Sunday, September 15, 2019
For this year's autumnal equinox we have 30 songs, by 30 different artists, just to keep things, um, equal. That includes our Advanced Psych segment, which pretty much stays in the garage this time around.
Artist: Music Machine
Title: Me, Myself And I
Source: CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released as 45 RPM single A side and included on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer: Sean Bonniwell
Label: Sundazed (original label: Warner Brothers)
With the members of the original Music Machine gone their separate ways, Sean Bonniwell recruited a whole new lineup to record and perform as the Bonniwell Music Machine. The new lineup included Guile Wisdom on lead guitar, Jerry Harris on drums, Harry Garfield on organ and Eddie Jones on bass. The new lineup provided a handful of tracks for the LP Bonniwell Music Machine in early 1968 and released three singles on Warner Brothers, none of which made any headway on the charts, despite being among Bonniwell's best songs. The first of the singles was Me, Myself And I, a song that Bonniwell himself described as "punk pop" and one that presaged the "me first" attitude that would characterize the disco era in the late 70s.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Child Of The Moon (rmk)
Source: CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
Child Of The Moon was originally released as the B side to the Stones' 1968 comeback single, Jumpin' Jack Flash. The song is now available as part of a box set called Singles Collection-The London Years. This track, which is in stereo, has the letters rmk (lower case) following the song title, which leads me to wonder if maybe it is a remake rather than the original recording. I do have a copy of the original 45, but its condition is such that I would rather not use it if I don't have to. As was the case with many of the Stones' 60s recordings, the band is joined by keyboardist Nicky Hopkins on this one.
Artist: Vanilla Fudge
Title: The Sky Cried/When I Was A Boy
Source: LP: Renaissance
The first Vanilla Fudge LP, released in 1967, was filled with psychedelicized versions of established hits such as Cher's Bang Bang, the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby and of course, the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On. For their second LP the group went with a concept album built around Sonny and Cher's The Beat Goes On. The group's third LP, Renaissance, finally revealed the band members' abilities as songwriters (although there were still a pair of cover songs on the album). The opening track on the album, The Sky Cried/When I Was A Boy, was written by bassist Tim Bogert and organist/vocalist Mark Stein.
Artist: Left Banke
Title: Let Go Of You Girl
Source: LP: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
Following a practice that was all too common in 1966-1967, the producers of the Left Banke LP Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina chose to use studio musicians rather than the band itself to record the album's instrumental backing tracks. There were, however, two songs on the LP that featured the band members playing their own instruments. One of those tracks, Lazy Day, was also issued as the B side of the group's second single, Pretty Ballerina. The other was Let Go Of You Girl, a tune that is only available as an album cut.
Title: You Set The Scene
Source: Mono CD: Forever Changes
Writer: Arthur Lee
During the production of Forever Changes, vocalist/guitarist Arthur Lee became convinced that he was destined to die soon after the release of the album. Accordingly, he crafted lyrics that were meant to be his final words to the world. As the final track on the LP, You Set The Scene in particular reflected this viewpoint. As it turned out, Forever Changes was not Lee's swan song. It was, however, the last album to feature the lineup that had been the most popular band on Sunset Strip for the past two years. Subsequent Love albums would feature a whole new lineup backing Lee, and would have an entirely different sound as well. Ironically, Lee was still around at the dawn of the 21st century over 30 years later (dying of acute myeloid leukemia in 2006), outliving several of his old bandmates.
Title: Unhappy Girl
Source: CD: Strange Days
Writer(s): The Doors
After the success of their first album and the single Light My Fire in early 1967, the Doors quickly returned to the studio, releasing a second LP, Strange Days, later the same year. The first single released from the new album was People Are Strange. The B side of that single was Unhappy Girl, from the same album. Both sides got played on the jukebox at a neighborhood gasthaus known as the Woog in the village of Meisenbach near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.
Title: Come On
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Australia as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Peter Hood
Label: Rhino (original label: Sunshine)
One of Australia's most popular and prolific bands, the Atlantics were formed in 1961 as a surf band. By 1964 they were also recording songs with vocals, usually backing up singer Johnny Rebb. Additionally, they released a handful of records with their own vocals provided by guitarist Jim Addams and/or drummer Peter Hood. Among those singles was Come On, a 1967 track written by Hood.
Title: For Pete's Sake
Source: CD: Headquarters
Label: Rhino (original label: Colgems)
It didn't come as a surprise to anyone who knew him that first member of the Monkees to depart the band was Peter Tork. Of all the members of the "pre-fab four" Tork was the most serious about making the group into a real band, and was the most frustrated when things didn't work out that way. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Tork had been a part of the Greenwich Village scene since the early 60s, where he became close friends with Stephen Stills. Both Tork and Stills had relocated to the west coast when Stills auditioned for the Monkees and was asked if he had a "better looking" musician friend that might be interested in the part. Although Tork was, by all accounts, the best guitarist in the Monkees, he found himself cast as the "lovable dummy" bass player on the TV show and had a difficult time being taken seriously as a musician because of that. During the brief period in 1967 when the members of the band did play their own instruments on their recordings, Tork could be heard on guitar, bass, banjo, harpsichord and other keyboard instruments. He also co-wrote For Pete's Sake, a song on the Headquarters album that became the closing theme for the TV show during its second and final season. Until his passing in February of 2019 Tork was involved with a variety of projects, including an occasional Monkees reunion.
Title: (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s): Roy Wood
The most successful British band of the psychedelic era not to have a US hit was the Move, a band that featured Roy Wood and (later) Jeff Lynne, among other notables. The band was already well established in the UK by 1967, when their single Flowers In The Rain was picked to be the first record played on the new BBC Radio One. The B side of that record was the equally-catchy (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree. Both songs were written by Wood, although he only sang lead vocals on the B side.
Title: I Am The Walrus
Source: CD: Magical Mystery Tour
Label: Apple/Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
I once ranked over 5000 recordings from the 1920s through the 1990s based on how many times I could listen to each track without getting sick of hearing it. My original intention was to continue the project until I had ranked every recording in my collection, but after about ten years of near-continuous listening to 90-minute cassette tapes that I would update weekly I finally decided that I needed a break, and never went back to it. As a result, many of my favorite recordings (especially album tracks) never got ranked. Of those that did, every song on the top 10 was from the years 1966-69, with the top five all being from 1967. Although I never returned to the project itself, the results I did get convinced me that I was indeed stuck in the psychedelic era, and within five years I had created a radio show inspired by the project. Not surprisingly, the number one recording on my list was I Am The Walrus, a track from the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour that is often considered the apex of British psychedelia.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Rock Me, Baby
Source: LP: Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival
Despite having recorded and released over a dozen original songs in Europe and the UK prior to their US debut at the Monterey International Pop Festival, the Jimi Hendrix Experience chose to fill their set with more cover songs than originals at the festival itself. Of the five cover songs, two were high-energy reworkings of blues classics such as B.B. King's Rock Me, Baby. Hendrix would eventually rework this arrangement into an entirely original song with new lyrics.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: Get Me To The World On Time
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: The Electric Prunes and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Reprise)
With I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) climbing the charts in early 1967, the Electric Prunes turned to songwriter Annette Tucker for several more tracks to include on their debut LP. One of those, Get Me To The World On Time (co-written by lyricist Jill Jones) was selected to be the follow up single to Dream. Although not as big a hit, the song still did respectably on the charts (and was actually the first Electric Prunes song I ever heard on FM radio).
Title: Why Did You Hurt Me
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Why Did You Hurt Me is a bit of a musical oddity. The song, which was released B side of their second single, Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, starts off as a growling three-chord bit of classic garage rock, but then goes into a bridge that sounds more like flower pop, with flowing melodic harmonies. This leads into a short transitional section that has little in common with what had come before and finally (somewhat awkwardly) segues back into the three chord main section to finish the song. The important thing, however, is that the piece was written by band members Dick Dodd and Tony Valentine, thus generating royalties for the two.
Title: Over Under Sideways Down
Source: Simulated stereo Australian import CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Raven (original US label: Epic)
The only Yardbirds album to feature primarily original material was released under different titles in different parts of the world. The original UK version was called simply The Yardbirds, while the US album bore the title Over, Under, Sideways, Down. In addition, the UK album was unofficially known as Roger the Engineer because of band member Chris Dreja's drawing of the band's recording engineer on the cover. The title cut was the last single to feature Jeff Beck as the band's sole lead guitarist (the follow-up single, Happenings Ten Years Time Ago, featured both Beck and Jimmy Page).
