Thursday, March 23, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1712 (starts 3/22/17)


Due to some unusual circumstances both this week's and next week's shows are backup shows, recorded in 2015 but never aired. Enjoy!

Artist:     Seeds
Title:     Pushin' Too Hard
Source:     Simulated stereo CD: Best of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: The Seeds)
Writer:     Sky Saxon
Label:     Priority (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:     1965
     Pushin' Too Hard was originally released to the L.A. market as a single in late 1965 and included on side one of the first Seeds album the following year. After being re-released as a single the song did well enough to go national in early 1967, peaking at #36 in February.

Artist:      Opus 1
Title:     Back Seat '38 Dodge
Source:      Mono CD: Where the Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Christensen/Becker/Becker/Parker
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mustang)
Year:     1966
     Long Beach, California was home to Opus 1, who released the surf-tinged Back Seat '38 Dodge on L.A.'s Mustang label in 1966. The title refers to a controversial sculpture that suburbanites were talking about at the time.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Odorono
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    The Who Sell Out was released just in time for Christmas 1967. It was a huge success in England, where Radio London was one of the few surviving pirate radio stations still broadcasting following the launch of BBC-1 earlier in the year. Incidentally, the inclusion of the various jingles on the album reportedly resulted in a flurry of lawsuits against the Who.

Artist:     Simon and Garfunkel
Title:     America
Source:     45 RPM single B side (song originally released on LP: Bookends)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Year:     1968/1972
     Four years after the release of the album Bookends (and two years after the breakup of Simon and Garfunkel), Columbia decided to release the song For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her, from their final album Bridge Over Troubled Water, as a single, to coincide with the release of their Greatest Hits album. For the B side, they went even further back, pulling out the original tapes for the song America. The tracks on the Bookends album were deliberately overlapped to form a continuous audio montage, making this the first standalone version of America to be released.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Repent Walpurgis
Source:    Similuated stereo LP: Procol Harum
Writer(s):    Matthew Fisher
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    It is unusual to find a Procol Harum track that was not written by the songwriting team of Gary Brooker and Keith Reid. In fact, on their self-title first LP there was only one. Repent Walpurgis is credited to organist Matthew Fisher, who also wrote the organ intro for the band's most popular recording, A Whiter Shade Of Pale (but had to go to court to get songwriting credit for it years later). Fisher later said that Repent Walpurgis was based on the works of French organist Charles-Marie Widor and German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Janis
Source:    LP: I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    It is not well-known (yet hardly a secret, either) that in early 1967, Country Joe McDonald and Janis Joplin had a live-in relationship. As might be expected given the strong personalities involved, the affair didn't last long, but apparently had a profound enough effect on McDonald that he wrote a song about it. That song, Janis, appears on the second Country Joe And The Fish LP, I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Renaissance Fair
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Crosby/McGuinn
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    Younger Than Yesterday was David Crosby's last official album with the Byrds (he was fired midway through the recording of The Notorious Byrd Brothers) and the last one containing any collaborations between Crosby and Jim (now Roger) McGuinn. Renaissance Fair, a song that Crosby was inspired to write after attending the Renaissance Pleasure Faire Of Southern California, is one of those collaborations, although the actual extent of McGuinn's participation is debatable.

Artist:    Bee Gees
Title:    In My Own Time
Source:    CD: Bee Gees 1st
Writer(s):    Barry and Robin Gibb
Label:    Reprise (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    The album Bee Gees 1st was actually the Gibb brothers' third LP. The first two, however, were only released in Australia and New Zealand (the Gibb family having emigrated to Australia from their native England several years before), and utilized studio musicians extensively. In 1966 Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, along with drummer Colin Petersen, relocated to London, where they added guitarist Vince Melouney (who had himself recently moved to England from Australia) to make the Bee Gees an actual band. They came to the attention of record impressario Robert Stigwood, whose Robert Stigwood Organization also managed Cream, the Who, the Small Faces and Jimi Hendrix. Bee Gees 1st was an international success, spawning no less than three major hit singles. My own favorite track on the album, however, is an obscure bit of pyschedelia called In My Own Time. The song features several starts and stops, as well as solid fuzz guitar work from Melouney and, of course, stellar harmony vocals from the Gibb brothers.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Hole In My Shoe
Source:    Mono CD: Mr. Fantasy (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Dave Mason
Label:    Island (original US label: United Artists)
Year:    1967
    Since the 1970s Traffic has been known as Steve Winwood's (and to a lesser degree, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood's) band, but in the early days the group's most popular songs were written and sung by co-founder Dave Mason. Hole In My Shoe was a single that received considerable airplay in the UK. As was common practice in the UK at the time, the song was not included on the band's debut album. In the US, however, both Hole In My Shoe and the other then-current Traffic single, Paper Sun, were added to the album, replacing (ironically) a couple of Mason's other tunes. 

Artist:    Roy Orbison
Title:    Oh, Pretty Woman
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Orbison/Dees
Label:    Monument
Year:    1964
    Although the vast majority of Roy Orbison's hits were love ballads such as It's Over and Blue Bayou, his best-known song is the classic rocker Oh, Pretty Woman. The song managed to work its way to the top of both US and British charts during the height of the British Invasion. Orbison, in fact, was even more successful in the UK than in his native US, scoring two number hits on the British charts in 1964, the only American artist to do so.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Mindbender (Confusion's Prince)
Source:    CD: Birth Of The Dead
Writer(s):    Garcia/Lesh
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1965
    On November 3, 1965, a young rock band known as the Warlocks recorded six songs for Autumn Records at Golden State Recorders. According to legend, it was discovered at the last minute that there was already a band called the Warlocks, so the sessions were recorded under the name The Emergency Crew. Not long after this recording date, the Warlocks officially changed their name to the Grateful Dead. Autumn Records chose not to issue any of these recordings, and most of the song, including Mindbender (Confusion's Prince) an early collaborative effort between Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh, remained unreleased until 2001, when they were included in the massive twelve-CD box set The Golden Road (1965-1973). Two years later Rhino issued the first two discs of that set as a standalone called Birth Of The Dead.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Run Around
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    The first Jefferson Airplane album was dominated by the songwriting of the band's founder, Marty Balin, both as a solo writer and as a collaborator with other band members. Run Around, from Balin and rhythm guitarist Paul Kantner, is fairly typical of the early Jefferson Airplane sound.

Artist:    Easybeats
Title:    Sorry
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Australia as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Wright/Young
Label:    Rhino (original label: Parlophone)
Year:    1966
    While Beatlemania was sweeping the northern hemisphere, a similar phenomena known as Easyfever was all the rage down under. Formed in the migrant hostels on the edge of Sydney, the Easybeats signed with Parlophone in 1965, and hit the top of the Australian charts with their second single. From that point on, the Easybeats were the # 1 band in the country, cranking out hit after hit, including Sorry from 1966. Like all the band's early hits, Sorry was written by the team of vocalist Stevie Wright and guitarist George Young. Not long after the release of Sorry, the Easybeats would decide to relocate to England. At around the same time lead guitarist Harry Vanda replaced Wright as Young's primary writing partner; together they wrote the international smash Friday On My Mind. The Easybeats continued to record into the early 70s, but with only moderate success. Eventually Young returned to Australia, where he was instrumental in helping his younger brothers Angus and Malcolm find success with their own band, AC/DC.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    I Am Waiting
Source:    British import LP: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    The Aftermath album was a turning point for the Rolling Stones. For one thing, it was their first album recorded entirely in the US, and at a much more leisurely pace than their previous albums. This afforded the band the opportunity to spend more time working on their arrangements before committing songs to tape. It also gave Brian Jones a chance to experiment with instruments not normally associated with rock and roll music, such as sitar, dulcimer, marimbas, and koto. Aftermath was also the first Rolling Stones album made up entirely of songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, including the semi-acoustical I Am Waiting.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Sunshine Superman
Source:    British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI
Year:    1966
    Up until the early 1970s there was an unwritten rule that stated that in order to get played on top 40 radio a song could be no more than three and a half minutes long. There were exceptions, of course, such as Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone, but as a general rule the policy was strictly adhered to. Sometimes an artist would record a song that exceeded the limit but nonetheless was considered to have commercial potential. In cases like these the usual practice was for the record company (or sometimes the producer of the record) to create an edited version of the master recording for release as a single. Usually in these cases the original unedited version of the song would appear on an album. In the case of Donovan's Sunshine Superman, however, the mono single version was used for the album as well, possibly because the album itself was never issued in stereo. In fact, it wasn't until 1969 that the full-length original recording of Sunshine Superman was made available as a track on Donovan's first Greatest Hits collection. This was also the first time the song had appeared in stereo, having been newly mixed for that album. An even newer mix was made in 1998 and is included on a British anthology album called Psychedelia At Abbey Road. This version takes advantage of digital technology and has a slightly different sound than previous releases of the song.
       
