Monday, October 17, 2016

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1642 (starts 10/19/16)

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
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 doobies 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:    Procol Harum
Title:    A Christmas Camel
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Procol Harum
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Deram
Year:    1967
    In 1966 Gary Brooker, former member of British cover band the Paramounts, formed a songwriting partnership with lyricist Keith Reid. By spring of 1967 the two had at least an album's worth of songs written but no band to play them. They solved the dilemma by placing an ad in Melody Maker and soon formed a group called the Pinewoods. Their very first record was A Whiter Shade Of Pale, which soon became the number one song on the British charts (after the Pinewoods changed their name to Procol Harum). The problem was that the group didn't know any other songs, a problem that was solved by firing the drummer and guitarist and replacing them with two of Brooker's former bandmates, B.J. Wilson and Robin Trower. This second version of the group soon recorded an LP, which included several strong tracks such as A Christmas Camel.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    Think About It
Source:    Mono British import CD: Insane Times (originally released in US as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Relf/McCarty/Page
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    The last Yardbirds single, Good Night Josephine, was slated for March of 1968, but ended up being released only in the US, where it barely cracked the top 100. More notable was the song's B side, Think About It, which shows a side of guitarist Jimmy Page that would soon come to be identified with one of the most influential bands of the 1970s, Led Zeppelin.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young
Title:    Sea Of Madness
Source:    CD: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm (originally released on LP: Woodstock soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Rhino (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    1969
    Neil Young joined Crosby, Stills and Nash to perform a few songs at at Woodstock, including one of his own compositions, Sea Of Madness, and would be a full member of the group when their next album, Deja Vu, came out.
Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Closer To Home
Source:    CD: Heavy Hitters (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    Despite getting three albums certified gold in the same year (1970), Grand Funk Railroad had a difficult time getting their music played on the radio. It was too loud and hard for all but the most adventurous AM top 40 stations and too unsophisticated for the emerging FM rock stations. They were finally able to crack the ceiling, however, with a 10-minute long masterpiece called I'm Your Captain on their third studio LP, Closer To Home. Still, 10 minutes was way too long for AM radio, and their label soon released an edited version of the song under the title Closer To Home.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    She's Leaving Home
Source:    LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone/EMI
Year:    1967
    One of the striking things about the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the sheer variety of songs on the album. Never before had a rock band gone so far beyond its roots in so many directions at once. One of Paul McCartney's most poignant songs on the album was She's Leaving Home. The song tells the story of a young girl who has decided that her stable homelife is just too unfulling to bear and heads for the big city. Giving the song added depth is the somewhat clueless response of her parents, who can't seem to understand what went wrong.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Why
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    One of the earliest collaborations between Byrds songwriters David Crosby and Roger McGuinn was the up-tempo raga rocker Why. The song was first recorded at RCA studios in Los Angeles in late 1965 as an intended B side for Eight Miles High, but due to the fact that the band's label, Columbia, refused to release recordings made at their main rival's studios, the band ended up having to re-record both songs at Columbia's own studios in early 1966. Although the band members felt the newer versions were inferior to the 1965 recordings, they were released as a single in March of 1966. Later that year, for reasons that are still unclear, Crosby insisted the band record a new version of Why, and that version was used for the band's next LP, Younger Than Yesterday.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Crosstown Traffic
Source:    LP: Smash Hits (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    By 1968 it didn't matter one bit whether the Jimi Hendrix Experience had any hit singles; their albums were guaranteed to be successful. Nonetheless the Electric Ladyland album had no less that three singles on it (although one was a new stereo mix of a 1967 single). The first single to be released concurrently with Electric Ladyland was Crosstown Traffic, a song that has been included on several anthologies, including the Smash Hits LP, over the years.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Still Raining, Still Dreaming
Source:    LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer:    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    Still Raining, Still Dreaming, from the third Jimi Hendrix Experience album Electric Ladyland, is the second half of a live studio recording featuring guest drummer Buddy Miles, who would later join Hendrix and bassist Billy Cox to form Band Of Gypsys. The recording also features Mike Finnegan on organ, Freddie Smith on tenor sax and Larry Faucett on congas, as well as Experience member Noel Redding on bass.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Fire
Source:    LP: Smash Hits (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    Sometime in late 1966 Jimi Hendrix was visiting his girlfriend's mother's house in London for the first time. It was a cold rainy night and Jimi immediately noticed that there was a dog curled up in front of the fireplace. Jimi's first action was to scoot the dog out of the way so he himself could benefit from the fire's warmth, using the phrase "Move over Rover and let Jimi take over." The phrase got stuck in his head and eventually became the basis for one of his most popular songs. Although never released as a single, Fire was a highlight of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's live performances, often serving as a set opener.
Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Just A Memory
Source:    CD: Hey Joe
Writer(s):    Bob Arlin
Label:    One Way (original label: Mira)
Year:    1966
    Tracking down specifics can be a difficult when it comes to the mid-60s Los Angeles band The Leaves. I'm talking about things like who wrote a particular song, who does the lead vocals on said song and even who played what instruments on that song. Still, I've managed to figure out that it was guitarist Bobby Arlin who was responsible for the melodic folk-rock tune Just A Memory on the group's debut LP, Hey Joe. Just A Memory is quite contrastic (I made that word up) with the title track that immediately precedes it on the original LP. But then, the Leaves had quite the schizophrenic reputation, musically speaking, with garage punk songs like Hey Joe and the original single version of Too Many People coexisting uneasily with folkier tunes such as Just A Memory and, well, the album version of Too Many People.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Back Door Man
Source:    CD: The Doors
Writer(s):    Willie Dixon
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    In their early days as an L.A. club band, the Doors supplemented their growing body of original material with covers of classic blues tunes (rather than covers of top 40 hits like many of their contemporaries). Perhaps best of these was Willie Dixon's Back Door Man, which had been a mid-50s R&B hit for Howlin' Wolf. The Doors themselves certainly thought so, as it was one of only two cover songs on their debut LP.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    White Room
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Wheels Of Fire)
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    United Artists (original label: Atco)
Year:    1968
    In order to get songs played on top 40 radio, record companies made it a practice to shorten album cuts by cutting out extended instrumental breaks and extra verses. This version of the Cream classic White Room, clocking in at just over three minutes, is a typical example.

Artist:    Crow
Title:    Busy Day
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Larry Weigand
Label:    Amaret
Year:    1969
    Crow started off as a Minneapolis band called South 40, a name they used until they began releasing records nationally in 1969. Their first LP, Crow Music, was released in 1969 and did fairly well on the charts, thanks in large part to the success of the song Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me), which made the top 20. The follow-up single, Cottage Cheese, was released in advance of their second album, Crow By Crow, in 1970. As no other tracks from that LP were available for the B side, a tune from Crow Music, Busy Day, was included instead. The song was written by bassist Larry Weigand, who had been listed as co-writer on both A sides.

Artist:    Pentangle
Title:    Cruel Sister
Source:    British Import CD: Cruel Sister
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Pentangle
Label:    Sanctuary (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1970
    Nearly four years after their self-titled debut LP was released, Pentangle was one of the most (if not the most) popular British folk music based bands in the world. The members of Pentangle, however, were beginning to feel constricted by the expectations that came with their own success and were determined to remain true to their musical roots, regardless of the commercial consequences. With this in mind they set about to record their fourth LP, Cruel Sister. The title track of the album demonstrates the band's willingness to try out new ideas such as extended jazz-style improvisations on a traditional folk tune. Cruel Sister also marked guitarist John Renbourne's first use of an electric guitar on an album, an ironic move considering the entire album was made up of traditional songs.

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:     Rolling Stones
Title:     Time Is On My Side
Source:     45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer:     Jerry Ragovoy
Label:     London
Year:     1964
     Jerry Ragovoy's songwriting career was long and productive, extending back to the 1940s and including classics by artists such as Kai Winding. In later years he wrote several tunes that were recorded by Janis Joplin, including Try (Just A Little Bit Harder), My Baby, Cry Baby and the classic Piece Of My Heart. He occassionally used a pseudonym as well, and it was as Norman Meade he published his best-known song: Time Is On My Side, an R&B hit for Irma Thomas that became one of the first US hits for the Rolling Stones.

