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22 May 2017

Billy Preston “Live European Tour” 1974 US Soul Blues Funk

Billy Preston “Live European Tour” 1974 US Soul Blues Funk
..and I will FIGHT anyone who disagrees. Rather than taking the instrument and jerking around with it, like some amped-up teenager playing "heavy metal" on an "instrument" that looks and sounds like a thalidomide baby, Billy created harmonic melodies that sat on top and added to the beauty of what was being sung or played. When he took a solo - man, get back! aural thunder and lightening! And as a bass player myself, I really dig what Billy did with a clavinet - FUNK, pure, undiluted FUNK. But HEY!: opening with "Day Tripper" instead of "Get Back?" (uh...where have we heard THAT before?) - Billy! Just because guitarist el-supremo, Mick Taylor, played with you on this tour...well, still all the hits are here, especially "Nothing From Nothing" (MY fave, and to this day, I still LOVE that line, "Don't you remember, I told you: I'm a soldier in the war on poverty"), and it will have you involuntarily moving parts of your anatomy that you probably don't use on a regular basis. Billy, God rest your Soul, Man, you are SO missed; thank The Lord Stevie Wonder is still around! OK, THAT said: I can just IMAGINE the grin on The Lord's face when He listens to that "classically funky" jam that you and Johann Sebastian Bach are probably doing, mixing & dubbing "Toccata & Fugue In D Minor" with "Will It Go Round In Circles!" In closing, two things: A) my only gripe - well, yeah, it IS a Billy Preston CD - is that Mick Taylor ain't more prominent; but I can just imagine what Mick the Man himself would say: "It's a Billy Preston CD, mate!" and B) I specifically didn't mention other (ahem) "keyboard players...".........ByThe Redneck Jaco......

In the mid-'70s, A&M Records began releasing live albums by many of its key rock artists (Peter Frampton, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Flying Burrito Brothers, etc.). Billy Preston's, recorded along his 1973 European tour with a band that included Mick Taylor -- moonlighting from the Rolling Stones (from whose lineup he was soon to be liberated) -- might be the most impressive of them all, capturing a funky, soulful, soaring, and overall spellbinding performance that embraced just about every side of his work. Preston's rendition of "Let It Be" is the only one this reviewer has ever heard that could challenge the original on its own ground, and Preston also turns in killer renditions of his own hits "Will It Go Round in Circles" and "That's the Way God Planned It," a gorgeous organ instrumental version of "Amazing Grace," and a scintillating performance of "Let's Go Get Stoned" (where he gives a loving homage to Ray Charles). The obligatory "Space Race" and "Outa-Space" are also present, the latter expanded into an eight-minute jam that leaves it not too recognizable but still a fair amount of fun as a finale. The sound is Bruce Eder..............

In 1973 Billy Preston went on tour through Europe with The Rolling Stones as their guest keyboard player. At the same time he also served as their opening act with his own band (consisting of fellow keyboard men Hubert Heard and Kenneth Lupper and drummer Manuel Kellough, plus Rolling Stone Mick Taylor on guitar). His set was recorded, and a live album was produced - Live European Tour came out in 1974. On it he performed a selection of his own songs (including both instrumentals "Outa-Space" and "Space Race"), a number of Beatles tunes ("Day Tripper", "Let It Be" and "Get Back"), and the Ray Charles hit "Let's Go Get Stoned". In fact three of these covers ("Let It Be", "Get Back" and "Let's Go Get Stoned") he knew well as had appeared on the original recordings as a session musician. 
The album came together perfectly to showcase the high energy and character of Billy Preston's music - to have such brilliant, funky music before the Stones even hit the stage, these must have been some amazing concerts! 
In 2003 a new version of the album was released on CD. It featured a slightly different track list (including his own "That's The Way God Planned It" and a Hammond organ arrangement of "Amazing Grace"), and in fact all the songs were different versions to those on the original LP. Rather than try to decide which edition is better, I have put them both together as one double album..........