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    She Said She Said
Source:    CD: Revolver
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1966
    The last song to be recorded for the Beatles' Revolver album was She Said She Said, a John Lennon song inspired by an acid trip taken by members of the band (with the exception of Paul McCartney) during a break from touring in August of 1965. The band's manager, Brian Epstein, had rented a large house in Beverly Hills, but word had gotten out and the Beatles found it difficult to come and go at will. Instead, they invited several people, including the original Byrds and actor Peter Fonda, to come over and hang out with them. At some point, Fonda brought up the fact that he had nearly died as a child from an accidental gunshot wound, and used the phrase "I know what it's like to be dead." Lennon was creeped out by the things Fonda was saying and told him to "shut up about that stuff. You're making me feel like I've never been born." Both lines ended up being used in the song itself, which took nine hours to record and mix, and is one of the few Beatle tracks that does not have Paul McCartney on it (George Harrison played bass). Ironically, Fonda himself would star in a Roger Corman film called The Trip (written by Jack Nicholson and co-starring Dennis Hopper) the following year.

Artist:    Albert Collins
Title:    Pushin'
Source:    LP: Underground Gold (originally released on LP: Love Can Be Found Anywhere (Even In A Guitar))
Writer(s):    Stephen Hollister
Label:    Liberty (original label: Imperial)
Year:    1968
    Albert Collins was a Texas bluesman who had been recording for various Houston-based labels over a period of ten years when he was approached by the members of Canned Heat, who offered to help him secure a record deal with Imperial Records in 1968. Collins soon relocated to first Kansas City and then Palo Alto, California, where he recorded the album Love Can Be Found Anywhere (Even In A Guitar). The album's title was taken from a line used by Robert Hite in Canned Heat's Fried Hockey Boogie and included several strong tracks, including Pushin'. Hite also wrote liner notes for the album, which was released in November of 1968.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1966
    Some of the best rock and roll songs of 1966 were banned on a number of stations for being about either sex or drugs. Most artists that recorded those songs claimed they were about something else altogether. In the case of Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35, "stoned" refers to a rather unpleasant form of execution (at least according to Dylan). On the other hand, Dylan himself was reportedly quite stoned while recording the song, having passed a few numbers around before starting the tape rolling. Sometimes I think ambiguities like this are why English has become the dominant language of commerce on the planet.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    A Bit Of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning
Source:    LP: Black Sabbath
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    According to Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, the band's debut LP was recorded in one day, in a marathon 12-hour session, and mixed the following day. Most of the tracks, including the 14-minute long Warning, were done in one take with no overdubs. The tune itself is listed on the US album cover as three separate tracks, even though it is the same continuous piece that appeared on the original UK version of the album. The reason for this is probably so the band could get more in royalties for three compositions than they could for just one. The Grateful Dead did essentially the same thing on their 1968 album Anthem Of The Sun with the 18-minute long track That's It For The Other One. Both albums appeared in the US on the Warner Brothers label.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Do It
Source:    CD: The Soft Parade
Writer(s):    Morrison/Kreiger
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1969
    Generally considered the weakest of the Doors' studio albums, The Soft Parade was recorded over a period of nine months, and, unlike other Doors albums, features horns and a string section. It was also the first Doors album to give individual writing credits, reportedly because vocalist Jim Morrison did not want his name associated with some of guitarist Robby Kreiger's lyrics. Nonetheless, the two of them did collaborate on one song, Do It, which is one of the better tracks from the album.

Artist:    Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Title:    Prelude/Nightmare
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown)
Writer(s):    Arthur Brown
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1968
    One of rock's first "theatrical" performers, Arthur Brown first began to get noticed in Paris, where he spent a year developing his stage show and unique vocal style with his band the Arthur Brown Set, which was formed in 1965. On his return to England he joined up with keyboardist Vincent Crane. By 1967 the Vincent Crane Combo had changed its name to The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and was becoming a major force on London's underground music scene. In late 1967 the band went to work on their self-titled debut LP, which was released in the UK on the Track label in June of 1968. Spurred by the success of the single Fire, the album was picked up for American distribution by Atlantic Records that same year. The people at Atlantic, however, felt that the drums were a bit off and insisted on adding horns and strings to cover the deficiency. The result can be heard on tracks like Prelude/Nightmare, which opens the album.

Artist:    Moby Grape
Title:    Hey Grandma
Source:    LP: Moby Grape
Writer(s):    Miller/Stevenson
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    One of the most talked-about albums to come from the San Francisco music scene in 1967 was Moby Grape's debut album. Unfortunately a lot of that talk was from Columbia Records itself, which resulted in the band getting a reputation for being overly hyped, much to the detriment of the band's future efforts. Still, that first album did have some outstanding tracks, including Hey Grandma, which opens side one of the LP.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Hey, Hey, What Can I Do
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Page/Plant/Bonham/Jones
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    In their entire existence Led Zeppelin only issued one non-album track. Hey, Hey, What Can I Do was originally released as the B side of the Immigrant Song in 1970, and was not available in any other form until 1990, when it was included in the first Led Zeppelin box set. It has since been made available as a bonus track on the Led Zeppelin III CD.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills And Nash
Title:    Long Time Gone
Source:    CD: Crosby, Stills And Nash
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    In addition to showcasing some of the most popular bands of 1969, the Woodstock festival helped several relatively new acts attain stardom as well. Among these newer artists were Santana, Ten Years After and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The biggest Woodstock success story, however, was Crosby, Stills and Nash, who appearance at the event was only their second live performance. In addition to the group's live performance, the movie and soundtrack album of the event included the original studio recording of Long Time Gone from the debut Crosby, Stills and Nash LP.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Magic Carpet Ride
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf The Second)
Writer(s):    Moreve/Kay
Label:    Priority (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    Steppenwolf's second top 10 single was Magic Carpet Ride, a song that combines feedback, prominent organ work by Goldy McJohn and an updated Bo Diddly beat with psychedelic lyrics. Along with Born To Be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride (co-written by vocalist John Kay and bassist Rushton Moreve) has become one of the defining songs of both Steppenwolf and the late 60s.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Page/McCarty
Label:    Epic
Year:    1967
    By 1967 the Yardbirds had moved far away from their blues roots and were on their fourth lead guitarist, studio whiz Jimmy Page. The band had recently picked up a new producer, Mickey Most, known mostly for his work with Herman's Hermits and the original Animals. Most had a tendency to concentrate solely on the band's single A sides, leaving Page an opportunity to develop his own songwriting and production skills on songs such as Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, a track that also shows signs of Page's innovative guitar style (including an instrumental break played with a violin bow) that would help define 70s rock.

Artist:    Love
Title:    7&7 Is
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single. Stereo version released on LP: Da Capo)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1967
    The word "seven" does not appear anywhere in the song 7&7 Is. In fact, I have no idea where Arthur Lee got that title from. Nonetheless, the song is among the most intense tracks to ever make the top 40. 7&7 Is starts off with power chords played over a constant drum roll (possibly played by Lee himself), with cymbals crashing over equally manic semi-spoken lyrics. The song builds up to an explosive climax: an atomic bomb blast followed by a slow post-apocalyptic instrumental that quickly fades away.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Tried To Hide
Source:    CD: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
Writer(s):    Hall/Sutherland
Label:    Collectables (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    The first known use of the word "psychedelic" in an album title was The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators, released on the Houston-based International Artists label in August of 1966. The album itself is notable for its inclusion of electric jug (played by Tommy Hall), and for the band's only charted single, You're Gonna Miss Me. The B side of that single was Tried To Hide, written by Hall and guitarist Stacy Sutherland.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    The Flute Thing
Source:    LP: Projections
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1966
    The Blues Project was one of the most influential bands in rock history, yet to this day remains one of the most obscure. Perhaps the first of the "underground" rock bands, the Project made their name by playing small colleges across the country (including Hobart College, where Stuck in the Psychedelic Era is produced). The Flute Thing, from the group's first studio LP, Projections, features bassist Andy Kuhlberg on flute, with rhythm guitarist Steve Katz taking over the bass playing, joining lead guitarist Danny Kalb and keyboardist Al Kooper for a tune that owes more to jazz artists like Roland Kirk than to anything top 40 rock had to offer at the time.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1712 (starts 3/22/17)

Getting the playlist up a day late this week. Check out the King Crimson vinyl, though! Pretty cool, huh?

Artist:     King Crimson
Title:     21st Century Schizoid Man
Source:     LP: In The Court Of The Crimson King
Writer:     Fripp/McDonald/Lake/Giles/Sinfield
Label:     Atlantic
Year:     1969
     There are several bands with a legitimate claim to starting the art-rock movement of the mid-70s. The one most other musicians cite as the band that started it all, however, is King Crimson. Led by Robert Fripp, the band went through several personnel changes over the years. Many of the members went on to greater commercial success as members of other bands, including guitarist/keyboardist Ian McDonald (Foreigner), and lead vocalist/bassist Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) from the original lineup. Additionally, poet Peter Sinfield, who wrote all King Crimson's early lyrics, would go on to perform a similar function for Emerson, Lake and Palmer, including their magnum opus Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends. Other original members included Michael Giles on drums and Fripp himself on guitar. This week's opening track has special significance as the first song on the first album by King Crimson. Enjoy!

