Friday, 21 October 2016


Well, I am afraid this post is going to be quite short: sadly I wasn't able to discover any information about the elusive Rosa Fang (羅莎), except that this was probably her only release.

By the way, bootleg label Glycos from Singapore released an EP that combines the title track from this release with three tracks taken from the debut Rita Chao EP, which I remastered some time ago... Quite odd, isn't it?

Could it be that Rosa Fang released other records under a different name? She has a mature voice and I doubt that these are her only recordings... Maybe someone out there can shed some light on her? Thanks in advance!

Rosa Fang as she appears on the front cover of her one and only EP, 1966

Here's the track list for this 7" EP:

01. 穿着鞋子走路 (These Boots Are Made For Walking) (2:43)
02. 夢裡會情郎 (Far Away) (2:23)
03. 情竇初開 (My Love) (2:26)
04. 海上良宵 (Hawaiian Song) (2:58)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in October 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the complete original artwork.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.

Althought manufactured in India, this EP was released in Singapore on the Columbia label with catalogue number ECHK 555, sometimes in early/mid 1966, around the same time that the debut EPs by Rita Chao and Sakura were also released.

Side A begins with "穿着鞋子走路" a cover of "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'", a hit song written by Lee Hazlewood and recorded by Nancy Sinatra in late 1965. Here's a link to a clip of the original version.

The song is followed by "夢裡會情郎" (Far Away), a quieter number which I can't clearly recognize, but I'm almost sure that it is a cover of some other famous tune released sometimes during the mid-60s. Can anybody help me on this matter?

On Side B we find "情竇初開", a nice version of Petula Clark's international hit "My Love", a song written by Tony Hatch in late 1965; here's a playback of the original version.

The EP ends with "海上良宵" (Hawaiian Song) which, once again, sounds familiar but I can't seem to focus on the original; the title is here on the tip of my tongue but... Once again I need help, thank you!

The following clips offer a complete preview of the remastered EP, enjoy!

At this point I am supposed to provide you with some links about the release featured in this entry, but this time there are not many useful resources that I can direct you to...

As a last note, I'm still struggling to find some help for translations:

if you can translate from Chinese to English please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com
or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016


«One day, coming back from school in Castelfranco when I was about eight or nine, I met a person who was playing violin under the arcades, in front of a small shop: that frail sound came over me, it made me vibrate and echoed inside of me for many days.»

[Giusto Pio, translated from the book "Dedicato a Giusto Pio"]

Giusto Pio was born in Castelfranco Veneto, Italy, in 1926. He inherited a passion for music from his father, who played several instruments without ever having attended regular schools.

At 13 he began to study violin in Marghera and three years later he was accepted at the Liceo Musicale Cesare Pollini of Padua. In 1941 he moved to Venice, where he studied composition and violin under Luigi Enrico Ferro, the last great violinist of the "Venetian School", at the Benedetto Marcelli Conservatory.

Pio graduated in violin in 1947, a few years later he got married and moved to Milan. During the '50s he received important national and international awards and entered the RAI orchestra of Milan (Italian television orchestra) as Concertino violin, a role that enabled him to acquire, in about thirty years of activity in close contact with the best directors and performers of the world, a wide experience in the field of orchestral-symphonic and operatic music.

During the '60s and the '70s, he also carried out an intense didactic activity with the best Milanese and Italian chamber music ensembles, contemplating a vast repertoire of music that, starting from the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Letitiae Musicae, the pioneer group in Italy for Medieval and Renaissance music), went through the Italian Baroque (Complesso Strumentale Italiano, Symposium Musicum Milano, Giovane Quartetto di Milano, Complesso Barocco di Milano, etc.), and then reached the contemporary music of today with many premières of the greatest Italian living composers.

Over the years Giusto Pio has participated in several recordings for the major record companies of the time (Ricordi, Angelicum, Vox, Decca). These musical performances were always philologically attentive, thanks to the help of musicologists such as Francesco Degrada and Raffaello Monterosso of the Musical Paleography School of Cremona.

At the same time, his expertise was also in demand in the field of Popular Music, and Pio has worked as a session musician adding his instrument to the recordings of many famous Italian singers of the '50s and '60s, including Claudio Villa, Luciano Tajoli, Nilla Pizzi, Tony Dallara, Betty Curtis, Domenico Modugno, Adriano Celentano and Mina.

In the late '70s Pio was hired by Franco Battiato as violin teacher and they soon became friends. Later on, almost for amusement and curiosity, Pio began to play improvised concerts with him and vocalist Juri Camisasca.

In 1978 he worked as musician on "Juke Box" by Battiato and during the same year he released his first album of experimental music entitled "Motore immobile" ( can listen to the whole album here...) on Cramps Records.

The long collaboration with Battiato was one of the most prolific and interesting during the '80s and '90s in Italy; this partnership took Pio to new heights in the fields of commercial and avantgarde music, with a great success in terms of popularity and discography.

Most of the albums by Franco Battiato, from "L'era del cinghiale bianco" (1979) to "Unprotected" (1994), depending on the case, included Giusto Pio as co-author of the music or of the arrangements, as violinist or as conductor. All the tours performed by Battiato during those years always included Giusto Pio among the essential lineup of musicians.

In those years, always with Battiato, he wrote the music and arrangements of many hit songs for Italian singers Alice, Giuni Russo and Sibilla ("Per Elisa" by Alice won the Sanremo Festival in 1981, you can watch the original performance here), produced two albums for Milva and various songs for other artists.

In 1984 Pio, Battiato and lyricist Rosario 'Saro' Cosentino penned the Eurovision Song Contest entry "I treni di Tozeur", performed by Alice and Battiato, which finished 5th in the contest and became a considerable commercial success in Continental Europe and Scandinavia. A video of the original performance, which briefly shows Giusto Pio as orchestra conductor, is available here.

Between 1982 and 1987 he released three lovely albums of Pop music: "Legione straniera", "Restoration" - I already remastered both of them some time ago along with the "Auto-Motion (Otomoscion)" single - and "Note", the subject of this post. In particular, "Legione straniera" and "Restoration", both written along with Battiato, sold very well and Pio became a well-known name among the younger audiences, as evidenced by the musical chronicles of those years on many magazines and newspapers.

In 1988 he published "Alla corte di Nefertiti", an album that marked the passage to a music style which was very different from his previous output and had far less commercial appeal. His association with Pop music definively waned after the end of his artistic fellowship with Battiato.

Over the past decade, Pio increasingly approached acoustic and electronic research, and produced music for theater (for example the play "Medea", for the Florentine group Krypton, which won first prize for music at the Massa Carrara Festival, or his collaboration on Battiato's operas performed in the major Italian theaters), music for movies and interactive musical comments with other art forms such as painting, sculpture and poetry.