Artist:     Astronauts
Title:     Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Boyce/Venet
Label:     RCA Victor
Year:     1965
     The Astronauts were formed in the early 60s in Boulder, Colorado, and were one of the few surf bands to come from a landrocked state. They had a minor hit with an instrumental called Baja during the height of surf's popularity, but were never able to duplicate that success in the US, although they did have considerable success in Japan, even outselling the Beach Boys there. By 1965 they had started to move away from surf music, adding vocals and taking on more of a garage-punk sound. What caught my attention when I first ran across this promo single in a commercial radio station throwaway pile was the song's title. Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day, written by Tommy Boyce and producer Steve Venet, was featured on the Monkees TV show and was included on their 1966 debut album. This 1965 Astronauts version of the tune has a lot more attitude than the Monkees version. Surprisingly the song didn't hit the US charts, despite being released on the biggest record label in the world (at that time), RCA Victor.

Artist:    Association
Title:    Enter The Young
Source:    LP: The Association's Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: And The Along Comes...The Association)
Writer(s):    Terry Kirkman
Label:    Warnter Brothers (original label: Valiant)
Year:    1966
    The Association started off the same way as many Los Angeles club bands in the mid-1960s, playing various venues and trying to get a record deal. Their first few singles, first on the Jubilee label and then the Valiant label, were not commercially successful, although they did allow the group to get a feel for the recording studio. The Association's version of Bob Dylan's One Too Many Mornings got the attention of producer Curt Boettcher, who gave them their first real hit, Along Comes Mary. This in turn led to the group's first LP, And The Along Comes...The Association, which Boettcher produced. The opening track on the LP, Enter The Young, was at the time an appropriate way to introduce the group to album buyers, although it does sound a bit dated today. The tune was written by band member Terry Kirkman, who also wrote their next major hit, Cherish.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Somebody To Love
Source:    CD: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Surrealistic Pillow)
Writer(s):    Darby Slick
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1967
    The monster hit that put the San Francisco Bay area on the musical map in early 1967, Somebody To Love was actually the second single released from the Jefferson Airplane's second LP, Surrealistic Pillow; the first being the Skip Spence tune My Best Friend.

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    Until The Poorest People Have Money To Spend
Source:    CD: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Writer(s):    Markley/Harris
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
            The final West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band album for Reprise, Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil, is generally considered the group's best album as well, despite the absence of founding member Danny Harris (who would return for their next LP on the Amos label). As always, Bob Markley provided the lyrics for all the band's original songs on the LP, including Until The Poorest People Have Money To Spend, which Shaun Harris wrote the music for. Although the sentiment expressed in the song is a good one, the sincerity of Markley's lyrics is somewhat suspect, according to guitarist Ron Morgan, who said that Markley was notoriously miserly with his own money (of which he had inherited quite a lot).
Artist:    Sons Of Champlain
Title:    1982-A
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Loosen Up Naturally)
Writer(s):    Steven Tollestrup
Label:    Rhino (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    Bill Champlin is probably best known as the lead guitarist for Chicago from 1981 to 2008 (more or less). Before and after that period, however, he fronted his own band, the Sons Of Champlin. Like Chicago, the Sons were distinguished by the presence of a horn section, a trend that was just getting underway in 1969. Unlike most other bands of their type, however, the Sons Of Champlin were a San Francisco band, and one of the more popular local acts of their time. They did not show much of an interest in touring outside the Bay Area, however, and as a result got limited national exposure. The first single from the first of two albums they recorded for the Capitol label was a tune called 1982-A. I really can't say what the title has to do with the lyrics of the song, but it is a catchy little number nonetheless.

Artist:    Edwin Starr
Title:    War
Source:    CD: Billboard Top Rock 'N' Roll Hits-1970 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Whitfield/Strong
Label:    Rhino (original label: Gordy)
Year:    1970
    Edwin Starr's War is the highest charting antiwar song in history, as well as Starr's biggest hit, going all the way to the top of both the top 40 and R&B charts in 1970. It is also a solid example of Norman Whitfield/Barrett Strong productions, which, although part of Motown, was a semi-autonomous entity (as was Holland-Dozier-Holland productions, which had brought Motown its greatest commercial success in the 60s, cranking out hit after hit by the Supremes and other acts). In fact, when Motown first signed the Jackson 5ive, the company took steps to avoid yet another independent company-within-a-company by forming a collective called The Corporation to write and produce all the new group's records.

Artist:    Jan And Dean
Title:    Old Ladies Seldom Power Shift
Source:    LP: The Little Old Lady From Pasadena
Writer(s):    Berry/Torrance
Label:    Liberty
Year:    1964
    Before the Beatles reinvented the entire album market, most pop LPs contained lots of filler material. Most often these were cover songs, but in a few cases they were original songs that had very little chance of ever getting played on the radio. Old Ladies Seldom Power Shift, from the 1964 Jan And Dean album The Little Old Lady From Pasadena, is a case of the latter. Written by Jan And Dean, the song is a short instrumental in the surf music style. This might seem a bit strange, since Jan And Dean were a vocal duo, but put in context (hot rod music being an offshoot of surf music) actually makes sense. Surf music was still a mainly instrumental form, after all, with vocal groups like Jan And Dean and the Beach Boys being the exception rather than the rule (even though their records routinely outsold those of instrumentalists like Dick Dale).

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Mona/Maiden Of The Cancer Moon/Calvary/Happy Trails
Source:    LP: Happy Trails
Writer(s):    McDaniel/Duncan/Evans
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    Most everyone familiar with Quicksilver Messenger Service agrees that the band's real strength was its live performances. Apparently the folks at Capitol Records realized this as well, since the band's second LP was recorded (mostly) live at Bill Graham's two Fillmore Auditoriums. The second side of the Happy Trails album starts with a Bo Diddly cover, Mona, which segues directly into a Gary Duncan composition, Maiden Of The Cancer Moon. The original performance segued directly into the more avant-garde Calvary (also credited to Duncan), but for the album a studio recreation of that performance was used (although the album sleeve makes it clear that it was recorded "live" at Golden State Recorders, indicating that it was done in a single take without any overdubs). The album side finishes up with a rather goofy take on the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans signature song Happy Trails, which Evans herself wrote.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1642 (starts 10/19/16)

Artist:    Joni Mitchell
Title:    Shadows And Light
Source:    LP: The Hissing Of Summer Lawns
Writer(s):    Joni Mitchell
Label:    Asylum
Year:    1975
    Following up on the success of her 1974 album Court And Spark, Joni Mitchell released The Hissing Of Summer Lawns in 1975. Although the album initially got mixed reviews from the rock press, it has since come to be regarded as a masterpiece. The final track on the album, Shadows And Light, features Mitchell's multi-tracked vocals accompanied only by an ARP String Machine.

Artist:    Mountain
Title:    Mississippi Queen
Source:    CD: The Best Of Mountain (originally released on LP: Mountain Climbing)
Writer(s):    West/Laing/Pappalardi/Rea
Label:    Columbia/Windfall
Year:    1970
    One of the most overlooked bands of the mid-1960s was the Vagrants. Based on Long Island, the group made a specialty of covering popular R&B and rock songs, often slowing them down and featuring extended solos by guitarist Leslie Weinstein, inspiring fellow Long Islanders Vanilla Fudge to do the same. Although the Vagrants never were able to gain much national attention, Weinstein himself had established quite a reputation by the time the group disbanded. Meanwhile, keyboardist/producer/songwriter Felix Pappalardi had been working with the members of Cream as a producer, but with the demise of that band was looking for a new project to sink his teeth into. That new project turned out to be a solo album by Weinstein, who by then had shortened his last name to West. The album was called Mountain, and soon after its release West and Pappalardi decided to form a band of the same name. The group first got national attention performing at Woodstock, and in 1970 released the album Mountain Climbing, featuring the hit single Mississippi Queen.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Homeward Bound
Source:    CD: Bare Trees
Writer(s):    Christine McVie
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1972
    By 1972 Christine Perfect was now Christine McVie, and was a full-fledged member of Fleetwood Mac (not to mention the wife of bassist John McVie. The group was still considered a second-tier band at this point, with enough commercial appeal to stay together, yet nowhere near the superstar status they would achieve by the end of the decade. The album Bare Trees is a snapshot of the early 70s version of Fleetwood Mac, with the songwriting duties shared by Danny Kirwan, Bob Welch and McVie herself. One of her two contributions to Bare Trees was Homeward Bound, which bears absolutely no resemblance to the Simon And Garfunkel tune with the same name. It does, however, indicate the direction Christine McVie's songwriting would take over the next decade.

