Friday, 5 August 2016


Du bist schön von Hinten
mit ein paar Metern Entfernung
Schön bist du im Nebel, wenn du gehen musst
Bitte, bleibe nicht bei mir
Zeig mir deinen Rücken
Am Schönsten bist du, wenn du gehen musst

Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich,wie soll ich, mich nach dir sehnen
wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets bei mir bist?
Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich mich nach dir sehnen?
Jeden Tag, jede Nacht, jeden Tag, jede Nacht bist du bei mir

Löse dich in Luft auf
Hiterlass keine Spuren
Zeig, wie du aussiehst, wenn du nicht mehr bist
Ich bedanke mich herzlich
Ich hatte viel Spaß mit dir
Aber ohne dich war es auch nicht schlecht
Vielleicht besser sogar

Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich,wie soll ich, mich nach dir sehnen
wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets, wenn du stets bei mir bist?
Wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich, wie soll ich mich nach dir sehnen?
Jeden Tag, jede Nacht, jeden Tag, jede Nacht bist du bei mir

Schick mir ein Foto von dir
Oder eine Postkarte
Geh, es ist vorbei

[from the lyrics of "Schön von Hinten"]

Bungalow Records was a Pop / Electronica label founded in 1996 by Berliner DJs Holger Beier and Marcus Liesenfeld, a.k.a. Le Hammond Inferno:

«We have always been passionate about music, towards the end of the '80s we started playing in an indie band and DJing at the same time, combining our strong passions for Pop and Dance music. That was a very fertile period for the Club scene in Germany and we were very busy organizing a series of parties that have entered into the history of German clublife. Parties attended by Saint Etienne, Towa Tei of Deee-Lite, Stereolab... At that point we ended up being a reference point and many people were interested in the creation of a label. We actually had never thought about it, but our encounter with Christof Ellinghaus of City Slang has made this possibility a reality. We founded Bungalow and slowly we tried to learn how to manage a record label.»

[from an interview published on Blow Up magazine, issue #26/27, July 2000]

For a few years, until the early '00s, Bungalow was a very prolific and cool label. Their compilations "Sushi 3003" / "Sushi 4004" marked the first time a western indie label delved into the cutting edge Japanese Club-Pop scene:

«...the initial spark was the moment we listened to "Twiggy Twiggy" by Pizzicato Five and later Towa Tei's "Future Listening". We were hearing a new, never heard craziness in playing around with Pop music. The first thing that came to our simple minds was: there must be more. So we contacted journalist and Nippon-Mania-Man Olaf Maikopf and had the quite naive idea to travel to Japan and put together a compilation of modern Japanese Club-Pop. After running through the streets of Tokyo for some 10 days, meeting about 35 record companies and even more bands, we were totally confused and had to carry tons of CDs and LPs back home (much to the pleasure of the Lufthansa customs agents). Back home we slept for a month and then compiled "Sushi 3003" as an introduction to Japanese Club-Pop and concentrated on giving a wide overview of what has been going on in Tokyo in the last 10 years.»

[from the "Sushi 4004" liner notes, 1998]

Bungalow gave us the chance to (re)discover the soundtrack works of German composer Peter Thomas; they also licensed most of Combustible Edison releases in Europe and brought Stereo Total to international success and fame, album after album.

Among others, they released lovely CDs by Czerkinsky, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Yoshinori Sunahara and Bertrand Burgalat, and other little wonders from the German underground like Pop Tarts, Dauerfisch, Mina... For this and all the rest, thank you Bungalow!

The "Pool Series" was a... series of 12" records that explored the more Dance-oriented side of the label. They were released in a simple brown cardboard sleeve with a sticker containing all the pertinent details.

The cover design was changed at a later stage, and the last five issues offered a different design, with all information printed directly on the sleeves and no sticker at all.

The second issue in the series was Stereo Total's "Schön von Hinten", released in 1997. The single was also published on CD - with a different track order - in the regular Bungalow catalogue.

Althought the remastered tracks presented here use the CD single as source, they are sequenced according to the track list of the original 12" vinyl release:

01. Schön von Hinten (Rimini Mix by Brezel Göring) (2:37)
02. Schön von Unten (Andreas Dorau, Michel und DJ It) (4:37)
03. The Other Side of You (Momus & Laila France) (4:23)
04. Schön von Hinten (Halb-Remix by Hermann Halb) (3:14)
05. Schön von Hinten (Sons of '68 & Jan Bontempi) (2:36)
06. Schön von Hinten (Original) (2:49)

All tracks were remastered in August 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the complete original artwork.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.

"Schön von Hinten" seems to be a sort of farewell song and at the same time looks like a praise to a man's butt... Uhm, which of the two... Maybe both?

Side A opens with the "Rimini Mix" by Brezel Göring. Curiously enough, at the beginning of the song you can listen to Françoise Cactus speaking Italian announcing that «This song is by Stereo Total and is entitled "You're Beautiful From Behind"»... This remix turns the original into a cheap dance anthem and I can easily imagine it being spinned in some clubs during the most drunken hours somewhere on the Adriatic Riviera...