Maybe this is it. Yep, if you are wholeheartedly determined to own a Billy Preston album because he has such a cute gap in his front teeth — but are stubbornly determined to own only one Billy Preston album because he only got one gap in his teeth, or for any other such reason — this live performance from the time when the man was at the peak of his powers (no matter how high one believes that peak to have been) might be a better choice than even the best studio records. 

These recordings were made on the brief European tour where Billy supported the Rolling Stones — the same tour that did not yield the official release of the famous Brussels Affair show, but did yield a live album for Billy, and we do have the Stones to thank for that. First, because it is a real mean feat to be the opening act for the Stones, particularly around 1973: with all the people gathered to see a real hot rock'n'roll show, you have no choice but to work double hard on the atmosphere — leave behind most of the sentimentality and concentrate on the fire. 

Second, because I have always felt that what was missing the most on Billy's albums was the pre­sence of a reliable guitar sidekick — somebody who could, on a steady basis, provide much-nee­ded sparring partnership, push the guy towards reaching new extremes, crunch-ify the procee­dings and add diversity. Somebody like Clapton, whose presence on the original ʽThat's The Way God Planned Itʼ made it so unforgettable. 

Well — turns out that for most of the duration of Billy's set, none other than Mick Taylor himself, warming up for the main gig, would come out and play along. It goes without saying that, consequently, the album is an absolute must-have for all those who hold a special place in their hearts for Mick's guitar tones and fluent bluesy phrasing. In fact, one could argue that it is on Billy's songs where Taylor really gets to play his heart out: with the Stones, the guy was «con­trac­tually» held back both in the studio and (to a lesser extent) on the stage, but with Billy, there was no such obliga­tion — so that every time Mick launches into a solo on here, all the attention is immediately diverted to his playing... and Billy is such a nice guy that he doesn't mind too much: in fact, he does not fail to remember to thank «his friend Mick Taylor» at the end of the show. 

The latest CD edition of the experience actually contains two versions of the album: one from the US and one from the UK market, which differ quite significantly — about half of the tracks ac­tually represent alternate versions, plus the UK album has ʽBilly's Bagʼ and ʽGet Backʼ on it, whereas the US ver­sion replaces them with a closer-to-home instrumental take on ʽAmazing Graceʼ. So, despite all the similarities, there is really very little duplication going on here, and we should be quite happy with eighty minutes of live Billy/Mick material instead of fourty. 

Billy winds himself up fairly quickly — after a brief two-minute warm-up with ʽDay Tripperʼ (yes, the Beatles crop up quite often on this record, but, given the particularities of Billy's biogra­phy, we could not expect otherwise), we get a ten-minute monster jam based around ʽThe Busʼ, which is as blisteringly raw and kick-ass as the album gets in general. With Preston hopping around from organ to Moog and back again, and Taylor having the permission to throw his hard blues chops in the spotlight anytime he feels like it, the ten minutes pass by in a flash — and at the jam's peak, with the two players «weaving» their lead lines around each other, they easily build up as much rock'n'roll excitement as the Stones themselves. 

In a few tiny areas, the energy level might seem to sag a little — for instance, Billy's «comical» impersona­tion of Ray Charles on ʽLet's Go Get Stonedʼ is rather misguided, and ʽAmazing Graceʼ does not truly find its voice until Taylor joins in at the end — but for most of the time, the heat is totally on: if ʽThe Busʼ were to still leave any doubts, the monster run through ʽOuta Spaceʼ will dissipate the last of them. The final part of that jam features a particularly tense duel between Billy, getting a vile, poisonous tone out of the Moog, and Taylor, spurred on to new heights of slide-playing power (UK version only — the keyboard mix on the US version is not good enough, although Taylor's kick-ass licks are just as good). 

