Sunday, October 14, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1842 (starts 10/15/18)



    This week, rather than dig up songs that have never been featured on the show before, we are pulling out a bunch of tracks that haven't been heard on Stuck in the Psychedelic in over a year. In a couple of cases, they haven't been played in over seven years. Just to balance things out a bit, we do finish out with a song that is in contention for "most played song of 2018" on the show, but, hey, it's a great song that deserves to be heard.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Superlungs (My Supergirl)
Source:    CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released on LP: Barabajabal)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sony Music Special Products (original label: Epic)
Year:    1969
    Donovan originally recorded a song called Supergirl for his 1966 album Sunshine Superman album, but ultimately chose not to use the track. Over two years later he recorded an entirely new version of the song, retitling it Superlungs (My Supergirl) for the 1969 Barabajagal album.

Artist:     Nazz
Title:     Open My Eyes
Source:     LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: The Nazz)
Writer:     Todd Rundgren
Label:     Rhino (original label: SGC)
Year:     1968
     The Nazz was a band from Philadelphia who were basically the victims of their own bad timing. 1968 was the year that progressive FM radio began to get recognition as a viable format while top 40 radio was being dominated by bubble gum pop bands such as the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express. The Nazz, on the other hand, sounded more like British bands such as the Move and Brian Augur's Trinity that were performing well on the UK charts but were unable to buy a hit in the US. The band had plenty of talent, most notably guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Todd Rundgren, who would go on to establish a successful career, both as an artist (he played all the instruments on his Something/Anything LP and led the band Utopia) and a producer (Grand Funk's We're An American Band, among others). Open My Eyes was originally issued as the A side of a single, but ended up being eclipsed in popularity by its flip side, a song called Hello It's Me, that ended up getting airplay in Boston and other cities, eventually hitting the Canadian charts (a new version would become a solo hit for Rundgren five years later).

Artist:    Quiet Jungle
Title:    Everything
Source:    Mono CD: An Overdose Of Heavy Psych (originally released in Canada as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mark Taylor
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Yorkshire)
Year:    1967
    Musically speaking, 1967 was a busy year in the US, with the Summer of Love in San Francisco, the aftermath of the Sunset Strip crackdown on teenagers in Los Angeles, Andy Warhol's unveiling of the Velvet Underground in New York, and of course, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band casting its shadow over everything. It's easy to see, then, how happenings in neighboring Canada pretty much went under the radar, with bands like the Guess Who cranking out hit after hit without getting any attention whatsoever south of the border. That all changed in 1969 for that band, but other groups, such as Toronto's Quiet Jungle, were never successful outside of Canada itself. That did not stop Yorkshire Records from putting out plenty of singles, however, including Everything, a 1967 tune from the aforementioned Quiet Jungle.

Artist:    Great! Society
Title:    Somebody To Love
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Conspicuous Only In Its Absence)
Writer(s):    Darby Slick
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1968
    One of the iconic songs of the psychedelic era (and of the so-called San Francisco sound) is Somebody To Love, released by Jefferson Airplane in 1967 on their Surrealistic Pillow album. Somebody To Love was written by Darby Slick, guitarist for another San Francisco band, Great! Society. The Society had released the song, featuring Slick's sister-in-law Grace on lead vocals, as a single in early 1966 but was unable to get any local airplay for the record. In June the group played the Matrix, a club managed by Marty Balin, leader of Jefferson Airplane. The entire gig was recorded (probably by legendary Grateful Dead soundman Owsley Stanley, whose board recordings usually isolated the vocals in one channel and the instruments in the other to provide the band with a tape they could use to critique their own performance) and eventually released on an album called Conspicuous Only In Its Absence two years after Great! Society disbanded. Within a few weeks of this performance Grace Slick would leave the group to join Jefferson Airplane, taking the song with her. This whole set of circumstances can't help but raise the question of whether Balin was using the Society's gig at the Matrix as a kind of sideways audition for Slick.

Artist:        Bob Dylan
Title:        Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Source:   Highway 61 Revisited
Writer:        Bob Dylan
Label:        Columbia
Year:        1965
        Although Bob Dylan is not usually thought of as a psychedelic artist, he was the first major folk artist to go electric and was instrumental in introducing several of his fellow musicians to mind-expanding substances. 1965's Highway 61 Revisited album is generally regarded as being among the most influential of Dylan's albums, thanks to tracks like Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues.

Artist:     Johnny Winter
Title:     Bad Luck And Trouble
Source:     LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: The Progressive Blues Experiment)
Writer:     Johnny Winter
Label:     United Artists (original labels: Sonobeat/Imperial)
Year:     1968
     Johnny Winter first started getting attention while playing the Texas blues circuit. His first album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, originally appeared on the regional Sonobeat label and was subsequently reissued nationally on Imperial. Unlike his brother Edgar, who gravitated to rock music, Johnny Winter remained primarily a blues musician throughout his career.

Artist:    Deep Purple
Title:    Hush
Source:    CD: British Beat (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Shades Of Deep Purple)
Writer:    Joe South
Label:    K-Tel (original label: Tetragrammaton)
Year:    1968
    British rockers 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 Deep Purple version of the tune was virtually ignored in their native England. The song was included on the album Shades Of Deep Purple, the first of three LPs to be released in the US on Tetragrammaton Records, a label partially owned by actor/comedian Bill Cosby. When Tetragrammaton folded shortly after the release of the third Deep Purple album, The Book Of Taleisyn, the band was left without a US label, and went through some personnel changes, including the addition of new lead vocalist Ian Gillian (who had sung the part of Jesus on the original Jesus Christ Superstar album), before signing to Warner Brothers and becoming a major force in 70s rock. Meanwhile, original vocalist Rod Evans hooked up with drummer Bobby Caldwell and two former members of Iron Butterfly to form Captain Beyond before fading from public view.

Artist:     Bob Seger System
Title:     Death Row
Source:     45 RPM single B side
Writer:     Bob Seger
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1968
     I like to play Bob Seger's Death Row, written from the perspective of a convicted murderer waiting to be executed, for fans of the Silver Bullet Band who think that Turn the Page is about as intense as it gets. I consider myself lucky to have stumbled across this rare single at a radio station I used to work for. Even better, the station had no desire to keep the record, as the A side, the equally intense anti-war song 2+2=?, never charted.

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Overs
Source:    LP: Bookends
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    Originally written for (but not used in) the film The Graduate, Overs is the middle part of a series of songs on side one of the Bookends album that follow the cycle of life from childhood to old age. The song deals with a long relationship that is coming to an end after years of slow stagnation. Musically the tune is quiet and contemplative, with a loose structure that has more in common with the cool jazz of Miles Davis than either folk or rock.
   
Artist:    George Harrison
Title:    Ski-ing
Source:    CD: Wonderwall Music
Writer(s):    George Harrison
Label:    Apple
Year:    1968
    Starting in 1966 George Harrison showed an intense interest in the music of sitarist Ravi Shankar, and in Indian classical music in general, even to the point of learning to play the sitar himself. His first composition along those lines was Love You To, from the Revolver album, followed in 1967 by Within You Without You from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. In 1968 Harrison took it a step further by composing and performing music for the soundtrack of a film by director Joe Massot called called Wonderwall. The film itself dealt with a wall separating two apartments occupied by individuals from extremely different backgrounds (a lonely college professor and a Vogue model), and a small gap in the wall itself creating a bridge between the two. Harrison used the film as a springboard to fuse music from Eastern (Indian classical) and Western (rock) traditions, introducing Western audiences to various Indian instruments in the process. The album, Wonderwall Music, was Harrison's first solo project as well as the first album released on the Apple label (predating the White album by several weeks). The album featured several guest musicians, including Eric Clapton, who is probably the lead guitarist on Ski-ing, the shortest track on the album. Although Wonderwall Music was not a commercial success at the time of its release, it has since come to be highly regarded as a forerunner of both electronica and world music.

Artist:    Young Rascals
Title:    In The Midnight Hour
Source:    CD: Time Peace-The Rascals' Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: The Young Rascals)
Writer:    Pickett/Cropper
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1966
    The Rascals were the premier blue-eyed soul band of the 1960s (in fact, the term blue-eyed soul was coined specifically to describe the Rascals). Originally from New Jersey, the group changed its name to the Young Rascals at the behest of Atlantic Records for reasons that are lost to history before releasing their debut LP. In addition to the hit single Good Lovin', the album boasted several R&B cover songs. The best-known of these was Wilson Pickett's In The Midnight Hour, which was popular enough to be included on the Rascal's Greatest Hits album.

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     Let Me In
Source:     LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer:     Balin/Kantner
Label:     RCA Victor
Year:     1966
     Jefferson Airplane was the brainchild of vocalist and club manager Marty Balin, who hand-picked the band's original lineup. Among those charter members was Paul Kantner, who Balin had asked to join the band without ever having heard him sing or play. Balin said later that he just knew that Kantner was someone he wanted for his new band. Kantner very quickly developed into a strong singer/songwriter in his own right, starting with the song Let Me In (co-written by Balin), Kantner's first recorded lead vocal for the band.

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

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Like The Seasons
Source:    Mono CD: All The Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Warren Zevon
Label:    Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1967
    Although by far the most successful, the Turtles were by no means the only act signed to the White Whale label in the mid-1960s. Among their labelmates were a duo calling themselves lyme and cybelle (the lack of capitalization was deliberate), whose real names were Warren Zevon and Voilet Santangelo. Although not particularly successful as a recording artist at that time, Zevon did write several tunes for the Turtles to record, including Like The Seasons, which first appeared as the B side of a song called Outside Chance in late 1966. The following year it again appeared as a B side, this time paired with the band's most successful single, Happy Together..
 
