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!




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  2. Thank you. Your work is awesome. I'm really enjoying this compilation.

  3. Very interesting track list. Looking forward to listening.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks everybody, guess I should be doing compilations more often!

  5. thanks you! look forward to listening


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