Posts Tagged ‘ 1970 ’

Bachdenkel “Lemmings”

Bachdenkel started out life as the U NO Who.  This late 60s group had been active on the Birmingham scene for some time and played psychedelic pop.  They recorded a handful of respectable tracks which were pitched to the Beatles’ Apple label but no deal ever materialized.  The U NO Who would go on to become Bachdenkel at the end of the decade.  Bachdenkel’s lineup looked something like this:  Colin Swinburne on vocals, guitar, piano, organ and harpsichord, Peter Kimberley on vocals, bass and piano, Brian Smith on drums, and Karel Beer on Organ.

Bachdenkel would relocate to France and record the great Lemmings album in 1970.  Although the LP was completed by the summer of 1970, Phillips didn’t release Lemmings until 1973 – released throughout Europe but not in the UK.  This really sealed this unique British group’s fate – unfairly so because they were very talented.  I believe a UK reissue/rerelease appeared in the late 70s (maybe 1978-) but by that time Bachdenkel had ceased to exist.    The group released another solid progressive album titled Stalingrad (1975) and toured Europe in 1976 before breaking up.

And as for the Lemmings LP? It’s one of the best 70s progressive rock albums out there.  The musicians here keep their egos in check and know when to end a song, unlike Yes or ELP.  To me this is a much better (and more interesting) album than anything Yes or ELP would ever release.  The ringing guitars dominate Bachdenkel’s sound but there are tasteful keyboards as well.  Some people have linked Bachdenkel’s sound to Caravan, Abbey Road era Beatles, and King Crimson.  These are all valid comparisons – think of Bachdenkel as a missing link between the Beatles and the mighty Crimso, progressive guitar pop with a slight psychedelic hangover.  “An Appointment With The Master”, the LP’s most popular song, is a lost classic that might be what the Beatles would have sounded like had they lasted into the progressive rock era.  Crashing drums and superb psychedelic guitar work give this cut a fresh edge.  “Translation” and “Equals” are also outstanding dark mood pieces that sound completely modern by today’s standards – this LP has not dated one bit.  All of Lemmings 7 tracks are excellent, whether it be the 11 minute epic “The Settlement Song” or the shorter, tuneful tracks like “Long Time Living” – every works beautifully.  So…interesting arrangements that take chances (unique twists and turns), a dark aura, rock solid songwriting, Caravan-like vocals, and great musicianship unify this very special musical statement.  Any fan of classic rock needs to own this essential masterpiece.

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:D CD Reissue | 2007 | Ork | buy ]
:) Original Vinyl | 1973 | Philips | search ebay ]

John Pantry “The Upside Down World Of John Pantry”

John Pantry is one of those artists that deserves to be heard by more people, especially those who value melodic British pop.  He released one decent solo disc in the early 70s (which has not been reissued as of this date) before delving into the world of Christian music.  Prior to that, he had been a talented studio engineer for IBC Studios (working with Eddie Tre-Vett), producing for the likes of Donovan, The Small Faces, The Bee Gees, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and Cream.  He was also a member of Peter & The Wolves, an accomplished mid 60s pop group from Leigh-on-Sea/Southend and had a major hand with many other IBC studio projects of the time: the Factory, Sounds Around, Wolfe, The Bunch and Norman Conquest.

In 2009, Wooden Hill released a double disc set of Pantry’s late 60s/early 70s work.  It includes singles/tracks from all the above groups plus numerous outtakes and demos.  If anything, this set (53 tracks!) illustrates the depth of Pantry’s talents.  Besides being a savy studio technician, Pantry was a gifted songwriter and vocalist and an accomplished musician (he played the keyboards).  The earlier tracks stem from one of Pantry’s first groups, Sounds Around.  These guys played straight pop with slight soul and psych influences – they released two singles in 1966-1967.  Peter & The Wolves came shortly after Sounds Around’s demise (they were essentially the same group).  This is the group with which Pantry is most associated, along with The Factory.  Peter & The Wolves released several singles and lasted into the early 70s.  This group’s most productive period was probably the years of 1967-1969, where they released a string of pop gems:  a good, upbeat blue-eyed soul number titled “Still”, the superb Emitt Rhodes like “Woman On My Mind” and several tuneful psych pop creations, “Lantern Light,” “Birthday,” and “Little Girl Lost And Found” being the best in this style.

