dfc Play It Again, Max: Billie Joe Becoat - Reflections from a Cracked Mirror (1969)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Billie Joe Becoat - Reflections from a Cracked Mirror (1969)

I promised an April post and since I have been too busy to copy an LP of my own, I'm reposting this excellent Billy Joe Becoat album. I think it originally appeared on the excellent Retelephone66 blog, one of a number of fine blog that has been getting hammered lately by DMCA complaints (despite the fact that over 1/3rd of the complaints Google receives are not from legitimate copywrite holders & probably none of the albums he's posted are the property of the artists that recorded them). Hopefully, I will avoid a similar fate since this, like all my current posts, has never been reissued and is only available in used record stores. Anyway, since Redtelephone has reposted some of my "rips" I don't think he'll mind me putting this one up.

Billie Joe Becoat released two LPs, of which this is the first, before leaving the music scene and inventing the 2-wheeled drive bicycle (which, I'm pretty sure, was a much more profitable enterprise). He is another fine African-American folk singer, who has been unjustly overlooked. On this album he sings about people setting the cities on fire, about being abandoned by his lover, and about the lives of the poor and dispossessed. Although he's not without a sense of humor about it too--check his satirical Dylan rewrite on "Hi Fiddle De Fi" and the pointed irony on tracks like "I've Got Everything I Need" and "I'm a Good Man, a Fine Man." The arrangements are fairly sparse, consisting of Becoat's acoustic guitar and harmonica and a rhythm section of acoustic bass and occassional tamborine. His voice is pretty good too. But it's the verbal play of Becoat's songs that are the real highlight here. Give it a listen.

As an aside, the record was produced by Ray Shanklin who was a composer for Ralph Bakshi's Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic (both great soundtracks).


Blogger jaouad said...

been a long time
it's nice to hear from you again
your blog was so inspiring to me

take care

2:00 PM  
Blogger teto said...

Hola, me encanta tu blog... lo conoci por casualidad buscando en el blog de Yayo Salva Musical... en fin he decidido hacerme seguidor tuyo y a la vez agregarte a la lista de Webs Recomendadas de mi blog de Musica Paraguaya... que por cierto aprovecho la ocacion para invitarte a visitarlo http://www.musicadelparaguay.com saludossss

10:07 AM  
Blogger olegelagin said...

Hi, sorry for spam.

Oldish Psych & Prog forcibly moved here http://oldishpsychprog.ucoz.com/

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you reconsider posting the "Click Horning" LP. Click's website doesn't have any direct way to order his music. Thanks,

7:36 AM  
Blogger Max said...

No problem--I don't consider it spam. Change has been made.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Cy at Pck said...

hi max
good to see you posting and this should be good cos it has that double whammy of Max and Leonard's immaculate good taste backing it.....it is good tos see that there are still sensible sharers out in cyber space....cos all this coming down heavy on certain individuals while the true pirates go on 'stealing' out of the mouths of artists..
have a good day

7:36 AM  
Blogger Max said...

Click has an address and phone number on the web page--I'll try the phone number & if it is no longer working & I can't locate another way to purchase the CD I'll repost.

9:55 AM  
Blogger yeolde1 said...

Thanks for this, never have heard the album.

Yes, I know about the DMCA. I pulled my little blog down, since I was getting more complaints than I was able to post. I believe there are some no-gooders, just out for a quick ego rush.

6:29 PM  
Blogger yeolde1 said...

Max...this is soooo, sooo good..! Thank-you very much.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Billie's second album was "Let's Talk For Awhile" recorded at Fantasy Studios in Oakland, Calif. in 1970. It was produced by Jesse Osborne. I had the pleasure to do some studio work playing the harmonica on the track "Before This Time, Another Year". I was there with a friend of Jesse's, Hoshal Wright, who did some electric backing to Billie's acoustic guitar. Billie was not in the studio at the time and from what I remember from 41 years ago he was not impressed with the final product. John Papia Windsor,California 1-11-2011

9:20 AM  
Blogger Stirling Davenport said...

It's great to see Billie Joe remembered. I heard him sing a wonderful song. I wish I could remember the name of it. Something in the lyrics about "carrying moonbeams in a jar". Do any of you know which song that was and which album?

I know he was disappointed with California in general. I bought one of his guitars from him back in 1971.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Max said...

I'm not sure what song that is. Could he have been singing a version of Swining on a Star (it has a lyric like that)?

12:27 PM  
Blogger Stirling Davenport said...

I'm not sure. Do you know if that is on either of his albums? I got the impression it was new, but now I really can't remember. Just too long ago!

4:10 PM  
Blogger albino0wl said...

Great LP, I was lucky enough to pick a copy up in mint condition from a local charity shop,the Liberty UK pressed version,I was blown away with the class this album delivered. So many quality artists slipped under the radar........Chris

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent many nights listening to Caledonia ll on fm. Stangely prophetic and vivid imagery, somehow associated with a girl i was hung up on.

6:56 PM  

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