A BOOTLEG recording is an audio and/or video recording of a performance that was not officially released by the artist, or under other legal authority. A great many such recordings are simply copied and traded among fans of the artist without financial exchange, but some bootleggers are able to sell these rarities for profit, sometimes by adding professional-quality sound engineering and packaging to the raw material.
    In the past, these used to exist in the form of vinyl or casette tape, and Christie were victims particularly in SE Asia, Russia and Poland (see below).
    But the late 1990s and early 2000s saw an increase in the free trading of digital bootlegs, sharply decreasing the demand for and profitability of physical bootlegs. The rise of standard audio file formats such as MP3 and FLAC, combined with the ability to share files between computers via e-mail, FTP, instant messaging, and specialised peer-to-peer file sharing networks, made it simpler than ever for bootleg collectors to exchange rarities.
    Older analog recordings were converted to digital format for the first time, tracks from bootleg CDs were ripped to computer hard disks, and new material was created with digital recording of various types, and all of these types could now be easily shared.
   There are at least four digital bootlegs of Christie material available through the net as of October 2011: one is a DVD of Christie video clips, the other three are CDs of songs culled from Jeff's reportoire.

dvd bootleg

The cover of the DVD bootleg which features Christie video clips


The digital 3-CD set which collects the works the Outer Limits, Christie, and Jeff as a solo artist.

cd bootleg
cd bootleg
The digital CD bootleg which contains 24 tracks.

cd bootleg

Japanese digital product released in 2005, labelled a 35th anniversary remastered version of the first album. It includes all the songs as well as Iron Horse as a bonus.

    Fans should note that the DVD consists of clips copied directly from the videos uploaded to youtube. The cover of the product is very nicely done (although using artwork from the Russian CD which plagiarised photos from this site), but the quality of the clips is poor. It also strangely uses the logo for the Christie Again band as part of the DVD menu. A couple of the clips are incorrectly labelled ... a performance of San Bernadino on German TV is wrongly attributed to the BBC, while the first-ever Christie clip (Yellow River) is mysteriously dubbed "the Hamburg video".
    The 24-track digital CD is also definitely not an authorised product, even though it goes to great lengths to prove it is (for example, using a CBS logo on the disc label). The Japanese CD uses photos downloaded from this site. The 3-CD set merely collects the Past Imperfect set with the Christie digital bootleg mentioned above, and rearranges the song list to make it different from the original.
    True Christie fans will only buy the genuine product and realise that these bootlegs do not form part of any official Christie collection.


Asian bootlegs
Asian bootlegs

Asian bootlegs

Asian bootlegs

Pirated records featuring Yellow River, San Bernadino, Picture Painter, Everything's Gonna Be Alright, Iron Horse, Fools' Gold, Peace Lovin' Man, Man of Many Faces and Born To Lose.

Asian bootlegs

SOUTH-EAST Asia was a haven for record pirates back in the early 70's, and every song that was a hit was cheaply mass produced on poor quality vinyl, either as singles, EPs (with four songs) or on albums (up to 12 songs).
    These products were illegal and obviously manufactured without any permission of the artists' recording labels, nor were any royalties paid.
   The records sold very cheaply, usually in covers that had pictures of one of the artists featured on the record, or sometimes none at all.
    The vinyl used for the bootlegs was thin and the sound reproduction was poor.
    Like other successful artists of the era, Christie was not immune to such piracy, and several of their recordings exist in these pirated forms.
    Unfortunately, many unscrupulous SE Asian dealers are currently selling these records for exorbitant prices, claiming them to be collectors' items.
    Inaccurate reviews by ignorant Western journalists in some music magazines have not helped either.
    Do not be fooled. These records were made without the artists' authority or knowledge, and if you pay a premium for them, you are merely swelling the coffers of rip-off merchants.

    Here are a few tell-tale signs of a pirated disc:
1) The cover artwork looks amateurish and poorly designed
2) The record company logo is a poor imitation of the original, or a variation - for example, EMI would be changed to JMI. Alternatively, there is no logo or record company name at all
3) The artists featured on an EP belong, in most cases, to different recording companies. For example, if you see the Beatles (EMI) and Creedence (Fantasy) on the same EP, you know it is a pirated disc, for there is absolutely no way different recording companies can be represented on the same item without complex legal agreements in place
4) The vinyl itself is thin and ragged on the edges. The sound quality is poor

    Of course, the bootlegs weren't restricted to Asia; the practice was prevalent in just about any other country where licencing wasn't policed very well, such as Communist regions. Remember the tell-tale sign — if the artists on the product belong to different companies, then it is a bootleg.
    In Poland, a different sort of bootleg was manufactured — the postcard disc, again featuring work of artists without permission.

