Les Fradkin | Rehearsals for Retirement

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Rehearsals for Retirement

by Les Fradkin

Les Fradkin presents his greatest hits, misses, previously unreleased rare recordings and more. Featuring all original songs and a bevy of Guest musicians, this is his definitive statement- his "Rehearsals For Retirement"
Genre: Rock: 70's Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Jangleholic
3:17 $0.99
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2. Song of a Thousand Voices
3:36 $0.99
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3. You Can Cry If You Want To
3:16 $0.99
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4. God Bless California (1971 Version)
3:36 $0.99
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5. Black Gypsy
2:50 $0.99
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6. Christopher's Sorrow
4:06 $0.99
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7. Get It Together
2:32 $0.99
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8. Sometimes a Girl Must Carry On
4:50 $0.99
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9. Why Is This Man Smiling?
3:27 $0.99
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10. I Could Make It Last Forever (feat. The Left Banke)
4:26 $0.99
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11. High Time
2:32 $0.99
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12. I Can Never Say Goodbye
3:05 $0.99
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13. Lonely Together (Demo)
3:18 $0.99
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14. You Program Me (Demo)
2:56 $0.99
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15. Memories of Love (Demo) [feat. Mick Ronson]
3:08 $0.99
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16. Spare Change (feat. Mick Ronson)
2:27 $0.99
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17. I'm Gonna Love You
2:40 $0.99
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18. God Bless California (Oooh L.A.)
2:38 $0.99
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19. I Will
2:24 $0.99
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20. Say You Love Me for Christmas
2:47 $0.99
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21. Christmas Vacation
3:31 $0.99
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22. Down On My Luck
5:32 $0.99
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23. Magic Attic
4:17 $0.99
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24. Everything Is Wrong
5:38 $0.99
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25. Obsolete
6:35 $0.99
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26. Rehearsals for Retirement
6:08 $0.99
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27. System Crash
7:14 $0.99
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28. Where Have All the Heroes Gone?
3:56 $0.99
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29. Under the Covers
4:08 $0.99
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30. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright
3:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This album release collects all of Les Fradkin's greatest original songs and vocal recordings. 30 tunes across 2 volumes.

Notes from the Artist:

1) "Jangleholic": From the 2006 CD release "Jangleholic", this is a biographical sketch of my musical life. Dan Sullivan
wrote at Amazon: "Last, but definately not least, we come to the title cut; the autobiographical "Jangleholic".
This tale of Les' musical journey - and the influences that shaped it - is simply Les Fradkin's finest musical moment-ever.
The influences are all there; "A Hard Day's Night" & "If I Needed Someone" meets "Turn! Turn! Turn!" & "The Bells Of Rhymney", as Les layers lots of harmonies and multiple Rick-12 guitar passages for that 1960's feel with 21st century quality. This song would be a sure-fire hit if the narrow - minded radio stations would care to play "real music" by "real performers"." How kind of him to say.
Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Mellotron, Roland GR Midi Guitars.

2) "Song Of A Thousand Voices": My biggest hit (a hit for Mireille Mathieu "La Chansons des Souvenirs" in French and Roberto Jordan "Donde?" in Spanish). When I went looking for a Major label deal in 1970, this song always stood out as a potential hit record for everyone who heard it. My original recording was the first release on the MGM/Sunflower Records label in fall 1970 originally produced by Randy Edelman and Eddie Deane. This updated version, produced by myself, and Loretta Fradkin, hails from the 2006 release "Under The Covers". Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Fender 12 String, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Mellotron, Roland GR Midi Guitars. Updated overdubs with the Starr Labs Ztar Midi Guitar.

3) "You Can Cry If You Want To": This tune was the B-Side of the "Song Of A Thousand Voices" single and was one of the first songs written by me as a youngster. This updated version hails from the 2006 release "Under The Covers".
Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Fender 12 String, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Vibes, Mellotron, Roland GR Midi Guitars.

