Posts Tagged ‘Harvest Records’

The first Electric Light Orchestra album was released in the UK on this date, 3rd December, in 1971 on EMI’s Harvest label. Melody Maker wrote: “Everything’s so interesting, so alive, you can’t help but love it. Jeff Lynne’s composition ‘10538 Overture’ rips open Side One.

When Electric Light Orchestra’s self-titled debut arrived in December 1971, the band’s core trio of Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and drummer Bev Bevan were still in the Move. ELO would far surpass their predecessors in terms of sales, but at that point it was still intended as a side project to explore a new sound.  Roy Wood guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of the Move had an idea to form a new band that would use violins, cellos, string basses, horns and woodwinds to give their music a classical sound,

Roy and I would go to pubs and clubs in Birmingham and keep talking about having this group with strings,” Lynne told Uncut in 2013. “We finally figured out a way of doing it, and while we were making [the Move’s final LP] “Message From the Country” we started knocking out these little tunes, just the two of us, and [drummer Bev Bevan] putting the drums on afterwards.”

It’s delicious, almost over-produced (but in a great way) with loud sawing cellos, a pacing theme, swung-about vocals, and finally brass, french horns, and production that is so unmistakably in the hands of [Roy] Wood. It’s a monster of a track.”

The final days of the Move coincided with Electric Light Orchestra’s first steps largely because no one thought Wood and Lynne’s concept of an orchestral-minded rock band would pay off. Making the Move’s last album helped encourage the band’s U.K. label, Harvest Records, to take a chance on the new group. It also helped that, while making tracks for the Move, Lynne and Wood found the classical/rock balance they were looking for in one song.

“‘10538 Overture’ was an idea that Jeff brought along to the studio which was originally to be a Move track,” Wood recalled in the liner notes to the 2006 reissue. “At the time, I was very keen on collecting instruments, and had just acquired a cheap Chinese cello. After we had finished overdubbing the guitars, I sat in the control room trying out this cello and sort of messing around with Jimi Hendrix-type riffs. Jeff said, ‘That sounds great, why don’t we throw it on the track.’ I ended up recording around 15 of these, and as the instrumentation built up, it was beginning to sound like some monster heavy-metal orchestra.”

When Wood added multiple cellos to a Lynne-penned song intended to be a Move B-side, the new concept became a reality and “10538 Overture” became the first Electric Light Orchestra song. The original plan was to end The Move following the release of the “Looking On” album at the end of 1970, crossing over to the new unit in the new year, but to help finance the fledgling band, one further Move album, “Message from the Country”, was also recorded during the lengthy ELO recordings and released in mid-1971. The resulting debut album The Electric Light Orchestra was released in December 1971. Only the trio of Wood, Lynne and Bevan played on all songs, with Bill Hunt supplying the French Horn parts and Steve Woolam playing violin.

The song would become the centre piece of Electric Light Orchestra’s self-titled first album, which was largely an experimental affair – rawer and stranger than the glossy ELO records to come. Lynne and Wood shared song writing and vocal duties on the debut, with the latter pushing his notions for baroque rock, with cellos and woodwinds accompanying (or even replacing) traditional pop instruments.

With a concept to “pick up where the Beatles left off,” Wood went wild, playing almost every instrument on “The Battle of Marston Moor,” when drummer Bevan refused to collaborate on such a bizarre track. “It was a bit odd recording it, me and Roy playing it all ourselves with all these silly instruments: bassoons and stuff like that,” Lynne said. “It was fun and kind of wacky, a pseudo-classical pantomime horse.”

Electric Light Orchestra didn’t really take off until the release of the “10538 Overture” single (a No. 9 U.K. hit) the following summer, in June of 1972. In the meantime, ELO secured a U.S. release for the album in March, although the release bore another title – the result of an amusing accident.

United Artists phoned the band to ask the name of their debut, but no one from ELO picked up, so the caller wrote down “no answer” in a notebook. An executive misinterpreted the phrase as the title, and Electric Light Orchestra’s first U.S. album became known as “No Answer”.