Artist:    Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
Title:    Abba Zaba
Source:    45 RPM single (originally issued as B side and included on LP: Safe As Milk)
Writer(s):    Don Van Vliet
Label:    Sundazed/Buddah
Year:    1967
    After an aborted recording career with A&M Records, future avant-garde rock superstar Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) signed a contract with the newly formed Buddah record label. The first record ever released by Buddah was the album Safe As Milk, which included the single Yellow Brick Road, backed with Abba Zaba. Although the Captain's music was at that time still somewhat blues-based, the album was not a commercial success, and Buddah cut Beefheart and his Magic Band from the label in favor of more pop oriented groups like the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express. Captain Beefheart then moved to yet another fledgling label, Blue Thumb, before finding a more permanent home with his old high school classmate Frank Zappa's Bizarre Records, where he released the classic Trout Mask Replica. More recently, Sundazed has re-released the Buddah single, but with Abba Zaba as the A side.

Artist:    Full Treatment
Title:    Just Can't Wait
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Buzz Clifford
Label:    Rhino (original label: A&M)
Year:    1967
    In the fall of 1966 Brian Wilson produced the classic Beach Boys single Good Vibrations, which sent vibrations of its own throughout the L.A. studio scene. Suddenly producers were stumbling all over themselves to follow in Wilson's footsteps with mini-symphonies of their own. Buzz Clifford and Dan Moore, calling themselves the Full Treatment, created Just Can't Wait in 1967 and quickly sold the master tape to A&M Records. Despite enthusiam for the recording at the label, the song was mostly ignored by radio stations and the Full Treatment was never heard from again.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Yesterday's Papers
Source:    CD: Between The Buttons
Writer:    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label:London)
Year:    1967
    Between The Buttons was the Rolling Stones first album of 1967 and included their first forays into psychedelic music, a trend that would dominate their next LP, Their Satanic Majesties Request. The opening track of Between The Buttons was Yesterday's Papers, a song written in the wake of Mick Jagger's breakup with his girlfriend Chrissie Shrimpton (who, after the album was released, tried to commit suicide). The impact of the somewhat cynical song was considerably less in the US, where it was moved to the # 2 slot on side one to make room for Let's Spend The Night Together, a song that had only been released as a single in the band's native UK.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Think For Yourself
Source:    CD: Rubber Soul
Writer:    George Harrison
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1965
    By the end of 1965 George Harrison was writing two songs per Beatle album. On Rubber Soul, however, one of his two songs was deleted from the US version of the album and appeared on 1966's Yesterday...And Today LP instead. The remaining Harrison song on Rubber Soul was Think For Yourself. Harrison later said that he was still developing his songwriting skills at this point and that bandmate John Lennon had helped write Think For Yourself.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
Source:    Mono LP: Rarities (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1970
    Basically a studio concoction assembled by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) was originally intended to be released as a 1969 single by the Plastic Ono Band. The track was the result of four separate recording sessions dating back to 1967 and originally ran over six minutes long. The instrumental tracks were recorded around the same time the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in Spring of 1967. Brian Jones added a saxophone part on June 8th of that year. In April of 1969 Lennon and McCartney added vocals, while Lennon edited the entire track down to slightly over four minutes. The single was readied for a November release, but at the last minute was withdrawn. The recording was instead released as the B side of the Let It Be single the following year. The US pressing of the single gives the title as You Know My Name (Look Up My Number), as does the 1980 LP Rarities. This, however, was a mistake. Leave it to Capitol to not correct that mistake, even ten years after the fact.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Drive My Car
Source:    CD: Rubber Soul (originally released in US on LP: Yesterday...And Today)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Year:    1965 (not released in US until 1966)
    Capitol Records repeatedly got the ire of the Beatles by omitting, adding and rearranging songs on the US versions of their LPs, especially in 1966, when the band was starting to put considerable time and effort into presenting the albums as a coherent package. At the root of the problem were two facts: albums in the UK had longer running times than US albums, and thus more songs, and UK singles stayed in print longer than their US counterparts and were generally not included on albums at all. This resulted in albums like Yesterday and Today that didn't even have a British counterpart. Drive My Car, for example, was released in the US in 1966 on the Yesterday...And Today LP. It had appeared six months earlier in the UK as the opening track of the Rubber Soul album. Oddly enough, despite being one of the group's most recognizable songs, Drive My Car was never issued as a single.

Artist:    Ultimate Spinach
Title:    Ego Trip
Source:    LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s):    Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    1968 was, among other things, the year of the "Boss-Town Sound", a gimmick used to promote several Boston-based bands signed to the M-G-M label (M-G-M having been asleep at the wheel during the recent band-signing frenzy in San Francisco). Derided in the music press as a crass attempt to manipulate record buyers, the ultimate victims of this fraud were the bands themselves, many of which were actually quite talented. Ultimate Spinach was the brainchild of keyboardist Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote all the material for the group's first two LPs. When the stigma of being part of the whole boss-town thing became too much to deal with, Bruce-Douglas left the group. Although the Ultimate Spinach name continued to be used, subsequent albums had little in common musically with the two Bruce-Douglas LPs.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    I Can Move A Mountain
Source:    Kaleidoscopic Compendium (originally released on LP: Basic Blues Magoos)
Writer(s):    Theilhelm/Kelly
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1968
    After parting with an increasingly bubble-gum oriented management team, the Blues Magoos set out to reinvent themselves as a more progressive rock band in 1968. The resulting LP, Basic Blues Magoos, was self-produced and self-recorded, and showed a side of the band that had not been heard before. The group was unable to shed their baggage in the eyes of the record-buying public, however, and the album sold poorly.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Ball And Chain
Source:    LP: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Willie Mae Thornton
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    Big Brother And The Holding Company electrified the crowd at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 with their performance of Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton's Ball And Chain. The rest of the world, however, would have to wait until the following year to hear Janis Joplin's version of the old blues tune, when a live performance recorded at Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium was included on the LP Cheap Thrills.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Little Wing
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    Although it didn't have any hit singles on it, Axis: Bold As Love, the second album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was full of memorable tunes, including one of Hendrix's most covered songs, Little Wing. The album itself is a showcase for Hendrix's rapidly developing skills, both as a songwriter and in the studio. The actual production of the album was a true collaborative effort, combining Hendrix's creativity, engineer Eddie Kramer's expertise and producer Chas Chandler's strong sense of how a record should sound, acquired through years of recording experience as a member of the Animals. The result was nothing short of a masterpiece.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix (Band Of Gypsys)
Title:    Power Of Soul
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1970, released 2013
    1969 was a strange year for Jimi Hendrix. For one thing, he did not release any new recordings that year, yet he remained the top money maker in rock music. One reason for the lack of new material was an ongoing dispute with Capitol Records over a contract he had signed in 1965 as a session player. By the end of the year an agreement was reached for Hendrix to provide Capitol with one album's worth of new material. At this point Hendrix had not released any live albums, so it was decided to tape his New Year's performances at the Fillmore East with his new Band Of Gypsys (with drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox), playing songs that had never been released in studio form. As it turns out, however, studio versions of many of the songs on that album did indeed exist, but were not issued until after Hendrix's death, when producer Alan Douglas put out a pair of LPs (Crash Landing and Midnight Lightning), that had some of the original drum and bass tracks (and even some guitar tracks) re-recorded by musicians that had never actually worked with Hendrix. One of those songs is Power Of Soul, which has finally been released in its original Band Of Gypsys studio version, with background vocals provided by Cox and Miles.

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

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    You Keep Me Hangin' On
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Holland/Dozier/Holland
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    You Keep Me Hangin' On, a hit for the Supremes in 1967, was the first song recorded by Vanilla Fudge, who laid down the seven-minute plus track in a single take. Producer Shadow Morton then used that recording to secure the band a contract with Atco Records (an Atlantic subsidiary) that same year. Rather than to re-record the song for their debut LP, Morton and the band chose to use the original tape, despite the fact that it was never mixed in stereo. For single release the song was cut down considerably, clocking in at around three minutes.

Artist:    Velvet Underground
Title:    I'm Waiting For The Man
Source:    CD: The Velvet Underground And Nico
Writer(s):    Lou Reed
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967
    The most celebrated of the avant-garde psychedelic bands from New York City, the Velvet Underground, did not sell a lot of records during their existence, despite being closely affiliated with Andy Warhol, at the time the hottest name in the art world. This is probably because their music was not (and still isn't) easily accessible for the masses. In fact, the VU may well be that band that your parents were talking about when they were yelling at you to "turn down that noise!".  A listen to Lou Reed's I'm Waiting For The Man from the group's debut LP provides a basis for that particular theory.

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

Artist:    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) while they were together. 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.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1842 (starts 10/15/18)



    Once again the emphasis is on bringing you something different. In this case it means that all but three of this week's tracks have never been played on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion before, and the remaining three haven't been played in well over a year. We start with a tune from Motown's psychedelic wing...

Artist:    Undisputed Truth
Title:    Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today)
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Whitfield/Strong
Label:    Gordy
Year:    1971
    Just about everybody is at least somewhat familiar with the Temptations' 1970 hit Ball Of Confusion. What most people don't realize, though, is that the instrumental backing track, performed by Motown's Funk Brothers, originally ran over ten minutes in length, and was cut down to less than four minutes for the Temptations' single version of the song. Now normally, in a case like this the album track would be the full-length version of the song, but, to my knowledge, no such version exists. This is because the only time the Temptations version of the song was released on an LP was on a greatest hits compilation, which of course used the hit single version. The producers of the track, Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, did find a way to get the full-length version of the backing track on vinyl, however, albeit with a different vocal group entirely. The Undisputed Truth was a second-tier Motown group that recorded exclusively for Whitfield and Strong. They had a pretty big hit themselves in the spring of 1971 with a song called Smiling Faces Sometimes, but had been unable to come up with a strong followup single. Their self-titled debut LP, released in July, included the full version of Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today). A slightly edited version running over seven minutes in length was issued as the B side of the single You Make Your Own Heaven And Hell (Right Here On Earth). I don't have a copy of the album (yet), but here, for your enjoyment, is that B side featuring one of the best backing tracks ever recorded by the Funk Brothers. Enjoy!

