Monday, January 16, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1703 (starts 1/18/17)


A lot of good stuff this week, including sets from Jefferson Airplane (all from their first LP) and the Kinks. Also, a classic 13-minute long space jam from the Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland album and lots more fun stuff.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Someone's Coming
Source:    CD: The Who Sell Out (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    John Entwhistle
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1968
    Some songs just get no respect. First released in 1967 in the UK as the B side of I Can See For Miles, John Alec Entwistle's Someone's Coming got left off the US release entirely. It wasn't until the release of the Magic Bus single (and subsequent LP) in 1968 that the tune appeared on US vinyl, and then, once again as a B side. The Magic Bus album, however, was never issued on CD in the US, although it has been available as a Canadian import for several years. Finally, in 1995 the song found a home on a US CD as a bonus track on The Who Sell Out.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    End Of The Night
Source:    LP: The Doors
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    The Doors first big break came when they opened for Love at L.A.'s most famous club, the Whisky-A-Go-Go, and became friends with the members of the more established popular local band. Love was already recording for Elektra Records, and enthusiastically recommended that the label sign the Doors as well. Elektra did, and the Doors went on to become one of the most successful and influential bands in rock history. Although not as well-known as Light My Fire or The End, the dark and moody End Of The Night is a classic early Doors tune, from the opening bent chords from guitarist Robby Krieger to the spooky keyboard work of Ray Manzarek and of course Jim Morrison's distinctive vocals, all backed up by John Densmore's tastefully understated drumming.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Blue Jay Way
Source:    LP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    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.

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    No Way Out
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: No Way Out and as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Rhino
Year:    1967
    The Chocolate Watchband, from the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area (specifically Foothills Junior College in Los Altos Hills), were fairly typical of the South Bay music scene, centered in San Jose. Although they were generally known for lead vocalist Dave Aguilar's ability to channel Mick Jagger with uncanny accuracy (and a propensity for blowing better known acts off the stage), producer Ed Cobb gave them a more psychedelic sound in the studio with the use of studio effects and other enhancements (including adding tracks to their albums that were performed entire by studio musicians). The title track of No Way Out is credited to Cobb, but in reality is a fleshing out of a jam the band had previously recorded, but never released.

Artist:    Leaves
Title:    Hey Joe
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Billy Roberts
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mira)
Year:    1966
    In 1966 there were certain songs you had to know how to play if you had any aspirations of being in a band. Among those were Louie Louie, Gloria and Hey Joe. The Byrds' David Crosby claims to have discovered Hey Joe, but was not able to convince his bandmates to record it before their third album. In the meantime, several other bands had recorded the song, including Love (on their first album) and the Leaves. The version of Hey Joe heard here is actually the third recording the Leaves made of the tune. After the first two versions tanked, guitarist Bobby Arlin, who had recently replaced founding member Bill Rinehart on lead guitar, came up with the idea of adding fuzz guitar to the song. It was the missing element that transformed a rather bland song into a hit record (the only national hit the Leaves would have). As a side note, the Leaves credited Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti) as the writer of Hey Joe, but California-based folk singer Billy Roberts had copyrighted the song in 1962 and had reportedly been heard playing the tune as early as 1958.

Artist:    Chants R&B
Title:    I'm Your Witch Doctor
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in New Zealand as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    John Mayall
Label:    Rhino (original label: Action)
Year:    1966
    The Chants R&B were formed in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1964 and were heavily influenced by such punkish UK bands as the Pretty Things and Them. Shortly after the released of their first single in mid-1966, the group got a new guitarist, Max Kelly, whose efforts helped make their second single, a wild cover of John Mayall's I'm Your Witch Doctor, a national hit. Before they could return to the studio however, it was discovered that Kelly, whose real name was Matt Croke, was actually a deserter from the Australian Air Force, and was soon deported. The rest of the band followed him to Sydney, but things didn't work out and the band split up in early 1967.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Mellow Yellow
Source:    Mono LP: Mellow Yellow
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic
Year:    1966
    Although the Mellow Yellow album came out in early 1967, the title track had been released several months earlier as a followup to Donovan's breakthrough US hit Sunshine Superman. Ironically, during Donovan's period of greatest US success none of his recordings were being released in his native UK, due to his ongoing contract dispute with Pye Records.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Let's Get Together
Source:    Mono LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Dino Valenti
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    Although Dino Valenti recorded a demo version of his song Let's Get Together in 1964, it wasn't until two years later that the song made its first appearance on vinyl as a track on Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. The Airplane version of the song is unique in that the lead vocals alternate between Paul Kantner, Signe Anderson and Marty Balin, with each one taking a verse and all of them singing on the chorus.

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

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Come Up The Years
Source:    Mono LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    Balin/Kantner
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    One of the most overused motifs in pop music is the "You're too young for me" song. This probably reflects, to a certain degree, a lifestyle that goes back to the beginnings of rock and roll (Chuck Berry did jail time for transporting a minor across state lines, Jerry Lee Lewis saw his career get derailed by his marraige to his 13-year-old cousin, etc.). The Marty Balin/Paul Kantner tune Come Up The Years takes a more sophisticated look at the subject, although it still comes to the same conclusion (I can't do this because you're jailbait). In fact, the only rock songwriter I know of that came to any other conclusion on the matter was Bob Markley of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, and that's what ultimately got him in trouble with the law.

Artist:    Zombies
Title:    She's Not There
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer:    Rod Argent
Label:    London (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1964
    Most of the original British invasion bands were guitar-oriented, like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. One notable exception was the Zombies, whose leader, Rod Argent, built the group around his electric piano. Their first single, She's Not There, was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic and is ranked among the top British rock songs of all time.

Artist:    Knickerbockers
Title:    Lies
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Randall/Charles
Label:    Rhino (original label: Challenge)
Year:    1965
    A lot of people thought the song Lies was the Beatles recording under a pseudonym when it came out. It wasn't, and I can't help but wonder why anyone would have thought the Beatles had any need to record under a different name (the Knickerbockers) and release a song on a second-tier label (Challenge) in the first place. Is it a Richard Bachman kind of thing?

Artist:    Love
Title:    And More
Source:    Mono LP: Love
Writer:    Lee/MacLean
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1966
    Although the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was already recording for Elektra, the first genuine rock band to be signed to the label was L.A.'s Love. The band had originally planned to call itself the Grass Roots, but soon discovered that the songwriting team of Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan had already locked up the name. Jan Holzman, owner of Elektra, was so high on Love that he created a whole new numbering series for their first album (the same series that later included the first few Doors LPs). Most of Love's songs were written by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Arthur Lee, with a handful of tunes provided by rhythm guitarist/vocalist Bryan MacLean. The two seldom collaborated, despite sharing a house in the Hollywood hills that had once belonged to Bela Lugosi. One of the few songs they did collaborate on was And More, a tune from the first album that shows the two songwriters' interest in folk-rock as popularized by fellow L.A. band the Byrds.

Artist:    Ballroom
Title:    Baby, Please Don't Go
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Joe Williams
Label:    Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    This rather unusual arrangement of Joe Williams classic Baby, Please Don't Go was the creation of producer/vocalist Curt Boettcher. Boettcher had previously worked with the Association, co-writing their first hit Along Comes Mary. While working on the Ballroom project for Our Productions in 1966 he came to the attention of Brian Wilson and Gary Usher. Usher was so impressed with Boettcher's creativity in the studio that he convinced his own bosses at Columbia Records to buy out Boettcher's contract from Our Productions. As a result, much of Boettcher's Ballroom project became part of Usher's own Sagittarius project, with only Baby, Please Don't Go (and its B side) released under the Ballroom name. Boettcher turned out to be so prolific that it was sometimes said that the giant "CBS" logo on the side of the building stood for Curt Boettcher's Studios.

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    Ritual # 2
Source:    LP: Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil
Writer(s):    Markley/Harris
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    There's a reason music like that of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band is sometimes called Acid Rock, and Ritual #2, from the band's last album for Reprise, Volume III-A Child's Guide To Good And Evil, is as good an example as you'll find. Best listened to with headphones on.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It
Source:    LP: Buffalo Springfield
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    The first Neil Young song I ever heard was Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It, which was issued as the B side of For What It's Worth in 1967. I had bought the single and, as always, after my first listen flipped the record over to hear what was on the other side. (Years later I was shocked to learn that there were actually people who never listened to the B side of records they bought. I've never been able to understand that.) Anyway, at the time I didn't know who Neil Young was, or the fact that although Young was a member of Buffalo Springfield it was actually Richie Furay singing the song on the record. Now I realize that may seem a bit naive on my part, but I was 14 at the time, so what do you expect? At least I had the good taste to buy a copy of For What It's Worth in the first place (along with the Doors' Light My Fire and the Spencer Davis Group's I'm A Man if I remember correctly). Where I got the money to buy three current records at the same time is beyond me, though.

