Saturday, 28 January 2012


The Nosebleed's "Ain't Bin To No Music School" is the very first documented recording that include the participation of guitar maestro Vini Reilly, who shortly after will join The Durutti Column and later will become the main member of the band along with drummer and friend Bruce Mitchell. This blog is going to feature some Durutti rarities in the future, so I think that it makes sense to start from this little punk record.

The Nosebleeds formed in Wythenshawe, Manchester, England in 1976 under the name of Wild Ram. They changed their name to Ed Banger and The Nosebleeds in early 1977 with the following line-up: Edmund "Ed Banger" Garrity (vocals), Vincent "Vini" Reilly (guitar), Phillip "Toby" Tomanov (drums) and Pete Crooks (bass).

On July 25, 1977, the band released their one and only single: "Ain't Bin To No Music School". The record was available both with silver and blue labels, it is reported that 10.000 copies were pressed and sold in total. Althought uncredited, the cover picture was taken by famous Mancunian photographer Kevin Cummins. Here's the track list, both songs were written by Banger/Reilly:

01. Ain't Bin To No Music School (2:55)
02. Fascist Pigs (2:06)

Both tracks were remastered from vinyl in January 2012 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include complete original artwork. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.

The Nosebleeds performing live in 1977, picture by John Crumpton

Sadly The Nosebleeds didn't release any album: when Banger and Reilly left, Morrissey (...yes, him!) and Billy Duffy replaced them, but the band survived just for a limited time and no releases came out of that later lineup. Here's how Bristish journalist Peter Frame reconstructed the recruitment of Morrissey:

"Billy knew this guy Morrissey, who ran the New York Dolls Fan Club and wrote lyrics - and got him to join The Nosebleeds, although he had never sung before. The pair of them dumped all the group's old songs and wrote an entirely new set like "Peppermint Heaven" and "I Think I'm Ready For the Electric Chair". The audience was perplexed; it was a strange band!"

Morrissey, circa 1977-78

Before dissolving in late May of 1978, The Nosebleeds performed two concerts, one at the Ritz (supporting Magazine) and one at the Manchester Polytechnic for a Rabid Records benefit.

After the group split up Banger released a few solo singles and joined Slaughter and the Dogs during their period as Slaughter, Morrissey went on to form The Smiths, Toby appeared with Ludus, Blue Orchids and Primal Scream, and Pete Crooks joined up with Vini Reilly in the first incarnation of The Durutti Column under the "guide" of Tony Wilson.

The following is an excerpt from John Crumtpon's foreword to his own video documentary "The Rise and Fall of The Nosebleeds":

"Unfortunately the band weren't able to capitalise on their brief moment in the spotlight and their failure to make money created further tensions. Without success they carried on regardless but the splits within the group were ever widening. Ed Banger and Vini Faal, the manager, were the most forthright in voicing their opinions as to what had been happening with the group's finances. Spinal Tap was still to come. With the exception of Vini Reilly who lived in upmarket Didsbury, the rest were Wythenshawe born and bred and more used to settling matters in a John Prescott way. In fact when Ed turned up for his interview he was sporting a black eye, the result of a frank exchange of views with his manager and was more than willing to spill the beans. We cross-cut between this disillusioned Ed and the delusional Vini shouting the odds about each others shortcomings. Finally we see and hear Vinnie Faal, content to hold onto Toby and Pete and heralding a new venture with a new guy 'I've got my eye on' and the new Nosebleeds would rise again from the ashes. They did. I heard recently that Stephen Morrissey joined the band briefly as Ed's replacement only to be fired later, after Vini Reilly had left - the latter to be the most successful of the ex-Nosebleeds with his Durutti Column and solo albums - a guitarist touched by genius in my view."

Steve McGarry's poster for a gig at The Oaks in Chorlton,1977, signed by Ed Banger and Vini Reilly in 2005

Here's how Vini Reilly remembers the band's live attitude:

"I'd told the rest of the band that we'd be confrontationalists. So for example when we played the Roxy in London, which was THE venue to play, even though we had a full set of songs, I said 'No, we're just going to play two songs all night, that's it, and keep playing the same two songs and wind them up' which we did. The audience went absolutely beserk, and consequently we were asked to play again and again, because that was what was required. But I would also do things like sit with my back to the audience and play a very melodic guitar piece, which was what I'd always been doing all my life anyway, and the punks were totally confused by this, and baffled and maybe hostile, but at least it was a reaction, and I thought that was valid."

