Little Feat: Pre-Columbian Live Vol. 2 (1975 bootleg highlights)

Volume 2 of “Pre-Columbian Live” complements the first volume with a big slice of the best overall 1975-1976 Little Feat concert recording (Halloween ’75), plus an additional LP’s worth of 1975 rarities and bonus items. 

First volume here.

Together, these two collections offer what I think are the most essential 3.5 hours of unreleased 1975-1976 Little Feat, based on the recordings housed on archive.org, all of which are freely downloadable. Each of the five discs of this combined collection conforms to the time-span of a traditional vinyl LP. The mix is a download code for a Record Store Day vinyl box that doesn’t exist yet. 

The full Halloween ’75 show is certainly worth your time (archive.org stream/download). It’s as close as you can get to a single-show “Waiting for Columbus”-style experience with a 1975-1976 show, on your big speakers or best headphones. I trimmed off six songs and smoothed out the gaps resulting from my deletions, made mostly for mix/sonics/tape defect reasons. All the compositions I omitted from this show appear in hotter/higher-fi form on the Volume 1 mix. 

The “bonus disc” contains some wonderful 1975 stuff, plucked from lower-fidelity tapes. A January soundcheck in Amsterdam provides a ghostly “Truck Stop Girl” and two unique, improvised grooves. An October show in Venice, CA included exceptionally rare (recorded) performances of “Roll Um Easy” and “Mercenary Territory.” And finally, a December show in Tulsa, OK offers a “Cold, Cold, Cold > Dixie Chicken > Tripe Face Boogie” medley that’s exciting and longish, with some pleasant audience tape vibes.  (I did some gentle EQ-ing on all these tracks.)

Near as I can tell, after “Truck Stop Girl,” Lowell George intones, “Bigger than life. Protean. And 580,000 units of pectin.” What a fantastic gloss of the song’s tale of gallant integrity and a heart so broken that it makes the protagonist forget that he’s got a truckload of fruit that’s shifting all around, and which will soon kill him.

2-hour mp3 mix zipped up here

LPs 1-2: Halloween ’75, Boston (80 minutes)

  • Intro > Two Trains
  • Fat Man in the Bathtub
  • Walkin’ All Night
  • A Apolitical Blues
  • On the Way Down
  • Day or Night
  • All That You Dream
  • Romance Dance
  • Long Distance Love
  • Cold, Cold, Cold >
  • Dixie Chicken >
  • Tripe Face Boogie > Bag of Reds > Tripe Face Boogie
  • Teenage Nervous Breakdown
  • Sailin’ Shoes
  • Spanish Moon

LP 3: Rare & Bonus ’75 (37 minutes)

Amsterdam Soundcheck (1/30/75)

  • Truck Stop Girl Approximately
  • Groove 2
  • Groove 1

Venice, CA (10/10/75)

  • Mercenary Territory
  • Roll Um Easy

Tulsa, OK (12/4/75)

  • Cold, Cold, Cold >
  • Dixie Chicken >
  • Tripe Face Boogie

You'll find all the Save Your Face Little Feat mixes here.

Little Feat: 1973 Bootleg Box

This virtual Little Feat box consists of two curated mixes and one complete performance. I reviewed every ’73 Feat tape on archive.org, and this is how I decided to compress them for my own perpetual listening pleasure. It includes at least one version of every composition captured on the year’s (available) tapes, except “Oh, Atlanta!” and "Rock & Roll Doctor." None of the options really sold those songs.

The sextet version of Feat debuted in January 1972, but no tapes from the year circulate. That’s a shame, since it would be amazing to track that band finding its groove, adapting early songs to the new player-palette, etc.  In any case, by 1973 they were fantastic, and regular radio broadcasts, augmented by intrepid audience tapers, ensured that many shows would be captured for posterity. 

3-hour mp3 mix zipped up here, comprising the following three discs.

Live ’73: Ultrasonic (4/10/73 complete)

The most famous Feat bootleg is the 1974 Ultrasonic Studios session. This 1973 session at the same location isn’t far behind – a live radio promo for the studio album, “Dixie Chicken, which was released three months before this performance. If you already have this, but you haven't upgraded your file in a few years, this might be a better master. I converted directly from FLAC. 