Among his most recent music releases we remember "Utopie" (1990), "Missa Populi" (dedicated to His Holiness John Paul II, 1995), and "Le vie dell'oro" (2000).

The book "Dedicato a Giusto Pio", which includes a companion CD entitled "Dolomiti Suite", was published in 2010 to celebrate Pio's 85th birthday.

Giusto Pio has turned 90 on 11 January 2016.

"Note" contains the following tracks:

01. Capriccio (3:38)
02. Halley (4:20)
03. Concerto (4:01)
04. Capitano Nemo (4:18)
05. Ninna nanna per Andrea (3:22)
06. Inno (3:06)
07. Angeli? (3:32)
08. Sagra (3:11)
09. Ultimo Lied (3:18)

Although the artwork was scanned and restored from the vinyl album in my possession, the music was sourced and remastered from an original copy of the rare CD version which was kindly supplied by Stefano AbulQasim, thank you so much Stefano!

All tracks were remastered in September 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

Please have a look at the comments for the download link.

«After the moderate success of "Legione straniera" and "Restoration" I had decided to be the Cincinnatus of the day, cultivating a small piece of land in my neck of the woods. However, the lure of music was too strong. After all, I still used to perform each now and then with some 'ensemble' of acoustic music, be it Baroque or other styles, so I hadn't completely quit the stage. Then, some old friends (starting from producer Angelo Carrara and the CBS press office) convinced me to work on a new record. The album, informal in style and presentation, was born almost like a 'divertissement'. I bought a mixer and a twelve-track tape recorder, and I brought them to my country house. There, from February onwards, I focused on the compositions. I also resumed old ideas that I had never developed; some of them date back to the days when I used to work with Battiato.» [1]

«"Note" is my latest album of Pop music; it includes instrumental compositions for violin and strings. Two tracks, namely "Halley" and "Capitano Nemo", were retrieved from some improvisations related to "Cigarettes", an unreleased work made in 1978-79. Other compositions are more recent, for example the lullaby that I composed for my nephew Andrea.» [2]

"Note" (Notes) was released by CBS with catalogue number 460063.1 sometimes in late 1987, probably in October or early November, both on LP and cassette tape. The album was also issued on CD format in a limited run, hence its rareness today.

Just like the two previous Pio's Instrumental Pop efforts, the album was produced by Angelo Carrara. However, the album doesn't feature the same team of musicians that enriched those records; guitar and bass are completely absent in favour of a more electronic / programmed / midi sound that unfortunately, in certain passages, appears a little bit dated today.

Franco Battiato, who had co-written all the tracks on "Legione straniera" and "Restoration" - the touchstones with whom "Note" should be compared - was not involved in the making of this album and his contribution is limited to the short endorsement that those of you who are lucky enough to read Italian can enjoy here below.

All tracks are therefore signed by Pio alone and, as a matter of fact, the usual extra-European suggestions which are ascribable to Battiato are not part of this work. Unlike in the two previous albums, quotes from famous pieces of Classical Music are nowhere to be found on "Note".

I may be wrong, but I guess that on this album Pio received some help by young pianist Roberto Rossi: he is credited for playing various sinthesizers and samplers, but also for some kind of 'artistic collaboration'. In the meantime, after years spent playing keyboards for many Italian artists, Rossi is now Head of the A&R department of Sony Music Italy...

An endorsement about "Note" written by Franco Battiato

The album opens with "Capriccio", an uptempo number which probably would have been the perfect choice for a single or for radio promotion, but as far as I know no single was released, not even a promo.

"Halley" is a superb composition, probably the best on the record, and deserves a special mention; it brings up images of deep space and oceans. How this piece can be born from an improvisation completely eludes me...

The piano + midi keyboards introduction of "Concerto" doesn't sit among my favourite moments of this record; luckily enough the track evolves with a sax + violin refrain that elevate the mood. I can't help to think about how this piece would have benefited from a real bass instead of the thin sequenced line that we are offered.

Side One ends with "Capitano Nemo" (Captain Nemo), another of those tracks whose origin Pio traces back to the late 70s. Once again, this is a strong piece that offers a well-balanced fusion of sequenced elements and violin, with an apt organ outburst in the closing section.

Side Two starts with the sweet "Ninna nanna per Andrea" (Lullaby for Andrea). In his short review of the album, Battiato describes it as «a kind of symphonic poem chamber, a "program music" intimate story».

"Inno" (Hymn) may not be as effective as Vangelis' "Hymne" but its progressions highlight the more playful side of the Maestro, while "Angeli?" (Angels?) offers a serene reflection on faith, a theme which is very close to his heart.

With "Sagra" (Festival / Celebration) the album returns to a lively mixture of synthesizers, with different melodies chasing each other until the violin bursts onto the scene.

"Note" closes with "Ultimo Lied" (The Last Lied), a romantic «twilight poem», where violin and piano have prominent roles.


[1] translated from this interview;

[2] translated from the book "Dedicato a Giusto Pio".

Here's the complete credits and personnel list as translated from the back cover of "Note":

Music by Giusto Pio.
Artistic collaboration by Roberto Rossi.
Produced by Angelo Carrara.

Violin and strings: Giusto Pio
Synthesizers and samplers (Fairlight, Yamaha, Akai, Oberheim): Roberto Rossi
Piano on "Concerto": Roberto Rossi
Drums: Alfredo Golino
Drum machines and programming (Yamaha, D.Drum): Alfredo Golino
Sax: Amedeo Bianchi

Recorded at "Cetra Art Recording Studio" by Ezio De Rosa.
Mixed at "Psycho Studio" by Marti Robertson.

Photography by Giorgio Ciprandi.
Still life by Mario Tedeschi.
Cover by Studio Vertigo.

Giusto Pio as he appears on the back cover of "Note"

The following clips offer a preview of the remastered album, please enjoy "Capriccio", "Halley", "Capitano Nemo", "Inno" and "Ultimo Lied"!

More information about Giusto Pio and "Note" is available here:

If you have any other useful information about this post or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016


Well, many factors currently prevent me from working on new masters from vinyl records; the situation should settle down in the coming months, so bear with me. Meanwhile, I thought about treating you with the first volume in a new series of compilations.

So, graced by gorgeous Eve Meyer on the cover, here comes "Stereo Cocktail Volume One"; it contains songs and a few instrumentals taken from some of the albums that I enjoyed the most during this long hot summer.

There's definitely a flavour of americana spread across the tracks, but in the true spirit of this blog many genres have been considered and juxtaposed with each other. Althought the music on offer here spans about forty-five years the final result sounds mostly cohesive to my ears, I truly hope you will enjoy!