Anyway, it seems like their habits were not so appealing, here's what one Tim Lott wrote about the same Roxy concert:

Nosebleeds are no fun - Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds live at the Roxy
"MOVE YER f**king feet." Why bother? It's just an admission of defeat begging, screaming at the crowd to dance. It's dumb. If they don't dance it's because you're not good enough to make them want to. Ed Banger and The Nosebleeds, despite their gripping name aren't good enough. They barely raised a clap. They're are a pooonk band from up North and they don't really have the vaguest idea. Ed Banger looked like just an ever so slightly adapted computer operator and the Nosebleeds are far too Sweet. Nothing wrong with that of course, if The Goods were to manifest. They don't. Ed Banger tries hard to look and sing mean but ends up just another grunta demipunk sounding like he was dredged up from the end of last year sometime from the bottom of the pile. They had energy and once that was enough, when it had been missing from the scene so long. Now every band gets let off with the excuse they were 'energetic'. That let out isn't enough for Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds. They were boring. If you're interested they have a single out on Rabid Records which is quite unlikely to have you foaming at the mouth. They did 'Jumpin Jack Flash' as well. You know, I reckon they were hippies with their hair cut off. But then, aren't they all."

Poster for a gig at the Ritz in Manchester, 1978

The new lineup encountered the favour of Paul Morley, the following short feature is taken from the 3 June, 1978 issue of the New Musical Express:

"The Nosebleeds have also noticeably metamorphosed, though probably due more to personnel changes than anything else. Last year they were the entirely forgettable Ed Banger and The Nosebleeds (who 'created' the dirge-like single "Ain't Bin To No Music School" for Rabid Records); now Banger has gone his own so-called eccentric way. The Nosebleeds re-surface boasting A Front Man With Charisma, always an advantage. Lead singer is now minor local legend Steve Morrisson, who, in his own way, is at least aware that rock'n'roll is about magic, and inspiration. So The Nosebleeds are now a more obvious rock'n'roll group than they've ever been. Only their name can prevent them being this year's surprise."

A live bootleg recording of The Nosebleeds seems to be available online at Retro Records, it includes songs like "Ain’t Bin To No Music School", "Fascist Pigs", "Middle Class Suburban Creep", "Blackpool Rock" and others. According to the information I gathered this should be the first incarnation of the band, with Ed Bangers on vocals and Vini Reilly on guitar.

The following video shows the band playing live on TV in 1977. Some sources mention this as being part of the "So It Goes" series hosted by Tony Wilson but I'm inclined to think that the programme was "Granada Report". Anyway, Tony appears several times in the video and we can see him receiving the warm attentions of Ed Banger... Horrible quality, but what a find!

More information about The Nosebleeds, Ed Banger and the Manchester Punk scene is available here:

If you have any other useful information concerning 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, 24 January 2012


Welcome to the first issue of "Candies From a Stranger". This series will focus mostly on tracks culled from great albums by renowned artists who made music history, with a few rare or obscure gems thrown in for good measure.

All tracks are mixed together to create an uninterrupted flow and embrace the listener in a groovy and peaceful mood regardless of the original music style. Here's the tracklist of "Candies From a Stranger Vol. 1":

01. DEODATO - Also Sprach Zarathustra (8:54)
02. LALO SCHIFRIN - Baia (4:48)
03. CHET BAKER - Vehicle (2:37)
04. HERBIE MANN - Memphis Underground (7:02)
05. CURTIS MAYFIELD - Freddie's Dead (5:22)
06. GROVER WASHINGTON, JR. - Moonstreams (5:29)
07. FAZE ACTION - In the Trees (7:36)
08. SPRING VS. PEZ - Chuck It Up! (3:42)
09. JACO PASTORIUS - Okonkole Y Trompa (4:10)
10. THE LOVE UNLIMITED ORCHESTRA - Midnight and You (5:10)
11. GATO BARBIERI - Fireflies (5:11)
12. STEVIE WONDER - Race Babbling (8:42)
13. HERBIE HANCOCK - Gentle Thoughts (7:05)
14. BOLA SETE - Devas' Lament (3:34)

All selections were compiled and mixed in January 2012, they are available in a single FLAC lossless format file or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 file. Both formats include complete printable artwork as PDF files.

Before you burn the compilation on CD-R using the provided CUE file you will need to convert the original files to WAV format using an appropriate software. Here's an option for FLAC to WAV conversion and one for MP3 to WAV conversion.

