Soon these days shall pass away

Cheyenne Anthem – Kansas (1976) FLAC HD Video

“Cheyenne Anthem” was a track on Kansas’ fourth studio album, Leftoverture, which was released just before Halloween 1976. This was the band’s first album to be certified by the RIAA, and remains their highest selling album, having been certified 4 times platinum in the United States.

I’ve always loved this song, especially the majestic final instrumental section (starting at 5:48 just after the lyric “In the ground our bodies lay, here we’ll stay”……I think it’s the piano playing that hits the hardest. Beautiful work.

I’ve been pretty inactive with my video uploads lately due to the hard drive failure that I’d mentioned in the previous video description. “Cheyenne Anthem” was the video I was working on when everything went south. Bad news was that I had to pick up with an older version of this work , and had to recreate some sequences that I’d already finished…..even before the crash this was an epic, tricky one to make (the time changes! the tone changes!), and I really couldn’t get into trying to recreate what I’d lost. As finished, the video is all over the map and I think I’ll try and tie the styles together better at some point with an update in the future, but for now it’s either upload the damn thing or put it on a shelf for a long, long break! 😉 The good news is I was able to recover almost all of the almost 3 years of work files that I’d not backed up! YIKES! I don’t think I would have been uploading many videos after losing all that work, so many updates and new videos I thought were gone forever….now I’m excited that hundreds of my works in progress will survive to see the light of day after all! We live to rock another day, rockers!!! 😉 Thanks to you all for being here with me and I hope you enjoy this one.

Steve Walsh began to experience writer’s block prior to the recording, and his contribution to the album would ultimately be limited to co-authoring three songs. It fell on Kerry Livgren to fill the void. The new compositions retained much of the classically inspired complexity of Livgren’s previous work. Kansas recorded the album at Studio in the Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana. The Studio in the Country was so named because, as Livgren described on In the Studio with Redbeard radio show in the episode spotlighting Leftoverture, “it was in the middle of a swamp. We’d walk out of the studio and there would be gators in front of the studio, mosquitos the size of B-52s and at times armadillos would run into the control room, laughing.”

Leftoverture opens with the song “Carry On Wayward Son”, which Livgren wrote as a sequel to “The Pinnacle”, the final song from the previous album Masque (1975).

The album’s title, Leftoverture, is a portmanteau word.

The album was met with mixed reviews. Rolling Stone called Leftoverture Kansas’s best album to date, and said that it “warrants Kansas a spot right alongside Boston and Styx as one of the fresh new American bands who combine hard-driving group instrumentation (with a dearth of flashy solos) with short, tight melody lines and pleasant singing.” The magazine Playboy reviewed the album as “extremely strong” and lauded Kansas for representing “the solid, Midwestern values of our vast musical heartland.” In contrast, Robert Christgau said the album lacked the intelligence and conviction of European progressive rock, and that the self-deprecating humor implied in the song and album titles is completely absent from the record itself.

Modern reviews are likewise mixed. Gary Graff found Leftoverture “Kansas’ breakthrough album and a thorough representation of its assorted musical sensibilities.” The AllMusic reviewer instead wrote that the album contains “neither hooks nor true grandiosity to make it interesting” and, despite the great single “Carry On Wayward Son”, the fact that Kansas “never manage to rival it anywhere on this record is as much a testament to their crippling ambition as their lack of skills.”

[Lyrics]
[Robby Steinhardt:]
From the mountains to the sun, Life has only just begun
We wed this land and pledge our souls to meet its end
Life has only just begun
Here my people roam the earth, in the kingdom of our birth
Where the dust of all our horses hides the sun
We are mighty on the earth, on the earth

[Steve Walsh:]
You have come to move me, take me from my ancient home
Land of my fathers I can’t leave you now
We will share it with you, no man owns this earth we’re on

Now the wheels are rolling hear the howling winds of war
It’s my destiny to fight and die
But is there no solution, can we find no other way, Lord let me stay
Under the endless sky and the earth below
Here I was born to live and I will never go, oh no

[Choir:]
But we cannot endure like the earth and the mountains
Life is not ours to keep, for a new sun is rising

[Robby Steinhardt:]
Soon these days shall pass away, for our freedom we must pay
All our words and deeds are carried on the wind
In the ground our bodies lay, here we’ll stay

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Lights of Taormina – Mark Knopfler (2015)

Lights of Taormina – Mark Knopfler (2015) 192kHz/24bit HD FLAC Audio

“Lights of Taormina” was released in March 2015 on Mark Knopfler’s eighth solo album, Tracker. Mark is such an amazing songwriter and guitarist and I’m happy to support his continued solo work which never fails to satisfy. Lots of solo stuff that I’d love to video. Recently uploaded vids for a couple of tracks from his latest album, decided to make this my third video for a tune from his last album. Hope you enjoy and thank for watching!

