1970 Capitol Records SKAO-456
Genres: Jazz, Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Eschatological Funk
“A musical comment on the state of the environment. Contemporary music with ancient yet timely words set to the theme of ecology.”
Lyrics adapted by Michael T. Axelrod from The Book Of Isaiah, The Old Testament and adapted from Song Of The Earth Spirit, A Navajo origin legend.”
A1 Part I 2:48
A2 Part II 4:28
A3 Part III 5:04
A4 Part IV 3:08 The Signs
B1 Part I 3:44
B2 Part II 3:43
B3 Part III 5:41
Composed By – David A. Axelrod
Bass – Robert West (Except B3)
Chorus – Clark Eran Gassman, Diana Lee, Gerri Engemann, Jacqueline Mae Ellen, Janice Gassman, Jerry Whitman, Jon Joyce, Lewis E. Moreford, Tom Bahler
Drums – Earl Palmer
Guitar – Dennis Budimir, Louis Morell
Piano – Don Randi
Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Flute – Jack Kelso, William E. Green
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Ernie Watt
Trombone – Richard Hyde, Richard Leith
Trumpet – Allen De Rienzo, Frederick Hill
Vibraphone – Gary Coleman
Track B3 only: bass – Arthur Wright, vibraphone – Sonny Anderson
Produced by David Axelrod
Lyrics adapted by Michael T. Axelrod
Recording engineers – Gene Hicks, Rex Updegraft
Cover painting – Renate Drutts
Vinyl ripping info: First pressing Capitol vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; AUdioquest King Cobra cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair on light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
Sheila E. – In The Glamorous Life Vinyl rip in 24-bit/96kHz | FLAC and mp3 | Art scans at 300 dpi
749MB (24/96) + 245MB (16/44) | Direct Links | Genre: pop / funk / soul | 1984
Warner Brothers ~ 1-25107
The Belle Of St. Mark (5:08) Shortberry Strawcake (4:44) Noon Rendezvous (3:50)
Oliver’s House (6:20) Next Time Wipe The Lipstick Off Your Collar (3:50) The Glamorous Life (8:58)
All tracks written by Prince (credited to Sheila E.), except where noted.
The year of 1984 was a watershed one for Prince Rogers Nelson with its record-breaking Purple Rain soundtrack and tour, and the period surrounding it was also a time of prodigious activity for his many proteges and acts where he wrote, recorded, and produced all the basic tracks – Vanity 6, The Time, Apollonia 6, Mazarati, The Family, Jill Jones. One of the most notable – and easily the most talented – of these proteges was Sheila E., who already had many years in the music business as Sheila Escovedo. From the mid-70s, Sheila Escovedo’s talents as a percussionist had graced records from such established artists as Alphonso Johnson, Con Funk Shun, Johnny Hammond, and especially George Duke. She also made a few albums with her father Pete Escovedo, and her uncle was percussionist Coke Escovedo, a pioneer in Latin-rock-jazz crossover through his contributions to the third Santana record (my personal favorite), the Santana/Buddy Miles band, Herbie Hancock, and his own group Azteca. One could argue that Sheila’s Latin jazz chops are underused on these Warner/Paisley Park records, but I still find the standout tracks to be unique and emblematic of how Prince was able to constantly incorporate new sounds and influences. As a musician, though, Sheila probably shines more as a member of the Lovsexy and Sign O’ The Times-era ensembles led by his diminutive purple highness. Last year I spent a lot of time listening to Prince bootlegs after he passed, and there are some soundboard rehearsal tapes from that period where Prince hasn’t even arrived to the studio yet, and the band is just running through material. It’s not like I was a fly on the wall in those rehearsals, but there is some conversational banter that got caught on microphone. I have this intuitive itch that Sheila was probably the person leading everyone through the changes.
Oliver’s House, The Glamorous LIfe, and Shortberry Strawcake are the funk-infused numbers here, but the whole album holds together well. Next Time Wipe The Lipstick Off Your Collar is a unique plea for courtesy in one’s indiscretions, and when played live it often got a preamble from Sheila that fell a bit more squarely on one side of the naughty/nice dichotomy she had going on. The cover for this album is classic too, juxtaposing a flair for high fashion with trashy decadence – you barely even notice the guy passed out on the floor amid squalor, tucked behind the slightly-opened door of what appears to be a dilapidated mansion or luxury apartment building. Is the black cat on the front steps his or hers, or does it belong to the street? Or is it an animal familiar summoned by the sorcery of Sheila’s drumsticks, tucked discreetly into the right leg of her alluring outfit?