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

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Portable People
Source:    CD: Ten Years After (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Deram
Year:    1968
    Following the release of the 1967 debut LP, Ten Years After got to work on what was to be a followup album. These plans got sidetracked, however, when it was decided that their second LP would be made up of live performances taped at a London club near a recording studio. This left the band with several finished studio recordings, many of which were the same songs that would appear on the live Undead album. Two of the other unused studio tracks became the band's first US single, the A side of which was a tune called Portable People. This song remained unavailable in any other form for several years, finally appearing as a bonus track on the CD version of their first album.

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Surfer Dan
Source:    CD: The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands
Writer:    The Turtles
Label:    Sundazed (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1968
    In 1968 the Turtles decided to self-produce four recordings without the knowledge of their record label, White Whale. When company executives heard the tapes they rejected all but one of the recordings. That lone exception was Surfer Dan, which was included on the band's 1968 concept album Battle of the Bands. The idea was that each track (or band, as the divisions on LPs were sometimes called) would sound like it was recorded by a different group. As the Turtles had originally evolved out of a surf band called the Crossfires, that name was the obvious choice for the Surfer Dan track. The song was also chosen to be the B side of Elenore, the Turtles biggest hit of 1968.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Dandy
Source:    Mono LP: Face To Face
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    Ray Davies was well into his satirical phase when he wrote and recorded Dandy for the Kinks' 1966 album Face To Face. Later that year the song was covered by Herman's Hermits, becoming a hit on the US top 40 charts.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    I Need You
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1965
    After a series of hard-rocking hits in 1964 such as You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night, the Kinks mellowed out a bit with songs like Set Me Free and Tired Of Waiting For You the following year. Lurking on the other side of Set Me Free, though, was a song that showed that the band still knew how to rock out: I Need You.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Sunny Afternoon
Source:    Mono LP: Face To Face
Writer:    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    My family got its first real stereo (a GE console model with a reel-to-reel recorder instead of a turntable) just in time for me to catch the Kinks' Sunny Afternoon at the peak of its popularity. My school had just gone into split sessions and all my classes were over by one o'clock, which gave me the chance to explore the world of top 40 radio for a couple hours every day without the rest of the family telling me to turn it down (or off). Of course, none of the stereo FM stations were playing rock songs in 1966, but since the Kinks were still only mixing their songs in mono at that point it didn't really matter.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Codine
Source:    LP: Revolution soundtrack
Writer(s):    Buffy St. Marie
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1968
    Buffy St. Marie's Codine was a popular favorite among the club crowd in mid-60s California. In 1967, L.A. band The Leaves included it on their second LP. Around the same time, up the coast in San Francisco, the Charlatans selected it to be their debut single. The suits at Kama-Sutra Records, however, balked at the choice, and instead sold the band's master tapes to Kapp Records, who then released the group's cover of the Coasters' The Shadow Knows (and sped up the master tape in the mastering process). The novelty-flavored record bombed so bad that the label decided not to release any more Charlatans tracks, thus leaving their version of Codine gathering dust in the vaults until the mid 1990s, when the entire Kama-Sutra sessions were released on CD. Meanwhile, back in 1968, fellow San Francisco band Quicksilver Messenger Service was still without a record contract, despite pulling decent crowds at various Bay Area venues, including a credible appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. Quicksilver did find their way onto vinyl, however, when the producers of the quasi-documentary film Revolution decided to include footage of the band playing Codine, and commissioned this studio recording of the song for the soundtrack album.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Deserted Cities Of The Heart
Source:     LP: Wheels Of Fire
Writer:     Bruce/Brown
Label:     Atco
Year:     1968
     The most psychedelic of Cream's songs were penned by Jack Bruce and his songwriting partner Pete Brown. One of the best of these was chosen to close out the last studio side of the last Cream album released while the band was still in existence. Deserted Cities Of The Heart is a fitting epitaph to an unforgettable band.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Born To Be Wild
Source:    CD: Easy Rider Soundtrack (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf)
Writer(s):    Mars Bonfire
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    Born To Be Wild's status as a counter-cultural anthem was cemented when it was chosen for the soundtrack of the movie Easy Rider. The popularity of both the song and the movie resulted in Steppenwolf becoming the all-time favorite band of bikers all over the world.

Artist:    Max Frost And The Troopers
Title:    Shape Of Things To Come
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Wild In The Streets (soundtrack))
Writer(s):    Mann/Weill
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    Max Frost was a politically savvy rock star who rode the youth movement all the way to the White House, first through getting the support of a hip young Senator, then getting the age requirements for holding high political office lowered to 21, and finally lowering the voting age to 14. Everyone over 30 was locked away in internment camps, similar to those used during WWII by various governments to hold those of questionable loyalty to the current regime. What? You don't remember any of that? You say it sounds like the plot of a cheapie late 60s teen exploitation flick? Right on all counts. "Wild in the Streets" starred Christopher Jones as the rock star, Hal Holbrook as the hip young senator, and a Poseidon Adventure-sized Shelly Winter as the rock star's interred mom. Richard Pryor, in his film debut, played the band's drummer/political activist Stanley X. The band itself, Max Frost And The Troopers, was actually either a group called the 13th Power (as credited on the label) or Davie Allen And The Arrows, an instrumental group that was often called on to provide music for teen-oriented B movie soundtracks.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    The Dangling Conversation
Source:    LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia/Sundazed
Year:    1966
    The first Simon and Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, originally tanked on the charts, causing Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel to temporarily pursue solo careers. Simon went to England, where he wrote and recorded an album's worth of material. Meanwhile, producer Tom Wilson, fresh from producing Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone, went into the studio with the original recording of the song Sound of Silence and added electric instruments to it. The result was a surprise hit that led Paul Simon to return to the US, reuniting with Art Garfunkel and re-recording several of the tunes he had recorded as a solo artist for a new album, Sounds of Silence. The success of that album prompted Columbia to re-release Wednesday Morning, 3AM, which in turn became a bestseller. Meanwhile, Simon and Garfunkel returned to the studio to record an album of all new material. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was yet another success that spawned several hit songs, including The Dangling Conversation, a song Simon described as similar to The Sound Of Silence, but more personal. The song was originally released as a single in fall of 1966, before the album itself came out.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    My Back Pages
Source:    CD: Younger Than Yesterday
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1967
    One of the items of contention between David Crosby and Roger McGuinn was the latter's insistence on continuing to record covers of Bob Dylan songs when the band members themselves had a wealth of their own material available. Indeed, it was reportedly an argument over whether or not to include Crosby's Triad on the next album that resulted in Crosby being fired from the band in October of 1967 (although other factors certainly played into it as well). Nonetheless, the last Dylan cover with Crosby still in the band was perhaps their best as well. Although not as big a hit as Mr. Tambourine Man, My Back Pages from the Younger Than Yesterday album did respectably well on the charts, becoming one of the Byrds' last top 40 hits.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)/Moon Turn The Tides (Gently, Gently Away)
Source:    LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer:    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1968
    1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)/Moon Turn The Tides (Gently, Gently Away) from the Electric Ladyland album is the longest work created purely in the studio by Jimi Hendrix, with a running time of over 16 minutes. The piece starts with tape effects that lead into the song's main guitar rift. The vocals and drums join in to tell a science fiction story set in a future world where the human race has had to move underwater in order to survive some unspecified catastrophe. After a couple verses, the piece goes into a long unstructured section made up mostly of guitar effects before returning to the main theme and closing out with more effects that combine volume control and stereo panning to create a circular effect. As is the case with several tracks on Electric Ladyland, 1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)/Moon Turn The Tides (Gently, Gently Away) features Hendrix on both guitar and bass, with Mitch Mitchell on drums and special guest Chris Wood (from Traffic) on flute.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Wrapcity In English/Fred
Source:    CD: Yer' Album
Writer:    Joe Walsh
Label:    MCA (original label: Bluesway)
Year:    1969
    The only rock record to ever be released on the Bluesway label was Yer' Album, the debut LP by Cleveland's James Gang. Featuring Joe Walsh on Guitar, Tom Criss (who would leave the band after this album) on bass and Dale Peters on drums, the group was one of the first "power trios" of the 70s. Unlike the group's later efforts, Yer' Album included cover tunes written by such diverse composers as Stephen Stills, Jerry Ragavoy and Jeff Beck, as well as a smattering of original compositions. One of those originals was Fred, a Walsh song that was described in the liner notes as "and it's straaaaaaaange." It is preceded by a short fully orchestrated Walsh instrumental called Wrapcity In English that tracks directly into Fred.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Chasing Shadows
Source:    LP: Purple Passages (originally released on LP: Deep Purple)
Writer(s):    Lord/Paice
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Tetragrammaton)
Year:    1969
    As a general rule, recording artists tend to do better on their home ground than anywhere else. Even the Beatles already had a pair of chart-topping British singles (Please Please Me and She Loves You) under their collective belts by the time they touched off the British Invasion of the US with I Want To Hold Your Hand in 1964. There are exceptions, however. One British band that had huge success in the US, yet was unable to buy a hit in its native England, was the original incarnation of a band called Deep Purple. The group had a major US hit right out of the box with their 1968 cover of Joe South's Hush, but the song did not chart at all in the UK. The band's US label, Tetragrammaton, promoted the band heavily and the group's debut LP, Shades Of Deep Purple, was the all-time best selling album in that label's short history. The band followed Shades up with a second LP, The Book Of Taleisyn, that included another hit cover song, this time of Neil Diamond's Kentucky Woman. Still, the British record-buying public was unimpressed, and it was estimated that the group on the average made fifteen to twenty times as much money per gig in the US than they did at home. Unfortunately for the band, Tetragrammaton was badly managed and went belly up just days after the release of the band's self-titled third album. This left the band without a US label and still unsuccessful at home. This, combined with internal conflicts about what direction the band should take musically, led to major personnel changes. Ultimately those changes, particularly the addition of lead vocalist Ian Gilliam, proved beneficial, as Deep Purple became one of the top rock bands in the world in the early 1970s. This in turn led to Warner Brothers, the band's new US label, releasing a compilation album of the group's early material called Purple Passages, which included almost the entire third album. Among the outstanding tracks from that album is Chasing Shadows, which utilizes African rhythms from drummer Ian Paice, as well as a strong performance by the band's original vocalist, Rod Evans, who would go on to become the front man for a band called Captain Beyond in the early 1970s.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1703 (starts 1-18-17)