Title: Friday On My Mind
Source: Mono CD: Battle Of The Bands-Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Era (original label: United Artists)
Considered by many to be the "greatest Australian song" ever recorded, the Easybeats' Friday On My Mind, released in late 1966, certainly was the first (and for many years only) major international hit by a band from the island continent. Technically, however, Friday On My Mind is not an Australian song at all, since it was recorded after the band had relocated to London. The group continued to release records for the next year or two, but were never able to duplicate the success of Friday On My Mind. Ultimately vocalist Stevie Wright returned to Australia, where he had a successful solo career. Guitarists Harry Vanda and George Young, who had written Friday On My Mind, also returned home to form a band called Flash And The Pan in the early 1970s. Later in the decade Young would help launch the careers of his two younger brothers, Angus and Malcolm, in their own band, AC/DC.
Artist: Kaleidoscope (UK band)
Source: British import CD: Further Reflection (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Grapefruit (original label: Fontana)
Although generally thought of as a psychedelic band, Kaleidoscope was, according to its own members, a British pop band that happened to do all of its studio work during Britain's relatively short-lived psychedelic era. A listen to the group's final single for the Fontana label, 1969's Balloon, makes this obvious. Formed in 1964 as the Sidekicks, the group was originally a beat band that supplemented the usual R&B covers with originals from Peter Daltry and Eddie Pumer. As the beat fad waned, they changed their name first to the Key, and then Kaleidoscope when they signed to Fontana in 1967. Following the release of Balloon they became Fairfield Parlour and took on a more progressive sound.
Artist: Strawberry Zots
Title: Keep Me Hangin'
Source: LP: Cars, Flowers, Telephones
Writer(s): Mark Andrews
Albuquerque's Strawberry Zots were led by Mark Andrews, who either wrote or co-wrote all of the band's original material. Their only LP, Cars, Flowers, Telephones, was released locally on the StreetSound label and reissued on CD the following year by RCA records.
Artist: Chesterfield Kings
Title: Selfish Little Girl
Source: LP: Don't Open Til Doomsday
Formed in the late 1970s in Rochester, NY, the Chesterfield Kings (named for an old brand of unfiltered cigarettes that my grandfather used to smoke) were instrumental in setting off the garage band revival of the 1980s. Their earliest records were basically a recreation of the mid-60s garage sound, although by the time their 1987 album, Don't Open Til Doomsday, was released they had gone through some personnel changes that resulted in more commercial-sounding tunes such as Selfish Little Girl, which opens the LP.
Artist: Ace Of Cups
Source: LP: Ace Of Cups
Writer(s): Denise Kaufman
Label: High Moon
Ace Of Cups drummer Diane Vitalich was the only member of the band not to sing any lead vocals during the band's original late-1960s run. On their 2018 debut album, however, Vitalich finally got her turn on Circles, a song that had written by fellow band member Denise Kaufman when she was 19 and had been part of the band's 60s repertoire. The track also features guest Barry Melton (Country Joe & The Fish) on lead guitar.
Artist: Mamas And The Papas
Title: California Dreamin'
Source: LP: If You Believe Your Eyes And Ears (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): John and Michelle Phillips
California Dreamin' was written in 1963 by John and Michelle Phillips, who were living in New York City at the time. The two of them were members of a folk group called the New Journeymen that would eventually become The Mamas And The Papas. Phillips initially gave the song to his friend Barry McGuire to record, but McGuire's version failed to chart. Not long after that McGuire introduced Philips to Lou Adler, president of Dunhill Records who quickly signed The Mamas And The Papas to a recording contract. Using the same instrumental backing track (provided by various Los Angeles studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew), The Mamas And The Papas recorded new vocals for California Dreamin', releasing it as a single in late 1965. The song took a while to catch on, but eventually peaked in the top five nationally, beginning a string of hits for the quartet.
Artist: Blues Magoos
Title: She's Coming Home
Source: CD: Kaleidoscopic Compendium (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Generally speaking, cheatin' songs in 1966 were considered the province of country music. The few exceptions, such as Paul Revere and the Raiders' Steppin' Out, were all told from the victim's point of view. The Blues Magoos, however, turned the entire thing upside down with She's Coming Home, a song about having to break up with one's new girlfriend in the face of the old one returning from...(prison, military duty? The lyrics never make that clear). The unusual nature of the song is in keeping with the cutting edge image of a band that was among the first to use the word psychedelic in an album title and almost certainly was the first to wear electric suits onstage.
Title: Guide For The Married Man
Source: Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released on LP: Happy Together and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
For a short time in the spring of 1967 the Turtles were the hottest band in the country. Happy Together had just pushed the Beatles' Penny Lane off the top of the charts and they were busy recording songs for their third LP, also titled Happy Together. They were so popular, in fact, that they were asked to perform the title track for Walter Matthau's latest film, A Guide For The Married Man. The song was recorded in time to be included on the Happy Together LP and ended up being the third single released from the album. The song, however, stiffed and was quickly withdrawn from circulation. Luckily the next Turtles single, She's My Girl, did much better.
Artist: Moby Grape
Source: LP: Grape Jam
Writer(s): Bob Mosley
For their second album, Moby Grape decided to do something different. In addition to the LP Wow, there was a second disc called Grape Jam included at no extra charge. For the most part Grape Jam is exactly what you'd expect: a collection of after-hours jam sessions with guest guitarist/keyboardist Michael Bloomfield. The opening track of Grape Jam, however, is actually a composition by Bob Mosley. The song features Mosley on bass and vocals, Jerry Miller and Skip Spence and guitars and Don Stevenson on drums, all of whom were actual members of Moby Grape.
Title: Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)
Source: European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Candles In The Rain)
Writer(s): Melanie Safka
Label: Sony Music (original label Buddah)
When it comes to songs inspired by the Woodstock festival, the most famous is, by far, Joni Mitchell's Woodstock, which became a huge hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1970. The thing about that song, however, is that Mitchell herself was not actually at the festival, having famously been advised by her manager to appear on the Dick Cavett show instead. The most famous Woodstock song written (and sung) by someone who was actually there, was Melanie's Lay Down (Candles In The Rain), which was also a huge hit in 1970. New York born Melanie Safka was still virtually unknown in the US when she became one of three female solo artists to appear at Woodstock, although she did have a strong following in Europe thanks to the success of Bobo's Party and Beautiful People, the latter of which she performed on the Woodstock stage. Whereas Mitchell's Woodstock was a description of the festival itself, Lay Down (Candles In The Wind) is more about the spirit of both the crowd and many of the performers, focusing particularly on Melanie's own performance and the crowd reaction to it. The recorded song, from the album Candles In The Rain, was a collaboration between Melanie and the Edwin Hawkins Singers, who's Oh, Happy Day was a top five single in the months leading up to the Woodstock festival.
Artist: Simon And Garfunkel
Title: Song For The Asking
Source: LP: Bridge Over Troubled Water
Writer(s): Paul Simon
As the final track on the last Simon And Garfunkel album, Song For The Asking serves as a kind of coda for the duo's career together, coupled with a promise to keep the door open for future collaborations. It was deliberately sequenced to follow their energetic live rendition of the Everly Brothers' Bye Bye Love to close out the 1970 LP Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Title: Empty Pages
Source: CD: Smiling Phases (originally released on LP: John Barleycorn Must Die)
Traffic was formed in 1967 by Steve Winwood, after ending his association with the Spencer Davis Group. The original group, also featuring Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood, put out two and a half albums' worth of studio material before disbanding in early 1969. A successful live album, Welcome to the Canteen, prompted the band to reform (without Mason), releasing the album John Barleycorn Must Die in 1970. Although Empty Pages was released as a single, it got most of its airplay on progressive FM rock stations, and as those stations were replaced by (or became) album-oriented rock (AOR) stations, the song continued to get extensive airplay for many years.
Artist: Mojo Men
Title: She's My Baby
Source: Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original labels: Autumn/Reprise)
Although generally considered to be one of the early San Francisco bands, the Mojo Men actually originated in Rochester, NY. After spending most of the early 60s in Florida playing to fraternities, the band moved out the West Coast in 1965, soon falling in with Autumn Records producer Sylvester Stewart (Sly Stone), for a time becoming his backup band. Stewart produced several singles for the Mojo Men, including She's My Baby, a song that had originally been recorded in 1962 as a song to do the mashed potato (an early 60s dance) to by Steve Alaimo, brother of Mojo Men bassist/lead vocalist Jim Alaimo and co-host (with Paul Revere and the Raiders) of the nationally distributed dance show Where The Action Is. The Mojo Men version of She's My Baby has more of a blues/garage-rock sound than the Steve Alaimo original, prompting its inclusion on several compilation albums over the past forty years. The original single, released in 1965 on the Autumn label, had different vocals than the 1966 Reprise reissue heard here, although both use the same instrumental backing track.
Title: Why (RCA Studios version)
Source: CD: Fifth Dimension (bonus track)
Year: Recorded 1965, released 1996
One of the highlights of the Byrds' Younger Than Yesterday album, released in early 1967, was a song co-written by David Crosby and Jim (Roger) McGuinn called Why. Many of the band's fans already knew that a different version of the song had already been released as the B side of Eight Miles High the previous year. What was not as well-known, however, was that both songs had been first recorded at the RCA Studios in Burbank in December of 1965, but rejected by Columbia due to their being produced at studios owned by a hated competitor. Crosby has since said that he prefers the RCA recordings to the later ones made at Columbia's own studios, calling it "stronger...with a lot more flow to it".