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

01. DEODATO - Also Sprach Zarathustra
original LP issue: Prelude, CTI Records (1972)
Eumir Deodato's funk rendition of Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" became a pop cornerstone of the early 70s, it was a top ten hit in the winter of 1973 and won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance the same year. "Prelude" features a stellar cast of performers, including John Tropea and Jay Berliner on guitar, Ron Carter and Stanley Clarke on bass, Billy Cobham on drums, Airto on percussions and Ray Barretto on congas. This track has resurfaced during the recent years as the soundtrack of a Coca-Cola commercial.

original LP issue: Black Widow, CTI Records (1976)
"Black Widow" was Lalo Schifrin's first album for Creed Taylor's CTI Records. A savvy choice of material, percolating rhythms, an all-star cast, and uncanny and brilliant arrangements made it a vibrant release. "Baia" was a club hit, enabling Schifrin's ensemble to join the ranks right alongside Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra and the Salsoul Orchestra, the cream of disco's big bands.

03. CHET BAKER - Vehicle
original LP issue: Blood, Chet and Tears, Verve (1970)
One of the midwestern bands influenced by Blood, Sweat and Tears, Detroit's Ides of March had an early 70s national hit with the aptly titled "Vehicle". Chet Baker paves a winding, country road over the original's dusty track. Althought a few tracks were released on compilations, as I write these notes "Blood, Chet and Tears" still hasn't received a proper CD reissue.

04. HERBIE MANN - Memphis Underground
original LP issue: Memphis Underground, Atlantic (1969)
"Memphis Underground" is the essence of Mann's music at the end of the 60s. His playing is strong, and the rhythm section captures the overall feel of the time, with strong bass/rhythm lines that sit in groove all day long. The album is jazz by way of soul, virtuosity at the service of groove, head massage by way of heart-to-hearting. Personnel include Roy Ayers on vibes along with Larry Coryell and Sonny Sharrock on guitars.

05. CURTIS MAYFIELD - Freddie's Dead
original LP issue: Superfly, Curtom (1972)
"Superfly" has long been recognized as Curtis Mayfield's anti-drugs masterpiece. Along with Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", it was one of the pioneering soul concept albums, with its then-unique socially aware lyrics about poverty and drug abuse making the album stand out. "Superfly" was a global hit and it marked the commercial highpoint of Mayfield's recording career. When released as a single, "Freddie's Dead" was a million-seller, it peaked at #4 on the U.S. Pop Chart and #2 on the R&B Chart.

06. GROVER WASHINGTON, JR. - Moonstreams
original LP issue: Feels So Good, Kudu (1975)
"Feels So Good" topped both the Soul and Jazz Albums Charts and peaked at number 10 on the Pop Album Charts in the U.S. The album features Bob James on keyboards and Eric Gale on guitar and is one of the finest releases in Washington's entire career. "Moonstreams" is played on the soprano saxophone in Washington's trademark higher registers, with some great guitar licks from Gale; with its ambient background it creates both a relaxed and moody atmosphere. This track was sampled by rapper DMX for his song "Slippin'" released in 1998 on the album "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood".

07. FAZE ACTION - In the Trees
original CD issue: Plans and Designs, Nuphonic (1997)
Faze Action's debut album made quite a sensation in the new disco / house scene at the time of its release. The stripped down sound of "Plans and Designs" is something not to be missed. Most notable are the use of orchestra strings to create an epic feel and live percussions (timpani, steel drums, congas, timbales, etc.) to emphasize the tribal side of things. "In the Trees" is one of the standout tracks in an album that has fast become a modern classic in disco revival and funky house.

08. SPRING VS. PEZ - Chuck It Up!
original CD issue: Spring and Friends, Bungalow (1997)
"Chuck It Up!" is completely built on an uncredited killer loop coming straight from Archie Bell & The Drells' "Don't Let Love Get You Down" (the opening track from "Where Will You Go When the Party's Over" released in 1976 on Philadelphia International). This track was a collaboration between French duo Spring and Spanish DJ and producer Javier Vicente Calderón a.k.a. Pez, it was released by Bungalow Records on the "Spring and Friends" compilation album at the peak of the lounge / cocktail music revival.