Artist:    David Bromberg
Title:    Danger Man II
Source:    LP: How Late'll Ya Play 'Til
Writer(s):    David Bromberg
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1976
    One of the most respected names in the music world is David Bromberg, a multi-instrumentalist who is also known for his handcrafted string instruments. After appearing mostly in supporting roles in the early 1970s (although he did get some attention for his version of Mr. Bojangles), Bromberg let loose with a double-LP in 1976 called How Late'll Ya Play 'Til. Following the pattern set by Cream with their Wheels Of Fire album, the first side of How Late'll Ya Play 'Til is made up entirely of studio tracks, while the second is all live material. The album covers perhaps the widest variety of styles ever attempted on one album, including rock, blues, bluegrass, traditional folk, country and even R&B on the album's opening track, a punchy number called Danger Man II.

Artist:    Robin Trower
Title:    Little Bit Of Sympathy
Source:    CD: Bridge Of Sighs
Writer(s):    Robin Trower
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1974
    Released in 1974, Bridge Of Sighs was the second solo LP by former Procol Harum guitarist Robin Trower. The album was Trower's commercial breakthrough, staying on the Billboard album charts for 31 weeks, peaking at #7. In addition to Trower, the album features James Dewar on lead vocals and bass, along with Reg Isidore on drums. The album was a staple of mid-1970s progressive rock radio, with several tunes, including album closer Little Bit Of Sympathy, becoming concert favorites.

Artist:    Crack The Sky
Title:    She's A Dancer
Source:    LP: Crack The Sky
Writer(s):    John Palumbo
Label:    Lifesong
Year:    1975
    The first LP released on Terry Cashman and Joe West's Lifesong label was a group that is still active in the Baltimore area called Crack The Sky. Originally called Words, the band had been formed in Weirton, West Virginia by members of two local bands, Sugar and Uncle Louie. The 10-member band successfully auditioned for CashWest Productions, the company that also produced singer/songwriter Jim Croce, and, after paring down to five members, released their self-titled debut LP in 1975. Although never a major national success (due mostly to distribution problems on the part of Lifesong), the group did manage to place three albums on the Billboard charts, the two of which have since been reissued as a single CD. The band itself is hard to classify, incorporating elements of progressive rock, jazz and even soft-rock, as can be heard on tracks like She's A Dancer.

Artist:    Johnny Winter
Title:    Rock And Roll Hoochie Coo
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Johnny Winter And)
Writer(s):    Rick Derringer
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1970
    Athough best known as a solo Rick Derringer hit, Rock And Roll Hoochie Coo was originally recorded in 1970 by Johnny Winter for the album Johnny Winter And when Derringer was a member of Winter's band (also known as Johnny Winter And at that time). As can be heard here the arrangement on the earlier version is nearly identical to the hit version, the main differences being Winter's lead vocals and the presence of two lead guitarists in the band.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Sitting On Top Of The World
Source:     LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer:     Vinson/Chatmon (original) Chester Burnett (modern version)
Label:     RSO (original label: Atco)
Year:     1968
     Throughout their existence British blues supergroup Cream recorded covers of blues classics. One of the best of these is Sitting On Top Of The World from the album Wheels Of Fire, which in its earliest form was written by Walter Vinson and Lonnie Chatmon and recorded by the Mississippi Shieks in 1930. Cream's cover uses the lyrics from the 1957 rewrite of the song by Chester Burnett, better know as Howlin' Wolf.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Cat's Squirrel
Source:    CD: This Was
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Abrahams
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Probably the Jethro Tull recording with the least Ian Anderson influence, Cat's Squirrel was recorded at the insistence of record company people, who felt the song was most representative of the band's live sound. The traditional tune was arranged by guitarist Mick Abrahams, who left the band due to creative differences with Anderson shortly thereafter. Cat's Squirrel became a live staple of Abrahams's next band, Blodwyn Pig.

Artist:    Alice Cooper
Title:    Eighteen
Source:    CD: Electric Seventies (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Love It To Death
Writer(s):    Cooper/Bruce/Buxton/Dunaway/Smith
Label:    JCI/Warner Special Products (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1970
    Alice Cooper's ultimate teenage anthem Eighteen was kind of a do or die release for the group, who had up to that point been a part of Frank Zappa's Straight Records' stable of oddball artists with little or no commercial potential. In 1970, however, Zappa sold Straight to Warner Brothers, who agreed to release Eighteen that same year, with the stipulation that if the record sold well the group could record an album for the label. The single did indeed do well, propelling Alice Cooper to stardom and allowing them to record Love It To Death, the first in a series of best-selling albums for the label. The song came at a perfect time, as most states were in the process of raising the drinking age to 21 but had not yet lowered the voting age to 18. Furthermore, the military draft was still in effect in 1970, making many 18-year-olds quite nervous, especially those with low lottery numbers.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:     Rock 'N' Roll Soul
Source:     Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer:     Mark Farner
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1972
     By 1972 Grand Funk Railroad's live performances, which just two years before were setting box office records, were no longer all sellouts, and the band began to shift emphasis to their recorded work. Problems with Terry Knight's management practices were also becoming an issue, and their sixth studio LP, Phoenix, would be the last to be produced by Knight. Rock 'N' Roll Soul, a somewhat typical Mark Farner song, was the first and only single released from the album, and would have only minor success on the charts. The next record, We're An American Band, would signal a major change of direction for the band, with other members besides Farner taking a role in the songwriting and a much greater emphasis on hit singles than ever before.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Soul Sacrifice
Source:    CD:Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur's Farm
Writer(s):    Brown/Malone/Rolie/Santana
Label:    Rhino (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    1969
    Although this is the original recording of Santana performing Soul Sacrifice at Woodstock, it does not sound quite the same as what you may have heard on the Woodstock original movie soundtrack album. That's because they doctored the recording a bit for the original soundtrack album, adding in audience sounds, including the crowd rain chant that seques into the piece on the original LP. More recent copies of the movie itself sound even more different because the people doing the remastering of the film decided to record new versions of some of the percussion tracks.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1641 (starts 10/12/16)

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Last Train To Clarksville
Source:    CD: The Monkees' Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Monkees)
Writer(s):    Boyce/Hart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1966
    The song that introduced the world to the Monkees, Last Train To Clarksville, was actually a bit of an anomaly for the group. For one thing, most of the early Monkees recordings utilized the services of various Los Angeles based studio musicians known collectively as the Wrecking Crew. Last Train To Clarksville, however, was recorded by the Candy Store Prophets, a local band that included Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, who wrote and produced the song. The song was released as a single on August 16, 1966,  two months in advance of the first Monkees album, and hit the #1 spot on the charts in early November. Last Train To Clarksville was also included in seven episodes of the Monkees TV show, the most of any song.