Artist:    King Crimson
Title:    Cat Food
Source:    LP: In The Wake Of Poseidon
Writer(s):    Fripp/McDonald/Sinfield   
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Following the release of the 1969 album In The Court Of The Crimson King all the members of King Crimson except for guitarist Robert Fripp and lyricist Peter Sinfield left the band for various reasons. Most of them, however, including keyboardist Ian McDonald, drummer Michael Giles and lead vocalist Greg Lake, ended up contributing the the second Crimson LP, In The Wake Of Poseidon in the role of session musicians, along with Giles's brother Peter, who provided bass parts on the album. The most popular song on the album was Cat Food, which was released as a single in 1970 (and was the featured song on the band's only TV appearance until 1981).

Artist:    King Crimson
Title:    The Court Of The Crimson King
Source:    LP: In The Court Of The Crimson King
Writer(s):    McDonald/Sinfield
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1969
    Perhaps the most influential progressive rock album of all time was King Crimson's debut LP, In The Court Of The Crimson King. The band, in its original incarnation, included Robert Fripp on guitar, Ian MacDonald on keyboards and woodwinds, Greg Lake on vocals and bass, David Giles on drums and Peter Sinfield as a dedicated lyricist. The title track, which takes up the second half of side two of the LP, features music composed by MacDonald, who would leave the group after their second album, later resurfacing as a founding member of Foreigner. The album's distinctive cover art (posted on the Stuck in the Psychedelic Era Facebook page) came from a painting by computer programmer Barry Godber, who died of a heart attack less than a year after the album was released. According to Fripp, the artwork on the inside is a portrait of the Crimson King, whose manic smile is in direct contrast to his sad eyes. The album, song and artwork were the inspiration for Stephen King's own Crimson King, the insane antagonist of his Dark Tower saga who is out to destroy all of reality, including our own.

Artist:    Stevie Wonder
Title:    Superstition
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Stevie Wonder
Label:    Tamla
Year:    1972
    Superstition was not originally meant to be a Stevie Wonder hit record. The song was actually written with the intention of giving it to guitarist Jeff Beck, in return for his participation of Wonder's Talking Book album. In fact, it was Beck that came up with the song's opening drum riff, creating, with Wonder, the first demo of the song. The plan was for Beck to release the song first as the lead single from the album Beck, Bogert & Appice. However, that album's release got delayed, and Motown CEO Barry Gordy Jr. insisted that Wonder go ahead and release his own version fo the song first, as Barry saw the song as a potential #1 hit. It turned out Gordy was right, and Superstition ended up topping both the pop and soul charts in 1973, doing well in other countries as well.

Artist:    Doobie Brothers
Title:    Jesus Is Just Alright
Source:    CD: Toulouse Streeet
Writer(s):    Arthur Reynolds
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1972
    In the early 1970s a number of young Americans became enthused with the Christian faith. This enthusiasm was reflected on the top 40 charts, where no less than half a dozen religiously oriented pop tunes entered the charts between 1969-1973. Perhaps the most lasting of these was Jesus Is Just Alright, which was originally released by the Art Reynolds Singers on their 1966 LP, Tellin' It Like It Is. The Byrds included their own version of the song on their 1969 album Ballad Of Easy Rider. The Doobie Brothers, having heard the Byrds' version of the song, decided to include their own harder rocking rendition of Jesus Is Just Alright on their Toulouse Street album, releasing it as a single in 1972.

Artist:    Band
Title:    Up On Cripple Creek
Source:    CD: Rock Of Ages (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Robbie Robertson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1972
    One of the most popular songs recorded by the Band was Robbie Robertson's Up On Cripple Creek. Originally released in 1969, the song hit the top 40 charts that year, peaking at #25. It gained new popularity in 1976 when it was included on the Band's concert film (and subsequent album) The Last Waltz. In between, the group performed the song countless times, often with the tape rolling. Although it was not included on the original version of the Band's 1972 live album Rock Of Ages, the song was nonetheless recorded, and eventually released on an expanded edition of the album in the 1990s.

Artist:    Jade Warrior
Title:    Clouds/Mountain Of Fruits And Flowers
Source:    LP: Floating World
Writer(s):    Field/Duhig
Label:    Island
Year:    1974
    It is almost impossible to classify Jade Warrior in conventional terms. They have been called everything from experimental progressive rock to early new age. Jade Warrior was basically a duo consisting of Tony Duhig and guitar and Jon Field on flute, with both providing percussion as well. In addition, several studio musicians were brought in as needed, including Duhig's brother David for electric lead guitar parts. Jade Warrior's albums combined rock, jazz, classical and world music, often within the same song. One of their most accessible albums was Floating World, particular the LP's opening tracks, Clouds and Mountain Of Fruit And Flowers.

Artist:    Robin Trower
Title:    Bridge Of Sighs/In This Place
Source:    CD: Bridge Of Sighs
Writer(s):    Robin Trower
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1974
    One of the most celebrated guitar albums of all time, Bridge Of Sighs was Robin Trower's second solo LP following his departure from Procol Harum. Released in 1974, the LP spent 31 weeks on the Billboard album charts, peaking at #7. Bridge of Sighs has served as a template for later guitar-oriented albums, especially those of Warren Haines and Gov't Mule.

Artist:    Frank Zappa
Title:    Cosmik Debris
Source:    CD: Apostrophe (')
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Zappa
Year:    1974
    One of Frank Zappa's most memorable tunes, Cosmik Debris first appeared on his Apostrophe(') album in 1974. The album itself was recorded at the same time as the Mothers' Over-Nite Sensation, and features some of the same musicians, including George Duke and Napoleon Brock. The song, like many Zappa compositions, tells a story, in this case one of a mystical con artist and Zappa's refusal to be conned. The song uses the repeated line "Look here brother. Who you jivin' with that Cosmik Debris?", and contains references to other Zappa compositions, including Camarillo Brillo (from Over-Nite Sensation). The song was originally scheduled for release as a single, but instead appeared as the B side of an edited version of Don't Eat Yellow Snow when that track began gaining popularity due to excessive airplay on FM rock radio.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era #1711 (starts 3/15/17)


This time around we have artists sets from both Love and the Music Machine...back to back! Also, lots of tunes from 1967 and long progressions and regressions through the years.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Positively 4th Street
Source:    CD: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Recorded during the same 1965 sessions that produced the classic Highway 61 Revisited album, Positively 4th Street was deliberately held back for release as a single later that year. The stereo mix would not appear on an LP until the first Dylan Greatest Hits album was released in 1967.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    The Flute Thing
Source:    CD: Projections
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1966
    The Blues Project was one of the most influential bands in rock history, yet one of the least known. Perhaps the first of the "underground" rock bands, the Project made their name by playing small colleges across the country (including Hobart College, where Stuck in the Psychedelic Era is produced). The Flute Thing, from the band's second album, Projections, features bassist Andy Kuhlberg on flute, with rhythm guitarist Steve Katz taking over the bass playing, joining lead guitarist Danny Kalb and keyboardist Al Kooper for a tune that owes more to jazz artists like Roland Kirk than to anything top 40 rock had to offer at the time.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    2000 Man
Source:    CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    Setting any work of art in the relatively near future is always risky business (remember 1984?), but then again 33 years seems like forever when you yourself are still in your twenties. I mean who, including the Rolling Stones themselves, could have imagined that Mick, Keith, Charlie and company would still be performing well into the 21st century when they recorded 2000 Man for their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request? It's actually kind of interesting to listen to the lyrics now and see just how much of the song turned out to be an accurate prediction of what was to come.

Artist:    Bonzo Dog Band
Title:    I'm The Urban Spaceman
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Neil Innes
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1968
    The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (as they were originally called) was as much theatre (note the British spelling) as music, and were known for such antics as starting out their performances by doing calisthentics (after being introduced as the warm-up band) and having one of the members, "Legs" Larry Smith tapdance on stage (he was actually quite good). In 1967 they became the resident band on Do Not Adjust Your Set, a children's TV show that also featured sketch comedy by future Monty Python members Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin along with David Jason, the future voice of Mr. Toad and Danger Mouse. In 1968 the Bonzos released their only hit single, I'm The Urban Spaceman, co-produced by Paul McCartney. Frontman Neil Innes would go on to hook up with Eric Idle for the Rutles project, among other things, and is often referred to as the Seventh Python.

Artist:    Janis Joplin
Title:    Little Girl Blue
Source:    LP: I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!
Writer(s):    Rodgers/Hart
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1969
    The only official Janis Joplin solo album released during the singer's lifetime was a somewhat inconsistent effort called I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama that came out less than a year after her departure from Big Brother And The Holding Company in late 1968. The album was made up mostly of cover songs, such as the old Rodgers and Hart tune Little Girl Blue. The song's heavy use of strings and horns was a far cry from the acid rock of Joplin's former band, and did not go over well with either fans or critics.