59 minutes:

  • A  Apolitical Blues
  • Got No Shadow
  • Willin’
  • On Your Way Down
  • Walking All Night
  • Band intro & Lowell George chat
  • Two Trains
  • Fat Man in the Bathtub
  • Sailin’ Shoes
  • Cold, Cold, Cold > 
  • Dixie Chicken > 
  • Tripe Face Boogie
  • Teenage Nervous Breakdown

Live ’73: Oddities

1973 Little Feat set lists contained mostly the same songs, but a healthy number of outliers were captured on tape. Here they are, and they are a hoot. “Spanish Moon > Skin it Back” is on this mix because it needed to be somewhere in this collection, and “Spanish Moon” is actually very rare on the 1973 tapes.

70 minutes:

  • China White (11/2/73 Sugar Hill Studios)
  • Bag of Reds (9/17/73 Atlanta) 
  • Ass for Days (7/21/73 Denver)
  • Chevy 39 (3/20/73 Santa Monica)
  • Airplane (4/1/73 Boston)
  • Eldorado Slim (3/20/73 Santa Monica) 
  • Day at the Dog Races (11/2/73 Houston)
  • High Roller (11/2/73 Houston)
  • Someone’s Leaving Tonight (11/2/73 Sugar Hill Studios)
  • Spanish Moon > Skin It Back (3/20/73 Santa Monica)
  • China White (w/Bonnie Raitt, 4/1/73 Boston) 
  • Ass for Days (4/1/73 Boston)

Live ’73: Oldies

This mix collects performances of songs that appeared on the band’s first two albums, plus “The Fan,” which goes back to 1970. Most of these songs fell out of the band’s repertoire by 1974, with only “A Apolitical Blues,” “Sailin’ Shoes,” “Willin’” and “Teenage Nervous Breakdown” making it to 1975 and beyond, during the George years.

It is fascinating to hear these songs transformed by the sextet’s approach, and I had to fight myself not to include every recording of “Hamburger Midnight.” Even the shittiest bootleg can’t break that song. I decided not to include “Cold, Cold, Cold” and “Tripe Face Boogie” on this mix, because there are lots of great 1973 versions of those, and the Ultrasonic recording of them is plenty good enough for this mix.

49 minutes:

  • Hamburger Midnight (7/21/73 Denver)
  • Snakes on Everything (7/21/73 Denver)
  • Texas Rose Cafe (7/19/73 Denver)
  • Got No Shadow (7/19/73 Denver)
  • A Apolitical Blues (7/19/73 Denver)
  • Cat Fever (7/19/73 Denver)
  • The Fan (7/19/73 Denver)
  • Sailin’ Shoes (w/Bonnie Raitt, 4/1/73 Boston)
  • Willin’ (4/1/73 Boston)
  • Teenage Nervous Breakdown (4/1/73 Boston)
  • Teenage Nervous Breakdown (w/sax 4/15/73 NYC - Max’s Kansas City)

You might look at the above track sources, or listen to this mix, and conclude that the 7/19/73 tape must be a classic. It isn’t for me. Its immaculate crispness works great for these early songs, but when it comes to the thicker grooves/major new tunes of the era, the sound does not gel for me. I do not groove. 

If these mixes please you, you'll probably want to see all our Little Feat posts. 

Miles Davis: “Jack Johnson” LP 2 (1970)

This mix is my best shot at carving out a second LP to augment Miles Davis’ 1970 album, “Jack Johnson.” 

That album contains two very different, 25-minute tracks (“Right Off” and ”Yesternow”), each made up of multiple takes, brilliantly spotted and edited by producer Teo Macero.

The complete sessions for that album run to 368 minutes and cover a bunch of different compositions and jams. You can hear them all on "The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions” (5-discs, 2005, still in print, with a fantastic book of liner notes).

Quite a few outtakes from the sessions ended up sprinkled (whole or partial) across a decade of subsequent Davis releases. That might be why there’s hasn’t been an official, concise “Jack Johnson Sessions” collection. 

This is my version of that collection, almost exactly equal in length to the original “Jack Johnson” album, and an attempt to meaningfully expand and enrich that album, rather than simply providing a grab-bag of cool stuff. 