See the source image

See the source image

‘Meddle’ didn’t have a very auspicious start, having evolved out of a series of experiments in music making with everyday objects titled ‘Nothings,’ ‘Son of Nothings’ and then ‘Return of the Son of Nothings.’ Yet, in exploring so far outside of the realm of the every day, they were clearly onto something. ‘One of These Days’ and ‘Echoes’ (both featuring weirdly involving instrumental elements) became signature favorites, while an unused song evolved into ‘Brain Damage’ for ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.’ They were mere steps away from greatness.

Arriving bereft of ideas, Pink Floyd did something that was becoming increasingly rare on Meddle: They collaborated together in the studio.

At first, this didn’t lead to much. The album, before its arrival on October. 31st, 1971, was actually known as Nothing, Parts 1-24. Recorded in a series of locales around London between concert dates, Meddle eventually came together with help – both instrumentally and lyrically – from all four members, a stark contrast to the Roger Waters-dominated albums to come in the ’70s.

“When we started on Meddle, we went into it with a very different working basis to any previous album in so much that we went into the studios with nothing prepared, and did a month of – well, we just called them nothings,” Nick Mason said Ted Alvy of KPPC-FM in 1971. “I mean, they were ideas that were put down extremely roughly. They might have been just a few chords, or they might have been a rhythm idea, or something else – and this was just put down, and then we took a month and examined what we got.”

What emerged was the bridge between their earliest recordings and the career-making triumph of 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon. Meddle still boasted the wide-open improvisational gumption of transitional albums like 1968’s A Saucerful of Secrets, 1969’s Ummagumma and 1970’s Atom Heart Mother, but their focus started to narrow. In some ways, the LP represents the best of both worlds.

They got there together, swapping musical ideas and – in the case of the album-opening “One of These Days” – even swapping places. David Gilmour took up the bass as the song opens, before being joined by Waters. (You’ll notice the second double-tracked instrument has a flatter sound. “We didn’t have a spare set of strings for the spare bass guitar, so the second bass is very dull sounding,” Gilmour told Guitar World in 1993. “We sent a roadie out to buy some strings, but he wandered off to see his girlfriend instead.”) Mason takes a rare vocal turn on “One of These Days,” as well.

A swirling breeze links that song to the tender “A Pillow of Winds,” which was inspired by time spent by Waters and Mason with their wives in the south of France. Waters’ “San Tropez” – the only song here not co-written with Gilmour – also recalls trips to the French Riviera. Together, Pink Floyd bring an impish humor to songs like “Fearless,” which features a field recording of a Liverpool soccer club singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – forcing Pink Floyd to co-credit Rodgers and Hammerstein – while “Seamus” includes the howling of Small Faces/Humble Pie vocalist Steve Marriott’s dog, whom Gilmour was watching.

Meddle will always be defined, however, by its side two-encompassing closing track, “Echoes.” The song, which stretched to 23 minutes, again grew out of a collaborative moment – this time onstage, when the song was reportedly introduced as “Return of the Son of Nothing.”

Richard Wright wrote the long piano intro and the chord progression, while Waters added lyrics – after coming up with the idea of running Wright’s original “ping” sound through a Leslie rotating speaker. Gilmour achieved the seagull sounds by reversing the inputs on a wah pedal.

“Things like ‘Echoes’ would be all of us in a rehearsal room, just sitting there thinking, playing – working out ideas to see if they went anywhere,” Wright told Rolling Stone in 1987. “It’s a nice way to work – and I think, in a way, the most ‘Floyd-ian’ material we ever did came about that way.”

“Echoes,” which later provided the title to a career-spanning retrospective, was Pink Floyd’s breakthrough moment. An complex and stirring finale, “Echoes” holds together as one narrative piece, unlike the lengthy title track from Atom Heart Mother.