Artist:    Misunderstood
Title:    Find The Hidden Door
Source:    British Import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released in UK on LP: Before The Dream Faded)
Writer(s):    Hill/Brown
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Cherry Red)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1982
    One of London't most legendary psychedelic bands was actually from California. The story of the Misunderstood started in 1963 when three teenagers from Riverside, California decided to form a band called the Blue Notes. Like most West Coast bands of the time, the group played a mixture of surf and 50s rock and roll cover songs, slowly developing a sound of their own as they went through a series of personnel changes, including the addition of lead vocalist Rick Brown. In 1965 the band changed their name to the Misunderstood and recorded six songs at a local recording studio. Although the recordings were not released, the band caught the attention of a San Bernardino disc jockey named John Ravencroft, and Englishman with an extensive knowledge of the British music scene. In June of 1966 the band, with Ravencroft's help, relocated to London, where they were joined by a local guitarist, Tony Hill.  Ravencroft's brother Alan got the band a deal with Fontana Records, resulting in a single in late 1966, I Can Take You To The Sun, that took the British pop scene by storm. In addition to that single, the band recorded a handful of outstanding tracks that remained unreleased until the 1980s. Among those unreleased tracks was a masterpiece called Find The Hidden Door, written (as were most of the songs the band recorded in London) by Brown and Hill.  Problems with their work visas soon derailed the Misunderstood, and the band members soon found themselves being deported back to the US, and in one case, drafted into the US Army.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    What Am I Living For
Source:    Mono LP: Animalization
Writer:    Jay/Harris
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    Throughout their existence the original Animals were known for their love of American Blues and R&B music. In fact, hit singles aside, almost everything they recorded was a cover of an R&B hit. Among the covers on their 1966 LP Animalism (released in the US as Animalization) was What Am I Living For, originally recorded by the legendary Chuck Willis. The original version was released shortly after Willis's death from cancer in 1958, and is considered a classic. The Animals, thanks in large part to their obvious respect and admiration for the song, actually managed to improve on the original (as was often the case with their cover songs).

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    The Wind Blows Your Hair
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Saxon/Bigelow
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1967
    The Wind Blows Your Hair is actually one of the Seeds' better tracks. Unfortunately, by the time it was released the whole concept of Flower Power (which the Seeds were intimately tied to) had become yesterday's news and the single went nowhere.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Bluebird
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    When it comes right down to it Buffalo Springfield has one of the highest ratios of songs recorded to songs played on the radio of any band in history, especially if you only count the two albums worth of material that was released while the band was still active. This is probably because Buffalo Springfield had more raw songwriting talent than just about any two other bands. Although Neil Young was just starting to hit his stride as a songwriter, bandmate Stephen Stills was already at an early peak, as songs like Bluebird clearly demonstrate.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    See Emily Play
Source:    Mono CD: Relics (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Syd Barrett
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    Following up on their first single, Arnold Layne, Pink Floyd found even greater chart success (at least in their native England) with See Emily Play. Released in June of 1967, the song went all the way to the #6 spot on the British charts. In the US the song failed to chart as a single, although it was included on the US version of Pink Floyd's debut LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. The "Emily" in question is reportedly the sculptor Emily Young, who in those days was nicknamed the "psychedelic schoolgirl" at London's legendary UFO club.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Prelude: Happiness/I'm So Glad
Source:    LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Evans/Lord/Paice/Blackmore/Simper/James
Label:    Tetragrammaton
Year:    1968
    Deep Purple was originally the brainchild of vocalist Chris Curtis, whose idea was to have a band called Roundabout that utilized a rotating cast of musicians onstage, with only Curtis himself being up there for the entire gig. The first two musicians recruited were organist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, both of whom came aboard in late 1967. Curtis soon lost interest in the project, and Lord and Blackmore decided to stay together and form what would become Deep Purple. After a few false starts the lineup stabilized with the addition of bassist Nicky Simper, drummer Ian Paice and vocalist Rod Evans. The group worked up a songlist and used their various connections to get a record deal with a new American record label, Tetragrammaton, which was partially owned by actor/comedian Bill Cosby. This in turn led to a deal to release the band's recordings in England on EMI's Parlophone label as well, although Tetragrammaton had first rights to all the band's material, including the classically-influenced Prelude: Happiness, which leads directly into a cover of the Skip James classic I'm So Glad. The band's first LP, Shades Of Deep Purple, was released in the US in July of 1968 and in the UK in September of the same year. The album was a major success in the US, where the single Hush made it into the top five. In the UK, however, it was panned by the rock press and failed to make the charts. This would prove to be the pattern the band would follow throughout its early years; it was only after Evans and Simper were replaced by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover that the band would find success in their native land. (Check out this week's edition of Rockin' in the Days of Confusion for a classic track from the revised Deep Purple lineup).

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    In Held Twas I
Source:    LP: Shine On Brightly
Writer:    Brooker/Fisher/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1968
    Although the idea of grouping songs together as "suites" was first tried by Jefferson Airplane on their 1967 album After Bathing At Baxter's, Procol Harum's 17-minute long In Held Twas I, from their 1968 album Shine On Brightly, is usually cited as the first progressive rock suite. The title comes from the first word of each section of the piece that contains vocals (several sections are purely instrumental). The work contains some of the best early work from guitarist Robin Trower, who would leave the group a few years later for a solo career. Shine On Brightly was the last Procol Harum album to include organist Matthew Fisher, who came up with the famous opening riff for the group's first hit, A Whiter Shade Of Pale.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    An Untitled Protest
Source:    LP: The Life And Times Of Country Joe And The Fish (originally released on LP: Together)
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1968
    By 1968 the Summer Of Love, with its emphasis on peace, love and mind-expanding substances, was only a memory in the San Francisco area. In its place a new cynicism was beginning to take hold, brought on by a combination of increased racial tensions and elevated anxiety over the ongoing war in Vietnam nationally and an influx of harder, less beneficial drugs into the Bay Area itself. The music of local bands such as Country Joe And The Fish was becoming more cynical as well, as An Untitled Protest from the band's third LP, Together, illustrates.

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    Dr. Livingstone, I Presume
Source:    CD: In Search Of The Lost Chord
Writer(s):    Ray Thomas
Label:    Deram
Year:    1968
    The Moody Blues may have been In Search Of The Lost Chord, but when they got to Africa they had to say they had run into Dr. Livingstone, I Presume. (Well, I tried).

Artist:    Tommy James And The Shondells
Title:    Mony Mony
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    James/Gentry/Cordell/Bloom
Label:    Priority (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1968
    Sometime around 1964, a kid named Tommy James took his band, the Shondells, into a recording studio to record a simple song called Hanky Panky. The song was released on the Roulette label and went absolutely nowhere. Two years later a Pittsburgh DJ, looking for something different to make his show stand out from the crowd, decided to dig out a copy of the record and play it as a sort of on-air audition. The audience loved it, and the DJ soon contacted James, inviting him and the Shondells to make a personal appearance. Unfortunately by this time there were no Shondells, so James hastily put together a new band to promote the record. It wasn't long before the word spread and Hanky Panky was a national hit. James and his new Shondells then commenced to pretty much single-handedly keep Roulette Records afloat for the next three or four years with songs like their 1968 jukebox favorite Mony Mony, one of many top 10 singles for the band.

Artist:    Napoleon XIV
Title:    They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Ha!
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Napoleon XIV
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1966
    The less said about this, the better.

Artist:    Big Stars Theory
Title:    Think Piece
Source:    10" 45 RPM Extended Play: El Paraguas
Writer(s):    Red Stars Theory
Label:    Deluxe
Year:    1995
    Red Stars Theory was formed in Seattle, Washington in early 1995 by James Bertram (guitar/vocals) Tonie Palmasani (guitar/vocals), Jeremiah Green (drums/percussion/vocals) and Jason Talley (bass guitar/vocals). By the end of the year they had released a self-titled EP (sometimes known as El Paraguas), a single and an album. The band has only recorded sporadically since then, due to all of the members also being involved in other projects. I personally find Think Piece, the last track on the original EP, to be the most interesting tune on the record.

Artist:    Liquid Scene
Title:    Leave Me Here
Source:    CD: Revolutions
Writer(s):    Becki diGregorio
Label:    Ziglain
Year:    2014
    The first track ever to get a third listen on our Advanced Psych segment is Leave Me Here, from the 2014 Liquid Scene album Revolutions. Yes, it's that good.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Under My Thumb
Source:    CD: Aftermath
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    With the exception of certain Beatle tracks, pretty much every popular song from the beginning of recorded music through the year 1966 had been released as a single either on 45 or 78 RPM records (and for a while in the 1950s, on both). With Under My Thumb, from the Aftermath album, the Rolling Stones proved that someone besides the fab four could record a classic that was available only as a 33 1/3 RPM LP track. In a sense, then, Aftermath can be considered the very foundation of album rock, as more and groups put their most creative energy into making albums rather than singles in the ensuing years. Thanks, Stones.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Ruby Tuesday
Source:    CD: Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Bakco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    One of the most durable songs in the Rolling Stones catalog, Ruby Tuesday was originally intended to be the B side of their 1967 single Let's Spend The Night Together. Many stations, however, balked at the subject matter of the A side and began playing Ruby Tuesday instead, which is somewhat ironic considering speculations as to the subject matter of the song (usually considered to be about a groupie of the band's acquaintance, although Mick Jagger has said it was about Keith Richards' ex-girlfriend).

Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     Lady Jane
Source:     British import LP: Aftermath (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Jagger/Richards
Label:     Abkco (original label: London)
Year:     1966
     One of the best early Rolling Stones albums is 1966's Aftermath, which included such classics as Under My Thumb, Stupid Girl and the eleven-minute Goin' Home. Both the US and UK versions of the LP included the song Lady Jane, which was also released as the B side to Mother's Little Helper (which had been left off the US version of Aftermath to make room for Paint It, Black). The policy at the time was for B sides that got a significant amount of airplay to be rated separately from the A side of the single, and Lady Jane managed to climb to the # 24 spot on the Hot 100 (Mother's Little Helper peaked at # 8).

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    Mean Woman Blues
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Underground Gold (originally released in UK on LP: Autumn '66)
Writer(s):    Claude Demetrius
Label:    Liberty (original label: Fontana)
Year:    1966
    It was common for British rock bands to include cover versions of early rock 'n' roll and blues songs, along with more contempory R&B numbers on their LPs in the 1960s. As the decade wore on the groups began to rely more on their own material, although there were still many exceptions. One of these exceptions was the Spencer Davis Group, who only included a handful of originals on albums like Autumn '66. Among the many cover songs on that album was a remake of the 1957 Elvis Presley hit Mean Woman Blues, which had originally appeared on the soundtrack of the film Loving You. The Spencer Davis Group version of the song relies heavily on the vocal talents of a then 16-year-old Steve Winwood, who also played keyboards on the track.

Artist:    Cyrkle
Title:    Money To Burn
Source:    LP: Red Rubber Ball
Writer(s):    Don Dannemann
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    By late 1966 surf music was pretty much gone from the top 40 charts. The Beach Boys, however, had managed to adapt to changing audience tastes without abandoning the distinctive vocal harmonies that had made them stand out from their early 60s contemporaries. In fact, several other bands had sprung up with similar vocal styles. One of the most successful of these (at least in the short term) was the Cyrkle. Led by vocalist/guitarist Don Dannemann, the group hit the scene with two consecutive top 10 singles, both of which were included on the band's debut LP, Red Rubber Ball. Although manager Brian Epstein had the group recording mostly songs from outside sources, there were a handful of Cyrkle originals on the album, including Danneman's Money To Burn, which was also issued as the B side to the band's third single.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Somewhere They Can't Find Me
Source:    LP: Sounds Of Silence
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The first Simon And Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, was a fairly traditional type of folk LP. The album was originally released in late 1964, but due to lackluster sales was soon deleted from the Columbia catalog. In 1965 Paul Simon relocated to London, releasing a solo LP called the Paul Simon Songbook there. Before leaving the country, however, he and Art Garfunkel recorded two new songs in a more upbeat style that remained unreleased until 1966, when the duo reunited for a new album, Sounds of Silence. One of those two new songs was Somewhere They Can't Find Me. The song was, lyrically, a reworking of the title track of Wednesday Morning 3AM, but with entirely new music inspired by a Bert Jansch tune called Anji. As a tribute Simon included his own recording of Anji on the album immediately following Somewhere They Can't Find Me.

Artist:    Al Kooper
Title:    I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Source:    CD: Blues Project Anthology (originally released on LP: What's Shakin')
Writer(s):    Blind Willie Johnson
Label:    Polydor (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1966
    In early 1966 Elektra Records, then a New York based folk and blues label, decided to put together an album called What's Shakin'. The LP featured some of the top talent appearing in and around the city's Greenwich Village area, including the Lovin' Spoonful and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. In addition to already recorded material, the album included a handful of tracks recorded specifically for the collection, including one by Al Kooper of the Blues Project, who brought along drummer Roy Blumenfeld and bassist Andy Kuhlberg for the session. The song Kooper chose to record was I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes, an old Blind Willie Johnson tune that was already in the Blues Project's repertoire but had not yet been recorded by the band. While the Blues Project version of the song recorded later that year for the Projections album is a classic piece of guitar-based blues-rock, the earlier version for What's Shakin' is built around Kooper's piano playing and has more of a Ramsey Lewis feel to it.

Artist:    Count Five
Title:    Psychotic Reaction
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ellner/Chaney/Atkinson/Byrne/Michaelski
Label:    Rhino (original label: Double Shot)
Year:    1965
    San Jose, California, had a vibrant teen music scene in the late 60s, despite the fact that the relatively small (at the time) city was overshadowed by San Francisco at the other end of the bay (both cities were then, as now, considered part of the same metropolitan market). One of the more popular bands in town was Count Five, a group of five individuals who chose to dress up like Bela Lugosi's Dracula, capes and all. Musically, they idolized the Yardbirds (Jeff Beck era), and for slightly more than three minutes managed to sound more like their idols than the Yardbirds themselves (who by then had replaced Beck with Jimmy Page).

Artist:    Del-Vetts
Title:    Last Time Around
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dennis Dahlquist
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    The Del-Vetts were from Chicago's affluent North Shore. Their gimmick was to show up at a high school dance by driving their matching corvettes onto the gymnasium dance floor. Musically, like most garage/punk bands, they were heavily influenced by the British invasion bands. Unlike most garage/punk bands, who favored the Rolling Stones, the Del-Vetts were more into the Jeff Beck incarnation of the Yardbirds. The 'Vetts had a few regional hits from 1965-67, the biggest being this single issued on the Dunwich label, home of fellow Chicago suburbanites the Shadows of Knight. In retrospect, Last Time Around may well be the very first metal death rock song ever recorded.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: Electric Comic Book and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Gilbert/Scala/Esposito/Thielhelm
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mercury)
Year:    1966
    The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos) were either the first or second band to use the word psychedelic in an album title. Both they and the 13th Floor Elevators released their debut albums in 1966 and it is unclear which one actually came out first. What's not in dispute is the fact that Psychedelic Lollipop far outsold The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. One major reason for this was the fact that (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet was a huge national hit in early 1967, which helped album sales considerably (of course the fact that they were on Mercury Records, one of the "big six" labels of the time, didn't hurt). Despite having a unique sound and a look to match (including electric suits), the Magoos were unable to duplicate the success of Nothin' Yet on subsequent releases, partially due to Mercury's pairing of two equally marketable songs on the band's next single without indicating to stations which one they were supposed to be playing.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    I Feel Free
Source:    LP: Fresh Cream
Writer(s):    Bruce/Brown
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    After an unsuccessful debut single (Wrapping Paper), Cream scored a bona-fide hit in the UK with their follow-up, I Feel Free. As was the case with nearly every British single at the time, the song was not included on Fresh Cream, the band's debut LP. In the US, however, singles were commonly given a prominent place on albums, and the US version of Fresh Cream actually opens with I Feel Free. To my knowledge the song, being basically a studio creation, was never performed live.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice
Source:    Simulated stereo Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released in Europe and the UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1967
    The fourth single released in Europe and the UK by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was 1967's Burning Of The Midnight Lamp, which appeared in stereo the following year on the album Electric Ladyland. The B side of that single was a strange bit of psychedelia called The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice, which is also known in some circles as STP With LSD. The piece features Hendrix on guitar and vocals, with background sounds provided by a cast of at least dozens. Hendrix's vocals are spoken rather than sung, and resemble nothing more than a cosmic travelogue with Hendrix himself as the tour guide. Unfortunately the only US release of the track is a remix in which the vocal track is almost totally buried under everything else. I did manage to find a copy of the track on a Dutch import album called The Singles that was released in the early 1970s that uses an electronically rechanneled stereo version of the original mono mix that was first issued on the UK/EU version of the Smash Hits album in 1968. It's a fun listen.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1641 (starts 10/12/16)

