Friday, January 31, 2014

Get Your Phil, Day Two: Listen Now/Heart of Glass

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The second installment of our series of birthday Phils is sort of a twofer, a Fantasy Phil Friday spectacular. We'll begin the festivities with one of my personal favorite guitar players and transition to one of the world's most legendary composers.
You probably know Phil Manzanera from the band he was/is in, certainly one of the most legendary of the last 40+ years: Roxy Music. But his arc of artistry goes light years beyond even that most beloved of groups. His solo records are every bit as phenomenal as anything from Roxy; a bold statement to be sure, but not an untrue one by any stretch of the Stratocaster.
What I dig most about the man is his understated, tasteful melodic playing and most of all his tremendous and cinematic sense of tone. He has an ever-evolving arsenal of sounds and colors and when you hear this little mix of instrumental jams -- where the focus is on exactly those two aspects -- you'll be amazed at how many divergently different (yet completely complementary) guitar treatments and tones he has going on. 
Being the child of a Colombian mom and a British dad means that a distinctively Latin flavor is never far from Phil's fingers, and you'll notice that when you listen to the CD I compiled that comes with this post. There's also a fusion feel that runs through a lot of his stuff, masterminding bands like Quiet Sun and the ridiculously fantastic 801 as he has. This is music of such a tremendously consistent and uniquely high quality, words fail to describe it... but the man is 63 today (born exactly one day after yesterday's tributee) and all you need to know -- other than to play his music loud and often -- is that he is one of the greatest currently living guitar players, period.
Phil Manzanera
East of Asteroid
instrumental music
1975-82

01 Sol Caliente
02 Trumpets with Motherhood
03 Diamond Head
04 Bogota
05 Island
06 East of Asteroid
07 Frontera (instrumental version)
08 Impossible Guitar
09 N-Shift
10 Initial Speed
11 You Are Here
12 Carhumba
13 Lagrima
14 Caracas
15 K-Scope
16 Years of Quiet Sun

Total time: 1:18:34

481 MB FLAC here
176 MB 320K mp3 here

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And now for the second Phil of the day... this one is a Philip. Leave it to the minimalists to have the longer name! But Philip Glass -- born this day in 1937 -- is undeniably one of the planet's most accomplished composers, so he can call himself whatever he likes.
One of the coolest experiences of my life was watching this film with the Philip Glass Ensemble playing the soundtrack live in the pit beneath the screen, in the Tilles Center auditorium on the C.W. Post campus on Long Island... coincidentally the hall in which my high school graduation ceremony also took place. Koyaanisqatsi is one of the essential cinematic wathershed events of our lifetimes -- influencing countless films subsequent to its advent -- but to get to see it in 70mm with the music happening as a live concert simultaneously is a treasured evening I can't forget.
The movie, and the accompanying music that comprises for the most part the only sounds heard in the film, are a world unto themselves and are still  -- 30+ years later -- ripped from tomorrow's headlines. Depicting a global life that has only gone more out of balance in the three decades since it came out, once you see Koyaanisqatsi you will never be the same. The first part (and really the alpha and omega) of a legendary trilogy by director Godfrey Reggio, it bares the truth of the effect of our species on this planet and the effect of this planet on our species without a word of narrative and, for me, is one of the greatest accomplishments in any art form of our lifetimes and beyond.
The music is, well... as integral as a score can be to the hypnotic and all-encompassing trajectory of the images on the screen. In my estimation this is Philip Glass' finest hour (OK, finest hour and twenty-five minutes). He created a soundtrack for the ages and that stands alone as a powerful, seminal work even in the absence of the film to bring it all together. These are some apocalyptic arpeggios and if you get to watch the movie you'll see how the music and the pictures synergize to form something truly life-altering in terms of the impact art can have. This all might sound like hyperbole but it isn't, hard as that may be to believe if you're unfamiliar with this film... I have posted the full, never-completely-issued score -- sourced from a 16/44 transfiguration of the super-high-resolution audio from the Blu-Ray disc -- so you can get familarized if you as yet aren't.
Philip Glass
Koyaanisqatsi (complete OST)
1982

