Saturday, January 22, 2011

Show # 1103 playlist

This week we catch up on some requests that have been accumulating over the past couple weeks. The catch is you'll have to actually listen to the show to find out exactly which songs were requested and which ones weren't.

Artist: Fever Tree
Title: San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native)
Source: CD: Psychedelic Pop (originally released on LP: Fever Tree)
Writer: Holtzman/Holtzman
Label: BMG/RCA/Buddah (original label: Uni)
Year: 1968
A minor trend in 1968 was for producer/songwriters to find a band to record their material exclusively. A prime example is Houston's Fever Tree, which featured the music of husband and wife team Scott and Vivian Holtzman. San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native) was the single from that album, peaking in the lower reaches of the Hot 100 charts.

Artist: Focus
Title: House of the King
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer: Jan Akkerman
Label: Sire
Year: 1970
Dutch band Focus released House of the King as a single in 1970, between their first and second albums. The song finally appeared on an LP when Focus 3 was released three years later. Contrary to popular belief, the song was not re-recorded for the 1973 album.

Artist: Yes
Title: America
Source: CD: Yesterdays (originally released on LP: The New Age of Atlantic)
Writer: Paul Simon
Label: Atlantic
Year: 1972
Following the success of the Fragile album and the hit single Roundabout, Yes went into the studio to cut this ten and a half minute track for a special Atlantic Records sampler album. The song was then edited down for single release as a follow-up to Roundabout. The original unedited track was re-released on the album Yesterdays, which also featured several tracks from the first two Yes albums that featured an earlier lineup. Paul Simon's America was, in fact, the only track on Yesterdays that featured the classic Yes lineup of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squires, Bill Bruford and Rick Wakeman.

Artist: Seeds
Title: The Wind Blows Her Hair
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 9-Acid Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Saxon/Bigelow
Label: Rhino (original label: GNP Crescendo)
Year: 1967
I don't know for sure whether this non-album single from the original L.A. Flower Power band was intended to be the A side or the B side, as neither side made the charts. This is probably because the record came out at about the same time as the Mothers of Invention album We're Only In It For the Money, with its declaration that "Flower Power sucks" (in the song Absolutely Free), which was the hottest thing on the L.A. underground music scene in the summer of '67. In retrospect, The Wind Blows Her Hair was actually one of the Seeds best tunes.

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 this old English drinking song, led by drummer Ginger Baker, and 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: Ultimate Spinach
Title: Baroque # 1
Source: LP: Ultimate Spinach (promotional mono pressing)
Writer: Ian Bruce-Douglas
Label: M-G-M
Year: 1967
Of the six major US record labels of the time, only two, Decca and M-G-M, failed to sign any San Francisco bands. Decca, which had been bought by MCA in the early 60s, was fast fading as a major force in the industry. M-G-M, on the other hand, had a strong presence on the Greenwich Village scene thanks to Tom Olson at the Verve Forecast label, who had signed such critically-acclaimed artists as Dave Van Ronk, Tim Hardin and the Blues Project. Taking this as an inspiration, the parent label decided to create interest in the Boston music scene, aggressively promoting (some would say hyping) the "Boss-Town Sound". One of the bands signed was Ultimate Spinach, which was led by keyboardist Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote all the band's material.

Artist: Who
Title: Disguises
Source: CD: A Quick One (originally released in UK on 45 RPM EP: Ready Steady Who)
Writer: Pete Townshend
Label: MCA (original label: Reaction)
Year: 1966
After a successful appearance on the British TV show Ready Steady Go (the UK's answer to American Bandstand), the Who released an EP featuring mostly cover songs such as Bucket T and the Batman theme. Two tracks on the record, however, were Who originals: a new version of Circles (a song that originally appeared on the My Generation album) and Disguises, which made its debut as the lead track of the EP. When MCA issued a remastered version of A Quick One in the 1990s, the entire contents of the EP (except Circles) were included as bonus tracks on the CD.

Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Sing This All Together (See What Happens)
Source: CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer: Jagger/Richards
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
Year: 1967
Following the critical and commercial success of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Stones responded with their most psychedelic album ever, Their Satanic Majesties Request, with its own cover parodying the Sgt. Pepper cover. As an added touch, the Stones album featured cover art done on special holographic paper (the same material used for holo rings purchased from bubble gum machines) to simulate a 3D effect. The first side wrapped up with the nearly eight-minute Sing This All Together (See What Happens), a sort of psychedelic jam track featuring an unusual array of instruments and effects.