“Lights of Taormina” reflects Mark Knopfler’s knack for writing on the road and turning his experiences there into music. “Over the years I’ve learned to write on the go,” he told Billboard magazine.

Knopfler added that he started writing this song, “where I was actually sitting on this beautiful terrace, looking down at Taormina.”
The popular tourist destination of Taormina is a small town on the east coast of the island of Sicily, Italy. Knopfler played at Taormina’s ancient Greek theater on July 16, 2013.

Some believe that Knopfler was looking down on Taormina from Hotel Villa Angela, which is owned by Jim Kerr, the lead singer of Simple Minds. Kerr fell in love with the island of Sicily when he visited on tour, and later set up the hotel, which is set on a hillside above Taormina.

From Wiki:
According to the review aggregator website Metacritic, Tracker received generally favorable reviews, achieving a critical score of 70 based on 15 critic reviews. In his review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album three and a half out of five stars, noting that the album is “scaled smaller” than his previous double-album effort Privateering, “easing its way into being instead of announcing itself with a thunder”.Knopfler isn’t pining for the past but he is looking back, sometimes wistfully, sometimes with a resigned smile, and he appropriately draws upon sounds that he’s long loved.

In his review for American Songwriter, Hal Horowitz gave the album four out of five stars, observing:

Touches of Celtic, jazz, country and folk, but seldom rock, inform these lovely tunes that take their time as if on a leisurely stroll … He’s in no hurry telling these colorful stories that unspool slowly and deliberately. Like much of Van Morrison’s best work, the relaxed pace provides the consistent thread that makes this a cohesive album instead of a batch of songs. The softly dignified pace, immaculately constructed lyrics and especially the immediately identifiable slithering guitar lines” all work to create “timeless songs that feel organic, measured and are clearly heartfelt as Knopfler crafts music that will sound as magnificent in 50 years as it does today.”

In his review for Rolling Stone, Will Hermes gave the album three and a half out of five stars, calling it “modest” and “multifaceted”. Hermes noted, “Knopfler’s quicksilver guitar is understated, and he delivers stories of stoic ache like an old watchmaker on a pub stool—quietly riveting.”

In his review for The Telegraph, Neil McCormick gave the album three out of five stars, acknowledging the work’s “understated refinement”, but noting it “lacks the epic scope of Dire Straits”. According to McCormick, there is a predictability to the album that undermines its effectiveness, noting, “Fans will find much to enjoy here, but it might be time for Knopfler to push himself out of his comfort zone.”

[Lyrics]
There’s laughter in the darkness
Music floating in across the bay
He’s half listening and wondering
How he could have let her slip away
So long ago but still he wants to know
If anyone has seen her
And he’s sitting out in the night
Looking down upon the lights of Taormina

They were young and love was shining
Like the colours of the rainbow
Desire felt like choking
Love was smoking under the volcano
He can still taste her kisses
Sweet as the red wine from Messina
Now he’s sitting out in the night
Looking down upon the lights of Taormina

Seems like another lifetime
When they rambled along the shore
Seems like another lifetime
She used to call him her sweet senor
Maybe in another lifetime
On a pathway to the sea
Maybe there they’ll be

The crowd calls for the emperor
Raise their hands to hail another king
But he’s been so long a wanderer
Another crowd can never mean a thing
He came, he saw, he conquered
Ten thousand voices roared in the arena
Now he’s sitting out in the night
Looking down upon the lights of Taormina

He hears the chimes of history
Myths of gods and men forever ringing
Ancient dreams in all their mystery
Wars for Sicily and Spartan women
In the mists of antiquity
Ships of war set sail from Carthagina
Now he’s sitting out in the night
Looking down upon the lights of Taormina
Sitting out in the night
Looking down upon the lights of Taormina

Hello, baby hello

Harmony – Elton John (1973) Blu-ray High Fidelity Pure Audio FLAC HD 1080p

“Harmony” was released in October 1973 on Elton John’s seventh studio album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Every song on this album is an example of perfectly constructed pop/rock ….amazing EJ vocals, brilliant Bernie songwriting, a crack band at the top of it’s form, and glorious production.

Many years ago, I set out to make a video for every song from this album….I made several, and then petered out. Recently I had decided to dust-off a couple I’d started and finish them, and to update the old ones, and then maybe stay on track and finish the album. That was the plan. I had a video for “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” scheduled to be my next upload….however when I tried to access the files one night to finish the video, I realized that I wouldn’t be skipping down the yellow brick road for awhile because the files were all inaccessible because the drive was unreadable due to a critical drive failure.