Here's the tracklist of "Stereo Cocktail Volume One":

01. EURO BOYS - Deliverance (8:20)
02. BOB DYLAN - To Be Alone With You (1:52)
03. FRIENDS OF DEAN MARTINEZ - Twilight Sleep (4:52)
      - Wichita Lineman
05. JOSEPH ARTHUR - Honey and the Moon (4:24)
06. PRIMAL SCREAM - Struttin' (Edit) (4:59)
07. SORT SOL - Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town (2:52)
08. AL STEWART - On the Border (3:10)
09. IMANI COPPOLA - La Da Da (4:10)
10. JAY-JAY JOHANSON - A Letter To Lulu-Mae (2:35)
11. LEONARD COHEN - Darkness (4:09)
12. BECK - We Live Again (2:59)
13. BABY HUEY - Running (2:51)
14. THE DURUTTI COLUMN - Friends (5:39)
15. SCOTT WALKER - Montague Terrace (In Blue) (3:23)
16. TERRY CALLIER - I'd Rather Be With You (6:33)
17. THE SEA AND CAKE - Sound and Vision (3:36)

All selections were compiled and mixed in September 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format along with printable artwork.

Before burning this compilation to CD-R using the provided CUE file you must convert the original FLAC audio file to WAV format using an appropriate software. Please have a look here if you need some help.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.

A note for the readers: most of the biographic details below were taken from various Wikipedia articles; I believe it is useful to have all the pertinent information about this compilation gathered in one place.

01. EURO BOYS – Deliverance
original CD/2LP issue: Long Day's Flight 'Till Tomorrow, Virgin (1999)
Euro Boys is a Norwegian band. They were formed in 1990 under the name Kåre and The Cavemen, but changed it to Euro Boys in 1997 for releases outside of Norway. In 2000 they changed their name to Euroboys for all releases including inside Norway. Yes, I know this looks a little bit strange... Anyway, "Deliverance" is the opening number from their second album, which is a small masterpiece. Almost entirely made of instrumental tracks, it is a perfect companion for driving through the night and has kept me good company for quite many journeys. Guitarist Knut Schreiner also plays lead guitar with Turbonegro. More information about the band is also available here.

02. BOB DYLAN – To Be Alone With You
original LP issue: Nashville Skyline, Columbia (1969)
Bob Dylan needs no introduction. As Wikipedia recites, "Nashville Skyline" is his ninth studio album and was released on April 9, 1969. Building on the rustic style he experimented with on "John Wesley Harding", the album displayed a complete immersion into country music. Along with the more basic lyrical themes, simple songwriting structures, and charming domestic feel, it introduced audiences to a radically new singing voice from his author, who had temporarily quit smoking - a soft, affected country croon. The result received a generally positive reaction from critics, and was a commercial success. "To Be Alone With You" is a simple love song; it was the first one Dylan recorded for the album.

original CD issue: Atardecer, Knitting Factory Records (1998)
Friends of Dean Martinez is an instrumental rock / post-rock band featuring members of Giant Sand, Calexico, and Naked Prey. Their music may be described as a combination of americana tunes with bits of electronica, ambient, lounge and psychedelia intertwined with surf rock inspired lead guitars. Originally called The Friends of Dean Martin, they were forced to change their name after the actor refused to give them his blessing... "Twilight Sleep" is taken from "Atardecer", the band's third full-lenght release, a postmodern instrumental rock album which is a good illustration of different ways to conjure imaginative reverbed and acoustic guitar lines.

original CD issue: A.A.V.V. - Lounge-A-Palooza, Hollywood Records (1997)
I guess that at least hundreds and hundreds of compilations were released during the lounge / space age pop / cocktail music revival of the mid 90s (...ooops, looks like that with "Stereo Cocktail Volume One" we're just twenty years late...). Among the ones that I purchased then, "Lounge-A-Palooza" is still one of my favorites. As the liner notes put it, the album «is the heart and soul of a new generation of Martini-sipping swingers»... Well, Martini is not exactly my cup of tea, so to speak, but I can only bow in front of the cosmic forces that have brought together Glen Campbell, Michelle Shocked and Texas Tornados for this great version of Campbell's signature song "Wichita Lineman".

05. JOSEPH ARTHUR - Honey and the Moon
original CD issue: Redemption's Son, Real World Records (2002)
Joseph Arthur is an American singer-songwriter and artist from Akron, Ohio. Combining poetic lyrics with a layered sonic palette, Arthur has built his reputation over the years through critically acclaimed releases and constant touring. He was discovered by Peter Gabriel in the mid-'90s, and signed to Gabriel's Real World as the first North American artist on the label's roster. Arthur is also an acclaimed painter and designer; his artwork has graced most of the sleeves of his entire discography. "Honey and the Moon" is my favourite song from his third studio album and is a quite fine example of the man's artistry.

06. PRIMAL SCREAM - Struttin' [Edit]
original CD/2LP issue: Give Out But Don't Give Up, Creation Records (1994)
Primal Scream are a Scottish rock band originally formed in 1982 in Glasgow. The band were a key part of the mid-1980s indie pop scene, but eventually moved away from their more jangly sound, taking on more psychedelic and then garage rock influences, before incorporating a dance music element to their sound. Their 1991 album "Screamadelica" broke the band into the mainstream. The following album "Give Out But Don't Give Up" - from which this edited version of "Struttin'" is taken - was released in 1994 and was a massive departure from their previous output. Where "Screamadelica" was primarily a psychedelic album, this new effort was influenced by classic rock and blues... That's exactly what is needed to beef up this compilation a little bit right now.

07. SORT SOL - Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town
original 12" issue: Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town, Medley Records (1985)
Sort Sol is a pioneer rock band from Denmark. The group was formed in 1977 as a punk rock outfit, originally under the name Sods. The name Sort Sol was taken in the early 1980s. It translates to English as 'black sun' and is named after a nature phenomenon particular to their Country, where huge bird flocks gather in the sky and appear to block out the sun. I first fell in love with this band thanks to their Joy Division-influenced album "Under en Sort Sol" released sometimes in 1980. "Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town" - a song originally performed by Johnny Darrell in 1967 - is taken from the 12" EP of the same name released in 1985, which is entirely made of covers of famous American songs.

08. AL STEWART - On the Border
original LP issue: Year of the Cat, RCA Victor (1976)
Al Stewart is a Glasgow-born singer-songwriter and folk-rock musician who rose to prominence as part of the British folk revival in the 1960s and 1970s. He developed a unique style of combining folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of characters and events from history. Stewart is best known for his 1976 hit single "Year of the Cat", the title song from the platinum album of the same name. "On the Border", which is included here, was the second single excerpted from that album. It offers some quite seductive Spanish guitar riffs and is an example of Pop perfection for sure. My older brother listened to this album for months when it was released. I was just six years old then, so I guess that this is one of my earliest favourites.

original CD issue: Chupacabra, Columbia (1997)
What a pleasant discovery I made tonight! I remember to have bought "Chupacabra" some fifteen years ago in the bargain bin of a second-hand records shop out of curiosity, but in the end I never searched for information about its author until now.. I'm quite happy to learn that Imani Coppola has released many other albums after her 1997 debut and that she is still active today as part of the Little Jackie duo. I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of pure hip hop music, but the beats and samples scattered all over "Chupacabra" and its implicit pop feeling always strike a chord in me. "La Da Da" is a lovely mellifluous track and comes at the end of the album. As you have already guessed, it is the one that I like the most.