‘Meddle’ (1971): “Echoes”

Pink Floyd spreads way, way, way out on this extended epic – at 23-plus minutes, the length of an entire side of vinyl. It’s not the duration of “Echoes” that’s noteworthy, only that the extra running time allows for such a wealth of noises and ideas. If the early, psychedelic Floyd stuff was “space rock,” this is “deep sea rock,” and just as enchanting. Wright creates a submarine-like “ping” while Gilmour dreams up a pod of whales by plugging a wah-wah pedal in backwards. Nick Mason guides the ever-changing song, and Roger Waters writes of wind, water and, more importantly, humanity. The band believed this mix of outward-looking lyricism and dynamic sounds was the stepping stone to full album suites, like Dark Side of the Moon. (And, if you agree with Waters, this descending chord motif led to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera.)

“I think ‘Echoes’ is the masterwork of the album – the one where we were all discovering what Pink Floyd is about,” Gilmour told Guitar World. “Meddle is really the album where all four of us were finding our feet – the way we wanted Pink Floyd to be, much more than on Ummagumma or Atom Heart Mother. Although Atom Heart Mother has some pointers and directions as to where we would finally go, it’s not as important as Meddle was.”

Even though Meddle reached No. 3 in the U.K., the U.S. was proving a tougher market to conquer. The album actually finished 15 spots further back from Atom Heart Mother, at a paltry No. 70. Still, the stage was set – as evidenced by the appearance in these sessions of “Brain Damage,” which would later help close out The Dark Side of the Moon.

“All those stages are part of a general evolution, made of progression and dead times,” Mason mused in 1973, as Pink Floyd found themselves finally on the cusp of superstardom. “They weren’t exactly succeeding experiments, but rather exercises about a particular aspect of music, so you could evolve after that. Anyway, we never did an album saying, ‘That’s it, we reached the zenith.’ On the contrary, we always asked ourselves: ‘What will we do next?’”

Pink Floyd’s sixth album was a turning point of sorts, as the band inched closer to more structured songs, as opposed to the atmospheric set pieces that dominated their previous records. ‘Echoes,’ ‘Meddle”s highlight, still runs more than 23 minutes, but its mix of long instrumental passages and vocal patches is a precursor to the career-changing ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.’

Pink Floyd, released on 31st October 1971 by Harvest Records.

Wire‘s first three albums are stone-cold, classics and it’s pretty amazing to think how far the band progressed in just three short years, from their 1977 minimal punk debut Pink Flag, to 1978’s angular, perfect Chairs Missing, to 1979’s the synth-embracing and at times Eno-esque 154. All three album should be any collection, and now they’re being reissued and remastered in new deluxe editions that Wire are releasing themselves, due out May 22nd as CD box sets and then June 22nd as single-disc CDs and vinyl LPs.

Wire’s first three albums need no introduction. They are the three classic albums on which Wire’s reputation is based. Moreover, they are the recordings that minted the post-punk form. This was adopted by other bands, but Wire were there first.

These seminal albums are now getting the definitive re-release treatment, in a format owners of the Silver/Lead and Change Becomes Us special editions will already be familiar with. Each album is presented as an 80-page hardback book – the size of a 7-inch, but obviously much thicker.

The boxes contain demos, radio sessions, live recordings, b-sides, alternate versions and more, not to mentions booklets containing new liner notes from the band, introductions by Jon Savage and rare photos that haven’t been seen for 40 years..  Pink Flag is a two disc set while Chairs Missing and 154 are three-disc sets.The bonus tracks will be exclusive to physical editions

Meanwhile Wire are releasing a singles box set for Record Store Day titled Nine Sevens. It features Wire’s six singles that were originally released on the Harvest label, one released on Rough Trade (1981’s non-LP “Our Swimmer”), and one single recorded in 1980 that was never released on 7″. There’s also the rare EP that came with initial copies of 154.