Title: A Well Respected Man
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer: Ray Davies
Label: Eric (original label: Reprise)
Year: Released 1965, charted 1966
The Kinks were one of the original British Invasion bands, scoring huge R&B-influenced hits with You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night in 1964. The hits continued in 1965 with more melodic songs like Set Me Free and Tired Of Waiting For You. 1966 saw Ray Davies's songwriting take a satiric turn, as A Well Respected Man (actually released in late 1965) amply illustrates. Over the next few years the Kinks would continue to evolve, generally getting decent critical reviews and moderate record sales for their albums. The title of one of those later albums, Muswell Hillbillies, refers to the Davies brothers hometown of Muswell Hill, North London.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: White Rabbit
Source: 45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s): Grace Slick
For many the definitive song of the psychedelic era, White Rabbit, released as a single after getting extensive airplay on "underground" FM stations, was the second (and final) top 10 hit for the Airplane in the summer of '67. In 1987 RCA released a special stereo reissue of the single on white vinyl to accompany the 2400 Fulton Street box set.
This week marks the autumnal equinox, and just to be contrary I made sure no two songs on this week's show were exactly the same length (although a couple came pretty close). Included among our 13 songs are long versions of two tunes (one each from Grand Funk Railroad and Jethro Tull) that have made appearances on the show in their shorter single form, and possibly the shortest song (from Crosby, Stills and Nash) to get regularly airplay on FM rock radio in the early 1970s.
Artist: Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
Title: The Cover Of "Rolling Stone"
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer(s): Shel Silverstein
Much of the success of Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show can be attributed to one man: Shel Silverstein. In addition to writing nearly every well-known Dr. Hook song, including The Cover Of "Rolling Stone", Silverstein was an accomplished cartoonist, having been published regularly in Playboy since the late 1950s, and prose writer whose works included the children's book The Giving Tree. He also wrote songs for such varied artists as Johnny Cash (A Boy Named Sue), Tompall Glazer (Put Another Log On The Fire) and the Irish Rovers (The Unicorn).
Artist: Crosby, Stills And Nash
Title: Marrakesh Express
Source: CD: Crosby, Stills And Nash
Writer(s): Graham Nash
The first time I ever heard of Crosby, Stills And Nash was on Europe's powerhouse AM station Radio Luxembourg, which broadcast in an American-style top 40 format during the evening and into the early morning hours. As was common on top 40 stations, Radio Luxembourg had a "pick hit of the week", a newly-released song that the station's DJs felt was bound to be a big hit. One night in July of 1969 I tuned in and heard the premier of the station's latest pick hit: Marrakesh Express, by Crosby, Stills And Nash. Sure enough, the song climbed the British charts rather quickly, peaking at #17 (20 positions higher than in the US). The song itself was based on real events that Graham Nash experienced on a train ride in Morocco while still a member of the Hollies. Nash had been riding first class when he got bored and decided to check out what was happening in the other cars. He was so impressed by the sheer variety of what he saw (including ducks and chickens on the train itself) that he decided to write a song about it. The other members of the Hollies were not particularly impressed with the song, however, and its rejection was one of the factors that led to Nash leaving the band and moving to the US, where he hooked up with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. Crosby and Stills liked the song, and it became the trio's first single.
Artist: Grateful Dead
Title: Sugar Magnolia
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Label: Warner Brothers
One of the most popular songs in the Grateful Dead catalog, Sugar Magnolia also has the distinction of being the second-most performed song in the band's history, with 596 documented performances. The song, written by Robert Hunter and Bob Weir, first appeared on the 1970 album American Beauty, but was not released as a single. A live version two years later, however, did see a single release, charting in the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100.
Artist: Ten Years After
Title: Hear Me Calling
Source: CD: Stonedhenge
Writer(s): Alvin Lee
Ten Years After's third album, Stonedhenge, was the band's first real attempt to take advantage of modern studio techniques to create something other than a facsimile of their live performances. Included on the album are short solo pieces, as well as half a dozen longer tracks featuring the entire band. One of the most popular of these full-band tracks is Hear Me Calling, which finishes out side one of the original LP. The song itself follows a simple blues structure, but is augmented by dynamic changes in volume as well as dizzying stereo effects. TYA would continue to develop their studio technique on their next LP, the classic Cricklewood Green.
Artist: Allman Brothers Band
Title: Hot 'Lanta
Source: LP: At Fillmore East
Label: Mercury (original label: Capricorn)
The only song on the Allman Brothers' landmark album At Fillmore East is Hot 'Lanta, a piece that evolved out of a jam session and was only performed live. The melody line comes from guitarist Dickey Betts, who also contributes a solo, as do fellow guitarist Duane Allman and keyboardist Gregg Allman.
Artist: Black Sabbath
Title: The Wizard
Source: CD: Black Sabbath
Label: Warner Brothers/Rhino
Often cited as the first true heavy metal album, Black Sabbath's debut LP features one of my all-time favorite album covers (check out the Stuck in the Psychedelic Era Facebook page's Classic Album Covers section) as well as several outstanding tracks. One of the best of these is The Wizard, which was reportedly inspired by the Gandalf character from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
Title: End Of The Night
Source: LP: The Doors
Writer(s): The Doors
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: Jethro Tull
Title: Minstrel In The Gallery
Source: LP: Minstrel In The Gallery
Writer(s): Ian Anderson
Following the back-to-back album-length works Thick As A Brick and A Passion Play, Jethro Tull returned to recording shorter tunes for the next couple of years' worth of albums. In late 1975, however, they recorded the eight minute long Mistrel In The Gallery for the album of the same name. The song (and album) was a return to the mix of electric and acoustic music that had characterized the band in its earlier years, particularly on the Aqualung and Benefit albums. A shorter version of Minstrel In The Gallery was released as a single and did reasonably well on the charts.
Artist: Electric Flag
Title: Earthquake Country
Source: LP: The Band Kept Playing
Writer(s): Nick Gravenites
The original Electric Flag fell apart fairly quickly, despite universally positive critical reviews from the rock press. It was only natural, then, that they would get together a few years later for a reunion album. This time, though, the critics were not impressed with the results, and the album The Band Kept Playing ended up being a one-off affair. There were some decent tunes on the LP, however, including Nick Gravenites' Earthquake Country.
Artist: Flo & Eddie
Title: If We Only Had The Time
Source: LP: Flo & Eddie (promo copy)
When the Turtles split up, guitarist Mark Volman and lead vocalist Howard Kaylan found themselves in the awkward position of being unable to use their own names professionally, thanks to contractual restrictions imposed on them years before by White Whale Records. So, to keep on performing Volman became The Phlorescent Leech, while Kaylan took the name Eddie. Their first official appearances as The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie were with Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention, including the infamous Live At Fillmore East album. An onstage accident, however, forced Zappa to temporarily disband the Mothers in 1971. The following year an album called The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie was released, featuring most of the members of the Mothers. This was followed in 1973 by the album Flo & Eddie (The Phlorescent Leech having been deemed to unwieldy a name to continue with), which was released to support the duo's tour as Alice Cooper's opening act. The opening track of that album, If We Only Had The Time, features, in addition to Kaylan and Volman, Gary Rowles on lead guitar and John Herron on keyboards, as well as two former Mothers, bassist Jim Pons (who had also been a member of the Turtles) and drummer Aynsley Dunbar, whose list of credits is about a mile long and still growing.
Artist: Steely Dan
Title: Dirty Work
Source: CD: Can't Buy A Thrill
Label: MCA (original label: ABC)
When Walter Becker and Donald Fagen first formed Steely Dan their hope was that they could be a successful studio band in the mold of the post-1966 Beatles, without having to actually go on tour. Their record label, however, saw things differently, and insisted that the band begin making plans for touring before even finishing their first LP, Can't Buy A Thrill. This brought to the fore an issue that Fagen in particular had hoped would not become an issue: his own stage fright. Such was his fear of public performance as a vocalist that a second lead singer, David Palmer, was brought in to be the band's front man for live appearances. He ended up singing lead on three of the album's ten tracks as well. Of these, Dirty Work is probably the best known. Fagen, of course, soon got over his stage fright, and Palmer and the band parted company.
Artist: Grand Funk Railroad
Title: Gimme Shelter
Source: CD: Survival
It takes cojones to record a cover version of one of the Rolling Stones' most popular (and critically acclaimed) songs. It takes even more to do it just two years after the Stones version came out. But then, we are talking about Grand Funk Railroad, who have to be considered one of the most ballsy bands in rock history. Gimme Shelter was actually one of two cover tunes on the band's fourth studio LP, Survival (the other being Feelin' Alright).