09. JACO PASTORIUS - Okonkole Y Trompa
original LP issue: Jaco Pastorius, Epic (1976)
When his eponymous debut LP appeared in 1976 one needed to hear only about 20 seconds of the opening track to know that Jaco Pastorius was special. He could make his strings sing from the heart, he was far more than a virtuoso soloist. He wrote, or co-wrote, eight of the album's ten pieces and each number showed off a different facet of his omnivorous music interests. "Okonkole Y Trompa", as its title aptly suggest, is a dialog between Don Alias' percussions and Peter Gordon's french horn, with Jaco's bass bouncing in the middle.

original LP issue: Rhapsody in White, 20th Century Records (1974)
"Rhapsody in White" was the debut album of The Love Unlimited Orchestra and it was a huge success for the group, that was lead by Barry White and served as a backing unit both for him and for the female vocal trio Love Unlimited. Barry could sing, write, arrange, and conduct music in a beautiful way. His signature voice introduces the lush instrumental of "Midnight In You", symphonic soul at its best!

11. GATO BARBIERI - Fireflies
original LP issue: Caliente!, A&M Records (1976)
"Caliente!" features top studio musicians, including Lenny White on drums and Eric Gale on guitar. And what a wall of sound: there's Barbieri's trademark passionate sax of course, it rides on a thick brew of funky, percolating keyboards, rock, jazz and Brazilian-tinged acoustic and electric guitars, popping, driving and brooding basslines, Latin percussion, propulsive drumming, brass, strings... With its careful arrangement "Fireflies" slowly grows into a killer and seductive piece of music.

12. STEVIE WONDER - Race Babbling
original 2LP issue: Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, Motown (1979)
"Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants" was the soundtrack to a documentary directed by Walon Green. Following the success of the Grammy Award-winning "Songs in the Key of Life", this album was panned by many critics and was confusing to many fans, who didn't know what to make of the conceptual, mostly instrumental double release. In my opinion this is one of the best Stevie Wonder albums and "Race Babbling" is pure proto-electro funk weirdness, quite nice!

13. HERBIE HANCOCK - Gentle Thoughts
original LP issue: Secrets, Columbia (1976)
Following the three albums recorded with The Headhunters, "Secrets" was Herbie Hancock's first step into funk disco. Althought members of the band are still fully featured on the album, namely Bennie Maupin on saxes and Paul Jackson on bass, with the nice addition of Wah-Wah Watson - already present on "Manchild" - on the guitar, trying to compare this outing to The Headhunters era is unnecessary. With this effort Hancock is definitely toeing the fine line between jazz, funk and disco but it all works. "Gentle Thoughts" has got a great walking bassline and superfunky breakdown and, as always, Herbie dancing on the keys.

14. BOLA SETE - Devas' Lament
original LP issue: Jungle Suite, Dancing Cat Records (1985)
When Brazilian guitarist Bola Sete recorded the music on "Jungle Suite" in 1982, he was able to play the entire suite in one recording session. This virtuoso performance was possible because he rehearsed these compositions four to five hours a day, six days a week, for several years before recording them. "Devas' Lament" is beautiful and evocative, the piece begins with progressions based in A minor, with temporary modulations to the keys of D minor and C major, before ending.

Hope you will enjoy this compilation, if you feel so inclined then make yourself a favour and search for the original releases, most of them are widely available on CD and you will be rewarded by their greatness, these are timeless masterpieces! All your inputs are more than 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!

Friday, 13 January 2012


Here's Lou... singin' it out just the way it ought to be. Lou - easy and natural. Sidemen - loose and groovy. Songs - blue and full of the feeling that's there because it's Lou. A great Lou... emerged, hailed, recognized as one of the greatest singers of our time! A Lou with his two latest gigantic hit albums that will never die, and with fame he re-earns here by carryin' on with songs that rival anything he's done yet... anywhere, anytime!

There's a big, full-voiced "On Broadway" that certainly stirs the soul, and a "Somethin's Stirrin' in My Soul" that does the same. A "Yesterday" that makes it all too true, and a "You're Gonna Hear From Me" that you'd better believe!

There's plenty more... all nice and free and just right. In fact, the session was pretty much impromptu. No arrangements at all. Only Lou, feelin' fine, and a small group of real good players all feelin' the same way. And what more could you want? Lou Rawls is carryin' on, and man, there just isn't anymore.

[from the original back sleeve notes of "Carryin' On!"]

Lou Rawls was an American soul jazz and rhythm and blues singer with extraordinary artistic longevity and great generosity. His soulful singing career spanned over thirty years, and his philanthropy included helping to raise over 150 million dollars for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). He released more than 75 albums, selling about 40 million records worldwide, appeared as an actor in films and on television, and voiced-over many cartoons. He had been called "The Funkiest Man Alive" and his friend Frank Sinatra once said that he had "the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game".