In their "Schön von Unten", Andreas Dorau (...of Die Doraus Und Die Marinas fame...) along with the mysterious DJ It and a certain Michel, opt for an 8bit treatment and I must admit that I don't like it that much, no.

Side B opens with the beautiful reinterpretation by veteran Momus & Laila France. The original is given new lyrics, both in English and French, and is a small educated masterpiece. A lesson to learn for everyone dealing with a remix duty.

Hermann Halb's "Halb-Remix" uses a few effects to create a feeling of estrangement, but musically I wouldn't say that it's quite interesting as it doesn't add much to the original.

In my opinion Sons of '68 & Jan Bontempi is an alias for Stereo Total themselves... Of course I may be wrong, but their version sounds like a garage rehearsal and the voice belongs to Françoise Cactus beyond the shadow of a doubt...

The record ends with the original song as heard on the album "Monokini". With the exception of the aforementioned Momus & Laila France cover, and despite the various remix treatments, I believe that this is still the best version and one of the trademark songs of the early Stereo Total. Now, if only I could figure out where that percussion loop was sampled from...

A short Stereo Total biography 1993-1997 is available here below. The following clips offer a preview of the remastered 12"/CD single; the promotional videoclip of the original version of "Schön von Hinten" is also included as a bonus, enjoy!

During winter 1992-93, Françoise Cactus and Brezel Göring were living in the same neighborhood in Berlin and the legend has it that they casually met while shopping in a bakery in Adalbertstraße.

Françoise was about to close her experience with the French girl-garage-punk-R’n'R-Band Lolitas (...they released six albums in Germany and France and toured all over Europe and America, for more information about them have a look here...) and Brezel was keeping himself busy with an Experimental-noise-copyright-ignoring-tapeloop-soundeffects project called Sigmund Freud Experience (...he released three vinyl records under this guise, 100 copies each...).

In 1993 they started playing together. Their first recording was a ten minute cooking-recipe, in which all ingredients had sexual connotations. The recording is sadly lost... In 1994 they started rehearsaling and recording in Hamburg at the Alien Sound Studio of Peter Stein, and began to perform concerts in small venues in Berlin and Germany.

In those early days, the band logo consisted of two tits that were originally painted on a mix-tape Françoise made for Brezel entitled "Stereo Total", and I easily guess this is how the band's name was born... The logo was later shown on the backside of their first album "Oh Ah"; here you can have a look at the inlay-card of the CD version.

At that time the line-up included Françoise (vocals and drums), Brezel (vocals, guitar, organ and synthesizers) and Lesley Campell from Scotland (distorted guitar). With their unusual mix of music influences and languages, it wasn't easy then to find a record label... The band used to play French Chanson, Disco, Rockabilly and Garage in a very minimal, simplified, essential way, often with self-built guitars and cheap electronics; lyrics were both written in French and German.

At last, in 1995 Desert Records released their first 7" EP entitled "Allo... J'ecoute...", available here on Stereo Candies. This single is strongly linked to Lolitas, in fact the track "Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais" was recorded in New Orleans by Alex Chilton - who had produced the group's "Fusée d'amour" back in 1989 - and "Avec ma valise" was originally included on "Séries Américaines" in 1987.

During the same year, Palestinian bassist Ghazi Barakat, a.k.a. Iznogood - ex member of the Hardcore / Experimental combo Burst Appendix - joined in and for some time the band became a quartet.

Schön von Hinten" was also released as a CD single with a dfferent track order...

In January 1996, Stereo Total finally released their first album entitled "Oh Ah", which included tracks recorded during 1994 and 1995 at the aforementioned Alien Sound Studio in Hamburg, and a lot of 4-track home recordings.

The CD version of the album was published in Germany by Peace 95, while the vinyl edition came in the form of a 2.000 copies limited edition LP on Little Teddy Recordings; these were divided into four different colours, with respectively 500 copies in black, translucent red, translucent blue and clear translucent.

The album spawned two singles which, once again, were divided equally betweeen the labels: Little Teddy Recordings released "Dactylo Rock" in the form of a CD single that included remixes by - among others - Chrislo HaasA Certain FrankAlec Empire and Le Hammond Inferno, while Peace 95 took care about the release of the "Miau Miau" 7" EP, which also included a few unreleased numbers and is available here.

At the same time, a 500 copies white label 12" blue vinyl of "Dactylo Rock" marked the beginning of Stereo Total's tenure at Bungalow. Compared to the original CD single, the 12" offered an improved track list. Its printed transparent sleeve and the limited pressing make it a collector's item.

Before the end of the year, after a tour through Germany, Austria, and Switzerland the band split and Stereo Total became a duo again... In 1997 Angie Reed started collaborating with Françoise and Brezel, and her name became officially associated with the group when their second full-lenght work, entitled "Monokini", was released.

"Schön von Hinten", one of the most memorable tracks on the album, was issued as a single - both as a 12" vinyl and CD - and is the subject of this post.

