The most FAQ I get emailed to me is: "Where can I get your solo albums from the 60's and 70's on CD?" Well, they are all in print - that's the good news.  The bad news is that most of them are only available in Japan. But with the internet and the spate of CD import shops, they can be had with a little  effort and a heftier price tag than the normal US fees. Try 101cd.com, amazon.com, musicimports.com or specialty shops like NYCD in NYC for  the various titles. Here is a list of all the solo albums, the included songs, and a retrospective paragraph on each title by yours truly. Hope this  helps!

Al Kooper


solo albums

 

 

 

I STAND ALONE -SONY CD (JAPAN) SRCS 6196

Overture / I Stand Alone / Camille / One / Colored Rain / Soft Landing On The Moon / I Can Love A Woman / Blue Moon Of Kentucky / Toe Hold / Right Now For You / Hey, Western Union Man / Song And Dance For the Unborn Frightened Child

My first solo album originally released in 1968. A lot of people who were stationed in Viet Nam at that time have come up to me over the years and thanked me for this album. Evidently, it was one of the albums they'd listen to that got them through the war and though I never dreamed when I recorded it that it would be used thusly, I'm grateful it helped them. This album was recorded in Nashville and NYC. The Nashville tracks are: I Stand Alone, Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Toe Hold, Right Now For You and Hey Western Union Man. Colored Rain was recorded in Los Angeles with backup by the late jazz bandleader Don Ellis's big band. Arrangers include Charlie Calello, Jimmy Wisner, and Charlie McCoy. I experimented with sound bytes a great deal on this album and some work and some don't...My favorite tracks are: I Can Love A Woman, Toe Hold, Hey Western Union Man, One & the title track. In retrospect, one of my least favorite albums - AK

 

 

YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE SONY CD (JAPAN) SRCS 6197

Magic In My Socks / Lucille / Too Busy Thinkin 'Bout My Baby / First Time Around / Loretta / Blues Part IV / You Never Know Who Your Friends Are / The Great American Marriage / I Don't Know Why I Love You / Mourning Glory Story / Anna Lee / I'm Never Gonna Let You Down

This is one of my favorite albums and arrangement-wise, it's probably song-for-song, my best batch. It's recorded primarily with a big-band, and in the Summer of '69, I took that bigband on the road for my first tour since having left Blood Sweat & Tears the year before. Magic In My Socks is a narrative of a man talking to his penis and was pretty much inspired by reading too much Henry Miller. It's a pretty amusing lyric if you know that it's a man/member dialogue. Now ya do. First Time Around is about losing your virginity - yours not mine. Lucille is a tribute to Brian Wilson and The Four Seasons. The verses are like The Beach Boys and the choruses are like The Seasons. The title song was probably the best single I ever made or released. I was crushed when it bombed because at the time it was the best I could do commercially. Still sounds great to me. I wrote I'm Never Gonna Let You Down for Dusty Springfield - she didn't record it however - that would've been nice, pity.

On the trumpet solo at the end of that song, the background singers are singing: "This is the end of the album....trumpet solo by Marvin (Stamm)" I always got a kick out of that.

 

 

EASY DOES IT - SONY CD (JAPAN) SRCS 6198

Brand New Day / Piano Solo (Introduction) to I Got A Woman / I Got A Woman / Country Road / I Bought You The Shoes / Studio Chatter / Easy Does It / Buckskin Boy / Love Theme From The Landlord / Sad Sad Sunshine / Let The Duchess No / She Gets Me Where I Live / A Rose And A Baby Ruth / Baby Please Don't Go / God Sheds His Grace On Thee

Includes two songs from my first film score (Hal Ashby's first film "The Landlord") Brand New Day (re-recorded for this album) and Love Theme (not to be confused with Barry White's Love's Theme).

A dreadful version of James Taylor's Country Road and a cover of John Loudermilk's 50's hit A Rose And A Baby Ruth are two tracks I regret in retrospect, but hey - it was brave to try them at the time. Buckskin Boy is about the plight of the American Indian and stands up nicely. Sad Sad Sunshine was written in 1966 while I was in The Blues Project. We took LSD one night and stayed up all night. I wrote the words down as I was coming down in the morning as the sun began to stream in the hotel room window - one of my most psychedelic lyrics, natch. Easy Does It is a deceptively easy-sounding blues unless you notice that the verses are in 5/4 time! Let The Duchess No was a song by Seatrain, a Blues Project spinoff band that featured Andy Kulberg. I love the Ray Charles-inspired piano solo in that one. Baby Please Don't Go is many minutes of madness - only for listening by drug-impaired individuals. God Sheds His Grace On Thee was a protest song towards the Nixon administration. He really frightened me at the time. This was originally a double album but they got it to fit on one CD. Cool.

