Various Artists – Breakout!

Artist: Various
Genre: Rock
Title: Breakout!
Label: Columbia
Format: Vinyl

Here we have another various artists LP. This one has the distinction though of having all songs in complete versions and not edited down as found on many other LPs of this nature. Another note to this compilation album is the sound quality is rather good, which is not usually the case with such records. As one of the biggest bits of fun with LPs such as this are the songs they may contain that you had not heard before or long forgotten about. There are three such songs on this album.

Side One
1) All The Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople – If you think you are hearing David Bowie singing this, you aren’t. However “All the Young Dudes” is a song written by David Bowie for Mott The Hoople and originally recorded and released as a single by Mott the Hoople in 1972. Bowie did not start performing the song until 1973. From Wikipedia: Regarded as one of glam rock’s anthems, the song originated after Bowie came into contact with Mott the Hoople’s bassist Peter Watts and learned that the band was ready to split due to continued lack of commercial success. When the band rejected his first offer of a composition, “Suffragette City” (which later appeared on The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars), Bowie wrote “All the Young Dudes” in short order especially for them, allegedly sitting cross-legged on the floor of a room in Regent Street, London, in front of the band’s lead singer, Ian Hunter. With its dirge-like music, youth suicide references and calls to an imaginary audience, the song bore similarities to Bowie’s own “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”, the final track from Ziggy Stardust. Described as being to glam rock what “All You Need Is Love” was to the hippie era, the lyrics name-checked contemporary star T. Rex and contained references to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Bowie himself once claimed that the song was not intended to be an anthem for glam, that it actually carried a darker message of apocalypse. According to an interview Bowie gave to Rolling Stone magazine in 1973, the boys are carrying the same news that the newscaster was carrying in the song “Five Years” from Ziggy Stardust; the news being the fact that the Earth had only five years left to live. Bowie explains: “All the Young Dudes is a song about this news. It’s no hymn to the youth, as people thought. It is completely the opposite.”
2) I’d Love  To Change The World – Ten Years After – This is one of my favorite songs and the only one I really like by this artist. I view it as a protest song. This is a song by the British blues rock band Ten Years After.  From wikipedia: The song was written and sung by Alvin Lee. The song reflects the widespread confusion concerning world events in the time frame when it was written. The Vietnam War ended just three years after this song was released, hence the lyrics, “Them and us, stop the war.” One interpretation of the song, with lyrics such as “Tax the rich, feed the poor/ ’til there are no rich no more,” is that it is an ironic commentary on the standard counter-cultural position on social and political issues. Another, less sardonic interpretation, is the idea that if wealth was not controlled by an exclusive minority, then taxation would not be a matter of necessity. “I’d Love to Change the World” was the band’s highest charting single.
3) Avenging Annie – Andy Pratt – This is a new one to me. It’s an interesting song and well recorded. From Wikipedia: Andy Pratt is an American rock singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. In the 1970s, he made a number of experimental records, of which “Avenging Annie” was a commercial hit. Avenging Annie was first heard as a bootleg tape that circulated in SE New England about the summer of 1969 when there was no commercial rendition outstanding. Because of this, Pratt recorded the song commercially a few years later. The tempo and flavor changed and may have accounted for the disappointing sales, as fans did not get the recording they might have wanted.
4) Brandy – Looking Glass – I remember when this song came out. I don’t know why, but I hated it then and still do. From Wikipedia: “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” is a 1972 song written and composed by Elliot Lurie and recorded by Lurie’s band, Looking Glass, on their debut album Looking Glass. The lyrics tell of Brandy, a barmaid in a port town. She falls in love with a sailor who gives her a locket that bears his name. In the end, Brandy is left in love with “a man who’s not around.” The urban myth that Brandy was based on Mary Ellis (1750–1828), a spinster in New Brunswick, New Jersey, has been refuted by Lurie himself. Barry Manilow’s 1974 “Mandy” was a cover of a song originally titled “Brandy”, released in February 1972 by Scott English; however, Manilow changed the title following the success of the Looking Glass single, so as not to get the two songs confused. This song is not related to the song by Looking Glass.
5) Frankenstein – Edgar Winter Group – No music collection is complete without this song. To my knowledge there is not great quality recording of it. This one is ok though. “Frankenstein” is an instrumental by The Edgar Winter Group from their album They Only Come Out at Night. From Wikipedia: The song’s title, coined by the band’s drummer Chuck Ruff, derives from the fact that the original recording of the song was much longer than the final version, as the band would often deviate from the arrangement into less structured jams. The track required numerous edits to shorten it. The end result was pieced together from many sections of recording tape using a razor blade and splicing tape. Winter frequently refers to the appropriateness of the name also in relation to its “monster-like, lumbering beat”. (One riff was first used by Winter in the song “Hung Up”, on his jazz-oriented first album Entrance. He later tried a variation on it, “Martians” on the Standing on Rock album.) Winter played many of the instruments on the track, including keyboards, saxophone and timbales. As the release’s only instrumental cut, the song was not initially intended to be on the album, and was only included on a whim as a last-minute addition. The song features a “double” drum solo, with Ruff on drums and Winter on percussion. The song was actually performed three years previously when Edgar was playing with his older brother Johnny Winter at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970. This rare recording was recently released as one of several live bonus tracks included in the two-disc Deluxe Edition CD of Johnny Winter’s Second Winter. Rolling Stone lists it as one of the top 25 best rock instrumentals. In live performances of the song, Edgar Winter further pioneered the advancement of the synthesizer as a lead instrument by becoming the first person ever to strap a keyboard instrument around his neck, giving him the on-stage mobility and audience interaction of guitar players.

Side Two
1) Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress – The Hollies – This is another song that no music library should be without. Who doesn’t know this hit?
2) Hold Your Head Up – Argent – Another one of those quintessential seventies rock songs that should be in everyone’s collection.
3) The Cover Of The Rolling Stone – Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show – This  was a big hit for this comical rock band.
4) Thunder and Lightning – Chi Coltrane – This is another tune I had not heard before and it’s a great tune. Chi Coltrane (Chi is pronounced “shy”; born November 16, 1948) is an American rock-pop-jazz songwriter, pianist, and singer.
5) Your Mama Don’t Dance – Loggins & Messina – While this is a good recording of it, I never liked this song and I’m not a Kenny Loggins fan anyway. From Wikipedia: This song, whose refrain and first verse is done in a blues format, deals with the 1950s and 1960s lifestyle concerning the generation gap, where the parents oppose the Rock and Roll Revolution, of the younger generation, which includes the rebelliousness against the old society that monitors curfews on dating, as well as being arrested for making love with a girl in the back seat of a car, during a drive-in movie, which happens during the bridge section of the song.
6) Dead Sunk – Loudon Wainwright III – This is another new one I never heard before. To me it is a funny country song about roadkill. From Wikipedia: “Dead Skunk” is a 1972 novelty song by Loudon Wainwright III. The song is musically a simple folk song based on acoustic guitar, but accompanied by drums and strings. The lyrics describe a dead skunk in the middle of a busy road and the smell it produces for pedestrians. Wainwright said the song was an accident, written in 15 minutes.


All The Young Dudes:
Wanna hear David Bowie perform this for comparison?:

Thunder and Lightning:
Dead Skunk (I had to):


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