

      “Music is a weapon, it is a vehicle for transmitting ideas, so many Rasta get sucked into Bob Marley imitations. The role of black music should be to create something out of your own experience. They should have some integrity instead of getting bogged down with this ever changing religion. They’re saying “Jah” will help us, and talk about leaving for Zion, but there’s so much more happening in this country. People are being killed by fascists and we’ve had a constant struggle with the police since we’ve been here, we don’t have proper housing, health services or education. The Rastas, to a large extent, have completely ignored those things. I think it’s a bit of a cop-out, it’s reactionary and it’s not taking us anywhere.”

      He then seethes with a glowing rage! “You think of the colonial conditions, a white guy working in the Tate and Lyle in some cushy office job gets six or seven times the amount of money as the black guy working on the sugar plantation. He’s actually helping produce the sugar and picking it. You can’t say that black exploitation doesn’t still go on.”

      Which track means the most to him? “Well on an emotional and artistic level, Sonny’s Lettah (anti-sus poem) still leaves a tremendous impact on me. I feel it is an accurate reflection of the mindless violence going on around us. It is also a plea that self-defence is no offence”.

      Sunday, 20 January 2019

      THE SMITHS - Demos & Outtakes (Mixed Locations) (Flac)

      Alternate 100 - boot #23


      Demos & Outtakes (Mixed Locations)
      Original stereo LP transfer by Steve
      January 2011 cleanup by The Power of Independent Trucking

      Notes written by analog loyalist

      Friday, January 7, 2011
      Mastered: The Smiths *stereo* Demos & Outtakes 2xLP

      I've put more work into this than any other non-live audio project that I can remember.
      Thanks to Steve over at smithstorrents, we now have a spectacular stereo version of the now-legendary 2xLP bootleg release that has set the Smiths world on fire for the past couple weeks. What many/most don't realize is that the tracks they're swooning over (and swoon they should!) are not fully captured in their full glory by the original leak.

      The original leak on morrissey-solo.com during Christmas week 2010, covered by mainstream media including Rolling Stone, NPR (American public radio), The Word, and the Los Angeles Times - not to mention blogs and discussion boards the world over - was an accidental *mono* rip of the double vinyl set. But it was enough as a taster, as reaction proved.

      What's special about this new version is how much was *missing* in the original mono rip. There are Johnny Marr guitars that were only hinted at in the original rip, that leap out of the speakers in wild pans from left to right in full-on stereo. Other tracks seem to have brought out more fidelity, more "oomph" in the music that was - in comparison - lacking from the original mono rip. It's really hard to explain without doing an actual A/B comparison, so I'll just let the new version speak for itself. Suffice it to say anyone who thinks the mono "original leak" version is the shit, well, just try this one out instead.

      I worked extremely hard in mastering these tracks up to as much snuff as I could humanly do with the tools in my arsenal. Where there was a previous reference point available for EQ, I matched up B to A as best I could (in that "The Queen Is Dead" now sounds identical - in EQ, that is - to the official less-lengthy version, for example). Where there wasn't, I used similar sounding tracks from (ideally) the same recording session. And when I couldn't do that, I trusted my ears. But every track needed a fair touch of massaging, not Steve's fault but rather due to the nature of the source itself.

      This isn't perfect; about half the tracks might be rejected by a label for inclusion on any box set (as presented here that is) due to flaws in the original transfer (basically, sibilance and some slight inner grove distortion on the tracks that ended each side of the double vinyl set). I was able to compensate and correct for most of this, but it's not perfect, and I don't expect to ever get it perfect until someone leaks the CDs these were obviously taken from.

      But it's better than we have any right to expect and only audio engineering snobs like me would take offence/notice of any of these flaws I describe above. There is little to no remaining evidence of vinyl lineage in this set here, and there certainly *are* tracks that some enterprising Warners exec could lift from this blog, as-is, and put on a box set release tomorrow. I'll leave it to the listener to discover the true audio-quality winners here in the set.

      Please enjoy. Presented as lossless FLAC, wrapped up in zip files (if it doesn't unzip after download, just try the download again as my file host sometimes has hiccups). The link is way down at the bottom.

