Monday, June 30, 2014

Neil Young - Don't Let It Bring You Down (BBC Broadcasts bootleg LP)

Music lovers have it very easy these days; everything from the biggest hits to the rarest of the rare are available with a mouse click. Hear a band play an unexpected cover or debut a new song at a gig? More than likely it'll be on youtube almost instantly.

Back in early 1971, Neil Young appeared live on BBC TV and debuted a good chunk of his album Harvest, which, didn't get released until January 1972. Of course today if an artist were to do this, the performance would be all over the web and the songs would be old news by the time they were released!

This bootleg LP from the legendary Los Angeles based Trade Mark Of Quality (TMOQ) label was itself released in 1973. Must have been very exciting for anyone who was outside of BBC territory to be able to hear this stellar performance in pretty swell sound quality! Of course, high quality video of this performance is available via youtube, but to a kook like me it's a whole lot of fun to be able to throw a record like this on the turntable and enjoy the music sans visuals.

TMOQ released some of the greatest bootleg LP's of all time, and the 'real' ones were almost always pressed on colored vinyl; this was not only a way to differentiate the genuine product from forgeries (several other scoundrels pirated and undercut TMOQ releases), but the colored vinyl also guaranteed high quality, virgin vinyl pressings. It also created a maddening amount of highly collectable variations on splattered color wax and odd colors that sell for hundreds (and in some cases, over $1000)! Just look at how cool that gold foil TMOQ sticker is on the cover with the cryptic pig logo; I think a big part of collecting these things is the whole 'outlaw' element of anti-establishment types giving the middle finger to the music business by bringing what would have been unheard recordings 'to the people'.

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