This material gets more abstract than the chillest moments of “Yesternow,” and extends the fusion-jam-rock attitude of “Right Off” further into blues and funky Herbie Hancock zones – but not too far! I’ve tried to make this a credible, every-minute-counts, jazz-fusion album, avoiding performances you could say are just a riff that is hoping for something great to happen.

I ignored whether or not a recording appeared on a later album somewhere, so several tracks will be familiar to fans of post-1970 Davis releases. I also edited a couple of tracks.

52-minute mp3 mix zipped up here

Side 1:

  • The Mask (part 2) (15:46)
  • Little High People (tk 7, edit) (4:44)
  • Archie Moore (4:45)

Side 2:

  • Selim (tk 4B) (2:14)
  • Little Church (tk 7) (3:16) 
  • Konda (16:28)
  • Ali (tk 3, edit) (4:38)

Once you get used to these "sides," I recommend putting the original album's "Right Off" before both, and "Yesternow" in between them. 

Session and release information on Wikipedia


Little Feat: Pre-Columbian Live (1975-1976 bootleg highlights)

This post offers a double-LP-sized live Little Feat album covering May 1975 to May 1976, drawn from four good soundboard bootlegs. 

Post-1974, George-era Little Feat needs a little more advocacy and canon-building. The final few studio albums with Lowell George were overcooked, and only the fabulous, live “Waiting for Columbus” (1977) plants a decisive post-1974 flag for the era. 

Even the band’s latter-day live archive releases (“Hot Tomatos” and “Ripe Tomatos” [sic]) hardly broach 1975-1976 live material.

So, here’s a concise bootleg-bridge collection to slot between the 1974 Ultrasonic Studios recordings and the 1977 Tower of Power Horns live moment of “Waiting for Columbus.”

Overlapping setlists made it fairly easy to reduce these sources to an album of performances that offer contrasts with the familiar recordings or are simply very exciting. There are several great 2-and-3-song sequences with perfect segues by the band. Compared to the familiar recordings, there are also some notably long versions – a seven-minute “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now,” and an eight-minute “Day or Night.” Lots of charming moments, too. 

100-minute mp3 mix zipped up here

LP 1 (1975):

Atlanta (5/23/75)

  • Oh, Atlanta!
  • On Your Way Down
  • Juliette >
  • Lafayette Railroad >
  • Day Or Night
  • Feats Don’t Fail Me Now

Rochester (10/18/75)

  • Down Below the Borderline
  • Romance Dance
  • Willin’

LP2 (1976):

San Francisco (2/14/76)

  • Skin It Back
  • One Love Stand >
  • Rock & Roll Doctor
  • Cold, Cold, Cold >
  • Dixie Chicken > 
  • Tripe Face Boogie
  • Teenage Nervous Breakdown

London (5/3/76)

  • On Your Way Down
  • All That You Dream 

Artwork: Neon Park, “Jesus and the Three Pigs” (ink, 1976)

No audio edits except proper tracking divisions where the band executed a segue, track start/end-points, and some volume EQ.

This is our second Little Feat proposition. The first one is here. 

Joy Division: 50 Tracks from 10 Concerts (September 1979- April 1980)

Joy Division’s live expression was the opposite of the clean, spacious, icy one that producer Martin Hannett honed on the band’s studio recordings. Live, they were a filthy, thick, hot power trio mess, with a sound not so far from Stooges/Crazy Horse, and a lot of moves that seem to come from The Velvet Underground. 

The live Joy Division oeuvre/experience can be intimidating to both moderate and super fans, because nearly every document is an audience recording, and there are a lot of them. Also, the band was loose/sloppy, which led to both great and terrible performances of songs. And they only had so many compositions in their repertoire. 

So, nobody really needs to spend a lot of time with 35-40 JD concert recordings. I have spent that time, over a decade, and I have ended up being a track-by-track fan.  

The folder I’m sharing has 50 of those tracks. I automatically excluded live material that appeared on the official releases “Still,” “Heart & Soul,” “Preston,” and “Les Bains Douches.” I think of those as the most official, canonical, available, live releases – and the ones that most fans will already know well.   

Anyhow, I had to a draw a line in the murky official/bootleg sand somewhere – in order to create a mix with value to serious fans – and this seemed like a reasonable one. 