It was around this time that John Pantry was asked to write two tracks for The Factory, a legendary psychedelic group who had previously released the classic “Path Through The Forest” 45.  Pantry wrote and sang lead on the two Factory standouts, “Try A Little Sunshine” and the more folk-like “Red Chalk Hill.”  “Try A Little Sunshine” is the heaviest song on this comp, a classic that mixes Who power with Moody Blues spaciness.

During this period Pantry took advantage of free studio time and recorded a slew of demos.  While the sound quality is slightly below par, the power of popsike gems like “Battle Of Trafalgar,” “Pitsea Pub,” “Wash Myself Away,” and “Mississippi Paddleboat” cannot be denied.   Most of the material spanning these two discs strongly recalls Paul McCartney, Emitt Rhodes/The Merry-Go-Round and a more cheerful, punchy Bee Gees.  Wooden Hill exercised quality control (no duff tracks to be found) and should be commended for reissuing this great anthology.

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Peter and the Wolves “Woman On My Mind” (1968-)

:D CD Reissue | 2009 | Wooden Hill | buy at amazon ]
:) Original Vinyl | 1999 | Tenth Planet | search ebay ]

Riley “Grandma’s Roadhouse”

I’m a long time fan of the perfect hair, boozy lamentations, and sorrowful, wavering croon of popular country music’s tragic superstar, Gary Stewart. When I heard Delmore Recordings had unearthed one of Gary’s first projects, a 500 LP hand-stamped private-pressed recording from after-hour sessions at Bradley’s Barn in 1970, well, who could resist.

Nashville writing partners and recording assistants, Gary Stewart (who would hit it big in the later 70s with “She’s Acting Single, I’m Drinking Doubles” and “Drinkin’ Thing”) and Bill Eldridge invited Michigan’s Riley Watkins, Jim Snead, and Jim Noveskey to experiment during their free time at the Barn. Nashville Scene does an excellent service to the rest of Riley’s story, although, I can’t agree their music is very commercial in sound. Roadhouse may be one of the scratchiest demos I have yet to hear from the early country-rock (as Delmore calls it “headneck”) genre. These are scant, dusty archive recordings (“Daddy’s Come Home” even mildly garbled by tape flutter). Riley’s sound is more on par with what came from suburban garages in the early 60s than anything ever recorded in Music City USA; naturally I’m completely in to the record.

The sound is somewhere between The Band’s americana, heady jams and headstrong vocals of Moody Blues, CSN-tinged harmonies, Link Wray’s chicken shack (in this case “Funky Tar Paper Shack”), and down-home southern vibe you’ll find in bands like Goose Creek and Wheatstraw-era Dillards. For Stewart fans, the highlight is Gary’s big vox on his own “Drinkin’ Them Squeezins,” an early nod to his secret formula. Big kudos to Delmore for digging this up from nowhere; I’ll never tire of excellent unheard reissues from this era. Keep em coming!

Get some more at whenyouawake.

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“Field Of Green”

:) Vinyl Reissue | 2010 | Delmore |  buy from delmore ]
:D CD Reissue | 2010 | Delmore Recordings |  buy  @ delmore ]
8-) Spotify link | listen ]

Fairport Convention “Full House”

Full House marked the consolidation of Fairport’s transition from West Coast-styled, hallucinogenics-
influenced outfit – a British Jefferson Airplane, perhaps – to purveyors of rocked-up, electrified
British traditional folk, a courageous move tentatively started with the inclusion of “A Sailor’s Life”
on Unhalfbricking and triumphantly completed on Liege And Lief, perhaps the most influential and
important UK rock album to appear since Sergeant Pepper. But Fairport had then lost arguably its
two most important contributors, founder and direction-setter Ashley Hutchings and crystal-voiced
frontwoman Sandy Denny. New bassist Dave Pegg proved a valuable acquisition with his rocky style,
but the other members had to close ranks and take on the vocal chores themselves. They did so,
with an initial naïvité that retrospectively evinces considerable charm, Richard Thompson and Dave
Swarbrick proving to have distinctively different rural vocal deliveries and Simon Nicol reluctantly
airing a melodious tenor that would eventually see him become the band’s leading voice.

