The Rolling Stones – Between The Buttons (UK Version) (1967) — The Ultimate Music Library (Reblog)

A review of The Rolling Stones album release in 1967 – Between The Buttons.

The Rolling Stones – Between The Buttons (UK Version) (1967) — The Ultimate Music Library

*Great review of one of the band’s perhaps less well known albums, but well worth a listen.

Roy Orbison “Crying” (1962) — AMERICA ON COFFEE (Reblog)

Crying” is a song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson for Orbison’s third studio album of the same name. Released in 1961, it was a number… … 18 more words

Roy Orbison “Crying” (1962) — AMERICA ON COFFEE

*Great artist and song. Reblogged by The Midlode Mercury.

The Beatles – 1967-1970 (1973) — The Ultimate Music Library (Reblog)

A review of the second half of The Beatles career compilation spanning from the years 1967-1970.

The Beatles – 1967-1970 (1973) — The Ultimate Music Library

The Beatles – 1962-1966 (1973) — The Ultimate Music Library (Reblog)

A review of the first half of The Beatles career retrospective from the years 1962-1966.

The Beatles – 1962-1966 (1973) — The Ultimate Music Library

*** To view details of our work, click here.

HANS REMEMBERS- SUNDAY AUGUST 30, 1970- 50 YEARS AGO — slicethelife (Reblog)

Hans Remembers- Sunday August 30, 1970- 50 Years Ago. Sometimes the ordinary obscure person is involved an event that they will be remembered by the world forever for- on November 22, 1963 that happened to a Russian-Ukrainian born-American clothing manufacturer with a home movie camera. Abraham Zapruder was his name- at the time he was […]

HANS REMEMBERS- SUNDAY AUGUST 30, 1970- 50 YEARS AGO — slicethelife

*** To view details of our work, click here.

Progressive Rock Favourites: Yes, ‘Survival’

Progressive rock, classic rock, art rock… whatever you want to call it, this is one of my favourite pieces from the early song catalogue of British band Yes — captured live from 1969.

This line up shows Peter Banks on guitar and vocals and Tony Kaye on keyboards, a year before they were replaced by Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman, forming what some still regard as the ‘classic’ Yes lineup — there have been many changes since.

Eclectic rock might be the better word for this style of music. Yes went on to be one of the very best exponents of this genre, in my opinion.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

JFK and RFK: ‘The Brothers’ by David Talbot – Book Review

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There have been many books written about John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his brother, Robert Francis Kennedy, both victims of assassination. In my opinion this is one of the best.

Impeccably researched, this book, ‘The Brothers’ (Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster), written by David Talbot, roughly covers that roller coaster period from JFK‘s inauguration on January 20 1961 to the assassination of RFK on June 6 1968. It was a relatively short period of nearly seven and a half years, yet the whole world had been transformed — and mostly not for the better in my opinion.

Disaster and Tragedy

For me what makes this book stand out is the sheer number of interviews (150+) the author has carried out, with people who were there and in the know. For example, leaders like Fidel Castro of Cuba and Che Guevara seem to emerge like more rounded figures, not merely the one dimensional characters often portrayed in most media over the last sixty years.

More than this, the author tells is it how it was: from the disaster of the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and the sheer hatred generated among those who felt the newly elected president had let their side down by refusing to provide air cover, to the short, fraught, heroic, yet ultimately ill-fated and tragic presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy in the early summer of 1968.

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Conspiracies Galore

The author does not hold back on analysing the myriad conspiracy theories either, which began to emerge largely as a result of the voluminous criticism which gradually amassed after the publication of the Warren Commission Report in September 1964. And there were other doubters from the word go.

Most intriguing of all is his description of the torture Robert Kennedy went through following his brother’s death. Attorney General to JFK, he remained in his position until August 1964 when he decided to run for Senator of New York. It’s possible that RFK may have thought he was somehow responsible for not protecting his brother more during his presidency.

Treading a Very Fine Line

What is more, for the next four and a half years, up until his own death, Bobby too harboured strong suspicions that the whole truth about his brother’s death had not yet been told.

Nevertheless, in public he always retained a consistent front in support of the conclusions of the Warren Report. He was, in effect, seemingly keeping his powder dry until such a time he could investigate further from a position of strength – namely as President of the United States.