For those fond of trying to decipher backward masking on records (which Prince was a bit obsessed with at this time), I’ve isolated some of the unknown lyrics to the instrumental Shortberry Strawcake here:
There is an interesting anecdote about Jesse Johnson (of The Time) having actually written the bulk of The Belle of St. Mark but Prince finishing it up and giving it to Sheila; this resulted in him giving Johnson a writing and performing credit on Shortberry Strawcake as consolation. Perhaps the real truth is recorded in some production notes locked in The Vault. Incidentally, some internet sources take the credits as listed on the album jacket at face value. They are, however, widely known to be false or misleading information to masque the degree to which this album and others were really Prince projects.
The following information is drawn from the Prince Vault @ http://princevault.com/index.php?title=Album:_The_Glamorous_Life
Prince urged Sheila E. to record a solo album starting in February 1984, when she came to visit him at Sunset Sound during initial sessions for the Around The World In A Day album, following a friendship which had begun almost six years earlier.
She wasn’t very comfortable singing lead vocals, although she had sung background vocals for other artists; Prince and Sheila E. began by recording Erotic City, which was used as the b-side of Let’s Go Crazy, before he had her record vocals over some tracks he had originally intended for Apollonia 6 .
Prince suggested she shorten her stage name from Sheila Escovedo to Sheila E., and took the finished tapes to his management company, who introduced Sheila E. to Warner Bros.
The time between vocal recordings to the release of the album was swift; less than two months in total.
All songs on the album were recorded at Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA, USA. The Glamorous Life and Next Time Wipe The Lipstick Off Your Collar were recorded in late December 1983. The Belle Of St. Mark, Oliver’s House and Shortberry Strawcake were recorded in early January 1984. Noon Rendezvous was recorded in mid-February 1984.
Sheila E.’s vocals and percussion for all tracks were recorded in the first few days of April 1984. The Glamorous Life, Next Time Wipe The Lipstick Off Your Collar, The Belle Of St. Mark, Shortberry Strawcake and Oliver’s House were initially intended for Apollonia 6 until Prince began to work with Sheila E. in February 1984, at which time he set the songs aside for her.
The album produced three singles, The Glamorous Life (which preceded the album), Noon Rendezvous, and The Belle Of St. Mark.
It reached number 28 on the US Billboard 200 Chart, and number 7 on the Billboard Soul LP’s Chart.
Sheila E. – vocals, percussion Prince – all instruments, except where noted (uncredited) Jill Jones – background vocals on The Belle Of St. Mark and Oliver’s House (as J.J.) David Coleman – cello on Oliver’s House and The Glamorous Life Novi Novog – violin on Next Time Wipe The Lipstick Off Your Collar Nick DeCaro – accordion on Next Time Wipe The Lipstick Off Your Collar Larry Williams – saxophone on The Glamorous Life
Prince – producer, arranger (album) (credited to Sheila E. and The Starr Company) Bill Jackson – mixing engineer Peggy McCreary – mixing engineer (as “Peggy Mac”) Terry Christian – mixing engineer
The last entry in the Spring Funk Drive fundraising effort? Well in terms of funds it has been a colossal failure but it was fun to attempt to create some momentum I guess
The Gap Band – The Gap Band III Vinyl rip in 24-bit/96kHz | Art scans at 300 dpi
Genre: funk, disco | 1980
Mercury Records ~ SRM-1-4003
When I Look In Your Eyes 4:58 Yearning For Your Love 5:41 Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me) 5:16 Nothin’ Comes To Sleepers 5:34 Are You Living 4:24 Sweet Caroline 3:21 Humpin’ 5:06 The Way 4:46 Gash Gash Gash 5:18 Continue reading
Patrice Rushen – I Was Tired Of Being Alone
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/96kHz | FLAC | Art scans at 300 dpi
353MB (24/96) + 107MB (16/44) + 48 MB (320) | Genre: funk / soul / disco | 1982
Elektra Records ~ K 13184 T
While I had been meaning to upload some more Prince extended 12″ singles in time for the anniversary of his passing last week, I’ve been busy with other things and I had “Around The World In A Day” ready and in the queue. As it turns out, I also picked up a couple 12″-inchers of his that I was missing at the latest Record Store Day along with other goodies in my first time visiting that crazy debacle in several years. However, I’ve also been wanting to do a run of Patrice Rushen material for a very long time as well, and had this single simmering on the proverbial stove. I got this from an independent seller at Camden market in London, because for me every day is record store day. Why am I rambling on, conflating these two seemingly different people? There’s an interesting link – Patrice helped Prince program his analog synths for his debut Warner Brothers album, is rumored to play on a couple tracks, and his song “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad” from his second LP was allegedly pitched to her, and she turned it down. The young Prince may have had a bit of a crush on her, and who can blame him? He was taller than her, and that didn’t happen too often… In any case, she was destined to get together with me instead, and be my wife after Gal Costa dumped me. And she would be too, if the mailman didn’t have a secret agenda against me, hoarding all my letters in a basement next to his stockpile of C4 that he bought off the dark net. I would say something, but I’m too scared of him.