Artist:     Grand Funk Railroad
Title:     Sin's A Good Man's Brother
Source:     CD: Closer To Home
Writer:     Mark Farner
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1970
     Flint, Michigan, in the mid-1960s was home to a popular local band called Terry Knight and the Pack. In 1969 pack guitarist Mark Farner and drummer Don Brewer hooked up with Mel Schacher (the former bassist of ? and the Mysterians) to form Grand Funk Railroad, with Terry Knight himself managing and producing the new band. With a raw, garage-like sound played at record high volume, Grand Funk immediately earned the condemnation of virtually every rock critic in existence. Undeterred by bad reviews, the band took their act to the road, foregoing the older venues such as bars, ballrooms and concert halls, instead booking entire sports arenas for their concerts. In the process they almost single-handedly created a business model that continues to be the industry standard. Grand Funk Railroad consistently sold out all of their performances for the next two years, earning no less than three gold records in 1970 alone.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Gimme Shelter
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Starline (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1971
    It takes cojones to record a cover version of one of the  Rolling Stones' most popular (and critically acclaimed) songs. It takes even more to do it just two years after the Stones version came out. But then, we are talking about Grand Funk Railroad, who have to be considered one of the most ballsy bands in rock history. The single version of Grand Funk's version of Gimme Shelter runs almost two minutes shorter than the version heard on the Survival album, and if you listen closely you can hear a particularly sloppy edit in the middle of Mark Farner's last guitar solo toward the end of the song.

Artist:    Hot Tuna
Title:    Half/Time Saturation
Source:    LP: Yellow Fever
Writer(s):    Kaukonen/Casady/Steeler
Label:    Grunt
Year:    1975
    Originally formed in 1969 as an offshoot of Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna started off as a mainly acoustic band doing mostly blues standards, and had performed as an opening act for the Airplane itself in 1970. In the early 1970s, with the Airplane winding down, Hot Tuna emerged as a fully electric band independent of the Airplane. In 1974 the band, which at that point consisted of guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, bassist Jack Casady and drummer Bob Steeler, decided that it would be "just fun to be loud" for a while, recording three albums in 1975-76 as a power trio. The second of these three was Yellow Fever. As can be heard on the track Half/Time Saturation, they certainly succeeded.

Artist:    Aerosmith
Title:    Walking The Dog
Source:    CD: Aerosmith
Writer(s):    Rufus Thomas
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1973
    The last track on Aerosmith's eponymous debut LP is a cover of Rufus Thomas's biggest hit, Walking The Dog. Probably not coincidentally, the song was also covered by Aerosmith's idols, the Rolling Stones, on their debut album.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Must Be Love
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Bolin/Cook
Label:    Atco
Year:    1974
    One thing you have to say for the James Gang: they did not give up easily. After losing their star, guitarist/vocalist Joe Walsh, in 1971, the remaining two members of the band, drummer Jim Fox and bassist Dale Peters, could have just called it quits. Instead, they recruited vocalist Roy Kenner and guitarist Dominic Troiano for a pair of albums that really didn't make much of an impression, either critically or commercially. After Troiano left in early 1974 they lost their contract with ABC Records, but once again, the James Gang refused to surrender. Instead they found guitarist Tommy Bolin (formerly of Zephyr) and landed a contract with the Atco label. The first James Gang album with Bolin, was considered their strongest effort since Walsh's departure, thanks to tracks like Must Be Love. The song, co-written by Bolin, was also issued as a single in 1974. Bolin would go on to even greater fame, both as a solo artist and as a member of Deep Purple (temporarily replacing Richie Blackmore) before succumbing to a drug overdose in his late 20s.

Artist:    Five Man Electrical Band
Title:    Signs
Source:    Simulated stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Les Emerson
Label:    Lionel
Year:    1971
    Everybody has at least one song they have fond memories of hearing on the radio while riding around in a friend's car on a hot summer evening. Signs, from Canada's Five Man Electrical Band, is one of mine.

Artist:    Peter Frampton
Title:    Penny For Your Thoughts/(I'll Give You) Money
Source:    LP: Frampton Comes Alive
Writer(s):    Peter Frampton
Label:    A&M
Year:    1976
    Most artists establish themselves with a series of studio recordings (generally including a hit single or two) before releasing a live album featuring performances of their most popular songs. Peter Frampton would have done that as well, except for the fact that his four studio albums preceding Frampton Comes Alive were all commercial flops. To be honest, before 1976 most people had never even heard of Peter Frampton, let alone any of his music. Yet, despite all this, Frampton Comes Alive is one of the most successful live albums ever recorded; in fact, it was the best selling album of 1976 and was among the top 20 sellers of 1977 as well. The album produced three hit singles, one of which, Do You Feel Like I Do, ran over seven minutes in length in edited form (the album version was more than 14 minutes long).The B side of that single was a short acoustic instrumental piece called Penny For Your Thoughts, which on the album segues directly into the hard-rocking (I'll Give You) Money.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young
Title:    Almost Cut My Hair
Source:    LP: déjà vu
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Almost Cut My Hair could have been the longest track on the Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young album déjà vu. As originally recorded it ran about 10 minutes in length. However, it was decided to fade the cut out starting at around the four-minute mark, leaving Neil Young's Country Girl (which was actually a suite of song fragments) as the longest track on the LP. Nonetheless, even at its shorter-than-recorded released length, David Crosby's counter-cultural anthem stands out as one of the band's most memorable recordings, and is arguably the single track that best incorporates Neil Young's unique lead guitar style into a group that is known mostly for its vocal harmonies.

Artist:    Stevie Wonder
Title:    Living For The City
Source:    LP: Innervisions
Writer(s):    Stevie Wonder
Label:    Tamla
Year:    1973
    As good as the single version of Living For The City (which was a huge hit in 1973) was, it pales in comparison to the original LP version of the Stevie Wonder classic. The longer version incorporates a bit of audio theater depicting a man boarding a bus bound for New York City. On his arrival he is handed a package by a street hustler with instructions to deliver it to someone nearby. The man is immediately arrested and given a long prison sentence for drug trafficking. The track, taken as a whole, paints a bleak picture of Afro-American life in the 1970s.

\Artist:    Janis Joplin
Title:    Move Over
Source:    CD: Pearl
Writer(s):    Janis Joplin
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    1970 had been a good year for Janis Joplin. She had disbanded the disappointing Kozmik Blues Band and was nearing completion of a new album (Pearl) with a new group (the Full Tilt Boogie Band) and a new producer (Paul Rothchild), who was entirely supportive of her musical abilities. Unlike previous bands, Joplin's new group spent considerable time in the studio working on material for the album, often developing the arrangements with the tape machines running, much like Jimi Hendrix was known to do. The resulting album was musically far tighter than her previous efforts, with a mixture of cover songs and original material such as the opening track, Move Over, written by Joplin herself. Sadly, Joplin's problems ran deeper than just musical issues and she did not live to see her final album completed.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Child In Time
Source:    CD: The Very Best Of Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Blackmore/Gillan/Glover/Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1970
    One of the most powerful antiwar songs ever recorded, Child In Time appeared on the LP Deep Purple In Rock. The album is generally considered to be the beginning of the band's "classic" period and features the lineup of Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Ian Gillan (vocals), Roger Glover (bass), Jon Lord (keyboards) and Ian Paice (drums). The song itself (which runs over ten minutes in length) was a mainstay of early 70s rock radio stations, but is rarely heard on modern classic rock stations.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1640 (starts 10/5/16)

Artist:    Mothers Of Invention
Title:    You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here
Source:    CD: Freak Out!
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Ryko (original label: Verve)
Year:    1966
    Once upon a time in a semi-mythical city known as Los Angeles there was a bar band called the Soul Giants. This band, led by one Frank Zappa, was known for its rendition of blues and R&B songs, but was slowly adding several original tunes written by Zappa. In 1966 producer Tom Wilson, who had recently relocated to L.A. from New York, signed the Soul Giants to the Verve label, believing them to be (according to Zappa) a white blues band in the vein of New York's Blues Project, whose first two albums Wilson had produced. Although he soon discovered that the newly-rechristened Mothers were far more experimental than he had at first thought, he became an ardent supporter of the band, even risking his own position with the label to secure additional funding for what would become Freak Out, the first double-LP debut album in rock music history. Musically  the album covers a lot of ground, including R&B, doo-wop, blues-rock and even avant-garde classical in the vein of John Kay. Zappa himself later referred to Freak Out as a concept album satirizing American pop culture. Although it appears as the last track of the first LP, You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here is a natural show opener, and is being used as such to open  this week's edition of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    The Birdman Of Alkatrash
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Mark Weitz
Label:    Uni
Year:    1967
    The Birdman of Alkatrash was originally intended to be an A side. For some reason radio stations instead began playing the other side of the record and it became one of the biggest hits of 1967. That other side? Incense and Peppermints.