Stereo Total 1997: Françoise Cactus, Brezel Göring and Angie Reed

More information about Bungalow Records and Stereo Total is available here:

The "Pool Series" will continue in the next months. All your inputs are welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


«Linda Jones... Stylistic, soulful, unique... In my opinion is the most exciting female artist to come along in the last ten years. I've had the opportunity to watch Miss Jones, not only in personal appearances, but also in recording sessions and, believe me, it is a very moving experience. While listening to Linda sing "Stay With Me Forever", "I Can't Make It Alone", "I Love You (I Need You)", "Tell Me the Truth", "My Man, Lover & Me", "Don't Go (I Can't Bear To Be Alone)", to name a few, I was overwhelmed by the goose pimples. As you turn on with this great album... Portrait of Linda Jones... I want you to tell me who is the number one soul sister! Who? ...Oh yes, "Linda Jones"! I thought you would agree!!!»

[Al Goodman of The Moments, from the back cover notes of "A Portrait of Linda Jones"]

Linda Jones was born in Newark, New Jersey, on January 14, 1944, and she first sang in public in her hometown at the age of six. She cut her teeth in church, regularly treading the gospel path as part of The Jones Singers, a group comprised of her whole family.

Through this background Linda developed and nurtured her most predominant vocal technique: the melisma, the art of spreading a word or syllable over several rapid notes up and down the scale. In later years she took to singing spirituals every morning to exercise her voice.

Linda's childhood was plagued by a severe history of diabetes, and this condition only worsened during her adulthood. Small wonder her artistry reflected the desperate determination to triumph over pain and loneliness.

As her prowess developed, she moved towards the secular field, and soon began to accumulate trinkets and trophies from winning a host of talent shows and amateur nights. This trend continued until she grew into her teens, and the talent show medals began to metamorphose into dollars and dimes from gigs at local nightspots.

This presumably led to what is reputed to be her first recording under the name Linda Lane: "Lonely Teardrops", a cover of a song originally performed by Jackie Wilson in 1958, backed with "Cancel the Celebration", was produced by Bill Cook, manager of Roy Hamilton, and was released sometimes in 1963 on Cub Records, a subsidiary that MGM Records started in the late '50s for Rhythm and Blues releases.

Linda's short-lived but musically powerful career began in earnest when producer/songwriter George Kerr entered her life around 1964. Kerr, who had a brief stint as a member of Little Anthony & The Imperials, met Linda through a mutual friend, songwriter Gerald "Jerry" Harris, when she was performing at a local club. At the time Linda was working at a pie factory, and Kerr soon became her mentor, using his connections to secure a short term record deal with Atlantic.

On October 19, 1964, Linda went into the Atlantic Studios on Broadway in New York City and cut three songs composed by Kerr and Harris: "Take the Boy Out of the Country" and "I'm Taking Back My Love", which were released as a one-off single on Atco in 1965, and "I Need You", an unreleased track likely lost to posterity due to the infamous Atlantic Records warehouse fire in February 1978.

In 1966, Kerr and his new protege mad a brief stop at Leiber & Stoller's Blue Cat Records, a subsidiary of Red Bird Records, for another one-off single which included the songs "Fugitive From Love" and "You Hit Me Like TNT", once again both penned by him and Harris.

Later on, Kerr gave Linda a shot at a song written by friend Richard Poindexter (one of the Poindexter Brothers along with Robert: both would go on to have success with The Persuaders in the early '70s) together with Gloria Florence Spolan. 

With a vibrant and emphathetic Richard Tee arrangement, the legendary emotion-packed "Hypnotized" was recorded in one take during April 1967 in New York, along with "I Can't Stand Lovin' My Baby". As the story goes, Linda was just learning the song, but Kerr told the engineer to hit the record button and the touching performance was preserved.

"Hypnotized" proved to be a turning point for both Linda and her producer. A promo man at Brunswick liked it but the label was busy, so he directed Kerr to Loma, a Rhythm and Blues label that Warner Brothers had just started. Jerry Ragovoy, head of Loma, instantly detected the song's potential and a deal was easily arranged.

The single entered the charts in June 1967. Within weeks Linda was signed to Ruth Bowen's famous Queen Booking Agency, and with some new photos and a new wardrobe, she was ready to hit the road. Working with promoter Henry Wynn, known for producing multi-act R&B packages that would criss-cross the U.S., Linda did shows with all manner of artists including Jackie Wilson, The Vibrations, The Chantels, The Bobbettes and others.

With her highly emotive style, Linda literally had audiences hypnotized and, as she toured, the "Hypnotized" single kept rising on the charts, finally reaching #4 on the Billboard R&B Chart and #21 on the Hot 100. This proved to be the label's best-selling record and Loma asked Kerr to do an album.

Linda Jones, promotional picture, circa 1967 - The cover of "A Portrit of..." is clearly based upon this picture.

Over two sessions in New York City, on June 21 and August 4, 1967, Linda cut a total of nine songs. Kerr masterminded the sessions while famed keyboardist Richard Tee provided arrangements. Players like guitarist Eric Gale and drummer Bernard Purdie added their musical magic and the Poindexter Brothers did all the background vocals.

"What Have I Done (To Make You Mad)" was issued in October 1967, with "Make Me Surrender" as its flip, and became another top 10 R&B hit but only struggled to #61 on the Pop listings. A third single, "Give My Love a Try" backed with a version of The Soul Sisters' "I Can't Stand It" was released in January 1968 and enjoyed moderate sales, struggling to #34 R&B and a dismal #93 on Pop. On the strenght of its title track, the "Hypnotized" album actually made it to the R&B Top 30.

