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Relax, everyone: A disco version of Cream’s ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ is here to save us all


The cover of Rosetta Stone’s single featuring their version of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.”
 
I’m going to do something I love doing here on Dangerous Minds—taking you back to the 1970s when everything was cool. Today’s time machine post concerns Irish band and sort of one-hit-wonders, Rosetta Stone (not be confused with UK goth-rock outfit Rosetta Stone, naturally).

Formed by three brothers, Damian, Terry, and Colin McKee, the lineup of what would later become Rosetta Stone also included the trio’s pal, future Bay City Rollers guitarist Ian Mitchell. After going through a few different names for the band like Bang and the poorly chosen moniker Albatross, they started calling themselves Young City Stars sometime in the mid-70s. Young City Stars opened a gig for the Bay City Rollers in Belfast in 1975, and Mitchell would leave his school friends to join them in 1976. The rigor of non-stop touring and media attention was a bit much for Mitchell, and he would return to his roots with Young City Stars bringing with him the support of the machinery behind the Rollers. After changing their name to Rosetta Stone they would sign with Private Stock (Blondie, Stevie Wonder, Nancy Sinatra)—a label formed by Larry Uttal after getting ousted by Clive Davis from his role with Bell Records.
 

Rosetta Stone.
 
In 1977 Rosetta Stone released a 7’ single with Private Stock—a disco-pop version of Cream’s 1967 psychedelic smash “Sunshine of your Love.” The band got some pretty good traction from their boogie-worthy interpretation of the song and got to perform it on Marc Bolan’s short-lived television show, Marc. Rosetta Stone would follow up with a full-length, Rock Pictures later in 1978 (which included “Sunshine of Your Love” as well as a cover of The Kinks “You Really Got Me”) and a second album in 1979, Caught in the Act. Shortly after the release of Caught in the Act, Mitchell would split from the band again, this time for good.

I have to tell you, Rosetta Stone’s cover of “Sunshine of Your Love” is really out there, and I’m sure some of you will think it’s utter trash.

Watch and listen to Rosetta Stone, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.14.2018
05:00 pm
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Prog rock starts around here: The legendary Pete Brown and Piblokto! live on French TV
10.09.2015
10:13 am
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Piblokto is an Inuit word describing a “dissociative fugue state, usually occurring in Inuit women, in which the afflicted person screams, tears off her clothes, and runs out into the snow; afterward, she has no memory of the episode.” Piblokto! is also the name of a band fronted by Pete Brown between 1969 and 1971.

Pete Brown is one of those rare mavericks who really should be a household name, but for whatever reason the gods of rock, the furies, luck, life or what you may call it, didn’t always give Brown and his talents the rewards he so justly deserves.

Brown is a poet, a lyricist, a musician, a composer, a songwriter, a singer—the man Eric Clapton described as the “fourth member” of supergroup Cream. It was through Cream that Brown first came to recognition as the lyricist for Jack Bruce on such hits as “Sunshine Of Your Love,” “White Room,” “I Feel Free,” and “Politician.” Brown’s success with Cream led him to form his own band, Pete Brown and His Battered Ornaments, which included Chris Spedding among its ranks. With the Battered Ornaments, Brown released the influential album A Meal You Can Shake Hands With In The Dark.
 
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Pete Brown and Piblokto!
 
In 1969, the Rolling Stones booked Brown and co. as support for their free Hyde Park concert. The prospect of world recognition never seemed so certain—but life is never so straightforward or so easy.

The day before appearing on stage with the Stones, Brown was ruthlessly kicked out of his own band. Even worse, his vocals were excised from the Battered Ornaments’ album Mantlepiece and replaced by Spedding’s.

Some may have given up, but not Brown, who formed a new band Pete Brown and Piblokto! releasing two albums Things May Come and Things May Go but the Art School Dance Goes on Forever and Thousands On A Raft in 1970.
 
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Piblokto!‘s music was a pioneering fusion of poetry, folk, rock, jazz, prog, and for these two albums alone, Brown and his fellow musicians (Jim Mullen, guitar; Dave Thompson, keyboards; Steve Glover, bass; Rob Tait, drums) should have been overnight sensations—but again, it didn’t quite work out that way.

The band split and Brown went on to collaborate with Graham Bond on the album Two Heads Are Better Than One, before forming two new groups Brown and Friends then the Flying Tigers. In some respects his moment had passed, and with the arrival of punk, Brown returned to writing, this time producing television dramas and screenplays.
 
After the jump, three videos about Pete Brown and Piblokto!......
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.09.2015
10:13 am
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R.I.P. Jack Bruce of Cream
10.25.2014
12:22 pm
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This morning, the home page of the great British blues/rock bassist Jack Bruce announced his passing, of unspecified causes.
 