 

 

NEW YORK CITY (YOU'RE A WOMAN) SONY CD (JAPAN) SRCS 6199

New York City (You're A Woman) / John The Baptist / Can You Hear It Now? / The Ballad Of The Hard Rock Kid / Going Quietly Mad / Medley - Oo Wee Baby I Love You - Love Is A Man's Best Friend / Back On My Feet / Come Down In Time / Dearest Darling / Nightmare # 5 / The Warning

The title song was an autobiographical paen to my home town, that strangely got recorded in London and Los Angeles. I went overseas to work with Herbie Flowers, the bassist. I heard him play on an Elton John album and HAD to work with him. Most of the album was recorded in Los Angeles. The English tracks are the title song, Going Quietly Mad, and Nightmare # 5. The backing band in London was almost completely the band Hookfoot, whom Elton introduced me to. The West Coast band was the amazing Carol Kaye on bass, Louie Shelton on guitar and Paul Humphries on drums. These are people I was introduced to by Denny Cordell, Joe Cocker's producer. John The Baptist and The Warning, which are two early gospel songs were written with Bobby Neuwirth's-then-girlfriend, Phyliss Major. She was the lyricist. She was later married to Jackson Brown and then committed suicide in the mid-70's. We wrote about ten songs together. The Ballad Of The Hard Rock Kid, in best Bob Dylan tradition, was taken from a newspaper article. If I had my druthers now, it would be taken off the album. My favorite tacks are the title song, John The Baptist, Going Quietly Mad (a tribute to The Beatles), the cover of Elton's Come Down In Time (which he quite enjoyed at the time) and Nightmare # 5, which was a dream I actually had 3 nights in a row when I was 16.

 

 

A POSSIBLE PROJECTION OF THE FUTURE/CHILDHOOD'S END SONY CD (JAPAN) SRCS 6200

A Possible Projection Of The Future / The Man In Me / Fly On / Please Tell Me Why / The Monkey Time / Let Your Love Shine / Swept For You Baby / Bended Knees / Love Trap / Childhood's End

Another Los Angeles/London hybrid, this one is the first to bear many synthesizers. The only Los Angeles track is Swept For You Baby, a Smokey Robinson cover. The title track is a wonderment of what the rockstars will be like when they're eighty years old. English engineer John Punter does the narration in the beginning of the album. A Dylan song is covered (albeit in falsetto),a Curtis Mayfield song as well, and a Jimmy Cliff obscurity (Please Tell Me Why). All the rest are Al songs. Love Trap was written right at Marvin Gaye; Fly On right at The Four Tops. Someday I hope Mavis Staples records Childhood's End. Let Your Love Shine is a nod to After The Gold Rush era Neil Young. Because of the synths, a strangely cold album, in hindsight.

 

 

NAKED SONGS - SONY CD (JAPAN) SRCS 6201

Be Real / As The Years Go Passing By / Jolie / Blind Baby / Been And Gone / Sam Stone / Peacock Lady / Touch The Hem Of His Garment / Where Were You When I Needed You / Unrequited

The first solo album not to bear a song title as it's name. This one was recorded in Atlanta and New York City. The Atlanta tracks are Jolie, Sam Stone, and Touch The Hem Of His Garment. The Atlanta Rhythm Section are the backing band for Jolie and Sam Stone. On the NYC tracks, my touring band plays back-up: Frank Ribando & I on guitars, John Paul Fetta on bass, and Eddie Barbato on drums. This album was mostly preoccupied with an affair I was having with avant garde jazz singer Annette Peacock - hence the inclusion of her song, Been & Gone, and my songs Peacock Lady and Unrequited. John Prine's Sam Stone is given an r & b workout. John really liked this version. Albert King's As The Years Go Passing By is played live in the studio with Albert Kooper on lead guitar and tinkly piano. My song Jolie was an inch away from being recorded by Al Green. It was picked for the session by producer Willie Mitchell, only to be bumped by Mr. Green, who brought a new self-penned ditty to that session. Damn !!!! This was my last album for SONY under the existing deal.