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Come On (part one)
Source: LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer(s): Earl King
Despite being rated by many as the greatest rock guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix's roots were in the blues. One of his most performed songs was Red House (a track that was left off the US release of Are You Experienced), and the Experience's debut US performance at Monterey featured an amped-up version of the B.B. King classic Rock Me Baby. For the Electric Ladyland album Hendrix chose a relatively obscure tune from Earl King, originally recorded in 1962. Come On (Pt. 1) was one of only two cover songs on Electric Ladyland (the other being Bob Dylan's All Along the Watchtower).
Sunday, September 8, 2019
This week we have a verrrry interesting show, especially in the second hour. How so? Well, there's the Advanced Psych segment with the new track from Vertacyn Arc Simulator, not to mention the back to back artists sets from Jefferson Airplane and Deep Purple. As far as the rest goes, read on...
Title: Don't Bring Me Down
Source: CD: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals (originally released on LP: Animalization)
Label: Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Don't Bring Me Down is reportedly one of the few songs written for the Animals by professional songwriters that lead vocalist Eric Burdon actually liked. The song was one of the last hit singles recorded by the original Animals before they disbanded in late 1966.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Lady Jane
Source: CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single B side and on LP: Aftermath)
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
One of the best early Rolling Stones albums is 1966's Aftermath, which included such classics as Under My Thumb, Stupid Girl and the eleven-minute Goin' Home. Both the US and UK versions of the LP included the song Lady Jane, which was also released as the B side to Mother's Little Helper (which had been left off the US version of Aftermath to make room for Paint It Black). The policy at the time was for B sides that got a significant amount of airplay to be rated separately from the A side of the single, and Lady Jane managed to climb to the # 24 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (Mother's Little Helper peaked at # 8).
Artist: Chocolate Watchband
Title: Sweet Young Thing
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Ed Cobb
Label: Rhino (original label: Uptown)
There is actually very little on vinyl that captures the flavor of how the Chocolate Watchband actually sounded when left to their own devices, as most of their recorded work was heavily influenced by producer Ed Cobb. One of the few recordings that does accurately represent the Watchband sound is Sweet Young Thing, the first single released under the band's real name (Blues Theme, an instrumental Watchband recording credited to the Hoggs, had been released in 1966 by Hanna-Barbera records).
Title: (Roamin' Thro' the Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen
Source: CD: Traffic
Label: Island (original US label: United Artists)
In its original run, Traffic only released two full albums (and a third that consisted of non-LP singles, studio outtakes and live tracks). The second of these, simply titled Traffic, featured several memorable tunes, including (Roamin' Through the Gloamin' With) 40,000 Headmen, a Steve Winwood/Jim Capaldi collaboration.
Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: My Sunday Feeling
Source: CD: This Was
Writer(s): Ian Anderson
Label: Chrysalis/Capitol (original label: Reprise)
For years my only copy of Jethro Tull's first LP, This Was, was a cassette copy I had made myself. In fact, the two sides of the album were actually on two different tapes (don't ask why). When I labelled the tapes I neglected to specify which tape had which side of the album; as a result I was under the impression that My Sunday Feeling was the opening track on the album. It turns out it was actually the first track on side two, but I still tend to think of it as the "first" Jethro Tull song, despite the fact that the band had actually released a single, Sunshine Day, the previous year for a different label.
Artist: Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Source: CD: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Label: Polydor (original label: Atlantic)
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.
Title: Revelation (conclusion)
Source: CD: Da Capo
The undisputed kings of the Sunset Strip in the mid-1960s were the members of Love. Led by Arthur Lee, the band held down the position of house band at the Strip's most famous club, the Whiskey A-Go-Go, throughout 1966 and much of 1967, even as the club scene itself was being squeezed out of existence by restrictive new city ordinances. Love liked being the top dog in L.A., so much so that they decided to forego touring to promote their records in favor of maintaining their presence at the Whiskey. In the long run this cost them, as many of their contemporaries (including one band that Love itself had discovered and introduced to Elektra producer Paul Rothchild: the Doors) went on to greater fame while Love remained a cult band throughout their existence. One of the highlights of their stage performances was a 19-minute jam called Revelation, a piece originally called John Hooker that served to give each band member a chance to show off with a solo. Although the band had been playing Revelation throughout 1966, inspiring the Rolling Stones to do a similar number on one of their own albums, they did not get around to recording a studio version of Revelation until 1967, prompting some critics to assume that Love had ripped off the Stones rather than the other way around. By that point they had added two new members, Tjay Cantrelli (sax) and Michael Stuart (drums), whose solos take up the last six minutes or so of the recorded version of the tune. The Harpsichord solo at the end of Revelation is played by "Snoopy" Pfisterer, who had switched from drums to keyboards when Stuart joined the group, and would soon leave the band completely.
Title: I Couldn't Get High
Source: CD: The Fugs First Album (originally titled The Village Fugs Sing Ballads Of Contemporary Protest, Points Of View, And General Dissatisfaction)
Writer(s): Ken Weaver
Label: Fantasy (original labels: Broadside & ESP)
Formed in 1964, the Fugs were the first (in their own words) "anarcho-socialist" street band of the rock era. Most of their songs contained language that was forbidden on the radio. Those that did not contain forbidden language had drug references, which essentially had the same result as far as getting top 40 airplay went. Not that anything by the Fugs would have ever been played on top 40 radio anyway. It was too raw, too sloppy, and too, well, uncommercial to ever get heard by the masses. Nonetheless, the Fugs managed to achieve legendary status over the years, serving as inspiration to groups like David Peel and the Lower East Side, the Ramones and the Patti Smith Group, among others. A fairly representative track that can be played without incurring any FCC sanctions is I Couldn't Get High, from the Fugs First Album. The album itself originally appeared in 1965 as The Village Fugs Sing Ballads Of Contemporary Protest, Points Of View, And General Dissatisfaction on the independent Broadside label. The following year the album was remixed and re-released on the ESP label as the Fugs First Album, and was digitally remastered and committed to CD by Fantasy Records in 1994.
Artist: Spencer Davis Group
Title: Gimme Some Lovin'
Source: Mono LP: Gimme Some Lovin' (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Steve Winwood
Label: United Artists
The 1980s movie The Big Chill used Gimme Some Lovin' by the Spencer Davis Group as the backdrop for a touch football game at an informal reunion of former college students from the 60s. From that point on, movie soundtracks became much more than just background music and soundtrack albums started becomming best-sellers. Not entirely coincidentally, 60s-oriented oldies radio stations began to appear in major markets as well. Most of them are now playing 80s and even 90s oldies, by the way.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: If You Want This Love
Source: Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released on LP: Part One)
Writer: Baker Knight
Label: Rhino (original label: Reprise)
The first West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band album, Volume One, had a limited print run on Fifa, a small independent label based in Los Angeles. After landing a contract with Reprise, the band recut many of the songs (most of which were cover tunes) from Volume One and called the new album Part One. If You Want This Love, a song written and originally recorded by L.A. local legend Baker Knight, is one of those recut tracks.
Artist: Orange Wedge
Title: From The Womb To The Tomb
Source: Mono CD: An Overdose Of Heavy Psych (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Arf! Arf! (original label: Blue Flat Ownsley Memorial)
Recorded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1968, From The Womb To The Tomb was the B side of the only single from Orange Wedge, a forerunner of more famous Michigan bands such as the Stooges and the MC5.
Title: I Looked At You
Source: Mono LP: The Doors
Writer(s): The Doors
The first Doors album took about a week to make, and was made up of songs that the band had been performing live as the house band at the Whisky-A-Go-Go in the summer of 1966, including the dance floor friendly I Looked At You. Unlike later Doors albums, which were mixed and released exclusively in stereo, the debut Doors album also had a unique monoraul version with different mixes that was deleted from the Elektra catalogue soon after its release. Like all the songs on the first few Doors albums, I Looked At You is credited to the entire band.
Artist: 13th Floor Elevators
Title: Postures (Leave Your Body Behind)
Source: CD: Easter Everywhere
Label: Charly (original label: International Artists)
There was so much going on with the 13th Floor Elevators in the months leading up to the release of their second LP, Easter Everywhere, that a book could easily be written about it all. The group returned to Texas following a successful California tour in late 1966 and were hailed as returning heroes, largely thanks to the success of their first single, You're Gonna Miss Me. Soon, however, things started to go wrong. The band was under considerable pressure to begin sessions for a new album, but the band members themselves were divided on whether to stay in Texas and work on studio projects or return to California, where the population was much more receptive to the psychedelic sounds the Elevators themselves had helped pioneer. The issue was finally decided when lead guitarist Stacy Sutherland, the one undecided member, got his probation revoked and was not allowed to leave the state. The band's rhythm section, Ronnie Leatherman and John Walton, went to California anyway, leaving Sutherland, guitarist/vocalist Roky Erickson and electric jug player Tommy Hall looking for replacements. Easter Anywhere was conceived as a major spiritual statement, meant to tie together elements of eastern and western religion with mind-expansion elements of LSD; an ambitious project, to be sure. Unfortunately, by the time the new bassist and drummer, Danny Galindo and Danny Thomas, arrived at the rural hunting cabin the rest of the band was hiding out in, Hall and Erickson were so deeply into the project (and LSD), that they were unable to effectively communicate their ideas to the new guys. As a result the group spent an excessive amount of time in the studio with little to show for it. Eventually, when time and money ran out the album was declared finished and Easter Anywhere was released in November of 1967.
