Episode #43 – Green Bullfrog

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Lead up to the Album:

  • Derek Lawrence, who’d produced music with Ritchie Blackmore in the past, began working with Albert Lee.  Their intent was to produce this album with Tony Dangerfield, the bass player for Screaming Lord Sutch.
  • After a while the sessions weren’t working out and the two decided to invite other session musicians that they knew and jam in the studio to record an album.
  • The entire album was recorded in two overnight sessions on April 20 1970 and May 23 1970.
  • Blackmore was invited and brought along Paice.
  • It’s stated in Country Boy: A Biography of Albert Lee by Derek Watts by that they both came directly to the studio after Deep Purple shows.  I can’t find any evidence in their 1970 tour schedule that they played shows on either of these dates.
    • They played on April 18 at Ewell Technical College and on April 21 at BBC in London. 
    • They played the 22 May in London at Brighton at The Dome so it’s possible they recorded the studio time as May 23 after the show.  That or they recorded in the early morning on the 23rd and concluded with the show later in the day.
  • All the musicians on the album had wanted to play together but were all so busy with their own individual projects that this was the only chance they had to do it.
  • One final session was done with strings and brass being overdubbed on January 4, 1971.

Personnel

Since nearly everyone were under contract they chose to use pseudonyms for everyone on the album.

  • “Speedy” (Ian Paice) – drums
    • Nickname from his speedy drum playing
  • “Sleepy” (Chas Hodges) – bass
    • https://www.chashodges.co.uk/
    • Played with Ritchie Blackmore in the Outlaws
    • Went on later for form the group Chas ‘n’ Dave
    • Nickname from falling asleep during sessions
  • “Bevy” (Tony Ashton) – piano / organ
    • Nickname because he used to store bottles of light ale under his organ
  • “Sorry” (Matthew Fisher) – piano
    • Keyboardist in Procol Harum
    • Screaming Lord Sutch
    • Hundreds of other credits including Jerry Lee Lewis, Joe Cocker, Ringo Starr
    • Nickname because he would apologize if a second take was needed
  • “Boots” (Ritchie Blackmore) – guitar
    • Nickname from his suede cowboy boots
  • “Pinta” (Albert Lee) – guitar
    • http://www.albertleeofficial.com/
    • Worked with Derek Lawrence, Eric Clapton, Jon Lord on Gemini Suite, The Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Brown, Joe Cocker, and on, and on.
    • Nickname from in-joke about how he would say “I’m only delivering the milk!” if they needed to do a second take
  • “The Boss” (Big Jim Sullivan) – guitar
    • Prolific session player
    • Played on 59 #1 UK hits
    • Played on hundreds of recordings and had stints with Tom Jones
    • Nickname because everyone respected him as an elder and one of the best session players
  • “The Vicar” (Rod Alexander) – guitar
    • Played with Blackwater Junction and Axe
    • Also did production with Axe
    • In the Green Bullfrog liner notes it says that he was friends with Blackmore and worked at a nearby music shop.  He stopped by to drop off some guitar strings and they convinced him to stay and record.
    • Nickname because Lawrence would always say, “Hello, Vicar” to him
  • “Jordan” (Earl Jordan) – vocals[8]
    • Les Humphries Singers
    • Sang “Old Blind Mole” on live performance of “The Butterfly Ball”
    • Nickname is pretty obvious

There had been rumors that Jeff Beck, Roger Glover, and Jon Lord were involved but none of them were at either of the sessions.

Album Art & Booklet Review

  • Original Black Cover
  • 1980 “Green Bullfrog – Natural Magic” Vinyl Reissue
  • 1991 – Green Bullfrog – The Green Bullfrog Sessions
    • Featuring bonus tracks and tracks reordered

Credits

  • Album produced by Derek Lawrence
  • Engineered by Martin Birch

Album Tracks:

Side one

  1. My Baby Left Me” (Arthur Crudup)
  2. Makin’ Time” (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett)
    1. Something Lawrence and Blackmore were looking to do since the very beginning of Deep Purple and were finally able to put this down at this session.
  3. Lawdy Miss Clawdy” (Lloyd Price)
  4. “Bullfrog” (Derek Lawrence, Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice)
    1. This was the leftover remnants of the song “Jam Stew” that Deep Purple had worked on and abandoned.
    2. Blackmore plays the riff once then Sullivan and Lee play on the second go around and harmonize with it.
    3. Tony Ashton on Hammond organ.