We all know this was not to be, that the so-called ‘Kennedy Curse’ was to strike once again. However, this is a very fine book and I was left feeling that a lot more light had been cast on those often dark, crazy, tempestuous, tortuous years into which I too had been thrown.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

‘Route 66’ The Rolling Stones 1964 Classic: Music Memories

drive empty highway lane
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Imagine being a young kid in a still seemingly stuffy mid 1960s Britain. Anyone would think that even sex hadn’t been truly invented until this wild decade came along. Some of my earliest memories are of fresh, new, exciting sounds over the radio — and two emerging British rock bands in particular.

So you were either a Beatles or a Stones fan, right? Well, I liked them both. I remember when the Rolling Stones eponymous 1964 album (Decca) arrived in our little household and was put on our cheap mono turntable. I was immediately transfixed by the music.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t really know whether the Stones were British or not. My mother certainly did not like the look of them! She preferred the Beatles, particularly John Lennon‘s humour.

Route 66? And what’s Rhythm and Blues?

I didn’t know what rhythm and blues was either. I just liked what I heard and played that record until it was virtually worn out! My favourite track, and still one of my favourite Stones songs, is ‘Route 66‘.

Written by Bobby Troup, this was also my first real exposure to the idea of America and Americana in music, about travel for travelling’s sake, not an easy concept to grasp when you are born and bred in an obscure town in eastern England which was so conservative it seemed like Queen Victoria had never vacated the throne.

Evocative Rhythm and Place Names

I was especially entranced by the surging rhythm, evoking movement and travel, but also by the names of towns, cities and states along that famous route. Even now when I here the word ‘St Louis’ or ‘Missouri’, for example, it sends my imagination flying just as it did back then. Sad to say that I have still to actually set foot in the hallowed United States. The nearest I have been is viewing Buffalo across the Canadian Niagara Falls.

So my views have changed a bit over the years. Conservatism and tradition do indeed have a place after all, although I still have very fond memories of that crazy time, particularly the mid 60s, when the Stones were playing American covers so brilliantly.

Of course, messrs Jagger and Richards went on to be great song writers in their own right. Nevertheless, the Stones’ take on this classic, especially influenced by the purist insistence of the late great Brian Jones who did so much to create this superb band, has more than stood the test of time.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Moody Blues : Eyes Of A Child [Songs Of Childhood Nostalgia] [reblog] — Marina Kanavaki

from Oannes Songs Of Childhood Nostalgia #18 To 1969 οι Moody Blues κυκλοφόρησαν ένα άλμπουμ με τον “μεγαλόσχημα διδακτικό” τίτλο ‘To Our Children’s Children’s Children’.Μπορεί εύκολα κανείς να τους κατηγορήσει, όπως και άλλους της γενιάς τους, για το αδίκημα του self righteousness και γενικώς του self indulging.Θα είχε μάλλον άδικο, αλλά αυτό είναι μια άλλη […]

via Moody Blues : Eyes Of A Child [Songs Of Childhood Nostalgia] [reblog] — Marina Kanavaki

The 1960s Cultural Revolution – Part 2: Endemic Revolution

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In part one of this topic I commented on the social and cultural changes instigated around the mid 1960s, breaking off my narrative around the end of 1965 with the supremacy of The Beatles. I argued that the deep, fundamental astrological influence of the outer planets, most particularly the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in 1965/6 was symbolic of these changes.

The first meeting of Uranus and Pluto was in October 1965, followed by two more conjunctions on April 6 and June 30 1966. The changes were truly worldwide, seemingly polarised in nature, all enhanced by media manipulation and/or the growing promotion of drugs like LSD. The latter is symbolised by Neptune’s positive sextile aspect to the other two outer planets at this time. Even sex was liberalised with the introduction of the pill, pushing the idea that women could be as ‘free’ as men.

At the same time we may have viewed the Cultural Revolution in China as being the opposite of the ‘liberation’ going on the ‘West’, perhaps seen in ‘reactionary’ Saturn being in opposition to the Uranus Pluto synod.

Yet when we analyse the rather divergent political systems, the actual processes were the same – revolution fostered by a saturation of propaganda, all to gain maximum power and control. Uranus upturns, Pluto grabs the reins, with Neptune providing a little deceitful cover in the form of film and other media propaganda as a way to persuade and ultimately deceive.

Pivotal London

China aside, just like the Uranus Pluto conjunctions of 1850/1, London and England once again seemed to be pivotal to the cultural changes, with the so called ‘British Invasion‘ and London becoming the hub of the new fashion scene, epitomised by such manifestations as Carnaby Street.