10. JAY-JAY JOHANSON - A Letter To Lulu-Mae
original CD issue: Tattoo, BMG Sweden / RCA (1998)
Jay-Jay Johanson is one of my heroes. Yes, no less than that. So, what can I add? I remember the very first time I watched the promotional clip for his first single "It Hurts Me So" back in 1996: what a coloured and strong voice in such a pale and frail body! The lyrics and general atmosphere of the song have instantly entrapped me in melancholy and I never recovered since then... No, seriously, I have thought about it many times and now I would like to publicly state that, in this life, Jay-Jay is the only worthy artist that I discovered stumbling by chance upon MTV at 3:00 a.m., really! Since then I enjoyed each and every album he has made, and I strongly encourage you to check him, you won't regret it. "A Letter To Lulu-Mae" is taken from his second album entitled "Tattoo", which is a trip hop M-A-S-T-E-R-P-I-E-C-E that can easily stand between Portishead's first two albums without being ashamed.

11. LEONARD COHEN - Darkness
original CD/LP issue: Old Ideas, Columbia / Sony (2012)
If Bob Dylan needs no introduction, then why Leonard Cohen should? As Bruce Eder puts it, «Cohen is second only to Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon) in terms of influence, he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century.» I agree with that, well, maybe except the bit about Paul Simon, but I understand that each one of us loves to make his/her own charts. Unfortunately, during the years I lost track of Leonard Cohen, you know, twenty-four hours a day are never enough for everything... My fault! I was lucky enough to watch the second season of "True Detective" (...and I can't help to mention that, just like almost anyone else in this planetary system, I enjoyed the first one much more...) and the use of Cohen's "Nevermind" - off his latest album "Popular Problems" - as theme song was a welcome surprise. The bluesy "Darkness" is taken from his 2012 album "Old Ideas", which is delightful too.

12. BECK - We Live Again
original CD issue: Mutations, Geffen Records (1998)
Beck is an American singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He rose to fame in the early 1990s with his sonically experimental and lo-fi style, and became known for creating musical collages of wide genre styles. While playing some open mic events, he got noticed by a small local label, Bong Load Custom Records. In 1993, "Loser" was released to the world in a limited pressing of 500 copies and sent out to radio DJs across the U.S. The song became quite popular, and Geffen signed him in November of 1993, giving him the freedom to work with independent labels and to make 'uncommercial' music. Today, he musically encompasses folk, funk, soul, hip hop, alternative rock, country and psychedelia. "We Live Again" is an evocative ballad that will give shivers from here to eternity to anyone who has a heart, and is taken from the album "Mutations".

13. BABY HUEY - Running
original LP issue: The Baby Huey Story - The Living Legend, Curtom (1971)
James Ramey, better known as Baby Huey, was an American rock and soul singer. He was the frontman for the band Baby Huey & the Babysitters, whose sole LP for Curtom Records in 1971 was influential in the development of hip hop music. Due to a glandular disorder, he weighed about 350 pounds (160 kg). His size contributed to his stage presence, but also to health problems. By 1970, he had developed an addiction to heroin, and his weight had increased. In addition to the heroin problem, he was also drinking... Baby Huey was in the midst of recording tracks for his debut album when he died as a result of a heart attack. Some time lapsed before his manager Marv Stuart and Curtis Mayfield took what had already been recorded, added some instrumental tracks that had been recorded previously, and managed to gather up enough material for the album's release. A quarter century later, the record went on to become a cult classic among soul musicians and hip hop fans and has been sampled many times. "Running", written by Mayfield, was released as "You've Got Me Running" by The Impressions in 1967. Baby Huey's version is much stronger than the original in my opinion.

original CD-R issue: Chronicle, Kooky Records (2011)
The Durutti Column are an English post-punk band formed in 1978 in Manchester, England. The band is a project of guitarist and occasional pianist Vini Reilly who is accompanied most of the times by drummer Bruce Mitchell. Since its inception, the band has been associated with Factory Records, until the label's collpase in the early 1990s. Let's put it simple: The Durutti Column are my favourite band of all times, full stop. I've been listening and supporting them for about thirty years now. Althought still partly incomplete, my collection of Durutti's releases is wide enough to include some sought after rarities, just like the "Chronicle" limited edition CD-R for example. The music on the album was premiered at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on 30 April 2011 and the disc was sold on such occasion. Although I couldn't attend the concert, a few copies were sold directly from Kooky Records the following May. The official release of the album was delayed until June 2014 when it was finally made available as "Chronicle XL". In the meantime "Friends" was given a different - and shorter - mix and re-entitled "Fanfare Reprise". I am more inclined to appreciate the original version, that's why you can listen to it here.

15. SCOTT WALKER - Montague Terrace (In Blue)
original LP issue: Scott, Philips (1967)
Born Noel Scott Engel on 9 January 1943 in Hamilton, Ohio, and gifted with a really interesting voice, that later will evolve into the contradistinctive baritone timbre, the young Scott Walker started with television appearances in 1957 and became a worldwide acclaimed star after moving to London and releasing for Philips as part of the The Walker Brothers. For some months the group even overshadowed The Beatles in popularity becoming icons always followed by a crowd of adoring fans. From 1967 the Walkers disbanded and Scott started to produce his first solo albums, the critical acclaimed "Scott", "Scott 2", "Scott 3", "Scott Sings Songs From His T.V. Series" and "Scott 4". For three years Walker worked in strict collaboration with the expert arranger John Franz, Philips A&R man, the young engineer Peter Olliff, and classical-trained directors like Wally Stott, Reg Guest and Peter Knight. "Montague Terrace (In Blue)" is taken from his debut solo album, and is a suggestive masterpiece full of lyricism and pathos.

16. TERRY CALLIER - I'd Rather Be With You
original LP issue: What Color Is Love, Cadet Records (1972)
Terrence Orlando "Terry" Callier (May 24, 1945 – October 27, 2012), was an American jazz, soul and folk guitarist and singer-songwriter. His debut album, "The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier", released in 1965 on Prestige, included eight traditional songs and established that he was quite difficult to categorize. In 1970 he joined Jerry Butler's Chicago Songwriters Workshop and in 1972 he released his first self-penned album entitled "Occasional Rain", which was soon followed by "What Color Is Love". During the 1970s he released three more albums on Cadet and Elektra, but by the end of the decade his career had slowed down. Soon after recording a single, "I Don’t Want to See Myself (Without You)", which he paid for himself, in 1982 he quit music... He re-emerged from obscurity in the late 1980s when his music attracted a cult following among British soul music collectors and DJs. In the late 1990s Callier began his comeback to recorded music, collaborating with Urban Species and Beth Orton, before releasing the album "TimePeace" in 1998, which was followed by many more releases until his untimely departure. "I'd Rather Be With You" perfectly sums up Callier's approach both to life and music.

