Monday, April 17, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1716 (starts 4/19/17)


This week Stuck in the Psychedelic Era breaks its all-time record for most songs played in a two-hour show. It starts with a set of Beatle tunes and ends with a Procol Harum classic. In between...

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Come Together
Source:    LP: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1969
    After the Beatles released their 1968 double LP (the so-called White Album), they went to work on their final film project, a documentary about the band making an album. Unfortunately, what the cameras captured was a group on the verge of disintegration, and both the album and the film itself were shelved indefinitely. Instead, the band went to work recording an entirely new group of compositions. Somehow, despite the internal difficulties the band was going through, they managed to turn out a masterpiece: Abbey Road. Before the album itself came out, a single was released. The official A side was George Harrison's Something, the first Harrison song ever to be released as a Beatle A side. The other side was the song that opened the album itself, John Lennon's Come Together. In later years Come Together came to be Lennon's signature song and was a staple of his live performances.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
Source:    Mono CD: Past Masters-vol. 2 (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 The single was readied for a November release, but at the last minute was withdrawn.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 Beatles' Let It Be single the following year.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Because
Source:    LP: Abbey Road
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Apple
Year:    1969
    Take Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Turn a few notes around, add some variations and write some lyrics. Add the Beatles' trademark multi-part harmonies and you have John Lennon's Because, from the Abbey Road album. A simply beautiful recording.

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:    Spirit
Title:    Straight Arrow
Source:    CD: Spirit
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Ode/Epic/Legacy
Year:    1968
    Spirit was born when high school students and garage rockers Randy California, Jay Ferguson, Mark Andes and John Locke started jamming with California's stepfather, jazz drummer Ed Cassidy. The result was one of the earliest examples of jazz-rock, although the jazz element would be toned down for later albums. Unlike the later fusion bands, Spirit's early songs tended to be sectional, with a main section that was straight rock often leading into a more late bop styled instrumental section reminiscent of Wes Montgomery's recordings. Vocalist Jay Ferguson wrote most of the band's early material, such as Straight Arrow from their 1968 debut album.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Magic Carpet Ride
Source:    CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf The Second)
Writer(s):    Moreve/Kay
Label:    Priority (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    Steppenwolf's second top 10 single was Magic Carpet Ride, a song that combines feedback, prominent organ work by Goldy McJohn and an updated Bo Diddly beat with psychedelic lyrics. Along with Born To Be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride (co-written by vocalist John Kay and bassist Rushton Moreve) has become one of the defining songs of both Steppenwolf and the late 60s.

Artist:    Blues Magoos
Title:    She's Coming Home
Source:    LP: Psychedelic Lollipop
Writer(s):    Atkins/Miller
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1966
    Generally speaking, cheatin' songs in 1966 were considered the province of country music. The few exceptions, such as Paul Revere and the Raiders' Steppin' Out, were all told from the victim's point of view. The Blues Magoos, however, turned the entire thing upside down with She's Coming Home, a song about having to break up with one's new girlfriend in the face of the old one returning from...(prison? military duty? the hospital? The lyrics never make that clear). The unusual nature of the song is in keeping with the cutting edge image of a band that was among the first to use the word psychedelic in an album title and had to have been the first to wear electric suits onstage.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    I've Loved You
Source:    Mono British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1967
    The fourth and final single released on the Original Sound label by the Music Machine is generally considered to be the most psychedelic one as well. The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly is a feedback drenched political statement, while its B side, I've Loved You, can best be described as primal (three years before John Lennon brought primal scream therapy into the spotlight with songs like Cold Turkey and Remember). The band recorded a few more tunes before falling apart in mid-1967, but those recordings ended up on a different label, either as singles or on the album Bonniwell Music Machine that was released later in the year.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    The Unknown Soldier
Source:    CD: Waiting For The Sun (also released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1968
    One of the oddest recordings to get played on top 40 radio was the Door's 1968 release, The Unknown Soldier. The song is notable for having it's own promotional film made by keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who had been a film major at UCLA when the Doors were formed. It's not known whether the song was written with the film in mind (or vice versa), but the two have a much greater synergy than your average music video.

Artist:    Acid Gallery
Title:    Dance Around The Maypole
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Roy Wood
Label:    Rhino (original label: CBS)
Year:    1969
    Possibly the top British band to not have a hit in the US was the Move. The band was so popular that when BBC One signed on for the first time in 1967, the Move's current hit, Flowers In The Rain, was chosen to be the first song played on the station. The band, led by Roy Wood, produced many spinoff projects as well. One of these was called the Acid Gallery, which released a song called Dance Around The Maypole in 1969. Although Wood himself wrote the song and his voice is featured prominently in the mix, the rest of the Move was not included on the record. It is believed that the actual group was a band called the Epics, who would soon change their name to Christie and have a minor hit with the song Yellow River.

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    Pledging My Time
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The B side of the first single from Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde album was Pledging My Time, a blues tune that features Robbie Robertson (who had been touring with Dylan) on guitar. The song was one of three tracks recorded in four takes in Nashville on March 8th of 1966. The single version of the song heard here fades after only two minutes (the album version being considerably longer).

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released on LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme)
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    After the surprise success of the Sound Of Silence single, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel (who had disbanded their partnership after the seeming failure of their Wednesday Morning 3 AM album in 1964) hastily reunited to record a new LP, Sounds Of Silence. The album, released in early 1966, consisted mostly of electrified versions of songs previously written by Simon, many of which had appeared in the UK in acoustic form on his 1965 solo LP The Paul Simon Songbook. With their newfound success, the duo set about recording an album's worth of new material. This time around, however, Simon had the time (and knowledge of what was working for the duo) to compose songs that would play to both the strengths of himself and Garfunkel as vocalists, as well as take advantage of the additional instrumentation available to him. The result was Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme, featuring tracks such as The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine, an energetic piece satirizing rampant consumerism and the advertising industry.

Artist:     Beach Boys
Title:     Let's Go Away For Awhile
Source:     45 RPM single B side (originally released on LP: Pet Sounds)
Writer:     Brian Wilson
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1966
     Although the Beach Boys are known primarily as a vocal group, their catalog is sprinkled with occassional instrumental pieces, usually featuring the youngest Wilson brother, Carl, on lead guitar. By 1966, however, the band was using studio musicians extensively on their recordings. This was taken to its extreme on the Pet Sounds album with the tune Let's Go Away For Awhile, which was made without the participation of any of the actual band members (except composer/producer Brian Wilson, who said at the time that the track was the most satisfying piece of music he had ever made).
To give the song even greater exposure, Wilson used the track as the B side of the band's next single, Good Vibrations.

Artist:    Monkees
Title:    Salesman
Source:    CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Writer(s):    Craig Smith
Label:    Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:    1967
    The first song on the Monkees' fourth LP, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn And Jones, LTD. was also the most controversial. Michael Nesmith, as a side project, had been producing songs for a group led by Craig Vincent Smith called the Penny Arkade. One song in particular, Salesman, impressed Nesmith so much that he decided to produce a Monkees version of the song as well. The track was then used in a Monkees TV episode called The Devil And Peter Tork. NBC-TV at first refused to air the episode, claiming that the line "Salesman with your secret goods that you push while you talk" was a veiled drug reference (although producer Bert Schnieder was convinced the real reason was the liberal use of the word "hell" in the show's script).

Artist:    Ronnie Burns
Title:    Exit Stage Right
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in Australia as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb
Label:    Rhino (original label: Spin)
Year:    1967
    Prior to relocating to London in early 1967, the Bee Gees completed several demo recordings for producer Ossie Byrne in Hurstville, Australia. Byrne, in addition to producing the Bee Gees' Australian recordings, had a singer named Ronnie Burns under contract as well. Burns had first achieved popularity as vocalist with the Australian beat group known as the Flies, but had left the band in 1965 to pursue a solo career. Byrne had Burns add new vocals over the Bee Gees demos, including Exit Stage Right. It turned out to be a winning combination, as Exit Stage Right became a sizable hit when released as a single on Australia's Spin label.

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

Artist:    Eric Burdon and the Animals
Title:    When I Was Young
Source:    Mono CD: The Best of Eric Burdon and the Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch
Label:    Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
Year:    1967
    After the Animals disbanded in 1966, Eric Burdon set out to form a new band that would be far more psychedelic than the original group. The first release from these "New Animals" was When I Was Young. The song was credited to the entire band, a practice that would continue throughout the entire existence of the group that came to be called Eric Burdon And The Animals.

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Foxy Lady
Source:    LP: The Essential Jimi Hendrix Volume Two (originally released on LP: Are You Experienced)
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1967
    The first track on the original 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 2. For some reason Reprise Records misspelled the title as Foxey Lady, and continued to do so on posthumous compilations such as The Essential Jimi Hendrix Volume Two.