 

 

ACT LIKE NOTHING'S WRONG - ONE WAY CD (USA) - S21-18565

Is We On The Downbeat / This Diamond Ring / She Don't Ever Lose Her Groove / I Forgot To Be Your Lover / Missing You / Out Of Left Field / Please Not One More Time / In My Own Sweet Way / Turn My Head Towards Home / A Visit To The Rainbow Bar & Grill / Hollywood Vampire

This has always been a favorite of mine. Originally released on vinyl in 1976, and co-produced by John Simon (Child Is Father To The Man), it ended a four year solo album drought. Recorded in Florida, Nashville, and Atlanta, it seems kinda southern aurally. The Atlanta tracks are Out Of Left Field and Hollywood Vampire. That's the Atlanta Rhythm Section again on Hollywood Vampire, with Joe Walsh impersonating George Harrison on slide guitar. The Florida tracks are This Diamond Ring and Missing You. These were cut at TK studios in Hialeah with Little Beaver on guitar, Chocolate Perry on bass and Tubby Zeigler on drums. I went to Florida to find the guitar player who played on Betty Wright's Clean Up Woman. That's how I found Little Beaver (Willie Hale). He was on staff at TK Records. His touring band stopped off in Atlanta one day and we cut Out Of Left Field with Ron Bogdon on bass and Robert Ferguson on drums. We also cut Beaver's tune Joey and covered The Stylistics You Are Everything, but those are in the vaults somewhere. All the rest were cut in Nashville with the wonderful, late Larry Londin on drums, Mike Leech on bass, Reggie Young (my hero!) and Steve Gibson on guitars, and Bobby Wood on piano. Tower Of Power horn section appears on She Don't Ever Lose Her Groove.

There's nothing I don't like on this disc and that's rare.

 

 

CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING - SONY CD (JAPAN) SCRS 6202

I Wish You Would / Two Sides To Every Situation / Wrestle With This / Lost Control / I'd Rather Be An Old Man's Sweetheart / The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter / Bandstand / Finders Keepers / Snowblind

Originally conceived as a duet album with Jeff Baxter, it became a solo album when Baxter pulled out of duet billing at the last moment. The concept was to parade a bunch of great musicians & lead singers and make a follow-up to Super Session in the r & b realm. I was sick of reading reviews of my albums where they liked most of it, but ALWAYS took a potshot at my vocals. So Valerie Carter, Mickey Thomas and Ricky Washington came on board and did some singing that no one could criticize. This album was produced by my good buddy Bill Szymczyk of Eagles, J Geils and BB King fame, and as such, is the only solo album where I am not the producer. The opener I Wish You Would is an old Billy Boy Arnold number popularized by The Yardbirds and John Hammond Jr. This is a kinda nod to JH Jr. with some rip-roaring guitaring from Baxter & Elliott Randall (designer of this here website!) Valarie Carter cuts loose with the Candy Staton oldie I'd Rather Be An Old Man's Sweetheart and Ricky Washington powers the Chairmen Of the Board's hit Finders Keepers. Mickey Thomas does great things with a 1972 ballad I wrote called Lost Control which was also covered by Leo Sayer. Two instrumentals additionally show off a stellar cast including Vinnie Coliauta, Ed Greene and Bruce Gary on drums, Neil Stubenhaus on bass, and the Tower Of Power horn section.

 

 

AL'S BIG DEAL - SONY CD (USA) CGK 45386 - OUT OF PRINT

New York City (You're A Woman / I Can't Quit Her / I Stand Alone / Brand New Day / The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter / Sam Stone / Jolie / I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know / Bury My Body / Albert's Shuffle / The Weight / The 59th Street Bridge Song / If Dogs Run Free / Season Of The Witch

This one originally came out shortly after Naked Songs on vinyl in 1972. The vinyl contained I Got A Woman instead of The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. It was released on CD in 1989 and never reprinted. Some of the jams from the collaborative albums, Super Session, Live Adventures, Kooper Session, and Dylan's New Morning are included, which is a nice touch and makes this a more varied listening experience. That's why it's out of print! If you have this, it's rare.

 

 

JOY OF FLYING - SONY CD (JAPAN) XDCS 93089

Overture / I Stand Alone / She Gets Me Where I Live / Come Down in Time / Without Her / John The Baptist / Fly On / Brand New Day / I Can Love A Woman / You Never Know Who Your Friends Are / Be Real / The Monkey Time / Soft Landing On The Moon / Where Were You When I Needed You / Lucille / My Days Are Numbered / Jolie / Bended Knees / I Got a Woman / New York City / Unrequited

A sampler put out by SONY Japan in 1992, when all my solo albums were gang-released, this compilation is extremely rare and extremely valuable in the collectors marketplace. I don't think too many were pressed. It's an eclectic Japanese-oriented compiling, and they do manage to get twenty-one titles on one CD. Although there are no greatest hits in print, this one smokes Al's Big Deal - but good luck finding it. And somebody tell me what Joy of Flying has to do with anything?