This hard-drive crash for was for my primary work drive loaded with videos that were in various stages of completion….bummed to think I lost countless hours of effort and numerous nearly complete productions….so many effects that I’d worked up that, most of which I’ll never take the time to re-create. That drive is out for recovery, but much of the data will be lost. I thought seriously about letting my last upload be my last, and roll up the MetalGuruMessiah carpet. Decided to wait on the results from the data recovery to see what’s next….in the meantime, I rebuilt one of the easier efforts that was on the lost drive…a drag to spend time on something I’d already spent time on!? 😦 I’m not very good a backing up data, but usually get around to it….how in the world did I go 3 years without a backup of my primary production drive? Fingers crossed on the recovery.

The album sold over 12 million copies worldwide, and is regarded as one of John’s best. It was recorded at the Château d’Hérouville in France after problems recording at the intended location of Jamaica. Among the 17 tracks, the album contains the hits “Candle in the Wind”, “Bennie and the Jets”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” plus “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” and “Harmony”.

The move to the château from Jamaica provided John and his band with a great deal of creative inspiration, and an abundance of quality material was produced, leading to the decision to release the work as a double album (LP).

In 2003, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The album was ranked number 91 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and number 59 in Channel 4’s 2009 list of 100 Greatest Albums.

[Lyrics]
Hello, baby hello
Haven’t seen your face for a while
Have you quit doing time for me
Or are you still the same spoiled child

Hello, I said hello
Is this the only place you thought to go
Am I the only man you ever had
Or am I just the last surviving friend that you know

Harmony and me
We’re pretty good company
Looking for an island
In our boat upon the sea
Harmony, gee I really love you
And I want to love you forever
And dream of the never, never, never leaving harmony

Hello, baby hello
Open up your heart and let your feelings flow
You’re not unlucky knowing me
Keeping the speed real slow
In any case I set my own pace
By stealing the show, say hello, hello

It’s too late, you dabblers, it’s all too late

 

Beryl – Mark Knopfler (2015) 192kHz/24bit HD FLAC Audio 4K Video

“Beryl” was released in March 2015 on Mark Knopfler’s eight solo album, Tracker. I really wish Mark would release another album with Dire Straits (give us some rock, Mark!), but even if he never does, he is an amazing songwriter and guitarist and I’m happy to support his continued solo work which never fails to satisfy. Lots of solo stuff that I’d love to video….so doing a couple of my favorites from his last album. Hope you enjoy and thank for watching!

Dame Beryl Margaret Bainbridge DBE (21 November 1932 – 2 July 2010) was an English writer from Liverpool. She was primarily known for her works of psychological fiction, often macabre tales set among the English working class. Bainbridge won the Whitbread Awards prize for best novel in 1977 and 1996; she was nominated five times for the Booker Prize. She was described in 2007 as “a national treasure”. In 2008, The Times named Bainbridge on their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.

From Wiki:
According to the review aggregator website Metacritic, Tracker received generally favorable reviews, achieving a critical score of 70 based on 15 critic reviews. In his review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album three and a half out of five stars, noting that the album is “scaled smaller” than his previous double-album effort Privateering, “easing its way into being instead of announcing itself with a thunder”.Knopfler isn’t pining for the past but he is looking back, sometimes wistfully, sometimes with a resigned smile, and he appropriately draws upon sounds that he’s long loved.

In his review for American Songwriter, Hal Horowitz gave the album four out of five stars, observing:

Touches of Celtic, jazz, country and folk, but seldom rock, inform these lovely tunes that take their time as if on a leisurely stroll … He’s in no hurry telling these colorful stories that unspool slowly and deliberately. Like much of Van Morrison’s best work, the relaxed pace provides the consistent thread that makes this a cohesive album instead of a batch of songs. The softly dignified pace, immaculately constructed lyrics and especially the immediately identifiable slithering guitar lines” all work to create “timeless songs that feel organic, measured and are clearly heartfelt as Knopfler crafts music that will sound as magnificent in 50 years as it does today.”

Ken Capobianco, in his review for the Boston Globe, gave the album a positive review, writing, “Mark Knopfler continues his late-career resurgence with this skillfully crafted eighth solo effort, revealing a portrait gallery of quotidian and accomplished lives marked by yearning and reflection.” Capobianco praised Knopfler’s overall effort “delivering finely wrought, elegantly arranged songs of subtle depth and rich musicality”. In his review for Rolling Stone, Will Hermes gave the album three and a half out of five stars, calling it “modest” and “multifaceted”. Hermes noted, “Knopfler’s quicksilver guitar is understated, and he delivers stories of stoic ache like an old watchmaker on a pub stool—quietly riveting.”