Culled from a session recorded earlier during that year, Sammy Turner's "My Heart Needs a Break" was issued as a single sometimes during Spring '68 backed with "The Things I've Been Through". It peaked at #50 in the R&B charts, becoming Linda's final charted entry during her two-year tenure with Loma.

On the same session Linda also recorded "What Can I Do (Without You)", another Turner co-penned tune arranged by Robert Banks (also known for his work at the time with Thelma Jones), and a version of The Beatles' "Yesterday", which were released as a single in 1968. These two songs, along with the other two mentioned below, are available as part of  a previous post I wrote some time ago.

Linda's last single for Loma consisted of two tracks recorded in August 1968 at Broadway Studios in Manhattan. Side A surprisingly offered Poindexter Brothers' "It Won't Take Much (To Bring Me Back)" while a stunning version of "I Who Have Nothing" - previously recorded by the likes of Ben E. King, Dee Dee Warwick and Shirley Bassey - was relegated to the flip side...

Unfortunately Loma folded early in 1969. During the same year Warner Brothers released a single with the two songs Linda recorded in March at her last session for the label: "I Just Can't Live My Life (Without You Babe)", written by George Kerr, backed with "My Heart (Will Understand)" by Linda's brother Eddie.

During the same year, a different version of "Fugitive From Luv", another song recorded for Loma back in August 1967, was released by Cotique as a split-single which offered Bessie Banks' "Go Now" on the other side.

Linda Jones, another promotional picture taken during the same session, circa 1967

In mid 1969 George Kerr signed Linda to Neptune Records, a label owned by Philadelphia's Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff which was the forerunner to the Philadelphia International Records hit factory. The first Neptune single, "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow / That's When I'll Stop Loving You" revealed a more aggressive, even hysterical-sounding vocal.

Never a singer noted for restraint, Linda's style became increasingly volatile and fraught with desperation and urgency as her career progressed. Making fewer concessions to the demands of the Top 40 programming, Linda's attack was wildly exuberant, her desperation bearly overwhelming, her phrasing with melismas, shrieks and gasps. Her second and last Neptune release, "Ooh Baby You Move Me / Can You Blame Me?", continued the progression.

While "Hypnotized" found Linda taking a relatively subtle approach to her music, her subsequent sides captured her at full strength, and though soul purists (especially Northern Soul collectors in the U.K.) treasured her records, she never had another major hit.

In 1971, by the time she had changed her base from New York to New Jersey to sign with All Platinum's Turbo subsidiary, Linda was in a bad way. Her medical condition was deteriorating as her illness began gaining the upper hand.

Aware of her problems, All Platinum's owners Joe and Sylvia Robinson put her on the staff payroll and gave her liberal studio freedom, thus helping to ensure her a reasonable, regular diet to combat the illness. Linda took to going to the studio almost every other day as music was a mean of forgetting the pain she was often in.

Despite the dismal sound reproduction of the three Turbo album releases ("A Portrait of Linda Jones", issued early in 1972 and the subject of this post, "Your Precious Love" and "Let It Be Me", both released the same year after her untimely passing), Linda's frantic overwrought vocals sharply reflected her torment.

As Russell Gersten wrote in Rolling Stone, "Singing became a life and death matter for Linda at her last few recording sessions... Whatever little poise and restraint she at one time had, disappeared." Gersten also wrote that listening to the singer's final sides made him imagine "someone down on her knees pounding the floor, suddendly jumping up to screech something, struggling to make sense of a desperately unhappy life."

Linda Jones as pictured on the cover of "Your Precious Love", circa early '70s

Early in 1972, Turbo's single "Your Precious Love" brought Linda back to both the R&B and Pop charts, Many consider this to be the ultimate rendering of the old hit by Jerry Butler and The Impressions.

British critic Ian Hoare regards it as "the quintessential Deep Soul record", even beating out Lorraine Ellison's masterful "Stay With Me". He accurately describes it as a "spine-chilling piece of histrionic desolation". After the song's spoken introduction, which has an intense sermon-like quality, Linda explodes into a one-woman vocal hurricane, the like of which is not to be heard elsewhere.

The single entered the charts in February 1972 and began climbing, peaking at just #74 on the Hot 100 and a more respectable #15 in the R&B list. Linda's diary was full of work and she was actively promoting the single just weeks before she died.

After a matinee performance at the Apollo Theatre in New York in March, Linda went to her mother's house in Newark to eat dinner and take a nap before playing her evening show, but when her mother tried to wake her, she discovered Linda had slipped into a diabetic coma. She was rushed to the hospital but she didn't regained consciousness and died on March 14.

Because of her remarkable ability to transmute her own pain and suffering into Soul singing of a most astonishing and uncompromising quality, it could be argued that Linda Jones was to Soul what Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Judy Garland were to other forms of music.

"A Portrait of Linda Jones" contains the following tracks:

01. When the Hurt Comes Back (3:32)
02. Hypnotized (3:28)
03. Don't Go (I Can't Bear To Be Alone) (3:15)
04. If Only We Had Met Sooner (3:32)
05. Behold (2:42)
06. Stay With Me Forever (3:34)
07. I Love You (I Need You) (4:05)
08. I've Given You the Best Years of My Life (3:24)
09. I Can't Make It Alone (3:20)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in June 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

Please have a look at the comments for the download link.

