Havens, Richie

Band members               Related acts

- Richie Havens - vocals, guitar



- none known




Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Richie Havens' Record

Company: Douglas International

Catalog: SD-779

Year: 1969

Country/State: Brooklyn, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap, though opened and torn

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4473

Price: $10.00

Cost: $66.00


In addition to sporting one of the year's uglier covers (c'mon marketing guys what were you thinking), 1969's "Richie Havens' Record" stands as one of the year's uglier stories on how the music business works.  While I don't have an understanding of the legalities behind the process, in the wake of Havens' Woodstock successes, Douglas International Records somehow managed to acquire rights to a series of demos Havens had recorded in the 1963-65 timeframe.  Recorded prior to being signed by Verve, the original tracks were rather raw, featuring nothing but Havens accompanied by acoustic guitar.  Without Havens' participation, or concurrence, producer Alan Douglas added electric instrumental overdubs (organ and drums) and backing vocals to the original tapes.  At least to my ears Douglas' additions aren't particularly noticeable and the set still suffers from a rather hollow, under produced feel.  Musically the album features a mixture of styles, including stabs at blues ('Daddy Roll 'Em'), sensitive singer/song-writer workouts ('I'm Gonna Make You Glad') and even light soul ('Drown In My Own Tears').  Havens' performances are suitably earnest and intense, though this early material lacks to political and social bite of later releases (which isn't entirely bad).  The set isn't particularly well annotated - witness there are no writing credits listed.   Needless to say, Havens was less than thrilled with the album (particularly since it was released at roughly the same time as his "Richie P. Havens, 1983" collection.  Under threat of a nasty lawsuit, Douglas International pulled the album.


"Richie Havens' Record" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) I'm Gonna Make You Glad
2.) It Hurts Me
3.) Chain Gang
4.) Drown In My Own Tears

(side 2)

1.) I'm On My Way
2.) Nora's Dove
3.) Daddy Roll 'Em
4.) The Bag I'm In   (Fred Neil) - 
5.) Down In The Valley



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Richie P. Havens, 1983

Company: Verve Forecast

Catalog: FTS 3047/2

Year: 1969

Country/State: Brooklyn, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: double LP; gatefold sleeve; minor ring and edge wear; includes original insert

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5092

Price: $30.00


Released prior to his appearance at Woodstock, 1969's "Richie P. Havens, 1983" marked singer/guitarist Havens' fifth LP.  Co-produced by Havens, Elliott Mazer and Mark Roth, the album proved quite a departure from his earlier folk-oriented material.  A 16 track, double album concept piece/manifesto, the album found Havens largely abandoning his acoustic folkie roots.  Working with an extensive collection of sessions players, Havens turned in what was essentially a full scale rock effort.  Largely new studio material, the set was divided between originals and a mix of popular and obscure covers.  Elsewhere, the fourth side was given over to a series of live efforts drawn from a July 1968 concert.  While the plotline was largely lost on me, it apparently had something to do with Havens' concerns with big government and the growing threat of an Orwellian 1984-styled state (hence the title).   


As you'd expect, stretched over four sides, there's quite a bit of filler - as an example, does anyone really need to do four Beatles covers on an album; particularly something as needless as a live scat vocal version of 'A Little Help From My Friends'?  Still, coming from someone who's not a major Havens fan, this one's actually pretty good.  While hard to adequately describe, Havens' injected tracks like 'Stop Pulling and Pushing Me', Leonard Cohen's 'Priests' and 'What More Can I Say John?' (probably one of the best anti-Vietnam songs I've ever heard), with a nifty and intense period-vibe.  Personal favorites; the weird rocker 'Indian Rope Man' and the raga-flavored 'Putting Out the Vibration and Hoping It Comes Home'.  As an aside, Havens' rambling liner notes had to be read to be believed.  For a double LP the set sold well, eventually hitting # 80.


"Richie P. Havens, 1983" track listing

(side 1)

1.) Stop Pulling and Pushing Me   (Richie Havens) - 3:45

2.) For Haven's Sake   (Richie Havens) -7:00

3.) Strawberry Fields Forever   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 3:34

4.) What More Can I Say John?   (Richie Havens) - 4:35


(side 2)

1.) Pity the Poor Immigrant  (Bob Dylan) - 3:06

2.) Lady Madonna   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 1:55

3.) Priests   (Leonard Cohen) - 5:10

4.) Indian Rope Man   (Richie Havens - Price - Roth) - 3:00

5.) Cautiously   (Maurey Hayden) - 3:56


(side 3)

1.) Just Above My Hobby Horse's Head   (Roth - Richie Havens) - 2:54

2.) She's Leaving Home   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 4:00

3.) Putting Out the Vibration and Hoping It Comes Home   (Richie Havens - Roth) - 2:50

4.) The Parable of Ramon   (Richie Havens - Roth) - 7:15


(side 4)

1.) A Little Help From My Friends (live)  (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 3:25

2.) Wear Your Love Like Flowers (live)   (Donovan Leitch) - 4:46

3.) Run Shaker Life/Do You Feel Good (live) (adapted by Richie Havens) - 8:30




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