Artist:    Jethro Tull
Title:    Look Into The Sun
Source:    CD: Stand Up
Writer(s):    Ian Anderson
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1969
     The last song recorded for Stand Up, Jethro Tull's second album, Look Into The Sun is basically an acoustic piece with a few embellishments from the band's new electric guitarist, Martin Barre. The song appeared as the last track on side one of the original LP.

Artist:    Sugarloaf
Title:    Mother Nature's Wine
Source:    LP: Spaceship Earth
Writer:    Corbetta/Phillips/Reardon
Label:    Liberty
Year:    1971
    Despite being a better album overall than Sugarloaf's first LP, Spaceship Earth did not sell particularly well, only making it to the #111 spot on the Billboard albums chart. This is probably due to the lack of a hit single on a par with Green-Eyed Lady. Of the two singles that were released from Spaceship Earth, the one more similar in style to Green-Eyed Lady was Mother Nature's Wine. The song stalled out in the # 88 spot however, and Sugarloaf did not have another charted single until 1974, when Don't Call Us, We'll Call You made the top 10.

Artist:    Chicago
Title:    Dialogue (part 1&2)
Source:    45 RPM single edit reissue (original version on LP: Chicago V)
Writer(s):    Robert Lamm
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1972
    In their early days Chicago was one of the more politically-oriented rock bands around. One of the more notable tracks on their first album (Someday) was built around the crowds in Lincoln Park chanting outside the 1968 Democratic convention. The group continued to make political statements for the next few years, although by the time they released their landmark four-disc live album they were firmly in the camp of advocating working within the system as opposed to overthrowing everything and starting over (sort of an evolution over revolution approach). One of the more interesting songs of this type is Dialogue, a condemnation of socio-political apathy that originally appeared on the album Chicago V. The structure of the first half of the record is based on Plato's philosophical dialogues, with one vocalist, Robert Lamm, asking disturbing questions and the other, Peter Cetera, giving answers that are on the surface reassuring but in reality bespeak an attitude of burying one's head in the sand and hoping everything will turn out OK. This shifts into a call for everyone to work together to effect needed changes in the world, with the repeated line "We can make it happen" dominating the second half of the record.

Artist:    Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Title:    Blue Moanin'
Source:    LP: Not Fragile
Writer(s):    C.F. Turner
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1974
    After leaving the Guess Who following the release of their most successful album, American Woman, guitarist Randy Bachman returned to his native Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he hooked up with former Guess Who lead vocalist Chad Allen to form a band called Brave Belt. Bachman had a reputation at the time of being somewhat of a lunatic (in his own words), making it difficult to find musicians willing to work with him. He did manage to recruit his brother Robbie as drummer for the group, which was managed by yet another Bachman sibling, Gary. Randy Bachman played both guitar and bass on the Brave Belt LP, which was not exactly a commercial success. Nonetheless, the band's label, Reprise, wanted the group to tour, so they recruited Winnipegian C.F. "Fred" Turner to play bass on the road. Not long after work began on a second Brave Belt album, Allen left the group, and Turner took over as lead vocalist. Allen's material, which the band continued to play even after his departure, was strongly influenced by American country artists like Buck Owens and Chet Atkins. A strange set of circumstances, however, found them doing hard rock cover songs at a university gig in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It seems the promoter was not particularly impressed with the generally tepid response to Brave Belt's material and decided to replace them with a rock band from Toronto. When the other band cancelled out on him, however, the promoter rehired Brave Belt on the condition that they play covers of songs likje Brown Sugar, All Right Now and even Proud Mary. The band itself was energized by the audience reaction to the performance and decided to start writing their own rock-oriented material.  A new demo tape of what was to be called Brave Belt III found its way to the desk of Mercury Records head Charlie Fach, who liked the new material so much he offered the band a contract under the condition that they come up with a new name. After a bit of brainstorming, the group came up with Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and the band's official first album was released on the Mercury label in 1973. Their most successful album, Not Fragile, was released the following year, and featured the talents of "second lead guitarist" Blair Thornton, who had replaced rhythm guitarist Tim Bachman (yet another sibling). Although Randy Bachman was by far the most well-known member of the band (due to his long association with the Guess Who), Fred Turner's contributions were an important element of the band's success, as can be heard on tracks like Blue Moanin', from Not Fragile. This lineup of the band lasted until 1977, although there was a BTO in existence (in one form or another) until 2005.


Artist:    Jo Jo Gunne   
Title:    Academy Award
Source:    LP: Jo Jo Gunne
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Asylum
Year:    1972
    Academy Award is the longest track on Jo Jo Gunne's 1972 debut LP. Like most of vocalists Jay Ferguson's compositions, the song is riff-driven, with a melody reminiscent of Ferguson's work with Spirit, which he and bassist Mark Andes had been members of before forming Jo Jo Gunne.

Artist:    Flower Travellin' Band
Title:    Satori-Part V
Source:    British import CD: Satori (originally released in Japan)
Writer(s):    Satori
Label:    Phoenix (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1971
    Possibly the first Japanese heavy metal band and almost certainly the first Japanese psychedelic group, the Flower Travelin' Band was created as a side project of Yuyu Yuchida, a friend of John Lennon's who, having heard Jimi Hendrix and Cream on a trip to England, wanted to introduce Japanese audiences to this new kind of music. After returning to Japan he gathered a group of musicians together and recorded the first Flowerin' Travellin' Band LP in 1969. The album was made up entirely of covers of bands like Cream and Led Zeppelin. It wasn't until 1971 (and several personnel changes) that the FTB recorded their first LP made up entirely of original material. The album was called Satori, as were all five tracks on the album. It was worth the wait.

Artist:    Black Sabbath
Title:    Lord Of This World
Source:    LP: Master Of Reality
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osbourne/Butler/Ward
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1971
    Black Sabbath continued their winning streak with their third LP, Master Of Reality, in 1971. The album marked the first time that guitarist Tony Iommi deliberately detuned his guitar a step and a half on songs like Lord Of This World in order to ease the pressure on the fingertips of his left hand, which had been damaged in a factory accident years earlier. Bassist Geezer Butler followed step. The result was what Iommi called a "bigger, heavier sound" on songs like Lord Of This World that helped establish Black Sabbath as the kings of heavy metal in the early 1970s.

Artist:    Genesis
Title:    In The Rapids/it
Source:    CD: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Writer(s):    Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford
Label:    Rhino/Atlantic (original label: Atco)
Year:    1974
    The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is considered by many to be the pinnacle of artistic achievement for the band known as Genesis. It was the group's only double-LP studio album (their sixth studio effort overall) and, more importantly, it was Peter Gabriel's final album as a member of Genesis, the group he helped found. The final two tracks on that final effort were among the band's best. Incidentally "it" is deliberately left uncapitilized, as it was on the album itself. In fact, it should be in italics, but the text format I use doesn't have that capability, so you'll just have to use your imagination.

Artist:    Queen
Title:    My Fairy King
Source:    LP: Queen
Writer(s):    Freddie Mercury
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1973
    My Fairy King is the first of a series of songs wriiten by Freddie Mercury concerning the fantasy world of Rhye. Well, technically it was written by Freddie Bulsara, since he ended up taking his stage name from a line in the song itself. It was also the first Queen track to feature Mercury on piano. Brian May, who had played on the song Doing All Right, was reportedly so impressed with Mercury's piano playing on My Fairy King that he turned over all future piano parts to Mercury.

Artist:    Cat Stevens
Title:    Can't Keep It In
Source:    CD: The Very Best Of Cat Stevens (originally released on LP: Catch Bull At Four)
Writer(s):    Cat Stevens
Label:    A&M
Year:    1972
    Despite the lack of a top 10 single (Sitting peaked at #16), Cat Stevens's sixth album, Catch Bull At Four, was one of his most successful, spending three weeks at the top of the Billboard album chart. Can't Keep It In, the final track on side one of the LP, is an example of Stevens in his prime.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1841 (starts 10/8/18)




    This is another week in which the show seemed to take on a life of its own, with very little input from me. Fine. Less work on my part.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Stone Free
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Smash Hits
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1966
    Whether or not Stone Free was the first song ever written by Jimi Hendrix, there is no doubt it was his first original composition to be recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. In fact, it is the only song written by Hendrix to be released in 1966, albeit only in Europe and the UK as the B side to Hey Joe. The first time the song was released in the US was on the Smash Hits anthology album that was put out by Reprise Records in 1969. A newer version was recorded, but not released, that same year under the title Stone Free Again.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    I Am The Walrus
Source:    LP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    The Beatles' psychedelic period hit its peak with the BBC-TV premier of the surrealistic telefilm Magical Mystery Tour and its subsequent release on vinyl in December of 1967. Musically speaking, the centerpiece of Magical Mystery Tour was John Lennon's I Am The Walrus, which was the final track on both the British EP and side one of the US LP. The second half (more or less) of the piece contains audio from a live BBC radio broadcast that was added during the mono mixing process. At that time, the Beatles were still doing their original mixes in monoraul (single-channel) sound, then doing a stereo mix almost as an afterthought. The addition of live audio into the original mono mix meant that they would be unable to reproduce the process in stereo. So, at the point the BBC audio comes in, the true stereo version of I Am The Walrus suddenly becomes a "fake stereo" recording using techniques such as phasing and panning to create a stereo effect out of the mono mix. It also sounds really strange on headphones, like your sinuses all of a sudden got clogged up.

