Sunday, December 9, 2018
This week we feature the entire first side of the landmark 1968 Moody Blues album In Search Of The Lost Chord, as well as a set of tunes from Love. We also have sets from 1967, 1968 and a couple progressions through the years. Busy week.
Artist: Buffalo Springfield
Title: Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing
Source: CD: Buffalo Springfield
Writer: Neil Young
One of the most influential folk-rock bands to come out of the L.A. scene was the Buffalo Springfield. The Springfield had several quality songwriters, including Neil Young, whose voice was deemed "too weird" by certain record company people. Thus we have Richie Furay handling the lead vocals on Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing, the group's debut single. The track was just one of several Young songs sung by Furay on the band's first album. By the time the second Buffalo Springfield album was released things had changed somewhat, and Young got to do his own lead vocals on songs like Mr. Soul and Broken Arrow.
Title: Two Rooms
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer: (Marty Fried)
The Cyrkle were just a bit too clean-cut for their time. Looking like early 60s college fraternity guys, they had a great 1966, scoring back-to-back top 10 singles with Red Rubber Ball and Turn Down Day, hiring Brian Epstein as their manager and getting signed to be the opening act for Epstein's other band, the Beatles, on their final US tour. Despite having more than their share of talent, creatively, vocally and instrumentally, they found themselves unable to keep up with rapidly changing public tastes, and soon faded off into obscurity. Two Rooms, a hard to find 1967 B side written by drummer Marty Fried, hints at what could have been.
Title: West Indian Lady
Source: British import CD: The Hurdy Gurdy Man (originally released in US)
Writer(s): Donovan Leitch
Label: EMI (original US label: Epic)
Released in October of 1968, The Hurdy Gurdy Man is generally considered the most musically diverse of all of Donovan's albums. West Indian Lady, for example, incorporates a calypso beat, similar to the one used on his 1967 single There Is A Mountain.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix/Band Of Gypsys
Title: Villanova Junction Blues
Source: Mono LP: People, Hell And Angels
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Label: Experience Hendrix/Legacy
Year: Recorded 1969, released 2013
Usually known as the untitled instrumental that finishes out the Woodstock movie, Villanova Junction Blues was first performed in the studio by Band Of Gypsys (Hendrix, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles) prior to their live performances at Madison Square Garden at the end of 1969. The studio version remained unreleased until 2013, when it was included on the album People, Hell And Angels.
Title: My Little Red Book
Source: Mono CD: Love Story (originally released as 45 RPM single)
My Little Red Book was a song originally composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the soundtrack of the movie What's New Pussycat and performed by Manfred Mann. It didn't sound anything like Love's version (the first rock single issued on the Elektra label), which is acknowledged as one of the first true punk classics.
Title: She Comes In Colors
Source: CD: Da Capo (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Arthur Lee
Arthur Lee's transition from angry punk (on songs like 7&7 Is and My Little Red Book) to a softer, more introspective kind of singer/songwriter was evident on Love's second LP, Da Capo. Although there were still some hard rockers, such as Stephanie Knows Who, the album also includes songs like She Comes In Colors, which was released ahead of the album as the band's third single in late 1966. The song was one of Lee's first to inspire critics to draw comparisons between Lee's vocal style and that of Johnny Mathis.
Source: CD: Love Story
Writer(s): Arthur Lee
If there is any one song that validates comparisons of Johnny Mathis and Love's Arthur Lee, it's Andmoreagain, from the third Love album, Forever Changes. Oddly enough, the song has also drawn comparisons to the music of Burt Bacharach, particularly for its soft melody and use of major 7th chords. This is somewhat ironic, given that Bacharach reportedly hated Love's version of My Little Red Book, a song he wrote for the soundtrack of the film What's New, Pussycat.
Title: Magic Carpet Ride
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf The Second)
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
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 psychedelic era itself.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Parachute Woman
Source: CD: Beggar's Banquet
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
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: Canned Heat
Title: Boogie Music
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Living The Blues and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): L.T.Tatman III
Label: United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Canned Heat was formed in 1966 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area blues purists. Although a favorite on the rock scene, the band continued to remain true to the blues throughout their existence, even after relocating to the Laurel Canyon area near Los Angeles in 1968. The band's most popular single was Going Up the Country from the album Living the Blues. The B side of that single was another track from Living The Blues that actually had a longer running time on the single than on the album version. Although the single uses the same basic recording of Boogie Music as the album, it includes a short low-fidelity instrumental tacked onto the end of the song that sounds suspiciously like a 1920s recording of someone playing a melody similar to Going Up The Country on a fiddle. The only time this unique version of the song appeared in stereo was on a 1969 United Artists compilation called Progressive Heavies that also featured tracks from Johnny Winter, Traffic, the Spencer Davis Group and others.
Title: People Are Strange
Source: LP: Strange Days (also released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: The Doors
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 the members of Love.
Artist: Janis Ian
Title: Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking)
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s): Janis Ian
Label: Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
Janis Ian began writing Society's Child, using the title Baby I've Been Thinking, when she was 13 years old, finishing it shortly after her 14th birthday. She shopped it around to several record labels before finally finding one (Now Sounds) willing to take a chance on the controversial song about interracial dating. The record got picked up and re-issued in 1966 by M-G-M's experimental label Verve Forecast, a label whose roster included Dave Van Ronk, Laura Nyro and the Blues Project, among others. Despite being banned on several radio stations the song became a major hit when re-released yet another time in early 1967. Ian had problems maintaining a balance between her performing career and being a student which ultimately led to her dropping out of high school. She would eventually get her career back on track in the mid-70s, scoring another major hit with At Seventeen, and becoming somewhat of a heroine to the feminist movement.
Title: Heaven And Hell
Source: CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Parlophone)
Throughout the mid-60s Australia's most popular band was the Easybeats, often called the Australian Beatles. Although their early material sounded like slightly dated British Invasion music (Australia had a reputation for cultural lag, and besides, half the members were British immigrants), by late 1966 guitarist Harry Vanda (one of the two Dutch immigrant members of the group) had learned enough English to be able to replace vocalist Stevie Wright as George Young's writing partner. The new team was much more adventurous in their compositions than the Wright/Young team had been, and were responsible for the band's first international hit, Friday On My Mind. By then the Easybeats had relocated to England, and continued to produce fine singles such as Heaven And Hell.
Title: I Feel Fine
Source: CD: Past masters-volume one (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
The Beatles capped off their most successful year, 1964, with a double-sided hit single, released just in time for the Christmas season on November 27th. The "official" A side was I Feel Fine, a John Lennon song that is considered the first pop song to use deliberate feedback (on the song's intro). The tune continued a streak of consecutive number one songs for the Fab Four that would continue well into the next year.
Title: Little Girl
Source: Mono LP: Them
Writer(s): Van Morrison
If punk rock is defined by attitude, then Them, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, could well be the world's first punk rock band. Led by Van Morrison, they were known as much for their rudeness to the British music press as they were for their music, which helped inspire countless American garage-rock bands in the mid-1960s. Their debut LP, released under the title The Angry Young Them in the UK and simply as Them in the US (with the song title Gloria featured prominently on the album cover) in 1965, contained half a dozen Morrison originals. Among those originals was a tune called Little Girl, about a young man's obsession with a fourteen-year-old girl. It would not be the last rock song of its type.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Blues From An Airplane
Source: CD: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off)
Blues From An Airplane was the opening song on the first Jefferson Airplane album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. Although never released as a single, it was picked by the group to open their first anthology album, The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane, as well.
Artist: Procol Harum
Title: A Christmas Camel
Source: Simulated stereo LP: Procol Harum
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: Status Quo
Title: Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Source: Simulated stereo CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Francis Rossi
Label: K-Tel (original label: Cadet Concept)
The band with the most charted singles in the UK is not the Beatles or even the Rolling Stones. It is, in fact, Status Quo, quite possibly the nearest thing to a real life version of Spinal Tap. Except for Pictures of Matchstick Men, the group has never had a hit in the US. On the other hand, they remain popular in Scandanavia, playing to sellout crowds on a regular basis (yes, they are still together).
Artist: Grand Funk Railroad
Title: Gimme Shelter
Source: Canadian import CD: Heavy Hitters! (edited version originally released as 45 RPM single)
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: Moody Blues
Title: In Search Of The Lost Chord (side one)
Source: CD: In Search Of The Lost Chord
The Moody Blues followed up their groundbreaking album Days Of Future Past with another concept album, this time tackling the subjects of search and discovery from various perspectives. In Search Of The Lost Chord opens with Departure, a poem by percussionist Graeme Edge. Normally Edge's poems were recited by Mike Pinder on the band's albums, but here Edge recites his own work, ending in maniacal laughter as the next track, Ride My See-Saw, fades in. Ride My See-Saw, written by bassist John Lodge, is one of the Moody Blues' most popular songs, and is often used as an encore when the band performs in concert. Dr. Livingstone I Presume is a bit of a change in pace from flautist Ray Thomas, about the famous African explorer. Oddly enough, there is no flute on the track. From there the album proceeds to Lodge's House Of Four Doors, one of the most complex pieces ever recorded by the group. Each verse of the song ends with the opening of a door (the sound effect having been created on a cello), followed by an interlude from a different era of Western music, including Minstrel, Baroque and Classical. The fourth door opens into an entirely different song altogether, Legend Of A Mind, with its signature lines: "Timothy Leary's dead. No, no, he's outside looking in." Although never released as a single, the track got a fair amount of airplay on college and progressive FM radio stations, and has long been considered a cult hit. The album's first side concludes with the final section of House Of Four Doors.