In his review for The Telegraph, Neil McCormick gave the album three out of five stars, acknowledging the work’s “understated refinement”, but noting it “lacks the epic scope of Dire Straits”. According to McCormick, there is a predictability to the album that undermines its effectiveness, noting, “Fans will find much to enjoy here, but it might be time for Knopfler to push himself out of his comfort zone.” Ally Carnwath, in her review for The Guardian, also gave the album three out of five stars, observing a “predictable whiff of whiskey and rolling tobacco” about the effort. While Carnwarth notes Knopfler’s inconsistency as a storyteller, she believes his music “remains a reliable source of warm bluesy guitarwork”. In his review for Popmatters, John Garrett gave the album six out of ten stars, concluding, “It’s hard to nail down a specific identity for Tracker. The quality of each song is consistently good, but the album doesn’t feel very cohesive when you step back to consider the whole package.”

[Lyrics]
Beryl was on another level
When she got a Booker medal
She was dead in her grave
After all she gave
After all she gave
Beryl, every time they’d overlook her
When they gave her a Booker
She was dead in her grave
After all she gave
After all she gave
It’s all too late now
It’s all too late now
It’s too late, you dabblers, it’s all too late
It’s too late, you dabblers, it’s all too late
Beryl, the tobacco overtook her
When they gave her a Booker
She was dead in her grave
After all she gave
After all she gave
It’s all too late now
It’s all too late now
It’s too late, you dabblers, it’s all too late
It’s too late, you dabblers, it’s all too late
Beryl was on another level
When she got a Booker medal
She was dead in her grave
After all she gave
After all she gave
After all she gave
After all she gave

 

 

Green Is The Colour – Pink Floyd (1969)

Green Is The Colour – Pink Floyd (1969) FLAC Audio 4K Video ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Green is the Colour” was released in June 1969 Pink Floyd’s third studio album, Soundtrack from the film More. The song was composed and written by Roger Waters and sung by David Gilmour. A tin whistle is heard in the song, played by drummer Nick Mason’s then-wife Lindy. It seems that many people might be even happier than usual to spring roll around this year, I know I’ll be very happy to see some green return to my world. I’ve always loved this tune, though the album less so. Thanks for checking it out!

More is a psychedelic rock soundtrack album that contains some acoustic folk ballads, a genre that appeared sparsely on Pink Floyd’s later works. It also contains some of the band’s “heaviest” recordings, such as “The Nile Song” and “Ibiza Bar”, as well as several instrumental tracks, featuring their experimental and avant-garde approach. More was primarily filmed on location on Ibiza where most of the story takes place. It was the directorial debut for Barbet Schroeder. Roger Waters has stated that the song is “about being on Ibiza” the setting of the film, More.

This is Pink Floyd’s first full album without founding member Syd Barrett, who was ousted from the group in early 1968 during the recording of A Saucerful of Secrets. It is one of the three Pink Floyd albums to feature David Gilmour as the sole lead vocalist, the others being 1987’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason and 2014’s The Endless River. It is the only album in the band’s discography not to have a lead vocal from Roger Waters during his tenure in the band.

[Lyrics]
Heavy hung the canopy of blue
Shade my eyes and I can see you
White was the light
That shines through the dress that you wore
She lay in the shadow of a wave
Hazy were the visions overplayed
Sunshine in her eyes
But moonshine made her cry everytime
Green is the colour of her kind
Quickness of the eye
Deceives the mind
Envy is the bond between
The hopeful and the damned

Long as I remember, the rain been comin’ down.

Who’ll Stop The Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970) 96KHz/24bit FLAC ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Who’ll Stop The Rain” was released on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s fifth studio album, Cosmo’s Factory, on Fantasy Records in July of 1970. I’ve been working on a couple other “rain” videos, but decided to use some quick effects for this beautiful CCR tune so I could upload it on Veterans Day 2017. Thanks to all the vets who have served our great country….and to Creedence for their songs which so wonderfully captured the spirit of the Vietnam conflict and American experience related to it.

I love CCR as much as the next guy (and who doesn’t really? there can be no possible reason for not liking this band!) and I’ve wanted to make a few vids for some of the many great songs (how to choose!?) that are my favorites….one down! 😉 This was a VERY quick effort and I didn’t take the usual amount of time and effort to scrub and clean the low-res vid sources I used (mainly the Woodstock stuff)….plus I knew I should take the time to find some Vietnam footage of soldiers in the rain to tie in, but….it’s a shorter song, and I had enough to fill it out very quickly. Maybe for a future update, I’ll make those adjustments and raise the level of the video a notch? This video does feature 96KHz/24bit FLAC audio though!

