No official release
|1. MY DAYS ARE NUMBERED||6. GET UP AND DIG IT|
|2. LAST NIGHT I HAD A DREAM||7. SAUSAGES|
|3. SUGAR CUBE 1967||8. HEDYOB|
|4. I NEED YOU||9. PICK UP THE PHONE|
|5. GOOD FRIEND||10. GENERAL CUSTER|
|Tracks 1, 8 - 10 (Patto/Halsall)
Tracks 3, 5 and 6 (Patto)
Tracks 4 and 7 (Halsall)
Track 2 (Randy Newman)
Songwriting credits not 100% certain.
Song titles assumed to be correct.
|Cover art taken from John Youssi's artwork for the US "Hold Your Fire" album cover.|
In the Spring of 1973, the band headed back to the studios to record their fourth album titled "Monkey's Bum". Muff wanted the band to take a different approach on this record and promoted the idea of emphasizing Mike's songs, which were more commercial and accessible than the material on their previous albums. Their previous albums had always focused on tracks written by Ollie or jointly by Ollie and Mike. The idea of shifting the focus to Mike's material created conflict between Ollie and the rest of the band. There was also frustration due to the lack of success after years of trying hard.
During the sessions, Ollie refused to put a lot of creative effort into some of the songs, particularly those written by Mike. Ollie decided to quit the band and left an incomplete album in his wake. Rather than throw in the towel, Patto decided to replace Ollie's less inspired bits with sax solos from Mel Collins and completed the album.
Island, however, was not interested in releasing an album without a band to tour and promote it.
John stated in a 1992 interview in the Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine that it was only Patto album he wasn't happy with. The band had lost the fun. "I liked some of it, but we were trying to write songs - Patto thought he was Randy Newman."
Check out the May 5, 1973 Melody Maker article to read Mike's thoughts about the album and the band breaking up.
"Monkey's Bum" still has never been officially released, which is a shame because there are some great songs on the album. Indeed, the music is simpler, hinting at the type of music that Mike and Ollie would play in Boxer a couple years later -- not a lot of time signature changes or jazzy chord progressions. The band plays well, of course, and there are some brilliant guitar moments from Ollie, proving that he was there creatively for at least some of the the sessions. Mike plays a lot more electric piano on this album.
Bootleg copies taken from a rough mix of the album are out there, though. And they are taken from a rather poor source tape -- songs are significantly distorted and plagued with dropouts at times.
There has been talk for years of Muff Winwood putting together an official release. Back in 2010, Muff got in touch with John Halsey (regarding the use of Patto's music in the "Observe And Report" film), and the subject came up. Unfortunately, John relayed to me that the master tapes are supposedly long gone. So, a proper mix certainly can't be done, and the best we can hope for would be a better source of the rough mix.
The first release was on the Audio Archives label - Cat# AACD 008 (cover
of the booklet is
pictured above). The artwork for the earliest copies of the CD was green instead
of black, but there are no differences or improvements in the audio
quality of the later copies. It is not completely unlistenable,
but the sound quality is rather poor - plenty of tape hiss, distortion,
Despite the album's bootleg status, lots of big chain stores sold the CD as if it were an official release. Lots of copies are out there, and they are relatively easy to find today on eBay and other web sites.
In April 2002, a label out of Italy called Akarma (a division of Comet
Records) released a 180 gram vinyl edition of "Monkey's Bum"
(Catalog # AK 201).
The source used for this release is the same as the Audio Archives bootleg CD, though an attempt was made to improve the sound quality using noise reduction software. In some cases, I think they made things worse, but there really wasn't much they could do starting with such a horrible source.
The label also issued the album on CD the following year.
|Akarma used completely different artwork for the cover. It is taken from a painting by Andrea Mantegna circa 1475 called The Battle Of The Sea Gods. For the back cover, they used some of John Greenleigh's concert photos from the Hollywood Bowl in 1972, and they had taken the photos from this site's "1972 USA Concert Photos" page. This was done without any involvement of the Patto Fan Site, of course.|
For those who have not yet had the pleasure of hearing this album:
|My Days Are Numbered||A great rocker with a powerful vocal from Mike that shows off his range. Nice bass runs from Clive, great soloing from Ollie, and John adds percussion as the song goes along to fill up the sound.|
|Last Night I Had A Dream||Mike's electric piano leads this simple, medium-tempo track, which is a cover of a Randy Newman song from his 1972 "Sail Away" LP. A few nice licks from Ollie, but mostly uneventful as far as instrumentation and production goes - unusual for a Patto track.|
|Sugar Cube 1967||A great slice of pop-rock with a great chorus. Features a small brass section and Ollie on slide guitar. A good example of the more commercial potential of some of the new tunes.|
|I Need You||A great jam with some of the more interesting riffs on the album. A fantastic Les Paul-esque lead break from Ollie, the first half of which was achieved by slowing down the tape machine while recording.|
|Good Friend||A nice, slow ballad with a soulful vocal from Mike and atmospheric playing from Ollie.|
|Get Up And Dig It||A great, energetic fast one with Mel Collins on sax. This one was redone later as the B-side of Mike Patto's "Sitting In The Park" single in 1974.|
|Sausages||Ollie sings this strong rocker inspired by the 1972 tour supporting Joe Cocker. Plenty of guitars, including more slide. "...a stomach full of grey meat from the aeroplane, don't cry 'cause it's all in vain, excuse me while I go insane."|
|Hedyob||One of more memorable tracks from the album with its interesting phrases in 5/4 time. Fine playing from the entire band and a great solo from Ollie.|
|Pick Up The Phone||Another catchy pop-rock cut with brass.|
Another one inspired by the 1972 tour with Cocker with the opening lyrics
directly referencing the bust in Australia and the tour being cancelled. One of the more memorable riffs on the album starts off this cut.
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