01 Koyaanisqatsi
02 Organic
03 Clouds
04 Resource
05 Vessels
06 Pruitt Igoe
07 Slo-Mo People I
08 Slo-Mo People II
09 The Grid
10 Microchip
11 Prophecies
12 Translations & Credits

Total time: 1:25:33

425 MB FLAC here
I am not posting mp3s of the Koyaanisqatsi score because it's Blu-Ray audio intended as a audiophile experience, and I apologize in advance for that snobbery. Regardless of the impact on your bandwidth, this has been a pair of days to celebrate a trilogy of musical luminaries, all born at the very end of January and sent to bring us the most sublime sounds, so I hope these posts will have gotten your weekend off to a Philtastic start :) --J.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Get Your Phil, Day One: From Genesis to Domination

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I sat down this afternoon after a trip to the Credit Union, and I challenged myself. You know me, you know I am a congenital compiler and I love to put together these sort of mixtapes. Sometimes I put them on this blog and rock silently back and forth in the chair afterwards, anticipating the RIAA SWAT team parachuting in at any time to take me to Guantanamo Bay for posting copyrighted stuff.
So today I got home with several Vietnamese sandwiches (Banh=Mi) and dared myself to come up with an instant aggregation of tracks in honor of today's birthday lad, one of the world's most famous musicians. It got going (OK, this was an easy one because I am an indisputable Genesis expert) and just a couple of hours hence, look what I have brought you.
I have a confession to make: the two times I met this man, I was rotten to him for absolutely no reason, other than the excuse that I was 19 at the time. I treated him with such dismissive derision and mockery, even Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford were cracking up and making fun of him. This is something I've regretted ever since, even though it's something he probably gets a lot of... blamed as he often is -- and wrongly so -- for taking Genesis down the pure primrose path of puerile pop in the 1980s. Also not really his fault, as there were actually other folks in the band doing precisely the same thing.
Be all that as it may, no one who's been doing this music shit for as long as he has deserves that kind of treatment, so if I met him now I'd apologize even though he likely has no memory of those two days in 1986. You get older, you start to appreciate how hard it all is: the revolting music "industry" riven with sycophants and thieves, the endless touring that destroys your marriage by taking you away from your family 9 months a year, the assholes accosting you in front of your bandmates and needling you about your artistic choices in life.
So here we are: three Phils born over the course of these two days, the 30th and the 31st. The subject of this post (there'll be another, entirely different Phil or two tomorrow) is 63 years young today and I was pleased to hear that he's better after injuring himself on the last G tour, apparently playing Los Endos at the drums like a man 40 years his junior. This prog rock stuff'll kill you if you're not in shape to play it, I'll tell you what. Sometimes even if you are.
This disc tells a small part of the story, almost exclusively through B-sides and unusual tracks on other peoples' LPs from the period leading to him blowing up the world with his first two solo records in the early 1980s. You even get my (seamless, labor-intensive and entirely unnecessary) edit that joins It's Yourself (a Genesis B-side left off of A Trick of the Tail) with its lost mate, the aforementioned Los Endos. And an absolutely devastating version of Ripples (originally from the same album) taken from an unreleased 1980 live set documenting the legendary Genesis residence at the Lyceum Theatre in May of 1980 that blows my socks clean off every time.
I stuck to tracks where he's front and center singing, as well as a few live selections where he does that and then sprints back to the kit to flail mercilessly until it's time to sing again. This isn't meant to be anything but a representation of some of the weirder tracks people are less likely to be familiar with... sorry in advance for not including any of the Brian Eno cuts he plays on where Brand X is the backing group, but I was trying to focus on vocal stuff from before he fell into the fluff generator. All in all, this is a great tape, even if I just put it together this afternoon on the fly, straight off the top of my pointed little head.
 Phil Collins
You Might Recall
1973-1980

01 Star of Sirius (Steve Hackett, 1975)
02 Vancouver (Genesis, 1978)
03 God If I Saw Her Now (Anthony Phillips, 1977)
04 You Might Recall (Genesis, 1980)
05 Inside and Out (Genesis, 1977)
06 Entangled (Genesis live, 1976)
07 Don't Make Waves (Brand X, 1979)
08 Which Way the Wind Blows (Anthony Phillips, 1977)
09 More Fool Me (Genesis live, 1973)
10 Ripples (Genesis live, 1980)
11 The Fountain of Salmacis (Genesis live, 1978)
12 It's Yourself (Genesis 1976) >
13 Los Endos (Genesis 1976)
14 Silver Song (Anthony Phillips, 1974)

