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Shapes and Sounds Volume Two


...Shades of Deepest Purple from the BBC Archives 1967-1971. "With this second excavation of previously unreleased live BBC session performances spanning the period 1967-1971, Shapes And Sounds becomes a series and Volume Two features a completely different line-up of bands from the previous set. Pride of place on this second edition arguably goes to the Gun, with three astonishing performances that were recorded nearly a year before 'Race With The Devil' which illustrate their late '67 menu of mod and psych-pop, with cracking versions of Rupert's Peoples 'Hold On,' Paul Simon's 'A Most Peculiar Man' and a quite splendid airing of their legendary 'Light On The Wall.' The Casuals surprise with the beat of 'Midnight Confessions' and 'Take Me For A Little While' as well as a fine rendering of 'Jesamine,' while the Mirage perform a live version of their May 1967 single, 'The Wedding Of Ramona Blair.' The Alan Bown play an excellent take of 'Magic Handkerchief' and even more interestingly offer two numbers that never appeared on any Bown release, with the self-penned progressive popper, 'Movie Star Baby' and a brilliant interpretation of the Association's 'Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies.' Also with three tracks on Shapes And Sounds are Wales' Bystanders, who turn in a lovely version of 'Royal Blue Summer Sunshine Day' as well as a glorious homage to the Byrds with 'Renaissance Fair.' Even better and long talked about in collectors' circles but never previously released, is their absolutely stunning rendition of 'I Am The Walrus,' which Top Sounds are sure will disappoint no one! Sourced from an off-air recording of their only British television appearance on DDisco 2, Killing Floor perform 'Milkman' from their Out Of Uranus LP in superb quality (the TV show was wiped decades ago) and of similarly heinous rarity are live tracks from Portrait and Katch 22, who turn in forceful renderings of 'Born To Be Wild' and 'The Price Of Love' respectively (the latter of which is better than the Status Quo cover). The sound quality is absolutely superb throughout, with 12 of the 16 tracks sourced from original BBC Transcription records. The other performances have been taken from excellent off-air recordings and similarly shine and though few of the tracks on the collection needed much enhancement at all, all have nevertheless been professionally restored and mastered. The presentation is immaculate and as with the previous Shapes And Sounds release, Artholeghraphics have designed a memorable period flavored package, including a 23-page booklet packed with photos and information. Except for the Mirage recording being bootlegged many years ago (in lesser quality), none of the tracks have ever been commercially available and most have not been heard in public since the '60s. Shapes And Sounds is a legitimate limited edition release, licensed from the BBC with the blessing/co-operation of many band members."