This week's show, although the third to be aired in 2017, is actually the first one to be recorded this year. It features 12 tracks (the most on the show so far) covering a wide range of rock genres.

Artist:    Geoff And Maria Muldaur
Title:    New Orleans Hopscop Blues
Source:    LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: Pottery Pie)
Writer(s):    George Thomas
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Geoff And Maria Muldaur were both members of the legendary Jim Kweskin Jug Band. In fact, Geoff Muldaur was a founding member of the group. The two of them split off from the group to record their first album, Pottery Pie, in 1968. Although the entire album was made up of cover songs, the two of them put their own stamp on everything they did, including George Thomas's New Orleans Hopscop Blues. Following the release of Pottery Pie, the couple moved up to Woodstock, NY. They separated in 1972, right after Geoff joined Paul Butterfield's Better Days. Maria, of course, went on to a successful solo career, highlighted by her hit single, Midnight At The Oasis.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    One After 909
Source:    LP: Let It Be
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1970
    One of the earliest John Lennon compositions, One After 909 dates back to his days as a member of the Quarrymen with Paul McCartney, who helped him write the song sometime before 1960. The band tried to record the song during the mid-1960s, but were unable to produce a satisfactory take. Finally, as part of their Let It Be project, the band performed the song live on a London rooftop in January of 1969. The performance was included in the film and released on the Let It Be album in 1970. Lennon famously includes a line from the chorus of Danny Boy at the end of the tune.

Artist:    Lynyrd Skynyrd
Title:    What's Your Name
Source:    LP: Gold And Platinum (originally released on LP: Street Survivors)
Writer(s):    Rossington/Van Zant
Label:    MCA
Year:    1977
    Released just three days before the plane crash that took the lives of three of the members of the band (as well as the pilot, co-pilot and the band's assistant road manager), Lynryd Skynyrd's Street Survivors was the original band's most successful LP, going gold within two weeks of its release on October 17, 1977. The most popular song on the album, What's Your Name, is a slightly fictionalized story of an incident that happened while the band was on tour. Although the events depicted in the song actually happened, the location of the incident was not Boise, Idaho, as mentioned in the song itself. Lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, who wrote the lyrics, decided to use that location when he found out that his brother Donnie's band, 38 Special, was starting its first national tour there.

Artist:    Focus
Title:    House Of The King
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jan Akkerman
Label:    Sire
Year:    1970
    Dutch band Focus released House of the King as a single in 1970, between their first and second albums. After getting considerable airplay in Europe and the UK, the song was added to later pressings of their debut LP, Focus Plays Focus (alternatively known as In And Out Of Focus). The song finally appeared on a US LP when Focus 3 was released three years later. Contrary to popular belief, the song was not re-recorded for the 1973 album.

Artist:     Blind Faith
Title:     Presence of the Lord
Source:     LP: Blind Faith
Writer:     Eric Clapton
Label:     Polydor
Year:     1969
     When the album Blind Faith first came out, several critics questioned why Steve Winwood sang lead on this track instead of songwriter Eric Clapton. Many went so far as to say Clapton should have sung the tune, but after countless subsequent recordings of Clapton singing Presence of the Lord over the years, it's kind of refreshing to go back and hear Winwood's original interpretation.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    A Salty Dog
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side (taken from LP: Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1972
    Originally released on Procol Harum's 1969 album of the same name, A Salty Dog is better known to US audiences for its performance on the LP Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, which went to the #5 spot on the Billboard LP charts in 1972. The song itself has been cited by lyricist Keith Reid as one of his personal favorite Procol Harum songs.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    The Battle Of Evermore
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin IV
Writer(s):    Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
    Fairport Convention's Sandy Denny makes a guest appearance on The Battle Of Evermore, an acoustic track from Led Zeppelin's fourth album. The song originally came about when guitarist Jimmy Page began experimenting with a mandolin owned by bassist John Paul Jones (Page had never played a mandolin before). As the song developed, Robert Plant came up with a vocal line, but felt that something more was needed. He then asked Sandy Denny, who had recently parted company with Fairport Convention, to provide a counterpoint vocal on the song, with Plant taking the part of the narrator and Denny the town crier. As was the case with many early Led Zeppelin songs, The Battle Of Evermore draws much of its imagery from J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord Of The Rings trilogy. The track is the only one in Led Zeppelin history to feature a guest vocalist.

Artist:    West, Bruce And Laing
Title:    Rock 'N' Roll Machine
Source:    LP: Whatever Turns You On
Writer(s):    West/Bruce/Laing
Label:    Columbia/Windfall
Year:    1973
    The early 1970s saw an explosion of so-called rock supergroups, made up of members of already successful bands getting together in new configurations. One of the earliest was Blind Faith, which included both Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker from Cream. The third Cream member, bassist Jack Bruce, ended up working with Mountain guitarist Leslie West and drummer Corky Laing in a group that released only two albums. The second of these, Whatever Turns You On, was a moderate success, thanks to catchy numbers like Rock 'N' Roll Machine, which describes the band's music in, er, mechanical terms.

Artist:    Frank Zappa
Title:    Stink-Foot
Source:    CD: Apostrophe (')
Writer(s):    Frank Zappa
Label:    Zappa (original label: Discreet)
Year:    1974
    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:    Al DiMeola
Title:    Land Of The Midnight Sun
Source:    LP: Land Of The Midnight Sun
Writer(s):    Al DiMeola
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1976
    One of the finest guitarists to emerge from the jazz-rock fusion movement of the early 1970s was Al DiMeola, who came to prominence as a member of Chick Corea's band, Return To Forever. For his first album released under his own name, DiMeola called upon fellow jazzmen Barry Miles (electric piano, Mini-Moog synthesizer) Anthony Jackson (bass),  Lenny White (drums) and  Mingo Lewis (percussion) to record Land Of The Midnight Sun. The album, released in 1976, shows DiMeola's talents as both a composer and instrumentalist, as can be plainly (and effectively) heard on the album's title track.

Artist:    Premiati Forneria Marconi (PFM)
Title:    Four Holes In The Ground
Source:    LP: Cook
Writer(s):    Mussida/Premoli/Pagani/Sinfield
Label:    Manticore
Year:    1974
    Following up on the success of the albums Photos Of Ghosts and The World Became The World (both of which featured English lyrics by Peter Sinfield), Italian prog-rockers Premiati Forneria Marconi (PFM) embarked on their first US tour.  Many of the performances were recorded live for release on the 1974 album Live In The USA (retitled Cook for US release). Four Holes In The Ground (from The World Became The World) was generally used as the band's show opener, and, appropriately, is the first track on Cook as well.

Artist:    Alice Cooper
Title:    Desperado
Source:    LP: Killer
Writer(s):    Cooper/Bruce
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    Alice Cooper (the singer, not the band) has made conflicting statements concerning the inspiration/subject matter of Desperado, from the Killer album. In the liner notes of Fistful Of Alice (and elsewhere) the flamboyant vocalist said the song was written about his friend Jim Morrison, who died in 1971, the same year Killer was released. However, he has also said (in a radio interview) that the song was inspired by Robert Vaughn's character in the film The Magnificent Seven. Whatever the song's origins, Desperado has proved to be one of the band's most popular numbers, appearing on various greatest hits compilations over the years.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1702 (B12) (starts 1/11/17)


This week's show is actually a backup show recorded in 2015, but never before aired. After the extra time it took to put together the last few shows (especially the Yule specials), I decided to take a break and pull this one out of the files. For those of you who follow such things, it was produced on a different audio board than current shows have been. I doubt anyone can hear the difference, though, since both boards are from the same company and made the same year. Still, knock yourself out trying if you want to. It's a free country (for now, at any rate).