Title: You Baby
Source: 45 RPM single
Label: White Whale
After first hitting the charts with their version of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, the Turtles released yet another "angry young rebel" song, P.F. Sloan's Let Me Be. Realizing that they needed to vary their subject matter somewhat if they planned on having a career last longer than six months, the band formerly known as the Crossfires went with another Sloan tune, You Baby, for their first single of 1966. Although the music was in a similar style to Let Me Be, the lyrics, written by Steve Barri, were fairly typical of teen-oriented love songs of the era. The Turtles would continue to record songs from professional songwriters for single release for the remainder of their existence, with their original compositions showing up mostly as album tracks and B sides.
Title: My White Bicycle
Source: Mono British CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road-1965-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Label: EMI (original label: Parlophone)
Along with Pink Floyd and the Soft Machine, Tomorrow was among the most influential of the British psychedelic bands that popped up in the wake of the Beatles' Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's albums. Evolving out of the In Crowd, a popular British R&B group in the mold of the Spencer Davis Group and the early Who, Tomorrow featured a young Steve Howe (who go on to stardom as a founding member of Yes) on lead guitar and Keith West on vocals. The group was slated to appear in the film Blow-Up, but ultimately lost out to the Yardbirds, who had just recruited Jimmy Page as a second lead guitarist. Unfazed, Tomorrow went into Abbey Road studios and cut My White Bicycle, a song inspired by the practice in Amsterdam of providing free bicycles to anyone who wanted to use one as long as they turned it back in when they were done with it.
Artist: Deep Purple
Source: LP: Tales Of Deep Purple
Writer: Joe South
Deep Purple scored a huge US hit in 1968 with their rocked out cover of Hush, a tune written by Joe South that had been an international hit for Billy Joe Royal the previous year. Oddly enough, the song was virtually ignored in their native England. The song was included on the album Tales Of Deep Purple, the first of three LPs to be released in the US on Tetragrammaton Records, a label partially owned by actor/comedian Bill Cosby. When Tetragrammaton folded shortly after the release of the third Deep Purple album, The Book Of Taleisyn, the band was left without a US label, and went through some personnel changes, including adding new lead vocalist Ian Gilliam (who had sung the part of Jesus on the original Jesus Christ Superstar album) before signing to Warner Brothers and becoming a major force in 70s rock. Meanwhile, original vocalist Rod Evans hooked up with drummer Bobby Caldwell and two former members of Iron Butterfly to form Captain Beyond before fading from public view.
Artist: Grateful Dead
Title: Sitting On Top Of The World
Source: CD: The Grateful Dead
Label: Warner Brothers
Most versions of Sitting On Top Of The World (such as the one by Cream) have a slow, melancholy tempo that emphasizes the irony of the lyrics. The Grateful Dead version, on the other hand, goes at about twice the speed and has lyrics I have never heard on any other version. I suspect this is because, like most of the songs on the first Dead album, the tune was part of their early live repertoire; a repertoire that called for a lot of upbeat songs to keep the crowd on their feet. Is this Rob "Pig Pen" McKernon on the vocals? I think so, but am open to any corrections you might want to send along (just use the contact button on the www.hermitradio.com website).
Source: CD: Disraeli Gears (also released as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Polydor (original label: Atco)
I distinctly remember this song getting played on the local jukebox just as much as the single's A side, Sunshine Of Your Love (maybe even more). Like most of Cream's more psychedelic material, SWLABR (an anagram for She Was Like A Bearded Rainbow) was written by the songwriting team of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. Brown had originally been brought in as a co-writer for Ginger Baker, but soon realized that he and Bruce had better songwriting chemistry.
Source: 45 RPM single B side
The Monkees made a video of the Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart song Words that shows each member in the role that they were best at as musicians: Mickey Dolenz on lead vocals, Peter Tork on guitar, Michael Nesmith on bass and Davy Jones on drums. This was not the way they were usually portrayed on their TV show, however. Neither was it the configuration on the recording itself, which had Nesmith on guitar, Tork on Hammond organ, producer Chip Douglas on bass and studio ace Eddie Hoh on drums. The song appeared on the album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD as well as being released as the B side of Pleasant Valley Sunday. Even as a B side, the song was a legitimate hit, peaking at #11 in 1967.
Artist: Guess Who
Title: It's My Pride
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Canada as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Randy Bachman
Label: Rhino (original label: Quality)
The Guess Who were formed in 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba as Chad Allen and the Reflections, changing their name to Chad Allen and the Expression in 1964. The group recorded a cover of a Johnny Kidd song, Shakin' All Over, in 1965. The record was not released under the band's actual name, however; in a bid to get more airplay for the song, the record was credited to "Guess Who?". This was during the peak of the British Invasion, and the producers hoped that DJs might assume it was some well-known British band and give the record a shot. Of course, such a thing could never happen these days, as commercial radio DJs are not allowed to choose what music to play. The ploy worked so well (the song was a hit in both the US and Canada) that the band decided to keep the name Guess Who, and continued to crank out hit after hit in their native Canada, although they would not hit the US charts again until 1969. In 1966 the group picked up a second vocalist, Burton Cummings, and within a few months founder Allen left the band, leaving Cummings as the group's front man. One of their better songs was It's My Pride, a B side written by guitarist Randy Bachman and released as a single in 1967. Bachman would soon team up with Cummings to write a string of hits, including These Eyes and American Woman, before leaving the Guess Who in the early 70s to form his own band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
Artist: Country Joe And The Fish
Title: Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
Source: LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s): Joe McDonald
While not as commercially successful as the Jefferson Airplane or as long-lived as the Grateful Dead (there's an oxymoron for ya), Country Joe and the Fish may well be the most accurate musical representation of what the whole Haight-Ashbury scene was about, which is itself ironic, since the band operated out of Berkeley on the other side of the bay. Of all the tracks on their first album, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine probably got the most airplay on various underground radio stations that were popping up on the FM dial at the time (some of them even legally).
Artist: George harrison
Title: What Is Life
Source: LP: All Things Must Pass
Writer(s): George Harrison
Label: Capitol (original label: apple)
Following the official announcement in early 1970 that the Beatles had broken up the rock press eagerly awaited the first solo albums from John Lennon and Paul McCartney. They were not quite prepared, however, for All Things Must Pass, the three-LP box set from the "quiet Beatle", George Harrison, to outperform both of the albums from Harrison's former bandmates. Yet that's exactly what happened, with All Things Must Pass topping the charts in several countries. The first single from the album, My Sweet Lord, did even better, becoming the UK's #1 song of the entire year. The second single from the album, What Is Life, was released in early 1971, when My Sweet Lord was finally showing signs of having run its course, and immediately shot into the top 10 as well. The song remained a concert favorite for the rest of Harrison's life, and has made several "best of" lists over the years.
This week it's free form rambling time, as we manage to fit in a baker's dozen of tunes, ranging from 1968 to 1975, ordered by...but no, that would be revealing too much.
Artist: Black Sabbath
Title: Iron Man
Source: LP: Paranoid
Label: Warner Brothers
Black Sabbath tended to write songs as a group, with Tony Iommi coming up with a guitar riff, Ozzy Osbourne figuring out a melody, Geezer Butler writing lyrics and Bill Ward adding the finishing touches with his drum set. One of their most famous tracks, Iron Man, started off exactly that way. When Ozzy Osbourne heard Tony Iommi's riff he remarked that it sounded "like a big iron bloke walking about". Butler took the idea and ran with it, coming up with a song about a man who travels to the future, sees the devastation and returns to his own time to try to change things. Unfortunately he gets caught in a magnetic field that turns him into living steel, mute and unable to verbally express himself. His efforts to communicate are met with indifference and even mockery, angering him to the point that he himself becomes the cause of the destruction he had witnessed. The song is considered one of foundation stones of what came to be called heavy metal. It's continued popularity is evidenced by the fact that it was used in the Iron Man movies, despite having no real connection to the film, other than being the title character's favorite song.
Title: Lonely Places
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer: P. Hoffert/B. Hoffert
Label: Evolution (original label: GRT)
The Canadian band Lighthouse was an attempt by drummer Skip Prokop (formerly of The Paupers) and others to incorporate both horns and strings into a rock band. Lonely Places, which was released as the B side of the band's 1972 single, Sunny Days, shows that the idea had potential but never really got off the ground.
Artist: Eric Clapton
Source: LP: Eric clapton
Eric Clapton got to know Delaney Bramlett after (on George Harrison's recommendation) Clapton invited Delaney And Bonnie And Friends to be Blind Faith's opening band for their 1969 tour. By the time the tour was over, Clapton was sitting in with Delaney And Bonnie for several appearances, telling friends that he preferred their music to that of Blind Faith. After Blind Faith split up (bet you saw that coming), Clapton appeared on the 1970 LP Delaney And Bonnie And Friends On Tour With Eric Clapton. Bramlett and Clapton collaborated on an instrumental called Slunky that would become the opening track of Clapton's first solo LP that same year. Many of the same musicians from this group accompanied Clapton on the LP, including several that would become part of Clapton's next band, Derek And The Dominos.
Source: German import CD: Gun
Writer(s): Adrian Gurvitz
Label: Repertoire (original label: CBS)
When I was a junior in high school I switched from guitar to bass to form a three-piece band called Sunn. Mostly what we did was jam onstage, although we did learn a handfull of cover songs as well. One of those songs we actually learned by playing it on the jukebox at the local youth center over and over. A British band called Gun had released a tune called Race With The Devil that caught on quickly with the dependent kids at Ramstein AFB in Germany. None of us, however, actually had a copy of the record. A rival band had already started playing Race With The Devil, so we decided to instead go for the B side, Sunshine. Luckily, the song has few lyrics, and tends to repeat them a lot, so we didn't have to spend a whole lot of nickels to get them all down. Ditto for the musical part, as the song is basically just three chords over and over. Still, it turned out to be one of our most popular numbers, since it was about the only song in our repertoire you could slow dance to. Also, the simple structure allowed Dave, our guitarist, to extend the song as long as he felt like jamming, which was generally all night.