The other element that newly marks Full House out is the humour and looseness which its illustrious
predecessor lacked. With talented but earnest female vocalist Denny no longer having to be
accommodated and adulated, the boys were free to have some fun, and it comes across in these
grooves, notwithstanding the doomy themes of some of the lyrics: songs about sexual exploitation,
sin and death can be funky, as “Doctor Of Physick”, “Sloth” and “Sir Patrick Spens” show. I recall
seeing this line-up play the Bath Festival Of Blues And Progressive Music at Shepton Mallet in 1970,
and the high jinks on stage would not have been on display a year earlier.

“Walk Awhile” is a wonderfully swinging opener, with all three lead vocalists taking turns at the
verses and fine, fiery harmony and octave work between Thompson’s guitar and Swarbrick’s
violin. “Sloth” is an ominous, downbeat death march that builds to an almost unbearable tension in
the lengthy instrumental break as Thommo’s edgy Strat and Swarb’s compressed, wailing fiddle duke
it out in opposite stereo channels: perhaps the best instrumental work the band ever produced. The
two cheerful jig medleys offer a variety of familiar and little-known traditional tunes, forefronting
Swarb’s and Peggy’s duelling mandolins on “Flatback Caper” and all four string players on “Dirty
Linen”. “Spens” is a gloriously disrespectful, steady-rollin’ take on that revered Scottish traditional
ditty, while Nicol’s amplified dulcimer provides the backbone for that country’s mournful anthem
for the dead, “Flowers Of The Forest”. The Island CD re-release offers a number of bonus tracks,
including the unnecessarily lugubrious “Poor Will & The Jolly Hangman” that had been removed
(probably wisely) from the original pressing at the last moment at the insistence of its writer,
Thompson, and the brief but excellent non-album single “Now Be Thankful”, one of the band’s

Full House is arguably Fairport’s last really great album, its release being followed by the departure
of Thompson for a solo career and his replacement by Jerry Donohue, whose elegant Nashville style
prefaced a gentle slide in the direction of country rock. Henceforth Swarbrick would take over the
band’s direction as the quality gradually declined until his own departure, when Nicol as the last-
standing original member would take the reins. After countless further line-up changes and albums
the band remains extant and much-loved to this day, with its annual outdoor reunion at Cropredy in
Oxfordshire attracting swarms of the faithful.

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“Walk Awhile”

:D CD Reissue | 2001 | Island | buy at amazon ]
:) Original Vinyl | 1970 | Island | search ebay ]

PODCAST 21 Dark in my Heart


Running Time: 51:43 | File Size 70.3 MB
Download: .mp3
To subscribe to this podcast: [?]

1.  Hank Williams – Lonesome Whistle (1951) from Revealed: The Unreleased Recordings

2.  Lee Hazlewood – Dark In My Heart (1967) from Lee Hazlewoodism, Its Cause and Cure

3.  Addie Pray (Bill Lincoln from Euphoria) – Wings In The Wind (1970-1971) from Late For The Dance

4.  Elyse (with Neil Young) – Houses (1969) from Elyse

5.  The Youngbloods – Foolin’ Around (The Waltz) from The Youngbloods (1967)

6. J.J. Light – Gallup, New Mexico (1969) from Heya!

7.  Roscoe Holcomb – Coal Creek (date unknown) from An Untamed Sense of Control

8.  Buffy Sainte-Marie – Poppies (1969) from Illuminations

9.  Bert Jansch – Cluck Old Hen (1974) from LA Turnaround

10.  Graham Nash & David Crosby – Frozen Smiles (1972) from self-titled LP

11.  Ry Cooder – France Chance (1970) from Ry Cooder

12.  John Simon – Did You See? (1970) John Simon’s Album

13.  The Beau Brummels – One Too Many Mornings (1966) from Magic Hollow Box Set

14.  Space Opera – Blue Ridge Mountains (1972) from Space Opera

15.  Pearls Before Swine – Ballad to an Amber Lady (1967) from One Nation Underground

16.  Muleskinner – Muleskinner Blues (1972) from Muleskinner

17.  Tim Buckley – Song to the Siren – Morning Glory – The Tim Buckley Story

18.  The Band – The Rumor (1970) from Stage Fright

PODCAST 20 Best Of

Running Time: 45:38 | File Size 62.67 MB
Download: .mp3
To subscribe to this podcast: [?]