4) "God Bless California" (1971 Version): A classic written in 1968 from my early 1970 MGM days updated by additional overdubs of Rickenbacker Electric 12 string Guitar. Features many stellar musicians and a moving lyric that resonates, even today. I seem to recall my influences on this lyric as Bob Dylan, and Arthur Lee of Love. Les Fradkin-Vocals, Fender Villager Acoustic and Rickenbacker Electric 12-String Guitars, Mellotron. Original session at Sound Exchange NYC. Guitar and Mellotron Overdubs Colorado 2000. Engineering and remixed by Les Fradkin.

5) "Black Gypsy": Recorded in 1971 and updated with additional overdubs in 2014. A song about a young man's search for identity in a world of confusion and alienation. The song is played in Open G tuning which I picked up from Muddy Waters recordings and Joni Mitchel's "Big Yellow Taxi". When I auditioned this for John Hammond Sr. at Columbia Records in 1969, he loved it but remarked: "I don't quite get it but it sounds important". It still is. Les Fradkin-Vocals, Fender Villager Acoustic and Rickenbacker Electric 12-String Guitars, Mellotron, Starr Labs Ztar. Original session at Sound Exchange NYC. Rick 12 String Guitar and Starr Labs Ztar Overdubs Colorado 2014. Engineering and Re-Mix by Les Fradkin.

6) "Christopher's Sorrow": A very unusual and poetic piece. Features renowned jazz bassist Richard Davis and a dramatic string arrangement from Michael Leonard. I wanted to do something Gothic and droning. Think I got there with this one. Les Fradkin-Vocals, Fender Villager Acoustic 12-String Guitars, Mellotron. Original session at Sound Exchange NYC. Mellotron and Updated overdubs with the Starr Labs Ztar Midi Guitar - Colorado 2015. Engineering and Re-Mix by Les Fradkin.

7) "Sometimes A Girl Must Carry On": Originally written in 1971 for Mary Hopkin as a follow up for her first two hits, but Allen Klein wouldn't let it be recorded by Mary because it wasn't published by Apple, This tune was demoed for my unreleased Sunflower Fearless Fradkin album, but never completed at the time. This version is from the 2006 CD release "Jangleholic". Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR Midi Guitars.

8) "Why Is This Man Smiling?": Written in 1971 as a followup single for MGM. But never released at the time.This version hails from the 2006 "Jangleholic" CD. Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR Midi Guitars.

9) "Get It Together": My proposed single for Mercury Records back in 1972. Recorded at Mercury Studios NYC. I was quite taken with Stephen Stills' record of "Love The One You're With" and thought that could make the basis for this tune. The lineup on this one has Les Fradkin- Vocals Fender Villager Acoustic 12 String Guitar, Steel Drums, Fender Bass. Harold Wheeler (Currently, the conductor of "Dancing With The Stars")-Hammond B-3 and Grady Tate- Drums. Recording the Steel Drums was a great challenge on this session. This has remained unreleased until now.

10) "I Could Make It Last Forever": Original recordings November 1972 thru March 1973 at A-1 Sound Studios, NYC. Brass overdubbed 2006 at RRO Studios, Colorado. Featuring the entire Left Banke (George Cameron, Mike Brown, Tom Finn and Steve Martin Caro), this number hails from sessions I produced for Bell Records back in 1972-73. Originally intended for The Left Banke to record with lyricist Diane Ellis, this finally saw release on my 2006 CD "Goin' Back". Personnel on this recording includes Les Fradkin, Lead Vocal, Rickenbacker 12 String Electric Guitar, Roland GR Synth Guitar, Brass Arrangements, George Cameron-Background Vocals, Drums, Tom Finn-Background Vocals, Bass, Michael Brown, Piano, Steve Martin Caro-Background Vocals and Harry Lookofsky-Strings. Video thanks to Charlemagne!

11) "High Time": Co written by myself with Diana Reid Haig, this bouncy Power Pop tidbit was recorded in 1975 at Minot Studios in New York. Ted Daryll Co-Produced with me. I can't actually recall who is playing bass and drums on this recording but I clearly recall the use of Wah Wah pedal on the 12 string at the coda. Les Fradkin-Vocals and Rickenbacker 12 String Electric Guitar, Diana Haig- Background Vocals.