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Magical Mystery Tour
Source:    CD: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1967
    1967 had been a great year for the Beatles, starting with their double-sided hit single Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane, followed by the iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album and their late summer hit All You Need Is Love, with its worldwide TV debut (one of the few events of the time to utilize satellite technology). The next project, however, did not go over quite so well. It had been over two years since the group's last major movie (HELP!), and the band decided that their next film would be an exclusive for broadcast on BBC-TV. Unlike the previous two films, this new project would not follow traditional filmmaking procedures. Instead it would be a more experimental piece; a series of loosely related songs and comedy vignettes connected by a loose plot about a bus trip to the countryside. Magical Mystery Tour made its debut in early December of 1967 to overwhelmingly negative reaction by viewers and critics alike (partially because the film was shown in black and white on the tradition minded BBC-1 network; a later rebroadcast in color on BBC-2 went over much better). The songs used in the film, however, were quite popular. Since there were only six of them, far too few for a regular LP, it was decided to issue the album as a pair of 45 RPM EPs, complete with lyric sheets and booklet recounting the story from the film. The original EPs were available in both stereo and mono versions in Europe and the UK. In the US, where the six tunes were supplemented by the band's five remaining single sides from 1967 to create an LP, Magical Mystery Tour was only available in stereo. Although both the EP and LP versions have different sequencing than the telefilm, all three open the same way, with the film's title song.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    2,000 Light Years From Home
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released on LP: Their Satanic Majesties Request)
Writer:    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    Nowhere was the ripple effect of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band more noticable than on the Rolling Stones fall 1967 release Their Satanic Majesties Request. The cover itself was a parody of Sgt. Pepper's, featuring the band members in various sorcerous regalia in a seven-inch picture on the kind of holographic paper used for "magic rings" found in bubble-gum machines and pasted over regular album-cover stock, which was a simple pattern of faded white circles on a blue background (it kind of looked like dark wallpaper). Musically it was the most psychedelic Stones album ever released. Interestingly enough, different songs were released as singles in different countries. In the US the single was She's A Rainbow, while in Germany 2,000 Light Years From Home (the US B side of She's A Rainbow) got significant airplay.

Artist:    Moody Blues
Title:    Tuesday Afternoon
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released on LP: Days Of Future Passed and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Justin Hayward
Label:    Priority (original label: Deram)
Year:    1967
    Tuesday Afternoon was the second single released from the Moody Blues' breakthrough 1967 LP Days Of Future Passed. At the insistence of producer Tony Clarke the album version of the song was retitled Forever Tuesday and was used as part one of a track called The Afternoon. When released as a single the following year, composer Justin Hayward's original title was restored to the piece, which was initially edited down to less than two and a half minutes for the 45 RPM pressing. The original album version of the song includes a separately recorded orchestral coda that segues directly into the next phase of the album, entitled The Evening. The version heard here includes the orchestral coda but does not segue into the next track.

Artist:     Kinks
Title:     Dead End Street
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Year:     1967
     The last major Kinks hit in the US was Sunny Afternoon in the summer of 1966. The November follow-up, Dead End Street, was in much the same style, but did not achieve the same kind of success in the US (although it was a top five hit in the UK). The Kinks would not have another major US hit until Lola in 1970.

Artist:    Spencer Davis Group
Title:    Mr. Second Class
Source:    CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Hardin/Davis
Label:    1967
Year:    Grapefruit (original label: United Artists)
            The Spencer Davis Group managed to survive the departure of their star member, Steve Winwood (and has brother Muff) in 1967, and with new members Eddie Hardin (vocals) and Phil Sawyer (guitar) managed to get a couple more singles on the chart over the next year or so. The last of these was Mr. Second Class, a surprisingly strong composition from Hardin and Davis.
       
Artist:    Them
Title:    Square Room
Source:    Mono LP: Now And Them
Writer(s):    Them
Label:    Tower
Year:    1968
     After Van Morrison left Them to try his luck as a solo artist, the rest of the band returned to their native Ireland to recruit a new vocalist, Kenny McDowell, before relocating to California. After securing a record deal with Tower Records they went to work on the Now and Them album in late 1967, releasing the LP in January of '68. The standout track of the album is the nearly ten minute Square Room, an acid rock piece that showcases the work of guitarist Jim Armstrong.

Artist:    Acid Gallery
Title:    Dance Around The Maypole
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):    Roy Wood
Label:    Rhino (original label: CBS)
Year:    1969
    Possibly the top British band to not have a hit in the US was the Move. The band was so popular that when BBC One signed on for the first time in 1967, the Move's current hit, Flowers In The Rain, was chosen to be the first song played on the station. The band, led by Roy Wood, produced many spinoff projects as well. One of these was called the Acid Gallery, which released a song called Dance Around The Maypole in 1969. Although Wood himself wrote the song and his voice is featured prominently in the mix, the rest of the Move was not included on the record. It is believed that the actual group was a band called the Epics, who would soon change their name to Christie and have a minor hit with the song Yellow River.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Turn! Turn! Turn!
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!)
Writer(s):    Pete Seeger
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
    After their success covering Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, the Byrds turned to an even more revered songwriter: the legendary Pete Seeger. Turn! Turn! Turn!, with lyrics taken directly from the book of Ecclesiastes, was first recorded by Seeger in the early 60s, nearly three years after he wrote the song.

Artist:    Love
Title:    Signed D.C.
Source:    CD: Love Story (originally released on LP: Love)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Elektra/Rhino
Year:    1966
    One of the most striking tunes on the first Love album is Signed D.C., a slow ballad in the tradition of House of the Rising Sun. The song takes the form of a letter penned by a heroin addict, and the imagery is both stark and disturbing. Although Lee was known to occasionally say otherwise, the song title probably refers to Love's original drummer Don Conka, who left the band before their first recording sessions.

Artist:    Young Rascals
Title:    It's Wonderful
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Once Upon A Dream)
Writer:    Cavaliere/Brigati
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1967
    Psychedelic rock is generally considered to have begun on the West Coast (although Austin, Texas has a legitimate claim as well). By the time of the Summer of Love, however, psychedelic rock was a national trend. New York had always been one of the major centers of the music industry, so it's not surprising that on the East Coast 1967 was the year of the psychedelic single. One of the most popular New York bands of the time was the Young Rascals, generally considered to be the greatest blue-eyed soul band of the era, if not of all time. Still, the times being what they were, the Rascals departed from their usual style more than once in '67, first with the smash hit How Can I Be Sure, and then with their own psychedelic single, It's Wonderful, released in November of the same year.

Artist:     Rose Garden
Title:     Here's Today
Source:     Mono CD: Where the Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as a 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Noreen/Vickery
Label:     Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:     1968
     One of many new groups signed to Atco in the late 60s, the Rose Garden was generally disposed to recording light pop tunes with radio airplay in mind. Here's Today was an attempt to move the group in a slightly different direction.

Artist:    Legend
Title:    Enjoy Yourself
Source:    CD: A Lethal Dose of Hard Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Davis/Russ
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Megaphone)
Year:    1968
    Dragonfly was a Los Angeles based psychedelic band that released one self-titled album on the Megaphone label in 1970. In their earlier years, however, they were known as the Legend. They recorded a trio of singles for Megaphone under that name, including an early version of Enjoy Yourself, a highlight of the Dragonfly album.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Girl In Your Eye
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Spirit)
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Rhino (original label: Ode)
Year:    1968   
    Spirit was born in 1965 when drummer Ed Cassidy left the Rising Sons after breaking his arm and settled down with his new wife, who had a teenaged son named Randy. It wasn't long before Ed and Randy (who played guitar) formed a new band called the Red Roosters. The group lasted until the spring of 1966, when the family moved to New York for a few months. During that stay Randy became a member of a band called Jimmy James and his Blue Flames, but when the band's leader, a young guitarist who would soon change his name to Jimi Hendrix, got an offer to relocate to London, Randy's parents refused to allow their son to accompany him. After returning to California, Randy ran into two of his Red Roosters bandmates, singer Jay Ferguson and bassist Mark Andes, and decided to form a new band with Cassidy and keyboardist John Locke. Both Cassidy and Locke had played in jazz bands, and the new band, Spirit, incorporated both rock and jazz elements into their sound. Most of the songs of the band's 1968 debut album were written by Ferguson, who tended to favor a softer sound on tracks like Girl In Your Eye. On later albums Randy California would take a greater share in the songwriting, eventually becoming the only original member to stay with the band throughout its history.