Artist:     Doors
Title:     People Are Strange
Source:     LP: Strange Days (also released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     The Doors
Label:     Elektra
Year:     1967
     The first single from the second Doors album was People Are Strange. The song quickly dispelled any notion that the Doors might be one-hit wonders and helped establish the band as an international act as opposed to just another band from L.A. The album itself, Strange Days, was a turning point for Elektra Records as well, as it shifted the label's promotional efforts away from their original rock band, Love, to the Doors, who ironically had been recommended to the label by Love's leader, Arthur Lee.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    World Of Pain
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Pappalardi/Collins
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Whereas the first Cream LP was made up of mostly blues-oriented material, Disraeli Gears took a much more psychedelic turn, due in large part to the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. The Bruce/Brown team was not, however, the only source of material for the band. Both Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker made contributions, as did Cream's unofficial fourth member, keyboardist/producer Felix Pappalardi, who, along with his wife Janet Collins, provided World Of Pain.

Artist:    Mad River
Title:    A Gazelle
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Berkeley EPs (originally released in US on EP: Mad River)
Writer(s):    Lawrence Hammond
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Wee)
Year:    1967
    Mad River was formed in 1965 in Yellow Spings, Ohio, as the Mad River Blues Band. The group (after several personnel changes) relocated to the Berkeley, California in spring of 1967, and soon began appearing at local clubs, often alongside Country Joe And The Fish. Around this time the band came into contact with Lonnie Hewitt, a jazz musician who had started his own R&B-oriented label, Wee. After auditioning for Fantasy Records, the band decided instead to finance their own studio recordings, which were then issued as a three-song EP on Wee. With all their material having been written and arranged before the band left Ohio, and then perfected over a period of months, Mad River's EP was far more musically complex than what was generally being heard in the Bay Area at the time. The opening track, Amphetamine Gazell (the title having been temporarily shortened to A Gazelle for the EP) contains several starts and stops, as well as time changes. Bassist Lawrence Hammond's high pitched, almost operatic, vocal style actually enhances the lyrics, which drummer Greg Dewey described as "a teenager's idea of what it must be like to be hip and cool in California". The song was recut (with its original title restored and even more abrupt starts and stops), for Mad River's Capitol debut LP the following year.

Artist:    Cuby And The Blizzards
Title:    Your Body Not Your Soul
Source:    CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in the Netherlands as 45 RPM single B side and included on LP: Desolation)
Writer(s):    Muskee/Gelling
Label:    Rhino (original label: Philips)
Year:    1966
    In the Netherlands it was a given that if you wanted to hear some live blues you needed to check out Cuby And The Blizzards. Led by vocalist Harry "Cuby" Muskee and lead guitarist Eelco Gelling, C+B, as they were known to their fans, had been in a couple of local bands as early as 1962, but had made a decision to abandon rock 'n' roll for a more blues/R&B approach in 1964. After cutting a single for the small CNR label in 1965, C+B signed a long-term contract with Philips the following year. Your Body Not Your Soul, the B side of their first single for the label, shows the influence of British blues/R&B bands such as the Pretty Things and the Animals. The group hit the Dutch top 40 nine times between 1967 and 1971, and released several well received albums as well.

Artist:    Herbal Mixture
Title:    Please Leave My Mind
Source:    British mono CD: Insane Times
Writer(s):    Tony McPhee
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Columbia UK)
Year:    1966
    After a stint backing up John Lee Hooker, guitarist T.S. McPhee branched out on his own with a band called Herbal Mixture in 1966. The group only cut two singles for the British Columbia label, the second of which featured a song that McPhee wrote called Please Leave My Mind as its B side. Eventually Tony McPhee would come to greater fame as leader of the Groundhogs in the early 70s.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Revenge
Source:    LP: Kinks-Size (originally released in UK on LP: Kinks)
Writer(s):    Davies/Page
Label:    Reprise (original UK label: Pye)
Year:    1964
    As was the case with many British bands, the Kinks ended up releasing more LPs in the US than in their native England. This is because US albums had shorter running times than their British counterparts, and included hit singles whenever possible. In the UK, on the other hand, singles rarely appeared as album tracks. Additionally, the British record market was much friendlier to 45 RPM Extended Play releases containing three to five songs. Generally, EPs were not even issued in the US, creating a backlog of material for US record labels to combine with unused LP tracks to create entirely new LPs. Such was the case with the 1965 album Kinks-Size. One of the shortest tracks on the album, the mostly-instrumental Revenge, had been cut from the US version of the Kinks' debut LP. At 1:28, I think it would have fit without causing any problems, but there it is.

Artist:     Music Machine
Title:     Absolutely Positively
Source:     Mono CD: Turn On The Music Machine (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Sean Bonniwell
Label:     Collectables (original label: Original Sound)
Year:     1967
     It's somewhat ironic that the song that best sums up what it means to be an American never made the US pop charts. Part of this may be that people are somewhat uncomfortable with the truth when it's in their faces; such was the case with the Music Machine's Absolutely Positively, with its refrain of "I want what I want when I want it." Of course the fact that the Music Machine's own manager made some bad promotional decisions that led to the band's songs being ignored on the most popular radio station in Los Angeles at a crucial time in their career probably had something to do with it as well.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Talk Talk
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    When it came time for Sean Bonniwell's band, the Music Machine, to go into the studio, the group decided to go for the best sound possible. This meant signing with tiny Original Sound Records, despite having offers from bigger labels, due to Original Sound having their own state-of-the-art eight-track studios. Unfortunately for the band, they soon discovered that having great equipment did not mean Original Sound made great decisions. One of the first, in fact, was to include a handful of cover songs on the Music Machine's first LP that were recorded for use on a local TV show. Bonniwell was livid when he found out, as he had envisioned an album made up entirely of his own compositions (although he reportedly did plan to use a slowed-down version of Hey Joe that he and Tim Rose had worked up together). From that point on it was only a matter of time until the Music Machine and Original Sound parted company, but not until after they scored a big national hit with Talk Talk (which had been previously recorded at RCA's Burbank studios) in 1966.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Double Yellow Line
Source:    Mono CD: Turn On The Music Machine (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Collectables (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1967
    Sean Bonniwell was an early champion of bands that played their own original material as opposed to covering the hits of the day. His own group, the Music Machine, deliberately played tight, segued sets of originals so that nobody in the crowd would have time to yell out "Cherish" or "Last Train to Clarksville" or whatever else was popular on local radio stations at the time. Imagine his chagrin when he learned that his record label, Original Sound (!), had substituted a set of cover tunes that the Music Machine had recorded for a TV show for four of Bonniwell's originals on the band's 1966 debut LP Turn On. One of the four songs to be cut was Double Yellow Line, a tune that appeared the following year as a single.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Live And Let Live
Source:    Australian import CD: (originally released on LP: Forever Changes)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1967
    In late spring of 1967 L.A.'s most popular local band, Love, was falling apart, mostly due to constant partying on the part of some of the band members. This became a real issue for producer Bruce Botnick when it came time to begin sessions for the band's third LP, Forever Changes. Botnick had already lost his co-producer on the project, Neil Young, when Young's own band, Buffalo Springfield, found themselves hugely popular in the wake of the success of the single For What It's Worth, and Botnick was now faced with a heavier-than-expected workload. Botnick's solution to the problem became evident when the band entered Sunset Sound Recorders on June 9th, only to find a group of studio musicians already set up and ready to record. Two new Arthur Lee songs were recorded that day, and the rest of the band was literally shocked in sobriety, returning to the studio the next day to record overdubs on the tracks to make them sound more like the work of the band itself. After two month's worth of intensive practice, the band was ready to return to the studio, recording the first track for the album performed entirely by the band itself, Live And Let Live. The unusual first line of the song was reportedly the result of Lee falling asleep in a chair with his nose running during practice sessions.
   
Artist:    Love
Title:    My Little Red Book
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Bacharach/David
Label:    Rhino (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    The first rock record ever released by Elektra Records was a single by Love called My Little Red Book. The track itself (which also opens Love's debut LP), is a punked out version of a tune originally recorded by Manfred Mann for the What's New Pussycat movie soundtrack. Needless to say, Love's version was not exactly what Burt Bacharach and Hal David had in mind.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Alone Again Or
Source:    Australian import CD: Comes In Colours (originally released on LP: Forever Changes)
Writer(s):    Bryan MacLean
Label:    Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1967
    The only song Love ever released as a single that was not written by Arthur Lee was Alone Again Or, issued in 1970. The song had originally appeared as the opening track from the Forever Changes album three years earlier. Bryan McLean would later say that he was not happy with the recording due to his own vocal being buried beneath that of Lee, since Lee's part was meant to be a harmony line to McLean's melody. McLean would later re-record the song for a solo album, but reportedly was not satisfied with that version either.