Title: Foreign Policy
Source: LP: The Buckinghams' Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: Time And Charges)
Writer(s): James William Guercio
The name James William Guercio is not as well-known as Peter Cetera or David Clayton-Thomas, yet if it weren't for Guercio, neither of the other two would have had the careers that made them famous in the first place. For that matter, if not for Guercio's intervention, the Buckinghams, who had a #1 hit in early 1967 with the song Kind Of A Drag, would have quickly faded off into obscurity as a one-hit wonder band. Born in Chicago in 1945, Guercio moved out to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s, becoming a session musician and songwriter, and was even briefly a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention. In late 1966, after returning to his native Chicago he was introduced to the members of the Buckinghams, and soon became their producer, releasing the album Time And Charges on the Columbia label in 1967. The album included two top 10 singles, as well as more experimental tracks such as Foreign Policy, which Guercio wrote for the band. The following year Guercio was approached by an old college friend, Walter Parazaider, who invited him to come hear his new band, the Big Thing. Guercio became that band's manager and producer, convincing them to move to Los Angeles and change their name to the Chicago Transit Authority, which later was shortened to Chicago. During sessions for the first Chicago album, Guercio was asked by the people at Columbia to produce the second Blood, Sweat & Tears album, featuring that band's new vocalist, David Clayton-Thomas. Although the album was a huge success, Guercio stayed with Chicago, producing a total of 11 albums and 17 top 25 singles over the next few years, making a star of vocalist/bassist Peter Cetera in the process. Since parting company with Chicago in 1978, Guercio has been involved in various enterprises, including founding a popular recording studio in Colorado that burned down in 1985 called the Caribou Ranch, and for a while was owner of the Country Music Television cable network.
Title: Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me)
Source: 45 RPM single
Minneapolis has always had a more active local music scene than one might expect from a medium-sized city in the heart of the snow belt. Many of the city's artists have risen to national prominence, including a band called Crow, who's 1969 single Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me), hit close to the top of the charts in early 1970. The band had been formed in 1967 as South 40, changing its name to Crow right around the same time they signed to Amaret Records in 1969.
Artist: Vertacyn Arc Materializer
Title: El Dorado
Source: LP: Tasting The Sea
Writer(s): Vertacyn Arc Materializer
Label: 10 GeV
The city of San Francisco seems to produce more than its share of bands that go out of their way to maintain their anonymity. In the early 1970s the Residents even recorded an album called Not Available, intending to not release it until all of the band members had forgotten about its existence (it eventually got released in 1978 during a creative dry spell). These days the San Francisco anonymous band torch is carried by Vertacyn Arc Materializer, a band that is just as hard to describe as the Residents themselves. Their second LP, Tasting The Sea, is only available on Vinyl, and it's packaging is nothing less than spectacular. The front cover is the famous Rolling Stones "mouth" logo dissected by an actual zipper, mimicking the Stones' own Sticky Fingers cover, against a stark white background. Opening the zipper reveals a "circle c" copyright symbol. The back cover featuring "portraits" of each of the four band members: the Starbucks logo (bass, guitar), the US $20 bill version of President Andrew Jackson (drums, trumpet), Marilyn (guitar, bass, keyboards) and Homeland Security, represented by a snarling wolf (vocals, keyboards, guitar). There's even more fun stuff on the inside of the gatefold cover, but I'll let you find your own copy to check it out yourself (if you can find one; apparently there were only 500 pressed). Musically, Tasting The Sea is harder to describe; I'd put it with bands like Killing Joke and Nine Inch Nails, with a little Pere Ubu thrown in, but even that comparison falls short of the reality of Vertacyn Arc Materializer. Perhaps the most accessible track on the album is El Dorado, that has a bit of an early Pink Floyd vibe to it. Enjoy!
Title: The End
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s): Oran & Trevor Thornton
Flick was formed in the mid-90s by the Thornton brothers, Oran and Trevor, who had been performing as an acoustic duo. The new band, which included bassist Eve Hill and drummer Paul Adam McGrath, played its first show in December of 1996 and issued its first EP the following spring. In 1998 Flick released their first full-length album on the Columbia label. One of the tracks from that album, The End, was also issued as a single on 7" 45 RPM vinyl, quite an unusual occurence in the 1990s.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: Circus Freak
Source: CD: California '66 (originally released on CD: Feedback)
James Lowe's lyrics and Mark Tulin's running bass line are the strength of Circus Freak, a track from the 2006 Electric Prunes album Feedback. The album was the last full disc from the band to be released before the death of Tulin in 2011.
Artist: Buffalo Springfield
Source: LP: Last Time Around
Writer(s): Stephen Stills
It is not all that unusual for a songwriter to re-use parts of an unfinished song when writing a new piece. When that original song has actually been published and even recorded, though, it's another thing entirely. Such is the case with Questions, a Stephen Stills tune that first appeared on the 1968 contractual obligation album Last Time Around, credited to Buffalo Springfield (although only bassist Bruce Palmer from the actual band plays on the track, along with studio drummer Jimmy Karstein). At the time of its release, Last Time Around sank quickly without making much of a splash, mainly due to the fact that by the time the album was released the band itself had ceased to exist. Stills soon found himself hanging out with former Byrds singer/songwriter David Crosby at his Laurel Canyon hideaway, where they began working up material with former Hollies vocalist Graham Nash for the 1969 album Crosby, Stills And Nash. For the group's second album, deja vu, Stills combined Questions with another unfinished song to create Carry On, one of the staples of early 1970s album rock radio.
Title: Change Is Now
Source: CD: The Notorius Byrd Brothers
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: Jefferson Airplane
Title: How Do You Feel
Source: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s): Tom Mastin
How Do You Feel is one of the few Jefferson Airplane songs that was not written by band members. Truth to tell, I don't know a thing about Tom Mastin, who wrote the tune, other than the fact that he was a friend of Paul Kantner's before the Airplane was formed. I do know that the song was selected to be the B side of their first single from Surrealistic Pillow (the A side being the Skip Spence tune My Best Friend), and that neither tune charted nationally, although they both got airplay on San Francisco area radio stations.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: High Flying Bird
Source: Mono LP: Early Flight
Writer(s): Billy Edd Wheeler
Year: Recorded 1965, released 1974
One of the more outstanding performances at the Monterey International Pop Festival was Jefferson Airplane's rendition of High Flyin' Bird, a song usually associated with Buffy St.-Marie. The song had actually been in the band's repertoire almost from the beginning, as this recording from 1965, featuring the original Airplane lineup of Marty Balin and Signe Anderson (vocals), Jorma Kaukonen and Paul Kantner (guitars), Jack Casidy (bass) and Skip Spence (drums), demonstrates.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Go To Her (version two)
Source: CD: Surrealistic Pillow (bonus track originally released on LP: Early Flight)
Label: RCA/BMG Heritage (original label: Grunt)
Year: Recorded 1966, released 1974
Nearly every major artist acquires a backlog of unreleased songs over a period of time, usually due to lack of space on their official albums. Eventually many of these tracks get released on compilation albums or (more recently) as bonus tracks on CD versions of the original albums. One of the first of these compilation albums was Jefferson Airplane's Early Flight LP, released in 1974. Of the nine tracks on Early Flight, five were recorded during sessions for the band's first two LPs, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off and Surrealistic Pillow. One song originally intended for Surrealistic Pillow was Go To Her, an early Paul Kantner collaboration. At four minutes, the recording was longer than any of the songs that actually appeared on the album, which is probably the reason it didn't make the final cut, as it would have meant that two other songs would have to have been deleted instead.
Artist: Deep Purple
Title: Prelude: Happiness/I'm So Glad
Source: LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
Deep Purple was originally the brainchild of vocalist Chris Curtis, whose idea was to have a band called Roundabout that utilized a rotating cast of musicians onstage, with only Curtis himself being up there for the entire gig. The first two musicians recruited were organist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, both of whom came aboard in late 1967. Curtis soon lost interest in the project, and Lord and Blackmore decided to stay together and form what would become Deep Purple. After a few false starts the lineup stabilized with the addition of bassist Nicky Simper, drummer Ian Paice and vocalist Rod Evans. The group worked up a songlist and used their various connections to get a record deal with a new American record label, Tetragrammaton, which was partially owned by actor/comedian Bill Cosby. This in turn led to a deal to release the band's recordings in England on EMI's Parlophone label as well, although Tetragrammaton had first rights to all the band's material, including the classically-influenced Prelude: Happiness, which leads directly into a cover of the Skip James classic I'm So Glad. The band's first LP, Shades Of Deep Purple, was released in the US in July of 1968 and in the UK in September of the same year. The album was a major success in the US, where the single Hush made it into the top five. In the UK, however, it was panned by the rock press and failed to make the charts. This would prove to be the pattern the band would follow throughout its early years; it was only after Evans and Simper were replaced by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover that the band would find success in their native land. Both editions of Deep Purple can be heard regularly on our sister show, Rockin' in the Days of Confusion.