Artist:    It's A Beautiful Day
Title:    Wasted Union Blues
Source:    CD: It's A Beautiful Day
Writer(s):    David LaFlamme
Label:    San Francisco Sound (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    It's A Beautiful Day was founded in the mid-60s by classical violinist David LaFlamme. The group had a hard time lining up gigs at first and eventually hooked up with local impressario Matthew Katz, who had similar deals with Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape. What the members of IABD did not know at the time was that those other bands were desperately trying to sever all ties with Katz due to his heavy-handed management style. LaFlamme and company would soon find out just how bad a deal they had gotten into when Katz shipped them off to Seattle to be the resident band at his own "San Francisco Sound" club from late 1967 through most of 1968. The group was put up in the attic of a house that Katz owned and given a small allowance that barely put food on the table. To make matters worse, attendance at the club was dismal. Still, the adversity did inspire some of LaFlamme's best songwriting, such as Wasted Union Blues from the group's debut LP, released in 1969.

Artist:    Sonics
Title:    Psycho
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Greg Roslie
Label:    Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
Year:    1965
    In 1965 Seattle record label Etiquette decided to re-release the first Sonics single, The Witch, this time with a different B side. That B side, Psycho, proved so popular that eventually it was itself reissued, this time as an A side. The song itself is a solid example of what made the Sonics one of the most revered bands in indy rock history.

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    San Franciscan Nights
Source:    CD: The Best of Eric Burdon and the Animals (originally released on LP: Winds of Change and as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    In late 1966, after losing several original members over a period of about a year, the original Animals disbanded. Eric Burdon, after releasing one single as a solo artist (but using the Animals name), decided to form a "new" Animals. After releasing a moderately successful single, When I Was Young, the new band appeared at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. While in the area, the band fell in love with the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, during what came to be called the Summer Of Love. The first single to be released from their debut album, Winds Of Change, was a tribute to the city by the bay called San Franciscan Nights. Because of the topicality of the song's subject matter, San Franciscan Nights was not released in the UK as a single. Instead, the song Good Times (which was the US B side of the record), became the new group's biggest UK hit to date (and one of the Animals' biggest UK hits overall). Eventually San Franciscan Nights was released as a single in the UK as well (with a different B side) and ended up doing quite well.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    One More Rainy Day
Source:    LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
Writer(s):    Evans/Lord
Label:    Tetragrammaton
Year:    1968
    The last song to be recorded for Shades Of Deep Purple was a song called One More Rainy Day. Quite honestly, I find it to be the weakest track on the album, but that still puts it ahead of 90% of what was being played on top 40 radio in 1968. The song also appeared as the B side of the Hush single, which made the top 10.

Artist:    Bubble Puppy
Title:    A Gathering Or Promises
Source:    British import CD: A Gathering Or Promises
Writer(s):    Prince/Taylor
Label:    Charly (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1969
    Bubble Puppy was formed in 1966 in San Antonio, Texas, moving to Austin the following year. The band's name was inspired by Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy, a fictitious children's game mentioned in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. They were one of the first bands to use two lead guitars, predating both the Allman Brothers Band and Wishbone Ash by at least a year. In late 1968 they released their first single on the local International Artists label, a song called Lonely that went nowhere until some DJ in Houston decided to flip the record over and play the B side, Hot Smoke And Sassafras. The record took off and the band released their debut LP, A Gathering Of Promises, in early 1969. The album was full of outstanding songs such as the title track, but problems between the band and their label, combined with an unfortunately similarity between the name Bubble Puppy and the term "bubble gum music" kept the band from reaching its full potential. Eventually the group parted company with International Artists, moving to Los Angeles and changing their name to Demian in the process.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix/Band Of Gypsys
Title:    Machine Gun
Source:    LP: The Esssential Jimi Hendrix Volume Two (originally released on LP: Band Of Gypsys)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    In 1965 Jimi Hendrix sat in on a recording session with R&B vocalist Curtis Knight, signing what he thought was a standard release contract relinquishing any future claim to royalties on the recordings. Three years later, after Hendrix had released a pair of successful albums on the Reprise label with his new band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Capitol records issued the Knight sessions as an LP called Get That Feeling, giving Hendrix equal billing with Knight. Additionally, Capitol claimed that  the guitarist was under contract to them. Eventually the matter was settled by Hendrix promising to provide Capitol with an album of new material by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, although it was not specified whether the album be made up of studio or live recordings. While all this was going on, the Experience disbanded, leaving Hendrix bandless and under pressure to come up with new material for his regular label, Reprise, as well as the Capitol album. The solution was to record a set of concerts at the Fillmore East on December 31st, 1969 and January 1st, 1970, and release the best of these recordings as a live album on the Capitol label, freeing Hendrix up to concentrate on a new studio album for Reprise. Hendrix was still working on the studio album when he died, making the live album, Band Of Gypsys, the last new material to be released during the guitarist's lifetime. It features bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles on Hendrix originals such as Machine Gun, as well as material written by Miles.

Artist:    Cream
Title:    Lawdy Mama
Source:    LP: Live Cream
Writer(s):    Trad., arr. Eric Clapton
Label:    Atco
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1970
    Lawdy Mama (sometimes known as Hey Lawdy Mama) is a blues song that goes back at least as far as the 1920s. In 1965 Junior Wells and Buddy Guy recorded a Chicago blues version of the song for the Hoodoo Man Blues album. It was this version that Cream performed on a December 1966 BBC broadcast, recording a similar version in the studio in early 1967. They then reworked the instrumental tracks but kept Wells's lyrics for a second version of Lawdy Mama, which they also recorded in early 1967. Still not satisfied with the way the song was going, producer Felix Pappalardi and his wife Janet Collins came up with a whole new melody line and lyrics to go with the newer instrumental tracks; Eric Clapton then added his vocals and a new lead guitar track to the recording, which was released under the title Strange Brew on the Disraeli Gears album. Meanwhile, a mix of the second version of Lawdy Mama was set aside, and eventually got released as the only studio track on the 1970 album Live Cream. Luckily, the then-common practice of superimposing fake crowd sounds to make a studio recording sound like a live track was not followed by the producers of Live Cream.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Can't Seem To Make You Mine
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Seeds)
Writer:    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1965
    One of the first psychedelic singles to hit the L.A. market in 1965 was Can't Seem To Make You Mine. The song was also chosen to lead off the first Seeds album. Indeed, it could be argued that this was the song that first defined the "flower power" sound, its local success predating that of the Seeds' biggest hit, Pushin' Too Hard, by several months.

Artist:     Five Americans
Title:     I See The Light
Source:     Simulated stereo LP: Nuggets-Classics From the Psychedelic 60s
Writer:     Durill/Ezell/Rabon
Label:     Rhino (original label: Abnak)
Year:     1965
     For years I was under the impression that the Five Americans were a Texas band, mainly due to Abnak Records having a Texas address. It turns out, though, that the band was actually from Durant, Oklahoma, although by the time they had their biggest hit, Western Union, they were playing most of their gigs in the Lone Star state. I See The Light is an earlier single built around a repeating Farfisa organ riff that leads into a song that can only be described as in your face.
   
Artist:     Who
Title:     My Generation
Source:     Mono CD: Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy (originally released on LP: The Who Sings My Generation)
Writer:    Pete Townshend
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:     1965
     In late 1965 the Who released a song that quickly became the anthem of a generation. As a matter of fact it's My Generation. Some of us, including Who drummer Keith Moon, did indeed die before we got old. The rest of us weren't so lucky, but hey, that's life.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Amphetamine Annie
Source:    LP: Boogie With Canned Heat
Writer(s):    Canned Heat
Label:    United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    By the end of 1967 the Haight-Ashbury scene had taken a definite turn for the worse. Most veterans of the street (i.e. those who had been there before the Summer of Love) placed the blame firmly on the influx of naive runaways that had flooded the area in the wake of calls to "go to San Francisco" earlier in the year, and on the drug dealers who preyed upon them. Methamphetamine (aka speed) was the drug usually singled out as the most destructive force at play. Back then it was the pill form of speed, such as white crosses, that was prevalent among users; the powdered crystal meth that has become a concern in modern rural America would not be used widely until the 1970s. As one of the original Bay Area bands, Canned Heat decided to take a stand against the drug, declaring in the song Amphetamine Annie that "speed kills", a phrase that would show up as graffiti on various walls in the city as well.

Artist:     Canned Heat
Title:     Catfish Blues
Source:     LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Canned Heat)
Writer:     Robert Petway
Label:     United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Year     1967
     Like many other US cities in the 1960s, San Francisco had a small but enthusiastic community of collectors of blues records. A group of them got together in 1966 to form Canned Heat, and made quite an impression when they played the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. This led to a contract with Liberty Records and an album consisting entirely of cover versions of blues standards. One standout track from that album is Robert Petway's Catfish Blues, expanded to over six minutes by the Heat.

Artist:    Canned Heat
Title:    Fried Hockey Boogie
Source:    LP: Boogie With Canned Heat
Writer(s):    Samuel L. Taylor
Label:    United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    The climax of every Canned Heat performance was the "boogie", a loose jam based on a repeating three-note riff that gave each band member a chance to strut their stuff as a soloist. The first of these to be released on a record was actually a studio recording. Fried Hockey Boogie was the final track on the band's second LP, appropriately titled Boogie With Canned Heat. The song was officially credited to bassist Larry Taylor.


Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1702 (B12) (starts 1/11/17)


This time around we manage to fit 13 tracks into 59 minutes. Pretty amazing, considering the first track alone runs nearly seven minutes in length! See playlist below for details.

Artist:    Temptations
Title:    Papa Was A Rolling Stone
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer:    Whitfield/Strong
Label:    Motown
Year:    1972
    One of the longest songs ever to get played on top 40 radio, Papa Was A Rolling Stone was in many ways a climactic recording. It was the last big Temptations hit, and one of the last songs produced by the team of Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, the so-called "psychedelic soul" producers, before Whitfield left Motown to form his own production company. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it was the last major hit to feature the Funk Brothers, the (mostly uncredited) instrumentalists who had played on virtually every Motown record in the 60s but had been largely supplanted by studio musicians working out of Los Angeles, where the label had relocated its corporate headquarters to, in the early 70s. And on Papa Was A Rolling Stone the Funk Brothers finally got to shine as soloists, with an intro on the LP version that lasted more than four minutes and a long extended instrumental section in the middle of the piece as well. Papa Was A Rolling Stone has been called the last great Motown record. I tend to agree with that assessment.

Artist:    Fanny
Title:    Borrowed Time
Source:    LP: Fanny Hill
Writer(s):    Nickey Barclay
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1972
    Fanny was one of the first self-contained all-female rock bands, and the first to release an album on a major label. The group, consisting of sister June and Jean Millington on bass and guitar and Alice de Buhr on drums, were first known as Wild Honey, and were on the verge of breaking up when they were discovered while playing an open-night mic gig at L.A.'s Troubador Club by producer Richard Perry, who got them a contract with Warner Brothers' Reprise label. After recruiting keyboardist Nickey Barclay the band changed their name to Fanny, issuing their first album in 1970. Their third LP, Fanny Hill, is often considered the highlight of their career. The album features a mix of cover tunes (such as the obscure Beatles' song Hey Bulldog and Marvin Gaye's Ain't That Peculiar) and originals, including Barclay's Borrowed Time. After two more albums, Fanny disbanded, although all of the members remained active as studio musicians. In a 1999 interview David Bowie called Fanny "one of the most important female bands in American rock", adding that the early 1970s "just wasn't their time."

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Mr Door Is Open
Source:    LP: Straight Shooter
Writer(s):    Troiano/Kenner
Label:    ABC
Year:    1972
    One of the most interesting rock and roll histories of the early 1970s was that of the James Gang. Originally consisting of drummer Jim Fox, bassist Tom Criss and guitarist Joe Walsh, the Cleveland-based band first appeared on vinyl on 1969's Yer Album. After replacing Criss with Dale Peters, the group released James Gang Rides Again, which, thanks to tracks like Funk #49 made them stars. Following one more album with this lineup, Walsh left the group for a solo career. At around this same time, labelmates Bush decided to disband after one unsuccessful LP, and Fox and Peters recruited vocalist Roy Kenner and guitarist Dominic Troiano from Bush to continue James Gang. The first album with this new lineup was Straight Shooter, released in 1972. Unfortunately, the inevitable comparisons to the band's earlier material made it difficult for this incarnation of the James Gang to achieve a great amount of commercial success, despite the quality of tracks like My Door Is Open, which was written by Kenner and Troiano. After one more album, Troiano left the group to replace Randy Bachman in the Guess Who, and the James Gang recruited Tommy Bolin, whose outstanding guitar work once again put the band in the national spotlight. But that's a story for another time.

Artist:    David Bowie
Title:    Starman
Source:    CD: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Writer(s):    David Bowie
Label:    Ryko (original label: RCA Victor)
Year:    1972
    Starman was the first single released from David Bowie's breakout hit LP The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. The song, about a benevolent being from outer space, was so influential that it became the inspiration for the 1984 movie of the same name.

Artist:    Foghat
Title:    Maybelline
Source:    LP: Foghat
Writer(s):    Chuck Berry
Label:    Bearsville
Year:    1972
    Foghat was created when the entire membership of Savoy Brown, save bandleader Kim Simmonds, decided to leave and form their own band in 1970. Originally consisting of "Lonesome Dave" Peverett on guitar and vocals, Tony Stevens on bass, and Roger Earl on drums, the band soon recuited Rod Price on guitar and slide guitar, taking the name Foghat in 1971. Their 1972 debut album was produced by Dave Edmunds, and was a solid example of early 70s British blues-rock. Among the outstanding tracks on the album is a hopped up cover of Chuck Berry's Maybelline.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Change Of The Guard
Source:    CD: Can't Buy A Thrill
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagan
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1972
    The first member of Steely Dan recruited by founders Walter Becker and Donald Fagen was guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, whose work is showcased on Change Of The Guard from the band's 1972 debut LP, Can't Buy A Thrill. Baxter would go on to greater fame as a member of the Doobie Brothers later in the decade. He now chairs a Congressional Advisory Board on missile defense. Seriously.

Artist:     Flash
Title:     Small Beginnings
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Peter Banks
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1972
     Before Steve Howe joined Yes, the group featured Peter Banks on lead guitar. After the first Yes album, Banks left the group to form a new band, Flash. Despite having a similar sound to Yes at a time when such bands were in vogue, Flash failed to achieve more than a small fraction of the original band's success.

Artist:    Alice Cooper
Title:    Under My Wheels (remix)
Source:    CD: Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Killer)
Writer(s):    Bruce/Dunaway/Ezrin
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    Under My Wheels was the first single released from Alice Cooper's Killer album, generally considered to be the high point of the band's creativity. The version heard on the band's first Greatest Hits collection is actually a remix done by producer Bob Ezrin, who wanted the compilation to have "something new" to make it appeal more to fans who already had the original Cooper albums.

Artist:    Uriah Heep
Title:    I Wanna Be Free
Source:    LP: Look At Yourself
Writer(s):    Ken Hensley
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1971
    No, it's not the Monkees song.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Mother Goose
Source:    CD: Aqualung
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1971
    Aqualung was Jethro Tull's breakthrough album, and it remains their all-time best-seller, with over seven million copies sold worldwide so far. The album, released in 1971, was the first to include keyboardist John Evan and bassist Jeffrey Hammond as full time members, and also the last to feature founding member Clive Barker on drums. The album also contains more acoustic material than the band's earlier works; a prime example of this is Mother Goose, a song that continues the abstract imagery of Cross-Eyed Mary, which appears earlier on the same side of the original LP.

Artist:    Steeleye Span
Title:    Hard Times Of Old England
Source:    LP: All Around My Hat
Writer(s):    trad., arr. Steeleye Span
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1975
    Perhaps the best-known track in the Steeleye Span catalog, Hard Times Of Old England appeared on the 1975 LP All Around My Hat, the group's highest charting album. The song itself was released as a single the following year, going all the way to the #5 spot on the British charts, the highest of any Steeleye Span single. The original tune dates back at least to the 1800s, when it was known as Rigs Of The Times. Steeleye Span's rendition is based on a post-Napoleonic Wars version of the song.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Have A Cigar
Source:    CD: Wish You Were Here
Writer(s):    Roger Waters
Label:    Parlophone (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1975
    Yeah, I know I played this just last week. You see, for a variety of reasons I decided to take a week off and use a backup show that I recorded a few months ago that just happened to include this track. Hey, it's a good song, right? See last week's listing for additional information.


Artist:    Tommy Bolin
Title:    The Grind
Source:    Japanes import CD: Teaser
Writer(s):    Bolin/Cook/Sheldon/Tesar
Label:    Sony (original US label: Nemperor)
Year:    1975
    So I have this scratchy copy of Tommy Bolin's single, Savannah Woman from his Teaser album (which I don't have). To rectify the situation I decided to order a copy of Teaser on CD. It comes, and I am delighted to notice that it includes a thick book of liner notes...all in Japanese, which of course I don't read or speak. So, even though I'm sure there's some interesting stuff in there, I can't share it with you. What I do know is that The Grind is the opening track on the album, and that Van Halen used to cover it before they became famous. Motley Crue also recorded a cover of The Grind on the 1989 compilation album Stairway To Heaven/Highway To Hell, which featured various bands that played at the Moscow Music Peace Festival doing songs by musicians that had died due to drug and/or alchohol abuse (Bolin being a prime example of "and").

Monday, January 2, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1701 (starts 1/4/17)


It's a brand new year, and to get things underway we start with the song that put San Francisco on the musical map: Jefferson Airplane's Somebody To Love, featuring Grace Slick on vocals. And that's just the first of this week's 31 tracks.