 

 

REKOOPERATION - MUSICMASTERS/BMG CD (USA) - 65107-2

Downtime / After The Lights Go Down Low / When The Spell Is Broken / How My Ever Gonna Get Over You / Sneakin' Round The Barnyard / Soul Twist / Lookin' For Clues / Honky Tonk / Clean Up Woman / Don't Be Cruel / Alvino Johnson's Shuffle / Johnny B Goode / I Wanna Little Girl

A tribute to the instrumental albums of the 50s and 60s, this concept album has liner notes by horror-meister Stephen King. A doff of the fedora to Jimmy Smith, James Brown, The Ventures, Duane Eddy, Hank Crawford,Bill Dogget, Mike Bloomfield, and Ray Charles, this almost-entirely instrumental Hammond B-3 organ-led collection begins with The-then Rekooperators (yours truly on keys & guitar, Jimmy Vivino on guitar, Harvey Brooks on bass, and Anton Fig on drums) and invites Randy Brecker, Hank Crawford, Jim Fielder, Dick Hyman, Johnnie Johnson, John Simon, The Uptown Horns and many others to join the festivities. With a lull in recording activity from 1982 - 1994, this was a one-off I had always wanted to do and I'm quite happy with the results. I sang the last song (I Want A Little Girl) cause I just couldn't help myself.

 

 

SOUL OF A MAN - MUSICMASTERS/BMG (DOUBLE) CD (USA) - 65113-2

CD-1 - Somethin' Goin' On / I Can't Keep From Cryin' Sometimes / I Stand Alone Medley - I Stand Alone - I Can Love A Woman - New York City (You're A Woman) / Flute Thing / Don't Tell Me / Two Trains Runnin' / Heartbeat / Sleep Walk / Just One Smile

CD-2 - I Can't Quit Her / I Want A Little Girl / My Days Are Numbered / I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know / Made In The Shade / Downtime / Violets of Dawn / Albert's Shuffle / Closing Medley - You Can't Always Get What You Want - Season Of the Witch - Al's Witch Hunt

The proudest I can be of something I recorded, this double live CD, recorded on my 50th birthday at New York's Bottom Line club, recreates the two bands I was in, and rounds it off with my current band.

The Rekooperators, The Blues Project, and Blood Sweat & Tears (known as Child Is Father To The Man on this album) play their biggest numbers all under one roof. A lavishly illustrated 43 page booklet with notes by former Goldmine editor Jeff Tamarkin and myself comes in a ritzy slipcase. I slaved over the mixing on this one and it crackles with the electricity of a live show reproduced with startling digital technology. All your faves are on here plus covers of songs by Adrian Belew, Santo & Johnny, Pat McLaughlin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Rolling Stones. If you have to have only one of my CDs, get these two !!!

 

 

 

RARE & WELL DONE  COLUMBIA LEGACY
 2 CDS (USA)  C2K  62153

RARE; I Can't Quit  Her (Home Demo)/ Somethin' Goin On (Demo)/ Autumn Song/I Cant Stand The Rain/Baby Please Don't Go (Live)/ I Let Love  Slip Through My Fingers/ Earthquake Of Your Love/ Bulgarya (Instrumental)/Nuthin' I Wouldn't Do (For A Woman Like You/ New York's My Home (Razz  A Ma Tazz)/Making Plans For Nigel/ I Believe To My Soul/Went To  See The Gypsy/ Racmaninoff's Birthday/ Hey Jude (Rehearsal Tape)/Living In My Own Religion/ The Big Chase/ They Just Dont Make 'Em  Like That Anymore/ A Drive Through The Old Neighborhood/

WELL DONE: I Can't  Keep From Cryin' Sometimes (Live)/ I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know/This Diamond Ring/Albert's Shuffle/ Bury My Body/Season Of The Witch/New York City (You're A Woman)/ I Can't Quit Her (Live)/I Stand Alone/Flute Thing/You  Never Know Who Your Friends Are/I Got A Woman/Brand New Day/ Love Theme (From The Landlord)

Two years in the making, this  was a labor of love. One entire CD of unreleased music from 1964-2001, and a greatest hits CD sensitively and carefully remastered as best as could be done technically thenadays. RARE got some good ones out of the basement finally; tracks I never thought would see the light of day finally had a window to climb out of.  This boxed set was rendered completely with the fan in mind. I sincerely hope it succeeded. Released under Murphy's Law a week after 9/11, many still do not know it exists.