Interestingly the Beatles landmark album ‘Revolver’ (that is, revolution) was released in August 1966, a summation in music of what was going on. It was indeed a very revolutionary catalogue of songs, utilising unusual, highly sophisticated writing and recording techniques. This was truly one of the cultural icons of the age, symbolising innovation and change (Uranus) in music (Neptune), to instigate a change in the guard (Pluto).

Back in September 1966 Jimi Hendrix, arguably the most brilliant and influential guitarist ever, was brought to England, a step which was to propel him to superstardom at rocket speed within weeks. Although he would be dead within four years, Hendrix typifies the period of sudden change and vast, worldwide influence – a meteoric career indeed. Yet his star still burns bright in the minds of many today.

’68 – Year of Revolution

If 1966 really was the pivotal year, it led directly to the ‘Summer of Love‘ in 1967 and the explosion of creativity in art and culture, transcendental meditation et al. Accepted paradigms were being questioned, which in turn led to the 1968 year of revolution, which came very close to bringing down the French government, for example.

1968 was probably the most tense and tragic year of the decade. The Vietnam War was at its height, as were the protests against it. The call for change, positive or otherwise, was reaching a crescendo. Political leaders who might have been able to bring about such change, such as Martin Luther King Jr and Senator Robert Kennedy, were assassinated in the melee of confusion and hate.

Trying to assess the situation is difficult because of its complexity and the benefit of hindsight is indeed a valuable thing. It does not appear to be a simple case of left versus right, or even right and wrong.

Collective Uranus

Astrologically, Uranus has often been seen as ‘right wing’, but I disagree. I think Uranus simply represents the force for change, revolution, literally turning things over, as in the name ‘Revolver’. I therefore see Uranus as more what we might call ‘left wing’.

Pluto is fundamental, often the hidden power behind the scenes. As I have said, Neptune working in tandem provided the medium (music, art, film)  through which such changes could be started in that 1965/6 period.

Yet behind the passion play which was the 1960s narrative, was another, the so called ‘Space Race’, ultimately won by the USA when America landed a spacecraft visibly on a lunar surface.

Race to Oblivion?

The date was July 20 1969. Intriguingly, on this very day Uranus, planet of change and breaking barriers, was exactly conjunct the Greater Benefic Jupiter at 0 degrees Libra. To me this symbolised a conquest, not merely through the fact of the news headlines which followed, but in the long term reconfiguring of humanity at a global level. The lunar missions would peter out by the end of 1972 in a climate of disinterest: few would have predicted that.

Uranus is often credited in creating ‘individual’ tendencies when strong by position or aspect; it can manifest in individual personalities in traits like eccentricity. Nevertheless, Uranus is ultimately trans-personal and collective.

Continual Revolution – and Disillusion

It is no surprise all three outer planets were ‘discovered’ at times of great, revolutionary change; 1781, 1846 and 1930. The political manifesto most associated with all three the outer planets is socialism, a collective philosophy which has now spread to the entire world in various forms.

The 1960s began as an era of much promise, with a young American president taking office. The mid 1960s witnessed a vast cultural revolution, manifesting in various ways, depending on the political milieu of each country, though the same radical tactics were used. These were based on disruption and chaos (Uranus), confusion and deception through promotion of drugs and media (Neptune in aspect to both) and surreptitious power grabs (Pluto).

It is a sobering thought that the 1960s symbolically ended with the tragedy of the Altamont Festival on December 6. What had it all been for? Yet we are still living with the effects of the 1965/6 synod of Uranus and Pluto. The opposition will not be for a couple of decades. What kind of world will it be by then?

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Moody Blues: To Our Children’s Children’s Children (1969)

A favourite album of mine too, excellently reviewed on a great site.

Ticket 2 Ride

Fifty years ago, this stunning album was released. The fourth album of the classic Moody Blues lineup.

This was the year of the moon landing, which is an underlying theme of this album. If you were alive then, as I was, your great grandchildren could be listening to this album now.

In 1969, war, pollution and the population bomb threatened our future. Seems relevant today as well.

p01bqh8w Ray Thomas, Mike Pinder, Graeme Edge, Justin Hayward, John Lodge

The Moody Blues were deep thinkers in their musical creativity. They could wrap lyrical observations around their cerebral soundscapes. This album was no exception. It shines as maybe the best of their works, and the most enjoyable to listen to in its entirety. Put it in the stereo and drift in the heavens with it.

There are those who might have written-off the Moodies as peace and love, long-haired hippies for the messages…

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