Total time: 1:19:34

498 MB FLAC here
180 MB 320K mp3 here
Love him or hate him, you can't deny that he is still one of the most fluid and powerful drummers on Earth, and as a vocalist he's made literally trillions of middle-aged housewives swoon at the mere thought of his solo catalog. So please accept this assembly of tracks from before he was such a household name and celebrate with me the life and work of Phil Collins, born January 30, 1951. --J.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chasing the Dream: A Baumann Gilead

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Yes, this day. It's the 61st anniversary of the birth of one of my favorite electronic musicians: erstwhile Tangerine Dreamer (and founder of the Private Music label) Peter Baumann, who made some pretty epochal records of his own in the late 1970s and early 1980s in addition to his essential contributions to TD, when he was a member of that gargantuan group from 1971-77.
In honor of PB I stayed up all night and put together an excellent little mixtape, made up of tracks from his cornerstone LPs of back then. As I was doing this, I was struck by how modern the songs all sound, with formative fingerprints in the birth of electronica and techno abundant. The fact that all his material has been out of print for literally decades is so unfair... I guess the pioneers always do get scalped in one way or another.
But no matter that his albums have gone unreissued since 1990 -- what's a quarter century between friends, anyway? -- and that one of his best ones hasn't ever been reissued at all. That's what pristine vinyl transfers are for right? This compilation pulls out all the stops. It helps of course to have the (long, long, long) out-of-print CDs of his albums that do exist. This is some of my favorite electronic stuff and it's some of the most accessible of the Tangerine Dream oeuvre, so its absence from the racks has me a little chuffed, I admit.
Like I said, it matters little what the records companies do or don't do. If you want to hear what this kind of music sounded like when the folks who invented it were doing so, this CD is highly recommended. The sequencer technology at the heart of modern electronic music was only commissioned by these people to be built in the first place, after all. If you were wondering who put the ARP in arpeggio, you have just found your answer.
 Peter Baumann
Meridian Moorland
1976-1983

01 This Day
02 Romance
03 What Is Your Use?
04 The Third Site
05 M.A.N. Series Two
06 Bicentennial Present
07 Strangers In the Night
08 Chasing the Dream
09 Kinky Dinky
10 Biking Up the Strand
11 Daytime Logic
12 Meadow of Infinity (part 2)
13 Brain Damage
14 Meridian Moorland
15 The 4:08 to Paris (Berlin Express)
16 Phase By Phase
17 Repeat Repeat
18 Dance At Dawn

Total time: 1:18:43

443 MB FLAC here
177 MB 320K mp3 here
This assembly turned out really well (if I do say so myself), so if you're at all inclined it simply could not come with a more elevated recommendation and is, of course, not sold in stores. Someday these records will get the deluxe reissue treatment musical royalty such as this deserves, but until then you are welcome to give this CD a spin or ten, by way of birthday celebration of Herr Baumann. They call it the Berlin School of Electronic Music, but an education never sounded this awesome ;) --J.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? 5.3.1919 - 1.27.2014

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Such sad news: Pete Seeger -- for all intents and purposes, the father of American folk music -- passed away yesterday at the age of 94. There's not much I could write that would do justice to someone this influential and formative in terms of the musical traditions we take for granted, but which he helped to establish and preserve. I will let this post be both a moment of silence for Pete, who fought like some sort of galactic-class lion against brutality and injustice his entire life, and a celebration of him doing what he did best: entertaining the masses with songs of hope, liberation, worker solidarity, environmental concern and the ongoing quest for human dignity. Please enjoy these two concerts -- both benefits, of course -- from the mid-1970s, which find him at the top of his game and say so much more than I ever could about the large and luminous legacy he leaves.
Pete Seeger