Artist: Deep Purple
Title: Hey Joe
Source: LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
Writer(s): Billy Roberts
My first impression of Deep Purple was that they were Britain's answer to the Vanilla Fudge. After all, both bands had a big hit in 1968 with a rearranged version of someone else's song from 1967 (Vanilla Fudge with the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On and Deep Purple with Billy Joe Royal's Hush). Additionally, both groups included a Beatles cover on their debut LP (Fudge: Ticket To Ride, Purple: Help). Finally, both albums included a depressing Cher cover song. In the Vanilla Fudge case it was one of her biggest hits, Bang Bang. Deep Purple, on the other hand, went with a song that was actually more closely associated with the Jimi Hendrix Experience (although Cher did record it as well): Hey Joe. The Deep Purple version of the Billy Roberts classic (originally credited to the band on the label itself), is probably the most elaborate of the dozens of recorded versions of the song (which is up there with Louie Louie in terms of quantity), incorporating sections of the Miller's Dance (by Italian classical composer Manuel de Falla), as well as an extended instrumental section, making the finished track over seven and a half minutes long.
Artist: Randy California
Title: Day Tripper
Source: European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Kapt. Kopter And The (Fabulous) Twirly Birds)
Label: Sony Music (original US label: Epic)
In 1972, with his band Spirit having fallen apart (temporarily as it turned out), guitarist Randy California released his first solo LP, Kapt. Kopter And The (Fabulous) Twirly Birds, on which he also sang lead vocals. The album contained a mix of original tunes and covers, of which Day Tripper was the most recognizable. Indeed, one of the primary criticisms of the album was the fact that most of the cover songs sounded like jams on the songs' main riffs rather than actual arrangements.
Artist: National Lampoon
Title: (Down The Dial To) Kung Fu Christmas
Source: CD: Greatest Hits Of The National Lampoon (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Goodbye Pop 1952-1976)
Label: Uproar (original label: Epic)
The 1970s were a golden age for counter-culture humor, with stars like George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Cheech And Chong rising to prominence in the decade. Their were also collectives like Second City and the Credibility Gap making waves in comedy circles. Perhaps the most influential source of counter-culture humor, however, was a magazine called National Lampoon. By the mid-1970s, the NatLamp franchise included a weekly radio show, an off-Broadway play (with the key word being "off"), several LPs and, within a few years, several movies. Some of the most talented comedians of the decade contributed to National Lampoon albums, including Brian Doyle-Murray, Christopher Guest and bandleader Paul Shaffer (yes, That Paul Shaffer), who came up with a song parody called (Down The Dial To) Kung Fu Christmas for the 1975 album Goodbye Pop 1952-1976. The tune, which features David Hurdon on lead vocal, nails the sound of mid-70s soul, including several ghetto references and, of course, Kung Fu.
Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Title: Sentimental Lady
Source: CD: Bare Trees
Writer(s): Bob Welch
One of the great rock love songs of the 1970s, Bob Welch's Sentimental Lady spent several weeks in the top 20 in late 1977. Welch's solo version of the song, from his French Kiss album, was not the original recorded version of the song, however. That title goes to the 1972 Fleetwood Mac version of the song from the Bare Trees album, featuring Welch on lead vocals backed by Christine McVie. Unlike the Welch version, Fleetwood Mac's Sentimental Lady has a second verse and runs about four and a half minutes in length (Welch's solo version is about three minutes long).
Title: Lemonade Kid
Source: British import CD: Kak-Ola (originally released on LP: Kak)
Writer: Gary Lee Yoder
Label: Big Beat (original label: Epic)
Kak was a group from Davis, California that was only around long enough to record one LP for Epic. That self-titled album did not make much of an impression commercially, and was soon out of print. Long after the band had split up, critics began to notice the album, and copies of the original LP are now highly-prized by collectors. Songs like the Lemonade Kid show that Kak had a sound that holds up better today than many of the other artists of the time. In fact, after listening to this track a couple times I went out and ordered a copy of the import CD reissue of the Kak album.
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Source: LP: Physical Graffitti
Writer(s): Jimmy Page
Label: Swan song
When the time came to decide on what kind of album Led Zeppelin's sixth effort would be, it was decided to include all eight of the new recordings the band had made since Houses Of The Holy had come out. Some of these recordings however, were quite lengthy, meaning they would not all fit on a standard length LP. The solution was to expand the new album, making it a double-LP by including several outtakes from previous album sessions. The earliest of these was a short instrumental piece by guitarist Jimmy Page called Bron-Yr-Aur, written in 1970 at the Welsh cottage of the same name and recorded later that same year. It is, to my knowledge, the only released Led Zeppelin track running under the two-minute mark.
Artist: Steve Miller Band
Title: Quicksilver Girl
Source: CD: Sailor
Writer(s): Steve Miller
Steve Miller moved to San Francisco from Chicago and was reportedly struck by what he saw as a much lower standard of musicianship in the bay area than in the windy city. Miller's response was to form a band that would conform to Chicago standards. The result was the Steve Miller Band, one of the most successful of the San Francisco bands, although much of that success would not come until the mid-1970s, after several personnel changes. One feature of the Miller band is that it featured multiple lead vocalists, depending on who wrote the song. Miller himself wrote and sings on Quicksilver Girl, from the band's second LP, Sailor.
Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: We Used To Know
Source: European import LP: Stand Up
Writer(s): Ian Anderson
Label: Chrysalis (original US label: Reprise)
The first of many personnel changes for Jethro Tull came with the departure of guitarist Mick Abrahams in late 1968. His replacement was Tony Iommi from the band Earth, who joined just in time to make an appearance miming the guitar parts to A Song For Jeffrey on the Rolling Stones' Rock And Roll Circus, a TV special slated for a December airing on British TV, but pulled from the schedule at the last minute by the Stones themselves, who were not satisfied with their own performances on the show. The following month Iommi went back to Earth (who eventually changed their name to Black Sabbath) and Jethro Tull found a new guitarist, Martin Barre, in time to begin work on their second LP, Stand Up. Barre's guitar work is featured prominently on several tracks on Stand Up, including We Used To Know, a song that starts quietly and slowly builds to a wah-wah pedal dominated instrumental finale.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: All Along The Watchtower
Source: CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Electric Ladyland)
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Label: MCA (original label: Reprise)
Although there have been countless covers of Bob Dylan songs recorded by a variety of artists, very few of them have become better known than the original Dylan versions. Probably the most notable of these is the Jimi Hendrix Experience version of All Along The Watchtower on the Electric Ladyland album. Hendrix's arrangement of the song has been adopted by several other musicians over the years, including Neil Young (at the massive Bob Dylan tribute concert) and even Dylan himself.
Monday, December 3, 2018
This week's show is made up almost entirely of sets of three songs apiece. Three of these are artists' sets, from The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane and Simon & Garfunkel. Our final segment is the second side of the second Quicksilver Messenger Service album Happy Trails, a continuous live performance recorded at the Fillmore.
Title: I Love You
Source: Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Chris White
Label: Rhino (original label: Capitol)
By 1968 the major labels had signed just about every San Francisco band with any perceived potential. Capitol, having had some success with the Chocolate Watchband from San Jose on its Tower subsidiary, decided to sign another south bay band, People, to the parent label. The most successful single for the band was a new recording of an obscure Zombies B side. I Love You ended up hitting the top 20 nationally, despite the active efforts of two of the most powerful men in the music industry, who set out to squash the song as a way of punishing the record's producer for something having nothing to do with the song or the band itself.
Title: Father's Name Was Dad
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): Dave Lambert
Label: Rhino (original label: Decca)
As any fan of the Austin Powers movies can tell you, London in the mid-1960s was home to the Mods, a group (or movement) of young people distinguished by the colorful fashions they wore, most of which came from shops on Carnaby Street. The Mods had their own music as well, usually referred to as "freakbeat" or sometimes just "beat", although not all of the bands playing that kind of music identified with the Mods themselves. Most of the early beat bands were also in the first wave of the British invasion of the US; in fact the Beatles themselves (prior to the release of Rubber Soul) were usually considered the top beat band of all. By 1966, however, the US audience was already getting into other things (Motown, garage rock, Memphis soul and the beginnings of bubble gum). In Europe and the UK, however, beat bands were still on top, with newer groups like the Move, the Small Faces and the Who (in their pre-Tommy days) riding high on the charts. Among these newer beat groups was a trio called Friday's Chyld. After changing their name to the Fire, they got a contract with the British Decca label and a publishing deal with the Beatles' Apple organization. After hearing a demo of Father's Name Was Dad, Paul McCartney made a few production suggestions and the group added backing vocals and double-tracked guitar for the final released version of the song. Although Father's Name Was Dad was not a hit, it did serve as the recording debut of lead vocalist/guitarist Dave Lambert, who would go on to have some success in the 70s as a founding member of a band called Strawbs.