 
Bruce was of course best known as the bassist and singer of Cream, the heavy blues-rock band of the late ‘60s that is justly credited with contributing to the invention of heavy metal, and which also featured guitarist Eric Clapton and completely insane drummer Ginger Baker. After that band’s dissolution, Bruce was the only band member not to join Blind Faith, instead pursuing a career playing bass in jazz and blues trios, and working solo, and notably, he was the bassist on almost all of Lou Reed’s high-watermark album Berlin.

Just six months ago, Bruce released his first solo album in over ten years, Silver Rails. It will presumably be his last word, though there will surely be some posthumous blood-from-a-stone compilations in the offing. There’s excellent background info on Bruce’s early career (and terrific recent interview footage with him) in the must-see Ginger Baker documentary Beware of Mr. Baker, which is streaming on Netflix. The 1969 documentary on Bruce, Rope Ladder To The Moon details his early solo career. You can watch it here. Among other great performance moments to be seen here, about 17 minutes in there’s some SCORCHING live footage of Bruce playing upright jazz bass with Dick Heckstall-Smith and John Hiseman of the British prog/jazz/rock band Colosseum. The song is “Over the Cliff” from the 1970 LP Things We Like. Naturally there’s Cream footage included, as well.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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10.25.2014
12:22 pm
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Ella Fitzgerald’s totally swingin’ cover of Cream’s ‘Sunshine of Your Love’
09.11.2014
09:10 pm
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In one of those often unitentionally goofy attempts of an older, established artist trying to be hep with the young cats and kittens, the great Ella Fitzgerald recorded a live set in 1969 with Ernie Hecksher’s Big Band and the Tommy Flanagan Trio in San Francisco where she mixed some pop standards of the day with some perhaps more avant garde choices. Well, at least one…

It’s fairly innocuous stuff for the most part (Bacharch and David, Lennon McCartney) but who would have expected the First Lady of Song to cover Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love”? And yet cover it she did. It’s not too bad, either. In fact, Fitzgerald made it the album’s title and a part of her live act for a while, even performing this improbable number during her concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival that year:
 

 
Thank you kindly Michael Simmons!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.11.2014
09:10 pm
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‘Superstars In Concert’: Jimi, Cream, Rolling Stones, Ike & Tina Turner & more in obscure classic


 
When the question of “What’s the best/great rockumentary of all?” is asked, the answers can range quite widely obviously, from something like Don’t Look Back or Let It Be to The Last Waltz or Stop Making Sense (which both seem to make almost everyone’s lists) to something totally out of left field and life-affirming like Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King. I really loved the new Pulp: a Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets... and wouldn’t “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” be in the running for all-time best rockumentary? Of course it would be!

It’s an impossible question to answer, but sidestepping it somewhat, if I had to pick the best overall “time capsule” of the rock era to preserve for future generations, it would probably be Peter Clifton’s Superstars In Concert.  Also known as Rock City in a different edit, the film was directed and produced by Clifton (The Song Remains the Same, Popcorn, The London Rock and Roll Show) and is a hodge-podge compiling (mostly) his promotional short films and snippets of concert performances shot between 1964 and 1973 by the likes of Peter Whitehead (Wholly Communion, Charlie Is My Darling, Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London), Michael Cooper (who shot Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising), Ernest Vincze (the cinematographer responsible for the 2005 Doctor Who reboot) and Ivan Strasburg (Treme).
 

 
Featured in the film are The Rolling Stones (several times), Eric Burdon and The Animals, a typically demure appearance of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Otis Redding bringing the house down, Cream, Steve Winwood, Blind Faith, Cat Stevens (a stark Kubrickian promo film for his “Father and Son” single) , The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Donovan, Joe Cocker, a segment with The Ike and Tina Turner Revue that will bring a smile to your face, Pink Floyd and Rod Stewart and the Faces. Pete Townshend is seen getting in his digs at the Stones for promoting pot use, managing to make himself look like a blue-nosed twat in the process, while Mick and the boys are seen doing “Jumpin Jack Flash” in the (decidedly more evil) warpaint version of that promo film (there were two, this is the one that was NOT shown on The Ed Sullivan Show for obvious reasons) and in their promo film for “We Love You” which features Keef in a judge’s wig, Marianne Faithfull as a barrister and Mick nude wrapped up in a fur rug (a sly joke that if you don’t get, then google “Rolling Stones,” “Redlands,” drug bust, her name and “Hershey Bar.”)

Superstars In Concert came out in Japan on the laserdisc format and that’s how I first saw it, in the late 80s. Since then, other than the various clips showing up cut from the film on YouTube, it’s remained an obscurity. Apparently there was a Malaysian bootleg and then in 2003 a Brazilian magazine called DVD Total gave away the film for free with one of their issues. So far fewer than 200 people have viewed the video.