Prince & The Revolution – Around The World In A Day
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/96kHz | FLAC & mp3 | 300 dpi LP Artwork
904 MB (24/96) + 323 MB (16/44) + 113 MB (320) | Direct Links | Genre: Prince | 1985 Warner Brothers / Paisley Park ~ 9 25286-1 ~ SRC Pressing
I bought this album the same week it was released with money I earned from my paper route as a ten year-old kid. In a previous post, I described this album as a “the gateway drug” to a universe of unheard sounds that would shape my musical tastes in unexpected ways for years to come. It may not have have been Prince’s most consistent record from start to finish, but it was a bold and unpredictable artistic statement from somebody who could have just released Purple Rain II and made everybody happy. The critics loved to hate this album. His fans have always known better. Continue reading
Barrabas “Barrabas” RCA Victor APL1-0219 (US release)
Mono mix (stereo labels)
Genre: Rock, Latin, Funk / Soul
A1 Wild Safari 4:57
A2 Try And Try 6:21
A3 Only For Men 3:34
A4 Never In This World 3:31
B1 Woman 5:07
B2 Cheer Up 3:51
B3 Rock And Roll Everybody 3:34
B4 Chicco 3:48
Record Company – RCA Corporation
Recorded At – Estudios RCA, Madrid
Pressed By – RCA Records Pressing Plant, Indianapolis
Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Vocals – Miguel
Drums, Vocals – Fernando
Engineer – J. Cobos*, M. Barrios, N. Dogan
Lead Guitar, Vocals – Ricky*
Lead Vocals, Bass Guitar – Iñaki
Liner Notes – Tom Paisley
Organ, Piano – Juan
Producer – Fernando Arbex
Saxophone, Percussion, Flute, Drums – Ernesto
Notes – Dynaflex pressing
Recorded at the RCA Studios, Spain
Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair, manually auditioned, and individually with Adobe Audition 3.0; resampled using iZotope RX 2 Advanced SRC and dithered with MBIT+ for 16-bit. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
Not their best, leaning more towards the rock and less of the funky discotheque stuff they would eventually be known for. Back cover compares the lead singer to Rod “The Mod” Stewart. I’m not so sure about that claim. Actually they kind of remind me of early Traffic here, but with even dopier lyrics. “Only For Men” could have been a TV advertisement for the 1972 equivalent of AXE Body Spray, but the more you listen to it, the more it sounds like a creepy “Men’s Rights Advocate” anthem. The two big smash cuts here were the first tracks on either side, “Wild Safari” and “Woman. I was assured by a friend about the former, “Wild Safari was THE track blasting out everywhere in Can Piacafort, Majorca during my holiday there in the summer of 1972.” The record definitely has its appeal, and it may grow groovier as you listen to it more. It’s easy to see how the locked-in rhythm section was already in place very early and how that made this group a fave of beat farmers everywhere. It’s a stoney party record with Spaniards singing in awkward English, so what’s not to like? I may not think it’s their best album, but you’re welcome to disagree. It’s definitely a more consistent listen than their second album, Power, which finds them meandering into different styles, including an attempt to be some sort of Spanish T-Rex, this debut is just not as good as later efforts like ¡Soltad a Barrabás! and Heart of the City. In any case I plan to post some of their other records soon, by which I mean at some point before I die.
Don’t be put off by the taped-together, busted jacket of this copy – this was a radio station duplicate copy that was probably never played before I got hold of it, although the Dynaflex vinyl is inconsistent as it is wont to be. Also note that the label says stereo but the mix is very much in mono. I’m not sure if this is a mistake at the pressing plant or a genuine AM Radio mix of the whole album? There is definitely a stereo mix of Wild Safari, but I’m not sure about the rest. Maybe some helpful reader can chime in. Oh yes, and this record was released with at least two alternate covers. The French one (which also boasted a different title, Afro-Soul) is particularly groovy, I think. Oh yeah, and today’s my birthday, woo hoo and three cheers for me.
French cover variant
A word: times are tough all over, and I’m reinventing myself for the third or fourth time in life to adjust to our New Reality. I am trying to save some money so that I can relocate to a place where there are actual jobs for people with my kinds of skills. I’m stuck in a rut, y’all, and it’s been hell getting out. If you enjoy reading these posts and hearing the music, consider making a donation using one of the buttons on the sidebar of the blog. Any amounts given help me pay server costs and continue to have make posts about good (or good-ish) music. Any amounts are welcome. Thanks!