Overall, this is an essential listen for all those who tend to think of Preston as somewhat of a lite-entertainment «sissy», all gospel anthems and sentimental ballads and fluffy pop songs about no­thing from nothing (speaking of fluffy pop songs, even ʽWill It Go Round In Circlesʼ sounds tough and threatening in this here context). Were it so, the Stones would hardly have entertained the idea to pick on him as a support act (not to mention playing keyboards on their own part of the set) — and while, on his own, he would probably never be in a position to steal the show, the subtle alliance with Mick Taylor almost threatens to do just that. At the very least, I'd bet there was never any clamoring of «we want the Stones!» during Billy's star time. Thumbs Starostin.............

Art Direction – Roland Young (3) 
Design – Junie Osaki 
Drums – Manuel Kellough 
Engineer – Andy Johns 
Engineer [Re-mix] – Bruce Wayne (2), Henry Lewy 
Keyboards – Billy Preston, Huby Heard*, Kenny Lupper* 
Lead Guitar – Mick Taylor 
Producer – Billy Preston

A1 Day Tripper 1:55 
A2 The Bus (Medley) 10:40 
A3 Let It Be 2:20 
A4 Let's Go Get Stoned 1:05 
A5 Billy's Bag 3:15 
B1 Will It Go Round In Circles 3:55 
B2 Outa-Space 4:05 
B3 Higher (Vamp) 7:00 
B4 Get Back 5:10


Studio albums 

Year Album Title Record Label Notes 
1963 16 Yr. Old Soul Derby Recorded for Sam Cooke's SAR label (Derby was its sister imprint), Preston still at high school in Los Angeles. Re-released in the UK in 1969 by Soul City Records as Greazee Soul 
1965 The Most Exciting Organ Ever VJ Records Fully instrumental 
Early Hits of '65 Exodus Records Recorded in the same sessions as The Most Exciting Organ Ever 
1966 Wildest Organ in Town! Capitol Records Arranged by Sly Stone 
1967 Club Meeting Capitol Records A continuation of Wildest Organ in Town! 
1969 That's the Way God Planned It Apple Records Debut album on Apple, and featuring the European hit "That's the Way God Planned It"; guests include George Harrison, Keith Richards and Eric Clapton 
1970 Encouraging Words Apple Records Guests include George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Delaney Bramlett 
1971 I Wrote a Simple Song A&M Records Debut album for A&M, includes the hit "Outa-Space" and features contributions from Quincy Jones and George Harrison 
1972 Music Is My Life A&M Records Includes the hit "Will It Go Round in Circles" 
1973 Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music A&M Records Includes the hit "Space Race" 
1974 The Kids & Me A&M Records Includes the hit "Nothing from Nothing" and the future hit for Joe Cocker, "You Are So Beautiful" 
1975 It's My Pleasure A&M Records Incorporates synthesizers more heavily than previous Preston album, features harmonica by Stevie Wonder on two tracks and a guest appearance from George Harrison 
1976 Billy Preston A&M Records Guests include Jeff Beck and the Tower of Power horns 
1977 A Whole New Thing A&M Records Final album for A&M 
1979 Late at Night Motown Records Includes the hit duet with Syreeta Wright, "With You I'm Born Again" 
1981 Billy Preston & Syreeta Motown Records Album features duets 
The Way I Am Motown Records Guests include members of Toto 
1982 Pressin' On Motown Records Final album for Motown Records 
1984 On the Air Megatone Records Album features a Beatles tribute 
1986 You Can't Keep a Good Man Down D&K Records
1995 Billy's Back NuGroove Records
2001 You and I Just 2001 Featuring the Italian band Novecento 
Studio EP 

Year Album Title Record Label Notes 
2004 Billy's Tribute to The Beatles EP iFanz Records Featuring Sgt. Pepper, I'm Looking Through You & Give Me Love 
Live album 

