Without the fans, music history would be so much poorer. Today, as a result of the fervent collecting and sharing by fans, a broader historical picture of pop culture is emerging. Had fans depended on the music business, so much music would have remain undiscovered and unknown. Part I of a four-part series.

If you're the kind of music fan who sits and waits for the record company to do its market research, produce, market and sell you an album, then you’ll have to wait a long time to listen to the music we have collected in the BigO Audio Archive.

Just recently, Blue Note released on Sept 27 a previously lost performance by John Coltrane with the Thelonius Monk Quartet live at Carnegie Hall, Nov 29, 1957, probably only the second time the pair played together and it was recorded. It was greeted with much fanfare and rejoicing and given respectful reviews in the usual jazz and rock press. But for this single discovery, there are thousands of performances that are stored in radio stations' libraries, hours of studio recordings left untended on dusty old shelves in studios and even greater numbers of old reel-to-reel tapes and C-90 cassettes of audience recordings of rock concerts and radio shows in some fan's garage, attic or basement.

The usual reply given is that these recordings don’t meet the standards of the record company, the artist or the producer in terms of artistic merit and audio quality. Or the record companies won’t put them out because there’s not enough people who will buy them. And the worst possible reason - the artist and his label don’t even care.

In just the first three months of 2005, we collected 565 albums amounting to 966 CDs, through trades with music fans in Europe, America, Australia and Japan where the collectors are as intense about their music as they are knowledgeable, and through music downloads from bit-torrent sites. All the music in our archive are lossless unless otherwise stated. Here are some of the cool recordings we picked up that have yet to be "discovered" by a record company:


The Beatles - A/B Road: The Complete Get Back Sessions Jan 2 1969 to Jan 31 1969. A fan collection of 83CDs by the Purple Chick collective. Incredibly complete and with excellent mono sound taken from the Nagra tapes.

The Cream Remasters: Live and studio recordings by the first blues-rock trio from their beginnings in 1966 to their final shows in 1968. This is a 10 volume set of 20CDs. The quality ranges from fair to excellent.

New York Contemporary Five - Copenhangen 1963. Recorded live at Radiohusets, Koncertsal, Oct 27 1963. NYC5 are Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, John Tchicai, Don Moore & JC Moses. This is a radio broadcast in Ex FM stereo. One of those shows you read about but never expect to get to listen. 1CD.

David Bowie - Ziggy’s Final Farewell 1973 [Rattlesnake 2CD released in 2003] This set includes all the rehearsals and final mixes for what was dubbed the 1980 Floor Show with guest Marianne Faithful, telecast on US Midnight Special. It was recorded at the Marquee Club in London from Oct 18 to 20 1973. The 7 bonus tracks on the silver disc are not included in this CD-R version. Those tracks were by the Konrads and it is uncertain whether Bowie was even present. Ex SBD stereo. This show was widely reported in New Musical Express, Melody Maker and their counterparts in the US media. But never seen or heard in Asia. Thirty-two-years later we get to hear it.

Yes - Studio Outtakes Collection [no label 4CD set] A fan compilation of sessions for Yes' first five albums. CD1&2 focus on the first two albums. CD4 is Close To The Edge album sessions. Ex SBD stereo. One of the most incredible discoveries for fans of progressive rock. No overdubs just Yes in the raw.

Nirvana - Loose Ends [no label 3CD] The first two discs were compiled from unreleased studio sessions from 1987 to 1993. Compiled by fan John W Busher. Includes the KOAS-FM tape, Reciprocal Studios, BBC sessions, Smart Studios, Music Source Studios, NOB Radio in The Netherlands and BMG studios in Rio De Janeiro. Overall excellent SBD stereo. The third disc was compiled by "tom" and contains 4 tracks of jams. If you buy the 2004 With The Lights Out Nirvana collection, you will have every known studio session by Nirvana, claim the compilers.

Cecil Taylor UNIT - Grinnell College 1969 [no label 3CD] live at Roberts Hall on Feb 8, 1969 broadcast on college radio? This is taken from a tape found at the US Library Of Congress. Ex- FM stereo with hiss. A controversial concert where the students were shocked at Taylor’s free jazz. Many walked out in exasperation. Taylor remains a truly creative explorer at the edge of jazz reaches.

Sonic Youth - The Walls Have Ears [Not1 1CD] This was officially released for about a couple of weeks in England by Blast First! About 1,000 to 2,000 LPs were distributed than Sonic Youth stopped sales. The copies were allowed to be sold but no further copies were made. Tks 1-8 live at University Of London Oct 30 1985; Tk 9 Live at Brighton Beach, Nov 8 1985 and tks 10-18 live at Hammersmith Palais, London, Apr 28 1985. Ex SBD stereo. Some vinyl noise is apparent. Not1 is Blast First’s bootleg imprint.

Laura Nyro - Fillmore East 1970 [no label 1CD] Recorded live in New York, Dec 22, 1970. Rare show previously circulated with no track marks and in pood SBD quality. This version is Ex SBD stereo and is the complete show with three extra songs. Just Nyro, her piano and most importantly at her prime, feisty and fighting.