Artist:    Yardbirds
Title:    The Train Kept A-Rollin'
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: Great Hits (originally released on LP: Having A Rave-Up)
Writer(s):    Bradshaw/Mann/Kay
Label:    Epic
Year:    1965
    Originally recorded by Tiny Bradshaw in 1951, The Train Kept A-Rollin' was transformed from a relatively unremarkable jump blues tune into a rock classic when it was reworked by Jeff Beck and the Yardbirds in 1965. The song was chosen to be featured in the film Blowup the following year, but when the filmmakers ran into difficulties securing copyrights to the song Yardbirds vocalist Keith Relf came up with new lyrics and a new title, Stroll On. The entire band, including new member Jimmy Page, was given songwriting credit for the 1966 version of the song.

Artist:     Kinks
Title:     A Well Respected Man
Source:     LP: Kinkdom
Writer:     Ray Davies
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. By the end of the year Ray Davies's songwriting was beginning to 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:    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:    Fireballs
Title:    Bottle Of Wine
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Tom Paxton
Label:    Atco
Year:    1967
    Jimmy Gilmer and The Fireballs had previously had the number one song of the entire year 1963 with Sugar Shack, but had been completely derailed the following year by the British Invasion. After a nearly five-year drought they returned to the charts with Bottle of Wine in 1968. The Fireballs have the distinction of being one of the only bands from New Mexico ever to hit it big on the charts, recording all their hits at the same Norman Petty studios in Clovis, NM that Buddy Holly had used. After the Fireballs stopped recording, Petty moved into larger, more modern facilities that were used for the first record by country singer LeAnn Rimes in the 1990s. The original Norman Petty studios are now the Buddy Holly Museum.

Artist:     Beacon Street Union
Title:     The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens
Source:     LP: The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens
Writer(s):    Ulaky/Wright
Label:    M-G-M
Year:     1968
    While the first Beacon Street Union album is considered a psychedelic masterpiece, the followup LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens, has a decidedly different feel to it. Some of this is attributable to a change in producer from Tom Wilson, whose work with Bob Dylan, the  Mothers of Invention and others is legendary, to Wes Farrell, whose greatest success would come producing the Partridge Family in the early 1970s. Farrell used strings extensively to create a noticably more middle-of-the-road sound, as can be heard on the album's title track.

Artist:    Fire Birds
Title:    No Tomorrows
Source:    CD: An Overdose Of Heavy Psych (originally released on LP: Light My Fire)
Writer(s):    Firebirds
Label:    Arf! Arf! (original label: Crown)
Year:    1969
    Throughout the 50s and 60s there were literally hundreds of budget labels that made their fortunes fooling record buyers into thinking they were getting hit records at a discounted price, when in reality they were getting cheap cover versions by uncredited and underpaid studio musicians. One of the most successful of these budget labels was Crown, a label created in 1953 by the Bahari Brothers which specialized in low-priced LPs spotlighting either a specific genre (polka, blues, gospel, etc.) or a particular artist via a tribute album that did not include any recordings by the actual artist. In 1969 Crown released a pair of hard psychedelic LPs: Hair, by 31 Flavors, and Light My Fire, by the Firebirds. In reality, they were both by the same band, rumored to be a local Los Angeles group that was not actually called either the Firebirds or 31 Flavors. Unlike most Crown releases, however, these two albums featured original material such as No Tomorrow that would not have been out of place beside albums by Blue Cheer or early Grand Funk Railroad.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Two Heads
Source:    LP: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Grace Slick
Label:    RCA Victor
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:    Plastic Fantastic Lover
Source:    CD: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer(s):    Marty Balin
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    Jefferson Airplane scored their first top 10 hit with Somebody To Love, the second single released from the Surrealistic Pillow album. Almost immediately, forward-thinking FM stations began playing other tracks from the album. One of those favored album tracks, Plastic Fantastic Lover, ended up being the B side of the band's follow-up single, White Rabbit. When the Airplane reunited in 1989 and issued their two-disc retrospective, 2400 Fulton Street, they issued a special stereo pressing of the single on white vinyl as a way of promoting the collection.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    The Last Wall Of The Castle
Source:    LP: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer:    Jorma Kaukonen
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1967
    Following the massive success of the Surrealistic Pillow album with its two top 10 singles (Somebody To Love and White Rabbit) the members of Jefferson Airplane made a conscious choice to put artistic goals above commercial ones for their next LP, After Bathing At Baxter's. The result was an album that defines the term "acid rock" in more ways than one. One of the few songs on the album that does not cross-fade into or out of another song is this tune from Jorma Kaukonen, his first non-acoustic song to be recorded by the band.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Parchman Farm
Source:    CD: The Blues Project Anthology
Writer(s):    Mose Allison
Label:    Polydor
Year:    Recorded 1965, released 1997
    Autumn of 1965 was a busy, and quite productive, time for the Greenwich Village based Blues Project. The band had added keyboardist Al Kooper in mid-October. At around that same time they signed with MGM's Verve Forecast label and got a steady gig at Howard Solomon's Cafe Au Go Go, on Bleeker Street in the Village. By early November they were playing to a full house every night, prompting Solomon to organize a Thanksgiving weekend bash to be called the Blues Bag. In addition to the Blues Project, the playbill included John Lee Hooker, Son House, Bukka White, Geoff Muldaur, Eric Anderson and several electric bands, including Buzzy Linhart's Seventh Sons. Solomon managed to get Verve Folkways to not only record the Blues Project's portion of the show, but to finance the entire weekend gig. The tracks recorded at the Blues Bag were to be used for the Blues Project's debut LP, but in January a huge problem caused everyone involved to rethink their plans. Lead vocalist Tommy Flanders had a girlfriend who convinced him that he was the band's big star and as such, should get special treatment from pretty much everyone. When the rest of the band took exception to this idea Flanders walked out, never to return. For obvious reasons, nobody wanted to release an album featuring a lead vocalist who was no longer a member of the band; the solution was to set up another live recording session, again at the Cafe Au Go Go. Ultimately, some of the tracks with Flanders were used on the album, with the remaining tracks remaining unreleased until 1997, when  the Blues Project Anthology was released. Among those unreleased tracks was the band's take on the old Mose Allison tune, Parchman Farm.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    The Flute Thing
Source:    LP: Projections
Writer(s):    Al Kooper
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1966
    The Blues Project was one of the most influential bands in rock history, yet to this day remains one of the most obscure. 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 group's first studio LP, 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:    Blues Project
Title:    Gentle Dreams
Source:    CD: The Blues Project Anthology (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Katz/Kuhlberg
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve Forecast)
Year:    1967
    There is no question that the Blues Project was a band ahead of its time. They were the first jam band, touring extensively from coast to coast, influencing countless musicians along the way (including the members of a band called the Warlocks, who would soon change their name to the Grateful Dead) to take a chance on improvisation. Still, they existed at a time when top 40 radio airplay was the measure of success. By this standard, the Blues Project was a dismal failure. Their only charted single, Al Kooper's No Time Like The Right Time, stalled out at #97, spending all of two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, and even that rather excellent track was not representative of the band's live sound. In fact, none of the Blues Project singles (excepting their cover of Back Door Man) sounded much like the Blues Project that so excited audiences on college campuses across America. The problem was, in my opinion, that they were actually trying too hard to have a hit record, rather than playing to their own strengths. This is apparent when listening to the group's final single for the Verve Forecast label, a tune called Gentle Dreams co-written by guitarist Steve Katz (who sings on the track) and flautist/bassist Andy Kuhlberg. Like all of Katz's compositions, Gentle Dreams feels more like a folk song than the rest of the band's material. Unfortunately, Katz's vocals were not yet up to the level of quality he would achieve as a member of Blood, Sweat And Tears a few years later.

Artist:    Strawberry Alarm Clock
Title:    Incense And Peppermints
Source:    Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Carter/Gilbert/Weitz/King
Label:    Rhino (original label: Uni)
Year:    1967
    Incense and Peppermints is one of the iconic songs of the psychedelic era, yet when it was originally released to Los Angeles area radio stations it was intended to be the B side of The Birdman of Alkatrash. Somewhere along the line a DJ flipped the record over and started playing Incense And Peppermints instead. The song caught on and Uni Records (short for Universal, which is now the world's largest record company) picked up the Strawberry Alarm Clock's contract and reissued the record nationally with Incense And Peppermints as the A side.