1974: Live European Tour 1973 (A&M Records) 
Gospel albums 

1965: Hymns Speak from the Organ (Exodus Records, EX-53) 
1973: Gospel in My Soul (reissue of Hymns Speak from the Organ) 
1978: Behold! (Myrrh Records, MYR-1070) 
1980: Universal Love 
1994: Ministry of Music (D&K Records, D&K 86003) 
1996: Words and Music 
2001: Music from My Heart 
Charted albums 

Year Album US Top 200 US R&B 
1965 The Most Exciting Organ Ever 143 5 
1966 Wildest Organ in Town! 118 9 
1969 That's the Way God Planned It1 127 — 
1970 Encouraging Words — 50 
1971 I Wrote a Simple Song 32 9 
1972 Music Is My Life 32 7 
1973 Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music 52 3 
1974 The Kids & Me 17 8 
1975 It's My Pleasure 43 18 
1977 A Whole New Thing — 49 
1979 Late at Night 49 73 
1981 Billy Preston & Syreeta 127 48 
Footnotes: 1 Charted in 1972 


Year Title Chart positions 
1965 "Billy's Bag" / "Goldfinger" — — — 
1968 "Hey Brother" — — — 
1969 "That's the Way God Planned It" 62 — 11 
1970 "All That I've Got (I'm Gonna Give It to You)" 108 — — 
1971 "My Sweet Lord" 90 23 — 
1972 "The Bus" — 43 — 
"I Wrote a Simple Song" 77 — — 
"Outa-Space" 2 1 44 
"That's the Way God Planned It" (Re-release) 65 — — 
"Slaughter" 50 17 — 
1973 "Will It Go Round in Circles" 1 10 — 
"How Long Has the Train Been Gone" — — — 
"Space Race" 4 1 — 
1974 "You're So Unique" 48 11 — 
"Nothing from Nothing" 1 8 — 
"Struttin'" 22 11 — 
1975 "Fancy Lady" 71 23 — 
"Do It While You Can" — 58 — 
1977 "I've Got the Spirit" — 48 — 
"Do What You Want" — flip — 
"Girl" — 44 — 
"Wide Stride" — 33 — 
1978 "I'm Really Gonna Miss You" — 59 — 
"Get Back" 86 — — 
1979 "Go for It" (with Syreeta Wright) 108 — — 
"With You I'm Born Again" (with Syreeta Wright) 4 86 2 
1980 "It Will Come in Time" (with Syreeta Wright) — — 47 
"One More Time for Love" (with Syreeta Wright) 52 72 — 
1981 "Searchin'" (with Syreeta Wright) 106 — — 
1982 "I'm Never Gonna Say Goodbye" 88 64 — 
1986 "So Good, So Fine" (with Ann-Louise Hanson) — — — 
2003 "Go Where No One's Gone Before"[21] — — — 
"—" denotes releases that did not chart. 
As a guest/session performer 

