Reviews / DiscogRc

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Randy California \\ -a critical discography

Kaptain Kopter & The (Fabulous) Twirly Birds (1972)

Tracks: Downer, Devil, I Don't Want Nobody, Day Tripper, Mother And Child Reunion, Walkin' The Dog*, Things Yet To Come, Rain, Rainbow, Live For The Day*.

  • =bonus tracks on reissues.

Produced by The Kaptain with special help from chief engineer Roger Dollarhide ; also help from Rudolph and the twirly birds.

This Hendrix sounding album features Noel Redding on bass on a couple of tracks (he appears under the name Clit McTorius for contractual reasons). The sound is heavily psychedelic and very experimental. The first track on the album, Downer, is truly great-is it possible to sound more like Hendrix without actually being Hendrix? The other great track on this album is in my opinion Rain, a cover of the Beatles song. Randy's version of the song is much heavier than The Beatles version, and the melody is different. There are a couple of really weak tracks on this album, but it's interesting anyway. The bonus tracks on the re-issues don't add much to the album, so if you've got the original album there's no reason to buy the reissues just to get those tracks.

Euro-American (1982)

Tracks: Easy Love, Fearless Leader, Five In The Morning, Skulls And Crossbones, Breakout, Toy Guns, This Is The End, Mon Ami, Rude Reaction, Calling You, Wild Thing.

Produced by Randy California & Steve Sollars.

There's some great guitar playing from Randy on this album (listen to the end part of Skulls and crossbones!), but the songwriting is sometimes a bit laboured. There are a couple of great tracks on this album, though-particularly Skulls and Crossbones, Rude Reaction and Calling You. The musicians accompanying Randy on this album are Mark Andes, Curly Smith, Ed Cassidy, Tom Hall, Matt Andes, Larry Knight, Jay Ferguson, John Locke and George Valuck. This LP was 1982 released in Germany by Line Records # 6.25107., and it was packaged with a limited bonus 45 single with A side Grosser Herrscher and B side Magic Wand, Line Records # 6.13446. Grosser Herrscher is Fearless Leader in German language! The German translation is printed on the back of the single sleeve. Grosser Herrscher has a different mix and is sung in German by Randy:

Grosser herrscher
die Elite hoert dir zu
wir schweigen nicht mehr
wir geben keine ruh
so viel probleme
ihr fuehrt uns hinters licht
und denkt nur ans geld
doch an die menschen nicht

grosser herrscher
grosser herrscher

hoer auf zu schreien
denn ich verschwinde schon
und mach die ohrn auf
komm runter von dem thron
mut und courage
all das, das war einmal
nur weise reden
die sind uns ganz egal
Notice on the label: Remixed and edited at Ruessl Studio, Hamburg. With lots of love from Randy to Germany! The Euro American LP on Beggars banquet was packaged with a bonus 45 single with A side Shattered Dreams and B side Magic Wand #RAN1. Randy California's Euro american & Shattered Dreams are available in a 2 CD set from Line LICD9.21173S.

Album cover (left), CD-reissue (right).

Restless (1985)

Tracks: Run To Your Lover, Restless Nights, Second Child, Jack Rabbit, Shane, One Man's Heaven, Murphy's Law, Camelot, Battlemarch Of The Overlords, Childhoods End.

Produced by Randy California & Chris Goreham except tracks 1, 6, 8, 10, (& overdubs on 5) by Mick Glossop.

This album's production sounds incredibly dated today, when grunge has taken over. I guess it's an attempt at turning Randy into Gary Moore or something - 80's soft metal! There's four killer songs here though-Run To Your Lover, Jack Rabbit, Camelot and Childhoods End. Run to your lover unfortunately gets ruined by the glossy production (compare it with the version on Shattered Dreams!) but the other tracks doesn't sound too bad. There's a lot of dull and clich�d songs here also (Restless Nights, One Man's Heaven, Battlemarch Of The Overlords etc.), and my first impression of the album was actually that it was a complete turkey, but as I mentioned above there's actually a couple of good songs here, if one take's the time to listen to the album a couple of times. In the new Spirit video-Spirit-the video history vol. 2 there's a beautiful live-version of Jack Rabbit included-don't miss it!

Restless - 2003 CD re-issue

The Restless album was re-issued in 2003 on CD by Evangeline records ( ). In this form the album has a different cover (see above) and features extensive liner notes by Mick Skidmore as well as seven bonus tracks. The track sequencing is messed up, at least on the pressing I have. The actual running order of the tracks is as follows: 1. Run To Your Lover 2. Jack Rabbit 3. Second Child 4. Shane 5. Restless Nights 6. One Man's Heaven 7. Murphy's Law 8. Battlemarch Of The Overlords 9. Camelot 10. Boundary Soldier 11. Childhood's End 12. Jack Rabbit 13. Chess King 14. Restless Nights 15. Run To Your Lover 16. Super Child 17. Camelot. The bonus tracks are a mixture of unreleased tracks and different versions of previously released tracks. Some comments I got from from Tim Barnes (thank you!): \\ It's kind of interesting that the tracks should be in the wrong order, because one of the rare records guides of a few years ago suggested that white label pressings of an earlier version of the album existed, which had resequenced tracks with different mixes to those actually released. There are some incorrect credits - I have a 12" single release of Run to Your Lover, where the label credits production on Chess King (which wasn't actually the track pressed) to Mick Glossop. This release isn't mentioned in the informative booklet. This release says it's the first time on CD, so I guess the originally announced CD on Vertigo 818 646 2 must have been cancelled. (And I notice that the fadeout of Second Child has the same drums etc as the intro to Battlemarch of the Overlords.)