Cosmo’s Factory was released the same month as the single release of “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” with “Long as I Can See the Light” on the B side. The name of the album comes from the warehouse in Berkeley where the band rehearsed early in their career. It was dubbed “The Factory” by drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, because bandleader John Fogerty made them practice there almost every day.

With the release of Cosmo’s Factory in July 1970, Creedence Clearwater Revival hit their commercial zenith. It was their fifth album in two years and became an international smash, topping the album charts in six countries. The band also toured Europe in 1970, playing the Royal Albert Hall to enthusiastic audiences, and had emerged as the most popular band in America by largely ignoring the trippy acid rock indulgences that were typical of the era. However, despite the band’s infectious blend of rockabilly, folk, and R&B, some peers and rock critics dismissed them as a singles band with no substance. In a 2012 cover story, Uncut observed, “While San Francisco longhairs across the bridge scoffed at their commercialism, Creedence henceforth made a point of releasing double A-sides. And invariably both songs would have an uncanny knack of cutting through to all sections of the population.” Singer and guitarist Fogerty, who had seemingly arrived out of nowhere, but had actually struggled with his bandmates throughout most of the 1960s as the Blue Velvets and the Golliwogs, composed the group’s songs and generally steered the band artistically, although his grip on the band – including his dubious role as manager – irritated the others, especially his older brother Tom Fogerty, who left the band by the end of 1970.

In its original review, Rolling Stone opined, “It should be obvious by now that Creedence Clearwater Revival is one great rock and roll band. Cosmo’s Factory, the group’s fifth album, is another good reason why.” AllMusic states, “On ‘Long as I Can See the Light’, the record’s final song, he again finds solace in home, anchored by a soulful, laid-back groove. It hits a comforting, elegiac note, the perfect way to draw ‘Cosmo’s Factory’ – an album made during stress and chaos, filled with raging rockers, covers, and intense jams – to a close.” An editorial review from Amazon.com calls the album “the peak of a prolific streak.”

[Lyrics]
Long as I remember,
The rain been comin’ down.
Clouds of myst’ry pourin’
Confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages
Tryin’ to find the sun.
And I wonder,
Still I wonder
Who’ll stop the rain.

I went down Virginia,
Seekin’ shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable,
I watched the tower grow.
Five-year plans and new deals
Wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder,
Still I wonder
Who’ll stop the rain.

Heard the singers playin’,
How we cheered for more?
The crowd had rushed together
Tryin’ to keep warm.
Still the rain kept pourin’,
Fallin’ on my ears.
And I wonder,
Still I wonder
Who’ll stop the rain.

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You say tomato, I say Tormato

Madrigal – Yes (1978) 192KHz/24bit FLAC 4K Video ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Madrigal” was released on Yes’ ninth studio album, Tormato, in September of 1978. This is a beautiful tune from the album that features Rick Wakeman playing a Thomas Goff harpsichord. Hoping to get a couple more videos I’ve started for other tracks from Tormato finished soon. This one features a few clips (I’ve enhanced HDR levels for more vibrancy) from Lech Majewski’s wonderfully gorgeous and unusual 2011 film, The Mill and The Cross which is a movie surrounding and set-inside the painting The Way to Calvary (1564) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. I absolutely love the imagery this film creates, check it out if you’ve not seen it.

Frow Wiki:
It is their last album recorded with singer Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman prior to their departure from the group in 1980. After wrapping their tour in support of their previous album, Going for the One (1977), the band gathered in London in February 1978 to record a new album. The band encountered several issues that hindered its potential including their overall direction, the decision to produce it by themselves, and its uneven quality.

Tormato received a mixed critical reception upon release, but was a commercial success. It peaked at No. 8 in the UK and No. 10 in the US. “Don’t Kill the Whale” was released as a single in the UK which reached No. 36. Tormato continued to sell in the US and is certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over one million copies. Yes supported the album with the commercially successful 1978–79 tour with concerts performed in the round. Tormato was remastered for CD in 1994 and 2004; the latter contains several previously unreleased tracks from the album’s recording sessions.

As with Going for the One, the album’s cover was designed by Hipgnosis but retains the band’s logo designed by Roger Dean. Howe pitched the album’s original title of Yes Tor, referring to Yes Tor, the second highest hill on Dartmoor, an area of moorland in Devon, England. Wakeman claimed to have thrown a tomato at the pictures taken for the album as he recalled the band were disappointed with the initial artwork which had cost a lot of money. The album’s title and cover was changed accordingly. Wakeman said the album became a “tragedy” as it had poor artwork and production, but good music. Howe said it was someone at Hipgnosis who threw the tomato on purpose, something that he felt insulted about. According to White, the band “couldn’t decide on the cover. I think Po … put a picture of a guy with divining sticks on the front. He took it home one night and decided it wasn’t working. So he threw a tomato at it”.