      Below are the original liner notes I wrote up for the (aborted) original mastering of the mono transfer, so as to keep everything together in case this post gets linked elsewhere. And on that note, I'm happy with people linking or using the language on this site in their own articles/write-ups; all I ask for is accreditation and a ping in the comments.

       **** Original liners begin here (some new info too!) ****

      As mentioned on that other blog, the recent unearthing and bootlegging of a fantastic pack of Smiths studio demos/monitor  mixes/early versions set the Smithsian world afire. And well it should, as the tracks give a fascinating peek into the compositional aspect of the Morrissey/Marr partnership.

      I chose to reorder the tracks into their respective chronological place in the band's recording history, the best I was able using Simon Goddard's book as a reference. Rather than rewrite what I did for that other blog, I'll just post in its entirety the "liners" I did over there, only reordered to fit the new sequence.

      01 Reel Around The Fountain (July 1983, Troy Tate final mix)
      This song features some of the most chiming guitars I've ever heard Marr create. It's simply beautiful. Smiths’ authority Simon Goddard thinks this is the best recording of this track the band did, and I agree; the stereo version reveals some of Johnny's background chiming guitars to spectacular, beautiful effect that nearly all previous bootleg sources of this track completely obscured or hid behind walls of tape hiss. This version here? Can be released today, by Warners, lifted direct from this blog. It's *that* good of a transfer and mastering. All evidence (except for,  err, a test pressing indicating otherwise) indicates this actual recording featured here was to be the Smiths' 2nd single, famously withdrawn at the last second once the band wrote "This Charming Man". See Extra Track for more details. 

      02 The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (October 1983, John Porter monitor mix)
      Not much different from the final LP version, a monitor mix is a rough-and-ready mixdown done at the recording desk, mainly used by the band (and producer) to see what needs tightening/redoing (if anything) prior to the final mix down. This completely lacks the gentle acoustic rhythm guitar track pervasive through the final LP version as well, though it does emphasize the lovely, simple, emotive Marr electric track. I think I prefer this to the final LP version; it's subtlety wins it for me. 

      03 This Night Has Opened My Eyes (June 1984, unreleased studio recording)
      The only released version of this song was recorded in September 1983 for a Peel session, at the BBC. For whatever reason the band chose to record a full-blown studio version in June 1984 during the "William, It Was Really Nothing" sessions, but never did anything with it (it was meant to be a B-side along with the July '84 "Rusholme Ruffians" recording, backing a proposed-yet-binned "Nowhere Fast" single which also was recorded in June/July 1984). If anything, time gave Moz a chance to get a bit more confident with his vocal, but it's not significantly different overall besides being a bit faster. Still a nice find though... 

      04 Rusholme Ruffians (July 1984, John Porter first take)
      Goddard says the band originally attempted this in July 1984, several months prior to the main Meat Is Murder sessions.  The very first July 1984 take stretched to nearly 7 minutes long, was much more rough/ready, and much more skiffle/rockabilly than the final MIM track. Moz's vocal is really rough around the edges, it doesn't sound like he's fully worked out the melody or his phrasing, and the lyric itself isn't as tight as it would become. Based on this it can only be assumed the version here is the very same first take mentioned by Goddard. I absolutely adore Marr's unique electric guitar playing on this version; it's got a nice "crunch" that adds a lot to this track that is missing on all other attempts. 

      05 I Misses You (December 1984, instrumental)
      The first truly unheard song on this bootleg, this was recorded during the final mixdown sessions for the Meat Is Murder LP. Goddard surmises that this may have even featured a Moz lyric at one point, but this is only supposition. A track that the band binned, honestly while interesting as any "new" Morrissey/Marr track might be, it would be more so with a Moz lyric and is mostly forgettable. I hear strong echoes of "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" in Marr's melody and guitar phrasing; perhaps it was binned for being too similar to that song? 