Artist: Max Frost And The Troopers
Title: Lonely Man
Source: CD: Shape Of Things To Come
Writer(s): Paul Wibier
Label: Captain High (original label: Tower)
The first thing you need to know about Max Frost And The Troopers is that they were a fictional rock band featured in the film Wild In The Streets. Sort of. You see, in the movie itself the band is never actually named, although Max (played by Christopher Jones) does refer to his followers as his "troops" throughout the film. The next thing you need to know is that Shape Of Things To Come was a song used in the film that became a hit record in 1968. The song itself was written by the Brill building songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (whose writing credits included We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, Kicks and many other hits) and was recorded by studio musicians, with vocals by Paul Wibier. The song, along with several other Barry/Weil tunes used in the film, was credited not to Max Frost and the Troopers, but to the 13th Power on the film's soundtrack LP, which was released on Capitol's Tower subsidiary label. After Shape Of Things To Come (the song) became a hit, producer Mike Curb commissioned an entire album by Max Frost And The Troopers called, naturally, Shape Of Things To Come. The band on this album was actually Davie Allan And The Arrows (who had for several years been recording mostly instrumental tunes for Curb for use on movie soundtracks) fronted by vocalist Paul Wibier (yeah, him again). This album was also released in 1968 on the Tower label, and featured mostly songs written (or co-written) by Wibier himself, such as Lonely Man. It seems obvious that Wibier had, at some point, heard a copy of an obscure British single called Father's Name Was Dad by a group called The Fire, as the opening riff of the two songs is virtually identical.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Bringing Me Down
Source: LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (also released as 45 RPM single)
Label: RCA Victor
One of several singles released mainly to San Francisco Bay area radio stations and record stores, Bringing Me Down is an early collaboration between vocalist Marty Balin and guitarist/vocalist Paul Kantner. Balin had invited Kantner into the band without having heard him play a single note. It turned out to be one of many right-on-the-money decisions by the young bandleader.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Plastic Fantastic Lover (live version)
Source: CD: The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane (originally released on LP: Bless Its Pointed Little Head)
Writer(s): Marty Balin
Marty Balin's Plastic Fantastic Lover first appeared on the 1967 album Surrealistic Pillow and was issued as the B side of White Rabbit. For Jefferson Airplane's 1969 live album, Bless Its Pointed Little Head, the band, including new drummer Joey Covington, upped the tempo considerably, transforming a good song for potheads to dance to into one more suited to an audience on speed, reflecting the changes on the streets of San Francisco itself.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Let Me In
Source: LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Label: RCA Victor
Jefferson Airplane was the brainchild of vocalist and club manager Marty Balin, who hand-picked the band's original lineup. Among those charter members was Paul Kantner, who Balin had asked to join the band without ever having heard him sing or play. Balin said later that he just knew that Kantner was someone he wanted for his new band. Kantner very quickly developed into a strong singer/songwriter in his own right, starting with the song Let Me In (co-written by Balin), Kantner's first recorded lead vocal for the band.
Title: The Door Into Summer (early alternate mix)
Source: Mono CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
After playing nearly all the instrumental tracks on their third album themselves, the Monkees came to the painful conclusion that they would not be able to repeat the effort and still have time to tape a weekly TV show. As a result, the fourth Monkees LP, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones LTD., used studio musicians extensively, albeit under the creative supervision of the Monkees themselves. The group also had the final say over what songs ended up on the album, including The Door Into Summer. The tune was written by Bill Martin, a friend of band leader Michael Nesmith. Producer Chip Douglas and engineer Hank Cicalo used the basic recorded tracks of The Door Into Summer as a kind of practice tape to experiment with, adding overdubs and making several different mixes of the tune over a period of weeks before coming up with the final version heard on the album itself. Douglas himself has voiced a preference for the particular mix heard here, saying that sometimes "you get to the final version, and it's not as good as the earlier one." Perhaps this experimentation explains how Douglas ended up with a songwriting credit on the tune. Then again, it could have had something to do with Colgems refusal to release the band's recording of Martin's All Of Your Toys earlier in the year due to Martin's not publishing through Screen Gems.
Title: She's My Girl
Source: Mono French import CD: Happy Together (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Magic (original US label: White Whale)
After a moderate amount of success in 1965 with a series of singles starting with a cover of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, the Turtles found themselves running out of steam by the end of 1966. Rather than throw in the towel, they enlisted the services of the Bonner/Gordon songwriting team (from an East Coast band called the Magicians) and recorded their most successful single, Happy Together, in 1967. They dipped into the same well for another major hit, She's My Girl, later the same year.
Title: Maybe After He's Gone
Source: CD: Odessey And Oracle (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Chris White
Label: Varese Sarabande (original label: Columbia)
Although most of the songs on the second (and final) Zombies album, Odessey & Oracle, were recorded at Abbey Road studios, three of the tracks were actually recorded at Olympic Studios, due to scheduling difficulties. The second of these was a Chris White composition, Maybe After He's Gone, that ended up being issued as the B side of Care of Cell 44 in November of 1967. The two songs appeared as the only Zombies single on the Columbia label in the US. When the single stiffed in the US, Columbia refused to release Odessey & Oracle. Disheartened by the lack of success, the Zombies officially disbanded in early 1968, shortly before Odessye & Oracle was finally released on Columbia's Date subsidiary label. Ironically, the band scored one of their biggest hits the following year, when the album's final track, Time Of The Season, became an international smash.
Title: Don't Send Me No Flowers
Source: Simulated stereo LP: The Gentrys (originally released on LP: Keep On Dancing)
Writer: Donna Weiss
The Gentrys were a Memphis band that are best known for their 1965 hit Keep On Dancin'. A pair of LPs followed, but the Gentrys were not able to duplicate the success of that first major hit (although a couple of singles did hit the lower regions of the charts). Don't Send Me No Flowers, like most album tracks of the time, was actually a cover song; in this case of a regional hit single by another Memphis band, the Breakers. One of these days I'll find a copy of the Breakers' original version of the tune.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Sittin' On A Fence
Source: CD: Flowers
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
Not all the songs from the Rolling Stones' recording sessions for the album Aftermath were included on either the British or American version of the final LP. One of the songs that was left off the album was Sittin' On A Fence, a country flavored tune that finally surfaced in 1967 on the US-only LP Flowers.
Title: Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
Source: Mono CD: Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Label: MCA (original label: Brunswick)
One of the earliest singles from the Who, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, [Wow! That's a lot of commas] is the only known songwriting collaboration between guitarist Pete Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey. According to Townshend, he wrote the first verse himself and Daltrey helped with the rest. The song was released on Britain's Brunswick label in 1965.
Title: Strawberry Fields Forever
Source: LP: Magical Mystery Tour
The first song recorded for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, Strawberry Fields Forever was instead issued as a single (along with 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.
Title: Dig A Pony
Source: CD: Let It Be...Naked
Let It Be evolved from a proposed television show that would have featured the Beatles playing songs from their self-titled 1968 double LP (commonly known as the White Album). This idea was soon abandoned in favor of the band working up an entirely new batch of songs for the project. The group decided it would be even cooler to film their rehearsals of the new songs, allowing the audience an inside look at the creative process. Finally, all the songs would be performed without any overdubs or other studio enhancements, making for a more intimate listening experience. Filming began on Jan 2, 1969, and almost immediately the project began to fall apart. First off, the location used for the shooting was a cavernous film studio that was not in the least bit suited to creating music in. The time of day was all wrong as well. The band had gotten into the habit of recording into the early morning hours; showing up at the studio at 10AM was not their cup of tea. Finally, there were tensions within the group which were only made worse by the uncomfortable working conditions. As a result, the film showed an extremely unhappy band seemingly on the verge of breaking up. Steps were taken to rectify the situation, including moving the entire project to Apple headquarters in West London and inviting Billy Preston to sit in with the group on keyboards. On January 30th the Beatles staged what was to be their final public performance on the rooftop of Apple, recording several tunes, including Dig A Pony. The Beatles then put the entire Let It Be project on the shelf and got to work on an entirely new album in conjunction with producer George Martin, who had been deliberately excluded from the Let It Be project. That album, Abbey Road, would be the final recording project for the Beatles. Meanwhile, legendary producer Phil Spector had been brought in to see what could be done with the Let It Be tapes. The resulting album, released in 1970, featured heavily orchestrated versions of what had been meant to be deliberately bare-bones recordings. Finally, in 2003, Paul McCartney went back to the original unenhanced tapes to assemble Let It Be...Naked.
Title: Blue Jay Way
Source: LP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s): George Harrison
The Beatles' psychedelic period hit its peak with the late 1967 release of the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack. As originally conceived there were only six songs on the album, too few for a standard LP. The British solution was to present Magical Mystery Tour as two Extended Play (EP) 45 RPM records in a gatefold sleeve with a 23 page booklet featuring lyrics and scenes from the telefilm of the same name (as well as the general storyline in prose form). As EPs were out of vogue in the US, Capitol Records, against the band's wishes, added five songs that had been issued as single A or B sides in 1967 to create a standard LP. The actual Magical Mystery Tour material made up side one of the LP, while the single sides were on side two. The lone George Harrison contribution to the project was Blue Jay Way, named for a street in the Hollywood Hills that Harrison had rented that summer. As all five of the extra tracks were credited to the Lennon/McCartney songwriting team, this meant that each of the band's 1967 albums had only one Harrison composition on them. This became a point of contention within the band, and on the Beatles' next album (the white album), Harrison's share of the songwriting had doubled.
Title: Lord Franklin
Source: British import CD: Cruel Sister
Writer(s): Trad., arr. Pentangle
Label: Castle (original US label: Reprise)
One of the hardest to define bands of the late 1960s was a group of five British musicians calling themselves Pentangle. Two of the members, John Renbourne and Bert Jansch, were well-established and highly influential acoustic guitarists with several solo albums each to their credit. The rhythm section of Danny Thompson and Terry Cox, on the other hand, were from jazz backgrounds, while vocalist Jacqui McShee was a relatively new talent making a name for herself in coffee houses. Making their debut in 1967, the group was an overnight commercial success. By 1970, however, they were feeling a bit trapped by their own success and decided to record an album that was quite a departure from their previous efforts. Unlike their previous albums, Cruel Sister contained no original compositions. Instead, the group turned their talents to rearranging traditional English folk ballads such as Lord Franklin. Although the LP marked the beginning of the group's commercial decline, it is nonetheless an excellent album, well worth checking out.