Artist:    Harbinger Complex
Title:    When You Know You're In Love
Source:    British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers
Writer(s):    Hockstaff/Hoyle
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    Freemont, California's Harbinger Complex already had issued one single (on the local Amber label) when they booked studio time at San Francisco's Golden State Recorders to cut four more tunes. Bob Shad, owner of the Chicago-based Mainstream Records, was at the studio as part of a talent search, and signed the band immediately. Two of the four tracks were issued as a single in 1966, while the other two, including When You Know You're In Love, were held back and eventually appeared on a Mainstream album called With Love-A Pot Of Flowers. All four of the tunes were co-written by vocalist Jim Hockstaff and guitarist Bob Hoyle.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Friends/Celebration Day
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin III
Writer(s):    Page/Plant/Jones
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Following a year of almost constant touring to promote the first two Led Zeppelin albums, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page decided to take a break in early 1970, moving to a Welsh cottage with no electricity and concentrating on their songwriting skills. The result was an album, Led Zeppelin III, that differed markedly from its predecessors. Many of the songs on the album, such as Friends, were almost entirely acoustical, while others, like Celebration Day, were, if possible, more intense than anything on the band's first two albums. Once much of the material for the new album had been written, Page and Plant were joined by John Bonham and John Paul Jones at a place called Headley Grange, where the band rehearsed the new material, adding a few more songs in the process. The album itself caught the band's fans by surprise, and suffered commercially as a result, but has since come to be regarded as a milestone for the band.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Red House
Source:    CD: Are You Experienced? (originally released on LP: Smash Hits)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1969
    There were actually two different versions of Red House released by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, both of which came from the same December, 1966, sessions. The original version was included on the European pressing of the Are You Experienced album, which was issued in early 1967. The album was not originally available in stereo, and a true stereo mix of this version of Red House was never made, as the track was left off the remixed American version of the LP. In spring of 1967 the band attempted to get a better version of the song, but neither Hendrix or bassist Noel Redding (who had played the original bass part on a regular guitar with its tone controls set to mimic a bass guitar) were satisfied with the later versions. Only one portion of these new recordings was kept, and was combined with the original take to create a new stereo mix for the US version of the 1969 Smash Hits album. This newer mix was also used by MCA for both the 1993 CD reissue of Are You Experienced and the Ultimate Experience anthology. 

Artist:    Tiffany Shade
Title:    An Older Man
Source:    Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released in US on LP: Tiffany Shade)
Writer(s):    Barnes/Leonard
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    From 1967 through 1970 Bob Shad's Mainstream label released over two dozen rock albums. Most of these albums were by bands that were known only to audiences in their own hometowns. Indeed, most of these albums were highly forgettable. This was due in large part to the fact that Shad would book the absolute minimum amount of studio time required to get an LP's worth of material recorded. This generally meant using the first take of every recording, even if the band felt they could do better if they had a little more time. As a result, most late 60s Mainstream LPs ended up on the budget rack not long after their release, and, at least in some cases, even the band members themselves considered the whole thing a waste of time and effort. Such is the case with Cleveland's Tiffany Shade, which consisted of guitarist/lead vocalist Mike Barnes, keyboardist Bob Leonard, drummer Tom Schuster and bassist Robb Murphy. The group's manager recommended the group to Shad, who booked two eight-hour sessions for the band at the Cleveland Recording Company. Fortunately, the band was better prepared than most of the Mainstream bands, and actually turned out a halfway decent album, thanks in large part to Barnes's talent as a songwriter, which can be heard on tunes like An Older Man, co-written by Leonard.

Artist:    Leathercoated Minds
Title:    Psychotic Reaction
Source:    Mono LP: Ain't It Hard (originally released on LP: Trip Down The Sunset Strip)
Writer(s):    Ellner/Chaney/Atkinson/Byrne/Michalski
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Viva)
Year:    1967
    Roger and Terrye Tillison released their first single, Ain't It Hard, as the Gypsy Trips in 1965. Although the song wasn't a hit, it was covered by the Electric Prunes as their first single the following year. In 1967 the Tillisons teamed up with producer J.J. Cale for an album called Trip Down The Sunset Strip on the Viva label, credited to Leathercoated Minds. It was, as far as is known, the beginning of a long recording career for Cale, who had even greater success as the writer of such rock classics as After Midnight and Cocaine, both recorded by Eric Clapton, and has been credited as the creator of the "Tulsa Sound". Roger Tillison released a solo LP in 1970 with producer Jesse Ed Davis. Oddly enough, most of the tracks on Trip Down The Sunset Strip were somewhat bizarre covers of garage rock classics like Count Five's Psychotic Reaction, despite both Tillison and Cale being talented songwriters in their own right.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Three King Fishers
Source:    Mono LP: Sunshine Superman
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sundazed/Epic
Year:    1966
    Donovan began to expand beyond his folk roots with his third LP, Sunshine Superman. Helped by the presence of producer Mickey Most, the singer/songwriter began to incorporate instruments such as the sitar on tunes like Three King Fishers, while remaining firmly within the realm of folk music. The album itself was not issued in the UK, due to contractual obligations, but was a huge success in the US, as Donovan's first major label release here.

Artist:    Mockingbirds
Title:    You Stole My Love
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in the UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Graham Gouldman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Immediate)
Year:    1965
    After writing two consecutive hit songs for the Yardbirds (For Your Love and Heart Full Of Soul), you would think that the next record released by Graham Gouldman's own band would be a sure thing. That was not the case, however, for the Mockingbirds, who released You Stole My Love in October of 1965. The single, the third for the band, was co-produced by Yardbirds manager Giorgio Gomelsky and bassist Paul Samwell-Smith and features backup vocals by Julie Driscoll, who would become well-known as vocalist with Brian Augur's Trinity. Nonetheless, despite such a pedrigree the song failed to chart, and although Gouldman would continue to have success as a songwriter with songs for bands such as Herman's Hermits (Listen People, No Milk Today) and the Hollies (Look Through Any Window, Bus Stop), he would not find himself in a successful band until the 1970s, when he (along with Mockingbirds drummer Lol Creme) was an integral part of 10cc.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    For Pete's Sake
Source:    CD: Headquarters
Writer(s):    Tork/Richards
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1967
    It didn't come as a surprise to anyone who knew him that first member of the Monkees to depart the band was Peter Tork. Of all the members of the "pre-fab four" Tork was the most serious about making the group into a real band, and was the most frustrated when things didn't work out that way. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Tork had been a part of the Greenwich Village scene since the early 60s, where he became close friends with Stephen Stills. Both Tork and Stills had relocated to the west coast when Stills auditioned for the Monkees and was asked if he had a "better looking" musician friend that might be interested in the part. Although Tork was, by all accounts, the best guitarist in the Monkees, he found himself cast as the "lovable dummy" bass player on the TV show and had a difficult time being taken seriously as a musician because of that. During the brief period in 1967 when the members of the band did play their own instruments on their recordings, Tork could be heard on guitar, bass, banjo, harpsichord and other keyboard instruments. He also co-wrote For Pete's Sake, a song on the Headquarters album that became the closing theme for the TV show during its second and final season. Since leaving the band Tork has been involved with a variety of projects, including an occasional Monkees reunion.

Artist:     Moby Grape
Title:     Sitting By The Window
Source:     LP: Moby Grape
Writer:     Peter Lewis
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1967
     Moby Grape's powerful 1967 debut managed to achieve what few bands have been able to: a coherent sound despite having wildly different writing styles from the individual members. One of Peter Lewis's contributions to the album was Sitting By The Window, one of those rare songs that sounds better every time you hear it.

Artist:    Lamp Of Childhood
Title:    No More Running Around
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mekler/Hendricks/Tani
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1967
    I've often wondered how it was that a somewhat raunchy rock band like Steppenwolf ended up on the same pop-oriented record label (Dunhill) as the Mamas and the Papas, the Grass Roots and 3 Dog Night. It turns out the Dunhill connection was from the man who produced Steppenwolf, Gabriel Mekler. Mekler was a member of the Lamp Of Childhood, a group that also included Cass Elliot's husband James Hendricks. Although the Lamp had a solid pop sound, they never really caught on and by the time their third and most successful single, No More Running Around, was released, the members had already moved on to other things (like, for instance, producing Steppenwolf records, or in the case of drummer Billy Mundi, joining the Mothers Of Invention).

Artist:    First Edition
Title:    Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: The First Edition and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mickey Newbury
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    In 1968, former New Christy Mistrels members Kenny Rogers and Mike Settle decided to form a psychedelic rock band, the First Edition. Although Settle was the official leader on the first album, it was Rogers who would emerge as the star of the band, even to the point of eventually changing the band's name to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. That change reflected a shift from psychedelic to country flavored pop that would eventually propel Rogers to superstar status.

Artist:    Chambers Brothers
Title:    Time Has Come Today
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released on LP: The Time Has Come; edited version released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Joe and Willie Chambers
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967 (edited version released 1968)
    One of the quintessential songs of the psychedelic era is the Chambers Brothers' classic Time Has Come Today. The song was originally recorded and issued as a single in 1966. The more familiar version heard here, however, was recorded in 1967 for the album The Time Has Come. The LP version of the song runs about eleven minutes, way too long for a 45 RPM record, so before releasing the song as a single for the second time, engineers at Columbia cut the song down to around 3 minutes. The edits proved so jarring that the record was recalled and a re-edited version, clocking in at 4:55 became the third and final single version of the song, hitting the charts in 1968.