Benefit for "Sing Out" magazine
Bottom Line
New York City, NY
5.13.1974

01 intro
02 Well May the World Go
03 Which Side Are You On
04 The Mexican Blues
05 Twelve Gates to the City
06 Mary Don't You Weep
07 Hawe Mawee
08 Early Morning
09 Hobo's Lullaby
10 You Gave Me Hope
11 Guantanamera
12 We Are Five Thousand
13 The Commonwealth of Toil
14 She Swallowed the Lie
15 A Time to Try the Soul of Man
16 Jacob's Ladder
17 Up And Down the River

Total time: 1:00:27

In Concert for Chile
Royal Albert Hall
 London, UK 
3.7.1978

01 Intro 
02 You've Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley
03 Garbage
04 Victor Jara
05 Estadio Chile
06 Guantanamera
07 The Wagoner's Lad
08 Song of a Strike
09 Photographer's Ballad
10 Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
11 If I Had a Hammer
12 BBC radio closing
13 Draft Dodger Rag (bonus track) 

(track 13 is Pete Seeger & Fred Hellerman, recorded at Memorial Concert for Phil Ochs, Felt Forum, NYC 5.28.1976)

Total time: 43:00

sourced from original reels recorded from FM radio
478 MB FLAC here
You've got to walk that lonesome valley
 you've got to walk it by yourself
 there's no one here can walk it for you
you've got to go there by yourself

Saturday, January 25, 2014

(Three Stages of) Ettamology: 1.25.1938 - 1.20.2012

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All right, happy Saturday Night! We are gathered here this evening to party down to some lowdown dirty funky blues -- not one, not two, but three smokin' sets by today's birthday woman for the ages, Miss Etta James, ladies and gentlemens.
Etta would have been 76 today but she lived a great life spreading love and music, so the purpose isn't sadness. Hers was a Blues of power and upliftedness anyway, and you'll hear her in these three different concerts command the stage and blow the audiences through the respective roofs with what she is laying down. The impression is of delirium, with everyone on the stage and in the audience in a kind of fervent ecstasy. Even the slower, more melancholic songs carry a sense of churchified redemption and salvation. No tears being shed here... maybe a few tears of Joy.
In W.O.M.A.N., she says, "I'm a WOMAN y'all, and I ain't lyin'!" and that about sums it up. If music is truth, Etta James never told a lie over a storied career of six decades, and these live sets cook with furious abandon in keeping with that established tradition.
I really like the song selection in these shows... Etta wasn't just a gutbucket Blues diva of monumental proportions, she was an interpreter of songs ranging far and wide. Here we get songs made famous by Randy Newman, Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones and The Eagles, among others. This is where the electric meets the eclectic, and the end results are epically effervescent indeed.
This is Etta at the absolute peak of her powers: 101% funk, soul and Blues with a capital B through and through. The Seattle set was recorded by the soundman at the desk with a mono feed straight to the legendary taperpat's reel-to-reel deck, while the Montreux and Oakland sets are from master tapes recorded directly off FM radio back when such things were common sport among music enthusiasts. The Switzerland segment features grooves so deep I almost needed a ladder to get back up on my feet.
I really like the mix of the Oakland Arena bit a lot, and not just because I spend a big chunk of my summers living and dying with baseball games that are played just across the parking lot from there. Some people say this show took place downtown in the old Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium, and it may well have, but to my ears it sounds like the bigger Arena and not the 3,000-seater. Either way, it's New Year's Eve and the whole place is going consistently berzerk as Etta storms through a wild, jammy set fronting the Dead, augmented further (furthur?) by the horn section from Oakland's own Tower of Power. Old acquaintance is definitely not forgot in that one... or any of these three monster sets, that much is certain.
Etta James
Montreux 1977 - Seattle 1980 - Oakland 1982

I.
Montreux Jazz Festival
Casino
Montreux, Switzerland
7.9.1977

01 Groove Me Baby
02 At Last/Trust In Me/Sunday Kind of Love
03 You Can Leave Your Hat On
04 Sail Away
05 Rock Me Baby
06 Tell Mama

FM broadcast from master tape
Total time: 38:02

II.
Bumbershoot Festival
Seattle Coliseum Center
Seattle, WA
8.31.1980

01 Instrumental
02 I Just Wanna Make Love to You
03 Take It to the Limit
04 Baby What You Want Me to Do
05 Piece of My Heart
06 I'd Rather Go Blind
07 W.O.M.A.N./Shake Your Booty
08 Miss You
09 Sugar On the Floor

mono soundboard feed, original reels
Total time: 1:02:01

III.
Oakland Arena (or possibly Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium)
Oakland, CA
12.31.1982
with The Grateful Dead and the Tower of Power horns