Artist: Joni Mitchell
Title: A Case Of You
Source: LP: Blue
Writer(s): Joni Mitchell
Like a lot of people my age in the early 1970s, I occasionally enjoyed taping songs off the radio. Unlike most people my age in the early 1970s, I had access to a pair of reel-to-reel tape decks to make those tapes. At that time Alamogordo, New Mexico, did not have any local FM stations. In fact, the only FM station that you could even receive in the area was KRWG, the classical station out of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Sometime in 1971, however, the local cable company started making a handful of El Paso FM stations available to their local subscribers. Among those was KINT-FM, a station that ran Spanish language programs during the day and was experimenting with a progressive rock format at night. KINT-FM's experiment with progressive rock did not last all that long, as they soon adopted a more mainstream top 40 format, but before they made that change I made a tape of one of their broadcasts that included a song called A Case Of You, performed by a young Canadian singer/songwriter named Joni Mitchell. I don't know what happened to that tape, but the song itself, from the album Blue, has been stuck in my head ever since.
Title: She Put A Hex On You
Source: LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
After recruiting new lead vocalist Kenny McDowell, Them moved their base of operations to California, where they recorded two LPs for Capitol's tax writeoff label, Tower. The second of these was titled Time Out! Time In! For Them. While the style of the Van Morrison version of the band was very much in the same vein as the early Rolling Stones albums, Time Out! Time In! For Them featured more psychedelic material written by the husband and wife team of Tom Lane and Sharon Pulley. The second track on the album, She Put A Hex On You, superimposes some rather spooky lyrics over an R&B beat, accented by fuzz guitar from Jim Armstrong.
Artist: Simon And Garfunkel
Title: Homeward Bound
Source: LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer(s): Paul Simon
Following the success of Sounds Of Silence, Paul Simon And Art Garfunkel set about making an album of all new material (Sounds Of Silence had featured several re-recorded versions of tunes from the 1965 British album The Paul Simon Songbook). The result was Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, one of the finest folk-rock albums ever recorded. The album contained several successful singles, including Homeward Bound.
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Title: Mrs. Robinson
Source: CD :Collected Works (originally released on LP: Bookends)
Writer(s): Paul Simon
Possibly the most enduring song in the entire Simon And Garfunkel catalog, Mrs. Robinson (in an edited version) first appeared on the soundtrack for the film The Graduate in 1967. It wasn't until the Bookends album came out in 1968 that the full four minute version was released. Also released as a single, the song shot right to the top of the charts, staying there for several weeks.
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Title: Scarborough Fair/Canticle
Source: LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer(s): Paul Simon
After the reunion of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel following the surprise success of an electrified remix of The Sound Of Silence, the duo quickly recorded an album to support the hit single. Sounds Of Silence was, for the most part, a reworking of material that Simon had recorded for 1965 UK LP the Paul Simon Songbook. The pressure for a new album thus (temporarily) relieved, the duo got to work on their first album of truly new material since their unsuccessful 1964 effort Wednesday Morning 3AM (which had in fact been re-released and was now doing well on the charts). In October the new album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, hit the stands. The title track was a new arrangement of an old English folk ballad, Scarborough Fair, combined with a reworking of a song from the Paul Simon Songbook, The Side Of A Hill, retitled Canticle. The two melodies and sets of lyrics are set in counterpoint to each other, creating one of the most sophisticated folk song arrangements ever recorded. After being featured in the film The Graduate, Scarborough Fair/Canticle was released as a single in early 1968, going on to become one of the duo's most instantly recognizable songs.
Artist: Butterfield Blues Band
Title: Everything's Gonna Be Alright
Source: CD: Woodstock 2
Writer(s): Walter Jacobs
Label: Atlantic (original label: Cotillion)
The Butterfield Blues Band had already gone through several personnel changes by the time they played the Woodstock festival in August of 1969. They had also evolved stylistically, adding a horn section and, for the most part, moving away from the long improvisational jams that had characterized their landmark 1966 LP East-West. Those elements were not entirely gone, however, as their nearly nine minute long performance of Walter Jacobs' Everything's Gonna Be Alright amply demontrates. In addition to a Butterfield harmonica solo to start things off, the piece showcases the talents of new guitarist Buzzy Feiten.
Artist: Sly And The Family Stone
Title: I Want To Take You Higher
Source: CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Stand and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Sly Stone
Label: Priority (original label: Epic)
Sylvester Stewart was a major presence on the San Francisco music scene for several years, both as a producer for Autumn Records and as a popular local disc jockey. In 1967 he decided to take it to the next level, using his studio connections to put together Sly And The Family Stone. The band featured a solid lineup of musicians, including Larry Graham, whose growling bass line figures prominently in their 1969 recording of I Want To Take You Higher. The song was originally released as a B side, but after the group blew away the crowd at Woodstock the recording was re-released as a single the following year.
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title: Penthouse Pauper
Source: Simulated stereo LP: Bayou Country
Writer(s): John Fogerty
Creedence Clearwater Revival's second album, Bayou Country, was the one that truly established the band as the music world's premier "swamp rockers". So strong was this impression of the band, in fact, that the few songs that didn't quite fit into that category were largely overlooked by rock critics and radio programmers alike. One of those tunes, Penthouse Pauper, is a Chicago-style blues number that showcases John Fogerty as both vocalist and guitarist in a classic "call and answer" type of song. Only in recent years has the song begun to be truly appreciated.
Artist: Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title: Mona/Maiden Of The Cancer Moon/Calvary/Happy Trails
Source: LP: Happy Trails
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 deliberately off key take on the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans signature song Happy Trails, which Evans herself wrote.
This week the emphasis is on tracks that were overlooked even when they were still new, such as Steely Dan's first B side and a Kinks tune only available in the UK on an obscure movie soundtrack album. The last third of the show is all about the blues, with laid back tracks from Eric Burdon and War and the Allman Brothers Band. Tasty stuff, that.
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s): Van Morrison
Year: Recorded 1969, released 1983
Following the release of Oliver Stone's Vietnam War film, Apocalypse Now, in 1983, with its notable use of The End from the first Doors album, there was a renewed interest in the band itself, along with a corresonding demand for "new" Doors recordings. Elektra/Asylum responded by putting out an album called Alive, She Cried. Included on that album was the band's sound check recording from late 1969 of Van Morrison's Gloria, a tune that the band covered often in concert throughout their existence. The recording itself had already attained legendary status by the early 1980s. Recorded at the Aquarius Theater in Los Angeles, the tape had been lost for several years, and only found after months of painstaking research by producer Paul Rothchild and his staff. The recording was made on the first day of a series of live concert recordings, many of which had been included on the 1971 album Absolutely Live. The enthusiam that the band itself had for the project was evidenced by the fact that singer Jim Morrison, who usually blew off sound checks, was not only present for this one, but, without a live audience to play to, was completely focused on the music itself. The resulting recording was not only used as the opening track for the album, it was also issued as a single.Of course by 1983 Corporate Rock so dominated the airwaves that a genuine rock recording didn't stand a chance of getting top 40 airplay. Nonetheless, Gloria stands as an appropriate final single for L.A.'s most successful underground club band from the 60s.
Artist: Mighty Baby
Title: Trials Of A City
Source: British import CD: Mighty Baby
Label: Big Beat (original label: Head)
Mighty Baby is one of the many bands that were better known in the UK than in the US. In fact, they were probably even better known under their previous name, The Action, than as Mighty Baby. Formed in 1964 as the Boys, the changed their name to the Action in 1965 when they signed with the Parlophone label. They released several singles for the label, but were unable to score a major hit, and were dropped from the EMI roster in late 1967. After a couple of personnel changes, the re-emerged as Mighty Baby, releasing their first album on the Head label in 1969. The album itself is one of the better examples of the progressive rock movement that was picking up steam in the UK at the time, as can be heard on tracks like Trials Of A City. As is the case with all the tracks on the album, Trials Of A City was written primarily by keyboardist Ian Whiteman (who had joined the group after they had lost their EMI contract) but credited to the entire band.
Source: LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: First Step)
Label: Warner Brothers
Although credited to the Small Faces in North America, First Step was actually the debut album of Faces, a group combining the talents of Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood (from the Jeff Beck group) with what was left of the Small Faces (Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan) following the departure of bandleader Steve Marriott, who left to form Humble Pie. Unlike later Faces albums, First Step featured songwriting contributions from all five band members, including Stewart, Wood and Lane collaborating on the album's centerpiece, Flying.
Source: French import 33 1/3 RPM 7" EP from the soundtrack of the film Percy
Writer(s): Ray Davies
Although their record sales were a bit down in the early 1970s the Kinks were still able to stay gainfully employed by providing soundtracks for various British movies, including a comedy called Percy that came out in 1971. Songs from that film were released in the UK and Europe as a 7" Extended Play record, a format that was not commonly used in the US at that time. Recently a French import version of that EP appeared as part of the annual Record Store Day promotion. The last track on the EP, Dreams, has never been issued on an album in the US, although the UK pressing of Percy was widely available in the US as an import throughout the 1970s.
Artist: Steely Dan
Title: Fire In The Hole
Source: CD: Can't Buy A Thrill
Label: MCA (original label: ABC)
Donald Fagen's unique piano style is on display on Fire In The Hole, a track from the first Steely Dan album, Can't Buy A Thrill. The tune also appeared as the B side of Steely Dan's second single (and first hit), Do It Again.
Artist: Black Sabbath
Title: Who Are You?/Looking For Today
Source: LP: Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath
Label: Warner Brothers
Vocalist Ozzy Osbourne has called Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath the "last great Black Sabbath album", yet the album itself almost didn't get made at all. By 1973 the band was exhausted from three years of constant touring (and constand drug use as well); in fact guitarist Tony Iommi had actually walked off stage and collapsed in the middle of a performance, prompting the band to cancel the remainer of their tour while he recovered (it was actually in question at the time whether he would even survive). After taking a month off, the band reconvened at New York's Record Plant, but were unable to come up with any new material. Up to that point the band's normal way of writing songs was for Iommi to come up with a basic riff, while Osborne provided a melody that bassist Geezer Butler would write lyrics to. Drummer Bill Ward would then fill in the empty spaces. Iommi, however, perhaps still not fully recovered, was suffering from writer's block, and the rest of the band was not prepared to generate musical ideas without him. After about a month of frustration the band relocated to a (supposedly haunted) castle in the English countryside, where, inspired in part by the setting itself, they eventually started coming up with new material. Some songs, such as Who Are You?, were actually the creation of individual band members (in this case Osbourne, who came up with the song while experimenting with a synthesizer than he had just bought), while others, such as Looking For Today, were more in line with the "traditional" way of doing things. Osborne later said that the album struck just the right balance between the established Black Sabbath style and their new, experimental material.