Artist:    Canned heat
Title:    Whiskey Headed Woman No. 2
Source:    LP: Boogie With Canned Heat
Writer(s):    Canned Heat
Label:    United Artists (original label: Liberty)
Year:    1968
    Whiskey Headed Woman No. 2, from the 1968 LP Boogie With Canned Heat, literally needs no introduction.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Mother Nature,-Father Earth
Source:    Mono CD: Ignition (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Bell)
Year:    1969
    Even without a record contract (and with a whole different band than his original Music Machine) Sean Bonniwell continued to hit the recording studio (actual several recording studios) whenever he got the chance, recording songs that would remained unreleased for many years. An exception to that last part was a tune called Mother Nature,-Father Earth, which appeared as the B side of a one-off single for Bell Records in 1969, a year after the song was recorded. It would be the last record released by the Music Machine before they were officially disbanded. The song itself was a warning about man's treatment of the environment. Like most of Bonniwell's material, it was way ahead of its time.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Gallows Pole
Source:    German import LP: Led Zeppelin III
Writer(s):    Traditional, arr. Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    Following a year of intensive touring to promote their first two albums, Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page decided to take some time off, cloistering themselves in a small Welsh cottage known as Bron-Yr-Aur for several weeks. The place had no electricity, and the pair used the time to write and/or adapt acoustic material for the band to record for their third LP. One of the best of these "new" songs was Gallows Pole, which Page adapted from a 1962 recording by Fred Gerlach, although the song's roots go back several centuries.

Artist:    Sonics
Title:    Strychnine
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released on LP: Here Are The Sonics)
Writer:    Gerry Roslie
Label:    Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
Year:    1965
    From 1965 we have a band that maintains a cult following to this day: the legendary Sonics, generally considered one of the foundation stones of the Seattle music scene. Although the majority of the songs on their albums were cover tunes, virtually all of their originals are now considered punk classics; indeed, the Sonics are often cited as the first true punk rock band.

Artist:    Monks
Title:    Shut Up
Source:    German import CD: Black Monk time
Writer(s):    Burger/Clark/Day/Johnston/Shaw
Label:    Repertoire (original label: Polydor International)
Year:    1966
    There are a lot of contenders for the title of "first punk rock band". Detroit's MC5 get mentioned often, as do Chicago's Shadows Of Knight. Some give credit to L.A.'s Standells, while others cite Pacific Northwest bands such as the Wailers and the Sonics as being the first true punks. Serious consideration has to be given, however, to a group of five members of the US Army stationed in Frankfurt Germany, who decided to augment their GI haircuts by shaving the centers of their heads and calling themselves the Monks. Vocalist/guitarist Gary Burger, organist Larry Clarke, drummer Roger Johnston, bassist Eddie Shaw and banjoist Dave Day began hitting the trinkhauses (combination bars and dance halls) around the area in 1965, moving up to more visible venues the following year after their Army stint was over (apparently they had all been drafted at around the same time). Their style, unlike other bands of the time, was loud, harsh and direct, with lyrics about death, war and hate rather than the usual love ballads made popular by British bands like the Beatles and Herman's Hermits. This, combined with surprisingly strong musicianship, got them a contract with the German branch of Polydor Records. They released their first single, Complication, early in the year, following it up with an LP, Black Monk Time, that summer. In retrospect, the Monks were too far ahead of their time to be a commercial success, but have come to be highly regarded as forerunners of British punk bands such as the Sex Pistols and the Clash. Shut Up, from Black Monk Time, is just a small sample of what the Monks were all about.

Artist:    Country Joe And The Fish
Title:    Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
Source:    CD: Electric Music For The Mind And Body
Writer(s):    Joe McDonald
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    While not as commercially successful as the Jefferson Airplane or as long-lived as the Grateful Dead (there's an oxymoron for ya), Country Joe and the Fish may well be the most accurate musical representation of what the whole Haight-Ashbury scene was about, which is itself ironic, since the band operated out of Berkeley on the other side of the bay. Of all the tracks on their first album, Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine probably got the most airplay on various underground radio stations that were popping up on the FM dial at the time (some of them even legally).

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Absolutely Sweet Marie
Source:    Mono LP: Blonde On Blonde
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Bob Dylan's Absolutely Sweet Marie, from his 1966 album Blonde On Blonde is best known for the line "To live outside the law you must be honest". The line was entirely without precedent. Woody Guthrie, in his notes about the song Pretty Boy Floyd, said "I love a good man outside the law, just as I hate a bad man inside the law". And then there is the line "When you live outside the law, you have to eliminate dishonesty', from the 1958 film The Lineup, which Dylan may or may not have seen (I know I haven't). Rgardless, it's Dylan's line that has had the greatest cultural impact.

Artist:    Shadows Of Knight
Title:    Dark Side
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Rogers/Sohns
Label:    Dunwich
Year:    1966
    Dark Side, written by guitarist Warren Rogers and singer Jim Sohns, is probably the quintessential Shadows of Knight song. It has all the classic elements of a garage rock song: three chords, a blues beat and lots of attitude. Oh, and the lyrics "I love you baby more than birds love the sky". What more can you ask for?

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
Source:    LP: Projections
Writer(s):    Blind Willie Johnson
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1966
    One lasting legacy of the British Invasion was the re-introduction to the US record-buying public to the songs of early Rhythm and Blues artists such as Blind Willie Johnson. This emphasis on classic blues in particular would lead to the formation of electric blues-based US bands such as the Butterfield Blues Band and the Blues Project. Unlike the Butterfields, who made a conscious effort to remain true to their Chicago-style blues roots, the Blues Project was always looking for new ground to cover, which ultimately led to them developing an improvisational style that would be emulated by west coast bands such as the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service, and by Project member Al Kooper, who conceived and produced the first rock jam LP ever, Super Session, in 1968. As the opening track to their second (and generally considered best) LP Projections, I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes served notice that this was a new kind of blues, louder and brasher than what had come before, yet tempered with Kooper's melodic vocal style. An added twist was the use during the song's instrumental bridge of an experimental synthesizer known among band members as the "Kooperphone", probably the first use of any type of synthesizer in a blues record.

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

Artist:    Chocolate Watchband
Title:    Don't Need Your Lovin'
Source:    Mono British import CD: Melts In Your Brain, Not On Your Wrist (originally released on LP: Riot On Sunset Strip soundtrack)
Writer(s):    Dave Aguilar
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    The Chocolate Watchband was famously unprepared virtually every time they entered a recording studio (although it might be more accurate to say they just didn't give a damn). Their appearance on the set of the film Riot On Sunset Strip was no exception. The band actually did have one song prepared for the film, a Dave Aguilar original called Don't Need Your Lovin'. The track was recorded live on the Paramount soundstage and is a better representation of what the band was all about than any of their studio tracks.

Artist:      Chocolate Watchband
Title:     Expo 2000
Source:      CD: No Way Out
Writer(s):    Richie Podolor
Label:     Sundazed (original label: Tower)           
Year:     1967
     If you ignore the fact that Expo 2000, from the first Chocolate Watchband album, No Way Out, is performed by uncredited studio musicians and thus is a complete misrepresentation, it's really a pretty decent instrumental. Too bad we'll never know who actually performed it. We do know, however, that it was written by Richard Podolor, who owned the studio where the recording was made.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Look For Me Baby
Source:    LP: Kinda Kinks
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1965
    Forget all the hits recorded and/or released by the Kinks in 1965 for a moment. Look For Me Baby, the leadoff track from the LP Kinda Kinks, is the defining Kinks song from the year, even though it was never released as a single. It has the melodic elements of tracks like Set Me Free, combined with the edginess of Til The End Of The Day.

Artist:    Pretty Things
Title:    Midnight To Six Man
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Taylor/May
Label:    Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year:    1965
    Once upon a time in London there was a band called Little Boy Blue And The Blue Boys. Well, it wasn't really so much a band as a bunch of schoolkids jamming in guitarist Dick Taylor's parents' garage on a semi-regular basis. In addition to Taylor, the group included classmate Mick Jagger and eventually another guitarist by the name of Keith Richards. When yet another guitarist, Brian Jones, entered the picture, the band, which was still an amateur outfit, began calling itself the Rollin' Stones. Taylor switched from guitar to bass to accomodate Jones, but when the Stones decided to go pro in late 1962, Taylor opted to stay in school. It wasn't long, however, before Taylor, now back on guitar, showed up on the scene with a new band called the Pretty Things. Fronted by vocalist Phil May, the Things were rock and roll bad boys like the Stones, except more so. Their fifth single, Midnight To Six Man, sums up the band's attitude and habits. Unfortunately, the song barely made the British top 50 and was totally ignored by US radio stations.           
       
Artist:    Doors
Title:    You Make Me Real
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jim Morrison
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1970
    Although generally considered at the time to be a return to form for the Doors, the album Morrison Hotel only provided one single for the band, and that one stalled out halfway up the top 100. You Make Me Real was a Jim Morrison composition that has the feel of early rock 'n' roll hits, thanks in large part to Ray Manzarek's use of Jerry Lee Lewis style tack piano. For reasons that are not really clear, Elektra Records, which had been releasing all their singles in stereo since 1968, decided to return to mono pressings for a short period in 1970. According to people who have better ears for this sort of thing than I do, You Make Me Real was even given a separate mono mix for its single release, although the record's B side, the original studio version of Roadhouse Blues, used what is known as a "fold down" mix, which simply combined the left and right channels of the stereo mix rather than create a new one. Morrison Hotel was the last Doors album to credit the individual members as songwriters. The 1971 followup, L.A. Woman, would mark a return to the band's earlier practice of crediting all songs to "the Doors".

Artist:    Mad River
Title:    Wind Chimes
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Berkeley EPs (originally released as 7" 33 1/3 RPM Extended Play mini-album)
Writer(s):    Mad River
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Wee)
Year:    1967
    Unlike most San Francisco Bay Area bands of the mid to late 1960s, Mad River was already a functioning band when they arrived on the scene from their native Ohio in 1967. The group, consisting of Lawrence Hammond (vocals, bass), David Robinson (guitar), Rick Bockner (guitar) and Greg Dewey (drums, vocals), had been formed in 1965 as the Mad River Blues Band in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where all of the members were attending college. By the time they relocated to Berkeley in early 1967 they had developed a unique style of their own. Once in Berkeley, the band quickly established themselves as one of the most "underground" bands in the area, often appearing on the bill with Country Joe And The Fish. In fact, it was the latter band that inspired Mad River to record an EP later that year. Following an unsuccessful audition for Fantasy Records, Mad River cut a three-song EP for the small Wee label. The entire second side of the disc was a six and a half minute long piece called Wind Chimes. The band later recut the track for their first full-length album the following year.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Homburg
Source:    British import CD: Procol Harum (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Salvo/Fly
Year:    1967
    Procol Harum's followup single to A Whiter Shade Of Pale was a now nearly forgotten song called Homburg. Although the song's lyrics were praised by critics and by fellow songwriters such as Elton John, the music itself was perceived as being too similar to the previous single to stand on its own. You can decide for yourself on that one.