Artist: Deep Purple
Source: LP: Deep Purple
Writer(s): Donovan Leitch
In their original incarnation Deep Purple was known mostly for their restyling of other artists' songs, such as Joe South's Hush and Neil Diamond's Kentucky Woman. Indeed, their first LP only had three original songs on it, and only one of those, Mandrake Root, got any kind of airplay. Their eponymous third LP, however, released in 1969, was made up almost entirely of original material. The lone exception was a cover of Donovan's Lalena, which the band said was done in a way that they thought Donovan himself would have liked.
Artist: Deep Purple
Source: LP: Tales Of Deep Purple
Writer: Joe South
Deep Purple scored a huge US hit in 1968 with their rocked out cover of Hush, a tune written by Joe South that had been an international hit for Billy Joe Royal the previous year. Oddly enough, the song was virtually ignored in their native England. The song was included on the album Tales Of Deep Purple, the first of three LPs to be released in the US on Tetragrammaton Records, a label partially owned by actor/comedian Bill Cosby. When Tetragrammaton folded shortly after the release of the third Deep Purple album the band was left without a US label, and went through some personnel changes, including adding new lead vocalist Ian Gilliam (who had sung the part of Jesus on the original Jesus Christ Superstar album) before signing to Warner Brothers and becoming a major force in 70s rock. Meanwhile, original vocalist Rod Evans hooked up with drummer Bobby Caldwell and two former members of Iron Butterfly to form Captain Beyond before fading from public view.
This week we've got the post Labor Day blues, with classics from Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, and Blind Faith supporting our showpiece of the week: the entire first side of John Mayall's Blues From Laurel Canyon (featuring a 17-year-old Mick Taylor on guitar).
Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: A New Day Yesterday
Source: CD: Stand Up
Writer: Ian Anderson
A New Day Yesterday is the opening track from the second Jethro Tull album, Stand Up. Although founding member Mick Abrahams (a guitarist with strong ties to the British blues scene) had just left the band, the tune still shows a blues influence in it's tempo and basic riff. Even then, though, bandleader and composer Ian Anderson was not content to stick to the conventional blues progression. Over the years Tull would continue to move further away from its beginnings as a British blues band.
Artist: Johnny Winter
Title: Be Careful With A Fool
Source: British import CD: Johnny Winter
Label: Repertoire (original US label: Columbia)
Johnny Winter's first album for Columbia (his second overall) is nothing less than a blues masterpiece. Accompanied by bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner, Winter pours his soul into classics like B.B. King's Be Careful With A Fool, maybe even improving on the original (if such a thing is possible).
Artist: Blind Faith
Title: Presence of the Lord
Source: LP: Blind Faith
Writer: Eric Clapton
When the album Blind Faith first came out, several critics questioned why Steve Winwood sang lead on Presence Of The Lord instead of the song's composer, guitarist 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: John Mayall
Title: Blues From Laurel Canyon-part one
Source: European import CD: Blues From Laurel Canyon
Writer(s): John Mayall
In July of 1968, in the middle of a concert tour of Germany, John Mayall made a decision to disband his group The Bluesbreakers, which at this point in time had seven members. After finishing out the band's live commitments, Mayall then got to work on assembling a new, smaller band consisting of himself on keyboards and vocals, Stephen Thompson on bass, Colin Allen on drums, and 17-year-old Mick Taylor on guitar. Once the new group was formed, Mayall promptly left London for a three-week stay in Southern California's Laurel Canyon, where he met several like-minded musicians, including Frank Zappa and the members of Canned Heat, as well as some of L.A.'s more famous groupies. While there he began chronicling his visit by way of a series of songs that would become his next album, Blues From Laurel Canyon. The first of these, Vacation, sets the stage for what is to follow and showcase's Taylor's guitar work. From there it's Walking On Sunset, a paeon to one of L.A.'s most famous boulevards. Laurel Canyon home describes his temporary abode, while 2401 describes a visit to the organized chaos of the Zappa household. The final three songs on side one, Ready To Ride, Medicine Man and Somebody's Acting Like A Child tell the tale of a romantic interlude, and are among Mayall's strongest material. Recorded in early August of 1968, the album was released in November, and helped cement Mayall's reputation as the godfather of British blues.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Red House (1969 studio version)
Source: CD: Valleys Of Neptune
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
There have been many versions of Red House recorded over the years. The earliest version, recorded in late 1966, featured Noel Redding playing his bass line on a slightly detuned acoustic guitar rather than an actual bass guitar. That version was released on the original 1967 European release of Are You Experienced, but left off the US version of the LP. Two years later an alternate take from the same sessions, remixed into stereo, was included on the US version of the Smash Hits album. That same year (1969) the Jimi Hendrix Experience entered the studio to record an entirely new version of the tune. This version, done without any overdubs, runs far longer than any other studio recording of Red House, clocking in at over eight minutes. It was also one of the last recordings made by the original Experience, at a time when tensions within the group (particularly between Redding and Hendrix) were interfering with the creative process. Sadly, this version of Red House falls apart just as the last verse is getting underway; accordingly, the producers of Valleys Of Neptune chose to fade the song out as it crashes and burns.
Title: You Just Don't Care
Source: LP: Santana
Writer(s): Santana (band)
Santana started off as a jam band, with little formal song structure. When it came time to record their first album, however, the group realized that they would have to have actual songs, and began coming up with the various pieces that would make up the 1969 LP Santana. Among those more structured pieces is You Just Don't Care. Although credited to the entire band, I can't help but think it was mostly the work of keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie.
Artist: Humble Pie
Title: Stone Cold Fever
Source: CD: Rock On
Although not released as a single, the most popular song on Humble Pie's fourth LP, Rock On, was Stone Cold Fever, which got extensive airplay on FM rock radio. The tune was written by the entire band, including guitarist Peter Frampton, who would leave Humble Pie soon after the album was released to form his own band, Peter Frampton's Camel.
Sunday, September 1, 2019
This week we have an Advanced Psych segment built around cool bass lines, a Young Rascals set, a whole bunch of songs from 1966 and half a dozen tunes making their Stuck in the Psychedelic Era debut (including one I'll probably be playing again in a couple months...you'll see why).
Artist: Shadows of Knight
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Van Morrison
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunwich)
The original Them version of Van Morrison's Gloria found itself banned on the majority of US radio stations due to controversial lyrics. By changing one line (essentially substituting "around here" for "up to my room") the suburban Chicago punk-blues band Shadows of Knight turned it into a huge hit and a garage band standard.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: Don't Slip Away
Source: LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Label: RCA Victor
Don't Slip Away, from the first Jefferson Airplane album, released in 1966, could probably have been a hit if it had been released as a single. It wasn't, however, and the band remained mostly unknown outside of the immediate San Francisco Bay area for several months after the release of Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. This gave the group the opportunity to make a pair of key personnel changes that resulted in Grace Slick and Spencer Dryden becoming Airplane members in time to record the group's breakthrough LP, Surrealistic Pillow. On the strength of Slick's vocals in particular, the Jefferson Airplane became a national phenomena in 1967.
Artist: Blues Project
Title: Catch The Wind
Source: CD: The Blues Project Anthology (originally released on LP: Live At Cafe Au Go Go and as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Donovan Leitch
Label: Polydor (original label: Verve Folkways)
One of the more underrated talents in US rock is guitarist Steve Katz. One of the original members of the Blues Project, Katz always comes across as a team player, subsuming his own ego to the good of the band. When it was time for Andy Kuhlberg to play a flute solo onstage at Monterey, Katz was the one who obligingly shifted over to bass guitar to cover for him. Steve Katz did occasionally get the chance to shine, though. As a singer/songwriter he provided Sometimes In Winter for the album Blood, Sweat and Tears and Steve's Song for the Blues Project's Projections album. He also was the lead vocalist on the second Blues Project single, a cover of Donovan's Catch The Wind taken from the album Live At Cafe Au Go Go.
Artist: Peter And The Silhouettes
Title: Claudette Jones/The Natural Man
Source: Mono Australian import CD: Tol-Puddle Martyrs (originally released on LP: The Scene From Northern Victoria)
Label: Secret Deals (original label: Pacific)
Peter and the Silhouettes only released two songs before renaming themselves Tol-Puddle Martyrs in 1967. The two tunes, Claudette Jones and The Natural Man, were included on an anthology album released only in Australia called The Scene From Northern Victoria. Both songs are now available on a CD called simply Tol-Puddle Martyrs that collects all the band's 60s releases.