Artist:    Third Bardo
Title:    I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time
Source:    Mono British import CD: Ah Feel Like Ahcid (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Evans/Pike
Label:    Zonophone (original label: Roulette)
Year:    1967
    The Third Bardo (the name coming from the Tibetan Book of the Dead) only released one single, but I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time has become, over a period of time, one of the most sought-after records of the psychedelic era. Not much is known of this New York band made up of Jeffrey Moon (vocals), Bruce Ginsberg (drums), Ricky Goldclang (lead guitar), Damian Kelly (bass) and Richy Seslowe (guitar).

Artist:    Tol-Puddle Martyrs
Title:    Social Cell
Source:    Mono CD: Tol-Pubble Martyrs (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Peter Rechter
Label:    Secret Deals (original labels: Pacific/Spiral)
Year:    1967
    The Tol-Puddle Martyrs' Social Cell was originally released as a B side on the Pacific label, until the owner of the Pacific label was informed that there was already a Pacific label operating in Melbourne. At that time the label was hastily changed to Spiral, with the record having the same catalogue number.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Source:    45 RPM single (simulated stereo 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 of the past 70 years.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1716 (starts 4/19/17)


This week it's all about the darkness, from the antics of elves (who knows what they're really all about, anyway?) to the sadistic practices of Tommy's Cousin Kevin, with all kinds of dark matter in between.

Artist:    Steeleye Span
Title:    Seven Hundred Elves
Source:    LP: Now We Are Six
Writer(s):    Trad. arr. Steeleye Span
Label:    Chrysalis
Year:    1974
    One of Steeleye Span's most popular albums, Now We Are Six had a title with a double meaning: it was the band's 6th LP and with the addition of drummer Nigel Pegrum the band now had six members. Not that previous albums had been drumless. Studio drummers had been used extensively on previous albums, but it was felt that the time was right for the addition of a full-time drummer to further the group's move towards a blend of tradition English folk music and rock. The final track on side one of the original LP, Seven Hundred Elves, combines traditional lyrics with music written by the band members to create a unique hybrid. Steeleye Span's popularity continued to grow until the advent of punk rock turned British audiences against anything perceived as old-fashioned, including the various folk-rock bands that had flourished earlier in the decade.

Artist:    Pink Floyd
Title:    Dark Side Of The Moon-part two
Source:    CD: Dark Side Of The Moon
Writer(s):    Gilmour/Mason/Waters/Wright
Label:    Capitol (original label: Harvest)
Year:    1973
    Usually when you hear Pink Floyd's Money, from the album Dark Side Of The Moon, on the radio, that's pretty much it. As the song fades out, you maybe hear a jingle, or a DJ talking, or even another song from some other group. What you rarely, if ever, hear is the rest of the album side, even though the next song, Us And Them, actually overlaps the end of Money on the album itself. In fact, all the songs on side two run together as one piece, which is how it is being presented on Rockin' in the Days of Confusion. So if you want to hear Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage and Eclipse, don't touch your radio dial (except to turn up the volume, of course).

Artist:    Uriah Heep
Title:    Tales
Source:    LP: The Magician's Birthday
Writer(s):    Ken Hensley
Label:    Mercury
Year:    1972
    In a sense, The Magician's Birthday can be seen as a sequel to Uriah Heep's fourth album, Demons And Wizards. Both albums have fantasy themes, augmented with cover art from Roger Dean, and feature songs from various band members. The dominant songwriter was Ken Hensley, who, in addition to providing the album's concept, wrote several fine tunes such as Tales, a personal favorite of mine (that somehow has escaped being on any HermitRadio playlists before now).

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

Artist:    King Crimson
Title:    The Court Of The Crimson King
Source:    CD: In The Court Of The Crimson King
Writer:    MacDonald/Sinfield
Label:    Discipline Global Mobile (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1969
    Perhaps the most influential progressive rock album of all time was King Crimson's debut LP, In The Court Of The Crimson King. The band, in its original incarnation, included Robert Fripp on guitar, Ian MacDonald on keyboards and woodwinds, Greg Lake on vocals and bass, David Giles on drums and Peter Sinfield as a dedicated lyricist. The title track, which takes up the second half of side two of the LP, features music composed by MacDonald, who would leave the group after their second album, later resurfacing as a founding member of Foreigner. The album's distinctive cover art came from a painting by computer programmer Barry Godber, who died of a heart attack less than a year after the album was released. According to Fripp, the artwork on the inside is a portrait of the Crimson King, whose manic smile is in direct contrast to his sad eyes. The album, song and artwork were the inspiration for Stephen King's own Crimson King, the insane antagonist of his Dark Tower saga who is out to destroy all of reality, including our own.

Artist:    Who
Title:    Cousin Kevin
Source:    CD: Tommy
Writer(s):    John Entwhistle
Label:    MCA (original label: Decca)
Year:    1969
    Although most of the rock-opera Tommy was written by guitarist Pete Townshend, a few select tracks came from other sources. One such track was bassist John Entwhistle's composition Cousin Kevin, one of a series of songs about Tommy's growing-up years. Kevin is a bully who sees an easy target in his blind, deaf and mute cousin, and in the song muses about the various tortures he can inflict upon him.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1715 (starts 4/12/17)


All kinds of Good Things this week, including artists sets from Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Music Machine.
Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    The Sound Of Silence
Source:    LP: Sounds of Silence
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    The Sound Of Silence was originally an acoustic piece that was included on Simon and Garfunkel's 1964 debut album, Wednesday Morning 3AM. The album went nowhere and was soon deleted from the Columbia Records catalog. Simon and Garfunkel themselves went their separate ways, with Simon moving to London and recording a solo LP, the Paul Simon Songbook. While Simon was in the UK, producer John Simon, who had been working with Bob Dylan on his Highway 61 Revisited album, pulled out the master tape of The Sound Of Silence and got several of the musicians who had been working on the Dylan LP to add electric instruments to the Simon And Garfunkel track. The song was released to local radio stations, where it garnered enough interest to get the modified recording released as a single. It turned out to be a huge hit and prompted Paul Simon to move back to the US and reunite with Art Garfunkel. The rest, as they say, is history.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Tobacco Road
Source:    LP: Jefferson Airplane Takes Off
Writer(s):    John D. Loudermilk
Label:    RCA Victor
Year:    1966
    In their early days Jefferson Airplane, like most of their contemporaries, included several cover tunes in their repertoire. Unlike many other bands, however, the Airplane managed to stamp all of their covers with their own unmistakable sound. One excellent example of this is the Airplane's version of Tobacco Road, a song by John D. Loudermilk that had been a hit for the British invasion band Nashville Teens in 1964. The Airplane version, which appears on their debut LP, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, takes an entirely different approach than the Teens' rendition (or the similarly styled Blues Magoos version recorded around the same time as the Airplane's), laying off the power chords in favor of a jazzier approach more in tune with guitarist Jorma Kaukonen's style of playing.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: The Grateful Dead
Writer(s):    McGannahan Skjellyfetti
Label:    Rhino (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    The Grateful Dead's debut single actually sold pretty well in the San Francisco bay area, where it got airplay on top 40 stations from San Francisco to San Jose. Around the rest of the country, not so much, but the Dead would soon prove that there was more to survival than having a hit record. Writing credits on The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) were given to McGannahan Skjellyfetti, which like the Rolling Stones' Nanker Phelge was a name used for songs written by the entire band (it took up less space on the label).

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Magic Carpet Ride
Source:    CD: Steppenwolf the Second
Writer(s):    Moreve/Kay
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    Steppenwolf's second top 10 single was Magic Carpet Ride, a song that combines feedback, prominent organ work by Goldy McJohn and an updated Bo Diddly beat with psychedelic lyrics. Along with Born To Be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride (co-written by vocalist John Kay and bassist Rushton Moreve) has become one of the defining songs of both Steppenwolf and the late 1960s.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Good Thing
Source:    LP: The Spirit Of '67
Writer(s):    Lindsay/Melcher
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    From 1965 to 1967 Paul Revere And The Raiders were on a roll, with a string of six consecutive top 20 singles, four of which made the top 5. Among these was Good Thing, a tune written by lead vocalist Mark Lindsay and producer Terry Melcher (sometimes referred to as the "fifth Raider"). The song first appeared on the Spirit Of  '67 LP in 1966, and was released as a single late that year. The song ended up being the Raiders' second biggest hit, peaking at # 4 in early 1967.