The sleeve includes a photograph of the band that was taken in Regent’s Park, London, with each member wearing a bomber jacket and sunglasses and looking in a different direction. Each jacket was labelled with the member’s name on the front, but Squire had forgotten his and had to wear one labelled “Jim”, belonging to tour manager Jim Halley. The word “Chris” was then drawn onto the final cover.

[Lyrics]
I will be there said my friend of a distant life
Covered in greens of a golden age, set in stone
Follow me “he sounded of dreams supreme” follow me
Drifting within the glow and the after-glow of the eve

And if that firelight, I could match the inner flame

Sacred ships do sail the seventh age

Cast off your garments of fear, replace them with love
Most of all play with the game of the age
Highest of places remain all as one with you
Giving us light and the freedom of the day

And if that firelight, I could match the inner flame

Sacred ships do sail the seventh age
And have always been here

Celestial travelers have always been here with us
Set in the homes of the Universe we have yet to go
Countless expansions will arrive and flow inside of us
My friend, he of fantasy, dancing with the spirit of the age

“It’s been a lifetime…”

Before The Dawn – Judas Priest (1978) Audio Fidelity 24k FLAC 4K Video ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Before The Dawn” was released on Judas Priest’s fifth studio album, Killing Machine, in November 1978. “Before The Dawn” has always been one of my absolute top favorite rock and roll ballads and this video is an update for one of the first videos I ever made: https://youtu.be/OVMiki-oApA

I attempted to follow my challenge for updates and always to try and keep some of the older elements in place while upgrading for higher resolution and better effect, so that at least some parts of the original remained intact…in this case not much came across but a couple of images and the old, simple cloud/fog effect that I tried to use back then (much more subdued here, but in higher resolution).

This version also sources a flac audio track from Audio Fidelity’s 24k release of the album which was remastered by Steve Hoffman….it’s a great sounding track, and I touched the volume level just enough to keep under any clipping.

Killing Machine was re-titled Hell Bent for Leather for US release, as the US branch of Columbia/CBS did not like the “murderous implications” of the album title. “The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)” an early Fleetwood Mac cover, was added to the running order in the US. The album saw Judas Priest head towards a more commercial style; however it did still contain the dark lyrical themes as heard in their previous albums. At about the same time, the band members adopted their now-famous “leather-and-studs” image.

This is the first Judas Priest album where Glenn Tipton incorporated the guitar technique of tapping into his soloing style. This is also the final album for drummer Les Binks who had joined the band in late 1977 for the recording of Stained Class, he is credited with helping develop the traditional Priest percussive sound.

With Killing Machine, Judas Priest began moving to a more accessible, commercial format that abandoned the complex, fantasy-themed songs of their previous three albums. While this album still had dark undertones, it was more grounded in realism. This was reflected in their change of stage costumes from flowing Gothic robes to leather, but also may have been inspired by the rising punk and New Wave movements. Glenn Tipton said in a contemporary interview that “I believe we are part of the New Wave. After all, we’re fast, aggressive and exciting, which is what it’s all about.” Tracks such as “Burnin’ Up” and “Evil Fantasies” are replete with S&M themes while “Running Wild” is about late-night partying and “Before the Dawn” a depressing ballad. “Hell Bent for Leather” reflected their newly adopted leather costumes as well as Rob Halford’s soon-to-be-trademark entrances on stage in a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The single “Take on the World” was an attempt at producing a stadium shoutalong tune in the mould of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, and was also covered by New Wave band The Human League on their 1980 tour.

If the lyrics were simplified a bit from the band’s previous albums and adapted more into mainstream arena rock, the instruments retained their characteristic aggressiveness with heavier guitar riffing and elements of blues influence returned on some songs. The album is certified gold by the RIAA. Finally, the production of Killing Machine was markedly improved from Judas Priest’s earlier albums, which were criticized for having excessively flat sound, and would be further refined for their next and breakthrough album, British Steel.

The album was remastered in 2001, with two bonus tracks added (three in the UK). The bonus track “Fight for Your Life” was the “original” version of Judas Priest’s “Rock Hard Ride Free” from their Defenders of the Faith album. “The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)” is considered a bonus track on the UK remaster, but a regular track on the US version.

In 2010, audiophile label Audio Fidelity released a limited-edition 24-karat gold CD of the album. Mastering was done by Steve Hoffman. This does not contain the bonus tracks from the 2001 edition.