Born Louis Allen Rawls on December 1, 1936 in Chicago, son of a Baptist minister and a homekeeper, Lou Rawls was raised on the South Side by his grandmother and was introduced to gospel at age seven in the choir of the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church.

As a teenager he developed an interest in the jazz-influenced songs of Billy Eckstine and Joe Williams, whose resonant baritone voices were similar to his own voice. He soon joined doo-wop quartets and sang with the West Singers and the Kings of Harmony, he first recorded in June 1950 with The Holy Wonders. After his grandmother died, he moved to Los Angeles in 1953 and joined the Chosen Gospel Singers.

In the mid-1950s Rawls toured with another gospel group, The Pilgrim Travelers, who recorded for Specialty Records. After graduating from Chicago Dunbar Vocational Career Academy he joined the U.S. Army in 1955 as a paratrooper for about three years. When he returned from military service, he started touring again with the group. One rainy night in November 1958 their car collided with a semi-trailer truck: Eddie Cunningham was killed, Cliff White broke his collarbone and Sam Cooke was hardly injured. Rawls laid in a coma for five days before waking and eventually recovering from the severe concussion, it took him about one year to fully recup.

The accident contributed to the dissolution of The Pilgrim Travelers and Rawls embarked on a solo career in 1959. The group were based in Los Angeles, so Rawls decided to stay there after the breakup. A producer from Capitol Records noticed him performing at Pandora's Box coffee shop and the label signed him in 1961. During the same year Rawls recorded anonymously as an uncredited background singer on Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me", which is considered a classic nowadays.

It took Rawls a while to establish himself as a solo artist, his first recordings were fairly successful. He debuted in 1962 with "Stormy Monday", an album that featured a number of blues and jazz standards chosen by Rawls and backed by the Les McCann Trio. His 1963 album "Black and Blue", made the pop chart and other four albums followed in just three years ("Tobacco Road", "For You My Love", "Lou Rawls and Strings" and "Nobody But Lou"), but it wasn't until 1966 that he crossed over to major market success with his album "Lou Rawls Live!".

"Lou Rawls Live!" was released on April 4, 1966; it went to #1 in the Billboard R&B Albums Charts and to #4 in the Billboard Pop Albums Charts. The following review was written by Kenneth Gouldthorpe, it is taken from the May 20, 1966 issue of Life magazine. It is worth including it here because it perfectly summarize Rawls' qualities and the hype that "Lou Rawls Live!" created:

Lou Rawls is a bantam with a powerful voice, a three-octave range, phrasing which has been compared with Sinatra's and vocal control so precise that he can reach a falsetto on pitch, then slide abruptly back down to a low note and hit it resonantly on the loose. He has been recording for Capitol for five years, and gained a good deal of admiration and respect. Now, with his new album, Lou Rawls LlVE!, which sold out in its first week, he is also likely to gain a wide popular following and considerable anticipation of his next.

In this one, LIVE! is the operalive word. Rawls recorded it before a studio audience, which seems to have sparked a performance he never quite achieved on a cold studio mike. He generates vibrations in his audience that bounce right back off him and the result is an exciting sense of presence, of something going on, rather than the distraction that comes with so many noisy live audiences.

At base, Rawls is a rhythm-and-blues singer whose strong gospel overtones hark back to boyhood training in a Chicago church choir and to years on the road with a spiritual vocal group. His powerful delivery suggests a basso-profundo physique but in fact he is a slightly built man who served as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and must have put weights in his boots every time he made a jump. There is a chasm between rhythm-and-blues and pop singing which few artists seem able to bridge - Ray Charles has done so, as have Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. If you have any doubts about Rawls's right to membership in that elite club, just listen to what he does with an old blues like St. James Infirmary: same melody, same words, but somehow he lifts it out of its hallowed Dixieland setting and dresses it up into a sound that is totally contemporary and swinging.

ln The Shadow of Your Smile, he shows what he can do with a straight ballad. A craftsman who knows when to take liberties with a lyric and when to let it be, he leaves the structure whole but fills the melody with nuances that seem to put the lyrics into italics. The driving beat is no longer there, but Lou Rawls is.

No less of an asset is Rawls's innate sense of humor which he manages to inject into his music without seeming ludicrous - and how rare a knack among singers that is! Listen as he rollicks through In the Evening When the Sun Goes Down. He sings three choruses straight in a rhythm-and-blues groove, then swings above the sure-fingered hacking of Jimmy Bond's bass into a minor masterpiece of improvisation. He tells how it feels to come home to an empty apartment and a TV Dinner instead of a home-cooked meal of 'soul food'. Positively drooling at the thought, he spins out a wistful soliloquy about neckbones and hamhocks, cornbread and collard greens. When he gets around to the candied yams, the words pop out in a shout of pure delight, and you can almost taste them.