      06 There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (September 1985, early take)
      A very early run-through with a relatively confident Moz vocal, though it does feature the subsequently omitted defining lyric "there is a light in your eye and it never goes out" during the final refrain. Missing most of Marr's overdubs, musically it sounds like a rough monitor mix of the basic Marr/Rourke/Joyce instrumentation, with the added synthetic string bits on the Emulator. Am I the only one who finds myself humming (in my head) the missing orchestral bits that are on the final LP version, but conspicuously absent here? Doubtful... 

      07 The Queen Is Dead (Fall 1985, original unedited version)
      Well, if the subtitle doesn't nail it down... the final album mix had several instrumental sections edited out at the last minute by the band and Stephen Street, as they felt it went on a tad too long. This is the full-calorie version. 

      08 Frankly, Mr Shankly (November 1985, Stephen Street "trumpets" recording)
      The story has it that when this song was recorded during the main sessions for the Queen Is Dead LP, with Street, there was a technical problem with the master reels for this track, necessitating an emergency call to John Porter to engineer an 11th hour re-recording in December 1985. What wasn't discovered (at least publicly), until Goddard dug it up, was that the "technical problem" was a bizarre trumpet part on the track. It does introduce an additional element of hilarity, but the final Porter recording nails it in my book (while I really do like the trumpet, I think the band as a unit just killed it with Porter as compared to this Street attempt). 

      09 Ask (9 June 1986, probable first-ever take)
      A very early, if not the first if Goddard's correct, run-through of this track missing most of the chiming/jangly guitars. This is a basic rough-and-ready bash it out take recorded by John Porter, with Marr and Gannon going at it on the rhythm guitars and Joyce getting all-frenetic on drums. Wisely, a lot was tightened up as the session progressed; alas, this isn't the hoped-for "pre-Steve Lillywhite mix" fans wanted (which sadly, according to Porter, doesn't exist because he never actually got the opportunity to mix it before Lillywhite got his hands on it and didn't understand the complex web of guitars Porter had built up). 

      10 Is It Really So Strange? (June 1986, original unreleased studio recording)
      Another track which has its only released version being a BBC session version, the known-and-loved release variant was recorded in December 1986 for John Peel at the BBC. Interestingly though, they did have a fully-recorded, mixed, release-ready take in the can, recorded during the "Ask" sessions in June 1986. For whatever reason it remained binned, to the point when it came time to select B-sides for the "Sheila Take A Bow" single in spring 1987, the band went to the (admittedly superior) Peel recording rather than the June 1986 studio take. This version is a bit more shimmery than the common version, and Marr's guitar is a bit more rhythmically choppy than the BBC take. The song, good in the original mono leak, jumps to life in this stereo version. I love this! 

      11 Shoplifters Of The World Unite (December 1986, instrumental)
      Goddard doesn't go into much detail into this track's session history, unfortunately. It's an instrumental, with some additional Marr-riffic guitars that are either obscured or wiped from the final recording, presumably due to Moz laying down his vocals on top. I do like Rourke's bass on this version however. 

      12 Sheila Take A Bow (January 1987, John Porter original version)
      One of the more famous episodes in Smiths session history, this song was originally produced by John Porter, signed, sealed and delivered, ready to go. Then for whatever reason the band had a rethink, decamped to another studio with Stephen Street, and re-recorded the song (sampling some of Porter's guitar work in the process, to save time - which miffed Porter, understandably, since they never asked for permission). This original version is much more jangly, with Porter on emulated sitar, while the final Street take is all T.Rex'ed out. Honestly, I'd have to say I prefer the Street version, though that could be due to familiarity more than anything else (as I usually love Porter's stuff with Marr). That said... the stereo transfer here brings yet another track to life; Marr's zingy guitars are *all* over the stereo field and it's really a wonderful recording. It's almost as if Porter knew this was the last time he'd be working with the band (it was), so he had Marr lay down 30 times more guitars than normal as a parting gift. Sounds really spectacular in headphones. 