17. THE SEA AND CAKE - Sound and Vision
original CD/LP issue: One Bedroom, Thrill Jockey (2003)
The Sea and Cake is an indie rock band with a jazz influence based in Chicago. The group formed in the mid-1990s from members of The Coctails, Shrimp Boat and Tortoise. Starting with 1997's "The Fawn", the group has relied on electronic sound sources, such as drum machines and synthesizers, to color its music, but has retained its distinctive post-jazz combo style. Contrary to his multi-instrumentalist role in Tortoise, John McEntire almost exclusively plays drums in The Sea and Cake. The cover art of their albums are largely created by members Eric Claridge (paintings) and Sam Prekop (photographs). Their most recent studio album, entitled "Runner", was released in 2012. "Sound and Vision" is taken from "One Bedroom", an album released by Thrill Jockey in 2003. The song was originally included on David Bowie's "Low", released in early 1977. Closing the compilation with this small tribute seems fair to me.

All your inputs are more than welcome, if you feel so inclined you can reach me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016


Thank you Gene for your unforgettable charachters, you will always shine bright in my memory as an essential source of inspiration!

Friday, 5 August 2016


Du bist schön von Hinten
mit ein paar Metern Entfernung
Schön bist du im Nebel, wenn du gehen musst
Bitte, bleibe nicht bei mir
Zeig mir deinen Rücken
Am Schönsten bist du, wenn du gehen musst

Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich,wie soll ich, mich nach dir sehnen
wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets bei mir bist?
Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich mich nach dir sehnen?
Jeden Tag, jede Nacht, jeden Tag, jede Nacht bist du bei mir

Löse dich in Luft auf
Hiterlass keine Spuren
Zeig, wie du aussiehst, wenn du nicht mehr bist
Ich bedanke mich herzlich
Ich hatte viel Spaß mit dir
Aber ohne dich war es auch nicht schlecht
Vielleicht besser sogar

Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich,wie soll ich, mich nach dir sehnen
wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets bei mir bist?
Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich mich nach dir sehnen?
Jeden Tag, jede Nacht, jeden Tag, jede Nacht bist du bei mir

Schick mir ein Foto von dir
Oder eine Postkarte
Geh, es ist vorbei

[from the lyrics of "Schön von Hinten"]

Bungalow Records was a Pop / Electronica label founded in 1996 by Berliner DJs Holger Beier and Marcus Liesenfeld, a.k.a. Le Hammond Inferno:

«We have always been passionate about music, towards the end of the '80s we started playing in an indie band and DJing at the same time, combining our strong passions for Pop and Dance music. That was a very fertile period for the Club scene in Germany and we were very busy organizing a series of parties that have entered into the history of German clublife. Parties attended by Saint Etienne, Towa Tei of Deee-Lite, Stereolab... At that point we ended up being a reference point and many people were interested in the creation of a label. We actually had never thought about it, but our encounter with Christof Ellinghaus of City Slang has made this possibility a reality. We founded Bungalow and slowly we tried to learn how to manage a record label.»

[from an interview published on Blow Up magazine, issue #26/27, July 2000]

For a few years, until the early '00s, Bungalow was a very prolific and cool label. Their compilations "Sushi 3003" / "Sushi 4004" marked the first time a western indie label delved into the cutting edge Japanese Club-Pop scene:

«...the initial spark was the moment we listened to "Twiggy Twiggy" by Pizzicato Five and later Towa Tei's "Future Listening". We were hearing a new, never heard craziness in playing around with Pop music. The first thing that came to our simple minds was: there must be more. So we contacted journalist and Nippon-Mania-Man Olaf Maikopf and had the quite naive idea to travel to Japan and put together a compilation of modern Japanese Club-Pop. After running through the streets of Tokyo for some 10 days, meeting about 35 record companies and even more bands, we were totally confused and had to carry tons of CDs and LPs back home (much to the pleasure of the Lufthansa customs agents). Back home we slept for a month and then compiled "Sushi 3003" as an introduction to Japanese Club-Pop and concentrated on giving a wide overview of what has been going on in Tokyo in the last 10 years.»

[from the "Sushi 4004" liner notes, 1998]

Bungalow gave us the chance to (re)discover the soundtrack works of German composer Peter Thomas; they also licensed most of Combustible Edison releases in Europe and brought Stereo Total to international success and fame, album after album.

Among others, they released lovely CDs by Czerkinsky, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Yoshinori Sunahara and Bertrand Burgalat, and other little wonders from the German underground like Pop Tarts, Dauerfisch, Mina... For this and all the rest, thank you Bungalow!

The "Pool Series" was a... series of 12" records that explored the more Dance-oriented side of the label. They were released in a simple brown cardboard sleeve with a sticker containing all the pertinent details.

The cover design was changed at a later stage, and the last five issues offered a different design, with all information printed directly on the sleeves and no sticker at all.

The second issue in the series was Stereo Total's "Schön von Hinten", released in 1997. The single was also published on CD - with a different track order - in the regular Bungalow catalogue.

Althought the remastered tracks presented here use the CD single as source, they are sequenced according to the track list of the original 12" vinyl release:

01. Schön von Hinten (Rimini Mix by Brezel Göring) (2:37)
02. Schön von Unten (Andreas Dorau, Michel und DJ It) (4:37)
03. The Other Side of You (Momus & Laila France) (4:23)
04. Schön von Hinten (Halb-Remix by Hermann Halb) (3:14)
05. Schön von Hinten (Sons of '68 & Jan Bontempi) (2:36)
06. Schön von Hinten (Original) (2:49)

All tracks were remastered in August 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the complete original artwork.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.

"Schön von Hinten" seems to be a sort of farewell song and at the same time looks like a praise to a man's butt... Uhm, which of the two... Maybe both?

Side A opens with the "Rimini Mix" by Brezel Göring. Curiously enough, at the beginning of the song you can listen to Françoise Cactus speaking Italian announcing that «This song is by Stereo Total and is entitled "You're Beautiful From Behind"»... This remix turns the original into a cheap dance anthem and I can easily imagine it being spinned in some clubs during the most drunken hours somewhere on the Adriatic Riviera...

In their "Schön von Unten", Andreas Dorau (...of Die Doraus Und Die Marinas fame...) along with the mysterious DJ It and a certain Michel, opt for an 8bit treatment and I must admit that I don't like it that much, no.