Artist:    Cyrkle
Title:    Why Can't You Give Me What I Want
Source:    LP: Red Rubber Ball
Writer(s):    Dawes/Friedland
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The Cyrkle was originally a frat-rock band from Easton, Pennsylvania called the Rhondells consisting of Don Danneman on guitar, Tom Dawes on bass, Marty Freid on drums and Earl Pickens on keyboards. In 1965, while playing gigs in Atlantic City they hooked up with a new manager, Brian Epstein, who promptly renamed them the Cyrkle (the odd spelling provided by John Lennon, a member of another band managed by Epstein). Under the new name and management, the band soon found themselves opening for the Beatles (on their last North American tour) and scoring a top 5 hit with Red Rubber Ball in the summer of 1966. The hit single was soon followed by an album of the same name that included a mix of cover tunes and Cyrkle originals such as Why Can't You Give Me What I Want. It was a volatile time in the pop music world, however, and the Cyrkle soon found themselves sounding a bit dated, and by 1968, after one more LP and a series of singles, each of which did successively worse than the previous one, the band decided to throw in the towel and become commercial jinlge writers. Well, a couple of them (Danneman and Dawes) did, at any rate. Remember "pop pop fizz fizz"? How about the 7-Up theme? Both came from former members of the Cyrkle.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Miss Amanda Jones
Source:    CD: Between The Buttons
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1967
    The only thing I have to say about Miss Amanda Jones is that it is one of my favorite tracks on the 1967 Rolling Stones album Between The Buttons. Come to think of it, that kind of says it all anyway.

Artist:    Mother Earth
Title:    Living With The Animals
Source:    LP: Living With The Animals
Writer(s):    Powell St. John
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1968
    The name Powell St. John is an unfamiliar one to most people, which is a shame, as he played an important role in the development of psychedelic rock and was later a founding member of Mother Earth. St. John, who grew up in Laredo, Texas, moved to Austin in the early 60s and was one of the city's more prominent beatniks, performing with a young Janis Joplin as a member of the Waller Brothers Band. In 1966 he was asked by Tommy Hall to come up with songs for Hall's band, the 13th Floor Elevators, to record, providing them with tunes that appeared on their first two LPs. Not long after that St. John relocated to San Francisco, where he formed Mother Earth with another newcomer to the area, Tracy Nelson. The two shared lead vocal duties on the first two Mother Earth albums, with St. John taking center stage for the title track of the band's first LP, Living With The Animals. When Nelson decided to move the band's base of operations to a farm outside of Nashville, Tennessee, St. John elected to stay in the San Francisco area, where he has maintained a relatively low profile ever since.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Animal Zoo
Source:    CD: Best Of Spirit
Writer:    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Epic
Year:    1970
    The last album by the original lineup of Spirit was The Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus, released in 1970. The album was originally going to be produced by Neil Young, but due to other commitments Young had to bow out, recommending David Briggs, who had already produced Young's first album with Crazy Horse, as a replacement. The first song to be released as a single was Animal Zoo, but the tune barely cracked the top 100 charts. The album itself did better on progressive FM stations and has since come to be regarded as a classic. Shortly after the release of Twelve Dreams, Jay Ferguson and Mark Andes left Spirit to form Jo Jo Gunne.

Artist:    Bubble Puppy
Title:    Hot Smoke And Sassafras
Source:    European import CD: A Gathering Of Promises
Writer(s):    Prince/Cox/Potter/Fore
Label:    Charly (original US label: International Artists)
Year:    1969
    Bubble Puppy was a band from San Antonio, Texas that relocated to nearby Austin and signed a contract with International Artists, a label already known as the home of legendary Texas psychedelic bands 13th Floor Elevators and Red Crayola. The group hit the national top 20 with Hot Smoke and Sassafras, a song that was originally intended to be a B side, in 1969. Not long after the release of their first LP, A Gathering Or Promises, the band relocated to California and changed their name to Demian, at least in part to disassociate themselves with the then-popular "bubble gum" style (but also because of problems with International Artists).

Artist:    Blue Cheer
Title:    Parchman Farm
Source:    Dutch import LP: Vincebus Eruptum
Writer(s):    Mose Allison
Label:    Philips
Year:    1968
    If the release of the first Black Sabbath album in early 1970 marks the birth of heavy metal, then the release of the first Blue Cheer album in 1968 may be considered the point of conception for the form. Certainly, in terms of pure volume, Cheer was unequalled in their live performances (although the Grateful Dead's sound system had more wattage, Owsley Stanley used it judiciously to get the best sound quality as opposed to the sheer quantity of decibels favored by Blue Cheer), and managed to preserve that sense of loudness in the studio. Like Black Sabbath, the members of Blue Cheer had more than a passing familiarity with the blues as well, as evidenced by their inclusion of an old Mose Allison tune, Parchman Farm, on their debut LP, Vincebus Eruptum (the album included a cover of B.B. King's Rock Me, Baby as well). Contrary to rumors, guitarist Leigh Stephens did not go deaf and kill himself (although he did leave Blue Cheer after the band's second LP, moving to England and releasing a somewhat distortion-free solo album in 1969).

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    A Not Very August Afternoon
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union/The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens (originally released on LP: The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens)
Writer:    Wright/Tartachny/Weisberg/Rhodes
Label:    See For Miles (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1968
    Although Ultimate Spinach is the usually the band most cited as being part of the infamous "Boss-Town Sound" promoted heavily by M-G-M Records, the Beacon Street Union were the original architects of the style itself. Already well-established in Boston, the band had actually relocated to New York when they became the first psychedelic band to sign with M-G-M. It was their signing which led to Ultimate Spinach, Orpheus and Earth Opera also getting contracts with one of the stodgiest of the major labels of the era. A Not Very August Afternoon, a lounge-lizard jazz kind of tune, from the band's second LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens, shows the Beacon Street Union already starting to move away from the pure psychedelia of the debut LP into other genres. Vocalist John Lincoln Wright would eventually transition himself right out of rock music altogether, becoming the leader of a country band in the 1970s.

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

Artist:    Family Tree
Title:    Live Your Own Life
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Segarini/Dure
Label:    Rhino (original label: Mira)
Year:    1966
    The Family Tree was actually one of the first rock bands to play the Fillmore, but even then were seen as interlopers due to their propensity for dressing and sounding like the Beatles and other Mercybeat bands. Live Your Own Life was intended for release on San Francisco's premier local label, Autumn Records, but for some unknown reason ended up on Mira (the same label that released L.A. band the Leaves' first records). Live Your Own Life is sometimes known as The Airplane Song due to its perceived similarity to some early Jefferson Airplane recordings.

Artist:    Great! Society
Title:    Daydream Nightmare
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: How It Was)
Writer(s):    David Miner
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Columbia)
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 1968
    Before joining Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick was already making a name for herself in the San Francisco area as a member of the Great! Society. She was not the only talented member of the band, however, as this recording of Daydream Nightmare, recorded in 1966 (probably at Marty Balin's Matrix club) demonstrates.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1841 (starts 10/8/18)



    This time around we have a lot of familiar, yet seldom heard, tracks that prove that classic rock can be more than just the same old songs played over and over.

Artist:    Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young
Title:    déjà vu
Source:    LP: déjà vu
Writer(s):    David Crosby
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1970
    One of the biggest selling albums in the history of rock music, Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young's déjà vu was also one of the most difficult and time-consuming albums ever made. It is estimated that the album, which to date has sold over 8 million copies, took around 800 hours of studio time to record. Most of the tracks were recorded as solo tracks by their respective songwriters, with the other members making whatever contributions were called for. The album also features several guest musicians (including John Sebastian, who plays harmonica on the title track), as well as drummer Dallas Taylor and bassist Greg Reeves, whose names appear in slightly smaller font on the front cover of the album.

Artist:     Nice
Title:     America
Source:     LP: Keith Emerson With The Nice (originally released on LP: Elegy)
Writer:     Bernstein/Sondheim
Label:     Charisma
Year:     1971
     Before Emerson, Lake And Palmer became one of the hottest acts on the progressive rock scene, there was a band called the Nice that featured Keith Emerson on keyboards. The group released several singles and albums, including a hard rocking instrumental version of Leonard Bernstein's America (from West Side Story) in 1968. Emerson famously burned a US flag during the performance of the piece at a charity performance at the Royal Albert Hall in July of that year. As a result, the Nice was permanently banned from that venue. By 1970 Emerson had left the Nice to join up with Greg Lake and Carl Palmer. This did not stop Mercury Records from issuing, in 1971, an album called Elegy (credited to Keith Emerson and the Nice) that included a live version of America. The following year Elegy was reissued, along with the 1970 LP Five Bridges, as part of a two-LP set called Keith Emerson With The Nice.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Everybody's Everything
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single (promo)
Writer(s):    Santana/Moss/Brown
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    Santana's third album, released in 1971, was called simply Santana. What's confusing is the fact that their first album was also called Santana. The guitar solo on Everybody's Everything, by the way, is not by Carlos Santana. Rather it was performed by the then 17-year-old Neal Schon, who, along with keyboardist Greg Rolie would leave the band the following year to form Journey.