I’ve been dusting off some of the mp3s we’ve posted here since Feb ’07 and came up with this “Best of the Rising Storm” collection. Tracks with a decided country/blues slant. Thanks for listening!

edit: Grab this as a mixtape at Aquarium Drunkard.

1. Intro: Grape FX

2. “Where I Lead Me” by Townes Van Zandt (1971)

3. “When I’m Dead and Gone” by McGuinness Flint (1970)

4. “Wait Til The Summer Comes Along” by The Kinks (1965)

5. “Little Bit of Rain” by Karen Dalton w/ Fred Neil overdub (1969)

6.  excerpt: “Wild Ox Moan” by Taj Mahal (1969)
7. “Farther on Down the Road (You Will Accompany Me)” by Taj Mahal (1969)

8. “God Out West” by Link Wray (1971)

9. “Bat Macumba” by Os Mutantes (1968-)

10. “Bright Lit Blue Skies” by The Rising Storm (1966)

11. “Passing By” by The Beach Boys (1968-)

12. “Everything’s Gonna be Everything” by Don Covay (1966)

13. “Captain Jesus” by Bob Martin (1972)

14. “Her Good Loving Grace” by Jerry Jeff Walker (1972)

15. “Blues Stay Away From Me” by Doug Sahm and Band (1973)

16. excerpt: “If I Never Touch You” by Cap’n Jack (1972)
Storm Effects: Pretty Things “Rain”/ D.R. Hooker “Weather Girl” /
Mickey Newbury “San Fransisco Mabel Joy”/ The Kinks “Rainy Day in June”

Hawkwind “Hawkwind”

You mightn’t know it in North America – there’s nary a mention of the band in my 1992 Rolling Stone Album Guide – but Hawkwind is a British rock institution of over forty years’ standing. Coming out of the late sixties Notting Hill freak culture along with such other proto-prog outfits as Quintessence and the Pink Fairies, the Hawks became the ultimate stoner community band – a bit like the Dead, but with intensity and over-the-top stage visuals taking precedence over virtuosity and compositional complexity. Musically, they took as their initial reference the space-rock instrumentals of Syd-era Pink Floyd, from which they rapidly forged the blend of pounding riff-rock, unbridled electronic noise and abstruse science fiction lyrics with which they willingly became stereotyped, as exemplified by the cacophonous hit single “Silver Machine”.

Hawkwind hit big with their second album In Search Of Space, in which they gave themselves over totally to the aforementioned formula that would endure for the next several decades. This, I have to say, is not really my cup of tea. Their first, more tentative, release, however, was one of the better psych-prog crossover albums of the era, despite inexplicably failing to achieve any chart penetration then or since. The roots of the heavy space-rock agenda are there, but the material also harks back to the lysergic side of psychedelia; this is one of the most genuinely trippy albums I’ve ever enjoyed blissing out to. Despite being constructed from the simplest of musical building blocks, there’s plenty of sonic variety. Nik Turner’s primitive freeform sax playing may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s balanced by the muscular lead guitar of Huw Lloyd-Langton, while DikMik’s untutored but atmospheric VCS3 ramblings generate a variety of moods from the sinister to the orgasmic. The production is by Pretty Things mainman Dick Taylor, refreshingly open and uncluttered by later Hawkwind standards, but with plenty of contemporary stereo effects and studio trickery thrown in.

The original album really contained only three pieces. After the opening “Hurry On Sundown”, an engaging acoustic bluesy hangover from founder Dave Brock’s street busking days, the main body of the album, while listed as five separate tracks, is the segued suite that comprised their early stage act. The electronic wash of “The Reason Is?” leads into “Be Yourself” and “Seeing It As You Really Are”, two lengthy, mainly instrumental confections featuring metronomically repetitive chord riffs, separated by “Paranoia (Parts 1 and 2)”, a thudding six-note unison riff excursion fractured by a deliberate tape slowdown at the point where the vinyl album had to be flipped. The final track, and the best, is the seven-minute maracca-tastic “Mirror Of Illusion” which combines Brock’s delightfully atonal twelve-string with a terser, tighter improvisational mid-section and some tasty mixing-desk widdling.

