Monday, November 12, 2012

The Jess Roden Anthology... Hidden Masters... CD6 (the bonus CD)


Here is the track listing for The Subs Bench, the bonus CD (6) that will be only ever available with the 1st edition of the Anthology. None of these tracks have ever been released before.

1. Storm And Stone (Shine On Joe). Sourced from the ¼” master and recorded during March 1972 at Basing St during the Rabbit Sessions (for Jess’ first but aborted) solo album. The track features Rabbit (keyboards), Robbie Blunt (guitar), Kellie (drums), Pat Donaldson (bass) and Jess (acoustic guitar)

2. Love Me (The Alan Bown Set). A demo recorded at Pye Studios in London on December 19th 1966. Sourced from the original ¼” tape. 

3. On Your Life. Written by Rabbit and also recorded during the sessions from which, ultimately, only What The Hell became part of Jess’ first solo album. Kellie plays drums with Rabbit mixing Mellotron and Hammond Organ as well as playing bass pedals.  Sourced from the original ¼” master.  As a footnote, the version that Rabbit has in his own archives is different again (indeed, he never knew this version existed until very recently… and was pretty surprised that it did).

4. Desperado (The Jess Roden Band). As a track, it needs no introduction whatsoever. This was recorded live at Leicester University during November 1976 on the Island Mobile and has been sourced from the original 2” multitrack. 

5. Loving In Your Sake.  Also recorded during March ’72 at Basing St this features Gerry Conway, Rabbit and Pat Donaldson and has been sourced from the 2” multitrack. The actual take (there are two) of this demo is a good deal longer but… in the cold light of day… the coda contained way too much ambient noodling (Jess’ phrase) equals it really didn’t work so we extracted the song and… here it is.

6. Special T’anks (Jess Roden / Pete Wood). One of the short instrumental tracks that were to have formed linking passages to the (never recorded) 2nd Rivits album that Jess and Pete were working on at Compass Point while waiting for their riddim section (the mighty Sly ‘n Robbie) to tip up. They were delayed for ‘business’ reasons in Jamaica and… this was one of the tracks recorded at that time… indeed, at the same point that Jess and Island finally parted company.  Sourced from the original 2” multitrack.

7. Surrender To Your Heart (Jess Roden & The Humans). Could be described as a Humans demo… only very recently discovered (by Bob Pridden) and recorded at Quarwood, John Entwhistle’s home studio on the day the actual writing of the tune was completed with Jim Capaldi (drums), Gary Grainger (guitar), Nick Graham (bass) and Steve Winwood (Hammond Organ). Harmonica courtesy the singer of songs.

8. Too Far Gone (The Jess Roden Band).  From the first (recorded) night at The Marquee… sourced from the 2” multitrack.

9. Love Will Grow. A vocal demo (#take 1) from the Summer ’78 Player Not The Game sessions with John Cartwright (bass), Rob Mounsey (Fender Rhodes) Cliff Morris (guitar) and Chris Parker (drums). Jaki Whitren (John’s wife) can also be heard (briefly) on backing vocals. Sourced from the 2” multitracks.  

10. Let Me Make Something In Your Life. This is Jess backed by The Muscle Shoals ‘Swampers’– essentially the main Muscle Shoals rhythm players who later formed the backbone to Traffic at the time of the Low Spark / Shoot Out and On The Road albums – together with the Muscle Shoals Horns… Sourced from the ¼” and recorded in 1974… as a possible contender for Jess’ first solo album.

11. Eight Days On The Road (The Jess Roden Band) Sourced from the 2” multitrack and recorded in September ’76 during the Pinewood Sessions… sessions that, for a number of reasons, were largely unproductive… just prior to the proper recording of the Play It Dirty album.

12. Feelin’ Easy  (The Jess Roden Band). Live at The Marquee (altho’ for those who were actually there or remember JRB perfomances of the time, not all of the band featured on this track when played live) and sourced from the 2” multitrack.  

13. Sweet One. Recorded during October ’72 this, for a while, confused us. How so? Well… it was actually one of the first tunes that we unearthed and, when we listened back (all those many months ago)… all was running along in ship-shape Bristol fashion until… up pops a Soprano Sax. Nothing weird there as you may imagine… The Sax worked perfectly within the context of the tune but… who the heck was the mysterious Sax player? We simply didn’t know. After a bit the song title assumed brackets in which it said: The Mysterious Sax Player edit. Months went by and we still couldn’t work out who it was. Undeterred, we started listing out every Sax player we could think of who might have been around Basing St at the time (some, sadly, no longer with us) and… still… we couldn’t work it out. More months went by. Until (spooky as this is) on the very same day about six months ago there was an exchange of early morning emails that crossed each others incoming path. Jess’ note said: I reckon the sax player is… while mine to him said; d’you think it might be..? And the answer..? It most certainly is John Helliwell.