"A Portrait of Linda Jones" was released by Turbo Records sometimes in early 1972 with catalogue number TU-7004. I am uncertain if this LP should be considered a proper album or a compilation: half of the recordings that it contains were still unreleased then, but a few of them had already been recorded - and released - previously... The audio quality oscillates between bad and almost good; it seems quite clear that these nine cuts were recorded in different sets, a couple of tracks are even mono mixes...

As Linda signed with Turbo in 1971 and the album was released the next year, common sense would suggest that the recordings took place during that time span, but I can't help feeling that some of them seem to be older.

The cover of the album aptly features a portrait of Linda Jones inspired by one of her promotional pictures that you can see somewhere else in this post. I will refrain from getting to the heart of the artistic matter but, hey, this really looks like a budget release...

In 1991 most of the tracks included on this album - and on the two other albums Linda recorded for Turbo - were released on CD as "Your Precious Love" by Sequel Records in the U.K., but unfortunately many of them were left completely unmastered and the original fade-outs were shortened for unknown reasons... As a last note, and before getting in the usual track-by-track review, I beg you to believe me: this has been the most difficult remastering work that I embarked on since I lauched Stereo Candies almost five years ago.

Side 1 begins with "When the Hurt Comes Back", a song written by Gerald Harris and Wilbur Henry. On the spoken introduction Linda offers her 'fool's advice' to young girls before exploding in a more than desperate ballad. The drums on this track sound like they were recorded in a box and an unexplained hiss keeps on flowing up and down through the mix.

A completely re-recorded version of Linda's most successful and memorable song, "Hypnotized", is second in the playlist. Althought this version can't compete with the original for many reasons - the too much slow tempo comes to mind first - the vocal delivery is powerful and clear. Strangely enough, Linda's voice is almost completely panned on one side of the stereo mix; I really can't find a good reason for this choice... The same recording was also inclued months later on the album "Let It Be Me"; this time vocals were correctly placed in the mix.

"Don't Go (I Can't Bear To Be Alone)" was written by Al Goodman of The Moments - who is also responsible for the short notes that appear on the back cover of the album - along with Nate Edmonds and Sharon Seiger. Before its inclusion on this LP, the song had already been released as flipside of the single "I Can't Make It Alone" in 1971. The arrangement and mixing of this track are far better than those of the previous numbers; althought it doesn't reach the pinnacle of the 1967 Loma album, it is a step in that direction. Produced by Al Goodman, the song was also included later on the album "Your Precious Love".

"If Only We Had Met Sooner" is another re-recorded track that originally belonged to the "Hypnotized" album released back in 1967 by Loma. The song was written by George Kerr and Gerald Harris, and features The Whatnauts on backing vocals. For this version someone at the mixing desk has probably thought that it would be cooool to have the horns and strings sections moving quickly from one channel to the other. Well, the effect is not so cool in my opinion...

The first part of the album closes with the short and excellent "Behold", a song written and produced by Sylvia Robinson whose arrangement, melody and more relaxed vocal delivery harks back to Linda's earlier output. A few months later this track was also included on "Your Precious Love".

Side B starts off with "Stay With Me Forever", a song that - once again - was written by Al GoodmanNate Edmonds and Sharon Seiger. Produced by Edmonds along with George Kerr, the previous year this number was choosen as Linda's first single on Turbo. Although it brings back the 'drums in a box' sound that pesters a few of the tracks on Side 1, Linda's voice shows all its power and swallow up the listener in a maelstrom of emotions. On the original album the song ends abruptly, I tried my best to fix this problem by using the last seconds of the version found on the "Your Precious Love" CD release which, for once, is better.

Clocking at over four minutes, "I Love You (I Need You)" is the longest track on the album. Written by the usual Edmonds / Seiger team, the song is exclusive to this LP and was not recycled on any of the other Linda Jones releases on Turbo. The arrangement features prominent strings and an harp which tries to soften Linda's overwrought phrasing.

"I've Given You the Best Years of My Life" was co-written by Gerald Harris and Linda Jones herself. The song was originally used on Side B of the "Stay With Me Forever" single back in 1971. Oddly and unlike the tracks that preceded it, this one is recorded in mono... Sound quality is probably the worst found on the album, muffled and with a lot of hiss, but anyway... A very nice piece!

The album comes to an end with a desperate version of "I Can't Make It Alone", a song written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin back in 1966, which was originally performed by P.J. Proby (...available here...) and covered, among others, by Dusty Springfield ( and Lou Rawls ( Just like the previous number, this one is available as a mono mix, and in my opinion it sits among the best tracks on the album. People at Turbo must have felt the same, and a few months later the song was also included on the album "Your Precious Love"...

The following clips offer a preview of the remastered album, enjoy "When the Hurt Comes Back", "Hypnotized", "Behold", "I've Given You the Best Years of My Life" and "I Can't Make It Alone"!