Shattered dreams (1986)

Tracks: Hey Joe (live), Shattered Dreams, All Along The Watchtower, Don't Bother Me, Downer, Second Child, Man At War, Killer Weed, Hand Guns, Radio Man, Run To Your Lover.

Produced by Randy California & Chris Stone.

The title track on this album is awesome. It features Randy, Ed, John Locke and Larry Knight, and it's very "Spiritual"! Other outstanding tracks on this album are Don't bother me (5 minutes of rage!) , a great new version of Downer and a fine live-version of Hey Joe. The last track on the album is a different and ten times better version of Run to your lover from the Restless album. Like the previous solo albums from Randy this album is patchy, but it's probably the best of the bunch. Randy California's Euro american & Shattered Dreams are available in a 2 CD set from Line LICD9.21173S.

Night of the guitar-live! (1989)

Produced by: Martin Turner.

Tracks: Dr . Brown I Presume, The Idler, Lucienne, Groove Thing, Hey Joe, Love Me Two Times, The King Will Come, Theme From An Imaginary Western, Sketches In The Sun*, Never In My Life#, Clap Medley#, Wurm, No Limit, Ain't Nothin' Shakin', All Along The Watchtower, Whole Lotta Shakin'/Dizzy Miss Lizzie/Johnny B.Goode/Rock & Roll Music/Bye Bye Johnny Bye Bye (medley)#.

  • =CD only, #=LP only.

In 1989 Randy joined a bunch of famous guitarist colleagues on the Night of the guitar tour in England. The other participants were: Steve Howe (Yes), Leslie West (Mountain), Robby Krieger (The Doors), Pete Haycock (Climax Blues band), Andy Powell and Ted Turner, Steve Hunter (Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel) and Alvin Lee (Ten years after). Randy plays a great version of Hey Joe and a new song called Groove thing (Is this really the correct song title? Groove thing sounds like the title of an instrumental....). Groove thing, or whatever it is called, is a great song with a powerful chorus but it hasn't turned up on a studio album yet, which is very strange. Randy also performs All Along The Watchtower together with Howe, Powell, Haycock and Krieger. This is a great album worth having for Spirit fans and fans of guitar music in general.

The Euro-American Years 1979-1983 (2007)

Tracks: CD1: You Stole My Heart, California Man, Thinking Of You, Reeling In The Night, Lani By The Sea, Shattered Dreams, Rock of Ages, Magic Wand, Toy Guns, This Is The End, Mon Ami, Rude Reaction, Calling You, Wild Thing, Easy Love, Fearless Leader, Five In The Morning, Skull And Crossbones, Breakout, Man At War, Hand Guns.

CD 2: Come On (Woman), Trouble In Mind, Cabin De Telephone, Brittany, Shane, All Along The Watchtower, Don't Bother Me, Downer, Second Child, Man At War, Killer Weed, Radio Man (Same Old Naturally), Loves Not A Game, Love Is War, Childhood's End, PT 109, Whispers From Heaven.

CD 3: 1984, Turn To The Right, Five In The Morning, Hungry Driver, I Want Somebody, Hey Joe, Shattered Dreams, So Little Time To Fly, Fish Fry Road, Magic Wand, Come On (Woman), Breakout, Downer, Song For Laura, Wild Thing.

CD 4: Grossher Hescher, Write You A Letter, Trying To Get Closer To You, Since She's Gone, Past Love, Stepping Son, Otter In The Sea, California Man, Childhood's End, Downer, You Stole My Heart, Move On Up, California Man, Rebel's Flight, Breakout, Song For Laura.

Produced by: Randy California, Steve Sollars, Mick Skidmore.



Randy California LP:s & CD:s

California, Randy All along The Watchtower Line 625318 Line LP
California, Randy Euro-American Line LICD 9.00041 0 CD
California, Randy Euro-American Line 6.25107 AP
California, Randy Grosser Herrscher Line 6.13446 TS Single
California, Randy Kapt. Kopter & His Fabulous Twirly Birds Edsel Records EDCD 164 CD
California, Randy Kapt.Kopter & The (Fabulous) Twirly Birds CBS 31829 LP
California, Randy Kapt.Kopter And The (Fabulous) Twirly Birds Epic E 31755 LP
California, Randy Restless Vertigo 818 646-1Q LP
California, Randy Shattered Dreams Line LICD 9.00197 0 CD
(Information provided by Wolfgang Schmidt)

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