[Lyrics]
Before the dawn, I hear you whisper
In your sleep “Don’t let the morning take him”
Outside the birds begin to call
As if to summon up my leaving

It’s been a lifetime since I found someone
Since I found someone who would stay
I’ve waited too long, and now you’re leaving
Oh please don’t take it all away

It’s been a lifetime since I found someone
Since I found someone who would stay
I’ve waited too long, and now you’re leaving
Oh please don’t take it all away

Before the dawn, I hear you whisper
In your sleep “Don’t let the morning take him”

“On the step outside you stand…With your flowers in your hand, my Apple Scruffs..”

Apple Scruffs – George Harrison (1970) 96KHz/24bit FLAC 4K Video ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Apple Scruffs” was released in November 1970 on George Harrison’s massive musical monument, the 3-album All Things Must Pass album. Continuing with more videos from one of my favorite albums. My idea was to use clips from Beatlemania to represent the “Apple Scruffs” but I liked the groovy dancers better! 😉

From Wiki:

The name “Apple scruffs” was first coined by George Harrison during the late 1960s. Although well known for his aversion to fan worship, particularly to the Beatlemania phenomenon, Harrison had formed a bond with a number of the scruffs; he acknowledged in an April 1969 interview with Disc magazine: “their part in the play is equally as important as ours”. His song “Apple Scruffs” was written as a tribute to the fans who had kept vigil outside the various recording studios he had been working in since late May 1970, during the sessions for his All Things Must Pass triple album, as well as the Apple headquarters on Savile Row. Although Harrison makes no mention of the song in his 1980 autobiography, Derek Taylor, in his role as editor, describes the Apple scruffs as the “central core” of fans, long after Beatlemania had subsided, adding that “We were all very fond of them”.

Harrison invited the Apple scruffs into Abbey Road Studios to hear the results. A teenager at the time, Gill Pritchard later recalled that Harrison told them: “Well, you had your own magazine, your own office on the [studio] steps, so why not your own song?”

The recording has been noted for its Bob Dylan influence, featuring Harrison on acoustic guitar and harmonica, and is recognized as a departure from the big sound synonymous with All Things Must Pass. “Apple Scruffs” was also released as the B-side to “What Is Life”, gaining further popularity through airplay on US radio, and became the preferred side of the single in some countries.

Harrison recorded “Apple Scruffs” late in the proceedings, during the overdubbing and mixing phase of All Things Must Pass. Uniquely among the tracks on All Things Must Pass, “Apple Scruffs” was performed solo by Harrison – except for a percussive, tapping sound provided by Beatles assistant Mal Evans. Harrison recorded the song live on acoustic guitar and harmonica, in the style of his friend Bob Dylan. Due to his heavy beard and mustache, Harrison struggled while attempting to play the harmonica; sessions tapes also reveal he needed to coach himself on the sucking and blowing technique required for the part.

Rolling Stone’s Ben Gerson considered “Apple Scruffs” to be “One of the most wonderful cuts on the album” and added: “it sounds as if it was recorded while co-producer Phil Spector was out for coffee.”

More recently, Beatles author Bruce Spizer has written of the song: “Sandwiched in the middle of an album full of elaborate wall-of-sound productions, Apple Scruffs breaks through like a breath of fresh air.” Simon Leng praises the track’s bottleneck parts, and particularly the backing vocals, which he describes as “the best on the album”. The same passage, towards the end of the song, has been referred to by Tom Moon in his book 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die as “an explosive peak-experience refrain that comes direct from heaven’s songbook”.

In a 2001 review for the 30th anniversary reissue of All Things Must Pass, James Hunter of Rolling Stone highlighted “Apple Scruffs” among other tracks on an album that “helped define the decade it ushered in”, advising listeners to “proceed to music that exults in breezy rhythms”, which included “the colorful revolutions of ‘What Is Life’ … bluesy and intricate on Harrison and Dylan’s ‘I’d Have You Anytime,’ fizzy on ‘Apple Scruffs,’ grooving on ‘Let It Down,’ and spookily proto-disco on ‘Art of Dying'”.

This record has a tendency to sound thin and shrill. If you wish to hear All Things Must Pass the way it should sound (and who doesn’t!) head over to HDtracks http://www.hdtracks.com/all-things-must-pass-215198 and buy the Audiophile 96kHz/24bit version of the 2014 remaster….amazing! George’s son Dhani had a large hand in the way this album was remastered and sounds and he nailed it…. his dad would be proud! *This video features the higher resolution 96/24bit HD FLAC version.