Side two

  1. “I Want You” (Tony Joe White)
  2. “I’m a Free Man” (Mark “Moogy” Klingman)
  3. Walk a Mile in My Shoes” (Joe South)
  4. “Lovin’ You is Good for Me Baby” (Lawrence/Corlett/Hutton)
    1. Rearranged by Lawrence in 17/9 time to make it more interesting.

CD Reissue Contains 3 Bonus Tracks:

  • Ain’t Nobody Home (Jerry Ragovoy)
  • Louisiana Man (Doug Kershaw)
  • Who Do You Love? (Ellas McDaniel)

Reception and Review

  • The first release was the session along with the single of “My Baby Left Me” and “Lovin’ You Is Good For Me, Baby” was released on 19 March 1971.  
  • The UK release was a year later in March of 1972.  Lawrence had played some tracks for Mike Maitland of MCA (the president) but he left the company before the release and it was not promoted at all.
  • Some records say it sold less than 500 copies.
  • Album was re-released in 1980 under ECY Street Records in the US.  The sleeve notes were written by Ed Chapero. There was a quote from Blackmore from Guitar Player interview in 1978 quoting that he, Paice, Lee, and Sullivan all played on the LP.  The LP mistakenly credited Roger Glover.
  • Album was remixed at Abbey Road in 1991 by Lawrence and Peter Vince and released again on LP and CD containing the extra tracks not on the original release.  This was the first time all the musicians were properly credited on a release.
  • Short snippet in Technical Audio in November of 1972.
  • https://martinleedham.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/album-review-green-bullfrog-bullfrog-1971/ 

In The News . . .

This Week in Purple History . . .

February 17 through February23

  • February 19, 1949 – Eddie Hardin is born
  • February 17, 1996 – Purpendicular is released

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Listener Mail/Comments

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Episode #42 – Nick Simper’s Fandango – Slipstreaming

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Personnel

  • Bass Guitar – Nick Simper
  • Drums – Ron Penney
    • Only credit is with Nick Simper’s Fandango on this album
  • Guitar – Pete Parks*
    • Guitarist on second Warhorse album “Red Sea”
    • Later would be in Nick Simper’s Dynamite
  • Piano, Organ – Neil McArthur (2)
    • Only credit is with Nick Simper’s Fandango on this album
  • Vocals – Jim Proops
    • Only credit is with Nick Simper’s Fandango an on the next album “Future Times”
  • Produced by Nick Simper and Pete Parks

Credits

Album Art & Booklet Review

Album Tracks:

Side One:

  1. Candice Larene
    • Written by Jim Proops, Nick Simper, and Peter Parks
  2. Rocky Road Blues
    • Written by Nick Simper and Peter Parks
  3. Independent Man (Hey Mama)
    • Written by Nick Simper and Peter Parks
    • Reminds me of the song “China Grove” by The Doobie Brothers
  4. The Stallion
    • Written by Nick Simper and Peter Parks

Side Two:

  1. Slipstreaming
    • Written by Jim Proops, Nick Simper and Peter Parks
  2. Schoolhouse Party
    • Written by Nick Simper and Peter Parks
  3. Sister
    • Written by Nick Simper and Peter Parks
  4. Mississippi Lady
    • Written by Jim Croce
    • Original by Jim Croce: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1HxIcqfO_Q
  5. Time Will Tell
    • Written by Nick Simper and Peter Parks

In The News . . .

This Week in Purple History . . .

February 10 through February 16

  • February 14, 1941 – Big Jim Sullivan is born
  • February 12, 1971 – Strange Kind of Woman single released
  • February 15, 1974 – Burn is released

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Episode #41 – Jon Lord – Windows

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Personnel

Additional Credits

  • Recorded At – Herkulessaal, München
    • The Herkulessal in Munich is the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs in the center of the city.
  • Recorded during the Eurovision Presentation of Prix Jeunesse on Saturday, June 1st, 1974.
  • Mixed at Musicland Studios in Munich.
  • 2017 release was remastered at Abbey Road Studios.

Lead up to the Album:

  • The record sleeve indicates that there are no overdubs on this album.