Rawls has a way of taking over a song that's already a hit and making it his own, as he did with The Girl From Ipanema. Every top singer in the country recorded it after Getz and Gilberto scored with it two years ago. But for me at least, latecomer Rawls is the one who is singing it for the first time.

Lou Rawls performing live, 1966

Although "Live!" became the first of his several gold albums, Rawls would not have a star-making hit until he made a proper soul album. The aptly entitled "Soulin'" was released on August 15, 1966, just four months after the success of "Live!". It contained Lou's first R&B #1 single, "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing", which also went up to #13 on the Pop Charts.; with this song he earned his first Grammy Award nomination. Finally, after a few years of struggling, Rawls was reaching white audiences with his smooth baritone.

Produced by David Axelrod, "Carryin' On!" was released during the very last week of 1966, exactly on December 27. Rawls got two mild hits from this album with "Trouble Down Here Below" and "You Can Bring Me All Your Heartaches"; it is also worth mentioning his fine renditions of "On Broadway" and The Beatles' "Yesterday". The production and arrangements were perfectly tailored to his voice, the songs were good, and Rawls sounded confident, assertive, and soulful.

"Carryin' On!" went to #2 in the Billboard R&B Albums Charts, to #3 in the Jazz Albums Charts and to #20 in the Pop Albums Charts. It contains the following tracks:

01. Mean Black Snake (2:26)
02. Walking Proud (2:22)
03. The Devil In Your Eyes (3:17)
04. Find Out What's Happening (2:30)
05. You Can Bring Me All Your Heartaches (2:35)
06. A Woman Who's a Woman (2:22)
07. The Life That I Lead (3:03)
08. Yesterday (2:54)
09. Trouble Down Here Below (2:17)
10. You're Gonna Hear From Me (2:45)
11. Something Stirring In My Soul (3:06)
12. On Broadway (2:24)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in December 2011 / January 2012 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include completely restored PDF artwork. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.

The album opens with "Mean Black Snake" a blues credited to Rawls himself and James Woodie Alexander, once manager of The Pilgrim Travelers and Rawls' personal advisor and confidant. In Europe this track was released as Side B of a 7" single that offered "Walking Proud" as main number. "The Devil In Your Eyes" was written by Buddy Scott (erroneously credited as Buddy South on the center label) and Jimmy Radcliffe, whose talent is better described here.

"Find Out What's Happening" by Jerry Crutchfield is a fast rock'n'roll number stuffed with guitar licks and solos; it preludes to the piano and horns of "You Can Bring Me All Your Heartaches". This tracks was released as a single in the U.S., backed with "A Woman Who's a Woman"; both tracks were written by Ben Raleigh and H.B. Barnum.

Here's the lyrics of "You Can Bring Me All Your Heartaches":

When the world becomes too much for you
When the road ahead is hard to see
When you feel you don't know what to do
Baby, you can turn to me

I say now
You can bring me all your heartaches
Cry on my shoulder any day
You can bring me all your heartaches
I'll kiss your worries away
Yeah, yeah, yeah
I'll kiss your worries away

When it seems the day will never end
When things are wrong as they can be
When you wonder if you've got a friend
Baby, just remember me

I say now
You can bring me all your heartaches
Cry on my shoulder any day
You can bring me all your heartaches
I'll kiss your worries away
I'll kiss your worries away
I'm gonna kiss your worries away

I will prove to you how much I care
You'll never, never have to stand alone
In your hour of need you'll find me there
You can make my arms your home

You can bring me all your heartaches
You can bring me every one of your heartaches
You can bring me all your heartaches

"You Can Bring Me All Your Heartaches" sheet music cover

On "The Life That I Lead" Rawls gives lessons of coolness; this track, written by Ron Moody, was released as the flip side of "Trouble Down Here Below" in early 1967. Crooning continues as Rawls gives his own rendition of The Beatles' Yesterday, which - according to the Guinness World Records - is the most recorded song in the world. With its fast tempo and solid rhythm section "Trouble Down Here Below" is another highlight of the album; when released as a single it reached # 92 on The Billboard Hot 100.