Few bands have ever polarised opinion as much as the Hawks; like Marmite, you either loved or hated their combination of duh-duh musicianship and outrageous stage antics. Yet, after forty-two years and innumerable lineup changes, the band endures, with 69-year-old Brock still at the helm. Interestingly, their name has nothing to do with their sci-fi agenda but derives, allegedly, from Nik Turner’s predilections for coughing and flatulating (figure it out).

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“Hurry on Sundown”

:D MP3 Download | at amazon ]
:) Original Vinyl |  1970 | United Artsits | search ebay ]
8-) Spotify link | listen ]

The Beach Boys “Landlocked Sessions”

The Landlocked Sessions were recordings made in 1969/1970 after the Beach Boys left Capitol records and signed on to the Warner/Reprise roster.  The Boys’ new label rejected these recordings, feeling they did not capture the group at their best (in a purely commercial sense).  So fans miss out on great quirky tracks like “Loop De Loop,” “I Just Got My Pay,” “San Miguel,” “Suzie Cincinnati,” and the gorgeous Dennis Wilson penned gem “Lady.”  Some tracks would appear on later albums Surf’s Up and Holland (check out the great version of “Big Sur” or the 5 minute “Till I Die”).  In response to major label demands, the Beach Boys fired back by releasing the masterful Sunflower in 1970, followed by 71’s classic Surf’s Up.  These records were special not only for their quality but because they represented a creative rebirth of sorts – the material on hand was excellent, abundant and cutting edge.  Landlocked is the very beginnings of this early 70s renaissance.  Much of it has never been officially released but it’s all great stuff that’s worth hearing.

Copies (bootlegs) of Landlocked are usually coupled with another unreleased Beach Boy’s album, Adult Child.  Also, some bootlegs of Landlocked include the glorious Brian Wilson penned “Soulful Old Man Sunshine.”  This track was cut in 1969 and eventually/officially released on 1998’s Endless Harmony.  Its unique brass arrangement gives it a blue-eyed soul sound.

It always amazes me how many great unreleased recordings and false starts the Beach Boys had during their heyday.  Their outtakes and unreleased albums are better than most groups’ best material.

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“San Miguel”

Morning “Morning”


Morning’s debut was released by Vault in 1970.  Thankfully, Wounded Bird Records has reissued this long lost album for the first time on cd.   Morning is full of dazzling performances, making it one of the mandatory LPs in the rural-rock/American roots/country-rock field.  While CSNY, Poco, and Band influences are unavoidable, this record is by no means derivative.  The band had its roots in several interesting 60s pop/garage bands, Wind and Moorpark Intersection being the most notable. These two groups would release a few decent 45’s in the late 60’s that are well worth tracking down.  The debut lineup looks something like this:  Barry Brown (guitar/drums/vocals), Jim Hobson (piano/organ/vocals), Jay Lewis (guitars/banjo/vocals), Jim Kehn (drums/guitar/vocals), Bruce Wallace (electric bass/string bass), and Terry Johnson (guitar).

Morning opens with “Angelena,” a rural rocker with heartfelt vocals, gospel tinged keyboards, and an appealing wide open, outdoor sound.  “Time,” another great track, is similar in feel and style, augmented by rich keyboards and moody vocals.  Both tracks are vaguely reminiscent of the Band’s early work – definitely a good thing here.  While country-rock/rural-rock may be the group’s main forte, Morning managed to record a few good psych tracks for their debut.  “Sleepy Eyes” stands out as their best piece of pure psychedelia.   Dreamy, with excellent dive bomb fuzz guitar work and lazy harmonies, this cut is great listening.  It’s amazing these guys never found any sort of success, whether it be underground or top 40.  Other winners are the beautiful CSNY-like country weeper “Dirt Roads” and the superb country-rocker “Roll ‘Em Down,” which sounds like it could have easily been a top 40 radio hit.  Every track on Morning has something to offer, whether it beautiful harmonies or fluid West Coast-style guitar leads, it all sounds terrific – including the group’s sharp, professional songwriting.  Also, while many of these tracks are quiet and tranquil, the band were definitely skilled musicians as heard on the tight group jam “And I’m Gone.”  If you’ve worn out copies of Pickin’ Up The Pieces or Deja Vu be sure to snatch up Morning, it’s a near lost classic with plenty of great songs to spare.