More information about Linda Jones is available here:

If you have any other useful information about the Linda Jones - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Sunday, 19 June 2016


Sheep Records was a Swiss underground label specialized in Garage-Rock, Surf, Lounge and other Rock'n'Roll oddities. Run by Christian Müller from Zürich, along with friends Andi Frick and Andreas Egi, it was active from 1996 to 2004 and published about 30 releases, mostly on 7" vinyl singles.

In october 2006, after about two years of hiatus, all the contents of the now defunct Sheep Records website were deleted from the Internet, and replaced with a blank page announcing that "Der Kebab ist gegessen" ("The kebab is eaten"), a last goodbye and a reference to the label's cataloguing system that included the prefix "kebab" for vinyl releases and "gigot" for CD releases.

The eighteenth Sheep Records release was the one and only 7" EP by German duo Weltmeister, an extemporaneous project that borrowed its name from the Weltmeister Organ - a product of Eastern Germany state-owned company VEB Klingenthaler Harmonikawerke - which was conducted by C. Rodriguez Flamingo and Django B.B. Silbermann, both members of Los Banditos. This 7" is limited to 300 copies on red vinyl and 200 copies on black vinyl, for a total of 500 copies; it was released in April 2001.

The EP is a sort of oddity in the mostly Rock'n'Roll based Sheep Records catalogue, here's how the official press-release presented it:

«Caution! This is not a Rock'n'Roll, Surf or Punkrock 7". Here comes Weltmeister!!! Weltmeister is Sheep's answer to German Schlager and Trio. Equipped with their wonderful Weltmeister Organ (the Hammond of Eastern Germany) and some cheap electronic toys they play songs about love, roses and blue jeans. The lyrics to the songs were found in a Hawaii guitar they bought in a junk shop. Written by the mysterious Hans Jürgen Bennewiz in the '50s.»

Here's the track list and the personnel/credits list for this 7" EP as translated from the back cover:

01. Einsam, zweisam... (3:10)
02. Schade um die Rosen (2:54)
03. Blue Jeans (3:44)
04. Auch du wirst geh'n (3:38)

Composed and arranged by Weltmeister.

Weltmeister are C. Rodriguez Flamingo and Django B.B. Silbermann.

Lyrics by Hans Jürgen Bennewiz.

Voices on "Blue Jeans" by the Saalfelder Vokalisten.

Recorded at Eletronik-Tempel by Jens Leuschner.

Mixed and mastered by Herr. Dr. W. Don Eck.

Artwork by Rolf Keller.

In memory of Hans Jürgen Bennewiz.


All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in May 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the complete original artwork.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.

As I was finishing this post, I was lucky enough to discover Weltmeister's mini-website; it offers a semi-serious public statement in the form of a 'prolog' and some information about the project. Although I am not able to provide you with a complete translation, there's two things which are worth noting:

- despite what the original press-release claims, the lyrics to the songs were found in an hand-written notebook that came with a second-hand Weltmeister organ that the band, in search of new sound-ideas, purchased from an old lady. The organ belonged to her deceased husband who has been a music-entertainer performing for decades at weddings and parties in the ex German Democratic Republic. So, I am pretty sure that the mysterious Hans Jürgen Bennewiz it's him!

- the duo intended to release a Weltmeister album in 2002, too bad that this never happened...



In Zeiten des ungeheuren Aufstrebens des Imperialistischen Nihilismus, der weltweiten Verunglimpfung und Mißbrauchs sprachlichen Empfindens, am Rande einer zielstrebig in den Wahnsinn des high-tech faschismus zurasenden, arroganten und ignoranten, europäischen Übergesellschaft, haben sich zwei emotionale Seelen gefunden um ein Auffangbecken für Bestrebungen Gleichgesinnter ins Leben zu rufen. So its Weltmeister eine avantgardistiche Installation der COMBISTEN Horst Schmidt (alias Django Boogiebastard Silbermann) und Gregor von der Meuselwitz (alias Comodore Rodriguez Flamingo).

Angelehnt an die Tradition der prekommunistischen Alleinunterhalterszene verschollener Zeiten, wird sehr darauf geachtet, die deutsche Sprachkultur in ihrem Gesammten zu erhalten, sprich es wird auf englisch-monokulturistisch-musikkapitalistische textwahl unter alle Umständen verzichtet. Changsongs, sowie Varianten moderner elektronischer Unterhaltungskultur beeinflussen das Repertoir der Künsteler ebenso, wie alte Volks und Sprachweisen.

Dargeboten werden intellektuell anspruchvolles Gedankengut, sowie innerliche Verkörperungen der urmenschlich revolutionären Ideen freiheitzstrebender Freidenker (COMBISTEN), die unserer Meinung nach momentan mehr al benötigt werdem. So, wer immer auch etwas zum derzeitigen weltpolitischen und rationalfaschistischen Hauptliniendenken unserer finanzorientierten monokulturistischen Übergesellschaft entgegenzusetzen hat, ist sehr herzlich wilkommen.