Both the album reissues are the singles box are all remastered from the original analogue source tapes with replicas of the original artwork. Check out the remaster of Wire’s often-covered “Outdoor Miner” (a single and on Chairs Missing):

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We have been fans of Day Wave since day one. Jackson Phillips (AKA Day Wave) debut LP The Days We Had, the albums is full of dream-pop, sunshine sound, emotional and honest,  Jackson Phillips has been making music for a long time, the Oakland based musician came to our attention in 2014 when his dream-pop sound captured our imaginations and made us a little queasy with idea of butterfly sunshine, and candy floss love. It felt like a first date in many a confusing way. Phillip’s displayed on several occasions with tracks such as ‘Drag’, ‘Total Zombie’ and ‘Come Home Now’ his incredible ability to write piercing hooks and simplistic, heartfelt pop songs. They all felt like love letters ‘To Jackson, From Jackson’. There was something special in the simplicity, but this debut LP, released via Fiction Records and out now, was his next big step.

The ethereal pop bliss he brings is what dreams are intricately sewn up with and the lyrics tend to paint the skies of them.

He has now released ‘Untitled’ another alt-pop gem and perfect for a beautiful day like today. The track is released alongside the new LP The Days We Had which is out now on Fiction Records.


We were worried that Day Wave would never match up to their earlier efforts as they had a lo-fi veracity that is hard to do twice, but tracks such as ‘Gone’ and ‘Drag’ are now a golden memory, while ‘Untitled’ and ‘Something Here’ are the present. Phillips and co have made another powerful step into the limelight.



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BANKS – ” To The Hilt “

Posted: September 27, 2016 in MUSIC
Tags: , ,

Banks has been a picture of self-confidence ever since she returned with “Fuck With Myself” in July, but the Los Angeles chanteuse reveals she still has a fragile side on her latest single “To The Hilt.” Featured on her forthcoming second album The Altar, the song is a vulnerable, spine-chilling piano ballad that finds Banks reflecting on a relationship that came to an end after she found success in the music industry (“Hated you for walking out/I blew up and you were gone/So they say it’s the industry/But I miss you on my team”).


released 16th September 2016 Harvest Records

Los Angeles band ’ Harriet have given us another taste off of their upcoming record, “American Appetite”, which hits your ears January 29th on Harvest Records. Their newest cut, “Bent,” is much more intimate, confessional sounding track that feels more like you are inside the head of the songwriter. The song cuts deep, as any track of forlorn love song does. I’ve been waiting years for this record (originally kickstarted in 2012) and I’m super excited from everything I’ve heard. from this band.



Los Angeles quartet Harriet for some time now, but it’s not until the early days of 2016 that we get to hear their first official full-length album, American Appetite (January 29th on Harvest Records to be exact) .

The group have recently shared the beautiful and sprawling album cut “Bent.” It doesn’t take long for it to create and maintain a feeling of atmosphere, keeping the mesmerizing feeling and sense of place until the very last second. It’s a wonderful listen, the sort of song that will act as a warm comfort during these upcoming chilly months. If the rest of the album can deliver in such a way, it will be one of the first can’t miss records of the year.

Stream “Bent”  and check out the home-movie style music video that the band release as well. It was directed by the band’s very own Alex Casnoff.

“The Narrow Way (Parts 1-3)”

Of anyone in the band, David Gilmour had the most trepidation about creating an individual experimental piece for the studio disc of Ummagumma. And he ended up with the best thing on the project. The three-part suite repurposes an existing tune for the rustic opener, but Gilmour’s guitar steamrolls through the middle portion before landing on a George Harrison-ish bit of space-twang for the climax.

The official video for ‘Careful With That Axe, Eugene’ by Pink Floyd recorded live in Brighton and originally released on the ‘Ummagumma’ album.

From 1969, Ummagumma was the band’s first double album and has one of their most iconic cover images. Ummagumma is an eclectic mix of both live and studio recordings.


The album was re-mastered in 2011. Go to for more details.
UMMAGUMMA, the 1969 album from Pink Floyd celebrates its 46th anniversary today.
Using a unique concept, the first disc is a live album taken from their set list at the time and the second contains solo compositions by each band member. A double album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It was released on 25 October 1969, through Harvest Records. The artwork was designed by regular Floyd collaborators Hipgnosis and features a number of pictures of the band combined to give a Droste effect.