12) "I Can Never Say Goodbye": I consider this one of my finest vocal performances. Written and recorded in 1978 at Ocean Way Studios in California, during my stint with the Broadway show "Beatlemania", it presents the mixed feelings I had at the time.Formerly issued on my CD "Perfect World" in 2004. Les Fradkin- Vocals, Ovation Acoustic Guitar, Moog Polymoog Synth, Diana Reid Haig-Fender Bass, Background Vocals.

13) "Lonely Together": Diana Haig and I wrote many great songs together such as "He's Almost You" and "Doo-Wop Music". This one focuses on the duality present from time to time in most relationships. I intended this for McGuinn, Clark & Hillman. But Gene Clark left the band before this tune could get out of the starting gate. Les Fradkin-Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String Electric Guitar, John Hawken (of Renaissance, and The Strawbs), turns in a wonderful spin on Mellotron. Jim Gregory plays bass and Greg Diamond plays drums. Recorded NYC on TASCAM 8 track 1978-1982.

14) "You Program Me": An catchy and prescient song about the Internet, which didn't yet exist, since this was written and recorded in NYC on TASCAM 4 track in 1980! The walkie talkie sounds were done live and are an authentic ambulance call captured as Musique Concrete often happens. This should have been a single. Les Fradkin-Vocals, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Fender Bass, Mellotron, Rickenbacker 12-String Electric Guitar, Drum Programming, with Diana Reid Haig-Background Vocals.

15) "Memories Of Love": Wow, this one's angry, isn't it? Hasn't everyone been totally ripped off at some time in their life? This lyric takes no prisoners and it's subject matter remains true, even today. Recorded with Mick Ronson, who I had just formed a band with. His solo is quite a highlight. Les Fradkin-Vocals, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Rickenbacker 12 String Guitar, Fender Bass, Drum Programming. Featuring Mick Ronson on Lead Guitar. Recorded NYC at home on TASCAM 8 track-1982.

16) "Spare Change"- A group recording from 1982. One of my best songs of the 80's. Les Fradkin- Vocals, Bass, Piano, Mellotron, Rickenbacker 12 string Electric Guitar, Mick Ronson-Lead Guitar, Hilly Michaels-Drums. Originally released on "Goin' Back" in 2006.

17) "I'm Gonna Love You": A bouncy, yet, progressive number in 5/4 time. Inspiration by many including The Byrds, Dave Brubeck, Dave Crosby and Yes. Henry Gross always said this was one of his favorites of mine. From the Ronson sessions. This version, previously released in 2006 on "Goin' Back". Written in 1980 and recorded in 1982 in NYC and overdubbed in 2006 in Colorado. Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Roland VK-7 Organ, Roland XV Synthesizers, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR-1 Midi Guitars.

18) "God Bless California (Oooh L.A.)": This is a rewrite and completely modern version of my 70's tune. It was designed to give the listener a Beach Boys style trip. Recorded in California in 1996, this represents the last session of the Wrecking Crew with Larry Levine at the board. Formerly released on my 2004 CD "Perfect World". Les Fradkin-Lead and Background Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String Electric Guitar, Roland VG-8 and GR Guitar, Mitch Holder-Guitar, Carol Kaye-Electric Bass, Hal Blaine-Drums, Don Randi-Keyboards, Eddie Bertrand-Guitar, Bruce Cooke-Background Vocals, Alan Boyd-Background Vocals, Larry Levine-Engineer.

19) "I Will": A plaintive ballad, formerly issued on the "Godzology" Anthology, in 2000. Les Fradkin-Vocal, Acoustic Guitars, Roland VG-8 and GR-30 Guitar.

20) "Say You Love Me For Christmas"- From my "Sprit Of Christmas" CD of 2006. Phil Spector and ELO are inspirations for this one. Wrote it with Darlene Love in mind. One day, maybe she'll record it. Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR-1 Midi Guitars.

21) "Christmas Vacation"- An Alternate Mix from my "Sprit Of Christmas" CD of 2006. I've always loved music from the Caribbean and this one evokes that atmosphere. Would make a great commercial for some airline, no?? Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR-1 Midi Guitars. Steel drums and vibes realized from the GR Midi Guitar. Updated overdubs with the Starr Labs Ztar Midi Guitar.