Artist:    Paul Revere and the Raiders
Title:    Steppin' Out
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Revere/Lindsay
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1965
    1965 was the year that Paul Revere and the Raiders hit the big time. The Portland, Oregon combo had already been performing together for several years, and had been the first rock band to record Louie Louie in the spring of 1963, getting airplay on the West Coast and Hawaii but losing out nationally to another Portland group, the Kingsmen, whose version was recorded the same month as the Raiders'. While playing in Hawaii the group came to the attention of Dick Clark, who was looking for a band to appear on his new afternoon TV program, Where The Action Is. Clark introduced the band to Terry Melcher, a successful producer at Columbia Records, which led to the Raiders being the first actual rock band signed by the label. Appearing on Action turned out to be a major turning point for the group, who soon became the show's defacto hosts as well as house band. The Raiders' first national hit in their new role was Steppin' Out, a song written by Revere and vocalist Mark Lindsay about a guy returning from military service (as Revere himself had done in the early 60s, reforming the Raiders upon his return) and finding out his girl had been unfaithful. Working with Melcher, the Raiders enjoyed a run of hits from 1965-67 unequalled by any other Amercian rock band of the time.

Artist:    Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title:    Our Candidate
Source:    LP: The Spirit Of '67
Writer(s):    Mike Smith
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    Paul Revere And The Raiders continued their winning ways with the release of their second LP of 1966. The Spirit Of '67, like its predecessor Midnight Ride, featured a mix of cover songs and originals, including My Candidate from drummer Mike "Smitty" Smith. The Spirit Of '67 was, in a sense, an ending for the group, however. Future albums would feature studio musicians extensively, and virtually all the material would come from the pens of Paul Revere and Mark Lindsay, leading to most of the other members (including Smitty) leaving the band altogether.

Artist:     Cream
Title:     Mother's Lament
Source:     CD: Disraeli Gears
Writer:     Trad. Arr. Cream
Label:     Polydor (original US label: Atco)
Year:     1967
     The shortest-ever Cream recording was an old English drinking song called Mother's Lament. Vocals on the song were led by drummer Ginger Baker, and the track was chosen to close out the Disraeli Gears album. By one of those odd coincidences of the music industry, the album was issued in Europe on the Polydor label (as were many cutting-edge bands of the time, including the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Procol Harum and the Who), which at the time did not issue records in the US. By the late 1980s, however, Polydor was well established in the US and all the Cream albums on Compact Disc were released under the Polydor imprint.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:     Manic Depression
Source:     LP: Are You Experienced?
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     Legacy (original US label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
    My dad bought an Akai X-355 reel to reel tape recorder when we moved to Ramstein, Germany in early 1968. It was pretty much the state of the art in home audio technology at the time. The problem was that we did not have a stereo system to hook it into, so he bought a set of Koss headphones to go with it. One of my first purchases was a pre-recorded reel to reel tape of Are You Experienced. The Akai had an auto-reverse system and I would lie on the couch with the headphones on to go to sleep every night listening to songs like Manic Depression. Is it any wonder I turned out like I did?

Artist:    Bob Dylan
Title:    All Along The Watchtower
Source:    CD: The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings (originally released on LP: John Wesley Harding)
Writer(s):    Bob Dylan
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    1967
    One of the best known songs by the Jimi Hendrix Experience is their cover of Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower from the Electric Ladyland album. That version of the song has proved so enduring that Dylan himself now uses the Hendrix arrangement when he performs the piece live. The original recording of the song was on Dylan's 1967 LP John Wesley Harding, the last Dylan album to be mixed in both stereo and mono. This week we have the mono version of the song.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Fixing A Hole
Source:    LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    The first Beatle album to appear with the same tracks in the same order on both US and UK versions was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The only differences between the two were a lack of spaces in the vinyl (called "banding") on the UK version and a bit of gobbledygook heard at the end of the record (but only if you did not have a turntable that automatically lifted the needle out of the groove after the last track). Said gobbledygook is included after A Day In The Life on the CD as a hidden track if you really want to hear what it sounds like. What does this have to do with the song Fixing A Hole? Absolutely nothing, but I thought I'd tell you about it nonetheless.

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Dear Mr. Fantasy
Source:    LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: Heaven Is In Your Mind)
Writer(s):    Capaldi/Winwood/Wood
Label:    United Artists
Year:    1967
    Steve Winwood is one of those artists that has multiple signature songs, having a career that has spanned decades (so far). Still, if there is any one song that is most closely associated with the guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist, it's the title track of Traffic's Mr. Fantasy album.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    Get Me To The World On Time
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released on LP: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Jones
Label:    Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    With I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) climbing the charts in early 1967, the Electric Prunes turned to songwriter Annette Tucker for two more tracks to include on their debut LP. One of those, Get Me To The World On Time (co-written by lyricist Jill Jones) was selected to be the follow up single to Dream. Although not as big a hit, the song still did respectably on the charts (and was actually the first Electric Prunes song I ever heard on FM radio).

Artist:     Standells
Title:     Try It
Source:     LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Levine/Bellack
Label:     Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:     1967
     After a series of singles written by producer Ed Cobb had resulted in diminishing returns, the Standells recorded Try It, a tune co-written by Joey Levine, who would rise to semi-anonymous notoriety as lead vocalist for the Ohio Express, a group that was essentially a vehicle for the Kazenetz/Katz production team, purveyors of what came to be called "bubble gum" music. The song itself was quickly banned on most radio stations under the assumption that the phrase "try it" was a call for teenage girls to abandon their virginity. The fact is that nowhere in the song does the word "teenage" appear, but nonetheless the song failed to make a dent in the charts, despite its catchy melody and danceable beat, which should have garnered it at least a 65 rating on American Bandstand.

Artist:    Buffalo Springfield
Title:    Everybody's Wrong
Source:    CD: Buffalo Springfield
Writer:    Stephen Stills
Label:    Atco
Year:    1966
    Buffalo Springfield is one of those rare cases of a band that actually sold more records after disbanding than while they were still an active group. This is due mostly to the fact that several members, including Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay and Jim Messina, went on to greater success in the 1970s, either with new bands or as solo artists. In the early days of Buffalo Springfield Stephen Stills was the group's most successful songwriter. The band's only major hit, For What It's Worth, was a Stills composition that was originally released shortly after the group's debut LP, and was subsequently added to later pressings of the album. Another, earlier, Stills composition from that first album was Everybody's Wrong, a somewhat heavy piece of folk-rock.

Artist:    Donovan
Title:    There Is A Mountain
Source:    British import CD: Mellow Yellow (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    EMI (original label: Epic)
Year:    1967
    1967 was a year that saw Donovan continue to shed the "folk singer" image, forcing the media to look for a new term to describe someone like him. As you may have already guessed, that term was "singer-songwriter." On There Is A Mountain, a hit single from 1967, Donovan applies Eastern philosophy and tonality to pop music, with the result being one of those songs that sticks in your head for days.

Artist:    Max Frost And The Troopers
Title:    It's Wrong
Source:    CD: Shape Of Things To Come
Writer(s):    Hector/Wibier
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 It's Wrong. The name Max Frost And The Troopers popped up in a couple more film soundtracks before being permanently retired by the end of the year.

Artist:    Earth Island
Title:    This Island Earth
Source:    LP: We Must Survive
Writer(s):    Liska/Vanderwoert
Label:    Philips
Year:    1969
    Earth Island was a band from Hollywood, California, that released one album on the Philips label in 1969. The album, We Must Survive, was produced by Kim Fowley, who somehow managed to be right in the thick of both the London and Hollywood psychedelic scenes in the late 1960s. We Must Survive can best described as environmentally conscious light pop music with psychedelic touches, as can be heard on This Island Earth.

Artist:    Gonn
Title:    Blackout Of Gretely
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Garrett/Moore
Label:    Rhino (original label: Emir)
Year:    1966
    Keokuk, Iowa was home to the band called Gonn, who released only two singles in their short recording career. The first of these was Blackout Of Gretely, a song recorded in the back room of a local electronics store using a total of two microphones, both of which were pointed at the band and their amplifiers. The track opens with the immortal words: "The universe is permeated with the smell of kerosene" followed by a scream and a repeating guitar riff that is as primitive as any ever recorded. Such was the legendary status of Blackout Of Gretely that Gonn actually reformed thirty years after the record was released for a tour of Europe.