Side B opens with the beautiful reinterpretation by veteran Momus & Laila France. The original is given new lyrics, both in English and French, and is a small educated masterpiece. A lesson to learn for everyone dealing with a remix duty.

Hermann Halb's "Halb-Remix" uses a few effects to create a feeling of estrangement, but musically I wouldn't say that it's quite interesting as it doesn't add much to the original.

In my opinion Sons of '68 & Jan Bontempi is an alias for Stereo Total themselves... Of course I may be wrong, but their version sounds like a garage rehearsal and the voice belongs to Françoise Cactus beyond the shadow of a doubt...

The record ends with the original song as heard on the album "Monokini". With the exception of the aforementioned Momus & Laila France cover, and despite the various remix treatments, I believe that this is still the best version and one of the trademark songs of the early Stereo Total. Now, if only I could figure out where that percussion loop was sampled from...

A short Stereo Total biography 1993-1997 is available here below. The following clips offer a preview of the remastered 12"/CD single; the promotional videoclip of the original version of "Schön von Hinten" is also included as a bonus, enjoy!

During winter 1992-93, Françoise Cactus and Brezel Göring were living in the same neighborhood in Berlin and the legend has it that they casually met while shopping in a bakery in Adalbertstraße.

Françoise was about to close her experience with the French girl-garage-punk-R’n'R-Band Lolitas (...they released six albums in Germany and France and toured all over Europe and America, for more information about them have a look here...) and Brezel was keeping himself busy with an Experimental-noise-copyright-ignoring-tapeloop-soundeffects project called Sigmund Freud Experience (...he released three vinyl records under this guise, 100 copies each...).

In 1993 they started playing together. Their first recording was a ten minute cooking-recipe, in which all ingredients had sexual connotations. The recording is sadly lost... In 1994 they started rehearsaling and recording in Hamburg at the Alien Sound Studio of Peter Stein, and began to perform concerts in small venues in Berlin and Germany.

In those early days, the band logo consisted of two tits that were originally painted on a mix-tape Françoise made for Brezel entitled "Stereo Total", and I easily guess this is how the band's name was born... The logo was later shown on the backside of their first album "Oh Ah"; here you can have a look at the inlay-card of the CD version.

At that time the line-up included Françoise (vocals and drums), Brezel (vocals, guitar, organ and synthesizers) and Lesley Campell from Scotland (distorted guitar). With their unusual mix of music influences and languages, it wasn't easy then to find a record label... The band used to play French Chanson, Disco, Rockabilly and Garage in a very minimal, simplified, essential way, often with self-built guitars and cheap electronics; lyrics were both written in French and German.

At last, in 1995 Desert Records released their first 7" EP entitled "Allo... J'ecoute...", available here on Stereo Candies. This single is strongly linked to Lolitas, in fact the track "Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais" was recorded in New Orleans by Alex Chilton - who had produced the group's "Fusée d'amour" back in 1989 - and "Avec ma valise" was originally included on "Séries Américaines" in 1987.

During the same year, Palestinian bassist Ghazi Barakat, a.k.a. Iznogood - ex member of the Hardcore / Experimental combo Burst Appendix - joined in and for some time the band became a quartet.

Schön von Hinten" was also released as a CD single with a dfferent track order...

In January 1996, Stereo Total finally released their first album entitled "Oh Ah", which included tracks recorded during 1994 and 1995 at the aforementioned Alien Sound Studio in Hamburg, and a lot of 4-track home recordings.

The CD version of the album was published in Germany by Peace 95, while the vinyl edition came in the form of a 2.000 copies limited edition LP on Little Teddy Recordings; these were divided into four different colours, with respectively 500 copies in black, translucent red, translucent blue and clear translucent.

The album spawned two singles which, once again, were divided equally betweeen the labels: Little Teddy Recordings released "Dactylo Rock" in the form of a CD single that included remixes by - among others - Chrislo HaasA Certain FrankAlec Empire and Le Hammond Inferno, while Peace 95 took care about the release of the "Miau Miau" 7" EP, which also included a few unreleased numbers and is available here.

At the same time, a 500 copies white label 12" blue vinyl of "Dactylo Rock" marked the beginning of Stereo Total's tenure at Bungalow. Compared to the original CD single, the 12" offered an improved track list. Its printed transparent sleeve and the limited pressing make it a collector's item.

Before the end of the year, after a tour through Germany, Austria, and Switzerland the band split and Stereo Total became a duo again... In 1997 Angie Reed started collaborating with Françoise and Brezel, and her name became officially associated with the group when their second full-lenght work, entitled "Monokini", was released.

"Schön von Hinten", one of the most memorable tracks on the album, was issued as a single - both as a 12" vinyl and CD - and is the subject of this post.

Stereo Total 1997: Françoise Cactus, Brezel Göring and Angie Reed

More information about Bungalow Records and Stereo Total is available here:

The "Pool Series" will continue in the next months. All your inputs are welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


«Linda Jones... Stylistic, soulful, unique... In my opinion is the most exciting female artist to come along in the last ten years. I've had the opportunity to watch Miss Jones, not only in personal appearances, but also in recording sessions and, believe me, it is a very moving experience. While listening to Linda sing "Stay With Me Forever", "I Can't Make It Alone", "I Love You (I Need You)", "Tell Me the Truth", "My Man, Lover & Me", "Don't Go (I Can't Bear To Be Alone)", to name a few, I was overwhelmed by the goose pimples. As you turn on with this great album... Portrait of Linda Jones... I want you to tell me who is the number one soul sister! Who? ...Oh yes, "Linda Jones"! I thought you would agree!!!»

[Al Goodman of The Moments, from the back cover notes of "A Portrait of Linda Jones"]

Linda Jones was born in Newark, New Jersey, on January 14, 1944, and she first sang in public in her hometown at the age of six. She cut her teeth in church, regularly treading the gospel path as part of The Jones Singers, a group comprised of her whole family.

Through this background Linda developed and nurtured her most predominant vocal technique: the melisma, the art of spreading a word or syllable over several rapid notes up and down the scale. In later years she took to singing spirituals every morning to exercise her voice.

Linda's childhood was plagued by a severe history of diabetes, and this condition only worsened during her adulthood. Small wonder her artistry reflected the desperate determination to triumph over pain and loneliness.

As her prowess developed, she moved towards the secular field, and soon began to accumulate trinkets and trophies from winning a host of talent shows and amateur nights. This trend continued until she grew into her teens, and the talent show medals began to metamorphose into dollars and dimes from gigs at local nightspots.

This presumably led to what is reputed to be her first recording under the name Linda Lane: "Lonely Teardrops", a cover of a song originally performed by Jackie Wilson in 1958, backed with "Cancel the Celebration", was produced by Bill Cook, manager of Roy Hamilton, and was released sometimes in 1963 on Cub Records, a subsidiary that MGM Records started in the late '50s for Rhythm and Blues releases.