Although the album was well received at the time of release, and was a top five hit in the UK album charts, it has since been looked upon unfavourably by the band, who have expressed negative opinions about it in interviews. Nevertheless, the album has been reissued on CD several times, along with the rest of their catalogue.

Although the sleeve notes say that the live material was recorded in June 1969, the live album of Ummagumma was recorded live at Mothers Club, Erdington Birmingham on 27th April 1969 and the following week at Manchester College of Commerce on 2nd May of the same year as part of The Man and The Journey Tour. The band had also recorded a live version of “Interstellar Overdrive” (from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn) intended for placement on side one of the live album, and “The Embryo”, which was recorded in the studio before it was decided that the band members each come up with their own material.

The studio album came as a result of Richard Wright wanting to make “real music”, where each of the four group members (in order: Wright, Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason) had half an LP side each to create a solo work without involvement from the others.Wright’s contribution, “Sysyphus”, was named after a character in Greek mythology, usually spelled “Sisyphus”, and contained a combination of various keyboards, including piano and mellotron. Although initially enthusiastic about making a solo contribution, Wright later described it as “pretentious”. Waters’ “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict” contained a variety of vocal and percussion effects treated at various speeds, both forwards and backwards, and was influenced by Ron Geesin, who would later collaborate with both Waters and Pink Floyd. Waters’ other contribution Grantchester Meadows was a more pastoral acoustic offering and was usually played as an opening to concerts over 1969. Gilmour has since stated he was apprehensive about creating a solo work, and admits he “went into a studio and started waffling about, tacking bits and pieces together”,although part one of “The Narrow Way” had already been performed as “Baby Blue Shuffle in D Major” in a BBC radio session in December 1968. Gilmour said he “just bullshitted” through the piece. He asked Waters to write some lyrics for his compositions, but he refused to do so. Mason’s “The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party” featured his then wife, Lindy, playing flute, and Mason playing a seven-minute drum solo

The cover artwork shows a Droste effect featuring the group, with a picture hanging on the wall showing the same scene, except that the band members have switched positions.The cover of the original LP varies between the British, American/Canadian and Australian releases. The British version has the album Gigi leaning against the wall immediately above the “Pink Floyd” letters. At a talk given at Borders bookstore in Cambridge on 1st November 2008, as part of the “City Wakes” project, Storm Thorgerson explained that the album was introduced as a red herring to provoke debate, and that it has no intended meaning. On most copies of American and Canadian editions, the Gigi cover is airbrushed to a plain white sleeve, apparently because of copyright concerns; however, the earliest American copies do show the Gigi cover, and it was restored for the American remastered CD edition. On the Australian edition, the Gigi cover is completely airbrushed, not even leaving a white square behind. The house used as the location for the front cover of the album is located in Great Shelford, near Cambridge.

On the rear cover, roadies Alan Styles (who also appears in “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast”) and Peter Watts were shown with the band’s equipment laid out on a runway at Biggin Hill Airport. This concept was proposed by Mason, with the intention of replicating the “exploded” drawings of military aircraft and their payloads, which were popular at the time.

Song titles on the back are laid out slightly differently in British vs. North American editions; the most important difference being the inclusion of subtitles for the four sections of “A Saucerful of Secrets”. These subtitles only appeared on American and Canadian editions of this album, but not on the British edition; nor did they appear on original pressings of A Saucerful of Secrets.

The inner gatefold art shows separate black-and-white photos of the band members. Gilmour is seen standing in front of the Elfin Oak. Original vinyl editions showed Waters with his first wife, Judy Trim, but she has been cropped out of the picture on most CD editions (with the original photo’s caption “Roger Waters (and Jude)” accordingly changed to just “Roger Waters”). The uncropped picture was restored for the album’s inclusion in the box set

Pink Floyd
David Gilmour – lead guitar, vocals, all instruments and vocals on “The Narrow Way”
Nick Mason – percussion, all instruments (except flutes) on “The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party”
Roger Waters – bass guitar, vocals, all instruments and vocals on “Grantchester Meadows” and all instruments on “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict”
Richard Wright – organ, keyboards, vocals, all instruments and vocals on “Sysyphus”