      13 Girlfriend In A Coma (January 1987, early take)
      While in studio with Street in January 1987 re-recording "Sheila Take A Bow", the band took the time to lay down a couple takes of this track (prior to the main Strangeways, Here We Come LP sessions in April 1987). What sets this apart from the Strangeways version is the pronounced reggae-ness of the instrumentation (no, there aren't any steel drums). Goddard says the first two takes of this from the January '87 sessions featured this Jamaican interpretation, which we have here, and Moz's vocal is a bit rough around the edges (of course he'd tighten it up later on). 

      14 Death Of A Disco Dancer (April 1987, first take)
      The find of the lot, in my book. This is markedly different from the final Strangeways LP version, in that you can a) hear the song actually being structurally formed as it progresses, and b) Moz is audibly excited at the suspense and greatness of the track, this being the band's first run-through of it in studio, as per Goddard. All the musicians are in perfect synch with each other, you can just feel the bond between the members, as the song plays out. It's for things like this that I love the behind-the-scenes aspect of the recording business. If this were the only track leaked, I'd be happy. 

      15 Paint A Vulgar Picture (April 1987, early take)
      Goddard says that this track went through several run-throughs before the final Strangeways LP version, with entire Moz verses being chopped out. This doesn't feature the "missing Moz" verse which was compensated for by Marr's solo over that section on the final LP version, but it does feature some unheard Mozwork with the title itself part of the lyric. If I read Goddard right, this take we have here would have been one of the very earliest ones. 

      16 Heavy Track (April 1987, instrumental)
      The second of the truly unreleased compositions on the set. Apparently this was recorded at the very beginning of the Strangeways sessions, before Moz turned up at the studio. It's the most musically different Smiths track of any of them, for all intents and purposes it sounds like Zeppelin (I can imagine Robert Plant wailing on top of it). Nothing shocking, nothing you'll kill yourself for not hearing over the past 23 years, it's still a nice one to have.

      cover star: Diana Dors (1955)

      Sunday, 16 December 2018

      THE VERVE - Hultsfred Festival, Sweden, 1994 (Flac)

      Alternate 100 - boot #22

      The Verve’s first three singles all released in 1992 reached #1 in the UK indie charts, a marker for greater future success. By the time of the debut album release ‘A Storm in Heaven’ in June 1993, the Verve already had enough tracks to compile an alternate album. Some were released by Hut on The Verve & No Come Down EP’s – now long out of print, these are well worth seeking out.

      This show was their fourth last of the year and broadcast on Swedish radio at the height of the summer festival season.

      After Kurt Cobain’s death earlier in the year, the domination of American alternate rock bands on the UK music scene ended and new English groups broke through to increasing mainstream success, the Verve’s music looked back to the pyschedelia of the 60’s and incorporated elements of the UK's shoe-gazing scene from 1988 to 1990 and also soul and funk influences. The Verve’s synthesis made for an inspiring and influential sound as the free form composition of their early singles and debut album was improvised and extended throughout their live shows. 

      Along with Glastonbury and Chicago from 1993, this is amongst the best early shows sound-wise and for performance, it includes a guest appearance by Oasis and has early versions of This Is Music, Rolling People and the unrecorded (at the time) Mover.

      The Verve
      Live at Hultsfred Festival
      August 13, 1994
      FM Radio Broadcast

      01 Intro (Swedish)
      02 The Sun the Sea                                 
      03 Slide Away                                         
      04 Blue                                                   
      05 Been on the Shelf Too Long (early version of ‘This Is Music’)
      06 A Man Called Sun                                          
      07 Mover                                                 
      08 Rolling People (early version later recorded for ‘Urban Hymns’)
      09 Gravity Grave                                    


      Wednesday, 5 December 2018

      THE CURE - Rock Werchter Festival, Belgium (1981) (Flac)

      Alternate 100 - boot #21

      The Cure released their third album, 'Faith' nearly three months before this performance. Only the title track and Doubt were not performed at this festival.

      A show infamous for the somewhat fallible memory of Robert Smith who was quoted as saying.

      We'd only been on for about half an hour and everything was running late, so Robert Palmer's road crew started motioning to us to stop. This bloke ran on and said "If you don't stop playing, we're gonna pull the plug". Simon immediately walked to the mike and shouted 'Fuck Robert Palmer! Fuck rock 'n' roll!' and we started playing a really slow version of 'A Forest' which lasted about 15 minutes. It was fucking brilliant. Unfortunately, when we finished, they threw all our stuff off the back of the stage."

