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'The Missing Link to Tyrannosaurus Rex' released by Cleopatra (USA) in 1995 was released by Angel Air in the UK in July. The only change will be the title to 'Crazy Diamond'.
MISSING LINK ... (to Tyrannosaurus Rex)
Re-released as 'CRAZY DIAMOND'
The Biography written for Cleopatra's original Release in 1995, which 'Angel Air' have used contains a number of factual errors as well as having a generally 'negative attitude'. THE SECTION RELATING TO THE 'STEVE TOOK'S HORNS' PATHWAY STUDIOS SESSION IS COMPLETELY WRONG!
Dave Thompson's article quotes Larry Wallis as stating that he was ON the 'Steve Took's Horns' Session and statesthat the session was 'abortive' and further Quotes Larry Wallis as saying that the results 'unusable'.
Having spoken to Larry Wallis he confirmed that he did NOT guest on the 'Steve Took's Horns' Sessions. He left the sessions (having been at Pathway by chance) while Tookie was 'limbering up' for the vocals. This was BEFORE the finished versions were laid down! Larry said (in an interview done before Dave Thompson's biography was written) that he left because he THOUGHT the vocals would not be successfully recorded. There is a difference!!! Larry might have thought they were not going to be laid down. But he was wrong. They were recorded and the results are VERY USABLE!
We worked with the family and Steve Took's friends to complete the Pathway Studio 'Steve Took's Horns' Sessions. Partially because of the raw deal Steve Took's son and granddaughter have received with releases such as 'The Missing Link ..'/'Crazy Diamond' his son will be receiving 50% of the profit from the sale of the 'Steve Took's Horns' CD.
Far from being 'abortive' or 'unusable', the 'Steve Took's Horns' songs represent the best recording of Steve Took found to date.
In contrast to the 'Missing Link …'/'Crazy Diamond' tracks which were recorded in a basement flat with Tookie, his friends and a whole lotta drugs, in a 'messing-around-way' the 'Steve Took's Horns' material was recorded PROFESSIONALLY, in one of THE best studios, working with some of THE best musicians.
Finally, three songs which were released in 1990/2 (see the Shagrat Page) have been renamed
- 'Beautiful Deceiver' was renamed 'Syd's Wine'
- 'Still Yawning Still Born' was renamed 'Give'
- 'Steel Abortion' was renamed 'I Caution You'
Here for your interest are clips from each of the ten tracks of the CD of Steve's 1972 home demos for manager Tony Secunda. Steve was fairly drunk/stoned/generally tired during the recording of these and this is consequently reflected in his vocals.
The recording on here are NOT representative of Steve at his best.
Reviews by David Mantell. Additional Reviews (in white) by Lucifer Sam. Thanks Sam!
About 1 minutes worth of track two minus Steve's vocal and rhythm guitar
Scorpius: Nice start to proceedings as it happens.Pretty spaced out instrumental workout.I have to say that part of the riff is very remanisant of his former partners work on EW. But a nice Psych' start to things.
Scorpius mp3 FULL TRACK (1 min 30 secs)
2 Lucky Charm
Good HM tune very reminiscent of Children of the Revolution/ Buick Mackane. Unfortunately Steve screams his vocal and is consequently incoherent.
Lucky Charm: This appears to be the same tune but with lyrics added, not sure what he's on about but he was probably spaced out at the time! A nice funky groove to the Psych'.
Lucky Charm mp3 (1 min 21 secs)
3 Flophouse Blues (In the Mountain Grill)
4 Seventh Sign
A BRILLIANT accoustic ballad. Steve sings along to himself on accoustic guitar and afterwards overdubbed himself with bongoes and keyboards. Steve was a rather good keyboard player and consequently this gives many of the acoustic tracks a nice orchestral feel. If you like Tony Visconti's string parts on T.Rex recordings you'll love this! Also Steve double tracks his bongoes to achieve a nice stereo effect. Probably the best vocal performance, (although none of his vocals on here are anywhere as good as on the limted edition vinyl)
Flop House Blues: Singing about a Cafe could be construed as a little odd, but as Ladbroke Grove was the place to be at the time, why not. Nice bit of organ to compliment acoustic guitar and bongos.
Flophouse Blues (in the Mountain Grill) mp3 (1 min 34 secs)
Dark, energetic song, possibly written for the electic Shagrat. Great explosive drumming from Twink. More keyboard orchestrals from Steve. Clive Zone gave me a rare copy of the stripped-down acoustic track of this, with a nice guitar coda at the end.