A few overlaps with official releases remain, because better masters of the recordings appeared after the band attached them to releases (several tracks each from 1/11/80, 2/8/80). The 2/20/80 High Wycombe source is the bonus disc attached to the fleeting, limited edition 2007 reissue of “Still.” The person who mastered it for release apparently remastered it a few years later, but I have not found that version.

I didn’t pay any attention to how many or how few songs came from a show, or whether or not every possible song was represented. 15-20 bad-sounding shows went totally into the trash, as did plenty of good-sounding recordings of badly played songs. 

These are simply the tracks that I think are worth hearing a lot. 

File Format & Track List: Choose Your Own Adventure

So that it’s easy for fans with any level of interest to identify and delete any tracks they’ve already got, these files are still tagged show-by-show, rather than being wrapped into some kind of album. The screenshot below shows you exactly what you’ll get. 

3h20m mp3 mix zipped up here


The Mothers of Invention: Seriously Live Volume 2 (1968-1969 bootleg highlights)

This mix includes almost three hours of thrilling, unreleased, instrumental Mothers of Invention from the final year of the original band’s existence. I reviewed approximately 15 concert recordings, and these are the bits that I think everyone should hear. 

This is my second mixtape of late-1960s live Mothers. The first one is here, with notes explaining my enthusiasm for the original band and listing the musicians. 

Together, these two mixes include five hours of ambitious compositions and live improvisation by a large band at the peak of its powers. They include at least one version of most of the major compositions from this era, plus lesser known themes, lengthy jams, and a glimpse of “Hot Rats” (which would be recorded just a month after the latest Mothers' date on this mix). 

2h45m mp3 mixtape zipped up here 

Disc 1: Possibly Commercial (76 minutes)

This disc concentrates buttoned-up performances with great sound quality, mostly from two shows. This “Trouble Every Day” rides a fantastic, mechano-groove. 

  • Son of Mr. Green Genes (10/26/68 Paris)
  • Behind the Sun (2/23/69 Toronto)
  • A Pound for the Brown > (2/23/69 Toronto)
  • Sleeping in a Jar > (2/23/69 Toronto)
  • Charles Ives (2/23/69 Toronto)
  • Corrido Rock > Pachuko Hop (2/23/69 Toronto)
  • King Kong (10/26/68 Paris)
  • Trouble Every Day (8/3/68 New York)

Disc 2: Fatty Goodness (61 minutes)

This disc collects extended jams, solo sequences, and slinky grooves. “Jam in A” is an A+ dance party. My first mix included a lot of angles on “King Kong”; this one has a lot of “Sleeping in a Jar” variations. 

  • Jam in A (10/20/68 Amsterdam)
  • Jam Fragment (10/3/68 Copenhagen)
  • Sleeping in a Jar excerpt (10/10/68 Amsterdam)
  • Help I’m a Rock > Transylvania Boogie (10/20/68 Amsterdam)
  • Sleeping in a Jar excerpt (6/5/69 Portsmouth)
  • Blues Jam (10/26/68 Paris)

Disc 3: Orchestral Tendencies (32 minutes)

This disc stacks up some smaller compositions/passages that lean away from rock, culminating in the “Big Medley” (OCLT). 

  • Interlude (5/24/69 Toronto)
  • Cabin Boy > Wedding Dress > Little House > Dog Breath (4/28/68 Detroit)
  • Little March (5/24/69 Toronto)
  • Uncle Meat (5/24/69 Toronto)
  • OCLT 1: Let’s Make the Water Turn Black > Harry You’re a Beast > Oh No (10/20/68 Amsterdam)
  • OCLT 2: The Orange County Lumber Truck (4/28/68 Detroit)
  • Octandre (10/6/68 Bremen)

Caveats:

  • To the best of my knowledge, none of these tracks have appeared on official releases, but Zappa and the estate have sprinkled tunes from all eras across so many anthology releases that it is hard to be sure.
  • Dates/cities are based on the bootleg recordings I have and may not all be correct. You can investigate yourself on the Frank Zappa Gig List: 1969 
  • With these two mixes, I’ve used up all the unreleased live 1968-1969 Mothers recordings I have been able to get my hands on. 