Artist:    John Sebastian
Title:    Red-Eye Express
Source:    LP: The Big Ball (originally released on LP: John B. Sebastian)
Writer(s):    John Sebastian
Label:    Warner Brothers (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1970
    John Sebastian's first solo album is one of those cases where the story behind the album is more interesting than the album itself. Sebastian had been the lead vocalist and primary songwriter for the Lovin' Spoonful during their period of greatest success (1965-67), but had left the group in early 1968 to pursue a solo career. The band tried to carry on without him, but after a string of commercial failures disbanded in early 1969. Meanwhile, Sebastian had been putting together tracks like Red-Eye Express for his debut solo album with the help of many of his old friends from his pre-Spoonful days as a struggling folk singer in New York's Greenwich Village, including (among others) David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, several months before they began recording together as a group. By early 1969 the album was ready to be released, but a series of unexpected problems delayed the album for over a year. The most pertinent of these problems was the fact that MGM records felt that the Lovin' Spoonful still owed them one more album under their previous contract with Kama Sutra Records, which had been distributed by MGM. Since the Spoonful no longer existed, MGM wanted to release Sebastian's album in its place, despite the fact that Sebastian had left the band the previous year. Sebastian and his manager, Bob Cavallo, felt differently, and made a deal with producer Paul Rothchild to get the album released on the Reprise label. Reprise head Mo Ostin bought out Sebastian's Kama Sutra contract and prepared to release the album, John B. Sebastian, in spring of 1969. MGM fought the move, however, and the album's release was delayed until 1970, when the album actually appeared on both labels at the same time (albeit with different cover art). Eventually Reprise ended up with the exclusive rights to the album, and the MGM version was withdrawn. During all this legal wrangling Sebastian made an unscheduled appearance at Woodstock (he was there as an audience member, but got drafted to fill time on the second day of the festival following a major rainstorm that left the stage covered in water, making it impossible for electric instruments to be used until it could be cleaned up), which enhanced his reputation and generated interest in the upcoming album, which eventually peaked at the #20 spot on the Billboard album charts.

Artist:    Fleetwood Mac
Title:    Fighting For Madge
Source:    CD: Then Play On
Writer(s):    Mick Fleetwood
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    A jam session is defined (by me) as what happens when two or more musicians get together and play whatever they feel like playing. Jazz, rock and blues artists in particular are prone to jamming, sometimes with recording devices running. Sometimes these jams serve as the basis for future compositions, and in some cases (the Jimi Hendrix track Voodoo Chile from side one of Electric Ladyland comes to mind) the jam session itself ends up being released in its original form. Fleetwood Mac, in 1969, included two such jams on their Then Play On LP, although one of the two (Searching For Madge) was shortened from its original 17 minutes to just under seven minutes. The other jam, heard in its entirety on the album, is called Fighting For Madge. Both tracks were named for a female acquaintance of the band, with Mick Fleetwood getting the official writing credit for Fighting and John McVie the credit for Searching, even though everyone contributed equally to both jams.

Artist:    Big Brother And The Holding Company
Title:    Oh, Sweet Mary
Source:    LP: Cheap Thrills
Writer(s):    Albin/Andrew/Getz/Gurley/Joplin
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1968
    The only song credited to the entire membership of Big Brother And The Holding Company on their Cheap Thrills album was Oh, Sweet Mary (although the original label credits Janis Joplin as sole writer and the album cover itself gives only Joplin and Peter Albin credit). The tune bears a strong resemblance to Coo Coo, a non-album single the band had released on the Mainstream label before signing to Columbia. Oh, Sweet Mary, however, has new lyrics and a "dreamy" bridge section played at a slower tempo than the rest of the tune.

Artist:        Doors
Title:        End Of The Night
Source:    CD: Weird Scenes Inside The Goldmine (originally released on LP: The Doors)
Writer:        The Doors
Label:        Elektra
Year:        1967
        Sometimes you run across a song that seems to encapsulate what a band is all about. End Of The Night, from the first Doors album, is one of those songs. Apparently the band members felt the same way, as it was included on the anthology album Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine, despite never being released as a single.

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

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Till Death Do Us Part
Source:    French import 45 RPM EP
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Sanctuary
Year:    Recorded 1968, released 2016
    From 1968 we have a Kinks rarity that only appeared briefly under the end credits of a film version of a British TV show. Till Death Do Us Part was a popular situation comedy that became the inspiration for an even more popular (and culturally significan) American situation comedy: All In The Family. The British show was popular enough to warrant a movie version (that was apparently out of continuity with the series itself), which itself spawned a 1972 sequel. The theme song for the film was composed by Ray Davies and performed by the Kinks, but, to my knowledge, remained unreleased until Record Store Day Black Friday of 2016, when it was included on a French EP containing four Kinks songs from 1968.

Artist:      Lemon Pipers
Title:     Green Tambourine
Source:      European import CD: Pure...Psychedelic Rock (originally released in US as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Leka/Pinz
Label:    Sony Music (original label: Buddah)
Year:     1967
     After a promising start in early 1967 signing and releasing albums by respected artists like Johnny Winter and Captain Beefheart, Buddah Records acquired a reputation as the "bubble gum" label the following year with a string of hits by groups like the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express. In between, there was a nice little piece of psychedelia called Green Tambourine by a band called the Lemon Pipers. Because of
Buddah's reputation and subsequent history, however, the song is often mistakenly thought of as the first bubble gum hit.

Artist:    Beacon Street Union
Title:    Blue Avenue
Source:    LP: The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union
Writer(s):    Wayne Ulaky
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1968
    One of Boston's most popular bands, the Beacon Street Union, had already migrated to New York City by the time their first album, The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union (produced by the legendary Tom Wilson), made its debut in February of 1968. The band itself was made up of Boston University dropouts John Lincoln Wright (lead vocals), Paul Tartachny (guitar, vocals), Robert Rhodes (keyboards, brass), Richard Weisberg (drums), and Wayne Ulaky (bass). Ulaky wrote what was probably the band's best-known song, Blue Avenue. The tune was particular popular in the UK, where it was heard on the Top Gear program. The Beacon Street Union, however, fell victim to hype; in this case the ill-advised attempt on the part of M-G-M records to market several disparate bands as being part of the "boss-town sound". After a second LP, The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens (produced by future Partridge Family impressario Wes Farrell) failed to equal the somewhat limited success of their debut LP, the Beacon Street Union decided to call it quits.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Discrepancy
Source:    CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer:    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    Discrepancy, one of Sean Bonniwell's most sophisticated recordings with his band the Music Machine, features two simultaneous vocal lines. The main one, sung by Bonniwell (in the left channel) as a single melody line, tells the story of a deteriorating relationship. In the opposite channel we hear a breathy multi-part vocal line that tells the same story from the perspective of the subconscious. The two come together lyrically from time to time to express key concepts such as the line "now I know I'm losing you", only to once again diverge onto their separate tracks. The bridge serves to further unite the two divergent lines with the repeating plea to "tell me what to do". Discrepancy is one of the few tracks recorded by the original Music Machine lineup that was never released on Original Sound Records, either as an LP track or on a 45 RPM single. Instead, the song was included on the LP Bonniwell Music Machine, released by Warner Brothers in 1967.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Talk Talk
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1966
    When it came time for Sean Bonniwell's band, the Music Machine, to go into the studio, the group decided to go for the best sound possible. This meant signing with tiny Original Sound Records, despite having offers from bigger labels, due to Original Sound having their own state-of-the-art eight-track studios. Unfortunately for the band, they soon discovered that having great equipment did not mean Original Sound made great decisions. One of the first, in fact, was to include a handful of cover songs on the Music Machine's first LP that were recorded for use on a local TV show. Bonniwell was livid when he found out, as he had envisioned an album made up entirely of his own compositions (although he reportedly did plan to use a slowed-down version of Hey Joe that he and Tim Rose had worked up). From that point on it was only a matter of time until the Music Machine and Original Sound parted company, but not until after they scored a big national hit with Talk Talk (which had been previously recorded at RCA's Burbank studios) in 1966.

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Affirmative No
Source:    Mono CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released on LP: Bonniwell Music Machine)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Sundazed (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year:    1967
    Unlike many of their fellow L.A. bands, who preferred to stay close to home, the Music Machine toured extensively after scoring their big national hit Talk Talk. While on the road the band worked on new material for a second album, booking studio time wherever they happened to be. One of those places was Muscle Shoals, Alabama, which had emerged as a rival to Memphis's Stax Studios as a hotbed of southern soul music. The Machine recorded two tracks there in early 1967, including Affirmative No, a song that manages to have a southern soul vibe without sacrificing any of the Music Machine's trademark garage/punk sound. Although the original group disbanded shortly after the songs were recorded, both tunes were included on the LP Bonniwell Music Machine, joining a couple of previously released Original Sound singles and several tracks recorded later in the year by a new Music Machine lineup.

Artist:    Al Kooper/Mike Bloomfield/Harvey Brooks/Eddie Hoh
Title:    His Holy Modal Majesty
Source:    LP: Super Session
Writer(s):    Bloomfield/Kooper
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1968
    One of the earliest electronic keyboard instruments was a device that came to be known as the Kooperphone, thanks to its use by Al Kooper as early as 1966, when he was a member of the Blues Project. The instrument could not play chords, only single notes, and Kooper used it extensively on tracks like His Holy Modal Majesty on the 1968 album Super Session. If that were all there was to the track it might be remembered as little more than a curiosity piece. Thanks to the outstanding improvisational abilities of Kooper, guitarist Michael Bloomfield, bassist Harvey Brooks and drummer Eddie Hoh however, the piece soars, changing style and tempo with a fluidity rarely found outside of jazz circles.