Artist:    Led Zeppelin
Title:    Going To California
Source:    CD: Led Zeppelin IV
Writer(s):    Page/Plant
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1971
    The fourth Led Zeppelin album is known for the band's return to a harder rock sound after the acoustic leanings of Led Zeppelin III. There were, however, a couple of acoustic songs on LZ IV, including Going To California, a song that vocalist Robert Plant has since said was about Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. The tune features Plant on vocals, Jimmy Page on acoustic guitar and John Paul Jones on Mandolin.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    Love Like A Man
Source:    CD: Cricklewood Green
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1970
    Cricklewood Green was Ten Years After's fourth studio effort and fifth album overall. Released in 1970, the album is considered by critics to be the apex of Ten Years After's studio work. The best known track from the album is Love Like A Man, which became the group's only single to chart in the UK (in an edited version), peaking at the #10 spot. The band was still considered an "underground" act in the US, despite a successful appearance at Woodstock the year before. However, Love Like A Man was a favorite among disc jockeys on FM rock radio stations, who almost universally preferred the longer album version of the song heard here.

Artist:    Randy California
Title:    Day Tripper
Source:    European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Kapt. Kopter And The (Fabulous) Twirly Birds)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Sony Music (original US label: Epic)
Year:    1972
    In 1972, with his band Spirit having fallen apart (temporarily as it turned out), guitarist Randy California released his first solo LP, Kapt. Kopter And The (Fabulous) Twirly Birds, on which he also sang lead vocals. The album contained a mix of original tunes and covers, of which Day Tripper was the most recognizable. Indeed, one of the primary criticisms of the album was the fact that most of the cover songs sounded like jams on the songs' main riffs rather than actual arrangements.

Artist:    John Lennon
Title:    I Found Out
Source:    CD: Lennon (box set) (originally released on LP: John Lennon/Plastic One Band)
Writer(s):    John Lennon
Label:    Capitol (original label: Apple)
Year:    1970
    John Lennon was not pulling any punches on his 1970 solo debut album. I Found Out, for instance, takes a cynical look at religion and hero worship, with sparse production techniques drawing attention to the lyrics rather than the music (which harkens back to early blues recordings).

Artist:    Who
Title:    The Magic Bus
Source:    LP: Live At Leeds
Writer(s):    Pete Townshend
Label:    Decca
Year:    1970
    At first, when I saw the label for the 1970 Who album Live At Leeds, I thought they made a mistake with the title of the last track on the album. Magic Bus had been a hit single for the band in 1968, but the label here called it THE Magic Bus. It turns out, though, that the change is justified, as the live version of The Magic Bus is nearly different enough from the studio version to be considered a different song entirely. It starts off similarly enough, but by the end of the performance (which runs for seven and a half minutes) the band has taken it into entirely new territory.

Artist:    James Gang
Title:    Lost Woman
Source:    CD: Yer' Album
Writer(s):    Dreja/McCarty/Beck/Relf/Samwell-Smith
Label:    MCA (original label: Bluesway)
Year:    1969
    The first James Gang album was primarily designed to show off the performing talents of guitarist Joe Walsh, bassist Tom Kriss and drummer Jim Fox. As such, most of the album was made up of cover songs such as the Yardbirds' Lost Woman. Like other covers on Yer' Album, Lost Woman turns into a long extended jam, running a total of nine minutes before all is played and done. Subsequent albums would focus more on the songwriting talents of the band members, particularly Walsh.

Artist:    Steely Dan
Title:    Reeling In The Years
Source:    45 RPM single (stereo reissue)
Writer(s):    Becker/Fagen
Label:    MCA (original label: ABC)
Year:    1972
    My first radio gig (sort of), was volunteering at the Voice Of Holloman, a closed-circuit station that served a handful of locations on Holloman AFB, about 10 miles from Alamogordo, NM. I had been taking broadcasting courses through a community college program that was taught by Sgt. Tim Daniels, who was the NCO in charge of the base Information Office. As such he ran the station, as well as a free weekly newspaper that was distributed on base. After completing the classes, Tim gave me the opportunity to do a daily two-hour show on the VOH, using records that had been sent to the station by various record labels. We got excellent singles service from some labels (Warner Brothers and Capitol in particular), but virtually nothing from others, such as ABC. This was unfortunate, as one of the best songs out at the time was Steely Dan's Reeling In The Years, from their 1972 Can't Buy A Thrill album. Tim, whose previous gig was with the Armed Forces Vietnam Network, was a big rock fan, however, and went out and bought his own copy of the album, making a copy of Reeling In The Years on reel to reel tape, which we then played extensively until the song had run its course on the charts. Thus the Voice Of Holloman, with its audience consisting mostly of guys working out at the base gym, was playing the longer album version of a song that was also getting airplay on Alamogordo's daytime-only top 40 AM station, KINN, in its edited single form. It was just about the nearest the Voice Of Holloman ever got to being an underground rock station (although I did manage to sneak in some Procol Harum, Little Feat and Deep Purple from time to time from the aformentioned Warner Brothers singles).

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1840 (starts10/1/18)



    This week we feature the entire second side of perhaps the most psychedelic album ever: Jefferson Airplane's After Bathing At Baxter's, an LP reportedly recorded, arranged and mixed entirely under the influence of LSD in San Francisco during the Summer of Love. The tracks, however, are not in the same order that they originally appeared in. That would be too easy. Instead, we get to hear what the side would have sounded like if it had begun with Grace Slick's Two Heads, a song that in retrospect probably should have been released as a single (at least as a B side). Other highlights this week include artists sets from the Beatles and the Seeds, as well as a short set of weird obscurities and, for the first time on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, the true stereo mix of the Turtles' 1967 hit single She's My Girl. It begins with Pink Floyd....

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

Artist:    Vagrants
Title:    Respect
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Otis Redding
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    Sounding a lot like the Rascals, the Vagrants were a popular Long Island band led by singer Peter Sabatino and best remembered for being the group that had guitarist Leslie Weinstein in it. Weinstein would change his last name to West and record a solo album called Mountain before forming the band of the same name. This version of Respect is fairly faithful to the original Otis Redding version. Unfortunately for the Vagrants, Aretha Franklin would release her radically rearranged version of the song just a few weeks after the Vagrants, relegating their version of the tune (and the Vagrants themselves) to footnote status.

Artist:    West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title:    Suppose They Give A War And No One Comes
Source:    LP: Volume II
Writer(s):    Markley/Bryant
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    One of the more popular posters of the pyschedelic era took the phrase Suppose They Give A War And No One Comes and highlighted the letters P,E,A,C and E with colors that, when viewed under a black light, stood out from the rest of the text. At around the same time a movie came out with a similar title. Quite possibly both were inspired by a track from the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's late 1967 LP Volume II. The song itself is either really cool or really pretentious. I've had a copy of it for over 30 years and still haven't figured out which.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    I Ain't Done Wrong
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Great Hits (originally released on LP: For Your Love)
Writer(s):    Keith Relf
Label:    Epic
Year:    1965
    I Ain't Done Wrong is the only track on the Yardbirds' US debut album For Your Love that was actually written by a member of the Yardbirds. To help understand how something like this might come about I have a short history lesson for you. Record albums have been around nearly as long as recorded music itself, albeit in a form that would be pretty much unrecognizable to modern listeners. The first record albums were collections of several 78 RPM discs in paper sleeves bound between hard covers, similar to photo albums (which is where the name came from). By the end of the 1940s the most popular albums featured single artists such as Frank Sinatra or the Benny Goodman Orchestra. Classical music, however, suffered from this format, since a typical 10" 78 RPM record could hold only about three and a half minutes of music per side. Even using 12" discs that could hold up to seven minutes' worth of music meant breaking up longer pieces into segments, which pretty much ruined the listening experience. Around 1948 or so, Columbia Records, the second largest record label in the world, unveiled the long play (LP) record, which could hold about 20 minutes per side with far superior sound quality to the 78s of the day. The format was immediately embraced by classical music artists and listeners alike. It wasn't long before serious jazz artists began to take advantage of the format as well. Popular music, however, was still very much oriented toward single songs, known then as the Hit Parade. This remained the case throughout the first wave of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s, with the new 45 RPM format serving as a direct replacement for 78s. LPs, being more expensive, were targeted to a more affluent audience than 45s were. The few LPs that did appear by popular artists often contained one or two of that artist's hit singles (and B sides), along with several "filler" tracks that were usually covers of songs made popular by other artists. In 1963, however, something interesting happened. An album called With The Beatles was released in the UK. What made this album unique is that it did not include any of the band's hit singles, instead featuring 14 newly recorded tracks. Such was the popularity of the Fab Four that their fans bought enough copies of With The Beatles to make it a hit record in its own right. This led to other British bands following a similar pattern of mutual exclusivity between album and single tracks. One of these bands was the Yardbirds, who had released a pair of singles in 1964. None of these songs had appeared on an album in the UK (the band, however, had released an LP called Five Live Yardbirds that had failed to chart). Then, in 1965, they hit it big with the international hit single For Your Love, which prompted their US label, Epic, to released a Yardbirds LP of the same name. There was, however, one small problem. Guitarist Eric Clapton had just quit the Yardbirds, complaining of the band's move toward more commercial material (such as For Your Love, a song which he had basically recorded under protest); his replacement, Jeff Beck, had only been with the band long enough to record three songs, none of which had yet been released. Epic, however, wanted to get a Yardbirds LP out while For Your Love was still hot, and ended up using all three Beck tracks, as well as the band's previously released British singles (plus two songs of uncertain origins), on the album. Two of the three Beck recordings were blues covers, making the third song, Keith Relf's I Ain't Done Wrong, the only original tune on the album (For Your Love itself being provided by an outside songwriter, Graham Gouldman).Since most of the tracks on the LP were already available in the UK, For Your Love was never issued there; the three Beck tracks did appear later that year, however, on a new EP called Five Yardbirds.