01 Turn On Your Lovelight
02 Tell Mama
03 Baby What You Want Me to Do
04 stage banter
05 Hard to Handle
06 Midnight Hour

FM broadcast from master tape
Total time: 28:05

total 769 MB FLAC here
Just a note: if you are using 20th Century media and want to burn these to CDs, the 1977 and 1982 sets fit on one of those and the Seattle fits on another. Anyway I hope you have a Saturday night as blazing as these raw, stomping concerts from our birthday celebratee Ms. James here! She may be gone but when you check out these shows you'll see why ain't nowbodhi forgetting.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mallets Aforethought: Birthday Burton at Balve

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It's time for some good vibrations! Gary Burton -- along with the monumental Bobby Hutcherson, perhaps the world's greatest living exponent of the vibraphone -- turns 71 today, so I am posting a delicious 1974 set of his Quintet from back then. This one is perfect for a snowy day even though it was recorded at a jazz festival in (then West) Germany in the summertime, and it features an early appearance by none other than guitar maestro Pat Metheny, alongside another six-string savant, the awesome Mick Goodrick... both members of Gary's group at the time.
This is such elegant, beautifully articulated music; it just mellows you out no matter what your mood. In addition to Gary and the guitars, the rhythm section is cooking with bass beast Steve Swallow (really one of my favorite bassists ever) and legendary drummer Bob Moses in the fold. As far as the sound goes, this festival was professionally recorded (I also have the insane Pork Pie set with Charlie Mariano and Jasper Van't Hof going wild in face-frying fusion mode, which I'll share at some point in the near future) and it shows. I can think of 100 officially released live records that don't sound half as incredible as this does... it is truly a bootleg in name only and you'd never know you weren't listening to a meticulously captured, real album.
The whole thing has this understated, resonant groove to it... I guess vibes bring that out because the tones are so round and sustainy, taking forever to decay away like they do. To this end, Metheny and Goodrick complement each other so well, with Goodrick taking the more chorused, processed tone and Pat the more straight ahead, pure sound for which he is famous. In all truth I don't think I've ever heard a Gary Burton group set I didn't dig, and this one right here is absolutely no exception to that rule.
Back on the rhythm section side, Steve Swallow shines brightly as well; you can hear four bars of his playing and know it's him, which is no mean feat for a bass player. Bob Moses is another one: every note and fill is so totally sympathetic to the other players and so supportive of the soloists. All in all this is immaculate music made by the most immaculate, heavyweight musicians, all of whom are among the finest in the world at their respective instruments and the overall craft. No need for flashing lights and scantily-clad dancers here... not that there's anything wrong with the occasional scantily-clad dancer.
Gary Burton Quintet
Jazzfest Balve
Balver Höhle, Germany, NDR
7.28.1974

01 introduction
02 Sea Journey
03 Falling Grace 
04 Three 
05 applause & tuning
06 The Colors Of Chloë/Doin' The Pig
07 Grow Your Own
08 Ballet
09 Como En Vietnam
10 Moonchild/In Your Quiet Place
11 Desert Air

Total time: 1:14:19

Gary Burton - vibraphone
Mick Goodrick - guitar
Pat Metheny - guitar
Steve Swallow - electric bass
Bob Moses - drums

sourced from original soundboard reels
456 MB FLAC here
So if you are into a jazz vibe (or if you're into the jazz vibes, or both), I'd advise grabbing this and throwing it on whilst you watch the snow silently falling outside your window. Gary Burton -- still around after well over 50 years since his first record -- is a birthday boy worth celebrating and in light of this incredible recording, I'm sure you will be inclined to agree. --J.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Alliance Share: Stone to the Bone

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I’m like Sweetie Pie by the Stone Alliance
Everybody knows I'm known for dropping science
 