Artist: Frank Zappa
Source: CD: Apostrophe (')
Writer(s): Frank Zappa
Label: Zappa (original label: Discreet)
Recorded at the same time as the Mothers' Over-Nite Sensation, Apostrophe (') is one of the most popular albums in the Frank Zappa catalog. Much of this popularity is attributable to a combination of Zappa's prodigious guitar work, along with his unique sense of humor, both of which are in abundance on the final track of the album, Stink-Foot.
Artist: Eric Burdon And War
Title: Blues For Memphis Slim
Source: LP: Eric Burdon Declares "War"
Writer(s): War/Peter Chapman
"When the acid trip is over, you got to come back to Mother Blues." Eric Burdon's ad-libbed line from the track Blues From Memphis Slim, pretty much sums up the state of the former Animals lead vocalist's career as of 1970. The original Animals had been founded with the blues in mind, with the band members, including Burdon, preferring the cover tunes of artists like John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed featured on their albums to the hit singles provided to the band by their producer, Mickey Most. Finally, in 1966, the group officially disbanded, just as Burdon was discovering the mind-expanding qualities of hallucinogenic substances (he had been a hard drinker up to that point). In early 1967 Burdon formed a "New Animals" that would soon come to be called Eric Burdon And The Animals. This band had little in common with the original Animals (other than Burdon's distinctive vocals), and was, by any measure, pure acid rock. But after a couple of albums, even that group started to change, taking on more of an R&B sound with tracks like their extended version of River Deep, Mountain High. Finally, in 1969, this group disbanded as well, leaving Burdon and his producer, Jerry Goldstein, looking for a new band and a new sound for the singer. They found it in a Los Angeles nightclub, where a band called Nightshift was backing up former football star Deacon Jones. Burdon and Goldstein persuaded the multi-racial band to change their name to War, and got to work on an album called Eric Burdon Declares "War". The album featured mostly suites such as Blues For Memphis Slim, which was built around the bluesman's classic Mother Earth, with several added instrumental sections composed by the band. At thirteen and a half minutes, it is the longest track on the album. After a second album with the group (The double-LP The Black Man's Burdon), Eric Burdon left the group, leaving War to become one of the more popular bands of the 1970s.
Artist: Allman Brothers Band
Title: Stormy Monday
Source: LP: At Fillmore East
Writer(s): T-Bone Walker
Label: Mercury (original label: Capricorn)
After two decent but mostly under the radar studio albums, the Allman Brothers Band hit it big with their double live album At Fillmore East. Much of the album was made up of the band's take on blues standards such as T-Bone Walker's Stormy Monday, which features dueling guitar solos from Dicky Betts and Duane Allman as well as strong keyboard work and vocals from Duane's brother Gregg. This was my first exposure to the song itself, and is still my favorite version.
Sunday, November 25, 2018
No artists' sets this week, but we do have an Advanced Psych segment featuring McFadden's Parachute, the Dukes of Stratosphear and Liquid Scene, as well as three bands making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut and a surprise track from a popular Motown act.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
Source: Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
By mid-1966 there was a population explosion of teenage rock bands popping up in garages and basements all across the US, the majority of which were doing their best to emulate the grungy sound of their heroes, the Rolling Stones. The Stones themselves responded by ramping up the grunge factor to a previously unheard of degree with their last single of the year, Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow? It was the most feedback-laden record ever to make the top 40 at that point in time, and it inspired America's garage bands to buy even more powerful amps and crank up the volume (driving their parents to drink in the process).
Artist: Davie Allan And The Arrows
Title: Blue's Theme
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: The Wild Ones-soundtrack and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
It is entirely possible that the Chocolate Watch Band (or more accurately, the unknown producers of their first single) were indirectly responsible for giving guitarist Davie Allan his biggest hit single. In 1966, movie producer Roger Corman hired Mike Curb to comeup with soundtrack music for his 1966 film The Wild Ones. Curb in turn contacted his longtime friend (and frequent collaborator) Allan to actually record the soundtrack with his band, the Arrows. The film was released in July of 1966, with the soundtrack album appearing soon after. The obvious high point of the album was the instrumental track Blue's Theme (which technically should have been Blues's Theme, since the film's main character, played by Peter Fonda, was named Heavenly Blues), but at first there were reportedly no plans to release the song as a single. However, late in the year the Chocolate Watch Band were making their very first visit to a recording studio, and were asked to knock out a quick cover of Blues Theme, which was released (sans apostrophe) on the HBR label, credited to The Hogs. Curb must have heard about this as it was being prepared for release, as he managed to put out a single release of the original Davie Allan version of Blue's Theme before the HBR single hit the racks. Either that, or (more likely) the HBR producers simply had bad info about Curb's intentions in the first place.
Artist: Lost Souls
Title: This Life Of Mine
Source: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Australia as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Sunshine)
It was the American Dream made real. A bunch of school friends, inspired by the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, form a band in 1965 and win a battle of the bands sponsored by a local radio station the following year. The prize: the opportunity to cut a record of their own. The catch: this wasn't America, it was Australia. The Lost Souls released This Life Of Mine in September of 1966, scoring a minor hit in their native Melbourne. Further success, however, eluded them, and the Lost Souls disbanded in early 1968.
Title: Tangerine Puppet
Source: Simulated stereo LP: The Pye History Of Pop Music Vol. 2-Donovan (originally released on LP: Catch The Wind)
Writer(s): Donovan Leitch
Label: Pye (original US label: Hickory)
Considering his later stature as an artist, it's hard to imagine Donovan as a strictly regional success, yet his earliest albums for Pye generated very little interest beyond his native Scotland. Athough his first LP, What's Bid Did And What's Bin Hid, was released in the US (on the second-tier Hickory label), it was retitled Catch The Wind, and did not sell particularly well. In fact, many of the tracks on the album, such as the instrumental Tangerine Puppet, got greater circulation several years later on anthology albums such as The Pye History Of Pop Music Vol. 2-Donovan, which was released in the early 1980s.
Artist: Music Machine
Source: CD: Turn On The Music Machine
Writer(s): Sean Bonniwell
Label: Collectables (original label: Original Sound)
Sean Bonniwell was a member of the mainstream (i.e. lots of appearances on TV variety shows hosted by people like Perry Como and Bob Hope) folk group the Lamplighters in the early 60s. By 1966 he had morphed into one of the more mysterious figures on the LA music scene, leading a proto-punk band dressed entirely in black. Bonniwell himself wore a single black glove (Michael Jackson was about seven years old at the time), and was one of the most prolific songwriters of the time. His recordings, often featuring the distinctive Farfisa organ sound, were a primary influence on later LA bands such as Iron Butterfly and the Doors. A classic example of the Music Machine sound was the song Wrong, which was issued as the B side of the group's most successful single, Talk Talk.
Title: Back Door Man
Source: CD: The Doors
Writer(s): Willie Dixon
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.
Source: CD: The Beatles
Label: Parlophone (original label: Apple)
One of the great ironies of rock history was that the album entitled simply The Beatles was the one that had the fewest songs with all four of the band members playing on them. By 1968 the Beatles were experiencing internal conflicts, and nearly all of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's songs were played by just the two of them, while George Harrison's songs (and Ringo Starr's single contribution as a songwriter) featured an array of some of the UK's top musicians (including guitarist Eric Clapton). The opening track of side three of the album is typical of this approach, as Birthday is essentially a McCartney solo piece.
Title: Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me)
Source: 45 RPM single
Minneapolis has always had a more active local music scene than one might expect from a medium-sized city in the heart of the snow belt. Many of the city's artists have risen to national prominence, including a band called Crow, whose 1969 single Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me), hit close to the top of the charts in early 1970. The band had been formed in 1967 as South 40, changing its name to Crow right around the same time they signed to Amaret Records in 1969. Unfortunately, problems with their record label eventually led to the band's demise.
Title: Call Me Animal
Source: LP: Back In The USA
Although it is considered a prototype for the punk rock movement of the late 1970s, the members of MC5 were not happy with their second LP, Back In The USA, when it appeared on the racks in 1970. Unlike their 1969 live debut LP, Kick Out The Jams, Back In The USA was a studio effort on which the band sounded somewhat sterile compared to their live performances. The band members themselves attribute this to their producer Jon Landau, who they found to be "overbearing and heavy-handed" in his production style, seemingly trying to make the band sound the way he wanted rather than let them play to their strengths. A listen to Call Me Animal lends credence to this assessment, as it does sound a bit on the thin side. The album got lukewarm reviews and stalled out in the lower half of the Billboard album charts, staying around for only seven weeks. This, combined with an overall weariness, spelled the beginning of the end for what had once been a promising band. The MC5 disbanded in 1972.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Title: Red House
Source: CD: Live At Woodstock
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Just about every time Jimi Hendrix made a live appearance he played his signature blues song, Red House. This is the version performed at Woodstock, using the band he was calling Gypsy, Sun And Rainbows at the time, although he also was heard to say "We're just a Band Of Gypsys" during his set. In addition to Hendrix himself, the band featured Mitch Mitchell on drums, Billy Cox on bass, Larry Lee on rhythm guitar and percussionists Jerry Velez and Juma Sultan, although only Hendrix, Cox and Mitchell are audible on the recording.