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    Insanity Comes Quickly To The Structured Mind
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1967
    Janis Ian followed up her critically acclaimed 1967 debut LP with an equally excellent single, Insanity Comes Quickly To The Structured Mind, later the same year. The song was later included on her 1968 LP For All The Seasons Of Your Mind. I don't (yet) have a copy of this album, so instead we have a rather scratchy copy of the single.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    All The Madmen
Source:    CD: The Man Who Sold The World
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1970
    Although most critics agree that the so-called "glitter era" of rock music originated with David Bowie's 1972 LP The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, a significant minority argue that it really began with Bowie's third album, The Man Who Sold The World, released in 1970 in the US and in 1971 in the UK. They point out that World was the first Bowie real rock album (the previous two being much more folk oriented), and cite songs such as All The Madmen, as well as the album's title cut, as the prototype for Spiders From Mars. All The Madmen itself is one of several songs on the album that deal with the subject of insanity, taking the view that an insane asylum may in fact be the sanest place to be in modern times. Whenever I hear the song I think of the film One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, which makes a similar statement.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1711 (starts 3/15/17)


Santana fans should enjoy this one, as we have a set of tunes from the Abraxas album buried in this week's show. Lots of other tasty treats as well.

Artist:    Queen
Title:    Keep Yourself Alive
Source:    LP: Queen
Writer(s):    Brian May
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1973
    The first Queen record ever released was the single version of Keep Yourself Alive, a Brian May composition that hit the racks a week before Queen's self-titled 1973 debut LP. The song was also the opening track of the LP itself, and is considered by some critics to be the best track on the album. The album track was not the original recorded version of the tune, however. The song was first recorded in 1971 as part of a five-song demo tape made at De Lane Lea Studios' new facilities. The band unsuccessfully shopped the tape around to various British record labels for several months. Finally, the owners of Trident Studios let Queen come in during the studio's off hour (3-7AM) to record tracks for their first album. Among the first songs recorded for the album was Keep Yourself Alive, but the band was not satisfied with the result, preferring the demo version of the song. Eventually a new engineer was brought in and the version of the song used on the album itself was recorded. To this day, however, May says he prefers the demo version of the tune.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    25 Or 6 To 4
Source:    CD: Chicago
Writer(s):    Robert Lamm
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1970
    For their second LP, Chicago (which had just dropped the words "Transit Authority" from their name in response to a threatened lawsuit) tried out all three of their vocalists on each new song to hear who sounded the best for that particular song. In the case of Robert Lamm's 25 Or 6 To 4, bassist Peter Cetera did the honors. The song became a top 10 single both in the US and UK. Despite rumors to the contrary, Lamm says 25 Or 6 To 4 is not a drug song. Instead, he says, the title refers to the time of the morning that he was awake and writing the tune.

Artist:      Jethro Tull
Title:     Hymn 43
Source:      LP: Aqualung
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:     Reprise
Year:     1971
     Just for something completely different we have Ian Anderson taking on the religious establishment on Jethro Tull's Aqualung album. He had already fired the first shot a couple years before with Christmas Song, but this time he had an entire album side to work with, and he did not pull any punches with his scathing criticism of what he perceived as rampant hypocrisy within the Anglican church.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Do It Again
Source:    CD: Can't Buy A Thrill
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1972
    Although they first appeared to be a real band, Steely Dan was, in fact, two people: keyboardist/vocalist Donald Fagen and bassist (and later guitarist) Walter Becker. For their first album they recruited, from various places, guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, drummer Jim Hodder, guitarist Denny Dias, and finally (when they realized they would have to actually perform live, which terrified Fagen) vocalist David Palmer. The first single from the album, Do It Again, was a major hit, going to the #6 spot on the Billboard charts and, more importantly, introducing the world at large to the Steely Dan sound, combining jazz-influenced rock music with slyly cynical lyrics (often sung in the second person). Steely Dan would continue to be an influential force in popular music throughout the 1970s.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix
Title:    EZY Rider
Source:    LP: The Cry Of Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1971
    Ezy Rider was one of the many songs that Jimi Hendrix had recently completed when he died suddenly in September of 1970. Although no one will ever know for sure what his plans for the song were, Ezy Rider was one of the tracks chosen for inclusion on The Cry Of Love, the first post-humous Jimi Hendrix LP. The song, inspired by the film Easy Rider, has since appeared on both Voodoo Soup and First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, CD albums that attempt to piece together what would have been the next Hendrix album had the guitarist lived.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Dancing With Mr. D.
Source:    LP: Goat's Head Soup
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Rolling Stones
Year:    1973
    Depending on whose point of view you choose to agree with, Goat's Head Soup marked either the end of the Rolling Stones' golden age or the beginning of their mid-70s decline into rock star decadence. With a track like Dancing With Mr. D. starting off the album, I'd have to go with the former view.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Se A Cabo
Source:    CD: Santana
Writer(s):    Chepito Areas
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1970
    Following their successful appearance at Woodstock in August of 1969, Santana returned to the studio to begin work on their second LP. Unlike their self-titled debut, Abraxas took several months to record, finally hitting the racks in September of 1970. Like the group's first album, Abraxas includes several instrumental tracks such as Se A Cabo, which opens side two of the original LP. The tune was written by percussionist José Octavio "Chepito" Areas, who played timbales for the band from 1969-1977, returning for a three-year stint in the late 1980s.

Artist:     Santana
Title:     Mother's Daughter
Source:     LP: Abraxas
Writer:     Gregg Rolie
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1970
     Carlos Santana once said that his original lineup was the best of the many bands named Santana. With talented songwriters such as keyboardist Gregg Rolie in the band, it's hard to argue with that assessment. Rolie, of course, would go on to co-found Journey.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Hope You're Feeling Better
Source:    CD: Abraxas
Writer(s):    Gregg Rolie
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1970
    Hope You're Feeling Better was the third single to be taken from Santana's Abraxas album. Although not as successful as either Black Magic Woman or Oye Como Va, the song nonetheless received considerable airplay on progressive FM rock stations and has appeared on several anthology anthems since its initial release.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    I'm Your Captain
Source:    CD: Closer To Home
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    I first switched from guitar to bass during my junior year in high school, when I joined a band that already had a much better guitarist than I was, but no bass player. Like Noel Redding, I started by using an old acoustic guitar with a pickup, turning the tone control to its lowest setting. It wasn't until spring that I finally got an actual bass to play (a Hofner Beatle that I paid the German equivalent of $90.00 for at a small local music shop). The band itself was modeled on early power trios like Cream and Blue Cheer, which basically meant that I was playing pseudo leads in the lower register, hopefully in some sort of counterpoint to what the lead guitarist was playing. It wasn't until I returned to the States and hooked up with a band that had two guitarists and played actual songs that I learned what playing the bass was really about. One of those songs was I'm Your Captain by Grand Funk Railroad. Borrowing a copy of the Closer To Home album I listened closely to Mel Schacher's bass lines, especially the riffs on the intro to I'm Your Captain and during the transition to the song's second movement. To this day I credit Schascher as being the most important influence on my own bass playing (even though I haven't actually picked up a bass guitar since 1989).

Artist:    Bob Mosley
Title:    Hand In Hand
Source:    LP: Bob Mosley
Writer(s):    Bob Mosley
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1972
    Bob Mosley is best known as the bass player for Moby Grape, writing and singing on several of the band's best-known tracks. Originally from the San Diego area, where he graduated high school, Mosley relocated to the San Francisco Bay area in the mid-1960s, becoming a member of a local band called the Vejtables for a short time. In 1967 he became a founding member of Moby Grape, staying with the band until 1971 (with the exception of a brief stint in the US Marines in 1969). The following year he recorded his self-titled solo LP for the Reprise label. Although not a major commercial success, the album did have some strong tracks, such as Mosley's own Hand In Hand. Mosley's career has been sidetracked from time to time by bouts of schizophrenia. He was first diagnosed with the illness in Marine basic training, which led to his early discharge from the Corps nine months later. Mosley's most recent album, True Blue, was released on the Taxim label in 2005.

Artist:    Allman Brothers Band
Title:    Statesboro Blues
Source:    LP: At Fillmore East
Writer(s):    Willie McTell
Label:    Mercury (original label: Capricorn)
Year:    1971
    The Allman Brothers Band is generally accepted as the original Southern Rock band. Much of this reputation, however, is based on the group's second phase, following the death of founder Duane Allman. In the beginning, however, the Allman Brothers Band was first and foremost a blues-rock band, perhaps even the best American blues-rock band of its time. This is evidenced by the fact that their breakthrough album, At Fillmore East, starts with their electrifying arrangement of a Blind Willie McTell blues classic, Statesboro Blues. McTell originally recorded the tune in 1928. Forty years later Taj Mahal recorded a blues-rock version that inspired Duane Allman to take up the slide guitar. The Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East version of Statesboro Blues is ranked #9 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of all-time greatest guitar songs.    