Hello, yeah it's been awhile. Not much; how 'bout you? I've been sick with the flu, with a lotta work to do, but I am coming out of hibernation to wish the best of 63rd birthdays to Steve Grossman... his records both as a leader and with various bands over nearly the last half century establish his reputation as one of the finest tenor saxists currently breathing. If you have ever heard Miles at Fillmore or Black Beauty -- two incendiary electric Miles Davis LPs from 1970 featuring a then-teenaged SG -- you'll know what I'm talking about... and those are just a few of the first forays in a far-reaching career. Be assured that the Beastie Boys don't go name checking you in a song if you don't get down.
This particular group (immortalized in the Beasties' hip-hop classic Root Down) -- and especially this little composite set I put together from their global tour in 1977 -- burns with a searing, sizzling fire. Steve is more than colossal enough as he attempts to blow the roof clean off of each place they are playing with just a single tenor horn and two lungs at his disposal, but the rhythm section funks so crispy that you could probably fry an egg on Don Alias' kickdrum as well. And the basslines, oh my goodness gracious. Gene Perla, who played with Grossman on so many of those impeccable Elvin Jones records in the early '70s, feels his Fender with titanic tone and slinky, sensual ostinati to make heads bob at 50 paces. If it's the most furious viscerealities fusion has to offer and it's total tenor madness over the fattest funk this side of the favela you crave, you better press that button down below and get your weekend started off in forthright fashion. These gentlemen aren't kidding around and this is in no way "smooth jazz".
 
Our disc here is compiled from three separate gigs. Several of the song titles were wrong, but the recordings themselves are top notch. I basically took all three and distilled them down to an imaginary concert where all but one of the tunes contained in the trilogy are represented. A slight bit of editing was employed (see if you can spot where) so every other track wouldn't have a ten minute drum solo in it... although I left the best solo bits in, especially the wild bass excursion in Zulu Stomp and the extended, epic drum voyage by Don Alias in Samba de Negro. I also restored the first few bars of Arfonk, which were missing in a fade up, by utilizing a little bit of precise loopiness. Again, none of this matters and you'd never be able to spot where I did these things if I hadn't told you; the point is that this is some of the most fucked-up, heaviest groove music ever made by human jazz musicians and if you wanna funk and funk hard, this is one-stop bopping here.
Stone Alliance
Live in Bremen, Buenos Aires and Amsterdam
1977

01 Vaya Mulatto
02 Risa
03 Miss T.
04 Zulu Stomp
05 In It
06 Samba de Negro
07 Creepin'
08 Arfonk
09 Aunt Remus
10 Taurus People
11 King Tut
12 Sweetie Pie

Total time: 1:19:24

Steve Grossman - tenor saxophone
Gene Perla - electric bass
Don Alias - drums & percussion

477 MB FLAC here
178 MB 320K mp3 here
This music is hard to describe, but if I had to pin it down I'd say it's like a power trio, only instead of shredding guitars you get the face-melting sax of the Birthday Boy Mr. G. It's got hard bop elements (twisty, oddly melodic head segments and a fair share of straight-ahead bits where he goes even crazier), lots of Latin aspects (Vaya Mulatto and Samba de Negro delve deeply) and of course it funks you right to your face over and over until your hips can't take it anymore and your sacrum cries out for "Aunt Remus!" cuz ol' Uncle ain't around. So please do join me in celebrating one of Planet Earth's most brain-blowing reed players in some of the most dazzling, intense music you'll ever hear anyone play. You'll thank me later, Sweetie Pie. --J.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Look Back in Anger: Jimmy Page, the Manson Family and "Lucifer Rising"