BLACK COFFEE - FAVORED NATIONS - FN25202 (USA)

My Hands Are Tied/Am I Wrong/How My Ever Gonna Get Over You/Going Going Gone/Keep It To Yourself/Get Ready/Imaginary Lover/Green Onions(Live)/Another Man’s Prize/ Childish Love/ Got My Ion Hue/ Just 4 A Thrill/ Comin’ Back In a Cadillac(Live)/(I Want You To) Tell Me The Truth

Thirty years in the making; a paen to self-control in the music business - this was my baby that I nursed patiently over decades until God and Steve Vai said it was time for laserbirth. Released July 12th, 2005 to reviews the likes of which I had never seen in my forty-seven year career:

FOUR stars in MOJO ??? 

This can’t be happening to ME...

A very satisfying family addition - handpicked from close to 150 availabilities imprisoned  in my basement , this is probably the best batch of Alsongs and chosen covers in one place since Child Is Father To The Man. And how wonderful to have liner notes from the legendary Andrew Loog Oldham!  I suspect you will truly enjoy this - I know it’s made that way.

WHITE CHOCOLATE - A MINOR RECORD COMPANY - AMRC69711 (USA)

Love Time/ You Never Know Til You Get There/ Calling You/ I Love You More Than Words Can Say/ It Takes A Lot To Laugh (It Takes A Train To Cry)/ I Cried SWo Hard/ Staxability/ You Make Me Feel So Good (All Over)/ Susan/ Hold On/ Cast The First Stone/ No 1 2 Call Me Baby/ Candy Man/ I (Who Have Nothing)/ (I Don't Know When, But) I Know That I'll Be There Soon

A very tough task to follow "Black Coffee," but I believe we rose to the occasion. Two songs co-authored by legendary lyricist Gerry Goffin, backing on a song by Steve Cropper & Duck Dunn - half of Booker T & The MGs did not hurt the creative results. Probably the longest I ever took making a solo album as well. I feel like I crossed over a quality line here. If you liked "Black Coffee," you will LOVE "White Chocolate."






50/50 - SONY DIGITAL

A Possible Projection Of The Future/ I Wish You Would/ I Stand Alone/ Bury My Body/ (Be Yourself) Be Real/ Brand New Day/ One/ Going Quietly Mad/Sad Sad Sunshine/ Come Down In Time/ Buckskin Boy/ Love Theme From "The Landlord"/Ooo Baby I Love You-Love Is A Man's Best Friend Medley/ I Got A Woman/ The Warning/ Unrequited/ Whiskey Train (Live At The Living Room)/Peacock Lady/ Earth Mother (unreleased)/She Gets Me Where I Live/ You Never Know Who Your Friends Are/ The Man In Me/ Where Were You (When I Needed You)/ New York City (You're A Woman)/ John The Baptist/ Living In My Own Religion/ Camille (backing track-unreleased)/ Mourning Glory Story/Test Drive (unreleased)/ I Believe To My Soul/ Honest I Do (Live At The Living Room)/Let Your Love Shine/ Looking For A Home/ Lucille/ Magic In My Socks/ 500 Miles (Can You Hear It Now?)/Fly On/ Dearest Darling/ As The Years Go Passing By/ Nightmare #5 (demo-unreleased)/ Nightmare #5 (master)/ Wrestle With This/ Childhood's End/ Let The Duchess No/ God Sheds His Grace On Thee/ I Can Love A Woman/ Jolie/ Touch The Hem Of His Garment/ I Don't Know Why I Love You/ I'm Never Gonna Let You Down

SONY Legacy has always desisted in releasing CDs of my SONY solo albums. SONY Japan put them ALL out albeit with questionable unsupervised mastering, but at least they were in circulation. For my 50th anniversary in the music business in 2008, I compiled a 50 track boxset of the best tracks off all my SONY solo albums (my opinion) True to their major label profile and keeping their policies intact, they only released it digitally on iTunes, etc. and as usual never pressed it. However, I was able to remaster EVERY track and it sounds GREAT. I feel this is a wonderful audio explanation of who I was musically in the late sixties and early 70's. If you are familiar with these tracks, just pick out your faves and download them. If you are not and a recent fan, $24.95 will get you 50 remastered beauties from the past. In addition, there is a wonderful interactive booklet downloadable gratis from the homepage of my website that iTunes would not allow to be included. A buncha roses in a garden of SONY greediness.

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