Linda's short-lived but musically powerful career began in earnest when producer/songwriter George Kerr entered her life around 1964. Kerr, who had a brief stint as a member of Little Anthony & The Imperials, met Linda through a mutual friend, songwriter Gerald "Jerry" Harris, when she was performing at a local club. At the time Linda was working at a pie factory, and Kerr soon became her mentor, using his connections to secure a short term record deal with Atlantic.

On October 19, 1964, Linda went into the Atlantic Studios on Broadway in New York City and cut three songs composed by Kerr and Harris: "Take the Boy Out of the Country" and "I'm Taking Back My Love", which were released as a one-off single on Atco in 1965, and "I Need You", an unreleased track likely lost to posterity due to the infamous Atlantic Records warehouse fire in February 1978.

In 1966, Kerr and his new protege mad a brief stop at Leiber & Stoller's Blue Cat Records, a subsidiary of Red Bird Records, for another one-off single which included the songs "Fugitive From Love" and "You Hit Me Like TNT", once again both penned by him and Harris.

Later on, Kerr gave Linda a shot at a song written by friend Richard Poindexter (one of the Poindexter Brothers along with Robert: both would go on to have success with The Persuaders in the early '70s) together with Gloria Florence Spolan. 

With a vibrant and emphathetic Richard Tee arrangement, the legendary emotion-packed "Hypnotized" was recorded in one take during April 1967 in New York, along with "I Can't Stand Lovin' My Baby". As the story goes, Linda was just learning the song, but Kerr told the engineer to hit the record button and the touching performance was preserved.

"Hypnotized" proved to be a turning point for both Linda and her producer. A promo man at Brunswick liked it but the label was busy, so he directed Kerr to Loma, a Rhythm and Blues label that Warner Brothers had just started. Jerry Ragovoy, head of Loma, instantly detected the song's potential and a deal was easily arranged.

The single entered the charts in June 1967. Within weeks Linda was signed to Ruth Bowen's famous Queen Booking Agency, and with some new photos and a new wardrobe, she was ready to hit the road. Working with promoter Henry Wynn, known for producing multi-act R&B packages that would criss-cross the U.S., Linda did shows with all manner of artists including Jackie Wilson, The Vibrations, The Chantels, The Bobbettes and others.

With her highly emotive style, Linda literally had audiences hypnotized and, as she toured, the "Hypnotized" single kept rising on the charts, finally reaching #4 on the Billboard R&B Chart and #21 on the Hot 100. This proved to be the label's best-selling record and Loma asked Kerr to do an album.

Linda Jones, promotional picture, circa 1967 - The cover of "A Portrit of..." is clearly based upon this picture.

Over two sessions in New York City, on June 21 and August 4, 1967, Linda cut a total of nine songs. Kerr masterminded the sessions while famed keyboardist Richard Tee provided arrangements. Players like guitarist Eric Gale and drummer Bernard Purdie added their musical magic and the Poindexter Brothers did all the background vocals.

"What Have I Done (To Make You Mad)" was issued in October 1967, with "Make Me Surrender" as its flip, and became another top 10 R&B hit but only struggled to #61 on the Pop listings. A third single, "Give My Love a Try" backed with a version of The Soul Sisters' "I Can't Stand It" was released in January 1968 and enjoyed moderate sales, struggling to #34 R&B and a dismal #93 on Pop. On the strenght of its title track, the "Hypnotized" album actually made it to the R&B Top 30.

Culled from a session recorded earlier during that year, Sammy Turner's "My Heart Needs a Break" was issued as a single sometimes during Spring '68 backed with "The Things I've Been Through". It peaked at #50 in the R&B charts, becoming Linda's final charted entry during her two-year tenure with Loma.

On the same session Linda also recorded "What Can I Do (Without You)", another Turner co-penned tune arranged by Robert Banks (also known for his work at the time with Thelma Jones), and a version of The Beatles' "Yesterday", which were released as a single in 1968. These two songs, along with the other two mentioned below, are available as part of  a previous post I wrote some time ago.

Linda's last single for Loma consisted of two tracks recorded in August 1968 at Broadway Studios in Manhattan. Side A surprisingly offered Poindexter Brothers' "It Won't Take Much (To Bring Me Back)" while a stunning version of "I Who Have Nothing" - previously recorded by the likes of Ben E. King, Dee Dee Warwick and Shirley Bassey - was relegated to the flip side...

Unfortunately Loma folded early in 1969. During the same year Warner Brothers released a single with the two songs Linda recorded in March at her last session for the label: "I Just Can't Live My Life (Without You Babe)", written by George Kerr, backed with "My Heart (Will Understand)" by Linda's brother Eddie.

During the same year, a different version of "Fugitive From Luv", another song recorded for Loma back in August 1967, was released by Cotique as a split-single which offered Bessie Banks' "Go Now" on the other side.

Linda Jones, another promotional picture taken during the same session, circa 1967

In mid 1969 George Kerr signed Linda to Neptune Records, a label owned by Philadelphia's Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff which was the forerunner to the Philadelphia International Records hit factory. The first Neptune single, "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow / That's When I'll Stop Loving You" revealed a more aggressive, even hysterical-sounding vocal.

Never a singer noted for restraint, Linda's style became increasingly volatile and fraught with desperation and urgency as her career progressed. Making fewer concessions to the demands of the Top 40 programming, Linda's attack was wildly exuberant, her desperation bearly overwhelming, her phrasing with melismas, shrieks and gasps. Her second and last Neptune release, "Ooh Baby You Move Me / Can You Blame Me?", continued the progression.

While "Hypnotized" found Linda taking a relatively subtle approach to her music, her subsequent sides captured her at full strength, and though soul purists (especially Northern Soul collectors in the U.K.) treasured her records, she never had another major hit.

In 1971, by the time she had changed her base from New York to New Jersey to sign with All Platinum's Turbo subsidiary, Linda was in a bad way. Her medical condition was deteriorating as her illness began gaining the upper hand.

Aware of her problems, All Platinum's owners Joe and Sylvia Robinson put her on the staff payroll and gave her liberal studio freedom, thus helping to ensure her a reasonable, regular diet to combat the illness. Linda took to going to the studio almost every other day as music was a mean of forgetting the pain she was often in.

Despite the dismal sound reproduction of the three Turbo album releases ("A Portrait of Linda Jones", issued early in 1972 and the subject of this post, "Your Precious Love" and "Let It Be Me", both released the same year after her untimely passing), Linda's frantic overwrought vocals sharply reflected her torment.

As Russell Gersten wrote in Rolling Stone, "Singing became a life and death matter for Linda at her last few recording sessions... Whatever little poise and restraint she at one time had, disappeared." Gersten also wrote that listening to the singer's final sides made him imagine "someone down on her knees pounding the floor, suddendly jumping up to screech something, struggling to make sense of a desperately unhappy life."