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

Artist:     Humane Society
Title:     Eternal Prison
Source:     Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer:     Danny Minnich
Label:     Rhino (original label: New World)
Year:     1968
     Simi Valley, California, was home to the Humane Society, a band who, at least on vinyl, showed a decidedly schizophrenic face to the world. The A side of their first single, released on the Liberty label in 1967, was Tip Toe Thru The Tulips (yes, the same song that Tiny Tim became famous for). The B side, on the other hand, was the truly psychotic Knock Knock. The following year they repeated the pattern with another forgettable A side backed with Eternal Prison, one of the most psychedelic tracks ever recorded.

Rockin' in the Days of Confusion # 1715 (starts 4/12/17)


So you think the early 70s was all about guitars? Well, you're absolutely right, and we've got a bunch on this week's show, starting with Clapton and ending with Trower. Rock on!

Artist:    Eric Clapton
Title:    After Midnight
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    J.J. Cale
Label:    Atco
Year:    1970
    After his attempt at being "just another band member" (Derek and the Dominos) ended up only increasing his superstar status, Eric Clapton at last bowed to the inevitable and released his first official solo album in 1970. For the single from that album Clapton chose his cover of a 1966 J.J. Cale song, After Midnight. Clapton had become aware of Cale's music while touring with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends (yet another attempt at being "just another band member"), and recorded After Midnight with the help of Bobby Whitlock on organ and vocals, Jim Gordon on drums, Delaney Bramlett on rhythm guitar, Carl Radle on bass, Leon Russell on piano, Jim Price on trumpet, and Bobby Keys on saxophone. Clapton later said that learning Cale's rhythm guitar part was particularly challenging, even with Bramlett's help, adding that "I still don’t think we got it right." Cale himself was thrilled that Clapton scored a hit with the song. As Cale himself put it "I was dirt poor, not making enough to eat and I wasn’t a young man. I was in my thirties, so I was very happy. It was nice to make some money." Cale went on to re-record the song for his own album Naturally, released in 1972.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    She Lies In The Morning
Source:    CD: Watt
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Chrysalis (original label: Deram)
Year:    1970
    Although not as well received by the rock press as its predecessor, Cricklewood Green, Ten Years After's 6th LP, Watt, was very much in the same vein. One of the more interesting tracks on the LP, She Lies In The Morning, has several different sections, each with its own distinctive sound. Each time the song starts to get boring and/or repetitive, it changes into something completely different. The entire piece runs over seven minutes in length.

Artist:    Grand Funk Railroad
Title:    Mean Mistreater
Source:    CD: Heavy Hitters! (originally released on LP: Closer To Home)
Writer(s):    Mark Farner
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    By the 1980s the power ballad was becoming a rock music cliche. In 1970, however, it was still a pretty new concept, and one of the first bands to record power ballads was Grand Funk Railroad. Mean Mistreater, from the album Closer To Home, was actually the group's second power ballad. The first, Heartbreaker, had appeared on the album Grand Funk (aka the Red Album), and was already a fan favorite when Closer To Home was released in 1970. Mean Mistreater proved to be even more popular, and remained part of Grand Funk's stage repertoire for the remainder of the band's existence.

Artist:    John Lennon
Title:    Remember
Source:    CD: Lennon (box set) (originally released on LP: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band)
Writer(s):    John Lennon
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1970
    Many of today's digital recordings utilize a virtually infinite number of tracks to piece together short pieces of sound into a coherent whole. Such productions may take weeks and even months to record and put together before a final product is achieved. In 1970, however, things were much different. Generally, each instrument had its own track, and each track was recorded as an entire performance (although in many cases sections of two or more different takes would be spliced together, but this was a difficult task that could not be undone once a splice was made in the master tape). John Lennon's Remember, from his first solo studio album, is a good example of this "real time" method of recording. The instrumentation is simple: Lennon on piano, Ringo Starr on drums and Klaus Voorman on bass. Lennon, of course provided the vocals for the song, which was a direct result of his primal therapy sessions. Remember is a somewhat revealing song, particularly about Lennon's own upbringing in a world where children were taught that everything was black and white, and the good guys always beat the bad guys in the end. He is particularly critical of parents who attempt to live out their own dreams through their children instead of letting those children find their own way. The album itself is considered to be one of Lennon's finest efforts, and has shown up on several "best of" lists over the years.

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

Artist:    Neil Young/Crazy Horse
Title:    Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Source:    CD: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Writer(s):    Neil Young
Label:    Reprise
Year:    1969
    After releasing a fairly well produced debut solo album utilizing the talents of several well-known studio musicians in late 1968, Neil Young surprised everyone by recruiting an unknown L.A. bar band and rechristening them Crazy Horse for his second effort, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. The album was raw and unpolished, with Young's lead vocals recorded using a talkback microphone normally used by engineers to communicate with people in the studio from the control room. In spite of, or more likely because of these limitations, the resulting album has come to be regarded as one of the greatest in the history of rock, with Young sounding far more comfortable, both as a vocalist and guitarist, than on the previous effort. Although the album is best known for three songs he wrote while running a fever (Cinnamon Girl, Cowgirl In The Sand, and Down By The River), there are plenty of good other songs on the LP, including the title track heard here.

Artist:     Grateful Dead
Title:     Truckin'
Source:     LP: American Beauty
Writer:     Garcia/Weir/Hunter/Lesh
Label:     Warner Brothers
Year:     1970
     After two albums that mixed live and studio material and one double live LP, the Dead decided to make a serious effort to record an album entirely in the studio that was built around the songwriting rather than the performances. The result was American Beauty, the band's most commercially successful album up to that point. Along with the followup album, Workingman's Dead, American Beauty defined the Grateful Dead's sound for all but the most dedicated of concertgoers (the legendary Deadheads).

Artist:    Robin Trower
Title:    Bridge Of Sighs/In This Place
Source:    CD: Bridge Of Sighs
Writer(s):    Robin Trower
Label:    Chrysalis/Capitol
Year:    1974
    One of the most celebrated guitar albums of all time, Bridge Of Sighs was Robin Trower's second solo LP following his departure from Procol Harum. Released in 1974, the LP spent 31 weeks on the Billboard album charts, peaking at #7. Bridge of Sighs has served as a template for later guitar-oriented albums, especially those of Warren Haines and Gov't Mule.

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

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1714 (starts 4/5/17)


This week it's 32 songs from 32 artists. How's that for variety?   

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
Source:    Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco (original label: London)
Year:    1966
    By mid-1966 there was a population explosion of teenage rock bands popping up in garages and basements all across the US, the majority of which were doing their best to emulate the grungy sound of their heroes, the Rolling Stones. The Stones themselves responded by ramping up the grunge factor to a previously unheard of degree with their last single of the year, Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow? It was the most feedback-laden record ever to make the top 40 at that point in time, and it inspired America's garage bands to buy even more powerful amps and crank up the volume (driving their parents to drink in the process).

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Why Did You Hurt Me
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer:    Dodd/Valentine
Label:    Tower
Year:    1966
    Why Did You Hurt Me is a bit of a musical oddity. The song, which was released B side of their second single, Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, starts off as a growling three-chord bit of classic garage rock, but then goes into a bridge that sounds more like flower pop, with flowing melodic harmonies. This leads into a short transitional section that has little in common with what had come before and finally (somewhat awkwardly) segues back into the three chord main section to finish the song. The important thing, however, is that the piece was written by band members Dick Dodd and Tony Valentine, thus generating royalties for the two.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Pictures And Designs
Source:    LP: A Web Of Sound
Writer(s):    Saxon/Hooper
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    The first Seeds album was somewhat unusual for its time in that all the songs on the album (including both singles from the album) were written by members of the band itself. Unfortunately this resulted in a sort of formulaic sameness from one track to the next, with many tunes sounding like attempts to recapture the magic of their most famous song, Pushin' Too Hard. The second Seeds album, A Web Of Sound, also was made up of (mostly) original material, but this time Sky Saxon and company made an effort to expand beyond the formula with tracks like Pictures And Designs, which starts off sounding a bit like the Yardbirds, but soon becomes a snarling punk drone that manages to break new ground for the band while maintaining the distinctive Seeds sound.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Eight Miles High
Source:    LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Fifth Dimension)
Writer(s):    Clark/McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1966
    Gene Clark's final contribution to the Byrds was his collaboration with David Crosby and Roger McGuinn, Eight Miles High. Despite a newsletter from the most powerful man in top 40 radio, Bill Drake, advising stations not to play this "drug song", the song managed to hit the top 20 in 1966. The band members themselves claimed that Eight Miles High was not a drug song at all, but was instead referring to the experience of travelling by air. In fact, it was Gene Clark's fear of flying that in part led to his leaving the Byrds.