Title: Ever Since The World Began
Source: Mono CD: Roger The Engineer (aka The Yardbirds) (original US title: Over Under Sideways Down)
Label: Great American Recordings (original label: Epic)
It may come as a surprise that the Yardbirds, one of the most celebrated bands of the British Invasion, only made one studio album in their entire existence (the other studio albums released in the US were actually compilation albums of material that had been previously released on 45 RPM vinyl in the UK). That album was The Yardbirds, which was released in the US in 1966 under the title Over Under Sideways Down. The original British cover used a drawing by guitarist Chris Dreja labelled Roger The Engineer, while the US version depicted the band members in a photo pastiche. In many ways the album represented a creative peak for the band, which at that time included Jeff Beck on lead guitar. Most of the material on the album was written in the studio and credited to the entire band, including Ever Since The World Began, which was the last track on side two of the original LP. The song itself is a protest against the rampant materialism that was beginning to dominate Western culture.
Artist: Blues Magoos
Title: (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: Psychedelic Lollipop)
Label: Rhino (original label: Mercury)
The Blues Magoos (original spelling: Bloos, not surprising for a bunch of guys from the Bronx) were either the first or second band to use the word psychedelic in an album title. Both they and the 13th Floor Elevators released their debut albums in 1966 and it is unclear which one actually came out first. What's not in dispute is the fact that Psychedelic Lollipop far outsold The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. One major reason for this was the fact that (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet was a huge national hit in early 1967, which helped album sales considerably. Despite having a unique sound and a look to match (including electric suits), the Magoos were unable to duplicate the success of Nothin' Yet on subsequent releases, partially due to Mercury's pairing of two equally marketable songs on the band's next single without indicating to stations which one they were supposed to be playing.
Artist: Harbinger Complex
Title: I Think I'm Down
Source: Mono British import CD: With Love-A Pot Of Flowers (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Big Beat (original label: Brent)
Most garage/club bands never made it beyond a single or two for a relatively small independent label. Freemont, California's Harbinger Complex is a good example. The group was one of many that were signed by Bob Shad, owner of Mainstream Records and its various subsidiaries such as Time and Brent. The band had already released one single on the independent Amber label and were recording at Golden State Recorders in San Francisco when they were discovered by Shad, who signed them to Brent. The band's first single for the label was the British-influenced I Think I'm Down, which came out in 1966 and was included on Mainstream's 1967 showcase album With Love-A Pot Of Flowers.
Artist: Derek and the Dominos
Source: CD: Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs
Label: Polydor (original label: Atco)
After the breakup of Blind Faith after one album, Eric Clapton set about forming a new band that would be more of a group effort than a collection of stars working together. To this end he found musicians that, although quite talented, were not particularly well-known outside of the British blues community. At first the group deliberately downplayed Clapton's presence in the band in order to stay focused on making music as a collective, although even in the beginning it was clear that Clapton would be the group's lead vocalist. The new group had trouble coming up with a name, however, and (half-jokingly) told one stage MC that their name was Del and the Dynamos. The MC misheard the name and introduced the new band as Derek and the Dominos. The name stuck. Meanwhile, Clapton had recently discovered a new band out of Atlanta, Georgia, calling itself the Allman Brothers band and was so impressed by guitarist Duane Allman that he asked him to join the Dominos. Allman, however, declined Clapton's offer, choosing to stick with the band he had co-founded with brother Gregg. Duane Allman did, however, sit in with Derek and the Dominos in the studio for several tracks on their upcoming double LP. One of the tracks where Allman's distinctive slide guitar stands out is the album's title song, Layla.
Artist: Count Five
Title: The Morning After
Source: Mono LP: Psychotic Reaction
Writer(s): John Byrne
Label: Bicycle/Concord (original label: Double Shot)
Following the success of the single Psychotic Reaction, San Jose, Calfornia's Count Five headed for Los Angeles to record an entire album's worth of material. With the exception of two Who covers, all the songs on the album (also called Psychotic Reaction) were written or co-written by John Byrne, the Irish-born rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist for the band. They were also quite short. The Morning After, for instance, runs less than two minutes total.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: It's Not Fair
Source: CD: Underground
Label: Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
There has always been a kind of odd relationship between rock and country music. After all, some of Rock 'n' Roll's biggest stars, such as Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, were strongly influenced by Country & Western stars like Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. By the late 1960s, however, politics had gotten involved, with rock increasingly representing the youth-oriented antiwar movement and country becoming the music of choice for white rural conservatives (for example, as a military brat I couldn't help but notice that nearly every one of my friends' fathers were country fans). There were some rock musicians, however, that actually had an affinity for country music, which began to be noticable when bands like the Byrds and Poco began playing what came to be called country-rock. On the other hand, there are several examples of rock bands taking a, let us say, tongue-in-cheek approach to country music. It's Not Fair, a James Lowe/Mark Tulin composition from the second Electric Prunes LP, Underground, tends to favor this less-serious approach, especially toward the end of the track.
Title: Anthem (Begin)
Source: LP: Begin
The Millennium's 1968 album Begin can best be described as a cooperative effort by some of L.A.'s most talented studio musicians that was a victim of its own bad timing. Conceived by Curt Boettcher (Sagittarius, the Ballroom) and Keith Olsen (Music Machine), the Millennium also included guitarist Doug Rhodes and drummer (both from the Music Machine), as well as several other Ballroom and Sagittarius veterans, including Ron Edgar, Lee Mallory, Joey Stec, Mike Fennelly and Sandy Salisbury. The album itself, perhaps the best "sunshine pop" album ever produced, was widely praised by music critics, but by July of 1968, when the LP hit the stands, sunshine pop itself was considered hopelessly outdated, replaced by a harder rocking sound favored by the counter-culture and bubblegum pop played on top 40 radio. The final track on Begin shows both a musical sophistication and a touch of humor in the lyrics, which consist of the name of the record company (and its corporate parent) that released the album.
Artist: Hawkwind Zoo
Title: Hurry On Sundown (demo version)
Source: Mono British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution
Writer(s): Dave Brock
Year: Recorded 1969, released 2013
The first single by Hawkwind was a tune called Hurry On Sundown, which was also included on their first LP in 1970. The previous year the band had recorded a demo of the song while they were still calling themselves Hawkwind Zoo. That recording remained unreleased until 2013, when it appeared on the British compilation box set Love, Poetry And Revolution.
Source: CD: The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack (bonus track) (alternate version?)
Label: Fuel 2000 (original label: Immediate)
There are several different running times listed for the 1968 Nice single version of Leonard Bernstein's America. The original European picture sleeve, adapted from an ad in a British music paper, clearly states that the running time is seven minutes and 20 seconds, which is reflected on the actual label of the record in most countries, and was issued only in monoraul form. A handful of releases, however, including those in the US and Germany, show the record's length to be between 6:17 and 6:20. The 1972 compilation album Autumn '67-Spring '68, however, includes the six minute long stereo mix heard here. I have no idea where that version originally came from.
Artist: Fifty Foot Hose
Title: Red The Sign Post
Source: CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Cauldron)
Label: Rhino (original label: Limelight)
Although most of the more avant-garde bands of the psychedelic era were headquarted in New York, there were some exceptions, such as San Francisco's Fifty Foot Hose. The core members of the band were founder and bassist Louis "Cork" Marcheschi, guitarist David Blossom, and his wife, vocalist Nancy Blossom. The group used a lot of unusual instruments, such as theramin, Moog synthesizer and prepared guitar and piano. Probably their most commercial song was Red The Sign Post from the LP Cauldron. After that album the group called it quits, with most of the members joining the cast of Hair. In fact, Nancy Blossom played lead character Sheila in the San Francisco production of the musical.
Artist: Kim Fowley
Source: Import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released on LP: Outrageous)
Label: Zonophone UK (original label: Imperial)
Like a hip Hollywood Forrest Gump, Kim Fowley kept popping up in various capacities throughout the 60s and 70s on records like Alley Oop (co-producer), Nut Rocker (writer, arranger) and the first three Runaways albums (producer and guy who introduced the band members to each other), working with such diverse talents as Gene Vincent, Helen Reddy and Kiss. He also managed to rack up an impressive catalog as a solo artist, with over two dozen albums to his credit. The most successful of these was his 1968 LP Outrageous, which includes the song Bubblegum (also called Bubble Gum). Despite the title, the track has nothing in common with bands like the 1910 Fruitgum Company. In fact, the song is sometimes cited as one of the first glam-rock recordings.