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title: Born On The Bayou
Source: LP: Bayou Country
Writer(s): John Fogerty
If there is any single song that sums up what Creedence Clearwater Revival was all about, it could very well be Born On The Bayou, the opening track of CCR's second LP, Bayou Country. The song, which was written by John Fogerty late at night, became the opening for nearly every Creedence concert over the next few years, and is considered by many to be the band's signature song. Oddly enough, John Fogerty had never set foot on a bayou in his life when he wrote the song, but had always been a fan of the movie Swamp Fever, as well as having a fascination with "every other bit of southern bayou information that had entered my imagination from the time I was born."
Title: Everybody's Been Burned
Source: CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s): David Crosby
There is a common misconception that David Crosby's songwriting skills didn't fully develop until he began working with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. A listen to Everybody's Been Burned from the Byrds' 1967 album Younger Than Yesterday, however, puts the lie to that theory in a hurry. The track has all the hallmarks of a classic Crosby song: a strong melody, intelligent lyrics and an innovative chord structure. It's also my personal favorite tune from what is arguably the Byrds' best LP.
Artist: Shadows Of Knight
Title: Hey Joe
Source: LP: Back Door Men
Writer(s): Billy Roberts
Label: Sundazed (original label: Dunwich)
Possibly the greatest garage-rock album of all is the second Shadows Of Knight LP, Back Door Men. Released in 1966, the album features virtually the same lineup as their debut LP, Gloria. Unlike many of their contemporaries, the Shadows were capable of varying their style somewhat, going from their trademark Chicago blues-influenced punk to what can only be described as early hard rock with ease. Like many bands of the time, they recorded a fast version of Billy Roberts' Hey Joe (although they credited it to Chet Powers on the label). The Shadows version, however, is a bit longer than the rest, featuring an extended guitar break by Joe Kelley, who had switched from bass to lead guitar midway through the recording of the Gloria album, replacing Warren Rogers, when it was discovered that Kelley was by far the more talented guitarist (Rogers was moved over to bass). Incidentally, despite the album's title and the Shadows' penchant for recording classic blues tunes, the band did not record a version of Howlin' Wolf's Back Door Man. The Blues Project and the Doors, however, did.
Artist: Rising Sons
Title: If The River Was Whiskey (Divin' Duck Blues)
Source: CD: The Rising Sons featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder
Writer: Sleepy John Estes
Label: Columbia Legacy
Considering that by 1970 Columbia had established itself as one of the two dominant record companies when it came to the music of the left-leaning counter-culture (the other being Warner Brothers), it's odd to realize that a scant five years earlier they were known for their essential conservatism. Take the case of the Rising Sons, a multi-racial band featuring such future stars as Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder and Jessie Kincaid. Although they had been signed by Columbia in 1965, nobody at the label had a clue on how to market or even properly produce the band's recordings. By mid-1966 the entire project was shelved and the tapes sat on a shelf in the vault until 1992, when someone at the label realized the historical significance of what they had.
Artist: Lovin' Spoonful
Title: Almost Grown
Source: Mono LP: What's Shakin'
Writer(s): Chuck Berry
Label: Sundazed (original label: Elektra)
The Lovin' Spoonful came close to being the first rock band signed by Elektra Records. It was this inexperience with the world of pop music (as it was then called) that ultimately led the Spoonful to instead sign with Kama Sutra, the direct forerunner of Buddah Records. According to bassist Steve Boone, the band, and their production team, "wanted the benefits of being on Dick Clark" and appearing in magazines like Teen Beat, something the people at Kama Sutra were better equipped to deliver. Still, the band genuinely liked Jac Holtzman and wanted to do something to make up for not signing with his label, so they gave him four tracks that never appeared on Kama Sutra. Those four tracks ended up appearing, along with tunes from Eric Clapton's Powerhouse, the Butterfield Blues Band, and others, on a one-off anthology album called What's Shakin' in 1966. Two of the Spoonful recordings were original John Sebastian tunes. The other two were covers of vintage rock and roll tunes, including Chuck Berry's Almost Grown. The tracks show a side of the Lovin' Spoonful that was seldom, if ever, heard on their Kama Sutra recordings.
Artist: Count Five
Title: Double Decker Bus
Source: Mono LP: Psychotic Reaction
Writer(s): John Byrne
With Count Five's single Psychotic Reaction rocketing up the charts in late 1966, Double Shot Records rushed the band into the studio to record a full-length LP, called (naturally) Psychotic Reaction. The key word here is "rushed", as band members later complained that they were not given the time to fully develop their original material, most of which was written by guitarist John "Sean" Byrne. Nonetheless, the album contains nine original tunes (along with two covers of Who songs tossed in as filler), all of which are classic examples of what has come to be called garage rock. Double Decker Bus, which opens the album, is a good example of Byrne's original material. Count Five was never able to duplicate the success of their hit single, however, and after the song's popularity had run its course the group, consisting of Kenn Ellner on lead vocals, tambourine and harmonica, John "Mouse" Michalski on lead guitar, John "Sean" Byrne on rhythm guitar and vocals, Craig "Butch" Atkinson on drums and Roy Chaney on bass guitar, disbanded so that its members could pursue college educations.
Artist: Deep Feeling
Title: Pretty Colours
Source: Simulated stereo British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution
Year: Recorded 1966, released 2013
The word supergroup was coined to describe bands made up of members who were already well known as members of other bands. I'm not sure, however, what you would call a band made up of the same people, only before they became members of the bands they were famous for. Such a band was Deep Feeling. Originally called the Hellions, the band included Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi (Traffic), Joh "poli" Palmer (Family) and Luther Grosvenor (Spooky Tooth). In 1966 Deep Feeling made a handful of recordings for Giorgio Gomelsky with the intention of putting out an album. Among them was a tune called Pretty Colours. Before the album could be completed, however, Capaldi accepted an invitation from Mason (who had left Deep Feeling before the sessions started) to join him in a new band to be called Traffic. The Deep Feeling recordings were shelved, with Pretty Colours finally seeing the light of day in 2013, when it was included on a British anthology box set called Love, Poetry And Revolution.
Artist: Big Brother And The Holding Company
Source: CD: Cheap Thrills (bonus track)
Year: Recorded 1968, released 1999
Although producer John Simon was convinced that the best way to record Big Brother And The Holding Company was live, he did have the band cut a few tracks in the studio as well. Some of these, such as Summertime and Piece Of My Heart, ended up on the 1968 album Cheap Thrills. Others, like Roadblock, ended up on the shelf, where they stayed until 1999, when a newly remastered CD of the album included them as bonus tracks. Although it's not a bad song by any means, it's hard to imagine any of the tracks that were used for the original album being cut to make way for it.
Artist: McFadden's Parachute
Title: Stained Glass Iris
Source: CD: Psolipsystic Psychedelic Pslyces Of McFadden's Parachute
Writer(s): Darren Brennessel
Although the psychedelic era itself officially covers only a few years in the late 1960s, for many the spirit of the era's music lives on. One such person is Darren Brennessel of Rochester, NY, who is the mastermind behind over two dozen McFadden's Parachute albums. Brennessel has been playing professionally since 1989, when he was the drummer for a band called the Purple Flashes, conceiving and recording the first McFadden's Parachute album as a side project. In the years since, in addition to playing multiple instruments on McFadden's Parachute albums, Brennessel has continued to play drums with a variety of bands, including Sky Saxon's Green Forests, which recorded an as-yet unreleased album in 2004. A ehilr back, Brennessel sent me a special sampler collection of McFadden's Parachute tracks recorded mostly in the 1990s. The 1996 tune Stained Glass Iris is one of those tracks.
Artist: Dukes Of Stratosphear
Title: The Mole From The Ministry
Source: CD: Chips From The Chocolate Factory (originally released on EP: 25 O'Clock)
Writer(s): Andy Partridge
Label: Caroline (original label: Virgin)
In 1985, XTC decided to take a break and record an EP, 25 O'Clock, anonymously as the Dukes of Stratosphear. They circulated rumours that this was some previously undiscovered psych band from the late 1960s. Of course, everyone should have suspected that something was not quite as it seemed with the Dukes, as the EP (or "mini-album") was released on April Fool's Day of 1985 (and only in the UK at that). Still, the authentic recreation of mid to late 60s production techniques, as well as its Disraeli Gears-inspired album cover, were enough to keep people guessing, at least for a while. Ironically, 25 O'Clock actually outsold the then-current XTC album by a margin of about 2-to-1. Most of the tracks on 25 O'Clock are relatively short, however the final tune, The Mole From The Ministry, actually runs over five minutes in length, which is longer, incidentally, than the average XTC song.
Artist: Liquid Scene
Title: Leave Me Here
Source: CD: Revolutions
Writer(s): Becki diGregorio
Liquid Scene, based in the San Francisco area, is the brainchild of Bodhi (becki diGregorio), who, in addition to writing all the songs on the 2014 album Revolutions, plays sitar and is the group's vocalist. A truly talented woman, as can be heard on Leave Me Here, the most played song ever on our Advanced Psych segment.
Title: Star Collector
Source: LP: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
The Monkees were one of the first bands to utilize the Moog synthesizer on a rock record. One of the two tracks that uses the device extensively is Star Collector, a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and sung by the late Davy Jones. Usually Jones was picked to sing the band's love ballads. Star Collector, on the other hand, is a wild, almost humorous look at rock groupies; the type of song that on earlier Monkees albums would have been given to Peter Tork to sing. The synthesizer in Star Collector was programmed and played by Paul Beaver (of Beaver and Krause). Tork later said that he didn't think much of Beaver's performance, saying "he played it like a flute or something" rather than exploit the unique sounds the Moog was capable of producing.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Song: Get Me To the World On Time
Source: Mono CD: The complete Reprise singles (originally released on LP: The Electric Prunes and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Real Gone/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Songwriter Annette Tucker usually worked with Nancy Mantz, and the pair was responsible for the Electric Prunes biggest hit, I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night). On Get Me To The World On Time, which originally appeared on the band's first LP, she instead teamed up with Jill Jones and came up with a kind of psychedelic Bo Diddley song that ended up being the Prunes second biggest hit (and the first rock song that I ever heard first on an FM station rather than an AM one).