Artist:     Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:     One Rainy Wish
Source:     CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer:     Jimi Hendrix
Label:     Legacy (original label: Reprise)
Year:     1967
     In the summer of 1967 my dad (who was an Air Force NCO), got transferred to Lindsay Air Station in Weisbaden, Germany. The housing situation there being what it was, it was several weeks before the rest of us could join him, and during that time he went out and bought an Akai X-355 reel to reel tape recorder that a fellow GI had picked up in Japan. The Akai had small speakers built into it, but the best way to listen to it was through headphones. It would be another year before he would pick up a turntable, so I started buying pre-recorded reel to reel tapes. Two of the first three tapes I bought were Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold As Love, both by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. As I was forced to share a bedroom with my little brother I made it a habit to sleep on the couch instead, usually with the headphones on listening to Axis: Bold As Love. I was blown away by the stereo effects on the album, which I attributed (somewhat correctly) to Hendrix, although I would find out years later that much of the credit belongs to engineer Eddie Kramer as well. One Rainy Wish, for example, starts off with all the instruments in the center channel (essentially a mono mix). After a few seconds of slow spacy intro the song gets into gear with vocals isolated all the way over to the left, with a guitar overdub on the opposite side to balance it out. As the song continues, things move back and forth from side to side, fading in and out at the same time. It was a hell of a way to drift off to sleep every night.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    Star Track
Source:    CD: Crown Of Creation
Writer(s):    Jorma Kaukonen
Label:    BMG/RCA
Year:    1968
    Jorma Kaukonen was already starting to develop his unique "psychedelic blues" style that would characterize his band Hot Tuna as early as 1968, with the Jefferson Airplane recording of Star Track from the Crown Of Creation album. As well as playing lead guitar, Kaukonen provides the lead vocals on the track.

Artist:    Open Mind
Title:    Magic Potion
Source:    British import CD: Love, Poetry And Revolution (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brancaccio
Label:    Grapefruit (original label: Philips)
Year:    1969
    Originally known as the Drag Set, the Open Mind adopted their new name in late 1967. Not long after the change they signed a deal with Philips Records and recorded an album with producer Johnny Franz in 1968. Their greatest achievement, however, came the following year, when they released Magic Potion as a single. By that time, unfortunately, British psychedelia had run its course, and Open Mind soon closed up shop.

Artist:     Temptations
Title:     Psychedelic Shack
Source:     45 RPM single
Writer:     Whitfield/Strong
Label:     Gordy
Year:     1970
     Starting in 1969 the songwriting/production team of Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong began to carve out their own company within a company at Motown, producing a series of recordings with a far more psychedelic feel than anything else coming out of the Motor City's biggest label. The most blatantly obvious example of this is the Temptations tune Psychedelic Shack, which graced the charts in 1970. Whitfield would eventually form his own company, taking another Motown act, the Undisputed Truth, with him, but would not be able to equal the success of the songs he and Strong produced for the Temptations.

Artist:    Paul Revere and the Raiders
Title:    The Great Airplane Strike (originally released on LP: Spirit Of '67 and as 45 RPM single)
Source:    LP: Greatest Hits
Writer:    Revere/Melcher/Lindsay
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    In 1966 Paul Revere and the Raiders were at the peak of their popularity, scoring major hits that year with Hungry and Kicks. The last single the band released that year was The Great Airplane Strike from the Spirit Of '67 album. Written by band members Revere and Mark Lindsay, along with producer Terry Melcher, The Great Airplane Strike stands out as a classic example of Pacific Northwest rock, a style which would eventually culminate in the grunge movement of the 1990s.

Artist:     Bob Dylan
Title:     Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
Source:     CD: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits
Writer:     Bob Dylan
Label:     Columbia
Year:     1966
     Some of the best rock and roll songs of 1966 were banned on a number of stations for being about either sex or drugs. Most artists that recorded those songs claimed they were about something else altogether. In the case of Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35, "stoned" refers to a rather unpleasant form of execution (at least according to Dylan). On the other hand, Dylan himself was reportedly quite stoned while recording the song, having passed a few doobies around before starting the tape rolling. Sometimes I think ambiguities like this are why English has become the dominant language of commerce on the planet.

Artist:     Beatles
Title:     I'm Only Sleeping
Source:     Simulated stereo LP: Yesterday…and Today
Writer:     Lennon/McCartney
Label:     Capitol
Year:     1966
     This version of I'm Only Sleeping, from the US-only LP Yesterday...And Today, predates the official UK release of the song by about two months. The electronically rechanneled for stereo mix was created from a preliminary mono mix of the song obtained by Capitol Records. The Beatles and producer George Martin made a few changes (such as the placement of the backwards guitar tracks) before doing the final mono and stereo mixes heard on the British version of Revolver.

Artist:    Simon and Garfunkel
Title:    A Hazy Shade Of Winter
Source:    CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Bookends)
Writer:    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966 (first stereo release: 1968)
    Originally released as a single in late 1966, A Hazy Shade Of Winter was one of several songs slated to be used in the film The Graduate. The only one of these actually used was Mrs. Robinson. The remaining songs eventually made up side two of the 1968 album Bookends, although several of them were also released as singles throughout 1967. A Hazy Shade Of Winter, being the first of these singles (and the only one released in 1966), was also the highest charting, peaking at # 13 just as the weather was turning cold.

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

Artist:    Unrelated Segments
Title:    Story Of My Life
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mackavich/Stults
Label:    Rhino (original label: HBR)
Year:    1967
    The Unrelated Segments were a Detroit band that had most of its success regionally. Their nearest brush with national fame came when Story Of My Life was picked up for national distribution by Hanna-Barbera, the record label associated with such well-known TV stars as Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and (later) Scooby-Doo. Hannah-Barbera not being known for its hit records, it's probably no surprise that the song did not climb too high on the charts.

Artist:    John Mayall
Title:    Brown Sugar
Source:    LP: The Blues Alone
Writer(s):    John Mayall
Label:    London
Year:    1967
    From the invention of the first phonograph up into the early 1950s, sound was recorded onto a single medium, be it a record, wire or magnetic tape. Then came stereo. The first stereo recordings were done on magnetic tape using special recording heads to record two signals simultaneously. It wasn't long before someone figured out that you could record two different things on those tracks and then mix them together into a monoraul final recording. This led to machines that could record three separate tracks, then four, which is where things stood in the mid-1960s. The next big step was to go to eight recording tracks that could be mixed down to two stereo tracks. With all these tracks came the possibility of doing something that had never been done before: one person could make a recording playing all the instruments himself. Quite possibly the first person to record an entire LP this way was John Mayall on his Blues Alone album in 1967 (although, to be honest, he did utilize the services of drummer Keef Hartley rather than play his own percussion parts). Although it may not have been Mayall's best album (a lot of competition for that title), The Blues Alone did have several outstanding tracks, such as Brown Sugar, a song that was quite controversial at the time (and may not be considered exactly politically correct today).

Artist:      Del-Vetts
Title:     Last Time Around
Source:      Simulate stereo LP: The Dunwich Records Story (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Dennis Dahlquist
Label:     Voxx (original label: Dunwich)
Year:     1966
     Dunhill Records was a small indepent label in Chicago that got national distribution through a deal with Atlantic Records. Their biggest act was the Shadows of Knight, who topped the charts with their cover of Van Morrison's Gloria in 1966. One of the most successful other bands on the label was the Del-Vetts, from Chicago's affluent North Side (band members had matching white Corvettes, hence the name). Last Time Around, sounding a lot like the Yardbirds, was their only nationally charted song, although they did get airplay in the midwest with other songs as well.

Artist:    Butch Engle And The Styx
Title:    Hey, I'm Lost
Source:    Mono CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Elliott/Durand
Label:    Rhino (original label: Onyx)
Year:    1967
    In 1966 a local San Francisco department store held a battle of the bands at the Cow Palace. Unlike most events in the city that year, this one did not tie in to the emerging hippy culture. Rather, the event drew bands that were in their element when playing high school dances and teen clubs (although the Charlatans did make an appearance). The winners of that battle were Butch Engle and the Styx. Eighteen months later Hey, I'm Lost, their only single, appeared on the Onyx label and was distributed throughout the bay area.

Artist:    James Brown
Title:    Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine
Source:    Mono CD: 20 All-Time Greatest Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Brown/Byrd/Lenhoff
Label:    Polydor (original label: King)
Year:    1970
    Many of James Brown's singles consisted of a single track split over two side of a 45 RPM record, usually with the first side fading out at the end and the second side beginning with a fade-in. Such was the case with Brown's 1970 hit Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine. For his greatest hits CD collection, Polydor put the two sides together into one continuous piece. They did a good job of it too, as I really can't tell where the splice point is.