Monday, March 6, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1710 (starts 3/8/17)


Lot's of 1967 this week, including nearly 20 minutes of Eric Burdon and the Animals from the Winds Of Change album. Also, sets from the Byrds and Stones to bookend the first hour.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Eight Miles High
Source:    CD: Fifth Dimension
Writer(s):    McGuinn/Crosby/Clark
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1966
    By all rights, the Byrds' Eight Miles High should have been a huge hit. Unfortunately, Bill Drake, the most influential man in the history of Top 40 radio, got it into his head that this was a drug song, despite the band's insistence that it was about a transatlantic plane trip. The band's version actually makes sense, as Gene Clark had just quit the group due to his fear of flying (he is listed as a co-writer of the song), and the subject was probably a hot topic of discussion among the remaining members. Despite all this Eight Miles High still managed to crack the top 20 in late 1966.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    All I Really Want To Do
Source:    LP: Mr. Tambourine Man
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    The Byrds scored a huge international hit with their interpretation of Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, which made it to the top of the charts in 1965. The group's next single was another Dylan cover, All I Really Want To Do. Although it did well in the UK, making it all the way to the # 4 spot, the song was not a major hit in the US, where it stalled out at # 40. Ironically, the Byrds' next single, Pete Seeger's Turn Turn Turn, bombed in the UK while hitting # 1 in the US.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Why
Source:    CD: Fifth Dimension (bonus track)
Writer(s):    McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1965
    One of the highlights of the Byrds' Younger Than Yesterday album, released in early 1967, was a song co-written by David Crosby and Jim (Roger) McGuinn called Why. Many of the band's fans already knew that a different version of the song had already been released as the B side of Eight Miles High the previous year. The stereo mix of that version remained unreleased for many years, but is now available as a bonus track on the remastered CD version of the Fifth Dimension album.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Ballad Of A Thin Man
Source:    CD: Highway 61 Revisited
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Bob Dylan himself plays piano on Ballad Of A Thin Man, from his controversial 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. Up to that point in his career, Dylan had recorded mostly acoustic material, usually accompanying himself on guitar with little or no other instrumentation. On Highway 61 Revisited, however, he was joined by a full complement of electric musicians, including guitarist Mike Bloomfield (of the Butterfield Blues Band) and Al Kooper (who would go on to be a star in his own right as a member of the Blues Project and later as the founder of Blood, Sweat And Tears). Ballad Of A Thin Man itself was, according to Dylan, based on a real person, or an amalgam of real people who had crossed Dylan's path. The subject of the song, Mr. Jones, as referred to in the song's refrain "Something is happening here/ But you don't know what it is/ Do you, Mr Jones?" was based on the various establishment types who were virtually clueless when it came to understanding the youthful counter-culture that was developing in the mid-1960s. The following year the Grass Roots scored a regional hit in Southern California with their cover of the song, retitled Mr. Jones (A Ballad Of A Thin Man).

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    For What It's Worth
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released as 45 RPM single and added to LP: Buffalo Springfield)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1966
    Most people associate the name Buffalo Springfield with the song For What It's Worth. And for good reason. The song is one of the greatest protest songs ever recorded, and to this day is in regular rotation on both oldies and classic rock radio stations. The song was written and recorded in November of 1966 and released in December. By then the first Buffalo Springfield LP was already on the racks, but until that point had not sold particularly well. When it became clear that For What It's Worth was becoming a breakout hit, Atco Records quickly recalled the album and added the song to it (as the opening track). All subsequent pressings of the LP (and later the CD) contain For What It's Worth, making earlier copies of the album somewhat of a rarity and quite collectable.

Artist:    Wildflower
Title:    Coffee Cup
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers)
Writer(s):    Ehret/Ellis
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    The Wildflower was somewhat typical of the San Francisco brand of folk-rock; less political in the lyrics and less jangly on the instrumental side. Although Coffee Cup was recorded in 1965, it did not get released until the summer of love two years later, on a collection of recordings made for Bob Shad's Mainstream label.

Artist:    Hour Glass
Title:    Now Is The Time
Source:    LP: The Hour Glass (originally released on LP: Power Of Love)
Writer(s):    Gregg Allman
Label:    United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    The Hour Glass is a perfect example of what can go wrong when a producer has a vision that is totally inappropriate for the artist he or she is working with. In this case the producer was one Dallas Smith, whose goal was to create a West Coast pop-soul sound. The band was the Hour Glass, consisting of two future members of the Allman Brothers Band, along with three guys who would go on to be among the highly respected studio musicians at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals Alabama. The group was already getting a reputation in musician's circles for its live shows, which included several tunes from frontman/keyboardist Gregg Allman, as well as covers of songs by Otis Redding and the Yardbirds, among others, but Smith, instead of drawing on the band's strengths, made them record material chosen by their record label from a pool of outside songwriters. Natually the album flopped, which gave the band the leverage to pick out their own material, such as Now Is The Time, for their second LP, Power Of Love. Unfortunately, Smith still held the production reins, and the band members felt constricted in the studio. Finally, the Hour Glass went out to Fame Studios on their own and recorded a handful of tracks done their way, but the label refused to issue the recordings. The band responded by breaking up, with Gregg and Duane Allman eventually forming their own band and the other members of the Hour Glass becoming successful studio musicians.

Artist:    Neil Young
Title:    After The Gold Rush
Source:    CD: After The Gold Rush
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1970
    Once upon a time Dean Stockwell and Herb Bermann wrote a screenplay for a movie to be called After The Gold Rush. Neil Young read the script and decided that he wanted to do the soundtrack for the film, which Stockwell described as "sort of an end-of-the-world movie. I was gonna write a movie that was personal, a Jungian self-discovery of the gnosis... it involved the Kabala (sic), it involved a lot of arcane stuff." The movie was never made, and even the script is now long lost. However, Young did manage to write a couple of songs for the film, including the title track itself, which became the title track of his third album. The song itself describes a dream vision about the past, present and future of earth's environment. Young still performs After The Gold Rush, although he has updated one of the song's most famous lines ("Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 1970s") by replacing the words "the 1970s" with "the 21st century".

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Sunshine Of Your Love
Source:    LP: Disraeli Gears (picture disc, if anyone cares)
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown/Clapton
Label:    RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Although by mid-1967 Cream had already released a handful of singles in the UK, Sunshine Of Your Love, featuring one of the most recognizable guitar rifts in the history of rock, was their first song to make a splash in the US. Although only moderately successful in edited form on AM Top-40 radio, the full-length LP version of the song received extensive airplay on the more progressive FM stations, and turned Disraeli Gears into a perennial best-seller. Clapton and Bruce constantly trade off lead vocal lines throughout the song. The basic compatibility of their voices is such that it is sometimes difficult to tell exactly who is singing what line. Clapton's guitar solo (which was almost entirely edited out of the AM version) set a standard for instrumental breaks in terms of length and style that became a hallmark for what is now known as "classic rock." Yeah, I write this stuff myself.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Gone And Passes By
Source:    British import CD: Melts In Your Brain, Not On Your Wrist (originally released in US on LP: No Way Out)
Writer(s):    Dave Aguilar
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Producer Ed Cobb, years after the fact, expressed regret that he didn't take the time to discover for himself what made the Chocolate Watchband such a popular band among San Jose, California's teenagers. Instead, he tried to present his own vision of what a psychedelic band should sound like on the group's debut LP, No Way Out. Many of the tracks on the album used studio musicians, and two of the tracks featuring the Watchband itself used studio vocalist Don Bennett instead of Dave Aguilar, including the single Let's Talk About Girls. The remaining tracks, altough featuring the full band, were somewhat obscured by additional instruments, particular the sitar, which was not normally used by the band when performing live. This synthesis of Cobb's vision and the actual Watchband is probably best illustrated by the song Gone And Passes By, an Aguilar composition that somewhat resembles a psychedelicized version of the Rolling Stones' cover of Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Strawberry Fields Forever
Source:    CD: Magical Mystery Tour (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    The first song recorded for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, John Lennon's Strawberry Fields Forever was instead issued as a single (along with Paul McCartney's Penny Lane) a few months before the album came out. The song went into the top 10, but was not released on an album until December of 1967, when it was included on the US version of Magical Mystery Tour.

Artist:    Who
Title:    I Can See For Miles
Source:    CD: Meaty, Beaty, Big And Bouncy (originally released on LP: The Who Sell Out)
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1967
    I Can See For Miles continued a string of top 10 singles in the UK and was the Who's biggest US hit ever. Pete Townshend, however, was disappointed with the song's performance on the UK charts. He said that the song was the ultimate Who song and as such it should have charted even higher than it did. It certainly was one of the heaviest songs of its time and there is some evidence that it prompted Paul McCartney to come up with Helter Skelter in an effort to take the heaviest song ever title back for the Beatles. What makes the story even more bizarre is that at the time McCartney reportedly had never actually heard I Can See For Miles and was going purely by what he read in a record review.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Sympathy For The Devil
Source:    CD: Beggars Banquet
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1968
    Beggar's Banquet was a turning point for the Rolling Stones. They had just ended their association with Andrew Loog Oldham, who had produced all of their mid-60s records, and instead were working with Jimmy Miller, who was known for his association with Steve Winwood, both in his current band Traffic and the earlier Spencer Davis Group. Right from the opening bongo beats of Sympathy For The Devil, it was evident that this was the beginning of a new era for the bad boys of rock and roll. The song itself has gone on to be one of the defining tunes of album rock radio.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Play With Fire
Source:    Mono LP: Out Of Our Heads
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1965
    Generally when one thinks of the Rolling Stones the first thing that comes to mind is down to earth rock and roll songs such as Satisfaction, Jumpin' Jack Flash and Honky Tonk Women. The band has always had a more mellow side, however. In fact, the first Mick Jagger/Keith Richards compositions were of the slower variety, including Heart Of Stone and As Tears Go By. Even after the duo started cranking out faster-paced hits like 19th Nervous Breakdown and The Last Time, they continued to write softer songs such as Play With Fire, which made the charts as a B side in 1965. The lyrics of Play With Fire, with their sneering warning to not mess with the protagonist of the song, helped cement the Stones' image as the bad boys of rock and roll.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Parachute Woman
Source:    CD: Beggar's Banquet
Writer:    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1968
    The last Rolling Stones album with the original lineup was Beggar's Banquet, released in 1968. The album itself was a conscious effort on the part of the band to get back to their roots after the psychedelic excesses of Their Satanic Majesties Request. Sadly, Brian Jones was fast deteriorating at the time and his contributions to the album are minimal compared to the band's earlier efforts. As a result, Keith Richards was responsible for most of the guitar work on Beggar's Banquet, including both lead and rhythm parts on Parachute Woman.