The Mothers of Invention: Seriously Live - 1967-1969 bootleg highlights

Sliced and diced together from five bootleg recordings, this is a giant, live, instrumental album of The Mothers of Invention playing unique arrangements of and incendiary, extended jams around many of their major songs of the era. Details on sources and alignment with official albums duly noted below the program/player info.

mp3 mix zipped up here (source dates included in tags)

The Program

Disc 1 (70 minutes):

  • Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbeque (2:18)
  • Eye of Agamoto (7:31)
  • Aybe Sea (3:01)
  • Uncle Meat > King Kong (17:47)
  • A Pound for a Brown (on the bus) (8:36)
  • Sleeping in a Jar (16:32)
  • The Dog Breath Variations > (10:40)
  • What (3:53)

Disc 2 (68 minutes):

  • Some Ballet Music #1 > (6:08)
  • Uncle Meat (5:05)
  • King Kong excerpt (9:11)
  • Some Ballet Music #2 (5:50)
  • King Kong excerpt (8:46)
  • King Kong excerpt (15:12)
  • A Pound for a Brown (on the bus) excerpt (5:32)
  • Some Ballet Music #3 (2:18)
  • King Kong excerpt (7:52)
  • Petrouska > The Bristol Stomp (1:49)

The Players

  • Frank Zappa: guitar, percussion (composer, re-arranger, conductor)
  • Roy Estrada: bass
  • Jimmy Carl Black: drums
  • Ian Underwood: guitar, keyboards, woodwinds, flute, clarinet, alto and tenor saxophone
  • Don Preston: keyboards
  • Jim Sherwood: soprano and baritone saxophone
  • Bunk Gardner: woodwinds
  • Buzz Gardner: trumpet
  • Artie Tripp: drums, timpani, vibes, marimba, xylophone, and much more

The Case

Frank Zappa’s 1967-1969 catalogue of instrumental compositions, arrangements, and performances slots in admirably alongside Miles Davis and The Grateful Dead of the same, fusion-y moment. 

Indeed, Zappa’s serious instrumental efforts through 1974 form a large body of great and influential work. Unfortunately, Zappa is better known for just about everything except this stuff. Also, unfortunately, the original Mothers of Invention are not well known as one of the most adept and glorious, precision + improvisation bands of the era.

Little Feat: Surprise! (1969-1975)

Here’s an imaginary, early-1970s, soul-jazz-funk studio album by Little Feat. It does not include anything from the seven Lowell George-era studio albums. 

This mix is a customized shoe for some fascinating extra Feat toes. It shuffles together selections from the band’s recordings with jazz drummer Chico Hamilton (1973), with Lowell George sound-alike singer Robert Palmer (1975), and from officially-released studio outtakes compilations (1972-1975, with two 1969 outliers). 

Nearly all the material is contemporary with the band’s third and fourth albums, “Dixie Chicken” and “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now,” the first to feature the band’s classic second lineup: Lowell George, Bill Payne, Richie Hayward, Paul Barrere, Kenny Gradney, and Sam Clayton. The famous bootleg Ultrasonic Studios session is from this same period (September 1974).

While every player isn’t on every song (see notes below the track list), this mix documents that group during its flood years, when riffs and grooves seemed to spill out of them, and they were a very sensible studio band choice. 

By giving the Hamilton and Palmer tracks a better setting – by culling and combining them with each other and with a handful of kindred outtakes – this mix tries to supply a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, and a coherent album that isn’t much like any of the band’s official ones. 

One-hour mp3 mix zipped up here

  • Spanish Moon (1973 single version)
  • I Can Hear the Grass Grow (1973 w/Chico Hamilton)
  • Here with You Tonight (1975 w/Robert Palmer)
  • Conquistadores (1973 w/Chico Hamilton)
  • All That You Dream (1974 outtake)
  • Gengis (1973 w/Chico Hamilton)
  • Work to Make It Work (1975 w/Robert Palmer)
  • Eldorado Slim (1972 outtake)
  • Stu (1973 w/Chico Hamilton)
  • Juliet (1969 outtake)
  • Fine Time (1975 w/Robert Palmer)
  • High Roller (1975 outtake)
  • Stacy (1973 w/Chico Hamilton)
  • Jazz Thing in 10 (1969 outtake)
  • River Boat (1975 w/Robert Palmer)
  • Trouble (1975 w/Robert Palmer)

Chico Hamilton’s “The Master” (1973) features all the second formation members of Little Feat except Richie Hayward (who is replaced by Hamilton on drums), with additional organ by Jerry Aiello and Stu Gardner, and more congas by Simon Nava. The limitation of the album is that it’s mostly just riffs and small jams, and almost sounds like “sessions for,” rather than a true album, clocking in at a meagre 35 minutes. I’ve included all but three tracks, which happen to be the album’s first three tracks!? More information here.