Artist:     Sugarloaf
Title:     The Train Kept A-Rollin' (Stroll On)
Source:     Mono LP: Sugarloaf
Writer:     Relf/Page/Beck/Dreja
Label:     Liberty
Year:     1970
     One of the Yardbirds' best-known early recordings was Train Kept A Rollin', a song credited to the entire band. In 1966  the band reworked the tune, adding a feedback drenched intro, new lyrics, and dueling guitar leads from Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. The song, retitled Stroll On, was included in the Michelangelo Antonioni film Blow-Up. Four years later an instrumental version of the newer arrangement appeared on the debut album of the Denver, Colorado band Sugarloaf, using the title The Train Kept A-Rollin' (Stroll On). For reasons unknown, the Sugarloaf track was a mono recording on an otherwise stereo LP, leading me to theorize that it had possibly started off as a demo tape, or maybe an unreleased single, that ended up being included on the album itself. 

Artist:    Traffic
Title:    Something's Got Hold of My Toe
Source:    LP: Last Exit
Writer:    Winwood/Mason/Miller
Label:    Island (original label: United Artists)
Year:    1969
    Traffic only made two albums before splitting up in 1968 (they reformed in 1970). After the breakup, Island Records assembled a collection of singles, B sides, live recordings and one unreleased track for a third album, titled Last Exit. The unreleased track is called Something's Got Hold of My Toe, an instrumental that sounds like it was a warm-up jam that just happened to get recorded. Somehow producer Jimmy Miller is listed as a co-writer. Generally, Miller's contributions were on the lyrical side, making this particular credit a bit puzzling.

Artist:    Fairport Convention
Title:    Chelsea Morning
Source:    British import CD: Fairport Convention
Writer(s):    Joni Mitchell
Label:    Polydor
Year:    1968
    Although Joni Mitchell wrote Chelsea Morning, she was not the first person to record the song. That honor goes to Dave Van Ronk, who released the song on his 1967 LP Dave Van Ronk and the Hudson Dusters. The following year the song was included on the first Fairport Convention album, and remains my personal favorite of the many different versions of the tune. Mitchell herself finally recorded the song for her second LP, Clouds, in 1969. The song itself was inspired by Mitchell's room in New York's Chelsea neighborhood.

Artist:     Kinks
Title:     Love Me Till The Sun Shines
Source:     CD: Something Else
Writer:     Dave Davies
Label:     Reprise
Year:     1967
     The 1967 album Something Else By The Kinks was a turning point for the band in more ways than one. It was the first Kinks album produced entirely by Ray Davies, as well as the first Kinks album to be released in stereo. Something Else also saw the emergence of the younger Davies brother, Dave, as a songwriter in his own right on songs like Love Me Till The Sun Shines. I'm not sure, but it sounds to me like Dave Davies is the singer on the track as well.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source:    CD: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Writer(s):    Tucker/Mantz
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    Only a handful of tunes make virtually everyone's list of "psychedelic" songs. The Electric Prunes' I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) so well defines the genre that Lenny Kaye himself chose it to be the opening track on the original Nuggets album.

Artist:    Animals
Title:    We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (US version)
Source:    Mono LP: The Best Of The Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Mann/Weil
Label:    M-G-M
Year:    1965
    In 1965 producer Mickey Most put out a call to Don Kirschner's Brill building songwriters for material that could be recorded by the Animals. He ended up selecting three songs, all of which are among the Animals' most popular singles. Possibly the best-known of the three is a song written by the husband and wife team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil called We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. The song (the first Animals recording to featuring Dave Rowberry, who had replaced founder Alan Price on organ) starts off with what is probably Chas Chandler's best known bass lines, slowly adding drums, vocals, guitar and finally keyboards on its way to an explosive chorus. The song was not originally intended for the Animals, however; it was written for the Righteous Brothers as a follow up to (You've Got That) Lovin' Feelin', which Mann and Weil had also provided for the duo. Mann, however, decided to record the song himself, but the Animals managed to get their version out first, taking it to the top 20 in the US and the top 5 in the UK. As the Vietnam war escalated, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place became a sort of underground anthem for US servicemen stationed in South Vietnam, and has been associated with that war ever since. Incidentally, there were actually two versions of We Gotta Get Out Of This Place recorded during the same recording session, with an alternate take accidentally being sent to M-G-M and subsequently being released as the US version of the single. This version (which some collectors and fans maintain has a stronger vocal track) appeared on the US-only LP Animal Tracks in the fall of 1965 as well as the original M-G-M pressings of the 1966 album Best Of The Animals.

Artist:    Janis Joplin
Title:    Get It While You Can
Source:    LP: Pearl
Writer(s):    Ragovoy/Schuman
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1971
    The final track on Janis Joplin's last album is, in some ways, a fitting epitaph for one of the greatest vocalists in rock history. Get It While You Can is a powerful tune from Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Schuman, one of the most prolific songwriting teams of the 1960s. Joplin's version of the song originally recorded by Howard Tate showcases both her range and passion in less than three and a half minutes.

Artist:    Pretty Things
Title:    Walking Through My Dreams
Source:    Mono British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    May/Taylor/Waller
Label:    EMI (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1968
    Like the Rolling Stones, the Pretty Things were a product of London's somewhat rough and tumble blue collar neighborhoods, and in their early years played a similar mix of early rock 'n' roll and R&B cover tunes. By 1967, however, the band had embraced psychedelia far more than the Stones, even to the point of rivalling Pink Floyd for the unofficial title of Britain's leading psychedelic band. A case in point is Walking Though My Dreams, released in 1967 as the B side to the equally psychedelic Talkin' About The Good Times. For some reason, however, the Pretty Things never had the success in the US that the Stones (or even Pink Floyd) enjoyed.

Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Quite Rightly So
Source:    CD: Shine On Brightly
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    A&M
Year:    1968
    In 1969, while living on Ramstein AFB in Germany, my dad managed to get use of one of the basement storage rooms in building 913, the 18-unit apartment building we resided in. For a few months (until getting in trouble for having overnight guests and making too much noise...hey I was 16, whaddaya expect?) I got to use that room as a bedroom. I had a small record player that shut itself off when it got to the end of the record, which meant I got to go to sleep every night to the album of my choice. As often as not that album was Shine On Brightly, a copy of which I had gotten in trade for another album (the Best of the Beach Boys I think) from a guy who was expecting A Whiter Shade of Pale and was disappointed to discover it was not on this album. I always thought I got the better end of that deal, despite the fact that there was a skip during the fade of Quite Rightly So, causing the words "one was me" to repeat over and over until I scooted the needle over a bit. Luckily Quite Rightly So is the first song on the album, so I was usually awake enough to do that.

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

Artist:    Vanilla Fudge
Title:    People
Source:    Mono CD: The Complete Atco Singles
Writer(s):    Stein/Bogert/Martell/Appice
Label:    Real Gone/Rhino
Year:    1969
    Although credited to the entire band, People was the brainchild of Vanilla Fudge guitarist Vinnie Martell, who came up with the tune while the group was brainstorming for original material to record (as opposed to the rearranged and rocked out covers they were famous for). According to Martell, the song "tells of humanity evolving in time through the prisms of my own personal altered state of consciousness." Brainstorming indeed!

Artist:    Steve Miller Band
Title:    Brave New World
Source:    LP: Homer soundtrack (originally released on LP: Brave New World)
Writer(s):    Steve Miller
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1969
    It took the Steve Miller Band half a dozen albums (plus appearances on a couple of movie soundtracks) to achieve star status in the early 1970s. Along the way they developed a cult following that added new members with each successive album. The fourth Miller album was Brave New World, the title track of which was used in the film Homer, a 1970 film that is better remembered for its soundtrack than for the film itself.

Artist:    Ten Years After
Title:    I Don't Know That You Don't Know My Name
Source:    LP: Ssssh!
Writer(s):    Alvin Lee
Label:    Deram
Year:    1969
    The title of this song confuses me. Every time I look at it my eyes cross. The recording of I Don't Know That You Don't Know My Name on the Ten Years After album Ssssh is, however, quite an enjoyable (if somewhat short) listen.

Artist:      Black Sabbath
Title:     Electric Funeral
Source:      CD: Paranoid
Writer(s):    Iommi/Osborne/Butler/Ward
Label:     Warner Brothers
Year:     1970
     When Black Sabbath first appeared on vinyl they were perceived as the next step in the evolution of rock, building on the acid rock of the late sixties and laying the groundwork for what would become heavy metal. Electric Funeral, from the band's second album, Paranoid, shows that evolution in progress.