Coming straight from the soundtrack of "Inside Daisy Clover", "You're Gonna Hear From Me" has become an evergreen; written by André Previn along with his wife Dory Previn it has been covered by many regarded musicians and singers like Bill Evans, Stanley Turrentine, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, etc. "Something Stirring In My Soul" is another jazzy blues classic by the Scott-Radcliffe couple. The album closes with "On Broadway" which is better remembered in the versions that The Drifters and George Benson brought to success, respectively in 1963 and 1978.

Here's the lyrics of "Trouble Down Here Below":

Well, I know there's peace on the mountain
And that's where I want to go

But I just can't rest on the mountain top
Knowin' the trouble down here below
Whoa, trouble down here below

Well, I know how to make it to the top of the mountain
'Cause I've been there a time or so

But I cannot rest on the mountaintop
Knowin' the trouble down here below
Yeah, yeah, trouble down here below

I got a mother, father, sister, brothers
Cryin' down here in a world of trouble

Well, there ain't no trouble on the mountain
But there's trouble down here below
Yeah, yeah, trouble down here below

Now people drinkin' and gamblin', rovin' and ramblin'
Fightin' and shootin', they're a-hatin' and disputin'

No, there ain't no trouble on the mountain
But there's trouble down here below
Hey, yeah, trouble down here below

There's trouble down here, trouble down here
My brothers and sisters are cryin' in a world of trouble

I can't have no peace on the mountaintop
'Cause I'm a-worried and I'm troubled

No, there ain't no trouble on the mountain
But there's trouble down here below
Whoa, trouble down here below

'Cause there's trouble
Down here below

The following texts are excerpted from the November 1966 issue of Ebony magazine - published just a few weeks before "Carryin' On!" was released - which contained at least six pages of material dedicated to Rawls:

"Under the el", singer Lou Rawls has a smile for his hometown, Chicago. Now one of the hottest male vocalists in entertainment, Lou grew up on Chicago's South Side and the el tracks haven't lost any of the old fascination for him.

Lou Rawls in Chicago, 1966

Popular young vocalist reaches top after years of toil and struggle

Several years ago, two young men with a lot in common met in Los Angeles, California. Close friends from Chicago, both were sons of ministers, and both had been raised on gospel music. But there was one big difference. Whereas the late Sam Cooke had made it to the top on the strenght of a hit rock'n'roll record, his companion, Lou Rawls, was still an obscure lead singer with a gospel group called the Pilgrim Travelers.

But years pass, and times change. Sam Cooke, at the pinnacle of his career, was shot to death in a motel tragedy. Fate has been kinder to Lou Rawls. Today he is one of the most important male vocalist in the U.S. "Two of my brothers (Nat Cole and Sam Cooke) had to leave us before I got my break," Lou says. "I'm sorry it had to be that way. But I knew my time would come and I'm happy about it." In those words Lou Rawls expresses the mixed feelings with which he regards his phenomenal rise to national prominence.

Several months ago, prior to the release of his Lou Rawls - Live! album, Rawls, 29, was virtually unknown in much of the country. Now he is on the tongues of music devotees all across the land. He was the show stopper at the Randalla Island Jazz Festival in New York, and the mayor of Cincinnati made personal arrangements during the airline strike for him to fly to his city on "Friendship Day" to avert expected outbreaks of violence. Every day during a week-long engagement at the Village Gate in New York he broke attendance records which he had previously set. And in Chicago, McCormick Place's Arie Crown Theater seating 5.000 people was sold out two weeks in advance because Lou Rawls was coming to town.

It took him a long time to get off the ground, "but," he tells you, "I wanted it that way. When I signed with Capitol Records back in 1961 I told them not to rush me because l didn't want to be an over-night sensation and an afternoon flop. That happens you know." He expects his earnings to exceed $200.000 this year. In 1965 he earned less than $50.000. ln addition, he has been promised two good movie roles and he recently signed an artist management pact with Joe Glaser's Associated Booking Corporation (ABC) which handles stars Louis Armstrong and Barbra Streisand.

Although Lou is just now coming into the national spotlight, he previously had extensive exposure via television. Steve Allen was one of his early boosters, and in one year used him on 12 of his nightly TV broadcasts. Lou has also appeared on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, The Mike Douglas Show, and The Jack Barry Show in Hollywood. Back in 1959 he had speaking parts in two TV shows, Bourbon Street Beat and 77 Sunset Strip.

"You know," Lou says, "when I left Chicago you couldn't have given me away for love or money. That's how bad it was. I was down. I mean way down." But the story today is different. Lou Rawls is up - way up.