Robert Palmer’s “Pressure Drop” (1975) features all the second formation members of Little Feat, but also includes enough additional musicians to make it unclear exactly who is playing on each track. Those that overlap Feat instruments include James Jamerson on bass, Ed Greene on drums/percussion, and Jean Roussel and Gordon DeWitty on clavinet, organ, and/or other keyboards. I have included five of eleven tracks; the others are hopelessly cheesy and un-Feat-like. More information here.

Little Feat have done a great job of releasing non-album material from the George years, on “Hoy Hoy,” and “Hot Cakes and Outtakes,” plus two double-disc live archive albums, “Hot” and “Ripe Tomatos” [sic]. Nonetheless, there’s no way to stack all or most of the studio outtakes into anything that feels like more than a warehouse of outtakes, demos, early versions, etc. Pulling some of them out and threading them into the Hamilton and Palmer material seemed to bring them into focus as meaningful Feat moments. 

Rolling Stones: Sympathy for the Disco (outtakes '75-'79)

Someone posted an enthusiastic comment about one of my Rolling Stones studio outtakes mixes, which reminded me that I never posted this one. It's definitely more marginal than the others, but it's a pretty serviceable super-extended 12-inch remix of an aspect of the band that was never allowed to dominate any official album.

This is a very selective sampling of Ron Wood era outtakes, focusing on the band’s half-formed funk/disco/jam band persona. Many of the tracks are the long, unedited basic takes of songs that were finished and released between ’75 and ’81. It was typical for the band to record instrumentals, which Jagger either picked up for songwriting or didn’t. Jagger’s ongoing engagement with contemporary pop, funk, reggae, disco, etc. seems to have equipped him well in this period to turn the sketch of an idea into a persuasive, half-rapped vocal. He sings, he declaims, he chants, he talks conversationally about Puerto Rican girls. In this long “Miss You” (which was perhaps released on a 12”) you hear him figuring out where his lyrical hooks are, which stories to tell, and which to cut.

Yes, there are three takes of “Dance” on the bootlegs, but don't get too excited. They don’t have any connection to the “part 1” and “part 2” designations of the songs on Emotional Rescue and Sucking in the Seventies. Instead, they are three very similar performances of the song’s basic moves, with Jagger sketching in some vocal angles, totaling 21 minutes. 

100-minute mp3 mix zipped up here

  • Come on Sugar (1981 1975)
  • Slave (raw take 1975)
  • Hey Negrita (raw take 1975)
  • Everything is Turning to Gold (raw take 1977)
  • Miss You (alternate 1977)
  • I Love Ladies (1975)
  • Worried About You (original 1975)
  • Heaven (original 1979)
  • Jah is Not Dead (1979)
  • Disco Muzik (1978)
  • Dance 1, 2, 3 (1979)

Artwork: I have deleted the cover art I originally used, which turns out to be the logo of very cool DJs and remixers that you can check out here

Bob Dylan: “I’ll Keep It with Mine” (rehearsal edit 1966)

One of Dylan’s great mid-Sixties songs that never reached a definitive studio version , “I’ll Keep It with Mine” got several demo and rehearsal readings over several years, the best and most famous of which is a “Blonde on Blonde” rehearsal take, included on “The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3." 

It's a great performance, and despite its wobbles, a classic recording.

One of the wobbles, in the middle of the first verse, is the producer cutting in to tell Dylan to keep doing what he’s doing. That interjection has almost become a part of the song itself, at least for me. 

Nonetheless, the release of “The Cutting Edge,” the complete 1965-1966 studio sessions, provided the incomplete take immediately before the great one, which included the whole first verse. So, I've spliced that beginning onto the famous version. It's not a better version, but there’s something to be said for the song itself not including an interruption. 

One-song mp3 download here:

I’ll Keep It with Mine (1966 rehearsal edit)