Tag Archives: San Diego Door

Journalism Archives: Yes – Fragile

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Yes – Fragile (Atlantic SD-7211)

For several years the group Yes has gone unnoticed in the United States, while in England their albums and performances are looked forward to with tremendous anticipation. TheirYes Album was rated along with After the Goldrush as album of the year in the Melody Maker Poll. Meanwhile back in the States they were buried behind J. Geils and Ten Years After in their American tour.

It is my sincere hope that with Fragile, Yes will achieve all the recognition they deserve.

The production work on the album is the cleanest and most original since perhaps Who’s Next. At the risk of digging up a cliché, Fragile is a complete trip from the first cut to the last. “Roundabout,” the full eight-and-a-half minute version, opens the album in grand manner. The track begins with a short classical guitar riff and slowly flows into the full arrangement of moog, harpsichord, several guitars acoustic and electric, and electric piano. The song, more appropriately, the suite, could have easily become quite pretentious, however, the knowledgeable arranger and producer molded it into a truly classic recording.

Each track takes on a different course than the previous one. The reason behind this could possibly be that five of the album’s cuts are the personal and individual ideas of Yes’s five members. More simply, each of the group members were given the chance to step out into the hypothetical spotlight and produce a cut that was completely their work and no one else’s. Keyboard man Rick Wakeman’s “Cans and Brahms” is an adaptation in which he plays electric piano taking the part of the strings, grand piano taking the part of the woodwind, organ taking the brass, electric harpsichord taking reeds, and synthesizer taking contra bassoon. “We Have Heaven” is the product of vocalist Jon Anderson in which he sings all the vocal parts. “Five Per-Cent For Nothing” is a sixteen bar tune by Bill Bruford, drummer, in which the whole harmony is the percussion line. Bassist Chris Squire’s “The Fish” has each rhythm, riff, and melody produced from the varying sounds produced by the bass guitar. “Mood For a Day” is a solo guitar piece by Steve How.

The musicianship is actually so innovative, that each of the above-described tracks is enjoyable and awesome at the same time. The remaining pieces are the product of the total group and just as excellent.

Fragile is the brand of album that many artists yearn to record as a follow-up to a previous masterpiece. And for one of the all too few times in contemporary music, an artist has actually lived up to the tremendous promise of a proceeding recording.

Courtesy of the Door (aka San Diego Door) – Cameron Crowe –  March 9, 1972  – March 30, 1972

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Nov 16, 2012

Hanging with Alice Cooper

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Alice Cooper Circa 1972 by Jim Marshall

In honor of Halloween, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at a 1972 San Diego Door interview with “Mr. Scary”, Alice Cooper. It’s a rare, joint article written alongside fellow Door writer, Art Grupe. Happy Halloween!

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Oct 31, 2012

Journalism Archives: The Flying Burrito Brothers

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Flying Burrito Brothers – Last Of The Red Hot Burritos (A&M SP 4343)

Besides being packaged in the best jacket to be seen around, this live LP serves as the last glimpse of the sadly, unheralded Flying Burrito Brothers. Hence, Last Of The Red Hot Burritos. To be taken literally.

The Burritos seemed to be, in their existence, somewhat of a halfway band collecting various refugees from California folk-rock bands.

In this LP, Chris Hillman and Al Perkins, now with Steve Stills’ Manassas band, combine with fiddler Byron Berline and banjoman Kenny Wertz to unleash a tremendously versatile array of material.

From the earthy bluegrass of “Orange Blossom Special” to the rockin’ standard “Six Days on the Road,” the album remains as one of the best efforts of this year despite the tinny recording job, the amazing shortness, and the suspiciously over-enthusiastic audience.

Courtesy of the Door (aka San Diego Door) – Cameron Crowe –  July 28, 1972  – August 17, 1972

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Oct 4, 2012

Journalism Archives: Randy Newman – Sail Away

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Randy Newman – Sail Away (Warners/Reprise MS 2064)

For the past three years, Randy Newman has been the darling of the critics and the epitome of obscurity to all others.

Sail Away is Randy’s most commercial effort, which doesn’t detract from his overall performance at all. For the first time, I heard the cut “Sail Away” on AM radio, some kind of first.

Although Sail Away is a bit slicker than Live or even 12 Songs, if it gains him a little exposure it makes it all worthwhile.

That same old, tongue-in-cheek humor and drama is presented in the same “what-me-worry?” style that no studio proficiency can conceal.

Buy the album. The case of the unrecognized genius pianist is the biggest sob story in contemporary music.

Courtesy of the Door (aka San Diego Door) – Cameron Crowe –  June 22, 1972  – July 6, 1972

 

Filed under News, Retro
Sep 7, 2012

Door Reviews: Mama Lion, Navasota & Argent

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Mama Lion - Self Titled LP

Here’s three brand new and brief LP reviews from the July 7, 1972 edition of the San Diego Door. First up is a Mama Lion’s Self Titled LP which has gotten more notoriety over the years for the album cover than the music (I’ll let you Google the uncensored inner album sleeve if you see fit). Equally obscure and panned is Rootin’ by rock band Navasota. Lastly is Cameron’s positive and quick take on Argent’s All Together Now. They scored a huge hit in 1972 with “Hold Your Head Up” which helped catapult All Together Now to platinum status.

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Apr 16, 2012

Door Reviews – Beach Boys, Blues Project & The Mothers

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Three more new San Diego Door reviews from the summer of 1972. First up is a Beach Boys Pet Sounds/Carl As The Passion-So Tough Double LP. Next up is the self titled Blues Project LP which Cameron plans on using as frisbee. Lastly, Cameron looks at Frank Zappa’s The Mothers live album and sees a bit of charm in it. We are now up to 198 interviews, reviews, liner notes, etc. in the Journalism section. Number 200 is right around the corner…

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Aug 12, 2011

San Diego Door: Early Eagles Interview

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(L-R) Frey, Meisner, Henley & Leadon. Photo Courtesy of Gary Elam

I’m happy to present a brand new Cameron penned piece of Journalism today entitled “Movin’ Up With The Eagles”. This is a very early interview with the original members of Eagles from November, 1972, shortly after the success of their self titled debut album. Cameron brings the readers up to speed on the band’s formation and then conducts a Q & A with the band. It’s interesting now to reflect back on who the spokesmen for the band was early on. It’s very obvious that both Glenn Frey and Bernie Leadon are the dominating force at this time. Don Henley doesn’t say too much and Randy Meisner is nearly as quiet as “silent Ed Vallencourt” from Almost Famous. Leadon would leave the band in 1975 as they moved in a more rock direction and left their country roots behind.

One last thing. The picture above is from the San Diego Door article and send to me by Cameron from his archives. He wants to point out that it was taken by his high school friend Gary Elam. Enjoy!

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Aug 4, 2011

Splinters of CSNY: Harvest, Manassas & Nash/Crosby

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In June 1972, just prior to his 15th birthday, Cameron wrote this epic review of three new albums from the members of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. At this time, this was definitely the most in-depth review that he’d done for the San Diego Door. Neil Young’s Harvest gets the bulk of the attention and you can feel Cameron’s disappointment as you read his review. It’s very clear that Cameron prefers the “stripped down-acoustic” versions of these Harvest songs that Young had previously debuted on tour. Stephen Stills’ Manassas doesn’t fare too well either, but Cameron really enjoyed the Crosby contributions on the Nash/Crosby LP quite a bit.

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Jun 19, 2011

Mike Finger’s The Blue and the Black