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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Live At The Bitter End August 1971 - Dion (Ace Records 2015)

 Live At The Bitter End August 1971 - Dion
Ace (UK) /Omnivore Recordings (USA)
Released on CD in 2015*

*Also available as an MP3 Download from Ace Records.

Tracklisting and Songwriters
1 Mama, You've Been On My Mind (Bob Dylan)
2 Brand New Morning (Dion DiMucci)
3 Too Much Monkey Business (Chuck Berry)
4 Abraham, Martin And John (Dick Holler)
5 One Too Many Mornings (Bob Dylan)
6 Blackbird (Lennon/McCartney)
7 Sisters Of Mercy (Leonard Cohen)
8 Your Own Backyard (Dion DiMucci/Tony Fasce)
9 You Better Watch Yourself (Sam Hopkins)
10 Don't Start Me Talking (Sonny Boy Williamson)
11 Sunshine Lady (Dion DiMucci)
12 Sunniland
(Dion DiMucci/Tony Fasce)
 13 Sanctuary (Dick Holler/Don Burnham)
14 Willigo (Dion DiMucci)
15 The Wanderer (Ernest Maresca)
16 Ruby Baby (Lieber/Stoller)
17 Harmony Sound (Dion DiMucci)

I love stumbling across old things and this album by Dion DiMucci which has been around a couple of years is actually totally new to my ears. Originally recorded in August 1971 at The Bitter End in New York City but released for the first time in complete form in 2015 by Omnivore Recordings in the USA and the excellent Ace Records in the UK.

Three of the tracks on Live at The Bitter End appeared on Dion's second Solo Album for Warner Bros. Records entitled Sanctuary. The almost 56 minute complete performance had been sitting around in the vaults and what an absolute joy to hear it all these years later.

It's as basic as it comes, just Dion, an acoustic guitar and that great voice that had graced so many cracking singles between 1957-71 (though his last major hit single had been 1968's Abraham, Martin and John).

It's a great little performance that includes a few reworkings of previous hits The Wanderer (a kind of Folk Blues Version); Ruby Baby; Abraham, Martin and John; and a number of great covers including Chuck Berry's Too Much Monkey Business and The Beatles' Blackbird (which had appeared on his You're Not Alone album from 1971).

Bonus #1
This recording was taken from a Cassette and cleaned up a little and contains some material that also featured on the Bitter End set a month earlier. John Peel introduces Dion as part of his show before a live audience:

Bonus #2
 Kickin' Child - Dion
Produced by Tom Wilson
Norton Records
Released 2017

1. Kickin' Child*
2. Now
3. My Love
4. I Can't Help Wonder Where I'm Bound
5. Wake Up Baby
6. Time in My Heart for You
7. Tomorrow Won't Bring the Rain
8. Baby, I'm in the Mood for You
9. Two Ton Feather
10. Knowing I Won't Go Back There
11. Farewell
12. All I Want to Do Is Live My Life
13. You Move Me Babe
14. It's All Over Now Baby Blue*
15. So Much Younger*

*Produced by Bob Mersey

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