Title: Baby, Please Don't Go (with Robin Williams intro)
Source: Mono 12" single (reissue)
Writer: Joe Williams
Belfast, Northern Ireland was home to one of the first bands that could be legitimately described as punk rock. Led by Van Morrison, the band quickly got a reputation for being rude and obnoxious, particularly to members of the English press (although it was actually a fellow Irishman who labeled them as "boorish"). Their first single was what has come to be considered the definitive rock and roll version of the 1923 Joe Williams tune Baby, Please Don't Go. Despite its UK success, the single was never issued in the US. Oddly enough, the song's B side ended up being the song most people associate with Them: the classic Gloria, which was released as Them's US debut single in 1965 but promptly found itself banned on most US radio stations due to suggestive lyrics. Them's recording of Baby, Please Don't Go gained renewed popularity in the 1980s when it was used in the film Good Morning Vietnam.
Title: Blood And Roses
Source: CD: Blown To Smithereens (originally released on LP: Especially For You)
Writer(s): Pat DiNizio
Label: Capitol (original label: Enigma)
In 1986 I was the host of a show called Rock Nouveaux on KUNM in Albuquerque, NM. Once a month we would feature an entire album side from up and coming bands such as R.E.M., Killing Joke, Skinny Puppy and other groups that would come to be labeled "alternative rock", but at that time were part of a new musical underground. Among the albums that most impressed me was an LP called Especially For You from a band from New Jersey calling themselves the Smithereens. The album, produced by Don Dixon, had a decidedly 60s retro feel to it, especially on tracks like Blood And Roses, which has appeared in several movie and TV soundtracks in the years since its initial release.
Title: Bad Dream
Source: CD: Thank You, Bonzo
Writer(s): Stephen R Webb
One of the more unusual bands on the Albuquerque, NM scene in the late 1980s was a group called the Soft Corps. With a membership that varied depending on the needs of a particular song, the group's on-stage antics included a guitar being leaned on its amp, causing massive feedback while members traded instruments and the band's leader walked off the stage to watch the show. In mid-1988 the Soft Corps officially disbanded, with three of the members, guitarist/bassist/vocalist Quincy Adams, guitarist/keyboardist Suzan Hagler and guitarist/bassist/vocalist StephenR Webb joining up with drummer John Henry Smith to form The Mumphries. Bad Dream, recorded in 1989, features Webb on lead guitar and vocals, Hagler on keyboards, Adams on bass and Smith on drums.
Source: CD: Puzzle
In the early 1990s I found myself within listening range of a Virginia Beach radio station that called itself The Coast. Unlike other radio stations in the area, each of which had a tight playlist determined by extensive audience research, The Coast was a relatively free-form station that played an eclectic mix of classic, modern and alternative rock. Among the bands that got airplay on The Coast was a new three-piece band from California called Dada. Consisting of guitarist Michael Gurley and bassist Joie Calio (who shared lead vocals) along with drummer Phil Leavitt, Dada made their recording debut with the 1992 album Puzzle. The first single released from the album, Dizz-Knee Land, got a lot of airplay on more mainstream rock stations, but it was the album's opening track, Dorina, that really grabbed my attention when I heard it on The Coast.
Title: You're Lost Little Girl
Source: LP: Strange Days
Writer: The Doors
The Doors second LP, Strange Days, was stylistically similar to the first, and served notice to the world that this band was going to be around for awhile. Songwriting credit for You're Lost Little Girl (a haunting number that's always been a personal favorite of mine) was given to the entire band, a practice that would continue until the release of The Soft Parade in 1969.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Purple Haze
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s): Jimi Hendrix
Purple Haze has one of the most convoluted release histories of any song ever recorded. Originally issued in the UK as a single, it scored high on the British charts. When Reprise got the rights to release the first Hendrix album, Are You Experienced?, they chose to replace the first track on the album with Purple Haze, moving the original opening track, Foxy Lady, to side two of the LP. The song next appeared on the Smash Hits album, which in Europe was on the Polydor label. This was the way things stayed until the early 1990s, when MCA acquired the rights to the Hendrix catalog and re-issued Are You Experienced? with the tracks restored to the UK ordering, but preceded by the six non-album sides (including Purple Haze) that had originally been released prior to the album. Most recently, the Hendrix Family Trust has again changed labels and the US version of Are You Experienced? is once again in print, this time on Sony's Legacy label. This means that Purple Haze (heard here in its original mono mix) has now been released by all three of the world's major record companies. That's right. There are only three major record companies left in the entire world, Sony (which owns Columbia and RCA, among others), Warner Brothers (which owns Elektra, Atlantic, Reprise and others) and Universal (which started off as MCA and now, as the world's largest record company, owns far too many current and former labels to list here). Don't you just love out of control corporate consolidation?
Artist: Pink Floyd
Source: CD: Cre/ation-The Early Years 1967-1972 (originally released in UK and Europe as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): Rick Wright
On Pink Floyd's earliest records, the songwriter of record was usually Syd Barrett. After Barrett's mental issues forced him out of the band the other members stepped up to fill the gap. But even before Barrett left, drummer Rick Wright's name began to show up on songwriting credits, such as on Paintbox, a 1967 B side that came out between the band's first two LPs.
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Title: The Dangling Conversation
Source: CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme)
Writer(s): Paul Simon
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: Classics IV
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Label: Silver Spotlight (original label: Imperial)
Most people don't know this (it was news to me too), but the Halloween classic Spooky, by the Classics IV, was orginally an instrumental. The tune was written by saxophonist Mike Sharpe, with Harry Middlebrooks, Jr. and released by Sharpe in 1967, making it to the #57 on the Billboard charts. Late in the year, Classics IV guitarist J. R. Cobb and producer Buddy Buie came up with lyrics for the song in time to get the song recorded and released by Halloween, and the band scored their first top 40 hit with the song, featuring drummer Dennis Yost on lead vocals. The Classics IV continued to hit the top 40 charts into the early 1970s, with Yost moving out from behind the drum kit and taking over top billing, while Cobb and Buie, as a side project, formed the Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1970. Finally, in 1975, Yost officially went solo, ending the story of the Classics IV.
Artist: Things To Come
Title: Come Alive
Source: Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Russ Ward
Label: Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Long Beach, California was home to a band known as Things To Come, which featured drummer Russ Ward, who, as Russ Kunkel, would go on to become one of L.A.'s hottest studio drummers. Come Alive is a solid piece of garage rock written by Ward/Kunkel.
Artist: Young Rascals
Title: Love Is A Beautiful Thing
Source: Mono LP: Collections
One of the strongest tracks on the 1967 Young Rascals album Collections was actually released as a B side in 1966, six months before the album actually came out. Love Is A Beautiful Thing, which was paired with the non-album track You Better Run, was written by organist Felix Cavaliere and drummer Eddie Brigati (although early pressings of the single credit bassist Gene Cornish as co-writer rather than Brigati). To this day I associate Love Is A Beautiful Thing with one of the most popular local cover bands in Weisbaden, Germany when I was a freshman in high school. The band, made up entirely of sons of American servicemen, called itself the Collections, and played virtually every song on the album, as well as tunes by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and other popular R&B artists.
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)
Label: Rhino (original label: Atlantic)
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.
Artist: Young Rascals
Title: Lonely Too Long
Source: Mono LP: Collections
There seems to be a bit of confusion over the official title of the Young Rascals' first single from their 1967 album Collections. The album label and cover clearly show it as Lonely Too Long, but the single itself, released the same day as the album (January 9) just as clearly shows it as I've Been Lonely Too Long. Some sources, apparently trying to come up with a compromise, list it as (I've Been) Lonely Too Long. Since I'm playing this directly from an original mono vinyl copy of Collections, I'm going with the title listed on the album itself.
Title: Out Of The Question
Source: Mono British import CD: Singles A's and B's 1965-1970 (originally released in US as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Big Beat (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Until 2014, one's chances of hearing, let alone posessing, a copy of the B side of the original pressing of the Seeds' Your Pushing Too Hard was, for most of us, Out Of The Question. Thanks to Britain's Big Beat label, however, the song is now available on the CD Singles A's and B's 1965-1970.
Artist: 13th Floor Elevators
Title: Thru The Rhythm
Source: CD: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
Label: Collectables (original label: International Artists)
The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators was reportedly recorded while the entire band was tripping on LSD, making it the first known example of acid rock to be released on vinyl. The album was also (arguably) the first rock album to include the word psychedelic in its title. The 13th Floor Elevators were formed by vocalist Roky Erickson, guitarist Stacy Sutherland and electric juggist Tommy Hall, who also provided lyrics for the group's original compositions such as Thru The Rhythm. Hearing is believing.
Artist: Buffalo Springfield
Source: LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Buffalo Springfield Again)
Writer(s): Stephen Stills
Label: Cotillion (original label: Atco)
When it comes right down to it Buffalo Springfield has one of the highest ratios of songs recorded to songs played on the radio of any band in history, especially if you only count the two albums worth of material that was released while the band was still active. This is probably because Buffalo Springfield had more raw songwriting talent than just about any two other bands. Although Neil Young was just starting to hit his stride as a songwriter, bandmate Stephen Stills was already at an early peak, as songs like Bluebird clearly demonstrate.