1963: Night Beat (Sam Cooke) 
1969: "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down" (The Beatles) 
1969: Abbey Road (The Beatles) 
1970: Let It Be (The Beatles) 
1970: All Things Must Pass (George Harrison) 
1970: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (John Lennon) – piano on "God" 
1971: Sticky Fingers (The Rolling Stones) 
1971: The Concert for Bangladesh (George Harrison and Friends) 
1971: There's a Riot Goin' On (Sly and the Family Stone) 
1971: Live at Fillmore West (King Curtis and Aretha Franklin) 
1971: Barbra Joan Streisand – keyboards and drums 
1972: Exile on Main St. (The Rolling Stones) 
1972: Wind of Change (Peter Frampton) – piano, keyboards, harpsichord, accordion 
1973: Ringo (Ringo Starr) – Organ on "I'm the Greatest" and "Oh My My" 
1973: Goats Head Soup (The Rolling Stones) 
1974: Dark Horse (George Harrison) – electric piano 
1974: Goodnight Vienna (Ringo Starr) – clavinet on the title track, electric piano on "Only You (And You Alone)" 
1974: It's Only Rock 'n Roll (The Rolling Stones) 
1975: "You Are So Beautiful" (Joe Cocker) 
1975: Extra Texture (Read All About It) (George Harrison) – electric piano on "His Name Is Legs (Ladies And Gentlemen)" 
1976: Thirty Three & 1/3 (George Harrison) 
1976: No Reason to Cry (Eric Clapton) 
1976: Black and Blue (Rolling Stones) 
1976: Love You Live (Rolling Stones) 
1978: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – also acted the part "Sgt. Pepper" in the film 
1981: Tattoo You (Rolling Stones) 
1982: Gone Troppo (George Harrison) 
1985: "Till My Baby Comes Home" (Luther Vandross) – Plays organ 
1986: "Great Gosh A'Mighty (Been a Long Time Comin')" – co-written with Little Richard – from the film Down and Out in Beverly Hills (sung by Little Richard) 
1990: Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band – keyboards and vocals 
1990: Giovani Jovanotti (Jovanotti) – keyboards and Fender Rhodes 
1990: "Show Me Your Soul" - Red Hot Chili Peppers 
1991: ...E La Vita Continua (Nino D'Angelo) 
1993: Wandering Spirit (Mick Jagger) – "Sweet Thing", "Out of Focus", "[[Use Me (Bill Withers song)|Use Me]]", "Wandering Spirit" and "I've Been Lonely for So Long". 
1996: Voyage of Dreams – Jephté Guillaume and the Tet Kale Orkestra – organ, strings on "Al Di Yo", "Go Tell Them", "Kanpe", "Get Up" 
1996: Donnie McClurkin (Donnie McClurkin) – organ 
1996: Love Brought Me Back (Helen Baylor) – organ 
1996: El Equilibiro de los Jaguares (Jaguares) – organ /Hammond B3 on "Detrás de los Cerros" 
1996: Peace Beyond Passion (Me'shell Ndegeocello) – keyboards on "Deuteronomy: Niggerman" 
1997: Bridges to Babylon (The Rolling Stones) – organ on "Saint of Me" 
1998: Undiscovered Soul (Richie Sambora) 
2000: The Harsh Light of Day (Fastball) – keyboards on "You're An Ocean" 
2001: Songs from the West Coast (Elton John) – Hammond organ on "I Want Love", "The Wasteland", "Love Her Like Me" 
2001: Everybody Got Their Something (Nikka Costa) – Clavinet 
2001: Reptile (Eric Clapton) 
2001: One More Car, One More Rider (Eric Clapton, live) – DVD includes live performance of Will It Go Round in Circles 
2002: Travelogue (Joni Mitchell) – Hammond B3 on the track "You Dream Flat Tires" 
2002: American IV: The Man Comes Around (Johnny Cash) – piano on "Tear Stained Letter" and "Personal Jesus" 
2003: The Colored Section (Donnie) – Hammond B3 on the last track: "The Colored Section"[22] 
2003: Concert for George – including "Isn't It a Pity" and "My Sweet Lord" 
2003: Get Born (Jet) 
2004: Me and Mr. Johnson (Eric Clapton) – also appears in the DVD companion Sessions for Robert J 
2004: Crossroads Guitar Festival (Eric Clapton) 
2004: Genius Loves Company (Ray Charles) 
2005: 12 Songs (Neil Diamond) 
2005: Back Home (Eric Clapton) 
2005: Choose Love (Ringo Starr) 
2005: The Concert for Bangladesh (George Harrison and Friends) (re-mastered version and video) 
2005: Tough on Crime (Rebecca Pidgeon) – keyboards 
2006: Stadium Arcadium (Red Hot Chili Peppers) – "Warlocks" 
2006: The Road to Escondido (Eric Clapton]], J. J. Cale) 
2006: Overnight Sensational (Sam Moore) - Hammond B3 on "I Can't Stand the Rain" and sings and plays on "You Are So Beautiful" 
2007: Reach (Is'real Benton) – organ on "Have a Good Time" 
2007: Imagine (Howard Hewett) – organ

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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