Artist:    Spats
Title:    She Done Moved
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dick And Bud Johnson
Label:    Rhino (original label: ABC)
Year:    1966
    ABC Paramount was a record label specifically formed to release records by artists who appeared on the ABC TV network (which was owned by the Paramount theater chain, which in turn had originally been owned by Paramount Pictures, who had divested themselves of the theater chain as a result of an anti-trust action). By the 60s the label had expanded into a major player in the industry with artists ranging from teen-idol Steve Alaimo to R&B favorites like the Impressions and the Tams. In 1966 they dropped the Paramount from their name and became simply ABC records (using the TV network logo). One of the last singles released before the change (and actually appearing on both labels) was She Done Moved, a middle-class teenager's lament from the Spats, an Orange County, California band led by brothers Dick and Bud Johnson. The song describes the heartbreak of having one's girlfriend suddenly relocate to another town, in this case Kansas City. As a military brat myself, I can relate somewhat.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Foxy Lady
Source:    Dutch import LP: The Singles (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced?)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Polydor (original UK label: Track)
Year:    1967
    The first track on the original UK release of Are You Experienced was Foxy Lady. The British custom of the time was to not include any songs on albums that had been previously released as singles. When Reprise Records got the rights to release the album in the US, it was decided to include three songs that had all been top 40 hits in the UK. One of those songs, Purple Haze, took over the opening spot on the album, and Foxy Lady was moved to the middle of side two of the original LP. The song was also released as a US-only single in 1967, but did not chart. Eventually a European single version of the song was released as well, albeit posthumously, warranting its inclusion on the Singles double-LP, released in Europe in the early 1980s.

Artist:        Amboy Dukes
Title:        Journey to the Center of the Mind
Source:      Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Nugent/Farmer
Label:     Big Beat (original US label: Mainstream)
Year:        1968
        From Detroit we have the Amboy Dukes, featuring lead guitarist Ted Nugent. Originally released as a single on Mainstream Records, the same label that released the first Big Brother & the Holding Company album, Journey To The Center Of The Mind became that label's biggest hit in 1968.  After butchering Big Brother's debut album, Mainstream's studio people must have taken a crash course in rock engineering as they did a much better job on this track just a few months later.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Who Scared You
Source:    Stereo 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Morrison/Krieger
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1969
    Recorded during sessions for the Doors' fourth album, The Soft Parade, Who Scared You was issued as the B side of a Jim Morrison/Robby Krieger collaboration called Wishful Sinful in March of 1969. Wishful Sinful, however, performed poorly on the charts and was quickly taken out of circulation. When The Soft Parade was finally released in July of that year, Wishful Sinful was included on the album. Who Scared You, on the other hand, was nowhere to be found, at least until 1972, when it appeared on the double-LP compilation Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine. Given its unique history, it's no wonder that Who Scared You is often considered the most obscure Doors track released during Morrison's tenure with the group.

Artist:    Blues Image
Title:    Outside Was Night
Source:    LP: Blues Image
Writer(s):    Blues Image
Label:    Atco
Year:    1969
    There are striking similarities between the Hour Glass of Los Angeles and Blues Image, originally from Tampa, Florida, but operating out of L.A by 1969. Both were club bands that visiting musicians would go out of their way to catch when they were in town, often sticking around for a bit of after hours jamming. Both bands featured guitarists from the Southeastern US (Duane Allman and Mike Pinera) who would go on to greater fame with other bands. And both bands, for whatever reasons, were never able to generate the same kind of excitement in the studio that they did when they played live. Unlike the Hour Glass, however, Blues Image managed to at least play the same style of music in the studio as they did in their club sets; Outside Was Night, from their debut LP, is a good example.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    It's Alright, It's Only Witchcraft
Source:    CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: Fairport Convention)
Writer(s):    Hutchings/Thompson
Label:    Polydor (original label: Cotillion)
Year:    1967
    Fairport Convention has long been known for being an important part of the British folk music revival that came to prominence in the early 70s. Originally, however, the band was modeled after the folk-rock bands that had risen to prominence on the US West Coast from 1965-66. Their first LP was released in the fall of 1967, and drew favorable reviews from the UK rock press, which saw them at Britain's answer to Jefferson Airplane. One of the LP's highlights is It's Alright, It's Only Witchcraft, which features electric guitar work by Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol that rivals that of Jorma Kaukonen.

Artist:    Otis Redding
Title:    (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Source:    LP: Historic Performances Recorded At The Monterey International Pop Festival
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    Otis Redding pulled out all the stops for his performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. Luckily, the entire performance was recorded, including his energetic cover of the Rolling Stones classic (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, which Redding had taken onto the Soul charts the previous year with his own studio version of the tune. Redding's backup band included members of the MGs and the Bar-Kays, several members of which, as well as Redding himself, would lose their lives in a tragic plane crash just a few months after their appearance at Monterey.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Across The Universe
Source:    CD: Past Masters-vol. 2 (originally released on LP: No One's Gonna Change Our World)
Writer:    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone (original label: Regal Starline)
Year:    1969
    Across The Universe was recorded in 1968 and was in serious contention for release as a single that year (ultimately Lady Madonna was chosen instead). The recording sat in the vaults until 1969, when it was included on a multi-artist charity album for the World Wildlife Fund (hence the sounds of flapping wings at the beginning and end of the track). Phil Spector would eventually get his hands on the master tape, slowing it down and adding strings and including it on the Let It Be album. Personally I prefer this relatively untampered-with version.

Artist:      Beatles
Title:     And Your Bird Can Sing
Source:    British import LP: Revolver
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Parlophone
Year:     1966
     At the time the Revolver album was being made, the Beatles and their producer, George Martin, worked together on the mono mixes of the songs, which were always done before the stereo mixes. In fact, the stereo mixes were usually done without the participation of the band itself, and generally were less time consuming. This led to a rather odd situation in June of 1966. Final mono mixes had been made for three of the songs on Revolver at this point, and the band's US label, Capitol, was ready to release a new Beatles album. The problem was that they did not have enough new material for an entire album. Their solution was to use their Duophonic fake stereo process on the mono mixes and include them on the album, which was titled Yesterday...And Today. As a result, when Revolver was released in the US in the fall of 1966, it had three fewer songs than the original British version of the album. One of those three songs was And Your Bird Can Sing, which was not available in the US in true stereo until the 1980s.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Day Tripper
Source:    CD: Past Masters-vol. 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple/Parlophone
Year:    1965
    One of the few times that the US and British releases of Beatles records were in sync was in December of 1965, when the album Rubber Soul was released in both countries at the same time as a new single that had a pair of songs not on the album itself. Although there were some slight differences in the album itself, the single was identical in both countries, with Day Tripper and We Can Work It Out sharing "A" side status. Of course, the synchronization ended there, as the two songs would both end up on a US-only LP (Yesterday...And Today) in mid-1966, but not be available as an album track in the UK until after the Beatles had split up five years later.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    Four Hendred And Five
Source:    LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s):    Wright/Tartachny/Weisburg/Rhodes/Ulaky/Farrell
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    I'm at a bit of a loss to explain this track, so I'll just have to make an educated guess. The members of the Beacon Street Union were in the studio sometime in 1967 working on their debut LP, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union, when somebody started fooling around with the speed controls on one of the tape decks. An instrumental piece, possibly some sort of warm up jam, was on the tape. Someone decided that it sounded pretty cool speeded up, so they included it on the album itself. Four Hundred And Five is credited to the band members themselves, with one extra name tacked on at the end. Wes Farrell would be the producer of their second LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens, and may have been on hand when Four Hundred And Five was recorded. Who knows? He may even have been the one that sped up the tape in the first place. Anyway, that's my guess. Feel free to come up with one of your own.

Artist:    Tyrannosaurus Rex
Title:    Catblack (The Wizard's Hat)
Source:    CD: Unicorn
Writer(s):    Marc Bolan
Label:    A&M
Year:    1969
    Yes, that is indeed Marc Bolan doing the vocals on this 1969 recording. You didn't think the band was always called T. Rex, did you? Of course it was a shortening of their original name, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and if you had to spell that name out as many times as Marc Bolan probably did, you'd shorten it too. Back in 1969 Tyrannosaurus Rex consisted of just two guys, Bolan (who wrote and sang all the songs as well as playing the guitar, organ and other stuff, and Steve Peregrin Took (not his birth name), who obviously took (ouch) the band's fantasy motif even further than Bolan himself, and played all manner of percussive instruments, as well as bass guitar. Took apparently wrote songs too, but Bolan refused to record any of them, which led to Took's departure from Tyrannosaurus Rex shortly after Unicorn, their third album together, was released. Although it would be easy to dismiss Took's contributions to the group's overall sound, it is hard to ignore the difference in styles between tracks like Catblack (The Wizard's Hat) and Get It On (Band A Gong), which would be released only two years later than the Unicorn album.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    Song Of The naturalist's Wife
Source:    LP: A Gift From A Flower To A Garden
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Epic
Year:    1967
    Recorded music has been packaged in many different ways over the years. The first Edison cylinder recordings came in small boxes made of card stock, similar to the way the original Matchbox cars were sold. 78 RPM discs were sold in the much cheaper to produce paper sleeves with a hole cut in the center to display the record's label. Sometimes several of these sleeves would be bound together between two pieces of heavier cardboard, similar to a photo album (which is where the term "record album" came from). Occasionally, more expensive records would be packaged in a stiff cardboard box with some sort of artwork pasted on the front, with the individual records in their paper sleeves within the box. These were the first "box sets". When RCA phased in the 7" 45 RPM record as a replacement for the 78, the new records were packaged much the same way, except that there were fewer albums and more box sets in the new format. Meanwhile, Columbia's LP format used a new kind of packaging consisting of a heavier outer cover, usually with the record itself in a paper (or sometimes plastic) sleeve within the outer jacket. It soon became obvious that the record buying public preferred the LP format to a stack of 45s, and by the end of the 1950s the 45RPM box sets had all but disappeared from the shelves. The box format did not die off entirely, though. In the late 1950s record companies began to release music in a new format: pre-recorded reel to reel tape. The 7" tapes, being about 3/8 of an inch thick, were ideally suited to using the same sort of boxes that 45 RPM albums had used. These tapes were around until the early 1970s, when they were supplanted by the more convenient (and much cheaper) cassette tape format. Boxes were also used for an occasional LP set, usually from the world of classical music (I still have my 7 disc Audio Fidelity set of Beethoven's nine symphonies packed away somewhere). In 1967 Donovan became one of the first pop artists (as they were still called in 1967) to use the box format for an album of all-new material. The two-disc set was called A Gift From A Flower To A Garden, and it came with full-color printing on the inside covers of the box itself and a set of illustrated lyric sheets. The first disc, subtitled Wear Your Love Like Heaven, was fairly pop-oriented, continuing the direction Donovan had been taking since his 1966 Sunshine Superman album, while the second disc, subtitled For Little Ones, featured simpler, more acoustic arrangements. The lyric sheets were for the 12 tracks on the second disc, including the first track, Song Of The Naturalist's Wife, which opens, appropriately enough, with the sound of a newborn baby crying.