Lou Rawls with his wife and son, 1966

Seven years ago Rawls was singing for $10 per night

Seven years ago, Lou Rawls was singing in a beatnik coffee house on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. He earned about $10 a night. He and his wife, Lana, whom he met in Texas, lived in a hotel room in Los Angeles. "Going out to dinner in those days meant splitting a hot dog," he recalls. Usually, when he got off, he would be seen singing at after-hour sets with musicians like Harold Land, Leroy Vinnegar, Les McCann and Teddy Edwards. One night Voyle Gilmore, a vice-president of Capitol Records, happened to be in one of the clubs and he immediately went for Lou’s interpretations of blues and jazz. A few days later he signed him.

Throughout his career and before, when he was singing in the youth choir of Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church in Chicago at the age of seven, he has "spoke his mind" while performing. Other blues singers talk and sing about unrequited love and other sentimental subjects. So does Lou.

But he also talks about "the streets". Billie Holiday lived among the pimps, prostitutes, junkies, bookmakers and pushers. But she wouldn't talk or sing about them. Lou does."I was raised on 35th and South Park when it was tough," Lou says. "I went to Forrestville Elementary and Dunbar High. In between I learned about life. Everything happened in my neighborhood. I learned about people. I just sing about them, that's all."

Offstage, Lou is a quiet, unobtrusive sort. Yet, he is aggressive and confident in his own way. He is sure of himself and he tells why: "Very often I'm asked if I'm afraid someone will come along and outdo me. I always answer 'no,' because there is always room for talent. There is always room for one more. When I looked up and saw so many cats making it without talent, I knew I would, even though in my neighborhood I was the kid most likely not to succeed."

"Carryin' On" original inner sleeve shows Capitol goodies of 1966...

He never dances while on stage, all Lou does is sing his songs

When Lou goes on stage for a performance he doesn't capture the crowd by jumping and dancing all over the place like James Brown and Jackie Wilson. He simply walks out, picks up the mike and proceeds to sing. But then that's all he has to do because he is a singer, and the other two are showmen. There is a difference. Says Lou: "I don't have to do that. All I have to do is just be myself and sing my songs the only way I know how. I guess they like the way I sound and the lyrics. How I caught on I don't know.

"Actually, in the Lou Rawls - Live album there are only three new pieces. All the others I had recorded before. The monologue about the guy who stands on 47th and South Park wearing the latest style and driving a white-on-white-in-white Cadillac car was one of the new things. To get the 'live' effect we set up the studio like a nightclub and invited people in. After they got stoned we started the session. The monologue I created right there on the spot. I never write any of them down. I just do it. Now guys walk up to me and say 'man you made 47th and South Park so popular again, cats have to have reservations there just to park their hogs (Cadillacs).' "

Although he isn't always recognized when he walks down the street, it doesn't bother him. "Personally," he says, "I don't want that kind of acclaim. It ain't real. I don't go for that." That's Lou Rawls. He doesn't dig anything he thinks is phony. All he wants to do is sing.

...and more goodies on the back!

In 1967 Rawls won his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, for the single "Dead End Street", the first half of which contained a monologue (which helped to pave the way for a singing style that foreshadowed rap or hip-hop). During the same year Rawls also performed at the first evening of the Monterey International Pop Music Festival.

During the late 1960s, Rawls appeared regularly on TV variety shows and became a show-room figure in the nightclubs of Las Vegas. In 1970 he recorded a single entitled "Your Good Thing Is About To Come To an End," a title that contradicted the success he experienced in the Seventies. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award.

He switched to MGM Records in 1971, "A Natural Man" was the first album he recorded with them. The homonymous single earned Rawls a second Grammy Award in 1972. He released two more albums with MGM but the hits stopped cold...

It took a chance meeting with Weldon McDougal of Philadelphia International to radically alter Lou Rawls's stalled recording career, but this is a story that will be extensively covered at a later date in a different post.

In 1989 Rawls' hometown of Chicago named a street after him: South Wentworth Avenue was renamed Lou Rawls Drive. He died on 6 January, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.

"Unless you've heard the song before - even if you know a singer well, it might take a short while to realise just who it is singing, when you hear them on the radio. But with Lou Rawls that doesn't happen – you know it's him at once. So distinctive is his voice and style, there's no mistaking Lou – he was one of a kind."

[Peter Burns, full feature is available here]

If you have any other useful information about Lou Rawls and "Carryin' On!" - 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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