Im Sommer 2000 wurde nach viel langer Weile nach neuen gestalterischen Möglichkeitzen gesucht. Nach einer Anoncenschaltung wurde man bei einer Dame älteren Alters fündig, deren Mann verstorben war und Pltz benötigt wurde. So verkaufte sie uns die Orgel ihres verstorbenen Gatten, der Seit den 50gern als Alleinunterhalter auf Hochzeiten und Festen in der deutschen demokratischen Republik tätig war. Das Instrument wiegt 1000 Kilo (so kommt es uns immer vor), ist aus Holz und Elsen und mit diversen Extras, wie zum Beispiel einer Rhytmus-Maschine und einem, was sich später als enorm geniale Zusatzfunktion herausgestellt hat, "MAGIC ACCORD" - Knopf in sehr rotem Rot, versehen.

Zur Überraschund befand sich in der Orgel ein Textbuch. Handgeschrieben und über Jahrzehnte gesammelt. Schnell sind aus einer Mischung fantastischen Entzückens, jugendlicher Leichtsinnigkeit und weiser Entschlußkraft, die ersten Lieder wie "Einsam, Zweisam, Dreisam", "Bluejeans", "Schade um die Rosen" und "Komm!, tanz mit mir" entstanden. Nach viel Studioarbeit und Auftritten, sind eigene Texte hinzugekommen und es wurde eine Vinyl Single produzert und ist seit Januar 2001 erhältlich.


Erstellung eines Albums welches im Sommer 2002 erscheinen wird. Mit dieser Arbeit wird die erste Period unseres Schaffens unterstrichen, und Weichen für die Zukunft der COMBISTENBEWEGUNG gestellt.

Django B.B. Silbermann and C. Rodriguez Flamingo as they appear on the back cover of "Weltmeister"

The following clips offer a preview of the remastered single, enjoy "Einsam, zweisam...", Schade um die Rosen and "Blue Jeans"!

More information about Sheep Records and Los Banditos is available here:

The Sheep Records story will continue in the next months. All your inputs are more than welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Thursday, 26 May 2016


Jimi Tenor was born in 1965 as Lassi O. T. Lehto in Lahti, Finland. The resemblance to the youngest member of The Osmonds, Little Jimmy Osmond, earned him his nickname of Jimi in the early '70s.

Just like his older brother Marko, Jimi had a passion for music. He studied for many years at a music institute and can play flute, piano and saxophone; his skills were further implemented by his work experience as the saxophone player for various bands.

At 16 he was the youngest member of Pallosalama (Thunderball), an orchestra which used to tour Finland with a sort of Saturday night dance shows for older people. This act was very popular then and also appeared on the Syksyn Sävel (Melody of Autumn), a song contest on Finnish Television.

Later on he was part of the Pop-Rock group Himo (Lust) as a saxophone and keyboards player. In 1986 the band gained some success in the Finnish Rock Championships and released a self-titled album along with a few singles on the Amulet and Cityboy labels. Tenor was also responsible for the music and lyrics of a couple of the band's songs.

Other groups in which Jimi was involved in the mid-80s include The Cherry Pickers, Iloinen Poika Milloin (Happy Boy When) - a band founded by his brother - and... Shaman!

Jimi Tenor and His Shamans were founded during 1986; this new project was an experimental evolution of the more ordinary Rock band Shaman. At the time, Tenor had recently discovered the Industrial sound of Einstürzende Neubauten and Test Dept., and - as a twist of fate - had accepted a new job in a mayonnaise factory.

The group consisted of Ilkka Mattila (guitar), Toni Kuusisto (bass) Niklas Häggblom (trumpet), and Enver Hoxha (real name Hannu Mäkelä, atonal alt bass), with Tero Kling playing drums as an added member. Jimi was the lead singer, played tenor saxophone and - just like all the other members of the band - banged on empty oil barrels, a trademark of their sound both in studio and live.

Matti Knaapi, a graphic designer and inventor, allowed the band to embrace a more experimental sound helping Jimi to create special equipment in the form of self-built musical instruments bearing names like Vera (an automatic trombone), Sirkka (a man-sized mechanical drum machine), Melukone (a noise machine) and The Liberace (a peculiar-looking stainless steel object which is hard to describe).

In late 1987, after a series of concerts in Finland, Jimi Tenor and His Shamans debuted with their first single. "X-Rays / Still In Love" was released by the band on their own JTS / Shamans label with catalogue number JTS 2001, probably a reference to Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odissey" since the catalogue numbers of the other releases of their label hint at various science fiction movies and books . This release was the subject of a previous post here on Stereo Candies.

As the band's popularity grew, their second single "Closer / Some Fun" was published in early 1988 by Euros Records, which - according to the relevant Discogs entry - was a Finnish label specialised in Rock music active from 1983 until the early '90s. We also took care about this release some time ago...

In 1988 Euros also released "Total Capacity of 216,5 Litres", the band's debut album and the subject of this post. Before delving into it, once again here comes my most imploring request to the Finnish readers of this blog: I need your...

Finnish magazine Rumba included a feature about the band and a review of the aforementioned debut single in its November 1987 issue: I previously dedicated a post about it and, since that is probably one of the earliest features dedicated to His Majesty Jimi Tenor, I would be glad to include an English translation here on these pages, so that a wider public can enjoy it.

An high resolution scan and a .txt transcription of the feature/review are available for download here, if you can translate from Finnish to English and are willing to help, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!!!