Artist:     Sparkles
Title:     No Friend of Mine
Source:     Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (originally released as a 45 RPM single)
Writer(s)    Turnbow/Parks
Label:     Rhino (original label: Hickory)
Year:     1967
     It shouldn't come as a surprise that the state of Texas would produce its share of garage/psychedelic bands. After all, the place used to be a medium-sized country. In fact, one of the first bands to actually use the word psychedelic in an album title was the 13th Floor Elevators out of Austin. The Sparkles hailed from a different part of the state, one known for its high school football teams as much as anything else: West Texas. Recorded in Big Spring, No Friend of Mine was one of a series of regional hits for the Sparkles that got significant airplay in places like Midland, Odessa and Monahans. 

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     Two Heads
Source:     CD: After Bathing At Baxters
Writer:     Grace Slick
Label:     RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:     1967
     The third Jefferson Airplane album, After Bathing At Baxter's, saw the group moving in increasingly experimental directions, as Grace Slick's two contributions to the LP attest. The more accessible of the two was Two Heads, which was the first part of Schizoforest Love Suite, the fifth and final "suite" on the album.

Artist:     Jefferson Airplane
Title:     How Suite It Is
Source:     LP: After Bathing At Baxters
Writer(s): Kantner/Casady/Dryden/Kaukonen
Label:     RCA Victor
Year:     1967
     The second side of After Bathing At Baxters starts off fairly conventionally (for the Airplane), with Paul Kantner's Watch Her Ride, the first third or so of something called How Suite It Is. This leads (without a break in the audio) into Spare Chaynge, one of the coolest studio jams ever recorded, featuring intricate interplay between Jack Casady's bass and Jorma Kaukonen's guitar, with Spencer Dryden using his drum kit as enhancement rather than as a beat-setter. In particular, Casady's virtuoso performance helped redefine what could be done with an electric bass.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon
Source:    CD: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Paul Kantner
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    The first Jefferson Airplane album (the 1966 release Jefferson Airplane Takes Off) was dominated by songs from the pen of founder Marty Balin, a few of which were collaborations with other band members such as Paul Kantner and Jorma Kaukonen. The songwriting on the group's second LP, Surrealistic Pillow, was fairly evenly balanced between the three above and new arrival Grace Slick. By the band's third album, After Bathing At Baxter's, released in the fall of 1967, Kantner had emerged as the group's main songwriter, having a hand in over half the tracks on the LP. One of the most durable of these was the album's closing track, a medley of two songs, Won't You Try and Saturday Afternoon, the latter being about a free concert that the band had participated in at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park earlier that year.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    A Well Respected Man
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Eric (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1965
    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 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:    Downliners Sect
Title:    Why Don't You Smile Now
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released on LP: The Rock Sect's In)
Writer(s):    Philips/Vance/Reed/Cale
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia UK)
Year:    1966
    The Downliners Sect was one of the more unusual British bands of the mid-sixties, with a penchant for choosing unconventional material to record. Their second LP, for instance, was made up of covers of songs originally recorded by US Country and Western artists. Their third LP, The Rock Sect's In, was (as the title implies) more of a straight rock album than their previous efforts. Still, they managed to find unique material to record, such as Why Don't You Smile Now, a song chosen from a stack of producers' demos from the US. Although nobody seems to know who Philips or Vance were, the Reed and Cale in the songwriting credits were none other than Lou and John, in a pre-Velvet Underground incarnation.

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    You Keep Me Hangin' On
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Holland/Dozier/Holland
Label:    Rhino (original label: Atco)
Year:    1967
    You Keep Me Hangin' On, a hit for the Supremes in 1967, was the first song recorded by Vanilla Fudge, who laid down the seven-minute plus track in a single take. Producer Shadow Morton then used that recording to secure the band a contract with Atco Records (an Atlantic subsidiary) that same year. Rather than to re-record the song for their debut LP, Morton and the band chose to use the original tape, despite the fact that it was never mixed in stereo. For single release the song was cut down considerably, clocking in at around three minutes.

Artist:    Max Frost And The Troopers
Title:    A Change Is Gonna Come
Source:    CD: Shape Of Things To Come
Writer(s):    Wibier/Beckner
Label:    Captain High (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    The first thing you need to know about Max Frost And The Troopers is that they were a fictional rock band featured in the film Wild In The Streets. Sort of. You see, in the movie itself the band is never actually named, although Max (played by Christopher Jones) does refer to his followers as his "troops" throughout the film. The next thing you need to know is that Shape Of Things To Come was a song used in the film that became a hit record in 1968. The song itself was written by the Brill building songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (who also wrote Kicks and Hungry for Paul Revere and the Raiders) and was recorded by studio musicians, with vocals by Paul Wibier. The song, along with several other Barry/Weil tunes used in the film, was credited not to Max Frost and the Troopers, but to the 13th Power on the film's soundtrack LP, which was released on Capitol's Tower subsidiary label. After Shape Of Things To Come (the song) became a hit, producer Mike Curb commissioned an entire album by Max Frost And The Troopers called, naturally, Shape Of Things To Come. The band on this album was actually Davie Allan And The Arrows (who had for several years been recording mostly instrumental tunes for Curb for use on movie soundtracks) fronted by vocalist Paul Wibier (yeah, him again). This album was also released in 1968 on the Tower label, and featured mostly songs written (or co-written) by Wibier himself, such as  A Change Is Gonna Come. The name Max Frost And The Troopers popped up in a couple more 1968 film soundtracks before being permanently retired by the end of the year.
   
Artist:    Creedence Clearwater Revival
Title:    Fortunate Son
Source:    LP: Willy And The Poor Boys
Writer(s):    John Fogerty
Label:    Fantasy
Year:    1969
    John Fogerty says it only took him 20 minutes to write what has become one of the iconic antiwar songs of the late 1960s. But Fortunate Son is not so much a condemnation of war as it is an indictment of the political elite who send the less fortunate off to die in wars without any risk to themselves. In addition to being a major hit single upon its release in late 1969 (peaking at #3 as half of a double-A sided single), Fortunate Son has made several "best of" lists over the years, including Rolling Stone magazine's all-time top 100. Additionally, in 2014 the song was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Mr. Farmer
Source:    LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer:    Sky Saxon
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    With two tracks (Can't Seem To Make You Mine and Pushin' Too Hard) from their first album getting decent airplay on L.A. radio stations in 1966 the Seeds headed back to the studio to record a second LP, A Web Of Sound. The first single released from the album was Mr. Farmer, a song that once again did well locally. The song has long been rumored to be a subtly-disguised drug song but songwriter/bandleader Sky Saxon would never either confirm or deny the possibility.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Pushin' Too Hard
Source:    CD: Nuggets-Classics From The Psychedelic 60s (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Seeds)
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year:    1965
    Pushin' Too Hard is generally included on every collection of psychedelic hits ever compiled. And for good reason. The song is an undisputed classic, although it took the better part of two years to catch on. Originally released in 1965 as You're Pushin' Too Hard, the song was virtually ignored by local Los Angeles radio stations until a second single, Can't Seem To Make You Mine, started getting some attention. After being included on the Seeds' debut LP in 1966, Pushin' Too Hard was rereleased and soon was being heard all over the L.A. airwaves. By the end of the year stations all across the US were starting to spin the record, and the song hit its peak of popularity in early 1967.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Rollin' Machine
Source:    LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    Is there anyone out there that really thinks this is a song about a car? Yeah, me either.

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl
Source:    LP: Janis Ian
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    My nomination for the most overlooked and underrated album of 1967 goes to Janis Ian's debut effort for the Verve Forecast label. Every song is outstanding, with a perfect balance between folk and rock, with just a touch of psychedelia thrown in to remind the listener that songs like Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl were released just in time for the Summer of Love. The fact that Ian herself was only 15 at the time she recorded these songs just adds to the album's credibility.

Artist:     Turtles
Title:     She's My Girl
Source:     CD: The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Bonner/Gordon
Label:     Manifesto (original label: White Whale)
Year:     1967
     Until the 2018 CD reissue of the 1968 album The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands, I did not have the foggiest idea that a stereo mix of the 1967 hit single She's My Girl even existed. Every copy I had ever heard was a mono copy, as was the original 45 RPM pressing. Now I can truly appreciate why the members of the band itself considered it their favorite Turtles record. There's all sorts of cool stuff going on in the background that I was never able to focus on before. Enjoy!

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid/Fisher
Label:    A&M (original label: Deram)
Year:    1967
    Often credited as being the first progressive rock band, Procol Harum drew heavily from classical music sources, such as the Bach inspired theme used by organist Matthew Fisher as the signature rift for A Whiter Shade of Pale. Fisher initially did not get writing credit for his contributions to the song, but finally, after several lawsuits, began collecting royalties for the song in 2009. A Whiter Shade Of Pale, incidentally, holds the distinction of being the most-played song on the British airwaves over the past 70 years.