DO NOT miss what’s perhaps the most intense version of Pink Floyd’s “Careful with That Axe Eugene” ever captured on film. This entire film is absolutely amazing from start to finish, but it jumps off the scale during that part (Otis Redding is no slouch, either!) I highly recommend letting it load first before you hit play, otherwise it’s kind of flickery. If you wait a while, it doesn’t hang up and looks and sounds great.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.29.2014
03:01 pm
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‘The Man Behind the Bass’: Excellent documentary on the legendary Jack Bruce

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You can never judge a man by his knitwear, as Jack Bruce proves in this documentary Jack Bruce: The Man Behind the Bass, in which the legendary musician returns to his homeland of Scotland, to give a guided tour through his life and career, and re-interprets 6 of his classic songs. Here are the ingredients:

Jack Bruce fronted the Sixties supergroup Cream alongside Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, and has played with everyone from Marvin Gaye to Jimi Hendrix and from Lulu to Lou Reed. ArtWorks tells the story of his life, from childhood in Scotland to global superstardom, through some of Jack’s favourite songs and with contributions from Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Flea of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Adam Clayton of U2.

The story encompasses some of the biggest riffs and rifts in rock, taking in family tragedy, drugs and near death. A specially chosen set of six songs mark crucial moments in Jack’s life, including Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love”. Jack rerecorded the tracks with some of Scotland’s finest musicians including folk trio Lau, percussionist Jim Sutherland, keyboard player Andy May, guitarist Taj Wyzgowski, drummer Chris Peacock, his nephew Nico Bruce on bass and string ensemble Mr McFall’s Chamber.

This is an excellent documentary, which showcases some of the best of the brilliant Jack Bruce.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

‘Rope Ladder to the Moon’: Solo genius from Cream’s Jack Bruce


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.09.2012
08:18 pm
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Rope Ladder to the Moon: Solo genius from Cream’s Jack Bruce
07.30.2012
11:38 am
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After Cream broke up, bassist extraordinaire Jack Bruce went on to release Songs for a Tailor, his 1969 solo record. Songs for a Tailor is a stunning collection of brass and bass-led jazz-rock fusion, a sound that traveled (quite) far from the heavy rock sound Bruce was known for in Cream. The songs were co-written with Pete Brown, the poet and lyricist with whom Bruce wrote many of Cream’s most memorable songs.

Although Songs for a Tailor was well-received by fans and critics upon its initial release, it remained somewhat of an undiscovered gem until its CD re-release in 2003. The best known song from the album, is the gorgeous Theme For An Imaginary Western, but not Bruce’s version, rather the cover by Leslie West’s Mountain.

Bruce went on to re-record and refine every number on Songs for a Tailor throughout his career, save for one.

Below, Bruce performs “Rope Ladder to the Moon” solo, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. If you don’t like this, you don’t like music, it’s as simple as that:
 

 
After the jump, a live performance of “Never Tell Your Mother She’s Out of Tune”...

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.30.2012
11:38 am
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Cream’s Farewell Concert, 1968


 
Farewell Concert is a documentation of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker’s final concert performance together as Cream at the Royal Albert Hall on November 26, 1968. It was originally broadcast by the BBC in January of 1969. The film was directed by pioneering rockumentarian Tony Palmer.

Farewell Concert was always regarded as a bit shoddy due to the muddy sound, herky-jerky camera movement and the often out-of-sync editing. To say nothing of the annoying voice over and the fact that the whole thing consists of tight close-ups.

A new version of Farewell Concert was released in 2005 where the musical performance were shorn of the interviews and narration. Three songs were added and the audio was remixed to 5.1 DTS surround.

Embedding disabled, watch it on YouTube.

Posted by Richard Metzger
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06.28.2011
02:53 pm
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Rumbling 1965 drum symphony with Ginger Baker and eight session men
09.19.2010
03:44 pm
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Here’s an excellent short rhythm session featuring some of the best British drummers of the ‘60s.

It’s a scene from Gonks Go Beat, a dorky British sci-fi/musical fantasy film from 1965, featuring furry little puppets called Gonks and directed by Robert Hartford-Davis. It basically retells Romeo & Juliet on an Earth that’s been split into the freak-populated Beatland and the more straightlaced Ballad Isle. Shot on chintzy cardboard sets, the film is mostly a showcase for the all-star R&B band the Graham Bond Organisation, which featured the undersung keyboardist/singer Bond backed by a pre-Cream Ginger Baker on drums and Jack Bruce on bass, along with guitarist John McLaughlin.

Here Baker joins Bobby Graham, Alan Grindley, John Kearns, Bobby Richards, Ronnie Verrell, Andy White, Ronnie Stephenson and Arthur Mullard to pound out the jams.

YouTube ‘60s obsessive Alquit4 notes:
 

The late Bobby Graham was a top English session man. He played on thousands of records including early Kinks and Pretty Things hits. The late Ronnie Verrell was the drummer for Animal in the Muppets.
The late Ronnie Stephenson played with many top jazz stars and was also did many pop sessions.
Andy White is best known for playing on the Beatles first single ‘Love Me Do’.

 

 
Get: Gonks Go Beat (1965) [DVD]

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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09.19.2010
03:44 pm
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