Album Art & Booklet Review

Album Tracks:

Recorded on June 1st, 1974 at the Herkules-Saal OF the Munic Residenz with the Orchestra of Munich Chamber Opera

  1. Continuo On B.A.C.H.
    • Posted by Easy Livin on: https://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=15343
    • From the back of the album: “Continuo on B.A.C.H. (Lord-Schoener) This piece is a realization of a a well known incomplete fugue by BACH which was based on a scale using the notes represented by his own name.  In english notation these would be Bb – A – C – B#. It’s intended to represent a sort of battle over “who shall play what” BACH himself died before being able to finish this fugue — I hope he approves of the way we finished it for him.”
    • However, in Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia, the label B is used for what, above, is called B-flat, and the note a semitone below C is called H. This makes possible certain spellings which are otherwise impossible, such as the BACH motif.
      • In music, the BACH motif is the motif, a succession of notes important or characteristic to a piece, B flat, A, C, B natural. In German musical nomenclature, in which the note B natural is named H and the B flat named B, it forms Johann Sebastian Bach‘s family name. One of the most frequently occurring examples of a musical cryptogram, the motif has been used by countless composers, especially after the Bach Revival in the first half of the 19th century. 
    • Continuo on B.A.C.H” is a variation on an incomplete fugue composed by Bach which was based on the four letters of his surname. There is of course no letter H in music notation, so it is represented by B sharp. (A fellow member with greater music knowledge than I explains that “In Germany the letter H is formally the way to describe the b sharp note as it is in most countries”.) While for obvious reasons the piece has been well rehearsed, it generally has the feel of an improvisation. Off key playing of various instruments and jazz like passages combine to create an atmosphere of looseness. The purely orchestra sections therefore contrast more obviously than they would with a more rigid composition. The risk with such pieces is that they come over as pretentious and insincere. While Lord just about manages to keep such thoughts at bay, the symphonic passages do suffer from the usual malaise of rock stars who wannabee classical composers in that they become pseudo-classical. As with Bach’s original composition on which this piece is based, there is a feeling as it ends that it is incomplete.
  2. Window: 1st Movement: Renga
    • From the back album cover: “During the 14th centuryin the Far East, a form of chain poetry was developed called a “Renga.”  This involved a group of poets co-writing a poem. They would lock themselves away, and writing each verse in turn, continue until the finished product emerged.  The idea for WINDOW was borrowed from this Renga chain poetry. Indeed the words of the 1st and 3rd movements are taken from a contemporary Renga. Eberhard Schoener and myself worked on the idea during the first part of this year, after bieng asked to perform a concert for the 1974 Prix Jeunesse in Munich.  The first movent was then written by Eberhard adn the last movement by myself. The central section is ten, with a few changes, from the vocal movement of my own GEMINI SUITE which was written and recorded in 1971.
    • Window is based on 14th century collaborative poetry from the far east called Renga.  The lyrics for the 1st and 3rd movements are taken from a contemporary renga found by Michael Kruuger.
    • Coverdale and Ashton with two sopranos.
  3. Window: 2nd Movement: Gemini
    • The second movement is based on the vocal section of “Gemini Suite.”
  4. Window: 3rd Movement: Alla Marcia-Allegro

Reception and Review

  • From the back album cover: “This is a live recording.  As with all such recordings, no possibility exists to go back and do again any part that might have gone wrong; and to carry this through we subsequently made no over-dubs, and used on what was on teh tape.  We felt that the very exciting atmosphere of the concert was best preserved this way.” Jon Lord.

In The News . . .

  • Nick Blagona R.I.P. from RogerGlover.com
    • He was the house engineer at Le Studio in Morin Heights when, in the winter of 1981, Rainbow started recording Straight Between The Eyes. As the producer, I spent a lot of time with him, sitting at the SSL desk, drinking endless cups of coffee and playing Battleships late into the night. We hit it off immediately.
    • One day, he saw a folder of my lyrics and poems and suggested that I do a solo album, offering me four days of free studio time as an incentive. After the album was released, we went on tour. He came to see us in Toronto and challenged me about the solo album again. So, when the tour was over, I travelled to Morin Heights with Colin Hart and started recording what would end up as Mask. I had no band––just a couple of guitars, a drum machine, synthesizer, sequencer, and some percussion instruments––so Nick introduced me to Jean Roussel, keyboards, and Joe Jammer, guitar. Those four days whetted my appetite, Nick and I went on to complete the album in New York. One of the memorable moments was when he introduced me to the wonderful Canadian singer Kate McGarrigle, who flew down to record some vocals. He had connections.
    • He was a lovely man, full of fun and wisdom, liked to enjoy himself, and a good listener. Had good ears. I am lucky and privileged to have had him in my life.

This Week in Purple History . . .

February 3 through February 9

  • February 9, 1977 – David Coverdale releases “White Snake”
  • February 3, 1987 – Whitesnake releases “Here I Go Again” as a single — well, not really actually. 🙂
  • February 8, 2000 – Deep Purple releases “Live in Concert” at the Royal Albert Hall

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