Artist: Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys
Title: Track In 'A' (Nebraska Nights)
Source: LP: The Street Giveth…and the Street Taketh Away
Writer: Michaels/Smith/Equine/Chin/Packer
Label: Polydor
Year: 1968
When the Jimi Hendrix Experience toured promoting the Electric Ladyland album their opening act was Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys. Cat Mother was actually one of the earliest country-rock groups, with ties to Buffalo Springfield, Poco and the post-David Crosby Byrds, among others. Hendrix himself was so impressed with the band that he co-produced their first album, The Street Giveth…and the Street Taketh Away. The last track on the album is called, appropriately enough, Track In 'A' (subtitled Nebraska Nights), and is obviously a studio jam. This was also one of the first LPs to be released in the US on the Polydor label (see notes for Mother's Lament above for more on that).

Artist: B.B. King
Title: Losing Faith In You
Source: CD: Blues On Top Of Blues
Writer: unknown
Label: BGO
Year: 1968
Our final track for the first hour is a tune from the 1968 B.B. King album Blues On Top Of Blues, released on the Bluesway label. This was the first B.B. King album I ever bought. Unfortunately that copy disappeared from my collection many years ago; the CD I used for tonight's show is an import that is missing essential information such as songwriting credits and names of the musicians performing on the album.

Artist: Spencer Davis Group
Title: I'm A Man
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Winwood/Miller
Label: United Artists
Year: 1967
The Spencer Davis Group, featuring Steve and Muff Winwood, was one of the UK's most successful white R&B bands of the sixties, cranking out a steady stream of hit singles. Two of them, the iconic Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm A Man, were also major hits in the US, the latter being the last song to feature the Winwood brothers. Muff Winwood became a successful record producer. The group itself continued on for several years, but were never able to duplicate their earlier successes. As for Steve Winwood, he quickly faded off into obscurity, never to be heard from again. Except as the leader of Traffic. And a member of Blind Faith. And Traffic again. And some critically-acclaimed collaborations in the early 1980s with Asian musicians. Oh yeah, and a few major solo hits in the late 80s. Other than that, nothing.

Artist: Barry McGuire
Title: Eve of Destruction
Source: CD: Songs Of Protest (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: P.F. Sloan
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year: 1965
This week's longest progression through the years starts in 1965, with a song that represents the zenith of folk-rock's popularity. P.F. Sloan had already established a reputation for writing songs that captured the anger of youth by the time he wrote this tune, which Barry McGuire took into the top 10 in 1965.

Artist: Donovan
Title: Season of the Witch
Source: CD: Sunshine On The Mountain (originally released on LP: Sunshine Superman)
Writer: Donovan Leitch
Label: Sony Special Products (original label: Epic)
Year: 1966
From 1966 we have an album track from Donovan's Sunshine Superman album. Due to a contract dispute with Pye Records UK, the album was not released in Donovan's home country until 1967, and then only as an LP combining tracks from both the Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow albums. Season of the Witch has since been covered by an impressive array of artists, including Al Kooper and Stephen Stills (on the Super Session album) and Vanilla Fudge.

Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Title: How Do You Feel
Source: LP: Surrealistic Pillow
Writer: Tom Mastlin
Label: RCA Victor
Year: 1967
From 1967 we have the only song on Surrealistic Pillow not written by a current or former member of Jefferson Airplane. How Do You Feel was also issued as the B side of My Best Friend, the first single released from the album.

Artist: Electric Flag
Title: Over-Lovin' You
Source: LP: A Long Time Comin'
Writer: Goldberg/Bloomfield
Label: Columbia
Year: 1968
We wrap up the set with a tune from the debut Electric Flag album. The Flag was an attempt to combine the quasi-Chicago blues style of the Butterfield Blues Band with an R&B style rhythm section. Guitarist Michael Bloomfield, who had just split with Butterfield, was the headliner for the band that also featured Barry Goldberg, Nick Gravenites and Buddy Miles, among others.

Artist: Count Five
Title: Psychotic Reaction
Source: CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Ellner/Chaney/Atkinson/Byrne/Michaelski
Label: Rhino (original label: Double Shot)
Year: 1966
Since this is an encore presentation of a song I played last week, I'm just going to re-present the comments on it as well: San Jose, California, had a vibrant teen music scene in the late 60s, despite the fact that the relatively small city was overshadowed by San Francisco at the other end of the bay (both cities are considered part of the same metropolitan market). One of the more popular bands in town was this group of five individuals who chose to dress up like Bela Lugosi's Dracula, capes and all. Musically, they idolized the Yardbirds (Jeff Beck era), and for slightly more than three minutes managed to sound more like their idols than the Yardbirds themselves (who by then had replaced Beck with Jimmy Page).