Artist:    October Country
Title:    My Girlfriend Is A Witch
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Michael Lloyd
Label:    Rhino (original label: Epic)
Year:    1968
    By 1968 the L.A. under-age club scene was winding down, and several now out of work bands were making last (and sometimes only) attempts at garnering hits in the studio. One such band was October Country, whose first release had gotten a fair amount of local airplay, but who had become bogged down trying to come up with lyrics for a follow-up single. Enter Michael Lloyd, recently split from the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and looking to become a record producer. Lloyd not only produced and wrote the lyrics for My Girlfriend Is A Witch, he also ended up playing drums on the record as well.

Artist:    Q'65
Title:    Cry In The Night
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in the Netherlands as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Bieler/Nuyens/Baar
Label:    Rhino (original label: Decca)
Year:    1966
    Formed in the Hague in 1965, Holland's Q'65 were living proof that you didn't have to have anglo roots to rock out in the 1960s. The group, consisting of Wim Beiler on vocals and harmonica, Frank Nuyens and Joop Roelofs on guitars, Peter Vink on bass and Jar Baar on drums, recorded several songs for the Decca label in late 1965, the first of which was issued as a single in early 1966. Their second single, The Life I Live, featured an equally strong B side, Cry In The Night, that could easily stand beside punk classics by groups like the Pretty Things or the Shadows Of Knight. Q'65 continued to release records in the Netherlands for various labels through the early 1970s.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Mother's Little Helper
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Through The Past, Darkly (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    By 1966 the Rolling Stones had already had a few brushes with the law over their use of illegal drugs. Mother's Little Helper, released in spring of 1966, is a scathing criticism of the parents of the Stones' fans for their habitual abuse of "legal" prescription drugs while simultaneously persecuting those same fans (and the band itself) for smoking pot. Perhaps more than any other song that year, Mother's Little Helper illustrates the increasingly hostile generation gap that had sprung up between the young baby boomers and the previous generation.

Artist:    Mouse And The Traps
Title:    Maid Of Sugar-Maid Of Spice
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Henderson/Weiss
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fraternity)
Year:    1966
    Mouse (Ronnie Weiss) was, for a time, the most popular guy in Tyler, Texas, at least among the local youth. His band, Mouse and the traps, had a series of regional hits that garnered airplay at stations all across the state (and a rather large state at that). Although Mouse's first big hit, A Public Execution, had a strong Dylan feel to it, subsequent releases covered a wide range of styles, such as the garage-rock of his 1966 single Maid Of Sugar-Maid Of Spice.

Artist:      Young Rascals
Title:     Good Lovin'
Source:      CD: Time Peace-The Rascals' Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Clark/Resnick
Label:    Atlantic
Year:     1966
     The most successful band ever to come from Long Island was originally called the Rascals. Atlantic Records, for reasons now unknown, convinced the band to add the word "Young" to their name, which was how they were known until 1968 or so, when they went back to their original appellation. Among their many well-known hits was Good Lovin', one of the few songs that deserves the tag "iconic".

Artist:     Bob Dylan
Title:     It Ain't Me Babe
Source:     Mono CD: Best of the Original Mono Recordings (originally released on LP: Another Side Of Bob Dylan)
Writer:     Bob Dylan
Label:     Columbia/Legacy
Year:     1964
     One of Bob Dylan's best known songs was It Ain't Me Babe, from his 1964 album Another Side Of Bob Dylan. The song was electrified by the Turtles the following year, becoming their first hit single.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Rock Coast Blues/Magoo
Source:    LP: I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Although not as strong an album as their debut LP seven months earlier, Country Joe And The Fish's second effort for Vanguard, I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die, is nonetheless a classic slice of vintage 1967 San Francisco psychedelia, as can plainly be heard on Rock Coast Blues, which segues into a spacy thing called Magoo.

Artist:    Wild Flowers
Title:    More Than Me
Source:    Mono CD: A Heavy Dose Of Lyte Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    The Wildflowers
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Aster)
Year:    1967
    Phoenix, Arizona, was home to the Wildflowers, a band that included bassist Michael Bruce, who would go on to become a founding member of Alice Cooper. The Wildflowers only released a couple of singles on the local Aster label, the second of which was More Than Me, released in 1967.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Hideaway
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Underground)
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    After the moderately successful first Electric Prunes album, producer David Hassinger loosened the reigns a bit for the followup, Underground. Among the original tunes on Underground was Hideaway, a song that probably would have been a better choice as a single than what actually got released: a novelty tune called Dr. Feelgood written by Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz, who had also written the band's first hit, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night).

Artist:    Mystery Trend
Title:    Johnny Was A Good Boy
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nagle/Cuff
Label:    Rhino (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967
    The Mystery Trend was a bit of an anomaly. Contemporaries of bands such as the Great! Society and the Charlatans, the Trend always stood apart from the rest of the crowd, playing to an audience that was both a bit more affluent and a bit more "adult" (they were reportedly the house band at a Sausalito strip club). Although they played in the city itself as early as 1965, they did not release their first record until early 1967. The song, Johnny Was A Good Boy, tells the story of a seemingly normal middle-class kid who turns out to be a monster (without actually specifying what he did), surprising friends, family and neighbors. The same theme would be used by XTC in the early 1980s in the song No Thugs In Our House, one of the standout tracks from their landmark English Settlement album.

Artist:    "E" Types
Title:    Put The Clock Back On The Wall
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bonner/Gordon
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    The E-Types were originally from Salinas, California, which at the time was known for it's sulfiric smell by travelers along US 101. As many people from Salinas apparently went to "nearby" San Jose (about 60 miles to the north) as often as possible, the E-Types became regulars on the local scene, eventually landing a contract with Tower Records and Ed Cobb, who also produced the Standells and the Chocolate Watchband. The Bonner/Gordon songwriting team were just a couple months away from getting huge royalty checks from the Turtles' Happy Together when Put The Clock Back On The Wall was released in early 1967. The song takes its title from a popular phrase of the time. After a day or two of losing all awareness of time (and sometimes space) it was time to put the clock back on the wall, or get back to reality if you prefer.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooniel (live long version)
Source:    CD: After Bathing At Baxter's (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    Jefferson Airplane's original plan for their third album, After Bathing At Baxter's, was to open the LP with a live, eleven-minute version of The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooniel. Plans changed, and a shorter studio version of the track was instead included as part of the first of six suites that made up the final album. This is the original live recording of the song, included as a bonus track on the remastered CD version of After Bathing At Baxter's.

Artist:    Velvet Illusions
Title:    Acid Head
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Weed/Radford
Label:    Rhino (original label: Metromedia, also released on Tell Records)
Year:    1967
    Showing an obvious influence by the Electric Prunes (a suburban L.A. band that was embraced by the Seattle scene as one of their own) the Illusions backtracked the Prunes steps, leaving their native Yakima and steady gigging for the supposedly greener pastures of the City of Angels. After a few months of frustration in which the band seldom found places to practice, let alone perform, they headed back to Seattle to cut this lone single, Acid Head, before calling it quits.