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     CD: Somebody To Love
Source:     Surrealistic Pillow
Writer:     Darby Slick
Label:     RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:     1967
     Jefferson Airplane's version of Somebody To Love (a song that had been previously recorded by Grace Slick's former band, the Great! Society) put the San Francisco Bay area on the musical map in early 1967. Somebody To Love was actually the second single released from Surrealistic Pillow, the first being My Best Friend, a song written by the Airplane's original drummer, Skip Spence.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    The Masked Marauder
Source:    LP: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Perhaps more than any other band, Country Joe and the Fish capture the essence of the San Francisco scene in the late 60s. Their first two releases were floppy inserts included in Joe McDonald's self-published Rag Baby underground newspaper. In 1967 the band was signed to Vanguard Records, a primarily folk-oriented prestige label that also had Joan Baez on its roster. Their first LP, Electric Music For the Mind and Body had such classic cuts as Section 43, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine, and the political parody Superbird on it, as well as the mostly-instrumental tune The Masked Marauder. Not for the unenlightened.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Change Is Now
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    McGuinn/Hillman
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    1967 saw the departure of two of the Byrds' founders and most prolific songwriters: Gene Clark and David Crosby. The loss of Clark coincided with the emergence of Chris Hillman as a first-rate songwriter in his own right; the loss of Crosby later in the year, however, created an extra burden for Hillman and Roger McGuinn, who from that point on were the band's primary composers. Change Is Now was the band's first post-Crosby single, released in late 1967 and later included (in a stereo version) on their 1968 LP The Notorious Byrd Brothers.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Can You See Me
Source:    Mono LP: Are You Experienced (UK version) (original US release: LP: Smash Hits)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1967 (US 1969)
    Before releasing the first Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Are You Experienced, in the US, Reprise Records decided to make some changes to the track lineup, adding three songs that had been released as non-album singles in the UK. To make room for these, three songs were cut from the original UK version of the LP. The most popular of these three tracks was Can You See Me, a song that was included in the band's US debut set at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967.  Despite the audience's positive response to the song, the band apparently dropped Can You See Me from their live set shortly after Monterey. The song was originally slated to be released as the B side of The Wind Cries Mary, but instead was used as an album track.
 
Artist:    Mamas and the Papas
Title:    Somebody Groovy
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM B side)
Writer:    John Phillips
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1965
    The Mamas and the Papas were blessed with strong vocals and even stronger songwriting. Their debut single, California Dreamin', written by John Phillips, is one of the defining songs of the mid-sixties. The B side of that single, released in 1965, was another Phillips tune, Somebody Groovy.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    I Know There's An Answer
Source:    Mono LP: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Wilson/Sachen
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    One of the first songs recorded for the Pet Sounds album was Hang On To Your Ego, allegedly written by Brian Wilson on his second acid trip. Mike Love objected to some of the lyrics, particularly those of the chorus, and Wilson eventually decided to scrap them and write new ones, this time with the help of the group's road manager, Terry Sachen. The result was I Know There's An Answer.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Let's Spend The Night Together
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    I seem to recall some TV show (Ed Sullivan, maybe?) making Mick Jagger change the words of Let's Spend The Night Together to "Let's Spend Some Time Together". I can't imagine anyone doing that to the Stones now.

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

Artist:    Zager And Evans
Title:    In The Year 2525
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Rick Evans
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1969
    Since the advent of rock and roll in the 1950s there have been literally hundreds of one-hit wonders, artists who had one fairly big hit and then faded off into the background. Usually these artists recorded one or more a follow-up records that got minor airplay (and sometimes even major airplay in a limited number of markets), but were not successful enough to make a long-term career of it. A few of them get cited as the "ultimate" one-hit wonder, but for my money the title undisputedly belongs to folk-rockers Zager And Evans. The reason I say this is because they were more extreme than any other one-hit wonders, both in their success and their subsequent failures. The success part is impressive: In The Year 2525 spent six weeks in the number one spot on the US charts and finished second only to the 5th Dimension's Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In for the entire year 1969. Their subsequent failures were equally impressive: not only did they fail to crack the top 40 charts again, they couldn't even make the Billboard Hot 100 chart! Even Tiny Tim did that.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    My Baby Left Me
Source:    CD: Watt
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Deram)
Year:    1970
    Although panned by the rock press, Ten Years After's sixth LP, Watt is, for my money, the last of their truly great albums, containing many tasty tunes, such as My Baby Left Me. Following the release of Watt on the Deram label, Ten Years After would switch to Columbia Records and enjoy greater commercial success. Personally, with the exception of a couple of songs, I find their Columbia material uninspired.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    I'm Gonna Make You Mine
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Carr/Derrico/Sager
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Possibly the loudest rockin' recordings of 1966 came from the Shadows of Knight. A product of the Chicago suburbs, the Shadows (as they were originally known) quickly established a reputation as the region's resident bad boy rockers (lead vocalist Jim Sohns was reportedly banned from more than one high school campus for his attempts at increasing the local teen pregnancy rate). After signing a record deal with the local Dunwich label, the band learned that there was already a band called the Shadows and added the Knight part (after their own high school sports teams' name). Their first single was a cover of Van Morrison's Gloria that changed one line ("around here" in place of "up to my room") and thus avoided the mass radio bannings that had derailed the original Them version. I'm Gonna Make You Mine was the follow up to Gloria, but its lack of commercial success consigned the Shadows to one-hit wonder status until years after the band's breakup, when they finally got the recognition they deserved as one of the founding bands of garage/punk, and perhaps its greatest practicioner.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    The Great Banana Hoax
Source:    CD: Underground
Writer(s):    Lowe/Tulin
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    The second Electric Prunes LP, Underground, saw the band gaining greater creative control over the recording process than at any other time in their career (until their reformation in the 1990s). The album's opening track, The Great Banana Hoax, is notable for two reasons: first, it was composed by band members and second, it has nothing to do with bananas. The title probably refers to the rumor circulating at the time that Donovan's Mellow Yellow was really about smoking banana peels to get high. The song itself is an indication of the musical direction the band itself wanted to go in before it got sidetracked (some would say derailed) by producer David Hassinger, who would assert control to the point of eventually replacing all the original members of the band by their fourth album (yes, some producers had that kind of power in those days).

Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Summertime Blues
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Vincebus Eruptum)
Writer:    Cochrane/Capehart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Philips)
Year:    1968
    If 1967 was the summer of love, then 1968 was the summer it all went straight to hell. Framed by the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, both major anti-establishment movements of the time (civil rights and anti-war) became increasing radicalized and more violent. The hippies gave way to the Yippies, LSD gave way to crystal meth, and there were riots in the streets of several US cities. Against this backdrop Blue Cheer released one of the loudest and angriest recordings ever to grace the top 40: the proto-metal arrangement of Eddie Cochrane's 1958 classic Summertime Blues. It was the perfect soundtrack of its time.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Citizen Fear
Source:    Mono CD: Ignition
Writer(s):    Bonniwell/Buff
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1969, released 2000
    Citizen Fear was one of the final, if not the very last, recording made by Sean Bonniwell's Music Machine. A collaboration between Bonniwell and engineer Paul Buff, the piece utilizes Buff's 10-track recording process to its fullest potential. Before the song could be released, however, the Music Machine had disbanded and Bonniwell had quit the music business in disillusionment, disappointment and/or disgust.

Artist:    Lazy Nickels
Title:    35 Design
Source:    CD: A Lethal Dose Of Hard Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Eyerick/Rhine
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Slug)
Year:    1970
    Not much is known about Lazy Nickels, who released 35 Design as their only single in 1970. The recording uses various tape effects to enhance what was probably a pretty accurate representation of this Michigan-based band's live sound.

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

Artist:    Zombies
Title:    She's Not There
Source:    Mono CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Rod Argent
Label:    Priority (original label: Parrot)
Year:    1964
    Most of the original British invasion bands were guitar-oriented, like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. One notable exception was the Zombies, whose leader, Rod Argent, built the group around his electric piano. Their first single, She's Not There, was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic and is ranked among the top British rock songs of all time.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Baby, You're A Rich Man
Source:    LP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    Baby, You're A Rich Man was one of the last collaborations between John Lennon and Paul McCartney and addresses the Beatles' longtime manager Brian Epstein, although not by name. Lennon came up with the basic question "how does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?" (a popular term for the young and hip in late 60s London), which became the basis for the song's verses, which were combined with an existing, but unfinished, Paul McCartney chorus (Baby, You're A Rich Man, too). The finished piece was issued as the B side of the Beatles' second single of 1967, All You Need Is Love, and later remixed in stereo and included on the US-only LP version of Magical Mystery Tour.
         
Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Good Day Sunshine
Source:    British import LP: Revolver
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone
Year:    1966
    When the Beatles' Revolver album came out, radio stations all over the US began playing various non-single album tracks almost immediately. Among the most popular of those was Paul McCartney's Good Day Sunshine. It was in many ways an indication of the direction McCartney's songwriting would continue to take for several years.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Flying
Source:    LP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    1967 was an odd year for the Beatles. They started it with one of their most successful double-sided singles, Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane, and followed it up with the iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. From there, they embarked on a new film project. Unlike their previous movies, the Magical Mystery Tour was not made to be shown in theaters. Rather, the film was aired as a television special shown exclusively in the UK. The airing of the film coincided with the release (again only in the UK) of a two-disc extended play 45 RPM set featuring the six songs from the special. It was not until later in the year that the songs were released in the US, on an album that combined the songs from the film on one side and all the non-LP single sides they had released that year on the other. Among the songs from the film is Flying, a rare instrumental track that was credited to the entire band.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Rock And Roll Woman
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Stephen Stills
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Buffalo Springfield did not sell huge numbers of records (except for the single For What It's Worth). Nor did they pack in the crowds. As a matter of fact, when they played the club across the street from where Love was playing, they barely had any audience at all. Artistically, though, it's a whole 'nother story. During their brief existence Buffalo Springfield launched the careers of no less than four major artists: Neil Young, Richie Furay, Jim Messina and Stephen Stills. They also recorded more than their share of tracks that have held up better than most of what else was being recorded at the time. Case in point: Rock and Roll Woman, a Stephen Stills tune that still sounds fresh well over 40 years after it was recorded.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Cuddly Toy/Words
Source:    CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Writer(s):    Nilsson/Boyce/Hart
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1967
    Although the Monkees had returned to allowing studio musicians to provide the bulk of the instrumental tracks for the album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD., those tracks were now being recorded under the direct supervision of the Monkees themselves. Additionally, the Monkees were only recording songs that the Monkees themselves picked out. One of those songs was a tune written by Harry Nilsson (who had not yet achieved fame as a singer, songwriter and John Lennon's drinking partner) called Cuddly Toy. Reportedly Mike Nesmith heard a demo of the song and immediately wanted to record it. The group did, and on the LP let it overlap the next track, A Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart tune called Words that the Leaves had recorded for their Hey Joe album the previous year. It was only after the album was on the charts that the shirts at Colgems Records, Columbia Pictures and RCA Victor realized that the subject matter of Cuddly Toy was a gang bang, having been based on a real life incident at a Hell's Angels party that Nilsson had attended.

Artist:    Twentieth Century Zoo
Title:    You Don't Remember
Source:    Mono CD: An Overdose Of Heavy Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Farley/Sutko
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Caz)
Year:    1967
    Twentieth Century Zoo was a quintet from Phoenix, Arizona that released You Don't Remember as a B side in late 1967. Originally known as the Bittersweets, the group released three singles for various labels (including one on the Original Sound label) before recording an album for the Vault label in 1969.

Artist:    Grass Roots
Title:    You're A Lonely Girl
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Sloan/Barri
Label:    Dunhill
Year:    1966
    In late 1965 songwriters/producers P.F. Sloan (Eve of Destruction) and Steve Barri decided to create a series of records by a band called the Grass Roots. The problem was that there was no band called the Grass Roots (at least not that they knew of), so Sloan and Barri decided to recruit an existing band and talk them into changing their name. The band they found was the Bedouins, one of the early San Francisco bands. As the rush to sign SF bands was still months away, the Bedouins were more than happy to record the songs Sloan and Barri picked out for them. The first single by the newly-named Grass Roots was a cover of Bob Dylan's Mr. Jones (Ballad Of A Thin Man). The B side was You're A Lonely Girl, a Sloan/Barri composition. The Bedouins would soon grow disenchanted with their role and move back to San Francisco, leaving Sloan and Barri the task of finding a new Grass Roots. Eventually they did, and the rest is history. The Bedouins never recorded again.

Artist:    Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Title:    Prelude-Nightmare/Fire Poem/Fire
Source:    British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown)
Writer(s):    Brown/Crane/Finesilver/Ker
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1968
    The Crazy World of Arthur Brown was unusual for their time in that they were much more theatrical than most of their contemporaries, who were generally more into audio experimentation than visual. I have a video of Fire being performed (or maybe just lip-synched). In it, all the members are wearing some sort of mask, and Brown himself is wearing special headgear that was literally on fire. There is no doubt that The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown sowed the seeds of what was to become the glitter-rock movement in the early to mid 70s. This week we have the uncut stereo version of Fire along with Prelude-Nightmare and Fire Poem that precede it on the original album.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Born Cross-Eyed
Source:    CD: Anthem Of The Sun
Writer(s):    The Grateful Dead
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1968
    After cranking out their first LP in a matter of days, San Francisco's Grateful Dead took a full six months to record, edit and mix the follow-up album, Anthem Of The Sun. Most of the tracks on the album run together and feature an experimental mix of live and studio material. The sole exception is Born Cross-Eyed, which has a running time of barely over two minutes. As near as I can tell, it is also the only actual studio track on the album. Although the song is credited to the entire band, Bob Weir's lyrics are rumoured to be autobiographical in nature.

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Someday The Sun Won't Shine For You
Source:    LP: This Was
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1968
    Ian Anderson has often said that he disagreed with record company executives who characterized Jethro Tull as a blues band when the band's first LP, This Was, was released. Yet one of the most traditional sounding blues tunes on that LP was written by Anderson himself. Some Day The Sun Won't Shine For You sounds like it could easily have come from the pen of Jimmy Reed. Speaking of record labels, This Was, like all the early Tull albums, was originally released in the US on the Reprise label. Reprise had a policy (instituted by its founder and original owner, Frank Sinatra) of allowing its artists to retain ownership of the recordings released on the label, which is why most of the material released on Reprise in the late 60s has been reissued on other labels.

Artist:     Pink Floyd
Title:     The Scarecrow
Source:     CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Writer:     Syd Barrett
Label:     Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:     1967
     Even people with only a passing familiarity with rock history know the name Pink Floyd. The album Dark Side Of The Moon set records for longevity on the Billboard album charts and the movie The Wall was a midnight movie standard for years. With all that success it's easy to overlook the contributions made by the band's original lead guitarist and primary songwriter Syd Barrett. After two succesful singles, both written by Barrett, the band booked time in the Abbey Road studios to record their first LP, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (coincidentally, the Beatles were also at Abbey Road at that time recording Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band). Again, Barrett was the writer of record of the majority of material on the album, either as part of a group writing effort or, as is the case with Scarecrow, the sole songwriter. Sadly, mental health issues would sideline Barrett after Piper hit the racks and after contributing only a couple songs to the follow-up LP, A Saucerful Of Secrets, Barrett left Pink Floyd altogether, to be permanently replaced by David Gilmour.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Remember A Day
Source:    CD: Relics (originally released on LP: A Saucerful Of Secrets)
Writer(s):    Rick Wright
Label:    Capitol (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    Trivia question: Which Pink Floyd album never made the US album charts? The answer:  A Saucerful Of Secrets, the band's second LP. Like the band's debut LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, A Saucerful Of Secrets was released on Capitol's tax-writeoff Tower subsidiary and received virtually no promotion from the label. By 1968 it was becoming increasingly clear that Syd Barrett was going off the deep end due to ongoing mental health issues exacerbated by heavy use of hallucinogenics and it's reasonable to assume the label expected to band to soon dissolve. After one performance where Barrett did nothing but stand and strum a single chord for the entire set the rest of the band made a decision to bring in Barrett's childhood friend David Gilmour as their new guitarist. In all likelihood this decision saved the band itself, as A Saucerful Of Secrets ended up being the only Pink Floyd album to include both Barrett and Gilmour. Meanwhile, other band members were stepping up their contributions as well, Rick Wright's Remember A Day being a prime example.

Artist:     Pink Floyd
Title:     Bike
Source:     CD: The Piper At the Gates of Dawn
Writer:     Syd Barrett
Label:     Capitol (originally released on EMI/Columbia in UK)
Year: 1967
     Due to an inherent cheapness in Tower Records' approach to pretty much everything, four songs were left off the US version of the first Pink Floyd album, The Piper At the Gates of Dawn, with the band's first UK single, Arnold Layne, being inserted in their stead (shortening the album's running time by nearly ten minutes). Among the missing songs was Syd Barrett's Bike, which did not appear in the US until the early 70s, when the Relics compilation was released. All CD releases of Piper in the US have restored the original song lineup and running order.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Got This Thing On The Move
Source:    CD: Grand Funk
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1969
    From summer of 1967 to summer of 1970 I lived in Germany. This gave me a bit of a different perspective on the state of rock music during those years. For example, the Who, a band I had only barely heard of in the US, was huge overseas. On the other hand, bands like the Grateful Dead were little more than a distant legend in Europe at that time. On my return to the States in summer of 1970, I learned of the existence of a power trio from Flint, Michigan called Grand Funk Railroad.  In the US they were universally hated by rock music critics, yet managed to set all kinds of attendance records throughout 1969 and 1970, pretty much single-handedly inventing arena rock in the process. They also managed to get no less than three albums certified gold in 1970 alone. Despite this, GFR was totally unknown in Europe, leading me to believe that the people who ordered albums for the BX were paying too much attention to the Village Voice and Rolling Stone magazine and not enough attention to actual record sales and concert attendance figures. Anyway, I soon got my hands on the album Grand Funk (aka the Red Album) and was totally blown away by the opening track, Got This Thing On The Move. There's a valuable lesson in there somewhere.