Jimi Tenor and His Shamans performing live, 1987

"Total Capacity of 216,5 Litres" contains the following tracks:

01. Wonderful Nightmare (2:32)
02. Closer (3:36)
03. Some Fun (1:50)
04. X-Rays (2:57)
05. Darling (3:48)
06. Trumpets of Poland (4:23)
07. New Antichrist (3:05)
08. Cowboy (4:22)
09. Blues (3:26)
10. Still In Love (3:28)
11. Thank You (3:11)

All tracks were remastered from the original vinyl in May 2016 and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with complete artwork reconstruction and printable PDF files.

Before burning this album on CD-R using the provided CUE file you may need to convert the original FLAC audio file to WAV format using an appropriate software. Please have a look here if you need some help.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download link.

Entitled after the peculiar characteristic of the beloved empty barrels which most of the band members play on the album, "Total Capacity of 216,5 Litres" was released by Euro Records in early 1988 with catalogue number SIN-1041. On the front cover the group is aptly portrayed wearing their simple black stage outfits, carrying barrels across an industrial site.

Side A begins with "Wonderful Nightmare, a perfect introduction to the band's Industrial madness, with lunatic tenor saxophone soloing and obstinate guitar/bass lines. The lyrics seems to be about a bad erotic dream.

"Closer" is quite intense and offers the usual band's trademark metal percussions coupled with an interesting horns arrangement; the refrain is infectious and somewhere in a parallel universe I'm quite sure this was a huge MTV hit!

The short "Some Fun" is a piercing noisy track which is almost autistic in its stride; alienating lyrics are sung above oppressive guitars and a steady beat, and the other elements are kept to a minimun, probably on purpose.

The aggressive "X-Rays" showcases assorted metal percussions, obsessive lyrics, funky guitar and horns, and a determined bassline. This piece aptly depicts the band's ability at combining Industrial paraphernalia with more accessible elements and was also issued as their first single the previous year.

"Darling" offers many Funky elements and musically is one of the most commercial tracks on the album, so to speak... The lyrics are about an aroused dancer afraid to disappoint his partner with too much... sexual libido!

While previous numbers were all written by Jimi Tenor, Side A ends with "Trumpets of Poland", a song co-written by Jimi and Hannu Mäkelä, whose object is not easy to decipher because of the distortion effect used on the voice... Oh, and I think I hear some keyboards here an there, even though nobody is credited for playing them in the liner notes.

Side B starts off with the straight beats of "New Antichrist", one of the most adrenaline-filled tracks on the album. Its simple and repetitive structure needs volume to be fully appreciated and I'm quite sure that for fans of the band this was a live favourite: I can imagine those mosh pits...

The calm but resolved "Cowboy" is for sure one of the best songs on the album. With its invoking New Wave atmosphere dictated by appropriate chord changes and instrumentation, it is a small masterpiece. I guess that the lyrics deal with insanity, but this could just be my interpretation... Nobody is credited for the beautiful piano lines, but I assume that the player is Jimi himself. Ilkka Mattila's guitar also deserves a special mention here.

Barrels percussion returns on "Blues" dominating the scene; while horns play their last cards and a guitar gets grated as usual in a simple and effective way, Jimi screams lyrics about submission...

With its walking bass, Jazzier feeling and overall more relaxed atmosphere, "Still In Love" wouldn't make a poor showing in one of the albums that Jimi Tenor released on Warp Records in the mid-90s, although something sinister is still floating around in the form of repeated background creakings. It was co-written with Ilkka Mattila... Cooool song!

The album ends with "Thank You", an instrumental track which was co-written by one Eero Lounela and, yes, I don't have a clue about him... Uhm...

The following clips offer a preview of the remastered album, enjoy "Darling", "Closer", "Cowboy", "X-Rays, "New Antichrist and "Still In Love"!

Here's the credits and personnel list of "Total Capacity of 216,5 Litres" as they appear on the inner sleeve of the album and on the centre labels:

Jimi Tenor (Lassi Lehto) - tenor sax, voice, barrels
Enver Hoxna (Hannu Mäkelä) - atonal alt bass, barrels
Niklas Häggblom - trumpet, barrels
Ilkka Mattila - guitar
Toni Kuusisto - bass
Tero Kling - drums, barrels

Recording engineer: Ari Vaahtera
Mixed and mastered at SC-Recording Studio by Ari Vaahtera and Jimi Tenor.

All tracks written by Jimi Tenor, except "Trumpets of Poland" by Hannu Mäkelä and Jimi Tenor, "Still In Love" by Ilkka Mattila and Jimi Tenor, and "Thank You" by Jimi Tenor and Eero Lounela.

Horn arrangements by Jimi Tenor, except "New Antichrist" and "Blues" by Markku Nikula and Jimi Tenor.

Photography: Jouko Lehtola
Cover: Jimi Tenor

Thank you: Eero Lounela
Special thanks to: Matti Knaapi, Pieni, Ari Vaahtera and Ingrid Disk


As a bonus and courtesy of YouTube, here's a rare clip of the band performing "Objects On the Table" live in Helsinki in 1988. As far as I know this track is not included in any of their official releases, enjoy!

More information about Jimi Tenor is available here:

If you have any other useful information about this post or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

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