With a little effort and some luck, good original copies of Morning can be found cheap.  I spent $15 on a NM original copy of this LP (to my knowledge they never made another vinyl repress) – it sounds great on the turntable!  Morning would release an accomplished sophmore effort, Struck Like Silver that is also highly recommended.  For more information please check out Nick Warburton’s excellent essay on the band.

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“Sleepy Eyes”

Early band Moorpark Intersection included future Morning members Jay Lewis, Jim Kehn and Terry Johnson.   Below is their 1968 Davide Axelrod produced single “I Think I’ll Just Go And Find Me A Flower.” This track can be found on Soft Sounds For Gentle People Volume 1.

:D CD Reissue | 2009 | Wounded Bird | amazon ]
:) Vinyl | 1970 | Vault | ebay ]

Quatermass “Quatermass”


When the British Blues movement morphed into the riff-rock wing of progressive music, the focus of most groups remained the heroic lead guitarist. It was a brave outfit that elected to do without the fretboard god altogether. Having been persuaded by the success of Keith Emerson’s guitarless latterday Nice that it could work, a select few elected to structure themselves as a trio comprising a showboating keyboard player, a punchy drummer and a bassist who could handle lead vocals. Emerson recruited Greg Lake and Carl Palmer into his eponymous ensemble; Dave Stewart salvaged Egg from the remains of his school band Uriel, sans Steve Hillage; and three veterans from the British Beat Boom came together as Quatermass. One of these three acts would go forward to worldwide acclaim and the sickly smell of excess, the other two to a brief second-division career and oblivion.

Quatermass could have been as big as ELP; they had the chops, the experience and the contacts. Bassist/vocalist John Gustafson had been in the Big Three, the Liverpool guitar trio that all the other Cavern/Hamburg bands looked up to for their musicianship. Drummer Mick Underwood had served time with Joe Meek’s legendary house band, the Outlaws, alongside Richie Blackmore. Keyboardist Peter Robinson had backed hugely popular R’n’B shouter Chris Farlowe. All three were also in-demand studio sessioneers. They came together in a late lineup of Episode Six, the band that had provided a further two-fifths of Deep Purple, and decided to stay together when the Six finally folded. Taking their name from the classic sci-fi TV show, and rapidly signing to premier UK prog-rock label Harvest, their first album appeared in May 1970 . . . and despite strong reviews, undeniable quality and a splendid gatefold sleeve by Hipgnosis (of Pink Floyd fame), disappeared just as rapidly from the shelves. Its poor sales, an unsuccessful US tour and demand for their services from other nascent bands ensured that there wouldn’t be another. Quatermass broke up in April ’71.

Forty years later the reissued, extended album still exudes quality. Gus was a funky, syncopative Fender bassist with a strong cock-rock voice in the Rodgers/Gillan mould. Robinson combined fruity blues and soul licks with a sly jazzy atonality and just enough classical nous not to become overbearing like the ELP mainman, whilst freely overdubbing Hammond organ, electric and acoustic piano, Mellotron and Moog. Underwood provided the solid, John Bonham-style groove that held the three musicians tightly together. The whole had a no-nonsense rocky edge distinctly uncommon in keyboard-centric prog. The album mixes short, precise three-minute songs like the soulful single “Black Sheep Of The Family” and the gently psychedelic, harpsichord-led “Good Lord Knows” with eight-minute keyboard workouts typical of the live act, notably the ferocious bluesy soloing on the riff-based “Up On The Ground”, the jazzy, fully-orchestrated block chording on “Laughin’ Tackle” and the ring-modulated funk of the instrumental outtake “Punting”. Robinson’s genuinely exciting yet tasteful keyboard skills, especially on the B-3, ensure that none of these outstay their welcome. Keith Emerson might usefully have taken note.

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“Good Lord Knows”

:D CD Reissue | 1996 | Repertoire | at amazon ]
:) Vinyl | 1970 | Harvest | search ebay ]
8-) Spotify link | listen ]