Linda Jones as pictured on the cover of "Your Precious Love", circa early '70s

Early in 1972, Turbo's single "Your Precious Love" brought Linda back to both the R&B and Pop charts, Many consider this to be the ultimate rendering of the old hit by Jerry Butler and The Impressions.

British critic Ian Hoare regards it as "the quintessential Deep Soul record", even beating out Lorraine Ellison's masterful "Stay With Me". He accurately describes it as a "spine-chilling piece of histrionic desolation". After the song's spoken introduction, which has an intense sermon-like quality, Linda explodes into a one-woman vocal hurricane, the like of which is not to be heard elsewhere.

The single entered the charts in February 1972 and began climbing, peaking at just #74 on the Hot 100 and a more respectable #15 in the R&B list. Linda's diary was full of work and she was actively promoting the single just weeks before she died.

After a matinee performance at the Apollo Theatre in New York in March, Linda went to her mother's house in Newark to eat dinner and take a nap before playing her evening show, but when her mother tried to wake her, she discovered Linda had slipped into a diabetic coma. She was rushed to the hospital but she didn't regained consciousness and died on March 14.

Because of her remarkable ability to transmute her own pain and suffering into Soul singing of a most astonishing and uncompromising quality, it could be argued that Linda Jones was to Soul what Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Judy Garland were to other forms of music.

"A Portrait of Linda Jones" contains the following tracks:

01. When the Hurt Comes Back (3:32)
02. Hypnotized (3:28)
03. Don't Go (I Can't Bear To Be Alone) (3:15)
04. If Only We Had Met Sooner (3:32)
05. Behold (2:42)
06. Stay With Me Forever (3:34)
07. I Love You (I Need You) (4:05)
08. I've Given You the Best Years of My Life (3:24)
09. I Can't Make It Alone (3:20)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in June 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

Please have a look at the comments for the download link.

"A Portrait of Linda Jones" was released by Turbo Records sometimes in early 1972 with catalogue number TU-7004. I am uncertain if this LP should be considered a proper album or a compilation: half of the recordings that it contains were still unreleased then, but a few of them had already been recorded - and released - previously... The audio quality oscillates between bad and almost good; it seems quite clear that these nine cuts were recorded in different sets, a couple of tracks are even mono mixes...

As Linda signed with Turbo in 1971 and the album was released the next year, common sense would suggest that the recordings took place during that time span, but I can't help feeling that some of them seem to be older.

The cover of the album aptly features a portrait of Linda Jones inspired by one of her promotional pictures that you can see somewhere else in this post. I will refrain from getting to the heart of the artistic matter but, hey, this really looks like a budget release...

In 1991 most of the tracks included on this album - and on the two other albums Linda recorded for Turbo - were released on CD as "Your Precious Love" by Sequel Records in the U.K., but unfortunately many of them were left completely unmastered and the original fade-outs were shortened for unknown reasons... As a last note, and before getting in the usual track-by-track review, I beg you to believe me: this has been the most difficult remastering work that I embarked on since I lauched Stereo Candies almost five years ago.

Side 1 begins with "When the Hurt Comes Back", a song written by Gerald Harris and Wilbur Henry. On the spoken introduction Linda offers her 'fool's advice' to young girls before exploding in a more than desperate ballad. The drums on this track sound like they were recorded in a box and an unexplained hiss keeps on flowing up and down through the mix.

A completely re-recorded version of Linda's most successful and memorable song, "Hypnotized", is second in the playlist. Althought this version can't compete with the original for many reasons - the too much slow tempo comes to mind first - the vocal delivery is powerful and clear. Strangely enough, Linda's voice is almost completely panned on one side of the stereo mix; I really can't find a good reason for this choice... The same recording was also inclued months later on the album "Let It Be Me"; this time vocals were correctly placed in the mix.

"Don't Go (I Can't Bear To Be Alone)" was written by Al Goodman of The Moments - who is also responsible for the short notes that appear on the back cover of the album - along with Nate Edmonds and Sharon Seiger. Before its inclusion on this LP, the song had already been released as flipside of the single "I Can't Make It Alone" in 1971. The arrangement and mixing of this track are far better than those of the previous numbers; althought it doesn't reach the pinnacle of the 1967 Loma album, it is a step in that direction. Produced by Al Goodman, the song was also included later on the album "Your Precious Love".

"If Only We Had Met Sooner" is another re-recorded track that originally belonged to the "Hypnotized" album released back in 1967 by Loma. The song was written by George Kerr and Gerald Harris, and features The Whatnauts on backing vocals. For this version someone at the mixing desk has probably thought that it would be cooool to have the horns and strings sections moving quickly from one channel to the other. Well, the effect is not so cool in my opinion...

The first part of the album closes with the short and excellent "Behold", a song written and produced by Sylvia Robinson whose arrangement, melody and more relaxed vocal delivery harks back to Linda's earlier output. A few months later this track was also included on "Your Precious Love".

Side B starts off with "Stay With Me Forever", a song that - once again - was written by Al GoodmanNate Edmonds and Sharon Seiger. Produced by Edmonds along with George Kerr, the previous year this number was choosen as Linda's first single on Turbo. Although it brings back the 'drums in a box' sound that pesters a few of the tracks on Side 1, Linda's voice shows all its power and swallow up the listener in a maelstrom of emotions. On the original album the song ends abruptly, I tried my best to fix this problem by using the last seconds of the version found on the "Your Precious Love" CD release which, for once, is better.

Clocking at over four minutes, "I Love You (I Need You)" is the longest track on the album. Written by the usual Edmonds / Seiger team, the song is exclusive to this LP and was not recycled on any of the other Linda Jones releases on Turbo. The arrangement features prominent strings and an harp which tries to soften Linda's overwrought phrasing.

"I've Given You the Best Years of My Life" was co-written by Gerald Harris and Linda Jones herself. The song was originally used on Side B of the "Stay With Me Forever" single back in 1971. Oddly and unlike the tracks that preceded it, this one is recorded in mono... Sound quality is probably the worst found on the album, muffled and with a lot of hiss, but anyway... A very nice piece!

The album comes to an end with a desperate version of "I Can't Make It Alone", a song written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin back in 1966, which was originally performed by P.J. Proby (...available here...) and covered, among others, by Dusty Springfield ( and Lou Rawls ( Just like the previous number, this one is available as a mono mix, and in my opinion it sits among the best tracks on the album. People at Turbo must have felt the same, and a few months later the song was also included on the album "Your Precious Love"...

The following clips offer a preview of the remastered album, enjoy "When the Hurt Comes Back", "Hypnotized", "Behold", "I've Given You the Best Years of My Life" and "I Can't Make It Alone"!

More information about Linda Jones is available here:

If you have any other useful information about the Linda Jones - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

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