22) "Down On My Luck": Someone challenged me to write a tune with complex poetic lyrics like Bob Dylan did with "Desolation Row". I rose to the challenge with this one. Reviewer Pete Sargeant agreed: "‘Down On My Luck’ might be the best contemporary folkrock musing that anyone has come up with in recent years, it’s in the John Stewart/ John Prine league, kid you not." I do think it's one of my very best and deepest lyrics. Les Fradkin-Lead Vocal, Rickenbacker 12 String Electric Guitar, Ovation Acoustic Guitar, Mellotron, Synclavier, Paul Harris-Yamaha DX-5 Electric Piano, David Santos-5 String Bass, Warren Odze- Drums. Recorded in NYC on Digital Performer 4-Track and Synclavier in 1994. Remixed in Colorado-2000. Previously released on my "12" CD in 2007.

23) "Magic Attic"-From my CD "Reality-The Rock Opera" A second chance to look back and resolve to try, yet, again. Or an opportunity to not look back, cause something might be gaining on you. "Broken paths, photographs. Tickets to a better life, perhaps. Break away, life's highway, trapped illusions of a gold stairway. A moment for a fond farewell". Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Roland VK-7 Organ, Synthesizers, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR-1 Midi Guitars.

24) "Everything Is Wrong": And so begins a series of 4 songs from "Reality-The Rock Opera" that represents some of the finest songs I've ever had the privilege to co-write. Thanks to The Moody Blues and Yanni for the inspiration. This one, as featured on You Tube, explores the current decline of the middle class at the hands of Corporations. The lyric says a lot in 5 minutes. "Everything is wrong, nothing's really right. Can we ever win in a fixed game fight?" The various styles and influences of this piece all flow together into a new seamless blend. British progressive, rock, New age, folk all come together here in a Symphonic rock package. And the 5/4 solo section gives a nod to the Yanni approach to Orchestration. Written and recorded on Logic in Summer 2003 in Colorado. Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Roland VK-7 Organ, Roland XV Synthesizers, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR-1 Midi Guitars. Updated overdubs with the Starr Labs Ztar Midi Guitar.

25) "Obsolete": From "Reality-The Rock Opera". A piece of Orchestrated Symphonic Rock. I always loved "Days Of Furute Passed" and wanted to express my own version of Symphonic Rock. And here, I present a deeper exploration of Unemployment and the death of the middle class. A painful song to write. Thanks to Harry Chapin for the inspiration and ghostlike appearance in the bridge section. As Featured on You Tube. Written and recorded on Logic in Summer 2003 in Colorado. Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Roland VK-7 Organ, Roland XV Synthesizers, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR-1 Midi Guitars. Updated overdubs with the Starr Labs Ztar Midi Guitar.

26) "Rehearsals For Retirement"-The title track of this set and, previously released on "Reality-The Rock Opera". A must hear and a song whose time has finally come, I suspect. "Wall Street shattered my dreams, that dot com stock, was not what it seemed. Tried to get rich quick, I angered my honey, there's too much month, at the end of our money. Who's gonna take care of me?" As my generation approaches or enters retirement, this songs asks many questions pertinent to that oncoming experience. Thanks to Procol Harum and Robin Trower for inspiration on this one. At the coda, the entire town comes out of hiding to ask "Who's gonna take care of me?" The answer my friends, is not simple. Written and recorded on Logic in Summer 2003 in Colorado. Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Roland VK-7 Organ, Roland XV Synthesizers, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR-1 Midi Guitars. Updated overdubs with the Starr Labs Ztar Midi Guitar.