[Lyrics]
Now I’ve watched you sitting there
Seen the passers-by all stare
Like you have no place to go
But there’s so much they don’t know about Apple Scruffs

You’ve been stood around for years
Seen my smiles and touched my tears
How it’s been a long, long time
And how you’ve been on my mind, my Apple Scruffs

Apple Scruffs, Apple Scruffs
How I love you, how I love you

In the fog and in the rain
Through the pleasures and the pain
On the step outside you stand
With your flowers in your hand, my Apple Scruffs

While the years they come and go
Now, your love must surely show me
That beyond all time and space
We’re together face to face, my Apple Scruffs

Apple Scruffs, Apple Scruffs
How I love you, how I love you

Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my my, my, my, my mouth

Marrakesh Express – Crosby Stills & Nash (1969) 192Khz/24bit FLAC ~MetalGuruMessiah~

“Marrakesh Express” was released in the spring of 1969 on Crosby, Stills & Nash’s eponymous first album. It spawned two Top 40 hit singles, “Marrakesh Express” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” which peaked respectively at #28 the week of August 23, 1969, and at #21 the week of December 6, 1969, on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The album itself peaked at #6 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. It was certified four times platinum by the RIAA for sales of over 4,200,000.

Crosby, Stills & Nash is such a great album, and I’m working on my Wes Anderson Criterion Blu-ray collection (lack only “The Darjeeling Limited” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox”..and my favorite of his films, “Budapest Hotel” (his latest) which hasn’t yet received the treatment)….so since I didn’t have anything else ready, I made this very quickie mashup. I hope you enjoy it. PS….buy the movie on Criterion Blu-ray if you haven’t yet and are as big as I am. https://www.criterion.com/films/27520-the-darjeeling-limited?q=autocomplete The video is my first encoded in 4K UDH (though the source material is not 4K…i’m just experimenting with the format).

The album was a very strong debut for the band, instantly lifting them to stardom. Along with the Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo and The Band’s Music from Big Pink of the previous year, it helped initiate a sea change in popular music away from the ruling late sixties aesthetic of bands playing blues-based rock music on loud guitars. Crosby, Stills & Nash presented a new wrinkle in building upon rock’s roots, utilizing folk, blues, and even jazz without specifically sounding like mere duplication. Not only blending voices, the three meshed their differing strengths, David Crosby for social commentary and atmospheric mood pieces, Stephen Stills for his diverse musical skills and for folding folk and country elements subtly into complex rock structures, and Graham Nash for his radio-friendly pop melodies, to create an amalgam of broad appeal. The album features some of their best known songs: “Helplessly Hoping”, “Long Time Gone” (a response to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy), “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” (composed for Judy Collins) and “Wooden Ships” (co-written with Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane).

This album proved very influential on many levels to the dominant popular music scene in America for much of the 1970s. The success of the album generated gravitas for the group within the industry, and galvanized interest in signing like acts, many of whom came under management and representation by the CSN team of Elliot Roberts and David Geffen. Strong sales, combined with the group’s emphasis on personal confession in its writing, paved the way for the success of the singer-songwriter movement of the early seventies.

In a contemporary review, Rolling Stone critic Barry Franklin called Crosby, Stills & Nash “an eminently playable record” and “especially satisfying work”, finding the songwriting and vocal harmonies particularly exceptional. Robert Christgau was less enthusiastic in The Village Voice: “I have written elsewhere that this album is perfect, but that is not necessarily a compliment. Only Crosby’s vocal on ‘Long Time Gone’ saves it from a special castrati award.” In a retrospective review, Jason Akeny of AllMusic believed some of the songs’ themes “haven’t dated well” but “the harmonies are absolutely timeless, and the best material remains rock-solid”. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Crosby, Stills & Nash number 259 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner was finally credited as co-composer of “Wooden Ships” on the expanded edition reissue, something long acknowledged on his group’s version of the song from their Volunteers album, released the same year.

[Lyrics]
Looking at the world
Through the sunset in your eyes
Trying to make the train
Through clear Moroccan skies
Ducks and pigs and chickens call
Animal carpet wall to wall
American ladies five foot tall in blue.
Sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind
Had to get away to see what we could find
Hope the days that lie ahead
Bring us back to where they’ve led
Listen not to what’s been said to you
Would you know we’re riding
On the Marrakesh Express
Would you know we’re riding
On the Marrakesh Express
All on board that train
I’ve been saving all my money just to take you there
I smell the garden in your hair
Take the train from Casablanca going south
Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my my, my, my, my mouth
Colored cottons hang in air
Charming cobras in the square
Striped Djellebas we can wear at home
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
Don’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh
All on board that train
All on board that train