Artist:    ? And The Mysterians
Title:    96 Tears
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    The Mysterians
Label:    Abkco (original label: Cameo)
Year:    1966
    Although his birth certificate gives the name Rudy Martinez, the leader of the Mysterians had his name legally changed to "?" several years ago. He asserts that he is actually from the planet Mars and has lived among dinosaurs in a past life. Sometimes I feel like I'm living among dinosaurs in this life, so I guess I can relate a little. The band's only major hit, 96 Tears, has the distinction of being the last top 10 single on the Cameo label before Cameo-Parkway went bankrupt and was bought by Allen Klein, who now operates the company as Abkco.

Artist:    Show Stoppers
Title:    If You Want To, Why Don't You
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    W.E. Hjerpe
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    The Show Stoppers were a Rochester, NY based club band that included Don Potter and Bat McGrath, who would go on to release an album together on the Epic label in 1969. The Show Stoppers were discovered by John Hammond in 1967 and signed to the Columbia label, where they released two singles. Although three of the tracks would best be described as danceable pop music, the A side of their second single, If You Want To, Why Don't You, had more of a garage-rock sound, and has appeared on at least one garage-rock compilation. Both Potter and McGrath now reside in Nashville, where Potter became well-known as the creator of the "Judds sound" in the 1980s. Special thanks to Tom at the Bop Shop in Rochester (a record store that specializes in vinyl) for making this record available to me.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    Levitation
Source:    British import CD: Easter Everywhere
Writer(s):    Hall/Sutherland
Label:    Charly (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1967
    The first album by the 13th Floor Elevators has long been considered a milestone, in that it was one of the first truly psychedelic albums ever released (and the first to actually use the word "psychedelic" in the title). For their followup LP, the group decided to take their time, going through some personnel changes in the process. Still, the core membership of Roky Erickson, Tommy Hall and Stacy Sutherland held it together long enough to complete Easter Everywhere, releasing the album in 1967. The idea behind the album was to present a spiritual vision that combined both Eastern and Western religious concepts in a rock context. For the most part, such as on tracks like Levitation, it succeeds remarkably well, considering the strife the band was going through at the time.
       
Artist:    Left Banke
Title:    Lazy Day
Source:    LP: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
Writer(s):    Brown/Martin
Label:    Smash/Sundazed
Year:    1967
    Although known mostly for being pioneers of baroque-rock, the Left Banke showed that they could, on occassion, rock out with the best of them on tracks like Lazy Day, which closed out their debut LP. The song was also issued as the B side of their second hit, Pretty Ballerina. Incidentally, after the success of their first single, Walk Away Renee, the band formed their own publishing company for their original material, a practice that was fairly common then and now. Interestingly enough, they called that company Lazy Day Music.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Paintbox
Source:    CD: Cre/ation-The Early Years 1967-1972 (originally released in UK and Europe as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Rick Wright
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    On Pink Floyd's earliest records, the songwriter of record was usually Syd Barrett. After Barrett's mental issues forced him out of the band the other members stepped up to fill the gap. But even before Barrett left, drummer Rick Wright's name began to show up on songwriting credits, such as on Paintbox, a 1967 B side that came out between the band's first two LPs.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Fakin' It
Source:    LP: Bookends
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia/Sundazed
Year:    1967
    Fakin' It, originally released as a single in 1967, was a bit of a departure for Simon And Garfunkel, sounding more like British psychedelic music than American folk-rock. The track starts with an intro that is similar to the false ending to the Beatles Strawberry Fields Forever; midway through the record the tempo changes drastically for a short spoken word section that makes a reference to a "Mr. Leitch" (the last name of the Scottish folksinger turned psychedelic pioneer Donovan). The stereo mix of Fakin' It was first released on the 1968 LP Bookends.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Purple Haze
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    Purple Haze has one of the most convoluted release histories of any song ever recorded. Originally issued in the UK as a single, it scored high on the British charts. When Reprise got the rights to release the first Hendrix album, Are You Experienced?, they chose to replace the first track on the album with Purple Haze, moving the original opening track, Foxy Lady, to side two of the LP. The song next appeared on the Smash Hits album, which in Europe was on the Polydor label. This was the way things stayed until the early 1990s, when MCA acquired the rights to the Hendrix catalog and re-issued Are You Experienced? with the tracks restored to the UK ordering, but preceded by the six non-album sides (including Purple Haze) that had originally been released prior to the album. Most recently, the Hendrix Family Trust has again changed labels and the US version of Are You Experienced? is once again in print, this time on Sony's Legacy label. This means that Purple Haze (heard here in its original mono mix) has now been released by all three of the world's major record companies. That's right. There are only three major record companies left in the entire world, Sony (which owns Columbia and RCA, among others), Warner Brothers (which owns Elektra, Atlantic, Reprise and others) and Universal (which started off as MCA and now, as the world's largest record company, owns far too many current and former labels to list here). Don't you just love out of control corporate consolidation?

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Wind
Source:    LP: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Circus Maximus was formed out of the chance meeting of multi-instrumentalist Bob Bruno and guitarist Jerry Jeff Walker in Greenwich Village in 1967. From the start the band was moving in different directions, with Bruno incorporating jazz elements into the band while Walker favored country-rock. Eventually the two would go their separate ways, but for the short time the band was together they made some of the best, if not best-known, psychedelic music on the East Coast. The band's most popular track was Wind, a Bruno tune from their debut album. The song got a considerable amount of airplay on the new "underground" radio stations that were popping up across the country at the time.

Artist:     Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:     Man-Woman/Hotel Hell
Source:     British import CD: Winds Of Change
Writer:     Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins
Label:     BGO (original label: M-G-M)
Year:     1967
     The first album by the New Animals (generally known as Eric Burdon and the Animals) was Winds of Change, issued in mid-1967. Although the album was not particularly well-received at the time, it has, in more recent years, come to be regarded as a classic example of psychedelic era experimentation. One of the more experimental tracks is Man-Woman, a spoken word piece about a man's unfaithfulness and his woman's reaction to it that takes a rather chauvinistic view of the situation. Instrumentally the entire track is nearly entirely made up of percussion instruments playing African-inspired rhythms. Even the electric guitar is used percussively on the track, which seques into Hotel Hell, a heartfelt song about the loneliness of being constantly on the road that predates Bob Seger's Turn The Page by several years.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    Paint It Black
Source:    British import CD: Winds Of Change
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/McCulloch/Jenkins/Jagger/Richards
Label:    Repertoire (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    One of the highlights of the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967 was the onstage debut of Eric Burdon's new Animals, a group much more in tune with the psychedelic happenings of the summer of love than its working class predecessor. The showstopper for the band's set was an extended version of the Rolling Stone's classic Paint It, Black. That summer saw the release of the group's first full LP, Winds Of Change, which included a studio version of Paint It, Black.

Artist:    Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title:    Good Times
Source:    British import CD: Winds Of Change
Writer(s):    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    BGO (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    By the end of the original Animals' run they were having greater chart success with their singles in the US than in their native UK. That trend continued with the formation of the "new" Animals in 1967 and their first single, When I Was Young. Shortly after the first LP by the band now known as Eric Burdon And The Animals came out, M-G-M decided to release the song San Franciscan Nights as a single to take advantage of the massive youth migration to the city that summer. Meanwhile the band's British label decided to instead issue Good Times, (an autobiographical song which was released in the US as the B side to San Franciscan Nights) as a single, and the band ended up with one of their biggest UK hits ever. Riding the wave of success of Good Times, San Franciscan Nights eventually did get released in the UK and was a hit there as well.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)
Source:    CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Wilson/Asher
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Brian Wilson's songwriting reached its full maturity with the Pet Sounds album, released in 1966. In addition to the hits Wouldn't It Be Nice, Sloop John B and God Only Knows, the album featured several album tracks that redefined where a pop song could go. One such tune is Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder), a slow, moody song with a chord structure that goes in unexpected directions. Like most of the songs on Pet Sounds, it was co-written by Tony Asher, who would later say the ideas were all Wilson's, with Asher just helping put them into words.