      The actual turn of events can be heard on this excellent hour long FM broadcast. A recording and performance that is the best from the 'Seventeen Seconds' and 'Faith' era.

      The Cure
      Rock Werchter Festival
      Festival Park
      Werchter, Belgium
      July 5, 1981

      FM master (2 broadcasts)>CDR>CDR>EAC>Flac>SF8>FLAC (see notes)

      Hilversum 3 broadcast / a Forest is cut
      Hilversum 3 broadcast / only a Forest

      01. intro
      02. The Holy Hour
      03. In Your House
      04. The Drowning Man
      05. 10:15 Saturday Night
      06. Accuracy
      07. The Funeral Party
      08. M
      09. Primary
      10. Other Voices
      11. All Cats Are Grey
      12. Fire In Cairo
      13. Play For Today
      14. A Forest

      Thank you to lepep, who sent the source flac files to me.
      I've removed the incomplete A Forest and edited in the complete song to form a complete show. The source and mix were the same, so this edit is not detectable. Recording volume of show raised slightly.

      Seeded to PPTC/forever drowning in torrent 2005-01-19
      All editing by terrapinstation 2005-01-19
      Another Porky Prime Cut From Terrapin Station!!


      Friday, 16 November 2018

      JEFF BUCKLEY - Knitting Factory, New York 1997 (Flac)

      Alternate 100 - boot #20

      Knitting Factory, New York, NY.
      Tuesday 4 February, 1997

      The most recent official Jeff Buckley release "You And I" appeared in early 2016. It comprised of session recordings discovered by Sony as they sought to compile material for a 20th anniversary re-release of Grace in 2014. They were recorded at Steve Addabbo's West 21st Street, New York studio, over two solo eight-hour sessions in early February 1993. Further recordings with back up musicians followed at the Knitting Factory in May, and these were stored together with the test session tape in Columbia's archives.

      I had considered the 'Grace' sessions for this post but I could see difficulties with take down notices emerging if I had posted it and I don't wish to upload butchered bootlegs. (ie. those stripped of 1, 2 or 3 official tracks etc.) 

      Therefore I have gone for this live performance, we move on to Tuesday 4 February 1997. It would be Jeff's last solo performance in New York, part of the 10th Anniversary celebrations at the Knitting Factory, the downtown club where he had performed early in his career. Struggling with sound problems affecting his guitar and telling the audience that his voice was "shot" he nevertheless turned in a fascinating and important performance over a short seven-song set. There is a sparse raw feeling to the music, playing mostly new tracks; Jeff was also accompanied by his former band mate Gary Lucas on a live version of 'Grace'.

      A week later Jeff and his band would fly to Memphis to continue the ill-fated Easley sessions with Tom Verlaine. These newer songs would appear in a more finished version on the official release '(Sketches For) My Sweetheart The Drunk'. This bootleg has five songs that would appear in a more complete style on that posthumous release. The sparse sound here focuses the spotlight on Jeff's incredible voice. 

      Whenever I play Everybody Here Wants You to friends or relatives, who are not familiar with Jeff's music, the reaction is always the same "What a great voice" or "What a great song"

      Jeff drowned while swimming in the Mississippi river on 29 May, 1997. His second album provisionally titled 'My Sweetheart The Drunk' was unfinished. 

      Listen to this and acquire '(Sketches For) My Sweetheart The Drunk' for a more complete view of his post 'Grace' work.

      01. Lover You Should've Come Over (8:07)
      02. Jewel Box (5:41)
      03. Morning Theft (4:29)
      04. Grace (feat. Gary Lucas)* (6:43)
      05. The Sky is A Landfill (7:11)
      06. Everybody Here Wants You (5:27)
      07. Yard Of Blonde Girls (4:57)

      Total running time: 42:35

      Soundboard recording
      Lineage: Flac > CDr > EAC (sec. mode) > Wav > Flac
      Uploaded to Dime in 2005