  See here for a detailed analysis of Russian and Polish bootlegs.

The art of piracy continues well into the current age, despite attempts to crack down on it.
    These days items like CDs and DVDs are the most often copied, with technology so advanced that even a novice can create a passable imitation — but it was in the 70s when bootleg vinyl records were in extensive and profligate supply.

See this message from a Christie fan.

IN 2010, a Japanese bootleg of the Repertoire CD release of the first Christie album was produced.
    However, instead of slipshod work which usually characterises a bootleg, this item is immaculately presented, sold in a plastic wrap with a cute Japanese strip label on the side. Even more impressive, the makers took the time to produce extensive liner notes about Christie's history (in Japanese text of course), as well as include lyrics to the songs in both English and Japanese.
    Great lengths were taken to give the impression that this is an original product, with the inclusion of the CBS label on the cover and on the CD label itself
. But it is clear this is merely a copy of the Repertoire release, as it includes the eight extra tracks that were never on the first album.

Japan CD
Japan CD
Japan CD insert
Japan CD lyrics
Japan CD liner notes

    The liner notes are very interesting, for they are clearly written by a music historian who has done his research about Christie. They also include a bit of editorialising, with the author in no doubt about the high quality of Jeff Christie's songs. For that alone, this product deserves some kudos.
    Here is the text loosely translated:

…. Christie started in this turbulent time (of around 1970), but Jeff Christie, one of the main members, actually started his professional career in 1967 as a member of a group called Outer Limits. However, it did not make a success and the band disintegrated. So Jeff tried to make a living by writing songs, but no one was interested in his songs. That was when broken-hearted Jeff met Alan Blakley, Tremeloes’ guitarist.
    It is said that Yellow River was at one stage liked by Tremeloes and was going to be recorded as a single. Unfortunately, however, another song was used instead of Yellow River. Then Jeff Christie formed a new band, with the support of people who loved Yellow River, just in order to give it to the world. Jeff Christie played the bass/vocal, Vic Elmes played the guitar and Mike Blakley (Alan Blakley’s brother) played the drums. However, being a quickly made-up band, it only went well at the beginning.
    Yellow River is a song which has an aspect of social satire, with a cute melody and lyrics on the theme of the Vietnam War. The line about putting the guns down and going back to the favourite place of Yellow River must have caught the heart of young people who were against the Vietnam War.
    But the huge success of the song panicked Christie themselves. Not expecting the single would become such a big hit, the band had not had time for proper rehearsals. Christie made a tour with one hit single. Then they released their second single San Bernadino/Here I Am in October of the same year, followed by their debut album Christie Featuring San Bernadino and Yellow River.
    For All Mankind was released in 1971 and is Christie’s second album. In contrast to the two singles released in the previous year, which was warmly welcomed, people thought little of For All Mankind. But this does not necessarily mean For All Mankind is low level music.
    As stated before, around 1970 was a turbulent time in the British rock scene. It was an innovative time when many new rock groups were trying to create a new history. Many of the bands from 1960s tried to survive by introducing new musical essence. And many of the bands started around this time tried to differentiate themselves from existing rock bands by having innovative and original sound structure in their music, which appealed to the young fans.
    How did the band with Beatles-like pop sense survive in this time? The truth is that the music fans who liked hard rock or progressive (new rock) ridiculed them – they regarded such bands as one level lower. Every music fan over 40 knows how former Beatles’ members' pop albums (after the Beatles had disbanded) were evaluated in 1970s in real time.
    As such Christie tried to survive by adding harder arrangement to For All Mankind. From a commercial point of view, people say it was a failure. However, this change of direction was a success from a musical point of view. All the songs recorded in the album were quite good.
    One feels a vague sense of British beat from the core of Christie’s sound. This is rather natural considering Jeff Christie’s background. One feels a strong influence from the Mod scene, especially The Who. It is a shame that Christie stopped producing original songs after this one, as the level of the music is high. The performance is also at a high level. The performance of Mike, the drummer of the band when it was formed, was at a questionable level, but Paul Fenton, Mike’s successor, performed professionally.
    This album is a collection of Beatles-like good quality melody, beat pop which was rearranged for 1970s style, power pop tunes which were arranged harder and tighter, with strong melancholic ballads. It is no exaggeration to say that this album is a hidden gem in the 1970s British pop scene.
    I would like any music fan who looks for good quality British pop to purchase and listen to this album at least once. Eight singles released after For All Mankind but had not been included in the album before are included in this album as bonuses All of them are filled with a high level catchy sound from the British pop (or power pop) point of view.


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