Artist: Music Machine
Title: Time Out (For a Daydream)
Source: CD: Beyond The Garage (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Sean Bonniwell
Label: Sundazed (original label: Warner Brothers)
Year: 1968
Following the success of Talk Talk in 1966, Sean Bonniwell and the gang spent the next couple of years touring while grabbing any opportunity to get into a recording studio that presented itself. By 1968 the Music Machine was an entirely different band (except for Bonniwell himself). It was this new lineup that booked studio time somewhere in the midwest late at night after a gig and recorded this little ditty that ended up being released as the band's final single.

OK, I said I would make you listen to the show to figure out which artists/songs were requests. Now comes the exception: the act getting the most requests of the week. Who else but Jimi Hendrix?

Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Purple Haze
Source: CD: Are You Experienced? (originally released in the UK as a 45 RPM single)
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: MCA (original UK label: Track)(original US label: Reprise)
Year: 1967
Purple Haze has one of the most convoluted release histories of any song ever recorded. Originally issued in the UK as a single, it scored high on the British charts. When Reprise got the rights to release the first Hendrix album, Are You Experienced?, they chose to replace the first track on the album with Purple Haze, moving the original opening track, Foxy Lady, to side two of the LP. The song next appeared on the Smash Hits album, which in Europe was on the Polydor label. This was the way things stayed until the early 1990s, when MCA acquired the rights to the Hendrix catalog and re-issued Are You Experienced? with the tracks restored to the UK ordering, but preceded by the six non-album sides (including Purple Haze) that had originally been released prior to the album. Most recently, the Hendrix Family Trust has again changed labels and the US version of Are You Experienced? is once again in print, this time on Sony's Legacy label. This means that the song has now been released by three of the four currently existing major record companies (the exception being the fourth-ranked EMI group).

Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Come On (Pt. 1)
Source: LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer: Earl King
Label: Reprise
Year: 1968
The Jimi Hendrix Experience had always mixed in a fair amount of blues covers into its live sets, but few were ever chosen for the recording studio. One notable exception is the early 60s Earl King tune Come On (part one), which was recorded for the Electric Ladyland album.

Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Third Stone From The Sun
Source: CD: Are You Experienced?
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year: 1967
Jimi Hendrix once stated that he was far more comfortable as a guitarist than as a vocalist, at least in the early days of the Experience. In that case, he was certainly in his element for this classic instrumental from the Are You Experienced? album. The entire train sequence at the end of the track was done entirely on guitar.

Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Burning of the Midnight Lamp
Source: LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: Reprise
Year: 1968
Another song with a convoluted history, Burning of the Midnight Lamp was the fourth, and at the time most sophisticated single released by the Experience, coming out in mid-1967 between Are You Experienced? and Axis: Bold As Love. By this time, Reprise had changed its policy and ended up releasing the Axis album with the same song lineup as the UK original, which left Midnight Lamp a kind of orphan. Hendrix, though, having put a lot of work into the song, was not content to let the mono single release be the last word on the cut, and created a new stereo mix from the original tapes for inclusion on the third Experience album, Electric Ladyland, a year later.

Artist: Beatles
Title: Mother Nature's Son
Source: CD: The Beatles
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Label: Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Year: 1968
The Beatles (aka the White Album) was in many respects a collection of solo efforts by the band members as opposed to being a group effort. Most of the double LP's 30 tracks did not feature the entire band. This was especially notable among the many Lennon/McCartney compositions. Even though John Lennon and Paul McCartney were not writing as a team at this point (although they continued to share writing credits for the rest of the band's existence), they did tend to play on each other's songs, most of which had little or no input from either George Harrison or Ringo Starr. The only member featured on Mother Nature's Son, however, was McCartney. Stylistically the song links back to For No One from the Revolver album.

Artist: James Gang
Title: Take A Look Around
Source: CD: Yer Album
Writer: Joe Walsh
Label: MCA (original label: Bluesway)
Year: 1970
Like the Big Bands of the 30s and 40s, the James Gang went through several lineup changes over the years. The one common element of the band was drummer/founder Dale Peters, who teamed with bassist Tom Kriss and vocalist/guitarist Joe Walsh for the group's recording debut in 1969. Unlike most band leaders, Peters was content to let other members such as Walsh take center stage, both as performers and songwriters. The result was a band that was able to rock as hard as any of their contemporaries with tracks like The Bomber and Funk #49, but that could also showcase Walsh's more melodic side with songs such as Take A Look Around. For some unknown reason, ABC Records decided to issue Yer Album on it's Bluesway subsidiary; it was the only rock album ever released on that label (subsequent James Gang albums were on the parent ABC label).

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