Artist: Diana Ross And The Supremes
Title: Love Child
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
After the departure of Flo Henderson, the Supremes' original lead vocalist who had been shoved into a supporting role in favor of Diana Ross early in the group's career and had developed a crippling drug dependency in the years following that move, Ross was officially given top billing of the group, which now included Cindy Birdsong as Henderson's replacement. By late summer of 1968, however, the Supremes were in a bit of a drought, with their latest singles charting significantly lower than their earlier hits. A meeting was held between the label's president, Berry Gordy, Jr., and a team of producers and songwriters that included R. Dean Taylor, Frank Wilson, Pam Sawyer, Deke Richards, and Henry Cosby. Berry basically gave the team, that nicknamed itself The Clan, an ultimatum: come up with a hit single, or else. They responded with Love child, one of the few Motown singles to address a social issue, teenage pregnancy, and ended up with the song that knocked the Beatles' Hey Jude out of the #1 spot late in the year. Like all the singles credited to Diana Ross And The Supremes, Love Child features Ross backed up by studio singers rather than the other two members of the Supremes. Still, the song's powerful message about a girl being pressured by her boyfriend to have sex, resonates even today.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Source: CD: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Label: Sundazed (original label: Reprise)
If there was ever a band that illustrated just how bizarre the late 60s could be, it was the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. Formed at a party (hosted by Hollywood hustler Kim Fowley) by the Harris brothers, Shaun and Danny, sons of a noted orchestra conductor, and financed by lyricist Bob Markley, a borderline pedophile with lots of money to burn, the band also included a talented but troubled lead guitarist from Denver, Ron Morgan, and a multi-instrumentalist, Michael Lloyd, who would go on to become a highly successful record producer. As would be expected with such a disparate group, several members ended up quitting during the band's run; strangely enough, they all ended up returning to the band at one time or another. Their music was just as strange as their story, as the title track of their fourth album, Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil, illustrates vividly. Musically the song is powerful, almost anthemic, creating a mood that is immediately destroyed by a spoken bit (I hesitate to use the term "poetry") by the aforementioned borderline pedophile, against a backdrop of a more subdued musical bed with background vocals somewhat resembling Gregorian chant. And just what words of wisdom does Markley have to share with us? Let me give you a small sample: "a vampire bat will suck blood from our hands, a dog with rabies will bite us, rats will run up your legs, but nothing will matter." Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of the whole thing is that the piece was created without benefit of drugs, as all the members of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band (except for lead guitarist Ron Morgan) were notoriously drug-free, itself a bit of an oddity in late 60s Hollywood. Oddly enough, in spite of this (or maybe because of it), the track is actually quite fun to listen to. Besides, it only lasts two minutes and twenty seconds.
Artist: Lollipop Shoppe
Title: Mr. Madison Avenue
Source: CD: The Weeds aka The Lollipop Shoppe (originally released on LP: Angels From Hell soundtrack)
Writer(s): Stu Phillips
Label: Way Back (original label: Tower)
When it comes to long strange trips, the Grateful Dead have nothing on Fred Cole, the legendary indy rock pioneer. Like many baby boomers, he got into his first band at age 14. From there the story gets a bit more unique. At age 15 he played bass in a band called the Lords that became the backup band for Frank Sinatra, Jr. That may have been success enough for an average 15-year-old, but for Cole it was only the beginning. After one unsuccessful single the Lords split up and Cole found himself being groomed as the "white Stevie Wonder" by Mike Tell, the owner of the record label that had issued the Lords' single, working with a group of studio musicians led by Larry Williams (of Dizzy Miss Lizzy fame). The group cut a pair of songs using the name Deep Soul Cole (with Cole on lead vocals and bass) and a few copies were made of a possible single, but the record failed to get the attention of top 40 radio and Cole found himself forming a new band, the Weeds, in early 1966. After recording a single for Teenbeat Records, the group got what it thought was its big break when their manager told them they were booked as an opening act for the Yardbirds at the Fillmore in San Francisco. On arrival, however, they soon discovered that nobody, from Bill Graham on down, had any idea who they were. Thus, nearly broke and without a gig, the Weeds decided to do what any band with members of draftable age in 1966 would do: move to Canada. Unfortunately for the band, they only had enough gas to get to Portland, Oregon. Still, being young and resilient, they soon got a steady gig as the house band at a local coffeehouse, with Cole meeting his soon-to-be wife Toody in the process. The Weeds soon became an important part of the Portland music scene, with a series of appearances at the Crystal Ballroom supplementing their regular gig at The Folk Singer throughout 1967. Late in the year the band decided to move on, first to Sausalito, California (for about six months, playing all over the Bay area), then to Los Angeles, where they brazenly showed up unannounced at Lord Tim Productions in Los Angeles with a demo tape. Lord Tim, then the manager of the Seeds and claiming to be the guy who coined the term "flower power", signed them on the spot. Soon, a new 45 RPM record appeared on MCA's Uni label: You Must Be A Witch. It came as a shock to the band, however, to see the name Lollipop Shoppe on the label rather than The Weeds. Apparently Lord Tim wanted to avoid any name confusion between the Seeds and the Weeds and arbitrarily decided to rename the band without consulting them first. Before long an entire album by the Lollipop Shoppe hit the shelves. Later in 1968 the band was invited to appear in the cheapie biker film Angels From Hell, although to avoid having to pay Cole for having a speaking (singing) role they only filmed him from the neck down. Two songs from the band, including Mr. Madison Avenue, appeared on the soundtrack album, released on the Tower label (big surprise there). After severing ties with Uni (and Lord Tim) in 1969, the band continued under various names for a few more years before finally giving way to one of the first, and most long-lived indy rock bands, Dead Moon, which was co-led by Fred and Toody Cole for over 20 years.
Title: Please Come Home
Source: Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released in US as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Roger Romano
Label: Big Beat (original US label: Brent)
The Sixpentz (not to be confused with Thee Sixpence, which would soon become the Strawberry Alarm Clock), was a Houston-based band with ambitions to become the American Beatles. Led by Roger "Rock" Romano, the Sixpentz released two singles for Bob shad's Brent label before changing their name to the Fun & Games Commission and releasing their final record on Shad's Mainstream label. It is disputed whether Please Come Home, a Romano composition, was intended to be the A or the B side of the band's first single, but in the years since its release in December of 1966 it has gotten the lion's share of attention.
Artist: Circus Maximus
Title: You Know I've Got The Rest Of My Life To Go
Source: CD: Circus Maximus
Writer(s): Bob Bruno
Circus Maximus was formed in 1967 by guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Bob Bruno and guitarist/vocalist Jerry Jeff Walker in New York's Greenwich Village. The group, originally called the Lost Sea Dreamers (changed at the behest of the folks at Verve Records, who didn't like the initials), combined elements of folk, rock, jazz and country to create their own unique brand of psychedelic music. Their self-title debut album contained rock songs from both songwriters, with Walker's tunes leaning more toward folk and country while Bruno's contained elements of jazz, as can be heard on You Know I've Got The Rest Of My Life To Go. The band released a second album in early 1968 before splitting up, with Walker becoming a successful songwriter and Bruno hooking up with various jazz musicians over the next few years before turning his attention to more visual forms of art. Bassist Gary White also had some success as a songwriter, penning Linda Ronstadt's first solo hit, Long, Long Time.
Title: (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s): Roy Wood
The most successful British band of the psychedelic era not to have a US hit was the Move, a band that featured Roy Wood and (later) Jeff Lynne, among other notables. The band was already well established in the UK by 1967, when their single Flowers In The Rain was picked to be the first record played on the new BBC Radio One. The B side of that record was the equally-catchy (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree. Both songs were written by Wood, although he only sang lead vocals on the B side.
Title: See See Rider
Source: LP: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals Vol. II (originally released on LP: Animalization)
Writer(s): Ma Rainey
One of the last singles released by the original incarnation of the Animals, See See Rider traces its roots back to the 1920s, when it was first recorded by Ma Rainey. The Animals version is considerably faster than most other recordings of the song, and includes a signature opening rift by organist Dave Rowberry (who had replaced founder Alan Price prior to the recording of the Animalization album that the song first appeared on) that is unique to the Animals' take on the tune. The record label itself credits Rowberry as the songwriter, rather than Rainey, perhaps because the Animals' arrangement was so radically different from various earlier recordings of the song, such as the #1 R&B hit by Chuck Willis and LaVerne Baker's early 60s version..
Title: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends
Source: CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
One of the first tracks recorded for the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the title track itself, which opens up side one of the LP. The following song, With A Little Help From My Friends (tentatively titled Bad Finger Boogie at the time), was recorded nearly two months later, yet the two sound like one continuous performance. In fact, it was this painstaking attention to every facet of the recording and production process that made Sgt. Pepper's such a landmark album. Whereas the first Beatles album took 585 minutes to record, Sgt. Pepper's took over 700 hours. At this point in the band's career, drummer Ringo Starr was generally given one song to sing (usually written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) on each of the group's albums. Originally, these were throwaway songs such as I Wanna Be Your Man (which was actually written for the Rolling Stones), but on the previous album, Revolver, the biggest hit on the album ended up being the song Ringo sang, Yellow Submarine. Although no singles were released from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, With A Little Help From My Friends received considerable airplay on top 40 radio and is one of the most popular Beatle songs ever recorded.