Seventh Sign: Strange as this sounds, this has a Cockney Rebel feel to it. Very dark and dramatic. I like this one a lot. Especially the percussion and the strings (Melotron I'd guess).
Best one so far.
Seventh Sign mp3 (1 min 03 secs)
The original acoustic vocal track is fairly poor, a clearly stoned steve mumbling and picking his way gradually and endlessly through a song one evening, with very heavy hypnotic Pink Floyd-esque bongoes. Things pick up a bit when the keyboards come in halfway through to create an effect that can only be described as ... Concerto for Orchestra and Stoned Hippy! Very heavy going, but it can grow on you.
Days: A definate monged out 'Hash' kinda thing, acoustic guitar with an eastern/blues feel. But that string thing comes in again and gives it a real nice touch.Very atmospheric.Cool.
Days mp3 (1 min 07 secs)
6 Steel Abortion AKA I Caution You
The second half of "Steel Abortion", minus the two opening verses, starting with the slow bit. Some good guitar work from Larry, but lacks the energy of the Shagrat version. More hard rockish (the original was more reminiscent of Blur's Song 2). The "Woo Woo woowoo" chorus line is still there, tho.
Steel Abortion AKA I Caution You: The weakest song so far I'd say. A basic 'Rock' work out with echo'd to death guitars. Dont really go anywhere.
I Caution You mp3 FULL SONG (2 min 54 secs)
7 Still Yawning Still Born AKA Give mp3)
Electric tryout with Steve screaming the first verse over Larry's electric guitar. The bassist and drummer briefly try to start things going before it fades out. Then cut to a very grandiose acoustic version with drums from Twink. Great tune although Steve's vocal is only barely audible. Brilliant outro, sadly faded out. The stripped down acoustic version of this, has the guitars coming to an end instead of the fadeout.
Still Yawning Still Born AKA Give : Hands up who has heard 'Forever Changes' by Love? Yep, so had Steve! Nice track, seems a little bit unsure on the vocal, but not bad as a demo or something. A good recording studio would have sorted this one out. (well most of it to be honest).
Still Yawning Still Born AKA Give mp3 (1 min 29 secs)
8 Molecular Lucky Charm
A version of Lucky charm featuring Steve strumming the song and mumbling the lyric.
This sounds rather like the soundtrack to a nature programme about the jungle at night
in Kenya!. Much better than this sounds, tho, a very ambient feel to it. Listen
for the "helicopter" sound at the start.
Molecular Lucky Charm: Starts off like some kind of Hawkwind freak out and then gets all mellow. He had a very deffinate sound. I'm surprised this stuff didn't get a release. Some of the other shit that was around at the time...Strange. Mind you, if he was sticking needles in his arm most of the time , I dont suppose he really thought about it.This does seem to ramble a little, just kind of an idea that was worked on I'd say, and never got finished. Interesting though.
Molecular Lucky Charm mp3 (1 min 29 secs)
9 Beautiful Deceiver AKA Syd's Wine )
A rather melancholy version of Beautiful Deceiver, (originally quite an upbeat poppy number)
with keyboards from Steve as before. Steve's vocals are laboured. Just before the final verse a loud crash can be heard.
This is Steve falling off his chair!. Again the stripped down acoustic
version has a nice "howling gusts of wind" sound effect sadly mixed out from the produced
version on the CD.
Beautiful Deceiver AKA Syd's Wine: I didn't realise that the Madcap was particularly fond of the old grape juice! Another acoustic work out with that Mellotron thing again, a very meloncolic track.
Beautiful Deceiver AKA Syd's Wine mp3 (34 secs)
10 Flophouse Blue [Reprise]
A GREAT Hard rock version of the acoustic ballad from earlier. For once Steve's cackling vocal seems just right. Glorious multitracked Hendrix-esque guitar work from Larry Wallis. All going so well...then mid-way through verse 2 of 2, it suddenly cuts out. And thus ends the CD.
Flophouse Blues-Reprise: An electric version of the second track. Kicks arse, bit over the top on the lead guitar stuff, but I like it!
Flophouse Blues (Reprise) mp3 FULL SONG (2 min 45 secs)
Five new sound files (mp3's) of five 'unmixed' tracks used for the album. These sound exactly as they are - rough mixes recorded in a frontroom! The are designed for 'academic' interest rather than general listening.
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