Lindsay Buckingham - Gift of Screws + 2 bonus tracks [no label 1CD] Lindsey Buckingham's hugely anticipated follow-up to his 1992 masterpiece 'Out Of The Cradle', Gift Of Screws was recorded in the years that followed Cradle right up until 2000, the album was submitted to the record company 'Warners Brothers and a decision was taken not to release the album but to re-record the tracks with Fleetwood Mac and release them on the next Fleetwood Mac studio album 'Say You Will' which was released in 2003. MP3s of this CD surfaced on the internet in 2001 and are believed to be the mixed tracks but not mastered tracks from "Gift Of Screws", recording date believed to be 2000 / 2001. This collection is a copy of the submitted CD of Gift Of Screws. This is a loss-less version and includes Peacekeeper and Someone’s Gotta Change Your Mind.

This version of Peace Keeper was released on the ACLU 2000 Bill of Rights Dinner Dec 14, 2000 CD that was given away to attendees at the Dinner.

Peace Keeper was re-recorded and released on Fleetwood Mac's 2003 album 'Say You Will'. This version contained here is significantly different that the Fleetwood Mac version. Ex SBD stereo.

Ryan Adams - The Destroyer [no label 1CD] unreleased album with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings recorded in 2000 just before Heartbreaker. Contains Ryan's version of Time The Revelator. Ex SBD stereo.

Charles Mingus - Live at Ronnie Scotts 1972 [no label 3CD] live at Ronnie Scotts in London, Aug 14 1972. This was considered for a release by Columbia Records but remains unreleased. Ex SBD stereo.

Makoto Kawabata - Private Tapes Vol 1-5 [no label 5CD] "These five discs are from an 8-CD set packaged as the Private Tapes from Kawabata Makoto, the driving force behind the legendary Acid Mothers Temple. CD6-8 are not included here. These recordings have never been officially released. This is a mixed bag of stuff from Kawabata’s solo work and in collaboration with various artists. There are some real gems to be found here, though they’re often squished between some pretty rough material. But if you’re a fan of Kawabata, Acid Mothers Temple, or Japanese psych rock in general, this collection is a must have. Every track is gloriously awash in Kawabata’s characteristically thick layers of distortion and psychedelic freak noise, nicely complemented by the less than pristine recordings that capture him. These are bootlegs in the greatest spirit of bootlegs, circulated by the artist himself as works that provide expanded insight into the curriculum of one of Japan’s most prolific musicians." The above extract was taken from the write up provided by the fan who offered this on a bitorrent site. Thank you, unfortunately we forgot to copy your name.

This set was purchased by a fan and was numbered 3/30. It was purchased from Kawabata himself when he played a solo show at La Salla Rosa in Montreal, Quebec in October of 2002. Ex SBD stereo


Elvis Presley - Cafe Europa Sessions [Tulsa 5CD] The GI Blues sessions released in 1996 on Tulsa Records. In the movie, Elvis plays GI Tulsa McLean. This is the complete sessions from late April and May 1960, recorded immediately after Elvis Is Back. The original set was 4CDs and only 500 sets were made. CD5 is the best of the alternate takes and was added in a later German edition. The original title of GI Blues was to have been Café Europa. "We get it all here: laughter, swearing, fooling around with the band and a sore throat. Between some of the takes we can here Elvis referring to his Army time (with terms like commanding officer, forward observer) and he uses some German expressions (like 'was?' translated as 'what?' if something goes wrong, or 'achtung', translated as 'attention'). Not all of the conversations between takes are put on this CD set." Recorded at RCA Studios in Hollywood. Ex SBD stereo.

Ryan Adams - 48 Hours [no label 1CD] Unreleased album recorded in 48 hours, May 2001. The story: "Of course, as soon as "Gold" was finished, Ryan went into full freak-out mode. Inspired by a "mind-boggling" show by his friend Alanis Morissette at Los Angeles's El Rey Theater in May 2001, he immediately started writing again, called up producer Ethan Johns, and was back in the studio that same week. A full album was recorded and mixed in two days - which is why this batch of songs was titled "48 Hours." The sound he was going for was "a country-folk thing like 'John Wesley Harding' or 'Workingman's Dead,' with some shitkicking Merle Haggard stuff in there" - the glorious "Hallelujah" and the irresistible, twangy "Chin Up, Cheer Up" certainly make for a dramatic contrast with the "Suicide" songs Ryan's touring musicians took on an alternate life as a garage band called the Pinkhearts - he even flummoxed the crowd at Austin's 2001 South By Southwest festival by turning his much-touted showcase into a raucous Pinkhearts set. Back in Nashville, with CDs by Sonic Youth, the Stooges, and Nirvana propped up on the mixing board for divine guidance, the band knocked out dozens of Replacements-style bash 'n' pop songs over two separate sessions." Ex SBD stereo.

Fans are now coming out and liberating their collections, sharing them on the net with fans from all over the world. Bootleg albums in the ‘70s and ‘80s could never be circulated as widely as they were expensive to manufacture and bulky to distribute. The internet actually continues the work of bootleggers in the sense that it is liberating the music from hoarders - those who have insider status and access to rare recordings.

It’s unfortunate that the record industry takes a negative view to sharing - that it damages their business. The very word "share" implies that it is NOT a money transaction but an act of friendship which they interpret as "death" to their business.

So they roll out their mantra that "piracy" is killing the music. Actually fans who share lost music are like disciples who pass on the treasure of their generation to another. What’s wrong with that? - The Little Chicken

For a complete list of all 565 albums, click here

Part II: Stop Protecting The Music Industry With Copyright

Click here

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