27) "System Crash": From "Reality-The Rock Opera" As featured on YouTube. A bold look at present day events and potential end times as reflected thru the mirror of times so long ago. I got to thinking about how my generation all followed the great songwriters of the day for inspiration and political follow thru. Bob Dylan comes to mind as an example of that. So does Phil Ochs. This song takes a look at a possible future if things don't change. Or, maybe, if they do change. Recording this composition took ages, it seems. Particularly, the "It's crashed, gotta fix it" operetta section which has 22 vocal overdubs. Thank goodness for unlimited computer tracks! The long two minute Symphonic Rock introduction was written after the song was completed. Written and recorded on Logic in Summer 2003 in Colorado. Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Roland VK-7 Organ, Roland XV Synthesizers, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR-1 Midi Guitars. Updated overdubs with the Starr Labs Ztar Midi Guitar.

28) "Where Have All The Heroes Gone?" : My most recent Vocal recording. A song, originally written by myself and Barry David Butler in 1973 for Laurie Records. This new, never before released, version contains updated lyrics for current times. Written and recorded from 2008 thru 2015 in Colorado. Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Fender Stratocaster 12 string and Rickenbacker 12 String, Hallmark 60 Custom Guitar, Bass, Piano, Roland VK-7 Organ, Roland XV Synthesizers, Mellotron and Starr Labs Ztar.

29) "Under The Covers": From my 2006 CD "Under The Covers". An unusual approach to autobiographical events. "I've been here all along, Under the covers with you. I've been a part of your life, invisible, but in love with you too". Written and recorded in 2006 in Colorado. Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Roland VK-7 Organ, Roland XV Synthesizers, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR-1 Midi Guitars.

30) "Everything Is Gonna Be Alright": A possible projection of the future. Written by myself and Barry David Butler back in 1973. From my CD "Jangleholic" (2006). Yes, looking ahead, everything IS gonna be alright. Recorded in 2006 in Colorado. Les Fradkin - All Vocals, Rickenbacker 12 String, Bass, Piano, Roland VK-7 Organ, Roland XV Synthesizers, Mellotron, Roland VG-8 and GR-1 Midi Guitars.

Rehearsals For Retirement Credits:
Production by Les Fradkin and Loretta Fradkin
Track 4, 5, 6, 7,10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22 and 24 Produced by Les Fradkin

Engineers: Steve Katz, Bruce Robbins, Larry Levine, Chuck Irwin, Les Fradkin, Jonathan Thayer, Herb Abramson, Joe Hall
Thanks to Fender and Rickenbacker Guitars, Gibson Guitars, Hallmark Guitars and Bob Shade, Starr Labs and Harvey Starr, Randy Edelman, Denny Seiwell, Eddie Deane, Wally Schuster, John Hammond Sr., Roland Corporation, Steve Lasko and Janglebox, Diana Haig, Barry Butler, John Hawken, Harold Wheeler, Henry Gross, Jim Dessey, Mick Ronson, Hilly Michaels, Michael Brown and the Left Banke guys and all the wonderful musicians who passed thru my life for 45 years.

May everyone enjoy this Anthology of my best original songs. Peace. Les Fradkin-Colorado-2015.

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Eric Sorensen

REHEARSALS FOR PERFECTION!
Wow! When other artists release a compilation of previously released material, it tends to be a hasty effort to push alternate mix tracks on a fan base that is eager for anything new by that artist. That is not the case with Les Fradkin and the 30 tracks that he features on Rehearsal For Retirement ... which should really be titled Rehearsals For Perfection. Les has painstakingly remastered each of the tracks on this compilation - and the superb results exceed the sum of the parts. The "wide stereo" sound achieved in these remastered tracks gives superior vocal and instrumental balance to the original material. If you love the sound of a Rickenbacker 12-string guitar (or a Fender 12-string guitar), you will be blown away by how clarion clear the 12-string riffs are on all of these tracks. Les Fradkin may not be a household name (like the Byrds, Beatles or Bob Dylan - all artists that he has been compared with), but he has been responsible for writing and recording some of the finest original pop/rock songs and albums over the past five decades. "Rehearsal For Retirement" showcases his songwriting, singing and instrumental skills in their most exceptional form. Les Fradkin has just raised the standard for pop/rock artists when it comes to compiling original material. For me, it's like 1965 all over again - but with the benefit of today's digital technology. An outstanding effort, Sir Les!
---- Eric Sorensen, "Jangle On!" columnist
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