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James Patrick Page: 1960s session legend, Yardbird, Led Zeppelin guitar maestro. Charter partner at The Firm. And a septugenarian as of today. If you watch The Song Remains the Same from 1973, you'd doubt that he'd have made it to 40, no less 70... but nevertheless, here he is. I was watching the O2/London concert of Led Zep called "Celebration Day" from 2007, and I have to say he sounded sharper and better than in any of those old films. I guess lack of drugs and alcohol has its benefits after all!
I said to myself, what should I put up for this occasion? Not that there's a thing wrong with a standard issue unreleased Zeppelin soundboard from 1977, but I thought that wasn't, well, occult and weird enough for such a momentous milestone as 70. Then, it hit me.
The tales of the Jimmy Page-Kenneth Anger creative partnership and its collapse are legion, as are the details of how the film was made and how someone doing a life sentence in a maximum security prison for murder came to do the final music for it. The short version -- OK, the medium-sized version -- goes something like this.
In 1967 Kenneth Anger -- author of the Hollywood Babylon book series and absolutely one of the most out-there filmmakers of the 20th century -- began shooting Lucifer Rising in the Bay Area. His friend Bobby Beausoleil was supposed to star in the film and compose the soundtrack, and work was begun on filming. By 1969 the project had fallen apart, with Anger using the footage he had shot in another film called Invocation of My Demon Brother, and Beausoleil -- who just happened to have joined what came to be termed The Charles Manson Family -- was sent to jail for the (allegedly drug-related) killing of Gary Hinman, a music teacher. This was the first murder attributed to members of Manson's inner circle. It would not, obviously, be the last.
Enter Jimmy Page, whom Anger conscripted to take up the musical score for a resurrected Lucifer Rising sometime in 1970. Page delivered 20 minutes of music, but the famously irascible filmmaker needed another five minutes and insisted. As the legend goes, Page failed to ever deliver the additional music, even though Anger was living in Page's castle in Scotland by this time. The two fought and fell out, with Anger accusing the guitarist of being "a spoiled junkie," among other less-than-flattering public statements.
Anger took the film around to investors with the Page score appended to it anyway, trading on the composer's fame and notoriety to secure funding to complete the movie. During this time, he also secured permission for the incarcerated Beausoleil to complete the score... it would be recorded in the California State Prison at Tracy between 1975 and 1978, and comprise the full soundtrack of the film, which was eventually finished and released in 1980. The Jimmy Page score was abandoned and remained unreleased officially for decades.
On March 20, 2012 (the Vernal Equinox), Page released a super-limited run of his music for the film on red vinyl, through his website. There were 418 copies (a number with huge Kabbalistic significance, apparently) and 93 copies were signed (more Kabbalah numerology). It was not issued on CD and the small run of records sold out in minutes. It hasn't appeared since, and likely won't. So today, in honor of the composer's 70th b'day, here is an imagined "complete score" for Lucifer Rising, comprising a pristine vinyl transfer of the red record and also the Bobby Beausoleil music used in the actual final film, which was issued in 2004 from the master tapes but has since gone out-of-print.
Of course this music has little to do with Led Zeppelin, but it's brilliant in its own right for certain. You could even say that Page singlehandedly invents the Dark Ambient genre on these recordings, with very shamanistic tablas, stabbing Mellotrons and Eastern-sounding drones abundant. As for the B. Beausoleil score, it's of a piece with the Page music, surely, but has a more psychedelic, "rock" instrumentation with organs and drums and Pink Floyd-ish guitars weaving through it all. Both fit snugly on a single CD for those into ancient Egyptian media!
Lucifer Rising: deluxe OST
music associated with and from the film by Kenneth Anger

01 Jimmy Page - Lucifer Rising
02 Jimmy Page - Incubus
03 Jimmy Page - Damask
04 Jimmy Page - Unharmonics
05 Jimmy Page - Damask-Ambient
06 Jimmy Page - Lucifer Rising-Percussive Return
07 Bobby Beausoleil - Lucifer Rising, Part I
08 Bobby Beausoleil - Lucifer Rising, Part II
09 Bobby Beausoleil - Lucifer Rising, Part III
10 Bobby Beausoleil - Lucifer Rising, Part IV
11 Bobby Beausoleil - Lucifer Rising, Part V
12 Bobby Beausoleil - Lucifer Rising, Part VI

Total time: 1:15:26

1-6 from Jimmy Page, "Lucifer Rising and Other Soundtracks" LP, recorded 1971-73, issued 2012

7-12 from Bobby Beausoleil, "Lucifer Rising" original soundtrack, recorded 1975-78, issued 2004

169 MB 320K mp3s here
  380 MB FLAC here
Hope you enjoy this one... don't let it spook you out too harshly! Really, it's pretty melodious music for a movie about, well, Lucifer. And of course the purpose of this post is to celebrate and wish a very happy 70th birthday to the Maestro himself, Mr. James Patrick Page. --J.