Artist:    Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Title:    Fanfare-Fire Poem/Fire
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Writer(s):    Brown/Crane/Finesilver/Ker
Label:    Polydor (mono version not released in US)
Year:    1968
    When the master tapes for the debut album of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown were sent over to the US, the people at Atlantic Records were understandably blown away by the creativity and sheer bizarreness of what they were hearing. On the other hand, they were not happy with the overall sound of the record, and, working with Brown, made extensive changes to side one of the album, including the addition of strings and the deletion of short audio bits between tracks. The band's drummer, Drachen Theaker, was especially upset with the changes, as he felt his drums were buried in the new mix. According to Brown, when the band first heard an acetate copy of the new mix, Theaker jumped over a table, took the record off the turntable and smashed it on the wall. Nonetheless, the remixed album was a commercial success that Brown was never able to equal, thanks in no small part to the inclusion of the tune Fire, which is still one of the most recognizable songs of the late 1960s.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    Mystic Mourning
Source:    British import CD: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s):    Ulaky/Weisberg/Rhodes
Label:    See For Miles (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    If I had to choose one single recording that represents the psychedelic era, my choice would be Mystic Mourning, from the album The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union. Everything about the tune screams (whispers? purrs?) psychedelic, starting with a short spacy intro of electric piano over cymbals, leading into a raga beat with a solo bass line that builds up to a repeating riff that ends up getting played at various times by guitar, bass, and/or piano. The lyrics are appropriately existential, and both guitar and piano get a chance to show their stuff over the course of the nearly six-minute track.

Artist:     Southwest F.O.B.
Title:     Smell Of Incense
Source:     LP: Smell Of Incense
Writer:     Markley/Morgan
Label:     Hip
Year:    1968
     When I first ran across the album called Smell Of Incense I immediately recognized the title as being the same as one of the better songs by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. As it turns out it's because Southwest F.O.B. issued their version of the Bob Markley/Ron Morgan song as their only single, and used it as the opening track on their only LP as well. What I didn't realize at the time is that Southwest F.O.B (F.O.B. standing for "freight on board") was the launching pad for the careers of England Dan Seals and John Ford Coley. The duo had a string of solo hits in the late 1970s, and Seals went on to become one of the top country artists of the 1980s (his song Bop is still heard on some of the more inclusive country stations).

Artist:     Blues Magoos
Title:     Yellow Rose
Source:     CD: Kaleidoscopic Compendium (originally released on LP: Basic Blues Magoos)
Writer:     Gilbert/Theilhelm
Label:     Mercury
Year:     1968
     The Blues Magoos was probably the most successful psychedelic band to hail from America's East Coast (specifically, The Bronx, NY). Unfortunately, that isn't saying much, as most successful psychedelic bands came from either California or Texas in the US, or from the UK. Still, the Magoos had a fair share of decent recordings. The band enjoyed their greatest artistic freedom on the 1968 album Basic Blues Magoos, much of which was recorded at their own home studios. As a result, Yellow Rose does not sound much like anything else the band ever released (although it is still quite psychedelic in its own way).

Artist:    Moby Grape
Title:    Lazy Me
Source:    LP: Moby Grape
Writer(s):    Bob Mosley
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    Such is the quality of the first Moby Grape LP that there are many outstanding tracks that have gotten virtually no airplay in the years since the album was released. Lazy Me, written by bassist Bob Mosley, is one of those tracks. Enjoy.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Horse Latitudes/Moonlight Drive
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    Much of the second Doors album consisted of songs that were already in the band's repertoire when they signed with Elektra Records but for various reasons did not record for their debut LP. One of the earliest was Jim Morrison's Moonlight Ride, which he wrote even before the band was formed. As was the case with all the Doors songs on their first three albums, the tune was credited to the entire band. Horse Latitudes, which leads into Moonlight Ride, was also an obvious Morrison composition, as it is essentially a piece of Morrison poetry with a soundtrack provided by the rest of the band.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    World Of Pain
Source:    Mono Russian import LP: Disraeli Gears
Writer(s):    Pappalardi/Collins
Label:    Lilith (original 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:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    No Way Out
Source:    CD: No Way Out
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    The Chocolate Watchband, from the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area (specifically Foothills Junior College in Los Altos Hills), were fairly typical of the south bay music scene, centered in San Jose. Although they were generally known for lead vocalist Dave Aguilar's ability to channel Mick Jagger with uncanny accuracy, producer Ed Cobb gave them a more psychedelic sound in the studio with the use of studio effects and other enhancements (including adding tracks to their albums that were performed entire by studio musicians). The title track of No Way Out is credited to Cobb, but in reality is a fleshing out of a jam the band had previously recorded, but had not released.

Title:    Cinnamon Girl
Source:    LP: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    My favorite Neil Young song has always been Cinnamon Girl. I suspect this is because the band I was in the summer after I graduated from high school used an amped-up version of the song as our show opener (imagine Cinnamon Girl played like I Can See For Miles and you get a general idea of how it sounded). If we had ever recorded an album, we probably would have used that arrangement as our first single. I finally got to see Neil Young perform the song live (from the 16th row even) with Booker T. and the MGs as his stage band in the mid-1990s. It was worth the wait.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Title:    Helpless
Source:    CD: déjà vu
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Many of the songs on the second Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album, Deja Vu, sound as if they could have been on solo albums by the various band members, particularly Neil Young, whose style really didn't mesh well with the others. A prime example of this is Helpless. Despite this (or maybe because of it) Helpless got more radio airplay than most of the other songs on the album.

Title:    Down By The River
Source:    LP: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    Down By The River is one of four songs on the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere that Neil Young wrote while running a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 39.5 degrees for people in civilized nations that use the Celsius, aka centrigrade, scale). By some strange coincidence, they are the four best songs on the album. I wish I could have been that sick in my days as a wannabe rock star.

Artist:     Who
Title:     It's Not True
Source:     Mono Canadian import CD: The Who Sings My Generation
Writer:     Pete Townshend
Label:     MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:     1965
     Released in December, 1965, the first Who album (called simply My Generation in the UK) was recorded while the band was in their "maximum R&B" phase. The band members themselves were not happy with the album, feeling that they had been rushed through the entire recording process and did not have much say in how the final product sounded. Still, the album is considered one of the most influential debut albums of all time and has made several critics' top albums lists over the years. It's Not True, a song that critically addresses the ridiculousness of unfounded rumors, is fairly typical of the songs Pete Townshend was writing at the time.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    The Other Side Of This Life
Source:    LP: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals-Vol. II (originally released in US on LP: Animalism)
Writer(s):    Fred Neil
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1966
    The final album by the original Animals was a late 1966 collection of mostly blues covers that was released only in the US. Animalism (not to be confused with the UK LP Animalisms from earlier in the year which was the basis for the US album Animalization) was recorded in Los Angeles, possibly at the same time as the Mothers Of Invention album Freak Out. Frank Zappa collaborated on at least one of the album's songs (All Night Long) and is listed as a co-producer of the band's version of Fred Neil's best-known tune, The Other Side Of This Life, which was being performed regularly by several California bands (including Jefferson Airplane) at around the same time.

 Artist:    Dantalion's Chariot
Title:    The Madman Running Through The Fields
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Money/Somers
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    In the early to mid 1960s the US had literally hundreds of talented artists whose records appeared on the Rhythm & Blues charts, sometimes crossing over to the pop charts as well. In the UK, these artists were a distant legend, although their music was quite popular there. To fill a demand for live R&B in British clubs, several cover bands popped up throughout the decade. One of the most popular, and musically accomplished, bands on the London R&B/soul scene was Zoot Money's Big Roll Band. As the decade rolled on, however, public tastes started changing, and the Big Roll Band was finding it difficult to find steady work. Money responded to the situation by disbanding the group and forming the four-piece Dantalion's Chariot in 1967. The band soon gained a reputation for both their musicianship and their light show, and were considered, along with Pink Floyd and Tomorrow, to be the cream of the crop of British psychedelic bands. Unfortunately, the band had too much talent to survive long, and split up by the end of the year. Just how talented were they? Well, in addition to Money himself on vocals and keyboards, the band included a guitarist named Andy Somers, who would eventually change the spelling of his last name to Summers and form a band called the Police. Then there was the drummer, Colin Allen, who would soon resurface as a member of John Mayall's new band on the album Blues From Laurel Canyon. Not bad for a group that only released one single.