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What Are You Listening To?
Ken Wiley – Visage (1986)
 
[Image: R-9148705-1475619318-2593.jpeg.jpg] 

I’ve been on the receiving end of some unwanted/obscure/duplicate record store stock – vinyl freebies – lucky me! Making my way through them slowly - planning to keep only what I like and will actually listen to, and to donate the rest. This is on the to-keep list.

Chose the Jazz section as that’s what everyone labels it, but I’m not so sure. It’s contemporary and melodic instrumental, erring more on the side of soft rock than jazz IMHO, however, Ken Wiley is a French horn player and the composer of this album and he’s supported by musicians who all seem to be more involved and well-known in the jazz scene than anything else. 

That said, there are some positively rock guitar solos, lots of lovely keys, really great interesting percussion – altogether a satisfying and uplifting listen - pleasant but not dull. A good balance, I think, with no one instrument endlessly dominating, specifically not the horn, oddly enough! Or maybe not, come to think of it, as it’s a mellow sounding instrument. Quite a bit of synth too, so it’s fairly eclectic but all nicely arranged and produced, again by Ken Wiley. My pressing was made by a short-lived, now defunct SA label named Umkhonto Records, and the album seems to be available on CD too.
 
No clips on YouTube, so here’s a link to Wiley’s site if anyone’s interested in listening to samples (which are unfortunately snippets, rather than entire tracks) – should be available on Spotify as well, I expect … https://kenwiley.com/cds/

Next up, Wha-Koo!!
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson




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I would love that project
listening to a stack of unheard of artists
especially on vinyl

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(28-07-2017, 10:24)Music Head Wrote: I would love that project
listening to a stack of unheard of artists
especially on vinyl

Yes - lots of fun!
Cranking up the trusty Lenco. 
My lovely vintage baby B&O is on the blink, sadly.
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson




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WHA-KOO – Berkshire
 
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Another one of those vinyl freebies. I think “(You’re Such a) Fabulous Dancer” might have been hovering around in the deep dark recesses of my mind, but certainly nothing else Wha-Koo did and I wouldn’t have been able to put a name to the band. 

A soft rock (mostly) outfit, hailing from LA, they were short-lived – three years to be precise (’77, ’78 and ’79) during which time they made three albums, one for each year they were in business. Berkshire seems to be their most critically acclaimed record, and a bit like Rodriguez, they appear to have been more popular in Australia, Kiwiland and SA than in their native USA which may account for the locally (not very well) pressed record I now own. Confusingly, there is absolutely no correlation whatsoever between the track listing on the album cover (and on the inner sleeve) and the actual order of play on the disc! It’s never been released on CD, and I can’t figure out where the title came from, or why the bug-eyed plaid on the album cover. If anyone has any clue – please do tell!
 
There are a couple of tracks that stand out, but I’m sorry to say that on the whole – this sounds tired and dated and I will probably not listen to it again.

This was the line-up:

Bass – Peter Freiberger
Drums – Claude Pepper
Engineer – Herman Rojas
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Nick Van Maarth
Keyboards – Richard Kosinski
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Danny Douma
Lead Vocals, Tambourine – David Palmer
Percussion, Vocals – Don Francisco
Producer – Wha-Koo
Producer, Engineer – Ken Caillat

“Mother of Pearl” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amo4_HCNw4g

“(You’re Such a) Fabulous Dancer” …





On the other hand …. David Palmer, who sang lead above, also sang lead on two Steely Dan tracks from Can’t Buy a Thrill, so now I’m listening to that!



"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson




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Love this song from the movie Guess Who Smile



  Tongue ......
[Image: avatar_2186.jpg]I try to be good but I get bored   







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[Image: 220px-Elvis_Way_Down_in_the_Jungle_Room.jpeg]

ELVIS PRESLEY -  "way down: in the jungle room"  cd,  2016:

some of these tracks appear on his final studio album "moody blue",
others appear on various compilations...
but this is the first time sixteen tracks, plus bonus out-takes appear all together
on one dedicated disc...
theyre the final  recording he completed prior to his death...
recordings took place, as the title suggests, in the Jungle Room at Graceland...
some pop but mostly country tinged....
album peaked at #6 on the US country charts and made the top twenty in the UK...
a good solid album with Presley showing he still had the power in his vocals on "hurt"...
only two tracks I didn't preciously own on this collection, "the last farewell" and
"blue eyes crying in the rain"...
a very good album for those who love the country/ballad side of 1970s Presley...

these were the days when artists sang live and didn't need to use autotune to sound like their recordings!
love the almost operatic tone in his vocals when he hits that note at the end of the song!



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Jimmie Spheeris – Dragon is Dancing. What a terrible shame this man died so young. He had something special, for sure – looks like it’s fairly hard to find some of his albums and I think this is the one I’d go for first - I guess you’d label it folk rock. Also listened to his Ports of the Heart which was pretty cool, and have dipped into one or two others. I will be listening to his entire, all too brief catalogue - four studio albums, one live and one posthumous release.
 
“We Are The Mercury” from his debut album Isle of Viewhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikMheUP9W_A
 
From “Ports of the Heart” with his friend Jackson Browne doing duty on backing vocals … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ghi6SB1apmM
 
“Blown Out” from Dragon is Dancinghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKVUjrwlszQ
 
“Blue Streets” – same album … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTEASj0I3jw
 
And “Lost in the Midway” – ditto … 



"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson




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^^
I have Isle Of View and Dragon Is Dancing
love them both
think I tried to turn Jerome on to this guy
thought it might be his thing
it didn't work

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^I've really enjoyed listening to him, and the wishlist is ever expanding!

Jimmie had a cousin, Chris Spheeris who is also a composer and musician - he makes New Age/World/Electronic music which you wouldn't like at all, I'm sure, but which I'm going to be listening to a bit more.
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson




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^Or maybe not! Sounds a bit bland to me, after all.  Blush
Jimmie was more interesting.
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson




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