14. Ain’t No Sunshine. Recorded one late night in March ’73 at Basing St… its just Jess and an acoustic guitar… We found it, unmarked, on a 2” multitrack in amongst a whole heap of ambient studio nothingness… there were two takes… and this is the best of ‘em.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Jess Roden Anthology | The Final Countdown

And... here we now are, the countdown has begun. Pre-ordering for the JR Anthology is set to begin at high noon (hey...which bright spark suggested that...?! Its all far too Garry Cooper)... on Monday, November 12th. 

High noon or otherwise, we're underway. Someone (no names, no pack drill) asked the other day, "Bet you're thrilled now?' And was, I think, a bit flumoxed by the response... "Not really, I think I'm more relieved than anything. The thrill bit will probably... hopefully... come a bit later

For why? Well... we inhabited this bizarre nether-world for so long that there were times when it felt like no matter what, this bright idea of three and a bit years ago, conceived as it was in the womb of ideas over Korma heaven, a few Popadums and a couple of Kingfisher beers would result in such a lengthy birth that the chaps from the Guinness Book of Records would be knocking at the door and queuing round the block eager to document the labour pains.  

In any event, now that the log-jams are behind us we can proceed... and proceeding in a straight-ahead fashion we jolly well are. Am I thrilled – yes, whisper it... I am (rather a bit), 'cos there really were moments when this all seemed like it was stuck in a moment we simply couldn't get out of. But, that was then...

First up... I should make mention of the fact that this edition will be limited just as we've said all along plus it will be absolutely exclusive to PledgeMusic. 

And limited means limited... which means we're absolutely not going to be quietly manufacturing another X quantity in the background and then offering those via the back door. Exclusive has the same meaning; this edition is only ever going to be made available via PledgeMusic. 

Why PledgeMusic? Well... when we initially got underway we talked to a number of 'entities' (for want of a better word); they all loved what we were setting out to do but... quite honestly, they were all so steeped in the past that, as much as they liked our ideas, they couldn't see any logical way of making them happen without so many obstructions along the road that made the whole thing not just implausible but impossible. 

But, we were sticking to our guns. And one particular Howitzer in particular. IF we were gonna do this... it had to be as special as we could make it. 

And then... we met with the chaps at PledgeMusic – Malcolm Dunbar (their major-domo) is steeped in the traditions which we all learned at the Island coal-face which begin with thinking outside the box. He got it (in other words what we were planning) in a matter of peco-seconds... not only that, but he and his compadres positively welcomed our A4 sheet of ideas with a foolscap envelope choc-full of their own. You want to do this..? Sure, we can accommodate that.  You want to do that..? Of course... not a problem. And do this in that way? Yeah, we can make that happen too but we can also do this as well. Brilliant. Suddenly, we were able to channel the past by embracing the future and, it felt really rather good. 

Running through Hidden Masters' core (a bit like when you chomp your way through a stick of Brighton rock) – the JR Anthology gave its title to the name of the label by the way – is 'the end-user deserves the best'. 

And that phrase (even tho' the wording is pretty rubbish) applies to absolutely everything we do... so, by linking to the way the PledgeMusic methodology operates, this enables HM to deliver on that promise. 

Am I giving the game away, hinting at what is to come too much? Without furthering the tease any more, ALL of the details on exactly what the singer of songs + self have been beavering away on in the background these last few many-months will be announced very very soon. Promise. Honest injun.

In the meantime... should you wish... you can join the official pre-registration list via this link : >

Its a very simple process... click on the download link... 

And... hey presto...  another box will pop open... 

Fill in the required fields... and not only will a free download of one tune from the forthcoming Anthology immediately land, as if by magic, on your desktop but... you'll also get an email alert just upfront of when the actual pre-ordering begins.

The download we've chosen is Song 3 –
virtually the first tune unearthed when all of the archive research began – many, many moons ago! Although, naturally, once it is properly re-mastered, the version included on the actual Anthology is going to sound a whole heap better than an MP3!